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Cassandra Clare Is Attending NTTBF and I Am Not Happy About It

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I know from the controversial title of this post, people will judge me, maybe even want to attack me. But before you do, hear me out.

Although I’m a huge fan of Young Adult novels, I’ve never read any of Cassandra Clare’s books. I’ve never been intrigued by them, though I’ve seen a few episodes of Shadowhunters, and it was pretty decent. But that is neither here nor there.

I happen to know a lot about Cassandra Clare’s past because Nicole and I did extensive research about it for our podcast episode: Spilling the Tea About Cassandra Clare, if you want to hear a more thorough explanation.

In our research, we learned that Cassandra Clare has allegedly plagiarized in both fanfiction and her original novels, has cyberbullied people to extreme lengths, has refused to take criticism, has had an obsession with incest, and has overall done her fair share of shady stuff. Again, we talk in detail about all of this in our podcast, so I won’t take the time to explain it here.

I am writing this today because I am very upset by Cassandra Clare’s attendance this year at the North Texas Teen Book Festival. I’ve been attending since the first year it started in 2015. I’ve gotten the chance to see amazing panels, and have met many of my favorite authors throughout the years. I’ve loved each and every experience, and I plan to attend this year and continue attending in the future.

However, upon searching for information about this year’s festival, which will be held on April 21, 2018, I saw a tweet from their official twitter account.

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I immediately showed this to Nicole because I couldn’t believe my eyes. Let me preface this by saying that I realize this is a free event, and most of their gains come from book sales. I know that book sales are extremely important for these authors, because many of them aren’t very well known, and this event is great exposure.

But come on, we’re talking about Cassandra Clare, who has created a huge fandom and has a movie and a TV show inspired by her books. She is the biggest author at this festival. At first, her attendance didn’t faze me at all. I was happy for the fans that would get to meet their favorite author, like I’ve done for many years.

But this is absolutely ridiculous. No other author at this festival has ever demanded that their readers buy a specific book to have signed by them. Not one. Not even Holly Black, who is very close friends with Cassandra Clare, and who I think is just as popular.

My anger stems from the fact that the majority of readers are not rich. Most of us can’t afford one copy of a book, let alone two. Requiring for her readers to purchase one of those three very expensive books — even though chances are they already own them — in order to even get in the signing line, is ABSURD.

There is no logical explanation for why Cassandra Clare would have these demands, aside from greed. The majority of these fans are teens. They are attending a free book event in the hopes of meeting their favorite author. They’ve probably bought all of her books from all of her series, which are A LOT. And for her to demand that they buy these extra copies as a requirement for her to sign them is just awful.

I really doubt the reason behind this demand is that her book sales are dwindling, because I don’t see that happening. This is nothing but greed.

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Getting Through the Rough Times

I’ve heard people say, “This book/movie/show got me through a rough time.” I’ve never understood that saying. I am currently going through a lot of depression myself. A lot. I mean, I sleep all afternoon, I refuse to see my friends or leave my house. I don’t have any energy. I don’t even know how I’m writing this down because writing is the last thing I want to do. I’ve tried reading books, but I can’t get into them. Not even Restore Me, and The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, which were two of my most anticipated releases of this year. I can’t read anything. I just can’t.

Same for TV shows. I’ve stopped watching all of my shows. All I do is play The Office (which I’ve seen at least twenty times) in the background as I fall asleep. I don’t want to see any movies. I’m in that state where nothing, absolutely nothing, makes me happy. And thinking back on it, I don’t think I’ve ever had something I can look back to and say “This thing got me through a rough time.” Nothing at all. When I’m down like this, nothing helps. It’s something I have to deal with until it eventually diminishes, or I die.

I just find it interesting to see so many people getting through rough times when they find something they love. I don’t think I’ve loved anything in a long time. So long, in fact, I can’t remember the feeling. I can’t remember what it felt when I was obsessed with Supernatural and all I wanted to do was live within the fandom. I can’t remember the love I felt for Misha Collins, all those times I met him. I can’t remember how it felt to have a crush — on anyone. I feel completely numb.

Recently, I finished Queer Eye on Netflix. The show was beautiful, and it was something I was clinging to for dear life. I spread out the episodes over a week, so I would have something to come back to. I felt myself getting worse, so I needed that lifeline. But as soon as I finished the season, I was gone. There was no bringing me back to the world of the living. I was a zombie, basically. That’s where I am right now. I don’t count Queer Eye as one of the things that got me through a rough time, because it felt more like it threw me into the rough time. I made myself dependent on some show, and when it ended, I felt lost.

I keep wondering, where are these incredible, magical things that can get me through the rough times? Do they even exist? Or are they just another lie?

Personal

Hope Nation Launch Party

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Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration edited by Rose Brock and written by a load of different authors that will be published on February 27, 2018. Today at the South Irving Library they held a launch party with Rose Brock, Angie Thomas, Julie Murphy, and Ally Carter.

We haven’t been to many events involving books. A lot doesn’t happen here. So when we heard about this launch we knew we had to be there. I bought Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give and Isis bought a copy of Hope Nation. A lot of people showed up. I mean, a lot. They had to open up a back room in order to fit everyone. They had cupcakes, cookies, strawberries, and lemonade out for everybody who wanted some. 

Brock, Thomas, Murphy, and Carter were so nice. They started about what hope means to them and talked about their stories in the anthology. It got quite personal, and I think every one of them cried a little during it. Then they opened up to a couple questions which got a little political, and a lot liberal. Which is refreshing living in Texas let me tell ya.

We were lucky enough to get pretty close to the front of the line when the signing started. It went by pretty quick. Each of them were really nice like I said before, and we even got to get a picture with Angie and Julie. We actually had the same creative writing teacher as Julie at TCC, and we got to tell her that. She thought it was cool, and told us that was where she met her husband.

The day was really fun, and we’re excited for the upcoming book event at the North Texas Teen Book Festival in April.

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Things We’ve Been Loving

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Happy Valentine’s Day! To celebrate we are going to be talking about things we’ve been really loving lately. We would love to hear what everybody else has been into too!

Nicole:

Pirates- I’ve been interested in pirates for a while because I want to write a book about them. I’ve finally started my research on them, and I’ve been loving everything. I’ve talked about the Assassin’s Curse duology, but I’ve started playing the game Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Sail. It’s so much fun. I need more pirate games, specially a pirate game in the style of Mass Effect would be perfect to me.

The Saga Comics by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples- I read the first three comics four years ago, and never continued with them. Isis has been bugging me since then, but it was only recently with the release of the eighth one that I’ve picked them up again. I just finished rereading the second one, and it’s renewed how much I liked them before. I generally forget how much I like reading comics, especially in between novels.

Kaz Brekker- Isis and I are buddy reading the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo right now. I’m only about a hundred pages into it, but I’ve fallen in love with Kaz already. His dialogue is awesome, and he has the kind of grey morals I want to write into my own books.

Reading Vlogs- Booktube has this recent trend of either doing weekly reading vlogs or 24 hour read-a-thons where the booktuber simply vlogs reading for the day. I don’t know what it is about them, but I can’t get enough of them. They are so relaxing and different from the usual content that I wish more people would do them. 

Summer Storms– If you’ve been here awhile, you might remember we’ve talked a couple times about Summer Storms. It’s the book Isis and I are co-writing. Isis just finished editing her first round of edits, and I’ve started writing some back story for it before diving into my first round of edits. It’s been so long since I’ve worked on it I kind of forgot how much I love it. Our characters are my favorites I’ve ever made, and it’s been fun getting back into the world they live in.

Bullet Journaling- Every new year I start off with some type of plan to get organized that always falls through within the month. This year I’m happy to say that I found something that’s been working for me, and that is doing a bullet journal. I like that I can cater it to me specifically, and I don’t outline my day hour to hour. I like that I get to be creative with it, and make designs each month. And washi tape is the best.

Tea Talks- Isis convinced me to start a podcast with her, and I’m surprised by how much I’ve been liking it. Researching has always been fun for me, and talking into a microphone isn’t as awkward as I thought it would be.

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Isis:

Friends to lovers trope – this one never gets old. I keep falling for it every time. I read this one more recently in A Hundred Thousand Words by Nyrae Dawn. It was really sweet. That’s why I love this trope. There’s always a strong foundation in the relationship.

Enemies to lovers trope – Yes, I love this one as well. Similar to the friends to lovers, this one just has an extra step before becoming friends. I never knew how much I loved this trope until I read The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Now I’m such a sucker for it. I’m hoping to read Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren soon because it sounds similar.

Brighton Bello-Adler – I talked about Riding with Brighton before, but now I’m going to talk about Brighton. He was the most beautiful, cheeky character I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. My love for him knows no bounds, and yes I’m being purposely flowery. I loved that boy. He reminded me a lot of Dante Quintana, and that’s saying a lot. He was charming and kind and smart. The book was titled after him, but I still think he deserved way more recognition. Everyone should meet him.

Lucy Hutton – Again, I talked about The Hating Game and praised it a lot, but now let’s talk about Lucy. I was instantly drawn to her because she was so adorable. I’ve never read about someone who was so cute. I could totally understand why Josh fell for her because I found myself falling for her in the same way. This rarely happens with me and a narrator, but it happened here. I love Lucy so much. She deserves everything good in the world. 

Sebastian Brother – I adored Autoboyography because of Sebastian. He was a ray of sunshine. I could absolutely relate to him in many ways, but mostly I just wanted to wrap him up in a warm blanket and protect him from all evil. I thought his character was phenomenally written, too. He was so honest and wonderful. I want to love him forever.

Call Me by Your Name MOVIE DANCE SCENE – The dance scene in the movie adaptation of Call Me by Your Name was the best thing that’s ever been filmed in the history of the world. I’m exaggerating a little bit, but only a little bit. Seriously, if you have not seen it, do yourself a favor and search it up. It’s everywhere on the internet because it is incredible.

Warner and Adam’s growing relationship – The 30 page Restore Me sampler left me with a lot of emotions about these two. Sure, everyone is panicking over Warner and Juliette, but all I care about is Warner and Adam and how their brotherly bond will get stronger. I don’t even know if much will happen to change their relationship, but fingers crossed we see a lot of growth from both of them. And maybe add more James and Kenji into the mix. Gotta love my boys.

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We have a podcast!

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Hello, everyone! We just wanted to let you guys know that we have our very own podcast called Tea Talks. We discuss things from books, to myths and legends, to movies, and everything in between. It’s now available on the platforms below, so check it out. If you listen and like it, please leave us a review. It would help us out a lot.

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TEA TALKS

We already have three episodes in which we talk about Tahereh Mafi’s Restore Me, The Mothman, and the Black-Eyed Kids.

Thank you so much!

-Nicole & Isis

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Spotlight: Ruru Reads

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Hello, everyone! This is Isis. I just wanted to let you guys know about this really great online magazine called Ruru Reads. It’s dedicated to publish works of fiction, poetry, and and nonfiction by Indigenous people and people of color. They already have a lot of works on the website, including one of my fiction short stories, Summer Soundtrack. You should all check it out and give it some love. If you want to submit to them, here is the link to their submissions page.

It’s so cool to see a magazine dedicate to raising the voices of marginalized groups of people. I hope you support this growing website. Thank you!

-Isis

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Our Blog in the New Year

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As you might, or might not have, noticed, our blog has slowly not been posting as much, and when we do it’s been anything but book reviews. The simple answer to why that has been is, uh, we haven’t been reading. Isis is in a major reading slump, and I guess I have been too. I also got an internship for a publishing company, so that has been changing my reading habits since I am reading, but I can’t talk about those books. But that’s gonna change! Hopefully. So reviews will naturally be going up when that happens, but it’s the other posts I want to brush upon here briefly. 

Over the last year, besides reviews, we mainly put up TBRs and tags. TBRs are basically going to go away completely. I’ve found that as soon as I post them I don’t want to read those books anymore. Tags can be fun, but not all the time. They’ve been getting a little boring, especially since we don’t have more books and characters to talk about.

To replace these posts and not have long stretches on nothing, we are bringing back some old series that we used to do. The first is writing playlists. I pick a topic, and choose at least ten songs that go along with it. I also want to start making playlists with a specific book in mind. Writing prompts and character spotlights should also make a reappearance. I also hope to do more lists and recommendations. Our prediction posts that we’ve done in the past should happen more often as they are quite fun to do. 

So, yeah, you might not care, but I felt the need to post this to say, “Hey, don’t give up on us.” We are still here, and we plan to continue blogging. Life just gets in the way sometimes.