Saturday, August 31, 2013

Weekly Recap: August 25-31, 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013
Did you miss something this week? Don't worry- everything that's been happening on the blog is down below! 

Monday

Attachments
I write a love letter review of Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, which is pretty much a must-read for fans of You Got Mail.

Tuesday

Who are the Top Ten Supporting Characters? (Well, one is Hector from the Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson, but if you follow me on Twitter, you really should have seen that coming.)

Wednesday

It's the last week of the Something Strange and Deadly Book Club with Epic Reads! This week's topic is Eleanor's choice...if she even has one.

Thursday

Fangirl
Time for a College Road Trip! These YA books are set in college and they look fabulous (and why yes, one of them is Fangirl by the aforementioned Rainbow Rowell).

Friday

This week's Bookish Buys is pretty random, but it features a very cool clock and these stair decorations that made me want to build a staircase so I could buy and use them.

Tomorrow

Dahlia Adler, author and editor extraordinaire, stops by for the latest Inside the Industry post! 

Around the Blogosphere

Pub(lishing) Crawl continues the conversation on strong female characters.

What have you been up to this week?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Bookish Buys: Clocks, Clothing, and Climbing

Friday, August 30, 2013
Each Friday I 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.
Avid Reader (Bright) Wall Clock
Bookish Clock
I wish my schedule looked something like this.

Book Skirt
I'd actually wear this- really cute, right?

Bookish Stair Decals
Omigosh these are the coolest things ever.

Translucent  Gold Fish  Bookmark
Fish Bookmark
Pretty and unique. Perfect for those mermaid novels. 

Would you decorate your stairs with those decals?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

College Road Trip

Thursday, August 29, 2013
My mind has been set on college for the past few months, not just in the real world, but also in the book world. It all started with this September 10th release that I cannot wait to get my hands on:

Fangirl

Fangirl by the amazing Rainbow Rowell is about Cath and her twin sister heading off to college. Cath is, as the title suggests, a fangirl, but while she's going through all of this transition, she's struggling with leaving those days behind. (At least based on the Goodreads summary. Is it September 10th yet?)

Because I'm so, so, SO excited for Fangirl, I started to look for other books set in college (or just before) and found oodles! Oodles, I tell you! (Well, maybe not that many. But more than I expected!)

RoomiesThe Ivy (The Ivy, #1)Bass Ackwards and Belly Up (Bass Ackwards and Belly Up, #1)Thousand WordsParallelForever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood (Sisterhood, #4)Naomi and Ely's No Kiss ListSophomore SwitchAnatomy of a Boyfriend (Anatomy, #1)

This is really, really exciting. I've been looking for good YAs set in college for years. When I was in middle school, I read books about high school, and it definitely prepared me in some aspects. Shouldn't there be realistic college novels for the same reason?

Of course, not everyone goes to college, but heck of a lot of teens do. And I'd really can't wait to read these stories.

Quick question, though: These books, despite having protagonists who fall in the 18-26 age range, tend to be categorized as YA and not New Adult. Is it because they're at the younger end of 18? What exactly does a book have to be to fall into the NA category? 

Whether they're old YA or young NA, though, I'll definitely be picking up some of these books in the upcoming months.

Update 8/29 11:21 am: Author Jody Casella (Thin Space, Simon and Schuster) recommended Gayle Forman's Just One Day on Twitter, which I've heard is fantastic!
Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)Just One Year (Just One Day, #2)

She also has a question, one which I don't have the answer to, but I hope you do: 
What are some of your favorite books set in college?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Something Strange and Deadly Book Club: Week 4

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
If you're a member of Epic Reads (HarperTeen's website), you know that each month they have a Book Club pick. And for August, they picked one of my *favorites,* the absolutely amazing Something Strange and Deadly. It's hard to believe that it's already the last week!!

This week's question is about choice:

“‘Eleanor, you have a choice,’ [Jie] said softly. ‘You always have a choice’” (p. 166, Something Strange & Deadly)
How do you think this quote relates to the overall theme of Something Strange and Deadly? Do you think Eleanor behaves as if she has a choice at the start of the book? What about at the end of the book? And do other characters behave as if they have a choice or do some see themselves as victims of circumstance? 
*Warning: Spoilers for Something Strange and Deadly ahead!*
Eleanor behaves like she doesn't have a choice at the start of the book. Her goal is clear: get Elijah back, save her family, and then go back to doing all the things young ladies are supposed to do. But can you blame her? The alternative is turning her back on her mother, the one family member she has left (since Elijah, as far as Eleanor knows, is off galavanting across Europe). It's not like there are an abundance of alternative paths for women in the 19th century and, until she meets Jie, Eleanor wouldn't have imagined becoming a Spirithunter.

By the end of the novel, Eleanor sees that she is capable of anything. She's changed tremendously and yet she doesn't go with the Spirithunters. Why? She still can't abandon her mother. While Jie is right and there is always a choice, abandoning a mentally unstable, older woman is not the morally correct choice. So Eleanor has to wait and get things settled before she can go after what she wants. The difference, however, is that Eleanor knows what she wants.

She isn't just her mother's daughter, or Elijah's sister. Eleanor is her own person. She makes her own decisions and trusts in her own mind.

Do you feel Eleanor has a choice?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (99)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Top Ten Supporting Characters
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Jasper Dent series by Barry Lyga

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

The Great Gatsby

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray

The Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke

Who are your favorite supporting characters?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Monday, August 26, 2013
Attachments
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Dutton
Series: Standalone
Age Group: Adult
Website
Source: Library
Beth and Jennifer know their company monitors their office e-mail. But the women still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers at the newspaper and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can't seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period.
When Lincoln applied to be an Internet security officer, he hardly imagined he'd be sifting through other people's inboxes like some sort of electronic Peeping Tom. Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can't quite bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer. He can't help but be entertained -and captivated- by their stories.
But by the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late for him to ever introduce himself. What would he say to her? "Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you." After a series of close encounters and missed connections, Lincoln decides it's time to muster the courage to follow his heart . . . even if he can't see exactly where it's leading him.
Written with whip-smart precision and charm, Attachments is a strikingly clever and deeply romantic debut about falling in love with the person who makes you feel like the best version of yourself. Even if it's someone you've never met.
Summary from Goodreads 

I want to hug this book. I want to hug Rainbow Rowell for writing this book. And then I want to tell everybody to go read this book.

Not sure if I'm being clear, but I really loved this book.

Thing #1 That I Loved: the characters. They all have their baggage- Lincoln, Beth, and Jennifer- but they also all have such good hearts. That plus their whip smart dialogue really endeared them to me (I even laughed out loud a few times). Their lives are realistically messy and complicated, which allows for them to really grow throughout the book.

And then there's the supporting cast. Lincoln's mom, his sister, Doris, Chris, Greg, Christine- some of them I just love. Some of them are exasperating. Some of them I despise. But they are all complex, fleshed-out characters. Even the characters who fall in the despicable category have redeeming, sympathetic sides.

Basically, the characters bring Attachments to life.

Thing #2 That I Loved: the setting. Attachments is set in 1999, right on the cusp of the technological era. There's also the Y2K scare (which for teen readers delving into this adult book may require a quick Google search, but they can figure out what it is from context clues) and this really adds to the atmosphere. But the best part is the workplace of The Courier. Not only is it so easy to picture, but it's just the right size- small enough that the reader is dying for Lincoln and Beth to properly meet (because it could happen any second), but large enough that the reader understands when they don't.

Thing #3 That I Loved: the set-up. The combination of Lincoln's story and Beth and Jen's emails make the book such a quick read. You can tear through chapters easily, which is super fun (but also makes for some late just-one-more-chapter nights). Also, Rainbow Rowell is seriously talented in that you're able to really get a feel for Beth and Jen's characters through relatively short emails.

The Thing About Recs: I'd recommend Attachments to a lot of people, but also teens who liked Lauren Myracle's ttyl series (and who are looking for Adult books to read), and fans of the movie You Got Mail. (Who isn't a fan of that movie, though?)

The Thing About Writing This Review: I don't know if I'm fully conveying the awesomeness that is Attachments, but it's seriously just a feel-good, wonderful read. It's sometimes challenging to explain why you love a book, but in case I haven't made this clear: I really, really, really like Attachments. Really.
*5 stars*
A Quote from the Book: "Oh... Colin Firth. He should only do period dramas. And period dramas should only star Colin Firth. (One-star upgrade for Colin Firth. Two stars for Colin Firth in a waistcoat.)"

Oh, and a story.

This review comes with a quick story. I volunteer at my town's library each week and last time I was there, I was alphabetizing the Adult Fiction cart. A woman came up to me, asking me if I'd read anything really good on the cart (but she actually said if I'd read anything on the cart that had made me go "wow," so I knew she was a book lover). I had just started sorting them, so I hadn't seen many of the books that were on the cart yet, but I just happened to be returning Attachments that day. So I told her the plot summary and darted off to get it from my bag. She seemed really excited to read it and said that she'll tell me what she thinks when she's done! Fingers crossed that she is going to be a new Attachments fan!

Ok, end story.

Do you have trouble articulating why you love a book?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

In My Mailbox (96) + Weekly Recap

Sunday, August 25, 2013

From the Library:

Bird by Bird by Anne Lammot (for that writer's group I'm starting with some friends)
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (since it's Banned Books Week next month, my book club selected this as our next read!)

Monday: If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan sounded phenomenal... but my expectations may have been too high.

Tuesday: These 10 tools are a must when it comes to blogging (especially the laptop one- that's pretty important.)

Wednesday: In week 3 of the Something Strange and Deadly book club, I get to talk about one of my ultimate book boy crushes: Daniel Sheridan.

Thursday: The City of Bones movie: the good, the bad, and the what?!.

Friday: The Page Sage reaches 500 posts, which means it's time for a PARTAY... book nerd style.



What books have you been reading this week?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bookish Buys: It's Party Time!

Friday, August 23, 2013
Before I get to the Bookish Buys part, I just want to say that this is my 500th post! That's a pretty huge milestone for me, so in order to celebrate, this Bookish Buys is going to be party-themed....

Book nerd style.

So, about Bookish Buys: Each Friday I 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.


First things first for a party, you must have invitations.
Library Card Invitations
And what better invitations than an old fashioned library invite?

Decorations are necessary, so why not go with an edible Harry Potter decoration?
Snitch Cake Pops
YUM.

As for nonedible decorations...
Bookish Wallpaper
Stylin' and an easy way to make any bookish party fabulous.

And, of course, it's a party. So you're going to need a cake.
turquoise and purple 3D book cake for a 12th birthday
Book Cake
Just imagine that says 500 Posts!! Or something like that.

Naturally, you can't let your guests leave empty handed.
Bookmark Party Favors, set of 12
Bookmark Party Favors
Tres chic, non?

Thank you to all of my followers, those who have stuck with me through all 500 posts, those who are just joining in, and everyone in between! You guys are awesome. <3

Would you ever throw a bookish party?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Movie Review: City of Bones

Thursday, August 22, 2013
While I love, love, LOVE Clare's The Infernal Devices trilogy, I only like The Mortal Instruments (though that may be because of all the spoilers I saw before I read the books). So going into the movie, I wasn't placing all of my hopes and dreams that it would be a perfect adaptation, but I expected it to be a fairly good one from the trailers and sneak peeks that have been released.

But, in actuality, the City of Bones movie was a combination of The Good, The Bad, and The What?!.

Oh, just a warning, if you haven't read City of Bones, you probably don't want to read this review. *River Song voice*: Spoilers!

The Good.

First off, a round of applause for the casting. I mean, really, the acting in the movie is superb and the cast looks just like the characters (except for one scene where you could really tell how dyed Lily Collin's hair is, but that's forgivable, right?). 

And Robert Sheehan should seriously get a whole category of his own. This guy, he is Simon, and considering Simon is the best character in the books (sorry Jace), that's saying something. 

Also, Jemima West as Isabelle? Pardon my French, but badass. And Magnus! Magnus, Magnus, Magnus. <3 (In case you couldn't tell, I really like Magnus and the actor who plays him.)

The Bad.

Okay, what is up with the soundtrack? Club music while fighting vampires? That awkward Demi Lovato song during Clary's birthday scene (love Demi Lovato, just didn't like the song placement)? It's distracting and off putting, to say the least. 

The sequence of the story is a little weird, too. I understand that things need to be changed in order for the story to be conveyed well onscreen, and I liked the little differences in the beginning, but the rest of the changes throw the pacing off. There's a ton of action, but no character development. If I hadn't read the book before seeing the movie, I would have felt nothing for Jace or Hodge or Luke, and, as it was, I thought that the movie version of Jace and Clary's relationship is about a step away from instalove.

Also, there are so. many. angsty. looks. Like, if you were to count the number of times Clary is shell-shocked/awed, or Jace is smouldering/upset-but-hiding-it-because-he's-a-bad-boy, you would get a very, very high number. I don't blame this on the actors because it seems like these moments were written into the script (which also has some lines that made me groan). 

The What?!

I'll start with the mild stuff: Valentine. The only actor I didn't like in the movie. I've always imagined Valentine to act more like an evil businessman who only let's his insanity occasionally slip through the cracks. Movie Valentine, though, is full-on, wild eyes, maniacal laughter crazy. (Also, what is with the braids? It's just weird.)

And then there is the ending.




The ending takes place inside the Institute. It's a huge fight scene that goes on about 15 minutes too long (seriously, if they had spent as much time on the characterization as they did on all the fighting, there might actually have been characterization) wherein Hodge and Valentine discuss how they are going to lie and say Clary and Jace are siblings. Yep, that's right, the giant twist that's supposed to shock everyone and confuse them throughout the next two books, is REVEALED TO BE A LIE IN THE VERY FIRST MOVIE.

What?!

Oh, and then Clary uses a rune to clean up her apartment, which is honestly just weird.

Overall

While the casting is phenomenal, City of Bones is a "meh" book adaptation and a pretty bad movie. The overarching storyline stays (mostly) true, but it loses its heart.

Have you seen the City of Bones movie yet? Are you going to?