Bookish News from around the Web 1

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been a little MIA on the blog recently. I’ve had a lot of things going on in my personal life that have made it hard to feel motivated and I’ve also just not felt the desire to blog. I’m really sorry about that, but I’ve been trying to think of new, fun ideas for the blog. Posts that would inspire me AND you, that would be fun for you to read and for me to write. One of the things that came to mind was to highlight awesome, interesting, exciting bookish news/posts from around the web to showcase. This could be anything from book deals to movie adaptation trailers to fanart to quizzes to anything that catches me eye. I hope this sounds like something you’d like to read! Let me know what you think in the comments.

YA MOVIE ADPTATION NEWS! Nicola Yoon posted that they’ve cast Amandla Stenberg (who played Rue in The Hunger Games adaptation and will play Starr in The Hate U Give adaptation) as Maddy and Nick Robinson (who was in Jurassic World and The 5th Wave) as Olly in the film adaptation of Everything, Everything. I’m super excited to see the incredible Amandla Stenberg in more movies! Check out the article about the casting HERE.

WONDER WOMAAAAAN MOVIE! Comic Con is this week in San Diego, and they released the first full length trailer for the Wonder Woman movie which is coming out next year. It look fantastic, and I’m super excited to see a comic book movie about a female superhero! Watch the trailer below.

BOOK DEALS! I’m sure you guys are aware by now how much I absolutely love Becky Albertalli, right? If not, where have you been? Either way, you know it now. I ADORE Becky and both of her books (Simon vs. and The Upside of Unrequited – which is out next year), and this week it was announced that Donna Bray at Balzer + Bray has bought TWO MORE BOOKS by Becky, which will be out in 2018!

HISTORY WAS MADE! It was announced last week that Dr. Carla Hayden was approved as the 14th Librarian of Congress. Hayden made history because she’s the first female AND the first African American to lead the Library of Congress. How cool is that?!

BOOKISH ART! A few weeks ago, I finally read Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, which I am absolutely obsessed with. The sequel, Crooked Kingdom, comes out later this year, and I’ve got grabby hands for anything that has to do with it. Leigh tweeted out these gorgeous pieces of art with each of the main characters on them that I’m heart eyes over. My favorite is the one of Jesper, which is below, but you can see the ones for Kaz, Inej, Wylan/Kuwei (LOVE THIS ONE TOO), Nina, and Matthias on Twitter. All of the art was done by Kevin Wada, and you can check out his other art on his website.

Jesper CK art.png

Okay, that’s a wrap! What do you guys think about this type of post?

Reread/Audiobook Review through Tweets: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I recently reread Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda as an audiobook, and of course, I loved it again. When I was almost done with the reread, I was…inspired, I suppose, to tweet a bit about how much I love the book and why I think Becky is just so good at what she does. And I thought it’d be fun if I just shared those tweets here as a kind of Reread Review through Tweets. 🙂

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Narrator: Michael Crouch

Audiobook length: 6 hours and 45 minutes

Publisher: Balzer + Bray (book) / Blackstone Audio (Audiobook)

Find it on Goodreads.

 

Before I start with the tweets, I want to talk about the audiobook for a second. I need to mention just how FREAKING perfect Michael Crouch is as a narrator. I mean, his voice fits Simon SO well, and I really just want to listen to every single one of his audiobooks and have him narrate everything forever. So if the universe could just get on that, that’d be great. Thanks.

So this was harder than I thought it was going to be because Twitter or WordPress likes to put the previous tweet as well if it is a conversation like this one. But I got it.

The bottom line: Just in case I wasn’t clear, you need to read this book. Get on it.

Find it on Goodreads. Or just go ahead and order the book – B&N | Amazon | IndieBound

Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel (because when you love a debut you just are ITCHING to get your hands on the author’s second book) or Top Ten Sophomore Novels That I Loved Just As Much If Not More As The Author’s Debut (no one hit wonders heeeere!)

This was one of the easiest Top Ten Tuesdays in a while. I doubt many of you will be surprised by anyone on my list. I’m very vocal about my favorites. All author names linked to Twitter.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli    Mosquitoland by David Arnold    My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga    More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

THE BECKMINDAVERA – Becky Albertalli  // David Arnold // Jasmine Warga // Adam Silvera

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh     Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon     The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Renee Ahdieh // Nicola Yoon // Stephanie Oakes

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio     Made You Up by Francesca Zappia     The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I.W. Gregorio // Francesca Zappia // Stephen Chbosky

Which debuts have you excited for their sophomore novel?

Top Ten Tuesday: Six Author Duos I’d LOVE to See Write a Book Together

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together (aka my (Jamie’s) world would explode if Gayle Forman and Jandy Nelson wrote a book together) — might be hard to come up with 10 but still would be fun! Bonus points if you tell us what kind of book you’d like them to write!

This is kind of a hard one! I don’t think I could come up with TEN, so I’m going to with five which is technically ten authors. 😉

More Happy Than Not by Adam SilveraAmpersandSimon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Adam Silvera & Becky Albertalli
Could you IMAGINE how wonderful that book would be? It’d be all sorts of cute mixed with a little bit effed up and gritty and real, and I would devour it. So, guys, can you make that happen? Kthanksbye!

The Falls Ampersand The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Ian Rankin & Maggie Stiefvater
Okay, this one is a little bit weird, BUT imagine Scotland + crime + magic + SCOTLAND. Ian Rankin writes gritty, amazing crime fiction set in Scotland, and I think that plus Maggie’s incredible world-building skills and magic and love of myths and legends would be super interesting to read.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu AmpersandShadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Ampersand The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Marie Lu & Leigh Bardugo
So I’ve only read one book by Leigh Bardugo so far, but I can just tell that the world these two created together would blow all of our minds. And if we added Renee Ahdieh into this mix? HOLY CRAP. I need this to happen.

Mosquitoland by David Arnold Ampersand Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

David Arnold & Nicola Yoon
Yeah, I would die. Like, I would just implode if they wrote a book together. David’s snark mixed with Nicola’s passion would make for an incredible contemporary chock full of characters to fall in love with and relate to.

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu Ampersand The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Jennifer Mathieu & Stephanie Oakes
I just featured both of these authors in a Quiet YA post, and I think they could write a seriously amazing and realistic book together. I don’t even really care what it would be about because I know they would do whatever subject they chose justice.

Okay, I lied. One more.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater Ampersand The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

Maggie Stiefvater & Kirsty Logan
ASDFJKL; This combination would literally be magic. Like, I’m pretty sure if the two of them got together, real, actual magic would fall onto the page and into our hands.

So, I’m going to need for all of these authors to actually get together and make these books happen. Which authors would you like to see write a book together?

SUNDAY FUNDAY (on Monday) – 1,500 Miles

So Sunday Funday is something that the lovely Cristina over at Girl in the Pages started as a way to recap the bookish (and not-so-bookish) things that have happened that week. I only tend to do it on weeks that actually have something really exciting happen. I also tend to do them on Monday instead of Sunday. Oops. But this past week was so ridiculously awesome that I had to write a post about it.

———————-

I took TWO road trips this week. Yeah, I’m pretty much dead, but it was well worth it. On Tuesday, I went to Birmingham, Alabama (a little over 3 hours each way) to go see AWOLNATION for the second time and the first time in the States. I had an incredible time and the show was absolutely amazing. Not that they weren’t already, but this show just solidified in my mind that they are tied for first (with twenty one pilots) as my favorite band. Here are a few pics.

AWOLNATION, Birmingham, AL

Then on Saturday I drove over to Decatur, Georgia (a little over 5 hours) for a little getaway. On Saturday, I had lunch with the absolutely lovely Becky Albertalli (and her ridiculously cute son, Henry) at a place called Thumbs Up Diner. Then we headed to Little Shop of Stories (you’ve probably seen me mention this place about fifty times on the blog – I love it so much), where Becky BOUGHT ME TWO BOOKS. If she wasn’t already one of my favorite people (she was), she made me love her even more with this. I had a fantastic time talking to her about books (my TBR grew even more because she told mem about some awesome books she’s blurbing), the Decatur Book Festival, and so much more. Plus, I got to hold Henry and he’s the sweetest kid.
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For anyone who’s ever asked me about Little Shop of Stories, here’s a few pictures. It’s the cutest place ever!

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After lunch with Becky, I went over to a brewing company in Decatur where I was going to take a tour but when I pulled up no one was there and it was kind of sketchy and I didn’t want to go by myself. I actually think the place was closed because as I was pulling away, two people with the company logo on their shirts pulled up to put a sign on the door. Oh well. So I headed to B&N for a coffee and then went ahead to Little Shop of Stories for the book club. They were discussing The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, who WAS THERE. I’m really glad Vonya (the woman who usually runs the book club) told me about it at Becky’s book launch, because I had a fantastic time. Renee was really nice and I enjoyed the discussion we all had about her book. Plus, she called Sabaa Tahir for Kim (Little Shop’s store manager) because Kim’s pretty much in love with Sabaa. As you can imagine, we had a great time.

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After the book club, a few of us headed down to Colbeh, a Persian restaurant, for dinner. We had some delicious food (Renee pretty much told us what to order!) and some great conversation.

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I can’t even really put into words what an incredible time I had on Saturday. Lunch with Becky and dinner with Renee, Kim, Rachael Allen (author of 17 First Kisses), Ricki Schultz (editor and hopefully soon-to-be author), and MaryAnn Dabski (also a hopeful author). The food was delicious at both places, as was the conversation.

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After dinner, Kim and I went back to Little Shop to get my stuff, and she let me go through their collection of ARCs and take a few. I told you she was awesome. I had a pretty freaking amazing haul, if I do say so myself. LOOK AT WHAT I GOT!!!

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On Sunday, I spent a little time with Kim at her house (she kindly let me stay with her Saturday night) then went to two comic shops in Decatur (Oxford Comics and Criminal Records). I was looking for two specific issues, which I didn’t find, BUT I had a pretty awesome haul anyway!

20150615_093536

Then I drove home. Overall, I drove at least 1,300 miles this week, and that doesn’t include going to work on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. So probably about 1,500 miles in a week. To say I’m exhausted is an understatement. I’m one of those people that HAVE to travel to stay sane, but even I’m done with travel for a bit (you know, like a month or so. Haha). In the end, these trips were TOTALLY worth it.

How was your week?

Guest Post | Simon and Becky Albertalli fill out a MySpace Survey and Buzzfeed Quizzes

You guys remember MySpace, right? Do you remember those super long, ridiculous MySpace quizzes and surveys from back in the day? I was taking a quiz on Buzzfeed (as you do), when I began thinking about Simon (as you do) from Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I could just perfectly picture him sitting around with Blue being silly and taking some old MySpaces quizzes just because. So I asked Becky if she’d like to fill out a survey and take a few Buzzfeed quizzes as Simon to see what he’d say and what results he’d get. Because Becky is AWESOME, she said yes. What follows is Simon’s MySpace survey answers as well as the results of six Buzzfeed quizzes, including his reactions to those results. Enjoy! [She answered everything post-book, but there are NO spoilers!] After you read, go enter to win a signed copy of the book on my Twitter!

The MySpace Quiz

  1. Who is the last person you hugged? My weirdo dog.
  2. Last person you kissed? Erm. My boyfriend. (*blushes*)(*dies*)
  3. What color are your eyes? Gray
  4. Tea or coffee? Coffee
  5. What are you currently listening to? the new Sufjan Stevens album!
  6. Are you reading anything right now? Other than the quiz, of course. Tell us about your current read. I’m reading MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera, and it’s so badass, and the author is so freaking cute.
  7. What is your favorite scent? Oreos. YES, THEY HAVE A SCENT.
  8. Who is your favorite person? See answer to question #2.
  9. When is your birthday? November 17th (a.k.a. the best day of the entire year) (a.k.a. buy me presents).
  10. Do you smoke? Or drink? No. Maybe.
  11. Do you have any hidden talents? I do an excellent Chris Harrison impression.
  12. What is your “type”? Soccer calves.
  13. What’s your dream job? Oreo tester? Is that a thing?
  14. Do you have any siblings? Do I ever.
  15. If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would it be? Elliott Smith. Or J.K. Rowling.
  16. What are your pet peeves? People touching their eyeballs. THEIR FREAKING EYEBALLS.
  17. Do you have any regrets? Trying watermelon Oreos.
  18. Do you have a tattoo? Or would you like to get one? Nope. And maybe. (Do NOT tell my parents, please!)
  19. Favorite cartoon character? Tina from Bob’s Burgers!
  20. Favorite color? Blue J (YEAH, I SAID IT)
  21. Favorite place? The Shoreo
  22. Favorite food? I mean, come on. You know this.
  23. Favorite song? Waltz #2 by Elliott Smith
  24. Favorite book? Harry freaking Potter
  25. Favorite day of the week? Sunday. And Monday. ❤
  26. Favorite actor? Dan Radcliffe
  27. What color is the shirt you’re wearing? White with red and black swirls and a very handsome Elliott.
  28. Do you like to travel? I like to travel to the kitchen.
  29. Are you the life of the party? No, but my dad is. (ß OMFG, this is what happens when you leave the room for one second to pee and your dad has no boundaries. HILARIOUS, DAD.)
  30. Pick a lyric. Just…pick a lyric? Out of an entire universe of songs? I think I need some guidelines.
  31. What did you think of this survey? It was pure mega stuffed excellence.

The Buzzfeed Quizzes

*All results screenshots are linked to the quiz on Buzzfeed*

Which Harry Potter Character Should You Actually Marry? Voldemort

Simon Says Voldemort

Which Harry Potter "Witch" Should be Your BFF? Ginny

Simon Says Ginny

Which Harry Potter Character is Your Drunk Alter Ego? Luna

Simon Says: What? I make perfect sense when I'm drunk, right? RIGHT?

What If Your Pizza Order Determined Your Hogwarts House? Hufflepuff

Simon Says Hufflepuff

What Kind of Flirt Are You? Playful Flirt

Simon Says Playful Flirt

What Musical Should You Star In? Cabaret

Simon Says Cabaret

I don’t know about you, but this is basically my new favorite thing. Ever. I LOVE Simon, and I’m amazed by just how real he feels to me (and a lot of people who’ve read this book). I would totally be friends with him IRL. I want everyone to read this debut, so I’m giving away a SIGNED copy on Twitter. If you haven’t already entered, you still have until April 30, so GO ENTER!

Thursday Thoughts: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Book Launch

Chances are if you’ve been on the blog anytime this year, you’ve seen me post about how much I love Becky Albertalli’s debut novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I’ve reviewed it, kicked off the excerpt tour, and had an Oreogasm. I’ve also posted about it on Twitter or fangirled with Becky like 100 times. I adore her and her book, so when I found out she was having a book launch for Simon in Decatur (at Little Shop of Stories no less – one of my absolute favorite book shops), I knew I had to go. Who cares that it’s a 5 ½ hour drive? Not me. After I told Becky I was coming, we tweeted each other almost every day leading up to the event with just a bunch of exclamation points.

Becky and meCan I just take a moment to say how absolutely exciting it is to have an author just as excited to meet you as you are to meet them? I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of my favorite authors, but I’ve got to say that having Becky tweet me several times with the same excitement level I had was pretty much the coolest thing EVER.

So anyway, my librarian friend, Kayla, and I drove the 5 ½ hours to Decatur – which was a blast! – and headed over to Little Shop of Stories for the event. Meeting Becky for the first time was awesome! She is super cool and adorkable and was so appreciative of the fact that we drove over for the event that just her thanking me was worth it. But then she’d also brought me a finished copy of Simon that she’d wrote the sweetest note in. As you can guess, I pretty much hugged that book for the rest of the night. [Look how ADORABLE she is!  You can tell how happy I was from that smile.]

Becky talking

And then there was the event too.  Becky had brought ALL THE OREOS, which were obviously very delicious. Most especially the vodka infused ones. Yummmm. After some mingling and hob-knobbing, during which time Becky introduced me to Jeff Zentner, whose debut novel comes out next year, the event started. Becky gave an adorable intro to Simon and thank you to everyone who came, and then there was a Q&A – she talked about her writing process, the publication process, what it’s like writing her next book, and more. Then there was the signing. Since I already had a signed copy, I waited until the end to get another…check out the end of the post to see what I’m talking about!

ALL THE OREOS     OREOS!

This is when I met the super wonderful and chill David Arnold, author of Mosquitoland. He’d come down from Kentucky to support Becky, which is very cool. We talked about Mississippi and YA books and audiobooks. He signed my ARC that I won in a giveaway (Thanks again, David!). I also met Christina from A Reader of Fictions, who was SO SWEET. She gave Kayla and me a HUGE bag of ARCs because she said we looked friendly. Nice people finish FIRST. Thank you again, Christina!! I also left with three ARCs from Little Shop of Stories (I TOLD you they were awesome). I got an ARC of Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (which I’ve already read and loved), ACOTAR!!!! by Sarah J. Maas, and Paper Weight by Meg Haston. For realz, if you’re ever in the Decatur area, go to Little Shop of Stories! They are the BEST.

Our haul     Our haul

We only brought ONE book to the event and we left with ALL OF THESE!!

I’ve talked about my life and my depression before on the blog, so I’m not going into that here. But I want to talk about how I felt at this event. I felt the least stressed, anxious, sad, unhappy, and uncomfortable at this event than I have in months. I felt utterly at home in Decatur and at this event surrounded by brilliant, kind, and bookish people. I haven’t felt normal in so long that I almost didn’t recognize the feeling. I could breathe. I wasn’t worried about anything. I can’t even really describe it nor can I properly thank Becky and everyone at the event, BUT I can spread the love.

Becky holding SimonCheck out how you can win a copy of Simon! 🙂

See that picture of Becky holding a copy of Simon? Yeah, that’s a SIGNED COPY YOU CAN WIN!! Head over to my Twitter then follow me and RT the tweet for a chance to win. The giveaway is US only – I am REALLY sorry to my international friends, but I just can’t afford international shipping right now. It ends on 4/30/15 so make sure you do it before then!

The Great Simon Oreogasm (OREOOOOS + Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda GIVEAWAYS!)

Blog Tour - Oreogasm

Hi, lovelies! Welcome to my stop on the tour for Becky Albertalli’s incredible debut Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. In case you missed my review, you can check that out if you’re so inclined. (SPOILER: I LOVED IT). I’ve also been pretty much constantly tweeting about it or talking about how much I can’t wait to meet Becky on the 11th! If you haven’t seen these tweets, you obviously don’t follow me on Twitter. If you’re somehow unsure if you want to read this book, you can read the first 75 pages on the Epic Reads website!

Since I loved this book, I am super excited to be sharing how I eat Oreos and the THREE ways you could win a copy of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which you really, really want to do.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Published: April 7, 2015 by Balzer + Bray

Find it on Goodreads.

Pre-order the book – B&N | Amazon | IndieBound

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

OREOGASM

I’m not going to lie, I love Oreos. Only crazy people don’t like Oreos, in my opinion. I like all Oreos (I don’t discriminate between fillings), BUT regular ol’ stuffing Milk’s Favorite Cookie are my favorite. I eat Oreos in a variety of ways, but since I’m putting this post together in the morning with a cup of coffee, we’re going to go with that.

Other ways I eat Oreos:
With Peter Pan Peanut Butter
Dunk them in milk
The traditional way – peel them apart, eat the filling from one cookie, eat that cookie, eat the filling from the other, eat that one. See visual below.
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I want to try eating them like Aimee at Deadly Darlings does, with marshmallows! Yummm.

THE AUTHOR

Becky AlbertalliBecky Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers; some of these experiences inspired her debut novel. She also served for seven years as co-leader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC. These days, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons, and writes very nerdy contemporary young adult fiction.

Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter (She’s pretty much the coolest, and you definitely want to follow her)

Simon giveaways

I have THREE ways for you to win a copy of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda!

Simon wants to know: how do YOU eat your Oreos? Starting March 31st, use the #SimonVs hashtag to:

  1. Describe how you like to eat your Oreos.

OR

  1. Show us a picture!

On April 6th, two Oreo lovers from the hashtag will be chosen at random to receive signed, personalized hardcovers of SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA (one from Twitter, and one from Instagram, open internationally).

And if we reach fifty entries on the hashtag? Epic Reads will unlock a never-before-seen email exchange between Simon and Blue!

For the third way to win, click on the picture below to head to Rafflecopter and enter to win a copy of the book and a package of Oreos!

Giveaway Enter Go forth and spread the Oreo love, friends! 

Excerpt Tour | Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I am so very excited to be kicking off the excerpt tour for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli! Before I give you the excerpt, let me tell you a little more about the book and where you can pre-order it. Trust me, you want to read this one. Check out my review to see just how much I LOVED Simon

About the book:

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens AgendaSixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Pre-order the book – B&N | Amazon | IndieBound

READY FOR THE EXCERPT? Here we go!

FROM: hourtohour.notetonote@gmail.com

TO: bluegreen118@gmail.com

DATE: Oct 30 at 9:56 PM

SUBJECT: Re: hollow wieners

Blue,

I guess I never tried to pull off something truly scary. My family is really all about the funny costumes. We used to get competitive about whose costume would make my dad laugh the hardest. My sister was a trash can one year. Not Oscar the Grouch. Just a trash can full of trash. And I was pretty much a one-trick pony. The boy-in-a-dress concept never got old (until it did, I guess—I was in fourth grade and had this amazing flapper costume, but then I looked in the mirror and felt this electric shock of mortification).

Now, I’ll say I aim for the sweet spot of simplicity and badassery. I can’t believe you’re not dressing up. Don’t you realize you’re throwing away the perfect opportunity to be someone else for an evening?

Disappointedly yours,

—Jacques

Head to Don’t Mind the Mess tomorrow for another excerpt from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and go ahead and place your pre-order. You don’t want to miss this one.

About Becky:

Becky AlbertalliBecky Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers; some of these experiences inspired her debut novel. She also served for seven years as co-leader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC. These days, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and two sons, and writes very nerdy contemporary young adult fiction. Visit her at www.beckyalbertalli.com and on Twitter: @beckyalbertalli.

ARC Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Becky Albertalli’s debut novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a wonderful, real, and epically beautiful book. It deserves to be read.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaAuthor:  Becky Albertalli

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

320 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

When one of Simon’s emails to Blue – an anonymous and not openly gay (like Simon) boy from his school – gets into the wrong hands, he’s blackmailed into helping this bully get the girl or his sexual identity will be out in the open for everyone. Even worse to Simon, Blue’s identity could be exposed to the school. Basically, Simon’s junior year is turning into a complicated disaster. Simon hates change but he has to find a way to adapt before he’s pushed out of his comfort zone.

I loved Simon. So much. He’s my kind of person – nerdy, funny, smart, sweet, and he’s got this brilliant dry sense of humor that had my “giggles keep escaping around the edges (ARC 237).” What a great quote, right? He doesn’t understand why white and straight are the defaults in our society. Why shouldn’t everyone have to come out – straight, gay, asexual, whatever. He just wants to be happy. I was rooting for him so hard the entire time. I wanted Simon and Blue to live happily ever after. I know nothing is that easy, but I wanted it for him. That’s how real he felt. A favorite quote from Simon:

I fall a little bit in love with everyone. (ARC 32)

Blue and Simon have been getting to know each other through emails for most of the school year. They don’t know who the other is, just that they are gay and not out. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about how much I love books with letters or emails or other forms of communication before, so you can imagine how much I adored Blue and Simon’s emails. They get steadily more flirtatious as the book goes on and it was so cute to see how much they liked each other. Then when we finally get the big reveal and they meet each other? SWOON. I had been hoping most of the book that Blue was who I thought he was. I was SO HAPPY about it.

Other things I loved: realistic friendships that were supportive even through issues and change, Simon (yeah, I already mentioned him but I had to again), Simon’s parents, Simon’s outlook on life, Blue.

One thing I didn’t like: I wish we’d had more time with Blue and Simon after they meet in real life. I want to swoon over them some more.

The bottom line: Everyone needs to meet Simon. He’s so human that I feel like everyone would be more human after having met him. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but, basically, this book deserves to be read. It’s such a wonderful love story and it’ll make you feel all melty on the inside. I honestly can’t believe this is a debut.

Rating:  9 – practically perfect

Want to learn more about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda? Come back tomorrow when I’ll be kicking off the excerpt tour!