books I’m excited to read in 2020

For me, rereading is everything. I rarely get excited about new releases, mainly because I don’t often know they’ve been released. But 2020 is different. There are several books coming out this year that I’m pretty excited about. So without further ado, here they are!

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

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I know. It’s kind of silly. But I’ve enjoyed The Selection series and The Siren and, well, I’m looking forward to losing myself in another frothy, sugary, royalty-drenched world.

Between Burning Worlds by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell

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Sky Without Stars was a tremendously entertaining, well-written book. I loved how it retold Les Misérables in a completely fresh, captivating way. Because of this, I have high hopes for the sequel. (Also, pleeeease let this be a duology instead of a trilogy or big, unwieldy series.)

My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

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I haven’t read My Lady Jane but I quite enjoyed My Plain Jane and I think My Calamity Jane will be the best of all three. Because WESTERNS.

A brand new Once Upon A Western novella by Rachel Kovaciny

I’m pretty sure she’s publishing another one this year and I’m HYPED. Going to be so good.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

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ACK I CAN’T WAIT. I was a bit leery when this book got announced, but after I read the title and saw the cover, a lot of my worry went away. Suzanne Collins is the QUEEN and I can’t wait to get my hands on a shiny copy of Ballad. I’m expecting intensity and feels and maybe some character cameos as well. ❤

Are you excited to read any of the books on my list? Or do you have other titles you’re excited for? Let me know in the comments!

Eva

beyond star trek: Leonard Nimoy in ‘Mission: Impossible’

This blog post was written for the Beyond Star Trek Blogathon hosted by Hamlette’s Soliloquy and The Midnite Drive-In. Click the links to see the full list of blogathon posts!

Leonard Nimoy = Spock.

Spock = Leonard Nimoy.

But before I knew who Spock was, I’d already been blown away by Leonard Nimoy’s mesmerizing, precise acting skills. My family owned exactly one season of Mission: Impossible during my childhood years – Season 4, the first season starring Leonard Nimoy. I watched those episodes over and over and over again with my siblings; Paris (Nimoy) was undoubtedly my favorite character (and continues to be so).

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Leonard Nimoy actually didn’t enjoy his stint on Mission: Impossible all that much because the character of Paris never really changed. Never grew as a person. Leonard Nimoy preferred portraying multi-faceted characters with hidden depths and goals and emotions. (Like Spock.) But I’m so grateful that he didn’t quit playing Paris after a couple episodes because, honestly, Mission: Impossible Season 4 is EVERYTHING to me.

Anyway, I thought I’d highlight three different episodes from this season, focusing on Paris’s role in each one. That way, you’ll hopefully be able to understand why I found Leonard Nimoy so cool right from the start.

Episode 7: ‘Submarine’

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If y’all only ever watch one episode of Mission: Impossible, it needs to be this one. The IM team is at the absolute top of their game and it’s really, really cool. You don’t get to see much of Paris as, well, Paris in ‘Submarine’ because he’s pretty busy being different people. First he’s a monk, then a brutal and sadistic SS officer. It’s too complicated to explain why he’s playing these roles, but trust me – it makes for a super compelling episode. A very layered performance, out of necessity.

(I kinda love how whenever Paris and Jim have to impersonate other people, they’re always at each other’s throats. (Like, for tension or whatever.) It’s funny, especially because Paris/Leonard Nimoy is usually so cool and calm.)

Episodes 14-16: ‘The Falcon’

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In this three-part story, Paris has yet another persona (or three). But there are three things about him/the character he plays that make this performance stand out. First of all, Paris is impersonating a magician and he’s basically already a magician? Or a disguise artist at least? He doesn’t have to reach very far to be all theatrical and yet you can see how Leonard Nimoy fully embraced the deceptive aspects of the role to make everything that much more interesting.

Secondly, there’s a LOT of face-switching that goes on in ‘The Falcon’. Far more than usual. And yet all the actors involved (but especially Nimoy, of course) do such a good job of remembering who they are under the face masks. It sounds really complicated (and it is) but just…yeah. Great acting all around.

And thirdly, this is one of the few episodes (if not the only one) where Paris is actually found out. Where his disguises fail him. So that’s really intriguing, how Leonard Nimoy was able to do some out of the ordinary, acting-wise, with that. (Though I don’t think the script gave him much time to explore the situation.) I like to think that he enjoyed the challenges that ‘The Falcon’ brought – it shook things up a little, with all the twists and turns and extra bits of acting expertise that were needed.

Episode 21: ‘Lover’s Knot’

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*groans*

This is probably my least favorite Season 4 episode because it feels very out of character for Paris. But it’s also the only episode (in this season at least) that gave Leonard Nimoy the chance to explore Paris’s inner life. I would love to know what he thought about it, if he thought Paris’s actions were out of character, etc. Basically, Paris falls in love with the IM team’s target – Lady Weston. And there’s a lot of sappiness and weird, awkward flirting and stuff. *scratches head* However, it’s still interesting to watch, as a Nimoy fan.

I’m forever grateful to Mission: Impossible for introducing me to such a talented, amazing actor as Leonard Nimoy. He’ll always be special to me because of Paris and that thrilling theme music and “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…”.

Have you seen any episodes of Mission: Impossible? Who’s your favorite character?

Eva

the only love triangle I like

Love triangles are one of the most maligned tropes in all of literary history. Yet they are also one of the most prevalent tropes, appearing in everything from classic literature to (nearly) every YA dystopian novel to date. Love them or hate them, love triangles are still A Thing. So is arguing about who should end up with who when THERE’S A HUGE WAR GOING ON. (In the book. Not real life. Hopefully.)

Love triangles annoy me to no end (more so in TV shows than books, I’ve found). But there is one love triangle that doesn’t annoy me. One I actually kinda love. One that is a shining example of what a good love triangle should look like.

And that love triangle is…

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Why? Why does Katniss, Peeta, and Gale’s love triangle not make me want to bash my head against a wall and rip up my copy of The Hunger Games or throw the remote at the TV screen? Well, I’ve come up with three good reasons.

Reason #1 – The focus isn’t on the love triangle.

I have read/heard of several YA books (particularly dystopians) where the plot is supposed to be enthralling and thrilling…but it’s really just three hundred pages of gorgeous-but-I-don’t-know-I’m-gorgeous teens angsting over each other.

Not so in The Hunger Games (or Catching Fire and Mockingjay).

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The focus of all three books is survival. Katniss’s survival. The survival of the people she loves, her home, and her country. Yes, a lot of that comes at the cost of pretending to have a relationship with Peeta or hunting with Gale. But Katniss doesn’t spend all her time obsessing about either guy. Even if they can both provide her with a lot, in terms of survival and even love. Her goal is to win the Games, help Peeta survive (not because of romantic feelings so much, but because she owes him something and recognizes he’s a far better person than she is), and take down President Snow.

Katniss’s relationships with Peeta and Gale are integral to her life and her story, but she has bigger stuff to worry about. And thankfully, Suzanne Collins focuses on those issues (for the most part) instead of Katniss’s love life.

Reason #2 – Each member of the love triangle is their own person.

Katniss is a hunter. An archer. A sister. A daughter. A rebel. A tribute. A murderer, even. But what she is not is someone purely defined by her relationship with a guy. Yes, the Capitol doesn’t see it that way – in their eyes, Katniss and Peeta are the only couple that matters. In the Capitol’s eyes, both Katniss and Peeta are really nothing without each other. But that just shows how shallow the Capitol is.

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In the same vein, Peeta is…Peeta. He’s the ultimate good guy, yes, but he also has issues with his family and he bakes and he’s super smart (he got in with the Careers, right?) and passionate about his beliefs. And Gale? Gale is also intense about what he believes to be right (and wrong). He’s skilled at making traps, he’d do anything for Katniss/her family, and he’s simply great. Flawed, but great.

Katniss, Peeta, and Gale are each their own person. All in relationships, yes (or wanting to be – sorry, Gale). But they are defined by so much more than that. I’ve read books where at least one member of the love triangle was simply ‘the bad boy’ or ‘the good guy’. No personality besides that of being a love interest for the heroine. But instead of skimping on character building for one or more of her characters, Suzanne Collins kicked the love triangle game up a step – and it’s awesome.

Reason #3 – Katniss makes the right choice.

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Yep. I admit it. I probably wouldn’t have liked the Katniss/Peeta/Gale love triangle as much if Katniss had chosen Gale. Or if she had chosen nobody. Now that Prim and her mom are gone, she needs support more than ever and Peeta was really the only one who could give it to her. Yes, there’s Haymitch but I feel that he’s still more broken than Katniss or Peeta. And just…too sarcastic. But Katniss and Peeta are undeniably right for each other and their relationship gives me all the happy (and sad and angsty) feelings.

And for once, I’m glad a heroine didn’t end up with the ‘bad boy’. *eye roll*

What are your thoughts on love triangles? On The Hunger Games? On Team Peeta or Team Gale? Let me know in the comments!

Eva

open call for beta readers!

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*deep breaths*

As you may or may not know, I’ve been working for over a year on my novel, Flicker (formerly called The Darkness is Past). Flicker is a Christian dystopian novel based on the life of the Apostle Paul (fuller blurb in a bit). This novel is just a smidgen over 100,000 words long, has gone through five intense drafts, and is now ready to meet some readers. Specifically…YOU. (If you’re interested.)

There’s a lot of information I want to get across to ya’ll, so I’m going to do the old Q&A format to get everything across in a (hopefully) fun, quick way.

What’s the book about?

(This is a back cover copy off the top of my head. If you have any further questions about the story, feel free to comment and ask!)

Sol Alexander has the ability to see flickers: inexplicable, heatless flames that indicate the spiritual state of those he comes in contact with. Sol uses this ability to serve the Guides, a government set up after the second American Civil War. He is responsible for capturing Christians and bringing them in for questioning.

When a startling, supernatural encounter shakes Sol’s convictions to the core, he has to decide whether those he’s been imprisoning were right all along – and what he’ll do now.

Is there any objectionable content I should know about?

I’m a Christian author and I’m planning to market Flicker as a faith-based dystopian novel. With that being said, there are some less than squeaky clean elements in my book (dystopias, y’know). There’s mention of a man and a woman sleeping together (though nothing explicit is said). There’s some drinking and drunkenness. Mention of a woman being raped (again, nothing explicit). The violence would probably the biggest issue here (if Flicker were a movie, it would probably be a hard PG-13 or a soft R for violence). There are a few torture scenes and one murder scene (which is probably the most graphically violent part). If you would like a fuller, more detailed rundown on Flicker’s content, let me know.

What kind of beta reader are you looking for?

While I hope that people of all different beliefs, ages, and experiences will enjoy Flicker, I do have a target audience in mind – and I’m *cough* targeting them in this round of beta’ing. Here’s a quick list of who I’m hoping to enlist, if at all possible. (If you don’t fit all of these requirements but still want to volunteer, please do. I just ask that you fit at least a couple.)

  • Writers. (Because you’ll understand point of view, characterization, description, and all of that.
  • People who have beta read before. (And who enjoy it, lol.)
  • Christians. (I swear I’m not trying to exclude anyone here! I just want to know what my target audience thinks about this book.)
  • This might sound odd, but of the six or seven beta readers I’m looking for, I would really like to get at least one or two guys as beta readers. Besides the fact that a good mix of guys and girls is great for getting a well-rounded perspective, Flicker is written from a guy’s POV. And, what’s more, it’s in first person so you’re really in his head all the time. I’d like to know if I’ve written Sol-as-a-guy accurately – and, if not, what I can do to fix that.
  • People who enjoy the dystopian genre.

And that’s about it!

What’s in it for me, as a beta reader?

(This would probably be my first question if I were you guys, haha.)

I totally get it! Reading and critiquing a 100K word book is a huge time/energy commitment (I’m so grateful you’re even considering it). You will have my everlasting gratitude, should you choose to accept this undertaking. And your name will also appear in Flicker’s acknowledgements when it’s published! (If you want.) Plus, as release day draws near, you’ll be able to brag that you’ve already read Flicker – and had a hand in its success. How cool is that?

How do I sign up?

Fill out this handy Google Form and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

When do you need my critiques back by?

The deadline is April 1st! (And, no, that’s not a joke, lol.) Also, speaking of critiques…you can send me whatever notes and observations you have about Flicker, but I will also send you a list of ten to fifteen questions of my own to gain a better understanding of what worked and didn’t work for you. Just so you know. 🙂 OH, and I don’t expect hundreds of inline comments diving into typos and stuff with painstaking detail (though feel free if you’re so inclined!). I’m more looking for general thoughts on the plot/characters/etc.

Thank you so much for reading through all this! Even if you can’t be a beta reader, thank you for supporting me on this journey. There’s still a long, long way to go before I hold my published book in my hands, but this is the next step. ❤

Eva

my word for 2020: ‘expectation’

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“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” -Psalm 62:5

I wasn’t planning to choose a word for 2020. I’ve never chosen a ‘word of the year’ before and I kinda thought it was a little weird to do so. Like, what does it even mean? Why do you do it? But when a friend from church asked what my word of the year was (well, she asked all her Instagram followers), I began thinking about it. I’m a writer, after all. Words are My Thing.

And, after some thought and a few false tries, I settled on ‘expectation’.

expectation [ ek-spek-tey-shuhn ]
noun
the act or the state of expecting
the act or state of looking forward or anticipating
an expectant mental attitude
something expected; a thing looked forward to
the degree of probability that something will occur

dictionary.com

I chose ‘expectation’ because I’m expecting to do good things this year. Not necessarily great things (though there may be a few of those), but good things. Helpful things. Kind, compassionate, generous things. I’m also expecting that God will work in my life. I don’t say this in a proud, arrogant way – like, “God has to help me and accomplish things in my life because I’m so awesome and perfect”. It’s more as though I knew He will do great things and I’m expecting and anticipating them. I’m looking forward to everything He has in store for me this year – whatever it might be.

Another reason I believe ‘expectation’ is a good word for me in 2020 is because it has a sense of optimism about it. That’s something I’ve been lacking for far too long. Instead of waiting for people to fail, for me to fail, I want to expect that God will work things out. That I’ll be able to get a driver’s license and publish a book and grow closer to God in 2020. I want to expect that not everyone will disappoint me. That there are still amazing people out there. (I know there are. It’s just that it’s hard to remember at times.)

So I’m going into 2020, full of optimism and hope and faith in God.

And expectation.

Eva

the New Year’s Tag {2019-2020}

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What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?

Ordered a drink at Starbucks, saw Newsies live (student production), read all the Narnia books, went to an advanced screening of a Christian film, went caroling with my church (three times!), started a bookstagram account, rode a roller coaster, had a police background check done on me (because I started working in the church nursery and it’s Protocol), and wrote 14K words in one day.

Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make one this year?

My goals for 2019 were as follows: end up with a final draft of Flicker (previously called The Darkness is Past and, no, I’m not at the end yet but I’m SO close), get my driver’s licence (nope), read through the Bible in chronological/historical order (started, but didn’t finish), start a freelance editing business (no, and it wouldn’t fit with my life right now anyway), read 300 books (lol – I read a little over 200).

All that may look like 2019 was an utter failure for me, but I did so many other amazing things. So this year really feels like a win all the same.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

No.

Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no.

What countries/states did you visit?

I went to the US for a family vacation in July. The main states we visited were Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Other than that, I stayed home.

What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?

More self-confidence. (Fake it ’til you make it!)

What date from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory?

Well, I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about this, but a couple years ago my mom had this calendar that told you a different silly holiday for each day of the year. Like, National Socks Day. Stuff like that. March 26th was Make Your Own Holiday so, after some thought, I came up with Suzanne Collins Day…and we’ve celebrated it ever since. I make food from The Hunger Games and/or the Underland Chronicles and then we watch a Hunger Games movie. It’s low-key, but fun.

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Did you move anywhere?

No. *sighs with relief*

What was the best month?

Um…probably August? Basically, everything that happened once we got back from vacation because my family and I joined a new church and our lives became much less stressful. God’s been so good.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Completing four sequential drafts of Flicker. Kind of mind-boggling to think about, especially since a lot of that drafting was me rewriting the whole book from start to finish (more or less). And what’s even better is that the quality of the book/my writing clearly improved with each draft. (That’s the goal, after all!)

What was your biggest failure?

Stuff happened this year that I could have handled with a better attitude. (So vague, lol.)

Did you suffer illness or injury?

A couple colds. I also had the flu, which came with a really bad cough and ear problems (something I’m paranoid about, since one of my eardrums actually burst a few years ago). But I got through it all, with God’s help.

What was the best thing you bought?

A Disney+ subscription? Also, lots of great books and a slow cooker (#adulting).

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Whose behavior merited celebration?

Certain people’s. I mean, I’m kind of one hundred percent done with most people at this point but everybody has their good and bad points so it’s kinda hard for me to single out one or two people as shining examples of awesomeness. (Oh my word, that sounds so awful. I’m turning into a bitter old person.) But there were good people in my life this year. They know who they are. (I hope?)

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Oh dear. Way too many people. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE TOO. (I HOPE.) (But I also hope they aren’t still reading my blog. :P)

Where did most of your money go?

Books and gifts for people and mall food.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Seeing Newsies live! Even now, thinking back on it gives me this sense of euphoria because it was such a great experience (especially since I got to see it twice). Sure, the singing wasn’t always the greatest (except for Crutchie and David), but it was still so good and so fun. Plus, I got autographs from a lot of the cast (including my two favorite ‘characters’). #goodtimes

What song/album will always remind you of 2019?

This album.

Compared to this time last year, are you:

1. happier or sadder? Wiser, I think. I have my happy days and my sad days, y’know?

2. thinner or fatter? No comment. 😛

3. richer or poorer? Richer. I’ve been blessed with some great content creation jobs.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reading.

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What do you wish you’d done less of?

Having anxiety over things that are ultimately unimportant.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Hans Zimmer’s score for Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron. I can’t get enough of it!

How did you spend Christmas?

Actual Christmas Day was super low-key. We opened stockings and gifts in the early-ish morning and then lazed around the house all day before eating homemade pizza for Christmas dinner. (Yes, we’re weird.) The days leading up to Christmas were pretty busy though. There was caroling with my church and putting tracts + candy canes together and a beautiful Christmas Eve candlelight service. ❤ Loooove.

How are you spending New Year’s?

My family and I don’t have anything planned for New Year’s Day. New Year’s Eve, however, will consist of a church service and a party afterwards. Looking forward to it!

Who did you spend the most time texting?

This human bean.

What was the best book you read?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was phenomenal. Other favorites include Sweep by Jonathan Auxier, Romanov by Nadine Brandes, A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell, Finale by Stephanie Garber, a bunch of Star Wars novels by Claudia Gray, a bunch of the O’Malley series by Dee Henderson, Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman, the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and Educated by Tara Westover.

What was the best movie you watched?

So difficult to choose, but either Dead Poets Society (1989) or Mary Poppins Returns (2018). Other favorites include Terminator (1984), Good Will Hunting (1997), I Can Only Imagine (2018), My Girl (1991), Maleficent (2014), The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (2005), Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019), a bunch of Marvel movies, The Firm (1993), all the Star Wars movies, Psych: The Movie (2017), Noelle (2019), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), and Home Alone (1990).

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Did you fall in love in 2019?

Maybe. ❤

What was your favorite TV show?

Boy Meets World, without a doubt. The only other new-to-me TV show that I watched in 2019 was TURN: Washington’s Spies (and I saw most of that in 2018 anyway). (I also watched High Seas, which was good. It almost feels more like a miniseries though.) But I suspect that Boy Meets World would be my favorite show even if I saw ten different ones. It’s truly amazing; I love everything about it. (Especially the characters.)

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I think I’ve said this before, but I try not to hate anyone because it’s un-Christian and just…blech. But there are several people who I dislike very, very strongly (thanks to various things that happened this year). I try not to think about them at all.

What did you want and get?

I really wanted to go back to that winter camp I went to in 2018. I wasn’t able to go as a camper (too old) or as a worker (circumstances prevented that), but I was able to go as a guest one night. Which was still super fun and very exciting.

What did you want and not get?

All my needs and almost all my wants are pretty well taken care of. I’m good. *grins*

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2019?

Didn’t have one. As usual.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was twenty-one on my birthday and I had a quiet party with some friends from church + Edmonton in general. It was fun, but I think I’m getting too old for birthday parties. (I’ll totally change my tune next birthday though. Probably. Maybe.)

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What kept you sane?

Jesus, without a doubt. There were so many times this year when I was angry or heartbroken or just hurting in general and I always found comfort from Him. 2019 wasn’t easy, but it was easier because I had Someone to go to.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I have some ideas, but they’d be too personal to share. *shrugs*

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Well, 2019 was the year I really became aware of Robin Williams and watched a bunch of his movies. Such a great, great actor and performer. It was bittersweet, getting to know him and his films better. But in terms of celebrity crushes, I actually…didn’t have one this year? Kind of hard for me to believe because I usually have three or four throughout any given year (at least). o.O

What political issue stirred you the most?

Nothing in particular? The world is such a mess, politically, and it’s exhausting and I don’t feel like talking about it. 😛

Who did you miss?

Lots and lots of people. I also missed Ontario.

Who was the best new person you met?

I met several great people in my new church. It’s been good, getting to know everybody there better. (Well, not everybody. Because there are a lot of people there! But you get what I mean.)

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019.

Everything I can think of sounds so cynical. I guess I’d have to say I learned that God is the only constant in my life. Things change, people change, and sometimes it’s for the better and sometimes it’s not. You can’t depend on anything to stay the same or to be exactly the way you want. God is the only Person Who won’t change, Who will always be there. Which is comforting, believe me.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul

-‘Even If’, MercyMe (I don’t listen to them or contemporary Christian music in general, but I stumbled across a cover of this song when I was making up the playlist for Flicker and the whole song really encapsulates my 2019.)

Five things I want to do in 2020:

-Start querying agents about Flicker.

-Watch Rise of Skywalker.

-Boycott Amazon.

-Grow as a Christian.

-Reread more books (as opposed to mostly reading new-to-me titles).

Also, I thought I’d share other noteworthy things that happened to me/that I did in 2019 that didn’t find a place in the tag: I started writing for Feminista, bought three autographed books (including one signed by Angie Thomas!), made deviled eggs and apple butter for the first time, became a feminist, wrote a letter to Nadine Brandes, spent thirteen hours in the car one day during the July vacation (#exhausting), became an assistant children’s church teacher, bought a new laptop, did NaNoWriMo at the last minute (and won), and became an Instagram rep for Northanger Soapworks.

Tell me how your year has been! I’d love to hear from you. ❤

Eva

the smashing & dashing 2019 character awards!

Courtesy of C.G. Drew’s awesome blog!

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1. Most Relatable Character

Cath (Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell). Such a cliched answer, yet it’s true! I alternately am Cath and want to be Cath as I read through Fangirl. It’s a weird mix of feelings, but also kinda cool.

2. Most Pure Animal Companion

Corr (The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater). Maybe not pure because he’s a mad, magical killing horse. But Sean’s love for him made me love him too.

3. Fiercest Fighter

Starr (The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas). When I hear the word ‘fighter’, I tend to think of wars and soldiers and battles. And, you know, all of that applies to Starr – just not in the most common usage of all those words. She’s a soldier, battling in a war that’s so much bigger than her. But she doesn’t give up.

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4. Am Surprised That I Loved You??

Ransolm (Bloodline, Claudia Gray). Ransolm starts out as quite a bit of a jerk – a foil for our beloved Leia Organa/Skywalker. And I feel like he never fully grows out of his jerkiness either. But he’s still a good guy and HIS ENDING IS SO TRAGIC. *sniffles* I usually don’t like arrogant, know-it-all characters but I made an exception for Ransolm.

5. Best Sassmaster

Bri (On The Come Up, Angie Thomas) certainly had her moments. *fist bump*

6. Best Antihero

Zash (Romanov, Nadine Brandes). I can’t say too much without giving up a bunch of spoilers, but Zash certainly fits the ‘antihero’ category. His and Nastya’s relationship could have been hugely problematic, but Nadine handled it all with great care and beauty.

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7. The Best Friends Of All

Bridget, Tibby, Lena, and Carmen (The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, Ann Brashares). #FRIENDSHIPGOALS

8. Best Villain To HATE

The Government (Unwind, Neal Shusterman). I forget if this book had a more personalized villain, but the whole system that Connor, Risa, and (eventually) Lev are fighting against…*shudders*. Definitely awful and hate-worthy.

9. Award For Best vs Worst YA Parents

Best: Starr’s parents (The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas).

Worst: Any parent who sends their kid off to be unwound (Unwind, Neal Shusterman).

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(source)

10. Ship Of All Ships In 2019

Julian and Scarlett (Caraval series – but especially Finale, Stephanie Garber). I started out annoyed by this couple because it seemed like Julian was the typical bad boy who the girl falls for with little coaxing. But guys. Scarlett and Julian are so much more than that. And I now ship them wholeheartedly. ❤

11. Most Precious Must Be Protected

Tom (Rook, Sharon Cameron). Honestly, a lot of things about this book were lackluster, but TOM IS A SWEET PRECIOUS BOY WHO DESERVES ALL THE HAPPINESS.

12. Honestly Surprised You’re Still Alive

Nastya (Romanov, Nadine Brandes). Okay, it might be a bit flippant to put her in this slot (because of everything that happened to the real Anastasia) but…seriously?? How?? It’s pretty insane, when you read the book.

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Just watch this movie if you want a non-tragic retelling, y’all. (source)

13. Award For Making The Worst Decisions

Everyone (13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher). Smh, you guys.

14. Most In Need Of A Nap

The Sweep (Sweep, Jonathan Auxier). JUST TAKE A NAP, YOU POOR GUY, AND LIIIIIVE. *sobs*

15. Want To Read More About You

Ryla, Drewin, and Gavynn (The Twin Arrows/The Night Archers, Kate Willis). I read these sweet, short novellas earlier this year and I would love it if Kate Willis decided to write more adventures with these characters + set in this story world. *hint, hint*

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(source)

Here’s a clean list of the questions/awards for you! (Just make sure you link to Cait’s original post too. *wink*)

1. Most Relatable Character
2. Most Pure Animal Companion
3. Fiercest Fighter
4. Am Surprised That I Loved You??
5. Best Sassmaster
6. Best Antihero
7. The Best Friends Of All
8. Best Villain To HATE
9. Award For Best vs Worst YA Parents
10. Ship Of All Ships In 2018
11. Most Precious Must Be Protected
12. Honestly Surprised You’re Still Alive
13. Award For Making The Worst Decisions
14. Most In Need Of A Nap
15. Want To Read More About You

Did you spot any favorite books/characters on this list? Let me know in the comments. ❤

Eva