March 31, 2013

Veronica Mars Watch-Along Week 2

[Graphic designed by the lovely Judith of Paper Riot]
So, how does this work, super sleuths? Go check out the Watch-Along kick off post for the skinny. I'll give you a second just in case...

All caught up? Good.

In case you already know the basics and just forgot what episodes are up today, here's the list:
  • "Pilot"
  • "Credit Where Credit's Due"
And, for NEXT WEEK:
  • "Meet John Smith"
  • "The Wrath of Con"

Now my Supafly friends, let's get down to business.

THE THEME SONG
We used to be friends indeed, Dandy Warhols. INDEED. Considering a theme song is supposed to somehow be indicative of what you're about to watch, COLOR ME INTERESTED. I like drama. That's not happening to me.

THE BIG OPENING
Everything after the theme song is similarly amazing and exciting. I mean, way to have an opening, Rob Thomas. Some kid? Tied up on a flagpole? And our protagonist is the only person in the crowd who will cut him down? BAMF.

But seriously, what's up with this crowd that they won't cut this kid down? This seriously does not look like any high school I would want to attend. Nor does this look much like a town I would want to live in. In the first ten minutes of the show it's made pretty clear that Neptune, as well as its high school, is composed of the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS and the gap between them is ENORMOUS. It ain't pretty. No, seriously. It's actually kind of violent.

MEET THE CAST
Anyway, so while this whole HAVES and HAVE NOTS thing is playing in the background, we meet the whole cast of characters: 
  • Veronica (our leading lady aka V)
  • Wallace (the sidekick)
  • Weevil (the biker gang leader)
  • Logan (the obligatory psychotic jackass aka V's ex-friend)
  • Lilly (the dead girl aka V's bestie)
  • Duncan (the dead girl's brother aka V's ex)
  • Keith (V's dad aka parental awesomeness)
  • Cliff (the hilarious lawyer friend)
  • Backup (V's puppy - HI PUPPY)
  • Lamb (the new sheriff aka GOD I HATE YOU)
  • Lianne (V's mom aka MORE ANGER)
  • Jake Kane (Lilly and Duncan's dad)
  • Celeste Kane (Lilly and Duncan's mom aka crazypants)
  • Mrs. Navarro (Weevil's grandmother aka WOW her grandkids are awful)
This isn't everyone and not everyone listed above is SUPER important, but I like 'em. Slash find them interesting, at the very least. 

WIT AND SNARK
Some of my favorite parts? 
  • "Sister, the only time I care what a woman has to say is, is when she’s riding my big old hog but even then it’s not so much words, just a bunch of oohs and aahs, you know?"
This whole exchange
  • When Keith comes home from catching a bail jumper and he's all HEY I WAS COOL but really he wasn't but it's STILL GREAT because, well:
  • The entire exchange on the beach from the minute Logan and the 09er's show up until the end of the first episode. 
Be cool, Sodapop
  • The opening of episode 2:
Personally I'm kind of PG myself
THE NOIR
Aside from the cynicism and the wit and the sexual undertones that embody this whole show, there IS, of course, the mystery. 

The structure of this show is pretty genius. I mean, you have the BIG MYSTERY (Lilly's death) that's the main story arc for season 1. And then you have individual mysteries (who's sleeping with who, who's stealing from who...) for each episode. And throughout it all, you have Veronica's voiceover, dispensing background and letting the viewer be privy to her suspicions and thoughts. She's the PI of our noir, which makes sense, since the show is called "Veronica Mars."

Guys. I dunno who killed Lilly based on these first two episodes, but I'm DAYUM EXCITED to find out who did.

Is that too much excitement over a murder mystery? Maybe? Oh well. 

THE BOYS
Now. To close out, I just want to do a review of the man candy (I know you were waiting for this. Don't lie).
  • Duncan: The ex-boyfriend. He defends Veronica a little? Gives her a ride? Can't really make eye contact? Not so bad, but clearly not great. And he's not so cute. He's kinda dough faced? Eh. Underwhelmed.
  • Logan: The ex-friend/psychotic jackass. YO. HE BROKE VERONICA'S CAR. And started in on her boozy mom. And slashes V's tires. I'm actually a little scared of him at this point. Even though he's kinda cute *wink*
  • Troy: Intriguing new boy who helps Veronica with her mysterious flats. He's cute. *wink* But most of all, he's NEW which means he's got nothing to do with the past drama, even though he hangs out with the 09er's. WHICH IS NICE.
  • Weevil: Angry biker who's kinda friends with V? He IS witty (re: gif convo noted above). And he's sometimes helpful. But is he helpful or aggressive and impossible? Who knows.
  • Wallace: BESTIES. WE ARE BESTIES. Veronica's bestie also. And y'know, he's one of those besties who you REALLY HOPE the protagonist doesn't get with because GOD that would be annoying. *crosses fingers and hopes for platonic friendship*

With that, I turn it over to you guys. What's your favorite scene from the first two episodes? Favorite guy? Do you think you know who killed Lilly yet? How about that crazy socio-economic gap? And Lamb. HOW MUCH DO YOU HATE HIM? Basically just discuss on everything noted above AND MORE with me in the comments below, okay?

**ONE LAST REMINDER**
NEXT WEEK:
  • "Meet John Smith"
  • "The Wrath of Con"

March 29, 2013

6 Reasons Why I'll Buy a Book

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.

I, like all of you, compulsively buy books. That's pretty much what we're all here for, right? But this week I want to talk about what makes you (me?) pick up one book or another. Sure, there's a lot of advising that comes in the form of Goodreads and ratings, but even with all that, you're still the one who has to either pay up or walk away when it comes to buying a book.

So here are my 6 Reasons Why I'll Buy a Book:

1. My friends are RAVING
This probably falls under the Goodreads advising category, but it's totally worth noting. It's like when someone wants to set you up on a blind date. If it's someone you're just acquaintances with, you might be like: Uhmmmm NO. But if it's your best pal who's known you since you were in diapers, you'll probably be like: How soon can I meet the hunk? The same goes for books. If my bookish soul mate is all: YOU WILL LOVE, chances are, I will love. But if it's someone who doesn't know me so well and is just pushing what they love, not what they think I'll really love, then maybe not.

This is for YOU WILL LOVE moments, not any other.
2. Buzzwords
EVERYONE has buzzwords. For some people it's a specific place. For other's it's a time period or a natural disaster or MAGIC. But we all have them. I won't get into what mine are now, since this is the Top Ten Tuesday topic in a couple of weeks, but I will tell you right now: if New York City is mentioned in any capacity, I'll probably pick up said book, no matter what anyone else is saying.


3. Cover Love
Y'know those stunning covers you DROOL over? Well, yeah. I do. Sometimes I'll be not so sure about a book but the cover will keep me coming back for more. Occasionally, if a book has a REALLY GOOD cover, I won't be able to stop thinking about it and, even though I was at the store just the day before, I'll have to go back and get it before my head explodes.


4. Reading the first page
This, like all other tactics, can be faulty. I read the first page of Seraphina in the store and I dismissed it because I had no idea what was happening. Eventually I went back to it because of reasons number 1 and 2, but I was never quite sure until I plowed past that prologue and got to the good stuff. And MAN is it good. But sometimes reading the first page really does help me decide whether to buy a book or not. It lets me get a feel for the authors writing style and the pacing of the books - both of which are very important factors in my reading experience.


5. Trusting my gut
Sometimes I'll buy a book on impulse. Actually, I'm pretty indecisive on the whole, but every now and again I'll just buy something because my insides tell me to. I can't say I'm always right, but more often than not, I am. I think my most successful gut purchase was the first Maroon 5 CD - Songs About Jane. I was in Tower Records (I know, I know) and I had those giant headphones on and I was sampling something other than "Harder to Breathe" (which the radio would NOT stop playing) and I just wasn't sure. But then I was like, SCREW THIS I WANT IT. Needless to say my insides can sometimes be genius. Although I can't tell you what my last impulse book buy was. I've been doing a lot of borrowing, recommendation taking and Goodreads background checking recently. So there's that.

This gif works for reasons 5 and 6. Take note.
6. Borrow First, Buy Later
If I'm not sure about a book for whatever reason, a lot of the time I'll take it out of the library or borrow from a friend first. IF I love it, I'll scurry out to the bookstore and snatch it up. When will I re-read? I don't know. But I need it. I NEED IT. So I'll buy it and keep it on my shelf for pushing on people or perusing or petting. Y'know, the 3 P's. Natch.

Okay. That's enough from me. Time for you guys to chime in. What makes YOU pick up a book? I could always use some new, crazy methods, so do leave me some advising in the comments below.

March 28, 2013

Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith


Title: This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: April 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Poppy
Page Count: 416
Source: Borrowed from Michelle
Rating: ★★★★
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs? 

[Summary Source: Goodreads]
THE REVIEW

Ellie get an email from a stranger. They talk. They share STUFF. They become friends. And it's not creepy. Because the stranger, or G, has a pig named Wilbur. I mean, that's not the only reason. But yeah, let's go with it. Anyway, G turns out to be a Hollywood Star who Ellie is NOT INTERESTED IN. Until she finds out he's G. After that, things get PHENOMENALLY ADORABLE. I just want to huggles this book forever and so should all of you.

Let's break this down:

The plot of this story takes a whole bunch of cliche story lines and builds up to a whole bunch of awesome. I mean, we've all read/watched the internet love story, the celebrity who falls in love with the Regular John/Jane and the quirky teenage love story, but, like a good mashup, when all these plots are pulled together in JUST THE RIGHT WAY, it's totally amazing. I also really liked that the romance was there from the VERY start. There's no agonizing build. It's more about the drama of the relationship and the troubles (personal and otherwise) Graham and Ellie have to overcome in order to be together than anything else.

I think my only complaint about the plot is the Ellie's father's plot. I'm not going to spoil anything for you guys, but I will say it got kind of convoluted and didn't really get resolved, in my opinion. I think the plot line itself contributed a crucial element and the whole story wouldn't have worked so much without it (I also didn't see it coming, which was nice), but that bit fell kind of flat for me - especially after all the build up and importance given to it.

And now to talk about Ellie and Graham: I LOVE THEM. I LOOOOOVE THEM. I just want to read about them snuggling together forever and ever - even though this book is one of those books with an ending that implies that MAYBE these two crazy cats don't stay together forever. Which I like, because hey, that's reality, but it also makes me want to stomp my feet like a five year old because they're so ca-yuuuuute together.

But I don't just love Ellie and Graham. I love basically ALL of the supporting characters. Everyone is just so great. They all have their own plots that don't get so big as to take over the book, but are fleshed out enough so that the reader can really get a feel for the people in Ellie's lives. The structure here is really quite wonderful. I ESPECIALLY liked Quinn and Ellie's mom. They were really as complex as Ellie or Graham but not the focal points, y'know?

As is the prose, of course. Jennifer E. Smith really knows how to tell a story. I was straight up squeeing and tearing up on public transport. People must have thought I was out of my mind, but honestly? I'll never see them again, so THAT'S FINE BY ME. Seriously. Think I'm crazy. I'll take it if it's due to me getting to read an AWESOMESAUCE book.

All in all, this book was pretty brilliant. The familial issues were a little rough around the edges in concerning Ellie's dad, but otherwise, this is the perfect summer romp.

The long and short of it?

Plot: The perfect blend of all of the cliche contemporary plots that somehow became something new and AWESOME.
World Building: Pretty realistic. Based on my tabloid-reading observations, the paparazzi really are pretty vicious, y'know?
Character Development: All of the characters were so wonderfully wonderful. I wish the book was longer so I could have more time with them.
Prose: SO CUTE. This book was SO CUTE. Jennifer E. Smith knows how to write the kind of book that makes one of those tiny grins creep up one side of your face before it spreads to the other and before you know it you've got a megawatt smile going on.
Would I Recommend This Book?: If you loved Jennifer E. Smith's first book - The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - you'll love this. Also, if you're into Sarah Dessen, I'd say you should give this one a read. Since I'm a big Dessen fan, that's a pretty strong recommendation, if I do say so myself.

Talk to me pretties - have you read this one yet? Tell me about your love for Graham. Or maybe about the relationship between Ellie and Quinn. Ellie and her mom? How about Ellie's dad. That'd be an interesting conversation, don't you think?

March 27, 2013

Waiting On: Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman (17)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Unnatural Creatrues: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman
Author: Neil Gaiman, Diana Wynne Jones, E. Nesbit and more
Release Date: April 23rd, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
A griffin, a werewolf, a sunbird...
These are just some of the fantastical creatures you'll encounter within these pages. From the cockatoucan, whose laugh rearranges an entire kingdom, to the roving shapeless Beast that lurks in a forest, herein is a collection of rare and magnificent species. Each one will thrill, delight, and quite possibly unnerve you.
Selected by master storyteller Neil Gaiman, the sixteen stories in this menagerie will introduce you to a host of strange, wondrous beings that have never existed anyplace but in the richness of the imagination.
With stories from Neil Gaiman, Diana Wynne Jones, E. Nesbit, and many more, Unnatural Creatures will benefit the literacy nonprofit 826DC.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]
Fantasy, as a genre, is pretty much my first reading love. I'm into a whole bunch of other genres now, but as a kid, all I cared about was magic, castles and knights. I loved the mythical creatures and old romantic old-world feel. Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite fantasy writers. He really knows what he's doing, y'know? I pretty much buy anything he's involved in, including the children's book he wrote (I bought it for my 2 year old nephew. He loves Chu. He walks around going AAAAACHU! So cute). So when I found out about this short story compilation compiled by Neil Gaiman that includes a bunch of fantasy authors I adore, I couldn't help but bounce up and down in excitement. Thankfully I only have to wait a month for this one!

So this week's Waiting on Wednesday is VERY EXCITING for me. How about you guys? What did you pick? Let me know in the comments below! 

March 26, 2013

Top Ten Books I Recommend The MOST (16)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
There are a lot of ways I can take this week's Top Ten list. Is it Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most to Readers? To Non-Readers? To Contemporary Lovers? To Fantasy Nerds? To Paranormal Junkies? I always find that when I recommend a book, I have to be careful who I'm recommending what to because it could be MY FAVORITE but my reading taste isn't everyone's reading taste. Which just means I ask a lot of annoying questions and think VERY CAREFULLY before recommending books.

But instead of inserting a qualifier, I'm just going to make this a Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most BECAUSE I LOVE THEM list. I'll be sure to note genre, because even though I know Tamora Pierce if the greatest ever and I'd probably push all of her books on you even if you don't love fantasy books, there should be some kind of level playing field, right?

So here they are. My Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most based solely on my book feels and nothing else.


1. Anything set in the Tortall Universe by Tamora Pierce
Genre: YA Fantasy
I could list each quartet and cheat a couple of times but instead I'll just cheat once and put a whole universe up here. I think there are 17 books set in Torall? I haven't read all of them - just the first 13 - but I don't even need to read the last ones to tell you they're probably genius. Tamora Pierce just knows what's up. Her books are just MAGICAL. And if that's not enough, they're set in medieval times with knights and kings and castles. And if THAT'S not enough, all of her books are pro-feminism in a not-in-your-face kind of way (aka the best way). There's just so much amazingness in her series and I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to read them.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Genre: YA Contemporary
I KNOW. I KNOW. Everyone else in the world ALSO has this book on their list but I can't help myself. This book was just SO FREAKING GOOD and I just want to stare at it slack-jawed all day. But I can't. Because I have things to do (stupid life). So instead I just go around trying to articulate the feels you WILL feel when you read this book. Inevitably I'll fail, show you a vlog brothers video instead, get you hooked on John Green as a human being and then guide you to his books (this is actually a thing I do. It works fairly often).


3. If I Stay + Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Genre: YA Contemporary
*More cheating lalala* but y'know what? You can't list one without the other. They are so very much a duology of feels and everyone should read these books. So good. So many feels. And honestly? Where She Went was so much better for me than If I Stay and you can't read the former without reading the latter first, so it's really, actually one book in my head. Does that make sense? No? Go read the books and get back to me, okay?


4. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Genre: YA Dystopian
I think this is my favorite dystopian out of the bunch. That's not to say I didn't love Divergent, Wither, Uglies and a whole bunch of other books full of awesome, but there's just something here I love so much. I would tell you what it is that makes me love this series so much, but it's really not just one thing. It's like everything. Together. Which I guess is the sign of a pretty decent series. ALSO, Unravel Me was possibly BETTER than Shatter Me, which doesn't happen often in second books of series. So yeah. Also. One thing I can tell you for real that made me love this book: SUPER. HEROS. *nerds out like whoa over this fact for the a millionth time*


5. All of the Sarah Dessen
Genre: YA Contemporary
The reason I say ALL is because I do obviously have my favorites, but I always recommend reading Dessen books in pub date order. This is because sometimes characters from earlier books will pop up in later books and it's just SO FUN when you can spot them. Seriously. But in general, I just love Sarah Dessen. Her books are so wonderful. And squee-worthy. I love a good squee, y'know?


6. Night by Elie Wiesel
Genre: Memoir
Elie Wiesel taught at my University until just recently. I was never able to take a class with him but he gives a series of lectures in the fall (seriously, if you're in Boston in November and he's still giving these talks, GO). He's such an adorable little old man (as pictured, because I couldn't help myself) who's been through SO MUCH. And he has this AMAZING voice and, well, yeah. I feel like so many people think The Diary of Anne Frank is the quintessential Holocaust book but then I read Night and, y'know, it's not a competition, but I think Night is the one I would push just a bit harder. It's also a bit easier to get through and it's about the actual camps. Which is terrifying, of course. AND it's the story of a teen told from the memory of an adult, so there's that element as well.


7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Genre: YA Historical Fiction (?)
Okay. This is another Holocaust book (Sorry guys, it's a combo of very much growing up with the topic because I'm Jewish and a bizarre fascination with the event), but this one takes a very different approach. This one's fiction from the perspective of Death. So it's kind of historical fiction but kind of not? I don't know. The writing is absolutely stunning either way. It took me a little bit to get into because of the different perspective, but it was totally worth it. But take this one slow. Don't get frustrated if you don't tear through it in a day. I know it took me a little while and that's okay. Because it's worth it.


8. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
As previously noted in this post, I'm Jewish. But if I'm being honest? I'm fairly religious. I went to a dual curriculum school nursery-12 and I guess I retained some stuff. This "stuff" includes the story of Dina. Or really, the lack of the story of Dina. So when I heard about this book I was like YEAH OKAY I WANT. I excepted it to be good, but I didn't expect to have my insides fall apart. It was brilliant because I wanted a fictional tale of Dina's life, but it was also brilliant because for a while I forgot that's why I picked up the book. As I tore through the pages I was like: THIS IS AMAZING on a secular level, not a religious one. Of course, whenever I paused for snackage or to explain to someone why I couldn't talk to them, my brain would catch up with me and I'd be like, okay, this story has religious significance, but really, it's for everyone, not just people who like bible stories.


9. His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman
Genre: YA Fantasy
I've already told you guys about that time I read these books in Middle School. Fantasy was my number one genre back then. It was pretty much all I read. So Pullman and Pierce were like my holy books. Fantasy worlds are so lush and complex and wonderful and when done RIGHT they're so amazing. They take you somewhere else. Pullman takes you somewhere else. He grabs you and drags you behind him and you don't WANT him to let you go because it's all so magical. Granted, I picked up this series because of my favorite English teacher of all time (it was required reading, but I read ahead and finished the whole series before the class finished the first), but really, it was just reaffirmation that reading was my THING.


10. Watchmen or V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
Genre: Graphic Novel
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" "Remember, remember the 5th of November the gunpowder treason and plot..." Yeah, that's right darlings, I read graphic novels (comics too!). Look, would I recommend this to first time comic readers? NO. PLEASE. NO. If you're not used to the format, it's tough and these are TOUGH novels to get through. However, I will say that these particular graphic novels are a bit more mainstream. You can find a lot of reviews and commentaries and MOVIES (shiny! - although, Watchmen was eh and the V for Vendetta movie kind of conveys a slightly different message than the graphic novels, but whatever). Alan Moore's a bit of a loon, so if you're interested in complex social commentaries, these novels are the bomb dot com. If you're looking for a superhero who saves the day, please turn your attention to Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis (aka my favorite) or any superhero originally created by Stan Lee, the coolest man to ever walk the Earth.

**BONUS**


11. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Genre: YA Paranormal
OKAY GUYS DON'T HATE ME FOR SAYING THIS but I my number one pet peeve is people knocking something they haven't tried. Oh, you think this book/movie is garbage and you want to trash it? BE MY GUEST, just make sure to read/watch it first, otherwise you're just a jerk who parrots other people's opinions. If you want to get on the bandwagon, at least do some research first and have real opinions instead of being all: "It sounds stupid" or "Well, everyone else hates it." Even if the product you're bashing is so awful you only make it through the first 20 pages or watch the first 20 minutes, at least you've earned the right to complain. Don't borrow opinions. Form your own.


This list is full of cheating, but I still think you should read all of these books anyways. Based on my feels, not on your personal preferences, of course. But since I do care about your feels and all that, let me know whats on YOUR list in the comments below - and how you feel about mine!

March 24, 2013

Veronica Mars Watch-Along Week 1

In case you guys missed the excitement, MY FAVORITE SHOW OF ALL TIME is getting the movie it so rightfully deserves. There's this kickstarter campaign and, basically, I WILL HAVE MY ENDING. Seriously. I binged the whole show the December after it was canceled (my friend bought me the DVDs for my birthday) and when I got to episode 20 in season 3 (AKA the last one) I honestly thought there was more - since seasons usually have 22 episodes. BUT THERE WASN'T AND I DIED A LITTLE INSIDE.


But it's okay, guys, because they RAISED THE MONEY and I will have my ending. And yeah, it's noir, so the film's bound to break my heart, but at least I won't feel all lost and sad over this show anymore. Closure. That's what I'll have. Closure.


Anyway, this post isn't about my feels (we'll get to that in later posts). It's about this Watch-Along I'm hosting. Why host a Watch-Along? You might ask. Well, after Twitter EXPLODED with the news of THE MOVIE, a whole bunch of the people I love on Twitter were like: "What's Veronica Mars?" And, after picking my jaw up off the floor, I responded with many exclamation points and eventually decided to do this. Host a Watch-Along, that is.

[Graphic designed by the lovely Judith of Paper Riot]

So what does this Watch-Along entail? I will tell you.
  • Each week, participants will watch 2 episodes. Since there are 64 episodes in total, it should take 32 weeks to finish the whole series (check out my math skillz, will ya?), which gives us all plenty of time to freak out over the movie before it comes out.
  • Since this is an informal Watch-Along, there won't be a linky or giveaway or anything like that. So at the end of each week, I'll post about that week's episodes - maybe a couple of questions, or a freak out, depending on the content of the episodes. Then, I'll list the next 2 episodes to be watched (like I do at the bottom of this post). After that, you guys can share your feels in the comments below and I will respond accordingly (with CAPS LOCK and exclamation points).
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: My darlings, if this show tickles your fancy and you absolutely cannot watch JUST 2 episodes a week, feel free to watch ahead. All I ask is that you don't spoil stuff for anyone else. Furthermore, if you miss a week, that's fine too! You can catch up whenever you have the time!
And that's it, really. This whole thing is really going to be super informal. I just wanna watch some good TV with you guys on top of all the fun bookish stuff. AND I want everyone to understand why Logan Echolls is the best ever. Don't let the first few episodes fool you, he's what's up.


Now, just in case you read through this whole thing without knowing what the heck Veronica Mars is, here's a synopsis for ya:

In the wealthy, seaside community of Neptune, California, the rich and powerful make the rules. Unfortunately for them, there's Veronica Mars, a smart, fearless 17-year-old apprentice private investigator dedicated to solving the town's toughest mysteries. Veronica used to be one of the popular girls, but it all came crumbling down around her after her best friend, Lilly, was murdered, and her then-sheriff father, Keith, was removed from office for naming Lilly's rich father as the lead suspect. During the day, Veronica must negotiate high school like any average teenage girl. But at night, she helps with her father's struggling, new private investigator business - and what she finds may tear the town of Neptune apart at the seams.

[Summary Source: TV.com]
Guys? THAT'S JUST SEASON 1.

So, Marshmallows, get excited for shenanigans (from both Veronica AND me), my darlings, because you have a week to watch the first 2 episodes (as listed below) before my discussion post goes up.
  • "Pilot"
  • "Credit Where Credit's Due" 
AAAAND GO.

PS: If you're not sure where to watch, you can go to the WB Website. They have all the episodes there. IF you live outside of the States, you might have to get a little... creative, shall we say. If you need some creative help, let me know and I'll see what I can do for you. But buying the DVDs is a good investment, I promise.

March 22, 2013

Imma Do It My Way

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.

Guys. This is my 100th post. But considering that post I wrote the other week - Blogging is Hard, Yo - it's really not all that surprising. Because when you blog basically everyday (reviews, features, etc.), you're bound to hit 100 posts pretty quickly.


Anyway, since I already posted about how much I honestly feel like I need to post EVERY DAY OR THE WORLD WILL END, I don't think I'll do that again.

Instead, I think I'll tell you all that I've decided I DON'T need to do that. I've taken some of your wise advise, listened to my inner lazypants and decided the post-every-day blogging lifestyle is just not sustainable for me. Yes, I love you guys. Yes, I love my blog. But I think it's because of these facts that I can't post every day.


Let's just imagine a world where I continued to post every day: Without a doubt, the quality of my content would drop. My whole life would be consumed by reading a blogging. I wouldn't spend as much time being social, watching TV or doing other stuff I love to do - stuff that I NEED to do in order to stay sane. I'd likely fall into a blogging/reading slump of epic proportions and probably come to HATE blogging, which would be sadness, because I LOVE blogging. Blogging makes me HAPPY INSIDE. YOU GUYS make me happy inside and I'd hate for anything on this planet to ruin that.

So basically, I've figured out how to make blogging less hard, yo for me and I really hope you guys have figured out how to do the same for yourselves. And if posting everyday is what works for you, PLEASE CONTINUE TO DO THAT. I will read and I will love. But please, PLEASE don't let blogging get in the way of everything else in your life that keeps you sane. Stay sane, take stuff slow, don't worry about stats and DO IT YOUR WAY (the modified Burger King slogan) so we can remain happy, healthy blogging friends forever and ever.


Basically, aside from professing my love to all of you, I'm also saying that it'll probably take me longer than just under 4 months to make it to 200 posts. It doesn't mean I love any of you less. I just like sleeping more. 


Also: If you're reading this and you're not a blogger, I'M SORRY. I mostly try to make sure the content of this blog is interesting for everyone, but sometimes I just have to write about my feels and a lot of the times my feels are blogging feels. So. Yeah.

And now is when you can tell me if you've made any new decisions about your blogging habits between two weeks ago and now. I'd really like to hear about your personal life choices. Mostly because getting to know people is one of my favorite things, but also because I'd just like to know for my mental spreadsheet.

March 21, 2013

Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver



Title: Requiem (Delirium #3)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: March 5th, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 391
Source: Borrowed from Daphne
Rating: An angst-missing & character-crowded end to a pretty good series.
They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.
But we are still here.
And there are more of us every day.
Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.
After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor.
Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.
Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.
But we have chosen a different road.
And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.
We are even free to choose the wrong thing.
Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.
[Summary Source: Goodreads]
THE REVIEW

The final installment of the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver is a dual narrative. On the one hand, Lena does a lot of angst filled hiking. On the other, Hana deals with a potential terrible marriage. And then the entire series kind of tumbles to a conclusion.

Let's break this down:

I'm not going to lie to you guys. This wasn't my favorite series. It's not that I don't LOVE Lauren Oliver's prose because I DO. It's stunning and I want to live in it. So I think my issue stems from the plot.

I know I've talked about this with a couple of my blogging buds but for me, the whole series has this strong religious undertone. Maybe it's because I'm a religion major or because I'm religious myself, but I noticed it in the first book and never really could shake it. Because let's face it, if you're paying attention, Alex is Jesus. Like, in the first book there a couple of times where Alex's hair is described as looking like a crown of thorns. And then he "dies" and "comes back to life." Granted, there's no story of what happens after Jesus comes back to life, so book 3's kind of an improvisation, but there's really no lack of religious themes in book 3, what with the story of Solomon, the mothers and the baby being the basis of just about all of Lena's choices.

Now look, it's not that I don't think books can have religious undertones and I definitely don't think this book was pushing anything on anyone. I just kind of wish I knew that's what I was getting into. It's like, I was frolicking through the woods and expected to see some deer, a squirrel and a couple of chipmunks but then ran into a rhinoceros and I was all *double take* say WHAT now?

But that's not the only thing that irked me.

First of all, at the end of book 2 I was all: HERE COMES THE TENSION. HERE IT COMES, I AM READY. And then book 3 was like: NONE FOR YOU, GABY. Not a single candy cane for you. Sure, there's a moment here or there, but there could have been SO MUCH MORE ANGST. I know most of the times we wish for LESS ANGST but, guys, when the build up calls for it, I expect it or I get moody.

Furthermore, this whole dual POV? It's not that I didn't like dual POV books and I think the transitions between chapters were pretty solid (Lauren Oliver remains the brilliant writer I praised at the start of this review), but since Lena and Hana were living two completely different lives in two completely different places, it was kind of stressful to go back and forth. Like, I would have been much happier if it had been Lena and Alex. Or Lena and Julian. Or Julian and Alex. (Can I haz that?) I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the Hana bits. It's possible I liked them MORE than the Lena bits (because Lena just kind of sits there the whole book) but yeah.

Third is Lena. She REALLY DOES JUST SIT THERE. Like, decisions are made for her and she just goes along with it until the very end. Then at the end she actually DOES make a bunch of decisions but honestly? I don't care so much at that point.

Finally we have the boys. Julian's a prince. I just want to hold him close and pet his un-crown-looking hair. And Alex was strangely erratic and cryptic (see what I did there?), which is likely in character with what he went through, I just don't understand how that leads to the ending we receive. NOR does it explain Coral, who really just seems like a plot device to me. But then again, this series is VERY character heavy. It's almost like Lauren Oliver wanted to do something and was like: "hey, let's create a BRAND NEW PERSON to make it happen instead of using the 20 I've already invented to make this work." Needless to say that stressed me out A LOT.

I don't know you guys. I rode the struggle bus trying to get through this one. But I do like what Lauren Oliver was trying to do here. The premise for series is the bomb dot com and the first two books were pretty explosive, I just feel like the ending flopped a bit.

PS: Is it wrong that the character I find most compelling based on what's ACTUALLY written and not what I'm left to assume is Fred? Like WHOA that boy is something. 

The long and short of it?

Plot: Where was the angst? Where was the fighting? Can I have a little decision making from the main character? No? Well. Okay then.
World Building: The structure of the world Lauren Oliver created remains intact throughout.
Character Development: I don't think anyone did anything worth doing in this whole story. Except maybe Hana. She's pretty impressive, cured or otherwise.
Prose: The usually stunning beautiful-ness that comes with reading a Lauren Oliver book.
Would I Recommend This Book?: If you REALLY like dystopian or you've already started the series, sure. If not, skip it.

So this one didn't do it for me. That doesn't mean YOU didn't like it! Tell me, did you see the religious themes or am I dreaming? And make sure to mention how crazy I am for being intrigued by Fred before you go. Someone needs to check me into a mental asylum and it might as well be you guys!

March 20, 2013

Waiting On: Absent by Katie Williams (16)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Absent
Release Date: May 21st, 2013
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Forever is a long time to be stuck in high school.
Seventeen-year-old Paige is dead, the victim of a freak fall from the roof during Physics class. Now she’s a ghost, permanently bound to the grounds of her high school. It isn’t all bad, she can find out everyone’s secrets, which can be amusing—for a while. 
But then Paige hears something that isn’t amusing at all: the rumor spread by the most popular girl at school that her death wasn’t an accident—that she supposedly jumped on purpose. 
Paige is desperate to stop the gossip, but what can a ghost do? Then Paige discovers something amazing. She can possess living people when they think of her, and she can make them do almost anything. Maybe, just maybe, she can get inside the girl who’s responsible for the stories... and have a little fun turning the tables while she’s at it. 
Katie Williams’s second novel is a suspenseful page-turner full of eerie wit and a touch of the otherworldly. 

[Summary Source: Goodreads]
This book is REALL SHORT. Just 184 pages. And yet, it sounds amazing in a really creepy kind of way. I think I'm most curious to see if the author wrote a trickster, fun, light story or a nasty, dark, angry story. Because it really could go either way. Also, that cover is pretty awesome. So. Please may I have it?

What's new on your radar this week, my pretties? Let me know in the comments below! 

March 19, 2013

Top Ten Books I Had to Buy But Haven't Read Yet (15)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I am so entirely guilty of buying books, putting them on my shelves and then never getting to them. I know some people have rules: "I only let myself buy one book a week" or "I can only buy one new book when I finish three I already have" and all I have to say is: YOU GUYS ARE STRONG. I will say that I've gotten much better at not buying as many, but I still have a fairly large stack of books I haven't read yet sitting on my shelves.

However, the REAL problem with me writing this post isn't that I don't have 10 books I own that I just haven't gotten to yet. It's that I'm not AT home. So basically this whole post is going to be done from memory. I mean, I do have A WHOLE BUNCH of books here with me I haven't gotten to yet, but I think I'm going to try and make this a list of books I've had for A LONG TIME. Like since before I started blogging long. Just because they deserve the most attention, y'know?

1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I picked this one up basically right after finishing Divergent, probably right around it's release date, but I think at this point I may just wait until the 3rd one comes out since everyone's all: OMGNEEDTHENEXTONENOW. I did enjoy Divergent, though, and I do want to read the rest of the series. SO I WILL.

2. The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure by James Dashner
I read The Maze Runner a REALLY LONG TIME AGO and I liked it. So I bought the second one and never got to it. And then I bought the third one because I like complete series and I liked The Maze Runner so I thought it would be a good idea. I haven't gotten to either book in the rest of the series yet. So I'll probably have to re-read The Maze Runner, then read the other two and figure out where I stand now, many years after first reading The Maze Runner (I'm pretty sure I read said book a couple of months after it came out in 2009? My book opinions change over the years, so we'll see).

3. The Dragon Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
This is another series I've neglected. I really loved the first two (when I read them back in high school) and I bought the third with good intentions but obviously the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray (sometimes I try to be LITERARY). Anyway, this series has magic and swords and stuff, which I very much enjoy, so YAY.

4. Faerie Lord by Herbie Brennan
I don't know if you guys have heard of this series. It's a bit older. I think it's technically Urban Fantasy, which I don't normally love, but but I do have very fond memories of reading first one (Faerie Lord is the fourth in the series) way back in the day, so I think I'll have go back and do a re-read of the whole series.

5. Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce
YOU GUYS KNOW I LOVE TAMORA PIERCE, RIGHT? The first 3 quartets (Alanna, Daine and Kel) are my FAVORITES EVER. But then there came the Trickster Duology and I only read the first one (Trickster's Choice). I have the second one. I just need to read it (and the first one again to refresh my memory, of course). Also, from this you can probably guess I haven't read the Beka Cooper Trilogy. I have never been more ashamed of myself ever. 

6. The Diviners by Libba Bray
So I didn't buy this book until after I started blogging (maybe within the first two weeks) but I think about it, just sitting there on my shelf, every now and again. This is MOSTLY because it's got a lot of my big buzzwords in the summary (magic, 1920s, New York...). So I put it on the list to force myself to read it when I get home.

7. God Save the Queen by Kate Locke
I picked this one up this past summer because I love Steampunk. The second one in the series has since come out but I haven't read the first one yet. I guess the second one coming out is kind of incentive to read the first, considering I won't have to wait for the next installment....

8. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
DEAR PERCY JACKSON: I AM SORRY. I LOVE YOU. NEVER DOUBT THAT. 
But seriously? On my iCal, the day this book came out is called "Percy Jackson Day". Only, school got in the way and I never found the time to read past the Percabeth reunion (because, let's face it, I obviously had to read at least that far). The lovely Jennifer has lent me her e-copy of the book, though, so I WILL READ IT (*am excited*).

9. Horizon by Sophie Littlefield
I read the first two books in the Aftertime series but I haven't gotten to Horizon yet. It's SITTING ON MY SHELF, I just need to pick it up. But sometimes, because I run a YA blog, I tend to ignore the Adult books since I likely won't review them on the blog. That's not really an excuse though, because I started this series this past summer (before I started blogging). So basically I'm just the worst.

10. Tithe by Holly Black
I bought this one a REALLY, REALLY long time ago but I never read it. I don't know why. But everyone loves Holly Black SO MUCH so I figure I should stop ignoring this book of hers since I already happen to own it.

There are SOSOSO many other books on my shelves I've been neglecting, but these are the ones I feel like I NEED TO GET TO as soon as I get home and have access to them. Although, I'll be reading a lot more than 10 books because, as mentioned, a lot of these are series I'll probably have to re-read. And I think I'm doing a mass Tamora Pierce re-read this summer anyway (with some other lovelies - keep an eye out for that). So basically this Top Ten Tuesday topic opened a Pandora's Box of reading and nostalgia, which will likely lead to me being anti-social until the end of time. But my friends are used to this kind of behavior, so it should be okay.

Now tell me: What's on YOUR list? Do you have a lot of oldies-but-goodies whose next-in-series snuck past you like I do? Or is your list full of recent releases? Let me know in the comments below!

March 17, 2013

Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman


Title: Just One Day (Just One Day #1)
Author: Gayle Forman
Release Date: January 8th, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count: 368
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★ 

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay.

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

THE REVIEW

Allyson's a recent high school graduate who goes on a summer teen tour to Europe as a graduation present. While there, she meets this HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE MAN who sweeps her off her feet and takes her to Paris for Just One Day (see what I did there?). But then, things get tricky. Allyson ends up going home, broken hearted to start a life she no longer seems to want as much anymore. This is where the real meat and potatoes of the book lies. This is where Allyson begins to truly get to know herself.

Let's break this down:

Fact: GAYLE FORMAN KNOWS WHAT'S UP. Thinking back on my freshman year of college I honestly don't think I can explain how closely I identify with a lot of this book. It was actually a little painful. I mean, everyone always says college is THE BEST. One of my friends once told me that, on the scale of AWESOME, if High School if Dudley Dursley, College is Harry Potter. And it's not that she lied, because she clearly felt that way. But I kind of felt like High School was Voldemort and College was somewhere between Dudley and Harry. Maybe like a Hermione?

But I feel like that metaphor is getting a little out of control. So instead I'll just talk about the book.

As always, Gayle Forman's prose is BRILLIANT. FOR EXAMPLE: I was on a train to Paris when I started this book (I KNOW. My life is pretty cool like that every now and again) and I totally got what she was saying about the "whomp" of the passing train. Which also happens to be one of my favorite noises, but I'm weird like that. In any case, my point is that Gayle Forman could write the everything out of anything.

The characters are also pretty stellar. Okay, MAYBE Allyson's a little whiny, but I kind of LIKE THAT. I can't count the number of times a week I say: "THESE YA STORIES ARE SO UNREALISTIC YOU WOULD NEVER MEET A CUTE, NON-MURDERING BOY LIKE THAT." But for Allyson to be SO GUTTED after meeting a cute, non-murdering boy like that, especially given her established straight-laced personality, is just the way real life rolls. For once I was like, WHY YES, this protagonist is HUMAN. Which was pretty amazing.

I'd also like to comment on Willem's character. But I can't, really. Even if I was into spoilers (which I'm not), we just don't know enough. Yes, he's a whimsical pixie of a hunk, but that's about all we know. So basically, I'M INTRIGUED. Which is probably exactly where Gayle Forman wants me.

As for college, yes. That is what college is like. There are a million boring classes that you never pay attention in, you want to sleep all the time, you do eat all the time and sometimes you have bad relationships with people you'd think you'd have good relationships with. But also, there's the occasional class that blows your mind, a few good friends (which is all you really need) and a lot of crazy spontaneity that you can never really account for. It's really like I said: as a recent college grad, I totally identify with this book in a lot of the bad ways (bye forever friends from home) but also in some of the good ways too (people feed me cookies).

All in all, I think that a lot of this reason this book was so amazing for me was because I still had college in mind while reading it. And also because I was on my way to Paris when I started it. The whole thing just resonated so deeply inside my heart and I feel so much love for Allyson. Willem too, but mostly Allyson. And Wren, who's beyond Harry Potter on the awesome scale. Also Dee. I would say he's beyond Wren on the Harry Potter awesome scale.

Hm... maybe I need to design a new scale...

But as much as I totally LOVED this coming of age story, I need Willem's story nownownow. For reals. This wait? It's torturous. I don't know if Allyson's going to grow more or what in the next book and I really don't even care because I just want to know what's up with Willem. He is ALL OF THE INTRIGUE and I just want to KNOW. It doesn't even have to be meaningful or stunning like Allyson's story, y'know?

The long and short of it?

Plot: It's a simple plot, I think, but what Gayle Forman does with it is completely and utterly stunning.
World Building: THIS IS COLLEGE (in a THIS IS SPARTA sort of way. Equally murderous, at times).
Character Development: I love all of the characters. They all grow and change in ways that are so true to life and subtle and amazing. I just want to read more about all of them ASAP.
Prose: This is one of those books where you don't have to work to imagine the story because the words on the page take care of that for you. Gayle Forman just knows how to tell a tale, y'know?
Would I Recommend This Book?: Technically, I think this book is NA. It's REALLY GOOD either way, so if you like an awesome coming of age story with a hot guy acting as catalyst to said coming of age (as opposed to being some kind of sign of success at the end) then this one's for you.

So talk to me, my loves: How did/does college rank for you guys on The Scale of Awesome? And this book? Where does it fall for you? Furthermore, feel free to share stories about how much higher learning sucked/rocked, because I'm sure I have plenty of stories to share with all of you in return!

March 15, 2013

Why I Love and Kinda Dislike ARCs All at the Same Time

Fact: I don't like coffee. I just like saying Coffee Clutch in my best and deepest New York accent. Considering I'm a New Yorker, I'm pretty freaking good at it. So I've got my tea and I hope you have your heated beverage of choice, because it's time to gab the day away.


**PLEASE NOTE: This post was in no way written with any malicious intent towards anyone or anything in the publishing industry. I love ARCs. I do. They're wonderful, vital things that serve A GREAT PURPOSE. I just have feels and I want to share them on my blog. So please don't take it any other way.** 

To start his post off, I'd like to quickly explain what an ARC is to the non-bloggers out there. ARC stands for Advanced Reader's Copy. Most books (except for THE REALLY BIGS ONES of the JK Rowling caliber) are generally printed as proofs for publishers to distribute to bloggers, librarians, booksellers, authors, agents, etc. in order to create buzz about a book and, in the case of librarians and booksellers, allow for professionals to figure out how many books to order for their establishment. I'm sure there are a ton of other reasons for ARCs that I'm not aware of and a bunch of other bits and bobs (like the great expense to create these ARCs that are never ever meant to be sold ever under no circumstances so if you SEE THEM FOR SALE ANYWHERE, say something. It's not legal) that should be mentioned, but that's not the point of this post.

The point of this post is discuss why I both love and kinda dislike ARCS.


I know. You're all probably thinking: WHAT'S TO NOT ADORE?!?!?! If you're an experienced blogger, or happen to know an experienced blogger who is generous and will pass the book on to you, the less experienced blogger, or are lucky enough to a giveaway somewhere, ARCs are GREATGREATGREAT. You get to wrap your grabby hands around a book that's not been published yet and savor the words (that may or may not be slightly altered in the finished product) as early as a few months before the scheduled release. And let me tell you, as a girl who's been lucky enough to wrap HER grabby hands around an ARC or two due to the kindness of others and the winning of a contest or two, it's pretty glorious - even if that ARC has been published by the time it gets to you (if you're wondering how that happens, go check out the ARCycling website and love me for the referral, would you?).

So I do love ARCs. I DO. And I also know that they're a great marketing tool for publishers, agents and authors alike. They're brilliant for the book industry and, as a girl who wants to go into publishing, I am ALL. FOR. THAT. I would probably sell my soul to ensure the publication of MOAR BOOKS FOREVER AND EVER. 

I'm not sure if this is the right gif to use here, but I wanted to
use one and you can't really go wrong with Liz Lemon.

BUT. And there is a BUT, otherwise this post wouldn't exist, as with most things I love in this world, sometimes I can't help but dislike ARCs JUST A LITTLE BIT.

Maybe it's jealousy. Y'know: You WANT THAT BOOK SO MUCH and you know other people have read the heart-stopping words on the pretty pages weeks and months before you'll be able to and that green monster everyone wants to pretend doesn't live in the darkest place of their hearts roars to the front of everything and eats your insides for an afternoon snack. But it's more than jealousy for me, I think.   


There are two reasons I think I kinda dislike ARCS.

1. Sometimes ARC-getting can seem like a competition and since I'm pretty much always honest with you guys, I should probably disclose that I am NOT a very competitive person. In fact, I'm pretty sure I was born with a "fear of rabid competitiveness" gene instead of the standard "competitive" gene everyone else seems to have. I don't know if this is a bad thing, but I DO know it's definitely why Pottermore didn't sort me into Slytherin (Haters gonna hate: I'm a Hufflepuff).

That's not me. But it should have been.

And yeah, I know, competition is HEALTHY and:

This is basically The Whole World

But, honestly, when people get all:


I kind of get all SOMEBODY SAAAAAAVE ME (I tried to find a Smallville gif for this one. I failed. Picture Tom Welling instead). But I KNOW this world runs on competition and so I deal with it when it comes to the workplace and school and whatever else. I just wish it didn't have to take over my hobbies as well. Like, I book blog to talk books and make friends, not worry about stats and ARCs and I don't even know what else. That's not to say I don't want stats and ARCs and I don't even know what else, but I kind of wish it didn't have all of the competition attached.

2. My second reason is a similarly personal and emotional, like the first. And that is: I miss my life before ARCs - when a book I really wanted to read had a set publication date and, even though I probably really WOULD sell my soul to get my hands on one or two of them a bit earlier, that publication date was the bottom line. MAYBE your bookstore MIGHT put the book out a day or two early for a variety of reasons, but never weeks in advance. Never a month ahead of time.

Here's what would go down before ARCs, the experience I seem to miss so much:

  • You and your one or two other book-loving friends wait with baited breath until that Barnes and Noble (or Amazon or Book Depository or whatever) box appears on your doorstep. Or until the last bell rings and you're able to RUN OUT to the nearest bookstore and breathlessly ask a bewildered salesperson WHERE the newest book-by-your-favorite-author is because you need it NOWNOWNOW. 


  • Then you all sit down and RACE through the book, ignoring all of the real-world-stuff until it's all gone and your heart is once again full with the words from the great authors you love. 


  • The best part?: The ONLY thing that dictates who's read the entirety of the book first is how fast a person can read, not what connections or skills or job or blog stats they've achieved through their awesomeness (because everyone I know who gets ARCs from publishers IS TRULY AMAZING AND THIS POST IS IN NO WAY MEANT TO INDICATE OTHERWISE). 

You guys are all Sailor Moon Awesome,
which is basically as high as the Awesome Scale goes

I dunno. Call me a romantic Hufflepuff, read me a fairy tale bedtime story and wish me goodnight at this point, I guess. Because, it could just be jealousy, or perhaps I'm just a non-competitive baby child or MAYBE it's nostalgia for a time when I didn't know lots of people read books before Book Birthdays, but every now and again I just want to pretend like ARCs don't exist (EVEN THOUGH I KNOW WE NEED THEM. Please. Don't think I'm saying we should get rid of the ARCS. They are absolutely necessary. I know this).

And so I turn the floor to you, my darlings. Do you ever wish for a simpler time? Or is it all ARCs, all the way? Talk to me, lovelies, tell me all of YOUR feels in the comments below!