April Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2014: 150 Books

Am I On Track: Nope. Not at all. 6 behind, viagra approved I believe

Books Read So Far: 44

Total Books For April: 12

Remember, information pills as always, look to click the book title in order to read the review!

Love Letters to the Dead

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The Infinite Moment of Us

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The Last Forever

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#scandal

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Breakable

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Attachments (Re-Read)

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City of Bones (Re-Read)

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Get Even

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City of Ashes (Re-Read)

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City of Glass (Re-Read)

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Rapture Practice 

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Ink is Thicker than Water

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What did you guys read this month? Share in the comments!

Book of the Week-The Moon and More

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Book of the Week :)

So, buy I had planned on doing the Book of the Week post on Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, website and then do the third episode of Sara’s Quick Picks on The Moon and More but I finished The Moon and More and I’ve barely started Siege and Storm soooooo there goes that idea.

But I’ll have a review for Siege and Storm VERY soon, I promise!

For now, let’s talk about one of my absolute favorite authors in the world, Sarah Dessen and her brand new book, which I finished in about a day.

Enjoy this week’s Book of the Week!

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen 

The Moon and More

Genre:
young adult, contemporary, romance, summer book

Part of a Series:
No, all of Sarah Dessen’s books are standalone novels. However, you will see references to other characters and things from her other books if you look closely enough :)

You May Like if You Liked:
Morgan Matson’s Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer, The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han or Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Plot Summary: 

Set in the iconic Sarah Dessen beach town of Colby, Emaline works for her family’s rental house business, doing everything they can to make vacationing families happy. She’s lived there her entire life, and she’s based her life on this place. She works there, she’ll be going to college only a few hours away and she’s been dating her boyfriend, Luke, for three years. But sometimes Emaline wishes for more than just the small town life of Colby, and she finds that appeal in her father.

Her mother and father dated for one summer. Her mother was a small town Colby girl, her dad a college bound hotshot with some rich parents. One summer turned into more when her mom ends up pregnant and Emaline’s dad disappears, until she tries to find him when she’s ten. Their entire relationship is based on their mutual interest in academics and after her father (not to be confused with her dad, who married her mom when she was three years old) promises to pay for her college education, she works her butt off and gets into Colombia. However, when its time to cash in, her father backs out of the deal, disappears from her life again and Emaline takes a full scholarship to East U, a school merely two hours away.

This is the summer right before college and Emaline is spending it like any other summer, working for Colby Realty and spending time with Luke, and her best friends, Daisy and Morris. Things change real fast when a woman named Ivy comes to town to film a documentary bringing her assistant, Theo with her, who immediately attracts Emaline with his big city ways.

But then Emaline’s father reappears in town, along with her half-brother, Benji, and that begins to complicate things as well.

The Bad: 

I love Sarah Dessen. I do, I do, I do. She is one of my absolutely favorite authors of all time. I have been reading her since I was 13 years old, maybe even before that but I think 13 is about right. Anyway, I do think that some of Sarah’s books are starting to become a little more repetitive as she writes more. Its not that the writing is bad, because it definitely isn’t. Sarah Dessen is an amazing writer.

I just felt a lot of repetition in this. Summer novel, meet a new boy, parents having issues, etc. It doesn’t seem that new, you know? Halley’s mom is too controlling, Auden’s dad is a flake and her mom is pretentious. McClean’s mom is an adulterer. Remy’s mom has been married several times. And on and on. Emaline’s mom and stepdad (or dad as she calls him since he’s the one that’s been in her life since she was 3) are good parents, if embarrassing at times. Its her father, her birth father, with his impossible demands of his son, and his inability to be an affectionate, loving, available parent to Emaline that is the parent issue.

Also, I wasn’t in love with Emaline the way I have been with other characters before. I just didn’t think she had as well defined personality as other Dessen characters have had. I think she was supposed to be a girl who helped everyone, who had an attitude, and was whip smart and could dish it out but it just didn’t come across that way unless someone pointed it out. You didn’t just get it. It seemed forced.

Also, I didn’t really feel a connection to either Luke or Theo. There wasn’t really a love triangle, THANK GOODNESS. I was like, Sarah, don’t you bring in a love triangle, don’t you do it. But there wasn’t. But either way, I didn’t have preference either way, for Luke or Theo.

The Good: 

Look, that being said, I still enjoyed the book immensely. It was still such a great Sarah Dessen book. It still had that great, curl up on the beach, sunglasses on, some good music playing on the radio kind of feel.

Because if there’s one thing (and there’s definitely more than one) that Sarah Dessen is SO good at, its capturing the teen essence, the teen experience. For someone who claims to have hated high school, and wanted to just get away as soon as possible, she definitely remembers what its like to be a teenager. I think some adults don’t like to think about teens doing the things they’re actually doing but Dessen tackles it straight on. Teens drink, they party, they have sex. But Dessen also does it in very tasteful ways and she addresses the issues in mature ways but she doesn’t gloss over the fact that an eighteen year old girl in her summer before college is going to have sex with her long term boyfriend, and enjoy a beer here and there.

I also like the family dynamic in this book. A lot of Sarah’s books addresses the relationship between the main character and their parents and there is sometimes sibling relationship but I really really enjoyed the family relationships in this book. I loved how Emaline loved her parents, even though they drove her crazy, and acted like parents tend to do. I loved her relationship with her sisters. I have two sisters as well, and I loved how they all were so different from each other, and both got along super well but also fought like crazy. Its so true to what that sister relationship is like.

Which brings me to the relationship between Emaline and her half brother, Benji. She’s only seen Benji a handful of times in her life and hasn’t really had the chance to build a relationship with him. But since he and her father are in Colby for the summer, and her father is busy, she’s able to spend a lot of time with him and build an actual sibling relationship with him. It was really sweet, as I also have three younger brothers, so trust me, I know what its like :)

Lastly, I like the resolution. I won’t go any farther than that, but its a different resolution than I’ve seen in a lot of her books, it kind of reminded me of the ending in Barbara Starr’s romance novel in This Lullaby. It was an ending I didn’t expect at all, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. It was nice. I like when endings surprise me, in a good way.

Rating: 

3.5 out of 5 stars

Recommended or Not:

I definitely recommend it. I don’t think its one of her best but I definitely enjoyed it :) A very enjoyable, satisfying Sarah Dessen summer novel. I was very pleased by it!

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Hope you enjoyed this week’s Book of the Week!

Come back next week for more!

And check out previous Book of the Week posts HERE

Leigh Bardugo’s Siege and Storm Release Party!

So I feel like its been forever since I went to an author event. Its probably only been a couple weeks, sickness but it feels like SO much longer haha. I think the last one I went to was the Mission Viejo stop on the Summer Lovin’ Tour with Suzanne Young, ambulance Sarah Ockler, try Shannon Messenger, Morgan Matson, Jessi Kirby and Kimberly Derting.

You can read all about that here :)

So I was starving for some author interaction!

And luckily enough, my dear friend Perla told me all about Leigh Bardugo (who I met about a month ago at the Ontario Teen Book Fest, which you can read about here) and how she was having a super cool release party for Siege and Storm, the second book in her Grisha Trilogy, preceded by Shadow and Bone and followed by Rune and Rising (coming sooooon).

I was SO excited about this.

I just recently read Shadow and Bone, probably about two weeks ago and absolutely loved it. I am a big fan of YA fantasy writers like Tamora Pierce and Cinda Williams Chima, and this felt similar but also unique to these two, and she just created a great story. You can see me review for it here.

(Side Note: Follow my friend, Perla, on Tumblr! She goes to author events ALL the time. In the last week, she’s met SO many. She’s meeting Richelle Mead tonight! She’s bombtastic :) You thought I met a lot of authors!)

I have never been to a book release party before. I’ve been to events where the book is released for the first time, but it was never termed a “party”, and I was never told to dress up!

And I totally didn’t dress up by the way, because I’m uberly lame and impossible when it comes to costumes and such. My version of a costume is making a tutu in a specific color, pairing it with a tshirt of that fandom and calling it a day :) I did wear a dress and some nifty high heeled boots so I felt pretty awesome.

So me, Tatiana, Sylvia, and my awesome friend Erin headed down to the Hemingways Lounge in Hollywood, California to go to this book release party.

Can I just say it was SO weird having my little beat up Honda valeted? The guy took my keys and looked at my car, completely with personalized Harry Potter license plate (and frame!), Harry Potter stickers, Star wars stickers, Hunger Games stickers,…and he just kind of sighed haha.

But anyway! What an awesome, awesome, awesome event! They went above and beyond for all of this! First off, there was a raffle for every single person who attended and the prizes were SO cool. There was this awesome grab bag of all sorts of cool Grisha swag, that my friend Sylvia won!

They also had a prize that was like 15-20 brand new books of various authors in Los Angeles. I wanted that one so bad. I didn’t win though :( Which was okay!

I was one of the first twenty five people to arrive, so I was able to get a tote bag, which I LOVE. I love me some tote bags!

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I was also able to grab a TON of swag, like buttons and all kinds of stuff. I’m hoping to have a Leigh Bardugo contest by the end of the month, so check back to see if you can grab yourself some of this swag, and who knows, maybe a signed copy of Shadow and Bone ;)

Book Swaaaaaaaag

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They also had a really cool photo booth set up as soon as you walk in where you could pile in with your friends, get some props and make some awesome faces.

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It was a seriously awesome time though. I had never been to a book release party so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from it, but if book release parties are all like this, I want to go to more! There was all the free swag and the photo booth to begin with. There was an open bar that was serving this sparkling sweet wine and waiters and waitresses were going around, passing out little hors d’oeuvres, like mini burgers and mac n cheese and all sorts of yummy.

Leigh was mingling with the crowd, hanging out, looking like she was having a seriously fun time :) I ran into her once, and she totally remembered who I was, and knew who I was, which was pretty cool, I’m not going to lie. She is so funny, and she’s so down to earth too. I honestly really love that she is so available to her fans through social media. I’m friends with her on facebook and she nearly always replies to my tweets. She is SO available to her fans.

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And she’s so hilarious! For her presentation, she read some writing she did when she younger about the kind of abilities that she wished she could have. There were the usual, like flight and invisibility and being able to read people’s minds (though with an on/off switch haha, but the best one was the ability to write and publish a novel.

I’m not going to lie, I kind of teared up at that. Because the fact that when she was younger, she paired writing and publishing a novel with something impossible like being able to fly. But she did it, and she’s a fantastic writer, and so popular, and her book, Shadow and Bone, has been optioned to be a film. It really gives aspiring writers, like myself, a lot of hope. Writing and publishing a novel seems as impossible as becoming a Major League baseball pitcher, or a Grammy award winning musician. But its possible :)

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Sorry for the blurry pictures. It was all dark and funky lighting so it was SO hard to take good pictures.

Moving on though, Leigh also did a Q and A, which was fun because most of the questions, and all of the answers, were making people laugh. She also read a little excerpt from Siege and Storm, a scene between Alina and the Darkling, which was awesome, and which you see above. (And yes, that is Margaret Stohl holding her flashlight for Leigh to read).

There were so many authors there as well :) I saw Morgan Matson and Jessica Brody, both of who were SUPER excited to see us, and remembered us (Morgan told us we needed our own reality show, and Jessica said we were loud, but in a good way). Jennifer Bosworth was also there, as well as Melissa de la Cruz, Lissa Price, and Marie Lu. I’m sure there were more, but it was hard to tell. Its always fun to hang out with authors, especially when you look up to them so MUCH. Such a fun time :)

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Meeting Leigh again was REALLY cool, and she’s seriously a fun lady. Her remembering me was a nice little cherry on top to a super fun night, and I loved that she really took the time to talk to each and every person who came and take pictures with them, and sign their books and all of that. She really reached out to all of her fans, and it was awesome. She makes me laugh, and she wrote “I’m hilarious” in her books, when I had a word vomit moment and asked her to write something funny in my book, because I’m awkward like that.

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I’m having SUCH a blast lately, with all these author events, and making author friends, and getting to meet the people whose books are so amazing, and inspire me so much. Its been SUCH a blast.

I just started Siege and Storm today (I had to read The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen first, and I finished that in less than a day), and I’m already loving it, and I’m only 50 pages in. I hope, hope, hope, and should be done with it by tomorrow and I’ll have an AWESOME review for you guys!

I’m going to see her again (and Marie Lu, and a couple other cool people) on June 26th at the Grove in Los Angeles so I hope to get a pretty copy of Shadow and Bone signed for you guys! You guys love giveaways, don’t ya? I know you do! And then I can throw some of those buttons in there too!

Hope you enjoyed my recap of Leigh’s party!

And come back tomorrow for the Book of the Week, and keep an eye out for Sara’s Quick PicksEpisode Three, and an interview with the AMAZING Cinda Williams Chima!

Happy Reading!

Book of the Week-Bittersweet

Hello everyone :) How you all doing today? I hope you’re great and all that fun stuff.

So I am really excited to share this book today for Book of the Week.

I met Sarah Ockler last weekend at the Summer Lovin’ Book Tour stop at the Mission Viejo library. I actually met five new authors that, more about all of them who I just needed to read. Unfortunately, buy I could not buy books from all them (being a poor college student will do that) and so I bought two paperbacks, and one of them was the book I’m going to review today.

See, I’m trying to spread the kind of books I review out to different genres, not just the young adult fantasy types. I am going to mostly stick to YA because that’s what I’m passionate about and its what this blog is mostly about, my passion and support for YA literature. 

But I do notice that my Book of the Week posts tend to be in the supernatural and fantastical realms of YA. They tend to be paranormal and fantasy and science fiction and dystopian.

Which is funny because I actually became very passionate in young adult literature through contemporary authors like Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen. These two authors I really think are the reason I got so into reading (besides JK Rowling, obviously) and they are two of my biggest influences in my own writing.

So I need to really get back to reviewing more YA contemporary books…and I read this book the other night, in the hopes that I’d like it and I could write about it for Book of the Week. I mean, I know, I could write about the books I didn’t like too but I like writing about books that I enjoy.

And I seriously enjoyed this book. I stayed up til about 3:30 am finishing the book. And I normally stay up that late so normally it wouldn’t be THAT big of a deal BUT I had to wake up for school at 7 am so I pretty much got no sleep at all. But that probably means it was good, right? Right. So here is this week’s Book of the Week!

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Genre:
young adult, contemporary, romance

Part of a Series:
Nope, standalone novel. Which is good because my wallet is getting too empty buy all these sequels haha

You May Like If You Liked:
If you’re a fan of contemporaries like Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen or Deb Caletti, this is a book for you

Plot Summary:

Hudson Avery was a figure skating super star, primed for competition, and ready to take on the world. Just as she’s about to skate in the show that could literally change her life and career, she discovers an ugly secret about her father, a secret that’ll destroy her parents marriage, and it all suddenly seems like too much. She purposely flubs her routine and abandons the figuring skating world.

Fast forward a few years, and Hudson is seventeen years old, and working in her mom’s diner, helping to keep her family afloat after her father left. She wants to get out of this town, but doesn’t know how when she is so glued to the survival of her family and the diner. She throws herself into baking cupcakes, delicious cupcakes that bring customers flowing into the diner and helping her mom take care of her younger brother. She has a new best friend and she’s left everything about her whole life behind. Between the demands of her mother, and the absence of her father, she’s in over her head and she spends most days kind of pissed off at the world.

But then she starts skating again, at a local pond, just for the fun of it…until she gets a letter from a foundation created in the name of her old skate coach. There’s going to be a competition and the reward is 50,000 dollars, an incentive that Hudson can’t help but notice. It would be the perfect ticket out of there. But getting back into skating isn’t that easy, not when she quit under terrible circumstances, not when it was something she and her dad shared together and he isn’t around anymore.

Add in two cute boys. There’s Josh Blackthorn, a hockey player who recruits her to help him get better at skating, and then there’s Will, hot, popular, captain of the hockey team, who ropes Hudson into helping the entire team out with their skating. While Hudson helps the team improve and they start winning, and she starts training for her first competition in years, other things start to fall away, like her friendships and her commitment to her mom’s diner. Hudson must realize what’s important and what’s not, and how to balance the things in her life.

The Bad:

Honestly, I absolutely loved this book, and devoured it one night. I definitely need to get more of Sarah Ockler’s books. She was a really good author to read, and I liked pretty much everything about this book. I did have one beef though, and it was something about the end. I am trying really hard to to avoid spoilers, or ruining books for you guys so this is what I’m going to do:

I understand why Hudson made the decision that she did, and I understand that it was to show her growth and show what was important and how she changed and all that. But I had been looking forward to seeing how a particular event was going to go and I was sad when it didn’t pan out. I had hoped maybe she would have had her lightbulb, epiphany moment AFTER but maybe that’s just me. I’m trying really hard to explain this without giving it away haha but its very difficult. Basically there was something toward the end that was going to happen and it didn’t end up happening and I understand the logic behind it but I really did want it to happen anyway. There. That was the best, most creative way I could explain my beef without ruining it for everyone else.

The Good: 

But moving on to the good! There is so much good!

I love a YA contemporary novel that is REAL. I hate cheese. There are so many YA novels with cheese and its extremely frustrating and annoying. There was this particular book that I read in high school, or maybe a couple years after, and I won’t mention it exactly because the author is fairly popular. But it was about a girl who moved to Laguna Beach and she learns to surf and the hot guy loves her, and all this cheesy stuff. There wasn’t any DEPTH to it. And I feel like you can have fun and funny, and easy reads with depth. I don’t like to read books with no purpose and that book read like a fan fiction, or a story that a girl wrote about her and her crush…the kind of stories I wrote when I was like 12.

But authors like Sarah Dessen, Morgan Matson, Meg Cabot, Deb Caletti are writing these real, amazing, contemporary novels but they also make me laugh and they’re fun and all that.

And I am happy to add Sarah Ockler to that list, even just from this one book.

Hudson is such a real, relatable character. She is very typical teenager, thrown in a situation that actually more teenagers experience than you think. Ockler recognizes that teens do obsess over the opposite sex and shopping and movies and make-up and clothes and that stuff, but they are also confronted with very, very real problems and they display a higher intelligence than I think adults give them credit for. Hudson wants to bust out of her town, she’s over living there and she wants to get out and she thinks the only way out is to compete in a figure skating contest again. But you kind of understand her deep need to just get out. Her father is gone, off with his new girlfriend, touring the country and writing a BLOG about it, and she’s shouldered with a ton of responsibilities, like helping her mom keep the diner afloat and taking care of her eight-year-old brother. This is something I can completely relate to, as when my own parents separated, I had a lot more responsibilities than most teens had.

And you really see Hudson struggle with all of that. She still hasn’t quite gotten over all the things that happened at once: giving up on skate, losing her father, losing her best friend and all of that. Before she can have a chance to maybe accept all of that, she is suddenly a cupcake making queen/waitress at the diner, a diner that is so close to failing, and she’s not really given a chance to be a teenager.

And I love on her quest to be young and to rebel a little, she makes mistakes and does the wrong things because that’s what being a teenager is about. I don’t really know any teenager who actually makes the right decisions. She dates the wrong boys and she chooses the wrong things, and prioritizes wrong and all of that. You want to slap her because she’s doing all the wrong things but you know that she’ll learn from them and make them again. Its a very real portrayal of a teenager: someone who has intelligence and is capable of more than we think but makes mistakes and is human. Ockler gives her teen characters a lot more credit than I think other authors do. Hudson is very smart, and realizes the kind of burdens her mother is under and deals with things like money issues and child care and all of that. But she also has dreams and likes to gossip with her friends and has crushes on cute boys. (Love Josh Blackthorn. Who wouldn’t have a crush on a cute hockey player?).

Oh and her obsession with Hester Prynne and The Scarlett Letter kept me laughing the whole time too. Mostly because I detest that book to no end. I enjoyed actually quite a few of the books that I read in high school, probably more than most kids in high school but that was one book I just could not get past….probably because it was the first book I studied in super hard AP English Junior Year that nearly killed me…

One more thing, I loved the sports angle of the story. I loved that Hudson was a figure skater and that she helps out the hockey team with their skating and all that. I love sports, I love love love sports and I feel like most book characters hate sports and its so annoying! I love that there was a sports element to this book. I am currently working on my third (and probably first REAL) novel and its a YA contemporary but it is going to have a HUGE baseball angle in it. I enjoyed rooting for the hockey team, because they sucked so bad and they were the underdog and you want them to win and there’s something awesome about having a crush on an athlete, like a baseball player or a basketball player or a hockey player, like in the novel. Thank you Sarah for putting sports in here. I’m loving it :) I’m tired of heroines who are readers all the time. I get it already, books rock haha let’s see some girls who like sports!

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Recommended or Not?: 

Definitely! Sarah Ockler gives us a real portrayal of a teen struggling with her responsibilities to her family and her desire to live her own life, and get out of the town that she feels is holding her back. Its funny and touching and there’s that cool sports element that is there that you don’t get often in YA books. There’s love and kissing but its not overly mushy, and there’s family and friends. Its a great book and I stayed up all night to finish reading it and I totally recommend it to all of you :)

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my own personal signed copy of Bittersweet. It was so lovely to meet you, Sarah!

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If you liked this review, and want to read this book, click the book title above and it’ll take you to the Amazon page!

You Can Find Sarah:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Tumblr

Her Facebook

Her YouTube

Her GoodReads

Also, in celebration that today is my blog’s one year birthday, I am having a HUGE epic contest full of all kinds of nerd swag, and one of those things is a bookmark signed by Sarah Ockler!

Happy 1st Birthday WhatANerdGirlSays and Epic Giveaway!

So today is the first birthday of this blog, search WhatANerdGirlSays!

I am so happy and proud and excited and all sorts of happy emotions about this day and this blog in general. What started out as something for me to do, visit web a place where I could come to talk about all the books and movies I love without driving my family and friends and my boyfriend, viagra buy became something that I am extremely passionate about, something that I work so very hard on. It has become something that I want to be part of my career, as I pursue a career as an author.

And I’ve had some amazing times and awesome opportunities as a blogger. I’ve met several authors. I’ve had the opportunities to interview Cassandra Clare, Eoin Colfer, Jessica Brody and I have plans to interview Cinda Williams Chima and Tammara Webber. I’ve met some amazing, fantastic, inspiration authors. I’ve had the chance to learn my ways around new conventions, expand my cosplay knowledge and get into movie premieres and meet cool celebrities. I’ve been able to meet some of the best fandom friends a girl could ask for: Megan, Sylvia, Paulina and Tatiana.

And the best part: I’ve had the chance to meet all of you!

I had three goals to meet by my one year anniversary of this blog: I wanted 200 followers on my blog, 300 followers on Twitter,  300 likes on Facebook and 10,000 views on this page.

Right now, officially, I have over 500 followers on the blog, 325 followers on Twitter, 3o3 likes on Facebook and 11, 625 views on the blog. So I surpassed my expectations :) And I’m ready to keep going and keep trucking and make this blog bigger and better than ever. I have goals to keep this blog going and to start and finish my third novel and to find an agent and sell it and make my dreams come true. I can do this, and I know I can do this because I have so many of YOU who believe in me.

I do want to say a quick thank you to some people: to my dad, to my siblings, to all the authors that I’ve met in the last year who have been so inspirational and supportive, to all the authors that I’ve read, old and new, that just continue to write books that give me the belief in myself. To the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army for showing me that I’m not the only nerds out there. To my iFandoms Collide girls, for just being awesome. And to my boyfriend, Jon, because I don’t know any other boyfriend who would put up with a crazy girl like me.

And I do want to take this opportunity to hear back from you guys! Seriously! I want to hear from you, so please comment on this post or contact me. I want to hear what you love about this blog, and maybe some of the things you dislike. I want to hear suggestions and all that. And I definitely want to hear about books that I should be reading so please let me know!

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On to the fun part of this though, the GIVEAWAY! I’m sure this is what you’ve all been waiting for!

So in celebration of being WhatANerdGirlSays for a year now, and for loving this blog and for having all you wonderful people following me, I’m having a nice big contest for the Box O’Stuff! Check out this picture below!

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This epic Box O’Stuff includes:

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-Summer Lovin’ Tour postcard signed by Kimberly Derting, Jessi Kirby, Morgan Matson, Shannon Messenger, Sarah Ockler and Suzanne Young

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-autographed Shannon Messenger bookmark

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-autographed Sarah Ockler bookmark

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-a movie tie-in edition of Beautiful Creatures

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-sneak peek booklet of Jessica Brody’s 52 Reasons to Hate My Father

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-City of Bones movie poster 11×17

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-Ender’s Game pin

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-Doctor Who pins

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-copy of The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum

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-copy of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan from World Book Night 2013

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-the first two issues of Marvel Now’s Thor comic books 

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So would you like a chance to win this AWESOME Box O’Stuff! Its SUPER easy to do!

Click THIS link below to enter! It’ll take you to a Rafflecopter widget, which I’m sure you’ve seen on plenty of other websites :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The last day to enter is June 1st!

This contest is international so please enter no matter what country you are in!

And you can enter MULTIPLE times so come back and try your chances :)

Happy Birthday, Blog!

Summer Lovin’ Tour at the Mission Viejo Library

I will never be able to stop singing the praises of Allison Tran, what is ed The Mission Viejo Library, and Alex and A Whale of a Tale Bookstore. I continue to have some of the most amazing times at this library, meeting some of the coolest authors. I’ve met Meg Cabot, Cassandra Clare (twice), Lauren Oliver and Eoin Colfer at this place.

And yesterday, I had a fantastic time at the Mission Viejo Library once again, for the Summer Lovin’ Tour.

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The six authors I was honored to meet today were all super, super awesome.

First off, Morgan Matson. I have already met her twice in the last few weeks, at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and the Ontario Teen Book Fest. It was awesome meeting her again because she totally remembered me and stood up and gave me a big hug, and I fangirled super hard at that because I think authors are rock stars. And an author that I love and completely look up to remembering who I am was seriously amazing. I definitely got a kick out of it.

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I really loved how they approached their presentation. You kind of get the same things over and over, the more you go to author events and you can see authors kind of becoming aware of that, and switching things up a little bit. These ladies totally did that and made me crack up. They played the game “Two Truths, One Lie“, where they told the audience three things about themselves. Two would be true, and one would be a lie and they would have people in the audience guess which ones were true and which one was false. It was really fun, and it got the authors talking and made everyone feel really relaxed about asking questions and all that.

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We learned that Suzanne Young once was a first mate on a dinner cruise, Shannon Messenger sat in the wrong seat at an Academy Awards nominee presentation and Sarah Ockler wanted to become a famous author by completely rewriting the story of E.T. when she was six years old, amongst other cool stories :)

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And it was really great to have all these authors together, giving writing advice and talking about books, and balancing their regular lives with their writing lives. It was inspiring and reassuring as well. Morgan Matson said her first book wasn’t published until she was 28. Kimberly Derting was nearly 42. Sarah Ockler was in her thirties and the other authors, while they wouldn’t give their exact age, said that it took some time. They were so encouraging in the way they spoke about not giving up on writing but they were also so realistic at the same time, telling us about the balance between life and writing, family and writing, friends and other jobs and school and writing. Sarah Ockler said that you have to really want it to make it happen, and Jessi Kirby, Suzanne Young, and Kimberly Derting all talked about managing husbands and kids and writing.

They also were all super fun, and funny as well. They have been touring together for about a week and they’ve built a sort of repertoire together and it came across a lot during their presentation. They made jokes about writing and deadlines and books with kissing and boys, and it was all so great. They also all had really terrible aim when it came to giving out candy to the people who dared guess in the Two Truths, One Lie game.

I definitely enjoyed talking to them after the presentation as well. Even though I was only able to purchase some of their books (I swear, I need a second job just for books!), they were giving out signed swag, like the postcard below, which is SUPER cool and is going to go up on my wall.

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I like that it had all of their signatures on there, and quotes from each of their books. Really cool swag to give out. A few of them had postcards and bookmarks that were signed as well, which was REALLY cool. I’m having a HUGE giveaway from my blog’s first birthday this Thursday, so come back to check out how you can win some of the cool stuff they gave out :)

And they all signed my poster as well, my writing advice poster. Do you guys remember that? Maybe not, well, last week when I went to the Ontario Teen Book Fest, where there were 13 cool YA authors, I came up with the idea to make a poster for writers to sign. I wrote “You are a writer!” in the middle (because I do sometimes forget, and fail to believe it) and I’ve had all the authors I’ve met in the last couple weeks sign it with words of encouragement or advice. I thought I would have some trouble with it, but all the authors I’ve met have been SO into it, and have loved the idea, and the six authors at this event were just the same!

You can see all the cool things writers have written on my poster in the writing advice section.

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I was also able to talk to them for a bit and they were all so encouraging and told me to keep writing and keep reading and to not give up. Kimberly said that the hardest part was knowing when to give up on a particular story but not to give up on actually writing. She said she worked on a story for over a decade and it just didn’t work but as soon as she gave up on it and moved on to something else, it fell into place.

I am always so incredibly grateful to meet these authors. One, and I’ve said it before, authors are rock stars to me and I am always super awed in their presence. Its like…when a little boy meets a firefighter for the first time, and he’s in so much awe because that’s his dream. Well, I’m 25 years old and my dream is-and has been since I was 13-to be a published author. So when I meet these men and women, I am just in awe of these talented people doing the job that I dream of doing one day. Two, as a writer, its awesome to be able to talk to these authors. They are always so encouraging and give really good advice, and they give me inspiration and belief and reassurance that I CAN do this.

And even though they’ve never read a word of what I’ve written ever, their encouraging words still mean the world to me. Because they tell me that they can’t wait to see what I do and that I AM a writer and that I can do it, and to never give up. And it really means a lot, especially coming from these authors that I admire so much. Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed with my school work, and my job, my friends and family, my boyfriend, this blog and writing my novel, I just think, I can’t do this.

But these women (and men) are doing it with husbands and families, kids, and even sometimes full time jobs (props to you, Jessi Kirby) and its just fantastic. Its very inspiring.

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From left to right: Morgan Matson, Jessi Kirby, myself and Kimberly Derting

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From left to right: Suzanne Young, myself, Sarah Ockler and Shannon Messenger.

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I am so happy that I was able to meet these wonderful authors this past weekend and to be able to talk to them, and it was really cool being able to see Morgan and have her remember me :) I hope one today to count myself among super awesome authors like this.

Thanks to all the authors for taking the time to talk to me, to sign my writing advice/encouragement poster, for giving me cool swag for the blog and for just being all around fantastic. 

And thanks to Allison and Alex again for putting on another unforgettable and fun event. Trust me, ladies, you won’t ever be able to get rid of me :)

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Don’t forget to check back later this week for some awesome things!

Blogger Spotlight later today on Megan from The Nerdy Girlie

The Tuesday Top Ten tomorrow!

An Interview with Jessica Brody is coming your way!

And of course, the Book of the Week and Fandom Friday as well! So many exciting things!

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