Posts tagged reading
A Day in the Life (3)

a day in the life

Hey y'all!For those of you who haven't seen this feature before, I started A Day in the Life just to give y'all updates on what I'm reading, thinking, and what's going on in the bookish world! I hope y'all enjoy! A LOT has been going on with me recently and I'm reading three books at once so I have a lot to say! Here goes:The Books:

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan - I'm reading this one at the moment and my feelings are kind of mixed. On one hand, I love the idea of the story and I ADORE stories that take place in New York City. But it's taking forever to get really started with any kind of action and it's just gotten kind of boring. Honestly, I want to be HOOKED. Hopefully, this improved. Andrea Cremer tends to use a lot of world-building and while that's excellent in fast-paced books and extravagant books such as Nightshade, it doesn't really work that well when combined with a slower plot. I'll finish reading it this weekend and let y'all know what I thought!The Life:Chorus and friends are honestly taking over my life right now. My chorus teacher has this crazy idea that chorus should be the number one priority in our lives and I've had rehearsal so much. Last week, we had Madrigals, a Renaissance-style musical/concert that involved us dressing up as peasants. (See the Twitter picture if you don't believe me.) Friends are being confusing but there's not really that much I can do about that but try to be supportive while wishing that I could be curled up in the corner with a book. I also have a ton of writing things going on (see "The News" below). The problem is that I don't really want to get that involved with my school because there's a chance that I might leave it and at this point, I want to. I enjoy it enough but I really don't like certain parts of it and Interlochen sounds like a fantastic opportunity for me.The Posts:I recently wrote a post Silver Linings: Writing that basically covered all of the writing things that are going on right now for me. It explains what I think about my writing, Interlochen, NaNoWriMo, and more.Last Friday, I revealed the cover for Fanged Princess on the blog. Check out this gorgeous and gothic cover!The News:Today, I won my school's Poetry Jam with my poem "Wallflowers". It's not quite the version that I uploaded on my blog a few weeks ago, but it's close. This means that not only was I lugging around my 1st-place trophy all day, but I'm going to be my school's representative in the District competition. Like I said above, I'm a little hesitant about getting too involved in my school now, and also, I don't want to focus on poetry and whatnot. One of the strengths of Interlochen as opposed to just entering local writing contests is that I feel like that makes me more limited. I do want to focus on novel-writing but frankly, the arts programs down here aren't amazing. They're enough, but I feel like it's just a much better community for me if I attempt to go to Interlochen.The other news: I'm applying for an Interlochen scholarship. Interlochen is an incredible performing arts boarding school filled with passionate young artists. They're currently running a scholarship contest (The Virginia B. Ball Scholarship Contest) and it's one of the only chances that I have to actually get my parents to look at the school.I don't really know. Also, I want to also focus on editing and publishing instead of devoting ALL MY TIME to writing. While writing short stories and poetry is awesome, the publishing business for YA books and whatnot is what I want my life to be devoted to instead of that other writing scene. There's a difference. I'm entering the Interlochen competition and if I'm a finalist, I'm going to figure out what to do from there so that I can get the best of both words.I've also been editing a TON recently. There's an amazing editing opportunity for me coming up in January (that I'm unsure whether I can disclose or not) so I've been critiquing a lot more than I usually do for practice. I definitely want to keep immersed in editing as well as blogging and writing. I love writing, but I want publishing and that world to take precedence over that.I'm saving up to go to BookExpo America (because there may be an opportunity for me to take exams early and be able to go!), as well as normal camp and Interlochen camp. I want to go to all three, which is really expensive obviously. I think I'll be able to because I really only have to pay for BEA, but I'm still basically not going to be buying much in the spring (ahh! book budget!).Other:

Riffle is so unbelievably awesome. It's like Wanelo, but with books! You can create lists of books, recommend books, be "interested" in books, or "finish" books. It's like a mixture of Pinterest and Goodreads! Social media for book nerds - I think yes! I'm a beta user right now and I'm absolutely in love with it. You definitely know what I'll be doing this weekend!That's it for A Day in the Life this week! Thanks so much for reading! I hope y'all enjoyed!Grace

Cover Reveal: Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Hey y'all!I am SO excited to reveal this cover. Gabrielle from The Mod Podge Bookshelf emailed me about it and I completely fell in love. Some Quiet Place will be published on July 8, 2013 by Flux. You can check it out on its Goodreads page and on Kelsey's Twitter! After seeing the cover and reading the synopsis, I really can't wait for the book! I also can't wait long enough to show y'all so here you go! 

Elizabeth Caldwell has perfected the art of pretending to feel emotion, but it’s always a lie. After a near-fatal car accident when she was a small child, Elizabeth lost the ability to feel any emotion, but along with that loss she gained bizarre abilities: she can see the personified Emotions she cannot feel. Fury, Resentment, Longing—they’ve all given up on her, because she doesn't succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one. Fear. He’s consumed by the mystery of Elizabeth’s past, consumed by her.And then there are Elizabeth's cryptic, recurring dreams, in which there’s always love, and there’s always death. Haunted by these dreams, Elizabeth paints them, knowing that they somehow hold the key to the mystery of her past. But a shadowy menace is stalking Elizabeth. Her survival depends on uncovering the truth about herself. And when it matters most, she won’t be able to rely on Fear to save her.

Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow. Honestly, this cover is stunning and the synopsis sounds EXACTLY like the type of book that I love to read. This is gorgeous and it sounds gorgeous and this one is DEFINITELY on my TBR list. I love the colors and the leaves - it's such a stunning contrast with the dark sky behind her. I love how she almost seems to be melting into the ground and I love the font and pretty much EVERYTHING about this cover.What do y'all think?

Jay Asher Recap

Hey y'all!So on Tuesday night I went to my second signing ever in Tampa. Jay Asher, the author of Thirteen Reasons Why and co-author of The Future of Us, spoke and signed at Tampa Prep.Thirteen Reasons Why

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

The Future of Us

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.

Before the Event:

I've had a really stressful week so I was really excited to go to the signing. Jay had messaged me on Facebook a few days before and that's actually how I found out about the event. I got all dressed up and took my battered copy of Thirteen Reasons Why and a couple business cards. One of my friends is actually OBSESSED with this book but she had softball so she couldn't go. Jay Asher is absolutely incredible so I was so excited.

I got to Tampa Prep a few minutes late but the signing still hadn't started, which was a relief. The lovely folks at Inkwood  were there so I was really excited. I hadn't seen them since the Mara Dyer signing. I bought a copy of The Future of Us from them and settled in my chair. The entire time I was peeking around. I recognized Jay from his author picture but I always have to double check just in case, since it's a little different in person.

The entire time, I tweeted at @jayasherguy, telling him how excited I was and (basically) proving how big of a stalker I was. The principal of Tampa Prep got up to talk and he did a very good introduction of Jay Asher, calling him an "author, blogger, and Twitter-er". Then Jay started to speak

During the Event:

Wow. Jay is a FANTASTIC speaker. He's both incredibly informative about the writing process and completely hilarious. He manages to make it feel personal and was just so so amazing. I continued to stalker-tweet at him throughout the event and also wrote down some of the things that he said so that I could share them with y'all. After hearing him, I am so jealous of all the Tampa Prep students who got to work with him throughout the day.

He started off by talking about how he became a writer and shared a humorous story about Vanilla Ice. Apparently, he used to write funny children's books that weren't very good, including Stop Easter Bunny, You Forgot Something! (That might not be exactly the title, but it sounds right). He seemed very grateful that they were never published.

He split the inspiration for the book between two sources. While he was in Vegas, he went on an audio tour and really loved that element. He wanted to use that in one of his projects but tucked it away for the future. The second part was that he had a relative about Hannah's age who tried to commit suicide and was extremely influenced by that. He said that he got into fascinating but incredibly painful conversations with her about what happened to make her feel like nobody cared. It was with those two sources that he crafted Hannah's story and Thirteen Reasons Why was born.

He told us about how he learned to write suspense, comparing it to his beloved children's book, The Monster at the End of this BookHe talked about great writing techniques and included information about critique partners. He compared his rejection letters to the ways a girl breaks up with a guy, including "It's not you, it's me" and "I'm seeing someone else." He shared his fantastic publishing story, including a picture of telling his wife and his mom. He told his wife at the same spot that they got married! He discussed word choice and buying his book only to return it.

One of my favorite parts of the night was seeing the emails that Jay put up on the screen. He showed us four emails that touched him, that he received several months after his book was out. They were from teens talking about suicide, Thirteen Reasons Why, and how the book changed people. What I thought was absolutely amazing and really shows the power of books was that somebody recognized Hannah in somebody else at her school. That night after reading it, she called that girl and talked for four hours. The girl told her everything and about her suicide plans. Thirteen Reasons Why led to somebody preventing a suicide. Is that not AMAZING?

After talking about Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay discussed co-writing The Future of Us, his son, and the movie. He showed us a picture of him and Selena Gomez and talked about interest for the movie. Personally, I would kill to see that movie if there is a Thirteen Reasons Why movie but he also talked about his concerns for authenticity and getting the message across. Really, he was excellent.

He talked about some more and joked a lot more. I was laughing and inspired and absolutely fell in love with his speaking. I would love to hear him speak again. I asked a question about voice and then we had some Q&A. After the Q&A session, it was time for the signing.

I got in line and got my books signed. There were some Tampa Prep students behind me but I didn't recognize anybody. I got to talk to Jay for a few minutes. It's always nerve-wracking meeting an author you've idolized for so long and you always want to have them remember you. I don't know if he did, but I loved talking to him. I got a picture with him (below!) although it's not the best quality and it's pretty small.

I really loved the signing and was so happy to finally meet Jay Asher. I loved it. I hope y'all enjoyed my recap! If you haven't read Thirteen Reasons Why or The Future of Us, I highly recommend them.Love y'all!Grace

Top Ten Books That Keep Me Sane

Hey y'all!Today is a freebie topic for Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. I thought of this topic because recently, it's been feeling like books are the only thing that keep me together when I'm falling apart. Books are my friends and within the chaos and confusion of freshman year, I take comfort in them more than ever. Friendships are hard to navigate and sometimes I feel like I'm losing my grip on who I want to be and who I am at the moment.1. Revolution by Jennifer DonnellyIf y'all are new to the blog, you might not know this, but Revolution is my favorite book. I've read a lot of absolutely incredible books but reading Revolution for the first time was like nothing I've ever felt before. I got so into this book. I felt so connected to it and the meshing of genres kept me glued to the pages. I reread this book every couple of months, it feels like, and each time, it gets better and better.2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyLike Revolution, this is a book that gets better with each read. I keep noticing lines and descriptions that I had glossed over before or never appreciated fully. As I age and experience more things, I can relate to more and more of what Charlie is saying. This book is life-changing and it continues to change me. I actually reread this last week because I needed some of Charlie's observations about life and experiences to keep me sane. I've been so stressed out and this was the perfect book to cure my anxiety.3. The Christmas Doll by Elvira WoodruffWe used to read this every year at Christmas. I don't really know what happened but we stopped reading it. My mom would read it to us before bed. My sisters and I would gather in one bed and listen to my mom read pages out loud, every night up until Christmas. Soon, it just became my twin sister and I and we kept trailing off every year. Sometimes, I still drag out our copy and remember what it was like when things were simpler.4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingI've reread this book so many times. I don't think that there will be another series that will affect me this way for a while. How do you even begin to describe Harry Potter? And then, it's so large that I reserve a section of my year to rereading the series. It takes me back in time and I gain new perspective with each read. It's become more of a tradition than anything else. Sometimes I just need to put down the review books and the homework and ignore everything for a day while I read about Harry and Hogwarts.5. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny HanThis is such a poignant coming-of-age novel. Thoughtful reflections on life are interwoven with the bittersweet experiences of growing up and first love. It's both entertaining and reflective, which I really just need sometimes. The soothing beach environment reminds me of summer and calm. I get so caught up in the chaos of it all that sometimes I just need to go to the beach with Belly and remember that other people are going through the same things that I am.6. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann BrasharesThis was one of the first YA series that I ever read. I remember curling up with the books (after seeing the movie, I'm ashamed to admit!) in fourth or fifth grade and becoming completely absorbed. Their friendships fell apart and endured in the long run and each of the girls went through momentous events that I anticipated myself facing during high school. It's very realistic in its portrayal of teenagers and I related to so much of the book. I love this series and the actual books themselves have been read so many times that the spines are falling apart and the covers are scratched up.7. Dawn Rochelle by Lurlene McDanielSometimes, I just need to grieve. I don't exactly know what I'm grieving for sometimes - lost time, simplicity, etc,.- but I just need to sit down and lose myself in my emotions. This is that book. This is the book that absolutely makes me surrender myself to my emotions. If I don't know how to express myself or I'm just confused and helpless, I read this book and I cry. A lot. I first read it in fourth grade. I cry at all the same parts and find myself affected by different parts as well. I got so involved with the characters and the novels.8. All-American Girl by Meg CabotWhen I need humor or a bit of a pick-me-up, I read All-American Girl. Sam's humor is contagious and her spirit saturates the entire book. Between hilarious top ten lists and characters that melt me, I fall in love with this book each time that I read it. In fact, this was my favorite book up until seventh grade (when I read Revolution.) I used to check out the same copy from my school library (actually one of the only YA books that they ever had) and still associate my copy strongly with the taste of lemon drops from earning Sunshine State prizes. I have so many memories and emotions associated with this one.9. Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Amy McNamaraI haven't actually reread this book before. I read it for the first time the other week. When I was reading it, the most unusual sense of melancholy calm settled over me. It was a feeling that I haven't experienced in an extremely long time, and I want to capture that. It felt like time slowed down when I was reading it because it impacted me so much. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. I need that feeling again. That calm will definitely be useful when I have my next mental breakdown (haha).10. Impossible by Nancy WerlinA textured and enthralling read, Impossible completely stunned me when I first read it. The haunting lyrics of Scarborough Fair were adapted in this incredible read to form a completely unique story. With beautiful writing, sinister characters, and mood that completely floored me, I love to reread this one. This is a book that I read to remind me why I read YA and why I do this. It paints a picture of a mood and story that I can only get through reading.I hope y'all enjoyed! What books do y'all read to keep yourselves sane? Love y'all!Grace