30.

Numbers aren’t scary by nature. But sometimes, in a certain context, they can be. Today, the number 30 scares me just a little. Because today, that’s how many years I’ve been on Earth.

I mean, I suppose in a way it’s kind of thrilling. 30! Three decades of learning and growing and living. It’s easy to focus on what I haven’t done in 30 years, or just how old I will be in 30 more years, instead of focusing on what I have done in 30 years.

Graduated college.

Married my best friend.

Found a writing community.

Started the process of querying in hopes of becoming a published author (a long-time dream).

Bought houses and cars. Went on vacations. Other “grown-uppy” things that I couldn’t really do 10 years ago.

I may not be exactly where I had hoped to be in all aspects of my life, but it’s not a failure to not be on a certain timeline. The important thing is I am moving forward.

And as I move forward, I have two goals for myself that I feel encompass the things I have been learning lately about what kind of person I want to be.

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I believe I have been improving in these areas over the past year or two, and I want to continue to do so. When I start to think of myself first, I want to stop and consider others. And when I consider not pursuing something I want simply because of fear, I want to move forward anyway.

I don’t want to think of life going downhill from here. I want to think of life as getting better, richer, fuller, and more meaningful. I want to continue to grow and learn and try.

So here’s to 30.

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The Top 4 Books On My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List. I’ve been winging it a lot lately, so I’m only commiting to the following four reads for  now…

The Forgetting by Sharon Camerongr-theforgetting

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

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Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

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

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What are looking forward to reading this fall?

My Top 5 Favorite Realistic Contemporary YA Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of X Genre. I decided on realistic contemporary because I thought it would be easier than picking through my favorite sci-fi or fantasy stories, especially since genre lines are more easily blurred and be constantly questioning which genre it really was, so I wanted to make it clear-cut. However, this meant less options that I love, and I want to change that, so please comment with your fave contemporary YA books!

5. Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

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My review of Don’t Touch

4. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

gr-thelasttimeMy mini review of The Last Time We Say Goodbye

3. On The Fence by Kasie Westgr-onthefenceMy mini review of On The Fence

2. The Fixer Novels by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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My mini review of The Fixer//My mini review of The Long Game

1. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

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AKA the most perfect YA contemporary that there is.

My mini review of The Start of Me and You//Bookish Wedding Inspiration for The Start of Me and You

Tell me your favorite YA realistic contemporary! Have you read any of my faves? 

Good Books I’ve Read Lately

It has been far too long since I’ve talked about books (other than a little on Instagram), and so I wanted to share about some books I’ve enjoyed lately, especially as I am crawling my way out of a reading slump I got myself into this summer.

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West: If this was written by an author I didn’t know there’s no way I’d pick it up, but Kasie West has become an auto-read for me, and so I picked this up and enjoyed it! Despite the fluffy premise, there’s more to the story. First there’s Gia’s growth as an individual when her friends are going in opposite direction, which I think is a totally relevant topic for high school seniors. And there’s her strange but special friendship with “fill-in Bradley” that grows into something meaningful. I’d definitely recommend this one to all other Kasie West fans!

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron: After struggling through a two-star read, I picked this one up because WWII stories have yet to fail me. And it was quite compelling. It has a dual narrative much in the fashion of Kate Morton, alternating between a past timeline and a present timeline. While Adele’s story of what she went through at Auschwitz was the stronger of two, Sera’s story was a nice reprieve that helped me get through the book. I would have liked to have seen a more natural development of Sera and William’s romance, but I did enjoy them and how their story intertwined with Adele. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone open to historical fiction told from a Christian worldview.

Ruined by Amy Tintera: Cait at Paper Fury raved over this book and I instantly put a hold on it with my library. It is true YA fantasy and I really enjoyed it. The snark and hate-to-love romance definitely made it a fun read! I will say that there is nothing really surprising or revolutionary in this story, so don’t go with the expectation of this being Mistborn or something. If you’re a fan of The Winner’s Curse or The Shadow Queen or anything else along those lines, I believe you’ll enjoy this one as well!

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What are some good books you’ve read lately?