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.

How Do YOU Define A Spoiler?

You all know that spoiling a book is one of the ways you can piss me off as a reader but I don’t want to talk about that today. I want to talk about WHAT CONSTITUTES A SPOILER.

There are obvious spoilers. We all know them. We all have experienced them (probably). Hopefully we’ve all tried really hard not to drop them on unsuspecting people. Accidents happen though….says the girl who accidentally spoiled something for a friend. Careless spoilers or intentional ones to be a jerk though…just stop.

But let’s talk about some areas where I feel like people are divided…mmmkay?

Is it a spoiler if the book has been out for YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS or is so super popular and a part of pop culture?

Harry Potter. Twilight. Pride & Prejudice. Game of Thrones. I know, as someone who has never read Harry Potter (okay I read the first one), that spoilers abound like CRAZY and I have to be really careful to avoid them. On one hand I’m like WELL self…it’s been so long and it’s like only the most popular piece of literature EVER so kind of my fault? But on the other hand I’m still a little sad that I have to shield my eyes always. I haven’t been spoiled TOO much but I’ve been REALLY careful. And really, there are always new readers for every book so it kind of stinks if you discover it late or if you are younger and are discovering it for the first time.

Is it a spoiler if it alludes to a plot twist or some sort of mind-blowing reveal that might happen?

Okay, this one is a sensitive topic for me because it happens so often but I really do kind of count it as a spoiler. So, I read a book like way before it came out. There was a HUGE twist. I did not know this because LITERALLY nobody had read it except like authors and publicists. My mind was blown. When it came to talking about the book, I was really careful not to say OMG THERE WAS A HUGE TWIST but, as the book got in the hands of more people, others DID point this out. And then a lot of people went into it looking for that — knowing that something that completely changes the game happens. I don’t know if it’s a “spoiler” per se but I kind of see it as spoiling the reading experience in a way. I know many people were looking for something huge and explosive and that tainted their reading experience as opposed to mine which was one where I was completely blind to anything.

Can shelving the genre on Goodreads/talking about genre be a spoiler in some cases?

Okay I have two example of what I mean.

1. Once, before I started a book, I accidentally glanced at the shelving when I was on its page and saw it labelled as LGBT. That wasn’t something that was in the summary and as I read I realized that it was kind of supposed to be something that was gradually revealed about two characters relationships and it didn’t SPOIL it but it kind of did? I knew their friendship had another element as things were revealed.

2. I was reading a book that I thought was contemporary and I saw that it was marked “paranormal” on Goodreads and at first I thought, “Dummies!” but then I was like, “Oh…maybe it changes and there is a twist.” And sure enough the big twist was a paranormal one that I wouldn’t have even have HAD in my mind if I hadn’t seen the shelving for it.

 

 

lets-talkI’m all over the place. On one hand, I do see these things as spoiler-y in nature but I don’t know. Things like shelving the books are things maybe I can just not look at?  I’d love to know what you think about each “grey area” that I brought up! Do you see any of them as spoilers or no? What are some other “grey areas” when it comes to spoilers? Do you have any “spoiler” rules (ie. what constitutes a spoiler for you when you talk about books)? How do YOU avoid spoilers? Have you ever been spoiled but the person didn’t think it was a spoiler?

Top Ten Book Characters I’d Want On A Deserted Island With Me

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

This week’s topic: Top Ten Characters I’d Want On A Deserted Island With Me

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1. Katniss from The Hunger Games: Dude she can hunt..so YAY food. And you know she’d always have that bow and arrow with her. Plus she’s cunning and always thinking on her feet!

2. Roar from the Under the Never Sky series: If you haven’t read the Under the Never Sky series (you SHOULD..it’s on of my favorites), you don’t know about Roar! Roar is an Aud meaning he has like RIDICULOUSLY GOOD HEARING. I think this would be helpful because he could hear danger coming. Also, I’d totally make my move on Roar.

3. Willem from Just One Day/Just One Year: SORRY ALLYSON. We are the OTP. He could regale us with stories of his travels.

4. Adam from If I Stay/Where She Went: We’d need some entertainment and I’m sure he would have had his guitar with him. He could write new songs about me….or probably  about how much he misses Mia but WHATEVER. EYE CANDY.

5. Celaena from Throne of Glass: She’s badass and fearless. You need someone truly badass with you on a deserted island. She’d protect us all and I pity the animal/human/whatever that would try to hurt us on this island. I mean, IS THIS A MAGICAL ISLAND? I don’t know! Either way, I know she’s got our back no matter what comes at us.

6. Four from Divergent: Listen though. Only if he truly is Theo James. I could die happy staring at him but also he’s Dauntless and he’d be badass in exploring the island and protecting us. He really has a two in one purpose!

7.  Lynn from Not A Drop To Drink: Lynn knows how to survive in both the practical nature of gathering food and water but also how to protect herself. She’d be a GREAT person to have on an island considering how she survived in her book!

8. Jessica Darling from the Jessica Darling series: Look, I’m going to need a bff on this deserted island — someone who could make me laugh. I’m sure I’d get along with all the ladies but I need one who would probably be almost as useless as me in protecting the group with our lack of skills. We would be the SUNSHINE of the group and keep morale up! Plus drool over the males of our group and keep a record of our adventure here.

9. Chaol from Throne of Glass: We’d need someone who is able to be a leader and his position of captain of the guard would provide him with good leadership skills. He’s smart, good under pressure and would be able to keep everyone in line.

10. Addie from Pivot Point: Well considering that Addie could access the future this might be helpful. I don’t know that I’d want to know if we are going to live or die or end up in cannibalism or something crazy but it would be nice to have her there to see the outcomes of some of our decision. Should we drink this water or is it contaminated? Would this work as our shelter or is it going to fall down on us? Should we go in this cave or is there danger?

And my ultimate character from tv that I’d need with me:

DARYL DIXON from The Walking Dead

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I think my chances of survival — both physically and mentally- would be good with this group. I’ve got a good mix of practical and for my own REASONS. The only problems I see is that I’d have way to many fictional crushes here who would no longer be fictional crushes and I’d not be able to keep my hands off them. Also, lots of strong dudes so maybe some butting heads? But Chaol is our leader so the rest can fall into place.

 

So tell me…which characters would you want with YOU on a deserted island?? Do you think my choices are good?? What are my chances for survival??

Book Talk: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Book Talk: The Rosie Project by Graeme SimsionThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Publisher/Year: Simon and SchusterGenres: Adult Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Other Books From Author: It's his debut!

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

A1Don Tillman has never really considered marriage. He’s got his whole routine/life down to the minute and he enjoys his life as a genetics professor. He keeps his socializing to a few friends and doesn’t really date. Until somebody he cares about makes a comment about him being a good husband one day. Considering this as a possibility for his life, he goes about trying to decide if finding a wife is possible…in the most scientific way of course. He comes up with The Wife Project in which he creates very specific questions based on the qualities for a wife that would be most compatible for him which his no easy task considering how particular he is. And then Rosie shows up in his life….Rosie who fails this quiz with flying colors. Rosie who needs his help to find her biological father.

a2I LOVE YOU, DON TILLMAN!

a4Firstly, thank you SO much to the thoughtful and lovely Jen for sending this to me! I had been wanting to buy this one for a while especially because the cover is so beauteous.

1. Don Tillman is an AWESOME and memorable main character and reminded me of Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory: I was reading it and found myself snickering a lot — he’s really scientific and smart, very literal and just…very Sheldon Cooper like. I read a few lines to Will and said, “who does this sound like?” and he agreed…Sheldon Cooper. (Seriously, couldn’t you see Sheldon coming up with a scientific quiz for a potential wife?). He’s got his routine and his preciseness and he comes together to be this dynamically quirky, loveable character even in his most frustrating moments. It’s quite clear that he has Asperger’s or something similar (he reminded me so much of a boy I used to nanny who had Asperger’s) and it was fascinating to be in his brain especially because he wasn’t really aware that he had Asperger’s..just that some things came differently to him than others. Definitely not your usual character and I loved it! (Someone  on Twitter said he reminds them of Sherlock and I agree too!)

2. The Rosie Project managed to pull off hilarious and heartfelt really well: I laughed quite a bit during this book. It’s FUNNY. Like really funny. But it’s also really worms its way into your heart. It’s heartbreaking to watch Don struggle with things that come second nature to me — things like love. He doesn’t think with his heart and so he sees things very black or white — until Rosie comes around and stirs things up. It was so heartwarming, in addition to how heartbreaking some moments were to read as he struggles, because Don Tillman simultaneously wants to change and yet doesn’t at the same time. He just wants to be capable of love but isn’t sure he is.

3. The Rosie Project isn’t your typical love story and I love that: I read A LOT of love stories and I love ones that aren’t typically. Don hasn’t really dated and, to be honest, he isn’t sure he is capable of loving. He’s so stuck in his ways and he knows  that social interactions are much more difficult for him that he’s pretty much written off romance. With some prodding and a statement from someone he cares about, he suddenly begins to wonder if he is in fact capable of love and being a husband one day. I loved how his own love story unfolded — with all its messiness and unconventional bits. It was so wonderful and it became one of my favorite romances ever without being super romantic or in the obvious way. Love is not easy for him and it doesn’t come naturally so watching him navigate it just gives me the warm and fuzzies because you cannot HELP but root for him! Plus the Rosie/Don banter is A+!!

4. I loved watching Don see himself in new ways because of The Wife Project: He thinks he isn’t capable of change really and I loved watching him decide if he SHOULD change just so he could be a suitable husband or someone worthy of Rosie. As the book progresses you really watch Don start to see himself and the world in new ways and I LOVED THAT. His observations and his reflections were just great in regards to himself as a person and as someone with love to give.

 

a6RATING-loved-it

factors+ characters, enjoyability, great writing, plot
- Honestly nothing.

Re-readability: Possibly in a few years I may want to!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? I have one! It’s beauteous. Definitely a keeper on the shelf!

a5People who love a good love story that isn’t typical, adult fiction readers who like literary but not pretentious literary sorts of books, people who like charming and funny books, people who like Sheldon Cooper/Sherlock-esque characters (if that makes sense..but a little less annoying than Sheldon can be..AND I SAY THIS AS SOMEONE WHO LOVES SHELDON).

a8The Rosie Project was a book that made me laugh, warmed my heart and just completely swept me up in Don’s unique love story. I can see why the masses have fallen in love with Don and Rosie and all the great characters in this novel. What a fantastic, character-driven book and I can’t WAIT for The Rosie Effect!

 

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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, is it something on your radar or that you think you will read?
* Did you find a similarity at all to Sheldon Cooper or was that just me?? I kept reading everything in his voice and had to stop so I wouldn’t just picture Sheldon haha
* If you’ve read it, how would you feel about it becoming a movie/who would you cast?? And how excited are you for book 2?? Any hopes or predictions for The Rosie Effect?


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

New To The Queue {5}

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!

 

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Friendship by Emily Gould

Friendship by Emily Gould (Amazon  // Goodreads)
Publication Date – July 1, 2014

Why I Added It To My To-Be-Read list: Estelle talked about it and I read the summary and YEAH I NEED. I love friendship novels!

What It’s About: Friendship! The two main characters have been best friends for years and now they are in their 30′s and things are changing big time with real adulthood knocking on their door — pregnancy, careers, debt and more.

Blankets by Craig Thompson

Blankets by Craig Thomas (Amazon // Goodreads)
Publication Date- 2003


Why I Added It To My To-Be-Read list:
I was reading Isla and the Happily Ever After and Isla & Josh were having a conversation about graphic memoirs and I saw an author I liked mentioned and tweeted Stephanie about it and she HIGHLY recommended this one. SO YEAH. Insta-add.

What It’s About: “Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith.” — from Goodreads

 

The Start of Me and You Emery Lord

  The Start Of Me & You by Emery Lord (Amazon // Goodreads)
Release Date: March 31, 2015


Why I Added It To My To-Be-Read list:
I FREAKING LOVED OPEN ROAD SUMMER so this was a no brainer. OMG WHY IS 2015 SO FAR AWAY???

What It’s About: Two years ago Paige’s first boyfriend died in an accident and she began to shut out the world. Now she’s decided that she’s ready to live her life again and convince everyone she’s fine by getting a boyfriend (she has one in mind!) and joining some clubs…until her prospective boyfriend’s nerdy cousin moves into town and shakes up her world.

 

Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Gilt by Katherine Longshore (Amazon // Goodreads)
Release Date: May 2012


Why I Added It To My To-Be-Read list:
I just read her most recent book, Brazen, and really enjoyed it so I figured I MUST check this one out.

What It’s About:  Set in King Henry VIII’s court, Gilt follows a young girl who is thrust into this world when she joins her best friend Catherine Howard there. She finds romance, secrets and scandalous affairs…all while she watches her best friend rise and fall as Queen.

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Why I Added It To My Netflix Queue: After seeing my top 10 favorite movies of all time list, another blogger suggested I take a look at her list of favorite indie movies and this and a couple others were added to my Netflix!

What It Is About: “After staging an unsuccessful suicide to get her boyfriend’s attention, a struggling playwright moves back home to live with her mother, her mother’s boyfriend and a handsome lodger who sings with a Backstreet Boys cover band.”

 

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Love Me If You Dare

Why I Added It To My Netflix Queue: A reader suggested, on my top 10 favorite movies list, that I might like this. Always looking for good French films to watch!

What It Is About: “Ever since they were kids, Sophie (Marion Cotillard) and Julien (Guillaume Canet) have gotten their kicks out of a game where they continuously attempt to one-up the other with a chain of extreme pranks. When their relationship escalates to romance, the game turns harshly negative, and the two lovers’ view of reality grows increasingly skewed.”

 

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The Tudors (tv show)

Why I Added It To My Netflix Queue: I’ve always been fascinated by this time period (and history in general) and I’ve gotten into Reign when that show started, then read Brazen and now I’m like OKAY I need way to get my history fix and this show is supposedly real good!

What It Is About: “All the splendor and scandal of England’s 16th-century royal court comes to life in this series that follows notorious Tudor monarch Henry VIII. The king often lets his passions rule, making for one of the most tumultuous periods of the throne.”

 

music-to-listen-to

Bleachers – Strange Desires

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Why I Added It To My Musical Rotation: I’ve mentioned Bleachers a couple times in my Monthly Rewinds (last month & in February) because I’ve REALLY been digging their singles they’ve been putting out. FINALLY THE FULL ALBUM JUST CAME OUT. I’ve listened to it once and I’m feeling like this is going to be on repeat for a while. (If you didn’t know..Bleachers is the guy from the band FUN’s other project). Favorite songs: I Wanna Get Better, Rollercoaster, Wild Heart, Shadow

Trampled by Turtles –Wild Animals

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Why I Added It To My Musical Rotation: I came across the song Are You Behind The Shining Star and became obessed. Was happy to see there was a full album available. From my first listen I’m really digging it!

Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow

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Why I Added It To My Musical Rotation: I’ve been a fan of them and have been waiting for the new album!
Fave songs: Feel, Luna, Home By Now

If you want to stalk what I’m listening to…follow me on Spotify! Let me know who you are so I can follow back and stalk 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!

SOMETHING REALLY FUN IS HAPPENING!

HI HI HI I’m so excited to finally reveal something that fellow bookworms Judith, Andi, Lindsey, Meg and I have been working on for a couple months!

A STEPHANIE PERKINS READALONG!!!!

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Made by the talented Meg

That’s right. We will be re-reading (or reading for the first time for some of you) Anna and Lola and then, altogether as a community, read Isla during release week!! It’s more fun together!! I have actually been lucky enough to read Isla already and I WISH I would have reread because there are so many great little details (not necessary to understand Isla but great for fans).  If you don’t know who Stephanie Perkins is…you should should join along with us if you like YA romances that are sweet and will make you swoon!

stephanie-perkins-covers-newAnna and the French Kiss  ($5.99 for kindle right now)
Lola and the Boy Next Door
Isla and the Happily Ever After

Take a look at our game plan:

readathonc/o the lovely Andi because I was too lazy to make my own when hers was so nice!

During each week, when the readalong is happening, we will be having some celebration posts and giveaways (blog tour kind of things) on the blogs of other Stephanie Perkins super fans! We will have a list of those happenings on each book’s kickoff post for the week.

You don’t have to do anything to join! Just join! No requirements. Just a chill readalong with lots of fun and shenanigans! We’d love if you’d tweet about it (we are using #ISLAISCOMING), write a post about/add it to any weekly recap you do and just tell your friends…but no pressure!!

We’ll have a linky below for you to add your name to if you plan to try to read along with us. It doesn’t mean you HAVE to..just that you are going to try to! We won’t hunt you down…swear! And if you just want to read one or two…by all means!

We hope you’ll enjoy the fun of reliving Anna and Lola or discovering it for the first time and experiencing Isla together when it comes out!!

Book Talk: Gone by Michael Grant

Book Talk: Gone by Michael GrantGone by Michael Grant
Series: Gone #1
Publisher/Year: Katherine Tegan- June 2008
Genres: YA Science Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Other Books From Author: Eve & Adam, BZRK, The Call, The Messenger of Fear 

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

 

A1

So one day everything is normal and the next….poof. Everyone over the age of 14 is gone without an explanation. Chaos ensues because no adults + no power or internet or anything like that. The teens try to make some sort of order and help the little kids and form a society of sorts in the meantime. They are dealing with rationing food, lawlessness and bullies. Not to mention strange things are happening — mutating animals, some of the kids have some sort of superpowers — and things begin to get a bit sinister. The kids try to stay alive and fight off the rich, dangerous kids who have tried to take control all while they try to figure out what happened to the adults before THEY turn 14 and POOF.

a2I just want to know THE THINGS.

a4This was our book club pick and as a group it was a very mixed bag about this one! It isn’t at all my typical read but I was highly entertained throughout most of it. Definitely reads a bit younger than I typically read though.

1. Gone by Michael Grant was SUPER fast-paced: As I was reading I found myself kind of amazed with how quickly the pages were turning. I was like staring at my hands like WHAT IS THIS? HOW AM I READING THIS FAST? It was easy to jump right into the breakneck speed that this chunkster of a book as events unfold upon the disappearance of everyone over like 14. If you like your books with ACTION ACTION ACTION you might want to cozy up with this one! It’s a book I plan to give my 12 & 14 year old nephews who need to be immediately hooked and wanting fight and chase scenes and CRAZY action! Twist and turns and secrets and surprises are in store if you read this one.

2. I was LOVING it…until about halfway through: Gone was kind of like what happens to me when I run. I start out running like a crazy person all fast and barely breaking a sweat feeling good…and then I hit a wall. A wall that makes me just want to fall down and sleep right where I am. I was so into this book and then halfway through THINGS happened and I was just like UMM WHAT (talking werewolves kind of stuff) and it kind of diminished some of my enjoyment. It also started to get a little muddled and confusing and some action scenes were just jumbly. I would have to reread parts over for clarification…and this is not a difficult book.

3. There is SO much going on in this book: I don’t think I realized what this book would entail. The premise was fantastic right away — WHERE DID ALL THE ADULTS GO? Where did these powers come from? How do we form a society/some sort of order without adults? WHAT HAPPENED. Oh and then there is this thing and that thing that I can’t tell you because spoilers. I felt very intrigued but all at the same time very overwhelmed. Lots of different side stories and people and little details that I’m sure will come together but WOWSA…overload at points. But overall I was just getting more and more sucked into this carefully crafted story that I know is going to be some crazy complex web going forward! So many questions, tidbit of answers.

4. I’m really undecided if I want to continue on even though I did enjoy it enough: Here’s the thing. I was REALLY enjoying it because it was different for me — fast paced, action-y and had all sorts of fun elements to make it addictive. But then, like I said, halfway through it was just MEH. I want to KNOW THE THINGS because there are SO many answers I need + I want to see how this society of no adults continues on but I’m struggling with if all the books in the series are worth the investment. It’s a commitment. They are a big and it’s a long series and I didn’t care about the characters. But I want answers.

 

a6RATING-OKAY

factors+ non-stop action, high enjoyment, cool premise, surprising elements, world-building overall
- hitting a wall halfway through, lots of little annoying things, weird elements that made me go EH?, writing just okay, flat characters

Re-readability: No.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? No. I plan to library these if I continue on.

a5readers who like fast paced/action-y novels, people who like a mismash genre-wise, might give it to reluctant readers because it’s easy to get sucked into

a8My enjoyment level was pretty high for this book — minus some annoyances and the second half not capturing my attention the way the first half did. There was a lot of interesting things going on here — people over 14 disappearing, a dome that formed around the town, superpowers, strange things occurring and more PLUS survival, how to create order in chaos and good vs. bad. It’s an entertaining, fast paced and suspenseful and my curiosity wants me to continue on but I’m not sure yet.

review-on-post-itGone by Michael Grant

 

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, is it something on your radar or that you think you will read?
* Should I continue on with this series??
*Anyone else get super irritated with the “brah” talk. Too old for that. haha


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

What Is A Bookworm To Do?

So I’ve admitted that I don’t care if my book covers in a series don’t match. I just don’t care. I have so many mismatching series and it doesn’t bother me one bit.

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The only thing that bothers me about it is the frequency of cover redesigns!! I don’t care personally but, MAN, do we get new covers a lot. And it’s rare that I like the cover redesign better. But it recently happened and I am IN A PICKLE, man!

So we had Anna and the French Kiss followed by Lola and the Boy Next Door (two of my favorite contemporary YA books. SWOON on both accounts). I really thought these covers were kiiiinda cheesy if I’m being completely honest…so much so that when Anna first came out I refused to read it until a friend basically forced me to. AND I FELL IN LOVE. I even began to not mind the cover so much.  I kind of found it to be cute and fit the book really well! I grew to love them.

Stephanie Perkins books

BUT THEN. The new covers came out.

 

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AND I LOVED THEM. I WANT THEM THEM. I NEED THEM.

I have my pre-order of Isla and the Happily Ever After* and  I know they aren’t going to match my hardcovers and, again, this does not bother me. It’s just that I am majorly coveting these new paperbacks.

SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

I try to be a minimalist when it comes to what stays on my shelves. You’ve learned the ebb and flow of my shelves and how/why I decide what to keep. The books on my shelf need to serve some sort of purpose to me after they’ve been read (ie it’s a favorite or I KNOW I will reread it or lend it out to everyone, etc.) or off the shelves it goes.  Bookworm confession: I don’t own multiple copies of books with the exception of one of my favorites, Just One Day by Gayle Forman, because I had already gotten the hardcover signed and then the paperback was personalized ON MY BIRTHDAY and like not generic personalization. I’m just not a collector. As a general personal rule, I just really dislike books just SITTING THERE never to be opened because I can only read ONE of the copies if I go to reread! Even special editions. I won’t buy them unless I get rid of my other copy. (Do you guys own multiple copies of books?? Am I just lame-o about this?)

 

So you might be thinking…well just give away/donate the copies you have now and buy the new ones then?

 

1. They are signed TO ME and she’s a favorite so that’s special!
2. The biggest reason — SENTIMENTAL REASONS. I’m not normally super sentimental but I have a lot of memories re: Anna (I bought it while shopping with my friend Steph who I met through all this, etc) and, the biggest reason, WILL bought me Lola and the Boy Next Door. He has only ever bought me two books in my life (this and the beautiful B&N edition of Alice in Wonderland). I didn’t even ASK for Lola but he knew I had read an ARC and loved it. So he bought it for me on my birthday! THAT is special to me. I’d feel all bad replacing the copy he went in the YA section and bought me on his own with a new shiny copy without me ever mentioning it.

BUT OH DO I WANT THOSE NEW SHINY COPIES SO THEY CAN LOOK PRETTY ON MY SHELF.

 

So what to do??? Get over my minimalist rules for what stays on my shelves and just buy them?? Or just pet them every time I go to the bookstore and adore the pretty Isla cover I’ll have? HELLLLP.

So I’m curious: Do you guys hate when your series don’t match? Do you own multiple copies of one book?? Also, which covers do you like better for the Stephanie Perkins??

 

 

*And now I’m interrupting this VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM with some fabulous Stephanie Perkins news and such!!

1. I mentioned that I pre-ordered Isla (from my FAVORITE indie book store. Seriously they are the ones that helped make THIS happen). If you pre-order Isla at one of these 55 independent bookstores you will get AWESOME STUFF — decals, the pins below and 25 lucky people might win the gorgeous tote bag below! AND ISLA WILL BE SIGNED. If you don’t have an indie bookstore, you can call one on the list and they will hook you up. If you feel so obliged, pick my favorite indie — Children’s Book World in Haverford, PA!

2. If you are itching to get your hands on Isla (it’s really good, guys!!) here is the chapter sampler!!

3. OH MY STARS. Have you read this Anna deleted scene??? DO IT. Have you NOT read Anna yet?? Read this chapter sampler to find out what you are missing!!

 

Top Ten Of My ALL TIME Favorite Movies

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

This week’s topic: Top Ten All Time Favorite Movies

For the most part my taste in movies tends to be more dark humor and kind of quirky? I don’t know. I totally love sappy romances and sports movies and dramas and hilarious movies too but I always tend to be drawn and love those kinds of movies the most.  All I know is for most of my life I could rarely pick a movie that my friends or Will would like. We all had vastly different taste in movies so pretty much all the movies that I’m interested in I end up watching by myself. These are my ALL TIME, have lasted through the years favorites. Looking at my list I realize so many of my picks are older movies. I think that’s because I watched a lot more movies in college that have stayed favorites and honestly I haven’t found a lot of newer movies to LOVE as much as these.

Without further ado, here they are! THIS WAS SO HARD. (also I cheated and gave a crapload of “honorable mentions” hahaha)

 favorite-movies-1

1. Amelie:

“When impish Amélie finds a long-hidden trove of toys behind a baseboard in her apartment, she’s inspired to return the items to their original owner, an impulse of generosity that sparks more benevolent acts.”

Audrey Tatou is one of my favorite actresses EVER and I’ve really loved all the French films I’ve seen her in. Yes, Amelie is a French flick and it’s SERIOUSLY AMAZING. I now have the urge to watch it immediately just thinking about it.

2. Garden State:

“Just weaned off antidepressants, Andrew returns to his New Jersey hometown after a decade away for his mom’s funeral and starts to see his life in a new light. In the process, he confronts his psychologist father and connects with a new friend.”

Zach Braff. My fave. Plus this soundtrack was awesome too!

3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind:

“After learning that his ex-girlfriend had an experimental medical procedure to purge all memories of him, a man decides to do the same with her. But during the operation, he realizes he doesn’t want to lose what’s left of their relationship.”

GAWD I LOVE THIS MOVIE. And Jim Carrey was perfect in it. As much as I love him in Dumb and Dumber, I find myself loving him in this role WAY MORE. This movie was thought-provoking and just so unique. And the cinematography!!

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4. The Royal Tenanbaums:

“The early promise of Tenenbaum child prodigies Chas, Margot and Richie is short-circuited by the flaws of their father, family patriarch Royal, in Wes Anderson’s New York fairy tale about a dysfunctional clan of eccentrics.”

Pretty much I devour all things Wes Anderson and this is definitely my favorite of his and GOD THERE ARE SO MANY OF MY FAVES IN THIS MOVIE (pretty much Bill Murray and the Owen brothers are staples in his movies). It’s funny but like not the typical mainstream funny I don’t think. I watched it with a friend and I don’t think she laughed once. Dry humor and dark! True story: one year I was Margot Tenanbaum for Halloween. I tried to find pictures to post but to no avail!

5. Mean Girls:

This movie needs no introduction or summary does it?? I have watched this movie more than any other movie and could quote it at any moment….like the rest of the world I’m sure.

6. Lost In Translation:

“Two lost souls visiting Tokyo — the young, neglected wife of a photographer and a washed-up movie star shooting a TV commercial — find an odd solace and pensive freedom to be real in each other’s company, away from their lives in America.”

I loved this film so much! Don’t watch this if you want something plot driven. It’s not.

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7. Roman Holiday:

“Princess Ann leaves her guardians, and while in Rome, she’s taken under the wing of tabloid writer Joe and his photographer sidekick. She thinks the boys don’t know who she really is, but they’re onto her — and sense a sensational story.”

I love Audrey Hepburn and it’s really close between this and Breakfast at Tiffany’s though I actually do think I prefer this one if I had to pick!

8. Pulp Fiction:

“Weaving together three stories featuring a burger-loving hit man, his philosophical partner and a washed-up boxer, Quentin Tarantino influenced a generation of filmmakers with this crime caper’s stylized, over-the-top violence and dark comic spirit.”

Quentin Tarantino at his best IMO! Although Reservoir Dogs was damn good too.

9. Fight Club:

“An insomniac corporate drone (Edward Norton) meets roguish rebel Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), and together they form a cathartic but brutal underground society in which men fight each other freely in director David Fincher’s sharp Oscar-nominated flick. But the line between reality and sleepless haze begins to blur when propagandist Durden transforms Fight Club from a group of non-conformists into a nihilistic cult.”

Yeah, I watched this before I read the book. Bad bookworm, right? But the movie was brilliant. Can’t say I’ve watched it more than twice but I am just in awe of that movie and remember my mouth dropping to the floor.

 

10. Love Actually:

“Writer-director Richard Curtis’s charming treatise on romance and relationships is an all-star ensemble comedy that tells 10 separate (but intertwining) London love stories, leading up to a spirited climax on Christmas Eve”

I watch this EVERY Christmas but I could watch it any day. ROMANCE! HUGH GRANT. Plus a younger Andrew Lincoln! YES PLEASE.

Honorable mentions: Dirty Dancing, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Rushmore, Requiem For A Dream, Bottle Rocket, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Big Fish, Little Miss Sunshine, Grease, Pretty Woman, Donnie Darko, The Usual Suspects, American Beauty

 

So tell me…what are some of your favorite movies that you’d recommend to me? Have you seen any on my list? I would LOVE some recs for some newer movies you think I’d like based on what I put down here!

Book Talk: The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

Book Talk: The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie ConnorThe Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor
Publisher/Year: Katherine Tegan- June 2014
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: Waiting For Normal, Crunch

 
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”

A1

Bettina’s super strict dad never lets her date or really out of the house much at all. But when she starts talking to Brady, a decently popular and cute guy at school, he manages to woo her dad as well and suddenly Bettina has something she never really had — FREEDOM. Plus a great boyfriend. Until suddenly Brady changes and suddenly isn’t who she thought he was at all. As she tries to figure out what to do with Brady, she meets a much older guy in his twenties who she ends up spending significant time with. As she tries to keep this secret relationship with Cowboy under wraps and keep herself at a distance from Brady without sacrificing her freedom, something that happens that tears it all apart and brings the truth out in the open.

a2*wipes eyes* I need a moment, please. *curls up in a ball*

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I did not expect The Things You Kiss Goodbye to make me cry. Nope. Sometimes there are books that I have a hunch that might make me cry but this was not one of them — not even when I was reading it did I think that. But oh did I cry…sob really. It’s really hard to explain how I felt about this one — it affected me for sure but I can’t say it was in a way that was lasting or that made it a favorite but I absolutely couldn’t put it down and think there was so much good about it.

Here’s some of the main things I thought about this one:

1. It certainly was a dramatic, intense story and I felt emotionally devastated by the end: I read this prior to BEA and knew I’d forget things about it if I didn’t write down and one of the first things I wrote was “reminds me of the kind of drama you’d get from a Lifetime movie or a soap opera but less cheesy.” A few days later I saw Blythe say something similar to that and it made me feel better because I didn’t know if I was explaining it right in my preliminary thoughts. There’s a whole slew of intense things in this book: abuse, secrets, family drama, an older man and a thing that happens that was pretty intense and made me weep alongside Bettina. The escalation of emotional things happening made me turn the pages faster for sure and by the end I just wanted to sleep for days because I just felt sad.

2. I never felt anything for the romance but had complicated feelings towards it: So there is a secret romance that happens. I guess the age difference didn’t really bother me — it happens — I saw the struggle there. But I never felt the butterflies or FELT the fireworks as I was reading. But I found myself feeling really invested in it toward the end — even though I didn’t believe necessarily it as it was happening. I can’t explain much more of when I felt invested or else it would give the whole thing away but I was very emotional towards their relationship for REASONS.

3. The whole Bettina and Brady situation made me physically panicky: It was very hard to read about how Brady changes. You see how charming he is and how their relationship starts and it’s really sweet. And then I felt like I wanted to vomit each and every time we started to see this other side of Brady. I seriously felt tense and sick to my stomach when it came to Brady. I think the progression of their relationship was written very well because it definitely got to me as a reader and it felt so plausible. It wasn’t ever this huge, explosive thing but these little things that were just getting more and more aggressive and it made me sick how he could just laugh it off and Bettina could doubt herself. HOWEVER, as much as I think this was written very well, I feel conflicted as to how it was dealt with by the end. I felt like there weren’t any consequences for Brady AT ALL. And I know sometimes that is realistic but I kept having this nagging voice wanting SOMETHING a little more when it came to him.

4. Despite my concerns for Bettina and my empathy for sure, I never quite found her to be a character I thought about after: I really did feel for her and have major anxiety when it came to things going on her life but I always felt a bit of a distance from her. She just never really leaped off the page even though her story definitely did…if that makes ANY sense at all.

a6RATING-LIKED

factors+ page-turning, got me emotionally invested, felt unique in lots of ways
lack of true connection to MC, never truly felt the romance with Cowboy,


Re-readability
: More than likely not to be honest.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Because it wasn’t a favorite/I wouldn’t read it, no. But I’m contemplating buying this for my 17 year old niece for her birthday because I think she’d dig it.

a5people who like books that are a bit more dramatic and pretty damn emotional, people interested in books that feature a more unique relationship (a significantly older guy), readers who don’t shy away from a book where abuse happens, people looking for books that deal with family, readers wanting a POC main character

a8This book hooked me for sure with its emotional intensity and drama. From the Brady situation to the budding romance with Cowboy, an older guy, I couldn’t stop turning the pages because I was nervous for Bettina and how all this would turn out. I felt emotionally devastated by the end and wasn’t sure WHAT to think about the ending in certain ways. I wished for more in different areas –actually FEELING the thing with Cowboy, wishing for a less flat MC — but I can’t deny that I was sucked in.

 

review-on-post-it

The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

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, is it something on your radar or that you think you will read?
* Did anyone else wish the whole Brady thing was a little more wrapped up? I just…I could see it being realistic that way but maybe I just wanted some sort of justice or responsibility or something?
* Was I the only one who wasn’t shipping Bettina and Cowboy (and not even because of age for me)?? I liked their relationship but never felt how this romance happened.


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

Beyond the Pages: You Mean I Have To Work At This?

Beyond the Pages is my way of sharing the things books make me think about and interact with and want to talk about shared experiences with people. Some of my best conversations have happened because of something that came up in a book. I’m pretty personal in my reviews but I’d like a way to not bog down my review with a huge paragraph of personal experience so this is my way to be able to share it. Some times it will be serious and sometimes just random and fun but I hope we can connect! PAST Beyond the Pages here!

 

 

The book that inspired this conversation:

Landline Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
(Goodreads // Amazon)

What It Is About:

Oh you guys! This is one of my favorite books of the year so far! I read it in January and I still can’t stop thinking about it and need to buy myself a copy to re-read it. Rainbow Rowell’s second adult book is about a marriage that has been off for some time and she knows it has been. It’s not an issue of not loving each other but between jobs and kids and all somehow it just has gotten a little lost. When they are a few days out from leaving for Omaha for Christmas, Georgie has a huge work opportunity arise and she has to stay in LA for it. She assumes they’ll all just stay home but is surprised when Neal decides he and the kids are still going. Scared of what this implies, Georgie wonders if it has all fallen apart for good and if/how she can fix it….until she’s given an opportunity to talk to Neal in the past.

What I said about it:Rainbow Rowell continues her trend of being able to write poignantly and candidly about all sorts of love. I loved that, while this was partly a story about a love going wrong, it’s also a story about falling back in love and remembering the first time you fell in love with that person as well…especially in the face of maybe losing it all. She makes love just come alive and feel true.” You can read more of my thoughts about it here!

What It Got Me Thinking About:

relationships (marriage & friendships), not being passive in relationships, how much “work” relationships take, my own relationships

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There’s a lot of things Landline gave me to think about while reading it and after but one of the biggest things is how much care, commitment and “work” needs to go into a relationship — any kind of relationship. In Landline, the marriage was not dissolving because of necessarily huge things but these small, tiny moments. Little decisions that happened daily and were almost unnoticeable until one day you look up and realize,” WOW how did we end up like this?”

I’ve only been married for almost two years but I could see how easy it would be to get to this point. To get too complacent. Take things foregranted, unintentionally stop TRYING and let it all slip away. I think it’s easy to become passive in a relationship and not even realize it — to just let it BE and not do all the things to cultivate and nurture that relationship.

When I was younger I used to always say, “it shouldn’t take this much work to have this friendship/relationship.” And yes, in some cases it shouldn’t be THAT hard and shouldn’t constantly FEEL like work. But I think what I always thought was that relationships shouldn’t ever take work. That they should just naturally be. Maybe I was just too young to quite get it yet or maybe I was just mistaking what WORK meant in regards to relationships. But I truly believe that any good relationship worth having requires a certain degree of “work”. We must be active in maintaining it and nurturing it. Taking care of it. Not just putting it on cruise control or auto-pilot. I’m not saying we need to constantly be doing this but I think, as I reflect on my marriage already, I need to be mindful. It’s easy to slip into patterns, to stop communicating, to stop trying, to ignore things, stop making an effort to love each other. To just settle into the marriage and think it’s going to work because we love each other and smooth sailing from there.

It shouldn’t be all work.  I’m not saying that. There’s a bigger problem there, I think, if all you are doing IS working on it. But I think we are doing a disservice to our important relationships if we don’t realize that they DO take some degree of work and nurturing and caring for. They need us to be intentional and active participants.

And it’s not even just marriages. It’s friendships too. I think of so many great friendships that just faded away because both parties just STOPPED — for no reason. It happened by letting the communication stop, by not being active in engaging that relationship and letting life get in the way. I never meant for it to happen but it did before I realized it. And sure, that’s life, sometimes friendships are going to naturally fade but I think too often we are passive in relationships and don’t put in the work without even meaning to. I know I do and I’m realizing that.

I’m resolving to work harder at my relationships and be more intentional. Too many valued friendships have slipped away and I also don’t want to, years from now, being in a situation similar to Georgie and Neal in my marriage wondering how I got there — feeling surprised by it. I don’t want to look back and see all the small things that made us seemingly end up on different planets and know that I could have helped it.

Here are 3 things I’m going to do in my relationships starting today:

Marriage:

1. Go on a date at least once a month: I think one of the biggest things I’ve already seen about marriage is how easy it is to ALWAYS sit in our jams and flop on the couch. And yes, I do love that time and it’s valuable to us. But it’s easy to stop dating each other when you get married. Like really, really easy. Our dates don’t have to be expensive or anything crazy but I do want to make it a point for them to be a planned, specific date. I’d like for us to rotate who plans the date.

2. Stop eating dinner on the couch: We’ve gotten in a really bad habit of eating dinner while catching up on one of our shows. If we ever have a family this is something I do not want to EVER happen. I grew up with family dinners that slowly faded to everyone just eating on their own or in front of the tv. I started to miss those conversations and catching up. So I will clear off our kitchen table (which is half filled with books) and we will eat dinners together and use that time to talk. No phones, no tv on, no laptops.

3. Find an activity or a project for us to do together: I used to love when we’d go to the gym together but my interest in Pilates kind of ruined that and that’s okay. He works out with a friend now, which is good for him, and I do an exercise that I really enjoy more than the gym. But I loved that we had SOMETHING we did together. We have so many activities that we do separately (not to mention when we both get in our own little worlds..him with video games and me with blogging) and that is important but I want to find something to do TOGETHER.

Friendships:

1. Get better at communication: Here’s the thing about me. I suck at keeping in contact. I’m real bad at answering texts. I hate talking on the phone. I’m the worst at answering emails. It’s not that I don’t WANT to talk to you (sometimes I’m just not in the mood to socialize with ANYONE or I’m busy/in the middle of something). But I’m just not good at keeping in touch — a few friends aside. But I’ve come to realize it’s an excuse. Not because I secretly hate people. I don’t know what it’s an excuse for but I know that I can work at it*. I just have dismissed everything as “well, I suck at keeping in contact” without really taking steps to be better at it. I truly am not a person who needs constant communication to know we are friends (I have a few great friendships where that’s mutual) but I’ve also gotten in the bad habit of just NOT communicating. And the worst part? I’m not very good at initiating the communication. I let months slip away without saying anything. I’ve got a lot to work on here — answering communication and initiating it. Especially the initiating.

2. Make plans: I also suck at making plans. See, here’s the thing. When I’m with people and spending time with a friend, it’s great! I love it! But the actual thought of making plans? I am the worst. I’m lazy. I’m never the person to ask anyone to hang out because I honestly am so content with doing my own thing or hanging with Will. I know I’ll always be glad I did it (like I normally AM) but there’s this period from the making of plans until I get there where I’m like WAHHH CAN I JUST SIT HOME PLEASE?

3. Do something nice for a friend: Because I’ve gotten in this cycle where I don’t really initiate contact or make plans with people, I’ve slipped into some selfish habits that I didn’t even realize. I used to be the friend who always looked for ways to genuinely do nice things for my friends — a way to encourage them,  to make their day, make a birthday special, help their broken heart, etc. I just stopped. I stopped being thoughtful. And I feel like a shitty person. I’m going to make an effort to be intentional about this once a month until I’ve gotten myself out of whatever weird funk I’m in.

* I think a lot of my issues with friendships is due to some past friendships. Maybe I’m just trying to protect myself by just not taking the risk of nurturing friendships? I don’t know.

 

 

What do you think? Do you think relationships take work? Have you experienced this first hand? Am I the only one who struggles with this? If you’ve read Landline did Georgie and Neal’s story resonate with you in any way?

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