Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Tour of My 2017 Bullet Journal

[Looks like I'm posting late again. I'd love to be able to say, "Check for new posts every Saturday morning bright and early at 7 am!" But it's been hard to stay consistent with how busy school has been. My apologies, and thanks for understanding!]

Introductory note aside, I thought we'd do something a little different today! Usually I stick to blogging about reading books, writing books, admiring bookshelves, discussing the nature of books, watching books (oh wait, I mean movies), et cetera. Basically everything that equals story. With the exception of Subplots & Storylines, Adventure Awaits isn't really a lifestyle blog.

Buuuut as we all know, life doesn't fit in boxes. What affects life inadvertently affects writing. When life is prioritized, writing tends to go better. When life is chaos, I struggle to find time to string together even a paragraph, and when I do get time, my brain is too tired to make good use of it.

So, ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to...


Cue fanfare and trumpets!

This day planner/to-do list/calendar has been around for a while, but you may not have heard of it. Worry not, I shall do my best to get you well acquainted.

Before we begin, I'm not promising a miracle cure or easy fix. Bullet journaling may not even be for you. (Keep in mind, I'm the kind of person who LOVES lists, because they let me pin my thoughts down on paper where I can see them, manage them, and conquer them. You may be the exact opposite, which is great too.) But after keeping a bullet journal for the past year, and loving it, I'd like to share my experience. Who knows, it might help you put 2018 in ship-shape order!

what is a bullet journal?

They call it the analog system for the digital age--essentially, it's whatever you want to make it. A typical bullet journal functions as a day planner combined with a to-do list, with calendars and goals and similar things thrown in. You can actually buy an official bullet journal, or read all about the real thing HERE.

Some people get really fancy and make theirs an art journal as well, with artwork and photos and quotes and washi tape and stickers all over the place. Just look up "bullet journal" on Pinterest or Instagram and you'll find endless photos of aesthetically gorgeous journals. #jealous

What's great, though, is that you don't need anything fancy to get started. A regular old notebook works just as well. Spending hours on pretty art isn't necessary unless you want to do it. The key to a bullet journal is how you organize it.

Rather than repeat what's already on the website, I'll be showing you my own personal methods.

Before we get there, you may be thinking, "But I have my phone's calendar, notes, and apps to do all of this. Why would I go to the trouble of making a special journal?" If your phone's tools are working for you, great! I still use all of those things too, because my phone does go with me where my bullet journal does not. What I prefer about bullet journaling, however, is the way everything is in one place. And I find that the physical act of writing makes things easier to remember and more satisfying to check off.

the notebook itself

I first heard about bullet journaling from my pal Lisa (affectionately referred to as Lisa Pickle about 99.3729% of the time) in 2016, and thought it sounded quite fun. So for the last couple months of the year, I experimented in an old notebook, just to see if I liked it and how I wanted to set it up. Then in January 2017, I bought this pretty notebook from Chapters and dove in for real! *is secretly pleased that the cover matches my blog* This notebook is lined, but next year I really want to try a dot-grid notebook!


Like I mentioned before, this is definitely the key to making a bullet journal work for you, and it's what sets it apart from regular planners.

I drew this legend on the first page to remember what each symbol means, but by now I no longer have to refer to it. Most of these are the official symbols, with one or two I made up for myself.

  • (dot) = a task that is yet to be completed (this is what you'd use on a to-do list, for example)
  • (x) = once you've completed a task, you turn the dot into an x to mark it off
  • (>) = to move a task to a different list, scratch a right-facing arrow over the dot to signify that it's been moved elsewhere in the notebook
  • (<) = when you scribble down a task during Monday, let's say, like "pick up cookies at the bakery" but it's really a task for next Wednesday, you later draw a left-facing arrow over the dot to signify that you've scheduled the task (as in, moved it to Wednesday)
  • (a star) = priority task (self-explanatory)
  • (open circle) = an event, rather than a task
  • (dash) = a note, rather than a task or event

If it sounds complicated, it really isn't--and you can always simplify these symbols however you like. My migrating and scheduling symbols have kind of merged over the year to just a ">" that tells me an incomplete task was moved to a future list.

On my next page, I have an index or table of contents. Since I didn't know ahead of time where all my pages would end up, I just filled this in as I went along throughout the year, naming the pages and indicating the page numbers. This makes it easy for me to flip through and find what I'm looking for.

future logs

A future log is a six-month spread (again, set up however you like) that lists the major events and tasks coming up over the next half a year. I love this spread because it gives me a birds-eye view! Pictured below is my July-December future log.

(some dates blurred out for privacy)

You can see that I included birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, exams, important writing deadlines, and miscellaneous things like a wedding and a concert.

monthly spreads

I find this is the most fun to make, but also the most time-consuming! Every month I draw out a fresh calendar, which I fill in with my work schedule, school projects, events, appointments, birthdays, and more. Basically, it's like zooming in on part of your future log, but in calendar format.

(sorry, a wee bit more blurring here too)

I start by drawing out the calendar with a ruler and pen. Then I list my goals for the month along the right-hand side, turning the dots into x's once each task is completed. Lately a number of goals haven't been completed by the end of the month, so they're forwarded to the next month . . . and then the next month, and the next, until I finally finish them. Heh.

I also enjoy decorating my monthly spreads a little bit. It's fun to change it up every month with a new color combo.

At the bottom of the spread, I draw a few habit trackers, which I'll explain in more detail right away.

(Just a note: some people break their monthly spreads down into weekly spreads as well, but for me they're redundant and take too much time.)

habit trackers

This is another favorite thing of mine! And I sound like a broken record saying this, but habit trackers are yet another thing that are very individual. Some people use them, others don't. Some people track dozens of habits, others--like me--track just a few.

I chose to track my writing, blogging, reading, and bedtime habits. (Too many habits would've been hard to keep track of, and I suspect I would've fallen off the wagon if I'd attempted a dozen right away.) Each day that I write, work on blogging, read a book, or go to bed by 10:30 pm, I color in a square. (The bedtime habit has been an epic fail this year! Oops!) I've also seen people track exercise, devotions, how much water they drink, chores, and all sorts of things. And I may add one or two new habits next year. But the point is to make habit trackers work for you. They're meant to motivate you and give you an honest look at how you spend your time.

daily logs

Every night before bed, I write down what I've done that day, check my goal progress, and fill in my habit trackers. If there are several things pressing on my mind for the next day, I'll make a to-do list under that day's heading. This takes just a couple minutes, and it's relaxing to put the day to rest on paper.

My daily logs usually take just a few lines, unless I did a lot of varied things throughout the day. I'll write down things like school times, work shifts, and errands I ran; or the fact that I edited my WIP, read a book, answered blog comments, hung out with family, or went out to eat. I'm not strict with how I list these things.

In this way, I'd say my daily logs are more like a bare bones journal. But some days that have a lot going on turn into more of a to-do list . . . which might be more effective if I carried my bullet journal around with me everywhere I went, but for what I need, using it once or twice at the beginning and end of my day works fine.

By the by, I don't actually have a superhuman memory when I sit down to write those Subplots & Storylines monthly summaries. I rely hugely on my bullet journal!

Here's a glimpse at a couple of pretty average daily logs:

As you can see, I mostly use the dashes to indicate notes about what I've done. To-do items are x'd out if I finished at the end of the day, or forwarded (>) to a different day if not. I don't keep a strict amount of lines for each day--I just fill in each one as I go along.


A bullet journal can be more than a planner and to-do list! You can also add less frequently used pages to keep track of anything and everything you want. I kept my extras to a minimum this year. Mainly, I made pages of books I've read, movies I've watched, future blog post ideas, and a few other topics.

(here's proof that your journal doesn't have to be perfect--you can see the whiteout in the header. xD)
(whatever you can read here is probably incomprehensible.
looks like I was keeping track of tv episodes too)

(spoiler alert!)

some tips and tricks

  • I'm quite pleased that I managed to keep up this new habit of bullet journaling for a whole year! For me, the trick was to keep the notebook and pens/pencils right next to my bed so that it was one of the last things I'd see every day. It reminds to me to write in it every night.
  • Track what's important to you. This applies to the whole concept, not just habit trackers. If all you want to write in your calendars are appointments and big events that you absolutely should not forget, fine. If you want to go into great detail and schedule in little everyday activities, that's also fine.
  • Don't be afraid to change it up. I did stick to pretty much the same format throughout, but with my experimental journal in 2016, I tried a bunch of things to see what I liked.
  • Make it pretty if you like, but don't feel like you have to.
  • Make it functional. You can create top-notch aesthetics, but if your bullet journal isn't useful in some way, you may as well call it an art journal.
  • You do you. Yep, I've said it about a hundred times in this post already, but if you're going to use a bullet journal, set it up in a way that works for you. What's your schedule like? How much time do you want to spend on this every day? What's the best time of day to use your bullet journal? What are your primary reasons for using it in the first place?
  • Think outside the box! You could borrow the bullet journal format for something that's not a planner at all--it could be used for a writing journal, a notebook of strictly to-do lists, a collection of ideas, an address book, a homework organizer, whatever!

and that's it.

Thanks for coming along for the tour! I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into a little tool I use to manage life.

Now tell me, wayfarers: do you use a bullet journal? (If yes, let's hear your own tips and tricks!) Are you thinking of trying it out? How do you keep your time and projects organized? And honestly--am I the only one who likes lists so much that I put down already-accomplished things, just for the satisfaction of checking them off?? Come on, 'fess up.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Subplots and Storylines - November 2017

Wait--November disappeared? I left it right there, turned around for one second, and when I looked back, it was gone!

I suspect many of us are feeling that way, especially all of you who participated in NaNoWriMo! I could use a really long nap right about now. But before I crawl into hibernation, I suppose you're expecting some witty summaries of how November shaped up in my corner of the world, right?

Well, the month opened up with my 22nd birthday.
Po Po Po
And what with blueberry bran muffins for breakfast and a rousing game of bingo in the evening, it's been confirmed that I am now an old lady. It was a lovely day, despite school taking up half of it, and a few days later I received a surprise birthday package in the mail from a dear friend (you know who you are!). Later on I also went out for coffee with another good friend whom I hadn't really chatted with in--oops--close to a year, so that was fun too. (You know who you are as well!)

Let's see, what else . . .

My little sis had a birthday too! The end of the year is when half the family's birthdays snowball into Christmas, so there's always lots of shopping involved. Speaking of which, I started Christmas shopping in November too, but still have a ways to go. That, plus putting up the Christmas tree and seeing the glittering hoarfrost all over the trees on my way to work this morning, means the festive feels are rolling in.

I bought a painting from another friend of mine who was selling her artwork at a local craft faire, and the green-and-blue colors match my room quite nicely.

I finally moved a two-foot stack of books--all acquired last summer--off my desk! Had to clear a shelf to make room for them, but at least now they have a home. Any other book dragons out there struggling to fit your hoard into your existing shelves? It's tough.

So basically lots of little happenings this month, because school was intense. All the assignment due dates, quizzes, and studying kind of fell into November, plus the deadline for a group project was (and still is) looming, so much of my spare time was funneled into textbooks. Unfortunately. This is why I'm heading off to hibernate!

P.S. Marvel's Infinity War trailer dropped and I am F R E A K I N G  O U T.

Subplots on the Screen

Yes, yes, I watched more of Once Upon a Time season 3 and The Flash season 3, both of which are still great! And is it just me, or have I been stuck on these seasons for months?!

Wonder Woman

(I actually watched this in October, but somehow forgot to include it in that month's S&S post.) Back when I first heard they were making a Wonder Woman movie, I'll admit I rolled my eyes, expecting two hours of overly-feministic claptrap. The character's appearance in Batman v. Superman didn't impress me much--she seemed like just another beautiful, kick-butt heroine with little personality.

Buuuut then I started hearing great reviews from friends who were watching Wonder Woman, and when I finally saw it myself--well, I realized they were right! It wasn't a perfect movie (and it did bear some amusing resemblances to Captain America: The First Avenger), but it was one of the best DC films I've seen. Diana's strong moral compass and pure view of the world rang true for me. ("But the war is that way!") Seeing her charge into battle, inspiring dozens of men to follow her into the fray, almost brought me to tears. Plus, it was super fun to see an Amazonian women at odds with American WWI society.

The Dark Tower
The preview gave me chills! I've never watched nor read anything by Stephen King, but this one had enough of a fantasy vibe (and less of a horror vibe) to interest me. Unfortunately, the plot lacked the depth I was hoping for, and the boy, Jake, could have had a lot more personality. I did enjoy it, though! Matthew McConaughy was the BEST as the Man in Black. He saved the movie for me. So did Idris Elba as the Gunslinger--both were really cool characters. The score was fantastic too.

Not sure if this is true, but apparently the movie was based off a whole series of books by Stephen King, so maybe that's why it felt like it was missing something. Anyway, I don't regret watching it.

Soooo good! This is a movie about human trafficking, so it wasn't an easy watch, but the filmmakers did a good job of conveying the worst parts in a subtle, implied way. Even so, there was lots of emotion, and some characters I wanted to smack really hard--disgustingly hard.

Did you know that Joel Smallbone from For King & Country played the lead role? He did a stellar job. Actually, the whole movie was surprisingly good quality. Sorry, but you never know if a Christian film is going to feel low-budget. Terribly unfortunate, and I have many thoughts on that topic, but that's for another day. This movie was great, though, even if it wrapped up a bit quickly!

Due to the subject matter, I would caution younger viewers to use discernment when deciding whether to see it themselves.

Storylines on the Page

Prodigy Prince // Natasha Sapienza

The author was so sweet and gave me a free e-book copy in exchange for review! (All opinions are my own.) This was a high fantasy novel that kind of toed the line between MG and YA, and the action starts right off the bat with Prince Nuelle's older brother leaving him in the role of Supreme Prince. It was a really creative story, exceedingly colorful in all senses of the word, with things like magenta grass and blue hair and elemental-ish superpowers. My favorite powers are spoilery, however, so I can't talk about them!

A slew of fantasy creatures and battles kept the pace running at high-speed; the Savage Shifters in particular were nifty because they were actually limited in their shapeshifting powers (hallelujah for realistic limits!).

I'm a big sucker for training sequences and heroes banding together in an Avengers-like style, so that was another plus for me. My favorite scene, however, took place in an infirmary, where a certain character with healing powers literally absorbed the wounded people's pain.

My main quibble was that the pace didn't allow me to delve as deeply into the mind of the protagonist or the nuances of the storyworld as much as I wanted to. I posted a longer review on Goodreads HERE. (Just an FYI, I believe Natasha is making some changes to the story before she fully releases it, but if you're interested, definitely add it to your to-read list on GR!) Three stars!

The Tomb of the Sea Witch // Kyle Robert Schultz

Eeep, I loved this one! The Beast of Talesend was really fun, don't get me wrong, but somehow the sequel was just BETTER. I laughed out loud numerous times while the characters went undercover at the Warrengate Academy of Advanced Magic and dealt with threats from the sea (sirens! mermaids! artefacts! oh my!). Full of twists and turns that honestly surprised me, humor on nearly every page, lots of snark, and deliciously fun spins on several different fairy tales at once, this little book was like fluffy chocolate cake. No, make that Black Forest Cake, because the surprises and jokes are like . . . cherries? No? Analogy's not working? Okay, fine. It was a great book, and I'm so glad I bought it straight from the author at Realm Makers last summer!

I caught a few unfortunate typos, but am still giving it five stars!

A Time to Die // Nadine Brandes

Another book I bought at Realm Makers, yay! And OH. MY. GOODNESS. This trilogy gets a lot of hype, at least in my reader circles, and I was desperately hoping it would live up to all those glowing reviews. IT DID. Bless Nadine's heart, it did.

This is one of the most unusual dystopian novels I've read, because it's infused with a lot more faith and hard questions and almost urban fantasy-ish settings than others. One setting in particular almost felt out of place, but I found it so fascinating that I didn't care.

But let's get back to the beginning. PARVIN. She is gold. I related to her so stinking much. In a society where everyone has a Clock counting down the time until they die, she has a year left and yearns to find her purpose, some way to make her last days count. She swings from apathy to passion a few times throughout the course of the novel, which was uncomfortably realistic (but in a good way). And she's something of a writer--well, technically an autobiographer--so that was neat.

Some quickie thoughts on other characters:

  • Parvin's mom was hard to like at first, but that was on purpose, and I felt their somewhat rocky relationship was done really well.
  • Parvin's twin brother was lovable, except for a few times when he was annoyingly secretive.
  • A certain man with a fedora was verrrrry hateable.
  • Jude--I have conflicting feelings about this guy even now. At times I hated him too, at other times I adored him. He was flawed, temperamental, but he had his reasons. So my undecided opinion is not a bad thing! Just an observation!
  • Hawke--okay, him I like. He had some moments that made me unsure as well, but in other ways he reminded me of the beloved Remko from Rachelle Dekker's Seer trilogy, minus the stutter. I want more Hawke in the next two instalments!
  • Willow was precious.
  • One minor character had a strong Ecclesiastes ("everything is useless!") vibe going on, which was intriguing.
  • The Albinos were despicable and strange and yet some of them had redeeming qualities.

I don't even know how to sum up my thoughts on this book! I've been thinking about it for weeks since finishing it. It brought me close to tears. It resonated with me powerfully. The emotions were palpable, the writing was excellent, and the worldbuilding was fleshed out wonderfully. Low cities and high cities, a humongous wall, tightropes, wilderness, a train, the Dregs, emotigraphs, super cool suits: all of it shone through the pages brilliantly. Nadine writes with truckloads of heart, and consequently, mine was broken in a beautiful way.

Can't wait to read the next two! Five stars!

A Midsummer Night's Dream // Shakespeare

GASP, what is this? Tracey read a classic? A Shakespeare play, no less? Why yes, I'm not a completely uncultured bookdragon. Sometimes the classic bug bites me, and I'm in the mood for old books. That happened this month, so I picked up this wee little play and enjoyed it immensely. All I knew about it going in was that Puck was in it. And I wanted to read about Puck. And I was not disappointed. He was one of my favorite parts--a mischievous imp who, together with Oberon, mess everything up for the play's main characters. This was a comedy of errors indeed. Very amusing.

And essentially we have a love square going on. (Thanks, Shakespeare, for inspiring 98% of all modern YA romances--although it looks like you were really just poking fun at the melodrama.) It's all rather over-the-top and hilarious, but there are also gorgeous descriptions woven throughout, along with musings on the nature of art, love's blindness, and imagination.

"The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Are of imagination all compact . . ."

Also, Nick Bottom and the other peasant actors are officially the second-best thing ever. Puck is still the best! Another five stars.

In other book news . . .

I won a discount on a PageHabit book box in October, caved in, and subscribed. My box arrived early November, containing two new hardcover YA books--both annotated by the authors--and a small collection of bookish goodies. Quite fun! But it's an American-based company, and so it's not exactly cheap for a Canadian . . . so my plan was to unsubscribe after my first box, at least for now while I'm a student paying tuition fees. Except I forgot to unsubscribe in time, and now my second box is in the mail. Oops! Oh well, it means a couple more new books.

Subplots on My Writing Desk

Hey, remember last month when I told y'all that I was going to edit my Snow White retelling for the Rooglewood contest before the end of November so that I could have a month off writing?

That didn't happen. Instead, school happened.

I think I had exactly four editing sessions the entire month, and the first two were spent reading over the novella and making notes.

But as of now, I did my first pass through chapters 1-4 (out of 9 in total). So . . . I can still finish before the deadline on December 31st. And on the plus side, it's not as much of a mess as I originally thought? So yay? I don't know, I guess I've been dealing with some writer's doubt on this one. But it's starting to shape up a bit--progress!

Oh, guess what! I also have a title AT LAST! No longer must I refer to it as Epically Confused and Possibly Schizophrenic Snow White Retelling (or ECaPSSWR). No, now it is called Mirrors Never Lie. Having something to call it is a relief!

[image via Pinterest; graphic my own]

Hello, final month of 2017!

November was a packed month, so I can't wait to get final exams done and over with so that I can take Christmas break! How did all of you fare this month? Did you survive NaNo? Has it snowed yet wherever you live? Whatcha think of the new novella title? Pour yourself a hot chocolate and let's chat!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

5 Regal Books on My Shelf - The Coronation Blog Tour

Hey all! I'm popping back in the middle of the week to join indie author Livy Jarmusch's Regal Reads blog tour! (Link leads to the tour schedule, where you can check out all the blogs involved.) Livy recently released her story, Regal Hearts, which is written in a TV show format with seasons and episodes and whatnot. Pretty nifty, right? Here's the synopsis:

Following the dramatic birth of her royal daughters, the Queen of Bella Adar is murdered by the merciless sword of an evil usurper. The helpless princesses are placed in the care of the URIA, an undercover organization who safely extracts and protects the girls from a tragic fate. Sixteen years later, Lena Bodner encounters a stranger who uncovers secrets from her past...
Find Regal Reads in paperback or digital format.

Livy Jarmusch is a twenty-something author, singer, and songwriter. She enjoys crafting YA Christian fiction that is pure, lovely, inspirational, and of course, entertaining! When she's not writing, you can usually find her playing guitar, blogging, drinking peppermint tea, connecting with new friends, planning her next trip to Disney, or pinning images of Europe and Golden Retriever Puppies.

So to celebrate this royalty-themed book, today we'll be discussing five of the most regal books on my shelf!

Novels about long-lost princesses and questing princes and mad queens and exiled kings are not hard to find. We seem to have a fascination with royalty--what it means to hold power and responsibility, how it feels to rule, the consequences of decisions that affect entire kingdoms, what it might be like to wake up in a turreted fortress every day, waited on hand and foot . . . I suspect that the pauper-turned-prince trope is effective because it hints at our true identities as children of the Lord of Lords--but that's a post for another day.

Like I said, I have no shortage of those sorts of books, so let's dive in! (Links lead to Goodreads.)

Waterfall // Lisa T. Bergren

It's been years since I read the captivating River of Time trilogy, but it still holds a place in my heart. Time travel? Yep. Medieval Italy? Yes please. A fabulous Italian royal and his equally fabulous sidekick? You bet. In this book, sisters Gabi and Lia accidentally transport themselves through an ancient Etruscan tomb into the middle of the medieval era--and yes, they do begin falling in love with the royal guy and his best friend.

I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, but I remember battles, treachery, plague, castles, and romance. (I have a feeling that when I return for a reread, I may find more sappiness than I recall . . . but who cares? It's a fun series!) Marcelo, the royal guy, has definitely stuck around in my memory, though.

Heartless // Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I distinctly remember how I met this book. I was browsing the local bookstore when the cover caught my eye. The blurb sounded interesting, though the name Aethelbald seemed odd, and I resolved to find the book at the library to see if it was any good. Time passed and I forgot . . . until the day I did find it at the library. As cliché as it sounds, there was no looking back! I promptly fell in love with Anne Elisabeth's rich prose, fascinating world, and soul-stirring themes. Tales of Goldstone Wood is still among my top favorite series of all time!

And this one involves royalty too! We have Una, who is quite frankly a self-centered princess at the beginning, but still lovable, and she grows so much by the end. There's her little brother Felix, a mischievous fellow, and their father, the king of Parumvir. But the monarch who stole the show for me is the Prince of Farthestshore--and if you haven't had the pleasure of meeting him yet, please, please read this book.

Raven's Ladder // Jeffrey Overstreet

The Auralia Thread is one series I haven't talked about enough around here! It's yet another one on my ever growing list of books-I-must-reread-one-day. The writing style isn't fast-paced, but the tapestry of painfully real characters in a richly textured storyworld held me entranced.

In this book, the third of four, we follow a weary King Cal-Raven as he tries to lead the straggling remnant of his kingdom to a new home. I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone, so I won't say much more, except that Cal-Raven's doubts and struggles and search for the light spoke to me on a deep level. Just--ACK. GO READ THIS TOO.

Curse of the Spider King // Wayne Thomas Batson

Hey, look, there's a book I actually did reread! It was slightly less stunning the second time around in terms of the writing style (and I feel bad for saying so), but definitely still a fun, exciting, romping adventure. If you're looking for royal characters, this book is packed with not one, not two, but SEVEN royal Elf Lords. Seven young teens who were spirited away to earth as babies, and are now returning home to Berinfell to protect their homeland against the Spider King.

You know those special scenes that leave you breathless? The rare ones that stir your heart and wake something up inside of you? I recall one chapter involving Grimwarden training the seven Elf Lords (I keep telling you, I'm a sucker for those training sequences), where he said something profound. I couldn't tell you the details of the dialogue or description, I just have a bottle of that airy, hopeful, hold-your-breath mood stored away. Don't you just love how books stay with you over the years? Even if this trilogy is less impressive to me now as a twenty-something reader than it was as a young teen, it meant something to me then, and that is still special.

The Royal Ranger // John Flanagan

Capping off this list is the twelfth and final book of Ranger's Apprentice. For those of you who haven't read the whole series yet, I'll keep things vague and hopefully spoiler-free.

This book takes a leap forward by several years . . . Will is now grown up, and becoming just as grouchy as Halt, when his friends decide that the perfect way to snap him out of his foul mood is to give him an apprentice of his own. This apprentice is a tad rebellious and unwilling--and yes, royal as well. The result is just the kind of light, amusing, sarcastic heartwarming adventure I expect from Mr. Flanagan.

There we have it! Five beloved regal reads on my shelf. Have you read some of these? What's your favorite royal book? And don't forget to go check out the rest of Livy's book tour!