Weekly Wrap Up + What We Read 4/3/16

Better late than never! The weeks are only getting crazier for Michaela and me, but never fear! We will never abandon you. This week we managed to be very impressive with the blogs, but not so much with the reading. This is fine. Next week we might even manage to read something!

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

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ARC Review: “Tell the Wind and Fire” by Sarah Rees Brennan

16221851Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Goodreads | Amazon

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

Two and a half stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Clarion Books for this eARC! This title will be released on April 5th, 2016.

I wish this was an April Fools joke. I wish I could say that I did not really rate a SRB book this low. Especially a book with this much potential and thought behind it – which is honestly the reason it’s rated as high as it is. But as much as I desperately wanted to love this book, it was impossible.

Continue reading

March Wrap Up + PopSugar Challenge Update

Wasn’t it kind of March to end on a Thesis Thursday day? Especially because I don’t have a thing for a Thesis Thursday as of yet? Yes, yes it was. Unlike my February wrap up, I’m doing this one as a post because this is about the amount of time I have right now. GO COLLEGE!

I read 9 books in March. This is two down from last month, which is super depressing because February is so much shorter than March. Whatever. Spring break got in my way, if you remember.

51kgfanbhal-_sx322_bo1204203200_The first three books I read in March were all for my thesis. By Goodreads’ match, the first one I finished was Judging a Book By Its Cover: Fans, Publishers, Designers and the Marketing of Fiction edited by Nicole Matthews and Nikkianne Moody. While I originally picked this up for it’s section on book cover design, it will also be very helpful in my last chapter that talks about marketing and publishing books for young adults.

Then, I finished By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design by41pqsnz4ttl-_sx258_bo1204203200_ Ned Drew and Paul Sternberger. This book was not at all what I expected, as it was a coffee table sized book with almost more pictures than words. It spanned decades of American cover design, but often only for the most “literati” books for the most popular of designers. I still managed to quote it though!

413benup3el-_sx324_bo1204203200_Wrapping up this month’s thesis work, I read Theodor Adorno’s The Culture Industry. If you are into theory about the mass production of culture, this is very interesting and I was so happy that one of my professors lent it to me. However, while the previous two books are nice reading for the lay-reader … this one is not. Don’t pick it up unless you want a headache.

In actually exciting news, Taylor and I both finally finished Mermaidsmermaids-600
and Other Mysteries of the Deep
, a short story anthology edited by Paula Guran
. We had been promising this video since we did our review of After: 19 Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, but it took us FOREVER to finally get done. While it is a longer video, we both found this anthology better than After. Very worth the watch and read!

27353499I re-read three books while I was on spring break, two of which were by Tellulah Darling. I read the 2nd and 3rd books in her Blooming Goddess trilogy, My Date From Hell and then My Life From Hell. When I came back, I did a series review of all three because I wanted to talk about them all so much. While these are hardly the best books I’ve ever read, they’re the kind of fluffy mind candy that you just NEED to read sometimes. I also enjoy a new take on the Hades and Persephone myth any day.

The last book that I re-read on break was Aimee Carter’s Goddess12637490 Interrupted. This is the 2nd book in her Goddess Test series (another Hades and Persephone retelling) and my favorite. I fully plan on doing a series review of this very soon because re-reading this reminded me just how much I love AND hate this series.

16221851I got through one single ARC read this month, which was Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan. This is a standalone novel that is far darker than anything you might expect by SRB. I don’t want to say too much, because the review is coming out tomorrow, but … oh dear guys. I really, really didn’t enjoy this one at all. I was so disappointed.

Last but not least, I read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This51-qq2tbipl-_sy344_bo1204203200_ was for our spectacular March Imbibliomancy episode, in which me, Taylor and Michaela get drunk and talk about themes–or try to. I am so angry, but I really like this one. Like, a lot. I almost gave it five stars. You should really, really check out that video for more on that and also serious hilarity!

For my PopSugar update, I only ticked off two more boxes. I decided to count Tell the Wind and Fire as my “book published in 2016” because I was so proud that I didn’t DNF it. Station Eleven also counted as my “book from the library.” That makes it 10/40!

Here’s to more reading in April! Or at least attacking the “currently reading” list on my Goodreads that is 7 books long right now. YIKES!

Top Ten Posts On My Blog That Give The BEST Picture of Me!

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

Hey everybody! I’ve been missing a few TTTs lately, but I really didn’t want to miss this one! This is a really interesting topic that may verge on me being pretty egotistical, but what’s new? 😛 Let’s get this started!

1. Stacking the Shelves #5 (08/04/12)

Okay, so, vlogs are probably a really easy place to go for this, because they ARE a video representation of me, but this gives you guys an EXCELLENT view of how out of control my reading habits are. 😛

2. Alpha Recap – So many goodies you don’t want to miss out! (7/30/12)

I made a point a long time ago to not make this blog about me, my writing and my books, but when my love of writing takes me places THIS AWESOME, I just HAVE to tell you guys. It’s like a side of me I only let the blog see every once in a while. 😛

3. My Epic Quest to Go See Cassandra Clare, Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan and Why It was Worth It. (7/16/12)

In this post, I not only ruminate about books but also my family, my birthday and HOLY CREATOR OF CHOCOLATE AUTHOR LOVE! Ahem. Anyways. I lose my mind a little in this post, for good reason!

4. Stacking the Shelves #3 (7/14/12)

I … attempt humor in this vlog. It doesn’t go well. But it gives you a window into my personality! …which you probably wish you could unsee, but whatever! I make no apologies for who I am. 😛

5. The Book Reviews I Couldn’t Give My Teacher (5/31/12)

This one has a disclaimer for those people who enjoy classic books because, well, I’m not one of them and I unleash the snark! There is 7 mini book reviews in this post and it’s STILL not overly long, which impresses me still to this day. 😛

6. ARC Review: “Wilde’s Fire” by Kystal Wade

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I HATE cliché YA romance. HATE IT. And when it happens, I mention it. In this book, though, I was absolutely losing my mind over the weirdness of it all, and for that it kind of recaps the way I feel about YA romance in general.

7. On YA books that make abusive, stalkerish, horrible relationships seem like they’re okay–HERE ME ROAR (2/27/12)

Few books have ever made me outright angry. Actually, it was just this one. This post began as my review of Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey, the only book I have ever rated 1 star on this blog in its entire existence, despite having DNFed it. Usually I don’t write reviews of those, just a few lines on Goodreads as to why I personally stopped reading. This book made me SO ANGRY that I just HAD to say something or I would explode.

8. Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (12/11/11)

When I lose my mind about a book, I LOSE MY MIND about a book. Despite having waited to calm down to write this review, I STILL couldn’t get my thoughts in order when I wrote the post. Very few times do I write reviews were I’m just flailing for words, and this is one of them.

9. Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (11/26/11)

This was the very first 5 star review I ever gave on my blog, and OH BOY is there a lot of CAPS and general book love. I mean, it still rather frightens me to read it over because I was SO enthusiastic about the book.

10. Review: Mastiff by Tamora Pierce (11/11/11)

I like to think of myself as someone who can give truthful reviews, not just flail all over the place because it’s something my favorite author wrote. This is my favorite example of this. I tried so hard for WEEKS to forgive Tammy for this book–I mean, but this point I’d MET the woman and found out how fantastic she was when she taught a writing workshop I went to–but I just couldn’t do it. I generally think everything that comes out of Tammy’s fingers is gold, but even I have my limits.

My Epic Quest to Go See Cassandra Clare, Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan and Why It was Worth It.

Last month, when I found out there was going to be a Cassandra Clare, Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan signing somewhat in my area, I decided I HAD TO GO. Usually I can’t find anyone close to me other than signings at Books of Wonder in NYC, which–while I’m sure is a perfect nice store–IS IN NYC. Just the trip alone there might kill me. So when I heard about this one, I happily told my father that there was a signing not six hours away from my house, but closer!

It was only four.

Luckily for me, I had a birthday coming up (18, that’s a big one, you guys may remember…). For a present, he gave me a gift certificate for his helping to drive me there and back. (That’s four hours ONE WAY, folks.) And yet, yesterday morning, he continued to go, until the moment we left:

“You sure you want to do this?”

“Yes.”

“You sure?”

“Yes.”

“You–”

“THEY ARE LIKE MY BEATLES. MY ELVIS. MY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN.”

“You sure?”

“…”

Thankfully, we did eventually get out the door. Traffic, however, did not help ANYTHING. We were stuck in so much stop and go traffic all the way down that our hour early plan turned into a fifteen minutes late plan.

But still, we made it to our destination: Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck, NY. (Website | Facebook)

Unfortunetly, my lateness meant I’d missed all of Holly’s reading and most of Cassie, but I did totally get to hear Sarah reading from Unspoken. While the excerpt was excellent, it was made THIRTY TIMES BETTER by Sarah’s acting out of the scene, including an almost strip tease. 😉

A Q&A session followed, that was ridiculously entertaining. I didn’t get a chance to live tweet it as much as I wanted because I was laughing so hard, but I did get a chance to get a few of them in! I’ll just insert my screen shot here below…

After that came the signing! Because I was so late, I was literally THE last person in line out of a crowd of over 100 people, so I sat around waiting for a long time to get mine signed, but it was totally worth it. I got pictures with every one of them! (Also, remember, FOUR HOUR CAR RIDE. This is why I look like a wreck. Also, love my Team Jem shirt? Apparently I was like THE ONLY Team Jem member representing. SAY WHAAAAT?)

All in all, I got 3 books signed by Holly (my Modern Faerie Tales set), 3 books by Cassie (City of Glass, Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince) and 1 book by Sarah (Team Human). Allow me to show off a few of my lovelies…

And there you have it! My VERY FIRST author appearance post for the blog! I was fangirling the whole night long, and these guys were so fantastically nice and funny. I wish I could have just sat down with them longer and listened to them tell the funny stories about each other. They are three of my IDOLS, and I couldn’t believe my luck that I got to be near them for a just a few minutes. As you can tell, I’m a little out in the middle of nowhere where book signings (and freaking anything else) are concerned. When I got home I basically passed out from exhaustion, but it was SO WORTH IT. 😀