Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: The Lost Marble Notebook of Forgotten Girl & Random Boy

Publisher:Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

If I let you read mine, will you let me read yours?

Forgotten Girl, a fifteen-year-old poet, is going through the most difficult time of her life—the breakup of her parents, and her mom’s resulting depression—when she meets Random Boy, a hot guy who, like her, feels like an outcast and secretly writes poetry to deal with everything going on in his life.

In The Lost Marble Notebook of Forgotten Girl & Random Boy, the couple’s poems come together to tell their unique love story. The two nameless teenagers come from opposite sides of the tracks, yet they find understanding in each other when they lay bare their life stories through the poetry they write and share with each other.

Through verse, they document the power of first kisses, the joy of finally having someone on their side, the devastation of jealousy, and the heartbreaking sadness of what each of them is simultaneously dealing with at home and hiding from the world. Finally they have someone to tell and somewhere to tell it in their marble notebook.

This is the powerful story of two imperfect teens in first love who find solace in poetry.(

This is a fantastic book. The book is written in pros, which really suites the content. This was a tough book to read, not because it wasn't great, but the content became dark toward the end and pretty much broke my heart. It got very Ellen Hopkins-y.

This book is about a girl who's parents have just fallen apart and her mother has slid until an unresponsive depression. Forgotten Girl (we never learn their names) leans out the window and meets Random Boy. Their relationship kind of explodes into drinking, smoking, bad decisions, and more. She's looking for someone to care, someone to pay attention, someone to see her, and this Random Boy is looking for exactly the same thing.

I've seen relationships like this before. With the exception of the scary end and ciolence, I've been in a relationship similar to this before. You're with this person because you don't know where else to go, or who else to be be. Although you know you should walk away, you're more afraid of what thing would be like without them, than with them. This is a mistake that many girls make when their young, like Forgotten Girl. She was lost and slowly tumbled into this relationship that was more toxic than not. It's hard to recognize the signs of a toxic relationship at that young an age, and it's even harder to pull yourself out of it. It's an almost impossible feat for an adult, let alone a 15 year old girl. As dark as this book got, it's an important story to tell, and I though Jaskulka did it beautifully.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Feature and Follow Friday

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee.

Question of the Week: Share a random quote from the book you are currently reading.

Right now I'm reading The Lost marble Notebook of Forgotten Girl & Random Boy and I'm loving it. It's written in pros, which really suits the book. Here's the line I just finished reading in the book.

"Don't get me wrong;
I've has a lot of sex;
but now I know
what it's like
to lose
my virginity."

It might sound weird alone, but it really makes sense in the context of the book.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

All I can say about this book is HOLY FEELS BATMAN. I stayed up until 1 am to finish this book and see if my worse fears would come true.

Finch and  Violet meet on a very high ledge. Finch constantly thinks about death and the ways in which he may kill himself, and Violet has recently lost and loved on and is having trouble dealing. We watch as Finch and his sporadic, impulsive, funny, and interesting personality slowly pry Violet from her shell. Their relationship feels real to me. At first I was a little annoyed that Finch seemed to fall for her instantly until he explained why he chose her, and it was easy to see why Violet feel for Finch and it happened over time.

I wanted to strangle Finch's mom, and I wasn't to happy with his older sister. I'm the oldest of three (by a lot of years) and I'd be gosh darned if I acted the way his sister Kate did. Watching Finch's life fall apart which Violet got her feet under her, killed me. I wanted to climb into the book and fix everything. *Sigh*.

I can't say much more without some major spoilers,  but this is a great book, and I hope it continues in movie production. I look forward to watching it. This is a story that needs to be told. I suggest it to everyone. If you do choose to read this book, make sure you read the author's note at the end.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Rating: 4 Stars

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .

I've held off on this review because I wasn't sure how I felt about this book. I liked it. That's for certain. I have a musical theatre background and although I never made it as far ans I secretly wanted to I loved/ love to sing. I can't imagine being o the verge of stardom, and losing that. Being inside the mind of Elyse broke my heart sometimes. She was lost. Every dream she'd ever had for herself was gone forever. When you really stop to think about that, it's jarring.

Christian... I liked him, but I felt like he could have been better developed in some way. I don't know what that way was, but I still feel it. His relationship with his parents was the worse. I'm not surprise he took whatever he could get from the random girls he encountered throughout the Summer. Christian's with his brother was brilliant. I couldn't have asked for better, and speaking of that HUGE snaps to Sarah Ockler fort challenging gender roles.That along gives the book extra stars in my book. I think Ockler did a great job creating the supporting characters. Vanessa was brilliant and I want her to be my best friend, although sometimes I think I am that friend. Kirby, Lemon, Noah... I really liked them all.

I also appreciated learning a bit about Elyse's culture and past. She spoke of the festivals, the coca coca fields, and the island of Tobago which I'd never even heard of. There aren't many books that expose you to a new culture, so this was very refreshing. Not to mention the interracial relationship, although I do on occasion like the books where to people from opposing backgrounds find a way to be together, this world will only fully be past racial inequality when to people from opposing background can be together, and it's so normal, that no one thinks twice about it. I wish for that day, which we got a taste of in this book.

I still feel like something was missing, but I did like this book.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My First Video Book Club Meeting: Ash by Malinda Lo

Some friends and I did our very first live video book discussion. We're decided to call ourselves the Young Adult at Heart Book Club, although other book club name ideas are appreciated. There were a few technical difficulties but we eventually figure it out. We had a blast doing this and plan to hold these book clubs ever month.

If you've got a second take a look at the video below and tell me what you think!!
P.S. I have no idea how my face ended up as the frozen, opening image.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Young Adult books are not full of threesomes!

Before reading this post, it is very important to first read this one. I basically want to explode, and I'm sure the article was written to inspire anger and outrage and to get people to read it, fine, great, good for you. That being said, nothing irritates me more than people who generalize and stereotype. It pisses me off more than when people change lanes without using their blinker.

First of all love triangles and threesomes are not the same thing, let's just get that one straight. A love triangle is when you have feelings for two people and one or both of them have feelings for you too. A threesome is when three people have sex with each other, I don't think I've read a single book where that one happens although I wouldn't be surprised if they were out there.

I'm going to list a few books:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Solving for Ex by Leigh Ann Kopans
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
Breath, Annie, Breath by Miranda Kenneally
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Say What you Will by Cammie McGovern
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Pointe by Brandy Colbert

I'm going to list a few more books:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Divergent by Veronica Roth
No Parking at End Times by Bryan Bliss
The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Pushing the Limit by Katie McGarry
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult

Now, I could go on with these list all day, or at least until I ran out of books on my Goodreads. The first list are books where kids have sex, either the main characters or supporting characters, the second list are books where they don't, and there are NO threesomes. There may be a love triangle or two, but no threesomes. On top of that, in the books where the characters are having sex, it's a big deal. There are characters in books who wont have sex because they aren't ready, characters in books who have sex because they are ready, characters in books who make bad sexual choices and have to lives with the consequences. While teens are reading these book they're thinking that they don't want to be the girl who has sex with a guy to get him to like her but then he leaves her. Their "friends" might pressure them to do just that, but after read "insert book here" they know what the possible negative outcomes could be. Katie McGarry's Pushing the Limit has a super sexy looking cover.
In fact I held off reading Pushing the Limit because I though it would be mushy and ridiculous, well folks, there's no sex at all. What this tells our readers is don't just a book by it's cover. For those guys who think they're ready for sex, like two characters in Solving for Ex, well then be safe and make sure you've thought it through and you're with the right person.

There is nothing wrong with having sex in teen books. Teens have been having sex since the beginning of time, they just don't try to hide it anymore. Also since the beginning of time, teens have been avoiding talking to their parents about sex. I would rather have my daughter read How to Love by Katie Cotugno where a teenager has been raising her child alone (well with her family) after her boyfriend who had a drug problem (that she thought she could change) cuts out of town. I'd want my teen daughter to take a closer look at her own boyfriend and think "is this kid worth is" and when it comes to sex I'd want her to think "am I ready for this possible consequence". That book can and may inspire those thoughts. If she's not going to talk to me, and she might not, I want her getting the right messages from somewhere. I'd rather her read a YA book than  watch the Anaconda music video and give that dance move a try in the streets.

All this threesome business, I have no idea what that's all about. It hasn't appeared in any of my books so I don't even know. What I do know is that I'm sick and tired of hearing "YA books are like this", "YA books are like that", "YA books are inferior because blah, blah, blah." YA aka Young Adult is an age specification; within that age there are multiple genres. Stop your judging and generalizing. Unless you've read ever YA book in creation and have exact statistics for me, I don't want to hear it.

Here ends the rant.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Mark of Noba Cover Reveal

Today is the cover reveal for The Mark of Noba by GL Tomas. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

The Mark of Noba Cover

The Mark of Noba (The Sterling Wayfairer Series #1)
by GL Tomas
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 25 August, 2015

Sterling Wayfairer has one goal for his senior year: make his mark. He’s been slipping into the background his whole high school career—distracted by his mother’s mental health, unsettled by the vivid dreams that haunt him at night, and overshadowed by the athletic accomplishments of his popular best friends. But this year is going to be different. He’s going to break a few rules, have some fun, and maybe even work up the nerve to ask his crush out on a date.

But things don’t go exactly as planned. Students are disappearing, Sterling starts losing time, and it all seems to center around Tetra, a girl no one else seems to notice but him. When he finally tracks her down for answers, they aren’t what he expects: He and Tetra hail from a world called Noba, and they’re being hunted by a Naga, a malevolent shapeshifter that’s marked them for destruction.

Tetra and Sterling have distinct abilities that can help them fight back, but their power depends heavily on the strength of their bond, a connection that transcends friendship, transcends romance. Years apart have left their bond weak. Jumpstarting it will require Sterling to open his heart and his mind and put his full trust in the mysterious Tetra.

If he doesn’t, neither of them will survive.

You can find The Mark of Noba on Goodreads

You can pre-order The Mark of Noba here:
- Amazon


I made my way to the top and timed myself at thirty-one seconds. Not better, but not bad for the days I took off. I thought it might help to freestyle a bit, to feel as though I’d worked. I didn’t brag about it, but it was euphoric to swim a fifty-meter lap in less than a minute. Guess that’s what happened when you kept at something. You got better at it. Who knew?
At my tenth lap, my lats started burning from the resistance. What better time than now to take a breather. I was nearing the pool’s edge, about to call it quits, when a vacuum-like pull dragged me back under the water. What the hell was going on?
I swam with war-like effort, but with every stroke I made, I seemed to sink deeper…deeper…
Did I push myself too hard? Maybe, but if I didn’t push hard now, I was going to drown.
Don’t panic, Sterling, you can do this! But no matter how hard I went, I’d reach a certain point and get sucked back down. I must be losing sanity points on top of oxygen because the next thing I saw was something I couldn’t believe. Shadows of what looked like two people. I was too deep to see features, but they were fighting…on top of the water.
Torpedoes of waves shot toward the pool’s surface with a violent quickness that almost pummeled me. I had to get up for air and now! The closer I swam to the top, the stronger the waves became.
There’d been two gusts of waves a minute ago, but now I counted eight at a time. I was sure I’d surpassed my current record of thirty-six seconds underwater, but that wouldn’t mean much if I was dead. I mustered what strength I had left before I had to open my mouth for air, but when I reached the surface, it was entirely solid.
I didn’t have much strength and soon I’d have to open my mouth. I used whatever in me I had left to break through the surface. No use—it was hard like a metal door. I wouldn’t be able to break it open, not with my bare hands.
I was going to drown. I took one deep exhale. It gave me a few seconds, but my lungs cried for oxygen.

A strong force hit the water. Someone was sinking with me. It was so fast, but seemed like slow motion. I didn’t make out her face, but I reached for their hand. Contrasting skin color. My mouth opened, allowing water to flood my throat, burning into my lungs. I couldn’t fight it anymore. At least I wouldn’t die alone.

GL Tomas Author picAbout the Author:
Guinevere and Libertad go by many superhero aliases. Whether you know them by G.L. Tomas, the Twinjas, or the Rebellious Valkyries, their mission is always the same: spreading awareness of diversity in books. Oh, and trying to figure out the use for pocketless pants! They host other allies and champions of diversity in their secret lair in Connecticut.

You can find and contact with GL Tomas here:
- Website
- Facebook Author
- Facebook book blog
- Twitter account Libertad
- Twitter account Guinevere
- Twitter account YA book blog
- Twitter account NA, romance and adult books
- Goodreads
- Author Pinterest
- Pinterest Book Blog
- Book Blog Tumblr

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Let's talk about romance novels

So let's talk about romance novels, shall we. When someone brings up romance novels and I can feel in my bones that they're going to have something... stereotypical to say, the first thing I think about is the article Damsels in Distress written back in 2013 and I wonder how so many people can function in society walking around with blinders on their face. Basically what I'm saying is that romance novels are typically about more than boy meets girl, they more than a sexual release, they're books, with a plot, meaning, and two people who eventually decide they love each other. Now, I want to say that I've never read those older Harlequin romance novels with the long haired dude and the beach so I'm not talk about those. I refuse to speculate on something that I haven't read enough of to make an educated decision.

Angels Fall by Nora Roberts. Everyone knows who Nora Roberts is, even if they don't read they know who she is. Nora Roberts is a famous romance writer (well she also has her J.D. Robb books which are mystery novels, but that's neither here nor there), I have no problem with calling her a romance writer, but I get upset when people assume that her books are nothing more than insta-love. Angels Fall is about a woman who has been traumatize due to a crime to horrific I literally can't wrap my mind around how she's still a functioning person. It's just about the worst of the worst as far as I'm concerned. She decides that she can't really handle life any more so she packs are car and drives. She winds up in this little tiny town working as a cook and trying to start her life over, but she obviously still has quite a lot to work though. She has crazy OCD when it comes to locking doors and is easily startled and she may even be on meds, I can't remember. Anyway, once day she sees a guy get murdered, and while she's trying to get someone to take her seriously and figure out who this dead woman was, her paths cross with this brooding, recluse, of an author named Brody (you know the type) and they fall for each other. Okay, fine, cool, but people there's more to the story than that. This is a mystery. There is a dead woman, and a killer floating around somewhere. On top of that, the Brody helps Reese (that's the main woman) handle her fear and anxiety. This is a book about beating the odds, and overcoming obstacles. This is a book about reclaiming you life for yourself . This is a book about believing in yourself even when no one else believes in you. (Well except the hot guy, he always eventually believes you, but so freaking what.) This book is more than just a petty romance and I resent the tone that people use when referring to Nora Roberts books, or other romance novels. They turn their nose up at them as if they have no substance, and I think that's crap.

So to the people who turn up their nose and romance novels and look at them only as plotless books that provide a sexual release and don't teach you how to be a better person, as well as help you to realize what you might be looking at in a partner, I only have one thing to say...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Review: The Secrets we Keep by Trisha Leaver

Publication Date:
Rating: 2.75 stars

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister's life.

When I picked up this book, the first thing I noticed was the cover. I thought it was AMAZING, even though I thought it would be about dancers, I think it was the buns. Anyway, the thought of one girl pretending to be her twin sister sounded pretty awesome. I have to say, this book was a little, blah. Maddy was the popular twin, and when she dies and her twin sister Ella wakes up, everyone thinks Ella is Maddy. Now, (small spoiler) in the beginning of the book Ella, didn’t actually know who she was, she had amnesia so when people told her she was Maddy she went with it. However three pages later when she got her memory back, and was afraid to tell everyone she was actually Ella, I could understand. All of Maddy’s friends were there, Maddy’s boyfriend was there, and she didn’t want her parents to have to re-grieve for another sister. Okay. Cool, I’ll buy that. What I refuse to purchase however, was the whole, Maddy deserves a life so I’ll give her mine business that Ella was sprouting. It made no sense at all, and I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to books. She felt like it was her fault that her sister died. Okay, but you can’t make up for that by poorly pretending to be your sister. I was so annoyed with Ella that I could hardly pay attention to the “mystery” of what Maddy “did” to one the girls on the field hockey team, but I guess that wasn’t a big deal because I cracked that mystery before the half way mark of the book.

I guess one could suggest this book to reluctant readers, but… to be honest, there are plenty of books I would suggest before this one.