4 Bookish Blogs I’ve Added To My Reader Recently

So here’s the thing. I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years (come next month) and I’ve met A LOT of bloggers and I’ve seen a lot of bloggers go. It’s hard cleaning out your blog reader and seeing that blogs you loved abandoned theirs or dear friends who started at the same time as you announcing they are quitting (hai Jen, Anna, Tara, Kristi, Melanie and so many others).

The blog landscape is always evolving. So are the people. It’s bittersweet. I love meeting new people but it’s sad to watch so many of them fade away (especially if I only really had a “blog relationship” with them). It’s this ebb and flow of watching people come and go. I am grateful for the people I meet along the way regardless. But it’s hard after 5 years. I won’t lie.

When I worked at Forever 21 after college and was frustrated because I felt like the girls weren’t super friendly to me, a girl who worked there told me, “We aren’t super friendly to new people not because we are rude but because when you are here a long time it gets hard to say goodbye so often with the turnaround here and also to constantly have to make new relationships.”

Though I disagree with initial snubbing as a defensive sort of mechanism, I understand this sentiment in ways when it comes to blogging. If you know me I am super welcoming, friendly and talkative with new bloggers. I’m always there to support and make new friends. Lots of great new bloggers come into this community every year and I’m so thankful for that and inspired by the fresh air they bring. But I won’t say it doesn’t get hard “finding your people” after you already found them so many years ago and then they left. It is hard to keep opening yourself up again and again and hoping for lasting relationships and new blogs to love like you loved past ones. It’s HARD to not get stuck in your ways after 5 years — just reading the blogs you’ve always read and staying close only to the people you have always been close with. Maybe this is where people think there are ~cliques~ amongst the more established blogs but it’s really that so few of us have remained in it for THAT long that we cling to each other. We’ve established friendships that have lasted all these years and that really IS something in an ever changing landscape.

As much as I am welcoming and friendly and supportive of new bloggers on the scene, I know sometimes it is hard for me to fully connect these days. I feel disconnected. A little out of the loop. Kind of irrelevant at times. On bad days like the “get off my lawn” type of cranky lady. I’ve been trying to combat this feeling and to stop thinking so much about “THE GOOD OL’ DAYS”, which truly were formative and important and are what made me love this hobby, and embrace what everything is now and what I can contribute to it.

So, after that long-winded explanation, I wanted to share some blogs that I’ve actually added into my blog reader recently. While I might talk to a lot of bloggers and visit their blogs via Twitter and comments and such, adding new blogs to my reader is something I do very rarely because I’m constantly so sad to have to take them out when they vanish. Also I’m lazy and always behind on things. But I’ve been trying to get better and figured I’d share a few I think you should check out.

They aren’t necessarily NEW bloggers….just ones I’ve added to my reader lately so that I can make it a point to keep up with them when I have my shit together and am using my blog reader.

 

1. Lindsey at Bring My Books:

Lindsey reads a variety of stuff and I love it! She also talks movies on her blog which I love because obviously I love movies. I love fangirling all things Sarah J. Maas with her!

2. Laura from Scribbles & Wanderlust

Laura is another one who reads widely — love her YA and adult recommendations! Her blog has been around for a while but it wasn’t until the last year-ish that I started reading her blog more regularly! Plus she’s a literary agent and bookseller so I love her perspective from all sides of the book world.

3. Leah from The Pretty Good Gatsby

Leah is my go-to for adult fiction — especially historical fiction!! She’s so sweet to talk to on Twitter and I love when she yells at me lovingly to read books she loves!

 

4. Nikki from There Were Books Involved

Nikki reads mostly YA of a variety of genres but she is my go-to for anything non-contemporary these days..especially fantasy! She writes really great reviews and when that girl fangirls over her favorites MAN does she fangirl. I LOVE IT. There are some authors/books that make me automatically think of Nikki because of her extreme love and enthusiasm for them!

I hope you’ll check them out and follow them on social media! Check out my sidebar for other blogs I love (by no means an exhaustive list and I hate knowing I’ve left people out).

Tell me some bookish blogs you’ve added to your reader lately! Or if your blog is new (within the past year especially) tell me a little about yourself/blog and say hi!

Book Talk: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

Book Talk: Liars, Inc. by Paula StokesLiars, Inc. by Paula Stokes
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen- April 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA, YA Mystery
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: The Art of Lainey
AmazonGoodreadsTwitter

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

 

 

 

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

 

A1

Max, his best friend Preston and his girlfriend Parvarti start this business (they call it Liars, Inc) of selling forged permission slips and tests and excuse notes to their classmates. Basically they provide students with cover stories and such. Business is going great and they are making lots of money until Preston asks Max for a cover story of his own to go meet a girl he met online and then nobody hears from him. Soon the police are looking for him and Max seems to be suspect #1.

a2HMM why don’t I read more mysteries?

a4

I don’t often read a lot of mysteries but I do like them! Every time after I read one I wonder why I don’t read more of them. I love being kept on the edge of my seat and constantly guessing who did it or what is going on. It’s so fun! (I also really loved Nancy Drew and Clue as a kid). Liars, Inc. definitely kept me on my toes with its twists and turns. I guessed right quite a bit before it was revealed but I was impressed with the way the clues were laid out and loved waiting to see if my suspicions were right. It was definitely an explosive ending.

I seriously could not stop reading it. Paula Stokes hooked me from the beginning — like the first page which is always a welcome feeling to just feel like you are going headfirst right into the tangly web. And after that strong start I was just devouring it because I had to know what was going on. The circumstances were so fishy around Preston’s disappearance and it was so frustrating that it looked like Max was being framed. Every time something made him look like suspect #1 I was like just like NO NO NO. This story was full of tangled webs and lies. LOTS OF LIES. Lies that started everything, lies that keep it all going.

There was a romance in this book. It was important to the story but I can’t say I really had many feelings either way towards it. I was more interested in the twists and the turn which the romance did factor into it in ways.

Overall, I enjoyed the ride and the characters though, I feel like, because I’m such a character-driven reader that I never fall in love with mysteries or their characters as much as I do other kinds of books. That’s not to say in SOME mysteries I don’t but that always seems to be my deal with most. I think? But sometimes I also read mysteries for different reasons than I read other genres so that’s okay? Anyways, I will say I thought the characters to be very well written compared to a lot mysteries I read so YAY.

a6RATING-LIKED

factors+ page-turning qualities, twists & turns, interesting plot
–  didn’t completely blow me away like I need to rate a mystery higher (I need complete mindfuckery for that)

Re-readability: No
Would I buy a copy for my collection? No, not personally because it’s not a favorite or one I would re-read. I tend to borrow rather than buy mysteries.

a5YA readers who like mysteries, people wanting a quick read that will be HARD to put down, readers who are newer to mysteries (I think if you read A LOT of them it’s not WOW enough to be honest), fans of Dangerous Girls looking for more like that (though I rated DG higher for sure)

a8Liars, Inc was a twisty, turny mystery that I gobbled right up. Intriguing premise and characters and full of tangled webs and lies. Reminded me how much I love reading mysteries!

review-on-post-it

Liars, Inc by Paula Stokes

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?

Did you guess what was going on (if talking spoilers, which I would LOVE to do with you, please mark them in the comments)?

What did you think of the whole Max and Parvarti situation?

Do you have any recs for good YA mysteries? The more crazy and twisty the better!

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

Book Talk: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

Book Talk: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi KirbyThings We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby
Publisher/Year: HarperTeen- April 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: Golden, Moonglass, In Honor
AmazonGoodreadsTwitter

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

 

 

 

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

 

A1

Quinn’s boyfriend passed away tragically. Over the past year she’s kind of stopped LIVING life as Trent’s life ended. Trent was an organ donor and one of the things she HAS been doing is making contact with all the people who received his organs. She’s heard from all except the person who got his heart. She does her own research to find who it is and she finds out it is a boy around her age. She decides she just needs to go see him and get some closure. She’s read his story from his sister’s blog and knows a lot about him. She doesn’t plan to talk to him, just see him from afar, but a run-in they have results in them spending time together and Quinn keeps the secret of who she really is despite how close they are growing closer and Colton gives Quinn this vigor for life again as she sees how he approaches life.

a2*gets copying quotes down into quote notebook* GOD HER BOOKS MAKE ME THINK/ARE ALWAYS SO QUOTEABLE.

a4It’s always a little nerve-wracking as much as it is exciting when one of your favorite authors has a new book out. WILL I LOVE IT? WILL I NOT? And Jessi Kirby is one of my favorite authors (you should really check out her books Golden, Moonglass and In Honor). I’m happy to report that we’ve got another book for me to love in Things We Know By Heart.

Let’s talk about some things I really enjoyed about this one.

1. The setting: OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS. Jessi Kirby always knows how to write a good setting. All of her books have this atmospheric quality. I mean she really has you hearing the waves and feeling the sand between your toes or taking in the starry sky. This had a beach setting again, like Moonglass, and OH it made me want to pack my stuff and head to the West Coast. Everywhere they went and everything they did…I could just picture it so well. Jessi is one of the best when it comes to creating the setting and it really adds to my reading experience. She transports you in a way that most can’t and did that ESPECIALLY well here in Things We Know By Heart.

2. The hurdles in the romance: I mean, if you’ve read the summary, you know that the dude was the recipient of a heart transplant — her boyfriend’s heart. He LITERALLY has the heart of her boyfriend who passed away  and she falls for him. She knows exactly who he is because she needed to see the recipient of her boyfriend’s heart. She knows she’s crossing the lines when she hangs out with him and then when feelings start to blossom. SHE KNOWS. She feels how weird this is. AND HE DOESN’T KNOW WHO SHE IS AND THE CONNECTION THEY SHARE. I understood her resistance but also how she couldn’t deny a real connection. It’s such a cute romance that is driven by a lot of things but it’s so hard because you KNOW at some point THE REVEAL has to happen in some way. I kept waiting for that moment. It was

3. The exploration of grief: Quinn has really let herself be so consumed with her grief when we meet her. She’s so shut inside of herself and has basically stopped really living and moving forward. When she meets Colton he’s had the exact opposite reaction to that day. He’s finally able to think of a future and he’s really LIVING because he’s been so sick for so long. I loved the contrast of the two who were both impacted by Trent’s death and how Colton’s excitement for life starts to remind Quinn what it’s like to be ALIVE and that she still gets to live. Quinn was hard to connect with for me at first but I really loved watching her want to live life again.

4. HER WORDS: Jessi Kirby writes beautifully and just there are these sentences that are just WOAH. And she makes you think! Beautiful prose in this one as I’ve come to expect! SO QUOTEABLE.

 

a6RATING-reallyliked

factors+ writing, plot, feels, romance
–  wish I connected a little more with Quinn (and also seen more of her and Trent so I could really feel/understand why her grief was the way it was)

Re-readability: Possibly yes because the writing was so good and the romance was so cute.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Yes because I want to own all Jessi’s books

a5contemporary YA fans, fans of Jessi’s other books, readers who love Sarah Dessen and want to branch out (my cousin who just rereads SD books over and over listened to my Jessi Kirby rec and loves her books now),

a8Things We Know By Heart was so, so good. It was equal parts sweet and sad and wholly a book that reminds you that, while every day could be your last because life is so fragile, every day is also a chance to live fully in that day and recognize what a gift it truly is. Very life-affirming stuff! Now I need y’all to go buy all of Jessi’s books because they are all worth it!

review-on-post-itThings We KNow By heart by jessi kirby

 

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

A Release Day Guest Post & Giveaway From Sarah J. Maas

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Sarah J. Maas — the author AND the person. She’s the author who made me fall in love with fantasy and opened this whole new world to me. I mean, Throne of Glass holds the spot for my current favorite series and, after reading A Court of Thorns and Roses earlier this year, I have a GOOD feeling it’s going to be competing with the Throne of Glass series. And as a person?  She is amazing. So kind and generous and genuine. So good to her fans. SO SO good to them. And if you’ve ever seen her in action (possibly with her bff Susan Dennard — oh the two of them!) she is so funny and a damn good time!

 

Bs6grBxCMAA5ijXSarah J. Maas Heir of Fire selfie

 

So, I can’t tell you how honored I am to have her on the blog on the release day of A Court of Thorns and Roses. She’s so deserving of the praise and love for her books and I hope you all fall in love with this latest series from her like I did (you can check out my thoughts here).
 So now I’m going to let Sarah take it away and I’m going to warn you…this post made some tears pay a visit to my face!

 ACOTAR blog tour banner

 

I’ve been thinking for some time now about what I’ll say today, what I’ll write about to properly convey my feelings now that A Court of Thorns and Roses is officially out in the world. I wrote the first draft of this book way back in 2009—before I ever sold Throne of Glass—and then let it collect proverbial dust on my computer for years. But during those years, I’d open up that word document—not to edit or tweak, but just to reread, to visit these characters that had somehow stolen a piece of my heart, and who wouldn’t let me forget it.

[Keep Reading]

Book Talk: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Book Talk: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Publisher/Year: Balzer & Bray- April 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: How To Love
AmazonGoodreadsTwitter

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

 

 

 

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

 

A1

Molly has just returned from boarding school after she just up and left after her bad decision to cheat on her boyfriend — with his brother — is exposed. She plans on spending the summer holed up in her house biding her time until she leaves for college but when she runs into Gabe, the brother she cheated with, she finds herself spending some time with him and eventually runs into Patrick, the brother she cheated on. Having the two boys and all the unresolved feelings in her radius all summer makes for an interesting summer.

a2Well that was quite the messy ride!

a4

Oh this is going to be a book that divides people and I cannot wait to discuss it with you all. I’m just putting this out here — if love triangles or cheating are absolute deal-breakers for you in a book…you might have trouble with this one. Do I particularly enjoy those things (in fiction or real life)? No. But, when well done, they work for me in fiction. And I’ll tell you this…Katie Cotugno is the QUEEN of writing really messy and complicated things well. (You should also check out her book How to Love which I adored). I could NOT put this one down because I just HAD to know what was going to happen.

It’s a premise that, from the beginning, let’s you know there is going to be a bit of drama — a girl cheats on her boyfriend with his brother. YIKES RIGHT? She comes home for the summer, after up and leaving for boarding school after everything happens, and is biding her time quietly with her Netflix and Red Vines before college starts — until she is reunited with Gabe (the brother she cheated with). It’s very very sticky already and let me just tell you IT GETS STICKIER. As she hangs out with Gabe, she sees Patrick a lot. The two boys being in her radius all summer brings up a LOT of feelings. All those angry feelings. All the guilt and regret. All the confusing romancey feelings. It all spills over.

I am not a person who would cheat or would condone cheating. EVEN IN A BOOK. But the way Katie writes the story I found myself torn on Molly’s behalf. There’s the old boyfriend who was sweet and she loved but they weren’t without their problems. They have a long history and were everything to each other. She feels so guilty that she made a mistake with the brother  but she doubts he would ever take her back and she isn’t altogether sure if that’s what she wants completely. And then there is the brother she cheated with, Gabe. She’s attracted to him and he takes her mind off a lot of the hate she gets. She grows to really have feelings for him. She knows it feels weird to be shoving it in Patrick’s face for them to have a relationship but she can’t deny her feelings. I could FEEL the tension — history vs. something new, the person you betrayed vs. the person you betrayed him with. It’s not a position I would want to be in ever but I understood the confusing feelings that even logic or your conscience can’t keep at bay.

I didn’t agree with Molly for MOST of this book. If you are a person who needs to agree with a character’s actions to make or break you liking a book, you will struggle. I constantly was like, even though I understood her messy dilemma, NO STOP NO. BAD DECISION. BAD DECISION. But, I don’t know, in my life especially as a teenager I know that sometimes you WILL make bad decisions — logic and reason and your values mixed with feelings/confusion/uncertainty/feeling in the moment/hormones make for some stupid decisions sometimes. Molly was definitely following her heart/hormones and, even though she knew how wrong she was, she still did it anyways. It’s frustrating as a reader but it didn’t make me NOT like the book and I really enjoyed getting to know Molly in this tumultuous time of her life. She’s flawed and it takes her a long time to learn from her mistakes and I liked that. It felt real. She doesn’t back down and owns up to her crap eventually. I think some interactions with other females in this book, Tess and Imogen, are definitely things that make her grow. She does some shitty things but I found myself rooting for her to sort out all her business and accept her consequences. It reminded me that you can come back from things, albeit they won’t be all sunshine and roses, even from some crappy mistakes/actions.

One thing I love that this book explored was the double standards involved when a girl and a guy cheat. Molly is called a slut and gets bullied and her house egged. The dudes get none of that crap. It took two people to make that happen and I’m glad it was explored in this book! Molly gets all the crap yet there are way more than one person in the wrong in this book!!

 

a6RATING-loved-it

factors+ addictive, character with such a raw and emotional arc, writing
–  maybe the ending? I’m still sorting how I felt about it.

Re-readability: Maybe!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? I have one and it’s beautiful!

a5readers of contemporary YA, readers who like messy and complicated subjects, readers who aren’t completely dissuaded by love triangles/cheating/characters who aren’t easy to like

a8While on the surface this book might just seem like a romance with a love triangle between two brothers but it is SO much more than that. It’s about making mistakes (repeatedly) and growing from it the hard way — realizing you CAN come back from it and take control over your life again. It’s messy and complicated but felt so true to life. I could NOT put this down and was frantically racing through the pages because it had my nerves all a mess. I’ll repeat it again — Katie Cotugno is the queen of writing messy/complicated/flawed REALLY REALLY well.

review-on-post-it99 Days Katie Cotugno

 

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?
Did you like Molly or did her actions make it hard for you to?
How did you feel about the ending? (mark spoilers please!)

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

May To-Be-Read List

Hi guys! Here’s what’s on my TBR list for May! I’m a mood reader so typically TBR lists aren’t something I do but I’m TRYING. I feel like I got a variety of books in the stack to suit various moods!

I’ve put it in two formats — video for those of you who like that and I’ll post a picture and a sentence for each of them for those who don’t like watching video type stuff. The video is about 6 minutes and I go into a little more detail so FUN TIMES FOR ALL.

 

 

 

 

And for those who don’t want to watch a video:

MAY TBR

Made You Up by Francesca Zappa: A May release about a girl who has schizophrenia. Really intrigued by the prospect of an unreliable narrator as she can’t always tell real from not real.

Strange & Ever After by Susan Dennard: Last book of this trilogy and OMG I CANNOT EVEN. I have been putting it off because I don’t want it to end. I highly recommend this trilogy  if you haven’t already read it.

A Straight Line to My Heart by Bill Condon: An Aussie book I picked up on a whim!

An Ember In Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: I’m excited to see what this fantasy is all about — the Rome-like setting is what sold it for me!

A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith: I loved Hilary’s debut novel, Wild Awake, and this looks like a good one about friendship!

Hold Me Like A Breath by Tiffany Schmidt: CRIME FAMILY FAIRYTALE RETELLING! Princess & the Pea!

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen: New Sarah Dessen! Nuff said!

The Survival Kit by Donna Freidas: This looks saaaaaad. I can’t wait haha. It’s about a girl who loses her mom but her mom leaves a “survival kit” for life for her.

Have you read any of the books on my list for May? What books are YOU planning to read in May?

Fan of Sarah J. Maas? Of Sarah Dessen? Of Sabaa Tahir?

YOU GUYS. May is going to be pretttyyyy epic. Read my April recap and see what I’m looking forward to in May. BUT I am so, so grateful for 3 opportunities I get this month in regards to book events.

CAN YOU GUYS FLAIL WITH ME? Because Will did not flail sufficiently when I was excited about it and I was so sad. HE IS THE WORST. (Whaaaatever Will).

post-54595-Taylor-Swift-annoyed-reaction-PEHb

 

OKAY, so get your flails ready with me because I’m legit excited and y’all will understand (THANK GOD FOR THE INTERNET, amirite?).

I will be moderating Sarah’s release party for A Court of Thorns & Roses and interviewing both Sarah Dessen and Sabaa Tahir before their events around here.

EEEEE.

Taylor-Swift-dancing-GIF

(Ten bucks says I’m going to lose my shit trying to talk to Sarah Dessen).

SO SO SO….I mostly have all my questions planned out for each of these things BUT I want to know what YOU, my readers, want to know. So, if you have a question for any of these 3 authors leave it in the comments. I’ll pick one I like best for each other and ask it! The Sarah Dessen and Sabaa Tahir events I’ll come back and have on interview here but the Sarah J. Maas event isn’t quite an interview but I’ll get your answer to you via a recap or something!

I can’t wait to see your questions for these ladies!!!

April 2015 Recap: My Life in Photos, Music, Books & MORE!

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bookstagram photo

Follow me on Instagram to see more images from my month

 mr2a

1. I got sunburned: I’m not particularly excited about THAT but I’m excited about the fact we had a beautiful 80 degree day in which Will and I went to our favorite brew pub, sat out on the deck and the walked around that part of the city. And I got the most amazing cookie ice cream sandwich EXCEPT  for the fact that moment was tainted by a guy who came INTO the store with a very big snake wrapped around his neck and I had a panic attack. COULD NOT GET OUT OF THERE FAST ENOUGH. But yay cute outfit weather?? Unleashing my pasty legs on the world!!!

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2. I had a walk down memory lane that was kind of hard — So, my stepdad is getting remarried (my mom passed away in 2006 for those of you who don’t know that). My sister and I are still very close to my stepdad and we both still have stuff there at his house in our rooms. BUT the new wife and her kids are moving in soon and so we had to go clean out our stuff and also go through some of my mom’s stuff. It was really, really hard to clean out my mom’s stuff and watch all the things that still made me think of my mom in the house basically be taken down. It feels like another part of the grieving process. Another piece I’m losing of her and it was hard. Going through my stuff made me all nostalgic but I found some childhood books and stuff. It’s a weird feeling to realize you won’t have a room in your childhood home anymore. I will go there and basically be a visitor.

3. I have been consistently working out this month: I had gotten out of habit this year but April was definitely the month of getting back on the wagon and I feel GREAT. It takes a lot for me to motivate myself to do it but once I’m doing it and after I feel great (even if I’m dying and sore).

4. I got to see my dad TWICE in one month– My dad lives 4 hours away and Will & I went up and visited him for Easter but then he and my stepmom just came down this past week for my niece’s 18th birthday party.

5. I officially decided I’m going to BEA: I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen this year — money-wise and just if I WANTED to go but over Easter weekend I officially decided that I would especially since next year is in Chicago and that will be way harder for me to go if I’m still blogging and interested in going.

 

mr3

I put all my Monthly Rewinds in a Spotify playlist so you can listen to them here !

 

1. Let Me Down Easy — Max Frost


2. Bros — Wolf Alice

3. Still Want You — Brandon Flowers


4. Carried Away — Dionysia

5. What’s Real — Waters

6. Painted — MS MR

 HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Until We Can’t (Let’s Go) by Passion Pit, Shame by Young Fathers, Wild Eyes by Matthew Mayfield, 1999 by Active Child, Change Is Everything by Son Lux

 

Check out the rest of my April playlist

 

mr4

I read 11 books this month (2 of them being via audiobooks)

 

99 Days by Katie Cotugno: I LOVED Katie’s debut How To Love and I seriously enjoyed this one as well as HARD it is to read. The character is uber flawed and makes mistakes and does shitty things and I loved it. Katie is the queen of writing uber messy and complicated stuff. Especially in this case to make me like a character who does things I am so not down with. Post to come on this one!

All the Rage by Courtney Summers: SUCH AN IMPORTANT BOOK. I vote it should be required reading for all teenagers (and adults obviously).

Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby: What a sweet and heartfelt book this was! Post to come on this one!

 

 

 mr5

 

Something real by heather demetrios

I really enjoyed my second Heather Demetrios book, Something Real, (I was backwards and read her debut after I read I’ll Meet You There). Such a good discussion starter!!

 

 

mr10

“The great thing about this life of ours is that you can be someone different to everybody.” — All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I was really thinking about this one. It’s SO true.

mr6

1. If We Were Having CoffeeI love this chats with you all. Thanks for letting me talk and thanks for sharing stuff with me!

2. Whatcha In The Mood For: I’m so excited for my new series on this blog and I’m glad you loved it too!

3. I Need A Recommendation: Audiobooks: You guys are CLUTCH! Thank you for all your suggestions. STILL going through them all weeks later!!!

4. 10 Inspiring Quotes From Books: LOVE THESE QUOTES SO MUCH.

5. My 3 Part Series Trying to Explain Where My Head Has Been At Lately With Reading: I’m glad I broke this into 3 parts rather than the mess of a post it was before. Post 1, Post 2, Post 3!

 

mr12ANY of my book talks! I keep trying to figure out if it’s that people don’t care about things that resemble reviews (my book talks) in general or if it’s me.

 

mr7

Oh HEY I posted a video this month:

April Book Haul

 

mr11

1.  Notes On Authenticity: This blogger has been one of my favorite travel blogs for years because she always writes such thought-provoking posts.

2. Because I Don’t Want To: I really loved this post. So many times I feel like I need to come up with good reasons not to do something and, you know what, sometimes the fact that I just don’t want to is a good enough reason. Also, the idea of doing things just because you HAVE been really resonated with me. “Just because you’ve been doing something a certain way for a month or a year or 10 years doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it that way. If you want to stop, you can stop. If you want to change, you can change.”   Especially in relation to my blog. It’s given me motivation to take a step back and look at the things I’ve been doing “just because it’s the way I’ve done things for 5 years” rather than because I actually still desire to.

3. 9 Life Lessons From Kimmy Schmidt: I just bingewatched and LOVED The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt so I loved this post!

4. Always One More Time: I needed this little reminder!

5. Remove One Word From Your Vocab & It Will Change Your Life: Oh my gosh I say this ALL the time. I’m trying to experiment with banning this from my vocab.

mr8

1. Ginger Pear tea from Trader Joe’sI feel like my picks are always new teas but I LOVE MY TEA, OKAY? This one was new in the store and UM YEAH I had to have it.
2. My Crafted Van bookmark collection – I was NOT a bookmark user before these really. I would dogear or use makeshift bookmarks. But I LOVE THESE. Except RIP I lost my unicorn bookmark already.
Crafted Van bookmarks
 3. Audiobooks: I used to be obsessed with audiobooks but really stopped listening to them. This was the month I FINALLY got back into them and I listen to them A LOT — while I’m driving, on the treadmill, while I’m cleaning, while I’m getting ready and Will isn’t here.

 

mr9

1. ALL THE LOCAL BOOK EVENTS: Sarah J. Maas release party for ACOTAR (in which I am moderating), Sabaa Tahir, Sarah Dessen, Tiffany Schmidt’s release party and the Openly YA tour. If you are in the Philly area and want info about these events let me know!!
2. Our first Block Party concert: I’ve talked about how our local alt/indie station puts on free concerts in the summer (you have to just be fast enough to get the free tickets that are released). Will and I got tickets and will be seeing Banks, The Airborne Toxic Event, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Bad Suns.
3. BOOK EXPO OF AMERICA: EEEEE so excited. This is year #5 for me and I can’t wait to see friends and do ALL THE FUN THINGS. I’m planning to do a meetup again like I did last year (we crossed Momufuku and Macbar off my bucket list) so stay tuned if you are going to BEA and want in. Gotta figure my schedule out but then will decide.

 

mr12

I ‘ve got two questions this month because one is definitely more blogger specific:

Are you going to BEA this year???

 

Who is one author you wish you could meet?

 

 

 

 

lets-talk

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? Answer to my question of the month?

Book Talk: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

Book Talk: None of the Above by I.W. GregorioNone of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Publisher/Year: Balzer & Bray- April 2015
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: None -- debut novel!
AmazonGoodreadsTwitter

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

 

 

 

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

 

A1

Kristin is pretty much your normal high school girl — well-liked and popular (even got crowned homecoming queen), has lots of friends, has a scholarship to college all lined up and has a boyfriend she’s pretty serious with. She decides to have sex with her boyfriend but it doesn’t go as planned so she makes an appointment with the lady doctor just to make sure everything is okay. She finds out that she’s intersex, a revelation that she can’t even begin to grasp, and before she has time to really come to terms with it herself, the news gets out and everyone at school knows.

a2*contemplates tweeting the author to ask what happens for the rest of Kristin’s life because I’m WAY TOO INVESTED*

a4

I love reading for a bajillion and one reasons but two of those reasons are to feel things and also to learn something and/or challenge my thinking. None of the Above ticked both of those boxes.

1. I was glad to learn about what being intersex means and was appreciative for a diverse read that featured it: Truthfully, I had no idea what intersex was before I started this book. Once I learned, from the book, what intersex was I realized I knew what it meant but I had known it by another name, a derogatory one. I was grateful already to be clear on what intersex is and what it isn’t. I.W Gregorio did a great job explaining it as we watch Kristin herself learn exactly what it means and what it means for her life.

2. I loved the exploration of identity in it: I appreciated so much this story of self-identity and how movingly written it was. Kristin had a sense of self identity before she’s told she’s intersex and afterwards she really struggles to know who she is. Is she a girl like she feels she is? Is she a boy because she does have male parts? She lives 17 years of her life and in one instant she feels like she no longer knows herself as a very basic, to most, component of her identity is no longer what she thought. I mean, you could FEEL the kind of confusion and upheaval this created for her  — even when people tried to explain to her she’s still the same person. And it went beyond just the identity of male/female — she can no longer, at her core, be the same person she was but it was moving how she discovered and rediscovered herself in many ways with an admirable strength and the support of people in her life.

3. THIS BOOK MADE ME FEEL THINGS SO HARD: Okay, so I physically could feel the shock and the confusion and the anguish through the initial doctor’s appointment where she found out and then after when she was trying to process it. I mean, I felt it in my heart and I just wanted to hug her. And that would be hard enough to process? BUT OH WAIT. PEOPLE FIND OUT AND THEN ACT REALLY SHITTY AND BULLY HER. I was seeing RED, guys. I mean, I was gripping this book so hard because of how MAD I was that I’m surprised it didn’t crumble in my hands. Everyone is SO awful to her. SO AWFUL. I wanted to cry so many times. They were cruel and the thing that killed me is I know how realistic it would be. I could the fear and the ignorance bring people to say all sorts of things like tell her she’s a dude and says she’s gay and just really have no FREAKING clue what they are talking about. None of the Above definitely showed how people are so hateful towards things they don’t understand. Thankfully there were some really great characters to make up for the ones who I wanted to punch in the face.

There was so much to appreciate about this novel but I will say that I wasn’t a fan of the romance, while cute, because it just detracted to me. I mean, thankfully it wasn’t an overshadowing plot point and it was great for Kristin to see that there ARE people out there that won’t be like her ex-boyfriend about it but I was more enjoying her personal journey with learning she was intersex and would have personally preferred no romance.

a6RATING-reallyliked

factors+ story, the main character Kristin, the feels, important topic
–  didn’t love the romance addition

Re-readability: I don’t know that I would. Picky with my rereads!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Not for my own personal collection (you know I only keep faves or books I would reread) but I am ABSOLUTELY checking to make sure my local library’s YA section has it and if they won’t order it I would totally buy it to donate because it’s IMPORTANT.

a5people looking for diverse voices, contemporary YA readers who like issue books that don’t feel heavy-handed, readers looking for a story about identity and self-discovery. I would also recommend to teachers and youth librarians because it’s excellent but also you need to make sure it’s in your collection!

a8I.W. Gregorio’s None of the Above is a powerful story that I wish all teens would read so that they’d learn to be more empathetic and less judgmental towards what they don’t understand/they see as different..and obviously to learn what intersex is. None of the Above brings a diverse and important voice to the YA scene through Kristin and her story — a story that will have you feeling an array of emotions and reflecting on self-identity.

review-on-post-it

None of the Above by IW Gregorio

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

 

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

I’ve Been In A Mood Part 3

I’ve been in a mood when it comes to reading in 2015. I’ve been having 3 very distinct and reoccurring feelings about reading thus far. This post was originally kind of a mess when I started it a couple weeks ago — a bunch of random thoughts all pasted haphazardly together with cement glue like 1st grade Jamie would have done (she also really like to let it get stuck to her fingers so she could peel it off). I didn’t think it was ever going to see the light of day. Thought maybe it was just something I needed to get out for myself. However, after I was chatting with some lovely ladies on Twitter about it, I decided to take a look at it again and every thought kind of started to fall under these 3 distinct feelings.   I’m going to talk about one over the course of the next 3 weeks to split it up because it would be massive (it’s already going to be too long because I’m overly verbose).

 

So we’ve come to the last part of my 3 part explanation of the state of my reading life this year. The other two things I shared (here and here) were definitely a reflection of habits created through blogging but this one doesn’t really seem to be related to the two. At least I don’t think it is.

This final persistent mood I’ve been feeling?

 

It’s the feeling of wanting to reread everything I’ve ever loved.

 

I’ve talked about in the past how I like re-reading in theory and how I used to re-read all the time before I started blogging. Time, my never-ending TBR list and the desire to experience new stories seem to be what has held me back from making re-reading a priority for me (plus that fear of things not holding up) but this year all I’ve DONE is crave re-reading.

Normally I crave new experiences, new characters, new words to fall in love with. I mean, there’s so much out there that could be a new favorite. I WANT TO DISCOVER IT.

But lately I just want to cozy up with old friends. I just finished a reread via audio of If I Stay by Gayle Forman (one of my favorite books) and am on the hold list for Where She Went. It’s been years since I’ve read these books in their entirety and it just felt so good to be back with Mia and Adam. You notice things that you never did before. You have a new appreciation for them when you revisit them sometimes.

All I can think about lately is how much I want to binge re-read the Throne of Glass series. I MEAN WHO AM I? I’m the girl who spends the first quarter of the next book in a series confused because I can’t remember crap and I refuse to devote time to reread. I just NEED to experience these books again. I mean, there is intense LONGING to be in them. Like physical LONGING. (The only reason I haven’t started rereading them is because I’m trying to hold off a little longer until we are closer to Queen of Shadows release).

I want to reread old childhood books I loved. I want to reread books I read as a teen. I want to read books I read at the beginning of my blogging journey. Things I read not so long ago but just love so much. I want to reread books that I think perspective and age may change my reading of it. I want to reread books that changed me.  (I did make a list of books I want to re-read not too long ago if you want a glimpse).

I don’t know why I have this intense desire to reread ALL THE THINGS. I haven’t particularly been going through hard time (I always want something familiar when life is crazy and hard). I mean, things feel kind of unsettled for me in some ways. Maybe that could be part of it? Maybe I’m so burnt out on all the NEW NEW NEW and my brain/heart don’t quite have the capacity for all that new right now? Maybe I just am feeling nostalgic? Especially since I’m going to be 30 this year and I’m having a semi-crisis over it even though I know there is no reason to.

Or maybe there isn’t overarching philosophical or BIG REASON as to why. Maybe it’s just the reading experience. Maybe we are meant to experience books we love more than once.

One of my FAVORITE books from this year, Emery Lord’s The Start Of Me & You, has some great quotes and thoughts about rereading:

“The point is that we already know it doesn’t work out, but we reread them anyways, because the good stuff that comes before the ending is worth it…Also, in books sometimes the foreshadowing is so obvious that you know what’s going to happen. But knowing what happens isn’t the same as knowing HOW it happens. Getting there is the best part.”

 

“I used to think rewatching and rereading were embarrassingly boring pastimes. But there is something to be said for how comforting it is to already know what happens. There is no such luxury in real life.”

 

 

Do you ever get in these “OMG I JUST WANT TO REREAD” moods? Are you a re-reader in general — why or why not? What drives you to reread? What sorts of books do you reread?

 

PS. I also love this post that Hannah wrote about her reading year so far wherein she’s had some persistent feelings as well that seem to be driving her reading!

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