Light Up the Darkness • What Throne of Glass Means to Me

Oct 26, 2018

A few months ago, I started thinking about the release of Kingdom of Ash. After years of waiting, the end was drawing near. Though I never got around to reviewing the last few books, I knew I wanted to mark the occasion with something special on the blog. And what could be better than a collaboration with my friends, favorite bloggers, and the ladies who introduced me to this series? Thus, Light Up the Darkness was born!

We've spent the last few weeks re-reading in preparation for this release and planned three fun posts to celebrate this epic series. Catch up on the first two posts, Series Roulette and Twenty Questions, if you missed them. To wrap up our celebration, we decided to end on a personal note. Today, we're all answering the same question:

Why is this series meaningful to you?

I've loved all of our posts, but this is the one I was most looking forward to writing. I've long meant to sit down and try to put into words how I feel about these books and the characters inhabiting them. The timing was never right, and now I'm so glad that I waited for this moment. Re-reading over the last month has been the most epic and emotional way to say goodbye to a series that has had such an impact on me. 

Through the pages of books, I've journeyed to the past, to entirely made-up worlds, and to my own backyard. I've gotten to live a thousand lives from the comfort of my own home. I've read books I've loved and some I've hated. But the very best ones, the ones that stick with me, that I return to again and again, are the books that inspire me, challenge me, and move me. At the top of my list of books that have done that for me is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. And the craziest thing to me is that it's a miracle that I even read these books in the first place!

I have always loved to read... but I haven't always loved to read fantasy. I didn't pick up Harry Potter until my early 20s, and I still haven't read all the Chronicles of Narnia books. When I was younger, I wanted all the historical fiction (American Girls! Dear America! Little House!) – with some horse books thrown in (Saddle Club, anyone?) because #basic. I didn't want to read about mythical lands, daring quests, strange creatures, or magical powers. And honestly, I felt that way for a long time. Then came blogging. 

Reading had always been a solitary activity for me – I wasn't in book clubs, most of my friends didn't care about books, and I rarely talked about what I was reading. I might recommend a book to a friend, but that was about the extent of it. But I needed a creative outlet and loved the idea of starting a blog. Reading was the only thing I could imagine writing about consistently, so I dove into this crazy wonderful world. Suddenly, I was connecting with people over books. I was getting recommendations, discovering new favorites, reading things for review, and trying genres that were out of my comfort zone. 

One of those genres, as you can probably guess, was fantasy. I started with Harry Potter in 2011 because it was the obvious choice, and I loved them. After that, I started to dip my toe into fantasy by picking up books that I saw my friends and fellow bloggers reading and loving. Around this same time, I started hearing a ton of buzz for a book called Throne of Glass. This was at a point in my blogging career where I couldn't resist the hype, so I bought a Kindle copy of the book... and then it just sat there for at least a year.

But I kept seeing Kelly and Alexa rave about it. They were so vocal about their love for the book and persistent in pushing it on me. And finally, I gave in. Do you see what I mean when I call it a miracle that I ever read this series? The odds were stacked against it! I wasn't interested in fantasy, didn't find the summary appealing, wasn't a fan of the original cover, and just generally had an attitude of "that's not for me." But oh boy, was I wrong. I finished the first book and give it four stars. I enjoyed it but wasn't totally sold on it yet. Then, I read Crown of Midnight and my immediate reaction was: "OH MY GOODNESS, I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD LOVE THIS SERIES AS MUCH AS I NOW DO!" And from that moment on, I was hooked. 

Even though I was newer to the genre, I did read some fantasy books before Throne of Glass. I'd even read a few that I loved! Harry Potter, Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Scorpio Races were immediate favorites, for example. But honestly, I give this series credit for that fact that fantasy is now one of my favorite genres. It was Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight that made me say, "Where can I find more books like THIS?" They made me want to read all the fantasy I could get my hands on. And so, it's not an understatement to say that this series opened the door to numerous new worlds for me. 

Since I mentioned new worlds, I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge one of the reasons this series was a fantasy turning point for me. I'd always struggled with fantasy in the past due to the world building. The worlds felt so foreign, so unknown, that I would become disconnected from the story. I couldn't picture the places, so I couldn't immerse myself in the story. Now, some of this was my issue as a reader – I needed a bigger imagination! But some of it was due to books that got bogged down in complex magical systems, lengthy descriptions, and other things that slowed down the pace. As a new (and skeptical) fantasy reader, those things could be hard to get past.

But Throne of Glass started off with a bang, and it just got better from there. It's a series that somehow accomplished everything for me as a reader – it focused on the characters' personal journeys but included a compelling, action-packed plot with a world that felt rich, detailed and exciting. I was immediately thrown into the story, and the action kept building with each new installment. I was invested in the characters, and they remained at the heart of the series until the very end. And the world was a stage that mattered to the story.

While I was reading, I could imagine Aelin strolling through the glass castle, imprisoned in the Salt Mines, training in the Red Desert, defying pirates in Skull’s Bay, and coming home to Terrasen. I could smell Rowan’s pine and snow, the tang of blood when Manon moved in for a kill, and the sweat after a long day of training in Mistward. I could hear Lysandra’s ghost leopard snarl, Maeve's honeyed lies, and Aelin's brazen laugh. I could picture the Sword of Ornyth, the Ashryver eyes, and those horrible wyrdstone collars. I learned to fear the skinwalkers, the ilken, the Valg, and the Stygian spiders. I longed to train with a wyvern, fly on a ruk, and race on an Asterion horse. From the Tavan Mountains to the Western Wastes, I could see the world Maas had created. It all felt real! 

This series was the spark that lit the fire in my imagination that helped me travel to make-believe worlds. It was a key to unlocking that sense of mystery and adventure, that ability to lose myself in a land that doesn't exist. I'd read plenty of books about places that I'd never been, but I could almost always Google photos to help me get a sense of it. If I was reading historical fiction, I could look at maps and illustrations and recreations. With fantasy, the only resource I had was my own mind. And sometimes that failed me!

For me, this series was a crucial piece to that puzzle. It seems so basic now, but I look back at my reviews for the early books in this series and remember what a big deal it was that the world stood out to me from the beginning. This wasn't a series that I liked despite the world. This was a series that I adored because the world was a character that I came to know and love. And every adventure added more details to the picture.

Well, it seems only right to chat about the characters next. And this, honestly, is where I feel like my words are inadequate. What do you say about characters that feel like best friends? I've read these books so many times, and I know that's part of the reason these characters mean so much to me. But even from that very first read, I knew the characters were something special. People that I'd never forget.

I love the big-picture conflict, all the smaller moments that drive the plot forward, and the world Maas has created. I love the writing (so many quotes marked in these pages!), and the pacing (I just can't put these books down once I start). But y'all, all of that would be nothing if the books didn't contain characters that move me.

The first book introduced me to the heroine and a few other people that were important. But with each new book, the cast of characters only grew. In the hands of a less talented author, you'd probably end up with characters that didn't seem fully fleshed out or ones that you just tolerated until you could get back to the ones that mattered more. But that isn't the case in this series! With every new voice, I found a new person to root for. Each person – the villains to the love interests, the characters in every book to the ones on only a few pages – felt like they had their own story. I still marvel at this aspect with each re-read!

Some of my favorite scenes feature characters that appear nowhere else. I was joking with Kelly the other day that I can name at least twenty characters off the top of my head that I'd gladly read a spin-off book about. I just can't get enough of the people populating this world! And they don't all feel like they have the same personality either.

No character is just one personality trait or characteristic. Chaol is a loyal friend but is slow to forgive when he finds out new information about someone that he loved. Dorian is a confident prince with the world at his feet, but he's wracked by feelings of unworthiness. Aelin is a snarky, arrogant assassin who is terrified of facing her past. Rowan is a quiet, serious man who also makes some of the most romantic declarations ever. Manon is a ruthless and cunning killer, but she chooses a wyvern that everyone else dismisses and protects a young woman who is being abused. Elide can't read and yet she's one of the most resourceful, quick-thinking characters in the series. They're all complex and contain multitudes.

I think of the characters as friends – but they also remind me of people that I know. I like to imagine myself as Elide with the way she thinks on her feet and just keeps moving forward. I can see my best friend in Aelin's brashness and in her moments of vulnerability. And there are so many other examples I could give! So, this series means something to me because these characters do. I could analyze Arobynn's motivations or Lysandra's hidden depths all day long. I could spend an hour telling you all the reasons Rowan is my bae and write a dissertation on what Aelin has taught me about sacrifice, swagger, and sass. I just cannot get enough of this squad, and I feel so grateful to have had seven books worth of stories with them.

Speaking of seven books worth of stories, I was looking at Goodreads the other day and marveling over how many times I've read the books in this series. I've read every book in this series (minus the last) between 3-5 times each during the past six years. And they aren't short books either! The first six books alone total 3,813 pages.

In I'd Rather Be Reading, Anne Bogel writes, “A good book, when we return to it, will always have something new to say. It's not the same book, and we're not the same reader.” And that's been true for me with the Throne of Glass series. No matter how many times I crack open the first page, I always know there will be something new to discover. Whether it's a different perspective on a familiar scene or catching foreshadowing that I'd previously missed, I find something else to love with each re-read. And as soon as I finish, I want to start again.

I've joked with Kelly, Alexa and Rachel many times that every single re-read leaves me wondering – WHY DO I READ ANYTHING BESIDES THESE BOOKS? I am always swept up in the action, sighing over the romantic declarations, crying over the heartbreak, and cheering for the victories. And man, there's something to be said for a book that never gets old, never feels boring, and always reminds you of the power of reading.

Let's be real, my emotional reaction to what's happening is a whole different reason this series means so much to me. I'm not the most emotional reader in general, which I've talked about on the blog before. I get invested in books, but not typically in a throw-it-against-the-wall or sob-it-out kind of way. Well, you can probably guess what I'm going to say next – these books take me on an emotional journey like no other.

When we were working on our Twenty Questions post, I struggled to choose just one answer for the questions relating to emotion. The most swoonworthy moment? Where do I start! What scene makes me cry? I can name at least ten! And the sass and sarcasm in these pages provide me with numerous moments of laughter.

I've cried with these characters through devastating losses, vulnerable confessions, and moments of undiluted terror. I've cheered as they defeated ruthless opponents, reacted to brutal betrayals, and gotten up after numerous setbacks. I've nearly died of joy during declarations of love, the tension of a single glance, and the freedom characters have found in being seen and known. I've gasped at startling twists, secrets revealed, and the past coming to light. I've raged at evil villains, short-sighted decisions, and people who know just what to say to inflict the deepest wounds. These stories make me feeling everything. And that is something I wouldn't trade for the world.

I already talked about this in my post on Wednesday, but it bears repeating. The themes of this series resonate so deeply with me. For example, one of the things that shows up repeatedly in this series is the idea that no act of kindness is ever wasted. There are so many moments where Aelin extends grace and mercy to people who don’t deserve it: one extra second for Ansel, empowering Yrene to defend herself and find freedom, giving Kaltain her cloak, buying Lysandra’s freedom, reaching out her hand to Manon. So many of the moments that stick out to me are ones that are done with no hope for reward, no guarantee of future benefit to her. She does it because people matter, and she recognizes it. And, as we see in the books, those acts have ripple effects that change everything.

But that isn't the only theme. I love all the things Kelly, Rachel, and Alexa touched on in their answers: that we can always choose to do what is right, get back up when we fall down, continually change and grow because of and in spite of our circumstances, and that you've got to love yourself and let others in to your life. 

There are so many things in this series that inspire me! It sounds cheesy, but they make me want to be a better person. Whether it's characters confronting their prejudices or someone noticing something of beauty in the midst of pain and hopelessness, I feel challenged and moved every time I pick up these books. As Aelin says at one point: “You make me want to live, Rowan. Not survive; not exist. Live.” And this series challenges me to make every moment count and do something meaningful. To live to the fullest!

I've already touched on this a little, but I only picked up Throne of Glass because Alexa and Kelly raved about it. Seeing that Rachel did, too, was just one more confirmation that I needed this heroine in my life. And so, this series is particularly meaningful to me because it connected me to other readers who have become some of my best friends. We'd already bonded over books before this series, but it's been incredible to be able to react to each new release together. And to brainstorm and plan collaborations like this one!

With each new installment, we've been able to binge read the books on our own and then connect afterward to relive all of our favorite parts. I cannot tell you what a joy that experience has been! I would love these books even if I never had anyone to chat with them about, but getting to spend six years fangirling and flailing over them with friends has made my reading experience all the richer. I don't take that for granted! I feel so blessed to have friends who pushed me to read these books and who will forever be connected to these stories in my mind.

I know that these books won't mean this much to every reader. There will always be people who loathe the things you love! Or books where you're the one wondering what everyone sees that you don't. But, whether you share my love for Throne of Glass or feel the complete opposite way about them, my hope is that there's a book out there that makes you feel as deeply and means as much to you as this series does for me. I hope you have a story that you could return to again and again and always feel like coming you're coming home! I was so sad to close the last page of the series on Tuesday, but I also felt a profound sense of thankfulness for the power of an amazing book.

Check out what the series means to Kelly, Rachel, and Alexa!

Light Up the Darkness • Twenty Questions

Oct 24, 2018

A few months ago, I started thinking about the release of Kingdom of Ash. After years of waiting, the end was drawing near. Though I never got around to reviewing the last few books, I knew I wanted to mark the occasion with something special on the blog. And what could be better than a collaboration with my friends, favorite bloggers, and the ladies who introduced me to this series? Thus, Light Up the Darkness was born! 

We've spent the last few weeks re-reading in preparation for this release and planned three fun posts to celebrate this epic series. For today's post we came up with 20 Questions, and we've got it all covered – the serious feels and the silly fangirling! I had so much fun reliving my favorite moments and seeing everyone else's choices. Check out all four blogs to see the complete list of questions! • Just a note: there may be spoilers for books 1-6 in our answers.

1. What theme from the series is the most meaningful to you? 

Hannah: I love the idea that no act of kindness is ever wasted. When we first meet Aelin, she kills people for her job. So, she’s not someone that you’d automatically think to describe as kind. And yet, there are so many moments where she extends grace and mercy to people who don’t deserve it: one extra second for Ansel, empowering Yrene to defend herself and find freedom, giving Kaltain her cloak, buying Lysandra’s freedom, reaching out her hand to Manon. I could go on! And while she earns people’s loyalty through her actions, I don’t think her motivation is just to have people in her debt. She does it with no hope for reward, no guarantee of future benefit to her. She does it because people matter, and she recognizes that truth. And, as we see in the books, those acts have ripple effects that change the course of everything. 

Kelly: I have always loved the theme of a broken, imperfect person rising up after tragedy to do what is right. Anyone standing up and doing what is right is amazing but Aelin having made mistakes and been pushed down so many times still doing what is right is what inspires me. She has every reason to hate humanity, but she still thinks the world is worth saving and rebuilding. And she inspires me because she has flaws and is imperfect which we all are. That no matter how many people push us down, no matter how many times we fall, we can always... get back up.

Rachel: Almost every character in the book goes through a personal journey that involves facing change, self-acceptance, loving yourself and letting people in even when it’s hard. For all the fantastical aspects of the books, it’s these everyday themes and the emotional arcs of these unforgettable characters that mean the most to me as I read because anyone can relate. 

Alexa: Your circumstances shape who you are and who you become - that’s a theme that runs through the stories of a lot of the characters in the series. While they don’t completely define us either, we are constantly changing as we gain experiences. There’s a constant subtle reminder that change is inevitable (and that it’s not all terrible, even though it can be terribly uncomfortable and hard), and that we’re capable of constant growth in our lifetimes. 

2. What moment makes you swoon the most? 

Hannah: Rowan's admission: “I spent centuries wandering the world, from empires to kingdoms to wastelands, never settling, never stopping — not for one moment. I was always looking toward the horizon, always wondering what waited across the next ocean, over the next mountain. But I think … I think that whole time, all those centuries, I was just looking for you.” 

Kelly: When Chaol says, “Dance with me, Celaena.” (Alexa: *sobs forever*) 

Rachel: Rowan to Aelin, “I love you. There is no limit to what I can give to you, no time I need. Even when this world is a forgotten whisper of dust between the stars, I will love you.” 

Alexa: I loooooove a lot of the moments in Crown of Midnight, but there is a particular scene in Tower of Dawn (page 513-514, just to avoid spoilers) that really made me swoon. (I just love Chaol so much, okayyyyy.) 

3. Where would you want to live in the Throne of Glass world? 

Hannah: In a castle on a bunch of land in Terrasen with Rowan as my husband, at least three kids roaming around, and a stable full of Asterion horses so I can have some alone time when I need it. 

Kelly: Terrasen. Hands down. But I’d have to compromise and split my time in Antica because my love is the future Khagan so, like, logistics. 

Rachel: Terrasen because that’s where Rowan is.. and pretty much everyone else will be at there too but mainly, because of Rowan. 

Alexa: If Chaol Westfall were to somehow become Lord of Anielle and we could live by the Silver Lake, that’s where I’d live. But I would also have a house in Terrasen, because who wouldn’t want to be a part of the court that will change the world and I’d need somewhere to stay when we came to visit our friends and their families. 

4. If you could shapeshift, what animal would you become? 

Hannah: A hawk. Like Rowan. 

Kelly: Ruk. Duh. 

Rachel: Asterion horse! 

Alexa: Ghost leopard, obvs. 

5. Cast one character for the Throne of Glass TV adaptation. 

Hannah: I would struggle to cast the main characters because no one quite fits, but I have so many ideas for secondary characters. I can totally see Angelina Jolie as Maeve (à la her Maleficent look), Blake Lively as Lysandra (though she’d need better acting abilities to win the role), Rose Leslie as Ansel (because I can picture her taking back the Wastelands), Noah Centineo as Dorian (what a handsome little devil), and Clémence Poésy as Asterin (who doesn’t totally fit the book’s description but it’s how I imagine her and this is my casting, OKAY). 

Kelly: No. Hollywood is garbage and I won’t let some dumb actor or actress degrade my people. (Yes, I’m aware it’s being made into a series but I don’t have to like it…even though I’ll watch it.) 

Rachel: So to be fair, whenever I’m answering a fan cast question, I usually think of who Chris Hemsworth could play because.. Well, do I even need to explain why? But I seriously think he could play Gavriel. 

Alexa: I’m always wary of casting people because I have such a clear picture of what characters are like in my imagination, but I will say that I would not be mad about Sean O’Pry being cast as Chaol Westfall. 

Continue Reading the 20 Questions:

Light Up the Darkness • Series Roulette

Oct 22, 2018

A few months ago, I started thinking about the release of Kingdom of Ash. After years of waiting, the end was drawing near. Though I never got around to reviewing the last few books, I knew I wanted to mark the occasion with something special on the blog. And what could be better than a collaboration with my friends, favorite bloggers, and the ladies who introduced me to this series? Thus, Light Up the Darkness was born!

We've spent the last few weeks re-reading the series in preparation for this release and planned three fun posts to celebrate this epic series. Today's post, Series Roulette, was inspired by a collaboration we did a few years ago. It felt like the perfect way to kick off this week! • Just a note: there may be spoilers for books 1-6 in my answers.

ELIDE LOCHAN • Aelin will always be the heart of the series for me, but there was a character introduced in Queen of Shadows that quickly stole my heart: Elide Lochan. This quiet woman is often underestimated, and very few people recognize her strength. But she's one of the bravest and most cunning characters in this series. She has to face the devastating loss of her parents, imprisonment during her adolescence, and so much trauma. Yet, every day, she takes the next step forward. She never loses hope, never stops searching for a way out. Her mind is always working. She can read people, think on her feet, and bluff her way out of any situation. I adore the fact that she isn't the most powerful or gifted, but her mind makes her a force to be reckoned with.

ROWAN WHITETHORN • From the second Rowan chuckled from the shadows behind Aelin, I was a goner. Well, maybe it took a few more chapters... but not many. I love that he and Aelin butt heads and misjudge one another. He's the stubborn and irritable one who needs her fire to shake up his world. I love that he sees and loves all parts of Aelin – who she's been, who she is and what she can one day become. His strong and protective nature masks the pain he carries, and it's so gut-wrenching to see him finally open up. I love his sense of humor and of honor. When it was revealed that he was Aelin's carranam, I cheered. When Aelin freed him from his blood oath to Maeve, I cried. And when he confessed that he'd been waiting all his life for her, I swooned so hard I nearly passed out.

HEIR OF FIREI could argue there's no best book in this series (because they're all epic, DUH), but for the sake of this post, I'll go with my gut and say Heir of Fire is my favorite. I loved the first two books in the series, but this one was a gamechanger for me. And it wasn't just because it introduced me to me true love, Rowan! I love seeing Aelin's coming of age, meeting the witches for the first time, beginning to explore the different cities in this world, and getting hints of the fight that's to come. The stakes are raised, and every moment feels weighty. When I think of my favorite scenes from the series, many come from this book. When I feel the urge to re-read, this is the book I'd reach for first. The pace, plot, relationship development, and character growth – it's all practically perfect for me.

MAEVE •  What does it mean to choose a favorite villain? Is it the character you fear the most? Respect the most? Find the most compelling? There was one person who encompassed every interpretation of this question for me: Maeve. Just to reiterate my warning from the top of this post, look away if you haven't read Tower of Dawn. Y'all, I was SHOOK when it was revealed that Maeve is a Valg Queen who has been hiding in plain sight all along. My goodness, you've got to respect a woman who outsmarts all the men in her life and has spent DECADES preparing for their inevitable return. Is she also evil and terrifying? Absolutely. Do I hope she's defeated, for good, with no chance of survival or hope of returning to this world? OF COURSE. But I'd still read a spin-off book about her...

Don't forget to read Kelly's, Rachel's and Alexa's posts, too!

Beyond Green Gables: For Anne Fans at Every Age

Oct 18, 2018

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is one of the books that I credit with making me into the reader that I am today, and I've loved reading many of Montgomery's other works. She was a prolific writer! A few years ago, I co-hosted a Return to Green Gables event with Rachel from Hello, Chelly and Alexa from Alexa Loves Books. It is my favorite blogging collaboration, and my discussion post about what Anne and Gilbert taught me about romance is the post I'm most proud of in my seven years of blogging. 

To say that I'm an L.M. Montgomery lover would be an understatement! I devoured this almost 700-page biography of her a few years ago and can never resist Anne-related merchandise (like this mug from Carrot Top Paper Shop that I just bought). Recently, I felt like I was seeing Anne everywhere in the bookish world! After some digging on Goodreads, I was shocked to realize there have been at least 16 books released in the past year that are perfect for fans of Anne Shirley and her creator. So, I've rounded them up in one post! And if you notice that I'm missing any, please leave a link in the comments. I just keep adding more to my online shopping cart...


Anne's Numbers by Kelly Hill – A darling board board with hand-embroidered illustrations that counts items in Anne's world (one cherry tree, two butterflies, etc.). Such a cute introduction to Anne!

Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden (Adapter) and Brenna Thummler (Illustrator) – A beautifully illustrated graphic novel adaptation! Beloved scenes from Anne are elevated by this artwork.

The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables by Catherine Reid – A stunning coffee table book that pays tribute to Prince Edward Island. Any Anne reader knows that the setting plays such a profound role in the series!

Maud by Melanie Fishbane – A young adult historical fiction novel exploring Montgomery's adolescence. If you want to see her early inspiration for Anne and her lifelong dream of becoming a writer, this book fits the bill.


Anne's Colors by Kelly Hill – Another board book with embroidered illustrations that teaches colors using Anne-related items (green gables, pink cheeks, etc.). This one is a little more tied to the books than the numbers version.

Anne of Green Gables (BabyLit) by Jennifer Adams – This lovely addition to the popular BabyLit series pairs places (Pond) with a relevant quote from the book ("The Lake of Shining Waters was a glory of many shifting hues").

Goodnight, Anne by Kallie George – A picture book illustrated by the talented Geneviève Godbout in which Anne says goodnight to everything and everyone she loves. Adorable, particularly for readers already familiar with Anne.

House of Dreams: The Story of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg – A Montgomery biography written for young adults and accompanied by illustrations from Julie Morstad. Perfect for fans who want to learn more about LMM!


L.M. Montgomery (Little People, Big Dreams) by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara – A recent addition to this picture book series that highlights inspiring women with big dreams. Such a great big picture look at LMM's life and work!

The Blythes are Quoted by L.M. Montgomery – This collection of short stories was intended to be the ninth book in the Anne series. Previously published in a severely abridged form, this is Montgomery's last work in its entirety.

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy – An adult historical fiction novel that imagines the young life of Marilla Cuthbert. Experience Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century and life at Green Gables before Anne!


Anne of Green Gables (BabyLit Storybook) by Stephanie Clarkson – The Babylit Storybook version is geared towards preschoolers and retells the story of Anne Shirley. The art by Annabel Tempest brings it to life!

Anne Arrives by Kallie George – The first book in a new early-reader series about Anne Shirley! Illustrated by Abigail Halpin, this one focuses on the first few chapters of the novel when Anne arrives at Green Gables.

The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook by Kate Macdonald – From Anne's Liniment Cake to Diana Barry's Favorite Raspberry Cordial, these recipes are inspired by the food mentioned throughout the Anne of Green Gables series. 

The Story Girl and The Golden Road by L.M. Montgomery – New editions of Anne seem to be published  every few months, but I had to highlight this lesser-known Montgomery duology with gorgeous covers by Elly McKay.

What's your favorite book inspired by Anne Shirley or her creator?

September 2018: Recap + On My Shelves

Oct 16, 2018

This is getting embarrassing! I swear I'll return to a more regular blogging schedule soon. September was so busy (as you'll see) so I'm not shocked by blog fell by the wayside. But I've missed this outlet so much!

1. Beach Vacation – We went to the beach at the beginning of the month, and it was amazing! It wasn't crowded, the weather was perfect, and my son was in heaven. It was his first time truly experiencing the sand and ocean, and he couldn't get enough! I got in a lot of reading time, and we relaxed before we coming home to chaos...

2. Moving Out – We came home from vacation on a Friday, a day earlier than we'd originally planned, to wrap things up before movers arrived on Saturday and we sold our house that Monday. Needless to say, the timing of it all was insane! But, thankfully, it all went off without a hitch. It was definitely bittersweet, but that brings me to:

3. Buying a New House – About two hours after we sold our house, we closed on our new one. Woohoo! I meant to take a photo to commemorate the moment, but all I've got in this one in what will be (SOON!) my library. Our stuff was delivered to the house the day after closing, and then painters arrived the next day. Time to get to work!

4. Enjoying Our Neighborhood – We stayed with my parents while work was being done inside our house, but we finally moved in near the end of the month. And we've already been enjoying the neighborhood! My son loves the playground here, and I'm starting to feel more at home now that our things are here and (mostly) unpacked.

Read 15 Books | Favorites:
I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel
The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Still Life by Louise Penny

“You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are.”
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

 “With apologies to Kathleen Kelly, what I’ve come to learn is this:
if my real life reminds me of something I read in a book,
I’m reading well — and I’m probably living well, too.”
I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel

 “I wadn't aware that words could hold so much. I didn't know a sentence could be so full.”
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

 “If remembering tells us who we are, then forgetting keeps us sane.
If we recalled every song we’d ever heard, every touch we’d ever felt,
every pain no matter how small, every sadness no matter how petty,
every joy no matter how selfish, we could surely lose our minds.”
The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles

 “Life is choice. All day, everyday. Who we talk to, where we sit,
what we say, how we say it. And our lives become defined by our choices.
It's as simple and as complex as that. And as powerful.
So when I'm observing that's what I'm watching for. The choices people make.”
Still Life by Louise Penny

Y'all, the only thing I posted in September was my August 2018 Recap. I think it's safe to say that moving sucked up all my free time and affected my motivation. I've been more active on Instagram lately, so follow me @soobsessedblog if you're interested! I'll keep blogging – and hopefully more consistently now that we're settling in to our house – but that's another place you can see what I'm reading lately.

Favorite Song: "Happy Nowby Zedd feat. Elley Duhé
I listened to more audiobooks than music in September, but this was the song I had on repeat!
It's such a fun song to blast in the car with the windows door.

Candy Jar (2018) starring Jacob Latimore and Sami Gayle I just randomly turned on this Netflix movie one night, partly because I can never resist a teen movie. I liked the concept, but the movie itself was pretty lackluster. To quote my girl Kelly, "Could be better. Could be worse." It wasn't terrible, just forgettable. 

Bachelor in Paradise, Season 5 – When I visited Kelly in August, Bachelor in Paradise premiered. She lucked out because I'd sworn I wasn't going to watch it... and then two episodes later, I was hooked! I was way too invested in this ridiculous show, but we had the best chats about it. Laughing about it with her made it worth watching!

Beach Buys: The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, and Still Life by Louise Penny

Pre-Orders: Cravings: Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigen and I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel

Release Day Purchase: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

Bargain Finds: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, and The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

Gifted: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Kindle: All the Little Bones by Ellie Marney and A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
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