Blog Tour: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Monday, February 29, 2016

Hello everyone and welcome to the last day of February! (Can you believe it's here already?!) Today, I am super excited to be hosting a Study in Charlotte blog tour stop where Brittany Cavallaro will be talking about A Study in Charlotte in a guest post and also a giveaway. Definitely enter if you're interested and make sure to check out the rest of the tour. This tour was hosted by the Fantastic Flying Book Club.

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A Study in Charlotte

Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Pages: 336
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 1st 2016
| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Book Depository | Kobo |
The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, A Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense.

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A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE is my first mystery novel. This means that writing it almost killed me. Though I studied fiction and poetry through undergrad and grad school, poetry was always my main focus (and, in fact, my first book is a collection of poems called GIRL-KING). With a poem, you focus a lot on language, beginnings and endings. You think about each word individually, about what white space you leave on the page. Plot isn’t ever really a consideration, and so it’s still a mystery to me (ha) why I decided to tackle a detective novel. I mean, the long and short of it was that I love Sherlock Holmes and was determined to put my own spin on the story, but it was a bit like jumping directly into a pot of boiling water.

Things I knew I wanted the story to have: a girl Holmes, a boy Watson, a boarding school both like and very unlike the one I had attended as a teenager, and one murdered rugby jerk. I built the premise from there. In fiction, I tend to write the first forty pages before I plot the book to make sure I’m working with a voice I like and can fully inhabit, and that it’s a story I do in fact want to tell. I also knew I wanted the murder to be announced at the end of the first chapter. Once I had those first forty pages and knew that my Holmes and Watson would be framed for murder by a killer using the original stories to frame them, I decided which of those stories I wanted to use in the book (and if they could be applied to a boarding school setting), and plotted the book around them.

That’s just for the events of the plot, though. I knew when I was writing this first book that I wanted it to be a series (and had all my fingers crossed that I’d be asked to write more than one), so building the arc of Jamie and Charlotte’s relationship was paramount. I plotted both their inner lives along with the case that they were solving. I knew where I wanted them to end up emotionally at the end of this first book, and I wrote to that end point. Hopefully you’ll want to know as much as what happens to the two of them as what happens, mystery-wise, in book two!

Blog Tour: Bluescreen by Dan Wells (Interview and Giveaway!)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hello and welcome to my stop for Bluescreen's blog tour! Super excited to be featuring this book and I hope you guys enjoy the interview I have with Dan today. Make sure to check out the Bluescreen and if you're interested, enter the giveaway at the end of this post! This tour was hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club.

Bluescreen

Author: Dan Wells
Pages: 352
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: February 16th 2016
| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Book Depository | Kobo |
Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it. Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected. Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.

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1. Hi Dan! Thanks so much for being here today, super excited to have you. For my first question, I would love to know what you did in celebration of the release of Bluescreen?
I'm a man of simple pleasures, so I celebrated this book the way I prefer to celebrate most things: hanging out with my friends and family, eating food and playing board games.

2.What are you most excited for readers to read about?
That's a great question, because the things that excited me changed as I wrote the book. In the beginning it was the world that thrilled me, and the technologies and the intriguing new realities the characters have to deal with, and then as I wrote I got more and more into the plot, and all the exciting things the characters have to go through and the solutions they come up with to save the day. By the end of the book, though, and this might be obvious by this point in the paragraph, it was the characters themselves that I really loved: their personalities, their ingenuity, and more than anything their friendship. Marisa and her friends will do anything for each other, and those friendships get tested a lot in this book, but they always come through, and I like to think they always will.

3. Describe your thoughts on Bluescreen's cover in six words.
The Most Freaking Beautiful Thing Ever

4. What struggles did you come across and how did you overcome them?
One of the big problems I faced was a problem that everyone eventually runs into when they try to depict computer hackers in a book or a movie: hacking is just not visually interesting. I had to do a lot of research to get it technically correct, and then I actually had to back down from some of that realism to keep it entertaining. It's not a perfect balance, and I'm still working on it (the hacking in book 2, for example, I think works much, much better), but I'm pleased with what I've done and I hope readers like it.

5. If you were to be brought to the Bluescreen world, what would be the first thing you would do?
Get a djinni, absolutely. Not only are they amazing pieces of technology that can do everything I've ever wanted a computer to do, but the world of BLUESCREEN is designed around them, and doesn't even function well for people who don't have one. Bao can live without one, and more power to him, but I want a djinni :)

6. Thank you Dan for being here today! For my final questions, I would like to know, what is one common thing you share with your protagonist?
We're both planners--we get eager and we get fired up and sometimes we shoot our mouths off, but we don't like rushing into things without a plan. Sometimes that makes us slow to respond, or hard to convince, or a little too willing to let something slide because we can't think of a good way to deal with it, but when everything's clicking and we have a good plan, we're unstoppable.

Tsar's Guard Parade: What if Nikolai Blogged.....?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Hello and welcome to today's Tsar's Guard Parade Post! Super excited to be doing this as I have spent a good amount of time thinking about what I had wanted to do for this post. I was washing the dishes one day (yes, other than the shower, this is where most of my post ideas come from) and I had always wanted to make a blog design based on a book cover. I didn't know if there was much use of that other than giving me experience so I decided to make a blog as if one of the characters from the book made a blog to write about their experience in the game. (Link below!) If you like to see the rest of the Parade, check out the schedule here!

The Process

So, I consulted Maryam and asked her a few questions about who would most likely journal, which is kind of like blogging. (It gave me the same idea) She told me Nikolai would most likely journal and so I then set off to make the design!

I originally wanted to go with a darker colored theme but after awhile, I ended up taking that off because, I am really just not a person who does dark backgrounds. I did keep some darker colors throughout the blog and just kept it fairly simple. It was my first time working with a dark background within a blog design, and it's something I want to get used to working with because I am so much more comfortable doing a design with a white or lighter background compared to a darker one. Nevertheless, I learned a good amount of new things and I am excited to imply them to my own blog! (Changes coming maybe?)

I really do hope you check out the blog! Spent a good amount of my time on it (have you noticed with the lack of posts this week?) and I am actually pretty happy with it, seeing how I was making the blog for someone with a totally different personality compared to me. There is also a short post there as well! I mean Nikolai just started it so her wanted to get a welcome post in before breaking into blogging about his experience. ;) (Also, if you want the template, email me! I would be happy to give it to you :))

Check it out here!

Screenshot is crappy, doesn't do justice

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Where My Asian Characters At?!

Friday, February 19, 2016

When I was coming up with characters for my Chinese New Years post, I was kind of disappointed in how much of a struggle it was to find characters who were Asian. Authors have been doing a great job writing books more with diverse characters, but I still and struggling to find books where an Asian character is a main character. Stacey Lee is going to have two books where the main character is Asian. Park is Asian in Eleanor and Park. Lara Jean is Asian. That's it? 

One of the reasons why I think YA lacks Asian characters is because there aren't a lot of Asian YA authors. I could maybe name four or five of the. Stacey Lee is Asian, so is Jenny Han and Cindy Pon. They all write about Asian MCs. If you were to look at the majority of popular YA authors, they're mostly Caucasian. Veronica Roth, JK Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, ect ect. 

Authors tend to sometimes write about from a ethnicity/culture that they're most familiar with and I have definitely noticed that. So why can't anyone write about Asian main characters? I mean, you don't nessesarily have to write about a main character as the same race as you. For books that do have characters of color, the author definitely did not get someone to write their dialogue because that is unnecessary. Authors are perfectly capable of writing about main characters that aren't "white," so why don't they? All it does is take a bit of extra research and someone could totally be able to write about an Asian character. 

It also really saddens me when I can't find Asian characters in books because there are so many different ethnicities under an "Asian." Not only Chinese but you have Japanese, Filipino, Mongolian, Korean, Malaysian, and just sooosososos much more. And it's not like there is very little information on Asian people. Whether and author wants to include Asian culture in their books is their decision, based on how much they want to include. 

Now you may be wondering why I want more Asian main characters. If you don't know and probably aren't able to tell already, I am Asian, Chinese specifically and I am always on the look-out for Asian main characters. One of the reasons why I had my eye on Under a Painted Sky. UAPS is such a great example on why I want more Asian characters and Asian culture in YA. Not only was Samantha, the main character, Chinese but she spoke Cantonese! (The main language spoken within my extended family. [Yes, my cousins and I do talk about people in public places in Cantonese. It's an ability we have and fully embrace.]) I was so excited to be reading about a Chinese character who could speak Cantonese because it was relatable. 

Readers building connections with characters is so important because that's what keeps some readers reading. A person can easily like a character, but it is more special when they build and connection with them. That's one of the reasons why I love UAPS so much. 

Because I was able to relate so hard with Samantha.

I understood the Cantonese words in that book without even needing to read the translation that came after it. It is such a great feeling to be able to relate to characters, I will be straight with you there. 

So if I want to be able to relate to more characters, why don't I ask for more Chinese characters. Yeah that's just simply because this isn't about me. Sure, it may seem like it because I am an Asian myself but really, YA lacks Asians. White characters? Psht! We got a navy-fleet of those! You have some of ours! Black characters? Hey, we're slowly getting more of those characters. (But seriously, if you asked me to know 5 black characters I could do that no problem). Latino/Mexican characters? Okay, I admit we lack those characters as much as Asian characters. Asians and Latino/Mexicans. We need more of them in YA.

All I'm saying is that there are more Asians in this world than any other race, and not all books take place in America. Why do YA novels make it seem like we Asians are the 10% of the world? It's 2016 people, everyone should be able to relate and connect to characters of their race in some way.
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So tell me: What are your thoughts? Do you think we lack Asian characters in YA and what are some characters you have read that are Asian?

Waiting on Wednesday #41

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Breaking The Spine where we share upcoming releases that we are excited about!

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The Girl Who Fell

Author: Shannon M. Parker 
Pages: 320
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 1st 2016
In this gripping YA debut, high school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense and volatile relationship—by the new boy in school. THE GIRL WHO FELL is a powerful and important read that School Library Journal calls, “(a)n invaluable addition to any collection. (SLJ *STARRED REVIEW* January 1, 2016) His obsession. Her fall. Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College. But love has a way of changing things. Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control. Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and … terrifying? But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed. So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life. If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

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Why I'm Waiting...

OMG A BOOK WHERE IT TELLS PEOPLE THE RELATIONSHIP IS TOXIC IN THE SYNOPSIS. *ahem* Sorry, it has just been sooo long since I have read a book where the relationship is just not good and the main character has to get out of it. The Girl Who Fell definitely sounds so interesting because of the fact that Zephyr has to get out of this relationship. I am really looking forward to meeting Alec for the first time and to see how their relationship starts off. I am betting it starts out nice then starts to go to shit because come on, all relationships start off pretty good before they either get better...or worse. Really excited to see how this book turns out and finally take a break from relationships that go well! (That sounds really bad to say but) 

So tell me: What are your thoughts on this book and have you heard of it before?

Let's Talk!: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

This Shattered World

Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Pages: 390
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: December 23rd 2014
The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war. Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met. Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents. Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion. Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war. 

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I think it took way too long for me to finally pick up this book. I really loved These Broken Stars and was actually kind of sad to read that Lilac and Tarver weren't going to be in the next book but I really enjoyed This Shattered World regardless. The plot really fits in with Lilac and Tarver's story and I enjoyed finding out more things about the whole situation through Flynn and Lee's story. Again, I loved Amie and Meagan's writing and how well they work together when it comes to writing. The characters were all so interesting and the plot constantly kept me on my toes! Definitely made me excited for Their Fractured Light.

I was looking forward to meeting Jubilee and Flynn because they both come from such different sides and causes of one huge battle, I knew I was going to get something interesting! Even if they both believe in different things, they both are really badass characters. I love how powerful Jubilee was and also how influential Flynn was on his people. (Power couple y'all. I love it.) They both really change throughout the book though. Not only their beliefs but also their personality and how they deal and handle situations, which was really awesome because it is nice to see how much people can each other, Flynn and Jubilee especially. If we were to stick Flynn and Jubilee in our world, I definitely think that they would be the "polar opposites" kind of couple. You know, Jubilee would be the one super prepared and ready to leave while Flynn is still in bed. (Tarver and Lilac would be totally opposite. Tarver is more prepared while Lilac is totally not...) It was really great reading about Flynn and Jubilee and I enjoyed their story.

The thing about these books is how quick they get and Amie and Meagan take no time together the plot and storyline introduced. These Broken Stars definitely took a little longer than This Shattered World, that's for sure. It progressed nicely though. At one point, an event happened and I look at how far into the book and I wasn't even halfway through, even though it felt like I was supposed to be 3/4 through. There is a lot that happens in this book but it doesn't feel like it was dragging out too much. I admit, there were moments where I wondered how much needed to happen to tell Lee and Flynn's story but in the end, everything adds up nicely and all these events come together to finally make sense. 

One more thing I really enjoyed: the writing and world building for this book. Obviously, would building is very much needed for this series, seeing as though it takes at very different settings compared to ours. World building definitely delivered. It was obviously going to be so different compared to These Broken Stars (because there are actually more people...on this planet...) and it was actually nice to be on a different part of this galaxy. Both Meg and Amie did a great job describing Avon for us and I am obsessed with this galaxy. OBSESSED.

I gave this book 5 stars because I fully enjoyed the characters, plot, character development, and I am so excited for the next book.

Interview with Claire Needell!

Hello and welcome to a very exciting interview! Today, Claire Needell is here to answer some questions about her newest release. The Word for Yes, out now! I hope you guys enjoy reading this interview as much as I did and make sure to check out The Word for Yes!

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1. Hi Claire! Thanks so much for being here for this interview, I am super excited to have you here. My first question for you is what struggles did you come across when writing The Word for Yes and how did you overcome them?
The struggles I encountered in writing The Word for Yes were I suppose mostly around the pacing of the book. Each sister has her own narrative line, but they are also intertwined. I wanted Melanie's story to be the main thread and therefore had to maintain interest and suspense in her story while attending to the other story lines as well.

2. This book seems a sisterhood heavy book. Do you have any siblings and how did you experience with/without siblings help with writing The Word for Yes?
The novel is very much a sisterhood book! The irony is I have two brothers and zero sisters. I am, however, the mother of three girls. I guess the whole idea got started when I was reading Little Women aloud to my daughters. They were very into it--I think mainly because of the sisterhood aspect of it. I've always found it to be an impossibly boring book--except for the parts where the sisters have really strong negative reactions to each other--those seem to me to be very authentic moments. I am always intrigued by moments of emotional complexity. Typically, families struggle with the very deep, essential and complex nature of the familial bond. Often, YA novels flatten these relationships out and make them mostly good or mostly negative. I tried to make the sisters in The Word for Yes have very fluid feelings for each other and themselves. They are always riding the river of their own feelings and perspectives.

3. What inspired the title for The Word for Yes and was it your original title for the book?
The Word for Yes was not the original title. The various working titles will forever be my secret!

4. What message do you hope readers will get out of your book?
I do not think of The Word for Yes as a message-type book. It is more of an anti-message book. Teenagers are often the recipients of well-intentioned messages--with the adult world trying to fix the problems of growing up. I was trying to be really honest about the complexities of growing up in our society, which is so filled with so many conflicting messages about being a girl. I think first and foremost girls and women have to claim their own humanity, which is a very complex, life-long project that involves a lot of honest self-assessment and a lot of self-compassion. I do think that the exhibitionist party-culture can really get in the way of girls seeing themselves for who they really are--there is so much pressure to be sexy, popular and cool. The original title of the book was actually Party Girl. It was supposed to be ironic.

5. What kind of music do you like listening to when writing?
I never listen to music while I write. I listen to NPR all day. Talk radio all day long from morning coffee until dinner clean-up. Drives my boyfriend nuts.

6. When you're not writing, what do you like doing in your free time?
In my free time I like to take long scenic walks, hang out with my family, read, nap, meditate, exercise, travel, cook, dine out, see friends, see movies, shop...basic girl stuff.

7. Describe the cover of The Word for Yes in three words.
The cover: arresting, intriguing, perfect

8. What has been your favorite part of the process of publishing your novel?
My favorite part of the publishing process has been the editing process. I love working with an editor and getting feedback on ideas and language. It's a great learning experience!

9. If you were to give some advice to Jan, Erika, and Melanie about their whole situation, what would it be?
Advice for the Russell sisters: breathe. Deep, long breathes.

10. Thanks so much for doing this interview! Here is my final question: What do you have in store for the future? Do you have anything you're working on? We would love to know! (If you can tell us of course. :))
I am working on a new novel. It has elements of mystery and tragedy and hopefulness.

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Mid-Month Reading Update #12

Monday, February 15, 2016

Hey everyone and welcome to the middle of February! Things have been pretty slow for me and I am really hoping the rest of this month improves because I pretty much cannot handle another crappy reading month. (Starting to seem like it...) I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day and is ready for an extra day in February! *fist pump* AKA another day to read. Enjoy this update and I will talk to you all tomorrow.

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Starflight

Author: Melissa Landers
Pages: 358
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: February 2nd 2016
Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith. When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

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What I Have Read...

  • Starflight
  • The Girl from Everywhere
  • Passenger 
  • Everything Leads to You
  • Blackhearts
  • The Love that Split the World 
  • The Shadow Queen
  • Assassin's Heart
  • The Testing (Taking this one out)
  • Winter (New!)
  • Stars Above (New!)
By the time this post goes up, I am really hoping I have at least finished one book of this list. I really wanted to read This Shattered World so I read it and I spent a week on Passenger only to advance about 135 pages after 7 days.
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I am actually on a long weekend right now and trying sososos hard to read at least three books through this weekend. I don't know if I will be able to read that goal but I am trying me best to read as much as I can. (Which is surpsingly hard even though I have like tons of time on me?)

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Not much has happened between these 15 days. I mean, I did get some new pictures taken, if you haven't noticed! I love them so much, omg. All my profile pictures have been basically changed now so if you poke around my social media, a good amount of them have pictures from my new shoot. Also, that hat? Best $23 I have ever spent on a hat.

Remembered how I mentioned that I was going to be redoing my instagram? Well, I have slowly started doing that. I am really trying to use more color in my pictures and I will hopefully be getting some more things for the Instagram soon. I am excited to see how everything turns out so watch out for that!

I have been obsessed with string cheese and Peach and Mango yogurt from Trader Joe's. It's so bad. Afterschool, I always eat a stick of string cheese and a cup of yogurt. IT IS SO GOOD THOUGH so I am really okay with this. More for me!
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Looking ahead, I have a few discussion posts coming up, my Tsar's Gaurd Parade stop (Super excited about that!) and a couple of blog tours! I am super excited for the next 15 days because there are going to be some pretty great posts.

So tell me: How has your month been going and what are you looking forward to for the rest of Febraury?

Happy Valentines Day >> 5 of My OTPs

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I know, I never really do post on Sundays but I felt that I really should ignore that fact and look at the fact that I had lacked on posting for a few days. So, here I am! I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine's Day, whether you're celebrating it with someone or not. I am probably going to be doing stuff along the lines of drafting posts and homework (*weak fist pump*). Last year, I named top 10 fictional characters I wished were real people. This year, I am going to be listing off my top OTPs. Everyone has at least two OTPs despite the 'one' part of the phrase One True Pairing. THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY OKAY?! Anyway, let's get to my OTPs shall we? I hope you guys enjoy and maybe relate to some of the ones I had listed off!

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Oliver and Felicity // Arrow

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MY SHIP. These two are probably the first OTP that comes into my mind when you ask me "Who is your OTP." I only started Arrow last summer but it has honestly taken over my life and I have spent countless hours on Tumblr now, looking through the "Arrow" and "Olicity" tag. What I love about Oliver and Felicity is how much respect they have for each other. They are such a mature couple and they are really able to work through problems that show up in their relationship. I also love how Olicity wasn't even planned for Arrow. Felicity's character was only supposed to show up once in Arrow but she gained lots of love from fans, producers, and even the director of CW I believe? She is now the leading lady of Arrow and happily with Oliver. 

Roy and Thea // Arrow

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Okay, I will stop talking about Arrow soon people, but I muuuust talk about Roy and Thea first. Thea is Oliver's little sister and Roy is basically a thief. I won't go much into how they met and all but more on why I love them. Both of them are such different people and their relationship is so broken and complicated but they both make each other better people. They are sooo cute together and are just a great couple.

Percy and Annabeth // Percy Jackson and the Olympians

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One thing I love about Percabeth is how platonic their relationship starts off. (They were 12 when they met. If it wasn't platonic I would be worried) They then go on all these adventures and become closer as friends and finally, it happens. (Read my twitter bio, you would get it as it refers to Percabeth) And then we get to see more of them in The Heros of Olympus as older teenagers and my feels and shipper heart could not handle all the Percabeth. Now that series is over but I got some great Percabeth moments so I am pretty okay about that. 

Kady and Ezra // Illuminae

While reading Illuminae, my love for Kady and Ezra's relationship basically doubled everytime they had an argument, sent cheesy messages, or just talked in general. GAH, I am just trash when it comes to Kady and Ezra to the point where I would totally not mind if I got an Illuminae prequel novella about Kady and Ezra pre-invasion. They care so much for each other and are just such a great OTP.

Rowan and Aelin // Throne of Glass

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I will admit, I was totally Chaolaena when I was starting this series but over time, I started shipping Rowaelin. I still very much love Chaol, don't worry. Heir of Fire isn't as Rowaelin heavy as Queen of Shadows, which is maybe one of the reasons why I got through Queen of Shadows so quickly? Rowan and Aelin's relationship is definitely a lot different than most relationships, mostly because well, Rowan and Aelin are not two normal people. Nevetheless, I really love reading about them and cannot wait to be able to get more of Rowaelin.

So tell me: Who are your OTPs and do you disagree with any of mine? I would love to know!

Let's Talk!: Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Friday, February 12, 2016

Just Visiting

just visitingAuthor: Dahlia Adler
Pages: 348
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release Date: November 17th 2015 
Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas. Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn't go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won't stand out for being Mexican. One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective... only to learn she's set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants… only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they've sworn to leave. As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don't know about each other's pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they'll have to decide whether their friendship has a future. 
add to goodreads

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my thoughts
non-spoilers
I got an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. None of my thoughts are altered by that and all my opinions are honest.

As I was reading this book, I really did not expect to end up liking. I am so glad I kept reading though because things got better and I really ended up enjoying Just Visiting. It was fun, serious, and a really great friendship read. I loved the dynamic Vic and Reagan had and also the story both of them go through. I liked Dhalia's writing and I can't wait to read more from her when I finally get to her other books!

One of the main reasons I questioned my ability to actually finish this book liking it was the fact that I found the main characters really dry and...typical in the beginning. I was actually really bugged by Vic and how annoying she was and how Reagan was kind of a boring person. Over the course of the book though, they definitely get better as characters and by the end, I loved both Vic and Reagan. The character development that Dahlia was able to include was just awesome and saved me from not enjoying the main characters! Both of them have such different personalities and interests but are able to get along just fine. Sure, they got into disagreements every once in awhile (*cough* okay so maybe it was more than once in awhile...) but they always got through them so maturely and that is one of the reasons why I love their friendship.

I really enjoyed the plot and how much fun it was to read. I appreciate the fact that it didn't take place in one small city but also had a mix of different colleges. Reagan and Vic had such great adventures while they were visiting colleges and I had a such a fun time reading about that because not only were they great adventures, but I also got to learn more about Reagan and Vic. All the fun was definitely contrasted with the normal life they had in Charytan, which sounds like a place I would not wait to get out of. Sure, it's a pretty cute town but absolutely nothing went on there. If you were to put me in a while book in that town and not have drama in it, I would probably fall asleep, which is why I really appreciate the college visits and really getting out of& Charytan. The ending was a tiny bit surprising for me. It was really sweet, wrapped up the book very nicely, and really really showed how much these characters had grown. Their intentions had completely changed and at the point I could see that there was no doubt both characters had developed beautifully.

And one more thing I must mention before ending this review: I loved the diversity that went on with this book, race wise. Vic is Mexican and two characters come in and they are Indian and Chinese. Definitely not a huge ton of different races going on in this book but the fact that there was more color and diversity in Just Visiting let me enjoy the book a bit more.

I gave this book 4.5 stars because I really enjoyed it with it's awesome characters and fun plot but the characters did bug me a bit in the beginning.

Interview with Nicole Castroman!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hey everyone and welcome to a super exciting interview with Nicole Castroman, author of Blackhearts, which came out Tuesday! She has some great answers to my questions and I had a really fun time coming up with questions for her. I hope you enjoy this interview and be sure to check out Blackhearts, out now!

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1. Hey Nicole and welcome to Next Page Please! I am so excited to have you here. Congrats on the publication of Blackhearts! What are you doing in celebration of Blackheart's publication? 
Thank you so much for having me! To celebrate the publication of BLACKHEARTS I'm looking forward to seeing family and friends at my signings. It's been a long journey and so many people have been supportive of me.

2. What has been your favorite part of the publication journey? I know it can be very exciting as a debut author! 
My favorite part has been meeting so many amazing people, both in real life and online. It's fun to connect with book bloggers and other authors. Basically everyone who has a passion and love for reading.

3. Do you have any tips for bloggers and readers who want to support authors? Anything that we can do that really helps authors gain readers? I would love to know!
I think Twitter chats have been extremely helpful for me. I know it's different for everyone, so it really depends on the author. I would suggest reaching out to an author., and telling them you'd like to help promote their books for them. The worst they can say is no. :)

4. Were there any difficulties in writing Blackhearts? How did you overcome them? 
Honestly, I loved writing BLACKHEARTS. That doesn't mean I wrote a perfect first draft. I didn't, not by a long shot. But I loved the entire process, including revisions. I haven't always felt that way with some of my other manuscripts. I just felt that BLACKHEARTS was special. At least to me. :)

5. Thank you so much for being here and answering my questions, Nicole!  For my final question, I wanna know what is one thing you're excited for readers to read about in Blackhearts? 
I'm excited for readers to discover Anne and Teach. I can't wait for them to learn about their longing for freedom. That's why the cover for the book is so perfect. It's emblematic of the story.

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Waiting on Wednesday #40

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Breaking The Spine where we share upcoming releases that we are excited about!

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This Is Where the World Ends

Author: Amy Zhang
Pages: 304
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: March 22nd 2016
The heart-wrenching new novel about best friends on a collision course with the real world, from the author of Falling into Place. Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivian moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship, as long as no one finds out about it. But when Janie is date-raped by the most popular guy in school—a guy she’s had a crush on for years—she finds herself ostracized by all the people she thought were her friends. Now only Micah seems to believe she’s telling the truth. But when even Micah expresses doubt about whether or not she was “asking for it,” it leads to disastrous consequences, and Janie Vivian goes missing. Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang’s astonishing second novel masterfully reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance. 

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Why I'm Waiting...

Wow, okay so based on the synopsis, this book is bad events on top of more bad events. I am excited to read more on Janie and Micah because it definitely sounds like they have an interesting relationship. Rape is probably going to be one of the big issues this book covers and I haven't read Amy's other book but I have heard pretty good things about it. I also haven't read many books that covers rape so I am looking forward to see how Amy handles writing about a character who experiences rape and Micah dealing with Janie's disappearance. The synopsis mentions a "nonlinear" writing style for this book and I am interested to read what that is all about because it sounds interesting...

So tell me: Have you heard about this book before and what are your thoughts on it?

Happy Chinese New Year! << 7 Asian Characters in YA

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hello everyone and welcome back to Next Page Please! where I try my bestest to post consistently. So, yes I know, last week fell a bit and I have a pretty good reason why. First of all, I really did not have much time to draft things up and I didn't have much planned for that week anyway so I didn't throw myself too off of what else I have scheduled for the rest of the month.

Today's person is pretty exciting for me because, well today is Chinese New Year! Yep, as my mom is pretty superstitious, I spent a good amount of yesterday of cleaning the house and watching the Superbowl. If you don't celebrate Chinese New Year, I hope you have a great Monday but to everyone that does celebrate, I hope you have an awesome Chinese New Year filled with red envelopes, time with family, and great food. Now, in celebration of Chinese New Year, I have compiled a list of 7 characters who represent us Asians in YA. I am pretty positive I've missed some characters so if I have, definitely let me know! It actually is pretty sad to see how little Asian characters are represented in YA and that realllly needs to change because there are so many ethnicities that fall under "Asian" so there are a lot of different characters would be able to get from Asians. I hope you guys enjoy reading about these Asian characters and definitely check out the books that I have mentioned.

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1. Lara Jean | To All The Boy's I've Loved Before
Lara Jean was the first person I thought of when I came up this post idea. She is literally the one character that is Asian and everyone knows that I know of. Lara Jean is Korean and what I love about Jenny Han is how she was able to include some Korean culture into the To All The Boy's I've Loved Before duology and it is always so interesting to be reading about that. She is such a great character and I thank Jenny for including so much Korean culture into her books.

2. Maddie | Everything, Everything
Maddie is half Japanese I believe? I'm pretty sure Nicola is half Japanese as well, which is cool because it's not every day someone is half Japanese half black. There wasn't a lot of Japanese culture in Everything, Everything but the fact that she is Asian already earns her a few points.

3. Samantha | Under a Painted Sky
Ohhh Samantha is a character I totally forgot about and banged my head on the table for doing so! She is Chinese (Yes! Finally) and speaks Cantonese, I believe? (Muahahaha even better!) I really enjoyed reading from Samantha because she really believes in the Chinese zodiac calendar and it was nice reading about her Chinese cultures and beliefs and being able to compare them and contrast them to mine.

4. Park | Eleanor and Park
Ahhh, Park! Another Korean character a good amount of people know about. I want to say Park is half white and I am pretty positive on that piece of information. Again, not a lot of Korean culture written into Eleanor and Park (at least...none that I actually remember) but I am not complaining much because yay! Another Asian character!

5. Jubilee | This Shattered World
This is one of my recent reads and I was very interested to find out her mother was Chinese! Making Jubilee half Chinese. I honestly did not expect Amie and Meagan to write about her culture and stuff in this dystopian novel but I did like how there the fact that she was half-Chinese was not pushed aside! There is a line of mandarin in this book and that little small line made me feel just a bit more connected to Jubilee.

6. Alan | What You Left Behind
I know Alan is Asian, Korean or Chinese I believe. Alan is only a side character so I definitely did not expect the author to go deeper into his Asian roots. The author didn't but that is totally fine with me because the fact that Alan was Asian and not white made this book a bit more colorful, which is something I always appreciate.

7. Cinder | The Lunar Chronicles
Cinder is definitely Asian, but is she Chinese? Chinese in their world, let's put it at that. Definitely, not much Asian culture is mentioned in the book but I don't blame that because of the fact that it's dystopian, I am grateful there is an Asian character so that is definitely enough for me. I do love how they call her "Lihn, Cinder" because ya know, you call people by their first then the last name in China!

So tell me: Have you read any of the books I mentioned above and let me know if you celebrate Chinese New Year!


Waiting on Wednesday #39

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Breaking The Spine where we share upcoming releases that we are excited about!

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The Lifeboat Clique

Author: Kathy Parks
Pages: 336
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 1st 2016
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.

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Why I'm Waiting...

This book already sounds so hilarious and I've only read the synopsis. First of all, I don't come across books that include being stranded on a book. As if that wasn't bad enough, everyone that basically hates me is on this book. I smell drama and hopefully sarcasm so SIGN ME UP. I am super excited to be reading this book because I really can't wait to meet Denver, the people she is stuck on the boat with, and just being stuck on the boat alone. It is definitely an experience one never gets to experience and I can't wait to see how Kathy will let that play out. 

So tell me: What are your thoughts on this book and have you heard of it?