This Is Not A Post About Books (…whoops?)

This Is Actually A Post About Anime (Whee!)

Happy New Year, all!!! Did you miss me?

I know, I know, I haven’t posted anything on this blog in forever. My last review was posted on July 5, but I know things have been slow on the blog for much longer than that. *sigh* I’m sorry I’m not providing regular reviews anymore. But I realized, sometime during the past few months, that I’m just sort of… done… trying to regularly review books. At least for the time being.

The truth is, I’ve been feeling kind of burnt out, not only on reviewing, but on reading in general (apparently that’s a thing???). It’s a feeling that’s been creeping up on me since around June, I think, but it really came on strong the past few months. I binged New Adult books for a while, which became my happy place (seriously, I read ~40 New Adult books in a row during July/August). They were quick to read, and light and fun for the most part, which made them perfect for my burnt-out self.

After that, though, not even New Adult could keep me glued to a page. September/October were very light reading months — and I actually haven’t finished reading a book (just for fun, that is) since October 28. That book was the novella Superior (which was super fun and you should totally read it). But then… well. Something pretty great happened.

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know how in love I am with the anime Yuri!!! On Ice. I discovered YOI in late October/early November, and it was one of the greatest things to happen to my 2016. YOI is the first anime I’ve ever really gotten into, and since then, I’ve been devouring pretty much all the anime I can get my hands on. It’s been wonderful. The anime train hit me just as I started to consciously realize how burnt out I was on reading, and honestly? I am super grateful that it did, because it’s brought me so much joy lately.

I’ve been having an absolute blast researching different animes to watch, getting recs from people, chatting with other fans, and generally discovering this new (well, new-to-me) form of storytelling that I didn’t know I needed in my life. I recently realized that I haven’t been this excited about something since I discovered that YA books were A Thing. It’s a really, really wonderful feeling. 

SO! All that to say — I obviously need to write a post about my new obsession. A post on my blog. My book blog. …Shut up, I do what I want. ;) I’m going to do short little writeups for the anime series I’ve completed so far, and then probably just list all the others that I’m currently watching (or have at least tried/started watching). Where possible, I will link to the anime’s page on Crunchyroll, where you can watch a whole ton of anime series for free (yes, free! and legally! Crunchyroll is the best). The ones that aren’t on Crunchyroll are available on Hulu, and I’ll provide links to those too.

So, without further ado…

Here’s what I’ve watched over the past two months!

 

Yuri!!! on Ice  |  Sword Art Online  |  Haikyu!!

Yuri!!! on Ice1 season (so far) / 12 eps — The anime that started it all! :D This show is ACTUALLY FLAWLESS, you guys. There is just… too much to love. If you’ve heard anything about YOI, you’ve probably heard about the ship, which IS spectacular. But one of the other main reasons I love this show is for its genuine and thoughtful portrayal of a character with anxiety, who grows so much and yet remains himself through it all. That portrayal means a lot to me, personally. ♥ Anyway, YOI focuses on Yuri Katsuki, who’s the top figure skater in Japan. Except he did really badly in a string of competitions and has decided to take a bit of a break — but then his skating idol, Victor Nikiforov, shows up in his town to be his coach. Yuri and Victor are the main characters, and they are so fantastic, but honestly every other character is also wonderful (except the ones who are fun to hate — shout-out to Chris and JJ!). This anime is just great on so many levels, and if you enjoy wonderful things, you should watch it.

Sword Art Online2 seasons / 49 eps — This one is pretty good. It’s about a virtual reality game set in a fantasy world, and the players all get trapped there. This wouldn’t be a big deal, but… if you die in the game, you die in real life. O_O SAO was the first anime I ever watched all the way through, thanks to bingeing it in its entirety before YOI S1 was done airing. The first half of the first season (which is the first story arc) was REALLY REALLY GOOD; the second half, I did not like; and the second season was sort of hit or miss — some eps were really good, some were meh. I’m still a superfan of the first arc, so I’d recommend that for sure; but if you watch it, go into it knowing that the rest… will not be as good.

Haikyu!!3 seasons (so far) / 60 epsHaikyu!! is currently tied with Yuri!!! on Ice for the title of my favorite anime. THIS SHOW IS EVERYTHING. If you watch anything from this post other than YOI, watch Haikyu. I’m obsessed. I’ve watched the first two seasons twice already, and I’m gearing up for another rewatch soon (I actually also just bought the manga that this anime is based on. I am in too deep, send help.) I love love love these volleyball nerds with the fire of a thousand suns, they are SO PRECIOUS TO ME I can’t even handle it. The friendships in this show are just amazing to watch grow and develop. Like YOI, Haikyu has an incredible, large cast of characters — if anything, Haikyu!! handles its large cast even better than YOI, but that might just be the product of its having more episodes out than YOI does, so far. There is something to love and adore about literally every single character (except Oikawa, he is pure evil — lol kidding, just seeing if Sydney is paying attention :P). Please, please, please watch this anime.

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Thank you. (Yes, you.)

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being part of the bookish community online. It’s got its ups and downs, like any community, but what’s really struck me lately is that, without it, I wouldn’t be where I am now, in a lot of different areas of my life. I’m coming up on my 3rd blogiversary in just over three months (99 days!), and while that’s not tons of time in the grand scheme of things, it’s been enough time to make a huge impact on my life.

I’ve met so many amazing people and made so many friends since jumping into this community in 2013, and I am so thankful for each and every one of you. I’ve been so lucky to have been granted opportunities to do things that I never would have imagined, things that I would never have even entertained the possibility of, before coming into this community.

Most of all, it’s helped me build so much confidence. I still struggle with my insecurities and that voice of doubt in my mind, and I know I’m just a drop in a bucket. But this community has done so much for me. It’s helped me find direction in my work-life; it’s given me a place where my interests are given purpose and focus, where they can be channeled into a hobby, not just a pastime; and it really does mean the world to me.

Anyway, I know that’s super sappy and super vague and super brief, but I mean every word of it. I have so much love and appreciation for this community and for the people in it, and I just want to say ‘thank you,’ to each and every one of you — to the readers, to my fellow bloggers, to the authors and publishers, to the commenters, to the quiet lurkers, to the friends I’ve made over the course of the past almost-three years. You all are so amazing, and I know my gratitude is not life-changing, but you have it. Thanks, guys. ❤️

I hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it. If you don’t… have a wonderful Thursday. 😉

happy

BookExpo America 2015 – Saturday, Sunday, BookCon, & more!

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Sat/Sun/BookCon

Post-BEA – Saturday

On Friday night, after a super fun dinner and hangout session, the roomies and I were more than ready to sleep in. Unfortunately, our bodies disagreed, and I woke up at 6am. -_- Stayed in bed until 7ish, but was awake at 6. Not. Okay. We had a leisurely morning, ran a couple errands, mailed some boxes, went to the Melt Shop for delicious grilled cheese, and then after all of that, we headed to Central Park for the rest of the day! We were there for something like 6 hours. And it was so much (relaxing) fun.

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BookExpo America 2015 – Day 3 Recap!

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Sat/Sun/BookCon

Ohhh, Day 3 of BEA. AKA, the day your feet stop caring that they’re surrounded by pretty books. Additionally, this year, Day 3 was also the day when the publishers got together and said, “Let’s schedule ALL THE THINGS to happen at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME!!!!” I remember when the schedules started coming out, and people realized how much overlap there was on Friday… Oh man, good times.

23437156Luckily, what was gonna be my #1 priority on Friday morning — Six of Crows — the roomies and I were lucky enough to snag from the Fierce Reads party on Thursday night, so that was a load off. We still got there early to have a good spot when the doors opened (around 7am, again), but I was so glad we weren’t going to be part of the mad rush for the Six of Crows signing!

And not only that, but we found out early that morning that Random Penguin Penguin Random House would be dropping Soundless at 9am as the doors opened (in addition to the signing at 2pm). O_O Man, was I glad I didn’t have to choose between that and Six of Crows!

Day 3 was also the day we actually took a good number of pics while in line, to prove that we actually did hang out.

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BookExpo America 2015 – Day 2 Recap!

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Sat/Sun/BookCon

So, I went into Day 2 of BEA feeling pretty good. Except for the lack of sleep. I got up at 4:30am, and Christina got up right after me, at 5 (Octavia doesn’t get a mention because she takes like 5 minutes to get ready, which, not fair). But it was actually an okay trade-off, getting up that early, because it meant that we had an unhurried morning — and we were able to arrive at the Javits around 6:45am, even after stopping for smoothies and muffins at a bakery on the way. (Okay, and thanks in no small part to Christina flagging down a cab for us like a freaking pro. Which she is.) Go us! And despite the lack of sleep, I felt good. Wednesday had gone swimmingly and I only had two high-priority items on my list for the day. And neither of them was the 9:30am Passenger signing at the Disney booth! \O/ After the rush for Truthwitch the day before, I was not up for another mad dash! (I’m excited for Passenger, but the galleys there were very early and rough, and I’d rather read a finished copy, or one closer to “done.”)

Day 2 – On the Show Floor

24397041At 9am, the doors opened, and while everyone else rushed off to Alexandra Bracken’s line at the Disney booth, my morning started off with a much more leisurely walk to the same — not for Passenger, but for Mercedes Lackey’s Hunter, which dropped that morning. From there, I think I meandered with a couple people for a while before heading over to Random Penguin — I mean, the Penguin Random House booth — with Cassi, for Ernest Cline’s signing of Armada at 10. ;D That line was crazy long, but PRH was literally the best at handling lines, and it was so well-organized and moved along at a really good speed, so we were done there fairly quickly once the line was going! After that, the next thing on my list was my first “table signing” of the year (not in the booths, but at a separate area specifically for signings) — for Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa, at 11.

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BookExpo America 2015 – Pre-BEA and Day 1 Recap!

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Sat/Sun/BookCon

Soooo… I guess the only way to begin this BEA recap is just to… begin? =o Honestly, I don’t even know where to start. This year was completely amazing.

For those who might not know, BEA (BookExpo America) is a trade show for publishing professionals that takes place in New York City (well, for the most part – next year it’s in Chicago). Publishers set up booths where they promote their (sometimes recently-released but mostly upcoming) publications; tons of authors come and do signings; there are events happening in the days surrounding (and evenings following) BEA itself… Basically it’s like Comic-Con but exclusively for books. It’s huge, and daunting, and basically the most fun a book nerd can have (that doesn’t involve just sitting and reading a book). ;)

I roomed with Octavia and Christina this year, and let me just tell you – best. life. decision. Octavia and I roomed together last year, and adding Christina to the mix was just stellar. <333

Pre-BEA

On Tuesday evening, after we all arrived in NYC (I’d gotten up at 3AM PST to catch my 6AM flight to NYC… oh Lord), we checked into our hotel and then headed out to Jenny Han’s PS. I Still Love You launch party, which was super fun. There was a photo-op set, champagne, and a dessert bar (which literally disappeared within just a few minutes of it being set out); Jenny Han spoke, answered some audience questions, and did a short reading; and we were able to meet up with a bunch of blogger friends that night. It was an amazing kick-off to the upcoming week! ^_^

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