November in Retrograde

November is coming to a close and as far as months go, it was pretty good. I started my new job and I think it was a good move.  SO yay for that. I also went to my very first book event- YALLFEST, you can see my review HERE.  I've read some AMAZING contemporary books this month. I seem to have the most luck with those, maybe because I'm pickier when it comes to that genre. As far as John Green goes...I get it now okay? I. GET. IT. He's the shit. As is David Levithan.

NOW for my November monthly recap:

I actually managed to read 6 of the books I had on my November TBR, it would have been 8 but I wasn't able to finish two of them due to disinterest. Usually I don't stick to a list so I'm kinda happy about that.

Every DayPerfect (Impulse, #2)Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Specials (Uglies #3)ExtrasPersephone
Amy and Roger's Epic DetourThe Sky Is EverywhereLooking for Alaska
Every Day (David Levithan) 5/5
Perfect (Ellen Hopkins) 4/5
Will Grayson, Will Grayson (John Green & David Levithan) 5/5
Specials (Scott Westerfeld) 3.5/5
Extras (Scott Westerfeld) 3/5
Persephone (Kaitlin Bevis) 4/5 (For Review)
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour (Morgan Matson) 5/5
The Sky is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson) 5/5
Looking for Alaska (John Green) 5/5
Unfortunately, this month I suffered twice from the dreaded DNF (did not finish).
White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)The Vampire's Daughter (Of Light and Darkness, #1)
Each book had it's own set of problems. I read more then half of White Cat but could not get into the story and quit. Of Light and Darkness was for review from NetGalley and the original premise sounded promising. However, there was a severe lack of connection with the characters, the writing and the direction the story was going. I'm not going to waste my time forcing myself to finish a book that I don't like only to give it a poor review. I'd rather move on to something that I will like and can recommend to others.
This is really tough. Because 5 of the books this month are now in my favorite category. But if I HAD to pick only one....I would probably have to go with Looking for Alaska by John Green. Incredible book. (The Sky is Everywhere is a close second)
Looking for Alaska
Not including my DNF's I'd have to go with Extras by Scott Westerfeld. Unfortunately this series fizzled out for me and I can only go so long without a character connection.

This new category is going to highlight a book that suprised me in some way (either good or bad). I'm going to go with Persephone. I read this for review and was suprised that I liked it so much. I've had bad luck with books in the past involving this retelling so I didn't have my hopes up. Yay for a good suprise! I def recommend this book for people who like Greek mythology retellings.
I was a little lax with reviews this month. I'm working on it.
(Click link to read my review if you want)
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour (Morgan Matson) 5/5
Persephone (Kaitlin Bevis)  4/5
Point of Retreat (Colleen Hoover)  4.5/5
Jekel Loves Hyde (Beth Fantaskey) 3/5

TOP TEN TUESDAY (Linked up :)
Books I Want on a Deserted Island
Books that Broke My Heart a Little (or a lot)
Authors I'm Thankful For
Anticipated Books of 2013




SO. If you've been following my blog, you know I went to YALLFEST  a couple weeks ago. YALLFEST is a Young Adult Book Festival held in Charleston, South Carolina. I went with my fellow book lover friend Jessica who has her own blog at Deus Ex Blogina and also guest posts at Wastepaper Prose. Here she is holding a 30 dollar Hershey's bar that's as big as her upper body. Who wants smores?!?

YALLFEST was  a great experience and a perfect first book event for me. Everyone was so friendly; the fellow book lovers, the staff and volunteers and the authors. I didn't see any elbows being thrown or pushing and shoving.  Yay for being nice!

I went in with a mission and a plan, which was good because there was SOO much going. I felt a little bit like a paparazzi a couple times when I spotted Reading Angel and Down the Rabbit Hole. I just stared at them. I was too shy to say hello. Haha. I ALSO got to meet Asheley from Into the Hall of Books! She always comments on my blog posts and we seem to have a lot in common so it was great to finally see her in person!

Jenny Han- I love her and I heart this picture. It makes me giggle. I'm SUCH an ace photographer!

Hands down, the best author panel I attended was YA Girl Band! This panel rocked!! The authors were awesome and hilarious and all played off each other. My favorites in particular were Jenny Han, Simone Elkeles, Stephanie Perkins and Elizabeth Eulberg. I LOVED seeing all their different personalities. It makes you just love them even more. Yes Stephanie Perkins is as cute in person as you expect with her pink hair. And Simone Elkeles was def one of my faves. If she decided to give up writing I could totally see her as a stand-up comic. And Elizabeth Eulberg cracked me up many a time.


The authors I got books signed by included: Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, Cassandra Clare, David Levithan, Gayle Forman, Carry Ryan, and Simone Elkeles. YAY! My first signed books :)

SO. In the tent where they had the major author signings there were also some independent/indie authors. Well. I got duped in to a mercy buy. Well okay two. So there was this author guy in the tent and every person who got within a 3 foot radius of him he would start pitching his book like a used car salesman. SO me and my good buddy Jessica were finished up with a signing and heading out of the tent. Well we had to walk past this guy and I got caught. Jessica, being the good buddy ole pal that she is hid behind me and sneaked out. I don't like to hurt people's feelings and I felt bad that no one was going to his table so I bought his book. And then I bought the second book too. I can't say no! I couldn't bear to see the sadness in his eyes!  And I'm never ever going to read them. So yeah.

MARGARET (MARGIE) STOHL is AWESOME! She's this tiny little person but she's so full of energy and life and is hilarious. There were a lot of great moments involving her. Like this:

My second favorite panel was In Production with Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments) and Kami Garci & Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures) talking about their upcoming book to movie adaptations. They showed us never before seen footage of both films and gave us some insights into the production. ESPECIALLY Cassandra Clare. Oh man. I'm most stoked for City of Bones!!
No pictures allowed but I found this one on the internets, these two are just adorbs!

LAST but DEF not least was YA Smackdown where the authors all get on stage and make fools of themselves. I didn't realize authors had such dirty minds! There were quite a few sexual jokes and I was laughing so hard at times my stomach hurt!

Overall, YALLFEST was an excellent experience and everyone should go next year! And don't forget to take a buddy!! 

I can't complete this post without saying something about the city of Charleston itself. It's quite delightful and lovely and wonderful. I would LOVE to live in one of the GIGANTIC mansions with the secret gardens and pathways with a water view.  I just have to find me a rich husband first...

In Charleston, South Carolina you can find the following: (WARNING: I'm about to go a a little picture crazy :)


Charleston is a tree-lover's paradise! Gorgeous giant trees, perfect for climbing or sitting under with a good book! 

The sign does NOT lie! Delicious authentic eyetalian food!
AND I'm done. Great trip. Great company. Fun times!


Top Ten Tuesday: oooh the Anticipation!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

This week's topic is:
Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For 2013
*Link will take you to Goodreads page*
1. Clockwork Princess (Cassandra Clare)- The LAST book in The Infernal Devices trilogy and I can't fricken wait!!! Although I'm also terrified about what Ms.Clare is going to do to my heart. Because I love me some Jem like whoa and I just can't imagine how things are going to end!  (3/19/12)
Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)
2. Lover at Last (J.R.Ward)- I've been waiting for this installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood for a while now and it's finally almost here! BLAY AND QHUINN! BLAY AND QHUINN!! AHHH!! Don't make me hate you J.R. !!! (3/26/12)
Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11)
3. Through the Ever Night (Veronica Rossi)- When I started reading Under the Never Sky, it took me a few chapters to get in to. But then BAM I was taken and loved it and I can't wait to see what happens with Arya and Perry! (1/8/12)
Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)

4. Splintered (A.G.Howard)- This is one of my all-time favorite covers and was on my waiting on Wednesday post a while ago. It sounds amazing! A twisty take on Alice in Wonderland. (1/1/12)
5. Gameboard of the Gods (Richelle Mead)- RICHELLE MEAD PEOPLE!!! I mean, who wouldn't be excited for another book by her?? Another lovely cover! (6/4/12)
Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, #1)
6. Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles #1) (Ellen Oh)- Oh man. I see another favorite kick-ass heroine in my future!  (1/2/12)
Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles, #1)
7. Etiquette & Espionage (Gail Carriger)- I haven't read any books by this author, but I feel like this is a great place to start! ANOTHER great cover! Sheesh. (2/5/12)
Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)
8. The Nightmare Affair (Mindee Arnett)- There's a new creature to fear- a Nightmare! This book sounds original and amazing! (3/5/12)
The Nightmare Affair
9. Breath (Jackie Morse Kessler)- The final installment in The Riders of the Apocalypse. I've read the first 2, Hunger and Rage and they spoke directly to my soul.  I still need to read #3 (Loss) and then I can pick this baby up.  (4/16/12)
Breath (Riders of the Apocalypse, #4)
10. Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell)- This book sounds cute and funny and lovely and I wants it. (3/5/12)
Eleanor & Park

Just a little side note here, but I feel like 2013 is the year of AMAZING book covers!!!  I love all the ones on my list here.
AND I can't wait to see where YOUR anticipation lies!  Leave a comment with your link so I can checkcheckcheck it out :)


My Thoughts: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Goodreads Summary:
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

Genre: Contemporary Young Adult

My Thoughts:
I LOVE road trip books and this was was no exception! It was awesome!

This book is about death and loss and grieving and figuring out how to move on. It's about forgiving others and forgiving yourself.  It's about being human and defining what home actually means .  And it's hilarious and touching and sweet and did I mention funny? And I want to go on a cross-country road trip now!!

Like previously mentioned, the setting of this book is a cross-country road trip from California to Connecticut. Originally Amy's mother had a very specific, detailed route that Amy and Roger were to follow including where and when to stop.  Well, Amy and Roger decide to take a little detour and that's when things get REALLY interesting!

The author has included scrapbook style pages with pictures and drawings and fun state facts. And what would a road-trip be without music?!?  Expect playlists and jams galore! I loved "seeing" all the sights and experiencing different places through these characters. I wasn't just reading about a road trip. I felt like I was in the back seat, my feet hanging out the window, sipping on a root beer and watching the country go by with Amy and Roger.

The characters were easy to love.  They were very well developed and I loved both Roger and Amy.  I felt Amy's grief over her father's death and was able to relate to some of her feelings.  This story isn't just about Roger helping Amy move past the feelings about her father's death. It's about both of them helping each other.  And even though there is a lot heaviness there's also a LOT of lightness and laughter! Not just with Amy and Roger but with a lot of the side characters they come in contact with during their drive.

I feel like everyone needs some road-trip therapy at some point in their life.  Everything looks different when you're in  a car for 15 plus hours at a time. Things become clearer.  Right now, this book is the closest I'm going to get to it.

This is a contemporary young adult read that should not be passed up. The writing is excellent, the characters are heartfelt and lovely and real. There's depth and humor and just that feel-good feeling.

Favorite Quotes:
"I'd found out that if you pushed people away hard enough, they tended to go."

"I just needed to go someplace where I could be alone, and try to handle the fact that everything in the world seemed to be broken."

"Tomorrow will be better." "But what if it's not?", I asked. "Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be.  You never know, right? At some point, tomorrow will be better."

Bottom Line: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour took me on an emotional, fun, exciting, hilarious ride and I loved every stop along the way! 5/5


Weekly Recap

So last week I was a little lax with the ole blog and didn't have very many posts due to the Thanksgiving blues.  Now that  that holiday is over with I'm back.  Here's a little recap of the past week of reading.

Books finished:

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson- Loved this road trip book, I'll post a review sometime in the next couple weeks. 5/5
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson- This book is beautiful. It's hilarious and quirky and  heartbreaking and I couldn't put it down.  5/5
The Sky Is Everywhere

Currently reading:
For review from author- Prophecy Girl by Faith McKay. Just started this one yesterday, hoping to finish it up today.
Prophecy Girl (Lacuna Valley, #1)

Next up:
Of course this will probably change, but right now the next book I'm planning on reading is Looking for Alaska by John Green. This will be my first solo John Green book, I've read his co-authored books and am a huge fan. I also own Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars. The latter I'm just not ready to read yet... 
Looking for Alaska

I went and saw Breaking Dawn part II in theaters last weekend.  I've never been a fanatic about the movies, because the acting is just horrible. I can't even watch Twilight any more.  I must say, I felt like this one was made really well. The first 1/4-1/2 was a bit boring. And then BAM. Attention grabbed AND held.    AND don't tell anyone but I dare say Garrett now has my heart.. :)  He's my new favorite and I want more of him! I still can't believe that's Lee Pace. Of course I see it now that I know it's him. It's still crazy!

So this week I hope to post a few over-due reviews, some lists and my monthly recap. I have a plan for December. Well an idea of a plan in my head for posting in December. It's all about the follow-through.

I have my new Christmas tree up, now I just have to decorate it. First stop: the grocery store for hot chocolate.