Birthday Tag – Happy birthday, Rachel!

So the wonderful Rachel at Confessions of a Book Geek just had her 25th birthday, and because she’s so sweet, she’s doing a giveaway even though she should be getting all the books. But because I love books too, I’ve entered her giveaway. One of the entries is participating in her Birthday Tag, so here we go!

1. What date is your Birthday?

July 7! I’ll be 25 this year.

2. What is your favourite kind of Birthday cake?

It’s not necessary “birthday” cake, but I’m a big fan of red velvet cake. All the time. I’m good with plain ol’ white cake too.

3. What is your birth-stone?

Ruby. Red is one of my least favorite colors, but I will say rubies are definitely pretty.

4. Which celebrities/famous people share your birth date?

Ringo Starr, Jim Gaffigan, Michelle Kwan, and Dylan Sprayberry (from Teen Wolf!). These are some pretty cool people.

5. What would be your ideal Birthday present?

Books, duh. BUT I’m a big fan of thoughtful, handmade gifts – paint me something, mod podge a cool ampersand with my favorite comic book character (like my boss did for me for Christmas!), knit me a scarf (like my awesome Belles’ Enchanted Book Exchange did for me), make me anything and I’ll love it.

6. If you could invite anyone famous to your Birthday party, who would it be?

This is the hardest question in the whole world. Because my birthday is 7/7, here are seven people I’d like at my birthday party (that I haven’t already met) – JK Rowling, Tyler Joseph (of twenty one pilots), Tyler Posey (of Teen Wolf – he’s such an outgoing, bubbly, fun person), Stephen Chbosky, Hank Green (yep, Hank), Tyler Oakley (do I have a thing for people named Tyler?), Donald Glover (Community, also known as Childish Gambino). This would be an insane birthday party. But I’d definitely be laughing, listening to awesome music, and finally meeting my hero – good ol’ JK! J Aw, crap. I forgot David Tennant. Yeah, adding him on as an eighth party guest.

7. What is one of your favourite/funniest/happiest Birthday memories?

Probably my 18th. That was the day I got my first tattoo. It was also the day that my mom and dad each got their first tattoo. It was really fun. We’d all been wanting one for a long time, so we all made an appointment and got to experience it together.

8. If you could choose a different period in history to be born, when would it be?

Like Rachel, I’m going to have to go with the 80s. Well, I would like to have been born in the 70s and grown up in the 80s. I love music from that decade and all the John Hughes movies and even though I wouldn’t have had big 80s hair, I loved the fashion from that decade too.

Thanks, Rachel, for hosting a giveaway for your birthday! ❤

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#YearofHappy – I’m gonna pop some tags

#YearofHappy

Back in January, I told you guys that I was participating in Allisonleighann and October June‘s #YearofHappy with the love letter I wrote to myself. This month’s prompt was this:

Go to a thrift shop or dollar store and buy the weirdest, goofiest, strangest things you can find – anything that makes you happy! Then, make a haul post or (better yet) a video sharing what you bought. Don’t spend more than $10 and remember to have fun!

You may have noticed that it’s the last day of February. Nothing like waiting until the absolute last minute, right? It happens. Today, after babysitting for four hours, visiting BAM, and picking up a month’s worth of comics at my local comic book shop, I headed over to the Goodwill near me to see what I could find. I ended up pulling up about fifteen minutes before they closed, but this gave me plenty of time – at least to me. In my head, fifteen minutes means fifteen minutes. According the absolutely HORRID lady working there, it meant about five minutes and then her staring at me with the evil eye until I decided to just buy the few things I had in my hands and leave. After, of course, she rang up my items, was absolutely rude to me even though I turned up my friendly to eleven, and barely wrapped my vase up and shoved it into the bag. I could do a whole rant about the fact that this was her job and if you work in customer service, you should learn how to actually be friendly, but this post is supposed to be a happy one.

So, not a great experience. I didn’t leave all that happy about the few minutes in the store. BUT I did find a few cool things that I’m excited to use. Let me show you what I got!

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I got this really pretty vase for $3! I’ll probably end up never using it, but it was too pretty to pass up!

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I also picked up this beaten up copy of The Hunger Games, which – don’t hate me – I plan to use for some kind of art project. I bought the copy of Let It Snow, even though I own it already. I’m not sure what I’ll be using it for – probably adding it to a giveaway in the future.

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Sorry for the crap photo! Black records are really hard to capture. Whatever. I picked these up because I’ve been wanting to do some kind of art project with them. Again, not sure what I want to do with them, but I might paint on them or cut them up or something.

So, my grand total for the whole trip was $5.35! Even though I had a not-so-great time at the actual store, I’m pretty excited about what I bought, and I can’t wait to get crafty and make some cool things. Plus, I was listening to the Belzhar audiobook on the way home which I’m really enjoying so it made up for the whole encounter with the rude lady because I got to disappear into a good book for a little while.

I hope you’ve all had an absolutely wonderful February. I’ll be doing my February wrap up tomorrow. ❤ you all!

Review: It’s the End of the World As We Know It by Saci Lloyd (ARC)

Saci Lloyd’s It’s the End of the World As We Know It is a wild ride through a wormhole and into a parallel world full of internet speak, zombies, uncontrollable algae, and unique and weird characters. You’re in for some craziness.

It's the End of the World As We Know It by Saci LloydAuthor:  Saci Lloyd
Genre: Young adult, humor, science fiction
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Publication Date: January 1, 2015
288 pages, paperback

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Hodder Children’s Books for letting me read this.

Let me start by giving you a short list of the things included in this book:

– A power-hungry Lolcat – the ruler of Deva (the parallel Earth) is a freaking cat that speaks like those Lolcats, u kno, lik dis. Hard 2 undrstand sumtims.
– Little infobots that surf on energy waves
– A sex-crazed poisonous fungus
– Zombies
– An angry, badass girl who might be a little bit robot

Alright, if that doesn’t sound awesome to you, I don’t know what else I could possibly say to convince you, but I’ll try. This book is trippy, you guys. I barely knew what I was reading most of the time, but that was pretty much the best part. It was surreal, weird, absolutely cuckoo, and so much fun. It’s got weird, unique characters that had me giggling like an idiot. They each speak a certain, specific-to-them way, which was cool yet irritating (internet speak as dialogue for a few of the characters. The whole time!). I think people who enjoy weird, strange, and wonderful books will have a lot of fun with It’s the End of the World As We Know It. On the other hand, I definitely don’t think this book is for everyone. It’s super bizarre and really odd, so you’ve got to into this one with an open mind or you’ll probably be weirded out by the book. Personally, I love silly, peculiar books, so this was super enjoyable!

However, I do want to say that occasionally It’s the End of the World As We Know It felt like it was trying a little too hard to be quirky, to be like Douglas Adams. It bothers me a little when publishers compare books to something like Hitchhiker’s Guide because it sets the bar SO HIGH. Most of the time I was loving how crazy everything was, but it felt a little over the top sometimes, which, I suppose, is par for the course.

I also want to share the riddle this book starts off with:

Q: How many mad scientists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Two. One to hold the bulb, the other one to turn the universe.

Love.

The bottom line: It’s the End of the World As We Know It was a fun, weird, and crazy ride on a rift through time and space. It was full of quirky characters and interesting sci-fi themes, though sometimes it felt like it was trying too hard to be weird. I still had so much fun reading it, as it was wildly imaginative and surreal.

Rating: 7 – pretty good

The Bloggers’ Book Club

Hey guys! Remember how I posted a few weeks ago about the possibility of an online book club for any and all bloggers?

The Bloggers' Book ClubWell, it’s HERE! April at Bookishly Speaking and I have created the Bloggers’ Book Club, and after a poll between the members who’ve already signed up, our first read will be The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons! I would absolutely love if you joined us. Head over to the Goodreads group and sign up! We’ll be starting our discussion of the first book on March 1 – but don’t worry if you can’t get the book in time! No spoilers will be placed in the discussion without a spoiler tag so you can join in whenever you’re ready. We’ll also be having two live chats in a chatroom during the month where we can get more in depth with our discussions.

Don’t want to read The Glass Arrow? That’s okay! You can skip this month and join us in April. Feel free to put forth a title in the thread for April suggestions or email us at thebloggersbookclub [at] gmail [com]!

I hope to see you in the Goodreads group!

A little more information for you:
– You’ll be able to come and go as you please – don’t have time to read the book this go around? No problem! We’ll let you know what the next book is and hope you can join us then!
– ANY blogger can participate – not a book blogger? Doesn’t matter as long as you love to read!
– All genres will be read – we don’t want to exclude anyone by focusing on only YA contemporary or only fantasy books. We’ll be taking turns with all of the genres so that everyone will get a chance to put forward their favorites.

Thursday Thoughts: Mood reading

Thursday Thoughts on Caught Read Handed

Let’s talk about mood reading, shall we? I’m a mood reader. Always have been, always will be. No matter how many times I make a list of the books I want to read next (even if it’s only like 3 or 4 books), I will deviate from that list time and time again. I’ll read an EPIC fantasy book and think I’m ready to read another one, but NOPE. I’ll pick up a contemporary romance instead and devour it in one sitting. It’s weird and unexplainable, and honestly, it kind of sucks sometimes. But I can’t help it or change.

You guys may or may not know how long I’ve been waiting to read Heather Demetrios’ I’ll Meet You There. I’ve posted about it a few times on Top Ten Tuesday lists and I’ve probably tweeted about it at least ten times. I ordered it for my library and when it came in, I immediately checked it out (sorry, patrons!). But I’ve had it for a little over a week now and I STILL haven’t read it. I’ve read like two and a half books since (one of which was also a contemporary just like I’ll Meet You There). What is wrong with me? I KNOW I want to read it and I’m like 90% sure I’m going to LOVE it, and yet, it continues to sit on my shelf unread.

I will say that sometimes mood reading is pretty great. In the past month, I’ve read an NA book (my first!), four contemporaries of varying focuses (foci?) – three YA and one adult, three fantasies – two YA and one MG, one non-fiction book, two trade paperbacks (comics in case you don’t know what that means), several single issue comics, and a sci-fi. That’s a pretty awesome mix of genres, age ranges, and comics vs. books, if I do say so myself. So sometimes, being a mood reader means I don’t get stuck in any one particular genre or type of book. It means I get to explore my shelves (or those of the library) and find exactly what I want to read at that particular time, the book that will resonate with me the most. It means I’m able to go into a book clear-headed and non-judgmental.

But another downside to mood reading is ARCs. I don’t know if you guys know but books come out on a particular date (I know, it’s shocking!). When I have access to an ARC (electronic or otherwise) I have a NEED to read it before the publication date, which is obviously part of the point. But when I only have a fantasy, a contemporary, a mystery, and a horror, and they’re all being published in the next month, and ALL I want to read right then is a sci-fi, it sucks. I don’t want to force myself to read something I’m not in the mood for because I know I’ll think less of the book, and it isn’t the poor book’s fault, is it? No. So I have to quickly read a sci-fi and then hope to everything that I’m in the mood for one of the genres I have an ARC of.

I also tend to read books of a particular genre during certain seasons. I prefer contemporaries in the summer, sweeping fantasies in the winter. I like horror around Halloween and a sweet romance at Valentine’s Day. And this, again, makes ARCs difficult. First world problems here, you guys.

Alright, I’ll stop rambling about it now. What about all of you? I know some of you are mood readers too. How do you deal with it? Do you feel my pain?

Waiting on Wednesday: Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Dead to Me by Mary McCoyPublisher: Disney-Hyperion

Author: Mary McCoy

Release date: March 3, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads:

LA Confidential for the YA audience. This alluring noir YA mystery with a Golden Age Hollywood backdrop will keep you guessing until the last page.

“Don’t believe anything they say.”

Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her–and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away.

When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn’t a kid anymore, and this time she won’t let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly. The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets–and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime. What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie’s attacker behind bars–if Alice can find her first. And she isn’t the only one looking

Evoking classic film noir, debut novelist Mary McCoy brings the dangerous glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age to life, where the most decadent parties can be the deadliest, and no drive into the sunset can erase the crimes of past.

Why I’m excited: Alright, so remember how last week I talked about how I don’t really like historical fiction? Yeah, well now I’m choosing a WoW that is a historical fiction. I may or may not be a little wishy-washy when it comes to the things I like. But a YA noir set in the Golden Age of Hollywood? How could you NOT want to read that?

Yeah, I don’t understand myself either.

What are you waiting on?

Seize the Tuesday: MS Book Bloggers are REAL!

Seize the Tuesday - Let's Get Lost

Seize the Tuesday is a book blogger meme created by Adi Alsaid and the Let’s Get Lost Buddies Street Team, to share stories about how we’ve seized the Tuesday, with a special focus on the particular book we’re reading. We’ll share our posts online with the hashtag: #LetsAllGetLost. The idea is not just to help spread the word on LGL, but also to remind people to live fully, even/especially if that means spending a part of your day reading.

Today was a pretty great day – other than the ice on the roads this morning, that is. Why was it so great? I met another Mississippi book blogger today! We met up at our local library and then headed to Cups, a local coffee shop, for coffee and a chat. We ended up staying for TWO hours!

Her name is Lauren and she blogs over at Between the Pages. She is seriously cool, you guys. We connected in a lot of different ways and had many things in common. It was so much fun getting to know Lauren, and I’m looking forward to even more fun in the future. We’re hoping to plan a MS book blogger meet up soon! (So if you live in MS and just haven’t told me, LET ME KNOW!)

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I don’t want to go on and on about it and make it weird (even though she totally told me I’m weird – haha!), but I’m so excited to be finding several other MS book bloggers, especially one that lives so close to me! It’s so great to be able to meet someone who understands when you get excited about books and who appreciates that in you. I’m looking forward to hanging out with Lauren again and to meeting even more book bloggers in person!

And of course, we wouldn’t have even met if it wasn’t for the super awesome Kelly at Live, Love, Read who introduced us through a tweet!

Tuesday met seized

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite heroines

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books (Or you could pick movies/tv): We’ve done this topic before so you could always do heroines you love since the last time we did this topic, heroines in a particular genre, etc.

I could go on and on and on about my favorite women in literature, but I’ve narrowed it down to ten somehow. So in no particular order, here are ten of my favorite female heroes?

Hermione (Harry Potter series; JK Rowling)

Katniss (Hunger Games trilogy; Suzanne Collins)

Blue Sargent (The Raven Cycle; Maggie Stiefvater)

Michonne (The Walking Dead; Robert Kirkman)

Alana (Saga; Brian K. Vaughan)

Scout Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird; Harper Lee)

Celaena Sardothien (Throne of Glass; Sarah J. Maas) – I’ve only read one and a half books about her and I already love her

Lila Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic; V.E. Schwab) – this book comes out today! Check out my review HERE.

Ree (Winter’s Bone; Daniel Woodrell)

Alice (Alice Adventure’s in Wonderland; Lewis Carroll)

Who are some of your favorite heroines?

Book Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

I know I’m not the only person who was attracted to this book by the trailer for the movie. It’s funny and mean and it’s got Mae Whitman (who I love) and the gorgeous Robbie Amell. I had to read the book before I saw the movie. It was a lot more fun than I was expecting.

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Title: The DUFF

Author:  Kody Keplinger

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Poppy (Little Brown)

Publication Date: September 7, 2010

277 pages, paperback

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

I won’t lie to you. This book is super clichéd and very predictable, but MAN, if it wasn’t entertaining! I flew through this book in one day at work. It’s definitely fast-paced and it’s got a clear, feel-good message.

We’ve got to talk about Bianca. She’s our MC and the “DUFF” in the title. (Btw, Duff stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend). I loved her right away. She’s sarcastic and witty, a bit of a bitch (sorry for the language!), and independent. When Wesley (think John Tucker) tells her she’s the DUFF of her friend group, she’s pissed. As she should be. But throughout the book, she discovers that she’s not the only girl who feels like the DUFF sometimes. All girls feel like the DUFF sometimes. I’ve felt like the DUFF and so have you. Don’t get mad at me for telling you that she comes to accept herself, because it’s obvious what this book is trying to do. It’s not a spoiler. I was rooting for Bianca to accept herself the whole time. She’s so realistic, so likeable despite her attitude, so relatable. When she decides to distract herself by hooking up with Wesley (who she hates), I understood her. Which was a little weird, because I’d never do something like that, but that’s how real Bianca felt.

The message behind this book – that you should accept yourself no matter what anyone thinks – is so important. Yes, it’s mixed in with a lot of teenage drama and friend fights and all that, but that’s what being a teenager is like these days. This book felt like an honest portrayal of what it’s like to grow up in our society, to constantly be told you must look a certain way to fit in.

We all know that’s a bunch of bullshit (again, sorry for the language). Be you. Dress how you want to. Be with who you like. Don’t let others dictate the way you look, dress, act, love.

The bottom line: The DUFF may be a quick, somewhat light read, but it’s got a great message and a seriously cool and hilarious MC. Yeah, it’s got lots of clichés and we all know what’s going to happen before we even start, but it’s seriously fun to read. If you are even remotely interested in the movie, I’d definitely recommend reading this.

Rating: 7 – Pretty good

Check out the trailer below! I’m going to see it on Friday, so expect a book-to-movie review this weekend!

Calling all librarians!! #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge

Reading My Library Challenge

As a librarian, you see so many books come across your desk (either that you’ve ordered yourself or that your patrons are requesting) that you just don’t have time to read. Which sucks, honestly. Yes, you’ve ordered those books for your patrons, but let’s be honest: you’ve ordered them for yourself too. I order around 10-15 YA (and MG) books per month – remember when I said I’m at a tiny library? – all of which I want to read but end up just putting out into the library. As a library patron, I’m sure you have a LONG list of books you want to read, don’t you?

Well, Amy at Read What I Like and I have a solution for you! We’ve created the Reading My Library Challenge – a month long event in which we will try to read as many of those library books we’ve seen come in but haven’t had a chance to read yet! Sound fun? Join us!

Right now, we’re still in the planning stage, but we need help – from any other bloggers who work in libraries! This is what we know so far:

  • The Challenge will take place throughout the whole month of April (April 12-18, 2015 is National Library Week)
  • Anyone can participate as long as you have somewhere to share what you’re reading
  • You don’t have to exclusively read library books, as long as you are reading some library books
  • We’re going to have an EPIC Library Scavenger Hunt that will span all areas of a library and get you appreciating everything your library has to offer
  • We’ll have TWO giveaways – one for the Scavenger Hunt and one for participating in the challenge
  • We want you to have fun and save money – libraries are FREEEEE!

What we need right now is help ironing out all the details so we’re asking any bloggers who are also librarians to PLEASE sign up below (link will take you to a Google Form that will ask for your name and email). You can also feel free to send any questions or emails to caughtreadhanded [at] gmail [dot] com!

Librarian Sign up

And of course, if you aren’t a librarian, but this challenge sounds like something you might like, keep your eyes open for a sign up post sometime next month! Leave any suggestions in the comments below or feel free to email me too!

If you want to talk about the challenge before April or would rather tweet suggestions, please use the hashtag #ReadingMyLibrary so we can all see what you have to say!

[Learn more about National Library Week]