Book Talk: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Book Talk: Station Eleven by Emily St. John MandelStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Publisher/Year: Knopf- September 2014
Genres: Adult Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Other Books From Author: Last Night In Montreal, The Lola Quartet, The Singer's Gun
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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”

 

 

 

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One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.
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a2Truthfully it made me scared of some super flu (ALSO NOT FUN READING THIS WHEN PEOPLE ARE FREAKING ABOUT EBOLA). But, aside from THAT, I was also like BRAVO BRAVO, BOOK.

a4Have you ever read a book that you truly just wanted to give it a standing ovation after reading it because it was such a masterpiece that it seems like the only appropriate response? That was this book! It was just all around an amazing story that was flawlessly written and I honestly don’t even know where to begin with it.

I love me a good post apocalyptic story and this is a lot different from most I read which are more fast paced, action-y post-apocalyptic books. It really explored that “what next?” question when 99% of the population dies quickly. It’s that bare bones survival but it’s also about rebuilding and figuring what the new normal IS, in light of the past and what happened,  because just surviving becomes not enough — it’s not a life. It’s about how resilient the human spirit is. I loved how the Symphony and the Museum of Civilization were so perfect to show that about humanity. It was just so reflective and I felt it deep in my bones.

I think what was so scary and unsettling about this story for me was how EASILY this could happen. How some superflu can just spread and spread and suddenly 99% of the population is dead. The “after” seemed so realistic. There were just so many moments for me in this book where I realized how thin that line is between TODAY and a future like that. It also was super thought-provoking in that way. You see how useless the things that are attached to us (phones, tablets, computers) can be rendered so quickly.

I loved how we got to see glimpses of the moments the epidemic was unfolding and also 20+ years out from when it all happened. I loved seeing how one moment life was normal and then THIS happened and how people survived. But I also loved seeing what it was like 20+ years out. Where there was a whole generation who has never even seen the old world. And then the contrast with the past memories and the story playing out in the BEFORE was just so PERFECT and startling compared to what people were facing in the now. How different people become. What becomes important. What remains the same in the human spirit.

I grew really attached to the characters and loved how they were all connected by the same actor, Arthur, who died on stage the night when everything went to hell. I loved the perspectives and the reflections they all had in the face of all this and it just came together so marvelously.

 

a6RATING-loved-it

factors+ Story, writing, characters, uniqueness, thought-provoking qualities
- Took a teeny bit to figure out what was going on with shifting perspectives.

Re-readability: Potentially!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? I really kind of want to get it.

a5EVERYONE?

People who want a more reflective & less action-y post-apocalyptic, people who like more character driven stories

a8Station Eleven is a book I want to recommend to everyone! There’s something so deeply unsettling about it — more than any crazy post-apocalyptic tale I’ve ever experienced. I think it lies in how REALISTIC it is. It paints a world that is terrifying to the bone but there’s also budding hope. I loved the way the story kind of centers a character and his story in the past but is so finely connected to the other characters who show us the scary bits of WHEN the world as we know it ended and then 20+ years in the future. It was brutal, thought-provoking and just a real masterpiece.

review-on-post-it

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

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?
* If you’ve read it, did you figure out some of the connections as the story went on?
*Any recommendations for post-apocalyptic books in this vein?

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

Reshelved

Time for another edition of Reshelved in which I share what books I’ve put down lately and which ones I sadly had to take back to the library unread! Check out past Reshelved posts here!

 

Put Down

 

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

 

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin: In this case I don’t know if it was me not liking it or the fact I was audio-booking it. I thought it was okay when I was listening to it and that the premise was interesting but then my ipod died (the only thing I use this Ipod for is audiobooks) and I didn’t care enough to ever charge it and finish the story. It obviously wasn’t doing much for me on audio so I decided to officially put it down. I might try it again in print sometime but I wasn’t fully sold on it via audio.

 

 

 

 


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Poisoned Apples by Christine Heppermann: I read a couple of the poems in it and it was short enough that I probably could have finished it real quick but I just wasn’t feeling it at all. I like poetry and I liked the idea of this but it just never felt urgent enough for me to keep going. There were one or two poems I really liked but I think this just wasn’t for me.

 

 

 

 

Friendship by Emily Gould

 

 

Friendship by Emily Gould: I got 50 pages into this one and I just had no craps to give. It was taking a really long for me to find something…ANYTHING to care about or be interested in. Other than the fact it was a story about friendship. I was sooooo excited about this one but I just really wasn’t feeling it. I think I’ll be fine not ever reading it. SAD BECAUSE I SO THOUGHT I WOULD LOVE IT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Went Back To The Library Unread

(not because I didn’t WANT to read them but I stink at reading things when I’m supposed to)

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It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han: I’ve been really wanting to finish series I’ve started and I picked this up at the end of the summer because it feels like the perfect summer books! Definitely plan to pick this one back up!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion: I really was craving some good non-fiction because I used to read much more of it and I decided to grab this one! But then I had some review books and such that I wanted to get to and before I knew it I burned through my renewals so back to the library it went.

 

 

 

 

 

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In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan: In the past couple years I’ve started to really care about what I eat and I’ve heard good things about this book! I read a few pages and was really interested by it but just didn’t find time to fit it in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you feel differently about any of the books I put down? Or similarly? Which books should I make a priority to grab again from the library??

I Think I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake

I’ve always loved lending out books. As a kid, I practically begged my sister to borrow books from me. I love being excited about a book and getting others excited. I’ve converted some of my friends into readers and it’s delightful. Even when I’ve had to mourn some lost books, I’ve still joyously lent them out to friends in need of a new book for their vacation or just life in general. I don’t even get too worried about wear and tear to my books because you know how I am. In fact, I’m more scared to borrow books from other people than I am to lend them out. (I think I’m a weirdo in that regard maybe?).

But in my book zeal, I’ve realized I may have been a little too hasty with my lending.

 

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I’ve lost track of what I lent out and I’ve lent out things that perhaps I shouldn’t because it kind of gives me heart palpitations to think of ever losing.

 

3 situations I’ve found myself in lately:

1. Forgetting what I lent out: My little sister came to visit and said she wanted some new books to read. I was practically bouncing up and down that she wanted some books. So I loaded her up with 10 or so books and I can’t even remember which ones. The only one I do remember that I lent her FOR SURE is Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour which you know I super love. She said my cousin (who is also her age) wanted to borrow some too and I was just so excited to connect with them over books that I was out of control. I’m honestly terrified I’m never going to see these books again and I can’t even REMEMBER which books they are. I need to make people sign them out like I did when I was little APPARENTLY. Also, my sister is not ummm very responsible in keeping track of THINGS? About a week after I lent them out I had a moment of sheer panic for my books after my “OMG PEOPLE I LOVE WANT TO READ” high wore off.

2. Lending out favorites. SIGNED FAVORITES: My friend borrowed a bunch of books from me (and recently returned them…AH THE RELIEF)  and I was SO excited because I have gotten her into YA. She would read a little bit here and there but never YA. And now she’s hooked. SO OBVIOUSLY I hooked her up with my favorites from Gayle Forman (among others). BUT THESE WERE MY SIGNED BOOKS. And I trusted her no doubt. But I realized I maybe need some “borrowing copies” for my favorite books so I don’t have to part with my signed. WHAT IF SHE LOST THEM? Especially my Gayle’s. Can’t replace these personalized copies.

3. Lending out books to people who then lend them out to someone else: So my friend who borrowed my Gayle books? Well, she lent them to her sister-in-law and then her mom. NOW, she asked. She did. But I felt so awkward saying no and plus I WANT EVERYONE TO READ THE GAYLE BOOKS….so I said yes. I HAD NEVER HAD THIS HAPPEN BEFORE. I was ill-prepared and it scared me for my books to get even further away.

 

And now I’ve found myself with a bout of book lending anxiety. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL, friends. I’ve never really ever felt TOO nervous about lending and I’ve done it freely and joyously but now I kind of just want to be like THEY ARE MIIIIIINE. NO.

Mine

But I really just like getting friends hooked on books I’ve loved. I’ve had a lot of personal success with lending my books and letting friends discover new favorites (my one friend who lives in my complex has been a READING MACHINE and has discovered all sorts of new authors to love from borrowing my books).  I know a lot of other people don’t like feeling like their friend’s personal library…but I’ve never minded it.

So now I’m all like: to lend or not to lend? Do I need to maybe have boundaries with certain books? Actually write down what people borrow? Stop lending so freeeely? I DO NOT KNOW.

 

What about you guys? Do you lend books out to people? Have any lending horror stories? How do you choose what books you are fine with lending?

Book Talk: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Book Talk: The Last Lecture by Randy PauschThe Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Publisher/Year: Hyperion- 2008
Genres: Memoir, Non-fiction
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Other Books From Author: None aside from some textbook kind of books.
AmazonGoodreads

 

 

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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.Simply put, The Last Lecture is the last lecture from Randy Pausch — a computer science professor. He is diagnosed with cancer and comes to a place where he finds out it is terminal. He offers up his final lecture to a room full of students and colleagues and talks about achieving your childhood dreams, helping others to dream and achieve and thoughts on what it means to live.

a2I NEED TO LIVE BETTER.

a4I’ve been in a not so good place and honestly I kind of needed such a sobering read to make me think about life and the current status of things. Randy’s story touched my heart immensely and I sobbed quite a few times. Though sometimes it seems a little all over the place, I loved the wisdom of this man who was facing certain death and loved learning about him as person. I loved learning how he achieved his childhood dreams, the lessons he’s learned about LIVING in the face of death, what he wants for his family when he’s gone, etc.  He’s a stranger to me yet he bared so much of himself in this short little book. I wept for him, for his wife and for his kids. It wasn’t at all about dying but really about living. It was inspiring to be honest and just full of so much truth!

I dogearred so many pages because certain bits of his lesson resonated more where I’m at right now than others. And I think that everyone who reads this book will have lessons that will shake them up more than others. So much wisdom poured out of this one and I smiled a lot, too. I really want to take to heart some of the things that hit me.

I couldn’t help but think of my mom when I read this. Randy is a father and his children are very young and only one will probably ever have real memories of him. My heart broke because the fears that Randy had of dying were more about his children growing up without him…not about the actual dying part. It hit me really hard seeing it from the perspective of the person who knows they are going to die. It was actually really a gift to me and maybe kind of let me see my mom in a different light.

Some quotes I loved (so hard to pick from ALLL my dog-ears):

1. “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

2. “Too many people go through life complaining about their problems. I’ve always believed that if you took one-tenth of the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out.” Then later on in that section: “Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”

3. “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted. And experience is often the most valuable thing you have to offer.”

4. “The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have. ”

 5. “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. If I don’t seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you.”

a6RATING-reallyliked

factors+ honestly it’s mostly just HOW IT HIT ME kind of thing. Wise, wise man.
- Nothing really. Sometimes it was all over the place but it was worth it for what I did get out of it.

Re-readability: Maybe not in its entirety but definitely the dogears.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? I have a copy that I had bought and it will stay on my shelf!

a5fans of memoirs, people who feel like they are in a rut and want to be inspired, readers looking for short non-fiction

a8The Last Lecture is a short little book packed with so much stripped down wisdom and lessons from a man who doesn’t have much time left because he has terminal cancer. I wish I could photocopy it into my brain to have it there every day to remember these lessons when I’m letting the unimportant things of life get in the way and distract me from what it really is to live. Honest, made me sob and one of those books that has something everybody needs to hear.

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The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

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

Ten Character Driven Books I Love!

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

This week’s topic: Ten Character Driven Books I Loved

I have a hard time sometimes deciding if a book is character driven or not and honestly some of these books are probably a blend! But I find that I really, really LOVE some of those more quiet, character driven novels — they end up being some of my favorites.

This is by no means an extensive list nor is there any order to this — I’ve probably even forgotten some faves. But these came to my head the fastest so I went with it.

Character Driven YA novels

Just One Day by Gayle Forman — I loved Allyson’s journey. I read it at a time that kind of mirrored a similar journey and it resonated so much and truly changed my life.

The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta — Marchetta is a master with characterization and I just found Tom to be such a compelling character and his story just broke me.

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay: This is one of my all time favorites. These characters will never ever leave me. You need to meet them.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: I was trying to highlight some less known books but I haaaaad to include this one!

Girl Defective by Simmone Howell: What an Aussie gem!

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang: I’ll be honest…the characters are hard to like in this one but oh my god I loved this one.

Love & Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo: Such an underrated book and one of my favorite character driven coming of age stories!

Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: A long time favorite! The movie was awesome too.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: I just read this one and I’ll be talking about it soooon! But omg I LOVED THIS. It’s an adult novel and post-apocalyptic and AWESOME. I know most post apocalyptic novels are more plot based but this was pretty character driven and it was AMAZING.

Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian: VERY VERY underrated and there’s an amazing male POV! Really excited to read her new release as well which I’ve heard is another character driven novel that is reallyyy good.

 

 

So tell me…what are some of YOUR favorite character driven novels (especially if you think I would like them!!). Have you read any of these? Do you disagree with my label of character driven for any of these?

6 Reasons Why I Freaking Loved The Young Elites by Marie Lu

6 Reasons Why I Freaking Loved The Young Elites by Marie LuThe Young Elites by Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites #2
Publisher/Year: Putnam Juvenile- October 7, 2014
Genres: YA Fantasy
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: The Legend series (LOVED IT)
AmazonGoodreadsTwitter

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

 

 

 

1.  Adelina. THAT GIRL: Adelina is one of the most compelling characters I’ve come across in a long time. If you read the interview with Marie Lu you’ll know that Adelina was originally a side character and was a villain of sorts. When Marie switched her focus to Adelina, The Young Elites really became the origin story of a villain. She’s so intriguing because she does things that you are like WHAT WHAT WHAT NO but also there is whole level of sympathy you have for her. She’s had a rough past where people have been so cruel to her and you GET where that hardness is from. But then you see these moments of greatness and a softer side to her. She’s so compelling and my heart ached for her in all her brokenness but her strength was just so heartstoppingly so — scary almost!

2. The setting is to die for: I LOVED THE SETTING. It’s a fantasy world but you can tell that Marie’s inspirations were Renaissance Venice/Italy. It feels historic but it so wholly a fantasy world. I just couldn’t get enough of it because I could see it so beautifully.

3. The magic: So after this illness ravaged the land, some children had strange markings and such happening and they were labelled as malfettos and were looked at as an abomination. The other thing that some of these children had? These new found, strange powers. They are seen as dangerous and there is a group of them called The Young Elites that everyone is SO afraid of and blame for all these bad things happening which is why queen and king are trying to murder them all. As Adelina comes in contact with The Young Elites I LOVED learning what all their powers were and I loved seeing Adelina develop hers as she is a bit of a loose cannon because she has no idea how to control it and work it.

4. How dark this novel was: In Legend, even though the world was dark in ways, it just doesn’t even come close to the sort of darkness that this story touches. Part of it is, as I said before, Adelina is more of a villain and not as easy to root for as June and Day but there’s just underlying darkness in this world. Sinister characters. The things that these characters have to do to live. The things that they are happening in the leadership. How layered and not black and white the issues of morality are. It was just PERFECT.

5. How Marie was constantly able to surprise me: It takes a lot to surprise me. I’ll be honest. But Marie WENT THERE. Things happened that I never thought in a million years would and certain revelations had me frantically turning the pages. It never once went down the path of predictability for me and THAT my friends is a damn good reading experience that leaves you on the edge of your seat.

6. The exciting possibilities for book 2: HOLY CRAP. It was one of those experiences where I was just bouncing up and down with excitement for how everything is setting up for book 2….and then I realize I HAVE NO BOOK 2. I think book 2 is going to be so exciting with how everything ended and there’s promise of new characters to be excited about from lands we haven’t seen yet. This is going to be a damn good series! I can feel it in my bones.

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RATING-beyondloved
factors+ plot, characters, surprises, set up for book 2, writing
- NADA

Re-readability: I would probably actually reread this one before book 2.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? I’ll probably wait until book 2 to see if this is a series to invest in but I have good feels about that.

a5fantasy lovers, people who love complex characters who aren’t morally easy to pin down, people who love strong female main characters, people looking for a new series to be addicted to, fans of Marie Lu, people who find villain-y type characters very compelling

a8The Young Elites was everything and MORE than I was hoping for this novel. It was a lightning quick, intense read for me because everyone was so compelling and complex, the plot lingered and surged forward at all the right moments and it absolutely surprised me. It’s dark, unpredictable  and I have a good feeling about where this series is going.

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The Young Elites Marie Lu review

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

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

If We Were Having Coffee

I saw a life coach I love, Ashley, do a post entitled If We Were Having Coffee and I decided to take her lead and do one myself in November 2013 because I loved it and sometimes I feel like we forget that there is a whole life behind the people that write and read blogs. I got such a great response to my initial post that I wanted to make it a reoccurring thing!

 

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So, grab your coffee/beverage of your choice and meet me for a chat. I’ve got a warm water with lemon, cayenne pepper and cinnamon.

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you that I’m almost done with Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel which I’m really impressed with. I also just started Wildlife by Fiona Wood but I’m like two pages into it so I can’t say much. I’d ask you what you were reading.

If we were having coffee... I’d tell you that I haven’t been doing well lately. And that it’s a hard thing to admit. (because it’s embarrassing. Because I feel over-dramatic. Because I can’t tell you exactly why). When someone asks you how you are it’s easy to be like FINE and move on. But I’m not fine. Why should I pretend? Because of things and how I’ve been doing, I’ve been so disconnected from people and social media and this blog. I’d apologize for unanswered tweets, comments, etc. It’s just so difficult for me to interact when I feel so awful. I’d wonder if you’ve noticed my disconnect and flakiness lately because I feel really self conscious about it. That’s part of the reason I decided to write up one of these posts (it’s been a while) because I want to connect again.  I’d ask how you are doing and really WANT to know just beyond the typical response.

If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you how I’m FREAKING OUT over the fact that this month I will turn 29. It will officially be the last year of my 20’s and I don’t know what to do with it. I WANT TO STAY HERE. My face doesn’t match the age so aren’t I allowed to stay in my 20’s until it catches up?? I’d also tell you how most of the time I don’t ever feel like an adult. Like am I REALLY an adult? I don’t know. I do adult-y type things I guess but mostly I feel like the kid putting the grownup high heels and mom’s makeup stash all over my face. HOW DID ALL THESE YEARS JUST HAPPEN? HOW AM I ALMOST 29?? I kind of feel sick over it truthfully. How fast life truly does go. Days turn into weeks into months and suddenly you are older. In a flash. I’d ask if you ever feel this way.

If we were having coffee…. Id tell you how discouraged I’ve been feeling with my blog lately. It’s so unlike me to care or notice but traffic and general interaction has been down (says the girl who has been a shit blog reader). I never put my blog happiness and well-being into these things so why am I RIGHT THIS MOMENT? I think maybe it has to do with where I’m at right now so I’m just feeling really discouraged about LOTS of things. But also I get this nagging feeling that it’s me. That what I’m doing isn’t good enough. You all are bored of me. I don’t have anything to say anymore. I should quit. My inner monologue has been horrible. I have been focused too much on creation and consumption that I’m losing the beauty in it all. I’d ask, if you were a blogger, if you feel this way ever?

If we were having coffee…. I’d tell you how I’m not looking forward to the cold weather and winter but this year I’m trying REALLY hard to make the most of it. Find new activities. Really embrace the things I DO love in this season. I’d ask you what your favorite cold weather activities are/what you do when the winter chases you inside? If you lived in perpetual beautiful weather I’d give you the stink eye and ask you to house me for the winter months.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how a conversation with my dad was what I needed to reframe my whole job/career situation outlook. I’m going to be pursuing some new ideas with the job search and be more thankful for the flexibility nannying gives me. (I MEAN ALL SUMMER I GOT TO BE OUTSIDE). I’d ask who your go-to person is who always helps you reframe a problem.

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you that we should go out for Thai food because I’m really craving it. LIKE REALLY REALLY BADLY.

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you that I am often frustrated because I don’t have anything that I’m really good at. I wish I was artistic or could sing or like running. I always thought I’d find my THING at this point in my life but ALAS no talents here except expert procrastination and eating ice cream like nobody’s business. I’d ask you about what you are talented at.

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you how I was reading a post from a blogger (not a book blogger) who experienced a devastating apartment fire and I’ve been thinking a lot about THINGS. How much value we place in them. How they can be gone in an instant. I started thinking about what things I would be sad about losing in a fire. (Answer: pretty much everything haha). My time of being unemployed and us being really scarily tight with money taught me a lot about what I buy and what I use and I’ve become a lot more of a minimalist in ways and have tried not to get attached to THINGS. It’s hard. I’d ask you what would be the one thing you’d miss the most if this happened to you.

 

If we were having coffee…what would you tell me? Come on…lay it all out! It’s just you, me, the pleasant sounds of a cafe…and maybe some other eyes in the comment section but NBD right?? Our we can have coffee in my inbox if you don’t feel comfortable. I really want to know! What’s going on with you?

Carla’s Corner: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (NO SPOILERS)

So so back when I was a wee newbie blogger in 2010 there was this blog I fell in love with immediately. It was called The Crooked Shelf and it was run by a sassy Brit who had fantastic taste in books and wrote some of the best reviews ever. We became friends and even got to hang out at BEA 2011…and had the best time ever. Seriously.

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And then she stopped blogging…which was the saddest thing ever for so many of us because her voice was one of the best and early on I aspired to BE like Carla in the way that I just wanted to have my own distinct voice — whatever that was. It was definitely a hit to the blogosphere for many of us oldies when she left.

And now, through a Twitter conversation about missing her as a blogger, I introduce you to Carla’s Corner where Carla will take over my blog sporadically whenever she feels like it and talk about what’s she’s reading and HAS to talk about! I’m excited to have her voice back in the blogosphere and for people who didn’t get to know her back in the day to get the chance to!!

So first up?? It is only fitting that Carla reviews a Maggie Stiefvater book. Fun story: The one and only time I saw Carla lose her shit and become a 12 year old little girl was when she met Maggie Stiefvater at BEA. It was the cutest moment EVER and her and Maggie hugging and talking made me all teary because it was one of Carla’s all time FAVORITE authors!!

So take it away Carla…

 Blue Lily, Blue Lily review no spoilersBlue Lily, Blue Lily by Maggie Stiefvater
Book #3 of The Raven Cycle series (I’ve read, loved and reviewed book 1)
Release Date: October 21st – Scholastic Press
* This book was downloaded from Netgalley for review consideration.

 Carla’s Thoughts:

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is simultaneously the best book I have ever read and also the worst.

Let’s start with the best.

Trying to explain or describe how much I love Stiefvater’s writing is like trying to count all of the stars in the sky; impossible, incredibly brain aching and needing calculations and equations that my mind just isn’t capable of fathoming. I’ve never really been that good at math.

Her words are a dream come to life, like Ronan himself has plucked them out of his dreams and handed them over. The characters, they come to life, never once drifting off into slumber like those cows in the barns.  The words don’t sleep like dream things do when they’re not dream things anymore, they roar like the pigs engine. They pull handbrakes turns and skid right into your heart, then come to a juddering stop and stay there.

The character development is soft and sure and strong.  Ronan is still as sharp, shiny and cutting as the edge of a knife but everyone knows that sharp things don’t always stay so sharp. Gansy is still full of wonder and hope and light but everyone knows lights eventually dim until they sputter out completely. Blue is still small and full of yoghurt and truth. Adam is still rustling leaves and springy moss. And Noah is as still as grey and smudgy as a charcoal drawing dropped into a puddle. And yet they are so completely different, as wondrous as the legend of Glendower himself. We’ll never really know them, this little quartet of strange teenagers and I’m glad of it because things that hold that much magic should never really be knowable.

I won’t say anything about the plot because I don’t want to spoil but know this; you can dream of welsh kings and girls with spiky hair and boys with peppermint leaves in their mouths but you can’t ever dream a story so full of magic and suspense and heart guttering mind numbing terror.  It’s a dream that only Stiefvater can create for us and I can’t wait stop slip into what’s bound to be a momentous conclusion to the story of blue and her boys and their sleeping welsh king.

You will be so full of dreadful glee that you’ll laugh as manically as Ronan. You’ll worry and fret just like Adam and you will stride forward towards the end just like Gansey (walking ~is~ only for normal people after all). But most of all you hope beyond hope that their story doesn’t end how it started; with a young boy in his Aglionby uniform, his shoulders soaked with rain and the words “that’s all there is” just like Blue.

And the reason why it was the worst? Because it ended and I wasn’t quite ready to let go.
Have you guys read this one? Started this series?? Let us know what you think! Also, say hi to Carla!! :)

In Which Summer Clings On For Dear Life (AND I LIKE IT) — September Rewind

Image From This Month

Fall readingFollow me on Instagram to see more images from my month

SEPTEMBER In One Word

SUMMER-LIKE
I’m so happy Summer weather decided to stick around a bit!!

 

5 Things About My Life In September:

1. Will and I went to the last Radio 104.5 Block party & saw some amazing bands: Our alternative rock station puts on these free concerts in the summer! It has been on our bucket list of sorts to go and we FINALLY snagged the free tickets for the last one! We got to see Grouplove, Wolf Gang, Sir Sly, Vance Joy and Bricks + Mortar — all music I LOVE. It was raining and kind of cold but we stuck it out and had a good time — minus the moments where I felt like an old grumpy lady because THE YOUTH were acting a fool.

2. I saw Stephanie Perkins TWICE — She came to TWO local indies and so obviously I went to both events. OBVIOUSLY.

3. I went to two other amazing book events: Sarah J. Maas, Susan Dennard, Tiff Schmidt and Liz Norris came to town and it was SUCH a fun event. And then the Fierce Reads tour came to me! You can check out my Fierce Reads interview here!

Sarah J. Maas Heir of Fire selfie

4. Lots of park days & outside reading: - Seriously, it was SO nice out this month that I didn’t have to give up my outside reading!! SUNSHINE AND WARMTH I LOVE YOU.

5. I enjoyed some Fall food: I have NOT had a pumpkin spice latte this year and I’m only planning on having ONE every Fall for a few different reasons. HOWEVER, I had pumpkin gingersnap ice cream (tasted like PUMPKIN PIE) and a pumpkin cream cheese donut. SO THERE’S THAT.

 

 

6 Songs That Were Most Popular On My Ipod This Month:

I put all my Monthly Rewinds In a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here now ! I also have my September playlist which honestly I’m kind of obsessed with so you should check out the rest of the songs I was listening to! WAS SO HARD TO NARROW DOWN.

 

 

1. Stolen Dance — Milky Chance ( I really like the song Down By The River too) I know this song was on my radar earlier this year but I have no idea HOW and WHERE but it was one of those experiences where I was like OMG THIS WAS THE SONG I HAD HEARD BUT DIDN’T KNOW WHAT IT WAS until I came across one of the new singles.

2. Night Window — Young Liars

3. You and Me — You+Me — Okay okay so I’m really excited about this collab. So it’s Alecia Moore (PINK) and Dallas from City and Colour. Alecia is from my hometown (literally she went to my same middle school & her childhood house is on my road) so I’m SO stoked for this  because I’ve always loved her voice and enjoyed her music because I ROOT FOR MY HOMETOWN GIRL but this just showcases her voice so much and is much more my style of music than what she does as PINK.

4. All I Want — Dawn Golden

5. Celeste — Ezra Vine

6. Out of My Mind — The Madden Brothers

Honorable Mentions: Wild Love by GosslingThe Lake by Fences, Sailing by The Strumbellas, The Wild Life by Vacationer, Io & I by Impala Ray, Been There Before by Ghost Beach, Beatings by Cove

Follow my September playlist

 

 

Top 3 Books I Read This Month:

I read 9 books this month!

1. The Young Elites by Marie Lu — AHHH I raced through this one. It’s going to be a great series. I know it.
2. Girl Defective by Simmone Howell – Another Aussie win for me!
3. 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen — I was really glad I gave this one a chance!

 

Most Popular Review This Month

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

My review of A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

 

 

Most Popular 5 Blog Posts Overall This Month

1. I’m a Distracted Reader…Like the Worst!!– I’m glad I’m not the only one!! Although I wish none of us had this problem??
2. SEEKING THE PERFECT BOOK– STILL SEEKING.
3. My Halloween reading plan: Thanks for all the recs in the comments!!
4. Life Is Too Short For That It didn’t get many comments but view-wise it was popular! I’m glad so many of you were with me on this! It felt good to write it to be honest.
5. New To The Queue {7} : I love doing these posts!

 

 

What I’ve Been Up To On The Youtubes This Month:

I did a September TBR video and a book haul!

3 New Obsessions In September

1. Pumpkin cream cheese donut – This donut place is DANGEROUS. Will and I had 2 Saturday donut dates in a row and I’m OBSESSED. We also got maple bacon donuts and peanut butter fluff ones.

2. Polish Dark Chocolate: OMG OMG I am savoring my last piece. The people I work for went to Poland and brought me back this dark chocolate and it was PHENOMENAL. Will doesn’t even eat chocolate really and he was obsessed.

3. The Killing: Will and I started watching this show and are HOOKED!

 

3 Things I’m Looking Forward To In October

1. Can I say my birthday?: I can’t decide if I’m excited for it or not. I mean, I’m going to be 29 and that scares me because it’s my last full year being a twenty something. WHAT EVEN??? Like how am I that old?? Do you ever think…how did I get here??
2. Epic Reads in Princeton: WOOOO the Epic Reads tour is coming to town!!
3. Fall festivals: ALL OF THEM!

 


Favorite Quote From A Book I Read In September

Two books I read this month had a lot of really quote-worthy passages.

This one was really simple but it really resonated with me:

” We can’t be afraid of change,” she tells us. “Or else we’ll miss out on everything.”  – Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

This book was freaking beautiful with every page:

“Our relationship still has too many blank spaces, and I’m sick of people I love being defined by stories I haven’t heard first hand” Words & Their Meanings by Kate Bassett (which I’ll talk about more on the blog later)


5 Posts I Starred In My Reader That You Should Check Out

1. On Trusting Your GutI had a similar post scheduled (but a more specific thing) when I read this and well the way Hannah put it all just was SO MUCH BETTER than my post haha.

2. That Awkward In-Between Place: So relevant to my life right now. Going from point A to point B (place you’re unhappy with to place you long to be in) gets weird and awkward and frizzy for a while. But you have to go through the icky transitional phase in order to realize any real change. You have to learn to sit with the discomfort and antsy-ness if you ever want to emerge on the other side.”

3. Sorry But Your Problems Are Not As Complicated As You Think: Real talk! This chronic over-complicator needed this.

4. Making space – holding the container open, empty and ready: Really great post about change and cleaning out — people, things, thoughts, that which isn’t US anymore. making space is about removing what’s dead in your life so new growth can flourish

5. Social Media + Living the Present As A Memory: Food for thought. I’ve been thinking A LOT about social media and my consumption of it and how I live because of it. More conscious. (Obviously because a couple posts on this list LAST month were related).

 

 

 

Pick a category (or 5… or all of them) and tell me what went on in YOUR life this month!! What sort of things were noteworthy for you this month? New obsessions? Any new song recs?? Best books you read this month? Great posts I missed on your blog?

 

Life Is Too Short For That!

I was having a conversation with the wife of one of Will’s friends about what I read and she said something along the lines of “Ah yeah..I read some YA…gotta have those guilty pleasures.”  I know she meant it harmlessly, knowing her, but it still made me rage-y under the surface FOR SO MANY REASONS. I made a little comment about how my reading life has gotten BETTER since I started reading young adult and then changed the subject because I REALLY didn’t want to get into it.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been totally guilty of using the term “guilty pleasures”  back in the day. I used it when I read Twilight and when I first started reading YA in general. I used it when I liked watching certain reality tv shows. I think when I used the word I was trying to play it off like, “I don’t REALLY like this but it entertains me/is so addictive.” I think that when I used to say it, it implied that I should be embarrassed about it. That my tastes are beyond it. BUT I AM ADMITTING THAT SO IT’S LESS EMBARRASSING.

Sidenote: The thing is, in my head, I still THINK of certain things in that same box that I deemed “guilty pleasures” but I don’t feel GUILTY about them anymore…but don’t have a better phrase for it? There’s an array of tv shows/movies/books that fall in that category for ME. (I mean, really, some of the reality shows I’ve been known to watch??). What I mean, in some cases, I know it’s like JUNK FOOD but I still ENJOY IT. And that’s OKAY. (Also, I keep those things to myself so that I don’t make people feel bad if it is THEIR favorite and it’s my fun thing that I’m not being critical about though I could).

Back then I think I personally wasn’t confident enough to own what I was reading or watching so I felt like I HAD to offer up that “guilty pleasure” to justify it. Because I couldn’t just like it because I DID. I had some sort of image I wanted to put out there, I guess, and those “guilty pleasures” would somehow tarnish that.

But here’s the thing I realized after college….life is too short for me to pretend to like things I don’t like or denying myself things that I DO like. It’s too short not to let myself be 100% passionate about things I feel so deeply just because someone else might scoff at it or deem it not as worthy as something else.

I spent a lot of years in college doing just that. I pretended to like things I didn’t like just to fit in with the group of people I hung out with. I pushed aside a lot of the things I truly LOVED because I felt ashamed about them. I tucked away the true passions of my heart and snuffed out some of those fundamental things that made me ME. Because I didn’t feel confident to own them like YEAH I LIKE THIS SO WHAT? I cared too much what people thought and I let it dictate what I did/liked. And honestly? I kind of felt a little lost. I was happy but below the surface sometimes I felt like I wasn’t being the truest ME. Eventually I got to a really miserable point a year or two after graduating college where I was SO sick of living like that. Denying myself things I liked. Forcing myself to be interested in things I wasn’t.

So I just stopped one day.

I embraced all that I loved no matter what anyone thought about it. I stopped pretending to be into those things I wasn’t which was the biggest relief in the world — seriously NO MORE PRETENDING TO LIKE FOOTBALL. And I can honestly say I’ve felt more like myself than I ever have before and I LOVE IT. I can’t make up for the missed time when I wasn’t doing that but I will never ever let anyone, or my bouts of feeling self conscious, EVER let me feel guilty for the things I like.

So own your reading choices and all the other things you love. OWN THEM. Wear your love for it like a badge. Drop any guilt anyone makes you feel because I guarantee, when you are on your death bed, you won’t be regretting the fact you were confident with your choices and the things that made you YOU. You won’t wish that you hid them more and were less your self.

I could think of a million words that describe my reading choices — smart, fun, pleasurable, life-changing, evocative, etc- and let me tell you…no form of the word guilt is in there anywhere.

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