Comic-Con 2016 (+Giveaway!)

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Another year, another Comic-Con. This year marked my 5th consecutive year attending Comic-Con international in San Diego (also known as SDCC)! I love making the trip every year for the all the pop culture but it is also amazing to see my friends. Definitely check out Stacee’s recap (she has all the pictures!) This year was the first year I went alone (how dare none of my friends want to come with this year), so I spent a lot of time with Stacee and Michelle. Wednesday was preview night, which I did not have this year, so no recap of that! One note about Wednesday was the Carne Asada fries from Lolita’s and a Mud Pie donut from Donut bar.

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Thursday (or books and Ursula dress) 

Thursday started with my standing in line. Outside. In the hot sun. I was in line to get a ticket for an offsite panel and possible Sarah J. Maas signing ticket. The wacky thing Comic-Con did was put all the lines together (including those for celebrity talent) so it was a very long line. Luckily I was in line behind two fellow Sarah J Maas fans and told them all about Maas Thirteen and how that got started. Once the line moved, it went fast. I got a ticket for my panel and two tickets for SJM signing (one for myself and one for Stacee).

After I got my tickets, I headed to the floor and picked up more tickets for various booth signings. I appreciate the tickets because it allowed me to not have to stress about getting somewhere early enough to get in line. We did end up in a Harper line for a bingo drawing of a sort. This line prompted this photo (which is stolen from Stacee). I was very excited to be the line break. Also Ursula dress.

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We split ways after that and I headed to my panel (The Smitten Word: Romancing the Reader) off site at Horton Grand Theatre. I didn’t love this. The theatre itself was nice but the panel was half empty. I think the ticket part turned some people off. The panel itself was wonderful and the authors covered everything to why they write romance to advice to aspiring writers.

I headed back in the heat. I don’t usually complain about summer because I love it but I like the small reprieve I get when I head to southern California but it decided to act like Chicago this year. I met up with Stacee and we got in line for SJM. I was really just there to say hi since I was fortune enough to see Sarah a few months ago and had all my books signed. I got to see Sarah freak out over Stacee’s amazing tattoo and then got to chat with the lovely Lizzie from Bloomsbury.

Right after that (and basically right next to where Sarah was signing), the ladies who were on the romance panel had a signing. I wanted to go to this to meet Tessa Dare (who I have recently been binge reading and loving) and also say hi to Christina and Lauren of Christina Lauren. I got my books signed and fangirled. We went down to the exhibit hall for Alwyn Hamilton’s booth signing (ARCs of Traitor to the Throne!) and got a copy of Gemina and A Shadow Bright and Burning from Random House.

There wasn’t much else to do until a panel signing late in the evening, so we found a spot to camp out. This turned out to be a table where there are usually autographing sessions happening so people would slow down to see who we were. This made me laugh.

The panel signing started and I was able to see Renee again and get my copy of The Rose & The Dagger signed. I also had a copy of Heartless for a friend, so I stopped and chatted with Marissa. Alwyn was also signing, so I got to say hi to her again. My day one haul below!

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Friday (or the day of comic books)

The first year I went to Comic-Con, I could’ve cares less about comic books. This year I had an entire day full of comic book signings. I got to the convention center about an hour early and got in line for the exhibit hall. Soon after being let in, I headed to the Image booth to get wristbands for several of their signings. After that I headed to the publisher booths and picked up a few tickets for their signings throughout the day. I had time to kill, so I got in line for this photo booth thing at DC. It resulted in this SUPER nerdy photo of me.

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From there I bounced back and forth between Image and Penguin booth. I manage to meet Cliff Chiang & Jared Fletcher (Paper Girls), Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda (Monstress), Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked and The Divine), Brian O’Malley and Leslie Hung (Snotgirl). I feel terrible because I was talking to 2 girls in line and believe we follow each other on Instagram BUT I DIDN’T GET THEIR NAMES. I am dumb because they are Image fans and YA fans. Stupid Katie. I also got to see Sabaa Tahir and Renee Ahdieh. They each were signing in booth and Penguin gave away copies of their books. Some time during this all I passed the Disney booth and grabbed a copy of Spindle by EK Johnston. Almost everyone I met on Friday was super lovely and/or adorable. Oh look I took no pictures! Go me.

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I was done will everything on my agenda by early afternoon so I decided I would make my way into Ballroom 20 for the iZombie panel. If you don’t watch iZombie yet, what are you waiting for??? One of my favorite shows on TV right now. I managed to get in the room during the prior panel and caught the second half of EW’s Fan Favorite panel, which features several familiar faces that all together created an entertaining panel.

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I wasn’t ready to call quits on my day, so I walked around downtown San Diego. I knew Henry’s Pub had several Game of Thrones beers on tap and decided to grab dinner there. Plus side to traveling alone? Being able to sit at the bar and not have to wait for a table! The bartender was very friendly for being in the middle of SDCC craziness. I got myself an Iron Throne and some fish tacos, I was in heaven. If you ever happen to be in the San Diego area, I would reccomend stopping here even if they don’t have GoT beers!!

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Saturday (or the day I needed to see Leigh Bardugo)

I had no real plan for Saturday besides to see Leigh and snag a poster. I swear Leigh makes SDCC worth it every year 😛

I got to the convention center a little early because I was attempting to get a ticket for exclusive Tsum Tsums. I missed getting a ticket for the items I wanted by about 20 people. I wasn’t too upset because I already picked up a ton of cool stuff the previous two days and my suitcase was dwindling fast. I went by Random House booth to see if I could get a ticket for one of their booth signings later in the day but they did theirs slightly different than Penguin and didn’t give them out until right before the signing. Hmm.

I ended up meeting up with Michelle fairly early in the day and we did some shopping. I had bought a Loot4Fangirls earlier in the day and if I bought something from HerUniverse I could get an exclusive item. At first I wasn’t going to buy anything (Michelle was going to and let me take her credit) but when we went over to the StarWars HerUniverse display, I saw a Rey sweater that I fell in love with and ended up buying. My exclusive item ended up being Harry Potter socks. Not totally worth it but I am really happy with my new sweater.

Michelle and I lurked for awhile, waiting to line up for Pierce Brown signing at Random House. I needed to see my husband him since I apparently can only see him at SDCC! I gushed to him about Red Rising being one of my hand sells and hopefully down the line getting him to do a signing in Chicago-area.

After the Pierce signing, we didn’t have anything to do until Leigh was signing. We headed up to the autographing area and got in line for the signing. I was also there to see Kiersten White and get my copy of And I Darken signed. After flailing at Kiersten, I made my way to Leigh. She joked that I was only there to get the Crooked Kingdom pin and I said maybe…but also POSTER.

Straight away Michelle and I (and Michelle’s husband) made out way to the Ballroom 20 line to catch the DC television panels. We missed Supergirl but managed to make it in for Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash and Arrow. All the panels were fantastic but Arrow might have been the best because it ended with a Hamilton sign-a-long. Well sortof because apparently all the nerds haven’t heard of Hamilton. FIX THIS. One again I took almost no pictures…oops

Sunday (or the final day *tear*)

Sunday was going to be quick and dirty (that’s what she said). Just kidding on the dirty part. I took my time getting to the convention center in the morning since I had to finish packing and check out (or well “check out” of my Airbnb). I took a Lyft downtown and told the driver “oh just get me as close as you can to the convention center” meaning I know it’s crazy downtown and I have no problem walking a few blocks if you want to avoid traffic. This man took it as drop her off in front. I think he broke 5 laws but I was right outside the door. I checked my luggage and made my way upstairs for the YA signing first thing.

I originally had nothing for the signing but grabbed a copy of Replica earlier in the week and had Lauren Oliver sign it. I tried to trick her into picking a side of Replica to sign since part of the concept of the book is for the reader to choose which story to start first. I had no luck but we had a good laugh. They also handed out samplers of Strange the Dreamer and I had Laini sign it. I got to say hi to Victoria Schwab and tell her congrats on all the things that have happened to her in July. Adam Silvera was also there and we hugged and chatted for a bit. I also grabbed a Red guard bandana from Victoria Aveyard. Overall I love the authors that Lauren Billings (of Christina Lauren) brings to SDCC for the YA panel. I was sad I couldn’t stay and see the panel this year but it was too late in the day and I had to catch a flight!

There wasn’t anything else I needed to see on Sunday but I still had some time to kill before I needed to head to the airport. Michelle, Stacee and I decided to sit in on Leigh Bardugo in conversation with Gene Luen Yang. I love when Leigh gets to go one on one with another author. Last year her panel with Rainbow Rowell was one of my favorites. They talked about everything from comics to growing up as an outsider to being authors. This was a great panel to end the trip with. After the panel I said my good-byes to Stacee and Michelle (and hugs, tons of hugs). I grabbed my suitcase and got myself to In-n-Out!

I hadn’t been to In-n-Out since 2013 I think. I remember enjoying it but needed to taste it again while I was in California. Overall it was still very good but I am more than happy to eat at 5 Guys or Shake Shack or PORTILLOS. I wouldn’t trade Portillo’s for anything.

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This year wasn’t as crazy as past years but I still has a blast. I knew going into this year that it was a 50/50 on being my last year for some time. It is still undecided if I will go back next year, but I know if I don’t I will instantly regret it.

Today’s giveaway is for a few copies of books given away at SDCC! First is an ARC copy of Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi, an ARC copy of Replica by Lauren Oliver and an ARC copy of A Shadow Bright and Burning. 1 person will take all, US only. Sorry international friends!

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A few of my favorite things… (GIVEAWAY!)

Today (August 11) happens to be my birthday and what better way to celebrate than to to giveaway my favorite things! In the past year, I have fallen in love with a couple books and a few bookish related items.

First the books! 2016 has had some amazing books but today I want to feature 2; one by an old favorite and one by a new favorite. I have a signed copy of Truthwitch by Susan Dennard and a signed copy of Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. Truthwitch is one of my favorite releases of 2016 and Susan just happens to be one of my favorite humans. Serpent King is one of my favorite contemporaries and favorite debut of 2016! I actually just got a copy of Jeff’s new book and I CANNOT wait to dive in!! I have fallen in love with the Harry Potter adult coloring books so I am also including the first one (pictures below).

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Next I have a collection of things from some of my favorite bookish shops. First I have a Truthwitch candle that was a candle of the month from Novelly Yours aka Brittany from Book Addicts Guide! Brittany has a TON of bookish candles (and Disney!) and I have to say I am addicted. I think I have around 25 candles right now (and totally deciding on which to buy next for myself).

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Have you looked at The Art of Young Adult? Well you should because Gillian is crazy talented and her stuff is amazing! Here is her Society 6 shop (she is also on RedBubble!) I am including an Anna, Lola and Isla tote bag and an “I space ship it” sticker.

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The final item I am including is a set of bookmarks from HappyHello! I am kind of addicted to these bookmarks and I think my collection is nearing 50. Shh I don’t have a problem… but I am throwing in a set of Baz and Simon bookmarks from Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On!

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There you have it! My favorite bookish things of the last year! Click below to enter the giveaway. Unfortunately due to the cost of shipping, this is only open to US addresses (sorry international peeps!)
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Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda Mani + Giveaway

My timehop graciously reminded me that it has been a year since I read Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, so I was feeling a little inspired to do a quick Simon-y mani! Nothing special, but still super cute. Plus I have a giveaway at the end, so stay tuned!

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This mani was so easy to create. No sponges, no dotting tools, and no mess. To create this mani I used Hard To Get by Sally Hansen, Keep Up The Flame and Clearly Spotted by Maybelline Color Show. Two coats of each color and then the Clearly Spotted over the top to get the speckled look, easy peasy!

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This. Book. People, if you haven’t read this yet then I feel sorry for you, because you’re definitely missing out. Becky is a genius and one of the most amazing humans on earth! Which is why I want to spread the love and giveaway a copy of Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda paperback edition – which I’m super jealous about because I don’t even have one yet and I hear it has a sneak peek at Becky’s new book The Upside Of Unrequited! So make sure to enter that below!!

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Gemina Mani + Giveaway

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So this post was totally supposed to include a review as well, but I got a precious kitty this weekend sooo my mind was occupied with cuteness. BUT I still want to share my nails and set up this giveaway, so here we go!

Oh, but I will point out that the first 200 pages of this book are AMAZING!

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These photos don’t do my nails the full justice they deserve, but I was in a hurry the day I took these and I didn’t have time to set up my tripod and swap out lenses to get some extreme close ups. I also didn’t tale any progress pics, man I’m a mess… did I mention I got a cute kitty this weekend???

So this mani was pretty much the same technique I used in the galaxy mani back in may. One base coat plus lot of sponged on layers of colors that compliment the book cover! BAM! My base coat was White On by Sally Hansen (which oddly enough I like more than the OPI one I normally use, the Sally version was less streaky.) Then I used Black Matte by Maybelline Color Show, Blue Me Away by Sally Hansen, Breezy Blue by Sally Hansen and Blue Bombshell by Maybelline Color Show. Basically just wait for your base coat to be all nice and dry ad then sponge bits of the other colors on in whatever ransom fashion you want. Then to top off the mess of color, on my thumbnail I took a paint brush dipped in black paint and made a strikethrough, and on my middle finger I did the same thing with some white paint to make it look like a strip of white out.

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So sorry I was spacey on the progress pics, review, and all that jazz, but I do have a giveaway for a Gemina arc signed by both Jay Kristoff and Aime Kaufman! So there’s that! Be sure to enter below!!

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And just to prove that I had some serious distractions, here is a picture of my sweet Ripley!

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History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera + Giveaway

25014114History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Pub Date: January 17, 2017
Source: arc

OCD-afflicted Griffin has just lost his first love, Theo, in a drowning accident. In an attempt to hold onto every piece of the past, he forges a friendship with Theo’s last boyfriend, Jackson. When Jackson begins to exhibit signs of guilt, Griffin suspects he’s hiding something, and will stop at nothing to get to the truth about Theo’s death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin’s own version of the truth—both in terms of what he’s willing to hide and what true love means.

First, huge shout out to SOHO Teen and Adam Silvera for being at BEA so we had a chance to pick up this beautiful arc.

THIS BOOK! Every emotion on the planet, I felt it while reading. I’m actually struggling to write this review because I don’t know how to put my feelings into physical words. I’ve been thinking about how to give this book a worthy review for almost 2 months now. So here it goes.
This book will destroy you in the most magical ways possible. Griffin’s journey through love, loss, OCD, growing up, moving on, and just life itself is an emotional roller coaster that you are going to want to get in line for. Everyone can easily find something to relate to in this book, even if it’s just the fact that life is messy. The best part about a Silvera novel is that nothing is covered in sprinkles and life hits these characters hard just like it can in the real world. Also the dialogue, man I love the dialogue. I remember the first time I fell in love with dialogue over plot, and that was with the film Juno. This book took me back to that. Although in both cases I loved the plot as well, but the lines that come out of the characters mouth just mesmerize me.
My favorite part about HIAYLM is that the characters are just humans being humans. They’re faced with real world problems, you know, the kind that can be awesome but are mostly either meh or awful. They don’t always handle their situations in the best of ways, but when do we ever? I guess my point is that this book is just plain real.
5/5 stars but really this book gets all the stars! I know I have more thoughts, I really do. This was the first book I let myself annotate, and I wrote down and highlighted a lot of things. I plan on re-reading one more time before release, and then of course again once I have the hardcover in my hands. So I’ll probably write another review, maybe a spoilery one open for discussion, after release.
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Another huge thanks for the lovely people at SOHO Teen and Adam for this arc, and also for allowing me to have an extra copy for a giveaway! Don’t forget to enter below to win a signed arc for History Is All You Left Me!
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The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon Mani + Review + Giveaway

Yoon_9780553496680_jkt_all_r1.inddThe Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Pub Date: November 1, 2016
Source: arc

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Everything Everything was one of my favorite books from 2015, so getting an arc of The Sun Is Also A Star at BookCon was one of my major highlights of the day! Which, surprise, I got signed by Nicola Yoon so I could spread the love with a giveaway! So don’t forget to enter that all the way at the end of the post.

So, how was TSIAAS? Pretty f*cking amazing! Pardon my language but this book was seriously mind blowing. Have you ever watched a movie where everything that happens is just lining up perfectly and your mind is on fire because you see all of it but the characters are blissfully unaware. That was this book. This book has alternate POV’s switching from Daniel to Natasha and back and forth, but then there’s more! Nicola does something that I have yet to experience, there’s a third POV and it’s not just one character, it’s the whole universe! We get insight to the things happening in the past and all around Natasha and Daniel in the present. Not too mention there’s a good amount of learning involved! Like the little fun fact that new lovers and coccaine addicts have very similar brain activity, the more you know!

I found it extremely easy to relate to both Natasha and Daniel. It’s like my whole thoughts on love and the world and everything is a mashup of these two characters. They represent the optimistic (Daniel) and pessimistic (Natasha) sides to my life perfectly. I caught some major feelings while reading this book.

It’s hard to tell you the exact reasons why this book is amazing without giving lots of stuff away, but trust me when I say Nicola Yoon knocked it out of the park once again with this one, and I can’t wait for everyone to read it! The writing is lovely, the characters are beautiful, the ending is like woah! It’s just everything we deserve in a book!

So I painted my nails to match the book 🙂

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I had SO much fun experimenting with this manicure! I’ve been wanting to try ombre nails for a little while now, and since this cover has some lovely colors I figured it was perfect to try! I also wanted to do a mixed mani, so I made each finger something different. Still my favorite nail is the ombre!

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To get this look I used my nameless little OPI white -which I’m quickly running out of since I use it so much-, Orange Fix by Maybelline Color Show, Cyber by Sally Hansen, and Flirty by Sally Hansen. For each nail that isn’t the ombre, I used a dotting tool to make the polka dots, star, sun, and starburst pattern resembling the one string art one of the cover. To get the ombre look it’s actually easier than you would think. All you need are the colors you want, and a makeup sponge. That’s it!

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Just paint lines onto the brush in the order you want and then press the sponge onto your nail! Easy peasy. What I learned after doing this is that for shorter nails, like mine, you’ll want to make the lines thinner so all the colors get on your nail evenly. I ended up having a mostly purple and orange nail with a very small line of pink. But that’s why we try things right!

I’m was so happy with the finished product on this one, and I’m excited to start to branch out and experiment even more! I only wish I were a better artist ;P

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Hope you enjoyed my nails! Please don’t forget to enter the giveaway below! I would love for you to win a signed ARC of this amazing book!

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Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow Mani + Review + ARC Giveaway

girlGirl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Publish Date: September 6, 2016
Source: arc

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

This book is both beautiful and extremely hard to read. Kathleen Glasgow’s writing is pure poetic genius, and reading in her author’s note how close to home this story is for her just made it all the more powerful. Having said that, I didn’t love this book. I did like it, mostly just based on my appreciation of the writing style, but the story was hard to read for me and my marshmallow insides.

It’s always hard to review a book that I know is good, but it just wasn’t for me. I normally like books that make me cry like a baby and squirm in discomfort, but there was something about this one that left me feeling too raw. I know someone out there is going to be able to look to this book for comfort, but that just wasn’t me. That’s why I gave the book 3.5 stars and I hope it finds it’s audience well!

However, I did give 5 stars to this cover! So simple and beautiful while also telling you so much about the story itself. It also helps that it was easy to recreate on my nails 😉

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This mani was quick and easy while remaining fun! I started with a no-named nude OPI polish, that luckily for me was a little on the pinker side just like the cover. Then I used a cosmetic sponge to dab on some Onyx Black by Maybeline Color Show along the edges and in random spots across the nude. I finished with using Keep Up the Flame (also Color Show) on the edge on a cosmetic sponge to create a red line across my nails. For an accent nail I painted it all black and laid a single red line across, just to mix things up.

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Aside from the galaxy mani, this has been one of my favorites. I think using the sponge to create a distressed look is just so much fun and I’m ready to find more books covers to recreate with this technique.

Visit my Twitter, or click on the picture below, to enter my ARC giveaway! Open to US only (sorry) and ends July 5 at 12am.

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