Can You Smell the Fun in this Novel? // Thoughts on The Secret of A Heart Note by Stacey Lee

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Secret of a Heart Note

Author: Stacey Lee
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: December 27th 2016
Format: ARC
An evocative novel about a teen aroma expert who uses her extrasensitive sense of smell to mix perfumes that help others fall in love while protecting her own heart at all costs. Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make. At once hopeful, funny, and romantic, Stacey Lee’s The Secret of a Heart Note is a richly evocative coming-of-age story that gives a fresh perspective on falling in love and finding one’s place in the world. 
I received an ARC of this book from the author, none of my thoughts are influenced by this.

Huge happy release day to The Secret of a Heart Note! If you didn't know, Stacey Lee is one of my favorite authors. She writes such fabulous diverse historical fiction and is definitely one of my auto-read authors. I was super interested in this book not only because it's Stacey Lee (haha duuuh) but also because it's different compared to her past two books. Going into the book, I was interested to see what was going to be different about it, but I knew that I was going to like it. Despite it's differences to her past works, I still really enjoyed this book.

One of the things I was super pleased about this book was how Stacey included diverse characters, which isn't surprising but it wasn't mentioned in the synopsis so I got a little concerned. I'm glad there are diverse characters though because having diversity in a book never ever ever hurts a book and it didn't affect the storyline. I also loved how this book talked about little about being lesbian and what that's like to deal with coming out and other people's judgment on that. The characters in this book are fabulous and I definitely wouldn't mind getting stories about some of the minor characters in this book! ;)

I also found the aromateaur aspect of the story really interesting because it's something that I've never seen or thought about before. I never considered smells being able to tell people about a person and how each person has a unique combination of smells. It was really interesting to read about something like that because it’s definitely different compared to other unique abilities I’ve read about. I definitely think it would be cool to detect lies or jealousy just by smell and something I wouldn't mind having for a temporary time period.

Overall though, I really enjoyed this book. It was definitely different compared to Stacey’s other books but that just shows how great of an author Stacey is. I would definitely recommend picking this book up for a lighter more fun of a read.

Need Something to Binge this Winter Break? I Got You // Skam and Why You Should Watch It

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hello everyone, I hope it's been a great December for you all. Today, I am here to talk about a little show I have been obsessing with over the past few weeks: Skam.

Maybe you've heard it, maybe you've seen people on Twitter (or Tumblr) obsessing over it. Who knows but all I gotta say is that everyone must watch it; or at least try.

Basically Skam is a show that focuses on the lives of these Norwegian teens. Each season focuses on a different character within the same group of friends. Yes yes, it does sound corny and so typical but I promise you, it isn't. I'll talk more about it but this show cover's really realistic topics that American ones don't really talk about, you fall in love with the characters, ect ect. If you're interested on why I love this show so much and why you should try it, keep reading on!


1. Beautiful Actors

The cast for this show is perfect, just perfect; they're all beautiful and great actors. The writer for the show actually wrote characters for Skam based on the actor and how they saw fit, which is awesome because each character has basically been tailored for that actor. Also, I love how the cast is so true to their character's age. The actors play 16-20-year-olds and most of them are indeed still in school. They're teenagers playing teenagers, which is awesome because having actors being close to age of the characters they play is something that isn't done very often, teen fictional characters especially


2. Girls Standing Up For Girls

http://alterskam.tumblr.com/post/154238505768/im-here-for-girls-supporting-other-girls
One thing I am always up for when it comes to stories or shows is girls supporting girls. The show does touch on this; the difference when it comes to guys, how they treat each other, and how girls treat each other. I love the group of girls in this show. Moments where they have each others' backs are my favorite scenes. These days I feel like we don't get many great good girl squads in shows so getting to see the creation of such a slay fictional girl squad who always stand up and support each other is great.

3. Slow Motion Squad Shots

Ooookay, I know shows that tend to have slow motion are the shows that make you want to roll your eyes watching but I swear the slow motion parts of this show are the best. Part of it is because the actors doing the slow motion make it look so dramatic but also because the music they use for the slow motion is the best. I could sit all day and laugh at how great the slow motion squad moments are.

Don't Want This Duology to be Overrrrr // Thoughts on Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: September 20th 2016
Format: Hardcover
When you can’t beat the odds, change the game. Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world. 

Goodreads

Oh, what to say about this book. Do I know where to start? No, but I'm just going to talk and hope I don't sound too rambly and sad that this duology is now over.

First of all, I'm just going to say how much I loooved the characters in this book. This series is definitely short but the 998 pages were full of witty banter, serious talks, the heartbreaking conversations, and the great friendship between our Dregs. I love how each character brings something different to the group and that they *most of the time* are always in support of each other. No character is more important than the next one and I love how loyal they are to each other.

I also really love how each character represents a more serious issue of our world. You have sexual harassment, disabilities, going against the status quo, vengeance (lots of vengeance, oh my lord), and accepting who you are. I personally wasn't able to relate to all the characters in this book but I really cared for each of them, which is just as good as being able to relate in my opinion.

One thing that worried me juuust a little about this being the last book was the fact that the series wouldn't feel complete. The Grisha trilogy ended kinda quick for me so you can understand why this was a concern for me. Fortunately, I think Leigh ended this duology very well and left some doors open for her new works (which I hear is about a certain pirateer so this next series is gonna be so fun for me. You don't even know). I'm really not going to say anything about how this book ends but it definitely was not what would normally happen in these types of books. I'm just going to leave that here because this is not the place to spill my feels.

I love Leigh's books because they never fail to keep me hooked onto the story and they're always so suspenseful. Beginnings of books tend to get slow sometimes but not with Leigh! She just picks right backs up and whisks us back into the Grishaverse. The book and story never ran out of surprises and I know it's always great to know what is going on and watch it roll out but sitting back and letting Leigh's stories surprise you in one of the reasons why I lover her books. I really admire her ability to write a suspenseful and surprising story and that is why I always know that I will finish one of her books loving it. She's just one of those authors.

Wow 2016, Where'd Ya Go? // November Recap and December Happenings

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hello everyone and welcome to December! This is the month of a death, stress, but also relaxation and joy, as winter break and Christmas are right around the corner. November was a pretty good month for me with Thanksgiving and the week off. Keep reading for more about my life and what I am doing with my time when it comes to reading! Enjoy :)
  • Crooked Kingdom
  • Animal Farm
Is it sad that this is probably the most successful month of reading I have had in awhile? Even though I really only read two books this month, I really enjoyed both books. Animal Farm was for school but I thought it was actually really good. Crooked Kingdom was sooo good and I am so sad this great duology is now over.
For Review:
Traveler by L.E. DeLano
The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
 Lucky Girl Amanda Maciel
 Literally by Lucy Keating
Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer
Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
Illusion by Martina Boone

A Fabulously Addicting and Heartbreaking Read; AKA Another Fabulous Nicola Yoon Book // Thoughts on The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: November 1st 2016
Format: ARC
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story. Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us. The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
When I heard that Nicola Yoon would be writing another book, I already knew that I would want to read it. Everything, Everything was a book I really enjoyed so I was looking forward to see what her next book would be about. Thanks to Jess, I was able to get an opportunity to read it and let me tell you, this book is fabulous. I really loved the writing style that Nicola wrote in, the characters were quite a joy to read about, and I really enjoyed this plot. It was a really quick read but this book always kept me interested in the story and I never really got bored with it. If you're looking for a fun but kind of heartbreaking read, definitely try this book!

The first thing I want to talk about with this book is how fabulous the writing style was. I really liked the writing style for Everything, Everything. It had some emails, journal entries, and also your typical narration. What I liked about the writing style in this book was how Nicola told the story from the perspective of basically everyone and gave the opportunity for readers to get to know the minor characters that popped up in the book. We get small glimpses of pasts and futures of characters that Natasha and Daniel would come across, which is not something that authors include. I thought it was a great touch to the book and definitely made it more unique. It also showed how little you know about people you come across everyday and that everyone has a deeper story than what meets the eye.

Another thing I really loved about this book was how there were diverse characters! You had a family of Jamaicans and a family of Koreans, which was fabulous because for once, a story in New York City wasn't told with only white people! I also really liked how Nicola included immigration in her book, which is a very relevant thing for most people because their relatives have to have come to American in some way! I don't read a lot about immigration and deportations in books a lot so Nicola writing about Natasha coming across that problem was something I really enjoyed.

The plot of this book was something I enjoyed and also thought worked very well. I loved how the book took place within a day and I thought the New York City setting was very fitting for this story. It's New York City, a lot can happen in a day there. I haven't been to too many major cities of America but New York City and Manhattan in general sets up the story well and provide characters with lots to do. It was also really fun to read about a book set in New York because I've only been there once and never really got to fully see New York, which sounds reasonable seeing as though I spent about three days there. I really want to go back one day but alas, for now I shall live through that desire with books! (As one does.)

Okay, there is only one major problem that I could find someone having with this book. It's kinda instalovey. Some people may disagree with me on this book to me, I felt like there were some moments that felt rushed and kind of unrealistic and the relationship with Natasha and Daniel is kinda instalovey. It's cute, but I wish it wasn't as instalovey as it was but when considering the whole book takes place in a day, having the relationship be a little instalovey was not something that could have been totally avoided in my opinion. Honestly, the instalove didn't push my rating down, it was the unrealistic and rushed parts of dialogue of the book. Nevertheless, it didn't stop me from enjoying the book at all.

A Loot Crate Fit For a Badass Queen // LootCrate Dream Crate

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hello everyone and welcome to this very exciting post. The geek subscription service Loot Crate is looking to find out what fans and geeks would do if they could create their own "Dream Crates" crate. Almost as if they were creating a real life Loot Crate. So, I am here today to talk a little about my crate, it's theme, and the items it will have in it. I hope you enjoy!

I thought about the theme of the crate for a little bit, and it didn't take very long because once the idea came to me, the crate was very easy to put together. For my crate, I went with a "heroines" theme. 

There was a lot of inspiration for the theme of this box. Fortunately, bad ass heroines are all over fiction so I had a fun time compiling a list of women for some inspiration. I had people on my list like Hermione Granger, Felicity Smoak, Annabeth Chase, and so on. 

I wasn't able to get items for every lady on my list but I think I got a good amount of them covered. And without further ado, my heroines crate!
Staff / POP! / Socks / Shirt / Coat / Choker / Eyeshadow / Pin

So Why Did Tara Sim Decide to Write Timekeeper in a Victorian Inspired World? // Sunday Street Team: Timekeeper by Tara Sim (Interview and Giveaway)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hello everyone and welcome to my post for the Timekeeper's Sunday Street Team, hosted by Nori @ ReadWriteLove28! I am super excited to be back and blogging again, starting with a wonderful interview with author Tara Sim. She had some great answers to my questions and I can't wait for you all to read the interview. Enjoy, make sure to check it out, and if you're interested, enter the giveaway to win a signed copy of the Timekeeper!


Timekeeper

Author: Tara Sim
Pages: 368
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: November 8th 2016
In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely. It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors. And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve. But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever. The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.

Interview with Tara Sim

1. Hi Tara! Welcome to Next Page Please, thanks for being here today. For my first question, I would love to know while you were writing Timekeeper, were there any places in the book that resembles or were inspired off real places?
Thanks for having me! Yes, there are definitely places in the book inspired by real locations. It mostly takes place in London, so I used recognizable landmarks here and there, especially Parliament Square, where Big Ben is. I altered many of these places, though; for instance, I put the Mechanics Affairs building in Parliament Square, when obviously in our world there is no such thing.

2. In what way do you relate to your main character Danny and in what way is he totally different from you?
Danny is a moody guy, and I’m rather moody/grumpy myself. Some of the things he gets annoyed with in the book are things I’d get annoyed with too. However, he’s also very different from me in that he isn’t quite sure how to switch that part of him off and have fun, and I definitely have my goofy moments.

3. For readers who loved Timekeeper, what are some similar books that you would recommend to them?
I would recommend Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab, and Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. And if you want more Victorian antics, I’d recommend A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess, These Vicious Masks by Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shankar, and Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.

4. What is your favorite time of the day?
I love dusk, usually the 6 pm to 8 pm timeframe. I also love late, late night, like 11 pm to 1 pm.

5. How do you think Danny would react to our world if he was suddenly whisked to 2016?
Haha, the poor dude would panic. Knowing him, the first thing he’d probably notice are the cars and how different they look. He’d set off a car alarm while poking at one and then frantically stumble into a Starbucks, freak out at the espresso machines, and likely get arrested for public disturbance.

6. I see that you live in the Bay Area! (As do I :D) What do you love most about living in the Bay Area?
I love the Bay Area because there’s so much to do, and the culture here is so palpable. I’ve lived here my whole life, although I went to college in Virginia and studied abroad in London for a bit, and out of all the places I’ve been, this feels the most like home. Also, there’s a fantastic book community here!

7. And that concludes this interview. Thank you Tara for being here! For my final question, I would just like to ask, what inspired you to write in a Victorian like world?
Confession: I used to hate the Victorian era. I thought it was just Super Weird and didn’t understand why people were obsessed with it. But then I realized it was a lot more nuanced than I was originally taught in school, and that the gritty Victorian world was a lot more interesting to me than the prim and proper appearance they put on. I’d never written a historical novel before Timekeeper, but I knew that this world of clock towers and magic and technology had a very steampunk element to it, which naturally led me to the Victorian time period. The rest is history (haha...ha…).

Fall Is Here! Fab Fall Weather is Here! My Favorite Time of Year is Here! // The October Post

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hey everyone and welcome to October! Yes this post is late but as someone who can no longer post three times a week, I must strategically plan out my posts and when to post them. Yeah so this post kind of got put on the back burner but it's here now. It's October guys, it only goes uphill from here. Halloween, fall, nice weather, then Thanksgiving, Christmas, more great onesie weather. As you can tell I very much love this time of year. I hope everyone has a fabulous October though and enjoys this post!
Sula's Voyage by Catherine Torres / Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas / Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo / Persuasion by Jane Austen / The Midnight Star by Marie Lu / Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  • The Chasm
LOL WOW, okay in my defense, two of the books on my list I don't even have yet and I thought I would have them by now....but I don't. And the other two books, I kinda didn't feel like reading. I tried, but I just really didn't feel like reading them. Sooooo, I only read the Chasm, but I loved the Chasm. I would rather have read one great book this month than read 8 books I totally did not like.

In Which I Interview the Genius that Brought You The Weight of Feathers... // Blog Tour: When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hey everyone! Welcome to my post for the When the Moon Was Our's blog tour! So, I got a chance to interview the author Anna-Marie McLemore and I am really excited for everyone to read her responses to my questions. When the Moon Was Our's talks about two best friends (and something more??) who both have pretty interesting pasts. Also, magical realism, which is something I'm always interested in! Definitely check this book out and I hope you enjoy the interview. :)


When the Moon Was Ours

Author: Anna-Marie McLemore
Pages: 288
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Release Date: October 4th 2016
When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves. To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

Goodreads


Interview with Anna-Marie McLemore 

1. Hi Anna and welcome to Next Page Please! To kick off this interview, let's start with an easy question. You've written magical realism before. How was writing the magical realism in When the Moon Was Ours different than the magical realism in The Weight of Feathers?
Thank you so much for having me! The magical realism in both stories emerged from both setting and character, but I think a major difference was how many characters shaped and interacted with the sense of the magical. The Weight of Feathers has a cast of two extended families and so many of them have complicated relationships with their own bloodlines. When the Moon Was Ours has a central cast of just eight main characters, and they all come up against each other in some way, which sparks a lot of the magical elements in the story.

2. One of the main characters, is transgender. What was it like writing about a transgender LGBT character and why do you think it's important to have more LGBTQ+ characters?
My husband is a transgender guy, so I felt a tremendous responsibility to honor his identity and his community. There are more and more wonderful books coming out with LGBTQ+ characters, which I’m thrilled to see, but I hope we continue to see more intersectional queer stories so all readers can find themselves on bookshelves.

3. If Sam and Miel were to meet the main characters of The Weight of Feathers, Lace and Cluck, who do you think would be instant best friends?
I think Sam and Cluck would get along right away, and I think Sam and Lace would too. Lace and Miel would take longer to warm up to each other, but would after a while. And Cluck and Miel have a lot in common that would make them friends, but it would take them a long time to trust each other enough to talk about it.

4. What books do you recommend for people who enjoy When the Moon Was Ours? 
I think the best way for me to answer that is to name some books that have inspired me. Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap and Nova Ren Suma’s The Walls Around Us for their beautiful blurring of reality and dream-like narrative. Aisha Saeed’s Written in the Stars for the gorgeous way she depicts characters’ complicated relationships with their families and family histories. Laura Resau’s books for how she shows the interaction of different cultural heritages.

5. Thanks so much Anna for being here today to answer some questions. Huge congrats on the publication of When the Moon Was Ours! To finish off this interview tell the world, what are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading a lot of books set in the 1920s as research for my story in the upcoming anthology The Radical Element. And then I have a TBR of recent YA releases that I’m so excited to get to!

A Fast and Addicting Sequel. Makes Me Not Want this Trilogy to End // Thoughts on The Chasm by S Usher Evans

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Chasm

Author: S. Usher Evans
Publisher: Sun's Golden Ray Publishing
Release Date: July 12th 2016
Format: eARC
They survived The Island, but can they cross The Chasm? Four months after Prince Galian was discovered alive on a remote island, he's adjusting slowly to life at the hospital under the Kylaen media's glare. His promises to Theo remain unfulfilled as fear of his father keeps him from taking concrete action. And the more he learns about the machinations in Kylae, the less sure he is that it's possible to make a difference. Across the great Madion Sea, Major Theo Kallistrate struggles to navigate the tricky political waters of Rave's presidential staff. To make positive change for her people, she must remain relevant and interesting to the Raven media and to the president. When he asks her to deliver a speech on her supposed two-month imprisonment at Mael, she's not sure she can stomach the lies. The Chasm is S. Usher Evans' breathtaking, fast-paced follow-up to The Island, which readers say is "not to be missed." 
I got this book as an eARC for review from the publisher and none of my thoughts are affected by this.

I kinda procrastinated on reading this book, whoops on me because it was such a quick, addicting and great book. I *basically* read it in one sitting. I don't know, all I know is that I started it at 11:30 pm, read it until 2:30 am, went to sleep, woke up, and then spent another hour finishing it. Yeah, it was thaaaaat good.

It has been awhile since I read The Island but after a few chapters, I was able to faintly remember the events in the past book and got back into the world and characters. That was one of the great things about The Chasm, on how easy it was to slip back into everything. And I was excited to read this book because I was really looking forward to reading more about Galian and Theo after events in The Chasm. The ending of The Island definitely left some questions for me and I was very happy to get those questions answered in this book.

Another thing I particularly liked about this book was all the new places and characters we get to see. In The Island, we mostly spend most of it with Theo and Galian on the island, but in The Chasm, we get to meet some new characters and see more of the world this series takes place in. It is a pretty fictional world so it was really nice to the other places in the world because they do sound very interesting places for this story to take place!

I think S is doing a really fabulous job with the story line in this book. It was a fabulous second book because it wasn't boring, tied up some loose ends from the first book, and opens some new doors for the next book. Guys, I am really excited to see more about what S will do with this series because it's going on a great path so far.

The ending was also fabulous. Again, S left us with a super heartbreaking ending but also with a bit of information on what might happen in the next book, which I looove because I have to wait so damn long for the next book so its great to know even a little about what may happen next. I am super excited for the next book though. A bit sad, knowing it is the last book and an end to this fabulous series but it's turning out to be a great one so far.

Okay, So It May Sound Like I Know What I'm Doing But // Behind the Scenes of One of Kaitlin's Reviews

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

So, when reading a review, do you ever wonder what the person is thinking while writing their review? Like, how they truly feel about the review their writing? Well, today, I have basically written a few paragraphs about my process (and thoughts) that runs through my head while writing a review. And just warning you, you won't get any useful review writing tips here, this is just the mess that goes on in my head while I am writing reviews. So uh, enjoy?


The first paragraph is a bitch to write. Why? Because it's been two years and I still don't know how the hell to open up a review. Maybe I might talk about what made me want to read this book? Maybe I might open with a sentence with a few hints about how I felt about the book. Honestly, if it's anything I dislike writing it's the beginning. And then I might end the paragraph with a "quote worthy" sentence summing up my thoughts on the book. Also, whenever I edit the first paragraph, I always end up adding in so much stuff because the sentences are SO. DAMN. CHOPPY. And I don't know why. Like my thoughts are usually *always* unfinished and I end up adding a lot more to them. Thank god for editing.

Here (and for the rest of the review), I try not to use the word "so" too many times. ("This book" is also a phrase that gives me anxiety because I do use it a lot as well) If I didn't do this, every sentence would start with "so." Maybe I might use "first?" Bringing back those transition words I was always told to use in school! Yay! These are the paragraphs where I don't know what to crap to say. Honestly, I just type and pray I stay on topic, don't say anything horrible, and write coherent sentences. I used to do this thing where my reviews would be 4 paragraphs. Opening, one about my thoughts about the characters, another about the plot/world/writing, and the ending. Recently though, I've just been doing small paragraphs about different things and not really sticking to certain things. Sometimes, I just might have a lot to say about the world, but nothing about the writing.

Drama Follows You Everywhere. Yes, Even Boats in the Middle of the Sea // Thoughts on The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Lifeboat Clique

Author: Kathy Parks
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 1st 2016
Format: eARC
Some people might say that Denver had a death wish. Why else would she have dared to sneak into a Malibu beach party where she’d be surrounded by enemies, namely including her ex-BFF Abigail? Oh yeah. Croix. Denver never thought in a million years he’d ask her out, but who was she to question this miracle of fate? Well, that wasn’t the only surprise fate had in store. During the party a tsunami hit the coast of California, wiping out everything in its path. Denver and a handful of others escaped death by holding onto the roof of the house and were swept out to sea. Of course, one of her fellow castaways was none other than Abigail, who could barely stand the sight of her. Now that she’s floating in the ocean, stuck on a small boat with the most popular kids in school and waiting to be rescued, Denver wonders what might kill her first-dehydration, sunstroke, or the girl she used to think of as a sister? A hilariously dark and twisted story that sparkles with a remarkably fresh voice, The Lifeboat Clique is Kathy Park’s irreverent yet insightful novel about how to survive in the most unthinkable circumstances.

Goodreads

I got this book as an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. None of my thoughts are altered by this. 


One of my favorite things to read are books about people being trapped on something and are forced to survive with minimal resources. I haven't seen many books that have that concept so I was all for The Lifeboat Clique because that meant another survival book! There is always a small risk with survival books because it is very easy for it to get boring with these types of books. That definitely did not happen to The Lifeboat Clique, it was such a funny and definitely different type of survival book and that I really enjoyed reading.

One of the reasons why I really liked this book was just how sassy the main character Denver was. Kind of reminds me of, well me! Even in the situation she was put in, she managed to keep her sass and sarcasm which just made the book that much funnier. Plus, she was stuck with people that didn't really like her, so interaction between her and them weren't always the nicest. Sassy remarks to people she doesn't like for most of the book? Sign me up.

I also really liked the other characters that she had to survive with. They definitely weren't very fond her but I liked reading about them having to work together to survive. And I looooved how even though the characters didn't like Denver, they were all such great additions. They each had great personalities and if I could get a prequel about Denver being in school with the characters she was with, I would definitely read it.

Even though I really did not have much to say about this book, I did really enjoy it. I finished it in one day actually! It was a great debut for Kathy and I am really excited to read more of her books as they come. If anyone is looking for a quick and hilarious book that really should not be funny given the situation, definitely pick up The Lifeboat Clique!




That New Harry Potter Book? Yeah Not My Fave... // Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

Friday, September 9, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Release Date: July 31st 2016
Format: Hardcover
The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later. Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016. It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Goodreads

I feel like there has been a lot of commotion about this book. People very much have different opinions on the book and the fact that JK Rowling is adding some more content for the Harry Potter world. I, personally was excited for a little more of Harry Potter but I think I would have liked it a lot more if the content was written by JK herself. All I can say is, the hype definitely got to me with this book.

Cursed Child, in my opinion, could have been better. This script wasn't completely written by JK Rowling, so it was basically reading fanfiction for what happens after the ending of Deathly Hallows. Definitely not the best written fanfiction. (Yes I said it.) Honestly, there were moments reading this book where the events happening just didn't feel right.  They were very unrealistic for this fictional world. Some of the main plot points in this book definitely could have happened but it just didn't seem like something that was likely to happen, which is weird to say, seeing as though it is indeed a fictional world. It didn't feel very Harry Potter like and I do think that comes from having the content being written by someone other than Jo.

And not only was it unrealistic events in this book that I didn't really like, I thought the characters were just soooo annoying at moments, especially the beginning. Like I was face palming myself at how stupid and naive they were at some points because holy lords they were definitely setting themselves up for failure or disaster based on the plans they were making.

And then I also felt like the original Harry Potter characters really weren't acting like themselves. I totally understand that things change after 19 years but I felt like I was reading about a different Harry Potter, I felt like I was reading about a different Ron Weasley. The things the characters did and said sometimes just really didn't feel like the characters I was reading as a little girl, which does make me a little sad because I really was excited to read more about our original characters only to have them not seem like themselves.

I didn't entirely hate it though. There were definitely moments where it was almost like being back in the Harry Potter world. (Keyword here: Almost) I have to admit, it was fun to be reading a whole new Harry Potter story and I liked getting some new content, even if the content didn't feel 100% authentic. I probably wouldn't read it again but I did enjoy new Harry Potter content and to get to know Harry's kids a little more.


Oh August, You Were So Hectic // The September Post

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hey everyone and welcome to September! (aka fall!) Yes, this post is a little late but based on my posting schedule, it's better late than never. I hope everyone is having a fabulous Labor Day weekend (or Monday). I know I am definitely savoring this extra day off with, hopefully, some reading and blogging. Anyway, time to recap August and look forward to September! Enjoy :)
Sula's Voyage by Catherine Torres / Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas / Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo / The Chasm by S Usher Evans / A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
  • Blood Promise 
  • Spirit Bound
  • Last Sacrifice
  • Cursed Child
  • Gemina
I had 17 days of summer left over in August. After Cursed Child, I really just did not feel like doing much reading so that was basically the last read of my summer. Gemina I read a few days into school and after Gemina, I again, just really didn't feel like reading. Not the strongest way to end summer but I read a lot of books within these 2 months so I am pretty happy with myself.

That definitely means I am going to be posting less. You could probably tell from August, so yeah. I am really trying hard to get some motivation to write posts and read but guys, I'm going to be honest with you, it's been hard. Maybe it's a combination of laziness and no time that isn't getting these posts up but guys, I am just really losing my blogging motivation. We shall see how September goes though and hopefully I will find time (and motivation) to read and blog again!

Katie Talks About Katies and A Recap // Summer Blog Promo Tour

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hey everyone and welcome to the last  Summer Blog Promo Tour post, hosted by The Book Bratz. Today, I have Katie from the blog Bibliophile and today she is listing off some of her favorite characters named some variation of "Katie" seeing as though both are names are a variation of "Katie." I hope everyone enjoys!


Hi everyone! I'm Katie from the blog Bibliophile (@KatieHarness1) and thanks for stopping by! I'm so happy to be able to work with Kaitlin for the Summer Blog Promo Tour! Be sure to check out everyone's blogs weekly for more posts and collaborations! Since Kaitlin and I have similar names she thought it'd be fun to list my top Katie/Kaitlin variations in literature! To me the characters named Katie/Kate/Catherine are typically strong and intelligent women. However, I might just be biased. What are some characters that have names similar to yours that you feel proud to share it with? Enjoy!

Kate Thompson from Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
Vengeance Road is my favorite YA Western and I hope it paves the road for more to be published. The story follows Kate's quest for vengeance of her father's death by outlaws in 19th century Arizona. Kate fits well into the harsh Arizona landscape with her brashness and fortitude. This a book I highly recommend: it's grit and prose make this novel stand out! You can check out my review if you are interested in Vengeance Road. 

Kate Daniels from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
This series is my favorite urban fantasy series and Kate Daniels as the main character. She lives in a post-apocalyptic Atlanta where magic and technology fight for dominance after magic came back to the world. She is an ex-mercenary who kills magical creatures that plague Atlanta and solves cases for missing people. She is witty, sassy, bad-ass, and has an awesome sword. She is my favorite character with the name similar to mine and you should definitely try out the series!!!

Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Cathy is the strong-willed, wild, and passionate protagonist of Wuthering Heights. In this gothic novel she struggles with her identity: to be more like Heathcliff which represents her true nature, or be with Linton who represents domesticity and culture. This is a dark classic for those that don't feel drawn to Jane Austen's works.

Katherine of Aragon from The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
In literature and in real life Katherine is a great protagonist! This novel tells her story from when she was betrothed to Henry VIII's brother, Arthur, to when she was married to Henry VIII, himself. Her constant perseverance through politics and betrayal in a time in which the unsettling whims of a king dictated the lives of others is admirable. The third book in this series is the popular The Other Boleyn Girl that was turned into a movie featuring Natalie Portman. I would suggest this series if you need a historical fiction fix to marathon.

Goodbye Summer, It Was a Great 2.33 Months // Kaitlin's Summer 2016 Recap

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hello everyone and welcome to a very sad post. With heavyheart, I am sad to say that my summer has officially ended. Shit, yes I am going back to school and not the happiest about it. Don't get me wrong! I enjoy going to school (sometimes) but I will definitely miss staying up late and sleeping in, being able to spend 2 hours eating lunch, and watching shows whenever I want. But to celebrate summer, I have decided to recap my summer for you guys! If you're still in summer break, embrace it because it's ending soon and then you all can join me in this "being in school" hellhole. Anyway, hope everyone enjoys this post and has a great rest of the summer.


Read This Summer

On the Fence
Open Road Summer
The Start of Me and You
Suffer Love
The Summer I Turned Pretty
It's Not Summer Without You
We'll Always Have Summer
Tone Deaf
The Sun is Also a Star
This Savage Song
Cursed Child
You Know Me Well
Lifeboat Clique
Vampire Academy
Frostbite
Shadow Kiss
Blood Promise
Spirit Bound
Last Sacrifice
Hamilton: The Revolution
Caraval
The Epidemic
So yeah, I guess you could say I had a pretty okay summer when it came to reading. There were days where I finished like 3 books in 3 days but some days where I just didn't feel like reading. I read a lot of good books and books that were already on my shelf so it was great to knock out some books I already owned and books I've been wanting to read for awhile.


Shows Watched

Well, if summer is good for one thing it's to pile more shows onto my very long list of shows I already watch. I had a few shows that I knew I wanted to catch up on but I basically started and got caught up with three shows this summer.

First, I went ahead and got caught up on Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash, since I was only a few episodes behind and I was planning to watch the shows once they were back on air. I then started/caught up on Supergirl, which basically means I was about 15 episodes behind so I basically started the show again. Because Supergirl was getting moved to CW and would be in association with all the other shows I watch (The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow) I decided to why not go ahead and binge the show since I would eventually watch Supergirl anyway. It was a great 2 day show binge and I'm excited for a new season!

The big binge this summer was Reign. Three seasons, each episode about 45 minutes long. So yeah, I spent a good 5 days, sitting in bed, just watching Reign. It was nice because this show is definitely meant to be binged and it was a super addicting binge. I think it's only getting a half season on CW for season four (not returning until 2017) so thank god because now I will only have to juggle 4 shows, not 5! Reign definitely gave me many feels and upon finishing it, I maybe spent like 4 nights, scrolling through tumblr under the "Reign" tag.

Then, yesterday, I decided it would be a fabulous idea to start Netflix's Stranger Things on my final day of summer break. I'm writing this post on my last day of summer break so, whether or not this paragraph stays in the post depends on whether I actually start Stranger Things. I've heard great things about it, it's only 8 episodes long so it should be a great way to end summer and start a new school year. (I watched an episode. I'm currently on episode 3 and very interested so I will definitely be planning on continuing the show.)

Lizzie and I Create Book Aesthetics! // Summer Blog Promo Tour

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hey everyone and welcome to the fourth Summer Blog Promo Tour post, hosted by The Book Bratz. Today, I have Lizzie from Big Books and Grande Lattes and we both have created some aesthetics for some books we enjoyed reading! I hope everyone enjoys our very aesthetically pleasing aesthetics and checks out some of the books we mentioned because all of them are awesome. Enjoy!


Vengeance Road 

Author: Erin Bowman
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date:  September 1st 2015
Revenge is worth its weight in gold. When her father is murdered for a journal revealing the location of a hidden gold mine, eighteen-year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers—and justice. What she finds are untrustworthy strangers, endless dust and heat, and a surprising band of allies, among them a young Apache girl and a pair of stubborn brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, a startling truth becomes clear: some men will stop at nothing to get their hands on gold, and Kate’s quest for revenge may prove fatal.