Friday, April 26, 2013

What's Better Than Books?

Free books and free book stuff that I received on Wednesday, April 24th, this blog's birthday!

I won my first Epic Reads website giveaway and I won Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike! The back of the book says:

Paranormalcy meets Heist Society in this new twist on ghosts from #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike.

Sounds great, right? I am super excited to read it and of course I'll review it here after I do.

Also, from Stuck in Books and a Jennifer L Armentrout online chat, I won this hunky Team Aiden shirt and Apollyon guitar pick! If those words - Armentrout, Aiden, Apollyon - don't mean anything to you, then I'm going to have to insist you go read one of Jennifer's books. I started with her Lux series, which reminds me a bit of Roswell in that there are attractive teenage aliens, and it was so great that I read her standalone book, Cursed, and her Covenant series, which some people liken to Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy Books. I am a big fat Jennifer Armentrout fan. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sitting On My Shelf & Meeting Sarah Dessen

These are the books actually sitting on my bookshelf right now. The back row are the YA books I own (well, except for Cassandra Clare's books and Veronica Roth's). My Through The Ever Night has a signed book plate, Burn for Burn was the first ARC I ever received (and still the only print copy - getting it was as good as Christmas, I swear), Anna and the French Kiss is signed, as are Girl At Sea, Reached, and Lucid (which was written by a girl I went to Middle School with - awesome!). Additionally, What Happened to Goodbye and Someone Like You are signed as well. I got the two Sarah Dessen books signed by her at the kick-off for her What Happened to Goodbye paperback tour in Chapel Hill. I brought her cupcakes. 

Here's Sarah talking to the sizable crowd:

Here's a picture of me and Sarah! Sarah and Sarah! She is really nice and cute and funny! I'm an even bigger fan than before. Going to try to make it to Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh at the end of June for her signing for The Moon and More.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

After a cute review on Anna Reads' blog, I knew I had to reading Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt.

When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club presient–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

Between the title, the cover, and the description, I was hooked. I knew I would like the book, and I finished it within 24 hours of starting it. There are some books that I think would have been helpful to my high school self - some helpful lesson that would have helped with anything that went wrong in high school. For those books, I put yellow post-its (the cheap brand, of course) all over the book, and I scribble on the post-its, and I write some notes in my notebook and everything. 

Here are some favorite quotes from the book:

"I don't have a thing. How can I not have a thing? I've tried a million things, but nothing I can claim. Nothing that I"m good at, nothing that's mine. I am a thingless chunk of tofu. This is why Jeremy went elsewhere."

That quote is from Mallory, the main character who discovered her boyfriend had been online cheating. I think that this is an issue that might seem silly to some, but it's actually very important, especially for teenagers who aren't real sure of their self-worth. Cyber cheating is emotional cheating, and it can often be worse than physical cheating.

Another good line:

"Adolescence is the same tragedy being performed again and again. The only things that change are the stage props."

I really enjoyed this book, and I'm pretty grateful my library purchased it so quickly after I requested it! I sure wear out that "purchase request" link :) 

Reading: The Indigo Spell, Every Day, Elixir

I remember that through high school I loved to read. Of course, high school is right around the time teachers start inundating you with things to read - books and articles and plays and textbooks - and suddenly you don't have time to yourself to read - it's hard enough to squeeze in working and sleeping and hanging out with friends! Something has to give, and with me, that was reading for fun. 

Eventually, I went so long without reading for fun that eventually I just forgot what I liked to read. I got pulled back into reading a little bit with Harry Potter, but then I was just in for Harry and no one else. Of course there was the Twilight series, which I read in record time. And then, Amanda sent me a few YA (young adult) books she had, including Cassandra Clare's "City of Bones" and "City of Ashes" and that was it - I was hooked into reading again. I joined Goodreads and started logging all the books I'm reading and want to read, and I found Anna Reads' blog and it all snowballed into full-blown obsession.

Now at any given time I have at least 6 YA books from the library waiting for me. I'm currently reading:

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

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Every Day by David Levithan

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Elixir by Jennifer Armentrout (this is part of her Covenant Series, which I started reading after I got caught up to date with her Lux series and read her standalone, Cursed. I also bought her first NA or New Adult novel, Wait for You)

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and I have to get a move on because I have 5 other library books to read, and I pre-ordered Cassandra Clare's The Clockwork Princess and Lauren Oliver's "Requiem" will be here from the library any day!

So far my most exciting moment in YA reading was the day I got an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy - publisher send them out for people to read before they're published) of Burn for Burn by Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han (Go read everything they've written as well - really good stuff!) and Simon and Schuster publishing - it was like Christmas - I was so excited! 

So there you go. If you're wondering what I'm doing instead of blogging about food, it's reading. I'm going to integrate some book posts into the blog - that seems easier than starting a separate book blog, at least for now :)

Reading: Cassie Clare's Infernal Devices Series

My posting was temporarily taken over by my love of all Cassandra Clare books.  I received my first Cassie Clare books from Amanda around 2009 and I was hooked! An original spin on supernatural themed books with great characters! Luckily for me and all Cassie Clare fans, Cassie loves to write. In addition to the 6 Mortal Instruments books (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, City of Heavenly Fire), Cassie wrote 3 Infernal Devices Books:

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The first ID book, Clockwork Angel, was, I feel, her weakest book, and even it was pretty good. Clockwork Prince got even better, and Clockwork Princess was not only the best ID book, but the best book Cassie has written so far. I am so paranoid about revealing details, so if you want details, it's probably best just to mosey on over to Goodreads and read their descriptions. 

So, sorry I was gone - I was busy reading 568 pages of Clockwork Princess as quickly as possible, but I'm back onto somewhat lighter reading now.

Reading: Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls & Heist Society Series

Below - a screen capture of the covers and titles of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girl (GG) books and Heist Society (HS) books and a free e-book crossover of the two series!
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Essentially, the GG books are about girls who are at a special school learning to be spies, and the HS books are centered around Kat and her family of thieves. Both series are based around strong female leads, and they are fun reads. Give them a try!

Review: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

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From Goodreads

For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.
Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t. 
When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.
But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.
A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue.

I was excited to read this book (I received a digital ARC) because I love a good summer at the beach kind of book (Jenny Han's summer books are some of the best I've read so far), so I jumped at the chance to read this book. The main character of this book, Cricket, lives in RI, and as a girl who grew up in southeastern CT, for me, that made her easier to identify with. 

There are some books that aren't really AMAZING books that I round up the rating of, purely based on how they remind me of my own teenage years - this is one of those books (I gave it 4 out of 5 on goodreads). While I enjoyed this book, there were a few issues with it that bugged me - some with good reason (some of the things Cricket thinks don't mesh well with her character's voice), and some because Jules, the best friend, gave me flashbacks to a horrible best friend I had in high school, but that's a personal issue so I won't fault the book ;)

This was an enjoyable read, and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a beachy summer book.

Book Blog - Name Chosen!

Here it is, my new book only blog! If you want to see the food I eat, you can still go to I'm Not Starving. If you want to see what kind of music I like, you can go to my tumblr, Musical Optimism. If you want to see a tumblr that's mainly Pugs, with some books and food thrown in, you can go to my main tumblr

So, the name. I wanted something to go with the title of my food blog. I had a lot of very cool ideas, but most of them are taken, usually by someone who hasn't blogged in at least the last 4 years. Bums. So, Book Nom Noms it is! The Urban Dictionary page defines Nom Noms as "a snack food or something that is delicious" so I think this fits somehow.

I'll transfer over a few book posts from the other blog and then I'll start new book posts! And I have cupcake posts for the other page :)