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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Art of Lainey (Review)

The Art of Lainey
By: Paula Stokes

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

YA Movie Review: If I Stay

If I Stay
Based on the novel by Gayle Forman.

So, I was lucky enough to watch If I Stay early. It more than does the book justice. I loved it soooo much. Within five minutes of it starting, I knew that I needed the DVD so I could watch it over and over. Before the film finished, I also made a mental note that I needed the soundtrack.

If I Stay does a phenomenal job staying true the book. It does this literally but more than that it just captured the spirit of the novel. So while there are changes, I think for the most part, I loved the changes it made. There is this one scene in particular, and I wish that scene had been in the book. It words where Forman had chosen to gloss over. I love both choices, but the words hurt cut and it was perfect for that scene and the character. 

What I liked about the movies was the the new scenes made absolutely sense and of course they deleted and changed parts too. I was okay with the deletions, because they rearranged things and simplified it in a way that made sense watching. It was more combing certain scenes then trimming it down, than just throwing it away. Which was okay with me. I liked those changes. There were only two changes that I liked the book versions more. One is minor and most people problem won't notice: It's just a line that they cut from Mia's mom. Something small, but once I realized it wasn't there I wished they'd included it. Even if it might've added less than ten seconds to the film. 

The second change that I didn't like at all. I think it took away from the scene. It's one of the very last scenes and...I wish they would've keep that part true to the book. They do until they don't. At least to me, it changes the dynamic of that scene. It lessens the moments. It's pretty noble, but what happens in the last scene of the novel is perfection. I think why I hate it so much because it feels kind of cheap, it doesn't feel as huge as it does in the book. It's still a good thing, but it's not a great act. 

I know that part probably doesn't make much sense, but I'm trying to keep it vague in case you haven't read the book, and also because I don't want my view of it to completely taint what you might think. I just want to point it out so after you watch it, you can tell me what you think. 

My last critique of the movie is that as some parts the symbolism felt very heavy handed. The mist and the sunshine. I might've cringed because I just loved the movie without all that in-your-face symbolism. It felt very elementary and I don't think the movie needed that. 

Still, even with those things: I absolutely loved this movie. I had to try not to cry, but I couldn't help it. I broke down twice. Incidentally, the same two scenes that broke me, while I read the story. Reading it was one thing. One of the scenes (the scene with Teddy) killed  me while reading it. The movie treads gently at the moment, but I'm so grateful towards it. I loved the soft touch of that scene because it made it that much more impactful to me. The other scene that got me was the one with Mia and her grandfather. I just lost all my shit. It hurt. So much. More than I could ever have imagined. 

If I Stay isn't all tears though. I definitely yearned for that kind of love and at the same time, I chuckled because it's all so funny. 

If I Stay (the movie and the novel) builds you up and breaks you down at the same time. It's the best feeling in the world. You definitely should check out the movie and definitely read the book. They compliment each other in the best ways.

Thank you so much to the people at Warner Bros!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Just Like The Movies (Review)

Just Like the Movies
By: Kelly Fiore

Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson. 

Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Things You Kiss Goodbye (Review)

The Things You Kiss Goodbye
Leslie Connor

Bettina Vasilis can hardly believe it when basketball star Brady Cullen asks her out, and she just about faints when her strict father actually approves of him.

But when school starts up again, Brady changes. What happened to the sweet boy she fell in love with? Then she meets a smoldering guy in his twenties, and this “cowboy” is everything Brady is not—gentle, caring, and interested in getting to know the real Bettina.

Bettina knows that breaking up with Brady would mean giving up her freedom—and that it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between her and Cowboy. Still, she can’t help that she longs for the scent of his auto shop whenever she’s anywhere else.

When tragedy strikes, Bettina must tell her family the truth—and kiss goodbye the things she thought she knew about herself and the men in her life.

Leslie Connor has written a lyrical, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about family, romance, and the immense power of love.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Review)

Isla and the Happily Ever After
By: Stephanie Perkins

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Everyone's Got One

Out of all my social media accounts, Tumblr is my favorite. I, in fact, started this blog on my tumblr first, then moved over to this blogger account. When I did the move, I decided to post the more official things (reviews and discussion posts, etc.) on this blog and make my tumblr a companion microblog. It was meant to be more visual and lighthearted. Then after a while, my tumblr started becoming more and more popular. Especially as I used it as a creative outlet. I made bookish posts that people responded to. My blog blog and my tumblr blog were two very different parts of my life. My sense of humor more on display on tumblr. It wasn't on purpose, it just how things ended up.

Until recently. 

I made a joking post about four months ago. It didn't get much exposure (but it wasn't supposed) and it died, hidden underneath hundreds of other posts since then. Except, you can't take back whatever you post on the internet. 

Four months later the post started getting  exposure. People started reblogging and liking it. It took off especially after a number of popular bookish accounts got a hold of it. As I'm writing this, it over 2,000 notes, which doesn't seem like a lot, but it's the most popular post that I've created on tumblr. 

At first I was super excited! Bookish people got it and they got my sense of humor. Then some people started taking it seriously and got seriously offended. They got pissed off and they started making judgments on me and saying such untrue things, that really hurt my feelings.

I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to respond and add fuel to the fire, but they were insulting my character as well. Some of the things they were saying was mildly offense, but some was down right mean. At one point, I was accused of being an ableist. Which, I am not and I don't know how that post could be ablest. I've taken two course taught from a disabilities awareness construct, so I'm by no means an expert.

Google defines an ableism as:
"form of discrimination or social prejudice against people with disabilities. It may also be referred to as disability discrimination, physicalism, handicapism, and disability oppression."

Maybe because I am abled, I don't see how that is discriminatory or oppressive. Maybe it's because one reason people don't like to read is because some can't, and I guess that's understandable, but that's now what I said. I wasn't directing judgement onto people with learning disabilities or illiterate people. 
Maybe that's one reason that people don't like to read, but that's not the only reason. 

I take full responsibility because in hindsight I understand that the joke is offensive. I realize now that I was joking at the expense of someone else, albeit, a hypothetical person in my mind. It wasn't aimed at any one person, just people that I've met. 

To me, the joke represented the incredulity that I feel when someone expresses that they don't like to read. Not that it justifies anything, but I despise the vagueness of that statement, because to me, reading is a part of everything. I'd be willing to accept if you said you don't like to read x, rather than the vagueness. 

I don't know, maybe that still makes me a book snob. Maybe it does.

But one person even went on a long diatribe about how people judge her sister because she learns differently because her sister is a visually learner. 

Not to be glib or anything, and if I'm off base, you can tell me so, but that's not what my post was about. I don't think it's fair, but I understand that with anything, people bring their own their interpretation to the situation. 

What I've gotten from this situation is that  I need a break from tumblr and just re-evaluate how I approached Tumblr in the future. I don't have the thickest skin, and I'm becoming more popular on tumblr and with that popularity, there is a lot of negativity. 

And the lesson that I've learned from all of this?

If you dare accidentally offend the internet they won't hesitate to purposefully try to hurt you. (Or at least a selected few.)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Silver Shadows (Review)

 Silver Shadows
By: Richelle Mead

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive. 

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer Reads August Giveaway

To enter the Summer Reads Giveaways, you must be signed up for the challenge! It's really easy and very simple. I hope you're getting your summer reads on! 

I just want to thank all y'all for participating in the challenge. When I first started it, I was nervous and had a goal of getting at least 10 people to participate. Last time I checked there are over 30 people in the goodreads group. It's been such a fun time and I really appreciate it. 

I've wanted to do a summer challenge since forever and I'm so glad that I did. I've learned so much and I want to officially announce that the Summer Reads Challenge is coming back next year. 

If you've done the survey thank you! If you haven't, please consider doing it. Just click here to take it. The only way it can get better is if you voice your opinions. I've learned so much from the survey and I'm already thinking about changes and putting your suggestions into affect. 

I can't believe time flew by so fast. I can't believe summer is almost over. I know for sure this challenge helped me a lot! I've read about 30 books so far and hope to read a couple more by the time the challenge ends. I hope this challenge has helped/motivated you to read more in the summer.

By now, you all should have received any prizes I owed you (except the July winner, but I promise it's coming to you, I mailed it out today). 

I can't believe it's almost over, but it's been so fun guys! Thank you so much for participating with me.

I feel like that's all the house keeping things. Now for the prizes. 

not all prizes are pictured

Choice of three Prizes:
Landline by: Rainbow Rowell (Audiobook)
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid (sampler)
Chloe by Design: Making the Cut by  Margaret Gurevich 
Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen
The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Taking It All by Maya Banks
Ink by Amanda Sun
Since Last Summer by Joanna Philbin
Signed Copy
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

* If Winner is not US/CA they can choose a $15 prize from the book depository, if TBD ships to their country. 

As always, if you have any questions or comments, 

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Secrets of Lily Grave (Review)

The Secrets of Lily Graves
By: Sarah Strohmeyer

Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend [Review]

How (Not) To Find a Boyfriend
By: Allyson Valentine

Sophomore Nora Fulbright is the most talented and popular new cheerleader on the Riverbend High cheer squad. Never mind that she used to be queen of the nerds—a chess prodigy who answered every question first, aced every test and repelled friends at every turn—because this year, Nora is determined to fully transition from social pupa to full blown butterfly, even if it means dumbing down her entire schedule. But when funny, sweet and very cute Adam moves to town and steals Nora’s heart with his ultra-smarts and illegally cute dimple, Nora has a problem. How can she prove to him that she’s not a complete airhead? Nora devises a seemingly simple plan to barter her way into Adam’s classes that involves her classmates, friends—and her older brother Phil’s award-winning AP history paper. But soon, Nora can barely keep track of her trades, and struggles to stay in control of her image.

In the end, the only thing that can save Nora is a chess tournament—that she has to compete in wearing her cheerleading uniform. Can she prove to everyone that she can be both a butterfly and a nerd?


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