Saturday, 13 September 2014

Life Update: Back from the dead? Exams, Stress and Events!

You might not have noticed, but I have been absent for quite a while. In total, I've probably been away from blogging for over a month and a half. You'd probably assumed I'd died. Which I think I did, multiple times. (Those exams were killer), but have no fear.. I've risen from the dead!

Last month I posted a little bit of a rambling to say that I'd be on a hiatus for a while. Since then, a few things have happened. Some good, some bad. You know how life goes.

Here's what I've been up to!

On the 28th of August, If I Stay was FINALLY released here in Australia! Obviously, being the mega-fan that I am, I went to see it after school on the release date. Let me tell you, it was PERFECT. I can't say much more than that because just thinking about it is making me emotional and at present I am incoherent. I will say this: LKJASDHGSGJS:FLGKJDF.

September 1st marked the day of my death. The first day of my preliminary exams. (DUN, DUN, DUN!) I had two exams that day and had been studying and revising for a few weeks prior but I was incredibly stressed. I've always been an easily stressed person, but at this point I was coming to realise that stressing really wouldn't get me anywhere and that I should just try my best and forget the rest. So that's what I did. I still don't know whether it worked or not.

The shelves at Hachette!
(Photo courtesy of Laura from @lauraplusbooks on instagram!)
That evening was also the Hachette YA Bloggers Night held at their office in the city which was absolutely beautiful! The entire office was book themed!
Safe to say I was undeniably nervous. I was terrified that I'd be awkward and wouldn't have anybody to talk to, but everybody was wonderfully kind and friendly. It was lovely to meet a few people whose blogs I've been following for quite some time, and seeing some twitter avatars in the flesh!

It was good fun and the Hachette team were incredibly inviting! There was a photo booth complete with props, a snack and lolly table, finger foods and even a little scavenger hunt with of course, a book as a prize!

The event was centered around the launch of Hachette's new YA site called 'Date A Book'. Everybody came together and sat down as the girls from Hachette played a presentation consisting of information surrounding the new site, and it's emphasis on social media. They even encouraged us to snap some photos and share some statuses on the usual platforms (facebook, instagram and twitter) using the hashtag '#DABDateNight' for the chance to win 1 in 5 prize packs.

Being the socially awkward girl that I am I felt really uncomfortable snapping a photo whilst they were talking but I managed to take a sneaky one and tweet it. Shockingly, I was one of the winners and got to take home a bag full of fun stuff.

The team also played a presentation of a few of the YA/NA books that they've released recently or are going to be publishing over the next year. Some of the books included:

  • The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  • Boy 21 by Matthew Quick
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  • Upside Down by Lia Riley
  • The Here and Now by Anne Brashares
  • A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
  • Day 21 by Kass Morgan
  • The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
  • The 100 Society by Carla Spradberry

There was also a special guest for the evening, Laini Taylor, author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy! Laini had a little bit of a Q&A session and it was very nice to hear of her insights into the writing and publishing world as well as some of her inspiration for her own books. And can we talk about that hair? I wish I could pull of pink hair. 
I was also luck enough to meet Laini and to get my copy of DoSaB signed! She was so kind and humble and a true inspiration. And THAT HAIR!!

Before leaving I was also handed a goodie bag. More free things! The giveaway prize and the goodie bag left me with copious amounts of treats. Here's a little into some of the books I received:
  • An ARC of The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (Set for Jan '15)
  • An ARC of The Walled City by Ryan Gaudin (Set for Nov '14)
  • The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen
  • Found by Harlan Coben
  • Some lovely edible treats from Lindt, JellyBelly and Spotted Cow Cookies
  • Some wonderful beauty items from Covergirl, Natio, Lanolips, Ulta3 and Biore
It was so nice to meet everyone and it was truly an amazing experience! A massive thank you to the Hachette team for throwing the event and to Ashleigh for inviting me!The rest of my 'hiatus' was consumed by studying and exams. I was practically living at my desk that was piled up with mountains of practice papers, notes and textbooks. Exhibit A:

A full 7 days of exams to be precise. Although exams were pretty much a living hell, I'm able to say that I survived. At the end of the day I know that though grades are important, they are no measure of my intelligence. I tried my best and that's all that matters. Though it was nice to have a break from blogging and reading I've missed it all so much! I'm glad to be back and I have some exciting new ideas for posts that you'll hopefully see up soon. I'm putting alot more effort into blogging now and I hope that I'll finally be able to get things running smoothly.
You'll be hearing from me soon!

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