Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Post (#24)


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Books I Read This Week:



What I Published on ReadReadRead This Week:


What I Published on WinterHaven Books This Week:


Next Week on ReadReadRead:

May Wrap-Up
Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books I'd Love To See As Movies/TV Shows
Waiting on Wednesday
Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
You Had Me At Friday
Stacking the Shelves
Sunday Post

What I Have Been Watching This Week:


I have been rewatching the happiest show on earth, PARKS AND RECREATION! This show makes me so incredibly happy.

From My Instagram:

This little dork is in heat for the first time, which has been SLIGHTLY challenging. Last night was quite difficult with her, but hey, I STILL LOVE HER LIFE CRAZY! My baby's growing up so fast.

Pretty happy with my new hair.

Bookish Friday

Links:

LIZZIE MCGUIRE NOSTALGIA (28 Times Lizzie McGuire was way, way too real)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (#29)


"Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!"

For more information, click here


For Review:

One by Sarah Crossan (August 26, 2015 by Bloomsbury Children's Books)

Tippi and Grace share everything—clothes, friends . . . even their body. Writing in free verse, Sarah Crossan tells the sensitive and moving story of conjoined twin sisters, which will find fans in readers of Gayle Forman, Jodi Picoult, and Jandy Nelson.

Tippi and Grace. Grace and Tippi. For them, it’s normal to step into the same skirt. To hook their arms around each other for balance. To fall asleep listening to the other breathing. To share. And to keep some things private. The two sixteen-year-old girls have two heads, two hearts, and each has two arms, but at the belly, they join. And they are happy, never wanting to risk the dangerous separation surgery.

But the girls’ body is beginning to fight against them. And soon they will have to face the impossible choice they have avoided for their entire lives.

Purchases:

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.







Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.


Friday, May 29, 2015

You Had Me At Friday (#1): 10 Reasons to Rewatch Your Favorite TV Shows


Happy Friday and welcome to You Had Me At Friday!

You Had Me At Friday is a platform for me to share with you my random ramblings in one place, once a week. I might recommend books or movies, share with you a list of my favorite Nick Offerman pictures, gush about my fictional boyfriends or rant about something that I've seen on the Internet.

Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, make sure you have an amazing Friday!



In my first You Had Me At Friday post I want to write about TV shows and reasons for rewatching your favorites.

I am on a summer holiday at the moment and though I have catching up to do with shows that I have been trying to follow week by week, I am finding myself rewatching shows that I have seen multiple times before.

So, you might ask why I want to watch something that I've already seen, something that won't come as a surprise to me, rather than something new. This post is my attempt to answer that question.

1. You get to spend time with characters you love/characters that intrigue you/characters that annoy you in a way that you want to hate them but you just can't stop watching



2. Sometimes knowing what will happen can be comforting...



3. ...but often, even when you have gone through the FEELS before, you have to go through them again



4. You always tend to notice something new, even if you have seen the show million times...




5. ...and if you are a nerd like me, those little discoveries make you overly excited. 



6. Sometimes, while watching a show you haven't seen for years, you might notice that you suddenly understand the characters much better (this happened to me with Friends and watching it as a pre-teen vs. watching it after I moved away from home)



7. Suddenly, you might find yourself in love with a completely different character



8. SHIPPING! OTPs! Though you know what is going to happen, the wait for it still feels excruciating. 



9. You can potentially bore your friends again with your rants about this amazing show you are watching and hope that maybe this time around they will take your advice and start watching the show in question. 



10. Rewatching a show you LOVE can feel like coming home. Reliving the moments that made you happy or sad, laugh or cry, can make you nostalgic. Sometimes, only the sound of the theme song for one of your favorite shows can do a lot.



Do you rewatch or are shows usually a one-time thing for you?
If you do rewatch, what shows are on your rewatch list?


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Book Review: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Release date: September 1, 2009
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age group: YA
Pages: 405
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.



Okay. I have something pretty embarrassing to tell you. I've had this book for like the past 3 years and I have attempted to read it several times. Every time I have picked this one up, I have changed my mind after reading the first page. Why? you might ask. 

WELL BECAUSE THE AUTHOR HAS USED A NICKELBACK QUOTE AND THERE ARE NOT MANY THINGS I HATE AS MUCH AS I HATE NICKELBACK.

So yeah, a one little Nickelback quote has kept me away from this book for years. Finally, I decided that the only way to go with this was to cover that horrible quote, let the book be for a while and then try again. And hey, it finally worked. I read it and I loved it. Damn you, my hatred for Nickelback, for keeping me away from this book for so long. 

School shootings are something that have interested me for a while now and I have read books and watched documentaries from such instances. Arguably the most known shooting is the one that took place in Columbine and often it is seen as the one that started all the other school shootings. Though school shootings had unfortunately taken place before that too, Columbine really is the first such instance that was covered by media with such detail. I did a course on media events in university last year and ended up focusing on my presentation on a school shooting that took place in Seattle in fall of 2014 - I compared that footage to the one of Columbine and quickly realized that school shootings have become so common that the amount of coverage the media contributes to them has diminished. 

Jennifer Brown's debut novel Hate List includes a school shooting, but rather than focusing on the shooting and the shooter, it focuses on a girl, Valerie, who finds herself from the center of it all. As a girlfriend of the shooter and as a contributor to the infamous hate list (a list of people from the school Valerie and Nick hate), Valerie is treated both as a suspect and a hero - while she saves someones life and stops the shooting, she is seen by some as the one who made Nick do it or at least played some sort of role in the planning of the shooting. 

Valerie is an interesting character because though she is not the one who opened fire, she is not completely innocent either. While being afraid that Nick is going to leave her, Valerie fed into Nick's hatred for their classmates. Though Valerie NEVER wanted to hurt anyone and never imagined that Nick would go as as far as he did, a part of her feels guilty for being part of what happened inside the Commons of the school. 

After the shooting, Valerie has spent months inside, only going out for the meetings with her therapist. But as the school starts again in the fall, months after the shooting, she is sent back to the very place the event that changed her life took place. While she was bullied when Nick was still around, she at least had a small group of friends for support. Now, she is a pariah, seen by the majority as almost guilty as Nick. But there are a those who want Valerie around, mainly Jessica, the popular girl who tormented Valerie for years - the girl that Valerie saved. 

It is easy to categorize Hate List as a book about school shooting, but as the author mentions in the author's note, the book really is more about Valerie. It is about a girl that is faced with a situation not many of us can relate with, fortunately. A girl that is trying to figure herself out in an environment that is hostile towards her - the school, and more importantly, her family. While her mother keeps close tabs on her, not because she is worried that something will happen to her, but mostly because she is worried that Valerie will hurt someone else, her father is distant and blames Valerie for what has happened. The family that was broken already before the shooting took place was forcefully put back together and the strains of the fighting have a role in Valerie's recovery.

What I liked about Brown's characterization of Nick is the fact that she does not directly make him a villain. Yes, what Nick did was horrible and something so wrong that you cannot really describe it with words. Yet, at the same time Brown shows a more human side to Nick - a boy that loves Shakespeare and just tries to go on in an environment in which he is constantly bullied and diminished. The way Brown describes the feelings Valerie has for Nick is done with honesty and bravery - how can Valerie go on when she is mourning for her boyfriend, the guy she loved? And what is she supposed to feel when she knows that the one she loved was also the one who caused so much terror.

Hate List consists of narrative focusing on the "present day" (Valerie's return to school), newspaper articles that focus on the shooting from the point of view of the media and from flashbacks to the events of the shooting and the relationship of Valerie and Nick before the shooting. I found the newspaper sections interesting because they really bring into the focus media's role in such situations and how often what is happening within the community isn't the same as what the newspapers are reporting. 

Brown writes well and Hate List definitely made me want to go and pick up more of her novels. In Hate List Brown creates a good balance between focusing on the shooting and focusing on the life after. Valerie is at the center of everything, and as you read on, you get to know her more and more. The consequences of bullying are seen in Hate List in very extreme light, which really works as an eyeopener. Is Nick a villain or a victim? That is a judgement we all have to make on our own.

For those interested to read/learn more about school shootings, I want to recommend Michael Moore's documentary Bowling for Columbine and Dave Cullen's harrowing Columbine (my 5 star review for Columbine can be found from here). 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#27) - Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall (October 20, 2015 by Swoon Reads)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 
For more information, click here



The author of A Little Something Different brings you the most adorkable romance ever.

Jane, a superstitious fangirl, takes an anonymous babysitting job to avoid an unpaid internship with her college-obsessed mom. The only problem? She’s babysitting the siblings of her childhood friend and new crush, Teo. 

Teo doesn’t dislike Jane, but his best friend Ravi hates her, and is determined to keep them apart. So Teo’s pretty sure his plans for a peaceful summer are shot. His only hope is that his intermittent search for his birth father will finally pan out and he’ll find a new, less awkward home. Meanwhile, at Jane’s house, her sister Margo wants to come out as bisexual, but she’s terrified of how her parents will react.

In a summer filled with secrets and questions, even Jane’s Magic 8 ball can’t give them clear answers, but Signs Point to Yes.

"ADORKABLE ROMANCE"


"SUPERSTITIOUS FANGIRL"


"CHILDHOOD FRIEND AND NEW CRUSH"


"WANTS TO COME OUT AS BISEXUAL"


"SUMMER FILLED WITH SECRETS AND QUESTIONS"



What are you waiting for this week?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (#30) - Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer


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Saying that I'll have these books in my beach bag is kind of false since I go to the beach like once a summer. Even though the ocean is like a mile away from my house, I rarely go there because I don't like swimming and I get burned in the sun way too easily.

So yeah, these are not beach reads exactly, but more just a collection of books that I plan to read this summer.


ARCs







Already published titles/titles to be purchased during the summer






Cooling down time 


What are you planning to read this summer?