October Monthly Recap | Happy Halloween!

~*~On The Blog~*~
Before I begin, I just want to note I was so busy in September that I didn't get a recap up, so I'll be sharing some things I did in September too!

These past 2 months have been the fastest of my life! SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED! So much that this has to be a list format!
  • I got accepted to study abroad in London for the spring semester!!!!!
  • I have decided to graduate college early
  • I have started my Honors thesis
  • I've interned for Viking for the past two months
  • I attended New York Comic Con for the second time
  • I met the cast of the new Shadowhunters TV show 
  • I met Stephenie Meyer
  • I finally saw Kinky Boots on Broadway
  • I saw my very first "grown up" concert with my sister for Nate Ruess
  • I spent a full day at the Global Citizen Festival where I got to see Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, and Pearl Jam live
  • I attended Six Flags Fright Fest where I conquered a fear of riding an upside down roller coaster and didn't die! 
  • I toured Buzzfeed's New York offices
  • I kicked my midterm's ass (97.5 guys! what!)
  • I created flubber for my science class
  • I baked bread from scratch for the very first time 
  • I used an adult coloring book for the very first time
  • I participated in #otspsecretsister for the very first time
  • I saw THE MARTIAN in theater and had my mind officially blown
  • I celebrated my sister's 19th birthday yesterday!
Books Reviewed:
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas - 5 stars
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy - 4.5 stars
The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - 4 stars
Play On by Michelle Smith - 4 stars
Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally - 3.75 stars
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally - 3 stars
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith - 2 stars

Books Read This Month:
I have challenged myself to read 100 books this year, let's see if I can! I'll be keeping track in this section. I am so busy I know this won't happen, so I changed my goal to 55!
35. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (Hardcover: 648 pages)
36. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy (ARC: 384 pages)
37. Twelfth Night, or, What You Will by William Shakespeare (Paperback: 92 pages)
38. Hamlet by William Shakespeare (Paperback: 148 pages)
39. Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare (Paperback: 109 pages)
40. Breaking Rockefeller by Peter B. Doran (Manuscript: 352 pages)
41. Othello by William Shakespeare (Paperback: 208 pages)
42. Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan (ARC: 293 pages)
    DNF's of the month 
    1. None!
    Total Pages Read This Month: 2,234 pages
    Total Pages Read This Year: 13,602 pages
    Total Books Read This Year: 42
    Total Books DNF'd This Year: 1
    The Broadway Review:
    • No reviews this month, but I saw a show in September and am seeing one in early November, so stay tuned!
    • I was one of the most recent stops on the #HarperWinter2016 blog tour and I had a blast. This giveaway is not one to be missed! Over 40 books!
    Discussion Posts:
    Guest Posts and Bonus Content:
    • Matthew Cody, author of the amazing pied-piper retelling The Peddler's Road stopped by my blog to share five facts about himself (he really hates rats, guys!) and five facts about his book!
    • Susin Nielsen stopped by my blog and allowed me to interview her as part of the WE ARE ALL MADE OF MOLECULES blog tour. Guys, she got her writing start on Degrassi!
    • The author duo behind the creepy new read NIGHTFALL stopped by to answer some questions!
    • Emma Mills shared some of her favorite romances as part of the First & Then superlative blog tour and then I shared some of my favorite romances with a crazy sizzle factor!
    ~*~What I've Been Watching~*~

    Broadway Shows:
    • I finally saw Kinky Boots as one of my Honors perks, and I have to say this show was #flawless. Billy Porter is so talented that I have no words. However, it was obvious the songs were written by Cyndi Lauper, and in this case it just didn't appeal to me. The musical scores were great, the lyrics (at times) not so much.
    • Supergirl premiered and I am SO into it! I can't wait for episode two.
    • I have watched Survivor for so many years, but this all star season is definitely one of my favorites ever.
    • Let's not forget my return after a several years long hiatus from The Amazing Race.
    • And, as always, Once Upon A Time is rocking my world.
    • I saw The Martian with my Aunt and could not handle the awesomeness! This movie was so well done!
    • It is October, so that means I have been watching Hocus Pocus a lot.
    • And because it's October, that means I have been watching a lot of Halloweentown.
    • And also a full Harry Potter binge because life.
    • Nightmare Before Christmas. Enough said.
    ~*~Reading Challenges~*~

    Fairytale Retelling Challenge:
    4/10 completed
    • Fairest by Marissa Meyer
    • Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
    • Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George 
    • Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
    Flights of Fantasy Challenge:
    14/25 completed
    • The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
    • The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
    • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
    • Fairest by Marissa Meyer
    • Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen
    • Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan 
    • Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine 
    • Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
    • Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
    • A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
    • Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
    • Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
    • Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta
    • The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace 
    • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas 
    • Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
    Contemporary Reading Challenge:
    15/11 completed - Challenge Complete in August
    • The Last Good Day of the Year by Jennifer Warman
    • Mistletoe and Mr. Right: Two Stories of Holiday Romance by Lyla Payne
    • Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta 
    • The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
    • P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
    • Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    • Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
    • Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
    • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
    • Play On by Michelle Smith
    • Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith 
    • Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
    • Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
    • Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally 
    • Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
    TBR Pile Challenge:
    12/5 completed: Challenge Complete in June
    • Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
    • Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta 
    • Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
    • Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
    • Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta 
    • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
    • Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
    • Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
    • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
    • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    • Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
    • Othello by William Shakespeare
    Dive Into Diversity Challenge:
    7/6 completed - Challenge Complete in September
    • Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine
    • 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger 
    • P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
    • Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
    • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon 
    • Breaking Rockefeller by Peter B. Doran
    • Othello by William Shakespeare
    2015 Summer of Series:
    3/3 series completed: June, July, August
      • June: Finnikin of the Rock, Froi of the Exiles, Quintana of Charyn
      • July: Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night, Into the Still Blue
      • August: Stealing Parker, Racing Savannah, Jesse's Girl
      Do you have a monthly recap or thoughts on anything I'm reading/reviewing/watching? Share your thoughts below! Every comment is greatly appreciated! <3

      Harper Winter 2016 Blog Tour & Giveaways: The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks

      Firstly, can I say how excited I am to be part of this tour?! It is such an awesome idea! When Hannah invited me to participate in this tour I jumped at the chance because not only is this a hugely awesome undertaking, it's so fantastic for everyone involved! A serious marathon of flails!

      While I am typically a big fan of fantasy and paranormal novels, I am so looking forward to this one because I can enjoy a good contemporary every now and then! It is described by Hannah, the wonderful organizer of this tour, as Veronica Mars stuck on a boat full of 09ers. COUNT ME IN!

      Publication Date: March 1, 2016
      Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
      Reading Level: Young Adult
      Pages: 336
      Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
      Some people might say that Denver had a death wish. Why else would she have dared to sneak into a Malibu beach party where she’d be surrounded by enemies, namely including her ex-BFF Abigail?

      Oh yeah. Croix. Denver never thought in a million years he’d ask her out, but who was she to question this miracle of fate? Well, that wasn’t the only surprise fate had in store.

      During the party a tsunami hit the coast of California, wiping out everything in its path. Denver and a handful of others escaped death by holding onto the roof of the house and were swept out to sea. Of course, one of her fellow castaways was none other than Abigail, who could barely stand the sight of her.

      Now that she’s floating in the ocean, stuck on a small boat with the most popular kids in school and waiting to be rescued, Denver wonders what might kill her first-dehydration, sunstroke, or the girl she used to think of as a sister?

      A hilariously dark and twisted story that sparkles with a remarkably fresh voice, The Lifeboat Clique is Kathy Park’s irreverent yet insightful novel about how to survive in the most unthinkable circumstances.


      These giveaways are too cool for school. You can't handle this awesomeness!

      Giveaway #1: A Harper Teen Winter 2016 Catalog Prize Pack of 40+ Books!!!

      Whoa! Stop that, rewind, back track. Say what?!

      Yes! All of the YA titles in Harper's Winter 2016 catalog will be given out with the exception of The Siren by Kiera Cass, Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige, and Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard.

      a Rafflecopter giveaway
      Giveaway #2: Five Finished Copies from the Harper Teen Fall 2015 Catalog: The Lies About Truth, Walk on Earth A Stranger, Dreamland, Dumplin', and Da Vinci's Tiger.

      How to enter:
      Collect the daily word from each blog stop during the Harper Winter 2016 Tour (a total of 45). Once you’ve collected them all, email the complete saying to: HarperTeenTour@gmail.com.
      Small hint: my daily word very clearly sticks out above!

      Prize Rules:
      1.)    Winner must have a valid US mailing address to receive the prize
      2.)    Winner must be over 13
      3.)    Only one (1) entry per person for Prize #2 – duplicates will be deleted.
      4.)    Only a completed phrase will be accepted as an entry – do not email each word/phrase daily. Wait until you have the complete saying and then email in.
      5.)    All email submissions must be received by 11:59 PM EST 11/30/2015.
      6.)    Winners will be selected 12/1/2015 and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another is selected.
      7.)    Participating blogs and bloggers are not responsible for unsent, damaged, and/or stolen prizes offered by the publisher.

      Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour to collect the secret words for the grand giveaway!

      This is the Harper Winter 2016 Tour!

      You are next... Click here to enter
      This list will close in 61 days, 8 hrs, 42 min (12/6/2015 11:59 PM North America - Eastern Standard Time)

      What is a blog hop?
      Get the code here...

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing in the fun! Are you as excited for THE LIFEBOAT CLIQUE as I am?!

      Top Ten Songs That Get Me Into the Halloween Spirit

      Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

      I am so excited today is a freebie because I have had this post floating around in my head for a while! In no particular order, ten songs to get you into the Halloween spirit!

      1. I Put A Spell On You - Bette Midler from Hocus Pocus

      This is the ultimate song, though. No questions asked.

      2. Evil Like Me - Kristin Chenoweth & Dove Cameron from The Descendants

      This song is pure gold!

      3. Dark Lord Funk

      This song never gets old though! Oh my gosh. What an A+ parody.

      4. Thriller by Michael Jackson

      Pretty straight forward, I think. Such a legend.

      5. Monster by Kanye West, featuring Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, and Rick Ross

      Yeah, this one is pretty self-explanatory. This music video freaks me out way too much to watch.

      6. This is Halloween by The Citizens of Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas

      So. Damn. Good. Used to scare me so much as a child!

      7. Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers

      MY CHILDHOOD! OH. MY. GOSH. THE NOSTALGIA! Even if it's kinda dirty in retrospect.

      8. Harry Potter Theme Song 1 Hour Loop

      Confession: this is constantly playing in my household year-round, but especially in the month of October!

      9. Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show

      THIS SONG REMINDS ME SO MUCH OF HALLOWEEN! This movie is life and I always have to watch it a million times in October.

      10. Bumps Gonna Goose Ya - Jack Black from Goosebumps

      Warning: this song screams 90s and you'll automatically love it even though you know you shouldn't.

      I had so much fun putting this list together and I hope you enjoy it too! Don't forget to link me to your TTT posts below!

      My Current Obsession (4): Reality TV

      I have a confession, I much prefer binge-watching television shows, which is why I created this feature to begin with. I mostly use it to talk about my current binges on Netflix, but I haven't committed to binging anything at the moment with midterms looming on the horizons. Luckily, that is about to change.

      But, while I am still waiting for that to change, I want to talk about my current obsession which is always reality TV. It seems that nearly every season, I've got some type of reality TV show on my radar that I watch religiously. The Fall always consists of Survivor and The Amazing Race. It also consists of Once Upon A Time, but that's not what this post is about for me.


      I can't tell you the exact season I picked up Survivor, but I have watched it religiously ever since. My Dad isn't much of a TV person, but my mom and sister are really into this show, and my aunt on my Dad's side of the family indulges, too. I never get sick of Survivor because the cast of characters is always so unique and intense! I either LOVE them or HATE them. There is never an in-between.

      This season is so special because the audience got to vote back 20 of their favorite cast members from past seasons. I AM LOVING IT. Some villains, like Kass, turned over new leaves while other villains, like Abi-Maria, are even more annoying and childish than ever before. Some heroes are really kicking butt, like Jeremy and Kelley, and others are continuing to be their kick-butt selves like Joe. Either way, it's so interesting to see how they take their second change.

      If I had to choose right now, I have a very clear top 6. For guys: Joe, Jeremy, and Spencer. For girls: Tasha, Kelley, and Ciera.

      Do you watch Survivor? Who are you rooting for to win? 


      Like Survivor, The Amazing Race is a family affair--minus my Dad replaced by his sister. This is a show I gave up on over five years ago, though. I felt like the race was becoming repetitive season to season...learn this dance here, eat some really gross delicacy here, take to the skies somehow here, etc. etc. But this small break that I took totally helped me appreciate it even more now. I picked it back up because I am commuting this semester, so I have access to television and Friday nights are typically full of homework for me so I can afford to head into the city all weekend. Can you blame me for wanting some entertainment while I do homework?

      I also have super strong feelings about this set of racers. I really dislike the green team. Sure, their Amazing Race themed proposal was adorable, but they are so obnoxious and rude. They're the only team I actually dislike. There is also a mother-son team from the South who are on the race to get along better because the mother was not accepting of the son's homosexuality. I love the son, James Earl, but his mother is so loud and mean and unaware of herself. I'd say I kind of dislike her at times.

      But as for the teams I love...I LOVE the cheerleaders! These two ex-NFL cheerleaders are so positive with each other and encouraging and they are so fun to watch. I know they may not be in it long because they're always near the back of the pack, but I really like them. I also like the newscaster couple because they're so calm and level-headed and I think they'll make it far. I kind of like the athletes from Texas only because they're out to get the green team out so I support them, but they're arrogant and totally wasted a fast pass because they don't know how to plan ahead properly.

      This will definitely be an interesting season!

      Do you watch The Amazing Race? Who are you rooting for to win?


      What do you think of reality TV? I decided to make this post because my friend, Dana, loves TV, but not reality TV. We are kind of opposite in that sense. So I am curious to learn about other people's TV viewing habits! If you watch reality TV, what shows? If you watch these shows, who are you rooting for? If you don't watch Reality TV, what else are you watching? Comment below with your thoughts!

      The Peddler's Road by Matthew Cody Blog Tour

      When I heard that there was an opportunity to join a blog tour for a middle grade novel that is a retelling of the Pied Piper I jumped at the chance. Hello!!!! I am a retelling nut!!!! So I am very excited to welcome Matthew Cody to the blog to share 5 facts about himself and his book so we can get to know both the work and the man behind it all a little bit better. But, before we get to that, let's take a look at this beautiful cover!

      Series: The Secrets of the Pied Piper #1
      Publication Date: October 27, 2015
      Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
      It is said that in the thirteenth century, in a village called Hamelin, a piper lured all of the children away with his magical flute, and none of them were ever seen again.

      Today tough, pink-haired Max and her little brother, Carter, are stuck in modern-day Hamelin with their father . . . until they are also led away by the Piper to a place called the Summer Isle. There they meet the original stolen children, who haven’t aged a day and who have formed their own village, vigilantly guarded from the many nightmarish beings that roam the land.

      No one knows why the Piper stole them, but Max and Carter’s appearance may be the key to returning the lost children of Hamelin—and to going home themselves. But to discover the secrets of the Piper, Max and Carter will have to set out on a mysterious quest down the dangerous Peddler’s Road.

      Share your top ten fun facts that you think readers should know about you and your book!

      Top Five Fun Facts About The Peddler’s Road:

      5.) The interior map of the Summer Isle (my rough version, not the excellent one Craig Phillips did for the book) was based on an old map I’d created years ago for a role-playing game. Yes, I’m that kind of nerd.
      4.) The lost children of Hamelin actually appeared in an early draft of a prior book of mine called The Dead Gentleman. That book is about time travel and other worlds, and one of the worlds the heroes visited was a land of eternal night, where the children of Hamelin dwelled. The chapter was cut early on, but the idea stuck with me . . .
      3.) If you visit the real town of Hamelin, you can see a building known as the Rat Catcher’s House, and on it is an inscription dating back to 1602. Roughly translated, it reads, “In the year 1284 . . . 130 children were taken by a Pied Piper and led to a mountain, where they all disappeared.” Spooky, isn’t it?
      2.) Originally, the mischievous little forest kobolds in the book were called “Inklings” after the famous group of fantasy writers, which included C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. I changed it, though, to ground it more firmly in traditional Eastern European folklore, but I still like the homage.
      1.) This story has been bouncing around my brain for many years, and I once wrote an unpublished short story for the Clarion Writers’ Workshop called “The Childcatcher,” which was a different kind of comedic riff on the Pied Piper tale. The first line was “Hamelin was a town overrun by children.” I thought it would be fun to swap the rats and the kids, even if rats are super creepy.

      Top Five Fun Facts About Me:

      5.) I really don’t like rats. Really.
      4.) Have you seen that online video of the New York City rat making off with the pizza? See, that’s why I don’t like rats. That could’ve been your slice!
      3.) Have you ever noticed that rats have, like, miniature people hands? So, so creepy!
      2.) Did you know that rats can chew through aluminum? Concrete? Gah!
      1.) What was that moving in the corner? Okay, excuse me while I go fetch my broom, trash can lid/shield, and steel-toed boots . . .

      I totally echo your sentiments about rats, Matthew! Even as a New Yorker, I can't deal with them! Thank you so much for stopping by!

      About the Author 

      Originally from the Midwest, Matthew Cody now lives in New York City with his wife and son. When not writing books or goofing off with his family, he teaches creative writing to kids of all ages.

      Don't forget to head over to The Cover Contessa for tomorrow's post!

      Top Ten Wishes I'd Ask the Book Genie to Grant Me

      Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

      This was such a fun TTT because I need all of these wishes to become a reality. Yes. Here we go!

      1. New books from Jandy Nelson, Melina Marchetta, Kristin Cashore, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Alison Goodman to land in my lap the second you finish reading this sentence. (Tell the Wind and Fire and The Dark Days Club are especially important, genie! The other two authors just have to keep writing because I need them to never stop. Okay? Okay.)

      2. Signed and personalized first edition hardcovers of all Harry Potter books that J.K. Rowling personally gives to me over dinner! Please and thank you.

      3. Auto-approvals on Edelweiss and NetGalley for every publishing house. I mean...can you blame me?

      4. For all future V.E. Schwab (and Victoria Schwab obviously) books to show up on my doorstep upon completion, starting with A GATHERING OF SHADOWS. I need that arc to complete my collection, genie.

      5. The ability to pause time so that I could read as many books as I want. One can dream, right?

      6. Also the ability to speed read so fast I get through at least one book a day and can truly make a dent in that TBR for the first time in my life. Every book I knock off, another five are added.

      7. For Max from The Book Thief to actually be real. Hello, future husband.

      8. A young adult literature course in my college (and every college across America because priorities).

      9. An unlimited supply of future Harry Potter books. If this story never stops, I would be content.

      10. An end to illiteracy so that every person out there can learn how truly wonderful it is to lose themselves in a good book.

      What are your top ten wishes? Do we have any in common? Share yours below and don't forget to link me to your own TTT post so I can check it out!

      #NYCC15 Recap

      I was very fortunate to attend New York Comic Con as a member of the press for the second time this year! I attended on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday because of the fact that I was interning on Friday. I was bummed out about missing Friday because I didn't get to see the Once Upon A Time panel or pick the The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, but I had a great time nonetheless. This recap was so much fun to write and is full of amazing pictures, so I hope you enjoy it!

      Thursday: The Day I Finally Met Stephenie Meyer

      Thursday was a relatively calm day for me. I spent some of it with DJ whom I have known for a while but never hung out to this extent before, but most of it was spent wandering and learning the floor since very few bloggers were there. I could not have asked for a better NYCC buddy than him!

      The main focus of the day for me was meeting Stephenie Meyer. DJ and I met up first thing in the morning near the bookstore to grab our bracelets that guaranteed us a spot on her signing line at 3pm. I also bought two copies of the tenth anniversary edition for Twilight, one for myself and one for my friend Dana of Dana Square. I was lucky to get them both personalized!
      She. Is. Writing. My. Name. OMG

      I am going to do a post later about how meaningful this experience was to me, but long story short, I cannot believe I met someone who made me feel like I wasn't alone in my tiny town back in middle school. Her books may not be the best, but they'll always hold a small place in my heart. Plus, Stephenie Meyer says my name reminds her of something out of a storybook, so I am totally expecting to be a background character in her next work! haha

      Granted, I didn't meet Stephenie Meyer until 3, so I mainly picked up some books prior to meeting her. My favorite thing to do was the HarperCollin's plink-n-win to win a random YA book. It was very cool looking and different from their usual spin-n-win, and I had a lot of fun with the strategic part of it! We were given these really cool Epic Reads disks and the rest of it was all luck. 
      Plink-n-win! Everybody's a winner!
      Gender bending Cruella de Vil!
      The other bonus of Thursday was that I found my second favorite cosplay of Comic Con. I am not a big cosplayer myself because I have neither the time, resources, or talent to pull it off, so I always love getting pictures of everyone else cosplaying and rocking it to their hearts content. I found a gender-bent Cruella de Vil and it took me a solid hour to ask him permission to take his picture, but I am so thankful I did because this guy worked it! He is perfect in every damn way. Take a look and enjoy for yourself!

      At the end of the day, my haul was pretty great, but two books shined above the rest! Bookish highlights include:
      • a signed & personalized tenth anniversary Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
      • Starflight by Melissa Landers
      Check out my amazing day one haul below!

      A photo posted by Lili (@lilifeinberg) on

      Saturday: The Day I Met the Shadowhunters and Had the Most Epic of Reads

      I lined up with DJ on Saturday and we spent the entire day together after receiving some free Pocky as members of the press. Decked out in my "I pause for commas" shirt, I knew that I would have an awesome day and even received many fun compliments. We entered near the Jurassic World entrance, which was pretty cool! They brought out the dinosaur and we got to enjoy it while waiting to be let onto the floor. Look how cool this thing was! I just wanted to touch it, but realistically, it would probably bite my hand off. ;)

      What a way to start the day, huh?

      Once we got onto the floor, DJ and I did some wandering and exploring while catching up. Eventually, we grabbed lunch and headed out to the Epic Reads book club meet-up. THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN and was definitely one of my highlights of this year's Comic Con. Epic Reads set it up so it was a speed dating style where everyone who attended got a book by the 5 exhibiting authors and about 6-7 minutes to talk to that author as they went around all of the tables. Unfortunately, my table was understocked, but the amazing ladies at Epic Reads ran upstairs to grab extra books from their booths so we could have the opportunity to have all titles from the authors signed instead of getting them mailed to us.

      Epic Reads provided us with fun note-cards to ask questions and generate discussion, but I think it's safe to say that the tables were predominantly full of fangirling squeals.

      The five authors that were bouncing around tables were:
      After all of this bookish awesomeness, our afternoon was dedicated to The Shadowhunters. DJ and I
      She is so perfect! omg
      met some very excited fans and even a father in line getting his daughter presents. It was a very charged atmosphere, and in the middle of it I spotted the goddess that is Sarah Rees Brennan. I am not at all ashamed to admit I attacked her in the middle of the floor asking for a picture. She shared some stories about her upcoming works and swore me to secrecy on certain topics, but I can say I witnessed a kickass one person play about Agatha Christie that I hope everyone gets to witness at some point in their lifetime.
      signed poster! wheeeeeee
      Also, while waiting in line, we all saw Sarah Hyland poking around because she is datign Doinic Sherwood, the actor who plays Jace.

      But anyway, we waited in this long line to have the opportunity to speak to the entire main cast of the upcoming Shadowhunters TV show and Cassandra Clare. ABC Family is featuring the show, but it'll be named Freeform by the time the show airs in 2016. I have met Cassandra Clare before so the excitement for her was not as palpable in me as other attendees, but meeting the cast was so much fun, and I am definitely getting my signed poster framed at the first chance I get. Below are some of my favorite pictures I took with them!

      Jace and I
      Magnus and I -- he is going to be such a kickass Magnus! Photo bomb by Isabelle!
      Simon and I! He was loving every minute of this event!
      Alec and I! He. is. so. cute. omg. I can't even.
      Saturday was definitely my favorite day of Comic Con. Not included in the below picture is my sister's birthday present and the signed poster from the cast, but everything else I picked up throughout the day is.
      A photo posted by Lili (@lilifeinberg) on
      Highlights of Saturday include:
      • Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan- I have wanted this book since she told me about it at RWA and I screamed when I got it in plink-n-win. They thought I won the jackpot, but I was just so excited to get this book!
      • The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Helig- Time traveling pirates!!!! Need I say more?!?! I am expecting this debut to rock my socks off and since it comes out on my birthday, I know it'll be perfect.
      • My Lady Jane by Jodi Meadows, Cynthia Hand, and Brodi Ashton- I will eventually be gifting this to a dear friend who LOVES Jodi, but I can't wait to read it first because HOLY COW THAT SYNOPSIS! Jodi also showed us the cover a few days before it was released, which was super fun!
      • Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke- I missed this drop on Friday, but PenguinTeen had one hidden signed one lying around in the back when I asked about it. I cannot believe they gave the last copy to me!
      • V.E. Schwab exclusive trading cards: I did complete my set on Sunday so I have all four and wow...they are so so so pretty! I love ADSOM, so to have some new limited edition swag for AGOS is beyond exciting to me.
      • Meeting Sarah Rees Brennan- She is so kind to deal with my craziness, and her stories are so great. I cannot wait for TELL THE WIND AND FIRE!

      Sunday: The Day I Saw All My Friends and Met My Favorite TV Character

      By the time Sunday rolled around, I was dead on my feet. I spent the day talking to several bloggers I had met previously and hanging out with them, only taking breaks to see a few other friends wandering the floor. Shout out to Nori from Read Write Love, Brittany from Brittany's Book Rambles, and Danielle for spending the day with me! You made it so much fun and it was nice to find people who just want to sit and relax every now and then, too. ;)

      Before heading to New York Comic Con alongside Nori (we took the same train in! haha), I stopped by Hannah of The Irish Banana's hotel. I love her, so it was nice to catch up with her briefly, and she gave me a few novels that she had duplicates of that she knew I really wanted. This girl, she is so amazing. Thank you for being my constant texting buddy at Comic Con, Hannah! 

      Today was a day spent hanging out and grabbing a few last minute books. One highlight of the day was being able to see my friend, Amir, who I have known since I was six but only see every few
      years. I met his girlfriend and his younger sister and just had a great time bear hugging the hell out of him. I also even got to see a friend from school, Sam, while she wandered the floor waiting for her roommate to get off working a booth. Prior to that, I spent lunchtime with my friend Ash who started working at Bloomsbury just before I left. She is an author with an amazing sounding upcoming novel that I hope the world will get to see one day. While we waiting in line for some deliciously mac n cheese at the mac n cheese food truck, I ran into my number one cosplay of New York Comic Con 2015: Ron freakin' Swanson. I am not one for pictures, but I needed to be in this picture with him. Bask in the beauty, because I about died when I saw him.

      I still can't get over the fact that this happened!

      Anyway, after seeing everyone and grabbing a few books, I decided it was time to call it a night. I had an essay due Monday night that I hadn't started yet and I wanted to watch the football game, so home I went.

      Check out my final day's haul:
      A photo posted by Lili (@lilifeinberg) on
       Highlights of the final day include:
      This comic con was so much fun! My one complaint was that the panels were not appealing to me this year as they were last year, but I did experience Comic Con to the fullest with what little time I had to allot to it this year. I cannot wait to check it out next year! Thank you to all my Comic Con buddies! You made this year such a blast. <3 

      Review: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

      Series: The Fixer #1
      Publication Date: July 7, 2015
      Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
      Reading Level: Young Adult
      Pages: 384 (ARC)
      Source: From Publisher For Review
      This thriller YA is Scandal meets Veronica Mars.

      Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather's ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.

      And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess's classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

      Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.
      ~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

      I was immediately curious about this book because I am obsessed with Veronica Mars. Literally anything that is said to compare to one of my favorite television shows ever will always be given a chance by me. And, boy, did I enjoy this one.

      Tess Kendrick is snarky, smart, and super awesome, and that’s one of the reasons that it’s so easy to enjoy this book. She’s a problem solver and she thinks ten steps ahead of everyone else. Her life is literally the furthest thing from normal and while it’s easy for her peers to dislike her for her inability to not say her thoughts out loud, it’s even easier for readers to love her. The same goes for the group of friends she created at her new high school including Vivvie, the daughter of the president’s personal physician, her friend Asher, and his best friend Henry, the grandson of the head of the Supreme Court that died in the beginning of the book. I can’t wait to hear about more of their adventures in book two.

      While the story features an all-star cast, the novel is definitely plot oriented. Fast paced and unputdownable, this is certainly a quick read. Barnes took the “boring” concept of a murder mystery and doubled the anxiety ten-fold by setting it in the world of politics, a high school where politics play out in real-time, and adding in a ton of intimidating shady characters. Not to mention a First Lady that is super sneaky and motherly all at once.

      Tess’s family dynamic with her sister, Ivy, also known as the notorious political fixer and friend of the President also adds another really interesting aspect to this novel, making it all the more complex.

      This is the perfect novel for fans looking for a fun read with high-anxiety tension and political intrigue. I do not watch Scandal, but from what I have heard I would say that this novel’s television comparisons hold up swimmingly. Lacking in romance in order to truly focus on this insanely twisty plot, this cast of characters is memorable and respectable while they toil through some of the most dramatic moments I’ve come across in a wild. The world of politics, man, it’s hard to stay afloat...literally and figuratively.

      I’m looking forward to what other crazy out-of-the-box tales Barnes brings us next. While the ending wraps up smoothly, there’s a lot of potential for future books.

      4 stars


      FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.