Monday, March 31, 2014

Best Series Blog Hop and Giveaway


best-series_blog-hop

When I signed up for this awesome hop hosted by Cuddlebuggery, my mind spun with possibilities. Do you know how hard it is for me to pick JUST ONE series as my favorite series? SO HARD. I considered Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi,  The Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson, the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, the Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce, and dozens other, because the world is too vast for just one favorites, you know? I don't have favorites. I don't have bests. I have a million series I love just for being themselves.

But in the end, I chose a series I love that deserves a hundred times more recognition for its awesomeness.


Movie Mondays: Cinder by Marissa Meyer



BRAND NEW FEATURE ALERT! A month or so ago I did the Top Ten Tuesday topic of books I'd like to see turned into a movie or a TV show. Once I started thinking of books I'd love to see come to life, I couldn't stop. With the release of movies like Catching Fire, Vampire Academy, and Divergent and the upcoming The Giver, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Maze Runner, plus the TV version of The 100, it seems like YA on the big screen is all the rage now (YIPPEE!). With the announcement of the imminent production of an adaptation of Paper Towns, I started thinking of other YA books I'd like to see filmed.

And lo, a new feature was born!

For my Top Ten Tuesday, I decided to go even further and didn't just choose books I'd like to see adapted, but I created posters for them using my Supah Awesome Photoshop Skillz. And then I kept thinking of more books and wanting to create more posters and even cast them in my head. One book in particular is, to me, begging to be put on the big screen. Which book, do you ask?

DRUM ROLL, PLEASE, EVEN THOUGH I'VE GIVEN AWAY THE ANSWER IN THE TITLE OF THE POST!

Keep Reading ------>

Mini Reviews: Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossi and Brooke by Veronica Rossi


Review: Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossi
Goodreads 
Release date: October 30, 2012
 Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: Yes, #0.5 in the Under the Never Sky series
Source: Purchased
Length: 68 pages
Rating: ROAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR.

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Before Perry and Aria, there was Roar and Liv.

After a childhood spent wandering the borderlands, Roar finally feels like he has a home with the Tides. His best friend Perry is like a brother to him, and Perry's sister, Liv, is the love of his life. But Perry and Liv's unpredictable older brother, Vale, is the Blood Lord of the Tides, and he has never looked kindly on Roar and Liv's union. Normally, Roar couldn't care less about Vale's opinion. But with food running low and conditions worsening every day, Vale's leadership is more vital—and more brutal—than ever. Desperate to protect his tribe, Vale makes a decision that will shatter the life Roar knew and change the fate of the Tides forever.

Set in the harsh but often beautiful world of Veronica Rossi's "unforgettable"
Under the Never Sky (Examiner.com), this captivating prequel novella stands on its own for new readers and offers series fans a fascinating look into the character of Roar. Poignant and powerful, Roar and Liv is a love story that will "capture your imagination and your heart."

My reviews of Under the Never Sky | Through the Ever Night | Into the Still Blue

You may or may not know this, but I binge-read the entire Under the Never Sky trilogy in under five days, novellas included, which was one of my better life decisions. I STRONGLY recommend you ignore that #.05 designation up at the top and read this after you've read Under the Never Sky and before you read Through the Ever Night. I think the reading experience is much enhanced after you know a little bit about the world and have had a chance to become freakingly, unhealthily obsessed with attached to Roar, and so you can fall as deeply in love with this novella as I did.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Legend and Prodigy by Marie Lu Paperback Giveaway!


I really love the Legend series by Marie Lu, and I especially love having the chance to let others read it, too! The wonderful people at Penguin have decided to go for the gold in wonderfulness and asked me to host a giveaway for the paperback versions of Legend and Prodigy which, I am told, are very gorgeous and strokable in person.



One lucky reader will win a copy of EACH BOOK, so you can binge read and swoon and shout and suffer, aka the holy trinity of bookish reactions. I highly recommend them, and Marie is awesome, which is double reason you should read these books.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick


Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Goodreads 
Release date: April 15th, 2014
 Publisher: Dial (Penguin)
Series: No
Source: ARC from the publisher
Length: 416 pages
Rating: *happy sigh*

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 From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.

Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

A magnetic, push-me-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.



This boooooooooooook. I closed this book with a happy sigh and an aching tightness in my chest, equal parts enchanted and sad. What I Thought Was True was just what I was expecting from the author of My Life Next Door, a book I love to pieces. This book, set in the same town and world as MLND, captures the bittersweetness of summer. How it bridges the end of something with the beginning of something else, how it seems to symbolizes your past and your childhood but also the years to come. It's about how sometimes the things you thought you wanted aren't what you really want... or, they aren't all you wanted. It's about the complexities of life and getting your timing right.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blog Tour: Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimo


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Welcome to the Nearly Gone blog tour! All the people at Penguin are especially excited about Elle Cosimano’s smart, but scary debut (caution: avoid reading this one before bedtime!). Gillian, the marshmallow, will definitely heed this advice.

Over the next three weeks, Elle will share the secrets behind NEARLY GONE on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday basis, so be sure to be on the lookout for new posts!

Important text full of importance is by the author, silly gif inserts are from me, Gillian.

Elle’s Guest Post 

Nearly Gone isn’t just my debut novel. It’s also the first book I’ve ever written. So when people ask me what research was involved in writing this book, the answer is a little more involved than they might have expected. When I think back on the research that went into NEARLY GONE, it seems to break down into four distinct categories: physical research, emotional research, technical research, and research about the business of publishing.



For me, the physical research is the most fun. It’s all about the physical aspects of the story: setting, clothing, language, time period, etc… when I’m verifying the tangible elements of the book, or the things that make my stories factually believable. In my case, this included things like science/math principles, various manners of death, and elements of law enforcement.

My physical research for the NEARLY series led me to the Writer’s Police Academy, which I make a point to attend annually. The WPA is a four-day series of hands-on workshops for writers, instructed by forensic specialists, law enforcement professionals, and first responders. I’ve handcuffed my critique partner, navigated my way through a hostage situation in a Fire Arms Simulation, and performed presumptive blood testing using the same tools and chemicals forensic professionals use in the field. I’ve listened to stories of real life undercover narcotics officers, searched a jail cell for contraband, and discovered a mock expeditious grave in the woods.



I’ve done a ride-along with a sheriff’s deputy, observed a nighttime felony traffic stop, and attended classes taught by the nation’s foremost experts on serial killers. Most recently, in preparation to write the sequel, I toured a regional forensics lab where I learned about chain of custody, talked to fingerprint examiners, and learned about the identification process of tool marks found in crime scenes. My physical research doesn’t make me an expert on crime or law enforcement, but it makes me more competent to write compelling, believable fiction. And after spending so much time with my butt in a chair, you’d better believe these opportunities are the best parts of my job! 

The next level of research for me was emotional. This was the part of the process where I had to dig deep. Not into my characters or the setting or the plot, but into myself. I had to consider the universal themes in my story – themes like loss, redemption, betrayal, and sacrifice – and explore those themes within the context of my own life. I had to dredge up my own well of experience, and reconnect with those feelings so I could bring them to the page with depth and authenticity. We’ve all experienced loss. We’ve all experienced some kind of betrayal. The raw material was all there inside me. But poking around in closed wounds isn’t an easy course of study. This is, by far, the most difficult part of my process, but also the most essential in creating a character-driven story.

 Beyond the story research, technical research was an important part of my process. I didn’t come to the table with an English degree or any formal writing training. I had to learn on my own. I attended workshops and met with writing groups. I read everything I could get my hands on, paying close attention to the styles and techniques of authors I admired. And I found talented critique partners, who have helped me refine my technical skills through honest and constructive feedback.

The last stage of the research process for me was all about the business of publishing. I subscribed to industry blogs and trade publications. I made lists of my favorite authors and their books, then combed through their acknowledgments to create a list of my dream literary agents. I drafted query after query, and submitted them for critique at workshops and conferences, until I finally felt confident that both my manuscript and my cover letter were as ready as they could be.

And there you have it… how I researched my debut crime thriller in a big, fat nutshell. If you’re curious you can learn more about my experiences at the WPA (pics too!) here and here.

Nearly Gone synopsis:

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school--a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her. 

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon--she'll be next. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

About Elle Cosimano 

 Elle Cosimano grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, the daughter of a prison warden and an elementary school teacher who rides a Harley. She majored in psychology at St. Mary's College, Maryland, and set aside a successful real-estate career to pursue writing. She lives with her husband and two sons. Nearly Gone is her first novel.

I'm Not Guilty About My Pleasures




The idea for this post started from a discussion I had with Christina, Meg, and Ellis. We were discussing a certain very popular series and whether or not I should read them. Christina said I should because she liked them even though she knows they are probably not what she would normally consider good.

This post isn't exactly about the concept of "guilty pleasures", which is a term I generally have a lot of issues with for reasons that boil down to: if you like it, you shouldn't feel guilty about it, because no form of entertainment is lesser than any other, but that's a post for a different day.

This post is mostly about books that we shouldn't like for personal, subjective reasons... but do for personal, subjective reasons. You know the feeling. You're reading something that, logically, you should hate, something that, by your own unique personal standards, should be considered genuinely terrible. And yet. You just kind of love it. It's like me and Slim Jims. I know that shit is nasty, but man, do I love them. These are pleasures your own brain will make you try to feel guilty about, but that you shouldn't. The outliers of your own personal taste, if you will. Books you love in spite of yourself.

Basically all of these books were books I read before I started blogging and I truly figured out what is was I liked and, more importantly, why. And also I grew up and Learned Things about the world, like sparkly blood-drinking stalkers or ragey wolf boys that frequently explode out of their clothes are probably not the ideal male specimens.
 
Now, this isn't meant as a "these are REALLY BAD BOOKS" post. Some of the books I say I should hate may be considered a wonderful book by someone else, and that's okay. As Meg says, "It's not that these are terrible, but that large portions of them trouble me, but I love them anyway." These "love them in spite of all reason" books are books that aren't terrible, but to that one individual, they SHOULD be... but aren't.

Sometimes you just really need a crack read.

Books I love or have loved even though I know I don't think they're good:

 The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer


I'm not going to list all the numerous things wrong with Twilight. We know what we are, and we've read those posts before. Trust me; I know what they are, too. I could probably write a thesis paper on Twilight, but that's also sort of my point--I have read these books multiple times. I enjoy reading these books for reasons I can hardly articulate. Back before my readerly brain really developed, aka when I was sixteen and emotionally fetal, I read the first three Twilight books in four days and MY LIFE WAS CHANGED FOREVER. Before that, I read very little YA besides Meg Cabot and maybe one or two others.

Besides Harry Potter, to which no other series can ever be compared for me, I'd never experienced that kind of captial-O-Obsession before, and it was the beginning of my descent into fangirl madness. I didn't know there was such a think as fanfiction or the interwebs or even fandom at all, and while i was never part of the online Twilight fandom, it was the gateway "personal brand of heroin", if you will, to the big wide world of bookish passions and YA as a whole.

Plus, the summer I discovered Twilight, aka juuuust before it got SUPER mainstream (HIPSTER ALERT), I went on a community service program in India. I was scared I wouldn't make friends, and then I found out that two of the girls had also just read Twilight and didn't have anyone else to talk to them about. INSTANT FRIENDSHIPS BORN.



All of Eva Ibbotson's romance novels


 These books are my CRACK. I own every single one of her books, and while I genuinely enjoy her glorious children's novel and consider them excellent books, her romance novels? Love. And yet they're completely absurd, the writing is overly flowery and over-the-top, every whimsical heroine is exactly the same, every (slightly infantilizing) love interest is exactly the same,  but who cares I am enjoying myself so much. These books are guaranteed to cheer me up whenever I'm down, or whenever I want to turn off my inner book critic. They are romantic and oh so much fun.

Spanish Holiday by Kate Cann

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THIS BOOK. I read it so often as a teen that the cover fell off.

The Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold

 

 LMB is considered a giant in the world of genre fiction, and I know tons of people love these series (ME INCLUDED), but I shouldn't like this for a lot of personal-taste reasons. Like, I'm not sure I'd recommend these, but oh my God, do I have the fondest feelings for this high fantasy series. I read these books when I was seventeen, aka the greatest summer of reading of my life in which I read a book a day by the pool for two weeks straight. My glorious binge ended only when I got the worst sunburn of my life, but every time I see a book that I read during that period of reading nirvana, I smile at it knowingly, like I had a particularly torrid and passionate affair with it once upon a time.

Meg, Christina, and Ellis have some not-so-guilty-pleasures of their own, too!

Christina: My romance authors were Judith McNaught and Jude Deveraux. It really felt like eating all of your Halloween candy in one sitting. I was alllll about The A-List, Jodi Picoult, and Fearless.

Meg: Nora Roberts, the Fever series, Gossip Girl, LJ Smith

Ellis: The It Girl books, aka the Gossip Girl spinoff that was all about big-boobed Jenny.

So, what books do you like in spite of your own tastes and judgment, aka a book you should dislike but actually love? (Like me with 99% of the TV I watch. America's Next Top Model, I just can't quit you.)


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This was a tough one, since there are SO many bookish things I want to do, but here are a few of the ones I could think of!


The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: I MUST GO HERE ONE DAY. They're building a smaller version here at Universal (YAY!) but I still want to visit the original.

Will and Lyra's Bench in the Botanical Gardens at Oxford: If you've read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, you know why my heart aches just thinking about this bench.

Leavesden Studios: AKA the Warner Brothers studios where they still have all the Harry Potter sets and a museum full of props and this is what my dreams are made of.

Jane Austen themed trip: I want to go to Bath, to the Jane Austen House, to Jane Austen's real house, to the manors that stood for Pemberley in the movie and the miniseries. I want to go everywhere remotely connected to Jane.


Throw a book-themed party: Most likely a Harry Potter themed one, let's be honest. But one day. ONE DAY. I will make crafts and decorate cakes and it shall be magnificent.

Own a library: I don't mean a public library. I want to build my own personal book heaven Belle library with cozy corners and lots of light and stacks and stacks and STACKS of books in my theoretical dream mansion.

Read all the books I own: YES, ALL. Read all the books. Finish all the series. Leave no page unturned.

Write: I love to write, and I'd love to make a career out of it. I'd love to be published, but mostly I just want to keep making stories for myself, and I hope I never lose that drive.

Keep expressing myself: I want to continue to express myself creatively, through blog posts, creative writing, art, baking, and anything remotely book-related.

J.K. Rowling: She's probably the person I want to meet most in the world. But what would I even say? I'd lose my head completely and start sobbing or speaking in Parseltongue or something.

Tamora Pierce: Another awesome authorial woman who had an ENORMOUS impact on my life, both readerly and non-.
 
All the YA authors: ALL. I started listing specific ones and then I got to thirty so I stopped and said ALL. I just want to become biffles with all of you. I want to bask in your genius and soak up your sparkly glory like a TOTALLY non-creepy person.

All the bloggers: BOOK BLOGGERS OF THE WORLD! Ditto above. I want to soak up your awesome. I want us to fangirl together. I want the word to explode from all the awesomeness concentrated in one place. I want it to be like Twitter, but real life.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: Hung Up by Kristen Tracy


Review: Hung Up by Kristen Tracy
Goodreads 
Release date: March 4th, 2014
 Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster)
Series: No
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss
Length: 282
Rating: Super cute, super breezy, and super fast.
It got more more emotional at times than I wanted, but the banter was aces.

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Can you fall in love with a voice? This witty romance, told entirely through phone calls, chronicles the tale of a wrong number gone right.

It all started with a wrong number. The voicemails Lucy left on James’s phone were meant for someone else—someone who used to have James’s digits. But then when James finally answers and the two start to talk, a unique bond forms between the two teens.

Gradually Lucy and James begin to understand each other on a deeper level than anyone else in their lives. But when James wants to meet in person, Lucy is strangely resistant. And when her secret is revealed, he’ll understand why…



This book is the kind of book that will break you out of a reading slump. I happen to love books told in unconventional formats like emails, texts, or phone call transcripts, and I love how it all boils down to voice. I suppose if you don't love the voices of our two protagonists, James and Lucy, you might not lvoe this book, but I found them completely engaging and hilarious. Must you suspend a small amount of disbelief? Yeah, sure. I mean, who even uses phones to talk these days? Honestly.



And even if you did start talking to a total stranger, it's more likely that person would not be a non-dangerous person somewhere around your age. I mean, who knows what kind of creature could be at the other end of your call?

Dog Phone Call. found of a site. YES, THIS IS 'h

But you go with it. Let's say these two smart, witty teens, James and Lucy, meet by accident when Lucy calls the wrong number. Let's just say that, after that, they decide to keep talking, and a flirtation blooms.  And boy, was their flirting just what the reading doctor ordered. These two are hilarious, and the transcript format really let's you focus on that. There are no descriptions, no actions, no nothing but their voices. All the unimportant aspects are stripped away, leaving you only with their words. (And luckily, most of the time, I found their words pretty funny.)

Lucy: Yes, that’s it. Oh my god. You’re parking! 
James: Yes. It’s something I often do after I arrive somewhere by car.



Lucy: You’re acting like you’re the one who’s been saddled with the assignment. It’s my essay. 
James: What teenager uses the word “saddled”?
Lucy: I do. And teenage equestrians.


James: You need to lay off Helen Keller. 
Lucy: I didn’t realize I was on her.

Lucy: You should get a notebook and write your dreams down in it. Keep the notebook by your bed. A lot of people do this. 
James: I don’t have that many dreams. 
Lucy: How would you know? Maybe you’re just forgetting them.



So, yeah. Pros to Hung Up: James and Lucy and their positive interactions. They were adorable and flirty from the get-go and super fun to read. Cons to Hung Up: A major theme of the book is James and Lucy's willingness and hesitation to confide in each other, which I loved. BUT I think it would have been more impactful if their Deep Dark Secrets and Colossal Past Traumas had been less soap opera-y. It's not to say that people don't have those kinds of problems in their lives, and that they're not worth reading about, but the issues here are so over the top that they don't quite play. The more relatable tragedies of teenage existence might actually have gotten me to connect to James and Lucy more than their over-the-top life experiences.

Also: These kids attend the most varied, interesting high schools in America. I swear, no high school has that many unique classes and diorama building and churro-baking and writing-with-your-toes (no, seriously). Is this a Vermont thing? (Also, bonus points for unique setting.)

One thing I did really like that had to do with the Serious Trauma and Deadly Secrets what that terrible twist! I let out an audible moan of pain! It was awful and I should have seen that coming and nooooo, James and Lucy, you were doing so well!

I really liked their many misunderstandings, because it felt so real to life and how your words can be misconstrued. James and Lucy are definitely a couple I rooted for, because they felt so fun and varied and real. They had very different views about certain things, and I liked that. Plus, they're funny. And I just love funny characters with all my heart.



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Reader's Choice Review: Eve by Anna Carey


Review: Eve by Anna Carey
Goodreads 
Release date: October 4th, 2011
 Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: Yes, #1 in the Eve trilogy
Source: Purchased
Length: 336 pages
Rating: I think I liked that more than I should have.

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Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth's population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school's real purpose and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she's ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust... and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying.


Eve by Anna Carey, book one in the Eve trilogy:
A Reading Experience

http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6z1796L911r0bf1eo1_r1_500.gif

Me: So Eve is a girl kept in this School (they always says School) for girls where they teach them that boys are all meanie evil rapists and Not To Be Trusted, and that when they graduate they will go on to Do Great Things, but obviously this is A Lie.

Me: Okay, well, that's all highly improbable.

Me: Let's roll with it for reasons, mostly because this isn't horrible yet, despite its lack of logic. Not-so-fathomable future indeed.

Me: YOUR LIFE IS A LIE! YOU ARE BEING TRAINED TO BECOME PROFESSIONAL BABY MAKERS! THAT'S APPALLING.

Me: Any time you'd like to start showing a personality, Eve, that would be lovely.

Me: THIS IS HIGHLY GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING. I WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT. This whole breeding house, young-girls-forced-to-procreate business is appropriately effed up.

Me: Aw, Eve. You're kind of cute when you're being too-stupid-to-live.

Me: OH MY GOD EVE STOP PETTING THE BABY BEAR CUB

Me: YOU ARE QUITE POSSIBLY THE DUMBEST HUMAN IN CREATION

Me: HOW DID YOU NOT DIE EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE

Tell me. Does this:



look at all like this:



I thought not.

Me: Dirtcaked manboy to the rescue.

Me: This is basically Eve right now:

"Is it ruffians? Thugs? Have they come for me?!"

Me: Eve, you were just utterly adorable and utterly punch-worthy in the same paragraph. You are a talented narrator.

Eve: "Eh? I was intelligent, I worked hard."

Me: Then why the comma splice, Skeevy Evie?

Eve: "I was told I was beautiful. I was Eve, the valedictorian of School. And all he could say was, Eh?"

Me: Part of me thinks this book would be better from Arden's point of view, aka the tough girl with Much Knowledge and a cranky attitude.

Me: But Eve can be a bit endearingly stupid and priggish, which is pretty funny.

Me: WAIT. Eve has BROWN hair?!?! *looks at cover* Chicka whaaaaat?

Me: OH SHEEET. A ROYAL TWEEEST! J'APPROVE.

Me: I friendship Eve and Arden.

Me: They call the girls sent to the breeding houses sows? That is awful.

Me: Eve is back to being hilariously naive. "Why is that funny? What are 'balls'? Like the ball of your foot?" TROLOLOLOLOL

Me: There is a lot of deer murder in this book.

Me: So Eve and Arden and Manboy (aka Caleb) are with this group of Lost Boys and Eve is their Wendy Mother. Okay then.

Me: This is a bit instra-trust-y here with Eve and Caleb, but Caleb's a sweetheart, so let's roll with it.

Eve: What are you doing with all these books?
Caleb: I do this funny thing sometimes. I open a book, and I look at each page. It's called reading.



Me: HA! My fondness is reaffirmed.

Me: They're bonding over reading. And Eve being sad that she slaved away at School only to fill her head with LIES. Awww. It must be tough to realize the only goal you ever had is worthless, and that all the information you have is skewed.

Me: (It's still kinda insta-love though.)



Me: *looks around for plot* *cannot uncover plot*

Me: I don't understand why only the "eighteen-year-old broodmares" have the babies. Why don't the wealthy adults in the cities have their own babies, too?

Me: TWUE LOVE BLOOMS! Too bad plausible world-building does not

Me: Like, post-plague, America is in ruins, how did Canada not come swooping in to save our sorry asses and prevent this royal dictatorship from starting? People over in England must be looking over at America and thinking, "America, you craaaazy". (So, just like they do today.)

Me: Then again, you could say that about every dystopian ever so carry on.

Me: Arden is the best. 

Me: Oh, plooooooot, where aaaaaaare you?

Me: Eve, you idiot. That is not what he said.

Me: Oh, of COURSE. I knew that was going to happen. DO NOT LIKE. Or maybe... ARGH. Confused. #vagueyvagueness

Me: What 

Me: Come on you have brains utilize them

Me:

Me: OH SHIT that was actually a good twist right there. I wish it hadn't been born of...that, though. Or that that had been done differently. #thevagueyvaguenesscontinues

Me: I'm back to loving this book. My brain is a complex creature. ACTION HIGH STAKES THINGS HAPPENING BAD THINGS

Me: Oh, it's like the Underground Railroad!

Me: I wish not everyone in this book was white, though.

Me: Every now and then Eve reveals a really sad, human, heartbreaking detail from her childhood in the School, and it just adds so much. And now she and the girls are learning about history and the world and my feeeeels.

Me: They watched the movie Ghost?! OF ALL THE MOVIES IN THE WORLD. "Hi, welcome to pop culture, here is Patrick Swayze's face, enjoy"

Me: Oh, Eve. This is why you can't have nice things.

Me: NOOOOOOO THAT WAS THE WORST

Me: Everything is terrible and it hurts

Me: Awesome actionnnnn yessss bad-ass Eve!



Me: Oh nooooooo

Me: Whyyyyyy

Me: Caleb, my baaaaaaby

Me: *sobbity sob sob*



End scene

Got a book you want me to read? Fill out the form below!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Book Haul, or the One With the Birthday Surprise


Hey, it's my face again! My face talking about books! And my dog! I tried to get her to talk about books, too, but she was feeling a little shy.




Books mentioned:

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
A BIRTHDAY SURPRIIIIISE BOOK

Books received for review:

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn (Thanks, Macmillan!)

Movies purchased, because why not:

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Frozen: The Greatest Cinematic Achievement of Our Time

Weekap, aka all the cool things that happened this week on the blog:

I didn't do a haul last week, so lucky you, getting two weeks' worth of posts for the price of one!

I read, sobbed over, and reviewed The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I listed my top ten favorite retellings

I reviewed the exceptionally disappointing Death Sworn by Leah Cypess

I swooned over some of my favorite "opposites attract" romances

I reviewed Panic by Lauren Oliver and Landry Park by Bethany Hagen

I listed the books I'm most excited to read this spring

And lastly, I vlogged about Disney Princesses and books! It makes sense. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Disney Princesses + Books

So apparently in the wild jungles of Booktube land, a locale I am mostly unfamiliar with, there is a THING called the Disney Princess Tag apparently started by... this person? I DON'T KNOW HOW THIS PLACE WORKS. But anyway. Ellis from The Random Transliterator and Finding Bliss in Books told me about it and said I had to do it ON PAIN OF DEATH and since I'm pretty fond of living I figured I'd give it a shot.

(FYI, that piece of plastic behind my mountain range of book stacks is NOT the lining of Dexter's murder lair. It's a really big painting that's been protectively wrapped. Just so you know.)



 Why, Youtube? Why must you always choose the most unfortunate freeze frames?

Books mentioned:

Anna and Elsa from Frozen
A book featuring siblings: Mind Games by Kiersten White

Rapunzel from Tangled
A book that made me emotional: Allegiant by Veronica Roth, Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (those Veronica R's are brutal), Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Merida from Brave
 A book featuring a female warrior: Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce

Tiana from The Princess and the Frog
A book featuring realistic struggles: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Belle from Beauty and the Beast
A book that is a classic: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, Howard's End by E.M. Forster.

Pocahontas from Pocahontas
A book featuring nature: Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce

Jasmine from Aladdin
A book featuring the desire to be free: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Mulan from Mulan
A book featuring war or battles: Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

Ariel from The Little Mermaid
A book featuring curiosity or learning: Matilda by Roald Dahl

Cinderella from Cinderella
A book featuring manual labor: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Aurora from Sleeping Beauty
A book featuring sleep: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Snow White from Snow White
A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins (lust, in my case): Ignite Me by Taherah Mafi

BONUS!

Megara from Hercules
A book featuring Greek myths: The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan.

Maid Marian from Robin Hood
A book featuring a canine: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Nala from The Lion King
A book featuring a feline: In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce.

Yes, I realized I grabbed a Tamora Pierce book for a good deal of these. What's the problem?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR List



So many great books coming out this spring! I know I say that every season, but I obviously super duper serious mean it this time. This will be the best bookish season ever*! Hear hear! All these books on this list I have in my possession, besides the first, and plan to read ASAP.

NO, this is not in my clutches. Calm down. But the moment it is, I am ripping it open and devouring it whole because OMG WHAT HAPPENS I MUST KNOW

I'm so excited for this one! It looks summery and light and adorable. It will be the perfect thing to read in the glorious LA spring sunshine. Spring just might be my favorite season here in Southern California.

I'm cheating, since this comes out in July, but I am soooo reading this before that, because KASIE WEST WRITING ADORABLE FLUFFY ROMANCE. It is everything I love and need.

I read the first couple of chapters of this a couple months ago, and it's SO GOOD. I really need some tense and romantic historical fiction, and this Nazi Germany tale just might fit the bill.

I really enjoyed LaZebnik's cute, contemporary reworking of Pride and Prejudice, Epic Fail, so I've got very high hopes for this Persuasion retelling.

This book. This books sounds like Gillian catnip. It's Chasing Liberty meets Roman Holiday. Princes and Europe and summer and yes.

Geeks falling in love! It's everything I adore in a contemporary romance.


 Rebel is the sequel to Reboot, which I really enjoyed. Plus, this series is a rare duology, meaning the Rebel is the series ender, meaning we'll find out what happens to Callum all of the characters!


I've heard it on good authority (Ellis) that this book is ALL OF THE ADORBS. I'm prepared to swoon.


NEW HUNTLEY FITZPATRICK BOOK. Set in the same world as My Life Next Door. With a new heroine to love and a new hot boy to obsess over.

This book is a YA historical with diversity set in a period of American History one doesn't normally read about, the Korean War. I can't wait to get to it.



*At least until summer.