December 30, 2011

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Lennie plays second clarinet in the school orchestra and has always happily been second fiddle to her charismatic older sister, Bailey. Then Bailey dies suddenly, and Lennie is left at sea without her anchor. Overcome by emotion, Lennie soon finds herself torn between two boys: Bailey's boyfriend, Toby, and Joe, the charming and musically gifted new boy in town. While Toby can't see her without seeing Bailey and Joe sees her only for herself, each offers Lennie something she desperately needs. But ultimately, it's up to Lennie to find her own way toward what she really needs-without Bailey. A remarkable debut novel perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. (click here to learn more)

Epic Wins:
  • Lennie comes cascading off the page in raw emotional notes. Hm let's see, she is a total bookworm/ lasagna maker/ band geek. That is a character I can relate to. 
  • I loved how there were little notes everywhere in the book, it made it fun to turn the page and BAM there is a crushed cup with scribbles on it. 
  • Joe- Sweet, magical, and sort of like drinking sunlight from the book. Yeah I wrote that...
  • Music is her passion, you can tell it's something important to her, keeping her grounded. 
  • The adventures her and Bails fictitiously send their mother on to answer the question what happened to her. 
  • I loved Sarah, Lennie's best friend, and her tendency to use animals in place of curse words when excited or angry. She cracked me up.
  • Her family, Gran and Uncle Big, make things funny yet heart breaking. 
  • Joe's nick name for Lennie. John Lennon.
  • You can't ignore the chemistry between Joe and Lennie, it was too cute!
  • Someone once told me repetition means it's important so: THE NOTES! They are like little pieces of Lennie's soul and story. 
Epic Fails:
  • Toby- In the beginning I understood but after a while I didn't get it. She herself says he's like her brother, who wants to kiss there brother?
Mm. Remember how I said that Joe was like drinking sunlight? I think this book can apply to that statement. Real raw emotions mixed with falling in love in a perfect combination. Besides sunshine tastes sooo good. 

just sayin, 

December 27, 2011

A year of books cut into a tenth

Top Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2011

This one is hard because I have read over 100 books this year. That's right 100. So picking ten of them is really difficult, but I'll try!

1. This was the second book I read and it was hard to put down. 

2. This book takes the number one spot. It was everything I love about contemporary.

3. Four. Enough said.

4. I waited a while to read this one but once I started it I fell in love with it. 

5. How can you not be captivated by this book? Even the very idea draws you in. 

6. Love that cover, but I loved the story even more. Emerson was such a sarcastic and witty character.

7. This author is my latest crush. It's amazing the way she ties humor and grief together.

8. I am pretty sure I snorted like 15 times during this book. So much funny!

9. This is one of those books that you can't stop reading because of the compelling characters and twisting plot. 

10. Oh man. What a night...

just sayin,

Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay


My wish 
is to fall 
cranium over Converse 
in dizzy, daydream-worthy 

When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father. 

By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up. But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? can you even know it until you've lost it? 

Love and Leftovers is a beautifully written story of one girl’s journey navigating family, friends, and love, and a compelling and sexy read that teens will gobble up whole. (click here to learn more)

Epic Wins:

  • Message 1- Sometimes all you have to do is listen. 
  • Message 2- Bad things happen to good people all the time, it's the choices we make and the attitude we have towards these bad things that define who we are. 
  • Message 3- Forgiveness is hard to give but love is even harder to find. 
  • The Leftovers- (Marcie's group of friends who are really just a bunch of misfits who fit together) I like the idea that despite their differences (and similarities) these kid banded together. 
  • This novel is in verse. Now I know to some people this is a total turn off but I thought it fit well with the story being told. I love the way that it's set up like poetry but still tells an accurate story. 
  • Because of that bullet point *points up above* this book was a fast and quick read, which I loved. 
  • Sam- In reality she said like twenty words in the whole book but what she said made me laugh so much that it didn't matter, I loved her right away. She calls JD a cereal dater, which is true. 
  • Marcie- Even though I found her hard to relate to at times, I loved the way she worded things like this; "My wish, is to fall, cranium over Converse, in dizzy, daydream-worthy, love."
  • Katie- She was Marcie's voice of reason when she was too lost in her own head. She was honest and out going.
  • The writing was like sweet, slow dripping honey, golden and I can't wait to read some more from Tregay.

Epic Fails:

  • JD knocked Marcie out of orbit for a while, he was a very confusing catalyst. 
  • Marcie had some ideals that were very... puzzling. 

A beautifully written love story. I am a huge fan of verse and this didn't disappoint. 

just sayin, 

December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Yep. I said it. Merry Christmas everyone!! I've found a few pictures that illustrate some of my favorite things about the holidays. I hope you enjoy them and have a great holiday! Hug your family, read good books, and drink hot chocolate. Byeee!

just sayin,

December 23, 2011

Author Interview with Rae Hachton

Today I have author Rae Hachton here on the blog!

What was your latest epic win? (a small but meaningful accomplishment like finding a bag of Bertie Bott’s while packing) Epic fail? (basically this is an embarrassing moment that you can laugh about)
Epic Win-This really kewl New & Used bookshop had the Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe!!! at an amazing price—Score!
Epic Fail-I accidentally texted a guy I like a confession about him that I’d meant to text a girl-pal, so, embarrassed, and, since I’m a writer and reader of YA, I played it off as a book character I was telling an author friend about.

What are your thoughts on your book being turned into a movie?
Yes, Totally!! This would be epic! I’d love to see it on the Big Screen. I already have a dream cast and everything. I’d jump up and down if this ever, ever, happened.  
What is the last book you read?
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey—I really enjoyed this book.

In three words describe yourself:
Always finding stories.
I seem to find stories everywhere. 

One question you wish you had a definitive answer to: 
What causes Deja Vu?I have frequent Deja Vu and I would really like to know why. I think this is interesting.

A quote you live by: 
Anything is possible, especially the really, really impossible things. You should believe in those the most.

In Your Perfect World…
In my perfect world, everything would be magical. Dragon, Princes of Darkness, Medieval castles, teleportation, wizards, vampires, faeries, all of that.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be? 
The ability to alternate/change time. Slow it down, speed it up, rewind it, rearrange events, travel to the past and view past events, all of that.

If given a time machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
 Hmm. I would definitely not visit the past. I want to keep the past where it is. I’m really loving where I am right now, the future can only be better, so definitely, the future!!

Do you have any projects in the works? If so can you tell us about any of them?
I am currently working on:
I’m halfway through Black Satin, the second book in the Pretty in Black series. I’m really loving it, there’s more magic in this one.
I will leave you guys with a few key words: Fire Breathing Gargoyles, flame arrows, Paris.France, Clock-work, and a race against time.
I’m also working on a sekrit [secret] project, that may or may not be releasing out of the blue, soon!

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by my blog today. To check out the other Pretty In Black Book Tour Stops go here. Rae Hachton is author of Pretty In Black and Maybe, Maybe Not. 
just sayin,

Pretty In Black by Rae Hachton

A troubled, suicidal teen meets a mysterious guy in a cemetery and later discovers he has an unquenchable desire for her love...and her life 

Ellie Piper's life is turned upside down after her sister's unexpected murder and her parents divorce. After her mom succumbs to moving in to a trailer park and marrying a man half her age, Ellie begins cutting herself, quits cheerleading and begins hanging out in cemeteries, dreaming of her perfect death. But when Marcus Marble shows up and sets her heart afire, she discovers a whole new world full of love and mystery. And in this world, Marcus has returned from the dead, just for Ellie, and has a desire to take her with him, into eternity. Now that he's found her, there's no way he's letting her go. Dead or Alive. They're fated. Find out more about Pretty In Black here.

Epic Wins:
  • There were tons of literary throw-backs but most notably those of Edgar Allen Poe. He was mentioned as were his ideas. 
  • Ellie- A cheerleader turned goth after her life gets thrown out of wack. She was unsteady and unsure of who she was but slowly figures things out. Loved that she was a kick-butt hunter.
  • Marcus- He was a constant mystery, puzzling but intriguing. He really helped pick Ellie up and showed her how good life could be. 
  • The way the strange and dark world of Nevermore is presented is masterful. Loads of myth and legend filled the pages. 
  • Message 1- Your life can be changed simply by the choices you make, you control it.. 
  • Message 2- Love is dark sometimes. It's confusing, dark, but mostly beautiful.
  • They hung out at cemeteries, which slightly odd, was slightly fascinating. "Oh yeah I'm just going to hang out in the cemetery, bye Mom!" (Oy, the conversations in my head...
Epic Fails:
  • think the two perspectives should have been intertwined. Having them separate confused me too much. 
So I wasn't a huge fan of how this book went down. I was confused most of the time but I am interested to see if there is more to come. Regardless it was a good story with an original plot.

just sayin, 

December 20, 2011

My Unofficial Christmas List

Top Ten books I Hope Santa Brings Me

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafia
Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Legend by Marie Lu
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Au Revoir Crazy European Chick by Joe 
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han 
The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S King
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

This list could have gone on forever and ever and ever...
just sayin,

December 19, 2011

Daily Dose

Daily dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly 


What inspires you?

just sayin,

In My Mailbox

[In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren]

From the Library:
The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas 
Half-Upon A Time by James Riley

A&L Do Summer by Jan Blazanin
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen  (audio book) 
Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen (audio book)

(Let me explain the over abundance of books from the Library... I put them on hold thinking they would come gradually. Nope they all came with in two days. *headdesk* oh well guess I am having a Sarah Dessen Read-a-thon ;)

For Review:
Where it Began by Ann Stampler
The Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin

Net Galley:
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
There you'll find me by Jenny B Jones

Katana by Cole Gibsen
Hushed by Kelly York

What did you get in your mailbox?

just sayin,

December 17, 2011

Through the Ears of S.R. Johannes

Today let’s welcome S.R. Johannes!

I have a very cinematic mind so when I write. I think of my book as a movie as I’m typing. I can visualize every scene and hear every song in my head as the story plays out. When I started Untraceable, I put together a playlist for chapters and scenes and I wrote to that song. It was something that got me into the feel and pace of each scene. Like a soundtrack.

In Untraceable – there are a few songs that stand out to me.
  • U2’s Grace – It says everything about Grace and her story.
  • Muses’ Time’s running out – I play this during the big chase scene about 2/3rd into the books
  • Keane’s Somewhere only we know – when Grace is fly-fishing and thinking about her dad.
  • Susan Tedeschi’s Looking for Answers - when Grace hikes off into the wilderness in search of her dad.
Some of my favorite songs include:
  • Pink’s Glitter In The Air
  • Cake’s I will survive
  • Susan Tedeschi Wrapped in the arms of another
  • Kris Allen – Live like we’re dying.
I could not live without music. It expresses everything I feel. I can’t write without it. And sometimes when I’m stuck, it’s shows me the way.

Thank you for stopping by S.R. Johannes! Connect with S.R. Johannes here:
Twitter Blog Facebook Goodreads: -Author Page -Book Page

just sayin,

December 16, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place her in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances. (click here to learn more)

Epic Wins:

  • I have read a lot of books and each one holds a slightly new experience for me. With Divergent I experienced something totally new. Anxiety. This has NEVER happened before. I was the one at the top of the 100 story building ready to jump or getting ready to jump off the moving train. 
  • Tris was a total kick-butt character. I loved being a reader of her emotions and thoughts. She is one of my favorite character. 
  • The dystopian style world Roth has set up was complex. The society had just enough flaws to cause major upheaval. 
  • The way she explained that being brave and selfless should be the same. Like sure you can jump off that building but would you die for someone you loved?
  • Four. He was a breath of fresh amazingness. He was humble with a dark past, something I wasn't expecting. 
  • The way the different factions could easily be cliques at school or choosing a school to go to after you graduate or a career. It all related to real life.
  • A work of genius art. A masterpiece. A brain sucker... of the best kind. 

Heart pounding, roof jumping, gun shooting, choice making, life breaking, fear inducing, sadness of a brilliant novel. 

just sayin,