Monday, October 31, 2011

Now That October Has Come To A Close...


Ah, October. It was pretty dull. Well, I took things slow anyways. I got some accomplished though as far as reading and preparing for November goes. Hopefully I'm enough ahead to be ready for NaNoWriMo (*anxious and excited squee*).

Books read (8):
  • Virals by Kathy Reichs
  • Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
  • The Girl In The Park by Mariah Fredericks
  • Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
  • Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett
  • Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives, Vol. 3 by Ellen Schreiber (illus. Rem & Elisa Kwon)
  • Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott
  • Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Articles posted (3):

Book reviews (3): 


I'll be spending a lot of time writing for NaNoWriMo, so most is scheduled ahead of time (btw, Blogger apparently only lets you have 20 posts as drafts/scheduled, almost lost one along the way there!). I have a few NaNo related posts for the month for my fellow NaNo writers. I'm going to be part of a book tour in the next couple weeks. I've got a guest post coming up too (I was supposed to have one this month, but it must've been scheduled for next month, hmm...). Oh, and news on a reading challenge I'm planning on hosting in 2012. So, some fun stuff. I'm hoping to squeeze in some reading (this is a MUST since I don't want to be playing super catch up in December) to break up the daze I'll be in between writing my NaNo story. Because I will be in a daze... Lol.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Follow Friday #27

Alright! Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read and is a way for book bloggers to get to know each other better. Just go to their pages and follow the directions, and you'll be making some new friends! Our featured bloggers are the following Reading In The Corner & In which Ems reviews books. Congrats to being featured this week! ^_^

Q. If you could have dinner with your favorite book character, who would you eat with and what would you serve?

Jessica Darling (from Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling series). And I'd serve... well, I don't cook... so I'd let her choose where I'd take her out to eat. Lol.

Happy Follow Friday my wonderful blogging friends! :)


Update Thursday #30

Update Thursday #30

Welcome to Update Thursday, my own personal meme of sorts where I post an update of the goings on at my blog, with reading, with writing, and beyond. Feel free to borrow the idea from me for your own bookish musings.



 NaNoWriMo starts on November 1st! All of November has been scheduled. The rest of my obligations for the year have been postponed until December, unless I find myself able to squeeze it in between NaNo writing. I am working out one last obligation for the month. If you need me, I will still be here, just in tiny increments. ^_^
Reading, Writing...

Books I finished this week:
~Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (Off The Shelf challenge)
~The Girl In The Park by Mariah Fredericks (NetGalley)

Books I'm reading now (and some still):
~Virals by Kathy Reichs
~Portal by Imogen Rose
~The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon (NetGalley)
~Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (Off The Shelf challenge)
~Double Clutch by Liz Reinhardt

Off The Shelf Reading Challenge Progress Link (3 of 5 finished) ~ends 12/31/11

Got somewhere with reading this week, plus I'm halfway through two of them. I'm really pushing to finish at least 3 before the end of the month.

NaNoWriMo news: I totally came up with the absolute best way to end my story. I had a rough idea before, but the general thoughts on it meant nothing until that epiphany came and blew everything else away. I have about half of the plot figured out at this point and character names picked out. wOOt. Lol.

And Otherwise...

I found this post over the weekend and about lost it. An author is using part of my review to promote her book on her site! She always posts links to reviews on her page. Why did she choose mine to keep permanently on her page? It's just... wow... I'm speechless.

Our 15 year old kitty cat Honeybear died in his sleep Monday night. We knew it was coming soon because he had gotten very weak and sickly progressively over the last month. My mom and I were discussing after work Monday that we didn't want to make the decision to have to put him down. Even though I'm sad that he's gone, I'm relieved we didn't have to choose. We had to put down three other pets in my life and it is excruciatingly painful when you make that decision. Our two dogs were a little freaked out in the morning, and our other cat has become a cling on, which is definitely not like him. He grew up with Honeybear, and even though they weren't as close recently, I think he knows something happened and it's thrown him off. I'm sure he'll bounce back soon. On the side of this paragraph is a picture of our Honeybear.

Until next time...


Monday, October 24, 2011

A Happily Ever After For All

Many young adult novels have a romantic center, or at the very least a romantic element or side story in them. It’s hard to escape. The type of romance usually surrounds the main character finding true love. Forever love. “The One”. In real life, some people have found it and are living their happily ever after as I type. For some of us, though, this is not the case. I have yet to find “The One” myself.

Sometimes I love reading romantic stories. It makes me happy. It makes me think about how wonderful falling in love can be when it first happens.

Then there are those times when it can be very discouraging. As you get older and older, watching all your friends and former classmates marry, you begin to wonder. When will I find “The One”? Did I miss out? Is there something wrong with me? And then there’s the big question: Why can’t love happen to me like it does in the books I read?

Now, that is a doozy of a question. Sometimes love isn’t always as simple as the books. Sometimes it’s too simple--in other words, too unreal.

Then again, why can’t the love in books be real? It is possible to fall in love. It may not happen easily, it may not be simple, it may not be elegant, it may not happen when you’re really young… but it’s there. It exists. Some people fall in love in high school, some in college, some just after college. But not everyone finds “The One” right away. Some people find them in their 30’s, 40’s, and beyond! It’s true! You may be thinking, “I don’t want to wait THAT long!” You may not have to. You may get lucky and meet them right away.

While reading Persuasion, there’s a gentleman who loses the love of his life in death before they could be wed. He’s devastated. Anne Elliot talks to his friend about him saying, “He will rally again, and be happy with another.” It turned out to be true, he does love again. Even if death separates two people in love, they can love again.

One of my favorite TV shows is How I Met Your Mother. Even if you don’t care for the show, what I am about to share with you will fill your heart with hope. It certainly filled mine with hope (my eyes fill with tears every time I watch that episode). I wanted to embed a video clip here, but for some reason, there is not a single video of that part on You Tube that is of decent quality. So here's the dialogue instead:

Ted: Okay, I'm going to say something out loud that I've been doing a pretty good job of not saying out loud lately. What you and Tony have, what I thought for a second you and I had, what I know that Marshall and Lily have... I want that. I do. I keep waiting for it to happen, and waiting for it to happen, and... I guess I'm just tired of waiting. And that is all I'm going to say on that subject.
Stella: You know I talked my way out of a speeding ticket?
Ted: Really?
Stella: I was heading upstate with my parents, I was doing 90 on the country roads, and I got pulled over. So this cop, gets out of his car, swaggers over and he says, 'Lady, I've been waiting for you all day.' And I said, 'Sorry Officer, I got here as fast as I could!'
Ted: For real?
Stella: No, it's just a joke. [pause] I know that you're tired of waiting. And you may have to wait a little while more but, she's on her way, Ted. And she's getting here, as fast as she can.

You may think love is taking too long to come your way. But it’s coming… as fast as it can. It may not be perfect, you may not be Cinderella and he may not be Prince Charming, but it’s out there for you. Hope is a powerful thing. Embrace it.


(Photo from:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Author: Kirsten Hubbard
Source: NetGalley
Buy (pre-order): Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Caution: May contain spoilers

It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry into this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.

~synopsis from Goodreads

My Thoughts:

When I read the synopsis I was thinking, “Oh, this will be a cute story,” not really giving much thought to there being a deeper meaning or feeling obtained from reading it. After the first few chapters I was thinking,  “This is okay, I’m sure I’ll like it,” not expecting it to be super special or anything substantial. It wasn’t until a few more chapters in that thought, “I love this!” and realized the following: I want my life to reflect the outlook of this story’s true meaning.

Bria Sandoval, straight out of high school and straight out of a relationship turned sour, goes on vacation in Central America. She was supposed to go on a trip with her boyfriend, Toby, then when that ended, her two friends Olivia and Reese. But they backed out too. So she goes with a travel group. A few days into this completely planned trip, she opts to choose the road less traveled with newfound friends Starling and Rowan. The whole travel aspect in general, whether it’s with some lame group that does all the safe touristy things or of the true backpacker style, it sounds so nice. It makes me want to just quit my job and pack a suitcase and start driving with no destination. It has this whole scary yet exhilarating feeling that lifts you up and loosens your personal inhibitions about what normal is supposed to be.

Bria draws. Or at least she used to. Until the breakup. Toby was an artist who helped her along to grow in her drawing skills. After they were over, she stopped. When the trip starts, she has that aching, itching feeling to want to draw again. I get that. I’m always getting that feeling when it comes to artistic anything.

Starling has to go suddenly for work, which leaves Rowan and Bria by themselves. Bria is in her own world, slowly facing the cold hard facts of what the relationship with her ex has done to her. You know how they say “hindsight is 20/20”? I have a new term. It’s called Breakup Vision. When you can see how dumb you were and how dumb your ex was. It's while off the beaten path, experiencing life, enjoying herself everything comes full circle and Bria has to figure out what she wants for her future. Not what everyone wants of her.

I think you can tell that I really loved this book. Kirsten Hubbard is a traveler herself, and you can tell. She knows so much about these places, and she knows how to express it in a way that you feel like you’re there. And if you’ve never been there, you want to GO there. There were drawings included on the pages, all of which were awesomeness, and drawn by Hubbard herself. There were also lists and notes here and there between the narration and dialogue, which were a nice touch. Rowan is irritatingly likeable. That sounds bad, but it’s not. The journey, literal and figurative, is eye-opening for not only Bria, but the reader. It really gets you to think about yourself and what you want out of life. Favorite phrase used in the book: "Perpetual anticipation." Wanderlove is definitely a book I’ll be buying the instant it is available.

My Rating:

Exceptional: Stay up until at least 1 AM


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Follow Friday #26

Alright! Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read and is a way for book bloggers to get to know each other better. Just go to their pages and follow the directions, and you'll be making some new friends! Our featured bloggers are the following The Bursting Bookshelf & Book Savvy Babe. Congrats to being featured this week! ^_^

Q.What superhero is your alter-ego?

A. Veronica Mars. She's a superhero of epic proportions. Kicking butt and taking names. Finding the truth, being herself, telling it like it is no matter how someone will react to it.

Oh, and back when I used to hang out with a certain group, everyone got given a certain superhero type personality and they chose Rogue for me.

Happy Follow Friday my lovelies!


Update Thursday #29

Update Thursday #29

Welcome to Update Thursday, my own personal meme of sorts where I post an update of the goings on at my blog, with reading, with writing, and beyond. Feel free to borrow the idea from me for your own bookish musings.

Reading, Writing...

Books I finished this week:
~Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett (ARC)
~Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard (NetGalley)

Books I'm reading now (and some still):
~Virals by Kathy Reichs
~Portal by Imogen Rose
~Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (Off The Shelf challenge)
~The Girl In The Park by Mariah Fredericks (NetGalley)

Off The Shelf Reading Challenge Progress Link (2 of 5 finished) ~ends 12/31/11

I'm getting somewhere with my reading! Ahead enough that I'm relieved with NaNoWriMo coming up. I'll be using more free time on that than reading.

Still plotting and planning for NaNoWriMo. I haven't gotten much done this week as I'd like, but some. I've gotta take care of more in the next few days because I've got a full work week next week.

And Otherwise...

I've been trying to get this blog all straightened out. The last time I redid the appearance, I was happy with it, but since then I haven't really liked it that much, but had no idea how I should fix it. So, I've been messing with it this week and I think I'm finally relatively pleased with it. One of these days I'll have to pay someone to design it... someday.

I don't know how national or international this got, but in Ohio there was a tragedy with exotic animals that happened within the last two days. A man who owned a farm of exotic animals, including tigers, lions, bears, monkeys, wolves, etc., set almost all of his animals loose, then killed himself. Apparently there was no way for them to tranquilize the animals, so they had to shoot all of them dead. They had to kill 45 exotic animals. FORTY-FIVE. It completely broke my heart. I was so mad all day yesterday. Jack Hanna (who I didn't even know lived in Ohio, shows how much I know!) was called in to help with this situation and defended the decision to shoot to kill the animals. When talking to my coworker, she said that when her husband (who's a vet) would perform surgeries on animals at the zoo, they would have people standing by with rifles to shoot the animal if it awakens early from surgery for the safety of those in the room. It doesn't help that the animals that were set loose were right by miles of wooded areas and they were having to search for them in the dark. *sigh* I know they did the "right thing" but it still makes me extremely sad. If you want to read more about it, here's a link to one of the articles.



Monday, October 17, 2011

Why I Didn't Review You

There’s been a lot of talk about people who don’t review books if they have a negative opinion of it. Some don’t want to be mean by giving a negative review. Some feel it’s the right thing as a book blogger to be honest about a book, even if you hated it.

I haven’t written up reviews for every book I’ve read since starting my blog. But it’s not because I don’t want to be mean or can’t be honest or worry about what kind of reaction I’ll get. If I don’t like a book or am having trouble following it or staying interested, sometimes I’ll begin to skim through scenes. If I REALLY don’t like a book, I skim a lot. But I always finish (I probably wouldn’t be able to fall asleep at night if I didn’t know how it ended, even if I hated the ending).

The problem with disliking a book and skimming it is that you don’t even know where to start with a review. I’ve tried to write reviews for books I didn’t like. I sit and stare at the computer screen for far too long. I even glance through the book to see if I can recall anything specific to mention. It ends up being a huge waste of time.

And that waste of time could have been better spent either reading another book or reviewing a book I enjoyed. When it comes to my blog, I am trying to keep up with finishing my reading challenges, writing reviews not long after finishing a book, and coming up with a writing out interesting articles about books. Spending a bunch of time trying to write about a book I didn’t like is almost like having to read the book all over again. Who wants to reread a book that you hated? Not me!

But, if I am directly asked to review a book honestly by a publisher or author, I will post a negative review if I didn't like the book. Because that's what's been asked of me... an HONEST review. All my other reading is personal choice, and I choose not to review dumb books if I chose to read them on my own.

Another thing I don't do is review a book in a series when I haven't reviewed the first book. Earlier this year I read Gayle Forman's Where She Went, but didn't review it. Not that I didn't want to, it just felt weird to me to review it without reviewing If I Stay first. This is coming from my slightly OCD side. I know, I'm a little bit weird myself.

So that’s my reasoning. I am willing to compromise a little bit on the ones I don't like. I thought of an idea: Mini reviews. Write out a paragraph of my thoughts on a book I don’t like, compile a few of them into one post, voila! This way I can be honest without wasting my time, or my blog reader’s time. I did this one time with a bunch of the library books I checked out.

What do you think about people who don’t review books they hated? Do you do this too? What do you think about mini reviews?


Photo from

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Review: Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Stealing Heaven
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Summary: Read Goodreads Synopsis
Source: Purchased paperback
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Caution: May contain spoilers

My Thoughts:

Danielle’s life has been spent stealing things with her mom. They run from town to town taking advantage of people and move on before they can even begin to settle down. Dani is now eighteen and has never really had any sort of friend or a real life. When they get to the town of Heaven, things are a little different. Dani meets some great people--Allison and James, who just happen to be the family her mom wants to go after in this town. She also meets Greg, a local policeman who just won’t leave her alone. Dani shouldn’t be getting close to these people considering what she’s going to do and that she’ll be leaving soon after. But she keeps staying around them. When her mom finds out and she has to choose, what choice will she make?

This story had a lot going on. It really makes you think of how it would be to be in Danielle’s shoes. You’ve spent your whole life stealing to survive. Your MOM showed you how. Your mom is all you have. And then you actually get to know some people outside of family and like them. You know that what you’re doing is wrong, yet you still do it for your mom and yourself. For someone like me who’s never stolen anything, it’s just hard to picture life like that. But I can understand the moral dilemma. If you’re not taught right, you do what you’re taught.

Something I really enjoyed was the banter between Greg and Dani. It was so cute and hilarious. Watching Danielle face her future and the hard decisions she needs to make when a serious situation arises is remarkable. I love stories when the main character has to deal with life changing situations. It gives you that feeling of growing up again.

Even though this isn’t completely like other Elizabeth Scott novels I’ve read, I still enjoyed it just the same. It does have a good lesson and gives perspective into a life most of us don’t live. I recommend it to those who want to read about a different life.

My Rating:

Pretty Good... Stay up until your bedtime. :)


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Follow Friday #25

Alright! Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read and is a way for book bloggers to get to know each other better. Just go to their pages and follow the directions, and you'll be making some new friends! Our featured bloggers are the following Life Between Pages & Confuzzled Books. Congrats to being featured this week! ^_^

Q.If you could have characters from a particular book meet and form an epic storyline with characters from a particular TV series, which would you choose and why?

A. Gah! Something I have to think about... (one moment)... Aha! Gossip Girl (TV show) meets Kathy Reich's Temperance Brennan series--OR--Bones (TV show) meets Cecily von Ziegesar's Gossip Girl series. Why? Isn't it obvious? It would be awesome. Murder mysteries plus a bunch of gossiping socialites with bonus catfights and real fights? I call that good television, or, good books.

Happy Follow Friday!!!


Update Thursday #28

Update Thursday #28

Welcome to Update Thursday, my own personal meme of sorts where I post an update of the goings on at my blog, with reading, with writing, and beyond. Feel free to borrow the idea from me for your own bookish musings.

Reading, Writing...

Books I finished this week:
~Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives Vol. 3 by Ellen Schreiber

Books I'm reading now (and some still):
~Virals by Kathy Reichs
~Portal by Imogen Rose
~Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett (ARC)
~Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (Off The Shelf challenge)
~Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard (NetGalley)

Off The Shelf Reading Challenge Progress Link (2 of 5 finished) ~ends 12/31/11

Trying to get ahead on my book reading for the sake of my writing in November. It will be hard to manage both, so I'm putting an extra effort in on reading until the end of the month. Plus, while browsing through my Nook, I discovered that I can access those NetGalley books after all. I did an update and BOOM! they popped up no problem. So I gotta rush through those to read them in time before they expire.

My current writing project is going to be at a standstill, unless I hit some sort of random inspiration and need to get that perfect next scene in there. In between reading and work I'll be outlining my novel for NaNoWriMo. I think I finally decided on the story I want to do.

And Otherwise...

For some reason, my video game skills have fallen by the wayside over the last two years with having to work. At certain points I'd pick up a controller and take on some Smash Brothers, but only for a day or two. But I decided to restart Paper Mario for the N64 (which is one of my favorite adventure games). I've probably played it all the way through 10 times (even though my brother says it was more than 10), so I know all the shortcuts and how to beat every boss. It's so much fun. I feel like a kid again.

After a whirlwind weekend of exhausting fun and insanity at work (I am a serious believer in the full moon bringing out the worst people and the worst IN people, and this week was no exception), my mom and I are going shopping. I so need shopping right now. Browsing through stores, buying crap I don't need... Ah... already relaxing...

See you guys later!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

NaNoWriMo coming up in November and I'm participating!

Yes... I am going to participate this year (ignore the year at the bottom of the picture, there were no current year ones!). A huge thank you to the wonderful fellow bloggers who are very encouraging. (Specifically Angie @ Eastern Sunset Reads, and Lan @ The Write Obsession for reminding me it's coming up soon.)

For those who don't know what it is... National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short) is held in November. Participants begin writing on November 1st, and set out to write 50,000 words by November 30th (yep, that's 1667 words a day). The focus is the output--quantity not quality. No stopping to edit. No worrying about mistakes. Just get all the words out.

That is exactly what I need.

I'm excited and nervous and excited and freaking out. Ha. When I was reading more about it online, it seems like it's just the thing I need to get my writing off the ground.

I've been going through my current WIP back and forth with no real progress... Okay, SOME progress. But I've probably spent more time editing and rewriting sections than I have spent writing. That's all well and good to some degree, but sometimes it's better to get it all out, THEN edit the crap out of it, literally.

So, now I've gotta pick out the novel idea I want to outline now so I can be prepared. Thank goodness I have almost three weeks.


How about everyone else? Who else is signed up and participating in this year's NaNoWriMo? Who will be struggling along with me? Let's support each other!!!


Monday, October 10, 2011

November Giveaway Hop (Guess who's going to host a giveaway next month?)

Guess what? I'll be participating in a Giveaway Hop in November.

November Giveaway Hop 
November 8th to 11th
& Co-hosted by Tristi Pinkston

(Here's the details for those of you interested in joining yourself...)

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

What is a giveaway hop?
Simple - Each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers & blog readers to hop easily from one giveaway to another.
For blog readers this means lots of chances to win.
For blogs hosting a giveaway it means lots of new visitors.
It's a win-win!

Each participating blog will host their own giveaway. There is no requirement on the minimum or maximum value of your giveaway. It's up to you to decide. You can giveaway anything you would like. It does not have to be a book or gift card but should be something a reader, blogger or author would enjoy.

All participating blogs will be linked up through a Giveaway linky.
Please keep the process to enter your giveaway as simple as possible.
This hop has a limit of 3 entries per person.  1 mandatory entry and up to 2 optional entries.

As you prepare your giveaway post please remember the following:

1. The November Giveaway Hop Images needs to be part of your post.
2. Include the linky list with all the participating blogs at the end of your post OR link to this giveaway hop page or the post on Tristi's Site.
3. Keep It Simple!! Keep the way to enter your giveaway as simple as possible. 1 Mandatory entry and no more than 2 optional extra entries.  All entries must be able to be done on one visit to your blog - Entries such as tweet once a day are NOT allowed (tweeting once is fine).
4. This must be a giveaway specifically for this hop and must run only the 4 days this hop is scheduled.
6. Keep your giveaway easy to find for the 4 days this hop is open. If you post often and your post does not stay near the top of your main blog page then please post a link to your giveaway at the top of your blog or sidebar.  If we can't easily find your giveaway you will be deleted from the linky.

Please mark your calendars. A reminder email will be sent out a few days before the hops starts.

Questions can be emailed to: toobusyreading at gmail dot com

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

I'm not sure what I'll be giving away just yet, but I'll come up with something good. ;) Keep an eye out for this giveaway coming up soon!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Summary: Read Goodreads Synopsis
Source: Purchased e-book
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Caution: May contain spoilers

My Thoughts:

Anna, Frankie, and Matt were an inseparable trio of friends. Frankie and Matt were brother and sister, and Anna was best friends with Frankie while having a crush on Matt. One wonderful day, Matt kisses Anna and everything seems to be going wonderfully. Before they could tell anyone (even Frankie), the three of them get into an accident, and Matt doesn’t make it. Anna and Frankie and her parents, Red and Jayne, struggle to keep it together while they deal with his death. Frankie is acting out, doing things she shouldn’t be doing. A little over a year after, Frankie’s family has Anna join them on the yearly family vacation. The first one they’ve gone on since the accident.

Frankie’s determined to make it the ABSE (Absolute Best Summer Ever). Included in this best summer is a challenge to meet twenty guys. Anna isn’t too keen on this idea because Matt is still close to her heart. Yet she can’t tell anyone what had happened between the two of them because she promised Matt she would let him tell Frankie. So Anna goes along with whatever Frankie has planned reluctantly.

What Anna didn’t count on was Sam. Someone she maybe might possibly like. And he seems to like her back. Liking him means pushing aside Matt, letting go the beautiful memories she has of Matt. How could she do that when Matt meant so much to her?

This story will take your breath away. The depth of the emotions carries on throughout in more ways than one. There’s the initial beginning of grief, to the aftermath, then the traditions that make the present painful when you recall the past that will never be future again. Everyone faces them, and deals with them in their own way. Anna’s secret about Matt finds it’s way out, with agonizing results. I was reading that part while at work and had to step back to keep from crying. It is intense. The whole story is intense.

Sarah Ockler has amazed me with this book. I had a feeling it would be powerful, but I had no idea how powerful. There are so many emotions you face after reading it yourself. Now that I’ve read it, I can see why some felt it needed to be banned. It is for more mature teens, but it is a must read for everyone when they can handle it.

My Rating:

Exceptional...Stay up until at least 1 AM!

In My Mailbox #12: Monthly Edition

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

It's where we post about the latest books we've purchased, gotten from the library, or received for review... it doesn't necessarily have to be ones you got in the mail. Although a lot of mine DO come from my mailbox. :)

I was a good girl last month, didn't spend much. And a lucky girl too apparently since I won 2 books! Woot!!! How does that happen? I never win things! Plus I started to do NetGalley, which isn't going too well. My Nook and these PDF's are not working right. So I have to read on the computer instead, which is going to be annoying. We'll see how it goes. (Unless someone can help me get it to work on my Nook)

Online Store (Amazon, B&N, etc.):
Gossip Girl: Books 1-11 + Prequel Boxed Set by Cecily von Ziegesar
Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
Without Tess by Marcella Pixley
Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett
The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks
The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon

Nook Book:
Dream Smashers by Angela Carlie
Double Clutch by Liz Reinhardt
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Thrift Store:
Secret Society Girl (Secret Society Girl #1) by Diana Peterfreund
Under the Rose (Secret Society Girl #2) by Diana Peterfreund
Deaf Child Crossing by Marlee Matlin
Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Won In A Contest:
The Radleys by Matt Haig
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin


PS: This is weird... I thought I had scheduled this for Sunday, lol. Oh well!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Follow Friday #24

Alright! Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read and is a way for book bloggers to get to know each other better. Just go to their pages and follow the directions, and you'll be making some new friends! Our featured bloggers are the following A Neverending Fantasy & Jagged Edge Reviews. Congrats to being featured this week! ^_^

Q.If you could pick one character in a book, movie or television show to swap places with, who would it be?

A. That's a lot of answers!!! Okay, here goes:

Books--Anne Shirley in Anne Of Green Gables. Flip Hunter from And Both Were Young.
Movies--Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey (since I haven't read the book).
Television--Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl (FOR OBVIOUS REASONS, please refer to picture). And also I would be Veronica Mars. That is a nickname I was given by a friend because I resemble her in much of her attitude, PLUS I drive a LeBaron.

Happy Follow Friday!!!


Update Thursday #27

Update Thursday #27

Welcome to Update Thursday, my own personal meme of sorts where I post an update of the goings on at my blog, with reading, with writing, and beyond. Feel free to borrow the idea from me for your own bookish musings.

Reading, Writing...

Books I finished this week: 
~Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
~Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott (Off The Shelf Challenge)

Books I'm reading now (and some still):

~Virals by Kathy Reichs
~Portal by Imogen Rose
~Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett (ARC)
~Vampire Kisses: Blood Relatives Vol. 3 by Ellen Schreiber

Off The Shelf Reading Challenge Progress Link (2 of 5 finished) ~ends 12/31/11

I just realize that this is the first time I've received an ARC for review. Awesome. I am STILL SO BEHIND. I need to make some sort of deal with myself. "If you can get one book ahead on your Goodreads challenge, I'll give you a cookie." Hmm... I think I'll need more motivation than one cookie. Perhaps, a batch of cookies! Wait, I think we have brownie mix... and chocolate chips. YES!!! I'll make myself a batch of brownies if I finish 4 whole books (including one for my Off The Shelf Challenge).

Writing: Broke 10,000 words again on my rewrite. Definitely happy about that! ^_^

And Otherwise...

There's another fall festival, the "big one" of the year for me and a lot of friends. Everyone shows up and we all hang out in front of a friend's house. A bunch of our friends from out of state are coming up and I haven't seen them in more than two years. I can't wait!

I don't know if you remember this, but I did a My Little Pony swap with a couple friends this summer. We finally exchanged everything and WOOHOO! Awesome swap. Here's a couple pics to show the stuff I got:

Yep. That's a bunch of awesomely cute ponies and pony related merchandise. There was also a cute ring with a black rose on it. I forgot to include it because I've been wearing it a lot. And I didn't include a picture of the candy... because I already ate most of it... Lol.

That is all I can think of! :)


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday #13: Blue Sky Days

WoW: Hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine

Title: Blue Sky Days
Author: Marie Landry
Read the Goodreads Synopsis

I discovered this one because the author is behind one of the blogs I adore: Ramblings Of A Daydreamer. Marie is such a sweetie, and I am so anxious to be able to read this story by her. ^_^

What are YOU waiting on?


Monday, October 3, 2011

I want to know what people are talking about when they reference classic novels.

I assume the title speaks for itself. Allow me to clarify why.

You know those moments where you’re talking about a great book and someone says they haven’t read it yet?  I could imagine if I went down the list of books I’ve never read to you, you would be doing the same. It’s one thing for it to be a newer book, like Twilight (I have read Twilight though, but it wouldn’t be like a huge shocker if someone said they hadn’t read it), but it’s another thing for the classics. You know, the pre-2000’s/pre-1990’s/pre-1980’s type books.  The books written in the earlier 1900’s, or the 1800’s, or even earlier than that.

Let’s get specific.

Up until now, I have not read a single Jane Austen book. I am a huge, HUGE fan of the movies, especially Persuasion. I probably would have taken much longer to read one if not for my book blog. I haven’t read anything by either of the Bronte sisters, or Thomas Hardy, or Louisa May Alcott, or Mark Twain. I did read Romeo And Juliet on my own and A Midsummer’s Night Dream (that was a requirement for High School), but no other Shakespeare plays. The only classic I took the time to read was Cyrano de Bergerac, and that was because of Wishbone! (Side note: Wasn’t Wishbone awesome?) I started to read The Count Of Monte Cristo, but didn’t have the patience to read THAT MANY PAGES. I tried to read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but probably only got through four at the most.

As far as more modern books go, I never finished reading To Kill A Mockingbird. I haven’t read The Catcher In The Rye, 1984, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes Of Wrath, Slaughterhouse-Five, Of Mice And Men, Rebecca, A Clockwork Orange, or The Bell Jar (I did buy this one though).

I feel like I am SOOO far behind a lot of other readers. It seems unnatural to not have read more of these classics and call myself a serious reader. Not that I’m saying you have to read a bunch of classics to BE a serious reader. I just feel out of place  not being well read. Especially now that I’m getting serious about writing my own novels, I need to have the knowledge of these timeless stories to be able to diversify my work. I want to refer to them in more than just title and author.

Not only that, but as the title suggests, I want to get the joke when it’s made on TV or by another reader. Sometimes I get the gist of the joke, but not fully. Dan on Gossip Girl made a reference to Judy Blume’s Forever in season 3 that made me roll on the floor laughing because I knew what he was talking about. it made my day.

It’s not only books either for me. It’s movies too. I just recently saw Soylent Green for the first time, and I only did so because of hearing it was a dystopian society and that intrigued me. After seeing Disturbia and seeing a parody on The Simpsons, I finally saw Rear Window a few years back. I’ve never seen The Birds, One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, My Fair Lady, Gone With The Wind, Some Like It Hot, or West Side Story.

It’s honestly pathetic. I blame my impatience and my moodiness. You know, when you’re looking through the movies at the rental place or library and you see one of those movies but don’t pick it up because you’re not in the mood for it or you know that nobody else in the family will watch it with you (last time I rented movies, I noticed Vertigo and The Birds, sent a text to my mom, she wasn't in the mood to watch either of them). That’s part of the reason why I decided to cancel getting Netflix, because I kept getting movies that only I would watch and I struggled to find something that my mom and brother would enjoy. The ironic thing is that I’ve found like five movies since cancelling that we all want to watch.

How about you? Did you get the chance to read a lot of the classics years ago? Or did you miss out like I did and are trying to read them now? I’d love to know if I’m the only one.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Banned Books Week Hop Giveaway WINNER!!!

.....(drumroll please).....


I'll be emailing you in a minute to confirm everything. ^_^

Thank you everyone for your participation in this giveaway!  There were 152 entries! I thought that was pretty amazing. Since I hit the 300 in the middle of it somewhere, I'm not going to have a giveaway for that milestone. I'll probably just wait until I hit 500 for any more giveaways. Unless I feel like being random with a giveaway. ;)

Thank you again!


PS: As a side note about my blog, it'll probably be a slow couple weeks coming up while I catch up after all the craziness that was Banned Books Week. I have several obligations that need fulfilled book-wise. I need to get ahead on my reading, AND my articles and book reviews. ^_^