Category Archives: Uncategorized

I’ve Gone M.I.A. . . Again

It’s me, again. I’m typing this Sunday evening at the library before it closes. I have been pretty absent for the last six months (and so). I still haven’t found the balance between work and blogging. What does that mean for the blog? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the beginning of the end. I say this for a few reasons, the first being I can’t balance work and blogging, as already stated and secondly, my laptop is broken.

My laptop is a Mac and ever since Tuesday or Wednesday, it has the prohibitory symbol at the start-up. I’m not sure how to fix it and I’ve done what’s been recommended online from various websites to no avail.

“Why would you quit because your laptop’s broken?”

The laptop itself is not a huge loss. I’ve known for a while that I’ve needed to replace and I just haven’t. Between saving for BEA and now ALA, I haven’t had the spare money to set aside.

However, on my laptop, there was the great majority of all my blogging ideas and drafts an just…everything. When something I wrote or type goes missing, I go into shutdown mode as far as that creative expression is concerned. It happened when I lost a notebook years ago when I used to write super short stories and poems and it’s happening again.

I don’t know how to start from scratch. It’s like, too hard to start from scratch. I don’t want to.  I think. I should have backed everything up. I don’t know why I didn’t. It’s so easy to do, even if it’s just uploading the files to Google Drive. It’s so ridiculously easy and I rarely did it. The thought that I could have prevented losing (almost) everything is so discouraging that I’m not sure I can do it again. I’m going to try though. It may mean just doing Top Ten Tuesdays and Wondrous Covers Wednesdays and a couple non-book related posts.

I have a very small hope though. My dad says his boss’ wife is going to be in town (if she hasn’t already come and left) and she works on computers. Maybe, if my dad’s not mistaken, she’ll be able to figure something out with my Mac, just enough so I have time to backup my documents.

Secondly, I may take it into Best Buy in a couple months, after ALA, when I have money and see if they can do anything.

Finally, I’ve heard something online that sounds like I could connect my broken Mac to a new Mac and using some kind of software thing (I think. . .) and save the files that way. I may have misunderstood the little I read about that idea, but it’s a hope.

I’m going to be buying a used Mac or at least making payments on one hopefully next week, so that’s a positive. I guess.

Mostly, I don’t care about my laptop, I just want my files and knowing they’re just sitting on a broken laptop makes me really, really sad. I’ve always said it’s scarring to lose creative work and I meant it. It’s happened too many times for me to not just totally withdraw and I know that sounds dramatic, but, I don’t know, it just sucks.

In the meantime, while I figure out how to do this blogging thing again, I’ll be coming to the library on my days off of work and short days, I’ll draft up Top Ten Tuesdays and Wondrous Covers Wednesday’s so there’s something resembling consistency.

This brings me to my final section:


How would you bounce back from this? Your laptop or computer’s totally broken and you have lost almost everything blogging related that you had. You definitely lost everything ‘recent’ for the past year. What do you do? Think of new ideas? Try to remember old ones? I will take any and all advice because I’m minutes from falling apart.


Top Twelve Favorite Contemporary

Top Ten TuesdayHi everyone! Long time, no post, I know. I’m, eh, moving on…

It’s Tuesday which means it’s Top Ten Tuesday Time. Every week the ladies at The Broke and The Bookish have a new bookish list for the book blogosphere (and others) to participate in. You can see previous and future lists here.

I like today’s list because it lets me shout out some titles in my favorite genre.

Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of X Genre (I know, I know. Picking all time faves. I’m MEAN. But I like knowing people’s definitive faves). Can also break it down into sub-genre if that helps?

My list is going to be over YA Contemporary.

~One~

All The Bright Places

~Two~

I'll Meet You There

~Three~

Perks of Being A Wallflower

~Four~

Fans of The Impossible Life

~Five~

More Happy Than Not

~Six~

The Night We Said Yes

~Seven~

Emmy and Oliver

~Eight~

The DUFF

~Nine~

A Midsummer's Nightmare

~Ten~

If I Stay Where She Went

~Eleven~

Faking Normal

~Twelve~

What We Saw

~Bonus~

I just thought of two other titles that have to be on here:

Falling Into Place Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe

I know, none of these books are really surprising to anyone who’s been around here before. Haha. Several of these books have made end of year lists and previous Top Ten Tuesdays. A sign I need to read more Contemporary? For sure. Still though, these books are golden.


What are some of your favorite Contemporaries? Or what are some books from your favorite genre?


It’s My SECOND Blogoversary

Guess what?

It’s my blogoversary! I can’t believe it’s been two years already. I just want to thank everyone who’s read or commented on my blog or followed me on Twitter. 🙂

I’m not doing anything super special this time around, like my series of posts last year, but I will be doing a giveaway. The giveaway? Here you go!

It will end August 31st!

The prize?

Any book you want from Book Depository for under $20.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Don’t cheat, I’ll be checking entries (and you’ll be banned from future giveaways).
  • Respond to my email/Twitter DM within 72 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

What has been YOUR biggest blogging related moment during your entire time of blogging? I think mine would be getting my most anticipated book of next year (Nowhere Near You, which I cover-revealed!) in mere days from the publicist! Oh and of course going to BEA just a couple months ago! Very exciting.


Hello By Liza Wiemer Book Deal

(P.S. just to give a disclaimer: Although I would have shared this regardless, I do have the chance to win one of two $15 Amazon Gift cards by posting about today’s deal.)

Hello_DailyDeal_Button_v1

Hi everyone. I’m a big Contemporary fan, as has been noted before. So today I’m going to share a Kindle deal.

Hello? by Liza Wiemer is one of today’s Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deals today for $.99. I’ve heard really good things about it. I bought this book a number of months ago when it was on sale. I’m looking forward to reading it because one of the characters writes poetry and another writes screenplays. There’s secrets and brokeness and it sounds right up my alley. For the day I read it. 😉 So many books, so little time.

Here’s some information about it:

Hello?Hello by Liza Wiemer

Published By: Spencer Hill Press (November 10th, 2015)

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Friendship, Romance

Themes: Loss, Death, Mental Illness

Pages: 443

Goodreads Summary:

One HELLO can change a life. One HELLO can save a life.

Tricia: A girl struggling to find her way after her beloved grandma’s death.
Emerson: A guy who lives his life to fulfill promises, real and hypothetical.
Angie: A girl with secrets she can only express through poetry.
Brenda: An actress and screenplay writer afraid to confront her past.
Brian: A potter who sets aside his life for Tricia, to the detriment of both.

Linked and transformed by one phone call, Hello? weaves together these five Wisconsin teens’ stories into a compelling narrative of friendship and family, loss and love, heartbreak and healing, serendipity, and ultimately hope.

Told from all five viewpoints: narration (Tricia), narration (Emerson), free verse poetry (Angie), screenplay format (Brenda), narration and drawings (Brian).


If you’ve already purchased it, you could also gift it to a friend or hold a giveaway for a copy if you wanted. Anyway, have you read Hello?? What did you think about it?

 


My Super Late May Recap!

Monthly Recap is basically a post where I recap my life, my blog, entertainment things, etc. 🙂 It will occasionally be joined with my other feature, Looking Forward To (LFT), where I discuss things I’m looking forward to. This post will not include LFT.


Oh my gosh, this is so, so overdue. I got really caught up in May between BEA and well, post BEA, plus dealing with home and such. It was a really long month. BEA was great! I meant to do all of my BEA post last month but…what can I say? I haven’t had the energy or motivation to write them. Plus I’m kind of going in sane over my mini notebook that I lost, then found, then lost again. It had my BEA panel notes in it, not to mention a ton of other writing and omg. Pray I find it, okay guys? Or send positive vibes. ❤

The first part of the month was really full posts. All pertaining to BEA because that was the highlight of my month. I also put in two job applications on the last couple days of May. I’ve heard back from both since then. I was hired at one job, not in the section of the store I wanted, but I was hired. I am the utility clerk at the grocery store.

If you’re wondering What the heck is a utility clerk? then just think about it for a second. 😉

I basically clean floors, dust mop, vacuum, pick up messes if people drop stuff, greet people, take groceries to people’s cars if they so choose, and do bagging sometimes. Oh. And there’s that whole thing about cleaning restrooms. That’s bound to be fun! It’s okay, I’ve got experience there from being at college. That was fun to do every month. It’s only a part time job though, so I don’t think I’ll have to do any super intense cleaning, like mopping the entire floor, unless I’m there until closing or something. Not sure how utility clerks work, but yeah!

I applied at a bank as well which I heard back about yesterday. They scheduled me for an interview for this Monday! That’s exciting. It would be for the mailroom position, FULL TIME (it’s a big deal to me), from 7:30-4:00. I really, really hope I get it.

I bet you’re wondering about the first job, well, since that’s only a part-time position, I’m considering this one. If I were to get the bank job (knock on wood, pray, send positive vibes/thoughts, cross everything), I would decline the grocery store job because…

Let’s face it. The bank is just a better fit for me. It’s full time, which I need and will probably have a higher salary.

So nothing’s guaranteed with that yet, but I’m really hoping I get it.

Oh. There were also a few tornado scares last month. You may have seem me freak out a ton on Twitter. I get really, really freaked out about tornadoes. And storms. Lightning, thunder, wind, rain, dark skies. . .

I am just seriously living in the wrong state.


~Stats~

WordPress Followers:  210

BlogLovin’ Followers: 149

# of Views/Visitors: 2,540/1,830

# of Blog Posts: 12

# of Reviews:

# of Likes: 30

# of Comments: 30 

Most Viewed Post: Interview with Leah Thomas (50)

Most Viewed Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman (551)


~Book Stats~

# of Books Read:

I finished Run by Kody Keplinger.

# of Books Started:

I started Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven.

# of Books Bought:

Kindle Freebie:

Kahayatle (Apocalypsis Book 1) by Elle Casey

# of Books For Review: 2

You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

American Girls by Allison Uminger

VIA Griffin Teen and Flatiron Books on Netgalley.

# of Books Won: 

Phantom Limbs from Rachel.


~What I Posted~

Wow. May was just “Do all the blog tours and all of the BEA posts”. Haha. There was practically nothing else really done.

Blog Tour:

Interview with Roshani Chokshi (Author of The Star-Touched Queen)

Summer Days and Summer Nights – Questionnaire with Stephanie Perkins

Interview with Shari Goldhagen (Author of 100 Days of Cake) + Giveaway

Other Posts:

~Favorite Post~

I liked my interview with Shari Goldhagen a lot. And My Goals For BEA post.


~Favorite Album~

Dangerous_Woman

~Fantastic Videos~

 Gwen Stefani Carpool Karaoke (w/ George Clooney and Julia Roberts) 

~Interesting Articles~

#MHYALit: Ill Enough, a guest post by Nita Tyndall – 


~Music Purchases~

Third Eye Blind self-titled


~What I’ve Been Watching~

DTNG_Season1VMars_Season1

I started re-watching Degrassi The Next Generation before BEA.

I started re-watching Veronica Mars on the way to BEA. In Chicago.  At BEA, from BEA…


How was everyone else’s month? Did you do anything exciting? Did you go to BEA and I missed you somehow? Did you participate in Armchair BEA? Do you have anything coming up this month? Are you excited for Summer?


What I Want To See More Of In YA

I’m getting back into the swinging of blogging again, so I thought I’d do an easier post. This will be in my Amber’s Rambles feature! For the first time in forever.

I love how wide the Young Adult genre there is, there’s contemporary, historical, fantasy, science fiction, romance, etc. Sometimes though, I wish there were more widespread aspects. Therefore, here are some things I would love to see more of in Young Adult Fiction.

~Social Class~

I want to see more lower income characters and I want to see how that affects their life. I’ve been in some interesting positions where at times, I was at a higher social class than my peers. Though during this time, I had no idea we were “high” lower class because I thought we were middle class. Imagine that for a second. Then there have been times when my family was at a lower economic class than some of my peers, but still have money for things such as books, albums, etc.

Money is an interesting thing. It’s even more interesting to see how it does or doesn’t affect people. In a lot of Young Adult books, I’ve noticed that at least one character lives in a wealthy area, this character is generally pretty popular, but generally doesn’t have the happiest home life. Money doesn’t buy happiness, of course.

I’d love to see how money can affect a teen’s day to day life. How they interact with friends, if they can go on field trips, if they buy that CD that all their friends are listening to, how often do they go out, do they go out, are their friends knowledgeable about the MC’s financial condition? (Replace Condition).

Or even, did they eat this week? Do they have their electricity on? What do they have to go without? Do they buy new clothes for school every year or do they generally wear the same thing every week?

I want to see all of this.

A great book that dealt with a lower income class was I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios and it was so lovely. It was the first time I actually saw a book that dealt with a family in a non-middle or high class setting regularly in the book. Another book I read was Eleanor and Park which was the actual first book to see poverty in but it didn’t go as deep into as I wish it had.

Backlist:

Eleanor and Park I'll Meet You There More Happy Than Not

Frontlist:

The_Possibility_Of_Somewhere This Is The Part Wher You Laugh

~Racial Diversity~

This is really picking up in YA the last couple of years, but it’s mostly in fantasy. For some strange reason. And deals with retellings. I’d love to see more racial and ethnic diversity in a Contemporary novel.

Specifically, I would love to see more multi-racial main characters. I’m half white, 1/4th Native American (Potawatomi Prairie Band Nation, to be exact) and 1/4th Puerto-Rican. As someone who is mixed, I hardly ever see that portrayed in fiction. Characters are generally only one race or biracial, but never mixed races. I think it opens up a lot of stories for identity and how others see you. It can have a big affect on how you view the world too. (Neither example is mult-racial).

Backlist:

Pointe Written In The Stars

~College Setting YA~

And I don’t mean what New Adult is right now, which is all about sex and relationships.

There’s a ton of fantasy in YA and that is what a lot of people read because they seek that adventure, excitement and the way it just takes them out of the world. Well, for some people, like me, college is their fantasy, it is their escape. Usually though, there’s only the Senior year of high school or the summer before college covered.

Frontlist: 

Wrecked Summer_Skin We_Are_Still_Tornadoes All_The_Feels 

Backlist:

Fangirl

~Religion~

I’m a Christian and as a Christian, I would love to read a novel that had a Christian as a main character. A main character where Christ actually ruled their life and who they were. If this were a “mainstream” book, that would be nice too. As in it has an author that doesn’t write categorical, genre “Christian Fiction”.

I’m into reading about other religions too, so I’d like to read books with characters that follow Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc. I think it’s interesting to see how your beliefs affect your actions or how you deal with things.

I’d love to see a character discovering their religion or what their belief system too since I think that’s incredibly rare in Young Adult, from what I’ve read.

~Intersectionality~

I’d love to see the intersectionality of various marginalization. For instance, a character of a marginalized race who also has a disability. A character with a disability who lives in a lower income area. A story about a Muslim who isn’t CISHet and how that would impact them. I would like to see this in fantasy as well.

Frontlist:

When The Moon Was Ours

Backlist:

More Happy Than Not ShadowshaperWhen Reason Breaks Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe On_The_Edge_of_Gone Not_Otherwise_Specified Tell_Me_Again_How_A_Crush_Should_Feel If_You_Could_Be_Mine Fans of The Impossible Life

~Sports~

I would love to see more girls in sports, specifically “solo” sports like snow boarding or drag racing.

As well as gymnastics, ballet, dance, ice skating, track, cheerleading, tennis, surfing, swimming. . .

Frontlist:

Tumbling Defending_Taylor Shiny_Broken_Pieces

Backlist:

Tiny Pretty Things Just Like The Movies This Is Where It Ends The Girl Who Fell

~Daydreaming~

I daydreamed a ton in school, especially middle school. That is all I ever did at lunch. I never find any real daydreamers in YA at all. It makes me sad.

~Female and Platonic Friendships~

I would like some that don’t deal with trios (such as The Night We Said Yes and Emmy and Oliver) with one of the characters not being gay. Because guys and girls can really just be friends.

I’m always up for more friendship heavy books with girls as well.

Frontlist:

This_Adventure_Ends Going Geek Run_Kody_Keplinger

Backlist: 

Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants Pretty_Little_Liars Just Like The Movies Roomies Emmy and Oliver

~Family Driven Fiction~

Something in the vein of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Next To Normal and Our Town in particular.

Dark, dysfunctional and a bit sad.

I like twisted family backgrounds and home lives that aren’t exactly the greatest.

Oh, I would also love something like the child/parent relationships in Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars!

Frontlist:

Ripple Cuckoo Still_Life_With_Tornado A_List_Of_Cages All_In_Pieces 

Backlist

I'll Meet You There


So, what are some the things you would like to see in YA? Do you know any books that deal with these topics that I didn’t mention?


SST Review: All The Feels by Danika Stone

Let me first say that I am so happy I was able to read this book for the Sunday Street Team (created by Nori).

SST Graphic


All_The_FeelsTitle: All The Feels

Author: Danike Stone

Published: June 7th, 2016 (Swoon Reads)

Pages: 336

Genres: Contemporary

Themes: Fandom, Internet

Format: eARC

Source: Provided by Swoon Reads VIA Netgalley due to being on the Sunday Street Team

Rating: Three Stars

Goodreads Summary:

College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.

Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.

Barnes and Noble / Amazon / The Book Depository

~Review~

I had a hard time getting into All The Feels when I first started. I felt that Liv was being a bit over-dramatic over the loss of her favorite leading guy in a franchise. I’ll chalk up my feelings changing to watching a Degrassi reunion episode. As well as of course, my realization that I can totally connect with her. She comes across a bit dramatic but… I know I’ve definitely gotten that way (See any show that I’ve watched like, ever). Just yesterday I was really sad about an endgame couple in a series. I actually lose sleep over character’s deaths. I lose sleep BEFORE characters deaths. I will go into mourning, I will be angry, I will cry if I feel so compelled. Liv was a likable character even if at times I felt she was childish.

Drama_Queen

So sure, you can say Liv’s being over the top, but sometimes people just are over the top when they really love something.

I loved the idea for All The Feels. It deals with fandom which is something that I think a lot of people can relate to. It involves characters just going out and making things happen rather than just waiting for it.

I’m going to do this review in two sections:

What I Loved:

  • College, Yes!
    • I loved that Liv was a college freshman. I’ve talked about this quite a bit before, but I find college settings and classes to be so under-used. In All The Feels, Liv lives (ha) at home with her mom while taking classes at the local college.
  • Fandom – YES
    • Fandom is such a big part of so many people’s lives now. You can basically find a fandom for anything you like, it’s quite lovely. Liv is a big part of the Starveil fandom online, but she’s not huge. At least . . . not in the beginning. I really love seeing how she immersed herself into the online world. She used fandom as an outlet and I understand that in so, so many ways.
  • Bisexuality – Representation
    • There are a few conversations with one of the characters being bisexual. This was good to see as it was actually on page and discussed multiple times. As well as seen a bit.
  • Wish-Fulfillment
    • I love a good wish fulfillment story. I just do. Wish-fulfillment is basically where scenarios play out in fiction that you wish would happen in real life. I will say that All The Feels definitely has wish fulfillment moments, especially in the second half. Especially in the end.
  • Saving The Series
    • Liv dives into trying to save the franchise that she loves so much. Her first step? Putting together a video, attaching a hashtag #SpartanSurvived and posting it on a message board. Where it then goes viral! The impact of fans though, am I right? (See Veronica Mars Kickstarter / See Pretty Little Liars Petition). Fans are so passionate. I liked how she just went and did this thing after she was tired of just moping around. I felt it was really original how she did the videos. Plus, who DOESN’T want to go viral on the internet, at least sometimes? Now, having that known to the in real life masses may not be the greatest thing. . .
  • Xander’s Acting
    • I really liked seeing Xander being interested in acting. He definitely seemed like the type that would be good for that kind of thing. He ends up being in a few of Liv’s videos to save Starveil.
    • Acting
  • The Second Half
    • I loved the second half a lot more. It was definitely where things picked up and I liked the excitement. It takes place at Dragon Con which is an actual con, so it was really fun to read the fictional portrayal of that. Especially having come back from BEA (Book Expo America) just weeks ago, which while it isn’t a con, it gave me a sense of how Dragon Con was for Liv.
  • All of The Technology
    • I enjoyed reading the text conversations between Liv and Xander as well as the random Twitter conversations between Liv and other people in the fandom.

What I Didn’t Love:

  • Xander – A Bit
    • It was really hard to get my mind to wrap around Liv’s best friend Xander. At the beginning of All The Feels, we find out that they’ve been friends for a number of months since Liv started college. Xander had an interesting fashion choice in that it was quite Victorian and Steam-Punkish. He also talked in a flirty way to basically everyone. I felt like he was maybe a bit too larger than life.
      • Apparently part of his firtiness was calling Liv “Dearest” in every other sentence to her. I thought Xander and Liv spent a bit too much time together given that he has a girlfriend, but hey, that’s life for you. You can’t separate best friends just because one’s in a relationship. Still, if I’d been dating someone and this went on…I can’t say I’d be too happy.
  • Xander’s Girlfriend
    • All The Feels had one of the same minor issues that In Real Life by Jessica Love had. Xander has a girlfriend who is really nice to Liv and considers her a friend. Unfortunately, Liv says that “Sometimes she’s TOO likable.” I have a problem with this statement for a variety of reasons.
      • How are you going to say that someone is too likable? Why would you want to dislike someone?
  • Unresolved Subplots
    • Home Life
      • I felt like Liv’s home life could have been expanded on. A lot. We discover something about her dad and I wish I’d known more about that. It deals with why Liv is so into the fandom she’s into. Liv’s mom also has this awful boyfriend and I was hoping we’d get closure on that whole thing but nope.
    • Mental Illness
      • Liv has anxiety problems as well as depression, which is only touched on a little. As someone who’s definitely sought out the online world during these times, I really wished this had been expanded on a lot. I felt like I was still missing a piece of the love Liv had for the fandom by not knowing everything. I would have liked to know how she was managing (or not really managing) both of these things.
    • Fandom Personal Life
      • There was a minor plot of Liv’s mom being adamantly against fandom, yet somehow an event happens later in the book and I’m just asking myself “So how did THAT go down exactly? Did they discuss this? Was it not talked about? I don’t understand.” It was never discussed on page so I was left being a bit questioning. Part of the reason her mother is so against fandom is because of how Liv’s previously reacted with slacking off on school work and such. I really wished that had been touched on a lot more. I was just annoyed at her mom because I didn’t get the big deal.
  • Miscommunication
    • So, All The Feels had to throw in a bit of the dreaded miscommunication for good measure. This is done at the end of the book when everything is wrapping up. Why was this added in? I don’t even know. It seemed like one big “hurdle” before the big scene. I really didn’t like this at all and felt it was unnecessary. Especially given that the reason it happens doesn’t make sense because one person did the same thing the other person does previously.

~Overall~

I really liked All The Feels despite the things I didn’t like about it. It showed how much fictional death can affect people. I loved reading a book about a girl being in college while living at home. Xander was hard to swallow at times, but I really enjoyed his character too. I think it would have done better as a first person story as I could have gotten inside Liv’s head a lot more. I will read Stone’s future Young Adult books.


~Do I Recommend?~

Yes

~Who Do I Recommend It To?~

Fans of fantoms

Fans of the internet age

Anyone who’s ever felt sad over a fictional death

~Would I Buy It?~

Maybe.

~Would I Re-Read It?~

Yes.

~Other Random Notes~

Liv reminded me a lot of Cath from Fangirl.

Xander reminded me of a combination of Finch from All The Bright Places and Augustus from The Fault In Our Stars.


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