Hello y’all do you like this dramatic-looking picture of me staring intently at my shoes with books behind me. Because I do too



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/aerospace 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 Food?

Anything with CHEESE. I am the most enthusiastic cheese enthusiast to ever be enthusiastic. Give me cheese, and we shall be best friends for ever. Oh, and black coffee. Always black coffee. The darker, the more bitter, the better.





Favorite TV Show?

THE OFFICE. I want every line Dwight K Schrute says tattooed across my forehead. Don’t question me.


Also: STRANGER THINGS. Give me aaaall the ghostly hist-fic sci-fi with badass girls and tragically adorable boys (WILL, MY SON) and Eggo appreciation.


No, but seriously. Come yell with me about Stranger Things (or better yet, THE OFFICE), and I will love you forever.



Favorite Movie?


Hmm, let’s see. I 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?


Anything Maroon 5 (especially if its SONGS ABOUT JANE). Pretty Lights. Arctic Monkeys. STS9. The Score. Anything angsty with a heavy beat. Anything addicting and techno. 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 bookish squad?

Well, it used to be the Lunar Chronicles gang. Then it was the Raven Boys. Now? Six of Crows squad, all the way. Because sassing and running and thieving and knifing and eating waffles is my aesthetic, apparently.



Favorite author?


Of all time? VE Schwab, who is hereby declared Queen, and hoarder of all my five-stars. But! I also love Marie Rutkoski, Leigh Bardugo, Holly Black, Brigid Kemmerer, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, Amanda Foody,  Jeff Zentner, Tahereh Mafi, Krystal Sutherland, John Green, 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?

Uh, I do not have OTPs. I do not even properly “ship” characters. And if you’re looking at me with a very confused/surprised/weirded-out look, allow me to explain: I do not properly “ship” characters because I am as romantic aS THAT ICEBERG THAT SANK THE TITANIC AND KILLED POOR LITTLE LEO DICAPRIO. Meaning: I am not romantic. At all. Please excuse my logical black-and-white boring-ness. However! I do like some couples such as: Kestrel/Arin, Bronwyn/Nate, Me/Dillard Wayne Early Jr*, and Kaz/Inej (<– dare I say that’s my favorite couple ever? Alright, fine. I suppose that’s an OTP. Happy now? *rolls eyes*). WAIT NO I FORGOT CARDAN AND JUDE. Dammit. I don’t even know anymore, guys.


*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.




What else do you need to know about me? Ah yes. I enjoy cosplaying the When Dimple Met Rishi cover when I’m bored, like so:















(Please pretend I’m drinking an iced coffee, not an iced tea. Use your imagination.)



That’s all you need to know about me, really.



Nice to meet you, too.