I'm on Hiatus (Just for a Bit)

Hey everyone,

So...you might be wondering where I've been lately.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been struggling to come up with new content to post on Indoor Sojourner. I want to write posts that I like and would enjoy reading if I were someone's shoes. Unfortunately, I've recently drawn a blank on forming ideas to incorporate into posts. I've also started school and an internship for StudioWed (part of which I write for their blog), so I need to put my focus on these things first.

Starting today, I'm taking a two week hiatus from posting so I can organize my thoughts and get back on track. However, I'll still be on my social media accounts (listed below and in the sidebar) and in the meantime, I'll be working slowly but surely behind the scenes on some fresh, new posts!

Thanks for understanding,

Indoor Sojourner
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Review: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Published: March 4th, 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux

Synopsis: Winning what you want may cost you everything you love... 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 
But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

To be honest, I was a little apprehensive to start this book, mainly because of the first sentence of its description. Contrary to the Goodreads description (seen above), the first sentence of my copy's description is, "They were never meant to be together."

My first impression was, "Great. This is going to be a flimsy YA fantasy with a little bit of plot and a whole lot of angst."

Thankfully, I was proven wrong...for the most part.

The Good

As for the characters, I was pleasantly surprised to find a female protagonist that is strong, independent, and intelligent. Even though she's a little angsty at times, Kestrel is very sure of herself; she doesn't care what other people think of her, but she isn't rude or flippant about it. Unlike a lot of female protagonists, she thinks in a very analytical way, usually choosing to strategize and even manipulate in order to what needs to be done.

The plot and setting were both pretty solid, with a typical fantasy setup. I was glad to find that there was a good foundation set up for the plot, which featured a mix of political and societal intrigue that will hopefully unfold further in the next two books. It was also pretty interesting to learn about the cultural and religious differences between the Spartan-esque nation of Valoria and the milder Herran people. As a whole, there were a lot of questions that I wanted to be answered, but it was just enough to keep me wanting more of this trilogy.

The Bad

Let's talk about Arin for a bit, shall we?

As the aloof but secretly vulnerable love interest with a strong will (and equally strong biceps, probably), he was kind of a YA stereotype. He was almost perfect, and the few flaws he did have seemed forced. Even though Arin is a bit cliche, he wasn't terribly annoying, and I've definitely read male protagonists that are more generic than him. However, I think he had a little more potential as a character and I hope we'll see that play out in the future. I also found the supporting characters (namely, Kestrel's friends) to be pretty bland. It seemed like they were there for Kestrel's development, and outside of that, they served little to no purpose.

The timeline of the story was definitely something I struggled with. Every few chapters, the plot suddenly skipped weeks or even a month in advance, making it hard to keep up.

Like I said earlier, there were a lot of unanswered questions introduced throughout the book. Since The Winner's Curse is only the first book, I can understand that too an extent, but I would have liked to learn more about what actually caused the Herran War and the tension that led up to it.

The Gist

Generally, this was an entertaining book that introduced a decent plot and (mostly) likable characters. Even though I don't think it lived up to the hype, I enjoyed The Winner's Curse and look forward to reading the next book. If you're a teenager who likes YA fantasy with a romantic influence, I'd recommend this book to you.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Indoor Sojourner
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Top Five Friday: My Perpetual TBR

Whenever I log on to Blogger, Instagram, or most of my social media for that matter, there's a good chance I'm going to come across someone sharing the spoils of a recent book haul. I don't have a problem with these posts; in fact, I think it's great that readers are getting their hands on as many books as possible. However, I just can't justify buying more books if I have books on my shelf or my Kindle that I haven't read. Instead of going on massive books hauls, I usually buy one or two books at a time.

Today on Top Five Friday, I'm going to continue on the theme of books I haven't read and discuss the handful of books that I've bought but simply haven't gotten around to.

5. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

After I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane for my Brit Lit class last spring, I had to get my hands on another Neil Gaiman book. I ended up forgetting about it and moving on to other books, but it's only been around four months since I bought it, so there's still hope that I'll get to it at some point!

4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I'm pretty sure I bought The Bell Jar at the same time I bought Stardust, so it hasn't been sitting on my shelf for too terribly long. This will probably be my next read when I'm in the mood for a classic!

3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The hype over The Girl on the Train was pretty intense when it came out in January, so I basically bought it on a whim based on what I've heard about it; not to mention I can't resist interesting fonts and cover art. Since there's a possibility for a movie adaptation, I'll probably read it at some point, but it's not on my radar any time soon.

2. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

After reading All the Light We Cannot See last fall, I definitely went through a historical fiction phase, and getting A Constellation of Vital Phenomena was definitely a result of this. Don't get me wrong, I still love a good historical fiction book every now and then, but lately, I just haven't been in the mood for it. Based on the cover art, maybe this will be a good book to read closer to winter!

1. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

I've had The Young Elites on my Kindle since late last year, and I haven't considered reading it since then. I think I read the sample, but I wasn't in the mood to read it at the time and decided to start it later. Evidently, "later" turned into "eventually" since I still haven't read it to this day!

Have you read the books on this week's Top Five Friday? What did you think about them? Do you have any books that you can't seem to get around to? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner
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Six Reasons Why I Love my Kindle

When it comes to e-readers vs. print books, a lot of readers are pretty divided; some swear by their Kindles while others treasure their shelves full of books.

While I like to have hard copies of my favorite books, I'm a devoted Kindle user. I don't have a problem with printed books, but I think Kindles have a lot of benefits that are worth looking into for anyone who may be interested.

Before I get started, I'd like to mention that I'm an Amazon affiliate and will get commissions for purchases made through the Amazon links in this post. However, all of the opinions mentioned in this post are 100% honest; my main goal is to express why Kindle books work for me in hopes that they'll work for you too!

1. You Can Download Books Instantly

This is probably my favorite thing about having a Kindle. At the press of a button, I can download whatever book I want without having to take the time to go to a bookstore or wait days for my books to come in the mail.

2. It's Perfect for Travelling

If I'm going on a trip, I'll occasionally take one or two print books with me, but usually, I'm perfectly fine with only bringing my Kindle. It's so much easier to carry, especially if I'm trudging around an airport for hours.

3. All of my Books Are in One Place

Unless I were to lose my Kindle itself, it's impossible for me to misplace my books. Since they can get a bit disorganized at times, I also like to put them in collections based on series, genre, author, etc.

3. They're Easy to Hold

If I want to hold a typical paperback in one hand, there's basically no comfortable way to do it. With a Kindle, I don't have to worry about floppy pages and a spine getting in the way.

4. They're Easy to Read

The font type and size can be easily changed on the Kindle, and on the app, you can change the background color between black, white, or sepia. They may seem like little things, but these subtle changes can makes the reading experience much easier. There's even evidence that e-readers in general can make reading easier for people with dyslexia.  

5. Kindle Books are Cheaper than Paper Ones

There are lots of books in the Kindle store that are extremely cheap or even free. Even when they're not on sale, most books are around $9-$10, which is up to half the price of a typical hardcover!

Bonus: You can read books from the Kindle store without having a Kindle!

If you're thinking about buying a Kindle but are unsure about taking the plunge, the free Kindle app is available on the App Store, Google Play, Windows Store and Mac App Store.

However, if you think you're ready, you can buy a Kindle on Amazon for as low as $79.

With all of this in mind, you don't have to read all of your books exclusively on your Kindle; some books work better with the Kindle format than others.

Books Ideal for Print

Any book that has maps, pictures, glossaries, or other pictures work better in print. Some examples include:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy) by Leigh Bardugo

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Heir of Fire by S.J. Maas
I had no idea this series even had a map until I did my Heir of Fire review, which is silly, since it's a high fantasy series. XD

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Similarly, I didn't even realize there was a whole guide on Allomacy at the end of these books until I finished the first one.

Popular: How a Geek in Pearls Discovered the Secret to Confidence by Maya Van Wagenen
This one's kind of a wild card out of the previous books, but it has a lot of cute pictures taken from Maya's journey to popularity!

Long story short, if you're interested in a book that's similar to these, I would suggest getting it in print. Otherwise, the format would likely be perfectly fine for a Kindle.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you read print books or Kindle books more often? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner
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Why Spoilers Aren't a Big Deal

In the process of making this post, I was trying to think of a time when part of a book I either hadn't read yet or was in the middle of reading was spoiled for me. I know it's happened at some point, but I honestly can't remember a specific example because at the end of the day, being spoiled is not the end of the world.

Before you scramble to the comments section, hear me out; in the prologue of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare basically spoiled everything, saying:
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
Do you think anyone in the audience was disgruntled that the ending was spoiled for them? Well, there was probably at least one, but for the most part, everyone just wanted to see what would happen up to that point.

At the same time, I won't deny that spoilers are frustrating. The moment you lay your eyes on one, it feels like a surprise has been ruined for you. As soon as you get to whatever pivotal part of the book was spoiled for you, the feeling of shock and awe you would have felt is replaced with indifference.

But does that indifference affect the way you feel about the book as a whole? Sure, it's disappointing in the moment, but once you finish the book, is the fact that you were spoiled even relevant anymore?

I know this is a shorter post than usual, but I just want to serve a little food for thought and see what you think. What are your thoughts on spoilers? Does it affect how you feel about the book? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner
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July Wrap Up and Favorites

The time has come when I ramble about what I read in the month of July! Since this was a slow reading month for me, I figured I would also add some of my favorite TV shows, beauty products, and other tidbits I discovered this month. Although reading is one of my favorite things to do, I also have other hobbies and interests that I'd love to share with you all!


Books read: 2..Not the best in terms of quantity, but since I loved both of these books, I'd say the quality of my reading was pretty fantastic.

What I Read

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Rating: 5/5

I didn't write a review for this one because I honestly didn't think I could do it justice. I haven't met a C.S. Lewis book I didn't like, and I absolutely loved this one.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Rating: 4.5/5

This book has great world building, a great plot, lots of magic and mystery, and is just great all around! I did write a review for this one, so if you'd like to read it, click the link above.



Some of these favorites are probably the reason I was in a bit of a reading slump. I regret nothing. XD

Falling Skies (2011- )
Network: TNT
Where to Watch: Amazon PrimeGoogle Play

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know that every Sunday night this month, I've been glued to Falling Skies. As the summer TV season transitions into reruns and reality shows, this one has kept me on my toes for several years now. Unfortunately, this is the last season, so if you haven't seen it yet, be sure to watch it before it's too late!

Extreme Weight Loss (2011- )
Network: ABC
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime (Seasons 3-5), Vudu (Seasons 3-5)

Even though every episode has a similar formula, there's something about this show that keeps me coming back every time. Maybe it's the inspiring comeback stories, or maybe I just enjoy watching people achieve their dreams as I sit on the couch and eat frozen yogurt...

Reign (2013- )
Network: The CW
Where to Watch: Netflix (Season 1), Amazon PrimeGoogle Play

*gasp* THE DRAMA.

Reign is sort of like a melodramatic fanfiction about Mary Stuart's rise to power. It can be a little silly and is not realistic in any way, but something about this show made it a challenge to close Netflix and return to the real world.

Is it historically accurate? I'm not a history buff by any means, but anyone can tell that it's definitely not. 

Did I devour the first season in a matter of days regardless? I'd rather not say.


Revlon Liquid Makeup SPF 6
Revlon Colorstay Foundation in Warm Golden 
Coverage: Medium/Full
Ideal for: Combination/Oily Skin

I took a chance and got this foundation on Amazon during (the generally disappointing) Prime Day because I needed a foundation that would work with the slight tan I've built up. Surprisingly, it matched my skin tone, and to top it off, it's perfect for controlling summer shine, lasts all day and provides a good amount of coverage while still looking natural.

Milani Baked Powder Blush, Dolce Pink 01 0.12 ozMilani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink
Finish: Sheer, Shimmery
Ideal for: Fair to Medium skin tones
CVSMilani CosmeticsAmazon

Before this month, I never really dabbled in dewy or shimmery makeup looks because I was always afraid that I wouldn't be able to pull it off. As soon as I put it on, it looked like I was glowing, but not in a "you've been outside in the Georgia summer heat" kind of way; it has metallic undertones that give off just the right kind of shimmer.

Soft Matte Lip Cream by PA02NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm
Finish: Matte (obviously)
Ideal for: Medium skin tones

Good nude lip products are my weakness, and this lip cream is no exception. It has a pink undertone that looks natural and feminine and also works wonders as a base for other lipsticks and glosses.

Bonus: It also smells like cake and cookies and everything sweet. c:

Clarisonic Mia 2
Ideal for: Blemished skin
Nordstrom (on sale!), Macy'sAmazon

Even though it's pretty pricey, this little gem makes my skin feel so clean and refreshed, removing every little bit of dirt, makeup, and who knows what else from my face.
But be warned: Like other skincare products, it can make your face break out a bit when you start using it because your skin won't be used to it. However, you have to persevere and keep using it to see positive results!

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Cool and Crisp
Ideal for: Anyone who can't be bothered to wash their hair sometimes

This quickly became my favorite dry shampoo ever because it makes my hair feel soft and natural and doesn't have the weird, stiff feeling and strange smell other dry shampoos have. It comes in a variety of scents and formulas, so you're bound to find at least one that suits your fancy!


Here are some bloggers I've discovered who are friendly, helpful and make quality content!

Nicole @ Boundless Bookaholic

Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales

Jillian @ Jillian's Books

Yvonne @ A World Between Folded Pages

Chioma @ Blue Books and Butterflies

Emma @ Emma's Bookery

Ashley @ BookishRealmReviews


Lush Bath Bombs

Seriously, these things are amazing. My personal favorites are Twilight and Phoenix Rising. They're moisturing, smell delicious, and turn your bath into an explosion of color.


Before this month, it had been at least a year and a half since I took a yoga class. My mom and I decided to go to our local gym and take a class, and we really enjoyed it! When I can't go (or don't feel like driving) to the gym, I'll watch Yoga With Adriene (pictured here) on Youtube. A lot of her videos are around beginner/intermediate level, so her channel is a great place to start!

Now it's your turn! Have you been loving some of the items on this list lately? What were your favorite things in July?

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner
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