Sunday, June 30, 2013

In My Mailbox (91)

Sunday, June 30, 2013
Photobucket

In My Mailbox

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Gabrielle Carolina at The Mod Podge Bookshelf to share what books you've bought, borrowed, or received in the past week. 
For Review:
Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky 

Bought:
The Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Robin Palmer

weekly recap

Monday

Tuesday

Thursday

Friday

Link me up to your mailboxes!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bookish Buys: ABCs

Friday, June 28, 2013
Each Friday I'll post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. Please know that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items.

Modern Wooden Alphabet Necklace
Wooden Alphabet Necklace
This necklace's designer is talented!

Vintage Alphabet Pendant - Alphabet Jewelry Resin Pendant  Letters Pendant Alphabet Charm Necklace C185
Vintage Alphabet Pendant
Very chic, right?

Alphabet Letter Necklace - Letters Pendant With 26 Alphabetical Charms
ABC Necklace
This could go with anything!

Personalised Wooden Scrabble Tile Initial Cufflinks FREE UK POSTAGE
Scrabble Cufflinks
Now this is what I call class.

Would you wear any of this alphabetical jewelry?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Openly YA Event Recap

Thursday, June 27, 2013
I have family who live two minutes away from Clinton Book Shop, an amazing book store that hosts tons of awesome events. So it was the perfect win-win scenario when I got to visit them and go to the Openly YA event with David Levithan, A.S. King, Alex London, Aaron Hartzler, and Bill Konigsberg.

The Openly YA tour is in honor of Boy Meets Boy's ten year anniversary. Levithan's Two Boys Kissing is also coming out this August (and we were fortunate enough to hear a passage from it, which is actually set in Clinton Book Shop!). I had read many of Levithan's and King's books, as well as Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg, before the event, and I'm also a strong supporter of gay rights. So basically, I was so, so, so excited.

And, well, since the event started out with four of the authors Prancercising, I knew it was going to be awesome. (Yes, you really do want to watch the video that the owners of Clinton Book Shop thankfully recorded.)

Once the event formally started, the awesome continued. The discussions concerning gay characters in YA lit were really interesting, and one point in particular really stuck out to me. I think it was David Levithan who said, "There is no 'gay section' in YA, like there is in Adult fiction." 

It's not something I had ever really considered before, but we're the first generation who doesn't segregate our books. We have heterosexual romances placed right next to homosexual romances and it's no big deal. And isn't that kind of beautiful? A lot of this is due to David Levithan because Boy Meets Boy was so groundbreaking. Without it (and Levithan's The Realm of Possibility), the other authors said that their books could have never happened.

As A.S. King put it, "You [David Levithan] are the father of us all!"

There was also just some good ole bookish fun, including this one quote that David said, "Writers write the stories they need to write." All of the authors read a bit from their books. One of the best moments was after Aaron and Alex had read. Aaron's segment had been a kind of steamy, kind of humorous scene while Alex's was full of sci-fi adventures. When they were done, David goes, "So one's an action book and one's a book with action." (C'mon, you chuckled at that a little bit.)

Then it was time for the signing, which means it's time for a funny backstory.

The Thursday before the signing, I had tweeted that I was going on a Barnes and Noble trip and had asked for recommendations. And who replied but Alex London who, of course, had no idea that I would be going to the Openly YA event the next day.

On Friday I bought a copy of Alex's book (Proxy) and went up to him to have it signed. My first words to him were, "So I followed your twitter suggestion." He's a really cool guy and we ended up having a pretty extensive conversation about Doctor Who, including Captain Jack Harkness, Moffat v. RTD, and the possibility of a female doctor. (When talking about people who don't like David Tennant, Alex said, "They must be heartless and evil inside." Truer words have never been spoken.)

Also, Alex took a picture of us, so you can all finally see what I look like. (Because I know this was a major concern, haha.)
The photo on the Left is from Alex's Instagram. The one on the Right is of his hysterical inscription.

I also got a copy of Every Day signed by David Levithan (it's one of my FAVORITE books, so I was a little bit ecstatic) and got to chat with him for a bit. Bill Konigsberg signed a This is Teen sticker to put in my copy of Openly Straight, which is pretty sweet. If I had had enough money, I would have bought a copy of Rapture Practice, too, but I had, unfortunately, spent my last dime. As soon as I have the money, though, I'm planning on getting a copy! 
It was such a fantastic night. Thank you so much to Clinton Book Shop for hosting!

Have you ever been to an author event?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (90)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Top Ten Books I've Read in 2013 (So Far)
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Game (Jasper Dent, #2)Also Known AsClockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)Poison
2013 Releases (not including ARCs I read before it was actually 2013):
Game by Barry Lyga
Also Known As by Robin Benway
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Poison by Bridget Zinn

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)Boy Meets BoyEve (Eve, #1)The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)
Various Release Dates:
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Eve by Anna Carey
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

What are your favorite reads of 2013 so far?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Monday, June 24, 2013
*If you have not read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, this review may contain mild spoilers. You have been warned.*
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2
Website
Source: Bought
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war. This is not that world. Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is--and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream? 
 Summary from Riffle.
How do I express how exceptional this book is? I was blown away by Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but Days of Blood and Starlight is on a whole new level.

One aspect that really stands out is the writing; Laini Taylor has a way with words that is just achingly beautiful. She is able to capture a heartbreaking atmosphere and surprising moments of humor with equal skill. Furthermore, her writing style is completely enrapturing. You will not want to stop reading for a second. Who knows, you may find yourself slipping it into your bag on your way to go somewhere on the off chance you'll get just a second to read it... not that I did anything of the sort, of course. ;)

You'll also want to keep reading because this book is so damn suspenseful. The minute you think you know what's going on, Taylor takes the plot in a direction you would have never expected. All of the characters are constantly in the midst of some turmoil and it's that balance of dismay and despair combined with unrelenting hope that makes the story so powerful. 

But it's also the characters that give DoBaS its heart. Karou has changed drastically, but even though she knows her past, she's still lost in her present. Her transformation, not just from the first book to the second, but throughout DoBaS, is seamless. The best part, though, is the development of the supporting characters, especially Zuzana and Mik. Zuzana is the comic relief (a role she plays awesomely) but she's also a seriously loyal badass who I rooted for just as much as I rooted for Karou or Akiva. There are so many other characters who I could extol for many, many more paragraphs (Ziri, Hazael, Liraz, Sveva), but I'll spare you.

One last bit I have to mention is the INCREDIBLE world-building. Eretz is stunning, even in its war-torn, desolate state. Everything is just so completely vivid, terrible and beautiful all at once. I really loved how Taylor incorporates Hebrew (for example, Eretz means country) because it adds something special.

Seriously, if you haven't read this book yet, GO. Get off of this blog and go get a copy! And then come back so we can talk about it and console each other over how Dreams of Gods and Monsters is still so far away.
*5 stars*
A Quote from the Book: "Mercy, she had discovered, made mad alchemy: a drop of it could dilute a lake of hate."
What was the last book you read that blew your mind?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

In My Mailbox (90)

Sunday, June 23, 2013
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In My Mailbox
IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Gabrielle Carolina at The Mod Podge Bookshelf to share what books you've bought, borrowed, or received in the past week. 
This week I attended the Openly YA event, featuring David Levithan, A.S. King, Alex London, Bill Konigsberg, and Aaron Hartzler. I'll have a recap post on Thursday, but till then, just know that it was AMAZING.
Openly YA:
Every Day by David Levithan (signed)
Proxy by Alex London (signed)
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg (signed)

The bookstore that hosted the event had a shelf full of ARCs to give away (how cool is that!), so I also came home with these:

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White
Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

ARCycling: (Thanks!)
Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

Barnes and Noble:
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Library:
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Weekly recap

Monday
If I Should Die - Amy Plum

Tuesday

Thursday

Friday

Link me to your mailboxes! :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Bookish Buys: Killer Kicks

Friday, June 21, 2013
Each Friday I'll post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. Please know that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items.

The Fault in Our Stars Custom Hand Painted Shoes
TFIOS Sneaks
These are pretty okay looking. (Wow, that was bad. Seriously though, love these!)

Where the Wild Things Are Custom Hand Painted Shoes
Wild Things Kicks
Are these adorable? Or are these adorable?

Hunger Games Custom Painted Converse Shoes
Hunger Games Chucks
This artist is seriously talented.

Marauders Map Shoes\
Marauder's Map Toms
These are so incredibly DETAILEd. Amazing!

Would you wear any of these shoes?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lovin' Bloglovin'

Wednesday, June 19, 2013
If you remember, I did a post on various RSS readers (places to organize all of the blogs you follow) because as of July 1st, Google Reader will be no more. As a blog reader, what does this mean?
1. All those blogs you're following in Reader? You'll lose your subscriptions.
which consequently means
2. Google Friend Connect will not exist anymore. (Well, we don't actually know this for sure. But it seems pretty likely.)
Update 07/13/2013: It seems GFC did survive after all! Woohoo!


for blog readers

So what to do? In that post I discussed a few different options, but have discovered that my personal favorite is BlogLovin'. There are a few reasons I like it:

1. You can keep all of your old subscriptions.
It's really easy to transfer them, too. Seriously, all you have to do is go to this link.

2. You can comment while on BlogLovin'.
You know how you have to click the title in Google Reader and go to the blog in order to comment? Now you can comment while reading a post in your BlogLovin' reader. Pretty cool, right?

3. The format is easy to use. And aesthetically pleasing.
It even keeps your organization when you import your feeds. 


for bloggers

1. You can claim your blog.
This gives you insight on stats, which is really helpful.

2. There are a bunch of widgets to add to your blog, like the one flashing up there.
Although there are also subtler ones.

3. Pageviews
I only found this out recently from this article that when you read a blog on BlogLovin', it still counts as a pageview. Yay!


in conconclusion
Bloglovin' is pretty awesome! 

You can make your own account here. And, if you'd like, you can follow The Page Sage. You know, if you're in the mood. :)

What RSS subscriber are you switching to?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (89)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Top Ten Books to Read this Summer
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
The Casual VacancyMastiff (Beka Cooper, #3)Everneath (Everneath, #1)Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration, #2)Ingenue (Flappers, #2)Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
While there are many releases I want to check out, I limited this list to books I have in my possession. 
1. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
I've had a copy since October. It's even signed, which is actually one of the reasons I haven't read it yet. A.) I will NOT let anything happen to it. B.) I don't want to have to continuously stop and start it- I want to be able to read it right through.
2. Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
Love the Beka Cooper series! (It's my first Pierce experience.)
3. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Part of July's feature... ;)
4. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
I started this last summer but put it aside when Robin Palmer's new book came out.
5. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
A Persuasion retelling!
6. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
This has been on my shelf for far too long! I need, need, need to read it!
7. Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
The first book is great and I've had this one for ages. 'Bout time I read it!
8. Ingenue by Jillian Larkin
Love my 1920s historical fiction!
9. Le Journal d'Aurélie Laflamme
A parfait way to practice my French.
10. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
A perfect summer read, right?

What books will you be reading this summer?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Review: If I Should Die by Amy Plum

Monday, June 17, 2013
If I Should Die - Amy Plum
*Warning: If you have not read the previous two books, this review may include spoilers for the Revenants series.*
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Revenants #3
Website
Source: Library
If I Should Die delivers a stunning, deeply satisfying conclusion to the international bestselling Die for Me trilogy by Amy Plum.   Kate is devastated. Her boyfriend Vincent is a revenant who waited lifetimes to find her. But once he did their future together was shattered almost immediately. They were betrayed by a trusted ally who killed Vincent and destroyed his body so that he could not be reanimated.   Now Vincent is doomed to roam the earth as a spirit. But Kate isn't willing to accept life without her true love. She'll risk anything to save him, even as their friend-turned-enemy begins to wage a war to rule over France's immortals.   Amy Plum created an intricate, original mythology for her YA paranormal series. The books, set in Paris, the City of Lights, introduce readers to revenants, undead beings who must sacrifice themselves again and again to save the lives of strangers.
Summary from Riffle. 
The Revenants series has been a ride of emotions, more than I ever imagined when I read the first book. After the emotional precipice of Until I Die, I had high hopes for If I Should Die. Unfortunately, I didn't love this one as much as the first two installments.

It's not that the romance isn't just as great, because even in volant form, Vincent is still completely dreamy. His absence even allows Kate to take a more active role. But that doesn't change the fact that her development is predictable; the major twist, the crux of the whole novel (and debatably the series) is something I guessed would happen during the first book. There's also a strange plot line that develops with Jules because of Vincent's condition. I know that this series' e-novella delves into Jules' feelings for Kate, but I feel this whole arc is unnecessary and a distraction from the actual story. Although I am thankful that Plum avoids a love triangle. (Thank goodness.)

On the upside, other characters are great, especially Kate's grandparents. It's rare that the protagonist's family is involved in the paranormal world, but it's really refreshing. Both grandparents handle the news realistically and reasonably, which definitely earns a few points in my book. Ambrose made me laugh multiple times and Bran's development is the best by far. By the end of the novel, he was one of my favorite characters due to his quirkiness and surprising amount of heart.

However, characters' actions don't take away from the awkward dialogue. And there was an abundance, although less so after the first one hundred pages. Conversations, especially in the beginning, are stilted to the point that they disrupt the story's rhythm. From what I can recall, this isn't a problem in the preceding books.

*Spoiler* If I Should Die also dabbles in some tropes particular to paranormal romance, the most offending being the "We'll spend eternity together!" idea. At seventeen, it's a big deal for a couple to get engaged, let alone pledge to spend all of eternity together. *End Spoiler*

I will say that the setting is as beautiful as ever. The reader gets to see parts of Plum's Paris that are both exquisite and haunting; as always, when I finished, I wanted to visit Paris ASAP. Another attribute of this novel is the themes of good and evil, life and death, that are explored. It's a layer of depth that really adds meaning to Kate's adventures.

If I Should Die is, ultimately, an enjoyable read, but disappointing when compared to the first two books. Other fans of the series may completely love it and it may just be that my expectations were too high, but I can't help but think that this story had more to offer.
*2.8 stars*
Other books in the series: Die for Me, Until I Die, Die for Her
Has a last book in a series ever disappointed you?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

In My Mailbox (89)

Sunday, June 16, 2013
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In My Mailbox
IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Gabrielle Carolina at The Mod Podge Bookshelf to share what books you've bought, borrowed, or received in the past week. 

In the Mail:
The lovely Alicia from Books & Words sent me a package! Not pictured here are also French candies and BEAUTIFUL postcards. :) Thank you so much, Alicia!
 
Harry Potter à l'école des sorciers by J.K. Rowling
Le Journal d'Aurélie Laflamme by India Desjardins
Ne me touche pas by Tahereh Mafi (The French version of Shatter Me!)

Weekly recap
Monday
The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)

Tuesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday
Bookish Buys: Bundle of Bookends

UPDATE 2:11 AM, 6/16/13: You know how sometimes life gets so crazy that even though you have a date in your mind, it still sneaks up on you? Well, I just realized that today is my two year blogoversary! Crazy! 

What books have you been reading this week?