Month: November 2013

That Artsy Reader Girl is 2 Years Old!

Posted November 30, 2013 by Jana in About Me / 11 Comments


Sometimes I forget that I have not been blogging forever, which is why I kind of ALWAYS forget my blogoversary. I just realized that the blog turned two about a week and a half ago! Yay! To be honest, I never thought I would last this long as a book blogger. I thought I’d have fun for a few months and then fizzle. I had no idea I would love blogging as much as I do, and I am so excited about all the life changes this blog has brought on. The biggest one was probably my decision to go to grad school to get my master’s in Library and Information Science. I’m a graphic designer! Who would have thought I’d get a master’s in something so vastly unartistic. I just finished my first extremely successful semester, and am more convinced than ever that I made the right choice.

A big thing that happened for the blog this year was the switch from my blogspot url to my .com one, in conjunction with my switch from Blogger to WordPress! I also designed a brand new layout for my blog, and I really love it. The change has taken book blogging to an entirely new level for me! If you are thinking of moving, do it.

I’m so thankful for this blog, and for everyone I have met through it. I’m thankful for my fellow bloggers, the awesome authors and publishers and publicists I have worked with, and the books I never thought I would have read, but ended up LOVING. That Artsy Reader Girl has changed my life. I can’t wait to see what new experiences come in my third year! Thanks so much for all your support. :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted November 28, 2013 by Jana in Personal / 4 Comments


If you live in the USA, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoy eating and celebrating with your loved ones. I’m so thankful for all of you, for where I am in my life, and for this amazing holiday!

How are you celebrating?

Top Ten Things I am Thankful For

Posted November 25, 2013 by Jana in About Me, Top Ten Tuesday / 8 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

I’m writing this post as I lay sick in bed, so I will admit that I’m having a hard time focusing on things I am thankful for. At the same time, though, I know things could be so much worse than they are. I could be suffering with no cold medicine, no comfortable bed, no TV to keep me entertained, no books to read, and no heat in my home. I have so much to be thankful for!

1. I am thankful for my mom and my sister. We are the Three Musketeers, and we have so much fun together. They are my biggest cheerleaders, my confidants, and my best friends. My mom and I travel together, laugh together, cry together, and are pretty much the same person.

2. I am thankful that I get to live in such a beautiful place! I love Utah, and all my friends and family who live here.

3. I am thankful for all the awesome travel experiences I’ve had throughout my life. Through traveling, I have learned so much about myself, what I am capable of, and how lucky I am. I’ve also learned a lot about culture, language, and what an awesome world we live in.

4. I am thankful for the turn my life has taken this year. I have figured out my life, and I know exactly what I’m going to do with it.

5. I am thankful to be a book blogger! I love everyone I have met through blogging, all the awesome books I have been exposed to, and the opportunities it has provided me. :)

6. I am thankful that I get to teach the 14 and 15-year-old girls at church. They are like my little sisters, and I enjoy getting to know them.

7. I’m thankful for my education. It’s crazy to think about, and I can’t tell you how many times during my first semester of grad school (that I just completed!!) that I wondered what on earth I have done to myself, but there are so many out there who do not have the opportunity to go to school.

8. I’m thankful for music, and the ability I have to connect with it on such a deep level.

9. I’m thankful for my talents of creativity and singing.

10. I’m thankful for my Heavenly Father, and His plan for me.

So, what are YOU thankful for?

Candy and the Cankersaur by Jason Sandberg | Children’s Book Review

Posted November 22, 2013 by Jana in Children's Book Review, Inner Child / 1 Comment


When I was a little girl, I loved Danny and the Dinosaur by by Syd Hoff. When I discovered that Candy and the Cankersaur pays tribute to this very book, I was so excited to read it!

Candy and the Cankersaur

Candy and the Cankersaur written and illustrated by Jason Sandberg
Self-published on June 17, 2012
Pages: 32
Format: eBook
Source: From the author
Buy the Book • Add to Goodreads

This is the sweet and funny tale of a young girl named Candy and a Cankersaurus Rex! Candy receives a dinosaur as a gift and is determined to train him to be a good pet.

This book is so much fun, and so cute! It totally and completely reminds me of Danny and the Dinosaur. The colors and the illustration style are just like those in Syd Hoff’s book, and I could not help but think of Danny when I read about Candy.

Candy lives in a mansion with her rich dad. All she wanted was to be able to spend more time with him, but since he was always so busy, he decided she needed a really cool pet to keep her company. All of a sudden, a plan lands in her yard carrying a Cankersaurus Rex from The Island that Time Forgot. Candy was scared at first, but decided her new dinosaur, Cank, would be fun to train. They had a lot of fun together, even though Cank kept biting things, until her jealous neighbor, Chucky, decided to kidnap Cank. If he can’t have a dinosaur, then nobody can. Chucky sells Cank to a circus. But then he felt bad because he took his little crush on Candy too far. Candy, Chucky, and her dad decide to save him.

Candy and the Cankersaur is a sweet book for boys and girls. The colorful pictures and silly story will keep them captivated to the very end. I also love the message the book portrays: friendship is better than having the best toys. That’s something all children can learn. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a fun, colorful story and a good teaching opportunity.

Top Ten Books I Would Recommend to My Non-Bookish Little Sister

Posted November 18, 2013 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 11 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is a fun one! Initially, I had a hard time deciding who to recommend books to, but then all of a sudden it hit me! My little sister does not really read books. She has a few she enjoys like the Narnia series, Twilight, and The Hunger Games. But other than those, she really does not read much. I’ve been able to talk her into a few books, but not nearly enough. It’s hard having a non-bookish sister! She loves movies, though, so I am hoping to come up with a list of books she will like using the movies and the few books she loves. Oh, and travel. She LOVES traveling.


All Our Yesterdays by Kristin Terrill
One of the reasons my sister loved The Hunger Games so much is the action. She loves the constant heart pounding action. This is action, and dystopia, and some time travel! I think she’d really like it.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I remember after I read The Hunger Games that I was looking everywhere to find a dystopian novel that was as good. Delirium filled that need for me, and I really loved it.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
The Hunger Games is all about survival in a weird world. So is These Broken Stars! The characters have to beat the odds to survive. My sister also loves Titanic, and this book has a Titanic-ish feel. I think she’d enjoy it!


Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
My sister has always wanted to go to London. Why not visit through Meant to Be?

Wanderlove by Kristin Hubbard
My family has been to Belize before, which is one of the places Wanderlove is set in. I loved reading about Belize. I know how unbelievably hot it is there, and I know what it looks like. It made Wanderlove a lot of fun. Plus, the romance is sweet and she loves romance!

Decked with Holly by Marni Bates
My sister is a Christmas maniac, just like I am! Plus, she adores cruising. This book has both!

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
My sister LOVES flying. And she loves romance! I just know she would love this story.


Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
The Little Mermaid is one of my sister’s very favorite Disney movies. I love this mermaid trilogy, and I think it is just as magical as The Little Mermaid.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinderella is another of my sister’s favorite movies. I think she would adore Cinder, and since she loved The Hunger Games I think she will enjoy this dystopian retelling. Really, she would love the entire series!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna is Disney-like in the perfect romance. And there’s the Paris thing, which my sister would love. She has always wanted to go to Paris. I think she would have a major thing for St. Clair.


So, there you have it! What would you recommend my sister read? She loves romance and kissing and princesses and action.

What person did you choose to recommend books for? I’d love to see what you chose for them to read! Maybe I’ll find something new to pine for. :)

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner | Book Review

Posted November 18, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 10 Comments

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner | Book ReviewThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on December 10, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
Add to Goodreads
Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

I’ve always been a little iffy on outer space books and usually pass on them, but These Broken Stars sounded too amazing to pass up. It ended up being everything I could have hoped for! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. What a unique idea! A ship of vacationing passengers flying through space, only to be knocked out of orbit and crash land on a mysterious planet. These Broken Stars is a combination of Titanic and LOST.

2. I mention LOST, because this planet is wacky. There are whispers and visions and crazy animals and signs of former habitation. And this is all happening for some unknown reason. Are these characters crazy? Are they going insane? Is the planet haunted? Is someone these playing a trick on them? Are they being tested? What s going on!?!

3. These characters are amazing. Since the book really only includes two of them, the authors had to make them interesting or readers would get bored very quickly. I loved Tarver. He is a war hero who is trained in surviving situations like this one. He also comes from a tough life, and has a lot of depth. I loved his strength and his power of motivating Lilac to push on through the pain of hiking in heels and a fancy dress. He has a weak moments in the story, though, which made him more down to earth. His tenderness and dedication are quite endearing. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe, and she is completely thrown out of her comfort zone when she has to take a risk and save herself and Tarver from dying in the crash. She’s not as pretentious as I had expected, which was nice. She quickly adapted to this new life, and grew in maturity. She’s strong, confident, and capable of much more than she realized. 4. The story is told in dual points of view, which I really liked. I find that this is commonly done in survival books, and I always enjoy reading what’s going on in each character’s head.

5. What I did not like were the snippets of Tarver’s post-rescue interrogation at the beginning of every chapter. Because this was done, I knew immediately that they would be rescued. I did not like having the ending spoiled for me, and would have enjoyed the book much more if I had not known this ahead of time.

6. I liked the slow burning romance between Lilac and Tarver. They met on the ship, and while they were both intrigued by one another, they were from two different worlds. Lilac really shot him down and bruised his ego. When they ended up crashing together and being the only two survivors, they were forced to work together or die. They really hated each other for a while, but that began to change and they really cared for each other before they fell in love.

7. There is this mind blowing plot twist that happens, and OH MY THE FEELS. I won’t go into this anymore, but OH MY. I did not know what to do with myself.

8. Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner did an amazing job team writing These Broken Stars. I did not even know this book was written by two authors until I started gathering information to write my review. I’m so impressed that I could not tell! The writing was absolutely lovely.

I can’t wait for the next book! These Broken Stars really surprised me, and was a wonderful way to introduce myself to outer space. I’m so proud of these 2013 debut authors, and hope they continue to write lots together.

5 Stars

The Next Big Trend in Young Adult Fiction | Author Guest Post

Posted November 15, 2013 by Jana in Guest Post / 7 Comments

It’s my pleasure to have author Sherry Torgent on the blog today to discuss upcoming trends in young adult fiction!

The Next Big Trend in Young Adult Fiction
by Sherry Torgent

I was recently thinking about the concept of trending, mainly because twitter has made the term popular by providing daily trends. Then I thought, what would it be like to have trending hashtags just for young adult fiction? What would we be seeing today, n

ext month, a year from now? I decided to take a look around and see if anyone was trying to predict future trends in young adult fiction.

To say that more people disagree than agree on this topic is an understatement. Imagine a publishing agent licking a finger and putting it up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. This analogy pretty much sums up the way predicting YA trends seems to be done. In other words, they have no idea. But that doesn’t keep them from trying.

First, I decided to look at what’s on the way out. According to one article I read from a popular publishing magazine, paranormal romance, apocalyptic aftermath, and dystopian fiction, are played out, over published, and dead.

My first thought was, WOW. How did they determine that? I wanted some real, hard evidence. The article was only based on the opinions of the publishing agents they interviewed. I was going to need more than that.

So in my non-sci

entific attempt to find proof, I pulled up Amazon’s current top 100 best-selling, young adult books and looked at the categories of all 100 books (Yes, I really did look at all 100). Were the publishing agents right about paranormal and dystopian? Hmmm… After lumping some of the categories together for the sake of narrowing it down, I ended up with three top categories. And guess what? Fantasy/paranormal and Science fiction/dystopian were almost just as popular as Contemporary fiction. One commenter on the article said that saying these categories are dead is like saying women are getting tired of romance novels.

So, what about the next big YA trend? What’s it going to be?

The three new big trends that seemed to have the most support were contemporary, science fiction, and stand-alone novels (good-bye trilogies?). And it looks like they may be right about this one—sort of. Contemporary, coming-of-age, romance type fiction came out at the top of the bestsellers. Most were stand-alone novels. But was this really a new trend? Maybe it’s an old, new trend. My quest for the next big thing was slowly unraveling.

The only trend I saw that may have some clout, is the rise of science fiction. And that’s only because right off the top of my head, I was able t

o think of four movies being made from science fiction books: The Maze Runner, Ender’s Game, Divergent, and Wool, with the added bonus of two being dystopian, and two, post-apocalyptic. You know, the dead trends.

But after all this poking and prodding and researching, did I really learn anything about the next big YA trend? Not really. Sigh.

Here’s why.

The reality is, we all like what we like, and we tend to read the kind of books we like whether they’re trending or not. No matter what the predictions are for what the next big trend is in YA, readers want one thing more than anything else — a good story. Period. They want original, unpredictable, realistic romance, with characters they can really connect to. It doesn’t matter whether its romance or science fiction, as long as the writer creates a story that grabs us. That’s the kind of book that will be trending.

What YA book trends do you think need to be left behind, or what trends do you hope to see in the future? I think we can all agree that readers are the best predictors of YA trends, not publishing agents.

Thanks for stopping by, Sherry! You’ve given us some interesting things to think about. :)

Check out Sherry’s book, Like Ice!

Like Ice

Like Ice by Sherry Torgent
Published by Createspace on September 26, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Adventure, Clean Romance
Pages: 266
Buy the Book • Add to Goodreads

Raz Wynn is an Ice baby. Part of a human race genetically altered to colonize a cold planet where survival dictates everything. But another colony lives in the warmth of the underground. The Kommons. The unaltered humans. Abandoned by their mother country on earth, the two colonies stand at odds over who will ultimately inhabit the planet. When Raz discovers the unfathomable sacrifice her colony expects her to make in order to secure the future of her race, she does the only thing she can do. Run.


Top Ten Book Covers I Wish I Could to Redesign

Posted November 11, 2013 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 22 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

I’m a firm believer in the power of an awesome book cover. While we all wish we could place ourselves in the category of those who do not judge books by their covers, we all do it. It might not make us decide whether or not to read a book, but it almost always creates a feeling within that you expect the novel to have. Sometimes this just does not happen. And sometimes… it’s just ugly. Here are the top ten book covers I wish I could redesign.


Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

Vampire Academy by Richelle Meade

She just has this really weird look one her face… and the shadow over her other eye is just weird. *shrug*

Don't Turn Around (PERSEF0NE, #1)

Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon

It’s just creepy. And the hand looks weird.

You Are Mine (Mine, #1)

You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

It’s not just this one. I want to redesign all book covers that are just a pretty face and nothing else. Where is the creativity?

Inhuman (Fetch, #1)

Inhuman by Kat Falls

It looks like it’s trying to be Divergent.

Phoenix Overture (Newsoul, #2.5)

Phoenix Overture by Jodi Meadows

I really, really wish the designers had not decided to give Sam a face. I liked dreaming him up in my own mind, and he looks nothing like this guy. It kind of ruined it for me, and I have been lacking the motivation to read it.

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Will someone please tell me why this cover is a good one? It’s boring, and I don’t like how Jodi’s quote is meant to be a part of the design along with John’s prestige-ness.

Delirium Stories: Hana, Annabel, and Raven (Delirium, #0.5, #1.5, #2.5)

Delirium Stories by Lauren Oliver

It looks like a bunch of clip art flowers haphazardly stuck together. Not good.

Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, #1)

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

The focus is on the legs. Why? I hear so many amazing things bout this series, that the cover of the first one should probably be nice.

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

I really like the typography, but the girl looks creepy and the dress is really ugly.

Twinmaker (Twinmaker, #1)

Twinmaker by Sean Williams

This cover is just not attractive, and I’m not a fan of the font.

So, how do you feel about these covers? Agree? Disagree? Which ones did you pick?

Bookish Finds: The Birth of a Book (Video)

Posted November 8, 2013 by Jana in Bookish Finds / 2 Comments


Bookish Finds is a feature here at That Artsy Reader Girl, where I highlight awesome bookish things I come across during my exciting life.

Happy Friday! Have you ever wondered what goes in to making a book? Nowadays, factories mass produce these puppies, but what about the traditional way of printing? The amazing video shows you what happens, and it’s so cool!


Top Ten Sequels (or Next Books) I’m Really Excited For!

Posted November 4, 2013 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 19 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

This week, we get to talk all about sequels (or next book in a series for a few of my picks) we’re excited to get our hands on! I LOVE this topic.



Of Neptune (Syrena Legacy #3) by Anna Banks
Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo
Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
(I have an ARC of this one, and am DYING to get to it!)
Infinite (Newsoul #3) by Jodi Meadows
Untitled Throne of Glass #3 by Sarah J. Maas
Burning Kingdoms (Internment Chronicles #2) by Lauren DeStefano
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Unforgotten (Unremembered #2) by Jessica Brody
(I have an ARC that’s calling my name!)
Camp Payback (Camp Boyfriend #2) by J.K. Rock
Sinner (Wolves of Mercy Falls #4) by Maggie Stiefvater
(A book about Cole!!! SO EXCITED!!)

I get excited just thinking about these books! Which ones are you looking forward to?