ARC Review: The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle

The Great American WhateverAuthor: Tim Federle

Genre: Young adult, contemporary, LGBTQIA+

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 29, 2016

278 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

I was initially drawn to this one by the cover and title. I mean, look at it. It’s great! Plus, while I haven’t read the whole thing yet, I’ve heard great things about Federle’s Nate books. I’m glad I checked it out, because while I had some reservations with the story and characters, I enjoyed this book overall.

First of all, it’s hilarious. I think the only way I can really show you this is by just giving you a quote.

If I took out my broken AC and cracked the window, I’d have to confront the reality that I might hear, like, birds, or worse: the merry squeals of neighborhood children. And who has the stomach for that kind of unannounced joy at this hour?

The writing, the symbolism, the movie references were all top notch. In my opinion, the thing that fell flat was the plot. There honestly wasn’t much there. I thought it fell flat. And I also wished I could reach in and just shake Quinn a bit. I wanted to connect with him a bit more than I did. Which isn’t to say I didn’t connect with him at all; it was just difficult sometimes to understand him and connect with his feelings. And you guys know how much I despise insta-love, and there’s a bit of that here.

The bottom line: Funny, smart, and sarcastic. I liked that part of the book a lot. It was a bit hard to connect with the book at times and I wasn’t overly fond of the insta-love, but the book is a quick, fun read, so I definitely enjoyed that!

Rating: 7 – Pretty good

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard     Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti     The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner     Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman     Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Truthwitch // Zeroes // The Serpent King // Blackhearts // Illuminae

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel     Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith     An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir     Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman     Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

The Nest // Dreamstrider // An Ember in the Ashes // Legacy of Kings // Daughter of Smoke and Bone

What books will you read this fall?

Top Ten Tuesday: My Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Top Ten of Your Auto-buy Authors

Books

1. Ian Rankin – Who’s surprised?
2. Matt Haig – I know you are all shocked.
3. Maggie Stiefvater – Oh, man. I’m just a bag full of surprises today.
4. Stephanie Perkins – Wuuuuut?
5. Jennifer E. Smith – No way!

Comics

1. Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) – aka 1 of the 2 authors who got me into comics.
2. Brian K. Vaughan (Saga) – aka the other author who got me into comic.
3. Peter J. Tomasi (Batman and Robin, Robin: Son of Batman) – aka the author who writes my favorite comic book character.

Authors who have only written one book but will be auto-buy in the future

1. Becky Albertalli
2. David Arnold
3. Jasmine Warga
4. Nicola Yoon
5. Adam Silvera
6. Renee Ahdieh

Authors who are automatic reads but not necessarily auto-buy

1. Sarah Dessen
2. J.K. Rowling (though I haven’t read her Robert Galbraith stuff yet)
3. Oliver Jeffers
4. John Green

Okay, this list is super long, but whatever. Who are your auto-buy/auto-read/auto-grabby-hands authors?

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read the Most Books From

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

I made it to 9 authors. Most of the authors I’ve read several books from are in the 4-5 book range, and there’s several of them, so I just kept it at 6 and up. I’m counting comics are separate books, so I have two authors that have A LOT of books.

The Falls     The Walking Dead, Volume 1 cover     Saga Volume 1     The Truth about Forever     Once Upon an Alphabet

Ian Rankin – I’ve lost count, but it’s somewhere in the 30s. I’ve read all of his books except the one out later this year and the short story collection, The Beat Goes On, which I NEED. My favorite: The Falls

Robert Kirkman – I’m counting each comic as a separate book, so I’ve read 143 issues of The Walking Dead, and I haven’t read it but own the first volume of Outcast, which is the first six issues. My favorite: I’m going to go with volume 1 – that’s the one that hooked me

Brian K. Vaughan – 39: 29 issues of Saga, 10 issues of Y: The Last Man. My favorite: Ditto above, volume 1 – the first comic I read

Sarah Dessen – 12 books? My favorite: The Truth about Forever

Oliver Jeffers – I think it’s 11 books? My favorite: Once Upon an Alphabet (favorite book he illustrated is hands down The Day the Crayons Quit)

The Humans by Matt Haig     Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling     Uglies by Scott Westerfeld     The Dream Thieves

Matt Haig – 8 books and I own two others, which I can’t believe I haven’t read. My favorite: The Humans

J.K. Rowling – 7.5 books (I didn’t finish The Casual Vacancy yet). My favorite: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Scott Westerfeld – 7 books. My favorite: Uglies

Maggie Stiefvater – 6 books. My favorite: The Dream Thieves

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?

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Reads

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer or Ten Books I Think Make Great Beach Reads

I’m not really a beach-y person. If you can’t tell from my picture, I’m pretty pale. I’m one of those people that gets sunburned after about twenty minutes on the beach. BUT I do have a hammock on my front porch, so my list is ten books I plan on reading on the hammock this summer. 🙂 All titles linked to Goodreads.

Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid  Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith  Mosquitoland by David Arnold  More Happy Than Not  Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up by Grace Helbig
Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Mosquitoland by David Arnold
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up by Grace Helbig

The Scorpio Races  The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh  Paperweight by Meg Haston  Jessica Darling's It List by Megan McCafferty  Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Paperweight by Meg Haston
Jessica Darling’s It List by Megan McCafferty
Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day

What books do you plan to read this summer? On the beach or not.

Waiting on Wednesday: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

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

Dumplin' by Julie MurphyPublisher: Balzer + Bray

Author: Julie Murphy

Release date: September 15, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads: Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Why I’m excited: I’ve only read the synopsis for Dumplin’ and I can already tell I’m going have my heart stolen by this book, just like it says. I love the body positive message and I think it sounds absolutely adorable and wonderful and everything I want in a book right now. I was sadly declined for an ARC of the book on Edelweiss, but that’s okay because I’ll be buying it as soon as it comes out! I think that Will sounds like a brave, strong, beautiful, amazing character, and I cannot wait to meet and connect with her. GO BIG OR GO HOME. P.s. Balzer + Bray has been putting out so many amazing books!

Bout of Books 13 – Wrap Up!

Bout of Books 13 is over! 😦 As always, I had an absolute blast, found some new people to follow on Twitter, read a bunch, and just hadBout of Books 13 a wonderful, bookish week with a bunch of other book nerds.

What I read:

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan (finished it) – ~134 pages [Check out my review]
Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu – 325 pages (ARC) [Review soon!]
Young Avengers, Volume 1: Style > Substance – 120 pages
Hawkeye: My Life as Weapon – 136 pages
The single issue comics (320 pages, single issues are 32 pages each): Convergence #2, Return of the Living Deadpool #1, Wytches #5, The Walking Dead #138, 139, 140, Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #4 and 5, Divergence #1, and Batman and Robin Annual #3
Valiant by Sarah McGuire – ~286 pages (74%)

TOTAL PAGES READ: ~1,321 (I say approximately because two of these are eARCs which do not have page numbers)

Challenges participated in: 

The Bookish Survey challenge hosted by Lori at Writing My Own Fairy Tale
Character Face Off hosted by LuLo FanGirl – I put Ronan Lynch up against Celaena Sardothien. Who do you think won?
The Favorite Read Photo Challenge from Once Upon a Chapter. You can see my entry on Instagram.

Other stuff:

I got to participate in the last half of the first twitter chat and all of the second chat! The Twitter chats kept their spot as my favorite thing about Bout of Books. I always have an absolute blast meeting new bookish people and attempting to keep up with the craziness that is these chats. I love them.

I’m looking forward to participating in Bout of Books 14 in August! If my posts or tweets have convinced you to participate (you really, really should!) head over to the BoB website and follow them to learn more about the next readathon!

Bout of Books Challenge: Bookish Survey

Bout of Books 13As you may or may not know, today is the first day of Bout of Books 13! YAY! Lori at Writing My Own Fairy Tale is hosting the first challenge, a short bookish survey. Super easy and fun!

1. How do you organize your shelves? A lot of my books are still packed up from when I moved to Scotland, so I currently only have two bookshelves in my room: one where I keep books I own but haven’t read and the other with books I have read. They are in alphabetical order by the author’s last name; I know, not very exciting, but I don’t want to break them up by color or something and separate series. My TBR shelf also holds my trade paperbacks and graphic novels and the books I have checked out from the library.
2. What is one of your favorite book that’s not in one of your favorite genres? Hmmmm. This is an interesting question. My favorite genres are fantasy and contemporary, which covers most of my favorite books. OH! Duh. My favorite book not in one of my favorite genres is The Falls by Ian Rankin, which is crime fiction. I love this book and all of Ian Rankin’s books. I like crime fiction, but I’m particular about it, and I don’t read as much as I should.
3. What is the last 5 star book you read? Audiobook: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, which is incredible. Physical: Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley.
4. What book are you most excited to read during the read-a-thon? I’m reading a mix of comics and books, so the comic/trade I’m most excited to read is Loki: Agent of Asgard, Volume 1 and the book I’m most excited to read is Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu. Or Tiny Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day. I’m excited about everything I’m reading; that’s why I picked them out!
5. What book do you recommend the most? I feel like I could ask my readers what book I recommend the most and they’d be able to answer for me, but it’s The Humans by Matt Haig, which I recommend to every single living person I can.

Bout of Books 13: TBR, Goals, & Updates

IT HAS BEGUN. Again. Bout of Books 13 kicks of today, and as always, I’m so excited! I shared my TBR on Instagram and Twitter yesterday, but I wanted to post it here as well. This week, I’ll be reading from this pile:

Bout of Books 13 TBR

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu / The Secret Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes / Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day / Hawkeye: My Life As Weapon / Loki: Agent of Asgard / Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born / Young Avengers: Style & Substance / and several single issues I need to catch up on.

Not pictured: The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan (which I’m currently reading) and Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman (my current audiobook).

GOALS:

Bout of Books 13– Can I say none? I just started my new, full-time job last week, so I don’t have as much time and I’m still learning the ropes. I don’t want to really set any goals because I don’t know what I’ll have time for. However, a few things:
– Make time every day (at least 30 minutes) to just sit down and read. Do nothing else.
– Participate in at least 2 challenges because they are FUN.
– Participate in both Twitter chats (This Saturday is one of my two Saturdays this month to work at the library, but I should have time to chat a bit)

That’s it. No other expectations or goals, and no pressure on myself to read that whole stack. It’s not going to happen, but I’m going to try.

UPDATES:

Monday

Pages read today: I was reading an eARC, so I read 42% of a book today, which I believe is about 134 pages of this book
Total number of pages: 134
Read today: The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan
Number of books I’ve read today: 42% of 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 42% of 1
Challenges participated in: The Bookish Survey challenge hosted by Lori at Writing My Own Fairy Tale, which was fun!
Notes about today: I found out yesterday morning that I had to close at the library…after I was already at the library at 8 a.m. SO that sucked, but I ended up making it home around 8:25 so I was able to participate in the last half of the Twitter chat, which was crazy fun as always. I’m glad I was able to finish The Gracekeepers, which was beautiful. Can’t wait for more BoB!

Tuesday

Pages read today: 208
Total number of pages: 342
Read today: Young Avengers, Volume 1: Style > Substance (120 pages) and Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu (88 pages)
Number of books I’ve read today: 1.3
Total number of books I’ve read: 1.75
Challenges participated in: Character Face Off hosted by LuLo FanGirl – I put Ronan Lynch up against Celaena Sardothien. Who do you think won?
Notes about today: I didn’t have as much time to read today, but I read a whole trade paperback of Young Avengers at work and started Devoted, which I’m really loving so far. It’s disturbing and fascinating at the same time.

Wednesday

Pages read today: 79
Total number of pages: 421
Read today: Devoted by Jen Mathieu
Number of books I’ve read today: Part of 1
Total number of books I’ve read: Almost 2 (by adding up the several parts)
Challenges participated in: None. I’m not a big fan of poetry or haiku.
Notes about today: I didn’t read as much as I wanted to today. I’m loving Devoted, and I wish I could just sit down and finish it in one go.

Thursday

Pages read today: 93
Total number of pages: 514
Read today: Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
Number of books I’ve read today: Part of 1
Number of books I’ve read total: I’m going to say two (parts of several to make to whole)
Notes about today: Thursday was a long day and I just didn’t have time to read as much. I also completely forgot to do my update on Friday morning, so this is late. Oh well.

Friday

Pages read today: 521 (65 pages of Devoted, 136 pages – Hawkeye: My Life as Weapon, and ten single issue comics at 32 pages each)
Total number of pages: 1,035
Read today: I finished Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu (which I really liked; review soon), Hawkeye: My Life as Weapon (which wasn’t the best thing ever but I enjoyed it, and these single issue comics: Convergence #2, Return of the Living Deadpool #1, Wytches #5, The Walking Dead #138, 139, 140, Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #4 and 5, Divergence #1, and Batman and Robin Annual #3. WOW!!
Number of books I’ve read today: I don’t even know how to count this anymore.
Number of books I’ve read total: Ditto above
Notes about today: Another busy day, but when I got home from work, I was just like, “I want to read ALL the comics!!” It was a pretty good reading day!

Saturday

Pages read today: 32% of Valiant by Sarah McGuire
Total number of pages: ~1,157
Read today: I started Valiant by Sarah McGuire
Number of books I’ve read today: 32% of Valiant
Number of books I’ve read total: I don’t even know how to count this anymore
Challenges participated in: I did the Favorite Read Photo Challenge from Once Upon a Chapter. You can see my entry on Instagram. My favorite read of BoB 13 was Devoted!
Notes about today: I was a Saturday Librarian yesterday, but I got to participate in the last BoB 13 chat! I also participated in the Favorite Read Photo Challenge, which was easy and fun! I was going to start a different book, but I decided to go with Valiant by Sarah McGuire and it’s not quite what I was hoping for but I’m not NOT enjoying it, if you know what I mean.

Sunday

Pages read today: 42% of Valiant
Total number of pages: ~1,300?
Read today: Valiant by Sarah McGuire
Number of books I’ve read today: 42% of Valiant
Number of books I’ve read total: I don’t even know how to count this anymore
Notes about today: Today was a pretty chill day. I was able to read almost a half of Valiant, which has picked up a bit since yesterday, so that’s awesome. I’m sad that Bout of Books 13 is over! Can’t’ wait until August.