my favorite fictional heroes

A while back, I posted a list of my favorite fictional heroines. In that post, I promised a list of my favorite fictional heroes soon. Apparently “soon” to me means almost six months later…but here I am, with the foretold list. Let’s jump right in!

5. Nick Wilde

photo from Zootopia (2016)

I’m absolutely obsessed with this guy. Zootopia is one of my favorite movies, and if I’m honest, part of the reason is Nick Wilde. He’s witty and wily, just like your average fox, but later in the movie you find out that he has a soft side. Though he doesn’t get as much screentime as Judy Hopps, the main character, he still has a tremendous character arc, in which he learns to trust people and put aside his pride.

4. Eli Stock

photo from Along for the Ride (2022)

Honestly, part of the reason Eli made it on this list is because I love his and Auden’s (the main character’s) relationship. In the book, he’s reeling with guilt from his best friend’s death in a car crash where he was driving. Auden helps him over it, and he helps her through her troubles with her parents. He’s a very sensitive person, and I like how he has the ability to feel things, which a lot of male characters suppress.

3. Harry Potter

photo from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Everyone knows and loves Harry Potter. He gets a lot of flak–everybody calls him “unobservant” or “dumb”, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard the question “Who’s your favorite character from Harry Potter?” answered with “Harry Potter.” True, maybe he didn’t recognize his own teacher’s handwriting in The Half-Blood Prince, but I think that he makes up for his lack of external sensing with his internal intuition. He has a strict moral code and follows it every step of the way, and in true Gryffindor fashion, he is courageous, almost to a fault.

2. Gilbert Blythe

photo from Anne with an E

We all know and love Gilbert. Honestly, what can I say? I love his charm and his optimism, and how, when they’re children, he tries so hard to redeem himself with the endlessly spicy Anne. Plus, I mean, look at that face. He’s so earnest. Kinda reminds me of a puppy. (I’m running out of intelligent things to say.)

1. Weston Ludovico

(Sadly, I could not find any photos, fanart or otherwise, of Weston. Go read 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons.)

When I was making this list, I only came up with four at first. I knew I needed a fifth one, and I went to go peruse my bookshelves when it hit me–Weston! I can’t believe I didn’t think of Weston first, honestly.

In 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons, Weston Ludovico is an amputee, and it’s hard on him, but he stays endlessly optimistic. His catchphrase is “Never been better,” even when he’s not doing so well. He’s a staunch people person and everybody likes him–he knows how to make even the grumpiest person strike up a conversation. Overall, he’s just a really likeable character and probably my top favorite male protagonist.

Well, there you have it! My top five favorite heroes. Who’s your favorite? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

rating my July contemporary reads

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

I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary lately, as is my custom, and (since I am writing this post the day before it has to come out) I figured I would do a mini-review of some of them.

I won’t be giving full overviews, but I will be rating them out of five stars based on four categories: cleanliness, plot, characters, and prose. Then they’ll receive an overall score out of five. It’ll be kind of a lightning round of reviews, and you can argue with me in the comments about it.

Let’s go!

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

finished July 25, 2022


Rating: 3 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Overall score: 18/20

Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

finished July 20, 2022


Rating: 3 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Overall score: 12/20

If These Wings Could Fly by Kyrie McCauley

finished July 18, 2022


Rating: 3 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Overall score: 17.5/20

Love and Luck by Jenna Evans Welsh

finished July 17, 2022


Rating: 3 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Overall score: 17/20

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

finished July 14, 2022


Rating: 3 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Overall rating: 18/20

That’s all for now! I enjoyed writing this post, and I think I might do more in the future. Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with my ratings?

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

hot takes: The Sound of Music and Jane Eyre

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

It’s been a little while since I’ve last posted Hot Takes, a series where I compare modern film to classic literature. And, okay, maybe The Sound of Music isn’t exactly modern, but hey, it was made after Jane Eyre, so it counts. In this post, we’ll be comparing the two stories, their themes, and their plots, and seeing what makes them similar.

Without further ado, let’s start by explaining the plots of both stories. Warning: There will be spoilers ahead! If you haven’t seen/read either of these works and you still wish to, please do so before continuing to read this post.

plot summary: The Sound of Music

Austria, 1938. Maria is failing at her one job: becoming a nun. She just can’t seem to stop singing and dancing and racing away to the mountains, so the Mother Abbess sends her to be a governess for Captain von Trapp’s seven children (the eldest of which I was named after, although I pronounce my name slightly differently. However, this isn’t relevant, so moving on). The Captain rules his household with an iron fist, and after he goes away, the children take every opportunity possible to misbehave, but Maria responds with kindness and soon they become good friends.

Maria teaches the children to sing, which displeases the Captain greatly when he returns home with his romantic interest, the Baroness, and he almost returns Maria to the abbey. But he is impressed and overcome by his childrens’ beautiful voices and changes his mind. He hosts a lavish party, during which Maria realizes that she has romantic feelings for the Captain. The Baroness, jealous, indirectly convinces her to return to the abbey. She does so, and during this time, the Baroness and the Captain are engaged.

Maria soon returns, and the Captain breaks off his engagement and marries Maria instead. However, this is Austria in 1938, so things aren’t happy for long. The Captain is ordered to report to the German naval base, but he’s opposed to the Nazis, so the family attempts to escape, but they are stopped. The family goes and sings in the Salzburg Festival to buy time, afterwards slipping away and hiding at the abbey. After a close call with the Nazis, the von Trapps are able to escape, and they make their way into Switzerland safely.

plot summary: Jane Eyre

(buckle up)

Young Jane Eyre lives with her abusive Aunt Reed, who, close to the beginning of the book, sends her away to school. The school is nowhere near as idyllic as Jane hoped it would be, and she spends a total of nine years there before finally accepting a governess position at a manor called Thornfield.

Her employer is a dark, brooding old man named Mr. Rochester, who she secretly starts falling in love with. One night, she saves him from a fire that she is told was set by a drunken servant. Later, Rochester brings home a wealthy and beautiful woman named Blanche Ingram. Jane is despondent and expects Rochester to propose to Blanche, but to her surprise, Rochester proposes to Jane instead. As their wedding day draws nearer and nearer, Jane is uncomfortable with the amount of lavishness (is that a word?) that Rochester heaps upon her. And on the wedding day itself, a man called Mr. Mason interrupts the vows, calling out the unbelievable truth: Rochester is already married.

Rochester admits that he is, but his wife, Bertha, is insane, and proves it to Jane by showing her. He tells her that it was really Bertha who set the fire that night. Rochester keeps Bertha hidden on the third floor and pretends she doesn’t exist. Horrified, Jane flees, knowing that it is impossible to stay with Rochester after this. She is forced to beg for food and wander the moors until she is taken in by three siblings: Mary, Diana, and St. John. St. John finds Jane a job teaching at a nearby school, and one day shocks her by delivering two pieces of news: her uncle has died and left her a vast fortune, and her uncle is also his, Mary’s, and Diana’s uncle, thereby making them cousins.

St. John decides to travel to India as a missionary and invites Jane to accompany him, proposing marriage to her (EW). She declines after nearly giving in and realizes that she cannot leave Rochester, who she truly loves. She hurries back to Thornfield and finds that it has been burned in a fire, during which Rochester lost his sight. They reconcile, marry, and live happily ever after.

(I know that was long, but that was like the SparkNotes of the SparkNotes, so…there’s not a whole lot I can do.)

their similarities

Now, you may be noticing some eerily similar things in these synopses. Let’s list them:

  1. a spirited young woman with strong faiths (Jane and Maria are both strong believers in God) as the main character
  2. a moody, rich older man as the love interest (who also owns a mansion in Europe)
  3. the men being scarred from their previous marriages
  4. the women leaving their former lives to become governesses
  5. the governesses falling in love with their employer
  6. a rich woman who comes in between the main character and their love interest
  7. governesses leaving their employers, despite being deeply in love with them
  8. the (former) governesses returning to their employers after a deep internal conflict
  9. the governesses marrying their employers and gaining children, whether by birth or inheritance (that’s not the right word but honestly who cares)

Obviously, The Sound of Music actually happened–the original musical was based off of Maria von Trapp’s memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. But isn’t it a little…odd how much the 1965 film mimics the 1848 classic novel?

Maybe this is a conspiracy theory–it definitely could be. But The Sound of Music and Jane Eyre really are creepily similar. No one knows why….

Until next time,

the only summery book list you need

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

Today is June 1st, also known as the beginning of summer. Yes, I know that it’s not technically the beginning of summer yet, but I’ve never been one for technicalities.

Now that summer’s rolled around, you probably have a lot more free time than you did during the school year. (Sorry to the adults who read this who have to work.) This means you’ll probably be reading a lot, which means you’ll run out of books really fast, which means that you’ll be desperately searching for new books to read, which means that you’ll need book suggestions from yours truly. Right?

So I’ve compiled a short and by no means exhaustive list of some fluffy, happy, contemporary YA romance books that just feel like summer to me. Here you are; you can stop panicking now.

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons

When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.

Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.

Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.

Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.

100 Days of Sunlight is a poignant and heartfelt novel by author Abbie Emmons. If you like sweet contemporary romance and strong family themes then you’ll love this touching story of hope, healing, and getting back up when life knocks you down.

Content warnings: cursing (a small amount), some bullying and body shaming

You Have a Match by Emma Lord

From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord’s You Have a Match, a hilarious and heartfelt novel of romance, sisterhood, and friendship…

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents ― especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.

Content warnings: Cursing, injuries in detail

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

Content warnings: cursing (a small amount), teenage alcohol use

Along for the Ride is out now as a Netflix movie!

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

Content warnings: cursing, teenage alcohol use

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welsh

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything Lina knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

Content warnings: death of parent, pregnancy out of wedlock

Love and Gelato is coming to Netflix on June 22, 2022!

Love and Olives by Jenna Evans Welsh

Liv Varanakis doesn’t have a lot of fond memories of her father, which makes sense—he fled to Greece when she was only eight. What Liv does remember, though, is their shared love for Greek myths and the lost city of Atlantis. So when Liv suddenly receives a postcard from her father explaining that National Geographic is funding a documentary about his theories on Atlantis—and will she fly out to Greece and help?—Liv jumps at the opportunity.

But when she arrives to gorgeous Santorini, things are a little…awkward. There are so many questions, so many emotions that flood to the surface after seeing her father for the first time in years. And yet Liv doesn’t want their past to get in the way of a possible reconciliation. She also definitely doesn’t want Theo—her father’s charismatic so-called “protégé”—to witness her struggle.

And that means diving into all that Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the hidden caves, and the delicious cuisine. But not everything on the Greek island is as perfect as it seems. Because as Liv slowly begins to discover, her father may not have invited her to Greece for Atlantis, but for something much more important.

Content warnings: potentially triggering panic attacks and disorders

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

Chronic overachiever Prudence Barnett is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her.

Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to mean gossips, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner. Quint is annoyingly cute and impressively noble, especially when it comes to his work with the rescue center for local sea animals.

When Pru resigns herself to working at the rescue center for extra credit, she begins to uncover truths about baby otters, environmental upheaval, and romantic crossed signals―not necessarily in that order. Her newfound karmic insights reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed . . . love and hate… and fate.

Content warnings: cursing (a small amount), teen alcohol use (a small amount)

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan

Eighteen-year-old Bronwen Oliver has a secret: She’s really Phoebe, the lost daughter of the loving Lilywhite family. That’s the only way to explain her image-obsessed mother; a kind but distant stepfather; and a brother with a small personality complex. Bronwen knows she must have been switched at birth, and she can’t wait to get away from her “family” for good.

Then she meets Jared Sondervan. He’s sweet, funny, everything she wants — and he has the family Bronwen has always wanted too. She falls head over heels in love, and when he proposes marriage, she joyfully accepts. But is Jared truly what she needs? And if he’s not, she has to ask: What would Phoebe Lilywhite do?

Content warnings: mentions of sex out of wedlock

That’s all for now! If you were looking for some beach reads this summer, consider yourself informed.

This is not the last booklist of this summer! Keep an eye out for more suggestions over the next few months.

Until next time,

how to move past reader’s block

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

Writers like to talk about having writer’s block. But there’s another affliction that often hits bookworms: reader’s block.

Also known as a reading slump or rut, this sad condition can affect anyone who likes to read. It can be caused by having too many or not enough books to read; not knowing what to read; being overwhelmed by the sheer number of books they “should” read; not enough trips to the library: any number of reasons, really.

Reader’s block is, unfortunately, a common malady, but not to worry! Liesl Brunner, BD (book doctor), is here to prescribe a few quick fixes. This is kind of weird, so I’ll stop talking like I’m a doctor now.

Anyway. Here are a few tips to move past a reading slump.

1. reread your comfort book(s)

This one always works for me. Depending on the mood I’m in, I’ll go back and reread The Hunger Games or maybe even Little House in the Big Woods. Reading something I’m familiar with helps me to get back into the reading mood without the unexpectedness of a book I haven’t read before. Usually, I’ll then want to go read something similar to the book I just finished, and voila! Right out of that reading slump.

2. read something in your genre

This is along the same lines as the last one. If your old books just aren’t doing it for you anymore, find a book similar to one you recently finished and enjoyed. If you don’t already have something on your TBR waiting to be read, turn to the Internet. One of my favorite sites for this kind of thing is, because it doesn’t require a sign-in. You could also use Goodreads, and I’ve heard that Likewise is also good, although it’s more geared towards TV shows and movies.

3. ask a friend for book recs

The key with this one is to ask a friend who has a similar taste in books as you. If I was in a reading slump, I would go ask for book recommendations from my friend who likes contemporary, not my friend who likes thrillers, because I’m not a thriller person. Try also looking at blogs, Instagram, or Pinterest; doubtless you’ll find some glowing reviews of certain books that will inspire you.

This one might work well for you if you like discussing books because your friend will be expecting you to read the book. They’ll be excited to hear what you thought about it and have a discussion with you. Accountability is always nice.

4. go to the library or bookstore

This is seriously my #1 pick-me-up for finding new books. Generally, when I’m in a reading slump, I’ll head over to the library and find some books in the YA section with pretty covers or intriguing titles. (Whoever said not to judge a book by its cover needs to be set loose in the wilderness.) I’ll pick out a few and then read the blurbs, and if they’re lucky, they’ll come home with me. Finding new books is always a fun time and should be treated as such. Take a one or two or ten home and understand that you might not read all of them.

I hope that now, next time you find yourself not wanting to read or not having any books that interest you, you’ll know what to do. Reader’s block is a sad case, but it’s easily treated and shouldn’t be feared.

Until next time,

hot takes: Zootopia and Pride and Prejudice

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

This week we’ve got something just a little different. That’s right, I’m starting a new series!

I was watching Zootopia the other day because I was sick and Zootopia is one of my comfort movies. While I was barely paying attention to the movie, something struck me, and I grabbed my phone and texted my friend:

Of course, her response was more along the lines of “you’re insane and there’s nothing I can do about it,” but I thought I was onto something, so I’m subjecting you all to it.

In the process of brainstorming for this post, I realized that there are a lot of movies that share a lot of events and themes of classic literature. So I’m making it a series. But for now, let’s just focus on the post at hand.

Anyway, obligatory disclaimer: If you have not watched Zootopia or read Pride and Prejudice, I would encourage you to do so before you read this post. It won’t make sense otherwise, plus there are going to be a million spoilers.

Let’s jump right in!

Zootopia plot summary

Rabbit Judy Hopps has become a police officer despite the astronomical odds against her, and she aims to go to Zootopia, “where anyone can be anything,” to make the world a better place. On her first day on the job, she is assigned to parking duty, while all the other officers are sent to handle the fourteen missing mammal cases. But a twist of fate finds her trying to track down one of the missing mammals, Emmitt Otterton. With a fox named Nick Wilde, she tracks Emmitt to an asylum, where all fourteen of the mammals are found, but they have gone savage.

She appears on a press conference, where a reporter maneuvers her into saying that they may have gone savage because of their predatory biology. Nick angrily storms away and Judy returns home, wracked with guilt. While she’s there, she figures out the reason all the predators have gone savage, and returns to Zootopia, where she reconciles with Nick.

Together, they apprehend the mastermind behind the whole plot, who turns out to be the mayor. Nick becomes Judy’s partner and the first fox on the ZPD.

Pride and Prejudice plot summary

(there are about a million things going on here, so I am just covering the main plot–Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship)

Mrs. Bennet is desperate to see her five daughters married off, and the news that the wealthy Mr. Bingley has moved into the manor at Netherfield Park causes quite a stir. Mr. Bennet visits Mr. Bingley, and soon after they attend a ball at which Mr. Bingley is present. Mr. Bingley spends most of the evening with the eldest, Jane, but his friend, Mr. Darcy, refuses to dance with the second-eldest, Elizabeth, and this causes the other guests to view him as arrogant and obnoxious.

But over the next few weeks, at social functions, Darcy finds himself growing increasingly more attracted to Elizabeth. Elizabeth, however, is cold towards him, as another gentleman, Mr. Wickham, tells her how Darcy cruelly cheated him out of an inheritance. Later, Darcy proposes to Elizabeth quite rudely, shocking her. She declines it and reprimands him for disinheriting Wickham. Darcy leaves, but shortly thereafter sends her a letter explaining that Wickham lied to her. Elizabeth realizes how prejudiced she has been.

Long story short, one of Elizabeth’s sisters runs off with Mr. Wickham, and Darcy helps her family enormously with financial aid. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth again, much more kindly this time, and Elizabeth accepts and is married.

how are they similar?

Now, reading these two synopses, you’ll most likely be thinking, She’s insane. They’re nothing alike! And you would be right. I am insane. In some ways, they aren’t. Let’s count the ways:

  • action/adventure police story
  • anthropomorphic characters
  • recent technology, mannerisms, and customs
  • themes of leadership, doing what’s right
Pride and Prejudice
  • novel of manners, romance
  • human characters
  • Regency-era customs and manners
  • themes of reputation, gender roles, and class

But now, let’s take a look at how they are similar. I listed a few themes of each, but I failed to mention the most important one of both: prejudice.

In Zootopia, there is a lot of discrimination against predators, especially after Judy makes her statement in the press conference about biology. It’s actually kind of hard to watch these days–it hits too close to home after all the Black Lives Matter and race struggles going on today. Animals fight in the streets, and the police force is overwhelmed. Fear runs rampant.

In Pride and Prejudice, the prejudice is more at an individual level. Elizabeth is heavily prejudiced against Mr. Darcy after Mr. Wickham lies to her about the inheritance. She believes him to be a terrible person and acts cold and indifferent towards him. However, this prejudice is later solved after he clears it up and makes Elizabeth aware that Wickham was lying.

While they have their (large) differences, Zootopia and Pride and Prejudice, at their cores, are very similar. I thought this was kind of interesting, and hey, free blog content is free blog content. (Plus, this is good use for all the comparison essays I wrote this year.)

Let me know if there are any other similar movies and classics that you’d like to see in the future!

Until next time,

five ways you can support indie authors

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

Many authors, especially young authors, begin their career with indie publishing. Some later move on to traditional publishing, while others remain independent for the rest of their career. It’s up to the author whether they want to sign over their book to a publishing house or pursue independence with their writing.

In this post, I’ll be showing you five ways you can give back to the indie authors who worked so hard to get their book out into the world. Let’s go!

1. buy their book

This one is pretty obvious. Most indie authors make their living entirely off of their books, and it can take a lot of sales before they even break even on the investments they made on a cover designer or editor, much less make a profit. Buying their book helps them along in a monetary sense. Plus, they get the opportunity to touch your heart and soul with their book’s message, and hey, you get a new book! Who doesn’t love new books?

2. gift their book

If you read an indie author’s book and know someone else who would enjoy it, why not gift it as a birthday or Christmas gift? It doesn’t even have to be for an occasion! I would love it if someone randomly bought me a book they thought I would enjoy. This helps because not only are you buying their book and putting a few dollars in their pocket, you’re spreading the word to people who might then recommend it to others.

Alternatively, if no occasion is coming up, you could…

3. recommend their book

Even if you don’t have the budget for it (books are expensive!), recommending a book to someone you think will enjoy it will help the author reach new readers. One of the bigger downsides of indie publishing is that there’s no publishing house to supply marketing. Promotion can be an obstacle that indie authors face, due to not having a well-known corporation to back them up. It’s just them trying to put their book into the world. Recommending their book will help them overcome this and put their books in new hands.

4. follow their blog and/or social media and interact with it

Again, because indie authors don’t have a publishing house to back them up, their social media presence might be very small. And the real kicker here is “interact with it.” One thing I’ve recently learned about social media–YouTube in particular–is that it doesn’t matter how many subscribers you have if you’re not getting any views. If you’re following an indie author’s Instagram or Twitter or Facebook page, interact with what they post! Like their posts, leave thoughtful comments. Interaction is one of the best parts of being an author.

5. leave a review

I’ve saved the most important for last. Leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads (or, frankly, anywhere it’s possible to leave a review) is possibly the most important thing you can do for an author. Let them know what you think of their book, even if you hated it. The more reviews a book gets, the more exposure it gets, the more readers it gets, and the more validation for the time and energy the author put into it it gets. That was a little confusing, but you catch my drift, right?

Indie authors work hard. They invest a lot into their books, and I’m not just talking about money. A lot of times, it’s just them against the cruel marketing world. (Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit.) But you, as a reader, can help them out in the smallest of ways, and I hope I’ve helped you see that.

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

Until next time,

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,

mini book reviews

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

It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review since abandoning my previous structure. I decided that that was a problem. (Also, I’m running out of post ideas.) So this week I’ll be introducing you to some of the books I’ve read so far this year.

I’ve begun keeping a reading log in my Notion, and so far I’ve actually been keeping up with it (there’s a shocker). I’ve finished 28 books total this year, four of which were rereads, and that’s not counting the ones I’ve picked up and then decided to quit for no reason. I’ll be reviewing five of them in this post, so let’s hop right in!

Beyond the Mapped Stars by Rosalyn Eves

Beyond the Mapped Stars is a historical fiction story (with a tiny bit of romance) about a Mormon girl, Elizabeth, who loves the stars. One day, she wants to be an astronomer, but there’s a small problem with that: her parents want her to be married. The story follows Elizabeth as she finds out who she is beneath the stars.

I loved this book. I felt like Elizabeth’s inner monologue was portrayed in a very historical accurate way. The characters were compelling, and her story was gripping. Overall, a very enjoyable book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Into the Raging Sea by Rachel Slade

Have you ever heard of the El Faro? I hadn’t, either, until I read this book. It combines transcripts from the doomed ship’s log and research together to create a lifelike narrative you wouldn’t believe is real.

This book gripped me. It was horrifying, yet so well-written that I couldn’t stop reading. I would give it a minor content warning for language (they are sailors, after all), but overall, very well done and respectful to the memory of the crew.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

Have you ever wanted to be utterly called out for all the things you didn’t know Satan was doing to you? Well, then this is the book you need! This is an epistolary novel written from the point of view of a senior demon, one of Satan’s underlings. He’s writing to his nephew all about how to trick humans into turning from God and following Satan.

I have to say, this book was rather dark. I’m glad I waited as long as I did to read it. That being said, it is excellent, and I think it’ll be one of those books where I learn something new every reread.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize by Margo Rabb

Mystery abounds in this contemporary young adult novel. Lucy Clark has been bullied one too many times, and eventually she retaliates. But then she gets sent to live with an eccentric woman who believes she is being poisoned! This quirky, magical novel follows Lucy as she attempts to figure out who the culprit is.

Usually, I’m not one for mystery, but I couldn’t stop reading. It was well-written and I enjoyed the characters. Plus, just look at that cover! Isn’t it beautiful?

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover’s parents didn’t believe in school. They didn’t believe in the government–most of their children didn’t even have birth certificates. So Tara lived her entire life in the mountains of Idaho never having set foot in a school in her entire life. Educated recounts her story of going to college and finally receiving what she was entitled to all along.

This book is quite possibly one of the saddest things I’ve read in a long time. It made me ache for Tara and the things she went through. It made me realize how lucky I am to have such a good education. Overall, it made me feel horrible, which is a testament to how good it was. Content warnings for language, violence, and the occasional sexual reference.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As you can see, I’ve been reading a wide range of genres so far this year. It helps to keep track of them all!

Have you read any of these books? What was your favorite book that you’ve read this year?

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