Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

A January & February Release I Enjoyed!

I’ve got two mini reviews for you today! Just trying to get caught up — that ever so elusive achievement for me!

 

Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

 

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

Amazon // Goodreads
Published: January 2015
Received a copy for review from the publisher. This is no way influenced the opinions shared.

What It Is About In A Few Sentences: One day Avery think she is a semi-normal teenager and the next she’s being whisked away to Paris and told she has a secret, powerful family who has had a hand in a lot of the world’s history. And then she finds out that she might just be part of the key to decoding an ancient prophecy that has alluded people which makes her a pawn for the people who want to use her to figure out this mystery and also those who want her dead because of the power she could hold.

This one was fun and had me racing through the pages as the stakes kept getting higher and the conspiracies kept getting more layered. I’d heard it described as a YA DaVinci Code (also reminded me of National Treasure) and I can see that totally! You’ve got to suspend some disbelief obviously and forgive Avery for things, as a reader, you see pretty clearly (I totally guessed some things or called bad decisions) but it didn’t detract from my experience. I loved getting to know this dangerous and powerful family that Avery discovers that she has and seeing how lavish their lifestyle is and the secret hand they have in a lot of the world’s history (so much historical goodness). It was exciting and truly mysterious as danger seemed to lurk at every corner and plots to use Avery were a plenty. The only things I didn’t love: the romance (I don’t really feel it in any REAL way) and also I just struggled with the characterization not being as strong as I typically like. I will be continuing on with this series because I love a good, fast paced conspiracy thriller and I’m so interested in decoding this mystery right along with them (hopefully with even more whisking away to foreign countries)! Super entertaining!

RATING

RATING-LIKED

 

 

My Heart & Other Black Holes

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Amazon// Goodreads
Published: February 10, 2015
I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher. This is no way influenced the opinions shared.

What It Is About In A Few Sentences: The main character has spent much of her life plotting her suicide because she doesn’t want to end up like her father — a man who committed a violent crime that has made her a pariah amongst her peers. She realizes that she won’t carry it out on her own so she finds a website that helps you find a suicide partner which leads her to Roman — a boy so haunted by a tragedy in his family.

I named this as one of my favorite 2015 books I read in 2014 so you may have already seen how much I loved this one! This one was heavy and super emotional but also so full of life and hope despite the sadness crying out from the pages. Reading it made me feel the weight of all the books I own (a lot) on my chest. The two main characters both have some awful things that have happened to them and they feel the burden is just too much and that transferred on to me as a reader.  It’s so hard to read as they plot their mutual suicide and, as the countdown until the day it is supposed to happen, you just so desperately want them to find that one shred of hope to turn back from the plan especially as they start to truly form a bond. Warga deftly explores depression and suicide in a way that just haunts you. I really loved Aysel’s voice — it was just so REAL and honest and her personality was just so vibrant even amongst all the darkness she felt. *kind of spoilery* I was nervous when this book started going into romance territory because I was like “NO. THIS IS SO GOOD PLEASE DON’T SCREW THIS UP” but I thought Warga handled it pretty delicately and realistically and rather than handing us this “LOVE CURES ALL” story I think it was more that Roman became this mirror to which Aysel suddenly could see herself more clearly. Would I honestly have preferred it just to be a friendship? Yep. As a personal thing I think it could have shown it just as clearly how important their connection was in how it sparked some more life-affirming thoughts within them. *end spoiler* Hauntingly beautiful this one was and I dog-earred so many pages because, man, Jasmine Warga can write!

RATING

RATING-loved-it

 

 

 

Have you read either of these? I’d love to know what YOU thought!! If you haven’t read them, do you think they are something you are interested in?

I Recognize The Insanity…I Do.

There’s this thing that I do. I’m sure you do it too.

(Please tell me it’s not just me).

I go on and on about how I have SO many books that I’m running out of space. I’ve got review copies. Older books I’ve never ever read. New books I’ve acquired. ALL BOOKS I AM EXCITED ABOUT. Basically, I’ve got A LOT of books. More books than I can read in this life time. (And it’s not like I’m going to ever stop acquiring them).

So what do I do?

WHAT PERFECTLY NORMAL BOOKWORMS DO. (right right right?) I immediately get into my car and GO TO THE LIBRARY instead of picking up one of the books here.

Will doesn’t get it when I come home with library books. He’s all, “BUT YOU HAVE SO MANY BOOKS HERE TO READ. WHY DO YOU NEED TO GO GET SOME MORE?”

And I’m all:

+ I couldn’t find anything I was in the mood for on my shelves. (Him: OUT OF ALL THESE BOOKS…NOT ONE??)
+ There is no such thing as too many books. (Him: Yes. There is. You are Exhibit A).
+ THE LIBRARY IS MY HAPPY PLACE. (Him: ………..)
+ I RECOGNIZE THE INSANITY, OKAY, AND I AM FINE WITH IT. (Him: As long as you recognize it).

I do this with my closet too. I am out of hangers and really have no room for more clothes but I can stand there in my closet for 20 minutes and lament the lack of clothing options. Apparently it’s the same with the bookshelves. I can have a bajillion options (too many it feels like sometimes) but sometimes I still just like coming home with a stack of library books.

As I’m writing this, I just in fact came back from the library (I got Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Finnikin of the Rock in case you were curious). When I arrived home, there were TWO packages of books at my door. On my way to my bookshelves I tripped over a book. I stand in front of my bookshelves and immediately feel the guilt and the judging stares coming from them (and my piles…let’s be real..it’s Hoarders up in here).

It doesn’t really make sense why I went to the library and got more books….but I accept that it doesn’t make sense.

Let’s Talk

AM I THE ONLY ONE?? Can anyone make sense of my need to do this even though I have hundreds and hundreds of perfectly good books I’m excited about here??

Ten Of My Favorite Heroines Outside of Contemporary YA

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

This week’s topic: Top Ten Favorite Heroines

This was a Top Ten Tuesday topic back in 2012 and in 2010 so everything I pick is from books I’ve read after that post in 2012.

I read a lot of contemporary and could have really gone on and on about my favorite heroines but I figured I’d tell you some of my favorite outside of that genre  (fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, dystopian etc.)

best YA heroines

Celaena from Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas: YOU GUYS. I love Celaena so much. She is so badass and her arc in the first 3 books is AWESOME. Plus I just love her personality!

Feyre from Sarah J. Maas’s A Court Of Thorns and Roses: Okay I KNOW THIS ISN’T OUT YET but I, in good conscience, NOT put Feyre on this list after book 1 of Sarah’s new series. Like she isn’t the kind of badass you are used to seeing. She doesn’t have special powers or badass assassin skills but life has dealt her a rough hand and she has learned to be TOUGH and smart and resourceful. I LOVE HER SO MUCH.

Clara from Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly series: MAN, Clara goes through a lot in this series and I was just so attached to her.

Kestrel from Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse trilogy: OH MAN. Kestrel grows and learns a lot and I love that. She was realistically flawed and I LOVED THAT. I cannot wait to see what book 3 holds for her. I just love her so much!
Cinder from Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series: I still need to read Cress but from Cinder & Scarlet….Cinder is one of my MOST favorite heroines ever.

Eleanor from Susan Dennard’s Something Strange & Deadly trilogy: I haven’t read the final book yet but my heart just hurts for Eleanor a lot. The things revealed and that she goes through…she’s not afraid to make the hard choices. Plus I love her attitude!

Adelina from Marie Lu’s The Young Elites series: Adelina is NOT your typical heroine. She’s kind of a villain/kind of a hero and I love how complicated her personality is. She doesn’t always make me happy but I FEEL HER. I DO. I just can’t ever get her out of my head.

Aria from Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky series: I AM SO SAD THIS TRILOGY IS OVER. Aria grew so much in her journey and I just have such a place for her in my heart.

Lynn from Mindy McGinnis’s Not A Drop To Drink: What a smart girl and I couldn’t even imagine being in her situation! The strength she had just really impressed me and I wish more people would meet her!!
 

So tell me…who are some of your favorite heroines that I need to meet outside of my usual contemporary reading??

Book Talk: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Book Talk: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia HandThe Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen- February 10, 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: The Unearthly series
AmazonGoodreads

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”

 

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The last time Lex can remember being happy is before her brother killed himself. Now she’s haunted by ghosts that keep her from moving forward — the ghost of her brother, of the guilt and of the life she had before everything happened (like a family that wasn’t broken, a boyfriend, friends). While the grief is shared, she alone carries the burden of knowing about a text Tyler sent that night that could have made everything different.

a2*weeps*

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Oh man, you guys. Recently it seems I’ve been reading a lot of books about suicide or the grief experienced from losing a loved one from suicide. My heart, I think, was beginning to look like Swiss cheese and Cynthia Hand just obliterated whatever was left of it with The Last Time We Say Goodbye.  I really super loved her Unearthly series for MANY reasons (seriously that series is AH-MAZING if you dig paranormal) but I loved how skilled Cynthia was in writing some of the heavier stuff in that series and the way, as a reader, she made me feel it. Some of the most moving parts of that series, for me, were her exploration of loss and grief. So I KNEW she was going to make my heart take a beating if she wrote a whole book exploring that. AND SHE DID. OH SHE DID — so poignantly and heartachingly well.

It’s hard to talk too objectively about this book because I feel it TOO MUCH. The way Cynthia Hand wrote Lex’s grief makes me get a lump in my throat just thinking about it. I read A LOT of grief books (for reasons) and this is just so authentic in the way it portrays it not only through Lex but her family. If I hadn’t already known that, in fact, Hand HAS lost someone (her brother) I would have been sitting here just KNOWING that she had because there’s just this intangible quality about the way she writes grief that I just don’t think a person who hasn’t experienced grief and loss truly can do.  Lex’s brand of grief felt a lot like my own after I lost my mom — especially the shutting people out. There were just these little nuances and small moments that Hand just gets right. So right that it hurts. Also, THAT GUILT SHE HAS SURROUNDING THAT NIGHT? A friend of mine had almost the same exact thing happen when a mutual friend of ours committed suicide and I know how intrusive that guilt was.

I loved that we meet Lex months after everything happens. It’s the time, I think, in my own grieving experience where I felt the worst. The house is more quiet because less people are coming over. The phone rings less. You are forced to be alone with your thoughts more because the distractions of death (the logistics, the funeral, the social calls, etc. etc.) are gone and the world expects you to get back into your normal routines and habits….except…you know..like with this person-shaped hole missing from your life. Hand captures that weird limbo where the “formal” grieving happens and the “back to real life” happens SO PERFECTLY. You are still thinking and feeling it so deeply but with that “I AM PRETENDING TO BE FINE” mask on and trying to pretend to give a crap about Normal Life Things/also really caring about those things.

I know I’m focusing on the grief aspect of this book but it’s what made this an excellent read for me because of how intricate Hand made it! I will say the romance is SO WELL DONE. It was sweet and realistic and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. To be honest, I really did love a lot of the relationship explored and how your grief impacts those and changes the dynamic — from friends who mean well but can’t totally understand to the guilt-ridden parents who feel just as wrecked as you do. I think Hand did a great job showing those relationships and how they fracture and change with the weight of grief but mean so much.

a6RATING-loved-it

factors+ writing, portrayal of grief, EMOTIONS
just a TAD slow at points

Re-readability: MAYBE. It’s heavy, so I’d really need to be in a mood to tear my heart out.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Yes!

a5fans of Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly series that enjoy contemporary, readers looking for books that deal with loss and grief, readers that want to cry or have their heart torn out, readers who can handle a heavy topic such as suicide, fans of quieter novels

a8I really enjoyed Cynthia Hand’s foray into contemporary YA! It was a HARD book to read. I mean, a clear-your-reading-schedule-because-your-heart-needs-time-to-repair-itself kind of read. It may have been a quieter novel in terms of plot but the way Hand explores loss/grief/guilt/suicide/relationships impacted is just LOUD LOUD LOUD in your heart.

review-on-post-it

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

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?
Also, have you read her Unearthly series?? If not, GET ON THAT. I’m not even a paranormal gal and I loved it so much!

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

Series Send Off: The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty

Check out past Series Send Off posts in which I finish the last book in a series & chat about it plus introduce new readers to the series with my general & non-spoilery thoughts about the series as a whole!

I just finished the 4th & 5th books of the Jessica Darling series FINALLY…seriously I read the first 3 forever ago. I just didn’t want to let go (plus I get distracted by ALL THE BOOKS). So, as per the usual format, I’ll talk about the series as a whole for those who aren’t familiar and then give my thoughts on books 4 &5 as I say goodbye to this series.

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Upon finishing the series I say to all of you who haven’t started the series:

READ IT. It’s one of my ALL TIME FAVES. There is just nothing like it out there. THEY WERE JUST PERFECT FOR ME. There’s just something about following Jessica from high school through adulthood — she voices the struggles, triumphs and confusion of adolescence and that transition into adulthood SO WELL. Everything is so raw and real and the characters feel like real human beings that make mistakes and have flaws. REAL. That’s the only way I can think to describe this series. Also, HELLA funny. Jessica’s inner monologue slays me every time. Her voice is UNPARALLELED.

 

 

What The Series Is About:

The Jessica Darling series follows the charming (and sometimes not so charming) Jessica from high school through adulthood as she chronicles all those life-changing moments with SERIOUSLY razor sharp wit. From falling in love (and out of it), to going to college, to trying to pay your rent as a broke twenty-something, Jessica’s voice just captures perfectly the highs and lows in the journey to and through adulthood in a way that is just so realistic and in a way that is easy to relate to. She puts the difficulties of growing up into words that will make you laugh, reflect and nod along with her. Seriously, she goes through it all!!

 

 

Recommended For People Who Love:

Series that span YEARS (ie from high school into adulthood), contemporary YA (this is a classic!!), hilarious and brutally honest MCs, epic romances

 

 

Thoughts On Fourth Comings & Perfect Fifths
(Skip below to the next section if you haven’t read the series yet!)

 

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MAN, Megan McCafferty just captures that awkward “I’m an adult but I don’t feel like an adult” feeling SO WELL in Fourth Comings. I felt like I kept nodding my head like YES IT IS SO HARD TO BE A TWENTYSOMETHING OUT OF COLLEGE. Why do I feel like I’m a fake adult?? Why is it so hard to get all the things you thought you’d have by this point??  The job, the glamorous life, the feeling that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, a romantic relationship that just feels right, etc.

Fourth Comings, man. I thought my heart was going to break with Jessica and Marcus. I mean, there love story has been up and down and I was so happy they were finally back together….and now Jessica is questioning it?? And then he asks her to marry him??? MY HEART WAS NOT OKAY. But I got it? I did. They were in different places in life. How she talks about that made so much sense to me even though I was like NO NO NO. Basically when it came to their romance, this book DESTROYED MY HEART. Like tore into two. But as I watched her try to figure out her answer to him…I realized I admired how honest she was about the whole thing. She loved him BUT. Love is so tricky and I just think sometimes we want something to work out so much because you love someone but it’s not REALLY working yet it hurts so much to let it go. So, even though I was like NO NO NO NO you need to be together..I really understood. She had to be honest about what she wanted for her life. Where she saw it going. Was her love strong enough for him to give up what she wanted? We see a wiser and more honest (in a more self-aware way) Jessica in this one. And it hurt, but it was TRUE. She really saw the whole picture.  GOD I COULD JUST CRY THINKING ABOUT THIS BOOK!

Perfect Fifths — I was not ready for this one. As I started I was immediately like WAIT WHAT IS THIS THIRD PERSON NARRATION??? I wasn’t sure how I felt about it but it was perfect as I read on. I loved getting this complete story with her AND Marcus’s thoughts. Jessica and Marcus and their chance meeting after years of not speaking?? That nostalgic, awkward FEELING it is to be in the presence of the one you loved once? MY HEART. BE STILL. It was definitely a slower conclusion that revolves around their conversation as they meet and a lot of jumping back in time but I enjoyed every minute of it. Every minute of kind of re-living their epic love story that spans all these years (god, I’m reminded of Veronica and Logan here from VMars). There were points where I wanted MORE from this book in terms of fleshing out the adult Jessica and Marcus since they last time we saw them. I felt kind of distanced from their lives. But ultimately, I really loved this conclusion as a fan of this series. It wasn’t necessarily AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER which I kiiiind of wanted for the sake of all that they have put my heart through but I just felt like it was SO fitting for their love story. My love for Jessica and especially Marcus grew even stronger in this book. I just cried as I read the last words because this series was EPIC. I wasn’t okay with it being over because I felt just so attached to them.

 

 

Rating Broken Down By Books
(Links to individual reviews)
:

Sloppy Firsts: 5 STARS!!
Second
Helpings: 5 STARS!!
Charmed Thirds: 4.5 stars
Fourth Comings: 5 STARS!!
Perfect Fifths: A solid 4 stars!

 

 

Farewell Jessica Darling! Growing up with you was a pleasure. I feel like YOU GOT ME and I can’t tell you how many times I nodded like YES YES YES  or THAT’S SO ME or YOU ARE PUTTING WORDS TO SOMETHING I CANNOT DESCRIBE. We would have been bffs if you were a real person. Your honesty and reflection was refreshing and I know I will never meet anyone like you again. Thanks for the major LOLS, the tears and for being you. YOU. YES. YOU. (forever).  (Seriously, I’m really emotional right now because this series is EVERYTHING).  WHY WHY WHY is it over????

 

What did you think of the conclusion to this series if you’ve read it?? What did you think of the series overall?? If you haven’t read it, have I piqued your interest?

The Duff: A Giveaway!

TheDuff-Banner

One of my favorite things in the world are all the 90’s and early 2000 teen rom-coms. 10 Things I Hate About You, Clueless, She’s The Man, Mean Girls, Bring It On, She’s All That, Can’t Hardly Wait, Never Been Kissed — I could go on! I feel like I haven’t found as many more modern teen rom-coms that I love like those and so I AM SOOOO excited for The Duff because it looks like it has all the makings for a great teen rom-com! I haven’t READ The Duff by Kody Keplinger (plan to!) but I enjoyed one of her other books! PLUS I super super love Mae Whitman from her role in Parenthood and just her as a person in general (one of the few celebs I follow on Twitter) so I have high hopes! It looks funny and super cute (even WILL wants to see it!!) so I’m excited though I cannot think of Mae Whitman as a “duff” because she IS SO NOT.

 

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If you don’t know what it is about or haven’t seen the trailer here’s what it is about:

Bianca (Mae Whitman) is a content high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body knows her as ‘The DUFF’ (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends (Skyler Samuels & Bianca Santos). Now, despite the words of caution from her favorite teacher (Ken Jeong), she puts aside the potential distraction of her crush, Toby (Nick Eversman), and enlists Wesley (Robbie Amell), a slick but charming jock, to help reinvent herself. To save her senior year from turning into a total disaster, Bianca must find the confidence to overthrow the school’s ruthless label maker Madison (Bella Thorne) and remind everyone that no matter what people look or act like, we are all someone’s DUFF.

 

Follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
Visit the Official Website
Follow TheDUFFMovie on Snapchat for exclusive chats and content debuts

 

Now for the giveaway:

One winner will receive:

TheDUFF-bookcoverTheDUFF-TShirt

  • Copy of the book (movie tie-in book cover)
  • T-Shirt
  • Mini-Poster

 

Open to US mailing addresses only.
Prizing provided by CBS Films
Ends February 27th at 11:59 EST

 

TO ENTER:

Leave a comment below telling me your favorite teen rom-com WITH an email/Twitter that I can get a hold of you if you win!

Second Chances?

I recently received a book for review from an author whose debut I didn’t really like at all. It’s always interesting when I’m faced with this dilemma of whether or not to give an author a second chance if I didn’t like one or two books I’ve read from them.

There’s a lot to consider! How many books have I read from them that didn’t work? What didn’t I like about it (the writing? the style? the plot? The characters? bored?)?  Is it something that could change in a different book? Does this one sound like it might be a better fit?

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I typically try to read at least 2 books of an author before I “write them off” as not for me or at least put them on the back-burner unless I hear amazing things about a new book that sounds like a better fit. I do that because books can vary so much and I know another book could be a win for me. There’s been authors that I’ve read one book from and then the next one is drastically different. So if it sounds like a book for me, I’ll go for it hoping that the issues I had in the first place aren’t in this book. Then there are others that after two books I can just TELL I don’t like their style or their type of stories. And that’s OKAY! And even then I *MIGHT* consider a book down the line if I caught reviews that made me think the issues I had wouldn’t be present in this one.

 

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On the other hand, my sister REFUSES to read books from an author that she didn’t like initially which I totally GET as well. BUT I keep pleading with her to give one author another chance with a book I think she’d like better TO NO AVAIL.

I think maybe I just give second chances more because I know how DIFFERENT some authors can be from book to book…though obviously, on the same hand, some have very distinct styles/patterns that might just not be a good fit.

So let’s chat:

Do you frequently give author’s second chances if you don’t like the first book or two you read from them? What do you consider in making that decision if you DO give second chances? What kinds of things are dealbreakers that would make you probably not pick up an author’s other books? Let’s talk about this!

 

Ten Bookish Problems I Have In My Life

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

This week’s topic: Top Bookish Problems I Have In My Life

This list could have been easily a list of 50. I have many, many “problems” of the bookworm variety.

1. A TBR list longer than I can handle: I count my TBR list as the thing on Goodreads in which I add things I own/want to read/want to check out at some point. So it’s pretty MASSIVE. And it keeps growing and growing. You can learn more about my TBR list here. I’m so happy to have so many choices but pretty much HAVING such a huge TBR list means that I get overwhelmed by the “what to read next?” question because I HAVE TOO MANY OPTIONS and basically an indecision massacre happens every time. Jamie’s TBR: 1, Jamie: 0. You can read more on my recent musings about having too many choices.

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2. Not enough shelf space: There are books on books on books. My shelves are overcrowded.  I AM DROWNING IN BOOKS.There are piles that I try to discreetly hide. I’d LOVE to add more shelves but we’ve maxed out the space in this here one bedroom apartment.

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3. I am the worst at quitting books I’m not into: I’ve talked about this extensively throughout this past ~5 years but I am not good at putting down books when I’m not digging. I’ve tried to be better at it and I HAVE come a long way compared to back in the day but MAN…I wish I was easily able to just make that decision. Related Reading: Reasons Why I Stink At Quitting Books

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4. Being a mood reader is a pain in the ass sometimes: I’ve written about what it’s like to be a mood reader (the good, bad and the ugly!) but basically sometimes it is a pain because of meeting book club deadlines, not being able to choose what to read, library books I was excited about go back unread, I can’t keep a schedule, etc. etc.

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5. A very small book budget at this season in my life: This is a money problem really. I JUST WANT TO BUY ALL THE BOOKS SOMEONE GIVE ME A MONEY TREE. Although, apparently I’m a reformed book buyer? But who knows what I’d be if I had a book buying money tree!

 

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6. Being too addicted to the internet that I get distracted from my books: I’ve already admitted to being a VERY distracted reader these days thanks to my brain and technology. BUT REALLY. I would get far more reading done if I didn’t have all these DISTRACTIONS. I need to be better about focusing.

 

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7. This beloved hobby makes my butt hurt too much sometimes: OKAY FOR REAL THOUGH? I know it’s absurd that I wrote a whole POST on this a couple years ago but both of my hobbies (reading and blogging) require a lot of time sitting on my ass. And SOMETIMES IT IS UNCOMFORTABLE. It’s VERY hard to find the right position that will sustain long-term reading.

 

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8. Too short of a life span: SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME ON THIS EARTH. I need about 5 lifetimes (or more) to get through all the books I want to read!

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9.  Forgetting what happens in between series & also sucking at FINISHING series: Okay so this is two in one but I SUCK AT SERIES.  I am the wooooorst at remembering what happens in between series. (THANK GOD FOR RECAPTAINS.) But I also am the worst at following through and finishing series…even series I really like. My list of series I haven’t finished is AWFUL (I’ve finished a couple since).

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10. I always forget about the books on my Kindle: Out of sight, out of mind! I always go for the physical books when I pick what to read next and never think of all the poor books on my Kindle.

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So tell me some of your bookish problems!

Book Talk: No Parking At The End Times by Bryan Bliss

Book Talk: No Parking At The End Times by Bryan BlissNo Parking At The End Times by Bryan Bliss
Publisher/Year: Greenwillow Books- January 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: None, this was the debut!
AmazonGoodreads

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”

 

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Two teens and their parents sell their house and drive cross country with all their belongings across country to follow a doomsday preacher named Brother John. When the end times don’t happen as the preacher said, the family continues to live out of their car since they gave all their money to Brother John and the family is falling apart and fracturing from the bad mistakes and dissent when it comes to what they should do next.

a2*sings It’s The End of the World As We Know it*
(R.E.M was in my head the whole time I read this)

a4No Parking At The End Times was an interesting read for me –I didn’t feel like it really moved me or that I felt much for it but at the same time I hadn’t ever read anything like that and I REALLY loved how Bryan Bliss explored themes like a crisis of faith/religion and homelessness because he did it so well.

1. From page 1 I knew this plot was going to be unlike anything I’ve ever read:  A family is living basically homeless in their van because the parents decide to follow this doomsday preacher who ended up being very wrong about the day that it would happen. It’s evident from very early on that doomsday did not happen like this guy predicted and, like the main character, I’m sitting here going SO WHY ARE WE STILL LISTENING TO THIS GUY? They gave him all their money and they basically thought there would be no WHAT NEXT because they thought they wouldn’t be here on earth anymore. So now, after it doesn’t happen, there is this “what next?” question they are left with because they sold their house and belongings and gave all their money to this guy.

2. The parents in this book = RAGE CITY: Oh man, the parents. I wanted to scream at them as they continue to act like, “NBD let’s just all live in this van together”!! As a reader you are on the same page with the main character, like COME ON WHAT ARE WE STILL DOING HERE WITH THIS PREACHER GUY?? THIS IS A CROCK. But the parents aren’t on the same page. And they keep making some awful decisions. But I was thinking about it, and as FURIOUS as they made me, I almost empathized with them (ALMOST). They left everything and made this decision because they believed it. They never thought there would be anything after that. So now they are left with the “what now?” question. Do they continue to believe this guy even though he was wrong? Do they go home and how because they have no money and no house? And then how do they face everyone who told them this was a bad idea? I think the dad especially just wanted to so badly cling to hope and bought into this guy so much that he was just so blinded to everything.

3. I loved how the main character was forced to explore her faith: The main character grew up as a Christian and knew what she believed in as she actively lived her faith. The family was never into this doomsday, cult-like religion prior to this. As we meet the main character, she is really struggling with her faith after all this happened and now as they are in this situation. She feels betrayed and like this guy has taken advantage of her family. I couldn’t tell whether or not she BOUGHT this stuff with Brother John but I know she had faith before. After all this happens, she’s having a hard time understanding how God would let this happen. She feels doubts she hadn’t really felt before and doesn’t feel connected to her faith in a way she did before. I loved the way Bliss explored this and it felt very  true to the crisis of faith I’ve experienced in my own life but not trying to be preachy/convert people. I

4. I haven’t read many books dealing with homelessness and this book portrayed it in such a raw way: I’ve seen books about homeless teens (and we meet some in this book) but never about a family living together in homelessness. You can feel how uncomfortable and humiliating they feel with living in the van and relying on other people’s good will for food — from the soup kitchens they visited to how they handle brushing their teeth and bathing to parking the van somewhere they can safely sleep. This is all NEW to them and you can see how hard of a transition it is and how sometimes they don’t necessarily feel like they are one of the homeless…until they very much DO. It’s uncomfortable as a reader to see how the parents try to act like this is normal and okay…like it’s a grand adventure. There were these just absolutely raw moments that made my heart ache for them and for all people in their position.

 

a6RATING-LIKED

factors+ plot, themes explored & how well it was done
no real emotional connection

Re-readability: Probably not.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Because it isn’t a fave or one I’d re-read, I’d say no.

a5contemporary YA fans, readers wanting to explore things like homelessness or faith

a8No Parking At The End Times was definitely unlike anything I’ve ever really read in YA. I appreciated how it explored homelessness and a crisis of faith and how it did it WELL. I just wished I had more of an emotional connection overall. That’s where it missed the mark for me personally.

review-on-post-itno-parking-at-the-end-times

 

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?

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

 

Get To Know Victoria Aveyard + GIVEAWAY

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I’m excited to have Victoria Aveyard, author of one of the HOTTEST young adult releases of this season, on the blog with me today! Her book Red Queen came out this week surrounded with MUCH pre-publication buzz! Before you get to know Victoria a little bit through some fun top ten lists (which obviously I’m a big fan of) check out what Red Queen is about!

Red Queen
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads |Kobo

Get to know Victoria with a couple of fun top ten lists!

 

10 Bookish (or otherwise) Quotes That I Love, in no particular order:

1. “He’s got a two day head start on you, which is more than he needs. Brody’s got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, he speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom, he’ll blend in, disappear, you’ll never see him again. With any luck, he’s got the Grail already.” Cut to Brody in a marketplace: “Does anyone here speak English? Or even Ancient Greek?” – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, my all-time favorite movie quote.

2. “Winter is coming.”  – George RR Martin, A Game of Thrones (I could do all ASOIAF quotes for this but I won’t)

3. “And my sister, my Lindsey, left me in her memories, where I was meant to be.” – Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

4. “It was the drink that killed him.” “Oh, he was an alcoholic?” “No, he was hit by a Guinness truck.” – Mrs. Doubtfire

5. “Go then, there are other worlds than these.” – Stephen King, The Gunslinger

6. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” – JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit

7. “I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again.” – JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (and all of LotR essentially)

8. “When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” – George RR Martin, A Storm of Swords (had to sneak this one in)

9. “Never tell me the odds.” – The Empire Strikes Back

10. “P.S. Germany invaded Belgium an hour ago.” – Ken Follett, Fall of Giants

Honorable mention (because quotes are my life):
Chapter 8 of The Stand, Stephen King
the entirety of Home Alone written by John Hughes
The Indianapolis Speech, Jaws, Robert Shaw
“Well, can’t he just beam up?” “This is reality, Greg.” – ET, Melissa Mathison

10 Favorite Lines I Wrote In Red Queen

1. The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.

2. In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don’t believe that. The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.

3. We destroy. It’s the constant of our kind. No matter the color of blood, man will always fall.

4. “Dear family, I am alive. Obviously.”

5. “From now until the end of your days, you must lie. Your life depends on it, little lightning girl.”

6. “They were a threat to my kingdom, and they were stupid,” he fires back. He stoops, bending over me with his twisted smile. “Were.”

7. Gold and silver and iron, dripping from his hands like tears.

8. When the sword flashes, arcing through air and flesh and bone, she doesn’t blink.

9. In the stories, the old fairy tales, a hero comes. But all my heroes are gone or dead. No one is coming for me.

10. “I have the advantage,” I tell his corpse.

 

10 Movies I Could Watch Forever

The Lord of the Rings
Star Wars
Indiana Jones
Jurassic Park
ET
Independence Day
Gladiator
Goodfellas
Pirates of the Caribbean
Armageddon

 

10 Things I Never Leave Home Without

Something to read
Cell phone
Keys (unless I forget, which is often)
Scarf or sweater
Sunglasses
A mental plan and schedule for whatever I’m doing
Hair ties
Music
Lipstick if I can remember
My rings (two family heirlooms, one gift to myself)

 

About The Author

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Victoria Aveyard is a screenwriter/YA author who likes books and lists. 
Her book RED QUEEN will be published Winter 2015 from HarperTeen at HarperCollins. She’s repped by the incomparable Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
The genres she’s into include YA, Fantasy, Historical, Adventure, Apocalyptic – if people are dying, she’s buying.

 TWITTER | WEBSITE

GIVEAWAY

One Winner will get Finished Copies of: RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE by Cynthia Hand and MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga.



Ships in US only | Must be 13+ To enter

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