Archives for May 2016

May 25, 2016

Lipstick Wearing Book Reading Badass|Discussions (Rant)

 

LipstickBook

I apologize, a rant is coming!

When it comes to drama on Twitter and in the book community as a whole I have a hands off policy. But like America in WWII and Pearl Harbor – there comes a point where you have to stand up for what you believe in, especially when you know that it’s wrong and get your hands dirty. What could this be about?

Lipstick? Books? What do these things have in common?

Well, according to a recently released video you can only have one because those who wear makeup can’t possibly actually read. In this video an older gentleman voices his opinions about his experience at BEA this year.  Normally I do not have a reaction to these posts because deep down I know that some of the things mentioned might be actually correct but this man went too far. As I watched his video I couldn’t help but feel upset and sickened by a grown man’s complete lack of respect towards other human beings (most of which are teenagers/young adults). There are numerous things that he says that come from the perspective of someone observing a situation instead of actually being there to witness the event first hand. An example being when he said that authors and publishers don’t care about YouTubers and that he doesn’t understand why these famous YouTubers even come to book events because they could get the books for free and sent to them. Now, this shows two distinct things; it shows that this man does not understand why these YouTubers go to conventions and shows exactly why HE goes to conventions. He goes for the books.

 Conventions are not always about the books.

Sometimes people, especially when their world is so consumed by social media, want to be physically around people and speak to those who have something in common with them. Personally, I grew up in a town where it was hard to find people who enjoyed reading as much as I did. The internet wasn’t as readily available for teenagers back in my day and so I didn’t have the outlet that younger people have these days. Do I envy them? No, I don’t. Why? They have to face asshole adults like this that judge them and say that this generation is consumed by social media and need to make REAL connections but then judge their need as unworthy or god forbid FAKE.  Who are you judge-y man? Oh right, you’re a YouTuber on YouTube talking about your time at BEA and how there are so many BEA hauls and YouTubers talking about BEA. It’s sick that he believes that he has more of a right to speak about his experience at BEA than others do because they happen to wear MAKE-UP. Yeah, he implied that not only in his videos but in his comments later on the subject.

Which comes to my final point…

When did a woman wearing makeup dictate her ability and want to read a book? Does the eyeliner smudge her eyes so she is unable to read the pages? Does the blush make her so hot that she can’t possibly stand still and keep a book open? This complete chauvinist behavior of this man burns me in so many ways. Normally I turn the other cheek but I cannot with this because this sort of behavior has the potential to be extremely harmful to people; mainly young women who already have conflicting emotions of what they should and shouldn’t be to be accepted into society. The way that some people praised him for his “say it like it is” behavioral honestly has me terrified because this behavior mirrors something that is happening in politics today (a topic I won’t get into today). The fact that this comes from a man that possibly could be my dad or grandfather astounds me and shows that it isn’t just the younger generation that breeds assholes. This sort of sexist behavior towards women who have the courage to put themselves out there week after week should not be dropped or forgotten. This is not just for YouTubers but for women everywhere that are constantly judged for being too something, too little, and all around not right. Let’s show them that we are more than how we appear; make-up or no make-up!

So stand up for your right to be a #LWBRBA (Lipstick Wearing Book Reading Badass)

So long, it’s time to reapply!

 

May 22, 2016

SST Tour: Outrun the Moon by Stacy Lee|ARC Review

SST Tour: Outrun the Moon by Stacy Lee|ARC ReviewOutrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 24th 2016
Pages: 400
Amazon
Goodreads

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.
On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can't sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the 'bossy' cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

Outrun the Moon was the first of Stacy Lee’s books that I have had the pleasure of reading. I know, most would be shocked by this, but it is true. The cover pulled me in and after reading the synopsis I was hooked and just HAD to be on this tour the lovely Nori put together for the Saturday Street Team for the launch of the book on May 24th. Now I definitely have to check out Under the Painted Sky!

I know that sometimes reviews can get long and I have SO many positive things to say about this book so I am going to review this book and highlight three important reasons why I loved, and believe that you should add this book right away to your TBR even if historical fiction isn’t something you normally go to genre.

1| Oh The  History:

I am not one that shies away from history and I haven’t come across the time period that Lee had the courage to tackle in Outrun the Moon. Why do I say tackle? The story revolves around the early 1900’s fire that ravished San Francisco but it also deals with a part of that history that I am ashamed to say that I didn’t know about. I didn’t know that the Chinese American’s were one of the heavily hit communities during not only the earthquake but the fires that consumed their community afterwards. I was aware of the pure prejudice that our nation had towards Chinese American’s. I knew, but Lee creates such a vivid and emotional picture that not only did I know it but I felt it and it was heartrendingly real. I love how Mercy tried through the entire novel to fight against not only the prejudice she faced when dealing with the rest of the world but also the prejudice she faced in her own community. More on this later.

2| Not your Typical Historical Fiction:

One of the biggest reasons that I have heard of why people don’t read historical fiction in either YA or any other genre is that they feel like they’re reading a history textbook. Outrun the Moon is not that type of book and that’s why I wanted to make sure that I mentioned this fact. It is 400 pages but I finished it in a matter of a day and that is an amazing feat for me because I am a notoriously slow reader. Lee does a wonderful job at creating a story that grips you, yanks you right into the story, and afterwards leaves you dumped on the floor reeling from the experience.

3| Oh, MERCY!

I loved all of these characters but Mercy was by far my favorite character. Like I said above, Mercy spends the entire novel fighting against the prejudice she faces from the entire world and her own community for having “bossy cheeks”. I loved how Mercy did not allow pressure from either side to conform to what they believed she should be and fought with a gritty determination to accomplish the goals that she believed in for herself. This is a deeply admiring trait that isn’t seen in many books and I couldn’t help but pump my fist in the air a few times and yell “You go Mercy!” Her determination and resilience is tested over and over and I love in the end Mercy is still standing. She honestly has become one of my favorite female lead characters in a book.

I hope that these three reasons to pick up not only Outrun the Moon but any book Stacy Lee has or ever will write because she is that fantastic of a writer. Her ability to both grip and entertain is just beyond anything that I’ve read in a long time!

Let me know down below if you aim to to read Outrun the Moon or if you’ve read Lee’s Under the Painted Sky.

five-stars

May 18, 2016

In Which I Rant And Then Do Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesdays1

 

I’m relatively new to the blogging community and even more so to the complete thrill of going to book conventions such as BEA. If you follow me on Twitter or read my post about my impromptu hiatus you’ll notice that I went to my first BEA this week. What I was not aware of before going was the drama on Twitter for those who have gone. Some people are upset that a few individuals got double copies of coveted ARCS. I have seen some of the pictures that have gotten most upset and I can say that I agree because there are some books that I wanted but didn’t get for another reason or another (Metaltown because there wasn’t any more tickets L). But there is one thing that bothers me that I keep hearing and I feel that it is just a justification for those who have the dreaded ARC envy*. This is….

You shouldn’t grab ARCS at events that you aren’t interested in because you’re taking it away from who wants and will promote it.

Now, I understand what and whom this phrase is intended for and I truly know why it is said and for the most part I agree. But, this sort of phrasing can be a double edged sword in the way that it could turn someone who is new to the community away from expanding their reading range. Speaking from personal experience as someone who is a blogger, teacher, and future librarian I feel that I need to grow my blog and step out of my normal box of what I normally gravitate towards and to do so and to do that I took books that for the most part I knew nothing about before this event. But hearing all of this hatred about taking an ARC that you might not like has got me wondering, if I was a little bit younger and not completely confident in my abilities would I shy away from taking a book because I didn’t go into BEA knowing and wanting it? Yes, I probably would have.  Here’s the thing, do I plan to give each and every book that I got a chance? Yes. Am I probably going to like all of them? No. But who knows if I might find my most favorite book of 2016 in this pile!

I’m going to combined this with the Broke and Bookish Top Ten Tuesday pick of the week because it’s completely fitting.

This week’s topic is: 10 Books You Picked Up on a Whim. So here it is, my BEA whim list! I picked these up for various reasons and they weren’t on my radar but I’m excited to get reading.

28818313The Iron Cast by Destiny Soria (YA)

I was very lucky to grab this book because it technically was not a book that was being given out during BEA. I originally went over to the lovely people at ABRAMS because I wanted The Graces ARC but sadly missed out. While there I browsed their display and saw this book and became obsessed with it! On the last day of BEA I made it just in time to snag this book as the publishers were emptying out their displays!


26118377The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (YA):

I didn’t even know this book existed and when I saw the cover from someone else I was intrigued. This book sounds like a book that I typically read but fits on this list because I didn’t know anything about it!


GracesThe Graces by Laure Eve (YA):

Now, unfortunately I didn’t get a physical copy of The Graces from BEA but as I said above ^ it made me basically stalk the ABRAMS booth for the entire BEA. But I wanted this book so much that I got on Netgalley and requested this book and was approved during BEA (so I will include this book) It involves witches and that was all I needed to hear.


513pbC0PE4LRed Abbey Chronicles: Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff (YA):

When I picked this one up (during my ABRAMS stalking) I read the back of the book and from the first line it gave me quite a The Handmaiden’s Tale spin but also completely different. I don’t know what to think of it but boy does it sound interesting! It is a book about an abbey were only girls are allowed to escape abuse and oppression and follows Maresi and a new girl named Jai who brings her past to the safe of the abbey when she arrives. Doing more research, I think that this book was already released but Amulet Books has bought the rights and are releasing it in early 2017!


28575699A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom (YA):

I don’t normally read many contemporaries but when I do they tend to have something to do with mental illness. My job in the Army was working with mental health and I have had a little bit of a wondering of how mental illness is being portrayed to young adult people and whether or not it is helping or hindering those in normal everyday lives. Every Last Word by Tamora Lee Ireland happened to be one of my favorite books last year and I hope that this book can live up to my expectations of it.


Gertie final jacket_1-11-16Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley (MG):

This is chapter book for younger children and has been touted as maybe this generations Ramona (I loved Ramona as a child)! I wanted to give it a try and the cover is so cute!


27191194Disruption by Jessica Shirvington (YA):

This book was one that I picked up because I loved the cover and the synopsis drew me in. It is a story about a world where microchips have the power to do pretty much everything – even find you a perfect match. Now I have always liked evil corporation and sticking it to the man so this book will more than likely cure that itch I have. Again, I think that this book was already released but for some reason is being re-released (possibly paperback version?) in October.

 


26067633Last Call At The Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger (UF):

Back in the day, I used to be a devour of urban fantasy and I guess that side of me is hungry and Last Call seems to fit the picture! This book not only sounds interesting but I couldn’t help but be drawn to the cover!


24921954The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee (YA):

Same as Disruption I didn’t know much about this book. Harper was handing it out with Three Dark Crowns and I stopped and read the description and it sounds REALLY interesting. All I know is that it seems to take place in a highly technical apartment/condo complex and then someone falls. Mystery! I love it!


the-guineveres_final-cover-1The Guinevere’s by Sarah Domet (YA?):

I got this book with a tote bag that was being given out and as soon as I read the description I got a definite Orphan Black kind of vibe. I could be mistaken, but it is what struck me and made me very curious. Four girls by the name of Guinevere are abandoned by their parents at a monetary. They all have their own personalities and have to deal with that when comatose soldiers enter the abbey. Sounds fantastic.

So there it is, my list of BEA books that I didn’t know anything about but am glad that I decided to grab them! Let me know down below if any of these books you’re looking forward to!
May 15, 2016

SST Tour: Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout| Book Review

 

SST Tour: Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout| Book ReviewGenius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout
Published by Feiwel & Friends on May 3rd 2016
Pages: 304
Goodreads

Trust no one. Every camera is an eye. Every microphone an ear. Find me and we can stop him together.
The Game: Get ready for Zero Hour as 200 geniuses from around the world go head to head in a competition hand-devised by India's youngest CEO and visionary.
The Players:Rex- One of the best programmers/hackers in the world, this 16-year-old Mexican-American is determined to find his missing brother.Tunde- This 14-year-old self-taught engineering genius has drawn the attention of a ruthless military warlord by single-handedly bringing electricity and internet to his small Nigerian village.Painted Wolf- One of China's most respected activist bloggers, this mysterious 16-year-old is being pulled into the spotlight by her father's new deal with a corrupt Chinese official.
The Stakes: Are higher than you can imagine. Like life and death. Welcome to the revolution. And get ready to run.

 

My review for Genius is going to be a little different than most of the ones that I have done before. Instead of giving random paragraphs that describe what I did like and what I didn’t like I’m going to do something a bit different. I’m going to break down the stars that I gave this book and describe why exactly I gave the book the stars. Then, I will give a reason why I didn’t (if I didn’t) give the stars that remain out of a total of five stars.  Hopefully this assists people with figuring out if they feel Genius is a book that they should pick up!

Here goes: I officially gave Genius 3 stars!

 

one-star

Well Researched

The first star that I gave Genius was because of how overwhelmingly planned and researched Gout was when he created this book. The books protagonists are online friends who are given the chance to meet each other in real life when they are offered a once in a life time opportunity to participate in a competition that is hosted by the world’s top tech visionary Kiran Biswas. Each character of this competition has been chosen due to their extreme smarts in all aspects of technology and boy is the technology detailed! I love when authors make a point of making their books the best that they can be!

 

one-star

Diversity

The next star I gave this book was the diversity of the characters. The main protagonists are; Rex – a Mexican American coder, Cai – a Chinese blogger and activist,  and Tunde – a 14 year old Nigerian engineer who up-cycles garbage into technology for his Nigerian village. The fact that this book could have been a recycled version of stories that have worked in the past *cough* Ready Player, One *cough* but sticks to making the characters not only diverse but interesting and gripping despite their diversity is amazing. Which leads me to the next star….

one-star

Character Driven

I know that I mentioned in the last section how diverse the characters are but I want to highlight how interesting these characters are DESPITE their diversity. Now this might seem confusing, but hear me out. Sometimes when people attempt to add diversity in their book they end up making those diverse characters only interesting because of their diversity. They make it a huge plot point and the character never grows more than their usually stereotypical roles. This does not happen in Genius. Each character is brilliant at their own things that make them vastly different. They are not defined by their diversity and I LOVE THAT!

 

Now here are the stars that I didn’t give this book:
one-star
  Overwhelming Information

Now I feel like this is cheating but I feel like this has to be mentioned. I thoroughly enjoyed the science and technology parts but I feel like someone who doesn’t have the background I do (my father is a computer analyst  and coder and I grew up speaking the language to a point) they might be off put with the overwhelming amount of science and computer talk. This is a book that you have to be interested in these things or it is going to probably be very frustrating to you at times.

one-star

The Game

I’m not going to give too much away with this part because it is going to be a major spoiler but I couldn’t get into The Game. It was confusing and at points I didn’t really understand what was going on or what the point was. Plus, I didn’t really like the fact that the book ended in a cliffhanger. I was going into this book thinking that it was a standalone and it ended with the appearance that was not the case. Maybe that was my mistake but it jarred me a bit! So, be prepared – there is a cliffhanger!

 

Final Thoughts

All in all, Genius: The Game was a interesting and well thought out book. I think that for any science and technology enthusiasts this would be a perfect and intriquing book for them to give a read! Just be warned, there is a sequel!

 

Secret Code

Now you have been collecting secret words from other blog tour hosts and I have my own secret word for you!

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___. ___, ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___, ___ ___, “___ ___ ___ ___, ___ ___. ___ ___ ___ to have to ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___.”
May 14, 2016

SST Tour: Hippopotamister by John Green| Book Review

SST Tour: Hippopotamister by John Green| Book ReviewHippopotamister by John Green
Published by First Second on May 10th 2016
Pages: 96
Goodreads

The zoo isn't what it used to be. It's run down, and Hippo hardly ever gets any visitors. So he decides to set off for the outside with his friend Red Panda. To make it in the human world, Hippo will have to become a Hippopotamister: he'll have to act like a human, get a job, and wear a hat as a disguise. He's a good employee, whether he's a construction worker, a hair stylist, or a sous chef. But what he really needs is a job where he can be himself.

 

Lately I have decided that I am going to start something on my blog to highlight children’s books because not only am I am a mother of children 3 and 1 years old but I am finishing my degree and soon will be an elementary school teacher and hopefully librarian soon. When I was offered a spot on the Hippopotamister SST Tour I thought that this would be the perfect time to start. Technically, I am not including this in my new feature to be named later but I will be working on this more later!

Now, enough with my introduction and on to the review!

The first thing that I have to say is that I felt that this book was absolutely charming! It tells the story two friends; one a hippo and the other a red raccoon trying to find the perfect job. The illustrator does a great job at bringing not only these characters but the setting together into a wonderfully appealing mecha for my eyeballs.

As an adult reading this book the plot was on the easier side of things but I couldn’t help but become hooked! The main character Red Panda and Hippo (who is told by Red Panda that he has to become a Hippoptamister to work in the real world) cycle through various real world occupations – ranging from construction worker to chef to even a hair stylist. The kicker being – Hippo is better at all of the jobs than Red Panda which results in some hilarious hijinks!

Even though this is a children’s book, I feel that Green has made a book that would also appeal to adults as well. The story starts in a zoo – a zoo that’s building and animals that are dirty and broken down. A scene that might make children sad and maybe think is slightly funny appeals to adults sense of the rights of animals and how we treat them. The friendship between Hippo and Red Panda could appeal to adults in the respect that we all have those friends who are nervous about their abilities and struggle to find their way in the world. Heck, that might be you! For those of you who have or work with children Hippopotamister would be a great book to read together.

If you’re looking to make Hippoptomister a gift I would recommend it for a child from the age of 7 to 10 years old. This book is hard to classify as a picture book because it is quite lengthy compared to others in this category so I would recommend giving it to a child that grasps reading and the basics of how to read a graphic novel. This does spread out the words, but personally I have seen some younger children might struggle at how to read the story if they haven’t been introduced to the graphic novel type of book before.

Believe me, pick this book up for your older-ish children!

 

five-stars