Halloween Reading Recommendations

Hellooooo there. Today I have a rather last minute hodgepodge of book recommendations for the last few days of October. Halloween is right around the corner, and though I probably won’t be reading much due to a hectic Saturday schedule, there are certain books that I crave around this time of year. I’ve compiled a list divided roughly by category and I hope it gives you some ideas for Halloween entertainment! And if you’re like me and won’t have time to read this weekend, most of these recommendations easily fit into the November mood, as well.

House PartyThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin | Goodreads
The Young Elites by Marie Lu | Goodreads

House Party-2
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater | Goodreads
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd Goodreads

House Party-3

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly | Goodreads
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyGoodreads

House Party-5

Unwind by Neil Shusterman | Goodreads
Wither by Lauren DeStefano | Goodreads
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken Goodreads

House Party-6

Everneath by Brodi Ashton | Goodreads
Wings by Aprilynne Pike | Goodreads
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead | Goodreads

House Party-7

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer | Goodreads
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling | Goodreads
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket | Goodreads
Percy Jackson and & the Olympians by Rick Riordan | Goodreads

It didn’t really fall into any of the above categories, but I also really love the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull – it’s children’s/middle-grade fantasy and it’s fantastic. As for me, I’d love to get to Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys, Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood, or Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

What will you be reading this Halloween? 

Thanks for reading.

Book Haul | 3


Today I have one of my favorite types of posts to share: a book haul! I love getting new books and I’ve acquired quite a few over the past three weeks. Many books I’ve highly anticipated all year released early in October, so I bought a few and ordered the rest from the library (after all, money doesn’t grow on trees). Without further ado, here’s what I got.

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The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay
Twilight Tenth Anniversary/Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined Dual Edition by Stephenie Meyer

Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani

What books have you gotten recently?

The Week – 10.12.15

The Week is a meme I started doing on Gemrene in September as a way for me to collect my thoughts and summarize the notes I have written each week in my planner. Enjoy!

Monday – The Lightning beat the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden 6-3. It was a fun game to watch, though I missed the first period due to school and most of the third due to physical training.

Tuesday – My friend turned eighteen and we celebrated late at night with fancy dessert and a gas station run – she wanted to buy lottery tickets and a lighter. We took some cool pictures with a polaroid.

Wednesday – I didn’t go to school because of the PSAT, so I stayed home and did homework, worked on a college application, and took a breather with a little reality TV. I experienced so much anxiety that I started having chest pain, which has persisted throughout the week, and ended up swimming straight laps through swim practice in an effort to calm down. We ordered Thai food for dinner, which was delicious, and then I wrote a college essay. My mom and I stayed up until 3am, as I finalized my REA app and she worked.

Thursday – I got two and a half hours of sleep. At school, I met my freshmen peers for breakfast during homeroom. I had three quizzes in three consecutive periods, then a huge Spanish test followed by a timed essay in English. I returned home, exhausted, and read over my college app again. My DKNY cape arrived in the mail and then I had to head out for my swim meet. I was a few minutes late for team pictures. Because it was senior night, I had the most fun at a high school dual meet in my career. My freshman buddy brought me donuts, the seniors took a bunch of pictures (and didn’t warm up), and my friend surprised me by showing up. My dad came but he had to leave pretty early, and my mom timed. The senior ceremony was more touching than I’d expected and I swam well in my races. Afterwards, my mom and I tried to get dinner, but everywhere we called had just closed. So we went home and I looked over my REA application AGAIN and I finally submitted it.

Friday – One Direction’s new single, Perfect, released and I’ve been listening to it nonstop ever since. It was senior skip day, but I went to my first, third, and fourth periods because I didn’t want to miss the lessons. Then I signed out and plopped down on the couch to spend a few hours eating donuts, watching reality TV, and napping. I went to work, where a woman asked me if I’m my trainer’s daughter. I told her he wishes I were. In the evening, I didn’t know what to do with myself – I wanted a break from college/school-related work, but knew I had a bunch of deadlines coming up. I ended up reading and eating the veggie pizza my dad ordered.

Saturday – Work got canceled, so I slept in. I spent most of the day doing homework, whether I was at home, at the car dealership getting my car serviced, or babysitting. I babysat for a hockey family and brought my little brother along. We ordered pizza and watched the Lightning game, which we were really quite fortunate to win. I read a little bit before bed.

Sunday – I drafted a blog post for Tuesday and wrote this one. I’ve got a bit of accounting to do with my mom, but I hope to spend most of the day finishing a book. Afteward, I’ll probably whip out some homework or college/scholarship applications to work on. Fun times.

How was your week?



I am almost an adult. Eighteen is just around the corner now and so much seems to come with it. From the perspective of seventeen, eighteen epitomizes freedom. Of course, I’ll still be living with my parents and will be far from financial (and thus, true) independence. But there is so much I can do at eighteen that I haven’t been able to the past seventeen plus years. I get to vote in the 2016 presidential election and the idea is surreal as someone who has immersed myself in politics from a young age. I’ll move away from home – how far away remains to be seen, but I’m hoping to migrate north. I’ll graduate high school and start college and leave the only hometown I’ve ever had behind in a permanent way. Eighteen is a big deal. The real deal.

I am a straight arrow: I don’t drink or smoke or cheat or otherwise break the law (aside from the occasional speed limit). Adults often describe me as an old soul. None of the “typical” high school behaviors have ever appealed to me, and it’s really hard for me to empathize with other kids my age who do engage in those behaviors.

I am a straight arrow, but I want to get a tattoo. I have an idea of what I want – several ideas actually. But I think I desire the somewhat rebellious and stereotypical experience of inking a part of my body more than I want a specific quote or design. I think most people would be surprised if I got a tattoo because it’s unexpected for their idea of who I am. But I’ve secretly wanted one since I was fifteen and if I get it in an easily coverable place, what’s the harm?

I am a straight arrow, but I also want to change my name. A legal name change is a concept I’ve tossed around in my head for years, but I remember seriously considering it for the first time when I was fifteen. In fact, both the desire for a tattoo and the desire to change my name both cemented themselves on the same trip during the summer between freshman and sophomore year. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with my name. On the one hand, it’s very nineteenth century-esque, very traditional, and very old-lady sounding. On the other hand, it’s uncommon nowadays, it’s a proper English name, and it’s mine. Legally changing my name would be complicated and, unlike the tattoo, I am not entirely sure I’ll do it. But I know what I would change it to, and after nearly three years of brainstorming, this ideal name fits me like a glove.

There are three privileges that come with turning eighteen that I plan to or at least hope to take advantage of: voting, tattooing, and name changing. I am not going to buy cigarettes or gamble or do any of the other more sinister things one can begin doing legally at eighteen. I don’t feel the need to do things that I don’t have any desire to do simply because I can. I have been a straight arrow, an old soul, for seventeen years and I doubt one more year will change that. But I do want to pounce on the freedoms I’ll be given. I want my own little rebellious stage.

So bring me that horizon.


Thoughts | 4

1. One year ago today, I attended the One Direction concert in my city. So much has changed since then, yet much has also remained more or less the same.

2. I haven’t gained or lost weight since going vegan over a week ago, but I feel better about my body. Maybe it’s the diet change itself or maybe I just can’t hate this body when it is working so hard to make a difference in the world. But that begs the question: why can’t I simply respect it for keeping me alive?

3.  Halsey is an extraordinary lyrical talent. She is so utterly poetic and raw and she brings images and emotions to life with her vocal chords.

4. The band Bring Me the Horizon named itself after part of the last quote in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, when Jack says “Now, bring me that horizon.” I think I might love this small detail more than the band’s music, which, by the way, is fantastic.

5. I have my hopes and my theories, but underneath them all, I am Team Aelin. If you know, you know.

6. I think I’ve finally decided where I’m applying early action and it is simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating. Nothing good will come of it, most likely, but at least I’ll know that I gave it my all.

7. My sister is running for student council at her school and she designed the most adorable posters I have ever seen and when I did see them, I was overcome with a gushy feeling of adoration for her. She was already in bed, but I just wanted to squeeze her. (I did today and she did not take it well.)

8. Lately, I’ve been going by a different name in my head than the one I was born with. It feels normal and right and that’s disconcerting for a girl who’s spent the better part of three years searching for another name that fits her wholly.

9. London is endgame, but what about hockey?

10. I am reluctant to begin writing both essays and blog posts because they are often large emotional, mental, and time commitments. I think that sometimes I just don’t know where to start, or if I do, I fear the process will be draining. But I find (and subsequently forget for the next time) that I actually enjoy writing blog posts and don’t mind writing most essays once I’m in the rhythm of thinking and typing and backspacing and reconsidering and then typing again.