Pub Date [12] – Guest Post | Asheley from Into the Hall of Books


Pub Date

Hi, all! Welcome to back to our new feature called PUB DATE where Estelle from Rather Be Reading, Andi from Andi’s ABCs, and Maggie from Just a Couple More Pages and I all team up to pair books + beers in harmony! Each week, one of us will features a beer and a book of our choice, each with a different theme for that month!

This month’s theme: Hearing from other beer-lovers!

It’s been a year since we started posting our book and beer posts with Pub Date and we’ve been having SO much fun! We were brainstorming about what other themes we could come up with for future posts and we decided to bring in some other people to share in the fun! This month, each of us asked another beer-lover to take part in Pub Date with whatever books & beer they chose to feature! I asked Asheley from Into the Hall of books because she was one of the first bloggers I started to talk to about beer once we both realized how much we loved it and I was so excited to find another book blogger who had that passion as well! She’s also just a lovely person and a very sweet friend (plus, she got me this post super quickly after I told her the wrong date, so thanks again Ash)!


BOOKS AND BEER FROM NORTH CAROLINA
from Asheley (Into the Hall of Books)

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be here at The Book Addict’s Guide today talking about books and beer, two of my favorite things! Brittany said that I can talk about what I choose today, so I’m choosing my own theme: the connection I have with my state’s books + beer. It sounds dorky, but I promise, I’M SO LUCKY because North Carolina has exceedingly great taste in brew and in books.

I moved across the state last summer and one of my favorite things about my new place is the two local breweries that we have here! I’m so excited about this because before, at my old place, it took a huge day-trip or maybe a weekend mini-vacation to visit breweries — now I can drive just 10-15 minutes and BOOM! I have fresh beer in my hands right away.

It’s amazing.

Actually, being closer to the middle of North Carolina has placed me much closer to a ton of breweries now, which is great for my visiting and growler-collecting habit.

Today, I’ve chosen to highlight my favorite of the two local-to-me breweries: Huske Hardware House. I love all of their brews, but I just happen to have a growler of the Saison de Huske here at the house and it is so great — such a delicious, fresh, summery-tasting brew. I love this beer — it has this really great citrus-y taste with a little bite on the back end, and it really isn’t that hoppy at all. I think it pairs well with almost anything, which is why I love having it on hand. It tastes so great cold, straight from the growler — small sips, eyes closed.

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I’ve paired the Saison de Huske with my small collection of Sarah Dessen books! Did you guys know that Sarah Dessen is from North Carolina and that she writes great North Carolina settings? OF COURSE you probably do! Her books are are summer-y and lovely, and I love the towns of Colby and Lakeview. I haven’t read all of the titles from my photo, but I’m working on it!

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Outside of my summer-y choice of Sarah Dessen and Saison de Huske, I’ve been stuck on brown ales. In keeping with my NC theme, I’m highlighting two of my favorites: Lonerider Sweet Josie Brown Ale and Natty Greene Old Town Brown Ale. Both have a subtle, smooth almost-but-not-quite chocolate taste that I think goes perfectly with reading. I’ve paired both of these drinks with a few random books from my shelves — authors that live in North Carolina or have North Carolina ties.

Sidenote: I have a thing about matching my pint glasses with my beers. The way Lonerider has recently changed their marketing reminds me of when book covers get redesigned mid-series, and then we sometimes want to buy the new ones so they’ll all match. The can is the new design and my glass is the older design. And I don’t have a glass to go with Natty Greene’s beers yet, which is a shame because their Brown Ale and their Buckshot Amber Ale is almost always in my refrigerator these days. Beer lovers are just as quirky about beer sometimes as bookish people.

I’m not a NC-snob, I promise. The thing is that I’m very proud of my state, of craft brewing in North Carolina, and of the amazing talent we have here in the way of authors and story settings. I will absolutely drink beer from anywhere, but when I look at my Untappd app, it is clear that I love beer from my state. The same thing goes with books — I love books in general, but I have a different kind of love for the authors from my own state and for any author that chooses to use North Carolina as a setting.

What about you, friends? Do you drink beer when you read? Or do you prefer coffee or Diet Coke?
If you’re a beer drinker, do you have a favorite? 


Thank you again, Asheley! I LOVE that you paired up books and beers from your state! I feel like I’m fairly proud of our local brews too! I would love to try some local NC brews sometime! I feel like I haven’t had very many from your state!

If you want to say hello to Asheley, feel free to leave her a comment below (please do!) or find her on Untappd, her blog, or Twitter!


Thanks for joining us for another edition of Pub Date! Missed any posts? You can catch up at any time on my blog page for the Pub Date Feature!

Book and a Beverage [106] – Emz from Paging Serenity

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 Emz from Paging Serenity!

Book and a Beverage Paging Serenity

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Name & Blog Name: Hi! I’m Emz from Paging Serenity.
Tell us a little about your blog! I started Paging Serenity under the name Icy Cold Reads around two years ago. It was started out of my need to interact with other readers, ones that did not only recommend The Hunger Games or Twilight, to be specific. It mainly features discussion posts with the occasional YA book review and some other fun stuff.
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? (Link us up!) Hmmm, probably this ranty post I wrote a while back. I had a really fun time writing it and releasing all that pent up anger and frustration I had about movie critics and their opinions about YA book to movie adaptations. Plus, I made my first blogging friend because of this post.
Got anything special coming up we should know about? You’ll just have to wait and find out. 😉 Actually, no, at least not that I know of…

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Whatcha reading?
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken! It’s a reread, but still as good as ever.
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc): From my bookshelves.
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? I’m currently in a reading slump, and The Darkest Minds is my go to book to get me out of one.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? It’s one of my favorite books! I would definitely recommend it, especially to people who love fantasy and/or dystopians.

beverageWhatcha drinking? I’m drinking a mango pineapple smoothie from McDonald’s.
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? WATER. I know, I know, so boring. But I can be a huge klutz and a bit accident prone so water is the safest choice. I actually prefer not to drink anything while I read because of some traumatic experiences caused by accidentally spilling drinks… Those books were never the same afterwards.
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! Why do you have to make me choose? This question is only slightly less difficult than “what’s your favorite book”. Um, I like water, as boring as it is, smoothies, hot chocolate, milkshakes, root beer floats, I can go on and on…

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What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Speaking of hard questions… The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, and Heist Society by Ally Carter. Gah, that was hard!
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment? I don’t know about proudest, but three blogging moments I’m proud of are: when I stopped caring about what other people think and just started doing what I wanted, when my discussion posts started getting featured/linked up on other blogs, and when I stopped being super shy online.
Anything else you’d like to share? I’m trying to create a pen pal program for bookworms. If you are interested just fill out this form to sign up! :) International peeps are welcome as long as someone else who signed up is willing to mail letters (or postcards) to you. Otherwise, it’s sadly US only.


 Thanks, Emz! So glad to host you on Book and a Beverage!
I LOVED The Darkest Minds! But for some reason I haven’t continued that series yet. One of the many that I need to finish up!!!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Emz! Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads // 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

Conference and Book Event Guilt | Personalizations

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I was chatting with Kristina from Gone Pecan and Ginger from GReads briefly the other night as many book trades were flying around on the #booksfortrade hashtag on Twitter. When it came down to it, the question was, “Would you want a book from someone if it was personalized to them?” meaning, would you still want the book even if it had someone else’s name it? No matter what your answer (I’m sure there are conditions to whether you’d say yes or no), it made me stop and think how many books I got personalized that I wasn’t sure I would love. Or even thought that I would love and ended up — er– not finishing.

Some people may not mind someone else’s name in a book but I think that instantly decreases down a book’s desireability. I’ve passed on a lot of books that were personalized to someone else even if I wanted to own that book because… well, that’s always going to be meant for someone else. It’s also hard to give those books away too. Usually I have to give them away in the mass giveaways because no one really wants them.

So why do I keep doing this? It’s conference and signing guilt. I thought I was getting better at this… I had stopped getting books personalized at local author signings if I hadn’t read the book yet or really wasn’t sure I would fall in love with it because there were too many times that my gut feeling was right… and yet I came home from ALA in January 2015 with too many books personalized to me. Some I knew that I was so on the fence about and yet I couldn’t say no.

It’s tough. You’re face-to-face with an author who’s doing what they can to get you excited for their book. This is their blood, sweat, and tears. This is their baby. And I always feel like saying that I just want my book signed and not personalized means that I’m already doubting their work before I’ve even started it. I mean, I guess that might be true in some cases, but what’s so terrible about that? Everyone is entitled to feel what they feel when they read. We can’t all love every author’s book and it’s okay to feel a little doubt.

I especially struggle with this at author events with multiple authors or at conferences. One author? No problem. That’s who I’m there to see. Two authors? I usually try to read both books before the event so even if I don’t like Author B’s book I just… don’t buy that book for the event. I already know. But many authors? Conferences? For some reason I just can’t say no. I look them in the eye!!! (The eye contact. It kills me.) Especially at conferences. I don’t know why but I just can’t say no! I think I feel like they’re working so hard to promote their book and I’m eager to read and always hope to like the book.

This is how it always goes down: 
I wait in line.
I wait in line for 15 minutes.
I wait in line for 30 minutes. (Conferences, yo. BEA signing lines are beasts.)
I finally get to the front of the line, totally jazzed by all of the excited fans that I’ve just talked to.
The author greets me a warm hello!
I say HELLO back (albeit probably a bit scared/nervous/awkward because that’s me)
They either A) ask me if i want the book personalized or B) ask me what my name is, already poised to personalize.
I freeze.
I LOOK THEM IN THE EYES.
And then I think about how bad I feel if I just say “signature only, please” because I feel like that’s basically saying “I don’t have confidence that I will like your book so just sign it in case I need to give it away later.”

Sometimes it’s a good choice! Don’t get me wrong. I’ve gotten books personalized before and I am like “YES! I knew I would love this!” And other times I feel even more guilty not finishing/not liking a book because my name is in there too! It was a promise to like the book! (Okay, not really. More like a promise I made to myself.)

Guys, it’s a true problem sometimes. I just feel THE GUILT when I have to actively turn down a personalization. I know I don’t have to get a book personalized. I know it’s okay to say that I don’t want my name in that book! But I feel like it hurts and instills doubt when I don’t! As a reader and collector, though, I’m doing the best that I can to stop letting that guilt get the best of me! I’ve gotten a lot better about signings (and I try to prepare and read beforehand so I know exactly what I will want personalized and what I won’t). Hopefully I’ll behave at BEA this year!

Here are some questions you can ask yourself if you’re debating (maybe while you’re in line!): 
Have I read other books by this author before?
If so, how much did I enjoy them?
Have any of my friends aka truster reviewers read this book and which way do they lean?
Is it a format of the book you would want to keep? (I have some personalized ARCs and I would rather have a finished copy… but don’t need two.)
What would I do with this personalized book if I ended up not wanting to keep it?
Is it a desirable title that maybe someone else would want if I end up not keeping it?

It is always okay to say that you just want the book signed and not personalized! I’m not very good at saying no to personalizations… but I need to get better at that because it’s inevitable that you will dislike or feel less-than-stellar feelings about a book. That’s okay! But don’t stick yourself with a personalized copy because of guilt! Trust me. I’ve been there too many times!


Do you suffer from personalization guilt? What do you do with your books that you have personalized that you don’t want to keep anymore? What’s your best advice to those suffering from this phenomenon?

Top Ten Tuesday – May 19, 2015: Top Ten Books I Read In One Day

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TOP TEN TUESDAY
May 19, 2015

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was a freebie so I chose:
Top Ten Books I Read In One Day

It’s a rare and special moment when I sit down with a book and finish it in a single day. Sometimes it’s my goal to read a lot and other times I just can’t put the book down. I wish I had more time to do this but usually life gets in the way! Anyway… I thought it was a fun topic to share with you today! It brings an interesting mix of books that aren’t necessarily lumped together under a specific genre or publication year so it felt like I was able to write a very unique post!

FAVORITE BOOKS READ IN A SINGLE DAY

read in one day

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas: DANGEROUS GIRLS, man. This is a BOOK. I had heard many great things before I started it and I was not let down in any way. I couldn’t put the book down and I didn’t want to! I read it on the plane to BEA 2014 and then thank goodness I had to wait a little bit for Alyssa’s train to get into Grand Central because I was able to finish it before we met up. I did not want to leave that ending for later! Though it did leave me baffled and maybe looking half-crazy at a table in the food court of Grand Central station.

Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler: After talking to Dahlia for a while, I was so excited to be able to read and review her first New Adult book! I had so much fun reading LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT and I sort of didn’t even realize I was reading it in one day until it happened. Clearly I was absorbed!

Fault Line by Christa Desir: FAULT LINE was such a powerful book. It was something that I really didn’t want to leave over the span of a few days. It shocked me, opened my eyes to things, made me feel for the characters, and I needed to get to the end before the day was over.

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith: WILD AWAKE was a total whirlwind. I remember reading this outside on the 4th of July while we barbecued and just hung out. I don’t think I even really took breaks that day when I was reading and sort of just got lost in this book until I finished it!

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider: Oh, this book and my feels. I sometimes forget that I finished this in one day because it really sat with me for so long but it was another book that I just couldn’t stop reading. I needed to know where it was going. I needed to know how it ended. And I just drowned in feelings and secrets and music.

read in one day pt 2The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: This was one of the first full-length books I actually sat down and read start to finish in one day (well, besides Harry Potter). I just got sucked in to this book and became so invested in the characters. I laughed, I mourned, and I cried some ugly tears alone in my apartment.

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios: Although I wasn’t AS in love with this book as everyone else was, I still really, really enjoyed it. Enough to finish it in a day, apparently!! I’LL MEET YOU THERE was so wonderful and I couldn’t get enough of it!

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith: I actually don’t even remember finishing this one in a day but my Goodreads says it happened so it must be true. How fitting too since the book takes place in a single 24 hour time period too!

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: Okay, I don’t like alien books. Like, really not. But the hype for THE 5TH WAVE (especially at the time when I read it) was not unwarranted. I dove in head first and didn’t want to put it down! In fact, I didn’t. I spent the entire afternoon reading it cover-to-cover!

Top Ten Clues You’re Cluelesss by Liz Czukas: I just adore Liz Czukas and her books! TOP TEN CLUES was so much fun and I managed to read it straight through! I just love her stories and her characters!


Have you finished any books in a single sitting or a single day? Or do you like to savor them and spread them out over time? What’s the most addicting book you’ve read that you didn’t want to put down?

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) – Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) – Patrick RothfussTitle: The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss
Date Completed: April 20, 2015
Publishing Info: March 27, 2007 by Penguin
Source: Audiobook purchased from Audible/Kindle version purchased from Amazon
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
    Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

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I had been meaning to read THE NAME OF THE WIND for quite some time and the stars aligned when an Audible deal presented itself at the exact time that I had finished another audiobook. I was really excited to start the book because I’ve been on a fantasy binge lately, I’ve heard such great things, and I’ve heard that the audio is quite fantastic!

So how did the read go? In a nutshell… I loved it. Alyssa had told me once that this is one of the characters she’s become heavily invested in and I can easily see why! Kvothe is an outstanding character with a bright personality and a bright mind, and Patrick Rothfuss does an amazing job at bringing the reader into his story. I tend to go into books blind so I picked this one up on the recommendation of others and really hadn’t researched too much what the book was about other than the fact that it was fantasy but I really loved how the book took shape. The series isn’t the Kingkiller Chronicles but the Kingkiller Chronicle — one story told over a series of books with THE NAME OF THE WIND starting off in what would be present day for the characters and most of the book taking place in Kvothe’s past, as narrated to Chronicler. I’m not always a fan of the flashback but I really liked how the Kvothe’s youth was the focus of  THE NAME OF THE WIND and I suspect we’ll get other portions of his life in subsequent books. I think it’s a great way to really get to know the character instead of just being filled in with bits about his past because his whole life really did shape him to be the person he is now.

That being said, THE NAME OF THE WIND still leaves quite a bit for the reader to guess. Yes, we have Kvothe’s history now… But how did he get to where he is now? How did he meet his current comrades? What happened to him to gain this outstanding reputation? We see bits and pieces in THE NAME OF THE WIND and — as agonizing as it is — I’m glad there are so many questions left open because it makes me that much more anxious to continue the series and it also gives the series a sense of continuity instead of being very separate parts. The past is tied into the future and the present hints at the past. It’s really very clever!

Really, the whole book is clever. Kvothe has a brilliant mind and sharp tongue and he constantly kept me wholly involved in the story at hand. It was so interesting learning about the magic system as well! There were so many things involved in what one could learn at the university and I’m sure that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what future books will reveal. There are clever songs, carefully crafted plots, detailed settings, and really just an overall excellent layout to the overall story. I just really enjoyed how an idea was constantly used from start to finish and just when you forgot that it was also a main focus, it would pop back up again in the perfect place.

I’m so glad I read THE NAME OF THE WIND! I honestly didn’t want to stop reading and I didn’t want the book to end so I’m definitely planning on reading the next book soon! Since the book spans Kvothe’s youth and time in school, it’s also a really nice place for young adult fans to crossover into a little bit of adult fantasy as well!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a 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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Kvothe // Character Obsessions: Learning, sympathy, family, friendship, Denna, music.
Kvothe was an amazing character. I absolutely love how he came to life and how much of his story the reader will get once the series is complete. It’s only the first book and a small portion of his life and I’m already in love. Kvothe is so clever and very smart and he was just all-around a very enjoyable character! I can’t wait to learn more about him in the subsequent books.
Denna // Character Obsessions: Self-sufficiency, music, holding back.
I had heard a lot of things about Denna even before I started the book… and not good things. I was pretty worried that I was going to get VERY annoyed with Kvothe’s obsession with Denna but thankfully it actually didn’t turn out that bad. I think maybe because I was prepared for it and she didn’t seem as bad as some other character obsessions I’ve read recently. I still wasn’t QUITE a fan of her though. She was okay and she had potential to be an interesting character but so far I’m not really enjoying the way she sort of strings Kvothe along (both intentionally and unintentionally) and the “most beautiful girl ever” thing and the “most complicated woman ever” thing is just blegh. She can be awesome and complex without being a total enigma. *shrug*

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Kept Me Hooked On: One story broken up into several books. I REALLY like that this is like, Kvothe’s FULL LIFE STORY. From young to adult. I feel like I don’t see that a lot in series. Usually it’s a specific portion or a couple years and so far I’ve only seen Kvothe’s youth and I’m already super invested!
Left Me Wanting More: Answers! I mean, I’m glad we don’t get to know everything but GAHHH so many things I’m dying to know! It’s great that we will get answers, um, eventually? But I just can’t wait to get more of this series!

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

I just loved this book. I totally fell into this world and once I was finished, I just wanted more. I’ll have to binge the rest of the series (so far) soon!

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BOOKS LIKE THE NAME OF THE WIND

(Click the cover to see my review!)

THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA     THE STORYSPINNER

Last Year’s Mistake – Gina Ciocca

Last Year’s Mistake – Gina CioccaTitle: Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca
Date Completed: January 22, 2015
Publishing Info: June 9, 2015 by Simon and Schuster
Source: egalley approved by the publisher via Edelweiss
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Goodreads // Buy from Amazon
    Before:
Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey's parents decided to move away, she couldn't wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn't ready to let her go...
After:
Now it's senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David's family moves to town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey's second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to.
Told in alternating sections, LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE is a charming and romantic debut about loving, leaving, and letting go.

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I started on LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE very shortly after I was approved for the book on Edelweiss — a story about best friends reuniting and possibly falling in love? That’s everything I love and more! So Andi (Andi’s ABCs) and I decided to read this one together because neither of us wanted to wait!

I always get too excited when I latch onto an idea or a concept and that seems to be what happened with LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE. Andi and I both enjoyed the book but it seemed to sit a lot better with her than it did with me (my stupid expectations). As soon as I hear “best friends”, a scene immediately starts playing out my head and things didn’t exactly follow that path. Now I’m not saying that it should but that’s just part of the reason why I didn’t connect with the book as much as I had hoped.

I started to worry when I didn’t immediately latch on to the characters at the very beginning and as much as I tried, the only character I ever really ended up falling for was David (the estranged best friend) — and this was an issue for me throughout the whole book. I wanted to love them all but I just couldn’t click with main character Kelsey and I definitely couldn’t click with Ryan (her boyfriend). David was my favorite part of the whole book! The best friends thing just really GETS me so I loved seeing the newly-found tension between Kelsey and David in the “present day” scenes and I sort of fell in love with him too during the “past” scenes! I wanted him to be MY best friend and I really enjoyed seeing his interactions with really everyone. He brightened up every scene for me!

Throughout the book we learn about Kelsey’s friendship with David and that something happened to cause a rift between the two. Once David shows back up in Kelsey’s life, it’s apparent to him how much she’s changed since they last saw each other and it wasn’t a change he really liked. Sadly, it wasn’t one I really liked either. The “old” Kelsey seemed like more of a tomboy, definitely more carefree, and that was something that both David and I seemed to agree on! Again, it’s not a “bad” thing to change — I’ve done plenty of it in my life — but I just identified with the “past Kelsey” a lot more than “present day Kelsey” so to see where she was now and where she came from, I was sad to see that change (in reverse).

It’s very hard when I can’t identify with the main character or am not on board with his/her decisions. I just really wanted to get to know each character more and when things started to get heated towards the end, I felt like it was a little too late for me. I also really wasn’t happy with the fact that as David and Kelsey were reuniting, they still had their own significant others or love interests. It took a while for any sort of action to really happen between the two (my lips are sealed as to what goes down!) but it’s hard to root for two characters to fall in love when it means possible cheating on their significant others (if they don’t break it off).

The book alternates between present day and the past, revealing bits of Kelsey & David’s story along the way and I actually really liked the set up as I was reading. It was really great to be able to see those actual story lines play out from Kelsey and David’s pasts and to witness their friendship forming and growing… But looking back on the book, I think I would have enjoyed it more if everything had taken place chronologically. Since my main hang-up seems to be that I didn’t connect to the characters, I think I probably would have been more invested in Kelsey hearing everything from her past first.

All-in-all, LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE was a really good story but a lot of my own personal hang-ups prevented me from falling head over heels like I had hoped and expected to. The more I reflected on the book, the more I felt a bit disappointed that it hadn’t turned out the way I had pictured it, but I definitely know that will not be the case for everyone. This was a really nice debut from Gina Ciocca and I really do want to try some future books from her!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a 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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Kelsey // Character Obsessions: Friends, status, love, David.
I REALLY wanted to be BFFs with Kelsey but it just wasn’t meant to be. What bummed me out the most is I really liked getting to know her in the “past” scenes and I couldn’t connect as much with her in the present-day. I didn’t always support her decisions so I think that was the hardest thing… It’s not like she had the easiest life and she definitely dealt with some difficult things but I just wasn’t always 100% in her corner.
David // Character Obsessions: Baseball, his dad, friends.
I really liked David a lot! He was by far my favorite character and the one I seemed to relate to the most. He just seemed like a really stand-up guy and I just loved his friendship with Kelsey. I seemed to identify with him the most in almost every situation — and it helps that he was a little dreamy!

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Kept Me Hooked On: The “best friends to more” trope. This will always, always be one of my favorites! Even though this situation didn’t totally hit the spot, I still loved seeing that friendship turn to FEELS.
Left Me Wanting More: Character love. Ahhhhh I wish I had loved Kelsey more. I was not a fan of Ryan at all. I actually wish he was not in the book (ahhhh sorry). BUT you know. To each his own!

Addiction Rating
Try it

This one didn’t totally suit my fancy but I know Andi liked it and I’m sure a lot of other readers will to! I actually feel sad that the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I didn’t fall in love with it.

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BOOKS LIKE LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

SHADOW AND BONE     CHAPEL WARS

Book and a Beverage [105] – Cassi from My Thoughts Literally

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 Cassi from My Thoughts Literally!


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Name & Blog Name: Cassi from My Thoughts Literally
Tell us a little about your blog! I started My Thoughts Literally almost six years ago but for most of that time I was very bad at updating then a year and a half ago I got really motivated to blog again. I found the community and never looked back! Every month I pick a different theme like High Fantasy, Geek Books, or Adventure/Survival (this month’s theme) and I read and review a broad range of books that fit that theme including YA, classics, and audiobooks.
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? (Link us up!) I think my favorite review is my review of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray because it’s a more in-depth look at the book. I also like my review of The Magicians Land by Lev Grossman because I filmed a video for it which was really stressful. As for discussions I really liked my talk about how I read and Book Polygamy which is not what you think!
Got anything special coming up we should know about? Well, I’m going to BEA at the end of the month so if you see me you should say hello. I did a tip post so you can check that out. I’m usually very review heavy but I also have a few discussion posts planned and I’m trying to do my feature Crossing Over, about books with crossover appeal, more regularly.

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Whatcha reading?
Prodigy by Marie Lu.
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc): I actually won it in a giveaway from GReads last October along with the rest of Marie Lu’s books when The Young Elites came out. I’m just now taking the time to marathon the series.
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? Mostly because I just started reading it yesterday. It’s always fun to flail about a new book. Especially one like this that I know a lot of people have read and loved.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? Well, I can’t say if I can recommend it — I am only fifty pages in but you should definitely know that it is the second book set in a dystopian triology. I loved the characters in the first book and I’m really excited to explore more of the world in this one.

beverageWhatcha drinking? Well, I just got home from work and it’s 9PM so just water. But I’m drinking it out of my Wonder Woman water bottle so that makes it special!
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? Coffee probably. I’m a coffee fiend.
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! Such a hard question. I used to live in Rhode Island and I’m super obsessed with Del’s Lemonade. It’s frozen lemonade and I always crave it during the summer months.

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What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment? Tough question. Either reading over 110 books in 2014 because I had never counted and thought I would only read sixty books or any time someone says they read a book because I recommended it and that they loved it. It’s only happened a few times but that’s why I started blogging and it seriously warms my heart!
Anything else you’d like to share? First I want to thank Brittany by having me. Brittany, Alyssa, and Amy are an amazing part of this community with their #OTSPSecretSister program and their chats. It’s one of the things that I love about blogging. And I’m always on Twitter so if you want to chat about books come find me there. It’s been an absolute pleasure! I feel like I should end this how I end all my posts… Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


 Thanks, Cassi! SO happy to have you on Book and a Beverage and I really hope we see each other at BEA!!!
Oooh Mistborn and Fangirl. My kind of recs! I just love when someone loves your recommendation. It really is one of the best feelings!
Thanks so much for you support of the #OTSPSecretSister project! So glad you are enjoying it <3 

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Cassi! Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Tumblr // Goodreads // Instagram // YouTube


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