Thursday, April 9, 2015

An Update

Hey, guys. I mentioned a couple days ago that I'd received some really bad news and would be taking some time off from...well, basically everything, and I sort of just want to let you all know what's going on. On Tuesday, very early in the morning, I lost my dad. He was probably the person I was closest to in the world, and it was completely out of nowhere, so obviously I'm not in the best place right now. However, my brother, friends and family have been amazing about helping me and each other. I honestly couldn't imagine going through this kind of shit without that support system, which I didn't even realize I had before now, at least not to this extent. I have friends taking care of my dog while I stay at my mom's house, and yesterday--which happened to be my and my twin brother's 24th birthday--three of my cousins, my mom, and my very close friends put together a little dinner for us and made it as nice a birthday as possible.

I'm updating you guys because I want you to know why, despite recently returning to active blogging with Dark Lord Funk fanfare, I'll be taking some time off again. And also because I wouldn't have been able to handle these last few years without the support of my wonderful internet friends, who aren't even really "internet friends"--you guys are just friends. So I'm sending love and hugs to you all, and thanking you so much for the nice things you've already said to me on Twitter and Instagram. When I say those things mean the world to me, I really, really mean it. The niceness and warmth and love I've received in the last two days has helped enormously.

I love all of you guys so much <3333333333333

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Release date: April 7th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Length: 352 pages
Source: eARC via Edelweiss/ARC from ALAMW15
Rating: Extremely important (and extremely brutal on mah feels)


 A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex . . . and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned--something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

Honestly, it would have been difficult for me not to love this book due to subject matter alone. It's literally the only YA novel starring an intersex main character that I have ever read or can even think of (if you know of others, please share in the comments! I'd love to read more). So unless this book was somehow heinously offensive, I knew I was going to enjoy reading it even if it was lacking other positive aspects. But lucky for me, None of the Above was a great, emotionally charged read, in addition to being groundbreaking, informative, and extremely important.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Book Haul, or the First One in a Looooooong Time

Yayyy, book hauls! I missed doing these. I haven't done one of these in aaaages, since way before ALA. I had been planning to do one for ALA, but I got SO. MANY. BOOKS. that the idea of linking them all and typing them up was intensely stressful, so I ended up not doing one, and then weeks passed and lo, no book hauls. And yet I was getting books, so I really I was just being a big lazy fail.  (If you are interested in what my ALA book haul was, I Instagrammed my haul here and here.)

Rather than list every book I've bought/been given/received for review in the interim, I'll hit the recent highlights. Because it's been a lot and, erm, I've forgotten. Also I've been very busy GETTING SHELVES and moving the cumbersome contents of my beastly book Himalayas into them after PUTTING THEM TOGETHER MYSELF which is frankly beyond my skillset so it took a lot of effort and swearing and point being, all my books are newly organized so it's even harder now to remember which are new.


Friday, April 3, 2015

When the Last Book Ruins Everything

We've all been there with series we love (and some we only sort of like). You build up ALL that anticipation for the final book. The grand finale! The big kahuna! The buildup, the big one, the moment we've bene waiting for, the REASON ALL THOSE OTHER BOOKS EXIST! Waiting...for this!

And then you read it.

And you. Don't. Like it.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Baking the Books: Simon vs. the Oreo Sapiens Agenda

Welcome to Baking the Books, where I bake things inspired by my favorite novels! Since I do a lot of reading and a lot of baking, it was only a matter of time before the two things overlapped. It's just part of my evil plot to get books involved in every single aspect of my life.

Last time on Baking the Books: To All the Cookies I've Loved Before

You're probably sick of me shouting at you about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, but it's a perfect book, so I'm not going to stop shouting about it anytime soon. Not only is it ten kinds of adorable, not only is it funny, and not only is it a brilliant rendering of what it's like to be confused/confident/closeted/hilarious as hell teen, but it will make you crave Oreos like you've never craved them before.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Review: Things We Know by Heart by April Lindner
Release date: March 31st, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Length: 384 pages
Source: ARC from the publisher

Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends and new love that proves it's never too late for second chances.

It's been a year since it happened--when Paige Hancock's first boyfriend died in an accident. After completely shutting out the world, Paige is finally ready for a chance at high school...and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live? 

THIS BOOK. Oh, I enjoyed reading this book so much. It's equal parts adorable and heartbreaking, and best of all, it's sublimely nerdtastic. it's about nerds falling in love through pop culture and geekery, and HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THAT? This is my first Emery Lord book, but I guarantee you it won't be my last. The way she writes romance and girl friendships is utter perfection.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Looking Forward: April

Sometimes it's really hard for me to keep track of what comes out what month, especially while juggling early reviews and publisher catalogues and all the other confusing bookish things bloggers deal with. It's just a LOT OF BOOKS ALL THE TIME. How do you ever keep them straight?! So on the last day of the month, I post a guide to what books I'm most looking forward to in the following month and that you should keep an eye on. So, since it's the last day in March (AHHHH IT'S ALMOST APRIL I TURN 24 IN APRIL I DON'T LIKE IT LET'S GO BACKWARDS), here are the April releases most tempting me:

Featured book of the month:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

Review: Things We Know by Heart by April Lindner
Release date: April 21st, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 304 pages
Source: ARC from ALAMW15/eARC via Edelweiss
Rating: Bah bah black sheep

When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection. 

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all. 

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

I'm really disappointed in this book, actually. It had the potential to be GREAT, and I know Kirby has the mega chops to pull that off. I was ready to get my heart stomped on, but it wasn't even really grazed. And I'm an emotional reader. I cry when fictional puppies stub their toes, so a book about a girl dealing with the death of her boyfriend and the grief of moving on should have WRECKED me. But there as no wreckage to be found. But everyone else was devastated by this book! What's wrong with me? Why can't I feeeeeeel??