Reviews, ya contemporary

Book Review: The Boyfriend List (#1 The Ruby Oliver Quartet) by E. Lockhart

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Goodreads Summary:

Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it’s unusual, but give her a break—she’s had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days she:
lost her boyfriend (#13 on the list),

lost her best friend (Kim),

lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket),

did something suspicious with a boy (#10),

did something advanced with a boy (#15),

had an argument with a boy (#14),

drank her first beer (someone handed it to her),

got caught by her mom (ag!),

had a panic attack (scary),

lost a lacrosse game (she’s the goalie),

failed a math test (she’ll make it up),

hurt Meghan’s feelings (even though they aren’t really friends),

became a social outcast (no one to sit with at lunch)

and had graffiti written about her in the girls’ bathroom (who knows what was in the boys’!?!).
But don’t worry—Ruby lives to tell the tale. And make more lists.

Review:

Where do I even start?!
I remember the first time I read this book, I was in my senior year of high school…. Or was it my junior year? Honestly I don’t remember, but what I do remember is that I liked it a lot.

I’ve been on a bit of a reading slump and oh boy has it sucked, but this book achieved to get me out of that slump. The first thing I have to say about The Boyfriend List is that it’s freaking hilarious! I was laughing, rooting and booing at all the things. I know the title of this book sounds silly, but The Boyfriend List is much deeper than you think. Ruby’s sessions with her therapist made me realize a lot of things about myself and it made me think about my life choices. Weird right? A rather interesting outcome to a book that looks like it would be really silly. I don’t remember this happening the first time I read it, but I was a bit of an angsty teenager in high school (sad to say I was a little bit like Kim,  for example: Everything had to be perfect and I followed all the rules).

Ruby’s story made me realize that my high school experience could have been much worse. I was never a leper but I was publicly targeted for being the only Christian girl at a school where most of the kids were catholic. They took every opportunity to shame me and pick on me and condemn me for being different. I connected in that way with Ruby because she too was shamed for what others students saw as different, and if she didn’t fit into their cookie cutter mold, she was someone not of worth.

As I read the Q&A at the back of the book, it made me realize why The Boyfriend List impacted me so much the second time around. Ruby is going through a process of grieving for both the relationships she once had with her now ex-best friend Kim and her now ex-boyfriend Jackson that have now ended. I’ve had friends like Kim before and it really hurts when they betray you like that. It’s the worst.

Anyways getting to angsty here (that is what high school books bring out in me lol), The Boyfriend List may be about high school drama and at times seems a little childish, but once you digest what is being cleverly communicated to you through the pages of the book, you realize that there is more truth to Ruby’s life than we would like to acknowledge. I will continue to read Ms. Ruby’s adventures, and I thank Ms. E. Lockhart for writing books that send a message we should all be listening to.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Let’s Talk About… Most Owned Authors!

I was recently catching up on my YouTube subscriptions and I saw Katystastic’s (a YouTube Book Blogger) video talking about her Top Ten Most Owned Authors. She went into detail that the authors on her list were not just authors whom she owned the most books by, but also that they were on her auto-buy list (if you want to watch the video, click here!) So, I thought to myself, I should do that too. Why the heck not right?

So today I will be talking about my Top Ten Most Owned Authors that are also on my Auto-Buy list. Here we go!

 

1

 

If you know me really well, this is not surprising. I own 12 of her books. All of the “Vampire Academy” Series and all that is out of the “Bloodlines” Series. I also have in my possession both “Age of X Series” books, “Gameboard of the Gods” and “The Immortal Crown”. Anything this woman writes, I love. Whether it be her paranormal young adult novels or her new adult series that has Fantasy, Dystopian, and Science Fiction themes in it, I read it all. Her writing has the ability to suck me in and make me forget reality for a couple of hours.

2

Now this may come as a surprise to many because I hardly ever mention Ms. Ally Carter. Probably because I read most of her books before I started my blog December of 2012. I own all of the Gallagher Girls Series, and all three books of the Heist Society Series. Total of 9 books. She has a new series coming out soon and I have no clue what it is about, but you can bet I will buy it without reading the synopsis.

3

A lot of people think of her as the YA Contemporary Queen of the early 2000s. Her books were crazy popular with good reason. Although I don’t click with the characters in two of her books, I will buy any book she writes. Her writing is poetic and beautiful. Some of my favorite quotes come from her books. She knows how to write a coming of age story that will sit with you for years.

4

She recently became an auto-buy author for me. The first book I ever read by her was “The Disreputable History of Frankie-Laundau Banks”. That novel was eery and haunting. The emotion was raw and deep. I felt things I never had before reading this book and really brought to light the issues we have with romanticized rebels (or criminals). Two years later, I listened to her read her new book  “We Were Liars” at the LA Times Books Festival and it prompted me to buy it. “We Were Liars” left me breathless. After that I went and bought most of the books she has published. I have 6 of her books in my possession.

5

There was a time in my life where I wanted fun summer contemporaries that still gave me some substance, but I also didn’t want them to be too serious. In comes “The Daughters” Series by Joanna Philbin. She’s another author whose writing just sucks me in. I feel as if I know her characters personally and I am their friend. It’s that intimate. I own 5 of her books.

6

Isaiah & Noah. That’s all you need to know. Okay, okay, just kidding. I’m not ending it there. 🙂

I own 4 of her books because that is all she has published. If she had more books published, I would own them all by now. What I love about her stories is that her characters are real. Their issues are real. You could say she uses the same freaking formula in each book, but she writes it in a way that doesn’t feel like she’s using the same formula to tell the story, and I freaking eat them up. She writes grittier young adult contemporary and she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty when it comes to writing her books. She learned how to drive stick just so she could legitimately write the car scenes in “Crash Into You”. If that is not dedication to your work, then I don’t know what is.

7

We now have Ms. Sarah Ockler. Gosh Darn her stories make me happy. Her stories aren’t really always happy per say (“Twenty Boys Summer” broke my heart), but she writes them so well that I will sob through her books if that’s the price I have to pay to read them. I say she falls in the same category as Katie McGarry’s books with the whole characters dealing with real issues, but Ockler’s characters are a little less rough around the edges. I proudly own 3 of her books (and I need to get my hands on #Scandal as soon as its out! *grabby hands*).

8

My lovely Morgan Matson. How I love her so. I know that sounds a little weird, but I have been a faithful fan of her writing since “Amy and Rogers Epic Detour”. I waited for “Second Chance Summer” for an entire year, and now I have “Since You’ve Been Gone” in my hands. Although the premise for SYBG doesn’t sound as intriguing to me as the other two, I still wanted it and got it (Thank you Kayla you are the best!). Her writing takes me a little bit longer to read, nonetheless it entertains me and makes me happy. Even though her books are seen as sad, I don’t feel sad when I see them or read them. I get all giddy and happy. Yes, I’m weird. Deal with it. 🙂

(proud owner of all three books!)

9

She’s actually a last-minute addition because I didn’t think I owned enough books to add her to this list, but alas I do! I own 3 of her books and a novella. Jessica Park wrote “Flat Out Love” which is one of my favorite contemporaries of 2013. I loved it so much that I went on and read “Flat Out Matt” and “Left Drowning”. I devoured them. I recently purchased “Flat Out Celeste” her newest novel in the “Flat Out Love” world. (Kayla I know you’re gonna be mad, but I bought the kindle version okay! It was only 3.99. I couldn’t resist!!). I think the reason I am so amazed by her is because she is an independent author. She does not publish her books through a big publishing house, but through an independent publisher. Her books are edited so well that I almost want to pee my pants at how happy it makes. She’s an indie author who got it right. It gives me hope for future indie authors and indie books.

10

Surprised to see this? I know I’m not. Why? Because I’m one of those few people who loved “Allegiant”. I loved the Divergent Trilogy as a whole. The world she created, the way she wrote it, the trilogy sucked me in and I never wanted to leave it for the real world. Sadly, I had to, but if she publishes something in the near or far future, even if it sounds boring, I will buy it. I don’t care. I love her that much. (And honestly how can we forget Divergent? That was one of the best first books in a trilogy I have EVER read!) I own three of her books (and soon four! haha get it?! Because the new book is titled Four and it’s the fourth book!!! No… I just think it’s funny… okay… *walks away shamefully*).

11

Lastly, we have an honorary mention because if this woman had published “Isla and the Happily Ever After” sooner, she would have been able to make it on the list officially. We all love Stephanie Perkins and we all know why. I feel like she is the recent Queen of YA contemporary and no one has come close to dethrone her. At least not in my book. Her books are all sugar, sweet, and honey. They make you feel all happy and bubbly inside. BUY HER BOOKS!

 

We have finally reached the end of this really long post for which I apologize, but I did have a lot to say and yet I feel like I didn’t say enough. I’m going to go ahead and tag Kayla over at The Thousand Lives and demand she do this because I want to see what she comes up with, and I think most of you might want to know too! If anyone decides to write a post like this, please let me know and send me the link. I want to read your posts and have discussions about our most owned authors that are also on our auto-buy list.

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Reviews, YA Mystery

Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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Goodreads Summary:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

My Initial Thoughts:

I bought the book after I heard E. Lockhart read an excerpt about two months (maybe one month) ago at the LA Times Book Festival and it intrigued me. Also, Kayla raved about it, and said she loved it so with Kayla’s and Ms. Lockhart’s push, I bought it.

Review:

Oh My Gosh, this book was… amazing! E. Lockhart’s writing is poetic. Every lines flows into the next and it’s just perfection. I really love her writing style. AUTO-BUY AUTHOR!

It is true what everyone says, that you need to go into the book without knowing anything. I only knew what Ms. Lockhart read at the panel and really that was enough. You need to go into this book not knowing anything. (PLEASE DONT SPOIL YOURSELF)

Cady Sinclair is the perfect character to tell this story. I don’t think the story would be the same if any other liar was telling the story. Johnny, Gat, and Mirren will forever be imprinted in my heart.

I wish I could say more about this book but I really don’t want to spoil it for you. I really don’t.

I will tell you this, carve some time in your day and if you can, read it all at once. That is what I did and it was perfect. Also, if you know someone who read it and you can fangirl with, it would be perfect. I texted Kayla at a certain point in the story and she was there to fangirl with me.

If you don’t have anyone to fangirl with, spam me with comments, I don’t mind. I WILL FANGIRL WITH YOU!

Rating: 5/5

Editor Letter

Los Angeles Times Book Festival 2014

Hello Everyone!

Two weekends ago, The Los Angeles Times hosted a Book Festival at USC, in Los Angeles, California. As someone who was originally going to go last year, but college got in the way, now that I am out of college I was excited to finally have the opportunity to go!

I only went one day out of the two day festival. I bought the fancy VIP pass thing (I totally forgot the name of the pass… Oops!) so that I would be able to get my talk-tickets in advance before they went out on sale to the general public. I feel like a snob because I was able to do that, but oops, too late. 😉

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Kayla and I went together on Saturday, and boy was it an adventure. I picked her up bright and early around 7:40 so that we could get an early start and avoid some of the LA morning rush (Yes, LA has a rush even on Saturdays). After driving a little under three hours we arrived at USC.

We arrived later than we wanted too, so we made an executive decision and we decided to hit the vendor and exhibitor tables after the Testing The Boundaries in YA Literature panel which featured the moderator and author Aaron Hartzler, and author panelists Rainbow Rowell, E. Lockhart, Adam Smith, and John Corey Whaley.

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This panel was fantastic! Each author talked about pushing the boundaries in different ways in literature. Rainbow Rowell with social anxiety issues, E. Lockhart with medical and interracial relationships, Adam Smith with horny giant mantis’ (and that is one book I won’t be reading), and John Corey Whaley with a story about a teen that gets his head frozen and comes back later with a new body. Freaky stuff right? The panelists all seemed to be friends which helped with the atmosphere of the panel and the room. The amount of thought that went into each answer was incredible and Kayla and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

After the panel, Kayla and I headed to the Rainbow Rowell signing. I was so bummed that I forgot to bring my E. Lockhart books, but I’ll get them signed next year. We waited for hours in that line and at the end we have a signature in our book, and a sunburn on our necks to show our perseverance.

After lunch and little bit of wandering around, we split up and I went to the Adrenaline Rush panel at the YA Stage.

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The Adrenaline Rush Panel started at 4:30pm. I was blessed with Aaron Hartzler’s presence once again as a moderator (He is a really good moderator and his personality just shines, so I was thrilled!) and the author panelists were Lauren Oliver, Abby McDonald (representing Abigail Hass, one of her pen names), Stephanie Kuehn, and Sarah Skilton. Each author’s book dealt with “adrenaline” one way or another. Panic by Lauren Oliver is about teens entering a life-threatening game, Dangerous Girls by Abigail Hass (Abby McDonald) is about a teenage girl who gets framed for her best friends’ murder, High and Dry by Sarah Skilton is about a boy who gets framed for a near-fatal drug over dose of a peer, and Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn is about a boy who thinks he is a monster.

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The panel’s discussion was fantastic that I didn’t even notice I got more sunburned as I sat for another hour in the sun. The authors were so kind and answered all of the questions thrown at them—even questions not about the panel—but about being a author in general and their journeys to where they are today. After the panel was over, it was signing time! I was able to get one of my Abby McDonald books signed. She is such a sweetheart and I absolutely love her. I was also able to get Pandemonium signed by Lauren Oliver. Ms. Oliver is so funny and great. She said she hated worms, but would keep my blog business card anyways. At first I didn’t understand why she was telling me she was afraid of worms, but she would keep my business card anyways, and then it dawned on me my blog name is TALKING BOOKWORM. Talk about a fail moment right there.

Earlier when I was wandering the vendor booths before the panel, I found a signed copy of TFIOS in the Young Readers Penguin Booth Store. I was absolutely thrilled! Veronica 1, John Green Signing line 0.

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Overall, it was a great experience and something I would love to do again!

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The end of the festival, Day 1