October 31, 2013

Review: Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund


Title: Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars #2)
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Release Date: October 15th, 2013 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 464
Source: ARC from BEA
Rating: A stunning companion to one of my favorite 2013 reads. 

Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

October 30, 2013

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller


Title:
Where the Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller
Release Date: September 24th, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Page Count: 308
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Rating:
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

World of Books: Liza + Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Everyone has their neighborhood bookstore or their local library they call home. Maybe both even. I know I do - in TWO different cities. World of Books if a bi-weekly feature that allows me - and any of YOU - to share the bookstores and libraries you love so much. If you want to be featured on World of Books too, make sure to go HERE and fill out the contact form!

This week on WORLD OF BOOKS, Liza's here to tell you all about the bookish places in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

October 29, 2013

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor


Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)
Author: Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 27th 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 418
Source: Purchased
Rating: 
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hairactually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

October 28, 2013

Review: The F- It List by Julie Halpern


Title:
The F- It List
Author: Julie Halpern
Release Date: November 12th 2013
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Page Count: 256 
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Rating: Aggression and anger abound! (Perhaps a bit too much for my tastes.)
With her signature heart and humor, Julie Halpern explores a strained friendship strengthened by one girl’s battle with cancer.

Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.

But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again--Becca has cancer. 

So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend--you do it.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

October 26, 2013

Pantsing vs. Plotting

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.

October 20, 2013

Veronica Mars Watch-Along Week 23

[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:
[AKA: THE END OF SEASON 2]
  • "Happy Go Lucky"
  • "Not Pictured"
And for NEXT WEEK:
[AKA: THE BEGINNING OF SEASON 3]
  • "Welcome Wagon"
  • "My Big Fat Greek Rush Week"

Okay. Are you guys ready for Gillian to wrap up season 2? ARE YOU?

Good.

October 17, 2013

A Silly Story

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.

October 15, 2013

Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas


Title:
The Burning Sky (The Burning Sky #1)
Author: Sherry Thomas
Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 464
Source: ARC from BEA
Rating: Started off strong but kind of petered out for me towards the end. So: Eh.
It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning...

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]
THE REVIEW

So there's this girl, Iolanthe, who's an elemental mage. But she doesn't think she's super powerful or anything until, one day, she summons lightning her entire life comes down around her. All of the sudden she finds herself in league with the crown prince, disguised as a boy and in a different universe. Now Iolanthe spends her time hiding from the Bane and trying to help the prince, Titus, fulfill his purpose as it was predicted by his now-dead mother - even though she was more tricked into helping than anything else.

Let's break this down:

I think it's important for me to note right off the bat that I really liked the world building in this one. I don't know why but from minute one, I understood it. Multiple universes, warring government entities, elemental magic, other kinds of magic... I didn't have any trouble understanding. But that's probably because I tend to take world building on face value at the beginning of a new fantasy series. I don't want an info dump, so patience is key here. 

What I did have trouble understanding is the Bane. So he's the villain, but what does he want? Unlimited power and control? World domination? I mean, all of that is pretty basic, but all we know by the end of this book is that we're supposed to be afraid of him, he's somehow using powerful elementals to stay alive and he can't die. But as a whole I'm not entirely sure what Atlantis as a whole wants. Nor to I understand how the friction between the monarchy and Atlantis came about. Or why. I just know it's there. It's all very confusing and I just don't understand why anything in this book has to happen at all. 

I also felt like there was a lack of action in this book. Iolanthe and Titus bounce back and force between realms, face a couple close calls, train and talk a lot, but it's not until the last two or three chapters that things really begin to pick up. I was kind of afraid things weren't going to pick up. That'd be like a whole book of set up for a (three book?) series. I can take 100 pages of set up, but 450? Pass. 

And then there's the romance. I dunno if I buy it. Or, well, I think I did at the beginning but then it felt like he was trying too hard to love her and she was fighting her impulse to be into him and it felt a little forced to me. But I mostly ignored the silly back and forth throughout the book and stuck with the initial romantic intrigue from the beginning of the book. 

My final issue with this book is that I felt like Titus and Iolanthe were conveniently good at everything they needed to be good at. Which was frustrating. It wasn't like I wanted them to fail, it just got tiring that Titus was good at every aspect of tailoring magic and Iolanthe could flawless act as a boy without looking even the slightest bit ruffled. Maybe we didn't need so much commentary on all of the things they were brilliant at? I don't know. 

Okay. Now that it sounds like I really hated this book, I should mention that I didn't. I loved the back and forth between Iolanthe and Titus. They're definitely a couple worth watching. Probably some epic love coming for the two of them, if I'm allowed to get my predictions in. 

The prose was 100 percent engaging and really kept me going even when I could and should have been doing other things. The POV shifts were also pretty seamless. One second we'd be in Iolanthe's head and the next in Titus's. Sometimes this can feel choppy, but for some reason it really worked in this book. And aside from really working, it made me feel like I really understood where both characters were coming from. 

I also really like this virtual training world and the different rooms with the history lessons. It gives great depth and better insight into Iolanthe and Titus's world. Which, again, is important in a fantasy novel and totally allowed to happen at a slower clip than in most other genres. 

The last thing about this book that I find interesting (in a very good way) is the philosophical question posed on the topic of prophecies and fate. Did you see it happen and then you made it happen that way or did you see it happen and then it all just happened, against your will? This is a particularly interesting question when you consider how Titus's mother died. Fate vs. Free Will really is one of those big ticket debates and I really do like how this book handles it. 

Ultimately, I think I like the structure of this story (villain motivations aside, that is). It's the particulars I'm not so clear on. I'm not totally sure I'm going to continue on with this series, but I feel like, maybe if I do, I'll get a better idea of what's going on. (I hope!)

The long and short of it?

Plot: Interesting, but I'm not totally clear on the specifics.
World Building: Aside from the villainous motivations, I love every bit of it. It's kind of a mish-mash of a lot of familiar ideas that really work well together.
Character Development: Iolanthe begins to understand the bigger picture and Titus realizes that his fate isn't set in stone and that Iolanthe is more of a partner than anything else. So. Lots of development.
Prose: So very readable and fairly addicting.
Would I Recommend This Book?: It's not my favorite fantasy read - there are a lot of others I'd recommend before this one. But if you're interested in starting a new fantasy series that could potentially become just a little bit steamy (Sherry Thomas is originally a romance writer), this might just be the one for you!

So tell me, did you have the same conflicting thoughts on this one? Different conflicting thoughts? Maybe you just loved it and think I'm crazy. However you felt, be sure to speak up in the comments below!

Top Ten Books I Was Forced to Read Due to FOMO (36)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out

I suffer from FOMO. A lot. I'll stay up super late, get up crazy early and go totally out of my way to not miss out on something I think is going to be awesome. Or, y'know, just to spend time with my friends and not miss out on any awesome private jokes to be. 

So, obviously, I also suffer from bookish FOMO. I don't want to miss out on the books everyone loves, so sometimes I'll drop everything and pick up whatever has people raving. Obviously this is similar to falling prey to hype, but I think I've gotten pretty good at separating FOMO from the general hype by now. At least when it comes to books. Because I really do skip the hype books that I honestly don't think are for me. So maybe my FOMO books are really just hype books meant for me? This is getting technical and confusing and I just want to blame my compulsion to read this books on FOMO, okay? 

So glad you all approve.


I feel like this one doesn't need an explanation. (My Review)

More of the "no explanation needed" business. (My Review)

Not gonna lie, I picked up this series just after the first trailer for the movie came out. I like to read the books first and I'd heard from a lot of people I trust that the books were phenomenal. They were right. 

Back when Unravel Me was coming out, everyone and their mom was freaking out on Twitter. The premise sounded interesting but I wasn't sure what had everyone raving. I was so afraid I was missing out on the greatest thing since sliced bread that I picked this one. I make good life choices. (My Review)

This one has similar reasoning to numbers 1 and 2 on this list. But also, I read it (and Where She Went) just as the buzz for Just One Day was going around. Everyone seemed to love this mysterious Gayle Forman woman and I wanted in. (And oh, how I am in now. So very in.) (My Review)


All of the fantasy lovers/Tamora Pierce fangirls were all: READ THIS. READ THIS NOW. I was so sure I was missing out on the fantastical that I forced myself to read. I'm not totally sure why I dragged my heels on this one, but I'm glad I finally got my act together. (My Review)

Another fantasy book I was hesitant to start. I don't know why. Ultimately I forced myself to read it because I was afraid I was missing out on something really phenomenal. I was, but I'm better now.

This one's similar to item 4 on this list. I still make good life choices. And not just because Under the Never Sky is great but because Through the Ever Night is even better. (My Review)

I was like: "Cyborg? Cinderella? Neither are so much my favorite." But the raving was deafening so I picked it up. as with Under the Never Sky, Book 1 is great but the following books in the series (Scarlet and Cress - I haven't read Winter yet, obviously) are perfection. (My Review)

Everyone was talking about this "The Darkling" guy and, again, the plot didn't totally do it for me, but I just had to know. I had to know. So I went from ??? to !!! in one sitting. (My Review)

Now that you all know I'm crazy for sure, you should probably just leave some love in the comments below and back away slowly... ;)

October 14, 2013

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Title: Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: December 2nd, 2010
Publisher: Dutton
Page Count: 372
Source: Purchased
Rating: Why did I wait so long to read this one? The level is goodness is through the roof.
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. She is less than thrilled about boarding school in Paris - until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, he has it all - including a serious girlfriend. Will Anna get her French kiss?

[Summary Source: Goodreads]
THE REVIEW

Anna's mostly absent father decides - just in time for Anna's senior year of high school, mind you - that his estranged daughter needs a bit of culture and, as such, should be sent off to boarding school in France. Anna, however, is not particularly interested in leaving her best friend and this cute boy she'd been flirting with all summer. But she doesn't really have a choice. So she goes and meets St. Clair (among other people) and greatness ensues.

Let's break this down:

This is one of those books you really won't want to put down once you start. I made the mistake of starting this one late at night. I could only read a few chapters before I was too tired to keep going and then I woke up the next day and devoured the rest.

So, why is this book so devour-able?

First of all, the book is set in PARIS. I shouldn't have to keep telling you guys how much I swoon whenever that particular city is mentioned, but I do and I love. So much.

I also really like that Anna's into movies. And I like her reasons for being into movies and her goals regarding her desire to review movies. The whole thing is kind of enlightened and different than the usual. Which isn't to say that the usual hobbies are great too. I love that these leading ladies are into sport or art or writing. But the obsession with movies and movie reviewing struck me as particularly interesting and unique. (Unless I'm forgetting some book or other. But I don't think I am.)

Now, aside from having awesome hobbies, Anna makes for a great narrator. She's witty and stubborn and brilliant. I can't count the number of times when she said or did something and I felt like I might say or do the same exact thing. Her voice is so honest and true to what teenage life can (un)fortunately be sometimes that it's kind of refreshing (especially when we live in a time of bookish insta-love and complete character 180s).

And on top of the awesome setting and fantastic protagonist, there's also the incredible emotional situations this book produces. At the beginning you kind of want someone to tell Anna she can just go home and be with her best friend and this boy she likes. Then she gets to Paris and you really want Paris to work for her - especially with all these new people in her life. And THEN, after she does make new friends and things at home become a little less important (but never truly go away and are later revisted, which I like), things with said new friends get complicated.

I mean, really, this book probably would have been enough if it just dealt with the complicated St. Clair situation (y'know, him having a girlfriend at the start of the book and all of his family problems on top of all of Anna's family/back home drama). But then this book also picks up on the incredibly complicated dynamics found within a group of friends - the friend's Anna's made in Paris. So while I was consumed with rooting for Anna and St. Clair, I suddenly found myself conflicted (but not actually because HELLO: Anna + St. Clair = Forever) because of this issue or that character.

The bottom line here, I think, is that this book just felt so real to me. The characters of this book are actual people and this is an account of what happened to them. It's a fair, honest, ugly, exciting, emotional tale and it's oh so perfect both as a light summer read but also maybe something a little bit more introspective (I mean, it's not super heavy, but it might make you think about the intricacies of your own personal relationships). It's the kind of book that I'll definitely want to read again, just based off the post-reading feelings alone.

(And also based on how adorable Anna and St. Clair are.)

The long and short of it?

Plot: Loved, loved, loved every second of it
World Building: Boarding school books let so much insanity happen, but I also like that this book had some time at home with parents and structure too.
Character Development: Oh Anna. Everything you go through in this book just makes you so much more fantastic and lovable at the end. St. Clair also becomes more and more awesome throughout the book. Which almost seems impossible. But it's not.
Prose: It's a light, easy to read first personal narrative that might have a little bit of annoying OMG-type prose, but none of that matters because it's completely devour-able.
Would I Recommend This Book?: Love contemporary? Drop everything and pick this book up right now. This book is also really good for people who also love movies, Paris, complex family dynamics and all things awesome. (So, basically, everyone worth talking to.)

Since I'm pretty much the last person on the planet to love and read this one, please feel free to gush with me over this book in the comments below. (Especially if you're gushing about Anna + St. Clair = Forever.)

October 13, 2013

Veronica Mars Watch-Along Week 22

[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:
  • "Nevermind the Buttocks"
  • "Look Who's Stalking"
And for NEXT WEEK:
  • "Happy Go Lucky"
  • "Not Pictured"

HERE IS SOME IMPORTANT NEWS: 
Next weekend I'm going to be in Amsterdam (!!!) and definitely won't have time for the Watch-Along. Now, because I didn't really want to skip yet another week/delay the season 2 finale, I've enlisted Gillian's (Writer of Wrongs) help. So look for a post from her on the blog next week. 

Also, if you want to fill in for any given week in season 3, let me know! I'm always looking for people to pitch in with the Watch-Along.

And now I will stop talking about my life and start talking about what matters. 

THE NOIR
The first episode this week has a stranger at school asking Veronica for help (which we haven't seen in a while). Then we find out this small bit plays a much larger role in the show. Whoever thought a dead dog would bring us back to a green car that belongs to a Fitzpatrick and the discovery that Kendall is a conn artist and in league with these crazy people? Not me. All in all, I'm not totally sure what this plot point with Kendall is all about, but whatever. 


There's also the new murder weapon in the Lilly Kane case. This buried Oscar with Duncan's hair on it? I don't even understand what that's about. I mean, was the evidence planted? And what's up with Aaron having his cellmate steal Cliff's briefcase? I really don't understand any of this and I can't recall if we ever get any answers.


Then in the second episode, Gia's getting stalked. By Lucky. Who turns out to have a million issues that lead to him getting arrested. Also, Veronica has chlamydia (DUNDUNDUN), Leo's working in private security, Jackie learned about the birds and the bees "the hard way" (she had a baby?) and prom's been canceled. Honestly, not much in this episode is particularly mysterious (except maybe Lucky, but I think that's more scary and less mysterious) but it does make for an interesting episode that sets up everything for the finale. 

Cookie and I are waiting.
SUSPICIOUS CHARACTERS
I feel like these are all of the sketchy characters in this show, so it's not a very useful list, but it is a list.
  • Kendall: She stands to gain a lot of money if Cassidy and Dick die. 
  • Weevil: A troublesome gang member was killed in the crash and he beat up Curly. 
  • Aaron Echolls: He's just a psycho and I like putting him on this list always no matter what. 
  • The Fitzpatricks: They were there right before the bus crash, so...?
  • Woody Goodman: First there's this whole thing with the drunk staffer and blaming it on Keith. And then there's everything left over from last week. So. 
  • Cassidy: More left over from last week. This kid... what's up with you?
WHO CAN WE TRUST?
THE EPIC SPEECH
This requires it's own category because of, well, reasons. (IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE REASONS YOU SHOULDN'T BE HERE.) (No, I'm kidding, everyone is welcome here, but you should really understand the reasons.)


Logan: "I thought our story was epic, you know? You and me."
Veronica: "Epic how?"
Logan: "Spanning years and continents. Lives ruined, bloodshed, epic. But summer's almost here. And we won't see each other at all. Then you'll leave town then... it's over."
Veronica: "Logan..."
Logan: "I'm sorry. About last summer. You know, if I could do it over..."
Veronica: "Come on. Ruined lives, bloodshed? You really think a relationship should be that hard?"
Logan: "No one writes songs about the ones that come easy."

Okay. So. Logan was really drunk when he said all of this. Which is why he promptly forgets and ends up sleeping with Kendall and ruining everything.


But even if he hadn't forgotten, Veronica turned him down. Again. Since Logan's the kind of character to drink and screw his problems away, I'm not incredibly surprised by this behavior and Veronica shouldn't be either. I honestly think Veronica only likes parts of Logan. Or she wants him to change to fit her life better. But Logan loves her so much. I mean, did you see the way he looked at her when she walked into alterna-prom? And when she knocks on his door the next morning when Veronica comes to his door? My heart just can't take anymore of his sadness.


I feel like Veronica and Logan just have terrible timing issues. It's truly upsetting to me. I mean, just get it together, dummies.

BRING ON THE SNARK
Keith: "Prepare to have your mind blown. Are you ready?"
Veronica: "Think back eighteen years: small, blonde, baby. Born ready."

Presh. This dynamic is so perfect and dysfunctional. I love.

Logan: "As a rule I like to start every school day with a hot blonde waiting for me in the parking lot."
Veronica: "Me too!"

You've all seen the Kickstarter YouTube video, right? This line was gold before the reenactment, but yeah. 

Logan: "Day of the crash, day of the crash...uh. I'd really have to consult my Feelings Journal to be sure."

How much do you wish he really had a feelings journal?

Veronica: "I hate fake deer too. Every time I see their stupid fake deer faces I wanna grab a shotgun and go all Cheney on 'em."

There is so much goodness in this line.

Keith: "You mind printing every email, every document?"
Mac: "Your word is my Shift-Command. Little computer humor for you, there."

I get you, Mac, I really do.

Veronica: "Hey, how’s it goin’?"
Logan: "Oh, this is gonna be good."
Veronica: "What?"
Logan: "Ah, you have that "I’d rather be making out with a broken bottle" look. Which if history serves, means you’re about to say something awkward."
Veronica: "This? This is my "I’d rather be spelunking" look. It’s like you don’t know me at all."

I wanted to quote this entire scene because it was so perfect, but I didn't. Mostly because I thought that would be excessive.

THE BOYS
  • Wallace: I don't always love Jackie but I'm glad these two figured their jazz out. And I'm glad Wallace is done being such a dummy. 
  • Weevil: Uh oh, Weevil. You life is full of uh oh right now. 
  • Dick: You're so simple and I love it. 
  • Logan: You are all of the complicated Dick is not. Which is interesting because they're best friends. But also kind of bizarre. 
  • Leo: There's nothing to say about Leo, really, but LEO IT'S SO NICE TO SEE YOU. 
  • Cassidy: This kid is impossible to read at all times. He makes me sad but he really is kind of a weirdo. Sooooo...
These kids are killing me. Are they killing you? Are you ready for the finale? Season 3? Talk to me. This really is a safe place for your feelings - especially your LoVe feelings. 

**ONE LAST REMINDER**
NEXT WEEK:

  • "Happy Go Lucky"
  • "Not Pictured"

October 12, 2013

What Should I Buy? (3)


I have a coupon. You all like voting. Therefore it is WHAT SHOULD I BUY time!

I started this feature back in August to help me figure out what to do with all of the Barnes & Noble coupons I get. I figured setting up a vote would A) allow you guys have a say in what I read and B) alleviate some of the pressure of picking a book to spend my coupon on. I know I don't NEED a new book, but, hey, I really can't pass up a good discount. Also, I'm addicted to buying books.

So. Come. Help me feed my addiction.

Oh, and PLEASE, remember, I'm looking for a vote that has a little more than just the title of the book and a "THIS WAS REALLY GOOD." Pitch it to me, a little. WHY should I read this book? WHY do you think I would like it? All help is useful. ALL HELP.

And I could use ALL OF THE HELP by OCTOBER 14TH (AKA when my coupon expires)

Ready? Set? GO.

1. Feed by Mira Grant
Why I want to read this book: Creepiness + bloggers + conspiracies = Gaby's interested.

2. Finnikin and the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Why I want to read this book: I loved Jellicoe Road sosososo much and I'm kind of interested to see if Melina Marchetta can be just as brilliant in a different genre. I mean, my Goodreads friends say she is, but I'd like to see for myself.


3. The Program by Suzanne Young
Why I want to read this book: This one sounds sufficiently scary. And I really like the color yellow. AND the second book in the series is coming out in April so... (that last one's not really relevant since April's still kind of far away but I thought I'd throw it in.)

4. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Why I want to read this book: I think this book is on the list because someone once told me I really need to read it. I can't remember who told me this and I don't remember why, but I did just remember it was recommended to me so I thought I'd put it on this list. Also: Historical. So.

5. Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Why I want to read this book: Pretty cover. Everything's in ruins. I don't know. I am interested. (Sometimes it really is the superficial things.)


These are your options. Choose wisely, beloved followers. My reading fate rests in your hands. 

October 10, 2013

Review: Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne


Title: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1)
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Release Date: June 5th, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Page Count: 294
Source: Purchased
Rating: This disaster book is pretty disastrous but isn't as thrilling as I like my post-apocalyptic books. 

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. 

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]
THE REVIEW

There are these two brothers who get on their school bus one morning and end up taking shelter in a superstore less than an hour later due to this crazy freak hail storm. Then after the hail storm comes the earthquake (these two natural disasters are a part of a series of natural disasters plaguing the world). This earthquake destroys this government facility where the good ol' USofA is developing chemical warfare that makes people with certain blood types behave murderously/crazily/makes them infertile. Oh, and, while this is all going down, these kids are still trapped in this superstore.

Let's break this down:

This book starts off strong. Within just a few pages, the buses are under natural disaster attack and the bloodshed begins. I don't think I was expected so much blood out of this one, but it was really realistic, fairly terrifying and just how I'd imagine something this insane would go down. 

Settling into the superstore also goes just how I'd expect it to. The adult goes for help and the older kids more or less take care of the younger ones. And then, just as I'm wondering what's going to keep these kids from finding a way out of the superstore, going home and more or less ending the book without too much more excitement, there's the toxin leak and everything goes to hell.

So basically, what I'm trying to say is, that the plot of this book is pretty insane. There were a couple of scenes where I was like: "Really?" (See the scene where our protagonist becomes a voyeur.) And I did feel like Nico was a little too prepared for everything - conveniently so. But all in all the plot worked for me. Just enough suspense, team work, gore and insanity.

There was a bit of a lull, though, in the pacing, after the kids get settled. For a bit, I kind of felt like they were just going to stay there until everything cleared up and they could go home (book two would then be about them returning home to find... whatever they were going to find). That wouldn't have been the most exciting of all endings, but it would have been okay with me. But just as I was about to get bored, the final push comes in and whoa was that plot twist was something.

What I'm trying to say, really, is that this book knows how to shake you up just when you're thinking about getting bored.

Ultimately, though, this book wasn't as character driven as I'd like. It's the events of the story that really engaged me, not the kids or their actions. The events were always ahead of the kids - they just went along with it. Until the very end, that is, when the kids really start taking control of their situation. It was almost like an AHA moment. Instead of being victims, they decided to do something besides wait out the storm. Now, they took control because certain events made them realize they had to, but it was still good and I find myself really excited for the next book in this series. I want to see what happens to all of these kids.

The long and short of it?

Plot: A strong beginning and end with a slow-ish middle. But there's lots of suspense and gore to go around.
World Building: I don't know how probable the creation of that kind of chemical warfare is. Or the odds that all of those natural disasters would happen at once. But it was scary and worked for this story.
Character Development: These kids really upped their game when they had to. I don't think I care so very much for any one of them - they mostly reacted to things instead of getting ahead of the problem, but they are kids and this is a big problem.
Prose: This is a book narrated by a boy. Which makes sense because our protagonist is a boy. And it also seemed pretty realistic to me.
Would I Recommend This Book?: If you like survival stories (like I do) - especially ones about teens being stuck places - this is definitely something you might like. But beware of the gore and more mature themes. This book doesn't shy away from the slightly more explicit side of things.

How did you feel about the slight lack of action in this one? Did you love it anyway? Let me know in the comments below.

October 7, 2013

GOODBYE, REBEL BLUE Blog Tour: Spotlight

You guys. 

YOU. GUYS. 

I loved WELCOME CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE, Shelley Coriell's debut novel, so very much. Chloe was fun, sweet, adorable and such an amazingly strong protagonist. (And that Duncan is nothing to scoff at either.) I'm so thrilled to be apart of this blog tour and have the chance to spotlight and push this book on all of my fantastic readers - not to mention provide an opportunity for you guys to enter a GIVEAWAY to win some swag and a copy of this such a gorgeous book. (That's right, I already have a copy. This book's a stunner. Both with the jacket and without.) So without further ado, let me introduce you to Rebecca Blue.


Title: Goodbye, Rebel Blue
Author: Shelley Coriell
Release Date: October 1st, 2013 
Publisher: 
Amulet Books
Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository
Rebecca Blue is a rebel with an attitude whose life is changed by a chance encounter with a soon-to-be dead girl. Rebel (as she’s known) decides to complete the dead girl’s bucket list to prove that choice, not chance, controls her fate. In doing so, she unexpectedly opens her mind and heart to a world she once dismissed—a world of friendships, family, and faith. With a shaken sense of self, she must reevaluate her loner philosophy—particularly when she falls for Nate, the golden boy do-gooder who never looks out for himself.

Perfect for fans of Jay Asher’s blockbuster hit Thirteen Reasons Why, Coriell’s second novel features her sharp, engaging voice along with realistic drama and unforgettable characters.

[Summary Source: Goodreads

ABOUT SHELLEY CORIELL: 

I’m a former newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and restaurant reviewer. These days I write smart, funny novels for teens and big, edgy romantic suspense. A six-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist, I live and love in Arizona with my family and the world’s neediest rescue Weimaraner. When I’m not behind the keyboard, you’ll find me baking high-calorie, high-fat desserts and haunting local farmers markets for the perfect plum. Hugs!



One Winner will get a swag pack with pen, journal, finished copy of GOODBYE, REBEL BLUE + more!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

October 6, 2013

Veronica Mars Watch-Along Week 21

[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:
  • "Plan B"
  • "I Am God"
And for NEXT WEEK:
  • "Nevermind the Buttocks"
  • "Look Who's Stalking"

We really are very close to the finale now. (I feel like I say this every week but there are FOUR EPISODES left! So I'm telling the truth this time.)

THE NOIR
This set of episodes is a little weird. Mostly because the first is more about revenge and the second focuses mostly on the bus crash. Which is the larger mystery of the season and is where the noir lives, but it was a little confusing.

Anyway, in the first episode, we find out all the pieces of the Felix murder. And then we watch Thumper get his.


It's kind of scary how Weevil just throws him to the Fitzpatricks. But considering how Thumper threw Weevil out of the gang entirely... no, Weevil basically murdered his ex-friend in a creepy YA revenge book kind of way.


Those Fitzpatricks really know how to scare a guy.

In episode two, Veronica spends a lot of time with the guidance counselor, talking about the bus crash, It's weird how easily she trusts this woman her dad used to date. But, I mean, better she open up to someone than no one at all (see season 1 in case you forgot what that looks like). I think the most important bit of information that we learn here is that whoever blew up the bus wasn't just trying to kill the bus driver, he/she was clearly trying to kill everyone on the bus. I don't know what that ringing phone at the end of the episode was about, though, but I'm sure Veronica can figure it out.

Oh, and also, Keith Mars and busting the kids who get extra time to study? Bad ass. Logan and Wallace intentionally tried to help Veronica's GPA, but Keith was the one to inadvertently do it.


SUSPICIOUS CHARACTERS
This is a new section in the Watch-Along (but, considering Veronica Mars is a noir TV show, I'm kind of surprising myself right now). I've added this to talk a little bit about Woody Goodman. I don't know what's up with him or what he's so shifty about that stalker video. Clearly Keith knows something's up too, because he made a copy of said stalker video. But yeah. Something is up there and it keeps poking me.


Also, Woody Goodman, while a politician, has kind of rubbed me the wrong way for the last couple of episodes. It feels weird to be suspicious of Steve Guttenberg, but what can you do?

Then there's Cassidy. It's acceptable for a boy to not want to jump into a girl's pants, I think, but not the norm. And then there's this whole Phoenix Land Trust thing. I don't know. Something's up with this kid.

LoVe
DID WE ALL SEE MY FAVORITE SHIP DANCING TOGETHER AT THE SADIE HAWKINS DANCE? DIIIIID WE? Ugh. Logan's face was perfection. This ship has life, I tell you. Even though Veronica is a psycho when it comes to Logan 75% of the time, this ship has LIFE.


BRING ON THE SNARK
Veronica: "I'm being haunted. And she's [Jennifer Love Hewitt] the Ghost Whisperer. *snapping* These are the jokes."

I love the jokes, Veronica, I do. 

Veronica: "I'm a little punchy; I haven't been sleeping."
Logan: "Thoughts of me? Hey, I get it. Um, sometimes I'm up all night just thinking about myself."

Oh Logan. I love you so much. 

Mr. Wu: "Okay, people! That's does it. I'm assigning you partners alphabetically. Dick, I think it's a bad idea for you and Mr. Echolls to be working together."
Dick: "So bad it's good?"
Mr. Wu: "No."

DICK, I LOVE YOU.

Dick: "God, I don't know how I'm gonna quit you."
[Dick puts his finger over Logan's lips.]
Dick: "Shhh. It's not me; it's Wu."

I really can't handle how funny I think this boy is.

Logan: "You don't like me much, do you?"
Wallace: "The last time we actually talked, you were bashing Veronica's headlights with a crowbar."
Logan: "Hm. Foreplay."

Please. Keep with the bonding, Wallace and Logan. PLEASE.

Wallace: "When I die, I want you to raise money for my spread in Vibe."
Veronica: "Oh, didn't I email you? You're never allowed to die."

I second this. But I also second the fact that none of my favorites in this show can die. So that covers Wallace, Veronica, Logan, Dick, Mac, Keither, Weevil... you get the idea.

Logan: "I could rub your head for luck."
Wallace: "You could try."

THE BONDING IS SO GOOD.

Wallace: "We magnify the drag, decrease the velocity, minimize the force, and decelerate--"
Logan: "Decelerate yourself. Four is officially your espresso limit."

I officially want you two to be friends forever.

THE BOYS
This really is my favorite section. I don't even care if it's pointless.

  • Wallace: WALLACE WHY ARE YOU KISSING JACKIE WHEN YOU'RE WITH THAT OTHER GIRL? STOP THAT. In other news, I'm glad you're bonding with Logan/beginning to understand him. 
  • Logan: *sighs a million sighs* All of your snark is just deflection, isn't it? It's okay, I understand AND still love you. 
  • Weevil: Soooo now you're kind of a murderer. That's messed up. 
  • Dick: You're so funny and terrible all at the same time that every time I try to hate you I just can't. 
  • Cassidy: Something is going on here and I'm not sure I like it, mister...

Are you suspicious of Cassidy and Woody Goodman? What are your thoughts on the Logan/Wallace bromance? Let me know in the comments below!

**ONE LAST REMINDER**
NEXT WEEK:

  • "Nevermind the Buttocks"
  • "Look Who's Stalking"

October 4, 2013

Why I'm A Bookish Mess

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.

Now, obviously there are books that are so hyped that you might be a little afraid to read them. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, all of the John Green books... the list goes on. But these are books that are recommended to you, or think you're supposed to like because everyone else loves them.


But what about the books that you know you're going to love once you sit down and read them? If you're a normal person, you'll just sit down the second you can get your hands on whatever has you all excited, read the damn book and love it to pieces. 

Then you and the book can be best friends forever.
But if you're like me, you'll love the idea of the book so much that you'll be afraid to read it. Usually this happens with a book that's written by an author whose other books I love so much - or this new book is the sequel to something else I adored. Generally what happens is I'll over hype the book for myself like crazy. No one has to say anything. I just do it to myself. 

Merida and I both know I'm out of my mind.
Examples of when this has happened to me:

FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell
JUST ONE YEAR by Gayle Forman
JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta 
ACROSS THE STAR-SWEPT SEA by Diana Peterfreund 
WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE by Trish Doller 
BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore

Now, I know some of these books technically haven't come out yet or just came out, but I've had access to a copy of each of these books for a while now (ARCs are a boon to be praised). And yet, no matter how excited I am, I still haven't gotten to the second half of this list. I'm honestly pretty sure it's because I've over-hyped myself. I'm just too excited and can't make myself sit down and read the book in question. Alternatively, I might also be afraid the next book in the series or by that author won't live up to how awesome I've assumed this new book is going to be. (As kind of happened to me with the later Harry Potter books.)

Basically, I'm a mess.

Now, sometimes I'll get my butt in gear and read the freaking thing, but other times I'll keep holding off (as is evident by the fact that I've only read half of that list above). It's just a matter of sitting down, taking a deep breath, quell the excitement/fear and read what I know is going to make me swoon/melt/gasp/squee/cry/whatever. Because, inevitably, it's the books I, myself, over-hype that end up being the ones that do just that.

Anyway, I think this post solidifies my insanity. It's okay if you don't understand, but if you do, please commiserate in the comments below. 

October 3, 2013

Review: Just One Year by Gayle Forman


Title:
Just One Year (Just One Day #2)
Author: Gayle Forman
Release Date: October 10th, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Children's
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC borrowed from Julie
Rating: A beautiful second side of a stunningly perfect coin.
The heartrending conclusion—from Willem’s POV—to the romantic duet of novels that began with Allyson’s story in Just One Day.

After spending an amazing day and night together in Paris, Just One Year is Willem’s story, picking up where Just One Day ended. His story of their year of quiet longing and near misses is a perfect counterpoint to Allyson’s own as Willem undergoes a transformative journey, questioning his path, finding love, and ultimately, redefining himself.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]
THE REVIEW

At the end of Just One Day, Allyson's found her way back to Willem after a year of searching for him as well as searching for herself. Just One Year rewinds back to the day Allyson woke up alone but tells the story of what happened to Willem instead.

Let's break this down:

I kind of just want to stick in a bunch of gifs of people sighing and leave this review at that. But that's not super helpful since this is Gayle Forman and obviously we're all going to be left sighing. So instead I'll try to write words that make sense.

Before I try to start this thing, I want to make it very clear to everyone: this book does not get into what happens once Willem and Allyson are reunited. You get right up to the point where Allyson finds Willem at the end of Just One Day and the screen goes black. The symmetry is brilliant and I really do like that I get to decide what happens to Allyson and Willem, but if you're picking up Just One Year with hopes of a traditional, written out happy ending, you're not going to be super happy. (I, personally, would have enjoyed one more chapter, but all the pieces really are put into place and you can imagine what happens next even if you don't get to read it.)

Okay. That said, I loved, loved, loved this book. I think I loved Just One Day more because I could related to Allyson better (rule follower, drama, college...) but Willem's story... well I think there was more gut wrenching sadness in it. I think a lot of time when you meet a guy like Willem in a YA novel you assume he's confident and awesome, inside and out. I mean, yeah, we saw a couple of small chinks in his armor in Just One Day and he was probably deflecting a lot because he was hiding just as much, but you don't expect the suave, flirty foreigner to have the big issues.

And Willem really does have big issues. He travels the way he does because he's running. His family life is completely messed up and, the same way he thinks he mother can't commit to being in his life, Willem can't seem to commit to being in anyone else's life in return. But then he meets Lulu and before he can say goodbye to her, she slips out of his life due to lots of misunderstandings. A big question Willem has to ask himself in this book is why he's so hung up on Lulu. Is it because she left him and not the other way around or is it because he actually cares for her - the girl who promised she'd take care of him and actually did so?

But Willem's hang up over Lulu is really only a piece of this book. His issues with commitment also make it difficult for him to be a good, reliable friend. Not to mention, he  can't seem to stick with doing any one thing as a profession. He's afraid of saying "this is what I really want to do" and putting everything into it because if he does and it doesn't work out, what then? And then there are his issues with his mother - which feels like the root of a lot of Willem's problems. I actually really enjoy the parts of this story that feature Yael. The relationship between Willem and his mother is so complex and believable that I almost can't believe this isn't someone's actual journal detailing a year of heartbreaking events.

Now, I feel like at this point of the review a lot of people are thinking: "Wow. Gaby just went through a couple major components of this book. This is kind of like a spoiler." To that I say: 1. I hope you don't think I actually spoiled this book for you and 2. even if you think I did, I really didn't. This isn't the kind of book where I tell you the twist and everything is spoiled. We actually all know how this book ends because we saw it happen at the end of Just One Day. The thing about Gayle Forman books in general is that the series of events are wonderful and tragic and important, but less important than the emotional journey of the characters. And, as always, the pure, honest emotion of this book is enough to leave me sighing for days.

Which is why I wanted this whole review to be a series of sighing gifs. It's really the only way to explain how realistically emotional this book is. I really do think that my absolute favorite part of this series is how human Allyson and Willem are. Nothing comes easy to either protagonist and as much as you want to push them in the right direction and never let a bad thing happen to them ever again, you know the events in these books are exactly what need to happen to get them where they need to be. (Which, for the record, is back together again, but in a better headspace to be back together again.)

Oh, also, this book is written in this beautifully fluid prose. It's almost dreamy, how soothing and amazing it is. But it's definitely not the kind of soothing that puts you to sleep. I actually had to force myself to put this one down so I could go to sleep at 3am. And then I woke up, ignored everything and promptly finished.

The long and short of it?

Plot: The ending is what you know it'll be after reading Just One Day but it's really all about the journey and Willem's story honestly does not disappoint.
World Building: Can I travel this much? Not for the reasons Willem likes to travel so much, but still.
Character Development: So many character have such compelling journeys in this book. Willem obviously takes the cake, but seeing how Yael changes throughout the story in relation to her son is also amazing. So basically, lots of amazing.
Prose: Soothing, dreamy, fluid... completely addictive.
Would I Recommend This Book?: If you love contemporary books with serious depth, this is the series (don't forget to start with Just One Day!) for you. I'd also recommend both books in this series to people who love to travel. You might want to get up and go somewhere once you're done reading, but it's worth it.

I'm going to sit here and sigh over this one for a little bit longer. Feel free to leave me a comment while I move past my unending love for this series and all things Gayle Forman.

RECLAIMED Blog Tour: Interview with Sarah Guillory

Today on the blog I bring you my stop on the RECLAIMED blog tour. So sit back, relax and enjoy the insane number of questions Sarah Guillory so patiently and brilliantly answered for all of us.


Title: Reclaimed
Release Date: October 15th, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Jenna Oliver doesn’t have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two.

All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother. She's determined she'll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers—one that isn't tainted by her family's past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets.

Ian McAlister doesn't want to start over; he wants to remember.

Ian can’t recall a single thing from the last three months—and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle.

The secret Ian can’t remember is the one Luke McAlister can’t forget.

Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he’s supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can’t resist Jenna—which is the trigger that makes Ian's memory return.

Jenna, Ian, & Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]
Okay. Now you know what the book is about. Here are my questions and Sarah's answers.

Queen Ella Bee: A quick set of short answer questions just to get things started...
Full name. 
Favorite book.
Biggest pet peeve.

Sarah Guillory: 
Sarah Guillory. 
That’s like picking a favorite child! If I have to – Fahrenheit 451.
Dog-earing pages in a book.

QEB: For those readers who don't know what RECLAIMED is about, can you summarize RECLAIMED in 6 words (or less)? 

SG: Flawed, broken people seek way out.

QEB: I absolutely love the cover of RECLAIMED. What was your reaction the first time you saw it?

SG: My heart still skips a beat when I see it. The cover designer, Jenn Rush, actually posted this picture on Twitter, and I sort of had to catch my breath when I saw it. It was exactly the way I pictured Jenna. I contacted my editor immediately, who’d already seen the picture and thought the same thing, and all of a sudden, we had a cover.

QEB: As an English teacher, how do you balance teaching, writing and grading all of those papers?

SG: It’s not easy. I try (usually unsuccessfully) to leave work at work. My mother is a teacher, and my grandmother taught for over thirty years, and the piece of advice I often received was to try and separate my work and personal life. I think that is extra hard as a teacher, but many who don’t burn out easily. So I work very hard while I’m at school, then I get home and write. I try my best to stick to the schedule of writing from the time I get home until dinner. Being a teacher makes me a better writer though, I think. I get a good feel for dialogue, as I am listening to and talking with teens all day, and I have my finger on the pulse of my readers, so to speak.

QEB: How have your students responded to your novel? Did you get any input from them as you wrote?

SG: My students are the best support I could have. They’ve wanted to read my book well before it was book-shaped. I didn’t get any feedback or input from them, though I did have identical twins in my class while I was finishing the draft of Reclaimed, and I totally picked their brains, as well as stole an allergy.

I did have a former student read an early draft of Reclaimed. I taught Emily three years in a row and she was great in giving me feedback and encouragement.

QEB: If you could pick one character from RECLAIMED to step out of the book and become a real, live, breathing person, who would it be?

SG: I love all my characters, and while they may not breathe off the page, they feel very real to me. How am I supposed to pick just one?! I guess I would love to spend the day with Mops, Jenna’s grandmother. She cracks me up, and I’d love to sit at her kitchen table drinking sweet tea and listening to her stories.

QEB: Do you plan to publish any other novels - YA or other?

SG: I just finished revisions on a YA historical/contemporary novel that I’m very excited about. It’s set in Louisiana, where I live, and has romance and dark, twisty characters. I’m also getting ready to start back to work on a secret YA project. I wrote a third of it last summer, but revisions on Reclaimed and a new book put them on hold until now. The secret project is different from anything I’ve written before.

QEB: Do you have any writing habits or rituals? Things you MUST have or do when you sit down to write?

SG: I have to print the manuscript out by hand and revise in green ink. I usually revise wrapped up in a brown fleece blanket and sitting in the leather recliner in my office.

QEB: When you're not writing or teaching, what are your favorite things to do?

SG: I’m a runner. I started running about ten years ago, and I’ve run six marathons. I love long runs in the early mornings. I also knit. I love to read of course, take the dog on long walks, and spend as much time outside as possible.

QEB: And now a lightning round, just to close it out:
Mac or PC: PC
Coke or Pepsi: Coke
Chocolate or Vanilla: Vanilla

QEB: Thanks so much to Sarah for coming on the blog today and answering all of my questions. I hope you guys enjoyed the interview and learned a bit more about this debut author. Don't forget, RECLAIMED comes out on October 15th!


ABOUT SARAH GUILLORY:

Sarah Guillory is a YA author. In addition, she teaches sophomore English and loves that they pay her to fan girl over books and authors and to watch her students fall in love with the written word. Sarah lives in Louisiana with her husband and ridiculously spoiled bloodhound. RECLAIMED is her debut novel.


I hope you're all well acquainted with Sarah and properly excited for this book now. Y'know. As you should be. And if you have anymore questions for Sarah, leave them in the comments below!