My Experience as a Fandomsleeves Influencer


As of October 1, 2019 I was picked as an influencer for @fandomsleeves on instagram. I was overjoyed! I had been a fan of Maribel’s sleeves since before I officially joined bookstagram. My very first sleeve was a cat in flower crowns print that I still use to this day.

20191206_151228 (1)

Being an influencer and not a rep meant that I had to spend my own money on products, but I was given a personal discount code to use to get everything at a deeper discount than my followers. That wasn’t really a problem for me because it’s a shop I supported regardless. Over the course of the three months that I was an influencer I bought four sleeves, two mug rugs, two fabric bookmarks, a pin hoop, and a chapstick holder. Each and every product is made with so much care and it really shows in the craftsmanship.

Working with Maribel has been a treat! As reps and influencers we got to help pick fabrics and help name sleeves if she was ever stuck on ideas. I think that’s really cool. I’ve repped for a few other shops before and this was the most hands-on experience I’ve had. I am beyond grateful for this experience and I hope to be able to put what I’ve learned to use with other shops or even in my own little shop (I make sewn letters for my college fraternity).

Below are some of my favorite influencer photos that I’ve taken. You can see all of them on my instagram page —> stardustandrockets.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Spoilers)


Long time no post, friends!
It’s been an interesting year and I’ve had a review of The Illuminae Files in my drafts since February. I don’t know if that’s ever going to get finished. However, we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about another book by the Kaufman/Kristoff duo:  Aurora Rising.

It took me a grad total of ten days to read this book. That’s pretty average for me, but when I was expecting to be blown away by something, that seems a little slow. Over the course of those ten days I found myself almost wanting to do anything else but read. The book is written from seven points of view:  Tyler, Scarlett, Cat, Finian, Kal, Zila, and Aurora. Some POVs I enjoyed more than others and some characters I liked more than others. The romance seemed a little forced, but the world building was interesting.

Let’s start with all the things I liked about the book:

  1. The cover
    • It’s what really drew me in once it was announced. The purples and the constellations, and Auri on the cover. Everything. If I wasn’t interested in the synopsis I definitely would have bought it purely for the cover and the aesthetic value.LRM_EXPORT_63286959071532_20190723_224416770
  2. Tyler Jones
    • The Alpha of  Squad 312. When he wasn’t pining over his Ace, I actually really liked his charm and quick thinking. There were far too many mentions of his scarred eyebrow, but hey, that wasn’t too hard to overlook.
  3. Finian de Karran de Seel
    • I honestly think I should be ranking Fin higher than Tyler, but here we are. He’s a Betraskan Gearhead (mechanic responsible for repairs, maintenance and mechanical work in the Aurora Legion squads) for Squad 312 and is made of pure cynicism and wit. His comic relief was one of the best things about the book in my opinion.
  4. The world building
    • The book starts off with Tyler jumping in a ship and heading out to the Fold. Which reminds me a lot of the warp tunnels in Star Trek and Star Wars and the time vortex in Doctor Who. The whole idea of making space travel easier by using warp technology, or worm holes, or whatever the Fold actually is has always been of interest to me. The universe is vast and there’s absolutely no way we’d be able to travel from one end to the other without some sort of help. (Though scientifically we’d probably die due to the physics of it all, who knows.) The World Ship was an interesting concept and I wish we got to see more of it. Looking forward to what’s to come in the next two books.
  5. Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley –
    • The girl 220 years out of time. She’s still a mystery, even by the end of the book, but I think it’s something  interesting and I hope it doesn’t disappoint. We find out that she’s the host to an ancient alien race that’s been dead for so long that it’s now only a myth. That’s kind of cool I guess, learning that she’s the trigger that will stop a whole alien infestation from wrecking the Milky Way. She also uses pastry based curses and it’s oddly refreshing.

Now for the things that I didn’t like:

  1. Scarlett Jones
    • The Face (diplomat) of Squad 312, Scarlett really knows how to charm people, but her bitchy demeanor got old. The fact that she kept calling Tyler her baby brother or “bee-bro” got extremely old as well. I get that she’s older than Ty by a few minutes, but the whole thing was grating after a while. I didn’t enjoy her personality, however, I do like that she noticed when someone in the squad was a little off and she did anything she could to help fix it.
  2. Cat Brannock
    • The Ace (pilot) of Squad 312. I really thought I was going to like her. I usually like the pilots in sci-fi books, but nope. Didn’t really care for Cat. Between the hating of Auri and the not-so-secret love for Tyler she was kind of insufferable. Just because a 237 year old girl out of time clings to the only person she knows after he was the one that rescued her from being lost to a ship explosion in the fold doesn’t give the other women on the ship the right to hate on Auri. She’s not trying to steal your man (who isn’t even your man), she’s just trying to come to terms with everyone that she’s ever known and loved being dead and that she’s the last of her generation alive. Let her have this.
  3. The pacing
    • By switching POVs I think it took a lot of the flow away from the book. Did I like seeing what’s in each character’s head? Yes. Did all the characters need POV equally? No. The few Zila chapters weren’t really needed in my opinion because they were all less than a page aside from her very last chapter. I guess that was because of character growth or something? I don’t know. Kal’s chapter’s were also pretty much all about how he was fighting against the Enemy Within and how much he was trying to avoid Auri because he was in love with her due to an ancient mating instinct in his species. Was that really necessary? Probably not. It got annoying.

There were a few more things that I didn’t like, but they seem a little nit-picky in comparison.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but I’m still looking forward to the next two books. It’s no Illuminae Files but it definitely wasn’t the worst science fiction novel I’ve read.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐//5


Heart Feelings not Pants Feelings


From a young age I’ve always known that I wasn’t “normal.” I never really had the same kind of crushes as my friends (always fictional characters and never really the actors that played them); I never really thought of people as “hot” or any other adjective usually associated with human aesthetics. I just never really got it. Why were my friends so preoccupied with these thoughts and I couldn’t care less about them? Sure, I thought people were cute and I can appreciate someone for their aesthetics, but I never understood “hot,” “bangable,” or any other manner of adjectives that people tended to use when talking about conventionally attractive people. While my friends were busy with their girlfriends or boyfriends, I kind of felt like I was being left out because I didn’t have those same feelings or want a relationship like that.

I didn’t understand at the time why I was the way that I am. Why I didn’t have the same feelings as my classmates. Why all my crushes were fictional. I had one boyfriend in 11th grade, but he lived four hours away and I really only saw him when he was in my hometown for college auditions and college orientations. (He was a year older than me and we met at summer band camp.) It didn’t last because I found out he cheated on me with a few other girls back home from some other friends who went to school with him. By the time I hit college I had only been in the one relationship. I had a few “flings” with a couple guys my freshman year, but nothing more than cuddles and smooches happened. Which I was absolutely fine with. I found that I quite like smooching. None of the guys ever pressured me in to doing anything more and our arrangement worked out well. That is until I actually got into my first college relationship.

It was 2013, the fall semester of my second year of college. I was coming off of a stalker situation (a story for another time) and I was a little shaken. Trying to find myself outside of that friendship-gone-wrong. That’s when I started talking to my now ex. He was super sweet, kind, and considerate in the beginning. But then he wasn’t. I started noticing that he would always get jealous when I would talk to my other male friends in the music department and he would always ask who I was texting when we were together. He would guilt me into hanging out with him when he knew I was studying or hanging out with other friends or practicing. If we would get into an argument about something he would always twist my words and make me feel like it was my fault in the first place. He’d say racist stuff and when I’d call him out on it he would turn it around on me and get mad. Same when he said misogynistic stuff and I called him out on it. That should have been a sign, but I kept ignoring it. Not only did he say that stuff, he was an alcoholic and while he never touched me when he was drunk, I was always afraid that he might. He wasn’t the most pleasant drunk. Going into the relationship he knew that I didn’t want kids and that sex wasn’t in the cards for us; I was very up front about that. He told me he was fine with it. Turns out that wasn’t the case. Over the course of the year and three months that we were dating he continuously tried pushing me to do things that I didn’t want to do. No matter how many times I told him no. It finally got to the point that I was just done. Absolutely and completely finished with his mental and emotional abuse. For the whole last month and a half or so that we were “together” I did everything I could to avoid him. I was tired of how he was making me feel. Like everything was my fault and that I didn’t matter. During this time I did a lot of soul searching and discovered a really important fact about myself:  my sexuality.

I’m not 100% sure how I came to figure out exactly what my sexuality is, but ever since I can remember I knew I wasn’t like everyone else. (Refer to the first two paragraphs above.) Thanks to a tumblr post (I either searched for or happened across on my dashboard) and a little Wikipedia search, I was finally able to put a word to my sexuality (or lack thereof):  asexual.

Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction towards people. It’s also what the A in LGBTQIA+ stands for (not ally). Looking back, it all makes sense. The reason why I’ve never been preoccupied with sex like my classmates. The reason I’ve never thought people were “hot.” I finally had a word for how I knew myself to be in my bone and at my deepest core.

When I told my ex this information, he went off. He was already mad that I hadn’t been spending time with him. He was mad that I was telling him that information. He was mad that I wasn’t sexually attracted to him. Which really sealed the deal that we weren’t meant to be. I kept hoping that things would get better between us and that maybe things would change, but I knew in my heart that I needed out. It was beyond toxic.

We finally had our break up talk the night before we were supposed to leave for our state’s music educator’s association convention. It was a lengthy talk and I really didn’t want to have it; I hate confrontation and I tend to shut down in emotional situations. I started by writing my feelings down on paper but when I finally met up with him all that went out the window. He told me a lot of things that threw me. One of those things being that the summer before (summer of 2014) he contemplated breaking up. He then proceeded to tell me that he also contemplated asking me to marry him. My head was spinning through most of that talk. I told him that I would have said no if he’d have asked me. There’s no way that I could have married him. Especially not after he told me that he was determined to change my mind about sex and that he wanted kids. I’ve known since I was three years old that I didn’t want kids. I’m not quite sure how long it went on for, but it was quite a while. I forced myself to say what was on my mind and how I felt instead of just keeping it all shut inside like I usually did. It was a rough talk. Afterwards, I avoided him at all costs around campus. Which was extremely difficult because we were in the same department, band, and he was getting out of class when I was getting out of community band. Every time I would see him I’d spiral into a panic attack. My anxiety was worse than it had ever been. Worst last few years of college ever.

That being said, I’m extremely thankful that that relationship ended and regardless of how bad it was, I can’t say I’m not thankful that it happened. It helped me realize that I’m worth fighting for and that I don’t need a man or anyone to define me. A quote that helped me through that really traumatic time is “I know my value.” which is the shortened version of Peggy Carter’s quote “I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.” from Marvel’s Agent Carter, a spin-off of Captain America and Agents of SHIELD. This quote, and my best friend, are the only two things that managed to help me through the lowest point of my college career.

Just like any other sexual orientation, I didn’t choose to be this way; I’ve always been asexual. No there’s nothing “wrong” with me; No I’m not “broken.” I’m just Katelyn. The same Katelyn that I’ve always been.

Some frequently asked questions:

  • “But you’re in a relationship… What does that mean?” Yes, I am in a relationship. Sexual attraction and romantic attraction are two completely different things. Sometimes your sexual attraction and romantic attraction will line up, but that’s not always the case. For me, I may have a lack of sexual attraction, but I do have romantic attractions. That being said, I identify as a panromantic asexual (meaning: I don’t care what’s in your pants, I just don’t want to see it).
  • “You’ve only dated men. How do you know that you’re pan?” I may have only dated cis men, but I know that I would be open to a relationship with anyone as long as we clicked and they weren’t a complete jerk.
  • “You’ve never had sex before, so how do you know that you’re asexual?” How do heterosexual folks know that they’re heterosexual when they haven’t had sex? I’ve known since I was three years old that I didn’t want kids. I also have tokophobia – the pathological fear of pregnancy. Which is probably why I’m as sex repulsed as I am, but I just didn’t realize there was an actual word for it until this past year.
  • “Doesn’t your partner resent you for withholding sex?” We do our own thing. It’s not conventional, but we’re perfectly okay with what we have. Plus, after my last relationship, I wouldn’t be with someone who doesn’t fully accept me for who I am. My partner and I work. We’ll have been together four years at the beginning of next month.

There’s so much more I haven’t covered regarding my asexuality, like my thoughts on the LGBTQ+ community and how I feel I fit in, and how I’m treated as an asexual. But that’s for another blog post.

TL;DR: Katelyn is a panromantic asexual who gets heart feelings, not pants feelings.


City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (Spoilers)


City of Glass is the third book in the Mortal Instruments series, or what was originally supposed to be the end of the series. This was a reread roughly ten years after I originally read it.

I found this book really hard to get into and if it weren’t for the audiobook, I wouldn’t have finished it in any sort of timely manner. There were a lot of parts that I didn’t think were really necessary in the long run, but made for an okay story in the end.

This book picks up about a week after the events of City of Ashes and I felt that the recap was a little unnecessary, even with reading the books back to back. There were a lot of things that I didn’t remember from the first time I read the book (thanks, Shadowhunters…) so the reread was well worth it. The one important thing that I did remember was who Jace really is. I think I talked about that a little in my review of City of Bones. Knowing who his family really is had me yelling at the audiobook a lot. Like, a lot a lot. 😆 Which made the reread all the more frustrating because Jace and Clary spend the whole book agonizing over the fact that they’re brother and sister and they can’t act on their feelings for each other.

I, of course, wasn’t a big fan of Sebastian Verlac from the first page he appeared. Then again, I already knew who he really was and he’s never been a favorite of mine. Especially after what he did toward the end of CoG.
Aline Penhallow was okay, but she struck me as the Mary-Sue type; mostly there for Jace to have a “rebound” girl or whatever. She ended up being more trouble than she was worth.

Now, the audiobook… It was, interesting, to say the least. On the drive to my parents’ house I could only listen to a few chapters before I had to turn it off. I thought the narrator was really annoying at first and the way she did the different character voices really got on my nerves. Specifically Inquisitor Aldertree and Raphael. Thankfully Raphael wasn’t a part of this particular book for very long; Aldertree on the other hand, was in the book a little too much for my liking when it came to the audiobook. Aside from those two characters, her voice started to grow on me the more I listened. However, the way she pronounced certain words got on my nerves. For example, she pronounced Amatis’ name like Ah-muh-tiss, whereas when I was first read it my brain pronounced it Uh-Mah-tiss. Which is how the tv show pronounces her name. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I know that’s a little knit-picky, but it makes the world of difference between a mediocre audiobook and a great audiobook for me.

We finally get some closure with Valentine. We learn why he’s so against the Downworlders, what the deal is with Clary and Jace, and why he was raising Jace as a Wayland when we know that’s not who he really is.

Overall, I’m glad I reread this one. It caught me up with things that I missed and things that I just needed a refresher on. Looking forward to finally finishing The Mortal Instruments after all these years.

I am taking a bit of a break after this one to read The Illuminae Files while waiting for some friends to catch up so we can start The Infernal Devices next week.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.25//5

Next Stop: Illuminae

City of Ashes – Cassandra Clare (Spoilers)


City of Ashes is the second book in what was supposed to be the Mortal Instruments trilogy, but anyone who has been reading from the beginning knows that Cassandra Clare decided to add three more books to the series. Making TMI more like two trilogies in one, kind of like how Star Wars is broken up into three different trilogies.

I felt myself not really wanting to read this one. Of course I knew what was going to happen because I’ve read it before, but I kept putting it down after a few pages and getting distracted by other things (instagram, Netflix, etc.) and having to force myself back. It took me 8 days to read this one. I tried to listen to the audiobook to help me along a bit, but I found the narrator rather annoying, so I ditched it quickly. The writing was better and there were far less cat metaphors (THANK THE ANGEL!!), but what bugged me the most was the forced love triangle. I get that Clary is “dating” Simon at this point, though they hadn’t really decided on a label until he calls her his girlfriend in front of Luke, but she’s clearly still in love with Jace. It’s not until they get to the Seelie Court that things really click for Simon that Clary and Jace still have romantic feelings for each other even though they’re supposedly siblings. I’m not a fan of the love-triangle trope to begin with, but this seems a bit forced to me. By the end of the book this get rectified because Simon breaks things off with Clary, but meh. I wasn’t a fan the first time and I’m still not a fan.

In this one we meet Maia, a lovely teenage werewolf with a tragic backstory (though I did think having a major section of a chapter dedicated to that backstory did’t really fit with the whole book, but obviously if we didn’t have the facts, we wouldn’t know why she saw her brother when Agramon was trying to kill her); Simon gets turned into a vampire; and Magnus is more of a minor character in this one than just the party scene in CoB. At the end we get a (kind of) epic battle scene with the Conclave battling a massive hoard of demons. The Inquisitor dies, but not before whispering something to Jace that I assume we learn in City of Glass (I forget exactly when we learn it) and has to do with the star shaped scar on his shoulder. The last thing we learn is some mysterious Shadowhunter named Madeleine corners Clary outside the hospital and tells her that she’s the only one who knows how to wake Jocelyn up.

Regardless of the fact that I thought there were some parts that were a little unnecessary, some parts that seemed to drag on for longer than needed, and some parts that just flat out got on my nerves, I still mostly enjoyed this one.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5//5

Next stop: City of Glass

City of Bones – Cassandra Clare (Spoilers)


Book: City of Bones – Cassandra Clare
Edition: First edition paperback

I started out 2019 with a reread of the entire Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, taking my reading back to my middle school roots. The Mortal Instruments series will always have a special place in my heart because it helped propel my love of reading to what it is now. Each book that was published got me more excited about reading. There were others, sure (Scholastic Book Fair, anyone?), but nothing like these books.

Back in the summer of 2008, after City of Bones was published, my friends and I would walk over to the Hasting’s store across the street from the university in town during our longer breaks from band camp (yeah, yeah, we all know the jokes). We would sit in the only section that had decent seating (religious) and dramatically read from a random book off the shelf. It was close to a YA display section that had a rotating selection of new releases/popular series that were out. This particular time was paranormal/fantasy. My friend Bobby grabbed the first book he saw off the shelf and started reading:

I have not slept.
Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The Genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.

—William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

I was intrigued. He kept reading and soon enough it was time to be heading back for rehearsals. I made a note of what book it was so I could come back and purchase it. Little did I know that my best friend had just changed my reading life forever.

I finished re-reading City of Bones on January 11. It took me longer than anticipated to finish it. I blame that partly on the fact that it wasn’t 100% like I remembered, partly on the fact that I initially read it over 10 years ago, and partly on the fact that the Shadowhunters tv show got events out of order. I decided to take on the task of re-reading this series because 1. I never finished the Mortal Instruments the first time around, and 2. I want to make sure that I have all the events of all previous books straight before I jump into The Dark Artifices now that it’s completed.

There were some things about the writing that infuriated me a bit (why are there so many damned cat metaphors???) but that’s what I get for going back to the beginning of it all when the writing style hadn’t been completely fleshed out yet. I ranted about it a bit over on twitter. I don’t find Jace as much of a heartthrob as I did when I first read the series, though knowing he’s a Herondale and not a Wayland (or Morganstern) like they initially have you believe has me drawing a lot of parallels to his great great great grandfather, Will Herondale. They’re both sassy bookworms that don’t like to show their emotions and tend to hide behind their sarcasm and wit. Though both are afraid of ducks (“Never trust a duck!”)

Regardless, I still think it holds up and I would definitely do another reread in the future. Though maybe a little far in the future. There’s so many other books staring at me from my TBR.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐//5

Next stop: City of Ashes

Meet the Bookstagrammer

IMG_20180320_152542_002Hey, y’all! Let’s do a meet the bookstagrammer! I figured I would do it over here on my blog since I’ve been wanting to make it more of a thing.

Let’s start off with the basics:

I am a 24 year-old from the Panhandle of Texas and have lived in the same city (and the same house) since I was born. I even went to college in my hometown (West Texas A&M University). I have a Bachelor’s of Music with a Certification in EC-12 Music Education. With that I would ideally like to be a beginner band teacher, help with high school marching band, and teach private bassoon lessons (I’ve been playing bassoon since 6th grade beginner band). In the last year and a half since graduation, I have been working in two of my local school districts as a substitute teacher. I have found that I don’t really like working at the elementary school level even though I don’t mind subbing with that age group. I prefer when someone else makes the plan and I just have to execute it. Middle school is probably where I’m most comfortable, and high school is okay, although those kids tend to not take me as seriously because they think I’m freshly out of high school myself…

I have a wonderful partner who is a paramedic and two beautiful cats (Betty and Obi). Betty lives with my parents and Obi lives with my partner. Come the first weekend of September, I will officially be living in North East Texas with my partner. I don’t know what I’m going to be doing once I get there, but we shall figure it out.

(left to right: Betty, Obi)

Bookstagram has been an outlet for me to share my love of books and to talk to my fellow book people. I decided to start this account (Stardust and Rockets) because the people who follow my personal Instagram account didn’t seem to like my book posts nearly as much as I was hoping. Which is totally okay. I came across the book community on accident and I haven’t looked back since. I have made so many wonderful friends through this community and everyone is so generous. From the giveaways to the un-hauls and book sales. I am extremely happy that I am a part of this loving and giving community of book people that just want to spread the love of books with the world (or at least the small corner of the world that is bookstagram).

Some of my favorite books/series are:
The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
Geekerella by Ashley Poston
The Midnight Texas Trilogy by Charlaine Harris
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

Favorite bookish merch/subscription boxes:
booksleeves (StoryTimeSleeve, Fandom Sleeves, Pages Remembered)
bookmarks (lovelybookishmarksBookish Boutique Co.Happy Hello Co.)
candles (Canterbury Road Co.Rose and Adder (formerly Lemoncakes Candle Co.)Luna Love by Corrina)
Subscription Boxes (Nerdy Post, PageHabit (the latter no longer exists as of August 2018))

Have any questions for me? Leave them in a comment and I’d love to make a Q&A post out of them!



This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

“Why do you even want to be human? We’re fragile. We die.”


I bought this book on a whim because I had seen people on bookstagram talking about it. I am so very glad I did.

I ended up with a signed first edition in perfect condition from someone’s Uppercase box. Just a lucky find from the used bookstore. It took me a good while to finally get around to reading it, but once I did, I couldn’t stop. The characters drew me in from the beginning. I have a huge soft spot for wounded characters and I found that in August Flynn. He’s a precious cinnamon roll that needs to be protected. Kate was also a nice character, but I found myself more drawn to August.

The whole time I was reading the story, I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened to my precious cinnamon roll. Was he going to go dark and lose the part of himself that he so desperately wanted to hold on to, or was he going to let the darkness surrounding him beat him down and win? I had to know what happened.

This was the first time I had ever read anything by Victoria Schwab and I wasn’t disappointed with the hype. I think she’s definitely going to be an author that I auto-buy her books from now on. A Darker Shade of Magic has been on my tbr since the beginning of my bookstagram days back in November. I haven’t gotten around to purchasing it or finding it from my local library. I did get the eBook free when Tor publishing had it available for roughly 48 hours, but I’m not much of an eReader, so I don’t know if that’s the medium I will choose to read it on. Either way, I am excited to see what else is in store from her.

I won’t say too much else about the book other than if you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for? Pick yourself up a copy and read it!

Can’t wait to get my hands on the second book, Our Dark Duet.

Have you read this one? If so, leave your thoughts and comments below.