Give Me More than Just One Love Interest

Give Me More than Just One Love Interest

I will preface this saying that I would love to see a YA novel where there is no love story between two main characters, or with none at all. Maybe with the side characters, but I really want to see a book that doesn’t have love as a main selling point of the novel.

No, not love triangles.

God no.

But more love interests. characters falling in love multiple times. Fall in love, heartbreak. move on. fall in love again, and the cycle repeats. I can count on like two fingers where I see the main character go through more than one love interest. Want to guess?

First one: Throne of Glass.

Second one: A Court of Thorns and Roses

There are possibly more, but my mind is crowded by all the OTPs that only had to fall in love once.

And I get some people shit on those books because of how some certain love interests became (which I understand since I can’t say I saw those wild personality switches happening), but I’ve seen others frustrated with the MC because “omg, why can’t they make up their mind?”

Christ, people. Those MCs are 19 – 21. Do you really expect them to find their soul mate that early?

Right now,  within the first chapter you’re almost guaranteed to meet the protag’s love interest. And 99.9% of the time, that person is – gasp – their soul mate. Their true love. Their one and only. Their star in the dark sky, their lifeline in the drowning ocean.

But first loves are not the only love stories out there.

What about the ones who struggled to let go but had too, and eventually found someone who could heal their wounds? What about the ones who fell in love, but realized that they had grown and needed someone else? What about the ones who simply fell in love too quickly, too fast, and realized after that they weren’t the perfect match? Where are their stories?

I understand that perhaps multiple loves are not the most fairytale-esque stories, but god do I think they’re still amazing. There is something particularly romantic about going through so many people until you find The One, no?

I don’t want to bash or spit upon all those who found their soulmate in their first love. If you are, I congratulate you, and I admire you. I could only wish for that kind of fairytale. But I would like some variety in these stories of falling in love to show to people – yes, including teens like me – that if you had a fall-out with your first love, that you wonder if you’d ever fall in love again, you will. There will be someone out there for you, and it might take a little trial and error, but they’re there. And they will love you not like your first love, but your true love.

And I realize this is probably the cheesiest thing I’ve ever said, but I don’t regret it, not really. This is something I so desperately want, and I want a less of a negative view on it too. We get so spoiled by having authors give us the first love interest and keep them as their eternal ones that we have a knee-jerk reaction when we realize that’s not how it’s going to play out. I want this to change, please. Give me different love stories. Give me variety. Give me more love interests.

Five Things All Bloggers Should Know

Five Things All Bloggers Should Know

Just a quick word of warning.

I am, by no means, the “master blogger.” Oh hell no. I know half of what I think I know, and only a small portion of that knowledge is about blogging. Don’t try to quote me on this stuff because I could be wrong. With that being said, I do think me compiling these little bits of wisdom (if you can even call it that) can be helpful and offer some slivers of advice to all them new bloggies out there.


being an overnight sensation is not always plausible

Reader A is oogling over Bogger B’s tons and tons of followers. They’re popular! They’re famous! Reader A wants to be just like them. So they start a blog. And churn out five posts in an hour. Then they publish said posts, and they wait for the follows to start rolling in.

This was me, in the beginning.


Now I know better, and this is something I would tell anyone who decides to take on blogging: overnight sensation is waaaaay out there, so don’t count on it to serve as your big break. (I’m sorry I don’t mean to sound so pessimistic. I just don’t want any of y’all to get your hopes up.)


it’s not just about churning content

I feel like content and posting posting posting content is something everyone thinks will get them the 20k followers they want. And it’s true that you’ll definitely attract a crowd if you post some interesting stuff, but there’s so much more to that. Build relationships. Talk to people. Make friends and join twitter chats. Twitter chats are one of the ways to make friends. So many of my bloggie friends were found through Twitter chats. It’s awesome. The social aspect is a huge part of blogging, and I would hate for you to miss it.


the beginning part is always the loneliest

More often than not when you’re starting out, blogging feels like you’re speaking to an empty room. You’ll get a sparse amount of views, even less comments, but don’t worry. Everyone goes through this. When I started I was convinced that it’d be like that forever. But it changed. Somehow (I still have no idea how) I got more views, more clicks. It takes time and I cannot stress this enough. I know this sounds like something you hear everyday, but it bears repeating. You will get pass this phase and I promise things will start to turn up. (Well, sort of promise? I can’t tell the future so don’t hold me to it I’M JUST TRYING TO BE INSPIRATIONAL DAMMIT.)


success is not a definitive concept

Like, what does success even look like for bloggers? Tons of followers? Thousands of comments? ARCs all day, everyday?

“Success” is not some cut-and-dried result as of book blogging. Having 2k followers doesn’t necessarily make you successful, just like how having 500 followers makes you unsuccessful. It’s all relative and depends on who you’re asking. It’s all about what you’re envisioning. Maybe you’re hoping to be the Book Blogger, a household name. That’s cool. Or maybe you just want a stable platform of readers, not really aiming for Top 10 Book Blogs. That’s cool too. Just because someone has a set of requirements they need to meet to classify themselves successful” doesn’t mean you need to adhere to them too.


you can do anything differently

Sure, maybe many people do this One Thing a Specific Way. Maybe most of them do. But it doesn’t mean you have to, no? Many people don’t achieve the same achievement the exact same way. There’s variations, there’s personal twists, there’s a little bit of you added to those methods. Blogging is the same thing. There’s no Guide For All Bloggers, no one-size-fits-all method. So don’t sweat it if you’re doing things differently than other bloggers. I mean, this entire guide can be put in the trash if you think so. All of it are just suggestions. (Unless we’re talking about legal stuff. If so, please listen.) You do things your way.
(Please don’t do anything immoral though.)

i hope that was useful somewhat, if not a complete waste of time. got any tips? anything to add? let me know in the comments!

Diversity is ALWAYS Being Scrutinized – And This is Why

my opinion lies ahead. you have been notified (and warned)

Diversity is Always Being Scrutinized

People have said that books featuring under diversity are under heavier fire than books that are without diversity, but to me, that makes perfect sense. Of course, I know some people try to brush this off. We got diversity – that’s what we asked for, right? Why not encourage it even though they’re wrong? There’s not many of them to begin with, so we might as well try to promote the ones we’ve got, even though they’re incorrect, right?



That’s just the thing: we don’t have a lot of them.

White characters, they’re everywhere. Straight characters, there’s just as many. They’re all so commonplace that they’re the regular default, and any indication otherwise usually has people jumping out of their seats in disbelief.

Diverse characters are usually there for authors to tick the diversity box. Got one Chinese character? Welp, I guess you’re done that whole “diversity” part, right? They don’t need fleshing out or a proper plotline or to be more dimensional than paper, amirite? The gay boy’s come out? Sweet, that probably ends their plotline. Now they can resume their role as the see I have diversity look at this guy card when someone accuses them of the lack of it, only existing when useful.

Other times, we’re half-assed results of a five-minute Wikipedia search with nothing but an exotic name to separate us. Culture? What’s that? You’ve got the name, right? That should make up for their daily life not having even the slightest bit of their culture in it. Throw in some incorrect-but-impressive-sounding words in their native tongue as they speak, and that should be enough, yeah?

Nothing gets me more irritated than seeing authors cut corners on diversity. We are not some fucking box for you to tick off. We deserve to be as fleshed-out and as well-written as all those beloved white characters out there.

The heavy fire diverse books are under for being incorrect? Yeah, there’s a reason for that. There so little diversity. We’ve fought too hard to be written off as a token character, or to have our culture skimped out on. Let’s make sure we’re written right.

If you read a book, and you just know that there’s parts that’s inaccurate and you can tell an author didn’t do their research, call it out. Scream it, cry it, yell it to the world. Don’t be malicious, but let them know. Maybe they were poorly informed (but honestly, with proper research, it shouldn’t really be a problem), but at least know that they can’t – and won’t – get away with it.

But surely we can’t all be represented in a handful of characters, right?

Simple fix.

Support the writing of diversity. Support diverse authors who are pushing just as hard as we are to break the defaults of the publishing industry. Buy the books, raise awareness, show publishers that there’s a market here. That there are people who will buy the books even though the MC isn’t white or straight.

Show the publishers that this is what we want.


To the Unfortunate Readers of This Blog

To the Unfortunate Readers of this Blog

It’s not you that’s unfortunate, not really. It’s me. Well, you having me as the blogger of this blog.

(That sounds like a breakup.


I’m utter crap at this. Well, I’m crap at a lot of things, but this one I’ve just been failing at outstandingly. It’s the heavy guilt that sits in my pocket when I open the computer, knowing I should I must I have to but can I? And I can’t. Not really.

Blogging slumps are the worst.

While I want to, I can’t. Because I owe you better posts that ones hashed out in ten seconds. I want to deliver quality. Quality over quantity, they say, but is that quality worth it if it comes every two weeks?

Answer: maybe not.

I don’t really know where this post is going. It’s one part me lamenting and wearing my woe-is-me cap, but it’s also one part me apologizing profusely of my lack of presence. Lack of posts. Lack of being that crazy Claudia girl that blogs at PenMarkings (who’s pretty okay, if you ask me.)

So I’m sorry.

I’m not going to stop blogging (hell to the fuck no. You crazy?), but I just want to tell you how sorry I am for not doing my housekeeping. And to my new followers: beware. It makes me insanely (even more so) happy that y’all found this little blog interesting. Just… don’t expect posts too too often, okay? Because I’d hate to disappoint you.

This is usually the moment where I pledge to kill that blogging slump and grind out posts for days and days. As you know, I’m pretty shitty at doing that.

What I need is someone who’ll kick my ass for not blogging. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you see me tweeting or reblogging and you haven’t had a post in the last couple days (weeks), YELL AT ME. Tell me, “hey girl remember this post? YEAH, YOU OWE US ANOTHER ONE.” I won’t get mad. I promise. Reader’s honour.

Love you. Hope y’all keep reading.

All The Love For You Bookish People

All The Love For You Bookish People

Hey! It’s Valentine’s day.


I know this is more of a romantic day – couples, cupids, pointy arrows aimed viciously at peoples backs…

Love is in the air, right?

Well, don’t have any significant other. And I won’t for a very long time, I’m guessing. More from the complete lack of interest than anything else, I’m sure.

But I have some significant people that I just want to share some love with. Because Valentine’s day is about love, yeah? Not just romantic, but platonic. And we need more of that.

bookish people that exist excellently


writerly authors who give me life


characters that i love too much, damn it

  • Celaena Sardothien/Aelin Galathynius for having incredibly hard-to-spell names and being a total badass
  • Manon Blackbeak for being something wicked and deadly and so so so bloody
  • Will Herondale for becoming my first and greatest bookish love
  • Percy Jackson for being such a sassy little thing and being an amazing boyfriend to Annabeth
  • Annabeth Chase who’s everything I want to be, and more
  • Leo Valdez because ALL THE GIRLS LOVE LEO
  • Dorian Havilliard because HE IS MY BABY.
  • Inej Ghafa for being a deadly force that can kill me over and over again
  • Kaz Brekker because how can you NOT?
  • Nina Zenik for having her magnificent taste in food, which is to say she love CAKE so I love HER
  • Kady Grant because her hacker skills are on-point and I wish I could absorb them or something
  • Zuzana Nováková because she’s so short and fiery she’s way too much like me


What a long list.

BUT it was well worth it.

let’s share some bookish love! tweet out to your faves and let them know! valentine’s day isn’t just about romance – love is love, whatever it is.

Six Fictional Situations That Would NEVER Happen to Me

Six Fictional Situations that would Never Happen To Me

I think – I think – that because many books are labelled “fiction,” there is a wide variety of events that are pretty not expected to happen. Alien invasions, for example. I’m assuming that’s not going to happen for at least a couple of years.

At least.

There are also a bunch of problems that fictional characters have that I would very not likely have. I’m pretty sure if I had any of these situations happen to me, I’d keel over and that’d be the end of that story.



Me? Inherit a kingdom? Please. I can barely manage my life, much less a kingdom.

I’d also make a terrible ruler.

“Your highness, there seems to be hints of an attack at one of our forts stationed to the west.”


“… and there also seems to be a case of terrible food poisoning in the agricultural districts.”

“Hmm… squire?”

“Yes, your highness?”

“Did you say this cake was chocolate?”




Sorry guys. That kind of drama ain’t cut out for me.

Quite frankly, my blunt displays of affection/lack of affection would shut down any possibility of a love triangle.

And I’ll be honest I’ll probably end up driving the other one away so there’s no need of the love triangle away.

Actually I’d probably just drive both of them away.

Go figure.



I’d be very worried if the government that was in charge of protecting my country had to enlist teenagers to help fight the Ultimate Big Baddie.

Very worried.*

And me, saving the world? Or at least having partial credit saving the world?

Yeah no bye.

*Actually, kids saving the world would be pretty damn cool. Just not me though. Definitely not me.


You see this?


That’s me, laughing insanely.

Claudia and makeovers don’t go in the same sentence, out of pure laziness than anything else.

I mean, that’s a lot of work. Shopping, matching, styling, makeup-ing. A lot of stuff I don’t really know how to do.

Well, I know how to shop for books. That, you can hit me up anytime.



“Oh my god, x’s party was so great last night. Except for that guy who got murdered. That really sucks for him.”

Excuse me, what?

This will nevereverever happen to me for two reasons:

  1. Parties are not my scene
  2. People are not my scene



If my school was cool enough for this, it wouldn’t be… my school.

Have you seen the kids at my HS? The biggest crime they’re most concerned with is that someone bought out all the cookies from the cafeteria.

Or maybe my school does have some uber-cool crime-fighting club, and I just wasn’t invited.

That’s probably it.

What We Need to Remember as Book Bloggers

What We Need to Remember as Book Bloggers

I suppose, if you stand by the credibility-to-duration relation, that I am perhaps not the most qualified person to talk about this topic. After all, compared to the people who have been blogging for one two three four five years, eight months really doesn’t make a dent.

But I suppose if we were to use that relation to determine everything, I wouldn’t be very qualified to talk about much of anything in the blogging community.

So I’ll give it a stab. Hopefully I won’t hit my eye this time.

The first time I entered the book community, I was a green novice who understood zilch. ARCs? DNF? Goodreads? What were these magical words?

For the first month and a bit, I transitioned from a fresh new blogger to someone who was more of a ghost, hovering around the community and running around like I had a fraction of an idea of what I was doing. Truth be told, I still do that now. But it’s more like half an idea, if an incoherent one.

The second month was better. I became less green, but still a bit lime-coloured. I knew the terms. I got some views. A whooping, what? Five views? It’s insignificant, maybe, to everyone else, but to me it was huge. People, who had come and stopped by to read what I had to write. Even if they didn’t like it, it meant that I looked interesting enough to check out.

It was an excellent motivator.

Then I hit my third month.

It was also my favourite month of last year. I interacted with people – honest-to-goodness, living, breathing (I hope) people. And they were amazing. They were warm and sweet and welcoming and for the first time in I don’t know how long, I thought –

maybe this time, I’ll be able to find my place.

Because yes, I’m an oddball, as so many people are. I am that person who knew she was welcomed but understood that she had no home. And this community felt like a home.

And while I’m slowly finding a place in school – with amazing friends, no doubt –  this community always was my special spot. The number of reader friends I have are lacking – normally the topic of books lasts for five seconds then is forgotten. I don’t mind that, really. But with the book community, it’s really really really really


It brings all sorts of people together for a single love – books.

But lately, it seems that this love has been lost.

We need to connect back to our roots. No more of how to blog or what to blog, but why we blogged.

Why we even bothered to do this in the first place.

Because we all know blogging is a labour of love. Tiring labour, sometimes thankless in the form of material items, but rewarding in terms of readers friends viewers supporters – they’re irreplaceable.

But before there were viewers, readers, comments – there were books.

And with those books we fell in love.

Into the world of reading, of imagination, of words and letters and pages. We fell in love with fairytales and tragedies, adventures and tales of mystery. And – at least for me – with that love came with the want to share.

I mean, isn’t that a driving reason of why we started to do all this? To share to gush to just talk about the books? To share our stories and thoughts? Didn’t we start all of this because we had a passion we wanted to share with the world?

Isn’t that how everything starts?

So why is it getting lost? Why are we descending into hissing masses of hate hate hate hate


This community isn’t shits and giggles and rainbows and that, I know. It’s got an ugly side. But why are we letting that ugly side win?

Why are we forgetting some things that shouldn’t be forgotten?

Because I’ve seen the community slowly go into a fit of destruction, patching itself only to tear itself apart again.

And honestly, that scares me.

Because I know people have a limit – they can only take so much drama so much hate before they just decide to quit leave disappear. And I feel that if we keep on pushing this limit, trying to see just how many fractures we can make into this community before it breaks, it’ll go one break too far and then it’s lost.

I just only wish we try to put all the drama behind us. Never just let it go – honestly, there’s been things done and said that I will never, ever excuse under any circumstances – but let us just leave it in the past.

Opinions should always be respected. Honesty is a great thing. I love that. I love it when people are honest, agreeing or disagreeing. But there’s a line between bluntly stating an opinion and outright being rude.

The blogging space is your space to talk – if you find yourself feeling so hateful, please, I’m pleading you, be careful with what you say. Or even just not comment at all. Close the tab and stick what you want to say in a Word document in all caps. Then delete it. Or just never open it again. Hate is never a good thing.

And remember that we cannot force our feelings onto others – this entire post isn’t something that I want to shove down people’s throats but rather a plea to help make things better. Perhaps you will consider it. Perhaps not. Either way, I hold nothing against you.

We should also just touch back on our roots – remember that we were here for the books, long before anything else. And that we should take care to keep that passion running strong instead of letting it be forgotten under the streams of stats and numbers and hates and drama.

And, well, maybe this isn’t the first time it’s happened. Maybe the community had been badly damaged before.

But I know so many people who so dearly hold this community close to their heart. And I’ll be damned if I just stand and watch it burn.