heyyy, ’tis me in the White Void




Hi, I’m Nina-Tala*! I am, as you would say, a bookish engineer-in-progress. 


(The in-progress is for the engineer part. Not the bookish part. I’m already quite bookish, I believe.)


I am quite shy in real life and have been known to hide behind books with pretty covers to deflect the terrifying thing that some people call small talk. In addition to consuming one book after another, I write stories like it’s my job (because I want it to be) and am a 2018 PitchWars mentee. I am from, and live in, Houston, TX. I am an INFJ, a mechanical engineering student and a giant nerd, basically. I am addicted to black coffee. I am quite fluent in French and Arabic, but rest assured, my reviews are all in English, and I barely read French books (much less Arabic) as it is. It’s really just an excuse to hoard all the pretty foreign editions, like the gorgeous thing that is the French Six of Crows.






* FYI: I blog under the name Nina, write under Tala, and answer to both.


I kind of suck at bios, so I’ll just tell you more about me via a list.




Favorite Genre?


Two words: High. Fantasy. With gorgeous maps. And stabby heroines. And epic magic. And political intrigue.



Favorite Tropes?


Oooh this one is fun. I will never tire of: enemies-to-lovers, underdogs, overachieving characters, ordinary people doing extraordinary things FOR THE FUN OF IT, extreme ambition that borders on straight-up hubris, and Soft Cinnamon Boys.





Favorite Movie?


Hmm, let’s see. All-time would be Mads Mikkelsen’s ARCTIC. I also love Jennifer Lawrence’s and Chris Pratt’s Passengers. Existential and angsty space movies for the win. A Quiet Place (which is This Savage Song on crack, let’s be honest) is absolutely amazing and has a plot to envy. I’m so here for a dystopian survivalist Jim Halpert. Catch Me If You Can makes me feel super smart when I see it, so. OH. And I love all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. The one movie I could watch on repeat and never get tired of is National Treasure.



Favorite Music?


Alt rock. Classic rock. Anything with a good, heavy, numbing beat. Think: Pink Floyd, Sisters of Mercy, The Black Keys, and The Score. Honorable mention: VERY old Maroon 5 (like, all of Songs About Jane and half of It Won’t Be Soon Before Long). Writerly music is Pretty Lights, STS9, and Young Mozart. ALSO also, I am unconditionally in love with movie soundtracks (the one for Passengers is the best one ever don’t @ me). I cannot read and listen to music at the same time, though, unless it’s a reread. Then I’m all for it.




Favorite author?


Oh man do I have a paragraph for you. We’ve got VE Schwab, Marie Rutkoski, Leigh Bardugo, Holly Black, Brigid Kemmerer, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka Jeff Zentner, Krystal Sutherland, Peternelle van Arsdale, Morgan Matson, Mary HK Choi, and Maggie Stiefvater. My all-time favorite classic author is RL Stevenson. I’m obsessed with all things Edgar Allan Poe.



Bookish role-models?


Okay, this might sound severely concerning, but my answer to that is: LILA BARD. And if you’re thinking: Nina, why the hell would you want to be Lila?, I’d answer: she’s a pick-pocketing, London-hopping, Kell-befriending pirate with a temper and an attitude and sass. Why wouldn’t I want to be her? Also: Kestrel Trajan, AKA The Most Underappreciated Role Model she is. I mean, a military strategist and a pianist who can pick apart your lies and dissect them while keeping sharp daggers hidden in the pockets of her pretty sparkly ballgown? Bless.



Bookish OTPs?

Hmmmm let’s say Kestrel/Arin, Me/Dillard Wayne Early Jr*, and Kaz/Inej.

*one of these is not like the others but if you deny its truth I will personally fight u.


Favorite bookish blog?

Oh, I read many. Many many many. I shan’t name any because I then risk forgetting many fabulous ones and/or those who are run by my friends, and we ain’t having that, son.




Favorite book?









If you think we could be great bookish BFFs, feel free to follow me on Twitter (where I yell about books I like in 280 characters or less), Instagram (where I post photos of the gorgeous things that are books), Pinterest (some bookish things, some bad puns, and WIP boards), and Goodreads (where I also yell about books I like, but in a slightly more professional manner). These pretty flowery logo things that took me two and a half hours to make can actually be clicked, so. You know. Have fun with that.






When in doubt, I am @justaddaword on literally EVERYTHING. EVEN MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE.




Nice to meet you, too.