September Wrap-Up

Hey everyone! It’s already October 13th … can you believe it? It’s about time we shared our Sept wrap up!

Sarena read 2 books:

  1. Frostblood by Elly Blake – 4.5*
  2. Fireblood by Elly Blake – 4.5* review here

She also read about half of Warcross by Marie Lu.

Sasha read 1 book

  1. Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings – 5*

She also started The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana and Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber.

September was a great month! Before Labour Day, we visited NYC and met up with our agent and visited some awesome bookish friends (Patrice Caldwell and Sona Charaipotra). Of course, we saw the Statue of Liberty and did a bunch of tourist-y things!

(And every time I saw the Empire State Building, I thought of Elf. Duh!)

2 weeks ago in Times Square! 😍✨⚡️ #thecursedchild #timessquare #harrypotter

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The following week, school began and we had joined Chapters Vega for their Teen Takeover event, where we signed copies of our books!

The following day, we attended the HCCFrenzy Preview event in Toronto and met Angie Thomas, Becky Albertalli, and Julie Murphy. Read the full recap here!

Later that month, we attended the Toronto Word on the Street Book Festival and met Lesley Livingston, Kristen Ciccarelli (pic below), and Elly Blake:

We hope everyone had a super awesome month!



Frenzy Presents Fall 2017 Recap

Hey all! This post is a little late, but on September 10, 2017, we attended HarperCollins Canada’s YA book preview (#FrenzyPresents) in Toronto. This is the 3rd time we’ve attended a preview at HCC, and this one was definitely the best yet. (Why? Read on!)

First, we arrived just after 2pm, when the event was due to start. Luckily we got there before it officially started, grabbed some snacks, and took in the sights.

HCC Frenzy Fall 2017.jpg

Continue reading

August Wrap-Up [2017]

Hey all! It’s time for our August wrap-up. Here’s a look at what we read & what we did!

Sasha read 3 books:

-Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – 4*

-A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir – 5*

-Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman – 5* (review coming soon!)

Sarena read 3 books:

-One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus – 5*

-Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh – 4.5*

-The Reader by Traci Chee – 5* (seriously one of the BEST books I have ever read)

August was a bit busy since it was the end of summer school, but otherwise we did do a few fun things! Here is a look at the month via Instagram photos:

Happy #BookLoversDay! Here's a small shelfie 📚❤🎊 #booknerdigans #books #yalit #yalovin #shelfie #nationalbookloversday

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We also went to this awesome book signing–a YA Extravaganza panel at Chapters Brampton!

Shortly after, we attended the Indigo Preview Event in Toronto! You can read all about it here.

We hope you all had a great, restful month! Until next time,

Sarena & Sasha

#IndigoYAPreview Fall 2017 Recap

Hey everyone! Yesterday we were lucky enough to attend a YA preview event hosted by Indigo Books at their head office in Toronto. We’ve attended their previews twice before, and as always, we had lots of fun! Thank you to Indigo for inviting us and to the publishers for donating awesome books for us bloggers/readers to take home.

This post will mostly be photos, and of course, we’ll share the awesome books we took home!

We started by mingling and eating (photo below); we got there around 4:50, and it was due to start at 5pm. The preview covered YA books, but we also talked about everything from graphic novels/manga to romance reads and crossover adult titles! Continue reading

On Taking Time Off From Writing

This isn’t the blog post I thought I’d be writing, but here we are. I’m just going to go right out and say it–this week I haven’t done a ton of writing. Or reading. (Unless you count Monday, when I whizzed through more than half of Starfish, which you should all check out when it releases in September!) And I think a lot of writers see this as a guilty thing.
“I didn’t hit x number of words, so I shouldn’t be doing x, y, z,” for example. Or constantly thinking about writing, so much so that it pervades our dreams while we sleep. (We all have weird writing/publishing dreams, right? No? Just me…)

It’s not like I haven’t done much work for no reason. But sometimes, we writers just want to flop on our couches and call it a day. And I think, sometimes, it’s okay to give yourself permission to do that. So much of writing these days has turned into a battle between getting all the words written and writing slowly and methodically. I don’t mean to say that writing sprints aren’t good (because I love them) or that you should only be writing slowly, because every writer is different, and we all have our own pace and speed. But I think a lot of writers are associating writing quickly with getting the product out quickly, which isn’t always the case.

Take us, for example. We wrote a manuscript in 2 months, took a month off, and then revised it the next month before landing an agent. That is extremely fast and by no means what we expected. But that doesn’t mean that everything is go-go-go in the publishing industry, either. It’s summer, things are slowing down, and we’re really taking our time revising this manuscript. Why? Because it deserves time. It deserves slow, methodical thought, excruciatingly long world-building outlines (and lots of maps…). Which is all to say: we don’t want to rush things. It’s all right to take a little time off from writing once in a while. I barely wrote this week, and when I finally got back into things yesterday, it still wasn’t a ton. But I wrote (or rather, I edited…) and that was what mattered. Not that I did a lot of work, but that I did something after a long week of nothing, nothing, nothing. And after a long week of reading nothing, nothing, nothing, I recently picked up where I left off in Windwitch and I am fascinated by the world Susan Dennard has built. Each word, each line, is there for a reason. It’s a book that’s really making me think of my own manuscript’s world-building, and its writing.

Because it’s finally offering me some inspiration after a week of writers’-drought. (Is that a thing? I’m making it a thing.)

This is becoming a long, rambly post, so to sum things up–writers, don’t be afraid to take time off. To enjoy nature (yes, bugs and all…), to see things around you differently, to read voraciously and find inspiration in books and the world in general. It’s really eye-opening, once you take some time off your manuscript, to come back to it and see where things can be changed or cut, and where you’ve grown and strengthened as a writer since.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know everything about everything when it comes to the world-building in my own manuscript (yet!) but, in this revision, I’m working on it. I’m slowly, methodically, working my way through my own questions, so that someday, I can answer them for myself. (And so I can get this book revised.)

If you’re having a tough time with your manuscript, all I can say is let it be for a while. Sometimes inspiration strikes within the most unexpected places.

Thanks for reading and until next time,