Twitter opened up this whole community I didn't even know existed to my eyes, and I found tons of fabulous friends that i'll rave about later. And this grew bigger. And bigger. To the point where now, I can't imagine life without the blog, and this whole community backing me up. And not just the community, you guys, my readers! You're all lovely for wanting to watch me rave incessantly about books, and putting up with my spazzing in vlogs, and my weird tweets in the middle of the night.
That said friend? Is awesome blogger, fabulous critique partner, and all-around good person, Julie from Blogger Heart Books. Thanks for pushing me to make this awesome decision and thanks for sticking by me the entire journey! I doubt this would've gone so well without you!
I met a lot of people in these past 9 months, and I wish I could thank every single one in this post, but sadly, I can't! So here's a few:
Thanks Brent, for being so fantastic. Your sass and glitter never fail to make me smile, and you are one funny blogger! And it's okay if you like unicorns, I love you anyway.
Kari, who is not one for sap but thank you for putting up with my un-organized ass! Despite the hate, you are super nice and fun and an awesome blogger (and an even better writer). I'm talking to you right now while writing this, so *waves*.
Nicole, for with Julie, sharing with me her love for Historical Fiction and being super awesome.
Finally, Bianca. Without you, this blog would be really ugly since I would've had to design it! Thanks for all the help you give me without complaints!
And then of course, there's the authors. Because really, without them, no books! And that would just be horrible! I'm not gonna name any because you're all just fantastic with us bloggers and with me, and i'll totally forget some people and then i'll feel bad. You know who you are, and you're awesome :)
Thanks to the publishers for not thinking i'm horrible and unworthy of your author's works.
Thanks to ALL OF YOU. Seriously, every single one of you. Without you, this wouldn't be possible. Thank you for commenting, and recommending, and retweeting, and just being amazing. 311 is the number of 2010, and that wouldn't have been possible without 'ya.
NOW, unto the resolutions:
1. Blog more. I'm seriously planning to post every single day, unless there's some crazy emergency or I go on a random vacation and don't have time to write something! November and December were really bad posting months for me.
2. Be organized. Seriously, I'm a mess. I need to fix up this site, update a thousand things, and get myself scheduled and organized. I must channel my inner Nicole.
3. Learn that darn techy stuff. As much as I like going to Bianca for all my tech problems, I should learn to do a lot of this myself, no? I'm already trying to do my own header, but I wanna learn how to do a bunch more instead of frantically asking twitter how.
4. Read, and Review. Usually, I don't write reviews right when i'm finished with it. I wait days, sometimes week and that's not happening anymore or i'll go insane!
5. Vlog more. I love vlogging, and I very well might start vlogging 3 times a week on my channel about bookish/writing things and such. If I can...
6. Stop Being Lazy. This is just a resolution in general. Speaks for itself.
THANK YOU GUYS.
For everything. Have a happy new year and..
*They're not in any actual order, because that would be way too hard.
I picked this book up to read a few pages, you know, get a taste of how this was gonna go down. Three hours later, I was finished without realizing I had just spent all that time on the B&N carpet in front of the YA shelves. The DUFF is funny and heart-breaking, and most of all, real. Because everyone feels like the ugly duckling from time to time, and i'm glad Bianca found out that she was special. Plus Welsey Rush? HOT.
Evie from Paranormalcy and Sophie from Hex Hall should be best friends. Seriously! Evie is funny, witty, and insanely curious about anything normal teenagers do. Kiersten wrote a new and refreshing take on paranormal creatures, instead of making them hot and sparkly, creatures that agencies need to contain once they get out of hand. Plus? The dress she's wearing is extremely pretty. And Lind? If you saw my review, most IMPERFECT PERFECT boy ever!
Rachel Hawkins? Is hysterical. I've never read such a funny protaganist in my life! Sophie is witty, clever, and always ready with a quick retort that makes me giggle (and my parents ask why i'm laughing to myself in the back of the car on the way to Tennessee while reading Demonglass...) Boarding school for witches may sound overrated, but you'll seriously regret not reading this, I can assure you that! Plus, you'll definitely be surprised by a lot of plot twists that end up happening in the book!
I stayed up until 6 in the morning reading this the moment I got it. Must I say more? From the amazing world-building (I mean, draki? Sound awesome) to the steamy romance, Firelight is catch your attention and keep it until you're turning the last page.
High Fantasy FTW. Absolutely love just everything about this book, from the characters to the writing to the ending! And even though I like where North and Sid stand in the end, i'm dying for a sequel! If you're looking something new and amazing, definitely check this one out.
Wow, this one is gonna be hard to explain. I'm sure if you've read it, it's a hit or miss. Either you love it, or you're wondering what in the world was she thinking. I absolutely loved it, from the beautiful writing to the well-rounded and slightly disturbing (but equally entertaining) characters. Plus, the romance was sweet, and Portero, while somewhere I never want to live, was chilling and creepy.
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
There's a reason i'm Team Captain and fangirling about this all the time, people! Personal Demons was a new and awesome retelling of that original good vs. evil, hell vs. heaven but with a lot more at stake. Plus, Luc is hot and a big 'ole softy at the same time.
Remember this review? The book that I just could not get into the first 40 pages in so I put down for a while? Then I picked it up again and after that, I was hooked. Rebecca has a beautiful way of writing, and I loved listening to Lena's flashbacks in the past, and her new way of thinking now. Lena is smart and strong, plus Rhode? Though you don't get a lot from one besides the first few pages and flashbacks? *swoon* We get more of him in Stolen Nights apparently so i'm happy!
The first contemporary I honestly ever read and loved. Sea was emotional, funny, and heart-breaking, especially towards the end. Heidi made me fall in love with a genre I had hated beforehand and now I love contemporary! Sienna (Sea) was a great character who made good decisions, including one that however much I hate it, I must admit it was the sensible and right one to do.
In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren.
Shadowspell by Jenna Black (Thanks, St. Martins!)
Bought (A.K.A parents):
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Jane by April Linder
Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston
Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S King
Ophelia by Lisa Klein
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Vixen by Jillian Larkin
The Season by Sarah MacLean
If you celebrate Christmas, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
I hope you have a day filled with family, and love, and presents!
If you don't, happy belated-hannukah, kwanza, boxing day, and if it's just a regular weekend, I hope you're having a good one!
Have an awesome day guys!
What: I was Jane Austen's Best Friend
When: September 28th, 2010
Where: Delacorte Press (RandomHouse)
Why: Historical love
When shy Jenny Cooper goes to stay with her cousin Jane
Austen, she knows nothing of the world of beautiful dresses, dances, secrets,
gossip, and romance that Jane inhabits. At fifteen, Jane is already a sharp
observer of the customs of courtship. So when Jenny falls utterly in love with
Captain Thomas Williams, who better than Jane to help her win the heart of this
But is that even possible? After all, Jenny’s been
harboring a most desperate secret. Should it become known, it would bring
scandal not only to her, but also to the wonderful Austen family. What’s a poor
orphan girl to do?
In this delicious dance between truth and fiction,
Cora Harrison has crafted Jenny’s secret diary by reading everything Jane Austen
wrote as a child and an adult, and by researching biographies, critical studies,
and family letters. Jenny’s diary makes the past spring vividly to life and
provides insight into the entire Austen family—especially the beloved
I was Jane Austen's Best Friend was a sweet and endearing tale of Jane Austen and her cousin, Jenny Cooper's adventures in adolescence. Told in diary entries and some real-time events, Jenny's voice shines through as the quiet, timid girl she is against Jane, who's saucy, clever, and cunning!
Jenny and Jane lived in this horrid boarding school and when they go back home, that's where the adventure begins! The book centers around Jenny trying to find a family, a home, and a potential husband. You have to keep in mind that this is historical, and she's sixteen, so this is perfectly normal! Jenny was such a sweet girl, and for once, I'm glad it was told in journal entries! If it would've been third person, you wouldn't have communicated with her the same day. She's incredibly shy, and she envies Jane's talent for conversation immensely, but in her diary, she is herself and says what she likes.
Jane Austen was especially a treat! She was clever but indecisive and sometimes uncaring of Jenny's opinions and wants. She really was a hot and cold friend, and Jenny comes to find that Jane's real best friend is not her but pen and paper after you see it for yourself. But she stayed strong throughout the entire novel and her friendship with Jenny was cute and Jane was there for regardless of when she needed it!
Now, there's a lot of potential love interests in this book for Jenny. I mean...William, Henry, Frank! At one point in time, especially during the middle, I had chosen. He was funny and charming! But this was a book full of charming characters, so I quickly changed during the end and was happy with the result. Jenny causes quite a scandal but I'm happy everything works out for her in the end, and you will be too!
Who: Karsten Knight
When: July 26th, 2011
Where: Simon & Schuster
Why: UMMM...read that pitch. And THAT COVER. And Karsten's awesome.
Ashline Wilde never received an instruction manual on
how to be a 16-year-old Polynesian volcano goddess. If she had, it might have
contained helpful warnings such as:
• Dreaming about your (thankfully)
mortal boyfriend may cause your bed to spontaneously combust
• Oven mitts
should be worn at all times during heavy make-out sessions
has to learn these life lessons the hard way as her dormant powers erupt at the
most awkward times. In the wake of a hometown tragedy, Ash transfers to
Blackwood Academy, a boarding school nestled in California’s redwoods, where a
group of fellow gods-on-earth have mysteriously convened. As if sophomore year
couldn’t get any worse, her storm goddess older sister, the wild and
unpredictable Eve, resurfaces to haunt Ashline. With a war between the gods
looming over Blackwood, Ash must master the fire smoldering within her before
she clashes with her sister one final time, which leads us to life-lesson #3:
• When warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.
Yeah...you can see why I want this right? Polynesian Volcano Teen Goddess? FTW.
When: March 4th, 2008
Where: Simon Pulse
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is
getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams,
and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a
She can’t tell anybody about what she does they’d never
believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe,
cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.
falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first
time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a
I've been procrastinating reading this for a while now, I'd always see it at Barnes and Nobles and just...look at it. I'm always weary of books with a lot of hype unless one of my close friends has read it and can tell me if it's good. But hey, it was on sale at the Miami Book Fair so I threw that out the window and gave it a go!
Wake follows Janie, who gets sucked into dreams when people fall asleep around her. To cut off the mini-explanation, I'm just gonna say I thought that was so cool and unique. I've read books where they can just..go in, but never against their will or the way Janie uses it to her advantage towards the end. But then she starts falling into this gruesome nightmares that completely paralyze her in the outside world, and she meets a boy named Cabel and mystery ensues. The reason of the dreams was pretty heart-breaking but the fact that she's a participant? Not that much.
Now, I wasn't all that happy with the plot since after she meets Cabel...there really isn't one besides finding out why the heck he's so hot and cold. But it's a short and quick read so the romance keeps you sticking until the end.
Janie was conflicted and confused, which is totally appropriate for someone who has to deal with getting sucked into dreams every hour. I felt so bad for her when they go on that field trip. All of her friends though, including her best friend and neighbor, was pretty flat and superficial, which I suppose was the point. I would've liked to see them have a bit more depth to them though, especially since Carrie was such a key point in the first book.
Cabel was a sweetheart, even though I wanted to smack him in the face a few times. And wash his mouth with soap, but hey, I'm in High School so I never say the cursing was too much. Because I listen to my classmates and...yeah. The cursing in YA books is perfectly realistic. Their romance was cute and what kept me reading, plus my curiosity about Janie's special abilities.
My rating? AHHH-Great! (I just finished Cryer's Cross, her next book, and look out for that one! It's really, really good!)
So pretty much, here is my list of books i'm planning to read in 2011:
(If it's in italics, I own it already)
XVI by Julia Karr
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Warped by Maurissa Guibord
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Haven by Kristi Cook
The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal
Vesper: A Deviants Novel by Jeff Sampsen
Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
So Shelly by Ty Roth
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach
Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
Clarity by Kim Harrington
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
Hourglass by Myra McEntire
And that's it for now! There's a lot more than that and if you're interested about signing up, here's the link!
What: Fall for Anything
When: December 21st, 2010
How: Review Copy
When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the
nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a
brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw?
And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone
else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s
and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Cullen
seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the
key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened
her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her
hanging on...but are some questions better left unanswered?
Midterms done, sickness passing, so blogging is back!
Falling for Anything by Courtney Summers was just...wow. I had never read anything by her, and that's totally going to change. Fall for Anything was a beautiful, raw, and powerful look about a girl dealing with the loss of her father under the strangest circumstances, and just how far she'll go to know why.
"My hands are dying." That's the first thing Eddie Reeves says in the novel, and that stayed with me throughout the whole thing because I think it just explains her perfectly. After that night, she wasn't alive anymore. It's not that I could relate to her, because I couldn't, but you just understand. She was silent and bipolar (not in a bad way though) and unstable but she had a great voice and I loved reading it from her point of view. Her best friend, Milo, was sweet and strange and at times, irritating, but that's because you want him to tell you the truth about that happened the night of her father's death. I'll get to Culler Evans later.
The plot really was fantastic, with the way Courtney set up all the clues and the mini road trips to get to them. This book definitely gave me chills, with it's eerie settings and suspense. Every time you got one of the clues, you wanted the next one. I read this book in between midterms and I'll tell you, it was agony waiting to finish my test and read some more. Courtney writes...beautifully. It's a swirl of descriptions and emotions and you never feel like you're being dragged along on this wild goose chase, but like you're in it, and then it's that you need to know why he died as well.
Finally...Culler Evans. When he first came into the picture, I loved him. He was just like Eddie, quiet and determined to find out the truth. They go on this journey together, and it's just...incredible the way Courtney describes it. And then, that huge plot twist came. Dear god, you definitely won't see that coming, I promise. I had to put the book down and say a few "Oh my gods" and take a few breaths before I kept on reading. This is a book that haunts you long after you turn the last page.
My rating? A definite AWESOMESAUCE.
What: Bull Rider
When: February 29th, 2010
Why: Blog Tour
How: For Review
All it takes is eight seconds....
grandson and younger brother of bull- riding champions, is not interested in
partaking in the family sport. Cam is a skateboarder, and perfecting his tricks
— frontside flips, 360s — means everything until his older brother, Ben, comes
home from Iraq, paralyzed from a brain injury.
What would make a
skateboarder take a different kind of ride? And what would get him on a
monstrosity of a bull named Ugly? If Cam can stay on for the requisite eight
seconds, will the $15,000 prize bring hope and a future for his big brother?
The plot itself isn't the most intriguing, but you're always rooting for Ben to get better and for Cam to become a Bull Rider! I admire Cam for being that brave, even though he was terrified the first time he went on that bull. He stayed on and persevered, which is a lot more than I would've done! The writing is simple and clear, do you're not muddling those page long descriptions looking for the actual meat of the story.
This is a tough one. I'm totally out in the spotlight when I'm singing on stage, but in real life, I'm a pretty private guy. So 3 things that no one knows? Okay, here goes... 1) I'm glad my parents split up. It was hard at the time, and Dad is still so devastated over it that he'd kill me if he saw this. But he was so unhappy when she was around. All they did was fight. Anyway, moving on to the next thing... 2) I'm actually super nervous on stage. The spotlight freaks me out. But I love music so much -- it's like the only way I can really say everything I'm feeling inside -- the only way I can share it with the world. So I find a way to deal. Mostly, whenever I'm about to freak out, I think about Delilah, and this one time when we were about six. I dared her to close her eyes and jump off the dock, straight into Red Falls Lake. She watched me go first, and then she laughed, climbed up to the upper dock another ten feet higher, and leapt off the edge. She kicked my butt, which leads me to the next reveal... 3) I fell in love with her that day on the dock, and I never stopped thinking about her, even when I didn't see her for years. Now that you know my whole life story, um, next question, please!
How did it feel seeing Delilah after so long?
Wow, you really want to get in there, huh? ;-) Ok. Remember that story about jumping off the docks? It was like that day happening all over again. I saw her under the bleachers, and my stomach did this weird flip flop thing, like that day she beat me off the jump. I couldn't believe it was her. And when she finally figured out it was me, I... wait. Some of this stuff I want to keep just for me! Sorry!
If you could have told Delilah one thing before she left that last summer, what would it be?
I'll be waiting for you, no matter what.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Probably in some small town, on stage at a coffee place, Delilah sitting in the audience with those choco-hazlenut whatevers she loves so much. I don't see us sticking to one place. I want to see the world with her, and wherever she is, well... that's where I see myself. Sounds sappy, right? But it's true. This is the kind of stuff people write songs about. Hey, you wanted to know!
Since you're so awesome at music, pick a song that describes you.
Totally not fair question! So I'm giving you a totally not fair answer. ;-) Blue in Green by Miles Davis, off the Kind of Blue album. No words -- you just have to listen to it to see what I'm saying. I don't do jazz myself, but I love listening to it and letting it inspire my music. I highly encourage you to give Miles a chance!
No more personal questions, right? So if you want to know more about me, you'll have to check out Fixing Delilah! ;-)
Tell us 3 things about yourself no one else knows.
Well, if no one knows them by now, maybe they are secrets. Let me think . . . When I was in college I really wanted to be a folk singer and did a few gigs in coffee houses, but I had some bad stage fright. It wasn’t as fun as singing to myself and with my friends. Back in the day I used to sew a lot of my clothes (it saved money then) and I made some money when I was in high school sewing dresses for my friends. I am a “closet” illustrator and would so love to illustrate a book that I write, or should I say, have yet to write.
If you had to live with 3 YA characters, who would they be?
I’d want someone kind and fun and reliable, maybe someone who can get stuff done. Do YA characters come like that? I might pick Austin Gray from Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill Alexander because she’s definitely fun and kind to animals. And Anne from Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble because she’s a take charge kind of girl and can do cool stuff like go visit Baba Yaga in her house on chicken legs (ok, you’ve got to read the book), and maybe Roy from Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, because he’s young but he has a real sense of what’s right and wrong. I think he’d be reliable and ok to live with or, let’s reconsider, maybe I’d take Junior from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. He’s a survivor and he definitely tells things as he sees them. Refreshing.
How'd you come up with the idea for Bull Rider?
The idea for Bull Rider actually came from a conversation with an editor. We brainstormed an idea for a young series about rodeo. Later it changed to an older YA and finally to a younger YA book. I wrote the book four times and each time the theme changed. The idea for Ben came from the family I created for Cam. I figured Cam’s older brother would be a marine. When I changed the book to YA, then it seemed that a marine would be in Iraq and that could lead to some major tension – maybe a war injury. That decision changed Bull Rider into what it is.
If you could go back in time and tell something to your former teenage self?
What would it be? I would say to enjoy myself more and worry less about what other people were thinking. I’d definitely have a talk with myself about the power that I had – to choose friends, to choose and follow what I was most interested in, and mostly to imagine the world as very big and full of possibilities.
Favorite Genre to read? And write?
I like contemporary novels with strong social themes and historical fiction. I like a good mystery if it has something special – like a cultural or artistic component – something added to the mystery. The things I write are – surprise! – contemporary realistic fiction, historical fiction, multicultural nonfiction. No mysteries. I haven’t figured out how to actually do that yet.
In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea over at Pop Culture Junkie!
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Logic of Demons: Quest of Nadine's Soul by H.A Goodman
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
I was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison
Blogger Secret Santa:
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
When and why did you start actually considering yourself a writer?
I wish I could say I had enough self-esteem to consider myself a "writer" long before I was published. But in all honesty, while I was confident in my writing and my love for writing, I had a hard time presenting myself as a "writer" to other people. It wasn't until I'd signed with an agent that I felt comfortable saying "I'm a writer." Of course now I see how silly I'd been. A writer is a writer, no matter where they are in the process.
Do you listen to any music while you write? If so, what are some of your favorites?
I can't listen to music and write at the same time, but music does inspire me when I am percolating a story or working out plot kinks. I mostly listen to instrumental music, classical, and movie soundtracks when I want to zone out and really submerge myself in my stories. Love Braveheart, Gladitor, The Cider House Rules, and Last of the Mohicans especially.
If you could live with three YA characters, who would they be?
That's a tough one! Of course, I'd love to live with Oscar or Ira from my book (ha ha!) but if I was going to choose a girl for my third housemate, I think I'd like to live with Tessa from the upcoming YA WARPED by debut author Maurissa Guibord!
In life? The normal fears all mothers have. Regarding my career? That I'll disappoint a reader.
What's your most recent read?
I just finished PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White--it was just as great as everyone has been saying it is!
Thanks for coming unto the blog Angie!
So here it is, for your viewing pleasure, the ORIGINAL SIN cover! Complete with intense starting and BLUE!
SO pretty, right? Expect you know, Gabe's too close and Luc's too far for my tastes ;) SO here's all the stuff i've ever done with Lisa on the blog so you can check out how awesome she is plus a review!
Interview with Luc
Interview with Frannie
Interview with Gabe
And now, what I know you've all been waiting for, the CONTEST for the first ARC of Original Sin! It's....not on here! Muahaha! BUT you did have to look at this post to enter, so keep reading. Here's the link to Lisa's contest, where you'll need to tell her WHAT blog you saw it on (that's me!) and the tagline on the bottom of the title on the cover! She needs proof people!
ALSO, if you comment on this post, you get 1 extra entry! There's nine of us in all, so if you comment on all the blogs that Lisa has up on the post, you get 9 extra entries! More information is up on her blog, guys!
EEP about Original Sin and Happy Reading!