Month: June 2012

Bookish Finds: Game Night Edition

Posted June 11, 2012 by Jana in Bookish Finds / 13 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.

Today, can I just show you all of these fun games for lovers of all things bookish? I absolutely love board games, and hosting game nights with my friends and family. Sadly, not many of them are bookish. Would any of you like to come play with me? :)

Book-opoly allows a look inside the many worlds contained in classic literature. It’s a traditional trading game where players buy, sell and trade their way to fun with family and friends. Interesting facts about the books and the authors are printed on the back of each property deed. Roll the dice and advance to READ. Collect Bookstores and trade them in for Libraries. Who knows! You may soon be elected President of the Book Club — or you may be tossed out of the game for three turns and sent to WATCH TV! Whatever happens, you are going to have fun – and perhaps learn a little something too!
Buy It: Amazon

 

 

If you like to read, you’ll really love playing Trivial Pursuit Book Lover’s Edition! This game combines the fun of the Trivial Pursuit game with the exciting world of books, authors and literary characters. Inside there are over 2000 fascinating questions from six different categories. You’ll find questions on English and American Literature as well as popular romance novels. Your favorite childhood stories are included, too. From the Mother Goose Classics to Edgar Allen Poe to today’s best-seller’s list, everything fun about books is covered here!

Buy It: Amazon

 

 

It Was A Dark & Stormy Night, a game of “first lines,” is one of the quintessential games about books. Bring it to book club for a change of pace, or simply invite your bookish friends over for a night of fun, laughs and a splash of culture!

Participants listen to the opening line or two from a book and identify its title or author. That might sound daunting, but you’ll know more than you think! Impress your friends, and learn about some interesting new books along the way.

Includes a wide variety of categories: Novels, poetry, science fiction, children’s books, books made into movies, classics and the not-so classic.

Buy It: Gone Reading

 

Bring family and friends together for a literary round of Jenga. Players remove and stack custom blocks which feature thought provoking book-related questions. As the tower builds, so does the dialogue! If you are the last player to stack a block without making the tower fall, you win!

Buy It: Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

Scrabble – Book Lovers Edition is classic Scrabble with a novel twist. Play traditional Scrabble and enhance your score with custom game play including Plot Twist cards and bonus points for literary words. Draw letter tiles form the mini book bag and custom tile racks hold the all-new Plot Twist cards!

Buy It: Amazon

So, what do you think? Want to come over and play some of these with me? I’ll make popcorn and cookies, and we can watch Pride and Prejudice!

 

Have you played any of these? If so, are they fun?


I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (Book Review)

Posted June 9, 2012 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 12 Comments

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (Book Review)I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Published by The Dial Press on February 14, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 433
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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Buy on Amazon
4 Stars

I’ve lost it. :( The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive :) !!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Guys, this is my very first Sophie Kinsella book, and I officially love her to pieces! I really, really debated buying this book. Even on Kindle it’s over $13, and I had not read a book by her before… and I already owned Can You Keep a Secret? and the Shopaholic series, so I should probably read one of those first, right?… but I wanted this because it sounded adorable. Seriously. This inner debate went on for months. Finally, I bit the bullet and bought it before my big Europe trip, and I LOVED IT. I am SO glad I trusted my inner shopaholic and bought this book anyway. It was a great Sophie book to start out with! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. The humor is, hands down, my favorite part of this book. Poppy (love that name!) thinks some of the funniest things! Her ring is gone, so doomsday is here. She panics like I panic. Worst case scenario? Yes. No matter what, she worries about the worst possible thing that could happen. And the string of events that occur are priceless. She is so unlucky that it’s almost hard to believe! I laughed a lot.

2. The story is super unique, in my eyes. And the romance is too! What a way to fall in love! Find someone’s fun in a garbage can, and spend days commiserating about the woes of life, not to mention arguing over who deserves the phone. It’s a completely modern love story that totally worked for me. I really want this to be my love story!

3. Poppy is so likeable, and so much fun to read about. Magnus is a stick in the mud you love to hate. Oh, and his parents are stuck up in a hilarious kind of way. And Sam is a snarky and dreamy and incredibly sweet business man, who kind of reminds me of Mr. Darcy. The characters are amazing and dynamic. None of them are perfect (even though some of them think they are!), and their flaws made them real, believable, and memorable.

4. I didn’t like the footnotes. Yeah… there’s about 10 footnotes a chapter. Problem is, I read the Kindle version and the footnotes for each page were not on that page, but compiled in a list on the last page of the chapter. Nobody likes flipping and flipping through the “pages” on Kindle. It’s annoying, and you forget where you are and where you were. I ended up having to ignore them, or trying to remember where the footnotes happened so I could understand the footnote once I got to the end of the chapter. For this reason, most of them made no sense to me, and made me rather frustrated.

I didn’t have a ton to say about this one, did I? Haha. It’s just a wonderful book. Rather than looking for my likes and dislikes, I just read and experienced the story. I didn’t take notes, and I didn’t read critically. I just read it, and I loved it! I don’t know about all her other books, so I’m basing my love of Sophie Kinsella off of this one alone. I’m pretty convinced, though, that I will automatically buy anything she writes from now on! Read this if you love silly, inspiring, makes-you-giddy kind of sweet contemporary romances!

4 Stars

Armchair BEA 2012: Life Beyond the Blog

Posted June 7, 2012 by Jana in About Me / 15 Comments

 

Armchair BEA is a fun online event that those of us who could not attend BEA in New York City can participate in! There’s ways to network with other bloggers, posts on blogging tips, giveaways, and happenings at BEA from people who are there. Visit the Armchair BEA blog to see a schedule of events!

Today’s topic is tricky for me. The creators of Armchair BEA have asked us to, “share your top tips for getting beyond your blog! Have you done any freelance writing? Are you monetizing your blog and how so? How do you make connections outside the book blog community on the internet?” I haven’t freelanced, I’m only an Amazon Associate, and there’s not a lot of ways to get involved in the bookish community where I live. Since none of these really apply to me, I’ve been encouraged to talk about a fun aspect of my life, separate from books.

There’s not a lot I do that’s separate from books! Haha. I’m a graphic designer, and I own my own business called Enchanting Simplicity Graphic Design Studio. Throughout my design career, I have freelanced for Microsoft working on some XBOX things, created a brand identity for a motion picture company, designed websites for schools and small businesses, done a lot of wedding announcements, and designed t-shirts, album covers, advertisements, and books for various performing groups and organizations. I love, LOVE what I do. In the future, I plan to get beyond my blog by designing book covers for self-published authors (and maybe someday I can get on a design team for a major publisher like Harper Collins, Random House, Macmillan, etc. That’s my dream!). Book covers are very exciting things to design, and I already know I love working with authors and other people in the book industry! If you’re looking for a book cover, let’s talk!

When I’m not designing, I love making jewelry, watching re-runs of my favorite shows (like Friends, Saved by the Bell, Wings, etc.), hanging out with my friends and family, and going to MOVIES. I am a major movie-lover. I also love traveling around the world. Reading has really opened my mind and taken me to amazing places. I’ve got this constant hunger to find the locations I read about, and if they don’t exist I like to find places that remind me of them.

Well, this is my life beyond the blog! What’s your life like when you’re not reading or blogging? And what are you doing to achieve the goals you’re hoping to achieve through book blogging? Link me up, and I’ll come visit!


Armchair BEA 2012: My Life With Books

Posted June 6, 2012 by Jana in About Me / 11 Comments

 

Armchair BEA is a fun online event that those of us who could not attend BEA in New York City can participate in! There’s ways to network with other bloggers, posts on blogging tips, giveaways, and happenings at BEA from people who are there. Visit the Armchair BEA blog to see a schedule of events!

Today, I get to talk all about my life with books, networking outside the book blogosphere, and what I have done to impact the bookish community locally, rather than just online. This is a topic I simply adore, just because doing this helped me discover that my love of reading is even stronger than I had thought.

After I graduated college in December of 2009, I kind of went through a mini “what now?” crisis. I had my degree, but just didn’t know where to go from there. I knew I wanted to own my own graphic design business, which I do now, but I didn’t know if I wanted to only do that, or if I wanted to do that as a side thing and find something else to do as well. Long story short, I had to feel useful until I knew what I was going to do with my life. I decided to start volunteering at a local elementary school, teaching children how to read and/or speak English. The school I chose did not have enough employees to reach every child who was in need of extra help. Most of the children come from low-income families, and almost all of them are Spanish-speakers. I knew this would be a wonderful use of my time.

I started working with children one-on-one for several hours a week, and really enjoyed it. My kids and I bonded, and it was amazing to see the transformations they went through. It was so fast! I had one little guy in particular who had just arrived from Mexico. Not only did I have to try and teach him to read, I had to teach him English! We went through the alphabet every day, and he would get so excited when he got things right. It was an amazing experience. I ended up being offered a job, and I snatched it up. I spent the whole next year tutoring in reading, teaching English and phonics to different classes of youngsters, smiling every time I heard “Miss Jana!!!”, and getting lots of hugs.

In a way, this blog is dedicated to them. I constantly think of my littles, and all the amazing things we learned together. They made me realize how important reading is, and how exciting it can be. I watched the tears fall when it was too hard, and we jumped up and down together when it all of a sudden became easier for them. Those breakthrough moments made me grateful for my education. I think about them every time I close a book. Some of them have excelled far and beyond beyond their grade levels, and some are still working. I like to think I was able to give something back to them, though, as they all changed my life forever.

Please, PLEASE link me to your awesome posts for today’s topic! I’ll come visit as soon as I can!

Oh, and can I just thank all of you? I hit 500 followers tonight, and could not be more thrilled! I love you all!


Armchair BEA 2012: BEA Books on My List + a Giveaway!

Posted June 5, 2012 by Jana in Giveaway / 86 Comments

 

Armchair BEA is a fun online event that those of us who could not attend BEA in New York City can participate in! There’s ways to network with other bloggers, posts on blogging tips, giveaways, and happenings at BEA from people who are there. Visit the Armchair BEA blog to see a schedule of events!

Today’s post consists of a few of the titles from the BEA 2012 Catalog that I would move Heaven and Earth to get if I were at the Javits Center. There are so many pretty covers and amazing sounding books! I can’t wait to get my hands on all of these! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a giveaway I’m hosting in honor of amazing books everywhere!

Black City by Elizabeth Richards

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable–they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed–but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

A Gift from Tiffany’s by Melissa Hill

When Ethan Greene lost his wife to cancer, he never thought he would be able to replace her… until one woman stepped in and showed him how to be happy again.  Now, on a romantic Christmas trip to New York City, he has a plan to show Vanessa just how important she is to him, and maybe even give his daughter, Daisy, a complete family again. He’s going to propose with a perfect ring from Tiffany’s.Gary Knowles and his girlfriend Rachel are on the trip-of-a-lifetime in New York, at the most magical time of year. The only thing missing is Gary’s gift for Rachel. On a last-minute Christmas Eve visit to Tiffany’s, he quickly picks out a charm bracelet for her, and heads back to their hotel. But, in a moment, one small mistake changes everything.

Reached by Ally Condie

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret—one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy. But global climate change is not something new in the Earth’s history.

No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race—a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.

Now it is Owen’s turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry…and that less-than-ordinary can evolve into extraordinary.

So, what do you think? Are any of these on your list? Which books am I missing?

Now, on to the giveaway! I recently acquired an extra copy of Across the Universe, signed by Beth Revis (thanks to Tiffany Schmitt’s Breathless Reads Giveaway)! Interested? You should be! Sadly, I can only send this to US residents. I’m sorry. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Armchair BEA 2012: Meet That Artsy Reader Girl!

Posted June 4, 2012 by Jana in About Me / 33 Comments

 

Armchair BEA is a fun online event that those of us who could not attend BEA in New York City can participate in! There’s ways to network with other bloggers, posts on blogging tips, giveaways, and happenings at BEA from people who are there. Visit the Armchair BEA blog to see a schedule of events!

Today’s post is all about networking, and getting to know other bloggers participating in the event. Hopefully we can all make some new friends! So, here are five things about me (the questions were provided by the creators of the event)!

Meet Jana

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
Well, I’m Jana! I’m a graphic designer, substitute teacher, world traveler, art history lover, and bookahaolic! Oh, and I’m turning 25 this month. Oh. My. Heck. I started out blogging with The Broke and the Bookish back when the blog was born in June of 2010. Jamie, the creator of the Goodreads College Students group, thought it would be a fun idea, so about 10 of us joined together and entered the blog world. I’m not sure any of us thought the blog would grow so big so quickly. In November of 2011, I decided to break off of TB&TB (don’t worry! I still write there too!) and run a solo blog so I could post reviews more frequently. I absolutely love the blogging community, and have had so much fun getting to know all my blogger friends! I’ve also found a deeper love for reading than I ever imagined.

2. What is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard (read my review!). I connected so much with that book. Bria, the artsy main character, had the courage to do something I had always dreamed about! She took off on an amazing traveling adventure, fell in love, and learned a lot about herself. About a week ago, I returned home from a 6-week extravaganza through Europe with my mom. I didn’t fall in love, but I learned SO much about myself. I came home wanting to read Wanderlove all over again, because I would be able to connect with it on a whole new level. Perhaps a re-read is necessary!

3. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
I recently hosted a tour stop on the Of Poseidon by Anna Banks official tour. I got to interview her after reading her amazing book! She is so hilarious and so down-to-earth. I’d love to have dinner with her (and I would hope she’d bring along Emma and Galen), and then go pedestrian-hunting. Check out the interview and giveaway of Of Poseidon here.

4. What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?
I want to visit the world in Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. It’s a crazy-sounding place, with virtual realms and the Aether (which sounds SO much like van Gogh’s Starry Night). It’s a dangerous place, I know, but I would absolutely LOVE to see it!

5. What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?
I love all the people, the authors, the publicists, and publishers. Book lovers are the coolest people in the world. It does not matter where we live, what we do for a living, or what we think. We all love books, so we’re all connected. The bookish discussions and recommendations have changed my views on so many things, changed my preferences on books, and really shaped my own blogging persona. I’ve made some lifelong friends, and I know I will always have at least one person to cry over fictional characters with!

Thanks for stopping by! It’s so nice to meet you (or see you again)! Please leave me a link to your intro post so I can get to know you better, and if you’re not participating in Armchair BEA, please tell me something about yourself that I don’t know already!


In My Mailbox (#4)

Posted June 3, 2012 by Jana in Uncategorized / 10 Comments

Hi, guys! It’s been a while since I participated in IMM. I’ve been in Europe for the past 6 weeks, and just got home a few days ago. I received lots of books while I was gone, and can’t wait to tell you about them all!

Books Gifted:

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic and Sister by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella
Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
On the Street Where You Live by Mark Higgins Clark

Books I received for Review:

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
Florence by Ciye Cho
The Lost Kingdom by Kris Ellsworth

Blogs/Reviews/Books Mentioned:

Rather be Reading
I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
Magan’s Review of Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

Read about my fan-girling over Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
I’ve got a great summer read for you! – Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
Author interview and giveaway of Of Poseidon by Anna Banks (USA/CAN)

Author Interview with Anna Banks & an Of Poseidon Giveaway!

Posted June 2, 2012 by Jana in Author Interview, Blog Tour, Giveaway / 38 Comments

Hello! Welcome to the final stop on the official Of Poseidon blog tour! So nice of you to stop by. :) If you’re late joining in on the fun, here’s the tour itinerary. Definitely visit the other stops if you haven’t. There’s lots of great stuff at each one.

I’m so excited to have Anna Banks, author of Of Poseidon (a book I just so happened to LOVE) here on the blog to discuss her new book and to tell us a little bit about herself. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway (USA/Canada only… sorry!) for a chance to win a bound copy of Of Poseidon! You can find it at the bottom of the interview. :)

 

1. Tell us 5-10 quintessential Anna-isms. What should we know about you? 

– I believe in Sasquatch.
– I don’t get the hiccups. Just one big hiccup that hurts the deepest parts of me, then I’m done.
– I love love love to scare pedestrians. Beeping, screaming, swerving, etc.
– I can shoot a sling shot (which also applied to scaring pedestrians, in my teen years…)
– My body is comprised of approximately 13% fried chicken, 7.567% chocolate, and _________% wine (completely dependent on the strength of the wine at that moment)

2. If you’re not writing, where are you?
I’m watching The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones or I’m reading someone else’s brilliant book and getting jealous about it (Right now I’m giving John Green the stank eye). Or I could be pedestrian-hunting…

3. Did you always imagine being an author? What were your back-up plans? (And please include any extraordinary childhood dreams like a princess or professional cake sampler… or a mermaid.)Yes I did always want to be an author, ever since I read Anne of Green Gables, but I never thought I could do it. I really thought somehow that I would save the world in some epic way (from what, I’m not sure, but it felt like destiny when I was twelve). If the world didn’t need saving, then certainly Prince William and I would have a chance meeting and fall instantly in love and get married (though I do think Kate is handling that much better than I could have, so all is well). I also really really wanted to be an actress (and still secretly do).

4. I liked mermaid books before they were popular, so thanks for writing Of Poseidon for me! I really appreciate it. Other than wanting to please me… what made you choose mermaids and mythology? Okay, so I never actually read a mermaid book before I started to write one. I was looking for something to write besides vampires, weres, etc. Then I watched this documentary about how they’d found a giant squid—something scientists had long written off as myth, fishermen’s lore. Then I wondered what else could be out there that we don’t know about? Could mermaids exist? BTW, after doing so much research, I believe in my heart of hearts that mermaids *could* scientifically exist…

5. Tell us where “ohmysweetgoodness” comes from! I laughed every time I read that!
You know how you stub your toe and you almost cuss but then you save it like “Fuuuuuudge.”  Well, that’s what I did one day. Only, I was annoyed and it started out like, “Oh my _______” and it was going to end badly but I saved it before I shamed myself. Then I thought it was a cool word, so certainly if it was a cool word then Emma should say it…

6. Speaking of laughing, you are so funny! I giggled a lot throughout this book. Emma’s inner dialogue is hilarious. Is this a true testament to your personality? I just know we’d have fun sitting and talking.
Yes, I’m almost exactly like Emma in that regard. I apologize in advance for things that I may say or do on tour. I know at the different stops there will be readers that are more stoic, more serious, more respectable than I am and who like books that are serious stoic and serious and respectable.

They won’t “get” me and I just know there will be that awkward silence after my jokes, like when someone farts and everyone in the room absolutely knows who it was but no one will tell because you’re at a funeral, for crying out loud, and the dilemma isn’t only that it’s inappropriate to fart at a funeral but it may well be inappropriate to chastise someone who farts at a funeral because bigger things are going on at the moment and the person who farted might be having a hard time emotionally and it just kind of debuted physically. That kind of “OMG did that really just happen and how should I react?” awkward silence, you know?

7. Emma is incredibly quirky and a bit of an accident waiting to happen. And Galen is completely swoon-worthy. Oh, and Toraf. I LOVE him! Where do you find your inspiration for characters? They all seem so real.
I write characters that offset each other. You know, opposites attract and such. I really have always loved bickering couples, like Anne and Gilbert, Lizzy and Mr. Darcy, Scarlett and Rhett.

And I’m glad you love Toraf. He’s my favorite character, hands down. He’s incredibly fun to write because nothing is off limits with him. He’s simply capably of incomprehensible mischief.

8. If you were to write yourself into Of Poseidon, who would you be? An existing character, or would you write a new one for yourself?
I would write myself as that intelligent outsider who figures out that something is amiss and starts asking all the right questions and makes the other characters tell me what’s really going on—and I haven’t decided if they would trust me or if Rachel would have to off me…

9. Of Poseidon alternates back and forth between Emma and Galen’s perspectives. How was it taking on the story from Galen’s point of view? Did you find it challenging jumping into a guy’s head?
I don’t think it was challenging. I knew the story simply must be told this way. I even turned down an agent’s offer of rep because (not only because) he wanted me to remove Galen’s point of view and just go with Emma’s. Turns out I was right—Galen’s point of view seems to be the favorite one, out of the two.

10. You wrote some amazing underwater scenes. Your descriptions of the world down there are gorgeous. What kind of research did you do? Snorkeling? Scuba diving? Glass-bottom boats? Lots of The Little Mermaid? Haha. Or did you just pull this all out of your imagination?
There is really no way to explain myself other than this: I. Am. A. Nerd. I watch the heck out of some documentaries, and I must have recorded every episode of Blue Planet. I also did internet research, but a lot was imagined. Ooops?

11. What’s next? I hear there’s a sequel in the works! YAY! That cliffhanger nearly killed me. Can you tell us anything about it? What are your plans after that?
I can tell you that the Gift of Triton makes an appearance in the next one, in a big way.  After Of Triton is signed sealed delivered, I’m working on a top secret project I’m calling Nemesis at the moment and I lurve the idea but I’m not sure if I can pull it off just yet, so that’s all I really wanna say about it, in case I chicken out.

Thanks again for stopping by, Anna! I’m so excited for Of Triton, and am also quite curious about your top secret project after that! Everyone, go out and buy Of Poseidon right now! Or… try your luck at this awesome giveaway instead (offered by Anna and Macmillan Publishing). Either way, I hope you’ll love it as much as I did, and as much as I’m sure Anna loved writing it!

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Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson (Book Review)

Posted June 1, 2012 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult Fiction / 5 Comments

Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson (Book Review)Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson
Published by HarperTEEN on May 17, 2007
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 323
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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5 Stars

Sometimes you have to get lost . . .

The Girl: Clio Ford, seventeen, wants to spend the summer smooching her art-store crush, not stuck on a boat in the Mediterranean. At least she'll get a killer tan.

The Mission: Survive her father's crazy antics. Oh, and also find some missing underwater treasure that could unlock the secrets of civilization.

The Crew: Dad's wacky best friend Martin, his bizarre research partner Julia, her voluptuous daughter Elsa . . . and then there's Aidan, Julia's incredibly attractive, incredibly arrogant assistant.

What's going on behind Aidan's intellectual, intensely green eyes, anyway?

As Clio sails into uncharted territory she unveils secrets that have the power to change history. But her most surprising discovery is that there's something deeper and more cryptic than the sea-her own heart.

. . . to find what you're looking for

Like I mentioned a few days ago in my review of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I adore themed reads. So… naturally, I read this on a transatlantic cruise that spent half its time in the Mediterranean Sea, which is where this book takes place. I mean, seriously. The reading conditions could not have been more perfect. As Clio lounged around her dad’s luxury yacht, I was sitting on my balcony overlooking the Med, picturing everything and totally knowing what she was seeing as I read. Needless to say, I loved this book. But I just loved it because. You know what I mean? There’s not a lot for me to say specifically. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Maureen Johnson is made of win. She threw in history, mystery, adventure, suspense, romance, and humor. I love all those things!! Honestly, I was not suspecting the adventurous and suspenseful elements in the story. I was pleasantly surprised, and could not tear through the pages fast enough. Oh, and the chapter titles in this book are funny too!

2. I liked Clio a lot, but it took me a while to decide. She spent way too much time complaining about the terrible summer aboard a luxury yacht, with side trips to amazing Italian towns. I mean, come on. Who would NOT want that? She whined too much. But once she decided maybe things weren’t so bad, I got to see more of her. She’s completely relatable on so many levels. She’s an artsy (like me!!) teenager with real concerns about her life, real dreams, and real frustrations. Her parents are divorced, and she hardly sees her dad. So now he’s called her up and taken over her summer. She has to leave her job, her crush, her friends, her life, and go float around with a boat full of strangers and her eccentric dad. Of course she’s annoyed, and that’s part of the fun. Her inner thoughts are so funny, yet so real. I know I’d feel the same way.

3. I also really liked the supporting characters. Clio’s dad is so eccentric, it’s almost unbelievable. I laughed a lot. I liked Elsa more than I expected. She’s this gorgeous, perfect person… haha. I usually dislike characters like that because the focus is on how wonderful they are instead of important things. She was real, and did not act like she knew how pretty she was. Aidan is wonderful. He’s a nerd with a mysterious, attractive side as well. His bickering with Clio was too funny.

4. Yes, this is a cute beach read, but it’s not all fluff. There’s deep issues here, like dealing with a barely-there relationship between a daughter and estranged father and discovering what kind of person you want to be. Clio goes through a lot of self discovery. She has time to think and work things through. I really liked seeing her progress.

5. The book is a little slow in the beginning, but boy does it pick up! Like I said, I was completely thrown off guard with the direction this book went. I loved it, though, and really enjoyed the twists and turns.

6. I found so many quotes I loved! I’m not usually one to write down book quotes, but Maureen’s writing just forced a pen into my hand. I had to leave my quote book inside my cabin, since I was worried it would blow off my balcony. I was having to get up and down so many times to go in and write something in it, that I finally just sat on it. Here are some of my favorites:

  • “You know things are pretty bad when your mind is having crisis talks with your suitcase.”
  • “Clio had the strange flash that this was what the person who invented cheese must have been like–a blond goddess.”
  • “Something about this boat screamed, ‘I am a very popular model in the world’s oil-bearing regions. I cost more than your soul!'”
  • “I’ve always wanted to be in a relationship based on local sandwiches.”

Bottom line, this book made me a Maureen Johnson fan for life. I’ll admit, it’s the only one of hers I’ve read… oops! I discovered her on Twitter, and think she’s hilarious. And now I love her books too! I’d recommend this to lovers of YA contemporary romances, beach reads,  adventurous travels, and treasure hunts.

5 Stars