My Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2018

It looks like it’s shaping up to be an incredible year in the book world! There are a lot of minorities being represented and unique plots. Without further ado, here are some of the 2018 book releases I’m most excited for:

 

Fantasy/Sci – Fi

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (released January 2)

Dark fairy tales are one of my favorite genres. I have seen some amazing reviews since it came out (Cait called it “the ultimate Slytherin book”), so I’m very much looking forward to reading it. I’m also long overdue to read a Holly Black book.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (release date: January 30)

Even more dark fairy tales? Count me in. I also love the cover. I don’t know that much about it, but I’m excited for it to be released.

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (release date: February 27)

DRAGONSDRAGONSDRAGONSDRAGONSDRAGONSDRAGONSDRAGONS

I really, really like dragons, okay? From a few reviews I’ve read, this book seems to have both dragons and a rebellious feminist girl. It sounds like my dream book. I’ve head some mixed reviews, so I’m crossing my fingers that this is good!

Also, can we talk about how pretty that cover is?

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno (release date: June 5)

Can we appreciate that cover for a minute? It looks like it has some good female friendships, which I am 100% here for. Plus, magical realism?  I can’t wait.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green (release date: September 25)

Hank Green is writing a book? My life is complete.

I’ve read the summary and I still have no idea what this is about or what genre this should be. Yay. I guess I’ll just have to be surprised when I come out.

The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (release date: October 2)

Strange the Dreamer was one of my favorite books last year. There’s such vivid imagery and the writing is absolutely gorgeous. I’m so happy that we get to read more about Lazlo and Sarai, especially after that cliffhanger of an ending!

 

Historical Fiction

They Come in All Colours by Malcolm Hansen (release date: May 29)

They Come in All Colors takes place in the 1960s/70s, deals with the Civil Rights movement, and has a biracial MC. *cue me screaming* I haven’t heard much hype about this book yet, which I’m kind of surprised by. You can be sure I’ll read it as soon I can, though.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (release date: October 2)

I’m currently reading Gentleman’s Guide, and I adore the humor and wit. The shenanigans that Monty gets into have left me dying of laughter (in the middle of a bookstore, no less). This second book is told from the POV of Felicity, and, according to the Goodreads blurb, is about piracy, more world travel, and a science girl gang. Needless to say, I can’t wait for October.

 

Contemporary

Escape from Aleppo by N. H. Senzai (released January 2)

I have a vague memory of reading one of N. H. Senzai’s other books and liking them. That’s pretty much the extent of my memories, however. When I heard she was writing a book about the Syrian Civil War, I immediately added it to my TBR list. I think it’ll also be helpful to have a MG (middle grade) book about the Syrian Civil War for younger readers.

Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (released January 16)

An aspiring filmmaker? Indian – American? #OwnVoices? Compared to Angie Thomas and Jacqueline Woodson’s books? Count me in!

I would say that this is definitely one of my most anticipated books of 2018 (Probably top three? Top four at least) and I can’t wait to read it.

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles (release date: March 20)

First off, that cover. How can you not love it?

Like a lot of YA readers, I’ve been anticipating this book for months. I heard this pitched as a cross between The Hate U Give and All – American Boys, which are two of my favorite books. Like Love, Hate, and Other Filters, this is another of my top three most-aniticpated releases.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan (release date: March 20)

This book has a lot of themes that I love to read about, like magical realism, art, travel, and diversity. I’m especially excited to read about Taiwanese culture. There have been great reviews this year and I’m looking forward to March.

Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert (release date: April 10)

Have I screamed yet about the diversity in 2018 releases? Because if I haven’t, I’m thrilled about it.

I don’t know much about this one (only what’s in the summary), but I have heard some pretty great reviews. I love how colorful the cover is and the fact that the MC likes art. I like the amount of diversity that will be in the story (judging from the summary).

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian (release date: April 24)

I’ve never read a Siobhan Vivian book. Shocking, I know. However, when I saw the words “feminism” and “ice cream” and noticed how much it seemed to be about female friendships, I thought I would give it a try. The cover gives me Waitress (the musical) vibes, which is another plus.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (release date: May 1)

This book is: a) by Angie Thomas; b) takes place in the same neighborhood as The Hate U Give; and c) is about an aspiring teen rapper (I assume inspired by Angie Thomas’ own rapper days). I can’t wait to read another book by her!

The Great Unknowable End by Kathryn Ormsbee (release date: Summer 2018)

There doesn’t seem to be much info out about this yet, but we do know that it is about a NASA – loving girl in the 70s. I’m quite happy about the large number of 2018 releases that include girls who are interested in STEM.

 

Mystery

The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro (release date: March 6)

A Study in Charlotte was the book that got me out of my “Great  6 – Month Reading Slump of 2017”, and for good reason. It features a female Sherlock and includes all the wit and plot – twists of the original. I feel that many books/movies with a character whose gender is different than the original don’t deal with the fact that different genders run into different issues, so I liked that some of the things that Charlotte dealt with are very feminine issues. I would say it reminds me most of the Sherlock BBC TV show.

 Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens (release date: March 24)

Wells and Wong is a series about two British 1930s tween detectives. Think Nancy Drew, but British, more diverse, and precocious tweens instead of 16 – year – olds. Amazing, right? I’ve loved the three former books in the series and I can’t wait for this one.

The Jigsaw Jungle by Kristin Levine (release date: June 19)

This book sounds really cute. It’s a middle grade mystery about a girl trying to solve her father’s disappearance. I’m pretty excited to read it and it sounds like yet another book that will turn me into an emotional wreck.

The Looking Glass by Janet McNally (release date: August 14)

As both a ballet dancer and avid book dragon*, I’m always disappointed in the small amount of books I’ve read about ballet. This one involves both, as well as being a mystery/thriller. I also love how pretty the cover is.

Honorary Mentions:

THERE ARE TOO MANY BOOKS I’M EXCITED ABOUT. I HAD TO ADD SOME HONORARY MENTIONS.

First off, I’m shocked by how many contemporary books and how few fantasy and sci-fi books are on here. I’ve always been a fantasy person. Maybe my tastes are changing.

Second of all, I’m thrilled about all of the diversity in this year’s releases. I think I’ve spent a good 50% of my time so far in 2018 screaming about it.

Third, my current TBR pile is going to fall over and crush me. Send help.

 

What are the books you’re most looking forward to this year? 

Kathleen

 

*I hoard books. I love dragons. Therefore, book dragon.

4 comments

Custom Doll Stuff #2

This is yet another 3-year-old post pulled from the depths that is my blog post drafts.

I had a lot of fun writing that last Custom Doll Stuff post, so I thought I’d write some more about my favorite custom doll ideas. Obviously, I’m not going to make all of these, but a girl can dream!

Ones Inspired by Book / Movie Characters

#61 Lily stock photoKathleen Murphy from “Kathleen: The Celtic Knot” books by AG / Girl of Many Lands

I’m sure that if you’ve been interested in AG for a while, you’ve seen the GOML dolls. If not, click here to learn more about them.

Anyways, since Summer 2013 I’ve been trying to find the Kathleen one. We have a lot of similarities and I loved her book. I would really like to make an 18″ version of her.

Hence, Kathleen.

I would give her the Monique “Arielle” wig in carrot.

Becca Ana Nicki stock photo GOTYAna Rubin from the Rebecca Books by AG

I’m hoping to customize our Ana (Nicki) to look a bit more like canon Ana.

I’m going to be using the Monique Roxanne wig in Light Brown.

Minerva-Inspired Doll from Artemis Fowl (Minerva River Vain/River Minerva Vain)

Minerva is amazing. Enough said.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, or haven’t yet gotten to the 5th Artemis Fowl book (The Lost Colony), you really need to read it. I guess it does have a very specific audience, so some people might not enjoy it, but if you’re nerdy, a bookworm, read a lot of sci-fi, and enjoy snarky British humor, you should read it.

Anyways, Minerva. Minerva is a 12 year old genius, and she has a lot of similarities to Artemis. I absolutely adore her character, and I thought it would be fun to make a custom doll.

She’ll be a bit changed from canon-Minerva, because there really isn’t much of her in the books. Her name will probably be River Minerva Vain, and maybe Minerva River Vain.

Anyways, she’ll be a #53 with the Curled Cutie Bavas wig in light blond. I’ll also hand paint some freckles.

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Obviously, I absolutely would love a Hermione custom.  I haven’t found a wig that I like yet, nor have I found a perfect doll.

I think we’re planning on going Goblet of Fire for her. I see some Yule Ball gowns in my future.

Historical Customs

Korean WW2 doll

I really don’t know much about this girl yet. She’s just kind of beginning to form in my mind. I don’t know what she’ll look like exactly, though I’m thinking TM #62, and the Glamour Girl wig from Bavas International in Ebony.

General Modern Customs

Grace Winifred

Grace Rinna Düeren

Grace (actually almost the whole Düeren family) is essentially supposed to be my mini-me.

Katelyn (my first doll) is kinda my younger self mini-me, like me at age 8 or so. I’ve changed quite a bit since then, so that is why Grace and Marie are my going to be my new mini me-s.

Grace will have the Bavas International Glamour Girl wig in Auburn, painted on freckles, and some possible re-painting.

Willow Mae Dueren

Willow is another Dueren family gal.

She’ll be a #35, with a RRG Curly Parting Wig in Auburn.

I hope you enjoyed reading this!

If you could make one custom doll, what would they look like?

Kathleen

4 comments

Custom Doll Stuff #1

I wrote this post about three years ago. I thought it would be fun to post it and see how different I am now. So, without further ado:

I love to dream up custom dolls. It’s always been a goal of mine to fully create a custom, from looks to personality to wardrobe. AG may have just come out with a create-your-own feature, but I’d still like to make my own.

I decided to start sharing a few custom dolls I’ve been dreaming up — this is my absolute favorite and I’ve been dreaming of her for ages.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Echo.

2015_03_06_08_27_43Photo Credits: Owned by AG, Edited by Me

Full Name: Echo Aria Story Winslow

Looks: Light Jess mold, dark blue eyes, light freckling, long curly black hair

Echo enjoys piano, science, violin, swimming, photography, singing, tap dance, musical theatre, and vintage clothing. She lives in NYC with her parents and her 17 year old sister Holly.*

“Echo” Book 1 —  Nine year-old Echo Aria Story Winslow isn’t exactly the most outgoing person ever. She’s loved performing since she could walk, but she has massive stage fright! Will Echo ever learn to share her passion for music and dance?

“Echo Steps Up” Book 2 — Echo’s school is putting on a talent show! She’s looking forward to helping on the backstage crew, making sure props are ready, and working on lights. Between that and helping her older sister Holly pack for college, she has a whole lot to think about. When the star performer gets sick the day of the talent show, will Echo find a way to save the day?

“Bravo, Echo!” Book 3 — After the success of Echo’s act in the school talent show, a local theatre company contacts her about auditioning for the main role in their upcoming musical. Echo soon enters a world full of tap-dancing chimney sweeps, penguins, and daily rehearsals. But when Echo’s friend Ava becomes jealous of all the attention Echo is giving to her new friends, can anything ever be the same again?

Cheesy? Yes. But amusing to write.

I like uncommon names, in case you can’t tell. 🙂

Have you ever made a custom doll?

Kathleen

* Holly also has an extremely long name: Holly-ann Elowyn Winslow. In case you can’t tell, Holly and Echo’s parents are writers and huge epic fantasy fans. 😉

0 comments

Things I’m Loving – December 2017

Hello all! I’m back with another “Things I’m Loving”, a.k.a. those times where I talk about everything that is completely eating away my social life.

Voltron*

Big Hero 6

Cosplay

Hitchhikker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Music Man

Fanart

Raven Cycle**

The Sound of Music

Nightfall (Keeper of the Lost Cities)***

What are some of your current obsessions?

Kathleen

*Responsible for 99% of my lack of a social life. Matt Holt is a gift to humankind.

** I didn’t know it was possible to have five favorite characters that you love equally, but here we are.

***That was a wild ride for every shipper no matter the ship.

2 comments

Things I’m Loving – August 2017

Hello all! I’m back with another “Things I’m Loving”, this time in August.

Musical Theatre

Poetry*

Journaling

Be More Chill

Miraculous Ladybug

Doctor Who**

Mystery books

Writing Fanfics

 

Are you interested in any of these? Have any good musical suggestions?

Kathleen

 

*A couple of my favorite poets are Rupi Kaur, Erin Hansen, and Atticus

** I just started watching this recently. I’m still only in s1 of new who. Within five seconds of Jack Harkness being onscreen he was my favorite.

2 comments

Things I’m Loving — March 2017

Hello! How are you all?

Because I haven’t posted much recently, I was inspired by Bella to update you on my current obsessions. Prepare for some serious fangirling.

Credit: Dear Evan Hansen website

Dear Evan Hansen

Currently, my biggest musical obsession is Dear Evan Hansen. They  debuted the OBCR on February 2nd, and I’m pretty sure it’s been on repeat ever since I heard it on the 5th.* They published the whole album on YouTube, and I strongly recommend it for 13+. My favorites are probably Waving Through a Window, Requiem, If I Could Tell Her, Disappear, You Will Be Found, Only Us, and Words Fail. Yep, I’m obsessed.

Credits unknown. Found on Pinterest.

SHERLOCK

After much begging from friends, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and watched Sherlock. There has been much fangirling and many all caps emails to friends.

My friends and I have had some very interesting conversations recently about which characters I am most like. I definitely relate the most with Molly, so you can imagine my surprise when they all said I was Mycroft!

Credit to Broadway World

Hamilton

I was skeptical of Hamilton for a very long time. Rap and hip hop have never been my style, and mixing it with musical theatre was a very weird idea to me. It took watching Hamilton’s America (about five times), but I am now full-on Hamiltrash. It’s way too hard to choose just a few favorites, so I’ll just say that I’m obsessed with all of the songs that include the Schuyler Sisters. And also Dear Theodosia, My Shot, You’ll Be Back, Wait For It, What Comes Next, and I Know Him. They’ve all been on NON-STOP!**

Credit to Shannon Messenger, author of KOTLC

Keeper of the Lost Cities

I first heard about this series from Loren’s blog. I read them back in December 2016. I have since cried, screamed, and done general fangirling since. Lodestar was AMAZING!

I dragged my two best friends and one of their siblings into the fandom. We are hardcore Team Foster-Keefe fans, and most of our conversations seem to mention Keefe at one point or another. 😛 Welcome to the life of a fangirl.

Other recent obsessions:

– FANTASTIC BEASTS

– Downton Abbey (I think I’m on S4?)

– Harry Potter

– Lemony Snicket

– Meyers-Briggs/MBTI***

– The Book Thief

– Pinterest

– Pictures of the night sky

– Thoroughly Modern Millie

– A Very Potter Musical

– AGSmiless

– Psychology

– Wicked

– Lindsey Stirling

What are your current obsessions?

Kathleen

* Requiem is playing right now.

** Did you really think I’d throw away my shot to make a reference? *inwardly groans*

***I’m a more extraverted version of INFJ.

8 comments

Hello Again! (and updates)

Hello.

It’s been forever, hasn’t it?

Here are a couple updates from my life:

Credit to Warner Bros. Pictures

– I saw Fantastic Beasts three times in theaters and it was absolutely amazing. I’ve never been a big movie or TV person, but the third time I came out of the theater absolutely sobbing. Queenie and Tina were both great. Jacob was hilarious (and DAN FOGLER) and Newt was, as my friend would say, a precious cinnamon roll. I strongly support Newt and Tina adopting Credence and possibly Modesty. 😛 The casting was brilliant and they all are so funny in interviews. Pickett was adorable, and so was Dougal. And they were all just so precious and I adore them all and just ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!! *intense fangirling occurs* Also EVERY SCENE WITH THE OBSCURUS RUINED ME EMOTIONALLY AND I STILL THINK I HAVE YET TO SPEAK OF THIS MOVIE WITHOUT TEARING UP BECAUSE IT WAS SO PERFECT. And the soundtrack….. *hyperventilating* *jumping up and down* *screaming* *sobbing* *general fangirling*

I laughed for way too long at this. -_- Credits unknown

– I’ve previously talked a little bit about the fact that I took a musical theatre class in the summer of 2015. I had the chance to do the same class this past summer. I loved getting to see all of my friends, and I worked a lot on my singing. If anything cemented my love for musicals, it was definitely that. I also had to remind myself this fall that sporadically breaking into song is NOT acceptable in general society. Whoops!

– I moved. I’d been wanting to completely re-design my room for a while, and so Claire and I now have different furniture and everything. Also, I now have a desk – in my room! It sure came in handy for NaNo.

Credit to NaNoWriMo

– Speaking of…. I did all three NaNoWriMos in 2016. I wrote about 1k words for Camp in April, and even less than that for Camp in July (whoops). BUT…I reached my WCG (word count goal) in November! I wrote over 5k one of the days*, for a grand total of 25k. I watched every single Write-In, and now adore Lena and Maddie.**  I wrote more of the same book that I’ve been writing for almost two years, so I now have about 30 chapters and am still writing. I’m dreading editing, haha.

– I currently don’t have access to most of my dolls. Since we’ve moved, though, I’ve gotten several more. One of the new dolls is Rebekah, who has been my favorite AG since 2009. I’ll hopefully upload a post with pictures of all of my new dolls soon. For now, though, their names are Lily Luna Potter (OG Ella Grace), Anaya Madison (OG Anaya), Kit Kitteridge (AG Kit), Rebekah Rubin (AG Rebecca), Zaila Amara (OG Maeva), Miyoko Ren Sato (OG Suyin), and Madeleine (OG April).

Credits unknown

– Fandoms are taking over my life. What a surprise, eh?

How are all of you?

Kathleen

* My previous record had been 3.1k words in a day.

** How can you not like people who randomly start singing Starkid songs?

2 comments

My Return to Blogging

Hey!

So…..It’s been almost a year for my little unplanned break, which is much longer than I was expecting.

Between dance, theatre, vacation, writing, cooking, and keeping up with my newest ideas, I’ve kind of neglected this blog a bit.

I do have 40+ posts in moderation though, so expect some serious draft-editing and posting. 😉

Anyways, I’M BACK!

A little bit of catch up:

Musical Theatre

Me and Wicked/Seussical

Last summer I was in a summer-long musical theatre class. It was AMAZING! The same group is doing it again this summer and I’m hoping to do it again! It’s all funded by me, but I finally saved up enough thanks to some extra help from my grandparents. Love you!

I even got a line, and the role of featured dancer, which I was really excited about since I hadn’t done any jazz/musical theatre/acting before that.

2000px-Drama-icon.svg

Creative Commons

I started taking theatre as well this year and I’ve been to one competition so far. It was really fun to see all my hard work (I may or may not have done a Lauren Child piece. BEST SCRIPT EVER!) pay off. My improv group placed pretty well, despite having some really hard/weird prompts and one that was pretty much right up our alley.

Credit unknown

Credit unknown

I started extra dance this year: I’m now doing multiple ballet classes as well as lyrical, contemporary, and jazz. My ballet/lyrical/contemporary is awesome and my teacher is an incredible dancer, but our classes our pretty focused and way more specific than they were before this year. There’s a much bigger emphasis on character which, being a writer, I love.

Our recital dances are amazing though!

Food Burger

Cooking by Claire and I, Plating by Claire, Photography by me

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking recently as well, and I’d like to start blogging about some of my recent forays into the world of food. While I’ve always loved to cook, it’s recently been even more interesting to me.

The amount of Food Network and Great British Bake-Off our family watches is slightly insane. I’ve been going around pronouncing “basil” as “bah-sil”, thanks to all the British pronunciations in GBBO.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

A good portion of my time has been spent on my bookworm-ish tendencies. I’ve read several new favorites (Keeper of the Lost Cities and When My Name Was Keoko are my newest) and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

My love for Harry Potter has only grown in the past year, and for the first time I met someone who could answer all my crazy trivia questions. (YES! SOMEONE WHO KNOWS THE RACE OF JOSEPH!)* I can’t wait for FBAWTFT, nor the Cursed Child release. The amount of fan theories I’ve come up with are slightly insane (though a large portion of the fan theories I’ve come up with are also for Star Wars, so….**).

So that’s a bit about my crazy year! Hope you enjoyed!

Kathleen

* If you got that reference you’re my new best friend.

** As I’m writing this my siblings are watching Force Awakens again. All I can hear is “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” and a whole lot of  “FINN!” “FINN!”. Rathtar hunting isn’t cheap.

17 comments

My Two-Year Blog-i-versary!

As of two years ago today, I started my blog.

In the past year I haven’t blogged half as much as I’d have liked. I was able to post a few things (and not all doll-focused, yay!) but I’m hoping to get into the routine of posting once a week or more.

In the past year, I’ve gotten views from countries like the U.K., Brazil, Russia, United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, Ireland, Israel, Thailand, Pakistan, Kenya, Croatia, Lithuania, Nigeria, Algeria, Norway, South Korea, Bulgaria (YAY KRUM), Tunisia, Nepal, and Jamaica, to name a few. (Not quite a few, but I think it’s something like 89 countries at my last count.)

I’ve gotten about 12,000 views, multiple new followers, and a whole lot of comments.

I’ve changed my blog design (thanks, Dad!).

It’s been a wonderful year, even when I haven’t been blogging.

I just wanted to say thank you to my 14 followers and many blogging friends, and any one who has ever supported my blog.

Kathleen

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

2 comments

Bucket List

1. Spend a day reading in Trinity College’s Library

2. Visit/Live in Ireland

3. Go to a Lindsey Stirling concert

4. Be cast in a Harry Potter movie, either as an extra or an actual character

5. Be cast in an Artemis Fowl movie, either as an extra or possibly as Minerva (cause she’s the only girl I’m the age to play)

6. Stay/live in Seattle

7. Meet a person I “know” through the internet

8. Own a horse

9. Meet Emma Watson

10. Buy my friend a signed copy of Artemis Fowl

11. Visit Disney World

12. Meet Malala Yousafzai

13. Be accepted into my dance school’s competitive troupe

14. Buy a Cooper Mini and drive around in it (or rent one for the day)

15. Visit the WWofHP in Florida

16. Go to a midnight showing of Harry Potter

17. Publish one of my books

18. Travel through Europe for a few months in an RV with friends

19. Meet Michaela DePrince

20. Take an Irish dance class in every state

21. Meet Shannon Hale

22. Meet Gail Carson Levine

23. Meet Lois Lowry

24. Own a Canon Rebel T5i camera (once my camera skills go way up)

25. Meet JK Rowling

26. Win another Irish dance competition

27. Go and see Riverdance on its’ next tour of the US

28. Buy Kanani

29. Be able to give a friend a really nice gift

30. Travel Europe

31. Live in Ireland for a year

32. Go to college with my friend who I know IRL (and also happens to live on the other side of the world)

33. Go to Australia and meet Jessica 

34. Roamschool for a year

35. Visit Ålesund, Norway

36. Visit 5 different WW2 museums/memorials in Europe

37. Do a quad turn while foot is being held behind head

——————-

I’m an overachiever, ok?

How are ya doing?

I’ve been kinda MIA lately, huh?

At least blogging and stop motioning. I’ve been doing plenty of commenting, NaNo-ing, and pinning.

And I mean a lot of pinning.

Anywho, I’m going to be even more MIA for the next two months or so.

I’m now journeying into the dark realm of Camp NaNo July *screams* and that’s going to be super fun, albeit very stressful.

And then in part of August I’m doing a theatre workshop, and that’s basically all I’ll be doing.

And my grandma is coming to visit in September.

So, blogging and whatnot will be on and off for the next few months. I’ll definitely upload some videos, though.

 

Love,

Kathleen

12 comments