Monday, October 15, 2018

MMGM--Tell Me Three Things

Image result for tell me three things
Tell Me Three Things, by Julie Buxbaum

Jessie has just started her junior year at an ultra-intimidating LA prep school where she knows no one except her new stepmonster's pretentious teenage son. Just when she's thinking of hightailing it back to Chicago--to her friends who understand she's still grieving the death of her mother--she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School.

In a leap of faith--or an act of complete desperation, Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline a closest ally. Jessie can't help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

I read this book for the first time over the Summer--almost four months ago--so it's a bit of an understatement to say that my review is looong overdue. (I was planning to review a different middle grade book today, but #lifehappened and I didn't get to finish it in time.)

One of my favorite aspects of Tell Me Three Things was the large cast of side characters. Scarlet, Jessie's home-town best friend is snarky, and supportive and everything I would want in friend. Plus, she uses correct capitalization and punctuation in text messages.

And, there are plenty of new friends at Jessie's new school, too. Ethan, Dri, Liam, Caleb, Theo, and Agnes are all terrific additions to the story. I won't go in too deeply with any of them though, in lieu of giving any spoilers. (Also, I think if I started, gushing about them, I wouldn't be able to stop. :P) So, I'll just say that Julie Buxbaum gave each character his or her own, unique voice in the story.

While I wasn't completely sure I liked the main character, Jessie, at first, she quickly managed to win me over with her love of books and major awkwardness--something I can very much relate to. She also openly talks about why she likes writing so much better than speaking, because with writing, she has time to flesh out a conversation in her head before replying, something I tend to agree with myself.

There was also a lot of character development done on Jessie's part throughout the novel, and I had an awesome time watching her grow. Sort of tying in with the character development, Jessie was such a believable, realistic character. So often in romance book, the main characters are these perfect girls who have, what seems like, an entire fan-club of boys chasing after them. It a welcome change for me to read about a dorky, sarcastic girl who had priorities bigger than finding a boyfriend.

One aspect that many books leave out is food. But one of the things Jessie misses most about her home is the Chicago-style pizza, and the slushy combination she spent an entire summer perfecting. Another little tidbit that isn't super relevant to the plot, but that I adore, is that Jessie's favorite word is waffle, because it's a delicious food, and a synonym for writing.

And while Jessie wasn't an automatic like for me, Somebody/Nobody definitely was. While I am by no means an expert on all things plot-related, I thought that the idea of a stranger emailing her--while albeit a little creepy (which SN admits in the first email)--was something very original.

My only complaint is that it was kind of predictable who SN was. Julie Buxbaum did a good job of including a few different boys and possibilities for SN, but it was pretty clear who it would be in the end--for me, anyhow.

Fair warning--I will say that this book is on the older side of the scale, in terms of reader age. Barnes and Noble gave it an age rating of 12-17, so as long as you're above that age, you should be good. (There are a few mentions of some rather controversial topics.)

This book is perfect for anyone who likes complex character arks, fresh plot ideas, as well as the inclusion of food. (!!!)

You can read an excerpt of Tell Me Three Things HERE and you can find Julie Buxbaum's website HERE

Happy Reading!

Friday, October 5, 2018

#CoverLove Tag

So, a few days back, I saw this tag on Julian's blog and decided it would be a fun way to procrastinate doing homework tag to participate in. So now I'm doing it. Yay!

(Also--please forgive my poor attempts at taking aesthetic-y book pictures. :P) 

The Rules

-Thank the blogger who tagged you and link back to their blog
-Create seven new #CoverLove Tag questions or just use mine
-Answer the seven questions your nominator gave you
-Nominate seven other bloggers and let them know they've been tagged

Favorite cover on an old book

It's kind of hard to tell which book this is, as it doesn't have the title of the cover--it's a collection of fairytales, written by Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen. I adore the color, and the simplistic flower design.
(And the fact that I'm one-fourth Danish makes it even better.)

Favorite cover on a new book

Mythical neon peacocks. Do I need to say more?

The cover of a book you're currently borrowing

Image result for lord of the flies

Hmm . . . I'm not actually borrowing any books at the moment, but the last library book I checked out was Lord of the Flies, because I needed it for a school project. (And I'm just using a picture off of Google, because I have long since returned it.)

A blue cover

This book gave me *all* the feels.

A cover with an animal on it

Who doesn't love a sparkly alicorn?

A cover that made you look twice at it the first time you saw it

It took me about a day to realize she was running across a face, and that her shadow was a tear. (Because I am super oblivious.) 
I picked this book up this past week, so I haven't had time to read it yet. :(

A cover you thought was amazing at first, but now you don't find so amazing

It's not so much the cover as the story. I had high hopes for this book--and the one quarter of the story I made it through was pretty good. The pacing was just *super* slow.

New Questions

A cover with your OTP on it
A pink cover
A cover of an autographed book--or one you would like to get autographed
A cover of a picture book
A cover of book you were given as a gift
A cover of a book that gives you nostalgia
A cover of a book that you read in one sitting

As for tagging . . . I think I'll tag:

and Elanor at Whimsical Writing

And anyone else who loves books and wants to participate. :)

Monday, October 1, 2018

MMGM--Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Image result for always and forever lara jean
Always and Forever, Lara Jean, by Jenny Han

Lara Jean is having the best senior year.

And there's still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend, Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad's wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she'll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.

Life couldn't be more perfect!

At least, that's what Lara Jean thinks . . . until she gets some unexpected news. 

New the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans--but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

The stunning conclusion to my Jenny Han Book Review Marathon is here! Once again, I will give the warning that there are *slight* spoilers for the previous two books included in my review. So, read at your own risk!

With Lara Jean's senior year of high school coming to a close, the gang is preparing to run to opposite corners of the world--Chris jetting away to South America, Lucas to New York City, and Lara Jean and Peter set to start their freshman year of UVA together.

But not everything goes to plan.

After Lara Jean is rejected from UVA, she's sent into a tailspin. UVA had been her dream school since she was a child. She has no backup school. And there would be no Peter.

Lara Jean isn't the only one going through growing pains. Lara Jean's little sister, Kitty, is determined to find her father his dream woman.

And Lara Jean's dad isn't the only one with budding relationship in the Covey household. Margot returns from Scotland with a new boyfriend, Ravi. And I admit, I *really* liked Josh, and I *really* didn't want to like Margot's new boyfriend. But that was a battle I lost almost immediately. Ravi has an English accent, is insanely polite, is a full-blooded Hufflepuff and is almost *impossible* not to like.

Margot and Ravi seem made for each other, and while Lara Jean used to think the same thing about her and Peter, she's beginning to have second thoughts. After they are sent to different schools, and forced into what could be a one-to-four-year long-term relationship, she begins to wonder if she should listen to her mother's advice.

Never go to college with a boyfriend. 

One of my only complaints is that there was practically no Josh in the book. I'm aware that he isn't really a huge influence to the plot anymore, but he was hardly even mentioned. And I love Josh! :(

There was also a lot of college decision making, and event planning on Lara Jean's part, and while it was necessary to the plot--it wasn't the most interesting to read about. This book--while amazing--definitely was the slowest paced out of the three. This might not bother some people, but I am *insanely* picky when it comes to the pacing of a story.

You can read a free excerpt of Always and Forever, Lara JeanHERE and you can find Jenny Han's website HERE

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 17, 2018

MMGM--P.S. I Still Love You

Image result for ps i still love you
P.S. I Still Love You, by Jenny Han

Lara Jean didn't expect to really fall for Peter.

They were just pretending. Until they weren't. And now Lara Jean has to learn what it's like to be in a real relationship, and not just a make-believe one.

But when another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean's feelings for him suddenly return too.

Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Lara Jean is about to find out that falling in love is the easy part.

Okay--disclaimer--I tried not to include spoilers for To All the Boys I've Loved Before here, but I do vaguely mention how the last book ended, and a few other events from the novel. So if you're one of those people who considers *everything* a spoiler (like me) then I do not recommend reading this review.

On to the review!!!

I hope you like Jenny Han, because guess what? This is a trilogy--so you'll be hearing about her time too. :)

So, I am generally not a fan of books were major plot points revolve around a love triangle--however, I do think that there are a few books that can pull them off--this book being one of them. I immediately fell in love with John Ambrose McClaren.

John Ambrose McClaren is my definition of a perfect guy--he's kind, smart, and would do anything to make Lara Jean happy. Even dressing up as a soldier to be her date to a USO party. John also makes regular visits to the retirement home where his grandmother lives, a gesture that many teenage boys neglect to make for their family. He's also not too grown up for a good old-fashioned snowball fight. :)

Even though the last book left me thinking that Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky would be my new OTP forever, this book made me realize that I'm not a very committed shipper. And, quite honestly, Lara Jean seems to think that same thing.

Despite their new-and-improved contract, for their no-longer pretend relationship, Lara Jean and Peter start to question whether they really are meant to be after Peter begins to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend, Gen, over reasons he refuses to explain to Lara Jean.

All of the relationship drama makes Lara Jean long for the days when the group's biggest problem was eating their ice cream before it melted. And when Lara Jean remembers the time capsule her friends buried below their childhood hang-out, she decides to call the group together to open it up--and play one last game of their go-to pass-time as kids--a game called Assassin.

But with her relationship on the rocks, and some embarrassing information floating around the school--winning should be the least of Lara Jean's concerns.

You can read an excerpt of P.S. I Still Love You HERE, and you can find Jenny Han's website HERE

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 3, 2018

MMGM--To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Image result for to all the boys i've loved before
To All the Boy's I've Loved Before, by Jenny Han

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.

They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved--five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

If you are a binge watcher of rom-coms--or Netflix--then chances are, you've heard about (or watched) one of Netflix's latest productions--a film adaptation of Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before.

And while my friends and I have gushed over how absolutely amazing the movie is (and even though it has almost five stars on Netflix) I still think that the book is about ten times better than the movie. (I'm sure that every book-lover can agree that this statement holds true with most book-based productions. :P)

One of the things that I loved most about this novel is the concept of love letters being written to Lara Jean's crushes and then sent with out her knowledge. People are much more honest about their feelings when they think that no one will ever be able to see/read them. Plus, I didn't have to read half the book (or more) before the main character finally plucks up the courage to confess their feeling. This was a new and unique way to get everybody's feelings out in the open--something that I personally love the concept of.

While I'm fairly certain that everybody's new OTP after reading To All the Boys I've Loved Before will be Peter and Lara Jean, I must admit that I rooted for Josh until I got about 25% into the book. (And then I was like, "Josh who?" Because Peter is amazing.) One of the things that initially drew me to Josh's character was that he was sweet, in that smart, good-natured and slightly nerdy way. I mean, come on, he dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween. How can you not love that?

But as the book wore on, I admit that I wholeheartedly switched to Team Peter. When Peter first came onto the pages, I wasn't so sure I liked him--mostly because he seemed like someone who wouldn't take a relationship with Lara Jean too seriously. However, it soon became abundantly clear, that the persona he put on for the rest of the school, wasn't really him. There's a lot more to Peter K than meets the eye.

In my opinion, Lara Jean was simultaneously in the worst and the best situation of all the characters. The letters being mailed out was mortifying, (if I was her--I would have crawled under a rock and died) but she got closer to some people that she wouldn't have even talked to, had it not been for those pesky love letters. Lara Jean is a shy, quirky, sentimental, romantic that won my heart over on page one. (Wow, I sure crammed a lot of adjectives into one sentence.)

And although she didn't have too much page time, I absolutely adore Lara Jean's best friend, Chris. I have no clue why, honestly. She's snarky, rebellious, and a total free-spirit--the complete opposite of Lara Jean--and me. I admit that I admire her spunky, I-don't-give-a-crap mentality about life. She's the kind of person who lives every moment to the fullest, and when she looks back on high school, she'll be able to say that there wasn't a thing she didn't do. Sometimes I wish that I could live my life a little more like Chris does. (Well, a *very* watered-down version of Chris, because I could *never* be that much of a rebel. I'm too much of a goody-two-shoes. :P)

This book is a must-read for anyone who likes a fresh new take on a good old-fashioned love story.

You can read an excerpt of To All the Boys I've Loved Before HERE, find Jenny Han's website HERE, and you can watch the Official Trailer for the movie adaptation HERE, and the Teaser Trailer HERE. (I couldn't pick one, so I just linked both. :P)

Happy Reading! (or watching!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

August Recap

I typically don't do "Monthly Wrap-up" posts, (even though I love reading them) usually because my life is fairly low-key and I don't do very many out-of-the-ordinary things. But I'm doing one this month--so yay for new things!

(Also please forgive me if I do everything wrong.)

To kick off the month, my friend's mom drove myself and two of my best friends out of a sunflower field, where we took some pretty cool pictures.

So. Here's some pictures of me that nobody really wanted or needed. :P

Does this pic give anyone else "scheming for my master plan" vibes?

Yeah. I totally goofed off the entire time. XD

(I was going to wear a jean jacket, but decided against it because it was hot. Looking back, I think I should have just sucked it up because plain white tank tops--#notclassy)

I FINALLY got more book storage, thus giving me a place to store what I previously referred to as "The Mount Everest of Books." So, no more book pile on my bedroom floor! Yay!

I also decided to be adventurous and cut my hair! My mother insists that this cut does not qualify as having "short hair," but I totally think it does. I love it SO MUCH!! It's way easier to care for than my longer hair.


Me and my Super Awkward Picture Face. :P


Me and my slightly less awkward Trying to Take a Cool Selfie face. 

Most excitingly, I got to attend Sarah J. Maas' book launch event for Catwoman: Soulstealer. I won't bore you with a bunch of fangirling over it now, especially since I already wrote an entire post about it, which consisted mostly of me gushing over how awesome she was and a bunch of super long lists.

That day was also exciting for an entirely different reason--my brother got two adorable kittens, which he has since named Puma and Panther.

(The black one is Panther, and the grey one is Puma.) 

Panther, who is by far the cuddliest, also doubles as a reading buddy. :)

We didn't let Wookie (my Shih Tzu) near the kittens the first few days they were home, so they could get adjusted without being doggy-harassed, and he would just with there, and look at me. 
"Hey--can I play with the kittens NOW?"

Anyone else find it super ironic that we got cats on the same day that a Catwoman book was released? No? Just me? Okay.

Now, on to the writerly things!!

I recently started outlining a new novel this month. I always tend to be a panster when it comes to writing novels, but I realized that I'm not a fan of revising eighty-bajillion times, so I'm trying a different approach with this one.

The reason for all of this planning is my first novel, which I completed at the beginning of June. I let it sit for a little while, and this August I've been working at editing and rewriting it. *sigh* I need to fix ALL THE THINGS and this manuscript is really fighting me on it. I'm literally rewriting the entire plot right now--not that I'm complaining! I absolutely love writing--I wouldn't be working on a novel if I didn't. :P

Also, (not really writing related but still fun for me) I saw To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and while it was good, the book was SO much better. (As per usual with movie adaptations.) I bought the rest of the series and finished the trilogy in three days. #booknerd

(My friends and I have been talking about the movie since we saw it--although their commentary mostly consists of them fangirling over Noah Centineo. :P)

Books read this month:

To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Jenny Han

P.S. I Still Love You, Jenny Han

Always and Forever, Lara Jean, Jenny Han

The Assassin's Blade, Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight, Sarah J. Maas

Over all, I think I did fairly well this month, reading wise.

And now I'm back at school. :(
*cries eternally*
GIF found via Giphy

Because I'm at school, updates will probably be less frequent. (Because I was *so* good at posting on time before. :P) 

Anyway, I'm going to be aiming for bi-weekly posting--maybe one week there will be a writing prompt, and the next week there will be a review, and so on and so forth. Or maybe I just cut writing prompts all together, or . . . I'll figure something out. :P

We'll see how well that holds up this school year. :P

I hope all of you had a wonderful August! Anyone else feel like this summer went *waaay* to fast? 

(Also, sorry for all the pics. I feel slightly narcissistic, because I just kinda went, "Here's a bunch of Me-Pictures. Enjoy!" And called it a blog post. XD)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Catwoman: Soulstealer Launch Event!

If you caught my review for MMGM this past Monday, you know that I have very quickly turned into an avid Sarah J. Maas fan. And I officially have the best mother ever, because she bought me and a friend tickets to see her in Philadelphia for her launch event! (!!!)

It was one of *the* best days ever.

We wanted to get down in the Philadelphia area early, just in case traffic was bad later. So we drove to King of Prussia, and walked around the KOP Mall for a few hours. The mall was so big, we actually got lost. :P

But, I'm guessing that you probably don't want to hear about my adventures in the biggest mall ever. So, ONTO THE BOOK TALK!!!

There's me, and my gorgeous friend, Amber. We were very excited, if you can't tell. :P

Sarah was very interesting to listen to. (I feel odd calling her Sarah, like we're on a first name basis or something. She has no clue who I am. XD) She talked about her writing process, played Kiss, Marry, Kill with her characters, and even brought along Taran, her adorable baby boy. (He didn't cry or fuss or anything, even when one-hundred or more people cheered.)

Sarah shared that she had the ending for her Throne of Glass series planned from the beginning, but it shifted slightly over the years. When she was in a cloud forest in Costa Rico back in 2013, she had a major breakthrough, and the last sentence of the series just popped into her head. And she cried. Profusely.

As I stated before, Sarah played Kiss, Marry, Kill--but with a slight twist. She played as the characters from Catwoman: Soulstealer, answering about the characters from her other books. (That was one of the most complicated sentences I've ever written. :P)

Kiss, Marry, Kill

Silena Kyle

Throne of Glass universe:

-Kiss Dorian

-Kill Manon

-Marry Chaol

A Court of Thorns and Roses universe:

-Kiss Rhys

-Also, Marry Rhys

-And kill no one, because she'd want to enjoy herself

Luke Fox

Throne of Glass universe:

-Kill Celaena

-Kiss Manon

-Marry Lysandra

A Court of Thorns and Roses universe:

-Kiss Nesta

-Kiss Mor

-Marry Elain

Sarah was also asked about which character from each of her books she would spend the rest of her life with, if she had to.

Catwoman: Soulstealer: Luke Fox

Throne of Glass: Dorian

A Court of Thorns and Roses: Rhys, Cassian, or Azriel

And which character was her favorite character to write, main characters off the table.

Catwoman: Soulstealer: Poison Ivy

Throne of Glass: Manon

A Court of Thorns and Roses: Nesta (with both Feyre and Rhys off the table)

Wow. That was a lot of lists. Whoops.

Also, for fans of her ACOTAR series, she's planning on releasing a spin-off focusing on Cassian and Nesta, which she hopes to release in 2020.

And for TOG fans, here are a few *slight* spoilers for Kingdom of Ash, below (because I know some people like those :P):

-There’s going to be a hidden Easter Egg somewhere in the book
-Fleetfoot survives
-The book is close to one-thousand pages long
-There will be an appearance by Nox Owen

This sum-up really doesn't do justice to how awesome of a time I had. Alas, this will have to do. :P

If you're interested in seeing any more pictures, you can check out my Instagram post

And wow--three posts in one week! I think that's a new record. And while we're on the subject of posting, I'm going to be on a small hiatus. It won't be long--I'll be back by the end of August--I promise!

MMGM--Tell Me Three Things

Tell Me Three Things , by Julie Buxbaum Jessie has just started her junior year at an ultra-intimidating LA prep school where s...