Thursday Thoughts: A Monster Calls Teaser Trailer

Okay, I know this teaser trailer has been out for like 5 months, but I just recently rewatched it and got all emotional and I just wanted to share it with you guys in case you hadn’t seen it.

A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness and illustrated by Jim Kay (you HAVE to read the one with the illustrations; they completely make the book for me) is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. The story is short and takes no time at all to read, but man, if it isn’t worth it. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, and it’s one you’ll want to reread. At least for me. Let’s look at the teaser trailer, okay?

Okay, that’s freaking Liam Neeson as the monster/narrator and I’m so freaking excited with that casting. His voice is perfect. If you’ve read the book, you’ll also notice how similar the scene outside Connor’s window looks to the illustrations in the book. Beautiful.

I’m definitely nervous though. Like, I know book to movie adaptations are hardly ever done correctly, but I just want them to do this story justice. The teaser, while short, does look like it’s going to do a pretty good job. And, I mean, they’ve got Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, and the director of The Orphanage, J.A. Bayona, so it’s got to be at least halfway decent. 😉

Find out more about the movie on IMDB. And check out the book on Goodreads.

Have you read A MONSTER CALLS? Are you excited about the movie?

Waiting on Wednesday: The Blade Artist by Irvine Welsh

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

The Blade ArtistPublisher: Jonathan Cape

Author: Irvine Welsh

Release date: April 7, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Jim Francis has finally found the perfect life – and is now unrecognisable, even to himself. A successful painter and sculptor, he lives quietly with his wife, Melanie, and their two young daughters, in an affluent beach town in California. Some say he’s a fake and a con man, while others see him as a genuine visionary.

But Francis has a very dark past, with another identity and a very different set of values. When he crosses the Atlantic to his native Scotland, for the funeral of a murdered son he barely knew, his old Edinburgh community expects him to take bloody revenge. But as he confronts his previous life, all those friends and enemies – and, most alarmingly, his former self – Francis seems to have other ideas.

When Melanie discovers something gruesome in California, which indicates that her husband’s violent past might also be his psychotic present, things start to go very bad, very quickly.

The Blade Artist is an elegant, electrifying novel – ultra violent but curiously redemptive – and it marks the return of one of modern fiction’s most infamous, terrifying characters, the incendiary Francis Begbie from Trainspotting.

Why I’m excited: BEGBIE, YOU GUYS. BEGBIE IS BACK. I’m not sure how many of you will have heard of Trainspotting – though you might’ve seen/heard of the movie with Ewan McGregor and Ewen Bremner and freaking Robert Carlyle as Begbie. That book is definitely not for everyone but I loved it in all it’s raw, rough, swear-y, disgusting, violent glory, and I totally happy-danced when I heard there was going to be a sequel. And that synopsis? YES, PLEASE!

Top Ten Tuesday: Last 4 and 5 Star Reads

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

10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

I’ve been trying to only 5 star favorites recently, so I’m going to split this up into my last three 5 star reads and last seven 4 star reads (because these are close favorites). I’m also excluding rereads. As you probably know, I don’t use the 5-star system on my blog, so I’m going by what I rated these books on Goodreads.


Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin | I didn’t review this one on my blog, but if you are somehow unaware of my love of Ian Rankin and his books, I LOVED THIS BOOK.

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig | See above

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner | My review


My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights by Brooks Benjamin | Review soon

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley | See above

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig | My review

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter | My review

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman | My review

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs | I didn’t review this one yet, but I was not disappointed at all. Strange, enchanting, and creepy.

Winter by Marissa Meyer | I AM SO BEHIND ON MY REVIEWS OMG. Perfect conclusion to the series.

What was your last 5 star read?


ARC Review: The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry KletterAuthor: Kerry Kletter

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Philomel Books

Publication Date: March 15, 2016

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

I’ve been finding it difficult to write this review. For several reasons, I suppose. It’s so lovely, and I know no matter how I say it, my words will never be able to properly describe just how beautiful Kerry’s prose is. And don’t you find it difficult to talk about books that seemed to have crawled into your heart to live?

So I’ll start with what I said on Goodreads immediately after finishing the book:
Wow. Compelling, emotional, raw, and real with some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever read.

Let’s talk about that prose, okay? It’s so real and enthralling and gorgeous. I love all of the allusions and metaphors for the ocean and water throughout the book, and you can really feel that in the ebb and flow of Kerry’s prose. It pulls you in the way your feet sink into the sand right at the water’s edge. I was sucked in from the very beginning; all you’d have to do is read the prologue and you’ll be pulled in immediately.

This book is the perfect one to recommend to those adults who think YA books aren’t for them. It’s the definition of a crossover book. TFTSD is intelligent and sensitive, emotionally mature and sophisticated. This book is difficult but realistic, heavy and serious but needed. It’s about the way we see ourselves and how those around us can change that. There are some seriously difficult themes but there is also hope and I think that was my favorite part of all.

The bottom line: An emotionally difficult and serious book that deals with those things in some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever read.

Shout out to Brittany from Brittany’s Book Rambles who was kind enough to get me an ARC!

The Serpent King | Book Playlist

If you’ve been following my blog and/or me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me
rave/cry/scream/word-vomit/profess my love for Jeff Zentner’s debut The Serpent King by Jeff ZentnerTHE SERPENT KING, which came out this month! (And if you’ve somehow missed that word-vomit, check out my review of the book.) I can sum it up for you though: I LOVE THIS BOOK AND YOU SHOULD ALL READ IT. 🙂

I saw an interview that Jeff did recently where he said that Chvrches’ song “Tether” really represents the feelings of the book. I’d heard the song before but I listened to it again with TSK in mind, and oh man, it’s perfect. So I asked Jeff if he’d put together a playlist of the book and if I could share it on my blog. He had, so of course, I’m sharing it here! I’ve listened to it and I’m pretty obsessed. I think I might have to listen to it when I reread TSK in the future because it really does represent the book well. Which isn’t really a surprise since Jeff is also a musician (one of his songs is even on the playlist).

But first: I asked Jeff to describe himself in 6 words and THE SERPENT KING in 6 words, and they are so good.

JEFF: Generally good dude who makes stuff.

THE SERPENT KING: Throwing off chains; paving new roads. 

Enjoy the playlist!

Have you read THE SERPENT KING (if not, what are you doing?)? What do you think of the playlist? 

Add THE SERPENT KING on Goodreads!

Twitter | Facebook | Website

Author-photo-jacketJeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.

Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.

Thursday Thoughts: Reaction to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Trailer

In the past, I would share book to movie adaptation news with you guys because I absolutely love those, but it’s been a while since I posted about any adaptations. You guys seemed to like when I did, so I’m going to try to get back into that, because I really love the discussions we’d have.

As you may or may not know, Ransom Rigg’s strange, creepy, and super cool book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is being made into a movie directed by the amazing Tim Burton for release later this year (Christmas Day to be exact). And just last week the very first trailer was released, so I thought I’d share it with you and see what you guys thought.

I’m going to try to keep my reaction as un-spoilery as possible in case you guys haven’t read the book (but if you have, let me know so we can discuss!). As for the actors cast for each of the parts, I’m mostly satisfied. I think Eva Green as Miss Peregrine is absolutely perfect (and OH MY GOSH HER TRANSITION INTO A PEREGRINE IS INCREDIBLE). Asa Butterfield as Jacob is pretty great too. As for the rest of the cast, I’m…okay with them. None of them are exactly what I pictured (especially since Riggs includes pictures in the book of each character so that’s who I pictured for each character. But I’ll deal.

For those who have read the book, you probably noticed that Emma’s and Olive’s peculiarities have been swapped. (If you haven’t read the book, in it Emma – the main female character – controls fire, while Olive is actually the one who floats). I’m assuming they did this for romantic purposes (it’s much more romantic for Jacob to be keeping Emma grounded while she floats). But the whole inclusion of Emma being able to blow the water out of the ship is somewhat weird and irritating to me. Anyone else have that reaction?

One more thing and then I’ll leave it open for discussion in the comments: HOLY CRAP THAT HOLLOWGAST THO.

Find out more about the movie on IMDB.

Tell me what you think of the trailer below. If you’ve read the book, what do you think of the changes? If you haven’t, are you excited to watch the movie? 

Waiting on Wednesday: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

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

If I Was Your GirlPublisher: Flatiron Books

Author: Meredith Russo

Release date: May 3, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A big-hearted novel about being seen for who you really are.

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. She’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him in. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself–including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

Will the truth cost Amanda her new life–and her new love?

If I Was Your Girl is a universal story about feeling different–and a love story that everyone will root for.

Why I’m excited: I’ve never read a book about a transgender person – woman or man. And I’ve definitely never read a book about a transgender woman actually written by a transgender woman. I honestly couldn’t be more excited to do so. Reading, for me, is all about learning about people and experiences different from my own. The fact that this story is written by someone who’s actually been through this experience means that it’s going to be real and honest and powerful. Plus, when Dahlia Adler says a book is good, I take note. And thanks to Dahlia, I now have an ARC of this one waiting on my shelf. I cannot freaking wait to pick it up. (Thanks again, Dahlia!!)

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Love but Haven’t Talked about Enough

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About Enough/In A While

I decided to pick books that I read more than six months ago but that I think deserve more attention. 🙂

My Heart & Other Black Holes final     The Passage

MY HEART & OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga: This is one of my absolute favorite books. It was one of the first books that actually made me feel like the author just got me. I read it at a time when I really needed it, and while I think it might be too difficult for some people to read, I would highly recommend it. (My review of My Heart & Other Black Holes)

THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin: Unlike any book I’ve ever read. I completely devoured this book and its sequel, and they are close to 1,000 pages each! The third book FINALLY comes out this year and I’m dying for it. If you like creepy, well-written, unique books, GET THIS.

S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst     The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst: The definition of why I want to work in publishing. This book is complete work of art. I read this before I started blogging so I don’t have a review, but it’s so good.

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Mark Haddon: Beautiful, heartbreaking, clever, smart, and so well-done. One of my favorite books. It’s a quick read, but so worth it. And I just found out that it’s on Broadway! I saw this production when I was in London and it is hands down one of the best plays I’ve ever seen in my life. Absolutely beautiful. Here’s the website:

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu     More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

DEVOTED by Jennifer Mathieu: Quiet, honest, powerful, and just so beautiful. Devoted is one of those ones that doesn’t make a spectacle of itself; it’s definitely one I’d consider #QuietYA. It’s got a brilliant MC that I think more people should meet. (My review of Devoted)

MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera: I feel like I talk about Simon vs. and Mosquitoland every single day, but I don’t talk about MHTN as often (In my head, I put those three and My Heart together because the authors call themselves the Beckmindivera so they are a group to me), and I really don’t know why. I really loved this one, and I think it’s real and honest and difficult. I’m so ready for more from Adam! (My review of More Happy Than Not)

Firecracker     Everything Leads to You

FIRECRACKER by David Iserson: The main character of this book is a complete a-hole and I love her. There’s not even really a “point” to this book if I had to give one, but I just really enjoyed it. (My review of Firecracker)

EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU by Nina LaCour: Cute romance, wonderful friendships, Hollywood, and beautiful writing. An all-around enchanting story. I loved that the story focused on Emi’s drive and her experiences falling in love versus her sexuality. (My review of Everything Leads to You)

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig     John Dies at the End

REASONS TO STAY ALIVE by Matt Haig: You may or may not have read my review of this one. It was an emotional rollercoaster for me but it was exactly what I needed. Matt Haig has a way with words that I’ve really not seen anywhere else. This book should be read by everyone. I could honestly write another whole post about this book, so just check out my review. (My review of Reasons to Stay Alive)

JOHN DIES AT THE END by David Wong: One of the strangest books I’ve ever read. If I had to describe this book in one word it’d be “bizarre”. It’s so weird. But in the best way. Funny, ridiculous, freaky. I really love weird books, and this one is the definition of that. I think I don’t talk about this one as much because I read it before I started blogging.

Tell me about some of the books you love but I might not know about!

Mini Review: Illuminae audiobook

Illuminae audiobook

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Narrators: Olivia Taylor Dudley, Lincoln Hoppe, and Johnathan McClain, plus a full cast of 17 more narrators

Audiobook length: 11 hours and 41 minutes

Genre: Young adult, sci-fi

Publisher: Listening Library (Knopf Books for Young Readers – book)

HOLY ****. WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME HOW FREAKING BRILLIANT THE ILLUMINAE AUDIOBOOK IS?!?! Like, I’m pretty sure that no audiobook will ever live up to it. Except maybe the GEMINA audio (that’s the sequel to ILLUMINAE). Full cast with distorted voices, PA systems, computer and digital sounds. Everything is perfect. This is hands down the most unique audiobook I’ve ever listened to. There’s a full cast of TWENTY narrators. AND there’s a bunch of cool sounds and such that pushes this audiobook to the top of my favorites list. According to Listening Library’s website, the ILLUMINAE audiobook “also features a special “sound bed“—a mix of droning sounds and effects under certain voices. It’s not just music or sound effects—it’s more like a “sound theme” that ties the audiobook together.”

Highly recommended for a reread of ILLUMINAE or your first time. Either way – you won’t be disappointed. I CANNOT wait to listen to the GEMINA audiobook!!

If you don’t believe me, check out this Storify that Listening Library put together of a bunch of tweets about the audiobook.

Interview with Jennifer Ellision, author of Threats of Sky and Sea

Hey guys! I’m really excited to be hosting Jennifer Ellision, author of the THREATS OF SKY AND SEA series, for an interview today! Learn more about Jennifer’s MC and Jennifer herself! Let me tell you about the book first and then enjoy the interview!


Threats of Sky and SeaTHREATS OF SKY AND SEA by Jennifer Ellision
Createspace // May 20, 2014

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Describe yourself in 6 words.

Quiet dreamer, laidback realist, writer, reader.

Describe your book in 6 words.

Elementals with secrets. Royals with ambition.

Tell us a bit about your MC Breena.

Bree is a headstrong, independent girl who wants nothing more than to live her normal life in peace. Once a person or a cause finds their way into her heart, she’ll fight like hell for them, but she’s certainly resistant to change. Unfortunately for her, her creator keeps pulling the rug out from under her. ^_~

What is the best memory from your journey to becoming an author?

There are a lot of great memories to choose from, but nothing will ever beat holding the first finished copy of Threats of Sky and Sea in my hands.

What was the hardest part of writing the second book in the Threats of Sky and Sea series? The best part?

The beginnings of the consecutive books have always come the easiest for me, so picking up Riot of Storm and Smoke where Threats of Sky and Sea left off was great because the words just flowed. The most difficult part was acquainting myself with Prince Caden’s point-of-view—newly added in Riot of Storm and Smoke for a more effective, fleshed-out story.

I ask this of everyone – what’s your favorite book? 

Gah, such an unfair question! I genuinely can’t choose a single favorite book, but the one I’ve reread the most is probably Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce.

Other than your own, who is your favorite fictional character?

Ah, another very difficult question! I have so many fictional characters I adore, but the first one who comes to mind is Celaena/Aelin from Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about you or your book?

Threats of Sky and Sea will ultimately be a three book series, to be completed later this year, but also included in the series are three prequel short stories.

Thank you for having me on the blog, Stefani!


Jennifer EllisionJennifer Ellision was born and raised in South Florida and lives in perpetual fear of temperatures below 60F. She spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She has an OTP, loves character analysis, and is a master of the fangirl flail, with a particular soft spot for fanfiction. She frequently bursts into song (and they are often of a Disney persuasion). Sailor Moon is one of her favorite things on this planet. Threats of Sky and Sea is her first novel.

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