On Meredith’s Mind #8: Where Have I Been And What Have I Been Doing?


Hello! I know what you’re thinking: Who are you and where have you been?? And I don’t blame you. I’ve posted a few times throughout the last year, but not much, and I’ve barely been present on social media. So let me try to answer the question of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. I’ll try to keep this brief and not get too TMI or personal or whatever.

So the short version is this: I’ve been struggling a lot this last year with my mental health, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. I know I’m not alone in this, but I feel incredibly embarrassed to be admitting this, and I’m not totally sure why except for the usual stigma that revolves around any discussion of mental health.

To put it simply, I feel like I let the ball drop on everything in my life once the pandemic hit:

*I stopped reading. The last book I read was on March 14, 2020, until recently when I read two books in one week – but I’ll get to that later.

*I stopped blogging on a regular basis. I only have 17 blog posts total from between March 1, 2020 and now (February 19, 2021) – including this one. That’s a staggering decrease from when I used to post 3-8 times a month in previous years.

*I basically stopped checking my blog email. I answered a few emails here and there, but I’ve still got review requests dating back to November 2020 that I haven’t answered.

*I stopped posting on Twitter – or even checking Twitter – almost entirely. I’ve slowly been trying to post more, but I’m not on there anywhere near as much as I used to be, and I know I missed a lot.

I feel like I’ve let a lot of people down – authors, publicists, blogger friends, everyone. I definitely receive fewer coverage requests now, and my social media posts don’t get nearly the interaction they used to. And I know that’s all on me for being so bad about everything. I sincerely apologize for letting everyone down, and I thank anyone who has stuck by me the last year.

So, what have I been doing the past year? Well, just trying to survive day-to-day has been difficult. My mental health has really tanked over the last year, and I struggle to find enjoyment in anything. I’ve been working consistently since the pandemic quarantine shut-down started in March; I’m a bookseller at B&N, so our store was closed for several months, but I continued working with a small team doing curbside orders, and helping with all the store changes that you may have noticed if you’ve been to your local B&N lately. Continuing to work during a pandemic was definitely stressful, but my coworkers are wonderful, and it kept me busy and kept my mind focused, if only a little bit.

I also developed some new interests during the last year. I’ve been obsessed with Mean Girls the Musical since 2018, and about a month before quarantine started, I had the incredible privilege of getting to see it live on Broadway. Since then, I’ve 100% become a theater nerd and I’m more obsessed with Broadway than I’m comfortable admitting. My latest obsession (truthfully, with the way my mental health has been lately, it’s probably a hyperfixation) has been Dear Evan Hansen, which has become one of my favorite shows. I consume any and all content (videos on youtube, pictures, cast performances, behind the scenes videos, fanfiction, fanart, etc) that I can get my hands on, and I do hope to be able to see the show live once Broadway re-opens. Dear Evan Hansen has definitely been the thing keeping me sane over the last year, and I’m incredibly grateful for all the friends I’ve made through the DEH community.

Another new thing? I’ve been absolutely obsessed with rom-coms lately! If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you know I’m a hardcore fantasy/paranormal/thriller/dystopian fan, and reading a contemporary or romance book was a rarity for me. Now I’m obsessed with them!! I’ve bought a ton of books recently and – miraculously – have started reading again! As I mentioned above, I recently read two books in one week – What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, and Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan, and I loved both so much. I’m going to be posting reviews for those soon! Though I’m 100% still into fantasy/paranormal/thriller/dystopian and have bought several books in those genres, I’m just really in the mood for rom-coms and contemporary reads right now. Whatever gets me reading, right?

Because, you see, my reading has suffered over the last few years – even before the pandemic hit – and I’ve been struggling to balance reading for blogging and reading for me. And I’m definitely going to be changing the way I blog going forward. I need to make it fun again, and I need to not be so hard on myself or push myself. I need to be more picky with what books I sign up to cover and what books I request from publicists. I need to not be afraid to say no to certain things, and I need to read what makes me happy. And those are all goals I have going forward. I’m not ready to give up blogging yet, but I definitely need to practice some self-care where blogging and reading is concerned. We’ll see how it goes!

The pandemic and quarantine and all these new interests also aided in my discovering new things about myself, and accepting things that I’ve been struggling with for years. I’m still not totally ready to talk about those things, but if you pay attention to the books I’m reading, you might be able to figure it out. And, one day, I might be ready to discuss it.

So… Wow. That was longer than I planned, and I’m sure I rambled a lot. But if you read that whole thing, thank you! if you’re here at all, thank you for sticking with me. I really hope to be more active in reading and blogging and on social media going forward. I can’t promise I’ll be perfect, but I’ve lost a year of my life to this pandemic and life is too short for that. I miss reading and blogging and being happy, and I hope to get back to the place I was in before the pandemic as soon as possible – Maybe even a better place than before the pandemic. I don’t know what the future holds, but all I can do is go day by day and do my best.

So, cheers to that!

How have you all been during this last year? Are you reading? blogging? Did you discover new interests? Share in the comments what you’ve been up to!

On Meredith’s Mind #7: Happy 20th Birthday, Harry Potter!!!!!!!

Harry Potter turns 20 today! Well, the books do at least.

(Side Note: I find it completely hilarious that this is my 7th On Meredith’s Mind post, given how significant that number is in HP. It feels very appropriate for such a huge birthday).

It’s incredibly strange to think that I almost wasn’t a part of this incredible world and fandom. But believe it or not, I didn’t like Harry Potter when it first came out. It wasn’t until 6th grade when my teacher decided to read the books to our class during snack time that I really started to get into them. At first, I would sit at my own desk, reading whatever book I had brought with me that day. But before I knew it, I was hooked. In the end, I was the first person over to the reading carpet each day. I even bought my own copies of the books and read along with – and sometimes ahead of – the teacher (Check out my Harry Potter Confessions to read the full story and more).

Earlier this year, that teacher passed away and the news stunned me. This loss broke my heart, more than I ever imagined it could. Because without her, I wouldn’t be the gigantic Potterhead that I am today and… I can’t even begin to imagine what my life would be like without these books. Hogwarts is my home. These books shaped me as a reader and made me the person I am today. I learned so much from Harry and his friends, and life would be empty without them.

I’ve read these books so many times, most people don’t believe me when I tell them. But I kid you not: I’ve read Sorcerer’s Stone 32+ times, Chamber of Secret’s 36+ times, Prisoner of Azkaban 30+ times, Goblet of Fire 26+ times, Order of the Phoenix 16+ times, Half Blood Prince 4 times, and The Deathly Hallows 3 times.

Yeah… I read Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secret’s so many times, especially, that I broke the spines and had to buy new books, bahahaha *Coughs.* And I’ll likely have to replace Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire soon, as well. I re-read Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secret’s so many times because.. well… I loved them! Of the first four books (and at that point in time), they were my favorites. So I re-read them CONSTANTLY. I would re-read every book with every new book release and every new movie release, and sometimes I just did random series re-reads – anytime I was sad or lonely or just bored.

I actually did a re-read in December 2016/January 2017 – my first full series re-read since 2009 and it was SO strange because, between 2000-2009, I read at least one (usually more) Harry Potter book per year. And then all of a sudden in 2009, I transferred from community college to a 4-year school and life just got insane and hectic and I didn’t have time to do a re-read. So I went NINE WHOLE YEARS without reading a Harry Potter book. And life felt empty. 2009-2016 were terrible years for my family and I was without my Hogwarts Family through it all. These books are my comfort, yet I couldn’t read them during a time in my life when I needed comfort more than ever. I don’t know why I didn’t find the time to read them… I think I was just too exhausted and absorbed in life.

But when I finally did my 2016-17 re-read, man was it epic! I hadn’t read them in so long, yet had seen the movies so many times, I had forgotten certain things. So reading them after nine years was almost like reading them for the first time again – and boy, did that bring on nostalgic feels!

I can remember going to midnight release parties for Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, and reading them the minute I got home, not stopping until I’d reached the end. I can remember the excitement when the movies were picked up. I remember the long wait for Order of the Phoenix and the chilling anticipation of Half-Blood Prince, where we were told a very important character would be killed off. I remember the controversy over Deathly Hallows and the debate of whether or not Harry would die at the end, and how that would effect young kids who still didn’t fully understand the concept of death.

I literally grew up with these books and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. They will forever be a part of me and I’ll always hold them near and dear to my heart.

Yes, I went there.



So tell me, what are your favorite Harry Potter memories? What do the books mean to you?

On Meredith’s Mind #6: An Interview With… Myself O.o

OMM Image 
Hey everyone! It has been a LONG time since I last did a discussion post – Like, two years!!! And this isn’t even really a discusion post.. Just a fun thing I stumbled upon while cleaning out some old blog things. It’s an old interview I started (from March 2016) and never finished – mostly because I felt like my answers were stupid and like I’d embarrass myself with it. But I’m at a point where.. I don’t care? It’s a fun, goofy interview and I really want to share it with you guys!

This interview is based off a blogger challenge that Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf created.

So yeah… Be prepared to be hit with hysterical laughter, because this is super cheesy and silly but it was also super fun and I hope you love it!


What’s your name?
Princess Meredith, Future Queen of Wonderland, set to rule alongside Morpheus. Or maybe The White King, Jace… I’m not sure.. I’m conflicted… I CAN’T CHOOSE! *PANICS!!!!*

Okay, okay! Calm down, it’s fine.. You don’t have to pick!

Anyway… What’s your real name?
What… You don’t believe me? Where’s the trust, guys?!?! … Okay, fine. It’s just Meredith… Happy? *Glares*

Do you have an evil twin?
Nope! If I did, she’d be Princess Meredith, future queen of Ravka, ruling alongside the Darkling

Where in the world is your evil twin right now?
In Ravka, duh.

Ah, that’s not good.
I know, right?!? I should be there, ruling alongside Nikolai! *Pauses* No offense, Morph and Jace!

Right… Anyway, back to you. How old are you?
Umm.. I’m Twenty…*Incoherent muffling*

Well, then..
What?!? You got somethin’ to say?!?

Good. Can we move on?

Um. Sure.. So, where do you hail from?
Somewhere outside of NYC.

Can’t you be more specific?

Why not..?

Okay then… Moving on. Do you have any pets?
A crazy-butt Havanese puppy!

Are you a vampire?
I’d tell you, but then I’d have to bite you… I mean… Wait, what…?

OMG, come on! Answer the questions!
Nope. I don’t wanna! *Stomps foot*

I’m starting to think your answer for your age should have been two, not twenty-something!
Hey! Watch it!


I’m sorry, but…
I gave up on The 100 after… 4 episodes? In my defense, during season one, the CW was playing it two different nights and I kept forgetting which was the NEW episode night and I fell like 4 episodes behind and then I just threw my hands up and said “Forget it!” I know a lot of people LOVE it, so.. Maybe I’ll give it a second chance one day.. Maybe.

A pet peeve I complain about a lot…
Umm… I HATE a wet counter. Like in the kitchen and bathroom, after someone washes dishes or their hands? Yeah, I HATE when the counter is wet. Because if you accidentally lean into it or rest your hands on it, you get soaking wet! Yuck! (I’m weird, okay?)

Grammar/spelling things that bother me…
Oh, don’t even get me started…

Fun fact…
I collect shot glasses, but I basically don’t drink. I just love shot glasses. It’s fun using them as a way to remember places/events I’ve been/attended.

Chocolate or vanilla?
Peanut Butter!

Fine.. Vanilla.

Okay, good!
But I still prefer peanut butter…


Nothing… Moving on… Pop or coffee?
Well, where I’m from, we call it soda…

Just answer the damn question! Why does EVERYTHING have to be difficult with you?!?!
I’m NOT being difficult.. Just stating facts…

Umm… Fine… Soda! Preferably Coke :)

Something weird about me is…
I can curl my tongue, which grosses my parents out, hehehe!

Something I like that other people are grossed out by…
I like to eat a hamburger on a roll with mashed potatoes.

How is that weird…?
Well, I literally put the hamburger on a roll, cut it into bite size pieces, and eat it in one bite with the mashed potatoes. It’s comfort food when I feel blah.

But… A hamburger roll AND mashed potatoes?
I know.. It’s weird.. Apparently, I got the idea from my Uncle? Or so I’m told.

Oh, shut up and move on!

Fine… A book I talk about a lot that probably annoys the crap out of everyone…
The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo! Leigh is Queen!

My favorite book is…
…Is this a serious question? How am I supposed to pick ONE?

Okay… Favorite of 2016?
..Seriously??!?!?! Just one?!?!?!?

Yes….? Come on, don’t make this difficult again!
Fine… Favorite book of 2016 (so far) is….
**The Lost Codex by Heather Lyons
**Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
**Glitter by Aprilynne Pike
**The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
**Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

I said ONE

This is awkward.. Please stop. It’s fine.
*Clears throat* Okay! Moving o- OH! Wait, I’m in the middle of A Court of Mist and Fury and I know I’m not done but IT IS EPIC! So I’ll count that, too.

*Face Palm*

Nothing, nothing. Moving on!
*Smiles sweetly*

I would fangirl so hard if I met…
Adelaide Kane. She plays Mary Queen of Scots on the CW show Reign and that’s my absolute newest obsession, so yeah… I’d especially freak out if I met her on the set, in costume/character *Heart-eye emoji*

My favorite show on TV is…
Favorite show that’s CURRENTLY airing?

Duh… I JUST mentioned this in your last question… Reign, my newest obsession!! The Many Ships!! The Frary feels!!!!!!! Swoons sobs swoons sobs!!!!!!

I…. What?
Well, you’d know why if you watched the show!

Okay… Moving on… New TV show discovery?
Didn’t I just answer this TWICE with the above questions? Reign!!!! Frary!!!

Hey, no need to be rude! If you want, you can share your favorite TV shows of all time, too – not just currently airing ones!
Okay… Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, Roswell, Star-Crossed – just to name a few!

A few, huh…?
Yes, want me to keep going?

No, thanks!

Favorite movie?
Scream! I love horror and Scream is my ultimate favorite scary movie!

Is this interview weird?
Very. I don’t usually talk to myself…

Are you sure? You do it so well, it seems like you must have had practice!
Hey now!

Hey now, hey noo-oooowwww…
…This is what dree-aams are made of!

I’ve got somewhere I belooo-oooong
I’ve got somebody to looo-ooove

*Duet* This is what dreeeee-eeeaaams are made of!

That was cool.. but weird.
Yeah, just a little..


So yeah.. Haha! Hope you enjoyed my goofiness! Learn anything intriguing? Like any of the same things as I do? Let me know in the comments! And feel free to get in on the fun and interview yourself! Use my questions or make them your own! Just be sure to link back to this post, as well as to Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf’s blogger challenge that started these shenanigans!

On Meredith’s Mind #5: Harry Potter Confessions

OMM Image
Hey guys! I haven’t done an OMM since before BEA. But last weekend, ABC Family had a Harry Potter movie marathon – with all eight movies! They’ve never done this before. Now, every time I watch a Harry Potter movie, it gets me in a Harry Potter mood and I end up desperate to re-read the series – something I haven’t done since 2009! This need to re-read all seven HP books got me thinking. Though I’m a huge Potterhead, I don’t really talk about HP a lot unless someone brings it up on Twitter or I’m watching the movies. But I don’t think I’ve ever really mentioned HP on my blog, except maybe in passing.

So, today I’m going to share with you some of my biggest Harry Potter Confessions – things that, though I’ve thought about a lot, I’ve never voiced out loud to anyone, as far as I know. Some of these confessions have to do with the books only, some with the movies only. The rest are general observations.

And, obviously, this contains Harry Potter spoilers! So if you, for whatever crazy reason, have not read the books or seen the movies, STOP NOW! You have been warned.

So, without further adieu – and in NO particular order – enjoy!


HP covers1 – I didn’t like Harry Potter when it first came out. Seriously. I know it’s hard to believe, but I just didn’t. When I was younger, I hated things that were over-hyped. If a ton of people loved something and went crazy over it, I scoffed at it (Harry Potter, the fact that almost every 90’s girl had a crush on Brad Pitt, etc). So it wasn’t until 6th grade when my teacher decided to read the books (only the first four had been released at that point) to our class during snack time that I really started to get into them. At first, I would sit at my own desk, reading whatever book I had brought with me that day. But over time, I started listening to my teacher reading more and more. Before I knew it, I was hooked. In the end, I was the first person over to the reading carpet each day, eagerly awaiting the start of snack time. I even bought my own copies of the books and read along with – and sometimes ahead of – the teacher. So really, I have my 6th grade teacher to thank for my being a Potterhead now!

2- I pronounced most of the names wrong until I saw the movies (or until someone corrected me!). Hermione’s name, specifically, but a bunch of others, as well.

3 – The Half-Blood Prince book AND movie are my least favorite. And no, it’s not because of Dumbledore. As interesting as it was to finally learn more about Voldemort’s background and his life as Tom Riddle, I just found some of those passages to be incredibly boring. And Slughorn wasn’t one of my favorite teachers, either. Plus, Ron playing Quidditch was just kinda odd to me. In the movie, Lavender Brown was especially annoying. Not to mention that Daniel Radcliffe was reportedly drunk or hung over for the majority of filming and it shows in his acting. It’s supposed to be a very dark movie and it’s almost comical. Of all the books in the series, I think I’ve read the Half-Blood Prince the least! Picture 2

4 – Dumbledore’s death was tragic. Snape’s was crazy. And Fred’s was just down-right cruel. But the deaths that upset me the most were Sirius and Lupin. Harry needed a father-figure in his life and both Lupin and Sirius were like fathers to Harry. They were adults that he could go to for help, people he could trust. And they both died. To this day, I still question what REALLY happened to Sirius. Especially the way it’s shown in the movie version of Order of the Phoenix. It just seems so odd and abrupt.

5 – I love the beginning of The Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s so awesome seeing Harry finally stand up to the Dursley’s. I love seeing him on his own in the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley. It’s one of my favorite parts in any Harry Potter book! But the ending (With Harry and Hermione going back in time) gets so repetitive and boring! Honestly, I’ve read it so many times that at this point, I just skip the going back in time part and read ahead to the the actual ending. (Though, if I were to do a re-read right now, I’d read each book cover to cover since it’s been so long since I’ve done a re-read!).

Harry_Potter_and_the_Chamber_of_Secrets_(US_cover)6 – I’m constantly going back and fourth on which book is my favorite – Chamber of Secrets or Order of the Phoenix

7 – I’ve read Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets so many times, I lost count around 36 – and no, I’m not exaggerating. I actually had to buy new hardcover copies because the spines broke from being read so many times.

8 – My last re-read was Summer 2009. So you know I’m due for re-read very, very soon. Just need to find the time!

9 – I’ve been obsessed with the Phoenix and what it represents ever since we met Fawkes in Chamber of Secrets. To a point where, if I were ever to get a tattoo, it would be a Phoenix. And for me, getting a tattoo would be a major deal, so I don’t take that lightly. Also, for my 8th grade yearbook, I wrote a whole introduction based on the Phoenix, what it represents and how it was relevant to us leaving middle school behind and heading on up to high school. Yeah, I’m a nerd! And proud of it :)

10 – I HATED how the Prisoner of Azkaban movie took them out of their Hogwarts uniforms/robes. It’s one of my biggest issues with the movies. At Hogwarts (and in the books), they’re ALWAYS supposed to be in their uniforms and robes. It bugs me so much, I didn’t enjoy the third movie as much. I know, that’s a bit much, huh? But it seriously annoyed me!Picture 3
11 – I never went to any of the midnight showings of the movies (I hate crowded movie theaters and usually wait at least a week to see something in the theater), though I went to midnight book release parties for books 5-7.
12 – So many people are going to hate me for this one… But I did NOT like Harry and Ginny together. I mean, your best friend’s sister? It was just too awkward, especialy after Ginny’s obsession/idolization of Harry in the Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. it was just… weird! Now I’m not saying I wanted him to end up with Hermione, because I didn’t. Honestly, I have no clue who I would have wanted him to end up with. I just know I don’t like him with Ginny – in the books OR the movies.

13 – Richard Harris WAS Dumbledore. He embodied the Dumbledore from the books. Michael Gambon was NOT Dumbledore at all. He was mean and harsh and he yelled too much. I despised him.


Okay! I’m sure I forgot a number of things. Re-reading the books and re-watching the movies will probably make me realize that I’ve forgotten at least five more confessions! But for now, there you have it! Thirteen Harry Potter Confessions that I don’t think I’ve ever shared with anyone before.

So, tell me: What are YOUR Harry Potter Confessions? What did you like and dislike about the books and/or movies? Do you agree or disagree with any of my confessions! Tell me in the comments below!

On Meredith’s Mind #4: Planning for BEA… At the Last Minute

By now, with BEA (Book Expo America) just days away, everyone is probably sick of seeing BEA-related posts. Unless you’re like me and attending BEA for the first time – then you’re positively DEVOURING any and all advice you stumble across.

So here’s the deal: At first, I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to attend BEA. I applied for a Press Pass and was denied – That’s fine and I understand why it happened; it’s just, it took so long to hear back from them about it that I was pressed for time in registering and buying my ticket. And then, when I was finally ready to buy my ticket, some transportation issues arose. For those who don’t know, I live outside NYC and was planning to commute in each day. But then things came up. So I wasn’t sure if I was going and I didn’t want to plan and get excited, only to find out I couldn’t go. Bottom line, I didn’t want to get my hopes up!

Then a wonderful blogging friend saved my BEA Butt by agreeing to let me crash at her apartment. And so here we are, two days away from BEA and I haven’t finalized my conference schedule, haven’t made a packing list and haven’t started packing, obviously. I haven’t even pulled my suitcase out of the attic yet.

So, if you’re like me and behind on planning, fear not! I’m going to share with you everything I’ve learned so far!

But first… I’m going to share with you some things about myself to prepare you guys for the socially awkward meet-and-greet! This idea is credited to Jessica @ Lovin’ Los Libros. You can find her post here!

1. So, I’m NOT photogenic and I HATE putting my picture out there (yet I do STS vlogs, go figure). But here it is, so you can pick me out in a crowd more easily:

2. I’m a TOTALLY awkward hugger. Unless the other person initiates the hug, I always wonder if they actually WANT to hug and then I hesitate and it’s awkward. But I DON’T mind hugs, so if you’re a hugger, go for it! Just a heads up!

3. I’m really, really shy… Like, someone I went to high school with once told me everyone thought I was a bitch and a stuck-up snob because I didn’t make eye contact with anyone in the hallway between classes… But I was just painfully shy. Once I get to know you, I get chatty and you won’t be able to shut me up!

And that leads me to Things About Me Number 4…

4. I’m ridiculously nervous when it comes to approaching people. I tend to get nervous and sulk away. So if you see me/recognize me, feel free to make the first move! (That sounds so wrong, but ya know what I mean!). And if we make eye contact and I look away, I’m NOT snubbing you!! I’m just shy and, most likely, working up the courage to come say hi!

5. The final point I want to make is this: I’m BAD with faces. I could stare at a person’s picture for hours and still have trouble recognizing them in real life. So if I’m scanning the crowd and look right past you, I’m SO SORRY! Just run up and yell at me!

So that’s everything, I think. Bottom line: I’m totally composed on here and on Twitter because I can type something out and read it over ten times, making sure it sounds perfect. But I can’t do that in real life! So yeah, the excitement is there, but so are the nerves! Please excuse my quirkiness and COME SAY HI if I don’t have the guts to do it first :)

OKAY… Now that the fun stuff *COUGH sarcasm COUGH* is done… As promised, here is a short list of everything I’ve learned so far in preparing for BEA:

1. Professional versus Comfortable. Dress professionally, but wear comfortable shoes – even if that means sneakers (just make sure they’re clean and new looking!). This seems to be the number one piece of advice from every blogger, author and industry insider I’ve spoken to. BEA is a professional trade show. That means you are representing your company and/or your blog/vlog. You want to make a good impression! You’re going to be meeting many, many people and you never know who you might network with. You want people to remember you for the RIGHT reasons.

2. Be Polite and Respectful (!!). Going back to rule number one – You’re going to be meeting agents, publicists, editors, authors, etc. Are you a blogger who wants to work in publishing one day? Then you may very well meet your future co-workers at BEA, if not your future boss. Be polite, professional, respectful. Avoid foul language and inappropriate jokes. Even if you think you’re saying things just to your friends, you never know who will walk by or who can hear you from the next booth over.

3. Business Cards! Sadly, if you don’t have business cards already, it’s likely too late to order them. VistaPrint is pretty good about express shipping, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg. However, if you DO have business cards, BRING THEM. This ties in with rules one and two – you never know who you’ll meet and network with. Trading business cards allows you to stay in touch with those you make connections with.

4. Bring an external battery charger. I’ve been told numerous times by numerous people that the Javits does NOT have any outlets for you to use. Not to mention it seems to be a black hole that sucks out all your phone’s battery within an hour or less. And if you really want to take pictures or share things on social media, your battery will drain even faster. Plus, since your phone is your lifeline for meeting up with friends, you’ll be in trouble if it dies on you.

5. Don’t be an ARC Hog. This is another piece of advice everyone has been talking about. Seriously, don’t grab every single ARC just because you can. Think of it this way… There are only so many copies available. What if you grab an ARC you’re only mildly interested in and, because of that, someone who was dying for it can’t get a copy? Better yet, what if YOU desperately want something and every copy is gone by the time you try to get it because every person who was mildly interested in it just grabbed it? Plus, is it really necessary to leave BEA with 100+ books, half of which you may never read? And, another thing? Don’t be greedy… Don’t grab multiple copies! Same logic – it deprives others who might desperately want it.

6. Bring Food or Starve. Okay, not really. But I’ve been told food at the Javits is yucky and over-priced. Plus, you could end up waiting in some sighing lines for over an hour and might have to rush from one signing to another, with no time for food inbetween. Bring granola bars, dried fruit, trail mix, candy bars – whatever will be yummy and satisfying. Personally, I like granola bars that have peanut butter and lots of protein because they’re filling. Also, while water is your absolute best option, some drinks like Gatorade and Vitamin Water have electrolytes, which help keep you from becoming dehydrated.

7. Authors are People, Too. They are going to be signing hundreds of books for people. Some signings are only half an hour long. Don’t get upset if an author looks/sounds tired or isn’t up for chatting or taking pictures. Be kind and respectful to them and thank them for their time. They’ll remember that kindness and appreciate it!


So I think that about covers everything. I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch of things, but no have no fear! I’m including some links below to blog posts by other bloggers who have similar posts. Some of them are seasoned BEA-goers and are able to provide better advice than I can!

The wonderful bloggers at Owl Always Be Reading have a whole blog post with nothing but links to BEA advice posts. Be sure to check it out here! It’s like a one-stop free-for-all.

The epically amazing (and generous) Jenna @ Jenna Does Books has kindly shared her ENTIRE BEA spreedsheet, which has a huge list of autographing authors, broken down by day. If you stop by her blog and download the Excel document, be sure to leave her a comment, thanking her for her generosity! Find that blog post here!

Katie @ Katie’s Book Blog has some wonderful advice about not spending all your time in the autographing lines and discovering new authors. Check it out here.

Shae @ Shae Has Left the Room has a six-part series filled with BEA advice – everything from packing to getting your badge to BEA etiquette. Find them all here!

Nicole from YA Interrobang has a Google Doc FILLED with an extensive list of YA signings, panels and galley drops. Check it out here!

Not sure what to do after BEA each night? Don’t want to just hang around your hotel room/apartment? Julie at Bloggers[Heart]Books has a great list (with dates, times and locations) of some after-hours events that are open to the public! Check it out here!

If you’re a blogger interested in attending the blogger meet-and-greets, Alexa Loves Books has a blog post with more information, such as dates, times and locations. Find it here.

On Meredith’s Mind #3: Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

OMM Image
We’ve all done it. You’re in the bookstore, browsing the new and recent releases. You see a book, step closer, make a face at the cover and step away. You debate reading the synopsis – just in case! But then you shake your head and walk away.

Let me start at the beginning so I can explain some things.

Back in December, Team Epic Reads hosted an ARC Party – For those who don’t know, Epic Reads is a part of HarperCollins. They host Tea Time every Wednesday on YouTube (You can follow along and comment on Twitter using hashtag teatime). A couple times a year, when all the covers for the upcoming season are revealed and HarperCollins gets in a bunch of new ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies), the ladies of Epic Reads do a special ARC Party Tea Time in which they reveal all the ARCs received and share exclusively with readers some of the covers that have yet to be revealed to the public.

So, to get back on topic, this was one of those covers – and I judged it so hard:



Now… When I first saw this book cover, I couldn’t make out any of the words on it. I had never heard of it. I had NO CLUE what it was about. I looked at the cover and automatically judged it. The word “Tease” written in what looks like pink lipstick? Yeah, you can imagine the things I thought. That it was about girls swooning over guys. That it had some epic flirting in it. That the main focus of the book would be some girl pursuing some guy, in any way she could.

Then, during the most recent Tea Time, Aubry began talking about Tease. She was reading it for research for a panel she was moderating. And she described it. No spoilers, but she explained the basic plot and concept.

And you know what? … I was wrong. So, so wrong. Epically wrong. Disgustingly wrong.

Want to know what this book is REALLY about?


More specifically, the after-math of bullying gone HORRIBLY wrong. Deadly wrong.

It sounds INTENSE. And morbid, yeah, but so, so, so GOOD. Now I’m DYING for this book whose cover I mocked.

Want to read the synopsis now? It’s pretty gritty.

Here you go:

Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault.

At least, that’s what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma’s shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who’s ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media.

During the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her role in an undeniable tragedy. And she’ll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

In this powerful debut novel inspired by real-life events, Amanda Maciel weaves a narrative of high school life as complex and heartbreaking as it is familiar: a story of everyday jealousies and resentments, misunderstandings and desires. Tease is a thought-provoking must-read that will haunt readers long after the last page.

Goodreads | Amazon

So, this book is NOTHING like I imagined it would be. Not at all. I completely judged this book based off of one blurry image I saw – a print-out I was seeing through a webcam. I didn’t bother trying to find out more about it. I had judged it unfairly and I didn’t even give it a chance.

Lesson learned? Lesson learned! And you KNOW I’ll be buying it when it releases now!

So, guys and gals. Tell me: Have you ever judged a book by its cover? Did you later discover that it actually sounded epic? Did you kick yourself for making such a horrible mistake? Share it with me in the comments!

On Meredith’s Mind (#2): Binging a Book Series

OMM Image
Hey everyone! It has been a LONG time since I last did a discussion post – since November, in fact! So I thought it was time for another one!

With the start of a new year, there have been a lot of reading challenges popping up. I joined a couple, like the Goodreads Challenge. But mostly, I have a crazy busy hectic schedule and I can’t tie myself down with too many official challenges – I’d always be behind and I’d always be pulling my hair out while sobbing in a corner.

BUT (There’s always a “but” right?) I’ve sort of started an unofficial mini-challenge for myself. I’ve discovered a lot of amazing books thanks to book blogging. A lot of them are duologies, trilogies and.. whatever a 4-book series is called (quadrologies?). Most of them are very well-known/highly-anticipated/incredibly beloved. I feel like such a bad book nerd for not reading these books sooner!

So in the next few months, in between review books, I plan on binge-reading some of these amazing series’. Most of them are trilogies and completed now, though the one still has a final book coming out in 2015. And technically, I started this in January. So the first trilogy I mention? I’ve already binged it.

So, without further adieu, let’s get this show on the road! Here are the trilogies/series I have read/plan on reading in the months to come:

January: The Under the Never Sky trilogy by Veronica Rossi

Picture 1
So, I’ve already read this trilogy. I had heard so many amazing things about it, but unfortunately, I was the black sheep and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped I would. I loved the world-building, the plot, the technology, the science/genetics. But I didn’t love the characters. I mean, I LOVED Roar. And Brooke and Liv. But that was it. It was still an enjoyable trilogy, it just wasn’t completely for me.

Reviews: Under the Never Sky | Through the Ever Night | Into the Still Blue


February: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Lunar Chronicles
I’ve read Cinder and I’m about 100 pages into Scarlet now. I absolutely LOVE this series so far! Marissa Meyer is a gorgeous storyteller. I love the concept/plot, the characters, the writing. These books are just amazing. I’m already dying for Winter and I’m not even onto Cress yet!

Reviews: Cinder


March: Shatter Me trilogy by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me
Team Warner! Team Adam! Kenji! Chapter 62! Chapter 55! These are the things I currently know about this series. People LOVE it and people FLIP OUT over it and I’m DYING to read it! I’m actually going to meet Tahereh Mafi at the Dark Days signing in NYC and I’m sad I don’t have time to read at least Shatter Me before I go, but since it’s my March Binge, I guess I’ll just have to be patient!


April: Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Rae Carson
I’ve tentatively scheduled this trilogy for April. I’ve heard it’s epic and amazing, but I’ve also heard a few not-so-cool things about it. But I own them all and I don’t really read a lot of high fantasy, so I’m game!


So, that’s it for now! Like I said, April’s binge read is penciled in and I’m not sure beyond that. But for now, those are the series’ I’ve either read already (Under the Never Sky), am in the middle of (Lunar Chronicles) or plan to read in the next few months (Shatter Me, Fire and Thorns). Again, this is an unofficial challenge I set for myself. But if anyone is interesting in doing it with me, let me know in the comments! Maybe I’ll make it more official and create a button, etc!

And if you’re interested in learning more about book binging, check out this awesome post from Book Rock Betty!

Now, my lovelies, tell me: Have you binge-read a series? Do you plan to? Which series have you/will you binge(d)?

On Meredith’s Mind (#1): The End is Here! For certain series’, that is!

The other day, I was re-organizing my books and I realized I have a LOT of books sitting in my TBR piles that are the final book in a series. Some of them are just trilogies, and others are a part of a long series that I invested a lot of time (and years) into. Either way, for one reason or another, they just got pushed further down my TBR and I never got around to them.

So, in no particular order, here are the ones I’m most desperate to finally read:

Sara Shepard Title: Seven Minutes in Heaven
Author: Sara Shepard
Series: The Lying Game (#6)
Publication: July 30, 2013

I was never a huge Pretty Little Liars fan. I started reading them because I wanted to watch the show (which.. never really happened either.. Whoops!). And then Sara Shepard released The Lying Game series. I was really torn about buying them. They looked interesting, but she was dragging PLL out so much and they weren’t as good as when the series first came out, so it made me a little bit skeptical when it came to The Lying Game. I ended up buying the first book in Borders for about 40% off between coupons and my membership. But I never read it. And then book two came out around the time Borders announced it was closing. I wasn’t sure about buying it, since I hadn’t read book one yet. But it was 30% off. I decided to wait and see if the price went down as it got closer to the store closing. And it did. I snagged it for about 50% off. I read the first and second books back-to-back and fell in love.

The Lying Game is way, way better than Pretty Little Liars (no offense to PLL fans). It’s a murder mystery with a supernatural element to it and it’s fascinating. I’m so sad I haven’t read Seven Minutes in Heaven yet because it will answer all the remaining questions. I’m dying (pun intended) to know who the killer is and see how it all plays out. I’m truly hoping to get to this one in the next few weeks!


Melissa de la CruzTitle: Winds of Salem
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Series: The Beauchamp Family (#3)
Publication: August 13, 2013

I’m a little confused with this one. I’ve heard that, while it’s the final book in the trilogy, it is NOT the final book in the series. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m eager to find out! For now, I consider this the final book. I’ve always been a Melissa de la Cruz fan. I loved her Blue Bloods books so much! So when she decided to tackle an adult Science Fiction book, I was game! I really enjoyed the first two and, since I’m fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials, I have a feeling Winds of Salem is going to be my favorite in the series, by far! I’m really hoping to get to it before the year is out!

Also, for those who don’t know, The Witches of East End is now a television show on Lifetime. It’s very different from the books, but so far, it’s really awesome and you should definitely check it out!


Meg CabotTitle: Awaken
Author: Meg Cabot
Series: Abandon Trilogy (#3)
Publication: July 2, 2013

If someone were to ask me who my favorite author was, I’d reply: Meg Cabot. And for those of you who know me, I’m a HUGE fan of Greek mythology (just look at my blog’s name!). So it should come as no surprise that I’ve absolutely been LOVING Meg Cabot’s Abandon Trilogy, which is a modern take on the Persephone myth. The first two books were awesome and I’m dying to see how it all ends. But, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to read it yet. To be honest, I feel like a bad Meg Cabot fan because I didn’t even BUY Abandon until August or September. Normally, I buy Meg Cabot’s new books on release day, and finish them two or three days later. So the fact that it’s October and I still haven’t read it? Bad, bad Mer! This one is top priority for when I get around to all the books on this lovely list!


Rachel CaineTitle: Daylighters
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Morganville Vampires (#15)
Publication: November 5, 2013

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the Morganville Vampires series. It was amazing in the beginning, but it hit a snag and there were a couple books that were just so so. I pushed through, though, because I love the characters. The plot wasn’t always amazing, but the characters felt like friends and I still cared about them and worried about them, as if they were real people. And I’m so, so glad I kept with it, because the last two or three books – but the last two especially – were amazing!!! They breathed new life (hahaha, sorry, couldn’t help myself) into the series and Daylighters looks like it’s going to be an epic, amazing, incredible conclusion. It just released, so I don’t feel as guilty as with the others books on this list. But I still really want to get to it and see how it all ends – even if I’m a little scared!


Frank BeddorTitle: ArchEnemy
Author: Frank Beddor
Series: The Looking Glass Wars (#3)
Publication: October 15, 2009

*Clears throat.. Stares at publication date… hangs head.* I’m feeling some major guilt on this one. Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I love, love, LOVE Alice in Wonderland retellings. And this one was one of the first I ever read. I loved it and it was just… Loved. You guys should seriously read it!

Sooo… If I loved the series so much, you ask, why did I never read the final book in the trilogy? Well… The first book, The Looking Glass Wars, was published in 2006. And then the second book, Seeing Redd, was published in 2007. And then nothing. Nothing for two whole years. And back in 2006-2009, I didn’t know about Goodreads and I certainly didn’t know about blogs. I would check author websites occasionally, but other than that… I had no idea how to go about searching for news of the third book. To be honest, I assumed something had happened and it was just never published. I gave up hope. And then, one day on a family vacation, I stumbled upon book three! But after two years, I didn’t remember enough to read the final book without re-reading the first two. And at the time, I had so much else to read.. I put it on the back-burner and just never went back to it.

Now I really, really want to finally read it. I want to re-read the first two and so I can finally read the third. Desperately. Splintered by A.G. Howard has re-awakened my love for Alice in Wonderland retellings, and I’m really hoping I can finally finish The Looking Glass Wars after all these years!


OR MellingTitle: The Book of Dreams
Author: O.R. Melling
Series: The Chronicles of Faerie (#4)
Publication: May 1, 2009

This series has a similar story to Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars. I’m pretty sure this series was the very first one I ever read with faeries. And I loved them! Very, very much! They are more like companion books in a series than actual sequels, and each book deals with a different heroine. Except.. the Book of Dreams has the same heroine as the third book, The Light-Bearer’s Daughter. So… again, you ask, if I loved the first three books so much, why did I never get around to the fourth and final book? Like with The Looking Glass Wars, the fourth book in The Chronicles of Faerie came out two years after the third book released and I just didn’t remember enough to read the final book without re-reading the entire series – Granted, I probably only had to re-read the third book to read the fourth, but I really wanted to read them all again. And I just.. didn’t have the time.

I do hope I’ll get to read The Book of Dreams soon. It was an amazing series and I’d love to finally see how it ends after all these years.



And there you have it. The six books that end a series, that I have yet to read and am dying to get to. I’m sure there are more. If I took another look around my room, or went downstairs and checked the books I have in my family room or went up to my attic to check all the bins up there, I’m sure I’d find more. But for now, these are the ones I’m the most desperate to finish. These are/were some of my favorite series and I’m ashamed of myself for not finishing them sooner.

So talk to me, guys: Do you have a series (or a bunch of series) that you have yet to complete? Is it just one book holding you back from finishing the series, like with all the ones I mentioned above? Or are you several books behind on a beloved series? Share it with me in the comments!

And, since this is my first “On Meredith’s Mind,” I would love feedback on what you thought of it!