Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Waiting on: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Cody and Meg were inseparable. Two peas in a pod. Until ... they weren’t anymore.
When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything — so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.
After reading Gayle Forman's short story in My True Love Gave to Me, I've been itching to read anything and everything else she's written. I have no doubt that I Was Here will bring about one big emotional heartache, but I'd read anything Gayle writes.

Have you read anything by Gayle Forman? What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gettin' Graphic

I've never been interested in reading graphic novels. With so many books out there to read, I've rarely strayed from the regular ol' text-only book. However, I've recently picked up a few due to the fact that reading something with more than 300 pages is harmful for my college career.

Once I get into a good book, NOTHING can hold me back from finishing. And if I have to stay up and study through the night for midterms/finals, I will end up ripping all my hair out and bad things will happen.

So thank you to the authors, illustrators, and publishers who put together graphic novels. My hair and the people who have to deal with me on a daily basis thank you for being short and sweet.

Here are three graphic novels I've been able to finish these past two months:

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend - even a ghost - is just what she needs.

But Anya's new B.F.F. isn't kidding about the "forever" part ...

I LIKED THIS ONE. It's one of those stories where you can pretty much figure out the ending but it's still something you want to continue reading because it's how you get there that makes things interesting. This would be great for someone who likes YA and wants to start reading graphic novels. I don't think it's too intense, but there is still a good amount of conflict.

Would I read anything else by Vera Bristol? YES! I found a short online graphic piece titled "What Were You Raised by Wolves?" so I may take a look soon.

Cat Burglar Black by Richard Sala

When K. Westree arrives at Bellsong Academy, she thinks she's left her cat-burgling past behind her. But K soon discovers the school has a mystery of its own, a hidden treasure left behind by its founder, and she's the only one who has a hope of finding it. As she resumes her cat-burgling in an attempt to discover the school's secrets, K begins to question if a normal life is really what she wants.

This caught my eye while I was at the library waiting for my next class to start, so I just picked it up and read it right then. I like the illustrations, but I wish there were more details to shape the story. It felt rushed and packed together as if Sala wasn't given enough pages to write on. K, the main character, has SO much "baggage" that could have been developed, but a ton of things were left unsaid.

Would I recommend this? No :( However, Delphine (another graphic novel by Sala) looks and sounds interesting, so I may give him another chance.

Locke & Key, Vol. 1 by Joe Hill

Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them, and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all!

WOW, I have never read ANYTHING like this before. I love the way this story flows — it's very action-packed, which kept me on my toes and glued to every single page. It's downright creepy but the relationships between the siblings and the need to find out what will happen next kept me hooked.

Will I be continuing this series? YES! Although there was so much gore and TONS of violence, the storyline is too enticing to give up. I will gladly read the next volume, even if it means the possibility of peeing in my pants and giving myself nightmares.

Other graphic novels I will be checking out (and reviewing, maybe) in the future!

Have you read any of the graphic novels I've mentioned? Would you pick up a random graphic novel that no one you know or follow has ever reviewed? What was the last graphic novel you read?

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Weekend Line-Up #1

The Weekend Line-Up is a mash-up of all the things I plan to do during my upcoming weekend.
This feature will pop up randomly, like that top in your closet you forgot you bought a month ago.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, GUYS! I don't normally dress up or go out for this occasion (note: I'm a grandma) but I'll be attending my church's Fall Festival tonight and dressing up as a mime with one of my apartment mates. We wanted something we could pull out of our closets, so this was perfect. I don't think we'll be doing a full face of makeup though, that might be a bit too scary.

Since I haven't been reading much nowadays, I thought I'd share what I'm planning (because when you use the word "planning", it makes people think it's gonna happen) to read ... and watch, listen to, etc. Anything that falls under the category of entertainment will be added to these lists :)

Winterspell by Claire Legrand
I planned to read this with Rachel from Paper Cuts and finish by November 1st, but I haven't even looked at the first page yet. I guess this is what happens when it's your last semester in school ... I'm hoping to at least start the book tonight, but knowing that I have a six-page paper due on Tuesday makes me want to pull my hair out. It's not that I don't want to read this — I'm actually itching to dive into the story — but I have a ton of other things that take priority over reading for fun. How do (or did?) you balance school while finding time to read?

The Mindy Project
Season three just started last month in September and I'll be the first to admit — it has reached "that point" in the story where things start heading downhill. I don't like the Mindy and Danny relationship because they were so much better as FRIENDS. But there's just something about the quirky characters and awkward moments that keep me watching. I can't help it!

Taylor Swift's "1989"
I have loved Taylor since listening to Teardrops on My Guitar back in 2006 and yes, I still love her even though she's moved away from the country sound and toward pop. I think she's still true to herself, which makes me very happy. Either way, I will listen to anything she sings or writes. From first impressions, my favorites from "1989" are How You Get The Girl, Style, I Wish You Would and Blank Space. I can't wait until she starts her tour!

What are your plans for the weekend? Will you be dressing up for Halloween tonight? Are there any newly released albums you're playing over and over again?

Monday, October 13, 2014

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Stories by Rainbow Rowell, Kelly Link, Matt de la Pena, Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, David Levithan, Holly Black, Gayle Forman, Myra McEntire, Kiersten White, Ally Carter and Laini Taylor
Edited by Stephanie Perkins

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: ebook (galley)

I know what you're thinking — "how the HECK did you get to read this?!" Believe me, I'm still wondering that myself. A HUGE thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for inviting me to read this even though my request was denied. I am eternally grateful!

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.

My True Love Gave to Me was everything that I expected (which, if you didn't know, was AWESOME). All twelve stories were focused on some sort of love connection, but I found them to be pretty unique from each other and (for the most part) easy to get into.

For some reason, I was surprised to find magical elements woven into some of the stories (although it doesn't make sense because we're talking about Laini Taylor, author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, here ...) It was tough for me to read her story (The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer) and Kelly Link's (The Lady and the Fox) because it was fantastical, but I ended up appreciating how both were written.

Each story is pretty short, but there was so much to learn about each character. In terms of culture and ethnicity, there was such a great mixture of everything. It was beautiful :)

If I had to choose a favorite ... I think it'd be "It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown" by Stephanie Perkins. Not only can she write in a way where I fall in love with the boy, but it's just one of those stories where I HAD to find out what happened next.

If you are looking for something to get you into the holiday spirit and enjoy love stories, this book is for you.


This was such a fun read. There's just something about short stories that make me feel like superwoman (Done with the first? ONTO THE NEXT!) and keep me reading.

Will you pick this book up during the holiday season? Is there an author you are particularly looking forward to reading from? If you could compile an anthology, who would be on your top five list of authors?