Life of a Blogger: School

Life of a Blogger is a weekly meme hosted by The Novel Heartbeat. You can see the full list of topics HERE.

This week’s theme is school.

(There’s lots of links because I want everyone to know about these things. Haha)

I won’t go into discussing my high school, other than to tell you I graduated with only 68 other people and I was third in my class.

For college, I attended Mississippi University for Women (hence the “W Blogger” badge on the side of my blog). I was a member of the residential honors college and received a full scholarship to the school! MUW is located in Columbus, MS, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I love that school. At “the W”, I was a member of the Revelers, one of several social clubs unique to the W’s campus. The Revelers are my family, forever, and I’ve met some of my best friends through my club.

We like to have fun. :)

Revelers like to have fun. 🙂

Love my Revelers

Love my Revelers

While at the W, I majored in English and minored in Spanish. As part of the residential honors program, I studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland for a month after my sophomore year. Because of my job in the honors college, I was able to do it again after my junior year as a mentor. This is when I met and interviewed Ian Rankin for my honors thesis (which was published).

Me with the lovely Ian Rankin

I graduated Magna Cum Laude and received the MUW Spirit Award (I seriously love that school!). I could go on and on about all the things I did while at the W and how much I love that school, but I’ll leave it at that.

I will say that it was because of the W that I studied abroad in Scotland, obviously, and it was because of my time studying abroad that I chose to attend the University of Stirling in Scotland to pursue my Master’s degree in Publishing Studies. I freaking loved this program (MLitt in Publishing Studies). Through this program, I found out about Bloody Scotland; its inaugural year was 2012, which is when I moved over to Scotland. I volunteered that first year and then went back in 2013 as the Volunteer Coordinator.

My 2012 Bloody Scotland program, signed by 24 amazing authors

My 2012 Bloody Scotland program, signed by 24 amazing authors

I also interned at Freight Books and Pitch Publishing after meeting the owners through my program; each Thursday we had a publishing professional come talk to us about different aspects of the publishing industry (how cool is that?!). My dissertation was on the UNESCO Cities of Literature, and I was able to intern at the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature (the world’s first City of Literature!). AND I interned at Canongate Books in the publicity department last summer, which is probably my favorite internship so far. In addition to my internships, I took classes on marketing, design, and editorial practice. I created content for, designed, and wrote a marketing plan for my publishing project, a 16 pages sample of a magazine I created. That was super fun!

This is the cover of my magazine, titled 808 Magazine

This is the cover of my magazine, titled 808 Magazine

I gained so much experience and had so many amazing opportunities during my program, and I got to live in Scotland for a year! I definitely don’t regret choosing this school.

What about you? Where did/do you go for school? Tell me in the comments!

The problem with books

In which I lament the problems of being a HUGE book nerd

Picture from @BookNerdProblems

Picture from @BookNerdProblems

I don’t know about you, but for the most part (pretty much every part) of being a book nerd is a wholly fulfilling, inspiring, and lifelong obsession that I never, and will never, have a problem with. But every once in a while something happens that just makes you go, “Why do I do this again?!” I enjoy lists (and even numbers), so I figured I’d detail ten of the problems I occasionally deal with in my bookish life. Do you relate to any of these?

In no particular order (I think organizing it into a list is probably order enough). Please know that this is an, at times, exaggerated, sarcastic, and generally not-always-serious post.

  1. You want to lend the books you love to all of your friends, but you can’t because you know they’d ruin them: one of your friends is a spine breaker, another is too messy and will spill something on it, yet another will probably lose it and/or never give it back. How do you share your love of a book with someone who will DESTROY it like that asteroid who killed all the dinosaurs?
  2. Your new book boyfriend has completely ruined all other boys for you: you know that swoon worthy boy who serenades you with his words, stares deep into your soul, and changes you forever? Yeah, he’s not real.
  3. You are completely unable to walk into a bookstore (or any freaking store with books!) without buying one: Did you walk into Target with a specific thing to buy, like a pair of jeans or some deodorant? Sorry, but you’ll be leaving with four new books and neither of the things you actually need.
  4. You get crazy looks from people when you cry and/or laugh in the middle of a public place and there’s no one around you: Remember when you were on the train home and you broke down into intense sobs while reading The Fault In Our Stars and thought you did a good job covering it up by pretending you had allergies? Yeah, no one bought that. Sorry.
  5. You’re in constant danger: you are constantly shelling out more cash in order to fit your never ending piles of books rather than risk the potential avalanche that would totally kill you.
  6. You’re a liar: “Sorry, I can’t go. I already have plans.” Yeah, that was a lie. You just have a good book that you’d rather spend all night buried in instead of feeling uncomfortable and wishing you could leave all night. The guilt of lying to your friends haunts you, but honestly, you’re probably happier.
  7. You’ve got BPS: Book Pain Syndrome. Dude, it’s a legitimate thing. You are constantly trying to find the perfect position in which to read. Your back is spasming, you’ve got aches and pains all over the place, and one of your legs is asleep.
  8. You’re broke: Work, you know that thing that means you can keep buying books? Yeah, it gets in the way of actually reading the books. It’s a necessary evil though.
  9. You yell at movies: Seeing trailers for book to movie adaptations literally makes your heart race. Sometimes because they look amazing and sometimes they don’t. But no matter what, you know they’ve changed it. You know it. They removed your favorite scene or added dialogue that just doesn’t make sense. It’s different, and you’ll be disappointed.
  10. Your TBR: it will never end. You will constantly add more books to it and you know you’ll never get to all of them. This is the most soul crushing realization in the entire world. You will never have enough time to read it all.

These are some intense problems, but you know what? None of them will ever outweigh the pure joy, inspiration, and solace you can find by diving into a book and losing yourself. It doesn’t matter that people stare at you or you’d rather spend time with your book boyfriend than going to a party. You not only make friends in the books, but you make friends with other bookish people because they understand you on a fundamental level that can bind you for life. Never stop reading.

What are some of the bookish problems you have? 

Top Ten Tuesday: books on my summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR list

I have way too many books on my summer TBR, so I thought the easiest thing to do would be to just list the next ten books I plan on reading. Hope that’s alright. 🙂 This list is funny to me because recently TTT was which books I think YOU should read this summer, and I had a lot of YA and contemporary on it. My TTT this week doesn’t have much of that.

1. Necroscope by Brian Lumley. I made a deal with my dad to read one book in this thirteen book series every month until I finish it.

2. Rich Kids of Instagram

3. Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Say What You Will

4. The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day

5. The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Hoping to read in time for the premiere of the TV series on July 13.

6. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. Based on this review by Booknerderie.

Out of the Easy

7. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. I LOVED The Raven Boys.

8. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

9. The Sting of Summer by Katherine Over. Wooo for winning free books on Goodreads.

The Sting of Summer

10. Okay, this isn’t next up on the list, but I can’t wait for this one:

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins.

Isla and the Happily Ever After

What books are you looking forward to reading this summer?

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blog Award

 

I was nominated last week for the Very Inspiring Blogger award by Amanda’s Nose in a Book! Thanks so much, Amanda! It means a lot for you to have nominated me. 🙂

Here are the rules for this blogger award:

1. Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Share seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
5. Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Seven Facts About Me:

As I’ve done posts kind of like this before, I’m just going to go with the generic, get-to-know-me questions that I haven’t actually posted on here before.

1. My favorite movies are: Donnie Darko, Julia’s Eye (Los Ojos de Julia), Stick It, The Breakfast Club, Iron Man, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pan’s Labyrinth. Okay, I’ll stop. I could go on and on.

2. My favorite TV shows: Of all time, Lost. Still running: Doctor Who, Teen Wolf, Criminal Minds, The Big Bang Theory, and About a Boy.

3. Favorite bands/musicians (note: this is always changing): The Neighbourhood, Twenty One Pilots, Hands like Houses, AWOLNATION, All Time Low, Pierce the Veil, and Eric Hutchinson.

4. My favorite color is green.

5. If I could only spend the rest of my life in ONE place, it would be Edinburgh, Scotland. Hands down.

6. My hobbies, other than reading, are going to the movies, going to concerts, painting, sewing, and being a nerd. 🙂

7. I have twelve tattoos. Yes, twelve. Other than my friends, most people don’t know this because they can all be covered with a shirt and jeans. No neck or face tattoos here. EVER.

I’m nominating these blogs:

Booknerderie

Littleonionwrites

Girl in the Pages

A Bibliophile’s Style

Hardcovers and Heroines

Alex in Bookland

Confessions of a Book Geek

Drifting Pages

Random Redheaded Ramblings

The End of the Chapter

Is ten enough? I hope so. Thanks again, Amanda, for nominating me!

 

Are any of my favorites your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

 

Book Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Second Chance SummerTitle: Second Chance Summer

Author: Morgan Matson

Genre: Contemporary, YA

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date:

Paperback: 468

Stand alone or series: Stand alone

How did I get this book: Bought

Fair warning: don’t finish reading this book on Father’s Day. I did, and I bawled like a baby on my dad’s shoulder for several minutes. I’m glad I had him there to hug while I did. This was me:

Crying gif

Let’s start with a brief synopsis:

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

What I thought:

You know that the ending of Second Chance Summer is coming right from the beginning, but there is absolutely nothing you can do to actually prepare yourself for it. Like I said, I BAWLED. I curled up next to my dad and hugged him hard and just bawled. There are books that make me cry, I mean that’s what happens when an author makes you feel things, but I don’t usually cry this hard at a book, like ever. So I think that there’s something to say about Matson’s writing in this case. She made me feel everything that Taylor feels so much that it almost felt like my own father had died, which, now that I think about it, was not a great thing, but her writing is very true and real.

Of course, it’s not just the ending that makes this book…great? Can you really say great about something like that? I don’t know. Anyway, just like with the other Matson book I’ve read (Since You’ve Been Gone), I thought all of her characters were fleshed out and three-dimensional. Taylor’s two siblings, Gelsey and Warren, were full, real, and believable. I really liked Warren; I think I would’ve had a crush on him if he were real. He has an inability to stop himself from sharing all these facts about the things he’s read or learned, so his family gets facts about how Coca Cola originally started (an accident; they were trying to make aspirin) and a bunch of other things. He’s nerdy, and I like that. 🙂

I thought that the drama that happened between Taylor and her childhood friends, Lucy and Henry, was also pretty believable. I think the reason behind their drama makes it so that Taylor is flawed in a way that a lot of people can relate to her.

Okay, on to the thing that irked me. I don’t know about other people’s experiences, but these are my own personal experiences. What 12 year olds have relationships like Taylor and Henry’s? Taylor was “fully aware of his presence next to me (page 162)” while on a date with Henry. Really? But then Henry had to show her rocks and insects in the woods that would “blow her mind.” I just don’t think the immaturity of that really fits in with a relationship like theirs. The prose used to describe their attraction to one another is too deep for a 12 year old. The possibility of Henry kissing her seemed to “infuse every day” and then they make out a lot. She comments on the fact that she’s spent her whole life reading about things in Seventeen and now it’s happening to her. Again, really? You’re 12. NO. Also, later, when we’re with Taylor when she’s 17, Henry’s younger brother, who is 12, thinks that kissing is disgusting. It just doesn’t fit. Especially when you add to it the drama between Taylor and Lucy and Henry. As I said before, I liked how Matson handled this drama because it was very believable. But it was believable because she was 12 and that’s the kind of drama you have when you’re 12. You don’t have these kinds of relationships though. So yeah, I didn’t really like the chapters when Taylor was 12 because it wasn’t relatable and realistic. On the other hand, I thought the romance between Taylor and Henry when they’re 17 was sweet and wonderfully done.

Then we’ve got the real basis for this plot: the Edwards family. They start off the novel not really talking about their feelings or the fact that their father is dying; Taylor doesn’t even remember the last time she told her father she loves him. I can’t even really imagine that. I tell my family I love them several times a day. As the novel progresses, they get closer and become a unit, a family. By the end of the novel, they are each other’s support system, and I loved the growth of their family. They learned what was really important and to draw comfort and strength from one another. It was sweet and I enjoyed reading a book that supported the idea of family.

The bottom line:

I really liked this book, just as I knew I would. It was very emotional, but also sweet and wonderful, and it the importance of family, which I loved. While I didn’t like the romance between Taylor and Henry when they were 12, I really liked it when they were 17. I would definitely recommend this book.

Rating: 7.5 (between pretty good and freaking fantastic)

Reading next: Necroscope by Brian Lumley (can you tell I need something COMPLETELY different?)

SUNDAY FUNDAY: WEEK IN REVIEW [3]

SUNDAY FUNDAY: WEEK IN REVIEW

The lovely Cristina over at Girl in the Pages started Sunday Funday as a way to recap the bookish (and not-so-bookish) things that have happened that week. I thought it’d be a really fun way to keep you guys up to date on what I’ve been reading, reviewing, and wanting to read but also to tell you a little bit more about myself outside of my book love. I think I’ll tailor the post each week to what I’ve done but I will always try to include a book haul and a new book or two that I’ve added to my want-to-read list. 🙂

June 9 – 15, 2014

This week I reached 100 followers on my blog!! I’m really excited about this because I’ve been blogging for less than three months! I also went over 3,000 overall views, which I’d say is pretty awesome.

Also, I won an ARC of Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern from Cassie over at Happy Book Lovers. YAY!

Books read: I’m sad to say I only read two books this week: The Revealed by Jessica Hickam (linked back to my review) and Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson (review coming tomorrow).

I also read and reviewed the five chapter sneak peek of Isla and the Happily Ever After. I CAN’T WAIT for that to come out!

TBR: BIG TBR this week!

I checked out four books from the library this week: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (based on this review by Booknerderi), The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern (right before I won the ARC), and The Strain by Guillermo del Toro (I am SO excited about this one).

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern, and The Strain by Guillermo del Toro

I also bought these four books at Books-a-Million for $25! I originally checked out Second Chance Summer from the library, but when I went to return two others and renew SCS, I was told I had to return it because someone else had requested it! RUDE. Haha. So I bought it instead. In addition to SCS, I got The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (for $3!!), The Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor (for $5.97 each!). Sales are THE. BEST.

Books-a-Million haul, June

I’m reading Brian Lumley’s Necroscope next. It is the first in a 13 book series, and I’ll be reading one book a month until I finish. My dad has been telling me to read it for a LONG time. He read The Humans based on my recommendation, so I decided to read something he recommended, though I know 13 books is a little different than 1. Anyway, I’m excited. I’ve been reading a lot of YA and contemporary recently. I needed something different. Also, yay for vampires!

Non-bookish things:

I went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 today! WOW! It was amazing. I actually liked it even more than the first one, and I loved the first one. I would definitely recommend going to see it! Be prepared for awesomeness. Also some unexpected feels.

Today was also Father’s Day! I got kind of emotional this afternoon. I finished reading Second Chance Summer, which has A LOT of feels in the dad department. I was already crying reading the book, but when I finished it, I just couldn’t handle it. I’m so glad my dad was there for me to hug while I cried.

OH! I also got an internship with Month9Books this week! I’ll be interning with their PR department and helping with events. You guys should check them out. They publish speculative fiction, which if you couldn’t tell, I really like. 🙂

AND! I made a new friend this week. I’ve been getting to know a fellow Mississippi-based blogger, Booknerderie, and it’s been fun. She has an awesome book blog, so you should go check her out. Her reviews are honest, informal, and fun. And she uses words like “amazeballs”, which I really think should be used in more reviews. Haha.

Non-bookish things I’m excited about:

Look at this awesome shirt I got in the mail this week!!

ISN'T IT AWESOME?!

ISN’T IT AWESOME?!

TOMORROW my movie theater (all Cinemarks/Tinseltowns?) are showing “Rise of the Cybermen” and “The Age of Steel” (two episodes of Doctor Who from when David Tennant – Ten – was still the Doctor). I’m so excited to see these two episodes on the big screen! Should be fun. 🙂

What about you? What bookish and non-bookish things happened in your life this week?

Life of a Blogger: Collections

Life of a Blogger is a weekly meme hosted by The Novel Heartbeat. You can see the full list of topics HERE.

This week’s theme is collections

It’s probably obvious, but my main collection is books. Unfortunately, most of my books are currently packed up, so I can’t post a picture, but I have HUNDREDS. Before we packed them all up, I had about three bookshelves or so, and I currently have one that is almost full, so yeah, I have a lot of books.

I am also a coffee addict, and I really love coffee cups, so that’s my next collection. Again, some of them are packed up, but these are some of mine. I’ve got several Doctor Who ones, a couple of penguin ones, two Keep Calm ones, and various others. The second picture is the coffee cup cabinet in our kitchen, which is actually missing a few (they’re in the dishwasher).

      My coffee cups      Coffee cup cabinet

In addition to books, I’m a big fan of music. I love going to live shows, and I’m almost always listening to music. These are just the CDs I bought while in Scotland for a year and since being home.

My CD Collection

I really enjoy getting to meet bands and musicians so I can tell them how much I love/related to their music. I’ve met several of my favorites. Sometimes I ask them to sign a CD for me. Here are a couple of the ones I have signed.

The Neighbourhood - I Love You

The Neighbourhood actually signed the physical CD, which was silly and great.

Clockwise: Passenger, Eric Hutchinson, King Charles, Joshua James

Clockwise: Passenger, Eric Hutchinson, King Charles, Joshua James

I’m kind of an all-kind-of-entertainment person, so I also really love movies and television. I’m just a sucker for a good story. This is the movie cabinet in our house. My family really likes movies. 🙂 I’ve seen most of these.

Movie collection

What about you? What kind of things do you collect?

ARC Review – The Revealed by Jessica Hickam

The RevealedTitle: The Revealed

Author: Jessica Hickam

Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi

Publisher: SparkPress

Publication Date: June 17, 2014

Paperback: 314 pages

Stand alone or series: First in a projected series

How did I get this book: e-ARC via NetGalley

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to SparkPress for letting me read this.

Let’s start with a brief synopsis (via Goodreads):

Lily Atwood lives in what used to be called Washington, D.C. Her father is one of the most powerful men in the world, having been a vital part of rebuilding and reuniting humanity after the war that killed over five billion people. Now he’s running to be one of its leaders.

But in the rediscovered peace on Earth, a new enemy has risen. They call themselves the Revealed – a powerful underground organization that has been kidnapping 18 year olds across the globe without reservation. No one knows why they are kidnapping these teens, but it’s clear something is different about these people. They can set fires with a snap of their fingers and create a wind strong enough to barrel over a tree with a flick of their wrist. No one has been able to stop them, and they have targeted Lily as their next victim.

But Lily has waited too long to break free from her father’s shadow to let some rebel organization just ruin everything. Not without a fight.

What I thought:

I was both really surprised and really impressed with Hickam’s debut novel.

I requested this book on NetGalley because of that amazing summary (and that absolutely beautiful cover!). It sounds super cool, right? Well, it was. Take a dystopian novel then add in what are essentially X-Men mutants, and you’ve got The Revealed. The novel begins with our narrator, Lily, describing the current situation in what is now called the “North American Sector”, which is basically the ruins of the US after a huge war. The US has been mostly destroyed and everyone who survived the war all live on the East Coat. Lily is the daughter of one of two presidential candidates in the first election since the war. Roderick Westerfield is the other candidate, who has a son named Kai. Since the war, a group of people with special abilities called The Revealed has been kidnapping 18 year olds sometime before their 19th birthday. Lily has been marked to be taken, and as such, has been locked up in her home for the year just like every other 18 year old. I’d like to mention that her house is a freaking mansion.

So one of the things I really liked was that Hickam hints at the war, but never truly reveals any details. We don’t know what caused it, how it happened, and we only get a few details for what’s happened since then. I thought this was quite clever, and it kept me reading. I do hope, however, that we get more details as the series progresses. Another thing I liked was how well-done Westerfield was as a villain. He feels positively slimy and icky. When he is touching Lily while they dance at a party, my skin crawled.

The writing was fantastic. I’m surprised this is Hickam’s first novel. She’s a wonderful writer. Hickam’s got great descriptive abilities; I could picture everything she described and her characters are really well done (well, except one, which I’ll mention in a sec). Her writing was my favorite thing about this novel.

Okay. What I didn’t like was Lily actually. She was seriously inconsistent and selfish and immature. She’s gone through so much in her young life that I felt her immaturity was strange. All she wants to do is rebel against her family and she tries (and succeeds) to escape her house several times, which I do understand because her mother is horrible; however, she begins the novel saying her father came to her for advice all the time on his speeches and cared about her opinion, but later she says that since he announced his candidacy, they’ve been on bad terms. Um, what? Also, her love interest in Kai is crazy. Her family used to be close to his but then the war happened and her father and his announced their candidacies; things changed. He betrayed her when they were in high school then joined the military. Now he’s back and she trusts him again, even when he really doesn’t give her much reason to. It wasn’t exactly insta-love, but it was a little too close for my comfort. She was basically like this, “I hate him. I like him. I don’t like him. He’s so hot. I can’t like him. I do like him.” UGH. I would like to say that I thought Lily started off the novel so strong, independent and forceful, and then suddenly she’s whiny, vulnerable, and weak. This was strange, and it happened too quickly to be a believable change.

On the other hand, I really loved Rory, who is an intern in Lily’s mansion’s kitchen. Oh, yeah. She lives in a freaking mansion, but she keeps trying to rebel and escape. What? Anyway, Rory is Lily’s best friend, and she’s great. She’s feisty, strong, and rambunctious, and I would totally be friends with her.

Also, there’s a twist about ¾ of the way through that I thought I knew what was going to happen and was totally SHOCKED. So that’s really awesome. Additionally, I won’t give too much away, but when we finally meet The Revealed and they explain themselves and what’s been happening, I loved that. It was a really cool way to explain their powers. Just all around great ideas in this novel.

The bottom line:

I really liked this novel, and I think this series has a whole bunch of awesome potential. I will most definitely read the next in the series, but I hope that our main character has grown some and gotten over herself. I would recommend this book for sure.

Rating: 7.5 – between pretty good and freaking fantastic

You can learn more about Jessica Hickam on her website. You can also pre-order The Revealed on Amazon.

Reading next: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Tag: The Book Blogger Test

The wonderful Cristina over at Girl in the Pages tagged me in the Book Blogger’s Test. I’m so excited to participate!

What are your top three book pet hates?

1. Insta-love

2. Mary Sues

3. Broken spines, dog-eared pages, stains on the pages…

Describe your perfect reading spot.

I like curling up in the corner of the couch with a cup of coffee. When it’s not a billion degrees outside here in MS, I also like sitting on our front porch, but mostly I’m an inside-on-the-couch type of reader.

Tell us three book confessions.

1. I like screwed up characters. Give me all the messed up, super complex, “freaks”, please and thank you. If you’re a fan of Lost, Ben Linus is my favorite. In fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian, I have a soft spot for the “bad/evil” characters that have a seriously interesting back story that explains how they’ve gotten to this point..

2. It hurts me to give books low ratings, even if I truly didn’t like them. I feel really bad about it for some reason. I mean, I didn’t like it! What’s my problem?

3. I don’t know if this is much of a confession, but I can’t read more than one book at a time. I used to have to in high school and college, because I was always reading something other than what we had assigned to us (and I CANNOT read only one or two chapters for homework. I always read the whole book), but I can’t do it anymore. I like to focus on one world at a time. It’s too confusing to try to leave a world and enter another for short periods of time.

When was the last time you cried during a book?

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

How many books are on your bedside table?

None, actually. I don’t usually put books on my bedside table, as I don’t read in bed. I will say that I’ve got both my Kindle and two other books on the tray next to the couch where I usually read: The Revealed is pulled up on my Kindle (my current read), Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, and Necroscope by Brian Lumley.

What is your favorite snack to eat while you’re reading?

Does coffee count? I drink a lot of coffee. I don’t usually eat while I’m reading because I don’t like getting crumbs/stains on my books, but if I do snack, I like string cheese or cookies. 🙂

Name three books you would recommend to everyone.

1. The Humans by Matt Haig (all my readers saw this one coming)
2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
3. Any of the Harry Potter series, but my favorite is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Show us a picture of your favorite shelf on your bookcase.

So before I moved to Scotland, my parents and I packed up ALL of my books, so I only have one bookshelf now instead of the FOUR I used to have. All of the books I have on this one shelf are ones I bought in Scotland or since I’ve been home. This shelf is filled with books I haven’t read of those.

 Yes, that is an actual, REAL Venetian mask. :) I got it when I was in Venice last year.

That is an actual, REAL Venetian mask. 🙂 I got it when I was in Venice last year.

Write how much books mean to you in three words.

Air I breathe. Books are my heart and soul and my main passion in life. “She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” – Annie Dillard, The Living

What is your biggest reading secret?

I am not a fan of Jane Austen. I know. Don’t kill me. I’m an English major for crying out loud. I just don’t like her books.

Who I’m Tagging:

Selah @ A Bibliophile’s Style

Jo @ Drifting Pages

Rachael @ The End of the Chapter

Alison @ Hardcovers and Heroines

Littleonion @ Littleonionwrites

And YOU. If you are reading this and would like to participate, I’d love to read your answers.

Even if you just want to answer a couple in the comments. Please feel free!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read So Far in 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

NOTE: All book titles are linked to my review of the book except the last two, which are linked to their Goodreads page. Also, each book is followed by my rating; you can check out my rating system to see each rating explained.

The Maze Runner    Love Letters to the Dead    Since You've Been Gone

1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner – 9 (practically perfect)
2. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – 9
3. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – 9

Anna and the French Kiss     Lola and the Boy Next Door     It's Kind of a Funny Story
4. Anna and the French Kiss – 7 (Pretty good) / Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – 8 (Freaking fantastic)
5. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini – 10 (Perfection)

Gone    The Raven Boys    Attachments
6. Gone by Michael Grant – 8
7. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – 9
8. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – 8

And those read before I started my blog (Linked to Goodreads)

The Bling Ring     Will Grayson, Will Grayson

9. The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World by Nancy Jo Sales
10. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

 

What are the best books you’ve read this year? Did you participate in TTT? Link me to it in the comments!