Scandal in the YA Community: Handbook for Mortals

Oh yes. I’m going to talk about it. Let’s get to it.

I’m a little late on the scandal. In the world of scandals, nurse this is old news. But to be fair, visit web I’ve only been back in the book blogging world for a few days so cut me a little slack. That being said, I have a lot to say.

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Event Recap: Leigh Bardugo ‘Warbringer’ Release Party at The Grove!

Let it be known, I’m not a massive DC fan. I’ve always been pretty heavily Marvel, though a love of Christian Bale and the amazing storytelling of Wonder Woman have made me a fan of both Batman and Wonder Woman. That being said, when I heard that were going to be YA versions of Batman, Wonder Woman and Catwoman by Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas, I was immediately sold.

Continue reading “Event Recap: Leigh Bardugo ‘Warbringer’ Release Party at The Grove!”

Book Review: In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody

Kennedy Rhodes turns down an acceptance to an elite private school, instead choosing to stay at her high school and jump at the opportunity to date the boy of her dreams. Three years later, Kennedy walks in on that same boyfriend cheating with her best friend—and wishes she had made a different choice. Continue reading “Book Review: In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody”

Tuesday Top Ten-My ‘Auto-Buy’ Authors!

Hello everyone! Welcome back to the Tuesday Top Ten!

I honestly have had a crazy week, and I’ve been so incredibly busy that I honestly couldn’t even remember if I did a Tuesday Top Ten last week. Turns out I did!

I got the idea for this week’s top ten from my dear friend Kayla’s blog! She did a booktag where she posted what authors she owned the most books of from her auto-buy list. I thought it was kind of fun but…I have over 500 books and I don’t have bookshelves so that’s a lot of work for me. But then I thought, well, I don’t have an idea for this week’s Tuesday Top Ten so voila! Now I have one.

All ten authors are authors that from right this moment (and perhaps before), I will buy everything they release, without even thinking about it. You know what I mean. Those kind of authors that you’ve read enough books to trust them, so that when they release a new book, you immediately want to pick it up and read it. Those ones.

Here are my top ten, erm, eleven:

11. Richelle Mead 

Its funny that a year ago, I would have scoffed at this, rolled my eyes at the cover of Vampire Academy, and never known how amazing this author is. Luckily, I put aside my vampire prejudices and read this book. Now I’m addicted to VA and Bloodlines, absolutely adore Richelle and I have a VA tattoo now. I will buy anything she writes because she takes something that has been done over and over again, has been beaten to a pulp and makes it fun, fresh, adventurous, sexy and amazing. Richelle Mead is incredible and I will be picking up every single one of her books from now on, easily.

10. Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is a very…I will buy everything she publishes from here on out. I don’t own everything by her at this point. I have read the entire Lux series (so far) and I don’t own it all. I have read the entire Covenant series and again, don’t own them. But I’ve read so much from her now, and I’ve been so thoroughly impressed by her, again and again, that any time there is a new release for her, I’m determined to head to the bookstore in order to purchase her new book. I trust her to take me on adventure, to make me laugh and to have perfectly steamy scenes that leave me panting for more.

9. Marie Lu

After reading the entire Legend trilogy, and being completely blown away from beginning to end, I’ve developed not only an addiction to Marie Lu, but a complete trust in her. I was ready to dive happily into her new book, The Young Elites, and worked my ass off to get a copy of it at ALA. I read it just last week and it blew my mind. I already have my ARC of it but I know that when it is released in October, I will totally be picking it up. I trust Marie Lu to write an incredible story every single time, and she will be one that I will be following for quite some time.

8. Veronica Roth

The Divergent series means so incredibly much to me; I don’t get tattoos of series just because I feel like it. I love Veronica Roth. I love her characters and her stories. I picked up the Four collection and read it in about an hour. I trust her, and I want to read everything that she puts out. She’s the same age as me so I know that she has a great future as a writer in front of her. Right now, I am unsure of what she is working on. Everyone is just talking about the new Four collection and I don’t think there’s anything set in stone planned for the future. Whatever it is though, you can definitely count on me to purchase it on the day it comes out.

7. Tamora Pierce

There is a stipulation to this, even though she’s totally tied for first in the list of my favorite authors. I buy every single thing Tamora Pierce writes as long as its in the Tortall world. Everything she has written in that world has just blown my mind and I love going back again and again and again. She hasn’t put anything out in that world for awhile, which makes me sad, but I always eagerly await a new one. I need to go back and read her Circle books, in the hope of getting an “auto-buy” feeling for those as well :)

6. Andrew Smith

Okay, yes, I need to go back and buy all the books he’s already released since I don’t own all of them, but of the ones I’ve read and own, I just can’t imagine him disappointing me. He is an absolutely incredible author and every book I read makes me love him even more. From now on, every time he releases a book, I will be at the  bookstore, grabbing a copy (or two…or three…) and making sure its in my collection. I trust him enough to always make me a happy reader.

5. Jessica Brody

Did I just use a picture of Jessica Brody from the first time I ever met her, over a year ago at WonderCon 2013? Yes, yes, I did. Apparently when I google “Jessica Brody author”, most of the pictures that pop up are the ones from my blog…which is kind of cool and maybe a bit creepy and stalkerish. But the point is, I’ll buy all Jessica Brody’s books because they’re all so good! I’ve read them all (except the Fidelity Files, which I’m working on), and she makes me laugh and she’s a great writer and I love supporting her. Its easy to imagine going to the bookstore on her release days and picking up her new book!

4. Sarah Dessen

I’ve literally bought every single Sarah Dessen book, on the day its released, since I was about fourteen years old. I doubt that is going to change any time soon, unless she starts writing truly awful books.Even then though… Sarah is one of those authors that usually makes me happy, and I love reading her books. Her last couple have been a little lacking compared to some of her earlier ones but I still buy each one with much eagerness because I know what a terrific writer she is and I always look forward to the great stories she tells. Plus they’re always the perfect summer books and I just love that.

3. Cassandra Clare

Whatever you feel about her, that’s your deal. I ran into a lot of people at ALA who don’t like her, and that’s your deal. But she is literally one of my favorite authors ever, I have a tattoo from her series and I will buy each and every one of her books on the day they come out, no matter what. I absolutely hated City of Fallen Angels, and I’m upfront and honest about that. But that didn’t keep me from continuing to buy The Infernal Devices series or from picking up the next TMI book, Lost Souls, the following year. I will pick up a copy of The Iron Trials (her novel with Holly Black) this fall (though I already have an ARC copy of it), and I’ll pick up a copy of The Bane Chronicles and Lady Midnight and so on. This is one author that I’m definitely going to continue to buy, because even though she writes a dud sometimes, she writes a great book that makes me happy too.

2. Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot has been one of my favorite authors since I was 12 years old, when I first picked up a copy of The Princess Diaries. I’ve literally bought every single book of hers, on the release day, since then. That’s 14 years of complete dedication. In fact, a few months ago, I thought “Wait…how is it Meg isn’t releasing anything this year?” Not even a week later, Meg announced two new adult books, based off of two of her very popular YA series. Those will most definitely be auto buys, without even pausing or thinking about it.

1. J.K. Rowling

She’s my favorite author in the entire world and she’s written a total of 10 books. Which seems like a lot but the first one came out in 1998, and that was nearly 20 years ago. She wrote the Harry Potter series and when that was over, I thought I would never again be able to experience the beautiful and incredible writing and storytelling of her again. Then The Casual Vacancy came out. Not one of my favorites but I did enjoy it and I purchased it immediately. As soon as it was revealed that she was Robert Galbraith, and that The Cuckoo’s Calling was, in fact, her novel, I immediately went on my e-reader and bought it. (I had to; at the time, bookstores didn’t carry enough copies to meet the sudden demand). Just recently I purchased The Silkworm, the sequel. I will continue to buy every single thing she writes, even if its, like, a history of toothpicks or something because I will read anything this queen writes :)

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Who are some of your favorite auto-buy authors? Share in the comments!

Love Letters to the Dead Book Review

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

My Review:

I knew when I saw the cover of this book that I had to read it. I first saw it when doing a bit of research on the authors that would be attending the Ontario Teen Book Fest. Something about this cover just jumps out at you and you can’t help but think…what is this book about? I put it on my TBR list and left it at that.

The next time I had encountered it was after Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels had acquired an e-ARC and reviewed it for her site (which you can read here). She really loved it, and she blew through it, and so I knew that I had to get my hands on it.

Then this past Tuesday, she had her launch event at the Barnes and Noble at the Grove, with Stephen Chbosky, and Sylvia and I ventured down the freeway to go and meet her. She read from her book, answered some questions and signed some books. You can find out all about that fun stuff in my vlog about it here.

The bottom line is, as soon as I came home from enjoying the book signing and cupcakes (because you can’t go to the Grove and NOT get Sprinkles), I dove into this book and was immediately sucked into this absolutely beautiful novel. It is hard while reading this book to realize that this is a debut novel. She writes like she has been doing it for so long and I felt so connected to the book.

The first time I ever picked up The Perks of Being a Wallflower and read “Dear Friend”, I knew that I was in for something special. When you open this book, you get “Dear Kurt Cobain”. Flip through the pages and you see all sorts of names: River Phoenix, Judy Garland, Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, and more and that is enough to make me dive into the book. Each person chosen for a letter seems so perfect to what Laurel is going through in her life. They match perfectly and you find yourself comparing Kurt and Laurel or Amy and Laurel. Its beautiful. Its beautiful that the way Laurel found solace and found herself through writing to others.

Grief is a difficult thing to deal with. I’ve barely stepped my toe in it. When I was in 8th grade, two of my classmates died. One the week school started and another just a couple days after “graduation”, both in car crashes. Not long after, I lost my grandfather, which was incredibly rough. But I’ve never lost a sister, not like Laurel, and I can’t imagine what I would be like if I lost either of my sisters. That kind of grief is unimaginable and going on this journey of grief with Lauren is incredibly emotional and aching and just flat out beautiful. There are times when it feels so familiar and other times, it doesn’t but you still feel the pain and emptiness that she feels.

Because Ava has a way of connecting with her reader. Laurel is not speaking to us, she is speaking to dead people, dead famous people to be exact. But she feels so real, and even though you’re not the person you’re writing to, you feel everything she feels and its incredible. To be able to reach out to the reader like that and pull them in is just an amazing thing to do and I admire Ava for accomplishing that.

Bottom line: its an incredible, one-of-a-kind read. Its hard to believe that this is a debut novel because its so GOOD. She captures you from the very first page and pulls you through the story. You finish each letter with the immediate urge to read the next. This book is nearly impossible to put down. Its emotional and has beautiful romance and fantastic characters (god all those secondary characters are just fantastic!) and its a wonderful coming-of-age story about a girl dealing with the loss of her sister. This is a book I will definitely read again.

Plus, Emma Watson totally recommends it and you can never go wrong with Emma ;)

Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars