My ALA Schedule!

I cannot believe that in a week from now, I will be 1. In Chicago and 2. On my third and final day at ALA. I am so ridiculously excited. There are going to be so many amazing authors that I’ve followed on Twitter that will be signing and so many fantastic books. If you’re wondering where I’ll be or may want to stand in line (somewhat) together, here’s my schedule! A rough draft of it, I need to make some minor adjustments, like adding both numbers…

Priorities are in Bold. Things I’d really like to do are in Italics. Ideally, this would be in a colored spreadsheet, however, I can’t really do a screenshot on the computer without a ton of extra work. 😦 Which makes me very sad, but this isn’t bad!

Date Title Author Time Publisher Area & Type (Panel/Signing)
Sat. 6/24 Miles Morales Jason Reynolds 9:00 AM Disney  
  In 27 Days Alison Gervals 9:00-10:00am Blink Booth #3674
  Strong Female Voices in Publishing for MG and YA Khan, Desir, Menon, Reed 9:15-10:00am   PopTop Stage
  The Girl Who Drank The Moon Kelly Barnhill 9:30-11:00am   Booth #3620
  Hello Universe Erin Entrada Kelly 10:00-10:30am Harper  
  Crafting Kid-Lit Anthologies Jensen, Smith, Reed, Watson, Chibber 10:00-10:50am   PopTop Stage
  The Thing With Feathers McCall Hoyle 10:00-11:00am Blink  
  The Sun Is Also A Star Nicola Yoon 10:00-11:00am Random House  
  Long Way Down Jason Reynolds 10:00-11:00am Simon & Schuster Booth #3020
  Warcross Marie Lu 10:00-11:00am Penguin Booth #3811
  Socially & Politically Oriented Fiction for YA Readers Bacigalupi, Colbert, Latham 11:00-11:50   PopTop Stage
  Welcome Home Eric Smith 11:00-12:00 North Star/Flux Booth #1951
  As You Wish Chelsea Sedoti 11:30-12:30    
  Penguin Young Readers Book Buzz   12:00-12:45   Book Buzz
  How Dare The Sun Rise Sandra Uwiringlyimana 12:00-1:00pm Harper  
  Dreamland Burning Jennifer Latham 12:30-1:30pm Little Brown Booth #2611
  Dear Martin Nic Stone 1:00-2:00pm Random House  
  Amina’s Voice Hena Khan 1:00-2:00pm Simon & Schuster  
  Candlewick Press & Chronicle Books Present Fall ’17 Titles   1:00-1:45    
  YA Authors Dish About YA! Hoyle, Gervais, Foody, Katsoulis, Lancaster, Thomas 1:00-1:50    
  Little & Lion Brandy Colbert 1:30-2:30pm Little Brown
Must Go Buzzworthy Graphic Novels from Scholastic Jennifer L. Holm 2:00-2:45  
Would Really Like to Genuine Fraud E. Lockhart 2:00-3:00pm Random House
Would Like To The Hate U Give Angie Thomas 2:00-3:00pm Harper
Meh The Girl Who Drank The Moon Kelly Barnhill 2:00-3:00pm Algonquin
  Things I’m Seeing Without You Peter Bognanni 2:00-3:00pm Penguin
  The Sun Is Also A Star Nicola Yoon 2:30-3:30pm Random House
  Get Graphic With Penguin Random House   3:00-3:45  
  Solo Kwame Alexander & Mary Rand Hess 3:00-4:00pm Blink
  A Short History of The Girl Next Door Jared Reck 3:00-4:00pm Random House
  Other Broken Things C. Desir 3:00-4:00pm Simon & Schuster
  When Dimple Met Rishi Sandhya Menon 3:00-3:30pm Simon & Schuster
  Want Cindy Pon 3:30-4:00 Simon & Schuster
  Three Is The Magic Number Quirk Books, Soho Teen, Sterling’s Children 4:00-4:45  
  RH Children’s Books Presents the Future of YA Lit. Lockhart (moderator), Stone, Moore 4:00-4:50  
  The Nowhere Girls Amy Reed 4:00-5:00pm Simon & Schuster
  Scythe Neal Shusterman 4:00-5:00pm Simon & Schuster
  Piecing Me Together Renee Watson 4:00-5:00pm Bloomsbury
Sun. 6/25 Challenger Deep Neal Shusterman 9:00-9:30 Harper
  WNDB Presents: Spooky Tales for MG Readers   9:15-10:00  
  Book Buzz: New Fall 2017 from RH Children’s Books   10:00-10:45  
  The Girl With The Red Balloon Katherine Locke 10:00-11:00 AW Teen
  The Names They Gave Us Emery Lord 10:00-11:00 Bloomsbury
  Passenger Alexandra Bracken 10:30-11:30 Disney
  The Hazel Wood Melissa Albert 10:45-11:30  
  If I Was Your Girl Meredith Russo 10:45-11:30 Mac
  To Infinity & Beyond w/ HarlquinTeen, Tor & Starscape   11:00-11:45  
  Location, Location, Location: When Setting Becomes…   11:00-11:50  
  Meant To Be Julie Halpern 11:00-12:00 Mac
  Love, Hate and Other Filters Samira Ahmed 11:00-  
  The Hate U Give Angie Thomas 11:30-12:30 -Booklist-
  The Playbook Kwame Alexander 11:30-12:30  
  Subverting Gender Stereotypes in YA Romance   12:00-12:50  
  Buzz about Children’s Books w/Bloomsbury, Disney, HC…   1:00-1:45  
  York Laura Ruby 1:30-2pm Harper
  The Belles Dhonielle Clayton 2:00-3:00pm Disney
  Wild Beauty Anna-Marie McLemore 2:00-3:00pm Mac
  You Bring The Distant Near Mitali Perkins 2:00-3:00pm Mac
  Disappeared Francisco X. Stork 2:30-3:30pm Scholastic
  Penguin Random House Publisher Services (Client pubs)   3:00-3:45  
  Refugee Alan Gratz 3:30-4:30pm Scholastic
  Shadowhouse Fall Daniel Jose Older 3:30-4:30 Scholastic
  I Believe In A Thing Called Love Maureen Goo 3:30-4:00pm Mac
Mon. 6/26 Outrun The Moon Stacey Lee 9:00-10:00 Penguin
  Simon & Schuster Children’s & Adult Book Buzz   9:15-10:00  
  Spotlight on #OwnVoices titles from ABRAMS   10:00-10:50  
  Pop Culture Meets Scholarly Research   11:00-11:45  
  One Million Abolitionists   11:00-11:50  

Let me know where you’ll be at! Is there anything you think I might have missed? 

Some Gradient Covers

WCW_GraphicThis is my next edition of my somewhat sporadic feature, Wondrous Covers Wednesday.

Wondrous Covers Wednesday is a weekly feature where I choose to showcase three covers with similar attributes and themes. To see past editions, you can check out my page for them here

For today’s Wondrous Covers Wednesday, I decided I’d finally share some covers I’ve loved over the past year. They’re all mostly white covers with a lot of gradient running through them. They also have somewhat the same color scheme.



You Bring The Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

~My Thoughts~

You Bring The Distant Near has such a gorgeous cover. I love the big focus on the text, but I love how it’s not so overbearing that the image doesn’t shine through. The colors are gorgeous. The image itself is so interesting. 

~Cover/Book Connection~

Well, You Bring The Distant Near spans over the time of three generations. I associate each generation with a color in the gradient which makes one whole person. It’s such an awesome way to showcase that.



Because of The Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez

~My Thoughts~

I always love sunsets on covers and this one is interesting because of the lack of focus the image has. In addition to the sunset (of sorts), there’s a desert going on. I love how the title font is sort of fading and blowing away. It helps give that desert atmosphere.

~Cover/Book Connection~

Because of The Sun takes place in New Mexico which does have a lot of deserts in it. The main character, Dani is sent to live there with her aunt after her mother’s death. I think this is where the far-off vehicle and person standing by it come from as well. The wind’s affect on the cover also makes me think of how this book will have a lot of growth. Battling deserts, battling emotions, kind of thing.



The Thing With Feathers by McCall Hoyle

~My Thoughts~

This cover is so pretty and lyrical and it seems very “literature” to me. I don’t have too much to say about it other than I really love the colors. It’s such a soft looking cover. I’m a big fan of the title font since it has the sort of flowing feeling you expect from feathers. I think the balance between the title and feather are done really great as well.

~Cover/Book Connection~

The Thing With Feathers is one of Emily Dickinson’s poems. The title is taken from that so it’s pretty self-explanatory. The main character shares the same name as the poet, except it’s spelled Emilie. Emilie ends up doing a school project about the poet. I suspect Emily Dickinson will help Emilie a lot with overcoming her struggles.

What do you think about these covers? Which is your favorite? Can you think of any other similar ones? 

A Hopeful Pre-ALA Reading Binge of Sorts

Hi everyone! I have been meaning to make this post for like, weeks now. I’m going to make it now and people are going to be like “But Amber, you’re like, a really slow reader, how are you supposed to read all those books by June 24th?”.

Well, dear reader, we can all have dreams. 

One thing that I like to do is make sure I’ve read at least one book by an author before taking an ARC, unless, of course, they’re a debut author. For example:

More Happy Than Not All The Bright Places Everything Everything

Those were also three of my favorite books.

Those three titles I read in 2015 and last year at BEA (which I’ll be doing a very weird recap post of later this week, I know, I know, I know), I happily grabbed all three of the ARCs.

“So how’d you like the follow-ups, Amber?”

Ha, we’re not going to be discussing that. I did start Silvera and Niven’s sophomore novels. Progress?

Okay, back on topic, enough rambling. Probably.

~All The Books I Hope To Read~

So, ideally I would read all these books, however, I don’t read fast and reading on my Kindle is the way to go. So my reading schedule is essentially this:

When The Moon Was Ours, History Is All You Left Me, Aftercare Instructions, all of which I’ve read partway through. Followed by Afterward, This Adventure Ends, When We Collided, I Believe In a Thing Called Love, When Dimple Met Rishi, The Lies About Truth, 99 Days or Fireworks and then Pointe if I have time.

I know, I am ‘so’ ambitious. 

How do you go about getting ARCs from conferences? Do you pick up non-debuts if you haven’t read an author’s book before? Do you pick up whatever sounds good or an author that’s getting a lot of talk? I want to know.


Looking Forward To: June ’17

Looking Forward To is a monthly feature where I showcase all the books, music, movies, etc. that I’m looking forward to.
This post is a few days late so a few of the things mentioned have already been released, though that doesn’t mean I’m not anticipating getting to them any less.


June 6:


What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard

Internet Famous by Danika Stone

Once and For All by Sarah Dessan

Liberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked Me by Andrea Portes – 

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

June 13:


Want by Cindy Pon

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali

The Girl In Between by Sarah Carroll

The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone


June 27:


Little Wrecks by Meredith Miller

If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin

Read: Bad Romance. I loved it. It’s such an important book about abusive relationships.

Reading: Aftercare Instructions, I’m 60 percent into this (I keep reading other books) and I really love it. It’s told in a unique format with the play going on.

Most Excited For: Internet Famous, Tash Hearts Tolstoy and Saints and Misfits.

For Review: Aftercare Instructions


June 2:


All Time Low Last Young Renegade

Bleachers Gone Now

Halsey Hopeless Fountain Kingdom

June 9:


Allie X Collixtion II

Anathema The Optimist

Katy Perry Witness

Phoenix Ti Amo

Rise Against Wolves

June 16:


Royal Blood How Did We Get So Dark?

Beth Ditto Fake Surgar

Fleet Foxes Crack-Up

Lorde Melodrama

Nickelback Feed The Machine

Portugal The Man Woodstock

June 23:


Imagine Dragons Evolve


June 30:


Beach House B-Sides and Rarities

Coldplay Kaleidoscope

ZZ Ward The Storm

Most Anticipated: Collixtion II, and How Did We Get So Dark Evolve. I have been waiting on Royal Blood’s follow-up album for years so I am so excited to hear it. I love that title too. 

Already Listened To: Last Young Renegade, Gone Now and Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. I liked them all pretty well, especially Halsey’s. I love the dark sound.


  • Pretty Little Liars is ending on June 27th and I’m freaking out a ton because I will be traveling back from Chicago at that time. Oh my gosh. It’s going to be spoiler city. I literally won’t be able to get on social media at all after I leave.
  • Grey’s Anatomy Season 13 will be hitting Netflix on June 17th. Yessssssssss
  • Moana will be going on Netflix on June 20th. Again, yesssss.


Oh, The 100 will be going on Netflix as well but I am mad at that show and super intruiged and I will not talk about it. Check out my tweets.

~Everything Else~

And if you’re wondering where I’m traveling to, I am going to ALA in Chicago! I’m going with my mom because I need someone to carry books for me, right? Just kidding (about that second part). If you’d like to meet up, let me know! I’d love to meet people and hang out and such. 🙂 

So, what are you looking forward to this month? Any vacations? Did you go to BEA? How was it? Have you read any of the books I’m looking forward to? Are you looking forward to a book I didn’t mention? I do leave out fantasy most of the time? Is there an artist or band coming out with an album I let slip under the radar? Are you going to ALA? Would you like to meet? Would you like to let me follow you around to get books until I inevitably disappear in the sea of panels? Let me know.


April Showers Bring May Flowers (WCW)

WCW_GraphicI mean, maybe?
Hi. It has been raining non-stop in Topeka. At least it was anyway, it rained for a week straight, took a couple days off and started back up again. I was honestly expecting to see Noah’s ark coming around. Funny story, I apparently talk about books and ARCs so much that when telling my mom if she sees an Ark to wave it over, she thought I meant an ARC. I kind of pronounce A-R-Cs as ARCs, why? I’m not sure, I just do. Like with BEA, half the time I sounded it out rather than going by letters, ha. I don’t do that with ALA though, maybe because that already has a meaning.
This is my next edition of my somewhat sporadic feature, Wondrous Covers Wednesday.
Wondrous Covers Wednesday is a weekly feature where I choose to showcase three covers with similar attributes and themes. To see past editions, you can check out my page for them here
This week’s common aspect is… Can you guess what it is? It’s flowers. There are so many flowers on covers this year and I am just loving it. Two of my most anticipated books of the year contain flowers and really reminded me of each other. I discovered another cover that has similar looking flowers on it, so I decided to feature it as well.




Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

~My Thoughts~

This may not be the prettiest cover for obvious reasons, but I adore it. I love how some of the flowers are alive and others are dying. I like how they’re growing through what looks to be a window. The window, to me, symbolizes to me the way the main character is sort of trapped in her life and bad circumstances.Namely the “Bad Romance”.Flowers can be such a big part of romance, you might give your date flowers on their first date, or your significant other flowers on Valentine’s Day or their birthday.
On that same note, it reminds me of how in abusive relationships, you just see the flowers and happy events. You don’t (always) see what’s coming next. The toxic parts of the relationship, the flowers that only come after something bad has already happened. The flowers are alive but dying because everything that ever masqueraded as being good is being destroyed.

~Cover/Book Connection~

I think I kind of summarized that up above? The good in the main character’s life is fading and all she’s left with are some dead flowers and a “bad romance” to be put extremely lightly.


Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

~My Thoughts~

This is a bit of a contrast to Bad Romance, no dead flowers here. Holy crap, how gorgeous is this cover? First of all, the title font reminds me of Beauty and The Beast. The golden girl makes me think of Tinkerbell and other fairies. The flowers are totally and completely gorgeous. Not to mention the night sky in the middle of the flowers. I can’t even imagine how stunning this looks like in person. Everything is just really perfect.

~Cover/Book Connection~

Wild Beauty is about a family of women who tend gardens. It’s another magical realism story by McLemore which really tells me everything about the cover. There’s a garden, the women are Latinx and there’s magic. Judging by the title “Wild”, things are going to get a little bit up in the air, so to say. When reading the title, I think of it as two ways, the first way I just described and the second describing the main character, Estrella. Judging by that, she could be a very care-free character who is serious about what she wants.


A Map For Wrecked Girls
A Map For Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

~My Thoughts~

This is probably my least favorite cover out of the three. I’m not a big fan of the yellow text, especially with it being in capital letters. It is nice and bright though which fits right in with the flowers. I do love a book with a black background though. The flowers and leaves themselves remind me a lot of the objects in Everything, Everything.

~Cover/Book Connection~

I’m a big fan of metaphors, so to me, the flowers and leaves intertwining with the font is a symbol for the girls being trapped on this island as well as being caught up whatever tore them apart. 

So, which cover is your favorite? Are you a fan of flowers on covers? If so, what is one of your favorites I didn’t mention?


Music Will Save Your (My) Year

amanda+joaquim (2)
Here’s a feature I have not done in forever. Last a week, a ton of music came out of thin air or rather across digital waves. A ton. Like, a ridiculous amount. I am so blessed.


I actually have to go and re-do part of this post because I just discovered a ton more music. I’m not going to be able to talk about it all in detail, but I’ll share my favorite songs as well as a couple other lists. Wow. What a month for music though? I don’t think I’ve been this stunned in…well, forever. Scratch that, I was pretty shocked when Dark Before Dawn came out a couple years ago, but this is pretty close to that.


(99%) Some of these artists I had no idea were coming out with new music, others I had been impatiently waiting for. I’ll also throw in a few songs from earlier this month.


The first up is Paramore


The one that caused me to almost scream because PARAMORE. I had heard they were coming back, but wasn’t too sure on that. I didn’t think it’d be this year, but, well, yes! Paramore is back and poppy as ever. Embrace the lovely upbeat popppiness.


Hard Times gives me Tegan and Sara vibes which I definitely don’t hate. Their album is coming out in ELEVEN DAYS which is just, wow. I am so excited.


Their song? Hard Times and wow, they have a way of making a song that could easily sound a bit melancholy to making it the next Pop hit. Not much unlike the song Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People.


The second is Young and Menace by Fall Out Boy. I’ve missed Pete Wentz’s voice. This song almost made me cry because I had NO idea they were coming back. They even have an album coming out in September and it’s such a long wait. Come quickly Fall.


This song is a bit of a departure from their last era but I will be the very first to say “Bring it” because yes. I am loving the soulsy, slower sound of this song. I am 100 percent positive the “Oops I did it again lyric” is a  Queen Britney reference. How could it NOT be?


Fall Out Boy does so good with songs against exes though. I love that it’s not even a toxic “you ruined my life, you were awful” song like some bands do.


Oops, I did it again,
I forgot what I was losing my mind about
I only wrote this down to make you press rewind
And send a message I was young and a menace


Can we please talk about the Nikki Sixx shout out because oh my goshhh. I freaking love it a million times over. For those that don’t know, Nikki Sixx was a co-founder of Motley Crue as well as the main songwriter and bassist. He’s now in the band he founded called Sixx AM (who also have an album out). He dealt with a lot of addiction between these two bands which, I believe, is where the “kill me twice” lyric Wentz references there.


My third amazement of last week was a triple feature by Foster The People. Yes, they, much like Jojo (Mad Love is out now!) came back with an EP of three songs. Their EP even has the same title as the Queen Jojo’s ep (III).  Doing It For The Money is my favorite song of the trio. I love the poppy sound of it and the mellowness.


I just discovered Lady Gaga has a song out called The Cure. It may also be coming to her possibly-soon-to-be-announced album? I’m here for it, even though I must admit I didn’t listen to Joanne.


I made a lovely playlist on Spotify that you can listen to here.

Now, to sum it all up –

Favorite Songs:
Doing It For The Money by Foster The People, Hard Times by Paramore, Most Girls by Hailee Steinfeld, Say My Name by Tove Stryke, Last Young Renegade by All Time Low
Biggest Surprises:
This is obvious by now, but I was really surprised by Paramore, Fall Out Boy and Foster The People coming out with music all of a sudden.
The Letdown:
Torches, No Vacancy and Thunder and J-Boy
The Albums I Need Now:
Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Halsey
New Discoveries:
Charlie Puth, Amelia Payne, Melokee and Sigrid. . . Really, just 75% of these songs.

Those With Albums or EPs Out::

Lea Michele Places
Mary J. Blige Strength of A Woman
Foster The People III

The Albums You Should Look Out For:

Paramore After Laughter (May 12th)
Ingrid Michaelson Alter Egos (May 12th) (What kind of This Is Acting tea?)
Papa Roach Crooked Teeth (May 19th)
All Time Low Dirty Laundry (June 2nd)
Bleachers Gone Now (June 2nd)
Halsey Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (June 2nd)
Allie X CollXtion II (June 9th)
Phoenix Ti Amo (June 9th)
Rise Against Wolves (June 9th)
Lorde Melodrama (June 16th)
Royal Blood How Did We Get So Dark? (June 16th)
Haim Something To Tell You (July 7th)
Fall Out Boy Mania (September 15th)

So, have you heard any of the songs I posted? What are you thoughts? Did you hear any songs I don’t have on my playlist? Let me know! I can never have enough music. Ever.

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.

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