A Mini Hiatus; More Like a Short Break; More Like a Long Weekend

Hey, lovelies! I just wanted to give you all a little heads up that I’ll be out of commission for the weekend – probably until Monday. Today I’m having what can essentially be called sinus surgery, and I’ll be recuperating this weekend and will therefore be avoiding the internet. It feels weird to me because I usually post a review today and try to post something over the weekend. You WILL still be getting a Summer Blogger Promo Tour post on Sunday, so look out for that.

Just in case you weren’t aware, I’ve got a giveaway on Twitter going for my ARC of Paperweight by Meg Haston (did you check out my review yet?), so make sure you go enter that!

Anyway, I’ll miss you all. It won’t be long! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and no black eyes like I’m going to have. See you next week! ❤

Waiting on Wednesday: Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

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

Into the Dim by Janet B. TaylorPublisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Author: Janet B. Taylor

Release date: March 1, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“Seventy-two hours, then we have to be back at the clearing. Sunrise on the third day.”

Being “the home-schooled girl” in a small town, Hope Walton’s crippling phobias and photographic memory don’t endear her to her dad’s perfectly blond, very Southern family. When her mother is killed in a natural disaster thousands of miles from home, Hope’s secluded world implodes. After being shipped off to an aunt she’s never met, Hope learns there’s more to her mother’s “death” than she ever dreamed. At her aunt’s manor, high in the Scottish Highlands, Hope begins to unravel the shocking truth about her family. Her mom isn’t just a brilliant academic. She’s a member of a secret society of time travelers, and is currently trapped in the twelfth century in the age of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. To stage a rescue, the sheltered teen must join the Indiana Jones-wannabe team of time-jumpers, before her mother is lost for good. In a brutal, medieval world, Hope will discover more family secrets, and a mysterious boy who could be vital to setting her mother free…or the very key to Hope’s undoing.

Addictive and rich with historical detail, INTO THE DIM (Coming Spring 2016 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is an unlikely heroine’s story of adventure, sacrifice, and first love, in a high stakes race against time itself.

Why I’m excited: I’ll start by saying what I said on Goodreads: SCOTLAND AND TIME TRAVEL?? Could there BE a more perfect book for me?

Like, seriously. You guys know how much I love Scotland and any excuse to be that much closer to that country, and I’m all in. But then you add in freaking time travel. AND a medieval world and mysterious boys and mystery and secrets and adventure and history about Scotland and that gorgeous cover, and you pretty much have the definition of the perfect book for Stefani. I NEED it right now! Can’t I time-jump into March 2016?? I know it’s like a million years until release date but I just had to share this one with all of you so you can get excited with me!!

Top Ten Tuesday: Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession (bought, library, review copies)

In no particular order, mostly because I can’t remember in which order I got these. All titles linked to Goodreads.

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott     Hunter by Mercedes Lackey     The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner     The Darkest Minds by Alexandrra Bracken     Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott – from publisher, thanks again The Novl!
Hunter by Mercedes Lackey – from Emma because she’s awesome
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner– from the author; follow him on Twitter! His book publishes next year!
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken – from Kelly for a trade
Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat – from the library

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan     Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins     Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures     Tales from the Arabian Nights translated by Sir Richard Francis Burton     Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan – from Jo who got the book signed for me and mailed it across the ocean!
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – from OTSP Secret Sister, Mariah, signed by the author. It says, “Cricket is yours.” !!!!!!
Pip Barlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures – from Xander for a trade
Tales from the Arabian Nights translated by Sir Richard Francis Burton – bought, recommended by Renee Ahdieh
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – from April just because she’s super kind

If you couldn’t tell, I’m trying not to buy books for a while, but I still keep getting amazing books from author people. Oops. Thank you again to all of the wonderful people who’ve either sent me books just because or because I’ve traded with you. You are all awesome.

Summer Blogger Promo Tour: Melissa from The Reader and the Chef

Today is the second Sunday of the Summer Blogger Promo Tour hosted by The Book Bratz! I’m really excited to have Melissa from The Reader and the Chef on the blog today because she’s talking about the food from YA books that she wishes she could actually eat. Be prepared: you’re about to get hungry. Check out her post and then make sure you go check out her blog!

Summer Blogger Promo Tour 2015

———————————————————————

YA Foods I Wish To Eat In Their Fictional Worlds

Hi everyone! My name is Melissa and I’m “the reader” at The Reader and the Chef!

I’m pretty sure that you can already tell from my blog’s name that I LOVE food. I’m quite good at eating it too (not the cooking, I’m only decent – my sister is the Chef at my blog).

Food sometimes plays an important role on books. They sometimes make important scenes memorable. And because my sister and I love food,  I’m always on the lookout for these little details just so I can make my sister do them for me and I can stuff my face pretending I’m somehow part of those precious moments.

However, wouldn’t it be too darn awesome that instead of only eating all that delicious stuff mentioned inside the books, we could eat it in the actual place they were mentioned in? Huh!? HUH!?! I know I do!

So that’s why, for my post, I want to share with you the FOOD (mostly desserts) that I wish to one day (it will happen, I’m sure!) eat exactly where the characters enjoyed it. I might also have some other hidden purposes. (Note: Not all food/dessert pictures are mine, I borrowed a few because they look so great!)

Dauntless Chocolate Cake

Divergent

Yup. My first choice would be THE Dauntless Chocolate Cake. I would looooove to have a piece of this yummy chocolatey goodness right beside Four/Tobias. It’s his favorite so OF COURSE it is my favorite as well. But first, I need to find a way to get to Chicago and then somehow get inside of Dauntless… Or we could eat it in the Ferris Wheel. Seriously, I wouldn’t mind.

Dauntless-Chocolate-Cake

From ChefDruck

Kiwi Pie

Lola and the Boy Next Door

This is something that seems more possible in a not-so-distant future. Kiwi Pie at Lola’s house in San Francisco. Bonus points if Cricket Bell is there. With an apron. Serving me pie. Lola and the Boy Next Door is one of my favorite reads and Cricket is one of my favorite book boyfriends so I really, really want to feel as close to him as possible.We actually already made our own version of this pie, but we didn’t eat it in San Francisco. Boo!  😦

kiwi pie

Mushroom Ravioli

Twilight

Yes, I was a Twilight fan back in the days. Actually, I’m still pretty fond of the books and if someone offered me the chance to have Mushroom Ravioli  at Bella Italia in Port Angeles I would totally take out my I ❤ Vampire t-shirt and wear it while eating that deliciousness. Please don’t hate me.

mushroomravioli_dish

From Bella Italia

Strawberry Tart

The Selection

I need to try that Strawberry tart mentioned in The Selection! This tart is everything guys, EVERYTHING. Okay, not really everything, I just want an excuse to get close to Prince Maxon or at least to eat something in a CASTLE. I also want to be a Princess. :)))

Strawberry Tart

From Martha Stewart

Lamb Stew with Dried Plums

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I’m not so sure if I would like to eat this in the Capitol (Panem) but I AM curious to try it out. On my own terms and not be it my last meal before the games because I’m pretty sure I would be the first to go. Sad, sad, truth. I could also take some Pita bread made by my Peeta.

Lamb Stew

From Popsugar

Turkish Delight

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

I dare you not to think of Narnia every time you hear someone mention Turkish Delight! I’ve been craving this delicious looking turkish sweet since Edmund tried it in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (movie version). My sister just made me a batch but I don’t have a wardrobe and grandma’s is just a normal one sooo…. can someone lend me their wardrobe to Narnia? Pretty please? 🙂

Turkish Delight

*****

The list could go on and on, but these are the top places I would love to visit someday to eat their respective “popular” dishes. I could have mentioned Harry Potter too but I thought it would be pointless since my Hogwarts letter is about to get here any day now & I’ll get there soon enough. (Ha. I wish.)

unfair gif

So tell me, have you ever wished to eat something in their fictional world or is it just me? 😮

ABOUT MELISSA

_20150630_192922Melissa is a 21 year old book blogger and reviewer, currently studying Foreign Trade and Customs in Mexico. Her favorite genres are fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, and basically all things young adult with a hint of romance. She also enjoys reading new adult books and classic literature from time to time. When she’s not reading, she loves to sing out loud, eat sweets, stare at her collection of books and daydream about marrying one of her favorite book boyfriends. You can find her at her book blog The Reader and the Chef, and at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers.

Book Review: Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Author:  David Arnold

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 3, 2015

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Dear Mosquitoland,

Reasons are hard. Trying to put into words the reasons why I love you is hard, but I’ll try.

Reason #1: You are weird. Like, SO weird. But you’re that special kind of weird that I absolutely love. You’re unique and strange and beautiful and funny and emotional and just brilliantly weird in the best possible way.

Reason #2: David Arnold’s writing is incredible. Like, mind-blowingly incredible. I cannot believe you are his debut novel. How is that even possible? I cannot wait to see what comes from him next if YOU are his FIRST book. Parts of you felt like poetry. I was torn between racing through you and taking my time to savor David’s writing. I’ll definitely be rereading you in the future.

Reason #3: Mim. MIM! Oh my goodness. She is just an incredible character. David NAILED her voice. She’s this perfect blend of hard and vulnerable. Sassy, independent, scared, sad, smart. She is such a teenager. I can’t believe how well David wrote her. I love her so much that she’s made it onto my short list of favorite characters ever.

Reason #4: You are the definition of perfect story telling. Your characters’ voices are spot on, your writing is beautiful, but that’s not the best part. You are just a good story. Entertaining, engrossing, fascinating, exciting. I just want to list all the best adjectives to describe you.

Reason #5: This is what my book looked like when I finished. Green flags are from RachelMarie at Nerd Herd Reads; pink are from me. This is what a book looks like when you LOVED it wholeheartedly.

Mosquitoland - read

The bottom line: Reasons are hard. Mississippi is hard. But you? You’re beautiful and quirky and plain ol’ strange, and I love you.

Signing off,
Stefani Sloma
Reluctant Mosquitoland Resident and Mosquitoland Lover

Rating: 9 – practically perfect

Waiting on Wednesday: Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

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

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila SalesPublisher: Farrar, Straus, and Garroux

Author: Leila Sales

Release date: September 15, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the author of This Song Will Save Your Life comes a funny and relatable book about the hazards of falling for a person you haven’t met yet.

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.
Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

Why I’m excited: I’m lucky enough to have some pretty wonderful blogger friends online, and one of them, the very sweet Nicole (aka The Book Bandit) saw that I wanted to read Tonight the Streets Are Ours on Goodreads and asked if I wanted her extra ARC. SO I now have an ARC of this book, and I cannot wait to read it! It sounds really fun, and I’m a sucker for a good “figuring out who you are” kind of book. I can already tell I’m going to like Arden and I’ll be rooting for her on her journey to self-discovery.

Top Ten Tuesday: Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

First, it’s my birthday! Yay! Unfortunately, I have to work until 8 p.m., but we had yesterday off, so that was nice!

The sad thing about my TTT post this week is that I actually own almost ALL of the books on it, I just haven’t been able to read them yet. I WILL get to them soon!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin     Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor     Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell     Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo     Legend by Marie Lu

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – own first two books in series
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – own first two books in series
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I own the pretty pink special edition because of my wonderful Secret Sister
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – owned and signed, but will read this month for Blogger Book Club!
Legend by Marie Lu – own and I loved The Young Elites so I really should read it soon

The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy     The Distance Between Us by Kasie West     Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi     Cinder by Marissa Meyer     Matched by Ally Condie

The Summer I’ve Turned Pretty trilogy by Jenny Han – own the whole trilogy as a single book
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West – own
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – own and really want to read
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – do not own but have Cinder checked out as an audiobook
Matched by Ally Condie – do not own but every single one of my teen volunteers at the library is trying to convince me to read these books

Have you read any of these books? Which hyped books have you not read?

ARC Review: Paperweight by Meg Haston

Paperweight by Meg HastonAuthor:  Meg Haston
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, mental health
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
304 pages, hardcover (288 ARC)

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Shout out to the wonderful Little Shop of Stories for letting me take this ARC! Check them out if you’re ever in Decatur, GA!

Paperweight is an extremely difficult book to review. It’s also an extremely difficult book to read. I’ve never had an eating disorder and it was hard for me to read this. I can’t even imagine how triggering this book could possibly be for someone who’s had (or has) an eating disorder. Paperweight makes you uncomfortable. It pulls you completely out of your comfort zone and doesn’t hold a damn thing back. It puts everything out there in the most raw and honest way possible. And it’s difficult to read it because of that. But it is so worth your time.

Haston has done a wonderful thing with this book. She’s created Stevie, a girl with Anorexia Nervosa, who believes that her disease makes up everything she is. Again, I’ve never had an eating disorder nor have I ever been in a treatment facility. But I feel like Stevie’s story is authentic. It feels real. Stevie doesn’t miraculously get 100% better. That’s not life. The way she changes is subtle, believable. Honestly, Stevie is unlikeable at times. She’s selfish and mean, but her voice felt right.

If I had to describe this book in four words, they would be: Honest. Real. Emotional. Painful. This book is brutal, you guys, and I think you have to be in a certain emotional state to read it. I’m still not sure how I made it through certain parts, but I made it through because Stevie did.

The bottom line: Paperweight is a hard one. It’s hard to read and hard to review. It’s brutal and honest and raw, and I definitely don’t think it’s for everyone. It could be potentially triggering if you’ve dealt with (or are dealing with) an eating disorder. Stevie’s voice is one to listen to though. She’s honest and real, and that’s what scares me the most.

Rating: I honestly don’t know how to rate this one. I’m going to go with an 8, but not for the freaking fantastic, but rather because it’s memorable.

Every Day a Hope by Marci M. Matthews + Giveaway

Every Day a Hope by Marci M. MatthewsEvery Day a Hope is an interesting little book. I really love what the book tries to get the reader to do. Here’s what Goodreads says it’s about:

Through tiny stories and illustrations, Every Day a Hope encourages and empowers readers to examine emotionally difficult issues, while instilling confidence, introspection, and creativity. In each page, Marci M. Matthews addresses familiar concepts in a unique manner, designed to evoke thoughts, feelings, changes in perspective, and the ability to embrace the positive. The concepts in Every Day a Hope are taken from Matthews’ work with survivors, but the book is accessible to anyone who wants to find new ways to approach life with a positive outlook. Accompanying pages encourage readers to embark on their own explorations by asking questions and providing space to draw, write, keep lists, and create in whatever ways inspire them the most.

In my own words, I’d describe Every Day a Hope as an interactive, coloring-book style, inspirational journal. Every other page or so, the reader/writer is given a prompt to write about – your hopes and fears, the things that make you happy or upset, things you want to change, etc. It’s written in a way to help you along your path to recovery or finding a new way to look at life.

Overall, I thought the book was really cool, but there were a few things that were weird. As a lover of language, I really don’t like when there is no capitalization in books. Not a single word in Every Day a Hope was capitalized and I wanted to cry. Thankfully, there’s punctuation. Some of the stories and illustrations felt a little cheesy, but I was mostly using the book for the prompts anyway.

These are two of my favorite pages because you guys know how much I love travel and I believe in learning at all times.

Every Day a Hope by Marci M. Matthews    Every Day a Hope by Marci M. Matthews

I was inspired by the book’s title to write a list of hopes for the coming year. I turn 25 this week, which just feels like a big year; I’m not sure why. Here are a few things I hope to accomplish before I turn 26:

– Move out. I don’t care if that means moving out of the state (which is what I really hope for) or just out of the house. I need to do it for me.
– Visit 5 places I’ve never been before.
– Learn a new skill. Last year I learned slash am still learning archery. The year before that was sewing. What can I learn this year?
– Volunteer somewhere. I used to do this a lot more than I do now. Find time to do it.
– Be kind. To everyone. No matter what.

GIVEAWAY TIME:

I’m giving away a copy of Every Day a Hope. I’m making it SUPER easy to enter. All I am asking you to do is comment on this post with a hope YOU have for the next year. Do you want to take a road trip? Read 50 books? Go to a book event? Learn something new? Finish school? Whatever it is you hope to accomplish in the next year – I want to know! You can gain an extra entry by tweeting about the giveaway – just leave a link to your tweet in the same comment as your entry, and I’ll enter your name twice when I do the random drawing!

US only (I’m really sorry, international friends!). Ends July 31, 2015 at 5 p.m. CST.

NOTE: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Mindbuck Media for sending this book my way!

Summer Blogger Promo Tour: Ri from Hiver et Cafe

Summer Blogger Promo Tour 2015
Last year I had SO much fun with the Summer Blogger Promo Tour hosted by The Book Bratz, so when sign ups opened for this year’s tour, I HAD to sign up! Every Sunday until the end of August, I’ll be hosting someone from a different blog so you can get to know them! Today the tour kicks off with Ri from Hiver et Cafe. She’s talking about real or fictional places she’d love to visit. Read her post and then go check out her blog!
————
Hi! I’m Ri! I run the blog Hiver et Cafe! Here are the Top 5 places fictional or non fictional that I’d absolutely LOVE to visit. 
Greece & Percy Jackson series 
 They’re both kind of related. While none of the Percy Jackson series actually takes place in Greece, the follow up – Heroes of Olympus, does take place(ish) in Greece. This series is one of the reasons that I’m so into reading and also the reason for my love of the Classics and mythology. It’s because of this series that I’ve always wanted to go to Greece and to really see the ruins myself. Also, have you seen the pictures of Mykonos? The ocean and the whole place just looks so incredibly gorgeous!Parthenon_540Hogwarts
I mean. Who doesn’t want to go to Hogwarts? Though preferably any time that is not in the same timeline of the books, because I’d love to not get caught up in the war. And also I’m a Slytherin, so there’s that. I just would love for magic to be real.
IMG_1677
Prague & Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of my favourite series and the first book starts out in the city of Prague. The way that Laini Taylor describes Prague is just so beautiful that it makes me really want to visit. I’m also really into old architecture and photography so it sounds like a really gorgeous city to document and photograph.

Charles Bridge morning

London & Every Word
London is just one of those places that I’ve always wanted to go. There’s so much history and awesome architecture!
63730-640x360-tower-bridge-cam-640
Seoul, Korea & Hello, I Love You
Korea is one of those places that I’ve been really interested in because I enjoy Kpop and the culture there. I would absolutely love to go and visit some day and experience the country in person rather than through video or through novel.

Seoul-nightscene_2416363b

 Thank you so much Stefani for having me on your blog! 🙂