Book Chat #12: The Midnight Star and Marie Lu

Hello friends! ❤

Yesterday, I got to go see one of my favourite authors at a book signing–Marie Lu! (Yes, I’m still in shock.) She’s got some really amazing, intense books and is a superb writer. Here’s a lil Book Chat about my experience!


book chat yasimone

Lu has just released the final book of The Young Elites trilogy, The Midnight Star, and she is currently on tour, holding events in bookstores across the country. I immediately decided that I wouldn’t be missing it when I learned she’d be having a book signing close to my home. Oh, and when I say close, I mean at a bookstore in a city four hours away from me. (Never let it be said I’m not a dedicated fan!) 😀 I’m so glad I got to see her though, and it was definitely worth the drive.

When I got there, it was much smaller than the Rick Riordan meet up I attended in October of last year–around thirty to forty people this time around–but everyone there was excited and chattering on to each other about the new book as they sipped frozen hot chocolate that had been handed out; and yes, the frozen hot chocolate was pretty good. After a bit, Marie Lu walked over to the microphone and greeted us as everyone cheered. She introduced herself and spoke a little bit about the process of writing this new book, and then all the attendees raised their hands and asked questions and she answered all of them.  Here are a couple of answers to questions that I thought were interesting.

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She was so warm and friendly and and and–

 

  • Marie Lu draws out her characters before writing them, a habit left over from previously being a video game artist.
  • Her ideal atmosphere for writing is rain, a cozy blanket, and a nice cup of tea.
  • She tends to write mostly from 8 am to 2 pm.
  • Kiss scenes are hard; she always imagines a tiny mother on her shoulder, scolding her as she writes.
  • She doesn’t generally cry over anything she writes, but writing out the last scene of the last book in a trilogy makes her shed a few tears each time.midnight-star-marie-lu-jpg
  • It’s hard for her to see her characters move on and leave their heads after writing their lives and thoughts for so long.
  • The original idea for The Young Elites involved a current side character, Raffaele, as the protagonist before she realised that a certain villain, Adelina, would make a better main character.
  • She is currently writing a new duology–the first book is called Warcross–about two bounty hunter teens hired to kill a hacker messing up the world’s most popular video game. Keep an eye out; it’s being published next fall.
  • Lu’s a pantser! In other words, she’s not super great at following an outline and sometimes her writing runs away with the characters scrambling to catch up.
  • She’s currently reading Crooked Kingdom and it might just be her favourite book of the year.

Then she signed everyone’s books and I returned home in a euphoric state, clutching The Midnight Star to my chest. Overall, it was so much fun! Marie Lu is such a genuinely warm and down-to-earth person. After only thirty minutes of her speaking, I already felt like I’d known her for a long time. 😛 I always love seeing authors and getting to know the thought processes behind their books, and I’m really glad I was able to go to this book signing in particular.

So now all the books I own that are written by her are signed, which I am thrilled about. Also, look at how pretty they are together!

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The best fall aesthetic of all.

 

I’ll be reading The Midnight Star this week and reviewing it as soon as possible. The Young Elite series is one of my  favourites, and I’m sure the final novel will not disappoint!

Have a lovely day everyone!

❤ Yasimone

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Book Chat #12: Happy Birthday, Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling!

Hello friends!

I am so hyped today! It’s Harry Potter’s 36th birthday and J.K. Rowling’s 51st birthday!

Happy birthday, you two! ❤

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It also happens to be the day of the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! I have not acquired it as of yet, but I will be buying it as soon as possible. Can’t wait to read it… I was actually at a bookstore yesterday for the midnight release; it was fantastic spending time with other fans, competing in trivia contests and chatting up a storm.

Here’s a little thing that I thought was fitting for today. By no means is it a complete list of how much the Harry Potter books and world impacted me, but it’s just a little thank you to the characters I spent my childhood (and many more years to come!) with. 🙂


Thank you…

to Hermione, for teaching me that friendship and bravery are just as powerful as books and cleverness;

to Ron, for showing that loyalty is best type of courage (and also to never mess with him in chess!);

to Dumbledore, for teaching me that it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live;

to Neville, for proving that even the gentlest of people can be the most powerful;

to Luna, for being a comforting, albeit eccentric, beam of light in the midst of darkness;

to Ginny, for showing me anything’s possible if you’ve enough nerve;

to Molly and Arthur, for taking in Harry as their own and giving us hope in good people;

to Lupin, for being just about the greatest Defense Against the Dark Arts professor ever and watching over Harry when no one else could;

to Sirius, for teaching me that the ones we love never truly leave us;

to Snape, for proving that even the most sullen people are not always as they seem (okay come on, that was a really good pun, you guys!);

to Lily and James, for showing me the true power of love;

to Dobby, for always being there when people needed help;

and finally, to Harry James Potter, for teaching me that in the end, all will be well.


Now, I’ll be returning to my Harry Potter movie marathon. Have a lovely rest of the weekend, everyone!

❤ Yasimone

Book Chat #11: Murder Central

Hello everyone!

Hope your April has been going well so far. I am so happy that it finally feels like spring; flowers are blooming in abundance and the weather is lovely where I live. 😀

I’ve been a little missing-in-action lately, partly because I’ve been doing too much reading and not enough reviewing! We also haven’t had a Book Chat here in a while so I thought I’d show you all just what exactly I’ve been preoccupied with: Monsieur Poirot and his epic adventures!

Yes, that’s right–I’ve been reading a lot of the Queen of Mystery–Agatha Christie herself’s–murder mysteries. They tend to be intricate, well-written, and immensely suspenseful books, and they’re rather addicting. Here’s a little photoshoot/quote thing (?) of the ones I’ve read so far. Hope you enjoy!


book chat yasimone

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 “Words, mademoiselle, are only the outer clothing of ideas.”

– The ABC Murders

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“Loyalty, it is a pestilential thing in crime. Again and again it obscures the truth.”

– Murder in Mesopotamia

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“Sensationalism dies quickly, fear is long-lived.”

– Death in the Clouds

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“The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”

– Murder on the Orient Express

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Well, there you have it. I’m not too sure what exactly this post was, but if you’d like to see more of these strange photoshoot post things, please do let me know!

Have a great week!

❤ Yasimone

Happy New Year! | One Year Blogiversary!

new year + blogiversary

Well, my lovely readers, this is it.

It’s been a year since I started up yasimone.com. A year since I first mustered up the courage to introduce myself to the world. A year since I was overjoyed that my blog actually appeared on Google (on the fourth page of results, no less). A year since I wrote up fifteen post drafts before finally settling on this tiny stub of a first post.

A year. It’s seemed so short. How funny, that a year can drag on for an eternity and yet pass by quicker than a second.

2015 is over, and it’s been a whirlwind of a journey. We can only imagine how 2016 will turn out.

So, I’d like to say thank you. 😀 Thank you to everyone who takes the time out of their day to read my posts. To everyone who likes books, to everyone who’s supported my blog and me all this time, to everyone who’s ever liked or commented on one of my posts, to everyone who has tagged or nominated me for an award— thank you. I am indescribably grateful. 🙂

 Here’s to fresh beginnings and many more years of bookishness to come! 😛

❤ Yasimone

Book Chat #10: Rick Riordan’s “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer” Norse American Tour!

Oh my gosh, you guys.

Remember this post? The one about Rick Riordan’s new mythology series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard? Well, the first book has officially come out! 😀 But that’s not all…

Over the past week, Rick Riordan has been on his “Norse American Tour” (what a great pun!) he’s visited five out of eight major American cities so far. This morning, I was able to be at the event in Miami, which I thought was so cool, and it was absolutely AMAZING! I’m so glad I got to go! 😛

What does the Norse American tour look like? Something like this. #magnuschase @disneybooksSo, the first thing I’ll say is that it was crowded. Fans of all ages were excitedly chattering away, showing off their Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter t-shirts, and reading The Sword of Summer while standing in a long, winding queue. I grabbed a copy of the novel and immediately joined the line, bursting with eagerness to start reading it. Oh, and did I mention that all of the books were signed? 😀

Magnus Chase meets my owl necklace/blog logo.
Magnus Chase meets my owl necklace/blog logo.
Agh, what a pretty cover!
Agh, what a pretty cover!
I have a book with Rick Riordan's signature in it, therefore I have lived live.
I have a book with Rick Riordan’s signature in it, therefore I have lived life.

Finally, after waiting for a bit, we were ushered to our seats inside the auditorium and we were given foam shields! How cool is that? Foam shields!

My precious foam shield.
My precious foam shield.

And the moment we were all waiting for arrived: Rick Riordan walked up onto the stage! He is such a great guy—so funny, and friendly, and basically everything you’d want the author of some of your favourite books to be. You can definitely tell he’s the one behind the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus.


Highlights of Riordan’s Speech/Presentation/Stand-up Show

  • Actually getting to see Rick Riordan in the flesh
  • Listening to him talk about his childhood and how he was a reluctant reader (How things have changed!)
  • Laughing at awkward photos of him with long hair from middle school and high school
  • Rick Riordan calling his wife Becky his “Annabeth” *swoon*
  • Seeing the covers of The Lightening Thief from different countries (Look up the German one—it’s hilarious!)
  • Learning about the inspiration and the writing process behind his books
  • Him telling us that Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard is a trilogy and the next book will be coming out around this time next year!
  • Him telling us that he’s coming out with ANOTHER NEW SERIES IN 2016 called the Trials of Apollo and that the characters from Heroes of Olympus WILL BE IN IT *hyperventilates*
  • Finding out that he hasn’t ever watched the Percy Jackson movies and doesn’t want to
  • Basically everything
Rick Riordan speaking to a roomful of fans.
Rick Riordan speaking to a roomful of fans.
Two Rick Riordans at once! Which one is the real one?
Two Rick Riordans at once! Which one is the real one?
After the presentation ended.
After the presentation ended.

It was such a wonderful experience; I would love to be a part of something like this again. And I’m so pumped up about the Trials of Apollo series that will be coming out in May of next year! If you’re anywhere near Houston, Phoenix, or St. Louis in the next three days, I would seriously recommend that you grab tickets as soon as possible and attend—it’s so worth it!

Okay, back to reading The Sword of Summer now! I’ll be up with a review as soon as possible!

❤ Yasimone

Book Chat #9: Anticipating Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard!

Hello everyone! I’ve been a little absent lately, but it’s been nice to let my blog just sit there for a bit. book chat picAnyway, I’m back now with the first Book Chat after a while!


I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I’m a pretty big fan of Rick Riordan. Aren’t we all? 😉 I loved his series Percy Jackson and the Olympians; I loved his series The Heroes of Olympus. However, his final book in The Heroes of Olympus came out last year in October, and we had to bid good-bye to our favorite Greek gang. 😥 (Well, we can reread the books, but it certainly won’t be the same.) However… Rick Riordan will be releasing a NEW book on October 6th, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer! And this time, it will be about Norse mythology! How cool!

Here’s the official synopsis:

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met-a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

A preview of the book that I got at my bookstore!
A preview of the book that I got at my bookstore!

Doesn’t that sound thrilling? Also, hmm… Does the last name “Chase” seem familiar? 😉

I actually was at my local bookstore a few weeks ago when I noticed that they had a pamphlet with a preview of the book: the first three chapters! I immediately snatched it up and read at least four times. I can assure you that it is just as fast-paced and exciting as the Percy Jackson books!

I can’t wait until it comes out! I’ve always been fascinated with mythology, even before reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians or Heroes of Olympus, and The Sword of Summer will be delving into a whole new world of mythology. Are you anticipating the Magnus Chase books as well? What other books are you waiting for to come out? I’d love some recommendations! 🙂

❤ Yasimone

P.S.- Spoiler Alert!

I repeat, spoiler alert!

Magnus is Annabeth Chase’s cousin!

Book Chat #8: Happy Birthday, J. K. Rowling and Harry Potter!

Hi everyone! Today is J. K. Rowling’s fiftieth—and Harry Potter’s thirty-fifth—birthday! Here’s a Book Chat that’s rather different than the ones I usually post; one that I’ve poured all my thoughts and feelings about the world of Harry Potter into…


Dear J. K. Rowling,

I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when I was quite young—all the way back in primary school. As I opened the book and read the first line,

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much,”

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o The battered old book that started it all.

I had no idea what lay ahead. But I read and eventually drifted off into the magical world where anything is possible (which I’m happy to say I still visit quite often). I devoured one book after the other, and when I had finished all the books, back to back, in under two weeks, I read them again and again. They never lost their excitement, no matter how many times I flipped through their pages.

This sounds cliché, I know, but I truly felt as though I was alongside Harry, Ron, and Hermione through it all— marveling at the sheer enormity of Hogwarts, raising my hand in Charms class, whizzing through the air in a Quidditch match, sneaking over to Hagrid’s in the middle of the night, fighting all sorts of magical beasts, dueling with Lord Voldemort, banding together with everyone in the epic Battle of Hogwarts. You see, the characters were not simply characters. They were people, just as real as my family and friends.

But, looking back, underneath these thrilling, brilliantly worded accounts of three clever, mischievous students at Hogwarts learning magic at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and book chat picWizardry, meeting all sorts of magic folk, and bringing together everyone to help defeat You-Know-Who Voldemort, there lie quite a few important lessons—namely about love and determination and human nature—that have stayed with me since that very first book, and for that, J. K. Rowling, I must thank you.

As Professor Dumbledore once said,

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most

inexhaustible source of magic,

capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

You have certainly proved him right, J. K. Rowling. ❤

Happy Birthday to you and Harry! (And Neville Longbottom too.)

Yours truly,

Yasimone

P.S.: I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts letter… 🙂