Monday, April 30, 2012

Makeshift Bookmarks (2)

It occurred to me that I've had several people guest post on the blog about the random crap they use for bookmarks, but I never have. And the name of my blog is Makeshift Bookmark, so this seemed wrong. Sure, I do use normal bookmarks. I've got about a billion of them, but more often than not, I grab a random object and use that. Why not show them off?

If you want to visit past posts on other people's makeshift bookmarks, please feel free to check them out. Videos aplenty!

Why This Works as a Bookmark: Not only does it mark my spot, it MOTIVATES ME. So when I go to mark my page to check Twitter or e-mail or GoodReads or Facebook, Anna's glaring, CAPS and !!!! demand is screaming at me through stationary. NO. I will not give in to distraction. I will read this effing book.

And by the way, if you're interested in recording a vlog or doing a photo post for YOUR makeshift bookmarks, shoot me an email at makeshiftbookmark at gmail dot com and I'll be glad to feature you <3 You don't have to be a blogger, this is open to readers, too!

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Thoughts: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Published: June 12, 2012
Razorbill, 418 pages, hardcover
Source: Heidi (THANK YOU x infinity)
GoodReads Summary: Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.
Being a nurse, I have pretty easy access to heart monitors. Just for fun, I would've liked to watch my EKG strips while reading The Golden Lily. I'd be willing to bet that I experienced a few runs of preventricular contractions. Not to mention any arterial blood gas test would probably show respiratory acidosis from the amount of pCO2 built up. (Sydney would so appreciate this talk.)


Sydney. This girl is so careful and calculating, it kills me. She's SO SQUARE. But I love the heck out of her. I cannot tell you the last time I've been inside the head of such an endearing character. Crippling insecurities and all, Richelle Mead has crafted the anti-Rose, but somehow made her a total boss in her own fashion. She's the Momma Bear to Rose's reckless, "fly by the seat of her pants" mentality. I've said it before, but there is not a single type of character Mead cannot write. Seeing her grow, letting her guard down, and learning to come into her own was such a fantastic experience for me. She rocked those khakis. And I'm pretty sure I read a line where she actually said, "I was going to have to research kissing."

And Adrian. THIS is what I've been waiting for since Adrian's debut in Frostbite. Sure, we got a little preview of Adrian love in Vampire Academy. That was purely means to an end and it broke my heart to see it happen. The Golden Lily opens up a whole new world of Adrian Ivashkov with his pretty, pretty words. PALPITATIONS FOR ALL. His character is so complex and beautiful and tragic. Plus, it's pretty awesome when second-too-long looks and fingertips brushing become the key ingredients for swooning. Because Mead is a boss like that.

I can't even FATHOM how it could get better than this. As far as action and romance go, this rivals Vampire Academy, neck and neck. I don't know how she does it, but she's it she's STILL doing it. Indisputably one of YA's most talented authors, Richelle Mead has once again blown my mind.

And, given her track record with shattering our worlds in The Third Book, we've got a good several months to stock up on Kleenex and Xanax. I suggest investing in the generic form, maybe? Cheaper.

And if you haven't read Vampire Academy yet, WHY ARE YOU READING THIS POST? Just kidding. But here, let my alphabetical, list form review help persuade you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Thoughts: Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker

Published: May 22, 2012
Bloomsbury USA
240 pages, hardcover
Source: NetGalley

goodreads Summary: Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart? Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.

I don't mean this as an insult, but I was not expecting Unbreak My Heart to be as good as it was. I started reading it (after singing my heartfelt rendition of Toni Braxton's song into my fist microphone, of course) with the expectation that this would be fluff.

Don't get me wrong, there were many fluffy aspects (which I loved, mind you!) but for the majority of the book, I had a knot in my stomach. Because we all know what it's like to do stupid crap. And we all know what it feels like to have all your friends hate you because of it. At 16, your life is ruined. So Clementine goes on a boat with her family to get away from it. Unfortunately, she doesn't escape it.

Even though she did a bad thing, it's blatantly obvious she feels horrid and alone and wishes she could make up for it. The desperation and remorse make this bad, bad Clem one that you can love and understand. And FAMILY. This girl has a functional family that loves and cares about her. THREE CHEERS, because this is so, so rare in YA books. And Clem has an amazing family but is still all stabby and heinous over her stupid mistake. Luckily there is a cute and nice boy that she meets and makes the summer ten times better for all parties involved.

There are real issues in this book: betrayal, divorce, loneliness, teen angst, lifelong friendships ending (made only more painful by the flashbacks), and forgiving oneself. Though the cover boasts summer love and fun vacations, the title is more accurate at displaying what Unbreak My Heart is REALLY about. There are a lot of broken hearts in this book, yet it is one of my favorite contemps of 2012 so far.

Though there are struggles, this is ultimately a feel-good book. If you're in a slump, this will surely drag you out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Peek at My TBR (16)

Disclaimer: these are books that I WANT to read and are on my TBR list, not books that I necessarily own (unfortunately!) And if I do have any of them on my shelf, I'll specify :)

A Peek At My TBR is a feature inspired by Waiting on Wednesday by Jill at Breaking the Spine and Books To Pine For by The Story Siren. I did WoW for awhile, but honestly, there's never only one book I'm "waiting" on. And a lot of the books that I "pine for" aren't just up-and-coming books. There's still a ton of oldies but goodies that I'm just now discovering or want to read soon, and I feel like those deserve some recognition as well as the fresh meat.

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle
Published: May 1, 2012
Own a Copy?: GalleyGrab
Why I Want It: I don't know much about Romeo and Juliet other than the Claire Danes and Leo DiCaprio movie (and the Cardigans' Lovefool), but I do know an almost-kissing cover when I see one and THIS, my friends, is an almost-kissing cover. I not-so-secretly adore them. I am not ashamed. And it says in the synopsis: Rose has been waiting for years for Rob to kiss her. SO PERFECT. There's kissing and it's from S&S. That's all I need.

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick
Published: February 1, 2012
Own a Copy? No
Why I Want to Read It: Melanie's review right here. When she uses words like BRILLAINT (and in all CAPS, hel-LO!) I can't help but want to devour it whole. She also uses the word mindf**k. Except without the asterisks. This shows that this book is probably the best thing I'll read since fellow mindf**k Frost. I love psychological thrillers and unreliable protagonists.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Look!

Katie at Sophistikatied Reviews and KD Creates has basically gone into my brain and created exactly what I was looking for in a new blog design. LOOK AT ALL THE BLUE. Blue is my thing. That song? Blue? It was written about me. Okay, obviously this is not true. But LOOK AT IT.

I am in love.

Thank you so much, Katie. You are amazing.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Makeshift Bookmarks (1)

It occurred to me that I've had several people guest post on the blog about the random crap they use for bookmarks, but I never have. And the name of my blog is Makeshift Bookmark, so this seemed wrong. Sure, I do use normal bookmarks. I've got about a billion of them, but more often than not, I grab a random object and use that. Why not show them off?

If you want to visit past posts on other people's makeshift bookmarks, please feel free to check them out. Videos aplenty!

Why This Works as a Bookmark: Let's face reality. They're inevitably going to park themselves right on top of your book if you put it down for 5 seconds, so I think that shows consideration on behalf of your animal. Lots of people think cats are self-absorbed creatures, but I think this right here proves them wrong. Plus, they're pleasing to the senses. It's a freaking cat. They're cuddly. They're fluffy. They are a stress reliever if you pet them. They're doing you a favor. Especially if it's a book that is intense and/or upsetting. Step away, pet the cat, and resume the book. You'll be thankful you did.

And by the way, if you're interested in recording a vlog or doing a photo post for YOUR makeshift bookmarks, shoot me an email at makeshiftbookmark at gmail dot com and I'll be glad to feature you <3 You don't have to be a blogger, this is open to readers, too!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

In My Mailbox (54)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. Go link up and share your books!

It's been a good week. I'll let the photo speak for itself.

For Review
Purity by Jackson Pearce
It's Our Prom (So Deal With It) by Julie Anne Peters
thanks, Little, Brown!

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead (!!!!!!!!!!!)
thanks Anna, by way of the super amazing and generous Heidi! YOU ROCK.

Black Dawn by Rachel Caine (!!!!!!!!!)
thanks to Tara, who is ever so generous!

Friday, April 20, 2012

RT2012 Recap Post. It's Photo-Heavy.

I had been counting down to this weekend for the longest time, I swear. Not only would I get to reunite with some amazing blogger friends, but an entire weekend spent doing only bookish things? YES, PLEASE.

"cabs are heeeeahh!"

So when April 13 rolled around, I drove my happy booty over to Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, IL to meet up with Anna and Jamie. I'd hung out with Anna before the previous year at the Dark Days tour, so I knew of her awesomeness. This would be my first time meeting Jamie and, given our mutual love for Jersey Shore (I scoff at your judgment!) I knew I had to shout out something ridiculous to her. So when we get there, I see them waiting for me outside the parking garage and start screaming "CABS ARE HEEEEAH!" Because she is the Pauly to my Vinny.

cynthia hand, tahereh mafi, anna carey, veronica rossi

kristi and me

sure, why not?

awesome bloggers!

i'm reading 50 cent's book, hence the expression

After some margaritas, we headed over to Anderson's and met up with some other lovely bloggers including, but not limited to, Lynn, Kristi, Heidi, Jacinda & Jasmine, Katelyn, and Laci. Tara showed up shortly after and the fun began. I really have to applaud the authors that were signing at Anderson's that night: Cynthia Hand, Tahereh Mafi, Anna Carey, and Veronica Rossi. You guys, these authors are HILARIOUS. Anna Carey should pretty much go into stand up comedy.

After having a little photo shoot with our blogger peeps, I headed back to Anna's house for an epic slumber party with her, Jamie, and Tara. There was wine. And salsa. And cookie butter. And over 300 photos of ridiculousness. But most importantly, book talk. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to talk about books with a group of people who actually know what you're talking about when you're fangirling over this or that book, instead of looking at you like "wait, is that a movie?"

TQ and me

anna and me
"book. landshark."

jamie and me

Fast-forward to Saturday morning: (Anna & Jamie almost get killed on the way to RT. They didn't.) We're finally in after waiting in the ridiculously long line and lugging like 50 lbs of books around on our shoulders...and another photoshoot.

it's just richelle mead. no big deal. no big deal at all...

There was a gargantuan book fair where you could get your own books signed or buy others. We met some seriously incredible authors. We ran over to Richelle Mead's line first. You guys, I thought I was going to legitimately pass out. I could not contain my excitement. This was an author who created the first world after Twilight that I became obsessed with. And she's SO TINY! How could someone so petite have such an expansive world cooped up in her brain? Anyway, I pretty much embarrassed myself with my propensity to blurt out random crap in times when I'm feeling nervous or awkward. But life goes on!


Next, Melissa Marr. She knew who I was and hugged me. Twice. I died both times.

And then Rachel Caine, with whom Anna and I discussed the complexities of the Morganville Vampires series. Especially Myrnin and how he should get to make out with a certain someone.

jsr love!

And my long-time coming meet up with Jeri Smith-Ready finally happened. Yet another teeny tiny person with ALL THESE STORIES AND CHARACTERS. Naturally I gushed over Logan and Zachary and my love for her books and her, in general.

We met a TON of incredible authors and somehow survived the sweaty bodies threatening to smother each other and us into oblivion. I'm actually kind of sad we didn't get to hang out with more bloggers more, but there was so much going on. YA Alley was only like 1/10th of the convention. There were cover models strutting around (honestly guys? They're kinda creepy!) handing out cards with their covers on them. After all, this is ROMANTIC TIMES convention. After devouring cheeseburgers (and tortilla soup!) and resting up for part two of the day, we headed to a couple panels, where I learned the following:

- Rachel Caine could probably write 45 books about a ghost cowboy who wants to be an ice cube.
- Stephanie Perkins was wholly inspired by a picture book called Walter the Farting Dog and once pissed of J.K. Rowling by disrespecting her castle and/or moat.
- YA authors say naughty things more often than not!
- Richelle Mead does not plan to write a book about Dimitri and Rose going to Bed Bath & Beyond. And if she does, there will be danger and death.
- Ally Carter can give you detailed instructions on bull castration.
- Margaret Stohl is probably the world's best moderator.

margaret stohl and stephanie perkins

After the panel, we hit up the YA Party which was organized by Melissa Marr, who I think is actually superwoman. She was sick and still managed to organize everything for hundreds of readers. We were a bit sad because ALL of the food was gone by the time we got in there (and we had gotten in line fairly early. seriously? SERIOUSLY.) but it was still fun. We got to mingle with tons of authors and bloggers and readers. I finally got to meet Cat @ Books 4 Hearts, Kyle from A Reader's Pensieve, and Katie @ Sophistikatied Reviews, both of whom are fabulous. I fist-pumped with an extremely adorable Kiera Cass, so that was hilarious! Not to mention there were ARCs of The Golden Lily flying about. I got weak in the knees.

The time to leave came way too quickly and I thought I was going to start bawling, because HOLY CRAP. I had to LEAVE all of these bookish people. I think the best thing about the weekend is the fact that everything was natural. Sure, we all don't see one another on a daily basis, but it's incredible that a love of books can bring people together in such an effortless way. There are no hierarchies and stereotypes. Just a bunch of crazy freaking readers who need books like oxygen.

In conclusion, the weekend was overwhelmingly fabulous. RT was fabulous, but overwhelming. I love bloggers. I love my blogger friends. I love readers, authors, books. I love my BFF Lynn for getting me an awesome belated (that's how we roll) birthday gift. I love Kristi, Lynn, and Heidi for letting us keep our 500 lbs of books in their hotel room. I love all of you who couldn't be there, and I so much wish you could have.

PS. Especially for you, Team Kilt. THIS PHOTO.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Thoughts: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Published: June 19, 2012
Bloomsbury USA
224 pages, hardcover
GR Summary: When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

So I'm going to go ahead and confess that I stared at the blinking cursor for a good 15 minutes for deciding what I should write about Something Like Normal. It's not out of the ordinary that I like reading about beautiful broken boys, but this was especially difficult. And it wasn't something that was like "oh man, I can't wait for this girl to swoop in and fix him, because that is SO HOT." Because it was the broken boy who was the main character. And it's totally different reading about his view as opposed to that of the vapid internal struggle of the girl who is trying to snag him and turn his frown upside down.

Trish Doller, WHERE DID YOU COME FROM WITH THIS? It was like one day I heard Carla singing Something Like Normal's praises from the rooftops and the next I'm all "Trish Doller, will you write my life story, but make it more interesting and enchanting?" (I didn't actually say this to her. I'm not that creepy, you guys. YET.) All I can say is that this author had better be one that will stick around for awhile. I will get on my knees and BEG. Young adult literature NEEDS you, Trish Doller.

Travis made me want to stand up and say the pledge of allegiance. I don't say that to be funny, I say it because it's true. Because it hurt me to be inside the head of a fictional soldier with PTSD, so I can't imagine those who suffer with it every day. Watching those they love just...die in an instant and be expected to carry on like it's nothing.

The romance in this book is INEXPLICABLE. It's careful, it's vulnerable, it is so monumentally beautiful and delicate that I felt like I had to hold my e-reader with extra care or it would shatter to 8 bazillion pieces in my hands. Travis struggles to allow himself to find some semblance of normalcy and with a girl like Harper to help him and hold his hand along the way? Um, I think I might be in love with both of them. Every guy deserves a girl like Harper. Every girl deserves a friend like Harper. And that is what she was to this hero: a love, a friend.

So take a day off work (or even fake sick at about noon--the book is pretty short!) and make sure you read it from cover to cover, then just stare at the cover or your hands or a blank wall to fully take in everything that Doller has to offer.

And maybe find her on Twitter and beg her to please, oh please, never stop writing.

By the way, check out Trish's interview over at GReads! It's so beautiful. Can I use that word enough in this review? EVERYTHING IS SO FRICKIN' BEAUTIFUL.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Peek at My TBR (15)

Disclaimer: these are books that I WANT to read and are on my TBR list, not books that I necessarily own (unfortunately!) And if I do have any of them on my shelf, I'll specify :)

A Peek At My TBR is a feature inspired by Waiting on Wednesday by Jill at Breaking the Spine and Books To Pine For by The Story Siren. I did WoW for awhile, but honestly, there's never only one book I'm "waiting" on. And a lot of the books that I "pine for" aren't just up-and-coming books. There's still a ton of oldies but goodies that I'm just now discovering or want to read soon, and I feel like those deserve some recognition as well as the fresh meat.

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: August 14, 2012
Own a Copy?: I WISH.
Why I Want It: Because this romance is scorching hot. Honestly. Daemon Black is the epitome of bad boy with redeeming qualities. Ugh, and he's so arrogant and a jerk but he's so sweet to Katy (sometimes.) He keeps us guessing and that is excruciatingly (but delightfully) painful to me. Plus I met JLA at RT, and she was super sweet.

Eve by Anna Carey
Published: October 4, 2011
Own a Copy?: Yes
Why Haven't I Read It?: This is a bit tricky. I actually DNFed this one back in October. I don't know if I just wasn't in the mood or what was going on, but it wasn't for me at the time. This all changed when I met Anna Carey last Friday. She is hilarious and punny and generally wonderful. How can I NOT give it a second chance?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Why Didn't Someone Tell Me These Things?! (A Top Ten Tuesday Post)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and created by the amazing Jamie. Go HERE to find out more about Top Ten Tuesday and future topics.

So even though I've been blogging for a little over 1.5 years, I'm by no means an expert. I'll never be. In fact, I still have "I SUCK" complexes weekly. Just kidding...daily. But I think I'm better off now that I've learned (most of) the following:
1. Quit Trying to Make "Perfection" Happen. It's Not Gonna Happen.
The awesome thing about blogging is that nobody is perfect. Sure, we've all got role models, but there is no set right or wrong way of doing things. You've signed up for your own little corner of the internet and you can do whatever the heck you want with it. It's been said a million times, but you do what works for you. If that's not good enough for people, who cares? As long as you're happy with your blog and you're getting your feelings about books out there, that is what counts.

2. Find a Support System.
Now, not everyone may need this, but I've found some of the most amazing people through book blogging, who have become "real life" friends whom I talk to about everything. These are the people who are going to motivate you and those you can fall back on if you need to be told that you don't suck. Not to mention the people you can unabashedly squeal over books with and analyze the most minute details that no one else would ever think of. These people have become my rock.

3. Save the Drama for Your (enter name here.)
Honestly, drama is everywhere. If you want to partake, that is a personal decision. I try to lie low, mostly. And it makes blogging a whole lot more pleasant. If you need to unleash the beast and complain about this or that, please reference the previous number. Have bitch sessions with your blogger friends! You can laugh about it later. And you will. Because drama is silly.

4. It's Okay Not to Post Everyday.
No one wants to read filler. I try not to half-arse anything I post. If inspiration hasn't struck, sometimes I go a week without a post. Does this make me a crap blogger? Some may think so. But they always say: quality over quantity.


5. Blah blah blah, ARCs, blah blah blah.
Yes, we all get green eyes over those who gets hoards of ARCs every week. They're shiny and pretty and visually stimulating. But if you need to vent about it, do it to the proper party (AHEM, SUPPORT SYSTEM.) ARCs don't magically fall into people's laps. The majority of mine come from other amazingly generous bloggers and NetGalley, and I am eternally grateful. It's natural to be jealous. It's not natural to beg.

6. Don't Be Afraid!
Social Media is there for a reason. Don't be intimidated by other bloggers or authors. If they don't respond to you, that doesn't automatically mean they hate you. (I AM A HYPOCRITE! This is something I am still working on.) Just say hello. What do you have to lose?

So okay. I could only think of six things. I'm sure there's more, but they're probably redundant and would piggyback off the six things I just mentioned. What tips do you have for new bloggers?

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Thoughts: The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder

December 8, 2011
Razorbill, 360 pages, hardcover
GR Summary: Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.

A debut novel from an immensely talented new writer, The Probability of Miracles crackles with wit, romance and humor and will leave readers laughing and crying with each turn of the page.

This one, I knew, would be a hard one for me to read. A story about a girl who has terminal cancer? Who is basically just counting down the days she has left and trying to muster all the positivity (is there any?) she can to enjoy her very limited time? How can one see the light in anything when your body is just a ticking time bomb?

Cam is quite an abrasive, sarcastic young lady. She has accepted her fate and is horribly annoyed by the fact that her crazy mother and ever-optimistic sister have not yet done the same. Cam's outlook was both refreshing and depressing. Refreshing in that her five stages of grief are spent. She's given up on fighting, which you don't see very much in YA books. She just wants to live the remainder of her days fulfilling her Flamingo List (like a Bucket List, but with less reputable tasks.)

But crazy mom and sunshine & rainbows sister will not allow this. Nope. They've heard of this place in Maine (aptly named Promise) where miracles supposedly happen. OH YES and they insist on Cam tagging along. This could be her cure, after all. And isn't that what we do, when faced with circumstances such as these? No matter how bad things get, we always try and tell ourselves that this isn't "it." That there's still, always, hope.

Cam gets way more than she bargained for on this trip. Namely Asher, a townie who believes in the superstitions of Promise. As you can imagine, love ensues. But it's not sad. It's HOPEFUL, damnit. And it's so heartbreakingly beautiful. I can only think of A Walk to Remember when I think of this book. But instead of Mandy Moore the pastor's daughter, we have a awesome, self-embracing bitch who is slowly dying and deserves love just like anyone else.

This book will grasp your heart tightly in its vice-like fist.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

In My Mailbox (53)

As always, IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, who made me laugh more times than I could count this weekend at Anderson's Bookshop/Romantic Times Book Convention.

I had such a blast at Anderson's & RT this weekend that I cannot even contain it in a post...yet. And really, I'm waiting for Jamie (our appointed photographer) to get safely back to Pennsylvania and find the time to upload them. Did I mention I got to have the most epic slumber party ever with Jamie, Tara, and our gracious hostess Anna? Because that was awesome, too. It's really refreshing to be surrounded by bookish people and feel totally at ease. But that's enough squealing, onto the books.

Divergent by Veronica Roth (I've read it but don't own it. V Roth is adorable and makes me feel extremely unaccomplished in life, but that's perfectly acceptable!)
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand (purchased at Anderson's on Friday. She definitely signed it "Sorry for making you cry...but not really." SHE ROCKS.)
* AND, a lime green shirt that says "Eat. Sleep. Read." on it. I think another blogger has this, because it looks ridiculously familiar. It's not pictured because I'm wearing it :)

Borrowed from Bloggers
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins (thanks, Jamie!)
The List by Siobhan Vivian (thanks, Anna!)
The Story of Us by Deb Caletti (thanks, Anna!)
Eve by Anna Carey (I didn't have a book for Anna Carey to sign, so Heidi graciously gave me her ARC. THANK YOU!)
* BIRTHDAY PRESENTS from Lynn. Including awesome scrubs, a cat magnet with snarky phrases on it, and an awesome wine glass. This girl knows me: scrubs, cats, booze.

From RT Goodie Bag
Tempest Rising by Tracey Deebs
Tempest by Julie Cross
Illuminate by Aimee Agresti
Plus a TON of swag! Bookmarks, bracelets, and awesome nail polish.

I had a blast and honestly? Shed a couple tears when I had to leave my bookish friends. It could've just been because of the exhaustion, crankiness, and the fact that my shoulders were nonexistent from carrying 50lbs of books, but no one quite GETS IT like bookish people.

Until next time!

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Joy for This Weekend Expressed in a GIF


Two of my favorite things in the world brought together in one post: Chandler Bing and Bacon.

Two of my favorite things in the world brought together in one weekend: BOOKS and BLOGGERS.

Anderson's Bookshop? I'll see you tonight!

RT Book Convention? I'll see you tomorrow!

Lynn, Jamie, Anna, Tara, Kristi, Heidi, Housewives & MANY MORE? I'LL SEE YOU IN HOURS!

and a special thanks to GReads! for helping me figure out how to put a GIF in a post. SHE SO FLY.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

In My Mailbox (52)

IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. (One week! YAY!)

I had an absolutely fabulous week in books, as well as an unexpected surprise: SHINE. Though I'm just saying, I'm probably going to end up buying all three of the new designs in hardcover. Because I'm wonky like that.

For Review
Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready (I already reviewed this HERE!)

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (thanks, Pam!)

Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
Perception by Kim Harrington

thanks to SimonTEEN, Bookalicious Pam, and Half Price Books for being awesome!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Thoughts: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Published: June 29, 2009
Penguin Books Australia
230 pages, paperback
Source: Borrowed from Melanie
Series: No
GR Summary: Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly cafĂ©. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing … and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago at schoolies week.

And then Carly meets Ryan, a local at the break, fresh out of jail. When Ryan learns the truth, Carly has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?

Things I Knew About Surfing Prior to Reading Raw Blue:
1) Blue Crush.
2) A teenage girl lost her arm to a shark while surfing.

Things I Know About Surfing After Reading Raw Blue:
1) A swell is when there are big waves.

The good news: this is irrelevant. Raw Blue is one of those types of books where you know something huge is brewing under the surface. You can feel it under your fingers as you turn each page and you know you're getting closer, but you have no idea when it's all going to explode. We don't learn much about Carly and her past right off the bat. It's almost like she wanted us to get to know her before she lets us in. Smart girl.

Carly has a SERIOUSLY horrific past. Unthinkable. It's no wonder that she's reluctant to let it all out. The silver lining is that she meets Ryan, a fellow surfer who shares her passion and just....GETS her. The two of them feed off each other and share vulnerabilities and skeletons and commiserate and grow together. It's a beautiful story. It's, well, RAW.

I know I'm not saying much in this review. There's really not many words that can express the beauty of this story. It's all about reading it, experiencing it, living it for yourself through Carly's eyes and words and thoughts. It's about giving yourself to another person, yet being scared to death that you're going to lose yourself. Again.

Best of luck to you finding this in the United States. I got lucky enough for Melanie to lend it to me. Do yourself a favor: find a friend who owns it and BORROW IT. You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tune in Tuesday (2): Your Vegas and Greg Laswell

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by Ginger at GReads! I share Ginger's fanatical love for music. Seriously, we text about songs all the time in the form of "OMG YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS IT'S LIKE HARMONIC NOOKIE FOR YOUR EARS." It's one of my favorite things about her, so I don't know why I don't participate in this feature more often.


I've gone on a downloading spree recently because I've been itching for new, amazing music. One of my favorite discoveries has been "It Makes My Heart Break" by Your Vegas. Apparently it was on a show called "Chuck" a couple years ago (which I've never heard of or seen), but YouTube only has the acoustic version available. I HIGHLY suggest you head over to iTunes and purchase the studio version, which is vastly different from the live version. The uptempo 80s rock feel sets the scene perfectly for a drive down the highway, having a singing competition with your stereo.

Another song that you need in your life immediately is "And Then You..." by Greg Laswell. Honestly, I don't know how I survived without this man's music in my life. A huge thank you to Asheley from Into the Hall of Books for putting one of his songs on a mix for me. This song is heartbreakingly beautiful and that VOICE. You know that ear nookie I was talking about? This is it. Except I can't belittle the experience to "nookie." No, sir.

This song is the equivalent of your wedding night.

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Thoughts: Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers

Published: December 21, 2010
St. Martin's Griffin, 230 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: No
GR Summary: 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. Culler 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?
DUDE. My heart is shattered into so many pieces right now. This book felt so real to me. Eddie's dad committed suicide. Her DAD. The one guy who is always supposed to be there for his little girl when she feels lost and sad and needs someone to tell her that it's all going to be okay. What happens when that person is no longer there? I can't fathom it and it broke my soul to read about it. What's worse: no one knows why he did it. The torture that Eddie and her mom must've gone through is beyond me.

So imagine my relief that Eddie (and I) might get a little closure in the form of her artist father's former student, Culler. YOU GUYS, Courtney Summers is such an OG at relationships. Especially super vulnerable ones like this one. Two individuals stricken with grief in their own ways come together to grasp at straws to find an answer to a torturous mystery like an unexplained suicide. It's romantic and poetic, even as horrifying as the content actually is.

BUT WAIT, there's more. Another guy. Milo. The best friend. Who I love so much it hurts. Tired of the love triangle? Think again, because this one isn't so in your face and "look at me, look at me." It's subtle, it's beautiful. Every character in Fall for Anything is integral to the plot. No one stands on the sidelines and lacks a purpose.

Right along with Eddie, I alternated between lost, confused, and betrayed for the duration of this novel. It's less abrasive and shocking than Some Girls Are, but it's just as dark, if not more so. At the big twist, I thought I was going to lose my shiz. It was like someone had killed my cats (I will cut a bitch) and the whole world was laughing at me. Isn't it something special when the author can write a book and, even though this has not happened to me, I am invested in the story like my next breath depends on it.

Fall for Anything has been out for awhile, but it's not one that you want to write off. Especially if you like feeling like you, yourself, just lived out the words within the pages.