how I’m blogging differently now

I’ve mentioned here before that this is not my first go-around with blogging, even though this is a new blog. Before blogging at A Word and a Whisper, I blogged for about 6 years, experimenting on different platforms, but mostly on a WordPress blog you probably haven’t heard of, because I started out as and remained a teeny-tiny blogger for my entire blogging career. I learned a lot through my old, now no-longer-existent blogs about what I like and don’t like and what works and what doesn’t work in blogging for me. I’ve already noticed some things I’ve been doing differently this time around the blogging bend, and wanted to reflect and share some of them today:

  • Blogging about what I want. This probably seems like a given and a little silly, but I am much better at writing posts about things I enjoy posting about now. I don’t feel as obligated to consistently do weekly meme posts, which I do enjoy, but sometimes I don’t want to do the topic or something and now I don’t feel like I have to do them which is nice. I am also simply much more in tune with what I want to post and don’t try to follow what other bloggers are writing about as much.
  • Not writing reviews. I do love talking about books and recommending books, obviously, but I don’t think of A Word and a Whisper as primarily a review blog, as I used to with my former blogs. I write a lot more bookish discussion posts and casual book recommendation posts that I enjoy more. I do have a couple review-esque posts coming up, but they’re not traditional essay-long reviews that I used to feel like I have to write. I still write about books of course, since this is a book blog primarily, just in different ways that I enjoy more.
  • Engaging with the community more. Something that I always felt was totally missing from my previous blogging experience was actually feeling like a part of the bookish community. I always felt that nobody would notice if I stopped blogging because I got so few comments, likes, and didn’t really talk to people online because I was so shy and didn’t think my opinions really mattered or that people would want to talk to me. Since starting this blog, I’ve made an active effort to comment on other blogs, respond to my own comments, and comment back. I think that has already made a difference in how I feel about blogging in terms of validation and also I think I’m already making a tiny footprint impact on the community.
  • Following the right bloggers. There is obviously no “right” way to blog or really “right” bloggers to follow, but I feel that I am now following and interacting with bloggers who are more similar to me in personality and in how they view blogging than when I started. I think when I first started, there were few book blogs and a more “big” or “celebrity” bloggers, who I did like, but also made me feel too intimidated by to talk to since they were so popular. I think blogging in general is a lot less serious and drama-fueled than in the past, people are friendlier and want to engage more, and I’ve found bloggers who care about issues I care about in the book world, which makes me feel like I’m on their level even though I’m new versus feeling like I’ll never reach their level of fame.
  • Not trying to be like everybody else. This, I think, goes along with writing what I want to write about. In the beginning, I was just so enamored with the concept of book blogging that I wanted to emulate the style and topics of posts that other book bloggers wrote. However, I eventually grew frustrated by this because I felt like I was doing all the “right” things, but not getting anywhere in terms of “success” or in the community. In retrospect, a lot of the blogs that used to exist did sound kind of the same; people even wrote about the same books a lot of the time. It seems to me that bloggers now are much more interested in being individuals and not doing the same-old, same-old in terms of blogging.

Mostly, I think what’s different about my blogging experience this time around is that I’m doing my best to do what I always wanted to do when I used to blog. I’m trying to be braver and less shy online and actually talk to people, which is helping me enjoy the day-to-day of blogging a lot more. I’m putting less pressure on myself to do what everyone else is doing and on blogging a certain way. In general, I’m simply trying to make blogging more fun and use it as an outlet as opposed to making it something I feel obligated to do.

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top ten tuesday // purple books!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is to feature 10 books that have your favorite color in the title or on the cover.

My favorite color is PURPLE, and thus I give you 10 purple-tastic books!!

 

  1. Haunting Violet – Anlyxandra Harvey
  2. My So-Called Bollywood Life – Nisha Sharma
  3. The Smell of Other People’s Houses – Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
  4. Not Otherwise Specified – Hannah Moskowitz
  5. Until I Die – Amy Plum (does it also count if the color is in the author’s last name??)

6. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
7. Incarnate – Jodi Meadows
8. Smoke in the Sun – Renee Ahdieh
9. A Thousand Pieces of You – Claudia Gray
10. Dance of the Red Death – Bethany Griffin

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my experiences with books & social media

Social media is a huge part of our world, and a huge part of book promotion and talking about books today. There are now so many apps, websites, and other means to talk about books through social media, and sometimes, it can be hard to find one that fits you, what promotes your ideas the best, or what you are good at. I’ve done some experimenting on a variety of social media platforms since I began talking about books publicly over five years ago, and today, I want to talk about my experiences with the ones I’ve tried.

the twitters

I am so, so bad at Twitter. I honestly just don’t understand how to write engaging Tweets or Tweet to other people or anything about Twitter. I don’t really get the point of it? And I like writing long things. Plus, even though I have 600+ followers, whenever I tweet something original, I never get responses, so I simply don’t see the point of it. Some people are really good at Twitter, like Cait from Paper Fury and author Justina Ireland, but I don’t think I personally have enough skill or online charisma to do Twitter right.

Also, Twitter is honestly such a garbage fire most of the time in terms of drama that I can’t deal with. I don’t think I’d do that well with trolls because of my anxiety, and I’m not not-shy enough to really challenge people directly on Twitter when I disagree with them or want to call out something problematic, even though doing that is important to me.

In general, Twitter feels too direct for me and since I’m already kind of shy online, it’s not for me.

 

bookstagram

I love looking at other bookstagramer’s posts and Insta has become one of my favorite social media things to browse. I recently started experimenting with my own bookstagram account (@awordandawhisper), because I’ve been wanting to try out a new creative hobby. However, I’ve been realizing that I need some more tools to make my account look more professional and achieve an “aesthetic.” I don’t quite understand the whole business of choosing and finding an “aesthetic,” because my creativity is so mood-based, but I’d certainly like to try.

It’s also tough because I had to leave so many of my physical books at home when I moved because I just couldn’t take all of them with me, so now I have fewer physical books to work with. I already feel like I’ve been using too many of the same titles and worry about running out of books to use. However, I have been getting more current ARCs since becoming a librarian, so that is a plus in terms of bookstagram content.

Another thing I struggle with on Instagram is captioning the photos. I want to be cute and clever like other bookstagramers I follow, but I feel so constrained by the tiny amount of words that show up, and I know I personally don’t read captions on Instagram, so I have a hard time truly caring enough to work on that aspect of booksta.

 

blogs

Obviously, this is my true bookish promotion passion. I just prefer having a lot of space to write and being able to write in a variety of formats. I don’t like being stuck with only one thing. I think I’ve grown a lot as a blogger over the past 5-6 years, and I like where I’m going using blogging as a platform. Sometimes I wonder about the relevance of blogging when compared to the other platforms on this list, but I like it and enjoy it, so I’m trying not to let that get to me too much. The other social media platforms are ones I’ve mostly used to promote blogging versus using them as my only book-talking medium. I’d like to get better at the other ones, but it’s hard to get really good at them when I’m doing so many at one time. In the long run, I think it’s best for me to stick with 1-2 that I love doing and that I’m good at.

 

booktube

I think booktubers are really the people who have the type of followings that book bloggers used to have now. Personally though, I don’t like watching videos because I like reading blog posts at my own pace, and if they talk about a book I’m not interested in hearing about, I can skip over it in a blog post versus a video. Plus, I feel like there are SO MANY booktubers who just annoy the heck out of me. If I don’t like your voice or if you’re overly enthusiastic and excited, it turns me off and I’m not going to want to listen to you all the time.

I tried booktube a couple times, but I have ZERO video recording or editing skills, and I hate how I look on camera. I also LOVE writing, and am just not as interested in video recording, so there’s really no point to me attempting booktube again.

 

Which other social media platforms have you tried using to talk about books? What do you think about book blogging’s place in book social media? Do you have any Instagram resources or tips that could help me?

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here and queer and sad // love and other carnivorous plants

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I’ve said I’m unsure if I want to do real book reviews on this blog, but I do want to talk about Love & Other Carnivorous Plants because REASONS. First, I really, REALLY wanted to love this book because it was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I was really excited to read a book about a girl dealing with eating issues, mental illness, and queer stuff, because that is basically me in a book. There were some things I liked in this book, but other things I didn’t quite go for, so I’m going to go over a few of those things…

  • Queer rep. I didn’t notice this while reading, but Florence Gonsalves really doesn’t place a label on Danny’s sexuality, which I think is a good thing because Danny herself is so unsure of herself and only just beginning to explore her queer parts. The queer stuff was also sad to read though, because Danny dealt with a lot of self-doubt, and her BFF, Sarah, who is kind of a jerk in general, says some homophobic things that struck me as very immature, yet also reminded me that homophobia happens at all ages, which was not exactly pleasant to be reminded of.
  • Mental illness/eating disorder rep. I thought Danny’s struggle to deal with her mental health and eating disorder were very realistic. Even if you go to an institution to deal with mental health issues, it’s not always an uphill battle once you get out. It was disheartening to see her continue to fall back into old harmful habits and struggle so much coupled with all of the other depressing things in the book, but I think it’s also important to show that recovering from mental illness is a long road and by no means a straight line.
  • Voice. Danny’s voice was for sure the strongest aspect of the story. Honestly, if her voice were less unique, biting, and interesting, I probably would’ve DNF’ed the book pretty early on because basically nothing good happens. Danny reminded me a little bit of Jane Sinner from Nice Try, Jane Sinner since they had similarly dark, gritty voices.
  • The twist. I was NOT a fan of the tragic twist that happens halfway through the novel. It seemed trite and what happened before the twist happened was just so, so cliche. I also didn’t like the character the twist happened to, so it was hard to feel anything about Danny’s struggles with it after it happened. It was just very cliche and overdramatic and seemed to take the story in a different direction than it really needed to.
  • The ending. I’m…still not quite sure what happened at the end?? I’m a fan of unresolved endings, but I like having at least a little idea of what could happen after the book ends. With Love, I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. Does Danny go back to the institution? Does she stand up to her parents? Does she get better? Do she and Bugg get back together? Is Bugg even really important to her story in the end? None of these questions are even hinted at, and after an extremely depressing, unsatisfying story, the ending simply annoyed me.

 

Can someone else please read this even though I just gave it a horrible review so I can have someone to talk to about it please?

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may tbr // drowning in books

I don’t know what it is about May, but every year, all the most exciting YA books come out in May and my wallet gets sad and empty but my shelves get happy and overflowing because EVERYTHING COMES OUT IN MAY WHYYYYYY. Fortunately, I have ARCs and eARCs of a lot of the stuff I want to read for this May, so I am very happy about that because I am POOR currently.

However, my TBR is pretty much bottomless this month and there are so many (too many!) books I want to read and I’m definitely not getting to all of them and that makes me sad because I want and NEED to keep up with all the new releases. But anyway, here are the books I’m hoping to read this month:

  • All of This is True | Lygia Day Penaflor – A bunch of teens meet their favorite YA author only to find that her next book is about all of their secrets–yay mystery and also unique formatting which I live for!!
  • 9 Days & 9 Nights | Katie Cotugno – Perfect sequel (hopefully) to 99 Days which slayed me perfectly.
  • Ship It + Britta Lundin – Queerness and fandom? Yes please!!
  • Legendary | Stephanie Garber – Caraval sequel NEED I SAY MORE? I think not. But since I have terrible series amnesia especially when a sequel was not originally planned, I also must reread Caraval.
  • Speaking of rereads, A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT | Sabaa Tahir – I probably don’t *really* need to reread this but I’m not sure if I 100% understood what happened at the end so I want to check and make sure I’m 150% prepared for A Reaper At the Gates (jk I know I’ll never be prepared for that book someone help me)

 

  • My So-Called Bollywood Life | Nisha Sharma – Bollywood romance yes please! Diverse romcoms are quickly becoming my jam and I need to read all of them!
  • The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik | David Arnold – To be honest, I’m probably least excited by this one, though I was excited when I requested an ARC of it a while back. It sounds pretty weird and mind-bendy, which I like, but I’m not sure I’m in the mood for it yet.
  • The Way You Make Me Feel | Maurene Goo – I LOVED I Believe in a Thing Called Love, so obviously I need this book, plus FOOD TRUCKS. This book = MUST READ!!
  • The Brightsiders | Jen Wilde – This book is about a washed up bisexual rockstar and HER HAIR IS THE BISEXUAL PRIDE FLAG COLORS OMGGGG. It’s already screaming perfection from just looking at it, so of course this one is super anticipated.
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WWW Wednesday // May 2, 2018

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking On A World of Words where book bloggers answer these questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you reading next?
  • What did you just finish reading?

I already posted today but I’m in the mood for more posts and to write about what I’m reading so here’s a second post for you!

 

Currently Reading

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Ugh. So I’m currently reading From Twinkle, With Love, which was one of my most anticipated reads of the year because I LOVED When Dimple Met Rishi so so so much. I like fluffy books sometimes, but they don’t usually end up being favorites, but that book was just so good it couldn’t NOT be a favorite. Unfortunately, Twinkle is not living up to my expectations. I find Twinkle herself super annoying and immature, the characters flat, the plot ridiculously predictable, and the book overall uninspiring and boring.

 

Reading Next?

I’m honestly not sure what to read next. It’s between A Court of Wings and Ruin and a reread of Caraval, I think, but I’m not so sure what I’m in the mood for because I’m so enraged by how terrible Twinkle is turning out to be.

 

Just Finished

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I had to reread ACOMAF last month because I tried reading ACOWAR and promptly realized that I didn’t remember enough of ACOMAF to read it because I have dreadful series amnesia. Fortunately, ACOMAF proved to be just as good and magical and fantastic on the second read as it was on the first. I’m so nervous and excited for ACOWAR but I’m guessing it’ll more than live up to my very, very high expectations.

 

What’s your WWW?

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May Goals

I think I’ve mentioned this, but I really don’t know why I like writing goal posts so much when I hardly ever actually make the goals?? I guess it’s nice to have guidelines for what I want to accomplish even if I don’t meet them.

First, let’s do a very depressing review of whether I accomplished my April goals:

  • Read 4 books  X
  • Continue blogging   !
  • Camp NaNoWriMo   X
  • Work out more   lolol
  • Increase to 150 Instagram followers   even more lolol
  • Make the apartment more homely   sorta?? but also no

Basically, I only accomplished 1.5 goals. I guess NaNo was a question mark in the original goals anyway, so maybe that one isn’t as much of a failure. On Instagram I actually LOST followers, probably because I’m not posting as much and as of now photos aren’t very interesting.

Soooooo, now we’re onto May goals…

  • Read 4 books. Let’s try this again, but maybe succeeding this time??? Maybe I should try shorter books…
  • Write at least once. Writing a certain amount every day, even if it’s small like 100-500 words, just seems like too much considering my lack of motivation, so maybe I’ll try just writing a single time and see how it goes.
  • Work out once a week. Again, starting smaller with a more measurable goal might help.
  • Continue experimenting with Instagram. I impulse-bought a book on Insta styling, which I know is silly but it looked good and interesting and I’m curious how people actually DO Instagram, because I clearly have no idea. I kinda feel like I might want to get some photo backdrops, too, to make photos look more professional and consistent. And maybe a couple props that go with whatever aesthetic I decide on, though it will probably be very minimalist.
  • Research recording software. I won’t be able to afford it now, but I do want to look up software that would allow me to record different parts of a song separately and then put them together in a single track and edit the parts. I don’t know what would do this or how much I’d actually use it because I’m afraid to sing for real people, but it could be a nice project to do for myself.
  • Not be sad or jealous about people going to Book Expo. I was REALLY hoping to go to Book Expo last year before I was let go, and then again this year when I got my new library job, but the prospect of travelling to NY and staying there and working out travel and hotels and food just felt too overwhelming for what it would actually be. I’m a little less sad about it now that they invited Sean Freaking Spicer, so that’s something. Plus, I can always request review copies I see that look good from publishers since I’m a librarian, so in that respect I won’t miss out too much I guess. Still, it can be hard at that time of year to look at everyone’s BEA posts about how much fun they had and at their book hauls and not feel some kinda way. Maybe I’ll try to do Armchair BEA again this year if they’re doing it again.
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top ten tuesday // i *might* slay an innocent lion to get these books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is to write about 10 books I would slay a lion for to get my hands on early. But…would I really slay an innocent lion to get a book? I think probably not. But for the sake of the title of this meme we can pretend I would be that heartless. Because lions are cats. And I love all cats (except sphinxes, which are not real cats. sorrynotsorry. they have no fuzz!)

  1. A Thousand Perfect Notes | C. G. Drews – Now I know how international bloggers must feel when they can’t get certain books in their countries because I WANT THIS BOOK SO MUCH BECAUSE IT IS CAIT OF PAPERFURY AND SHE IS THE BEST and I can’t have it 🙁 To be fair, there is always BookDepository, which ships internationally, and I would be willing to pay a lot of shipping for this when it comes out. Honestly, I am not big on abuse stories because they all end up reading the same to me, but it is Cait, and I am SO SO curious about her writing since she talks about it on the blog so much! So therefore I must have it by any means necessary (other than killing a cat, of course.)
  2. A Reaper at the Gates | Sabaa Tahir – I requested an ARC of this book really early on and my Penguin contact told me they were delayed and to request an ARC of it later…then I requested it later and they were still delayed…then I requested it when they were available and was told they were only going to reviewer outlets due to limited copies being made, which was very sad. But this is one of my most anticipated books of the year and I NEED IT but I also need to reread Torch because I don’t think I fully understood everything that happened the first time even though I had heart eyes throughout the whole book.
  3. The Way You Make Me Feel | Maureen Goo – The tragic part of this one is that I was going to get an ARC…but a post office mix-up sent it back to Macmillan and I never got it :””( However, I did get approved on NetGalley so that’s something? I LOVED I Believe in a Thing Called Love, and I can’t wait for a Goo book about food trucks and unlikely friendships and hopefully ROMANCE.

4. What If It’s Us | Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera – tbh, I’m a bit torn about this pairing. I LOVE Becky but HATE Adam Silvera (I’m sorry!) so this could go either way for me. But it’s also BECKY doing gay boys again and they meet at a post office and it’s romance time and my heart 😀

5. Sawkill Girls | Claire LeGrand – I haven’t read a YA horror-y novel in a long time, and this one promises both atmospheric creepiness and GIRLS. Girls kissing and mysterious, legendary monsters has to be good, right??

6. Broken Things | Lauren Oliver – I haven’t liked a Lauren Oliver book since the Delirium trilogy ended, but I have super high hopes for this one. First of all, it’s got MURDER which is always a plus, and also something about an obsession with a mysterious book, and books about books are the best, obviously. I need to know what happened in the woods!

7. Pulp | Robin Talley – So, from reading the synopsis, I gather that this book has…

  • alternating timelines between
  • 2 queer girls
  • pulp fiction
  • best friends romance between girls
  • possible slight mystery

and therefore, I MUST HAVE IT because how cool does 1950s lesbian pulp fiction sound???

8. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy | Mackenzie Lee – I’m not *as* excited to read about Felicity as I would be to read a sequel with Percy and Monty *le sigh,* but I LOVED Gentleman’s Guide, so of course I have to read this book. Lee made historical fic so fun in her last book, and I’m sure I’ll fall for these characters, too.

9. To Be Honest | Maggie Ann Martin – I HAD to have this book since the perfect, glorious, beautiful cover reveal when it was still titled THE STRUGGLE IS REAL (which is a way better title, imo). This book is about a fat girl dealing with pressure about her weight from her mom, plus a little bit of romance. I’m hoping for really good, A++ fat rep in this book because…I super need that right now. I hope To Be Honest is honestly great.

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10. The Boneless Mercies | April Genevieve Tucholke – I was already hooked by the title of this book, but then it got better and better, case in point: dark, STANDALONE fantasy (no series amnesia required!!), mercenary girls, female glory…need I go on? This sounds like a kickass, super feminist fantasy that I needed yesterday. YES PLEASE!!

 

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bout of books sign-up post!!!

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It’s! That! Time! Again!!

Friends, lovers, enemies, etc…it’s time again for another Bout of Books! Bout of Books is a week-long readathon that runs at various times during the year. Bout of Books 22 is going to be held from May 14-20. Personally, I always use BoB to get ahead on my reading and to encourage myself to read more than usual, and I hope I’ll knock a few books off my TBR list with this round as well. Generally, I try to stick with some shorter books so I can read more, and I usually pick a specific number of books as a goal, but I think “read as much as possible” is a good goal for this round since I’m still adjusting to New Life Things.

Here are some of the books I am contemplating reading for Bout of Books:

*just noticed that the majority of these books have the bisexual colors (blue, pink, and purple) on them. I must be feeling extra bisexual currently or something.

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April in Review // a few disasters and bad mental health

Ugh, April has been…the worst month so far since I moved probably. It’s the most depressed I’ve been, the most disasters happened, and overall just not good. I managed to get into two car disasters (the car is fine and I am fine and actually my wallet is pretty fine, but emotionally, I AM NOT FINE) in one day, one of which was my tire blowing out on the highway, and the other I got into an accident pulling out of the auto center after getting said tire replaced. It took a huge toll on me emotionally and I’ve just been beating up the crap out of myself for it. I also got in trouble at work because I’ve been sick a lot because I’ve had problems with nausea for about a year, and the only answer my old doctor at home gave me was that it’s because I’m fat and stressed (but mostly because I’m fat).

I guess a couple good things happened. I saw friends a few times. I’ve especially been reconnecting with someone I was really close to my freshman year of college, which has been lovely because I really missed being friends with him. He was nice then, but has just become such a wonderful, caring, sweet person to be around and it’s good to have him in my corner again. I also went to a work social event for new staff, which was awkward at first but was eventually fun. It was nice to know that people at other library branches in the system have the same problems and more problems that we do at my branch, and it was good to meet other people and not feel so isolated.

Seeing friends helped with the depression piece a little bit, but overall I’m still really feeling down. I think I need to do more fun things in general, like going out things, even though I’m definitely a homebody, but also picking up hobbies and activities I enjoy doing again and maybe even trying something new. I’ve tried starting a bookstagram but am having a hard time finding inspiration and with keeping up with it.

I just really need to do creative things. I love singing in the car and around the house, and wish I had the means to record my own stuff, but that costs money and requires technological skills I probably don’t have. I might look at some recording stuff for fun and for the future though. I wish I had the inspiration to take up songwriting again like I did in high school for a while, and I also want to get back into novel writing because Queer Bookish Novel needs to happen. Hopefully I’ll be more motivated in May. We’ll see I guess.

What I Read

I barely read this month and I’m really embarrassed about it. I only read two books, Love and Other Carnivorous Plants and ACOMAF reread. Carnivorous Plants didn’t quite live up to my super high, most-anticipated-book expectations, but it was still really good and super queer, and gave me a lot to think about. ACOMAF was super enjoyable to reread because RHYSAND. omg. I just…Rhysand…

 

 

 

Blogging Things

Even though it’s only my second month back into blogging and I’m still low on stats, I’m feeling a lot better about it than I thought I would or than I used to when I blogged before. I’m interacting with the community a lot more this time around, and it’s fun to get likes and comments and follows from people you talk to and admire. It’s definitely more fulfilling for me to feel like I’m part of the book community this time around, since I felt that was missing when I used to blog. I think that’s also because I’m focusing on finding new bloggers, and people who are blogging now seem a lot nicer and friendlier in general.

 

Favorites

  1. OMG Hayley Kiyoko’s album. I vaguely knew about Lesbian Jesus because I’d heard the song Girls Like Girls before, but Expectations was so killer and so gay and amazing and I’m just in love and this album will for sure be the soundtrack when I write Queer Bookish Novel. God, I just love it so much. It’s so fun and gay and pop-y and different than what I usually listen to.
  2. Pink hair. My hair has been pink since late January-early February, but it just makes me so happy. I feel like my hair is the one thing I see when I look in the mirror that I actually like and that makes me feel confidence and joy. I also get lots of compliments on it, which doesn’t hurt. I’m thinking I’m going to go purple in the summer, then maybe blue and mermaid-y in the fall. I love having colorful hair! It just fits my personality so well and it’s really fun.
  3. Indian food. I got way too much Indian food this month after the car incidents, but it did help a lot. There’s this place that delivers near me and their chicken tikka masala is so perfect and their garlic naan is just top notch.
  4. Project Runway All-Stars. Usually I have a love-hate relationship with this version of PR because I never agree with the judges and think their taste is old-fashioned, but this season, the person who I wanted to win actually won!! The challenges were also super fun, there was a good amount of drama, and the people on it actually deserved to be there and weren’t only there for drama value for the most part, which is a MAJOR improvement from last season.

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