The corporatization and conglomeration of the book industry | No more BEA, S+S & PRH Merger

Wherein Michaela and Gretchen discuss some of the changes in the book industry at large and how they may effect the rest of us here in the book community.

List of links we reference: Jess’s Youtube Channel:…​ Non-Amazon Bookish Alternatives mentioned: https://beta.thestorygraph.comhttps://libro.fm


I Quit My Job and Other Life News!

So this video is kind of long and wonky, but that’s what happens when you’re rusty. I have since fixed the problem with my video editor. It took a tech team. No, I don’t know why. Let’s move on.

I cry near the end here. Whatever the quality, the content is important to me. Listen, I’ve been keeping it real this long and I might as well keep it that way. This is the story of the impact of depression and money struggles–with a happy ending!

Announcement! Upcoming Mini Hiatus

This post is coming to you a day late and a dollar short, but it is important information for those who follow this blog and our YouTube channel. Michaela and I are about to either go on vacation or go crazy for the next nine days, and as such we need to take some time. We will miss you all!

Thesis Thursday: Big News that has Nothing to do with My Thesis

Thesis Thursdays is a weekly(ish) feature where I rant, love and talk about young adult books I’m reading because I’m conning my college into thinking this is all for academia! Find out more here!

Alright, full disclosure: while this has nothing to do with my thesis, it has everything to do with my future. As you all may know, I’m graduating from Ithaca College in May. As with many grads, I have little money and many loans. As of Tuesday, I also have a (potential) job.


I’ve alluded to this several times over the past year, but now it’s (mostly) official. Taylor and I–yes, your two favorite fighters–are headed off to South Korea together to teach for a year, starting in the fall. We don’t know where yet, but we’re about to get started with our Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificates and background checks and all that fun stuff.

giphyI’ve never been this terrified and yet excited about something. Sure, I went abroad to London and did a lot of traveling there, but … well … they mostly all spoke my language. The culture shock wasn’t terrible. I did okay. It was also only for four months, and I had a bunch of friends as back up and we were going to a university run by my home college. Everything was as safe as can be.

Don’t tell Taylor, but I wouldn’t have agreed to go without him. I’m not THAT brave. But this is an opportunity that I really, really want and have for some time now. I want to be scared. I want the adventure. Sure, there are going to be obstacles along the way that I am NOT going to enjoy, but I welcome them. I don’t want to be safe anymore. I really want to travel, and I also get to teach.

There aren’t many other times in my life were I would get to do this. That’s the main thing that keeps running through my head. It’s the reasoning that reminds me how disappointed I would be in myself if I didn’t take this chance. So. In a few months … here we go.


Oh yeah – I’m still going to be blogging as much as possible. It just may end up being a lot about South Korea.

BREAKING NEWS: My Life is a Notebook Adds a Co-Blogger!

Hey there all! Here comes the really huge news that I’ve been dying to share with you guys. As you know, college has been a huge timesuckMarina and Gretchen for me away from this blog, and I’ve had trouble keeping up with posting. I’ve been searching for a co-blogger for a while now, and I’m SO happy to announce that I’ve found one in my friend Marina! We’ve been friends for more years then I really believe have passed now (I met Marina FRESHMAN YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL and now I’m a COLLEGE SOPHOMORE, I AM SO OLD). Seriously, she’s one of my bestest best friends. Even though we live on opposite ends of the country. (Yay Skype and texting and Facebook!)

But without further ado, she’ll introduce herself!

Rina-1Hi, everybody!  I actually have no idea what Gretchen’s going to write at the top of this post, but I assume she introduced me and I don’t need to say who I am.  I’m a Classics and Anthropology major at a university in Colorado, where I spend silly amounts of unnecessary time in the library.  I also dance a lot of Argentine tango—not only in official venues, but in places like the university fountain, people’s kitchens, and a bowling alley on a Navy base.  I’ve been chatting about reading and writing with Gretchen since high school, which seems strangely long ago at this point.

But those are not the important things when it comes to this blog!  Here are some bookish things about me:

My tastes run a bit more literary than Gretchen’s a lot of the time, although not always.  I also don’t always stick to YA, but I promise that if (okay, let’s get real, when) I review non-YA books on here I’ll tell you why they’re appealing to me as a reader of YA.

I read extremely fast.  This leads to many rereads.

I love gorgeous prose, amazing characters, and atmosphere.  I like fantasy because I love seeing weird new ideas.  I’m a little tired of dystopian, vampires, etc but I’ll give it a go if it looks good.  I adore complex books that will take me a long time to finish, and my favorite books are always books that make me think long after I’ve put them down.

I think the worst sin a book can commit (beyond being terrible, at least) is being forgettable.  I will also rant at books that do bad gender things, just on principle.

A few books I’m exceedingly fond of at the moment, to give you an idea:

  • The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman (I may review this one if I get a chance, actually, as it’s recent)
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • Deathless by Catherynne M Valente
  • Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore (but not Bitterblue.  Seriously, what happened there?)
  • Sunshine by Robin McKinley

I say a few because this list varies from month to month, and by the time October rolls around I may be in the mood for pirates or something.

Anyway, that’s me!  Hello!  It’s lovely to be here, and I can’t wait to get started!