Thursday, August 21, 2014

Feminist Review: YOLO by Lauren Myracle

Thursday, August 21, 2014
Through texts and messages, the mega-bestselling, beloved Internet Girls series followed the ups and downs of school for three very different, very close friends. Now it’s freshman year of college for the winsome threesome, and *everything* is different. For one, the best friends are facing their first semester apart. Way, way apart. Maddie’s in California, Zoe’s in Ohio, and Angela’s back in Georgia. And it’s not just the girls who are separated. Zoe’s worried that Doug wants to break up now that they’re at different schools, and Maddie’s boyfriend, Ian, is on the other side of the country.In the face of change and diverging paths, Maddie’s got a plan to keep the friends close, and it involves embracing the present, making memories, and . . . roller derby! Using of-the-moment technology, Lauren Myracle brings her groundbreaking series into the brave new virtual world of texting and tweets.
Summary from Leafmarks 

The Quick of It: This is book #4 in the Internet Girls series. Also, I received this from the publisher, which in no way affected my review. (And now onto the fun stuff.)

I can't tell you how excited I was when YOLO showed up at my door one afternoon. The TTYL books were a huge defining force throughout my middle school years. My three best friends (of the time, we grew apart during high school) and I read them together, and we all had a favorite character and would pass around our copies of the books to share. Reading YOLO allowed me to remember how much those friendships meant to me, even if we're not close now. It was doubly perfect because YOLO is set when these characters are going off to college, which I'm doing, well, today! (This was written well ahead of my departure, to spare you any freak outs. Wish me luck!)

"mad maddie: in self-defense, I am very good friends with Netflix"

Demerits: None!

Making the Grade

You probably saw this one coming, but can you blame me? The friendship is pivotal to this series, and it remains just as heartwarming and positive as I remembered. The way the girls lift each other up and support each other no matter what is just awesome but I really love how they stay honest, too. Basically, they're not afraid to be blunt with each other, if that's what's needed. The whole friendship dynamic is just spot on- these girls annoy each other and tease each other and make each other laugh, but most importantly, they all love each other. I want to see more friendships like this in YA!

Extra Credit

While this book is, overall, light and fun, Myracle still manages to touch on Greek life mentality (hazing and the sexism that often comes with it) and sexual assault on campus. It's not a huge surprise that Myracle is handling relevant and sensitive subjects with tact (she's a pro at it), but it's still highly appreciated.

Don't Forget: it comes out on August 26th!

Final Grade: A- 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dating Books

Friday, August 15, 2014
I just finished Isla & The Happily Ever After which is probably one of the most emotional, beautiful books I've ever read. Seriously, it left me feeling like I'd been scraped raw after reading it (in a good way, I swear)... and with a wicked book hangover. I've wanted to start reading new books, but I can't, and all of this has made me realize that reading a really good book - or book series - is kind of like being in a relationship.

How so? Well, there are 7 stages.

1. The Honeymoon Stage

You are so in love with this book that you want to spend every minute with it. Your parents keep telling you you should spend more time with friends, but you have to keep reading.

2. Tearful Ending


After my first day of school.

And then the worst happens: it's over. It's not you, it's the book- it just doesn't have any more pages to give.

3. Gloom Sets In

You are convinced you will never love a book that way again. What's the point of reading anyway? All stories just end.

4. Slow recovery

After awhile, you start to think that maybe - just maybe - you should put yourself back out there again, try other books. There are hundreds of books in the library, right?

5. Speed dating

In this case, "him" is a book.
You have a few flings with a couple of books, but you can't seem to buckle down.

6. Commit to a book

At last, you think you've found The One! The book that can make you forget about all those other books!

7. Rinse & Repeat

Have any tips for getting through a book break-up?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Running through YA

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
High school was not the best time for me when it came to exercise. I packed my schedule with homework and extracurriculars and volunteer work and a job, but didn't put any time aside for exercising, except the 20-30 minutes I got in gym class (provided I had gym that marking period). So when I graduated this June, I made a pact with myself that I would start working out.

Schoolwork, activities, volunteering, working- all of it is important, but so is taking care of myself. And if I don't take care of my body, it's going to make all of that other stuff a lot harder to do. This is my new mentality, one I'm taking with me to college in just a couple of days (Side bar: oh sheesh I'm going to be a college student in a couple of days when did that happen aaaaaaaaaah but yaaaaaaaay.)

With this in mind, I've been running a lot this summer and on Saturday I'll be running a 5k with a couple of friends. I've discovered I really like running- it makes me feel strong and healthy and at peace with myself. So naturally, I have to relate it to YA.

Below are the best YA books for running inspiration.

Are you into running? What YA lit running tips do you have?