Monthly Archives:: February 2014

Top Ten Worlds I Would Never Want to Live In

February 24, 2014 Top Ten Tuesday 15

TTT

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

I missed this topic a while back because I took too long to think. Haha. So, now I can finally post! Yay for TTT rewind!

 

 

Panem in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I’m sorry, but I would be a nervous wreck for my entire life. I worry about everything. EVERYTHING. I worry about millions of things that don’t even happen. And if I didn’t have to fight, I would worry about having children, because I would not want them to be chosen. I would never stop worrying. That’s not a good way to live.

Internment in Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
A chunk of rock in the middle of the sky is not my kind of place. Plus, that government is insane. I would also really hate seeing the surface of the Earth and never being allowed to go visit.

Black City in Black City by Elizabeth Richards
This book upset me because it was very dark and the people were very violent. The city is in ruins, ash rains from the skies, and nothing is being re-built. Rubble is everywhere, and that’s where these people live. They can do nothing. The Darklings scare me to death, plus they are mad. Somebody on Goodreads compared this place to the Holocaust in Germany with vampires thrown in. Yes. Totally. *shudder* Don’t make me go.

The shores of Lake Superior in Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Killer mermaids. I would never leave my house. Well, I guess I could. I would never go near the water.

Under the rule of The Society in Matched by Ally Condie
I’m sorry, but I’m going to pick my own husband, ok?

The future of the USA in Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
I’m reading this one right now, and all humans are divided by day dwellers and night dwellers. The day dwellers live like us, but the night dwellers sleep all day and are up all night. And they are treated soooo badly! I’m a night owl! I love going out at night. And to not be allowed to? But on the other hand, to not be allowed to go out in the sun? EVER? I’d hate this.

The love-is-a-disease world in Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Ok, you can’t tell me I’m not allowed to love a person. Sorry, but no.

The world where books get burned in Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
You burn my books, I burn you.

The world ravaged by natural disasters in Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
If you go outside, something terrible happens to you. Like you turn into a monster. All because of the toxic air. Ahhh! No thanks!

The world killed off by robots in Partials by Dan Wells
The human race is pretty much gone. Killed off by a weaponized virus by genetically engineered human-like beings. You live if you’re immune to it. And if you’re immune to it, they hunt you down.

So, what do you think of these worlds? Would you want to live there?
And which topic did you go back and do again? Link me up!


How Book Blogging is a lot Like Online Dating

February 21, 2014 About Me 35

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve been dealing with the “joys” of online dating lately. Being a full time online student does not leave me many options for meeting men, so I have taken the advice of some friends and started the online thing. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how similar online dating and book blogging are… You’ll see what I mean. :)

Stoked This NEW thing is just so new and exciting and I am so excited to be noticed!

When I first started blogging, everything was new and everything excited me. The first comment had me giddy. The first follower had me dancing. The first review request had me singing about how awesome I was. The first granted Netgalley request had me flying to the moon. And ALL THOSE BOOKS. I requested them all! Any and all attention from people other than my family rocked my socks off, because I was SOMEONE.

When I first started online dating, I was so excited because THIS was how I would find Mr. Right. I would look at the list of thousands of eligible men and get all giddy because they were just so cute! And eligible! The first email communication made me bouncy. HE LIKES ME! Any and all attention from anyone had me smiling, because I was SOMEONE.

I am LOVING all these emails, and I must respond ALWAYS.

When the first batch of book review request emails came in, I decided that I MUST be a people pleaser and accept them ALL and read them ALL and love them ALL. I did not want to hurt an author or a publisher, so I never wanted to decline anyone. And I ended up reading a lot of junk.

I get a lot of emails from a lot of men. Some of them I get excited about, and some of them make me cringe. But I hate hurting people, so in the beginning I would respond and try to be nice to everyone. And then just run away and hide, hoping they did not write back. I ended up wasting a lot of time.

Covers. Not what they may seem.

You know how sometimes you see a book and LOVE the cover, and then the inside sucks so incredibly badly? Yeah. Exactly. Covers, much like pictures, can be super deceiving. Of COURSE, it can go the other way. I’ve read books with terrible covers that I loved. And I’ve met guys who became more attractive as I got to know them better. But sadly, this is kind of rare.

Well. THAT was not what I was expecting.

You know how you sometimes go into a book expecting a certain quality? And then you get whiplash because you were SO not expecting that? Like, someone suddenly dies in the book. Or someone just said something really stupid and made you think twice about them. The same goes for online dating. You can expect all you want, but when reality sets in it can be a tricky situation.

Can I DNF this?

Yeah, so I have been on many dates from hell. Like, the guy wants to hold your hand when you’re SO not even into him like you were hoping you would be and you can’t fathom why he thinks you ARE into him. Or he says something that makes you want to run away like, “How big is your chest?” or “It’s your job to keep my thoughts and actions pure because I can’t control myself.” Yeah. I have heard both of those multiple times. I only wish DNFing a date were as easy as closing it and throwing it across the room.

Clearly, they read nothing I said.

Ever received a review request that goes completely against your review policy? Like, you say in your policy that you hate paranormal romance, and then up pops a review request for one? Or you say you require this, this, and this from the requester in order to make an informed decision? And then you receive an email with no this, no this, and no this? It’s like, “Did they even care enough to read about me first?”

I can’t tell you how many times a man has written to me and asked me questions I had already answered in my online profile. Or… now, I am a very conservative kind of girl. I don’t drink, don’t smoke or do drugs, and don’t want to sleep with anyone until I’m married to him. And so this dude writes to me, asking if I’d like a no-strings-attached hot night involving a bar and a bed. Ick.


They ask you to make an exception because they are awesome.

Even worse than receiving a review request that goes against your policy, is receiving a review request that says, “Please make an exception for my book, because it’s something I just know you will love.”

I remember one day getting an email from a guy who actually said, “If you would just hook up with me tonight, I know you’d never regret it.” Or there’s the charming, “You’re probably just scared of it because you’ve never met a guy who knew what he was doing. Baby, I do.” I mean REALLY.

I am no longer accepting requests.

Eventually, you just HAVE to get more selective and start thinking of yourself because you can’t please everyone. Ain’t nobody got time for that! In both blogging and online dating, I have learned to ignore the people who clearly do not care, I have learned to decline if I am not interested, and I have learned to stand up for myself.

The more you do it, the smarter about it you get.

This kind of goes along with the last one, but deserves its own point. As a blogger becomes more and more seasoned, they begin to figure out how to make things better for themselves. I no longer accept everything, and I no longer request everything. I have written out schedules, I have learned to be more creative in my post ideas, I have learned to schedule ahead of time. I’ve learned how to politely decline review requests. I’ve learned how to harden my shell against authors who do not like my reviews. This just happens.

In online dating, I have gotten so much smarter. I know what I’m looking for, and know when not to waste my time. I know when and how to meet up for the first time so that it’s safe. I’ve learned to discover red flags sooner. I’ve learned how to tell a guy I’m just not interested and not feel bad about it. It’s sad to say I’ve become a seasoned online dater, but I have. *cringe*

You learn a lot about yourself.

Book blogging has opened me up to so many feelings and realizations. I’ve learned from and been changed by the books I’ve read. I’ve learned to express myself even better.

Online dating has made me realize how important I am. I will not settle for the jerks who only want one thing. I will not be an object or a pet. I will not let anyone make me feel less worthy of what I’m looking for. I will not let anyone tell me my dreams are too big or my expectations are too high. I’m good enough, and I don’t need a man to complete me. I’d love my own love story, but not at the price of my self respect.

Someday it may turn into something more.

Blogging has already taken me in a different direction, and changed my life. It helped me decide what I want in a career. It helped me decide to go back to grad school. Heck, it helped me get IN to grad school! And someday my blog might get my foot in some doors I might not have gotten into otherwise. Book blogging has been one of the best decisions of my entire life.

At this point in my life, I do not have a ton of options for meeting men. Regardless of how hard and frustrating online dating can be, I’m still holding out for my Prince Charming. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll be able to say that jumping into online dating was THE best decision of my entire life.

So, there you have it! I think you know WAY too much about me now. Haha!


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling | Mini Book Review

February 19, 2014 Book Review, Young Adult 17 ★★★★★

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling | Mini Book ReviewHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter #1
Published by Scholastic on September 1, 1998
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 309
Format: eBook
Source: Bought it!
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in ten years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.

Wow. I know, right? You’re probably thinking, “Wow. It took Jana a REALLY long time to review this book, since SURELY she read this ages ago.” Well, you’re wrong. I just read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time in my entire life! FINALLY, right? I was scared of this book. I was not a fantasy fan when these books came out, so I could not have cared less about reading them. And then when I finally became a fan of fantasy, the books had received so much praise and proclamations of undying love, that I was too scared to read them! Of course, no book could EVER live up to the hype generated by millions and millions of devoted fans! I wanted to pass that right of passage, though. I’m going to school to be a young adult librarian! How could I not read these? So, I lowered my expectations and forced myself to begin. And much to my surprise…

I LOVED IT. And now, if I ever find someone like me who has not read Harry Potter, I will do this. Because seriously. Someone should have done this to me:

read the book

 

I SO wish I had been interested in these books as a child, because every child needs to believe in the possibility of magic. Every child who hates their life (not that I did, I’m just sayin’), needs to believe that there’s more waiting for them out there in the world.

Hogwarts is just… magical! This world is so exciting and dynamic and it feels HUGE. I finally know what muggles are! And I finally understand why people are waiting for their Hogwarts letter. And I get the owl thing. And I understand who this creepy Voldemort guy is. And Hagrid! I love him! And Hermione is quite annoying. And Ron is adorable. And I want to smack Draco. And Harry is this sweet little skinny thing who I just want to hug because of his terrible childhood. I love that he became special, and recognized it.

I was not expecting Harry Potter to be a funny story! But it is! Hagrid had me laughing so much. And some of the things these kids say to each other is hilarious. Even the professors have their little jokes. I was not expecting my imagination to be so stimulated. This book made me hope that all this magical stuff is real. I was not expecting Harry Potter to read like such a universal book. I mean, these kids are little young things but I did not feel like I was reading a book for children.

I don’t really know what to do. I’m jumping from thought to thought, and there’s really no organizational schematic to this post. Harry Potter has been reviewed and reviewed and talked about for YEARS. There is nothing else I can say. So basically, I’m going to cut this thing short, say “ditto to all the 5-star reviews”, and go stalk the mail for my really pretty 15th anniversary boxed set I just bought. J.K. Rowling has another fan! I’m a cool kid now! I can’t wait to finish the series. :)


Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Being a Reader and a Book Blogger

February 17, 2014 About Me, Top Ten Tuesday 26

TTT

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

This week, we’re getting personal. It’s about time I declared why I love being a reader and book blogger so much, so I am excited about this topic!

 

 

ILoveReading ILoveBlogging

I really do love reading, and I love being a book blogger so much! I could have listed 100 reasons for both! I am grateful every day for finding such wonderful hobbies! And all my friends make it a million times better!

Why do you love being a reader and/or a book blogger?


Sneak Peek into Kyle Demore & the Timekeeper’s Key | Author Guest Post

February 17, 2014 Book Spotlight, Guest Post 4

Hi there Supreme Reader Overlords!

The lovely Jana has been so kind that she offered me a guest post slot on her brilliant blog. I think she believes me to be funny, so I will try to humor you with my charm and wit. Though in all honesty, I’m just an awkward geek who sometimes passes for being clever.

Well anyways. Hmm…ah yes. So I’ve written a book. It is called Kyle Demore and the Timekeeper’s Key. Not many people know about it yet, but basically it goes a bit like this:

Kyle Demore and the Timekeeper's Key (Kyle Demore #1)

It was a horrible day in math class…that turned into the adventure of a lifetime.

In this exciting debut book from a fresh new YA author, come meet Kyle Demore: the oddball and outcast of Grayling Junior High. After Kyle accidentally turns Grayling’s gym into a snow-packed toboggan run, he is expelled, only to be recruited for a school in another realm that he’s already seen in some bizarre dreams. In Endera, nothing is the same, especially keys. Turns out they can unlock spectacular and magical powers–but only in the right pair of hands.

In Endera, Kyle finds he’s no longer a………..

Hmmm… I don’t want to give any of you potential readers any more of the blurb seeing as you can find the rest of it on my website or if you’re feeling a bit adventurous you can look on Amazon. Please take no offense potential readers! I only want to offer you other information that I’ve yet to put anywhere else on the internet.

Jana’s last guest post by Marissa Meyer was an interesting piece about how she named one of her heroines. I’m not very good at coming up with names so I won’t try to pull off having the same brilliance of Marissa Meyer. However, I can offer a little sneak peek into one of my favorite characters in the story. You’ll learn more about him later should any of you decide to pick up my book, but I think he’s interesting enough to merit a little preview.

His name is Kevin the Stone!

Kevin is 15. Tall, strong, and built like an ox. He was born completely deaf, leaving him incapable of normal speech. He is able to communicate using the power of keys through a specially designed notepad that was created by his loving grandmother. From his grandmother he picked up the habit of gently squeezing people’s cheeks when he meets them. He has long black hair and an attractive face that the ladies can’t seem to get enough of. Though it probably helps that he interacts with the world like an innocent child, always smiling and always saying “ah” which happens to be one of the only things he can say on his own.

Well there you go. That’s my bit on Kevin the Stone. Hopefully he sounds intriguing to everyone out there. I think he’s a fun dude who many of you will enjoy, but of course I leave that to you.

I suppose I’ve done enough talking for one post. As you might have realized, I am quite new to this author business so I feel odd when I talk about my own work. I should mention that Kyle Demore and the Timekeeper’s Key is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Google Play.

For some more info about me and my book. Please check out my website. Thanks for having me for a Guest Post, Jana!


Book Blogger Love-A-Thon: Mini Challenge 3 – Mad-Lib

February 15, 2014 Uncategorized 5

loveathon

The book blogger love-a-thon is a fun little weekend event hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands. The point is to spread the love around the book blogosphere and get to know some amazing people!

This challenge is to complete a mad-lib about our book boyfriends! The bolded words are the ones I added in. This was SO much fun! Haha.

One day, I was singing with Sam (Incarnate). Out of the blue, a dragon came out of nowhere! It was so big, fierce and sinister. At first, we were afraid, we were petrified, but we ate. We hopped on a speed boat to make our getaway.

As we escaped, we turned up the radio because S.O.S by Rhianna came on and made me flail. Everything was extremely smooth sailing until an octopus appeared in the middle of the ocean. We swerved to avoid it, but while Sam stayed on the speed boat, I got thrown out into the water.

I couldn’t get up, and felt depressed as I lay there staring up at the stars. What was I going to do? I heard a gurgle among the waves, and felt sad. Surely, this was going to be my end. As my eyes fluttered shut, the last thing I saw was a head of black hair and grey eyes.

When I woke up again, I was on a futon. My body hurt a whole lot less, and I could sit up. There was a TV and a fireplace in the room, along with macaroni and cheese and chamomile tea. The door suddenly opened to reveal Galen (Of Poseidon), a concerned look on his face. I blushed and averted my gaze, but he smiled and said, “Don’t be shy. It’s okay.”

He came over to sit by me, and we started talking after I told him my name. We chatted about swimming, shopping, and singing and realized we had a ton in common! I thought he was super handsome and couldn’t help feeling a little swoony.

Just as he reached out for my hand, the door crashed open and in came Etienne St. Clair. “Don’t let him charm you away, my love!” He yelled, running at Galen. They each had blenders in their hands and began to fight. “Stop!”, I yelled, feeling so upset. They didn’t listen to me. Before I could intervene, Galen fell to the floor and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

“What was that?” I asked, staring at the empty space. St. Clair dropped his weapon, and came over to me. “Magic, but you are safe now, my little chocolate eclair.” He hugged me close, and I suddenly knew that this was the real deal and not just a dream.

Just as You Are Loved by Josh Groban started playing in my head, I woke up. I cursed my stinkin’ luck. Why had it only been just a dream?

Hehe! That was too much fun! If only my book boyfriends really did fight over me like this!


Book Blogger Love-A-Thon: Interview with Hazel

February 15, 2014 Uncategorized 19

loveathon

The book blogger love-a-thon is a fun little weekend event hosted by Alexa Loves Books and Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands. The point is to spread the love around the book blogosphere and get to know some amazing people!

I’m so excited to have Hazel on the blog today, to kick off the book blogger love-a-thon! She is amazingly nice, and I had so much fun getting to know her!

1. Tell me about where you live! I love hearing about places outside of the USA.

Malaysia is a beautiful tropical country just north of the equator. Our closest neighbors are Thailand and Singapore, but we’re a little less well-known. The best books I can recommend to get to know more about Malaysia and the culture in its glory days are The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo and The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw, both are historical fiction set in the early 1900’s. The Ghost Bride is also a fantasy novel that reminds me very much of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. It’s one of my favorite books, I highly recommend reading it regardless of whether you’re interested in learning more about Malaysia.

2. What made you decide to start a book blog?

Well, I read a lot of books, for one. =) I used to have a blog specifically for books and book reviews, but I was also reading a lot less then. We don’t have good public libraries in Malaysia and I had limited money for books, so I had time to write about my thoughts on the books I read, and to re-read the books I loved. When I moved to Canada in 2010, the Calgary Public Library was so awesome and I had access to so many great books, that I was reading about twice more than I did before. I was like a starving person at a buffet table and it was fun for a while, but as I kept reading (and not blogging about the books), I started forgetting some of the books I’d read and what I thought about them. I devoured the books without really tasting them, and starting this blog now to review and write about the books I read, is a way for me to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the books.

3. What are some of your favorite genres or books?

My favorite genre will always be fantasy, but not all my favorite books are fantasy. I have many favorites. George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series will always be ranked up there among them, The Light Bearer by Donna Gillespie is the most underrated historical fiction I know, Anne of Green Gables has influenced such a big part of who I am, The Count of Monte Cristo is better than any modern thriller and revenge story, The Hunger Games is a relatively new favorite, but no less loved.

4. What book has changed your life in some way? Why?

Wow, tough question. So many books have influenced my life in so many ways, it’s hard to think of just one significant book. Let me try to narrow it down…

When I was 9 or 10 years old, I read my first Christopher Pike book, and his books completely changed my perception of being a writer. I’d always written stories but I’d always made things up as I wrote, it was only after reading his books that I realized that you could plan and plot and make things happen the way you wanted them to.

When I was about 18, I was delving deeper into questions about spirituality, and happened to come across Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God series. These books changed my whole idea about who we are, what our life purpose is, why we are here, and it definitely changed how I saw things.

When I was about 25, I read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, about nutrition and natural health and how what we eat influenced our body’s health. I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 19, and while that made me more health-conscious and read more books about health, it never occurred to me to study it formally until I read The China Study. I started looking for natural health colleges as soon as I finished reading the book, and I’m now a certified Master Herbalist.

5. Tell us about your ideal reading situation. (i.e., where are you? who is with you? any food?)

I love reading while my husband practices the guitar. He provides great background music and I love that we’re doing our own individual things together. It doesn’t really matter where, but anywhere nice and cozy. =)

6. What is your proudest blogging moment?

It’s not a huge deal compared to so many more accomplished bloggers out there, but I was really proud when Paulo Coelho featured my review of The Alchemist on his blog. =)

7. You blog about a lot more than books. What are some of your other interests?

Well, I love music, my husband and I used to perform professionally for weddings and company events, both together and separately. I also crochet and knit and I’m just learning to sew. I’m interested in learning and reading more about natural health, sustainable living, plants and gardening, spirituality, and so much more! There are so many things to learn and be interested in! I’ve traveled a lot around Asia and the Australasia area, but I’d love to travel more around Europe and America in the future.

8. What do you feel is your most unique characteristic?

My most unique characteristic, hmmm… my brutal honesty? To myself I mean, I’m not brutally honest to anyone else, and I’m not actually brutal. =D I don’t actually know if it’s a unique characteristic, but I think it’s one of my better qualities. As readers, most of us are able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and be compassionate to their challenges and situations, but there still seems to be some blind spot when it comes to ourselves. I feel that I am able to be honest to myself about my shortcomings and weaknesses without being harsh, but at the same time be able to see them as things I want to improve on and still celebrate my strengths and successes.

9. Describe your ideal day.

Yoga in the early morning, a leisurely breakfast with hubby, then maybe a road trip to some place we can explore, and a cozy picnic lunch when we get hungry. Then we’d read and play music and doze a little bit until it starts to get dark. Maybe we’ll go somewhere nice for dinner, or maybe we’ll just stay home and have a simple dinner, but after that, we’re snuggling under the covers and watching a movie marathon until we fall asleep. =) It sounds positively wonderful to me.

10. What goals do you have for your future blogging endeavor?

I’d like to streamline all my social media profiles with my blog, for a start. I’m only just getting back to blogging and feeling overwhelmed with all the new social platforms out there. I’d also like to eventually start a twitter chat for an online book club/readalongs. I used to host Betty’s Book Chats which I really enjoyed, but didn’t really take off after the initial book chat for Water for Elephants. Most importantly for me, is establishing a sense of community and belonging as a blogger and a writer. I want to blog about things that matter and that will help or resonate with others. I want to grow as a blogger and as a person, learning from other bloggers, and sharing with them as well.


For the Love of Book Boyfriends by Heather Demetrios | Author Guest Post + a Giveaway!

February 14, 2014 Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post 13

For the Love of Book Boyfriends by Heather Demetrios | Author Guest Post + a Giveaway!

I’m so excited to have Heather on the blog on Valentine’s Day to talk about the book boyfriend from her new novel, Something Real, as well as some of the book boyfriends she’s crushed on! She has picked some amazingly swoonworthy ones! Also, make sure you make it to the bottom of the post and enter the giveaway for your own copy of Something Real!

For the Love of Book Boyfriends
by Heather Demetrios

It being Valentine’s Day and all, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to talk about book boyfriends. Specifically, the book boyfriend from SOMETHING REAL, my debut novel. Here’s a little description of Patrick Sheldon:

…with his longish hair and threadbare secondhand couture, he could be a beat poet, Kerouac or one of his friends. He looks like the kind of boy who would jump trains, strum a guitar, and pass a joint.

He might not be everyone’s version of dreamy, but he’s my version of dreamy—and, more importantly, my protagonist’s. Creating a book boyfriend is A LOT of fun, but it’s no easy task. I didn’t want Patrick to be a cardboard guy, an Everyteen that could be any number of seventeen-year-old dudes across America. How many times have you read just another version of Ned from Nancy Drew (which, ironically, is short for EDWARD)? You want your guy to be loveable, yes. Swoony? Yes. Perfect? No. In one of my early drafts of SOMETHING REAL, my agent told me Patrick was too perfect and I knew she was right, so I had to dive back into the manuscript and roughen him up a little. The main issue was that he never got upset about any of the crap he has to deal with. His girlfriend’s on a reality TV show and paparazzi are everywhere: even if some teen guys might think that’s cool, I’d already created a Patrick who wasn’t about the fame game. Remember: he looks like the kind of boy who would jump trains, strum a guitar, and pass a joint. That’s not the kind of guy that wants to be on the cover of US Weekly. In his perfection, it was almost as if Patrick existed to be my protagonist’s boyfriend instead of a living, breathing character who’s a person in his own right. When your book boyfriend is unbelievable, it’s much harder to fall in love with him because you can’t pretend that he’s real. The fantasy dies a quick death.

Over the course of Something Real, Patrick and Bonnie™ have their ups and downs. Though it was hard for me to write those downs because I fell in love with both of them, the book is better for it. Patrick is also his own person, with a passion for architecture, some serious smarts, and a refusal to be a doormat. He makes sacrifices for the girl he loves, but he also knows when to say enough is enough. Because of that, they have…wait for it…something real.

Right now is a great time for book boyfriends in YA. Here are three of my favorites:

St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

People had been telling me to read this book forever, but I didn’t get to it until this past Christmas. Oh my gosh—talk about swoon-worthy! What I love is that Stephanie Perkins gives St. Clair some quirks and imperfections so that even though every girl in the school wants him, he’s not your typical high school hottie. St. Clair’s not always nice to Anna and he doesn’t always make the right choices. He’s very, very cute but Perkins offsets that with his self-consciousness over being short and his unmanly fear of heights (and his utter inability to come to a decision about his love life). I like how smart he is, that he appreciates Anna’s oddities, and that he does a ton of adorable things. I also liked that sometimes he pissed me off and had to earn his way back into my heart…and Anna’s.

Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Who doesn’t love Levi? Rainbow Rowell is pretty much the queen of creating amazing book boyfriends (Park from Eleanor and Park is my jam, as well). I love that Levi’s a gentleman, but he’s not a chaste dude. I like that he has his own passions and that he’s a super positive guy. It is so rare to find someone who always looks on the bright side and who can’t keep a smile off his face. Oh, and he makes a mean latte. Need I say more?

Sean from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Here’s an awesome fantasy book boyfriend for you. What I really like about Sean is that he has his own singular passion and this is what brings him and Puck together. They are very much their own people, but they discover ways they can support and care for one another. Their individual fierce independence is part of what creates so much chemistry between them. He’s also tough in the most laid back kind of way, a bit of a loner, and has a good heart. I love those mystery guys, the iconoclasts that are comfortable in their own skin and don’t give a crap what anyone else thinks. But it only works if they have a sensitive side and know how to treat a girl right, like Mr. Sean Kendrick.

About the Book

Something RealSomething Real by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt books for Young Readers on February 4, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Buy the BookAdd to Goodreads

There’s nothing real about reality TV.

Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show’s cancellation and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.

About the Author

Demetrios Author PhotoHeather Demetrios

I love books. I love writing stories almost as much as I like reading them. When I’m not traipsing about the world, I prefer to spend my time in imaginary places—maybe I’ll see you in one of them. I’ll be the one with my nose in a book and more tattoos than your mother would approve of.

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Epic Recs: February 2014

February 13, 2014 Epic Recs 4

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I am so excited to be a part of Epic Recs, hosted and dreamed up by Judith at Paper Riot. I’ve been paired up with Racquel at The Book Barbies. It’s a pretty simple and fun concept. After learning about our reading habits, likes, and dislikes, Racquel and I each picked a book for the other person to read. If you’re interested in participating, head over to Paper Riot and sign up to get a partner!

 

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Racquel chose Welcome, Caller, this is Chole by Shelley Coriell for me because of my love of Stephanie Perkins. She said that Chloe is a lot like Lola, especially regarding her love for fashion. This book is also a fun balance of fun and serious, which I love. I’m so excited to read it!

When I found out that Racquel loves YA contemporary, I immediately went to see if she had read Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. This book is the one I push on everyone I know. It got me into YA contemporary! It blends traveling, self discovery, coming of age, and a sweet romance. I hope she loves it as much as I did!

I will report back with my review, and also re-cap thoughts when I post about next months Epic Recs. I think this is going to be so much fun!

So, what do you think? Will I enjoy Welcome, Caller, this is Chloe?
Do you think Racquel will love Wanderlove like I did?


Infinite by Jodi Meadows | Book Review

February 12, 2014 Book Review 8 ★★★★★

Infinite by Jodi Meadows | Book ReviewInfinite by Jodi Meadows
Series: Newsoul #3
Also in this series: Incarnate, Asunder
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 28, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 418
Format: ARC
Source: From Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
DESTRUCTION
The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

FLIGHT
Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

CHOICE
The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

I love the Newsoul trilogy, and I have been pushing it on everyone I know. If you’re new or newish to this series, I would recommend reading my reviews of Incarnate or Asunder before reading this one! And then go read all the books!

Ok, so OH MY. You guys! I don’t even know how to review this book! It was just so perfect. I was so unbelievably happy to be reunited with Ana, Sam, and the rest of the gang. I missed them all so much. I was elated to get more of Jodi’s beautiful writing. I was so scared to finish, because I just don’t want to say goodbye to all of this! But Jodi did it right. SO right. If it had to end, this is how I wanted it to happen. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I will always love the strong theme of music that is woven throughout this entire trilogy. Music is everywhere, and in everything. Music saves lives, creates romance, and conveys the strongest of feelings. The musical theme, combined with Jodi’s lyrical writing, created the most amazingly perfect symphonic masterpiece. I have always been one to connect strongly and easily with music, so this story really made its way into my heart and soul.

2. I love what humans do when they fight for their lives, and I love the spirit of determination and self-preservation that these characters have. Enemies turn to allies. When push comes to shove, Ana and Sam along with other Newsoul allies head out on a journey to find help in preventing Janan’s ascension. I really loved seeing so much of the world outside of Heart and Range.

3. I really enjoyed getting to know more about the creatures that live outside of Heart. The first two books introduced us to the sylph, dragons, centaurs, and trolls, but we get to learn much more about them in Infinite. The sylph are glorious, and I loved reading about them and their gracefulness. The dragons are intriguing and have interesting personalities. Connections happen between Ana and these creatures, and I loved seeing this happen.

4. Jodi knows how to write her descriptions. I loved reading about this winter wonderland that Ana and Sam trekked through. I loved her descriptions of the true and complete love that Ana and Sam have for each other. The sexual tension had me swooning. The creatures I mentioned before are absolutely majestic and unique. I just drank in every detail I could, in the hopes of making it last forever.

5. There were so many emotions and feelings. I was tied up in knots, my heart broke, I smiled, I swooned, and I sighed. I was so concerned for my characters. I was sad for them when they had their hearts broken. I was scared when they found themselves in dangerous situations. I held my breath when they were on the cusp of losing everything. These people are my friends now. They have a place in my heart, and I felt everything they did.

6. The ending stole my breath, shattered my heart, and somehow ended up leaving me feeling warm and fuzzy as I said goodbye. I feel like I really went through the ringer. Finishing a series is really scary. We have all invested so much time and so many emotions in these characters, and we have all been disappointed before. Authors are really good at breaking hearts, but they can also shoot of fireworks of happiness. That’s what Jodi did for me. She left me so happy, with so many wonderful memories. She also left a little room for us to fill in our own details at the end, which I love. We might be leaving Heart, Ana, Sam, and everyone but they have been given a bright future that will leave you very satisfied.

Wow. I did not do the book justice at all. Know this, my friends. The Newsoul trilogy is a set of books you have GOT to read. Jodi Meadows is my rock star, and I will absolutely read anything she writes. I’m sad to see these books end, but am so excited for what’s in store for us next!