Top Ten Tuesday – September 2, 2014: Top Ten Characters Who Would Be at My Lunch Table

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic: Top Ten Book Characters That Would Be Sitting At My Lunch Table


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MY BEST FRIENDS

  • Cricket from Nantucket Blue & Nantucket Red: Cricket is a character I really identified with on so many levels, especially in NANTUCKET RED. I easily felt like I would fit into her world and her group of friends!
  • Anna from Anna and the French Kiss: Anna is another person who I really connected too. Maybe we’d be TOO similar? But really, I just think we’d be besties!
  • Julia from Meant to Be: Julia was another girl I felt like I really connected with and I think if we met up, we’d be pretty good friends! We have a lot of things in common and I also think we could learn a lot from each other.
  • Macallan from Better Off Friends: Macallan would totally be in my circle of friends. She seems laid back and yet fun all at the same time.
  • Allyson from Just One Day: Allyson and I are a LOT a like and I really related to JUST ONE DAY in so many ways. I felt like I sort of relived my own life while reading that book… And actually, all of these girls feel like little pieces of me. Am I picking best friends or just girls that I feel the most like…?

THE GUYS

  • Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah from The Raven Boys: These guys have a nice, mixed group. I feel like I’d get along really well with Gansey but I also love Adam and I think a group needs a little bad boy with Ronan and a little mystery with Noah. They seem like a group of guys I’d like to hang out with.
  • Roar from Through the Ever Night: Well, he’s in UNDER THE NEVER SKY too but somehow I don’t have a copy of that book yet… Anyway. He also got a lot more face time in TTEN and I just love his personality. He’s fun, friendly, and outgoing. He’d probably be one of the guys I had a crush on.
  • Trevor from Pivot Point: Another book that somehow I don’t own the first in the series so you get to see SPLIT SECOND! Anyway… I loved Trevor. He was so great and swoony

THE POWER COUPLES

  • Adam and Mia from If I Stay: I was a choir nerd in high school and we also hung out with a lot of band and orchestra people… Adam and Mia would totally be in my group of friends (I mean, if they weren’t too cool for me…)
  • Mik and Zuzanna from Daughter of Smoke and Bone: I totally forgot to put this book in the picture… But Mik and Zuze would be awesome friends. I love them together and they would totally make high school a blast!

So those are my picks for this week! I think if I could have these people at my lunch table, I would have a hell of a time at high school lunch! ;)

Isla and the Happily Ever After – Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After – Stephanie PerkinsTitle: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Date Completed: July 28, 2014
Publishing Info: August 14, 2014 by Penguin
Source: Hardcover purchased from Amazon
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
Related Posts: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Anna and the French Kiss
    From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.
Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

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With ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS being one of my all-time favorite books, especially after my recent re-read in preparation for ISLA, I felt a lot of pressure to fall in love with ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER the way I did with ANNA. I enjoyed LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, but no book has really hit so many feelings and perfect moments and got those perfect couples just right like ANNA did so I was a bit intimidated with the last book in this set of companions.

I was so grateful to be able to borrow the ARC from Carolina from Book Problems (thank you again!!) and I immediately dove in. Right off the bat, I noticed a big difference between ISLA and the first two books, which was neither good nor bad… Just different. Anna and Lola both have an instant chemistry (Anna after just meeting St. Clair and Lola after reuniting with Cricket) but ISLA really jumps right into the meat and potatoes of the romance. We know from Isla’s narration that she’s had a long-time crush on Josh and re-readers of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS are able to see snippets of moments that Isla mentions in her narrative, which I always love and think is incredibly exciting! Readers don’t have to wait long for the meet-cute that brings Isla and Josh together again, the summer before senior year is about to start (in fact, it’s the first thing that happens in the book) and immediately the two start to hit it off.
For me, the immediate transition from crush to full-on relationship felt a bit rushed. I know, I know, Isla has been crushing on him for years, right? But as a reader, I didn’t get to see that point of view. I was missing all the build-up, the feelings, the missed moments, the locked eyes, the beating hearts — all of the amazing tension that happened like it did with Anna and St. Clair. Of course, I know the books won’t all be the same and they can’t ALL follow the same romance pattern, but I did feel like I was missing a lot of the build-up that I love seeing so much in new relationships.

The whole story of ISLA was definitely different than the other girls, which I really enjoyed. She’s a year younger than Anna and St. Clair so she always saw their group of friends as sort of the… well, popular kids for lack of a better term. She really admired their group and having a huge crush on Josh, always felt like there was no way to crack that close knit group. She also has a best friend from both home and who also attends SOAP who has a mild form of autism (falling under the umbrella of Asberger’s) so it was really interesting to see their relationship as well as how that affected Isla’s romantic relationship having a male best friend, once that started to form. I really loved the way Stephanie Perkins handle all of this and thought it could not have been pulled off better. It was really great to see that kind of friendship and whereas Anna and St. Clair had a friendship that we all rooted for to turn into a romance, Isla and Kurt really are strictly friends and Kurt is never jealous of Josh in a romantic way. If ever feelings are hurt (which you know will be inevitable), it’s just because he misses his friend who he’s used to spending all of his time with, and I really loved that.

This is the hard part to review because it just kills me… I didn’t really quite connect with Isla and Josh as much as I had hoped. Isla felt a bit too insecure for my liking. She sabotaged herself too many times and I can understand being afraid to talk to someone, to take a chance, to put yourself out there, to take the next step… But I felt like it happened a lot in the book and there was one specific time where it was just so frustrating that I got upset. She’s a very smart girl — the top of her class — but not always the most social girl. That never bothered me since I’m not the most outgoing person myself and often feel awkward or shy in public… But the self-sabotage really just pained me a little bit. I felt bad for Isla and at the same time I wanted to shake her and tell her to cut it out!
I also didn’t connect to Josh as much as I wanted to. I heard some great things before the book about how swoony he was and people loving Josh more than St. Clair (though for me, I don’t know if ANYONE could ever top St. Clair) so admittedly, I was expecting a lot. I really liked Josh but he felt very different from the best friend Josh that I knew in ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, perhaps because I really just didn’t know that much about him at that point. Josh has his own past and skeletons in his closet to deal with and it doesn’t make for an easy time with school or with Isla. I liked Josh, but I just couldn’t fall in love with him. I kept waiting for that chemistry to hit me like a ton of bricks and I just didn’t ever really FEEL the spark or the butterflies.

The ending of the book was just perfect in every way. MY FAVORITE PART happened at the very end (like, OMG best thing ever) and it was so great to see everything really wrap up and also tie all three books together. Despite a few qualms as the book progressed, I really loved the way everything wrapped up and I was able to see exactly how much Isla and Josh had both learned from the experiences they went through. There was one small thing that I thought didn’t have to be taken THAT far, but that’s a spoilery thing and reveals how the book wraps up so I can’t really expound on that in my review! Overall, I really enjoyed ISLA and zipped right through it, but ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is still the clear winner of my heart!

THE VIEW FROM GOODREADS

I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Isla // Character Obsessions: School, Josh, Kurt, traditions.
Isla is a smart girl. She’s very practical and is usually the voice of reason amongst her family. The only time she really takes a chance is with Josh and after what happens once they’re together. She has some big insecurities that tripped me up a bit, simply because they were hard to read. I mean, I know I’ve had similar feelings so maybe that’s why it was hard for me? But it wasn’t just that they were present, but that they persisted even when things were good. Anyway. I didn’t connect with her as much as I had hoped but I really loved seeing the Isla from the beginning and the Isla from the end and seeing how much she grew as a person and how much she taught herself.
Josh // Character Obsessions: Art, projects, relaxing, going after what he wants.
Josh was… nice. I just didn’t ever connect with him. I think it was harder because he was so outgoing when he was with his friends, but with Isla, he seemed much less vocal and a lot more… well, not physical, though they were a more physical couple than previous Stephanie Perkins characters… But I just didn’t feel like he SAID as much and much Isla, I felt like I kept trying to get into Josh’s head and just couldn’t.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Stephanie Perkins. Even though ANNA remains my favorite of the trio, I’m pretty sure any Stephanie Perkins book is still an auto-buy for me! I just love all of the feelings (not just romantic FEELS but the way everything really make the reader think and reflect and relate) and how every book really comes together just perfectly.
Left Me Wanting More: Chemistry. I’m sure many readers will just KILL ME over this, but I just didn’t get the chemistry between Isla and Josh. Maybe I still had an Anna/St. Clair hangover because those two honestly do just kill me a little… But I never quite got in the groove of Isla & Josh :(

Addiction Rating
Read it!

You must read the last book in this trio of wonderful contemporaries! Despite the missed connections for me, it was still a really nice, solid read and I did enjoy it! If you’ve read the first two, you just need to see this one see the companions through as well!

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(Click the cover to see my review!)

 Nantucket red    just one day

August 2014: Recap & Wrap-Up!

I can’t believe how fast this year is going. August was a really good month in some ways (my best friend got married, another close friend got engaged, more wedding planning) and very stressful in others (new sump pump & hot water heater after a flooded basement, more wedding planning), but really it was all good and here I am one step closer to my own wedding coming up! Just madness. My wallet has taken a beating so I’ve been on a book buying ban and I’ve been doing SO many things that I’ve barely had time to finish any books this month either. It’s been a bit of a slow patch for reading and blogging but hey. Sometimes life just happens! Anyway… Let’s go back and recap what happened on the blog!

FunStats

  • Number of Books Read In August: 6. Ouch. It’s been a really busy month and I honestly haven’t even finished a book in two weeks. I’ve just been doing ALL THE THINGS and poor reading has taken a hit!
  • Popular Search Terms:  “where she went ending” // “meant to be book” // “where she went read online” and “if I stay read online” (Sorry, guys. Nope.) // “why did mia leave adam in where she went”
  • More Amusing Search Terms: “do you have to read stephanie perkins book in a specific order” (Hm… I guess you don’t really HAVE to. But you really, really should!) // “angry pics of girls” (Ummm. Okay? I know this led them to the Confessions of an Angry Girl post though haha) // “ichabod crane tom mison” (score!)
  • Most Referrals (non-social media): Rather Be Reading, GReads!, The Perpetual Page Turner
  • Where My Blog Most Often Leads You (non-internal/social media)Books Take You Places, Allodoxophobia, The Grown-Up YA

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WHAT’S IN STORE FOR SEPTEMBER?

  • I’m going to TRY to keep reading my September ARCs… I fell WAY behind with all of the wedding planning I had to do in August and I have a feeling that may be the case for September… But whatever I can do, I can do!
  • Because of my inability to finish books this month, we’re going to try to do TWO posts for On the Same Page in Sept! Burial Rites & the Goose Girl, here we come!
  • The Selective Collective will actually be taking a little hiatus… A lot of us have quite a bit going on in our lives right now but we’ll keep you informed about future books & posts!
  • I’m catching up on LOTS of reviews in September! Other than that… I’m picking posts as I go along haha! It’s so busy right now, but I’m squeezing in what I can :)

WOWWWW August is over already too. Two more months until my wedding (which is unbelievable) and I just can’t tell if things will be a bit calmer with so many big things out of the way now or just as crazy with only two months left to go. I’m trying to keep up with my blog but understandably, it may be a bit quieter around here! :)

DNF Digest [2]


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I didn’t intended on making “DNF Digest” a regular thing because honestly? I always hope to finish a book! Lately, though, I’ve been more inclined to mark a book as DNF because there are just soooo many books I need to read (you’ve seen my shelves) so I just can’t afford to be pushing through books that I’m really not enjoying. If I’ve read a lot of the book I finish, it’s sort of a policy of mine to try to write a small “review” saying why it didn’t work for me, but today’s collection of DNF round-ups didn’t quite warrant reviews because I didn’t make it as far as I’d hoped.


Title: We Are the Goldens
Author: Dana Reinhardt
Format I was reading: eGalley
Started reading: 4/8/14
Date marked as DNF: 5/14/14
Marked DNF at: 25%
Reason for marking DNF: I just knew this wasn’t a “me” book. I really tried reading as much as I could but I wasn’t into the characters or the plot or even the concept. I think it was a lot less mystery than I thought it was going to be… I was thinking it was a real hardcore mystery and it was more just a secret the one sister was keeping. Not a bad book but I just knew it wasn’t for me. I feel like it’s a better thing for me to stop reading than have myself push through and give it a low rating just because it’s not what I usually enjoy!


Title: The Crown (Queen of Hearts #1)
Author: Colleen Oakes
Format I was reading: eGalley
Started reading: 1/30/14
Date marked as DNF: 5/15/14
Marked DNF at: 20%
Reason for marking DNF: I just couldn’t get into this one. Alice in Wonderland isn’t always my favorite fairy tale but it can be a great retelling. I loved TIGER LILY and I’ve never been a fan of Peter Pan, so it really just depends. I picked it up and put it down a few times but nothing was catching me and I could not stand the main character. She was a brat and the story was weird and I just couldn’t keep going with it. It wasn’t that I was bored or knew it wasn’t for me… I was actively turned off.


Title: The Body in the Woods
Author: April Henry
Format I was reading: ARC from Macmillan
Started reading: 5/25/13
Date marked as DNF: 6/29/14
Marked DNF at: 20%
Reason for marking DNF: (Mini-review, posted on Goodreads) With a tough final decision, I chose not to come back to this book.
I tried a few times to get into it but I really just wasn’t feeling it at any point in time. That really makes me sad because I LOVE YA mysteries and I always want there to me more in the world, but this one just wasn’t working for me.
Ultimately, I think it was the writing. The characters didn’t grab me — and with three POVs, it was really hard to connect with anyone — and everything was so… technical! When the characters are talking to the “professionals”, everything was like step by step, almost textbook descriptions of how murder investigations work. It was very cut and dry and instead of weaving those facts into dialogue or inner thoughts, it just felt like I was reading a textbook.
I tried coming back but it just wasn’t working for me so I decided to DNF rather than force myself to finish and end up with a two star rating.


Title: Graduation Day (The Testing #3)
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Format I was reading: ARC from HMH Kids
Started reading: 6/12/14
Date marked as DNF: 6/29/14
Marked DNF at: 20%
Reason for marking DNF: (Mini-review, posted on Goodreads) I know, I know. You’re probably asking who in the world reads the first two books, rates them four stars, and then DNFs the LAST book in the trilogy? Answer… I just don’t have the desire to read it. 
    I started and made it about 20% in but I feel like I have zero connection to this series anymore.
I read The Testing and I liked it, but it felt too much like THE HUNGER GAMES for me. And DIVERGENT. Nothing really felt original about it and I was never really impressed by Cia or any of the characters. 
    I read INDEPENDENT STUDY on Christmas last year and I actually enjoyed it… But I realized as I started GRADUATION DAY that I have noooooooo idea what happened in that book and I didn’t really care to go back and find out. I felt like I really was never connected to the series and I really don’t like Cia that much at all… Things were good but the more I sit on it, the more I find myself unmotivated to finish.
I could have worked my way through GRADUATION DAY but honestly? I didn’t really care how it ended and I feel find knowing that I never will know. The world didn’t stick with me enough and just from those 50 pages or so, nothing was sticking much at all and I found myself annoyed.
So sorry to quit on the final leg of the series but… I’m just not into it.


Title: Illusive
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Format I was reading: egalley from Little, Brown
Started reading: 7/3/14
Date marked as DNF: 7/21/14
Marked DNF at: 35%
Reason for marking DNF: (Mini-review, posted on Goodreads) This was SUCH a disappointment. I was so excited for Ocean’s 11 meets X-men (or vice versa) and that’s not to say that it wasn’t… It had the heist aspect of Ocean’s 11 BUT it was severely lacking in the humor that I loved so much from that movie. The characters did make jokes, but they were not nearly as witty as my favorite sharp-tongued characters and that whole aspect felt like a let-down. 
    Just nothing about this book grabbed me. I don’t even think it was too much hype in my own head. I just… didn’t enjoy it. I picked it up a few times trying to keep going through since I specifically requested this from the publisher because I was THAT excited and I feel like I’m letting the pub down a bit but I just couldn’t keep going. I made it about 35% of the way through and was really, really pushing myself to keep going. I wasn’t interested in the plot. I wasn’t even entirely sure what the overall plot arc was. I really didn’t like the characters (except for maybe Devon) but one character won’t keep me reading the whole book.
Everything just felt flat and so disconnected. I wonder if the format had anything to do with it? (Written in third person present tense which I don’t think I’ve read before.) It felt like it was trying too hard with the weird tense and was a bit distracting at first but I don’t think it really tripped me up TOO much.
Anyway. I tried to pick it up a few more times and was having just such a hard time with it. I even skipped to the end (which I NEVER do) and found myself not really caring what happened.
A major disappointment for me. Didn’t HATE anything about it but just couldn’t find anything to latch onto to really enjoy.


Title: Stitching Snow
Author: R.C. Lewis
Format I was reading: egalley from Disney Hyperion
Started reading: (sometime in July… I accidentally deleted my original version of this on GR)
Date marked as DNF: 7/28/14
Marked DNF at: 20%
Reason for marking DNF: (Mini-review, posted on Goodreads) I tried to pick this one up a few times and… I just couldn’t get back into it. It always felt like a poor man’s Cinder (not to sound harsh, but my brain just made some strong parallels) and even when a “good part” came up, it wasn’t enough to hook me into the story. 
    I didn’t really care for the main character and actively disliked the secondary characters. I wasn’t into the world either. I’m working on not pushing myself to finish books I’m not enjoying since there are SO many amazing books out there to be read so sadly I just put this one down and didn’t have the heart to come back to it.


Well. Those are my latest DNFs. I always feel so terrible walking away from a book, but I just have to tell myself that I can’t like them all and if I didn’t feel a responsibility to review just because I’m blogging, I really wouldn’t have an issue putting them down. Some I waited MONTHS to DNF because I just felt so bad doing it, but I took the time to let them marinate and decided that I still couldn’t make it happen.
Do you have any that you agree with? Any you’re disappointed I didn’t enjoy?

The Selective Collective features A Little Something Different

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The Selective Collective reads A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT by SANDY HALL

The Selective Collective features A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT by SANDY HALL provided to us by Macmillan & Swoon Reads for review and use in The Selective Collective feature!

For my part in this Selective Collective post, I wanted to do… well, a little something different! Throughout the book, I felt like Gabe and Lea had trouble expressing themselves and maybe needed a little bit of help to do so. What better way to do that than through music? Music can be so powerful and say everything you need to say! Music was also a huge part of my college career so I think it’s the perfect thing to incorporate into this month’s Selective Collective post for A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT! Without further ado, here is my soundtrack for the book!

A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT soundtrack:
Listen to the full collection of songs at 8tracks.com!

Now, 8tracks doesn’t let you see the full listing of songs but I’m going to cheat and let you see the whole listing of songs! Unfortunately with 8tracks you can only skip three songs on one mix so I wanted to share the entire collection with you so you can see what’s on it even if you end up skipping a few!

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The soundtrack has a very “chill” feel. Gabe and Lea get a little tongue-tied around each other (hence song #3), but for the most part, they seem like pretty relaxed sort of people! They’re just a bit shy and both seem like they’d listen to a lot of mellow, easy-listening alt rock and indie rock.

I think “Tongue Tied” and “Something to Talk About” are two of my favorite selections because they sum up the book pretty well according to my reading experience! Gabe and Lea connected on a level past words since they had a hard time talking to each other and putting themselves out there… And yet everyone (and even everyTHING (squirrels and benches included)) were talking about their chemistry and how obvious it was that these two lovebirds should just get together already! The lyrics obviously don’t EXACTLY line up with the story, but I really like the idea and the sentiment behind them and the titles work REALLY well!

Don’t forget to check out the mix on 8tracks.com and you can listen to it in full!

So what do you think? Which songs would YOU put on the soundtrack for A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT? What do you think best sums up Gabe and Lea?

And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  From Page to Screen
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  A Little Something Different: Candice’s Choice
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Round Table: A Little Something Different
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Interview with Sandy Hall + Giveaway!

 

 

Book and a Beverage [70] – Allie from Little Birdie Books

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

In case you don’t know the deal about Book and a Beverage, it’s a very simple yet fun feature: We read books, we drink beverages, we take pictures of them and then I share your photos and a little about you to the blogging world!

Give a big welcome to Allie from Little Birdie Books!

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Name & Blog Name: Allie @ Little Birdie Books
Tell us a little about your blog! Little Birdie is a place where I let my inner fangirl run the show. It started over a year ago as way for me to escape from my university syllabus and read the things I loved again… and, man, have I read some amazing books since then. I love the freedom and variety of running my own book blog; how one post could be a review, and the other a random discussion on something I’ve been pondering. Basically, my blog is a fun and spontaneous place where fellow book junkies are always tackle-hugged on entry (and given cookies. There are always cookies to be had).
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? (Link us up!) Isometimes write these ‘Rules That Must Be Obeyed’ poststhat are my sarcastic way of rounding up clichés and dismissing blogger / reader myths. The latest one ‘Blogger Rules That Must Be Obeyed’ was so hilarious to write and I absolutely loved the responses I got from everyone. Everyone loves a snarky Allie!
Got anything special coming up we should know about? Oh, come on, every day is special at Little Birdie (haha).

book

Whatcha reading? Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc) Bloomsbury sent me over a copy, because they’re awesome like that.
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? I adore the Throne of Glass series (ridiculous amounts) and take any chance I can to push it on unsuspecting readers!
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? This series has the most wonderfully written, epically detailed, fantastically varied fantasy books I’ve ever read. And this third book is the best of the lot – it’s the only book to ever make me cry!

beverage

Whatcha drinking? Thai Iced Tea, because it is the most glorious invention ever.
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? If it’s not iced-tea, then I actually love a glass of Blackberry and Elderflower Pimm’s, especially in the summer.
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! Elderflower and pomegranate cordial with lemonade is the BOMB (and I like it so much, I’m not even going to feel guilty about saying the phrase ‘the bomb’).
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What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? The Raven Boys (and, by extension, all of the other books in the series, because they are pure magic). Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Cinder (and, again, all of the sequels because they are AMAZING).
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment? It’d probably be when I made my first real blogging buddy. It’s so lovely to know I’ve made some genuine friends in the blogosphere and I think that was my proudest moment.
Anything else you’d like to share? DFTBA, guys.

Thanks, Allie! Apparently we need to be new best friends now because all of your recs are books that I LOOOOVE and I’m reading Heir of Fire right now and have fallen in love with this series too! Thanks so much for being on Book and a Beverage!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Allie! Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest // Bloglovin’ // Instagram

And don’t forget! You can participate in Book and a Beverage at any time! Got a book? Got a beverage? Just tweet or post your photo on Instagram using the hashtag #bookandabeverage and I’ll retweet or repost your photo!

#bookandabeverage

 

Kiss of Broken Glass – Madeleine Kuderick

Kiss of Broken Glass – Madeleine KuderickTitle: Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick
Date Completed: June 18, 2014
Publishing Info: September 9, 2014 by HarperCollins
Source: egalley approved via publisher through Edelweiss -- Thanks!
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
    Madeleine Kuderick’s gripping debut is a darkly beautiful and lyrical novel in verse, perfect for fans of Sonya Sones and Laurie Halse Anderson. Kiss of Broken Glass pulses with emotion and lingers long after the last page.
    In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.   
    When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems... for a moment.

Review1

When I first started KISS OF BROKEN GLASS, I actually had no idea it was in verse. Verse is not usually my thing, but I decided to roll with it and I was glad I did! It was a very interesting story and definitely one with a powerful message.

The story starts with fifteen-year-old Kenna being brought to a facility for psych evaluation after being caught cutting herself in the girls bathroom at school. What really intrigued me about the story as I was reading was Kenna’s reason as to why she was cutting. See, it’s become sort of a fad at her school. Girls do it for a thrill, for bragging rights, for proof that they’re daring. Some of them really are hurting inside and we find out throughout the story that Kenna is a little bit of both.

For some, the fad of cutting may seem like a really unrealistic concept but I actually read the afterword when I completed the book and it broke my heart to read that Madeleine Kuderick’s daughter actually went through a very similar situation that Kenna did and that’s how she came up with concept for the story. I’ll also tell you that I’ve witnessed this fad first hand at my own high school – not as quite as portrayed in the book but I’ve had friends who used to cut and I’ve seen how that idea can take off as something appealing as a physical release of an emotional struggle and catch on with others.

The book sort of reminded me of something like a YA Girl, Interrupted. It definitely had the same kind of feel and it was shocking and intriguing all at the same time. I really appreciated the message and how the story evolved too. Even though it was verse which is something I’m not really as into, the book really moved quickly and it was a very easy read.

The only lack of connection I had was actually because of the verse. There were small rhyming poems strewn throughout the book which were actually composed by one of the characters that I seemed to connect with more than the overall composition. I used to write some really bad high school poetry, but it worked really well for dumping all of my feelings into a creative outlet like that so I had hoped the verse would make me feel the same way writing my own poetry had, but I think it actually had the adverse effect on me. KISS OF BROKEN GLASS didn’t at all feel like bad high school poetry, but I felt like I would have personally connected with Kenna better if I had been able to really dig deep into her feeling through more conventional prose. I really wanted to read through long paragraphs, climb into her mind, and sort of let all of those feelings wash over me. I feel like the verse really put up a small wall that I couldn’t break past in order to really connect with the characters.

KISS OF BROKEN GLASS didn’t bowl me over but it was still a powerful story nonetheless. I think it’s a great read and a really great selection for those who don’t normally read verse. It was actually really quick and easy, but also enjoyable and carries a really powerful message.

THE VIEW FROM GOODREADS

“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Characters1

Kenna // Character Obsessions: Friends, popularity, family, control, cutting. 
I really felt for Kenna as I was reading. It’s quite complicated when you want to fit in with your friends, when what your friends are doing becomes appealing to you even when it initially isn’t, and even when you know it’s a bad idea. I feel like a lot of people who read this book won’t believe that something like cutting can become a fad or something that girls would do to impress one another but I’ve actually seen it at my old school and I can tell you that it is a real thing. I understand how fitting in with your friends and wanting to be important in the group, not wanting to be that goody-two-shoes feels. Not to mention that I felt like expressing myself through poetry in high school was the way to get my feelings out too haha!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Serious issues. I don’t read a lot of “issue” books, for lack of a better term, but when I do, I try to choose them carefully. I think there are a lot of different stories to be told about people who suffer from self-harm and I think they’re important stories to read. I think if you’re not someone who has suffered from it or knows someone who has, it may be difficult to understand why it happens so I really appreciate the authors who write the genuinely realistic stories for others to read and experience and understand.
Left Me Wanting More: Connection. As much as I wanted to connect to the book and initially didn’t expect the verse to hold me back, it actually did a little bit. I was hoping it would help the story flow and infuse more emotion but I actually felt like it took away from the emotional side for me. I didn’t have time for those long, emotional paragraphs to really take me over.

Addiction Rating
Read it

I think this book is definitely an important read, even if I hadn’t connected with it as much as I had hoped. It’s a important topic to read about and inspire conversation and awareness and also a really good book for those who are starters in verse.

Recommendations1

(Click the cover to see my review!)

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