the trope tag

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

I’m back with yet another blog tag today–a battle of the tropes. This one was created by Kenzie @ Featherwick Press, but I found it on the lovely Christine Smith’s blog. In this tag, all of our favorite tropes are pitted against each other in pairs to determine the Ultimate Winner.

But without further ado…let’s jump right in. And don’t be too horrified at my answers.

the chosen one vs. the mentor

Lots of classic books, mostly fantasy, have “chosen ones”. Think Harry Potter. While I appreciate the occasional necessity of this trope, it’s too often overdone. I’m tired of sixteen-year-old blonde-haired, blue-eyed MackKayLeigh being the only one that can save Dystopian Society #1156.

But the mentor? Yes. As long as they’re not problematic (I’m wondering how I ever liked Dumbledore in the first place), give me a good mentor any day. Old or young, grizzled or beautiful, give me a character to knock the protagonist back to their senses and gift the world with the top liked book quote on Goodreads.

The Mentor wins this round!

enemies to lovers vs. friends to lovers

I always found the enemies to lovers thing slightly…off. Maybe it’s my trust issues, but how do you know that they actually love you and aren’t just using you? I suppose that is one of the challenges most characters in this trope face. That on top of the inevitable betrayal I can see coming from a mile away discourages me from the beginning.

The one caveat to this is academic rivals to lovers, which can be done really well and I enjoy in certain settings. But the normal fantasy enemies to lovers is a no for me.

But friends to lovers. Ohhhh. Friends to lovers, man. Especially childhood friends to lovers? I squeal like a little kid every single time. Even when I know it’s coming, it delights me. Like, when they have inside jokes already but now they’re sappy? And they know everything about each other already? I CANNOT. I will simply CEASE TO EXIST. Every time something cute happens, I have to sit there and make dying pig noises before I can continue reading.

I think that this is the most fangirl-y I’ve ever gotten on this blog. If you didn’t know already, I’m a sucker for romance. Stuff like this makes me so happy.

Friends to Lovers wins this round by a mile!

matchmaker gone wrong vs. love potion

Given the fact that I don’t read much fantasy, I haven’t actually read a book with a love potion in it before. But the idea of manufactured love (or infatuation) is kind of iffy to me. I’m sure it could be done well, but I don’t know how comfortable I am with the idea of that.

I’ve never read a book with a matchmaker gone wrong trope either, but I have watched Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing and oh boy do I have opinions. These two hated each other with a passion at the beginning of the play, but by the end of the play they’re suddenly in love? How does this work? It’s not even real love! Their friends just set them up!

I genuinely can’t decide between these two. I think that they’re both equally bad, but I’m going to say that Matchmaker Gone Wrong wins this round by default, given that it’s the only one that I’ve actually read.

trapped in an elevator vs. working with an ex

Again, I haven’t read either of these in depth, though I understand that they’re both common tropes in fanfiction. I’m going to answer this question from a writer’s perspective rather than a reader’s perspective.

I think that the “trapped in an elevator” trope has a lot of potential, especially as a major plot point like the climax. Or trapped in any small, enclosed space together, really. This trope works so well as a setup for something like a confession (of love, perhaps?). Even if they’re not lovers, the idea of two characters putting aside their differences for the sake of the common good is something I enjoy.

But working with an ex? The drama. The sheer pettiness. If there’s some good banter, I’ll take it every time. This trope doesn’t necessarily have to end in getting back together for it to be good, either (though when it’s done well, I enjoy that too). It could make for some uncomfortable yet hilarious situations. As long as it’s not too uncomfortable–secondhand embarrassment is real, y’all.

It’s a close call, but Working with an Ex wins this round!

mistaken identity vs. marriage pact

The first thing I think of when I hear “mistaken identity” is The Parent Trap. Romance isn’t the only application for this trope. I think it has a lot of potential, but sometimes it’s infuriating. Like, she (or he) is right there in front of you! Open your eyes, you doofus!

Whereas a marriage pact often fits neatly into the friends to lovers trope, and I’ve already squealed about how much I love that one. I read a true story about a marriage pact once, and it was so sweet. I think that when done right and when the characters actually love each other, the marriage pact can be really sweet and good.

So Marriage Pact wins this round!

kidnapped vs. the one that got away

Kidnapping brings to mind…questionable ethics. Sometimes it’s a “good” kidnapping, like stealing someone away in the middle of the night to go on an epic adventure or rescuing a child from an abusive family. But when it’s, like, a potential love interest? Not a fan. I think that for kidnapping, it depends on the situation.

Versus the one that got away. I’m not sure how I feel about this one. I think that it can be a good setup for all kinds of drama and wondering and pining and angst, which can do very well keeping me on the edge of my seat. I’m reminded of They Both Die at the End, except they both got away, so I’m not sure if that counts.

It’s tough, but I think The One That Got Away wins this round!

final thoughts

I want to say one last thank-you to Kenzie for the tag and to Christine for bringing it to my attention! And, of course, to you, my dear readers. Once again, thank you so much for reading.

What did you think about my answers? What would you have answered differently? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Until next Wendesday!


the once upon a time book tag

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

Today I’ll be participating in a fun tag co-created by Merie Shen of Imperial Scribis. This one has been sitting in my inbox for a little while now as I’ve been stewing over my answers, and I think it’s finally time to share them with the world!

Without further ado…let’s jump right in.

the rules

  • thank the person who tagged you
  • use the tag graphic above (optional) (I opted not to for this one!)
  • name a book for each of the following 12 categories
  • tag as many people as you would like

the fairytales

Cinderella: a book that changed your life

Does the Bible count? I mean, technically it did change my life, but I don’t think that’s the answer y’all are going for here.

This one took me a lot of thought, but I’d have to say Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.

I read Stargirl in middle school. It was one of the first books that I read that could be considered YA romance (though it’s honestly debatable whether it’s YA or MG), and it kicked off my love for the genre. Pretty soon I was reading more and more of the genre, and that lead to me wanting to write it. I credit Stargirl, in part, with my love of writing.

Sleeping Beauty: a book that took you forever to finish

I received Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights for my birthday in December of 2021, started it, and didn’t finish it until last month. Whoops.

Technically speaking, I took a long break, but if you classify “taking forever to finish” as “the interval between which one started and finished the book being long,” I’d say fourteen months is a pretty long time. (In fact, it was almost exactly fourteen months!)

Also, can we take a second to appreciate the Penguin Clothbound Classics editions? One day I am going to own every single one of them. They are gorgeous.

A Thousand and One Nights: a book you couldn’t stop reading

I started Crumbs by Danie Stirling in the afternoon, and when my mom poked her head in my room to tell me to come help with dinner, I felt like I was waking up from a trance. I plan to post a book review very soon, so I don’t want to spoil too much, but this is the best graphic novel I have ever read. It was just so CUTE. And the art style was AMAZING. And I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I couldn’t put it down. AAAAHHHH.

Little Red Riding Hood: a book you recently read in an unfamiliar genre

I had to look way back in my reading log to find something that wasn’t contemporary, fantasy, memoir, or dystopian sci-fi, and the earliest deviation I found was from October of last year.

#MurderTrending was recommended to me by a friend who loves thrillers. I’m not super into them, but I’ll read them from time to time, and I had to admit that this was a fairly interesting read. It was certainly fast-paced and action-packed and kept me on my toes. It was a little bit too gory for my taste, but then again, I am unable to handle even the slightest amount of gore, so that might just be me. Overall, a pretty good book.

The Wild Swans: a book with your favorite sibling relationships

The entire Boxcar Children series holds so much nostalgia for me. The original series was twenty-one books (one of which I have been searching for for years), and they’re all chock-full of the siblings solving little mysteries.

They’re intended for a younger audience and published in the 1920s, so there isn’t a whole lot of plot (they just happen to discover a lot of lucky things), but I love it. Sometimes it’s nice to read something lighthearted, you know?

And I love Henry and Jessie and Violet and Benny (and, of course, their grandfather). Their dynamic is just so sweet. I highly recommend all of the Boxcar Children books.

Snow White: a book filled with beautiful prose

You know it already. I’ve ranted and raved about The Book Thief so often on my blog. This was the book that taught me how to write prose. The descriptions, the emotion, the phrasing—yes. Just yes. If you haven’t read The Book Thief yet, you are missing out spectacularly.

Rapunzel: a book that you procrastinated on reading after buying

There are several books that I have acquired years ago and still haven’t read. Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (although in my defense that thing is a brick), The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix…I could probably keep going. I need to get on that.

The Little Mermaid: a book that took you on a magical journey

Um…all of them?

I recently reread the WondLa series after a few years and ohhh boy. Ohhhhhh boy. I love these books so much. They’re such well-thought-out, well-written, all-around-amazing books with a teensy little bit of social commentary on humanity and nature.

I love the worldbuilding and the transformation of the characters, watching them grow up in just three books. I love the way the story never goes exactly where you expect it to. I love everything about this series, and I think that it’s a tragedy that it doesn’t get as much press as some of the more mainstream dystopian series.

The Frog Prince: a book that made you want to turn into a frog because you hated it so much

How about Apologia Exploring Creation through Chemistry?

Nah, just kidding. Chemistry and I have a mutual hatred.

It took me a while to find this book in my reading log, but once I read the synopsis, I was reminded why One Night That Changes Everything had the “would not reread” tag on it.

The premise was promising, but the characters were flat, the plot was unrealistic, and the writing was terrible. I put it down feeling completely dissatisfied and like I had just wasted my time reading it. Not a good feeling to walk away from a book with.

(I’m going to be honest—I hate trashing books like this. I’m terrified that the author is going to see it and be hurt. So if you’re Lauren Barnholdt and you are reading this, I am so sorry.)

Peter Pan: a book that reminds you of your childhood

My copy of The Wishing Spell is so beat up by now that the entire book split in half. I loved this whole series as a kid, probably because the bookish, introverted, overly geeky heroine reminded me of myself. I remember my mom getting this for me at a homeschool book sale (because of course) and being utterly absorbed in it for the rest of the day. Good times.

The Goose Girl: a book you had low expectations for but ended up loving

I am not particularly a fan of John Green. When I first read The Fault in Our Stars, I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about. It was slightly absurd and overly pretentious. So I wasn’t expecting to like Paper Towns, but I ended up falling in love with it.

It’s still absurd and pretentious, mind you, but the premise, the plot, the characters are all so three-dimensional. The high stakes kept me on the edge of my seat. I still reread it every so often, even though the long philosophical ramblings don’t really make much sense. (I feel like you either love or you hate John Green’s style. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.)

Hansel and Gretel: a book that made you hungry

The Magic Cake Shop by Meika Hashimoto feels like a fever dream of mine. When I was a kid, elementary school perhaps, I used to check this book out of the library at least every other week. There was just something about it. Maybe it was the illustrations that looked somehow exactly like the illustrations in the American Girl books of the time.

I barely remember what happens in this book. It feels like something my fourth-grade brain made up, but I just asked my sister and she remembered it, so I guess not? Unless it was a shared hallucination.

Anyway, there was cake. Lots and lots of cake. I remember that. I mean, obviously.

Okay, I just checked, and our library still has it. I’m going to read it and report back to you.

the tags

Honestly, tagging people on blog tags has always been a struggle for me, so I’m going to just leave this open for whoever would like to participate. Let me know if you do! I’d love to see your answers.

Thank you again, Merie and Diamond, for this lovely tag! I had a lot of fun answering your questions.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday!

the new year’s resolution book tag

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog tag, and I saw this one on E. G. Bella’s blog and decided to steal it.

Well, I don’t really have anything else to say, so I’m just going to jump right in. Let’s go!

an author that you’d like to read (that you’ve never read before)

Sara Ella, Joanne Bischof, and Nadine Brandes. Starting in September, these three ladies are going to be among my writing instructors, and I’d like to brush up on their books before I start. I’ve been meaning to pick up Coral (Ella) and Sadie on the Rocks (Bischof), and I’ve heard good things about Wishtress (Brandes). But I’d like to read all of their books!

a book that you’d like to read

Um, all of them?

I’ve heard good things about The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and I love bees, so that one is definitely on my list. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a bookstagram classic that’s been on my TBR pile for a while. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Six of Crows by Marissa Meyer, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alice Sáenz are also cult classics that I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

a classic you’d like to read

All of Jane Austen’s books! I’ve owned Mansfield Park for a while now but just…haven’t read it for whatever reason. It’s a little intimidating, not going to lie. And I have some beautiful copies of Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, and Emma that I also haven’t read for whatever reason.

a book you’d like to reread

I reread the entire Harry Potter series every single summer. It’s honestly one of the highlights of my year, which I know sounds kind of pathetic, but there’s something comforting about hanging around outside rereading one of your favorite series.

a book you’ve had for ages and want to read

I picked up The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix at the thrift store a while ago, and it’s still sitting unread on my shelf. It’s got a beautiful cover, too—honestly, that might have been one of the reasons I bought it. Maybe I’ll post a review when I’m done.

a big book you’d like to read

Not so much “like to read” as “like to have read”, but A Patriot’s History of the United States. It is one of the thickest books I’ve ever encountered. I’m going through it for my junior year in high school right now, and I honestly can’t wait to be done with it.

an author you’ve previously read and want to read more of

Emma Lord is one of my most favorite contemporary authors, and she recently released a new book! I still haven’t read the book she released before that, so I need to pick both of those up at the bookstore.

a book you got for Christmas and would like to read

I received a book called Making Stuff and Doing Things from my grandparents for Christmas. It’s a compilation of zines with all sorts of things from making record bowls to doing your own bookbinding. I’ve thumbed through it a little bit, but I’d really like to read it cover to cover.

a series you want to read from start to finish

The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy by Kellyn Roth. I saw Kellyn speak at the YWW Conference, and she keeps posting little things about her characters on her Instagram story, so I want to support a fellow indie author and finally understand the jokes.

do you set reading goals? if so, how many books do you want to read in 2023?

I don’t necessarily set reading goals—I just like to see where the year takes me. However, I only started tracking my books last year, and I read over 120, so I know I can easily hit over 100. Maybe I’ll be a little ambitious and set a goal of 150 books this year, but I’m not necessarily going to be strict about it. I guess we’ll see.

any other reading goals?

I’d like to read more biblical nonfiction. I want to dive a little deeper into my faith and read more nonfiction, so why not combine those two? I’ve been pretty good about reading more nonfiction lately, and I think I’d like to expand that even more.

I also just want to have fun reading. I devoured books when I was younger. I used to come home from summer library trips and lie in the grass and just read two or three books at a time (usually Warrior Cats, heheh). So I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. I want to enjoy it like I used to.

Well, that about wraps it up! I’m not going to tag anyone here, but feel free to post this on your own blog (and let me know when you do!) or just answer the questions in the comments. I want to know what you’re reading in 2023!

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday!

the me and music tag…again

Hello, friends! Welcome back to my blog.

Before I begin with the actual content, I would like to issue a warning: I am not pre-writing all of my posts for November, because I thought of that too late, so I’m kind of going easy on myself with the posts this month. I definitely want to keep up my blogging streak, but quite frankly, I am going to be way too fried with NaNo to put actual effort into posts, heheh. So you’re going to get some blog tags and book reviews this month, and I’ll be back with the “quality” content in December, I promise.

Now, you may recognize this tag, because I’ve done it on my blog before in March of 2021. However, Mia (who is mentioned so much on this blog that she probably should be a coauthor by now) inspired me to do it again and see how much my tastes have changed. And I was scrolling through that really old post going, “…yikes, why was I so cringe back then.”

So here’s a redo, throwback, update, whatever you want to call it.

the rules

  1. Link back to original (Sophie @ Me and Ink) so she can see your answers and listen to the tunes.
  2. For every prompt you choose to do, name 1-5 songs (you can use Sophie’s graphics).
  3. Have fun and play your music LOUD!

the tag

Mercury by Imagine Dragons
Origins by Imagine Dragons
X Games by Au/Ra (middle school throwback!)
Year of the Sunflower by Jake Scott

You can already tell that you’re going to be seeing a lot of Imagine Dragons in this post. Brace yourself.

My truest home is my church. I’ve been at the same church technically since before I was born. My parents were married there, I and my sister were both baptized and confirmed there, and it’s where I met my best friends. So I’m going to give you some traditional Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod hymns that remind me of my home.

“A Mighty Fortress” by Martin Luther || A mighty fortress is our God / A bulwark never failing
“For All the Saints” by William Walsham || Thy name, O Jesus / Be forever blest / Alleluia, alleluia
“I Know that My Redeemer Lives” by Samuel Medley || I know that my Redeemer lives / What comfort this sweet sentence gives!

Oh man, I dread this question. I do not listen to popular music (hehehe, I’m not like other girls–KIDDING!). I’ll go through the Billboard charts really quick and see if I can scrounge some up.

“As It Was” by Harry Styles || In this world / It’s just us / You know it’s not the same as it was
“Victoria’s Secret” by Jax (clean version) || I know Victoria’s secret / She was made up by a dude
“golden hour” by JVKE || I was all alone with the love of my life / She’s got glitter for skin, my radiant beam in the night

I swear, if I get hate comments about the Harry Styles song…

Haha…all of them? My dancing’s not terribly good, but I love dancing anyway.

“Calypso – Remix” by Luis Fonsi, KAROL G, Andrés Torres, and Mauricio Rengifo || Un, dos, tres, calypso / Un, deux, trois, calypso / One, two, three, calypso / Te daré, calypso
“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” by Beyoncé || If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it
“Classic” by MKTO || You’re over my head, I’m out of my mind / Thinkin’ I was born in the wrong time
“Pierre” by Ryn Weaver || And then I found me a lover who could play the bass / He’s kinda quiet but his body ain’t

I’m listening to “Classic” to get the lyrics right now and bopping my head.

“Non-Stop” from Hamilton || Why do you assume you’re the smartest in the room? / Soon that attitude may be your doom
“We Don’t Talk about Bruno” from Encanto || We don’t talk about Bruno, no, no, no / We don’t talk about Bruno
“I Won’t Say (I’m in Love)” from Hercules || No chance, no way / I won’t say it, no no
“Go, Go, Go Joseph” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat || Go, go, go, Joseph, you know what they say / Hang on now Joseph, you’ll make it someday

Oof, you’re really going to make myself expose myself right here?

“A True, True Friend” from My Little Pony || A true, true friend helps a friend in need / A friend will be there to help you see
“Glow” by Britt Nicole || Turn it up, make it loud on your radio / We’re gonna dance everywhere we go
“Cups (Pitch Perfect’s “When I’m Gone”) by Anna Kendrick || I’ve got a ticket for the long way round / The one with the prettiest of views

Yeah, that’s right. I watched My Little Pony.

I’m pretty sure that if I put the 80’s as “like really old ones” my parents will kill me. But here goes.

“Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns ‘n’ Roses || She’s got a smile that it seems to me / Reminds me of childhood memories
“Back in Black” by AC/DC || Back in black / I hit the sack / It’s been too long, I’m glad to be back
“Right Now” by Van Halen || Right now / Hey, it’s your tomorrow / Right now / Come on, it’s everything
“Photograph” by Def Leppard || Oh, look what you’ve done to this rock ‘n’ roll clown
“High Enough” by Damn Yankees || Can you take me high enough / To fly me over yesterday?

For the record, I only know these because of my dad listening to the radio when I used to drive with him. I rarely drive with just him anymore since I usually drive myself, and when my mom’s in the car, she makes him turn it off, which is good, because his music taste has morphed from epic 80’s rock to foul German heavy metal.


“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift || You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me / But we are never, ever, ever, ever getting back together
“What You Do to Me” by Blanks || ‘Cause baby when we touch / It’s like the whole world stops / And I wish I knew what it is you do
“Blank Space” by Taylor Swift || So it’s gonna be forever / Or it’s gonna go down in flames
“Sharks” by Imagine Dragons || So let it go, let it go, that’s the way that it goes / First you’re in, then you’re out, everybody knows

Say whatever you will about Taylor Swift, but her songs sure are fun to sing.

I don’t tend to listen to music that calms me. I just want to feel something. Generally, calm music puts me to sleep. Anyway, let’s see what we can pull out.

“The Fall” by Imagine Dragons || I’m ready for the fall / I’m ready for everything I believed in to drift away
“Second Chances” by Imagine Dragons || Open up again, I believe in second chances
“the author” by Luz || Someone tell the author / What I really think of her

I forgot about this one! I’ve actually started keeping “song scrapbooks”–Spotify playlists, one for each season, and I add songs that mean something to me from specific events. Given that I only started this summer, all of these memories will be fairly recent.

“In All Things” by LCMSYG House Band || In all things, we see Your face / All of creation shouts Your praise

This was the theme song of the National Youth Gathering I attended in Houston this year. We would sing this at the beginning of every Mass Event. I remember singing it at the top of my voice (which was gone) in a baseball stadium with 20,000 other Lutheran kids. It was amazing. I’m getting chills just thinking about it.

“Fight” by Julianne Post || So I’m gonna fight / I’m not gonna run / You might win but I’m / Not backin’ down till this is done

I know the singer and songwriter of this song through the Young Writer’s Workshop! She performed it at the YDubs conference in August. She also sang an original song she wrote specifically for the conference called “Glory Days,” but it’s not on Spotify. That one made everybody cry.

“Love Story” by Taylor Swift || And I said / “Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone / I’ll be waiting, all there’s left to do is run”

Hehe…this was a fun memory. My sister and I had just given our old minivan a good, thorough cleaning. We took it to go mini golfing with our youth group, and afterwards we went out for ice cream. We ate our ice cream in the back of the van with all of the seats folded down and listened to music together. My sister and I performed a very dramatic rendition of “Love Story,” much to our friends’ amusement.

No…please no. Why would you do this to me?

“Nearer My God to Thee” from Titanic
“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” from Hamilton || And when my time is up, have I done enough?
“Little Girl” by Faith Marie || And don’t speak unless you’re spoken to, little girl / Someday you will find your place in the world

And now I’m dangerously close to crying. Come on. Why?

I’m sorry. Some of these are in German.

“Tote singen lauter” by Philipp Dittberner || Tote singen lauter / Immer ‘n bisschen lauter (The dead sing louder / Always a little louder)
“Selene” by Imagine Dragons || To the top of all the world / To the tasteless underworld / To the center of your heart, oh, Cleopatra is the only one you loved
“Never Come Back Again” by Austin Plaine || I wanna see the world / I wanna sail the ocean / I wanna know what it feels like to never come back again
“Wenn sie tanzt” by Max Giesinger || Dann geht sie barfuß in New York / Trampt alleine durch Alaska / Springt vor Bali über Board und taucht durch das blaue Wasser (Then she goes barefoot in New York / Hitchhikes alone through Alaska / Jumps overboard in Bali and dives through the blue waters)

“W.I.T.C.H.” by Devon Cole || She don’t wanna be anybody else / She’s a woman in total control of herself
“That’s My Girl” by Fifth Harmony || Destiny said it, you got to get up and get it / Get mad independent and don’t you ever forget it
“I’LL SHOW YOU” by K-DA et. al || I’ll show you what I’m made of / Rise to the occasion / Got fears but I face them

I don’t usually watch a lot of music videos, so you only get one right now.

“Sharks” by Imagine Dragons || So let it go, let it go, that’s the way that it goes / First you’re in, then you’re out, everybody knows

They even have a BTS!

Worth every minute.

My sister tricked me into liking One Direction when she went through a phase a while back.

“What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction || You’re insecure / Don’t know what for / You’re turning heads when you walk through the do-o-or
“Heads Carolina, Tails California” by Jo Dee Messina || Heads Carolina, tails California / Somewhere greener, somewhere warmer

Pretty much all of the songs listed in the “let’s get down to business” one are songs I’m listening to on repeat right now, as well as a few others.

“golden hour” by JVKE || I was all alone with the love of my life / She’s got glitter for skin, my radiant beam in the night
“Queens Don’t” by RaeLynn || Queens don’t hate, queens don’t fight / Queens don’t stay unless their king treats them right

Hooooo boy.

“You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift || She wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts / She’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers
“Still Falling For You” by Ellie Goulding || And just like that / All I breathe / All I feel / You are all for me / I’m in
“Shower” by Becky G || Well you’re the reason why / I’m dancing in the mirror / And singing in the shower
“Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay || But she said, “Where’d you wanna go? / How much you wanna risk? / I’m not looking for somebody with some superhero gifts”

And that’s a wrap! That turned out to be an incredibly long post, but I enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoyed reading it.

I’ll see you next Wednesday!

never have I ever: writer edition tag

It’s time to take a break from all the serious, writery stuff I’ve been posting lately. Today I’m doing something, well, still writery, I guess, but much lighter.

My bestie Mia over at Windows tagged me for two tags, and because I’ve already done one here on this blog, I figured I’d give the other one a go. So this is the Never Have I Ever: Writer Edition tag! Let’s jump right in.

the rules:

  1. Link and thank the blogger who tagged you. (Thanks, Mia! Here’s her post for anyone who wants to read it.)
  2. Include the graphic somewhere in the post (or make your own!) 
  3. Answer the questions truthfully and honestly.  
  4. Tag 3 bloggers. 

never have I ever…

started a novel I didn’t finish

Uh, yeah. All the time. The problem is middles. I get excited about the beginning of the story, and then when it comes time to write the middle of it, I fizzle out. It’s because I never outline, which is bad. I’m working on that, though.

written a story completely by hand

Actually, fun fact, Shadows of Dream‘s first draft was entirely handwritten! It was super short, though, and it caused a lot of trouble with lengthening. I also write a lot of short stories by hand in my various notebooks.

changed tenses midway through a story

I’ve never done this with a full-length novel, but–story time–I was on a FaceTime call once with my friend Lena and we were writing short stories together. I meant to write the story in past tense but kept slipping into present tense without even realizing it. Lena could tell you that there were a lot of agonized yells on my end when I figured it out.

not researched anything before starting a story

This goes back to the first question. I rarely research. I just kinda…jump straight in.

Technically, I did a lot of research for Shadows of Dreams about the Titanic, but I didn’t know that I was going to use it for a story. I was writing a research paper about the Titanic anyway for a school project, and I took a huge interest in the events and the overall story. When the research paper was done, I still wanted to spend time in that world, so I decided to write a story set on the ship. So, technically speaking, I didn’t do research for the story, but I did do research. I don’t know if that counts.

changed my protagonist’s name halfway through a draft

I don’t think I’ve ever done this. I’ve changed minor characters’ names, but since I’m a character-driven writer, I tend to have my MC fully fleshed out before I write, and that includes their name.

written a story in a month or less

I’ve written plenty of short stories in a month or less, but never anything above 10K words, I don’t think. I’ve attempted NaNoWriMo twice now but never finished it. Hopefully I fix that this year!

fallen asleep while writing

Who even does this?! Certainly not me.

corrected someone’s grammar irl/online

Oh, constantly. All my friends hate me for it. I try not to do it except when we’re already joking around and I know that they’ll take it as a joke and not as an insult, but there’s always that little part of me that cringes inside when someone uses the wrong their/there.

yelled in all-caps at myself in the middle of my novel

Hm…I don’t think so. I just yell at myself in real life. Because that’s healthy.

used “I’m writing” as an excuse

My mom reads my blog. I plead the Fifth.

In all seriousness, probably. Though my family is pretty good about not bothering me when I tell them that I’m writing, so I don’t have to use it very often.

killed a character that was based on someone I know in real life

I have one friend that always jokes with me that I’m going to make a character based off of him and then kill them off, but I’ve never done this. I don’t generally kill people, though, because I’m a contemporary writer, so reasons to kill characters don’t pop up as often in my writing.

used pop culture references in a story

I love doing this. Again, I write contemporary, so casually mentioning iPhones or Taylor Swift makes the world feel more like real life to me. One of my favorite contemporary authors, Emma Lord, does this a lot, and I really like it.

written between the hours of 1:00 am and 6:00 am

No????? I have a normal sleep schedule??????????????

drank an entire pot of coffee while writing

I’m not a coffee drinker, so no. Plus, caffeine messes with me. I have been known to down a few mugs of tea during a writing session, though.

written down dreams to use in a potential novel

Hm, not really. My dreams are usually wayyyyy too weird to use in a story, and I often forget them before I get the chance to write them down.

published an unedited story on the internet/blog/wattpad

Confession time: I actually do this a lot. Generally, with small snippets or short stories, I don’t edit them before I post them on YDubs or my blog. I don’t really know why.

procrastinated schoolwork because I wanted to write

Again, my mom reads my blog, and I don’t really feel like self-incriminating today.

But sometimes that PERFECT scene pops into your head and you just HAVE to write it down and then later your mom comes to you and tells you to hold off on the writing until you’re done with your schoolwork. *sigh*

typed so long my wrists hurt

I’m way too easily distracted for this. Next question.

spilled a drink on my laptop while writing

Not yet, but it’s only a matter of time. I write with tea too often for this to not be in my near future. Though I’m terrified of it happening, so I’m super careful.

forgotten to save my work/draft

Never happened to me. Praise God for auto-save on Google Docs.

finished a novel

I’ve never finished anything above 20K words, although I’ve finished a full-length story before. Again, I will be attempting NaNo this year, and I promise that this will be the year that I finish a novel in a month.

laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene

I’ve probably done this a few times when I was writing and sharing my cringey Minecraft fanfiction and wrote something I knew my readers would yell at me for, but I don’t explicitly remember.

cried while writing a scene

No, but I’ve wanted to.

created maps of my fictional world

I did this back when I still wrote fantasy. I’ve even got one still on my bulletin board in my room, ready and waiting for if I ever go back to the story. I also like to make maps just for no reason, or maybe just because I like using my brush pens.

researched something shady for a novel

My parents are probably really concerned about me because I’ve been researching a lot of stuff on Pinterest about running away. Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this, I promise that I don’t plan on running away. It’s for a potential story concept. I swear.


I’m tagging you! If you’ve never done this tag and you want to, feel free to steal it from me. (I guess I’m breaking the fourth rule…but whatever.)

Here are the categories to copy and paste:

Never have I ever:
started a novel I didn’t finish
written a story completely by hand
changed tenses midway through a story
not researched anything before starting a story
changed my protagonist’s name halfway through a draft
written a story in a month or less
fallen asleep while writing
corrected someone’s grammar irl/online
yelled in all-caps at myself in the middle of my novel
used “I’m writing” as an excuse
killed a character that was based on someone I know in real life
used pop culture references in a story
written between the hours of 1:00 am and 6:00 am
drank an entire pot of coffee while writing
written down dreams to use in a potential novel
published an unedited story on the internet/blog/wattpad
procrastinated schoolwork because I wanted to write
typed so long my wrists hurt
spilled a drink on my laptop while writing
forgotten to save my work/draft
finished a novel
laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene
cried while writing a scene
created maps of my fictional world
researched something shady for a novel

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday!

the “I’ll get around to it later” blog tag: my own answers

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

Two weeks ago I created my own blog tag, the I’ll Get Around to It Later tag. Because of Holy Week, I didn’t answer it immediately, but this week I’m giving you my own answers!

Sit back, grab a cup of tea, and enjoy.

the rules

  1. Link back to the original post at Quote, Unquote so the creator–that’s me!–can read your answers.
  2. Link back to the post of the person who tagged you and thank them. (Thank you, Me.)
  3. You may use the included graphic anywhere in your post, but you don’t have to.
  4. Fill all seven categories.
  5. You can either leave this tag open so anyone can do it or tag up to seven people.

the categories

a classic book that you have been meaning to read forever but haven’t yet

Emma by Jane Austen. I read Pride and Prejudice for school this year and loved it, so I’ve been meaning to read Jane Austen’s other books, but I want to buy them before I read them. Because I am broke, this hasn’t happened yet, so I haven’t read them yet. Emma is the first one on my list.

a book on your shelf that you haven’t read yet

This isn’t the best picture ever, but I found The Classic Illustrated Sherlock Holmes in my grandmother’s basement (risking life and limb in the process–I could tell you about some crazy stuff I’ve found in that basement). I’ve been wanting to read through these for a while but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I think it’s something I’m going to have to read little bit by little bit.

a book that you got recently that you haven’t read

I just bought The Summer of Broken Things from the thrift store! (Pro tip: If you’re looking for cheap books, thrift stores are your jam. Sometimes they can be a little marked up, but I also brought home a bunch of really cheap autographed copies last time I went.) That cover is so gorgeous (might I say…aesthetic?) and since I’ve enjoyed Margaret Peterson Haddix’s other books, I’m so excited to read this.

a book that you’ve had forever but haven’t read

I’ve owned this one since I was, like, twelve, but I haven’t read it. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just because I’m not a big fantasy person? Whatever the reason, I do plan on reading it. Eventually. (I’m never reading it, am I?)

a book a friend recommended that you haven’t read

My friend Sarah loves the Ilyon Chronicles. I’ve wanted to read them for a while, but she’s warned me against starting them until the whole series comes out. They look pretty epic and I’m excited to read them, but for the sake of my sanity, I won’t. I will not have another Keeper of the Lost Cities situation on my hands.

a book you’re procrastinating on

I’d been procrastinating on The Hobbit before I was forced to read it for school this year. It wasn’t that bad, and I still kind of want to read the rest of the series, but honestly, it kind of scares me. At some point I will definitely read them. I’m just not sure when that point will be.

the next book on your TBR

This is the next (and final–woohoo!) book that we have to read for sophomore year! It’s about Mother Teresa, as you can probably see, and it looks like it’s going to be a good, thought-provoking book. I’m excited to read it and discuss it in class.


Mia at Windows
Maya at Maya Joelle
The Grim Writer at The Grim Writer
Sarah at Sarah Jayne Photography
Merie at Imperial Scribis

That’s all for now! Thank you for reading, and feel free to steal this tag to do on your own.

Until next time,

the “I’ll get around to it later” blog tag

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog tag, and I’ve missed them. I’ve decided to do one this week, except there’s a surprise: it’s totally original!

That’s right. This week I’ll be presenting to you a new and completely original blog tag created by yours truly: The “I’ll Get Around to It Later” Blog Tag. Let’s jump right in!

the rules

  1. Link back to the original post–this one right here!–so I can read your answers and support you. (Alt text for your own post: Link back to the original post at Quote, Unquote so the creator can read your answers.)
  2. Link back to the post of the person who tagged you and thank them.
  3. You may use the included graphic anywhere in your post, but you don’t have to.
  4. Fill all seven categories.
  5. You can either leave this tag open so anyone can do it or tag up to seven people.

the categories

  1. A classic book that you have been meaning to read forever but haven’t yet
  2. A book on your shelf that you haven’t read yet
  3. A book that you got recently that you haven’t read
  4. A book that you’ve had forever but haven’t read
  5. A book a friend recommended that you haven’t read
  6. A book you’re procrastinating on
  7. The next book on your TBR

That’s all for now! I’m not doing this tag myself just yet. I am planning to after Easter–I already have a post planned for next week–but you can go ahead! I’m not tagging anyone, so just feel free to use it on your own blog.

I hope you have fun!

Until next time,

The Meet the Book Blogger Tag

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, Where’s today’s hymn post? It’s the last Wednesday of the month, isn’t it? Well, we’ve been in the middle of a family emergency lately, and those posts take me about two to three hours to research, write, and edit. I love bringing them to you guys, but right now, I wouldn’t have the energy to write a stunning post for you, and I don’t want to bring you any less than my very best. And seeing as October 1st is my one-year blogiversary (is that a word? That’s not a word. Well, it’s a word now), I figured we could do something fun!

So I present to you…the Meet the Book Blogger Tag!

I found this on my friend Maya’s blog (the creator of the original tag is the Bibliomavens), and it looked like a lot of fun. It also looked like a nice anniversary post–new people can learn about my blog, and my veteran readers can learn something about me they maybe didn’t know.

Without further ado, let’s go!

Who is your all-time favourite book character?

My question to you is, Why must you make me choose?

Probably Stargirl from Stargirl.

She’s so…rare, and real, and raw. I love the way she isn’t afraid to be herself. When I first read this book, she inspired me to be a lot more of myself. It was empowering, in a way.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which book would you take with you?

Undeniably Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The Harry Potter series is my book security blanket, if that makes sense, and the last one is my absolute favourite. I could read it over and over again–I could memorise it–and I would still love every word.

What is your most unpopular bookish opinion?

I can’t think of any bookish ones, per se, but here’s one that’s related: The Harry Potter movies were not good. At all.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry! They ruined my mental image of the books. Somehow, they didn’t fit the aesthetic I had in my head when I read them.

Though that scene with Hermione punching Malfoy was pretty solid.

What is your weirdest bookish habit?

I rarely, if ever, use bookmarks. Usually, I memorise the page number. Then I forget it, and I have to flip through the book to find where I last left off.

What character would you bring to a family event as your fake partner?

Dex Dizznee from Keeper of the Lost Cities. Absolutely.

This poor child needs more love. (We don’t give him enough credit for all the credit he gave us…)

Or maybe Leo Valdez from Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus. It would be carnage, given my family.

What made you decide to start a book blog?

Honestly, this blog started as a way to grow my platform as an author for when I start publishing in the future. (That’s right, I said when!) But then I started posting more bookish content, so now I guess it can be considered a book blog. Although it’s not solely about books. Who decides the definition of a book blog, anyway?

What about reading and books do you love the most?


What is your field of study or desired/current profession?

Well, currently my field of study is high school. When I grow up, I’m going to be a full-time author and maybe a proofreader on the side–I love words and grammar. And if I couldn’t do that, I’d love to be a marine archaeologist.

What are some book recommendations that became your favourites/obsessions?

My best friend recommended Tweet Cute by Emma Lord to me, and now I won’t ever see the word “pepperjack” the same way again. (Read it and you’ll understand.) My other friend also loaned me the The Search for WondLa series by Tony DiTerlizzi a long time ago, and it became one of my “warm and fuzzy” security blanket series as well.

What is the book you shove down everyone’s throat?

Uh, none? I’m not a murderer.

Just kidding. I know what this means. (But I’m still not a murderer.)

The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson. It’s just…one of those books, you know? I’m surprised I haven’t reviewed it yet. I’ll have to get on that.

That’s it for this week! If you’re a book blogger and you haven’t done this tag yet, I’d love it if you stole it from me. (Although…is it really stealing now that I’ve told you you could steal it?)

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday!

Until next time,

The Reread, Rewrite, Burn Book Tag

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

This week…I’m torturing myself. Just a little bit. You see, I found this tag on my friend Alabama’s blog and decided it was time for a little pain.

The rules of this tag are simple: You have a wheel with however many sets of books you want (I have twelve books, so there will be four rounds). You spin the wheel three times to randomly select three of them. Then you decide what you want to reread, what you want to rewrite…and what you want to burn.

Let’s hop in. Enjoy!

Here’s what my wheel looked like at the beginning:

What it chose for the first round: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

I think this is actually the easiest choice out of all my spins. Let’s see…

Reread The Book Thief. It’s already written so beautifully, and I don’t think it needs any improvement or changing whatsoever.

Rewrite 100 Days of Sunlight. As beautiful as this story was, I felt like the prose was sometimes lacking, plus there were a couple of swear words sprinkled in here and there that I didn’t really appreciate.

Burn Ella Enchanted. I’m so sorry! That hurts my heart to write, but honestly, I don’t think it takes as high a priority as everything else.

Here’s what the wheel looks like now:

What it chose for the second round: Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, Dust by Kara Swanson, Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard.

It had to pick Stargirl and Dust?! Really? This is hard. This is so hard.

Reread Stargirl. It doesn’t need changing. It’s such a beautiful book, with beautiful characters and a beautiful setting.

Rewrite Dust. I feel a little disloyal saying this, but I felt like Kara was trying a little too hard with the British slang in this book. That’s probably what I would change most.

Burn Race the Night. I love this book, but I haven’t read it in a while, and I don’t think I remember it as well as the others. Of course, now I’m going to go read it and cry over burning it. (I’m not actually burning it. I just feel guilty.)

Here’s what the wheel looks like now:

What it chose for the third round: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, Tweet Cute by Emma Lord, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling.

Why am I doing this to myself?

Reread Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The Harry Potter series is basically my security blanket. When I’m going through a rough spot and need something familiar to read, I always turn to the series, especially the last three books. I can’t change something like that.

Rewrite Tweet Cute. Again, I would change it to make it a little more clean. I don’t think I would change much of the story, though, because honestly? Enemies-to-lovers? Yes please?

Burn When You Reach Me. Guiltttt. I’m so sorry! (I can’t believe I’m apologising to these books. Honestly, I feel like they should be apologising to me for all the pain they’ve inflicted.)

The last set should be pretty obvious, but here’s the wheel anyway:

What it chose for the fourth and final round: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech.

This one might be a little surprising. Honestly, I’m surprised, and I’m the one writing this.

Reread Liesl and Po. This book is always so magical, and I find something new in it every time I reread. I don’t think I could or would change anything.

Rewrite The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. While this is a really neat way to sort of wrap up the Hunger Games franchise, I had some issues with the plot of this book. I would probably change some of the bigger picture.

Burn Walk Two Moons. I don’t want to…but I have to. *cries softly*

And that’s about it for this week! Feel free to steal this tag if you wish to do it on your own blog.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday!

Until next time,

The My Life in Books Tag

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

I know I’ve probably been doing too many tags on this blog, and I’m planning to step back from them a little in the summer, but my friend Em from Quill of Hope tagged me on this one and it was too good to pass up.

Let’s jump right in!

Find a book for each of your initials.

L: Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl and Po is definitely on my favourites shelf, if not because of the story then because of the fact that literary Liesls are highly rare, and when I find them, I treasure them.

R: Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard

I read Race the Night for a literature class once and it remains one of my favourites to this day. If you’ve read it and liked it, there’s also a companion called Watch the Sky. I think I’ve read it, but it didn’t strike me like Race the Night.

B: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Another literary Liesel (albeit spelled differently than mine)! My best friend recommended this book to me and I fell in love with Zusak’s writing style. I’m actually halfway through one of his other books, Bridge of Clay, now. (If you want to read my book review, you can do so here!)

Count your age along your bookshelf: What book is it?

Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper

Recommending this book to people is really funny because they always say, “That’s such a big book, I don’t think I could read it!” and then I explain that it’s actually a touching memoir about an eyeless cat and they just go, “Ohhhh.”

Seriously, though, if you love humour, cats, and memoirs, please read this book.

Pick a book set in your city or country.

The Boys’ Club by Diane T. Dignan

I actually have a funny story about this one. Buckle up.

Three, four years ago (I think? Don’t take my word for it), I was trick-or-treating in my neighbourhood on Halloween, and as we’re walking down from one of the houses, I notice the car in the driveway has a license plate that says “NVLWRTR.” I point it out to my dad, and my dad is the type of person that will sit next to someone on a plane and be the best man in his wedding six weeks later, so of course my dad drags my little introverted self back up to the door and asks about it. Turns out that the woman who lives there has actually written two adults’ books and a children’s book, and she gave us free copies of all of them. It was such a cool experience.

Anyway, this book is set in my native home of Michigan, pretty close to where I live (because again, the woman who wrote it lives just down the street). It does have some more mature content in it, so I would recommend doing some more thorough searches on it if you decide to check it out.

Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

I have always wanted to go to Canada, but especially Prince Edward Island (after I stop in Ontario, of course, to meet a couple of friends). It just seems so idyllic and peaceful. I love it.

Pick a book that’s your favourite colour.

The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer

All of the Land of Stories covers are absolutely *chef’s kiss* gorgeous. They say never judge a book by its cover, but honestly, if I saw any of these books on the shelf in a bookstore, I would definitely pick it up.

Which book did you have the fondest memories of?

The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak

If I’m honest, I still love having this book read to me. It’s so silly. I love it.

Who doesn’t want to hear, “My only friend in the whole wide world is a hippo named BooBooButt”?

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

I know this is supposed to be a classic and all, you know, Hemingway, but I just do not see the draw of this book. What is the point of reading about a guy fishing for a day? It was so dense and honestly kind of depressing. But I got through it for school.

What book on your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

Um…all of them? My TBR is huge.

If you go read Em’s post, you’ll find that I sort of copied her answer, but it’s true:

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

I’ve been wanting to read this for so long, and I started it, but then I stopped because it bothered me for unknown reasons. Since we’re reading The Hobbit for school this year anyway, I might as well just read it soon.

That’s all for now! I’m not going to tag anybody this time around, but if you’d like to do this tag on your own blog, feel free to and let me know when you do.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday!