In Which I Dress 5 Of My Favorite YA Couples For Halloween

I’m taking part in a fun blog event hosted by Great Imaginations today — their annual Blogger Trick or Treat! Prizes, Halloween fun and visiting new blogs — what’s not to love?

 

I LOVED Halloween as a kid. I loved the costumes but mostly I LOVED THE CANDY. My neighborhood had a lot of people who would give the king sized candy bars (JACKPOT) and I was always trading kids in my neighborhood for my FAVORITE non-candy bar candy — MILK DUDS. Anyone else love Milk Duds?? I always hated how they got stuck in my teeth but they were so worth it.

Now as an adult I just really love coming up with costumes. And every Halloween I try and get Will to dress up in a couples costume and every year he refuses me. So I decided, since my persuasive powers haven’t worked yet on Will, that I would create couples costumes for some of my favorite YA couples. (I’ve also come up with costumes based on books I’ve read!)

 

 

couple1

 

just-one-day

Allyson & Willem met in London and, in a moment of spontaneity, have 24 hours together in Paris. The story of two lost people who desperately needed to find themselves (and each other) is a personal favorite of mine.

costume

Silent-Film-Star-Halloween-Costume
11Photo credit here.

I picked silent film stars for Allyson & Willem! If you’ve read Just One Day you know that the first REAL conversation they ever have, after he insults her breakfast on the train, is about who she looks like which ends up becoming her alter ego of sorts that gives her the courage to be someone else for the day which is the catalyst for EVERYTHING that happens next.

“You know who you look like? Louise Brooks.”
I stare at him blankly.
“You don’t know her? The silent film star?”
I shake my head. I never did get into silent films.
“She was a huge star in the nineteen twenties. American. Amazing actress.

And then a few lines later:

“You look so much like her. I should just call you Louise.”
Louise. I like that.
“No, not Louise. Lulu. That was her nickname.”
Lulu. I like that even better.
He reaches out his hand. “Hi, Lulu, I’m Willem.”

And then a little bit later as she embarks on her adventure:

“And this is the truth, because I may only be eighteen, but it already seems pretty obvious that the world is divided into two groups: the doers and the watchers. The people things happen to and the rest of us, who just sort of plod on with things. The Lulus and the Allysons. It never occurred to me that by pretending to be Lulu, I might slip into that other column, even for just a day.”

 

 

couple1

wanderlove-costume

In Wanderlove Bria and Rowan meet traveling in Central America and Bria drops her tour group to see the world a different way with Rowan and his sister.

costume

P1020350Photo credit

I thought the cliched tacky tourists would be an ironic costume considering Rowan’s view on traveling and also because they met traveling and Bria was TOTALLY in a group like this before she meets him.

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eleanorandpark

Eleanor & Park meet on the school bus, share some tunes which leads to MORE and pretty much just made my heart ACHE.

costume

hans-solo-and-princess-leia-star-wars-couples-costume

Okay I know. Why would I not go the music route considering this book? Because one of the lines I love SO MUCH relates to this. I kiiind of want it to be gender-swapped. Little inside joke between them?

“He pulled one of his arms out from under her and traced her outline against the couch. He could spend all day like this, running his hand down her ribs, into her waist, out to her hips and back again. If he had all day, he would. If she weren’t made of so many other miracles.

“You know?” he repeated. She smiled, so he kissed her. “You’re not the Han Solo in this relationship, you know.”

“I’m totally the Han Solo,” she whispered. It was good to hear her. It was good to remember it was Eleanor under all this new flesh.

“Well, I’m not the Princess Leia,” he said.

“Don’t get so hung up on gender roles,” Eleanor said.”

The actual end of that conversation ends like this so I guess maybe Boba Fett could work too:

“You can be Han Solo,” he said, kissing her throat. “And I’ll be Boba Fett. I’ll cross the sky for you.”


 

couple1

amyandroger

These two get thrown together being pretty much strangers and take a cross country road trip. What better way to get to know someone than some good tunes and the open road in front of you. Oh & Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour just exacerbated my own wanderlust/love.

costume

 

sgfswImage via Redditor narkeeso

Okay, I’m sorry but they met because of a cross country road trip and they absolutely have to be Google Maps because, besides good tunes, a map of some sort is essential.

 

 

couple1

 Anna-and-the-french-kiss

 Anna and St. Clair meet at their boarding school in Paris and made our hearts melt as they fell in love in Anna and the French Kiss.

costume

*WARNING: Spoiler for Isla and the Happily Ever After*

DIY-French-Chef-and-Croquembouche-Costume1-600x899Photo credit here. Cutest blog!

The costume I picked for Anna & St. Clair, because obviously France & the pastries tie them together, is a French chef & a croquembouche. I had always seen pictures of these tiered desserts and never knew what they were. But apparently a lot of couples in France have one of these instead of a regular cake. Spoiler: And given the fact that at the end of Isla they get engaged SOMEBODY WILL BE NEEDING ONE OF THESE! :)

Tell me some of your favorite literary couples and what Halloween costumes you would dress them up in!

 

Other reading:

* My Halloween TBR List
* Halloween costumes inspired by books
* 10 Halloween Reads
* A Very Fall Post

Book Talk: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Book Talk: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin TalleyLies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Publisher/Year: Harlequin Teen- September 2014
Genres: YA Historical Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
Other Books From Author: None -- debut novel!
AmazonGoodreadsTwitter

I received this from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

A1

It’s 1959 and a high school in Virginia is integrating. It’s told from the perspective of two teenage girls — one white and one black — who are in this middle of this fight for integration/segregation. Sarah is a senior and should be enjoying her last year of high school in choir and with her friends but she’s now part of the small group of students that are the first to integrate into the white high school where it’s clear she’s not welcome by all the protests, the assaults and the nasty words being thrown. Linda is also senior and her dad is one of the biggest voices against the integration. The two get paired together for a school project everything they have ever known about themselves and the world feels uncertain.
.

a2My heart. And also, MAN I love historical fiction and want to see even more of it in YA.

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1. When I studied history in high school I always wondered what the teens were doing & this book explored that for me: You always are talking mostly about adults in history class but I would always wonder things like, “I wonder what the teens were doing during civil rights or what was it like for them during these wars.” Lies We Tell Ourselves gives me exactly that. Yes, they were being teens and worrying about the dance and relationships and school but they also were very affected and influenced by the current events of the day. We got to see the prejudices they learned from their parents and the media and just how the decisions made by the adults affected them so intensely. I mean, the decision to integrate schools was something that affected the kids more than it did anyone else. They were at the epicenter of that and I loved that we saw just how quizzical teens were and how they explored their own opinions — just as teens do about anything.

2. It broke my heart in a lot of ways and was so hard to read because I knew, while this was fiction, this was a reality: Reading what the black teens who integrated into the white school had to endure just made my stomach hurt and also made me want to hug them all and tell them how brave they were. It’s always hard for me to read about any sort of oppression or injustices in fiction but to read about that 1) REALLY DID HAPPEN and 2) was in recent-ish history and not like hundreds of years ago just killed me. You realize how far we’ve come but also, when I see current events of today, how far we still have to go. Reading the scenes of being mobbed in the halls, having things thrown at them and knowing people wanted you to die shook me up physically. Robin Talley wrote it in such a way where it just reverberated off the pages — the hatred boiling, the fear, the yells echoing. SO real.

3. I really loved watching both characters interact with each other because it felt pretty realistic: You can’t hate Linda — even when she does the wrong thing over and over again and is cruel and obviously racist. At least I couldn’t. So much of coming of age is also figuring out stuff for yourself vs. what you’ve always been told. When your parents believe certain things, they are easily rubbed off on you and that’s what we see with Linda. I loved watching her and Sarah interact and the curiosity that was there in both girls and started crumbling the walls that had been erected by society. Truthfully I thought this was just going to be a novel about two girls navigating a friendship when they weren’t supposed to so I was a little thrown for a loop when I realized it was more of a romantic thing. I think it was a lot to explore in one book considering both prejudices but Robin Talley did it well.

 

a6RATING-reallyliked

factors+ story, writing, FEELINGS
- No real criticism just maybe didn’t feel as head over heels as others despite really liking it.

Re-readability: Probably wouldn’t.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Maybe not for myself because I wouldn’t re-read/it wasn’t a favorite but I want this to be on the shelves of every high school and YA section in the library.

a5fans of historical YA fiction, people looking for fiction dealing with civil rights, readers looking for LGBTQ stories, anyone looking for a powerful story

a8Lies We Tell Ourselves is a powerful story that really reminded me how brave people are and that’s how change happens — standing up for what is right, figuring out WHAT you think is right for yourself and not being afraid to have a voice. Sarah and Linda were two brave characters navigating this battle of civil rights and it really made me wonder about all the real, unknown acts of bravery during this time that helped change happen. I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it!

review-on-post-it

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
Have you read any books set in this time period you could recommend me?
*

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

In Theory I Like Re-Reading

I talked before about how my re-reading habits have changed before I was a blogger and then when I became a blogger but I have been thinking a lot about re-reading lately and why/why not I don’t do it.

In theory I would say I am pro re-reading but in practice? NOT SO MUCH.

 

Why I Don’t Re-Read:

1. TIME, my TBR-list & also the desire to experience new stories — This is the biggest factor & honestly I need to get over this. As a blogger I have these shiny new review copies that always seem to take up my time and I don’t make TIME for re-reads which is a shame. I’m always so stuck in the whirlwind of new releases that I don’t think about it. And it’s not even that I think “oh, well I won’t have anything to blog about” because I have NO problem blogging about a re-reading experience…it’s just I’m so stuck in the world of new books. And not even just NEW releases but just any story I’ve never read before. It’s always so EXCITING to read something you’ve never read before and I always love meeting new characters and going on new adventures.

2. I’m sometimes afraid they will not hold up to what I first thought: It’s a scary thought to me. That I could read a book love it and then years later HATE it. That the words that once really resonated or a romance I fell for could just fall so flat. I mean, I get that I change and grow and so do my tastes but also sometimes I just want to have those good memories of the book. It would be a sad day to read a book I considered a favorite (especially a childhood favorite) and just dislike it so much.

Why In Theory I Like Re-Reading:

1. Cozying up with old friends is fun: Seriously, sometimes it’s just a comfort to settle in with characters you love or a story that left you breathless. I tend to always reread portions of favorites when I’m in a reading slump because they just remind me why I love reading.

2. As much as I’m afraid the book holding up, I get excited about the new lens I might view it: We are always growing and changing and the lens in which we view the world changes through experiences and such. I think it’s exciting to pick up on things I might not have before or see a character/the story in a different way because of the time that has passed and the ways I’ve changed since my first reading. Wouldn’t it be amazing to re-read a favorite book and then just have all these other elements and words change you all over again in a different way. I remember when I read Eat, Pray, Love at the age of 21-ish I immediately thought, “I want to re-read this book again when I’m 30.”

3. It solidifies the favorites: Yes, it sucks to not feel the sparks on a re-read but how amazing is it to be like YEAH THERE IS A REASON THIS IS A FAVORITE!! I want to read it over and over again!

 

What I Want To Do To Change My Re-Reading Habits:

In 2015 I want to re-read more. It’s that simple. I want to choose a book a month that was important to me or I considered a favorite (some will be childhood books so I know they will be quick reads) and re-read it.

I want to reflect on where I was at in my life when I read it vs. where I am now. How I remember thinking about it vs. how I do now. I want to not be afraid about the fact that sometimes we grown in and out of books. I want to not be afraid that sometimes a book is really important and shapes you at a certain point in your life when you need it but it’s okay for it to not be as meaningful upon a re-read. I don’t want to be afraid of not loving it this time around but rejoice in the fact it really meant something to me at one point but now I have books that do that for me now. I can acknowledge the impact. Remember it fondly. Be a little sad. But really I want to explore these books that shaped me and look at how myself and the world has changed since my first read.

I know I started to wax poetic there for a moment about something like re-reading but honestly it fascinates me that I will probably NEVER have the same experience reading the same book twice.

 

Some Books I Want To Explore In My Re-Reading Adventures:

I haven’t decided on ALL the re-reads I want to do but these I know for sure.

+ On The Road by Jack Kerouac — a favorite in college and I’m super curious if 29 year old Jamie will see it in the same way that pretentious 19 year old Jamie did. The Jamie who had all these fantasies for what life would be like and how it would unfold.

+ The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath I talked pretty personally about this and where I was at in my life when I read this book and I’m just really curious how I’ll see it vs. how 18 year old Jamie did in the middle of one of the single worst times in my life.

+ The Giver by Lois Lowry — This was my all time FAVORITE book growing up. I re-read it about 10 times as a kid.

+ Just One Day by Gayle Forman — This is a more recent one (Nov 2012 I think) so I don’t have a ton of distance from it but it really CHANGED my life. It’s a Gayle book so I know it will hold up! IT WILL.

 

So let’s talk about re-reading! Do you re-read often? Why/why not? Have you ever re-read a book and then it didn’t live up? Tell me anything about your re-reading habits!

In The Afterlight Giveaway (Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken)

I’m so excited to be able to share this giveaway with you — especially because there are SO many opportunities for you to win all across the bookish community! It’s a series I’ve been wanting to start  and I plan to carve out some time when In The Afterlight is out to binge read the trilogy and the novellas!

I get to offer you up a GREEN prize pack thanks to Disney Hyperion! Let’s get to peeking what’s inside this prize pack:

GreenPrizePack

Is that tote not the best EVER?

What you will win:

A custom Darkest Minds puzzle, The Darkest Minds series & the tote bag.

Giveaway Rules/Info:

US addresses only!
You must be 13 years old or older to enter.
Prize will be fulfilled by the publisher.
Ends October 27th at 11:59pm EST

How to Enter:

Leave a comment (with an email or a Twitter handle so I can get a hold of you) and tell me which one of the Psi powers shown below you would want to have (mind control, intelligence, electrokinesis, telekinesis, pyrokinesis):

isolated on white bright yellow sparks

I think my answer would be mind control. It would be SO useful. Why yes you WOULD like to give me all these books for free…why yes you will let me on this plane so I can take a vacation to Bora Bora.

 

About The Book:

Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. Only Ruby can keep their highly dangerous prisoner in check. But with Clancy Gray, there’s no guarantee you’re fully in control, and everything comes with a price.

When the Children’s League disbands, Ruby rises up as a leader and forms an unlikely allegiance with Liam’s brother, Cole, who has a volatile secret of his own. There are still thousands of other Psi kids suffering in government “rehabilitation camps” all over the country. Freeing them–revealing the governments unspeakable abuses in the process–is the mission Ruby has claimed since her own escape from Thurmond, the worst camp in the country.

But not everyone is supportive of the plan Ruby and Cole craft to free the camps. As tensions rise, competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IANN, the disease that killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others with powers the government will kill to keep contained. With the fate of a generation in their hands, there is no room for error. One wrong move could be the spark that sets the world on fire.

About Alexandra

:AlexBrackenAuthorPhoto The Darkest Minds: In The Afterlight Giveaway [US Only]

Alexandra Bracken was born and raised in Arizona, but moved east to study at the College of William & Mary in Virginia.  She recently relocated to New York City, where she worked in publishing and lives in a charming apartment overflowing with books.

Want more?

Visit Alexandra online at www.alexandrabracken.com

Follow Alexandra on Twitter & Instagram

Like Alexandra on Facebook

Follow Alexandra on Tumblr

Visit Hyperion Teens at the Official Site & on Twitter

Get The Books:

DarkestMindsseries

The Darkest Minds

In Time (e-book novella)

Never Fade

Sparks Rise (e-book novella) This one was JUST released last month and connected the last two books! A must read while you wait!

In The Afterlight

Be sure to keep an eye out for more giveaways from blogs representing the other colors!!

Top Ten New-ish Series I Want To Start

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten New-ish Series I Want To Start

For these purposes this is anything 2 years or newer (a little older than that for one). There are SO many series I am so behind on but these are the more recent ones that I want to jump on. Some have a couple books out and some just have one out so far.

Tell me which ones should be my priority in the comments (or Twitter or carrier pigeon, etc.)

TTT1TTT2TTT3

Splintered: Alice in Wonderland but like further up the family tree.
Rebel Belle: Southern sass + magic? COUNT ME IN.
Scarlet: Robin Hood retelling!
Wait For You: It’s time for me to read some JLA. Everybody says she perfects the romance thang.
The Burning Sky: Another fantasy series and everyone was been talking about the sequel (in a good way!)
Trial By Fire: Witches!! Also, I think semi-retelling of The Crucible? IDK IF THAT IS FACTUAL.
Taken: Dystopian series I’ve heard good things about and have been meaning to read!
Exquisite Captive: Inspired by Arabian Nights!
The Archived: Dead people rest on shelves like books and all their stories and lives rest there. VERY COOL.
Snow Like Ashes: Been really digging fantasy lately and this is a brand new series that just came out this month!

 

 

So tell me…which new-ish series have YOU been meaning to start? Any recs for me? Have you read any of these?

New To The Queue {7}

New To the Queue is going to be a sporadic thing around here wherein I tell you some of the books, movies, tv shows and bands I’ve recently added to my never ending queue of things to read/watch/listen to. For past posts, go here!

 

books-to-read

 

 

Every Breath Ellie Marney

 

Every Breath by Ellie Marney (Amazon // Goodreads)
Publication Date – October 14. 2014 (was out in 2013 in Australia)

Why I Added It To My To-Be-Read list: It’s Aussie. I saw that Mands liked it and I ALWAYS add the books she loves to my shelf because she keeps me in the loop with the best Aussie books. And lately I have seen EVERYONE talking about it.

What It’s About: A guy and a girl, who are neighbors, find the body of a friend in the Melbourne zoo and realize something is not right with the scene and the guy, who is a troubled genius and interested in forensics, begs her to help him investigate. They find themselves in some trouble as they follow the trail. I also this there is romantic element to this thriller?

The Body Electric

The Body Electric by Beth Revis (Amazon // Goodreads)
Publication Date- October 6, 2014


Why I Added It To My To-Be-Read list:
I really like Beth Revis and want to support her decision to self publish this nove.. Plus it sounds SUPER GOOD.

What It’s About: Ella has a unique gift, with the help of technology created by her mom, wherein she can enter people’s dreams and memories and help people relive happy moments. Then things start happening: shes asked to use her ability by the government who wants her to influence the minds of strangers, she starts seeing strange things like the memory of her dead father and then the leader of the rebel group is certain he knows her and they once loved each other but she has no recollection of who he is. 

 

Perfectly Good White Boy

 Perfectly Good White Boy by Carrie Mesrobian (Amazon // Goodreads)
Release Date: October 1, 2014


Why I Added It To My To-Be-Read list:
It was on my radar because I liked Carrie’s debut Sex & Violence. But it was Estelle’s review that made me officially add it to my TBR.

What It’s About: I’m not too sure to be honest. I know it’s a character driven story that follows the senior year of a guy who gets dumped by his girlfriend who is leaving for college, is poor and whose future is so uncertain but he knows he wants to get away from his dad.

 

Your Perfect Life

Your Perfect Life by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke (Amazon // Goodreads)
Release Date: June 2014

 


Why I Added It To My To-Be-Read list:
I think it was a “you also may like” to a book I liked on Goodreads.

What It’s About:  Okay this pretty much the female version of The Change-Up (with Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds). The two main characters have been bffs since childhood. One is a single, workaholic who gets to be around celebs all day while the other is married and the mom of three kids. They get into a fight at their high school reunion, take some shots to salvage the night and wake up in each other’s lives.

netflix-to-watch

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Tiger Eyes

Why I Added It To My Netflix Queue:  I saw it when I was scrolling Netflix and I was like OMG THIS WAS MY FAVORITE BOOK WHEN I WAS A PRE-TEEN. I didn’t realize it had been made into a movie.

What It Is About: “Following her father’s murder, a teenager goes to stay with relatives in New Mexico and falls in love.”

 

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Peaky Blinders

Why I Added It To My Netflix Queue: Will and I finished watching The Killing (LOVE THAT SHOW) and it recommended this to us.

What It Is About: “Tommy Shelby is the charismatic leader of a Birmingham, England crime organization known for its distinctive and lethal razor-brimmed caps. As the ambitious, deadly Tommy leads his crew to ever-greater success after World War I, they come to the attention of a chief inspector who is sent from Belfast to rid the city of its criminals.”

 

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Remembrance

Why I Added It To My Netflix Queue: I like a good romance and I do like watching foreign films.

What It Is About: “A married woman faces an emotional crisis when she learns that the former lover who rescued her from a concentration camp 30 years earlier is alive.”

 

music-to-listen-to

Broods- Evergreen

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Why I Added It To My Musical Rotation:  I feel like so many of my Monthly Rewinds have included a Broods song on the music portion of it. Every single they put out I fall in LOVE with. THANK GOD THE FULL ALBUM CAME OUT THIS MONTH.  Favorite songs thus far: Honestly the singles I’ve been listening to still are —  Mother & Father, Four Walls, Bridges, Never Gonna Change

Hozier – Self Titled Album

81HNJKyPWHL._SL1500_

Why I Added It To My Musical Rotation: Hozier is another one I always seem to talk about in my Monthly Rewinds and FINALLY this month the full album is out. This album is PURE PERFECTION. Not a bad song.  Songs you should check out first: Take Me To Church, Like Real People Do, From Eden, It Will Come Back

Milky Chance – Sadneccessary

51sOVWxFkaL

Why I Added It To My Musical Rotation: Another October release! I’ve been really digging Stolen Dance, Down By The River (shared on my June Monthly Rewind) and Flash Junked Mind since the singles were each released so I couldn’t wait to see what else they had!  Fave songs besides the 3 I just mentioned: Fairytale & Stunner

If you want to catch what I’m listening to…follow me on Spotify! Let me know who you are so I can follow back and check out youuur music!

lets-talk

YOUR TURN! Tell me one book you added to your TBR list recently! Tell me a movie/tv show you added to your must watch list! Tell me a new band/singer you just added to your musical rotation! Also, have you read/watched/listened to anything on my recently added list? Or did I make you add something to YOUR queue? Tell me, tell me!

A Personal Response To A Shocking THING That Happened

I typically never write posts about drama or any THINGS happening in the book world (minus the Speak Loudly/book banning thing years ago) because 1) I don’t like getting blogging community specific to isolate my readers who aren’t in it and 2) I generally don’t have the energy to rehash these things… but something that happened over the weekend has given me a lot to think about so I feel I must.

What happened: I’m not going to go into details of what happened or analyze it for you or really give too many opinions. The only opinion that matters: what this author did was so wrong. It crossed a huge line. I read THIS article (it goes to a safe link so they won’t get hits) and was appalled. Basically an author stalked (no literally STALKED as in went to her HOUSE) a blogger who I know and wrote an article about it trying to pass her craziness off in this cutesy, funny matter. I was not laughing because no matter what this blogger did or didn’t do…stalking is a line that I’m NOT okay with. Dear Author wrote about this in detail so I’ll link that if you want more on this.

I’m not really here to talk about WHAT HAPPENED or give opinions other than how it made me feel personally as a blogger.

I started blogging in 2010. I wanted to talk about books I was reading and connect with other readers because I had nobody in my circle of people to talk books with. It was a smaller community then and publisher/blogger relationships were still in the earlier stages of forming. I fell into this community and became friendly with a lot of people quickly. I’ve met SO many people I met online IN REAL LIFE — at conferences and events and such. I have felt safe in this really wonderful part of the internet that I call home. My readers are lovely. I’ve had LITERALLY no drama in my blogging life.

I would have never, back in 2010, imagined a blogger could be stalked by an author over an opinion they had about their book — regardless of how the book blogger talked about the book or what she did or did not do.

I tweeted this after I read the article and processed it:

Screenshot at Oct 19 14-38-59

A few things I’ve thought about since this:

 

ONE // I have always felt safe in this community and have been VERY open. I feel like you guys are my close friends and in some ways..family. Because of that safety, I’ve let my guard down and forgotten that the internet CAN be a scary place and is not always used for good. I haven’t given out OBVIOUS personal information but I think about the little ways someone could EASILY piece together important details if they wanted to and were looking that hard. I’ve tweeted landmarks across from where I live to local bloggers without even thinking twice about who was looking. I’ve not even thought twice about sending packages out with my return address and real name to giveaway winners. Everyone knows my husband’s name. My niece’s names. I’ve said where I used to live to authors and bloggers who are local and that my sister still lives in that town. I may have mentioned her name randomly (though I typically just say my sister).

Individually these things are probably not problematic but if the wrong person who I’ve wronged or who becomes obsessed (and no dear god I’m not saying I think this would happen to me) or WHATEVER gets a hold of it and wants to find out more personal details? THEY COULD. I’m not saying I’m not going to close up shop and stop being personal but it has definitely give me a lot to think about and I’ll be more vigilant about what I’m sharing online.

TWO// Younger bloggers and readers, please be careful. I’m a 29 year old woman and I see the mistakes I’ve made. The times I’ve let my guards down. I know it’s easy to feel comfortable but be careful about where your address is going. Your personal details. Who you are talking to. It’s a good reminder to all that we don’t always know who we are talking to and what kind of person we are interacting with. Talk with your parents about it. Think about where you can be safer.

THREE// It’s a scary time to be a blogger in a way — even in this bookish space. I’ve seen a book blogger being sued over something she wrote about a publisher. And now I’m seeing stalking. The bullying and the trolls and such were scary enough to me. I do not want to quit blogging but I’m finding myself overwhelmed about how things have changed since I started. I don’t write a lot of SUPER negative reviews because I generally don’t have the energy to spend that much time on something I disliked but it makes you think about how all it takes is for one person to become so enraged and so obsessed about the things you have written. The opinions you have.

FOUR // Just know that when I hold giveaways or have your personal information for ANY REASON..I destroy it. You can feel safe that your information will never be given to anyone other than who I have informed you would have it (ie: when a giveaway is sponsored by a publisher and I sent your info to a publisher).

FIVE // I KNOW that this is not the majority of authors. So many authors have been equally as disgusted and have spoken out about how this is NOT OKAY. I know that this is not the norm. That is comforting. I know that this community is mostly comprised of lovely people. I know this. But I think we can all do with being a little bit safer.

 

I know I’ve had a lot to think about after this. I’d love to know what it’s made you think about especially in regards to your safety as a blogger and internet user and how you safeguard yourself! (My intention is not to open this up to nastiness at all. I have my opinions of ALL aspects of this and I’m keeping most of them to myself and to close friends because that’s how I roll. So that kind of conversation isn’t going to be welcome here. Stalking is wrong. The end. You will not change my mind on THAT part).

Book Talk: Words & Their Meanings by Kate Bassett

Book Talk: Words & Their Meanings by Kate BassettWords & Their Meanings by Kate Bassett
Publisher/Year: Flux- September 2014
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: None, debut novel!
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I received this from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

A1
Anna O’Mally doesn’t believe in the five stages of grief. Her way of dealing with death equates to daily bouts of coffin yoga and fake-tattooing Patti Smith quotes onto her arms. Once a talented writer, Anna no longer believes words matter, until shocking discoveries– in the form of origami cranes– force her to redefine family and love.

As Anna goes in search of the truth, she discovers that while every story, every human being, has a last line, it might still be possible to find the words for a new beginning”

a2MAN, I wanted to connect more so I could have really FELT this emotional story.

a4I’m conflicted about this one because I can’t say I was SUPER drawn into it and it was a bit slow for the first half but it was a beautiful book in so many ways.  I loved the piercing story of grief it told. Anna’s grief is real and alive and she wears it in a way that everyone knows. She’s so inside herself and tormented by her grief that she can’t really let herself live after the loss of her “bruncle” Joe (technically an uncle but more like her brother). She’s the kind of character where you FEEL for her but she frustrates you in the way she does her family members and friends. I FELT THAT.

The “mystery” aspect that comes into play when she finds a note, that suggests she didn’t quite know Joe as well as she thought, didn’t really pick up until the second half and that part REALLY drew me when it finally got somewhere.   I think setting up Anna’s grief and family situation, while important, just dawdled a little bit too much for me and I was just holding on until I got to that element that would drive the plot and Anna forward. I love character driven books but I was struggling with her so I needed that plot to engage me a little more.

As a reader I could just FEEL the holes in the fractured family and I thought the people in Anna’s world were VERY fleshed out which I LOVED. I did GUESS the mystery’s outcome but not in a way that made it a dud for me. This book is quiet in the way it reads but OH THE ACHE IS LOUD AND PULSING and her journey back into LIVING her life was hard yet beautiful to watch. Also, I dogeared a lot because the writing is fantastic. Like really fantastic. I WISH I would have connected a little bit more considering how emotional this novel WAS but this was a good book that I WOULD recommend to people who don’t mind a bit of a slower, quiet novel.

a6
RATING-LIKED
factors+ writing, aching portrayal of grief, the plot
- I didn’t FEEL as much as I should have, some boredom in the first half

Re-readability: Probably not.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Because it wasn’t a favorite or a reread, unfortunately no.

a5people who like quiet & slower books, readers of stories that deal with grief, fans of a little mystery, people who want beautifully written books, people who like stories about writers

a8I think that what would have made my rating on this one SOAR to the higher scale would have been having some sort of emotional response. I can recognize the emotional nature of the story with Anna’s grief and discovering new pieces to her uncle and SEE that it is written in a way that, at times, did make my heart ache but I never felt that “in my bones” emotional response. The first half was REALLY slow for me too but when it finally picked up for me it was worth it. I loved the exploration of grief and this idea that we only have our own pieces to the existence of someone we love even though it might seem we have seen the whole of them.

review-on-post-itWords & Their Meanings by Kate Bassett

 

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does this book feel like something you’d be into?
*

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

8 Reasons I Struggle To Put Down A Book

I HATE when I’m reading a book and I’m not really feeling it. Because then…one of the hardest bookworm decisions has to be made. To put down the book or keep reading? I mean, it’s a tough decision. If I don’t put it down I am at risk for subjecting myself to something awful and possibly putting myself in a dreaded reading slump. I recently had a REALLY tough time putting down a book —  I put it down and was so close to talking myself out of it. But my book people on Twitter stepped in and off to the library I went to return the book.

I realized there’s many reasons why I struggle to put it down. Let’s explore them.

1. I think “IT COULD GET BETTER” and history has made this be true for me.

one I'm looking for gif

Some of my favorite books started out rough or slow (Code Name Verity and Jellicoe Road). I can’t imagine not having those stories in my life!! But there are more books that DIDN’T get better…that weren’t that one that was worth pushing through. But I get so caught up in the fact that books I may have wanted to put down have been SO WORTH IT. Even though mathematically that’s a small percentage. But I’ve never like math anyways.

 

2. I’ve invested so much time into it.

all we've been through gif

SERIOUSLY THOUGH. Let’s say I spent an hour or so reading a book. I CANNOT GET THAT TIME BACK. I could have been reading something else so I might as well just finish so it wasn’t wasted time. Plus, LET’S BE REAL….an unfinished book can’t count towards my Goodreads challenge and I can’t figure out a way for the pages I DID read to count in my pages read count on Goodreads. I NEED TO GET SOME SORT OF CREDIT FOR READING WHAT I DID. I might as well just finish the damn book to do that.

3. I like finishing what I start.

friends gif

It’s true. I hate starting something and then leaving it unfinished. (Although look at all my unfinished series…IT REALLY DOES BOTHER ME. I swear). It just nags at me.

 

4. I’m NOSY.

HIMYM gif

I like to know what happens in most cases. Even if I’m not really digging it I mostly ALWAYS have the desire to know what happens. Even if it’s excruciating for me to keep reading or putting me in a slump. Sidenote: Book friends are so useful in this way. I always get them to tell me what happens if I don’t want to finish a series or a book.

 

5. It’s just kind of my personality.

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A problematic part of my personality. I suck at letting things go. This is why my closet has tons of things I haven’t worn in 5 years in it. I’m always like BUT MAYBE I WILL WANT TO WEAR IT. Toxic friendships? Took me years to let some go. I always try to tell myself things could turn around. It could change. People will be less sucky. Miserable situations? YEP I JUST TRY TO FIGHT THROUGH IT HOPING IT GETS BETTER. I’m just the worst at letting go….even when I know I should.

6. I spent money on it.

Money-GIF

I wish money grew on trees but ALAS IT DOES NOT. So if I spent money on a book? I feel the most guilt in the world to not finish it. I know I could pass it along or donate it but I still feel guilt like WOAH. This is also why I’ve gotten better about being more selective with what books I buy.

7. I have an obligation & I feel guilty.

shame

If it’s for book club, it was a gift, a bff’s favorite book or I said I’d read with a friend or anything like that? I AM DOOMED. I’ve only ever not finished one book for book club but I did have to put my foot down with that one because I was in a major slump because of it.

8. I’m unsure whether it’s the book or ME:

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I wrote this post “It’s Not You, It’s Me…Or Is It?” a long time ago but this is still a huge issue for me. Sometimes I can’t tell if it’s just a mood thing or it’s not the right time…or if it just really IS the book. If it’s a ME/outside factor than I’ll try to pick it up again sometime later (in an ideal world).

 

It’s a hard moment when I’m faced with dilemma of quitting a book. ALL THESE FACTORS MAKE IT SO HARD TO MAKE A DECISION.

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LET’S TALK:

Are you good at putting down books you aren’t into? What factors make it hard or easy for you?

Top Ten Places Books Make Me Want To Visit

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

I love reading because it’s always transporting me somewhere new! I’m not always able to travel as much as I’d like to because FINANCES right now so I’m thankful for an armchair adventure.  Here are 10 places that I felt VERY STRONGLY about visiting because of books.

YA books set in WyomingBook That Made Me Want To Visit: Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly series
MAN, the descriptions were just beautiful. I could see the mountains and the small town and the forest. I had a friend from Jackson Hole, Wyoming and her photos from home were always gorgeous.

ya-books-spaceBooks That Made Me Want To Visit: These Broken Stars by Megan Spooner & Amie Kaufman
HOW CAN YOU NOT WANT TO VISIT SPACE? I look up at the stars and I’m in awe. A freaking luxury spaceliner? YEAH I WANT THAT VIEW. But maybe not what happens to it…?

ya books set in italy

Book That Made Me Want To Go There: Wish You Were Italian by Kristen Rae
I’ve been to Rome and Florence before but the descriptions of when she went to Cinque Terre (I forget the EXACT locations she was) on the coast…TO DIE FOR. I want to go exploring and eat at the restaurant she worked at!

prairie-childrens-books

Book That Made Me Want To Visit: LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE!!

I know there are a zillion prairies in the world but I only want to go to one. Back in time. To experience the prairie that Laura, Ma & Pa & the gang experienced. When I was a kid I used to pretend play that I lived in that little house on the prairie in Kansas. It’s never left my mind ever.

YA-books-central-americaBook That Made Me Want To Visit: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

GOD THIS BOOK IS ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES. I want to experience Guatemala and Belize and other places that Bria didn’t even go to.

crystal-cove-ya-bookBook That Made Me Want To Visit: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
I don’t think Crystal Cove is a real town in California but it’s inspired by a state park in California with the same name. So pretty real? The setting in Moonglass just comes ALIVE and I just want to GO THERE. Check out Jessi’s inspiration! (Also, from her Instagram, I have to believe her own home helped inspire it and nail that beachy setting!!).

amazon-rainforest-YA-booksBook That Made Me Want To Visit: Origin by Jessica Khoury

Okay, the lush forest sounded so beautiful but I AM SO TERRIFIED OF THE SNAKES THAT LIVE HERE. I also just can’t imagine the rain and the kind of darkness in the forest. The setting was so strong here.

YA books set in Tokyo

Book That Took Me There: When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

The foodie descriptions and the city and the sights and the culture. I NEED TO GO.

books set in Australia

Books That Took Me There: Raw Blue, Graffiti Moon, Girl Defective, PRETTY MUCH EVERY AUSSIE BOOK I HAVE READ

Whether it’s the city or the beach or a small town I’m always just so vividly able to experience the setting. Also I want to find out what secrets the Aussie’s are keeping to write such AMAZING BOOKS. We’ll just ignore the fact that some of the Australian wildlife SCARES THE CRAP OUT OF ME.

YA-book-set-nantucketBook That Took Me There: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

I’ve been to Cape Cod before but never Nantucket. The setting drew me in just as much as the story!

 

 

So tell me…are there any books that immediately had you wanting to pack your bags and GO?? What about the ones I’ve picked here?

 

Attribution for photos: Central America pic//Tokyo//Space//Cinque Terra//Wyoming//Australia Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0//Amazon Rainforest//Crystal Cove//

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