BookCon: Day Dos

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Wow. Today was amazing. I got a great book haul. It was so heavy. I had my dad come by and pick up my bags. (I had two full then.)
Today's book stuff haul ended up with around...two huge bags with two small ones with less heavy thing. The stuff is currently in two huge bags and two smaller ones. 

What did I do today? Lots and lots of showfloor time. I had fun running about.
I went by the Penguin booth a lot. Got a lot of samplers. And the Epic Reads booth. I got some books. And some posters. And the Macmillian booth had some things. Samplers as well. 

The one panel I attended was the Fierce is My Middle Name panel. 
It has to have been the most feminist thing I've ever attended. It was crazy. Every comment was about strong females and tough people. It was amazing actually.
I was lucky to be in the front row. 
They're comments. Talking about smut. And whatnot. These three were adorable. So funny. So kind. 
Sarah J Maas was amazing. So cute. She was very energetic, but she was kind and awesome. #whensarahjmaasretweetsyourtweet (It's pretty awesome.)

Before the panel. Looks so empty.

I took a picture of them laughing. They all look like they're having fun. And they were. Even the audience was having fun. So much applause compared to the Faraway Lands and Welcome to Night Vale panel. Crazy, right? 

Sarah J Maas is like, 'What.' And Rae Carson is making hand gestures. And the moderator looks extremely fascinated by every word Rae says. Love this picture.

Her face, though. It's so funny. Caught her at the right moment. ;) 

I had to add this in. The sign says this, 'Visit the HarperCollins booth for the chance to win EXTRAORDINARY PRIZE.' And I posted this on Twitter with the caption: 'Do you mean this? Heh heh.' (Referring to the ARC in my hand.)

Poster haul:

Look at this baby? Do you want to know how big it is? Look at the books. They look very small! And the poster is huge. Think movie poster huge. The movie posters that are outside the theater that advertise the movies. Yeah. That big. It's as big as my hotel room's flat screen TV. 

I have been meaning to read this book... But haven't. 

Book haul:
Be jelly. I got a lot. 
The picture is of everything, though. Not just the ones I got on Sunday. 

The books all stacked up. All of them. There are two copies of 'Little Prince', though.
A lot are ARCs actually. The large one on the bottom. The Patrick Ness book. 

All my books. The bottom row is made up of ARCs. And some of the second row. The top ones are hardcovers. The other 

Swag haul: 
For the giveaway and my own personal want. Heh heh. 

For Giveaway:
I'll divide up the stuff into swag packs. Two or more. Who knows? And then, I'll put up a giveaway. This was much more then expected...
I'll update you when I decide. 

Yes. That poster is HUGE. I know. And there's a lot of books. And some samplers. And a few buttons. Cool, right? See the books holding down the poster? Those too.

Another poster. And yes, that's a copy of 'We Were Liars'. And 'Okay For Now'. They aren't signed, though.

My Personal Swag:

Yes. A Pip Bartlett ARC. Because a friend got it signed for me, and I met her today. I added it to the pile for that reason. She went to BEA and all. 

BookCon: Day Uno

I don't know where to start.
My biggest problem? Missing the Marissa Meyer and Leigh Bardugo signing. I was so upset.
Here's what happened. I went there an hour before the signing to get a place in line. Plus, Leigh Bardugo had six ARCs of 'Six of Crows' to give to the first six people. 

I went to two panels. (As I said, my signing plans fell through. That's how I got some stuff. I had time to waste. 

The Faraway Lands panel was great. Marie Lu said some very deep things. Sabaa Tahir was such a sweetheart. She was so cute. I haven't read the other books, though.
It was an amazing thing.

Again. Blurry photos. Sigh... Why do I keep taking blurry photos?!?! 
See Marie Lu on the far right? She's so cute. Adorable. 
And Sabaa Tahir looks so bored. I wish I got a better shot. But Sabaa got that bored looking face after a while. I'm not sure why...

My favorite thing?
The Night Vale panel. It was perfection. Absolute perfection. 
Cecil's voice was calming. Soothing. Smooth. Luscious. 
It was amazing. 
I wanted to cry.
And the questions. Amazing! 
"How did we rope Cecil in?"
Ah. -fangirls- I loved the panel so much. And I can't wait for the book! 
-insert squeal-

(It's blurry. I know.) But Cecil. I didn't realize his voice was his voice. It was crazy. 

My overall reaction?
Less than pleased. The panels were great. Positively amazing. I loved them. They were beautiful. 
But the signings? Sadness. The ONE THING I wanted my notebook to be signed didn't happen. Not on day one. Maybe it'll happen on day two.

Book haul:
The following are the books I got:

Poster haul:
I didn't get a lot of posters. Probably because I came a bit too late. But still. Here's what I have: (all for giveaway)

Swag haul:
This is everything I got. Divided into two piles, the things I want and the giveaways.

The giveaway stuff. Yeah. It's crowded. I know. I didn't have space. 
The three rolled-up things are the posters. Yes. There are two Welcome to Night Vale samplers. I'm going to have more than one giveaway bag. (Or some like that.) 
Oh look. My computer...

And this:
My stuff. A bookmark. Some pins. A few books. I got Ruin and Rising from a friend who didn't want it. And some cool Epic Reads posters. (The mythology bubble map thing and the 365 chart.)

Some random statistics you may or may not want to know: 
Huh. Who knew? That's a lot of adults. Wow. I saw a lot of little kids and adults. Some teens as well. Not a lot, though. Which is odd to say the least.

Guess Where I Am: One

Guess Where I Am

It's within the USA. (Not that that clue is much help.)

I am in a place with lots of pizza. (Mmm.) 

And lots of food trucks. 
It has a major park in it.

And a landmark that welcomed many immigrants.

Got it?
New York City! 

I'm here for BookCon. I'll give you an update when I can! 

From the airport. Those are pretty balloons.

Review: 'Made You Up' by Francesca Zappia

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Made You Up
Francesca Zappia

Amazon / Goodreads

Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal. 

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.


Here Be the Players
The characters were amazing.
Alex was the cool sort of crazy. She did a lot of weird things. The Freeing of the Lobsters. Crimson Falls. Many different things. And her mental illness didn't overpower her personality. It complemented her person. The paranoia. Checking for tracers in her food. These were common place with Alex. And it highlighted the caution she took. I thought her mental illness made her special. Different. Not all characters have melded their problems into their life as seamlessly as Alex has. And her voice. Sassy and quick. She was clever. But also very...closed. She was reluctant to like Miles. Alex had a good voice. And I liked her character. She relied on people. And people relied on her. The question that lingers is whether the world you read is reality or not. For her, I mean. Is Miles real? Tucker? Who is real? Who is just a figment?
Miles was mysterious. He reminded me of a friend. His personality was different. The good kind, though. He was dark. Closed off. Standoffish. I thought that was amazing. I am a huge fan of dark and mysterious. And Miles fit the bill. People were scared of him. (And I'm not sure I would rather be loved or hated.) He wasn't good with emotions. (I can relate to that. I found out recently through careful self-examination that I'm not very strong in the empathy area. Woohoo! People who don't work well with others. People who can't comprehend emotions! FTW! WE RULE! But yes. That's true. I'm not perfect, never said I was.) There was just something about him. His past. His present. It lured me in. His personality did the rest.

The Adventure Begins (And Ends)

The plot was interesting. It seemed to follow the pattern of nothing happens, reveal, and reaction. Like with Alex's sister. And McCoy. And the snake. You felt like nothing else was coming. Then wham! Everything is there. It seemed like the story was tricking you in every way. Deceiving you. Making YOU, as the reader wonder what was real. This was a story you had to keep reading. It drew you in. Kept you wanting for more. The reveals shocked you. You were clinging to the pages. Every word captivating. That was this story. The plot was fascinating. So many things happened. You had to know how Alex would react. Would she be surprised? Smug? Happy? Depressed?
I started wondering what WAS real. Or is nothing real? Is this ALL a dream? I had to read more carefully. I had to focus. The story made you do that. Questioning reality in general.
The question is...what is reality?

The Swoon-Gasp-Swoon Factor

There was a lot of drama. But not a lot of action. Not that I didn't enjoy the drama. It was great. Edge of your seat. I had to continue reading. There was so much happening. You needed to know. What happened? What now? The urge to know overtook anything else. If I could, I would read the entire thing in one fell swoop. (School isn't the best. It gets in my way.) There could have been some action scenes. Or something. A fight scene? Cat fight! Doesn't that seem...interesting? I would be glued to the page.

Ka-Pow Power

Kiss Kiss Fall in Love

The romance was a bit unexpected. I didn't expect it. Why? The two didn't need to be romancing. Each other or someone else. They were troubled. Troubled plus romance? Hell. It doesn't always work.
I will say this. These two were good for each other. It seemed to work. They could help each other. They lost themselves in each other. It was crazy. Wild. I wasn't sure. These two could work in the end. Somehow. Someway. They were two puzzle pieces they didn't fit with anyone else. They had something.
Alex did change. I thought it was a good change. A crazy change. It wasn't bad for her, though. She seemed happier. Better. She had someone to rely on. Perhaps that's what she needed.

Special Effects

The End

The ending was satisfying. I felt like it worked. Alex got what she wanted. Miles and a better future. I thought that was good. It suited the book. It made me happy to see her happy. Kissing and loving. In love. Crazy in love. It was odd. But the romance...worked. Somehow. I'm not sure how. There were no more questions. Nothing I wanted to ask.
She got her happy ending. In an odd way.


Review: 'Off the Page' by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Off the Page
Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

From #1 New York Times bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and her daughter and co-writer, Samantha van Leer, comes OFF THE PAGE, a tender and appealing romantic YA novel filled with humor, adventure, and magical relationships.
Sixteen-year-old Delilah is finally united with Oliver—a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale. There are, however, complications now that Oliver has been able to enter the real world. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to take Oliver’s role in Delilah’s favorite book. In this multilayered universe, the line between what is on the page and what is possible is blurred, but all must be resolved for the characters to live happily ever after. Includes twelve full-color illustrations, and black-and-white decorations throughout.
Full of humor and witty commentary about life, OFF THE PAGE is a stand-alone novel as well as a companion to the authors’ bestseller Between the Lines, and is perfect for readers looking for a fairytale ending. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot are sure to appreciate this novel about love, romance, and relationships.

Here Be the Players

The characters were okay. I liked some. Disliked others.
Edgar was cool. I would have loved to be his friend. He was quirky. He had some cool things about him. The video game thing. The love for his mom. These things made him pretty awesome. He was loyal. But he was a bit of an oddball. Knowing random things. Edgar had a lot of personality. Witty retorts. Funny remarks. He was great. He had faults. And the yearning to see his mother. Homesickness. He was an adventure seeker. He was pretty cool.
Oliver could have been better. He was ignorant. That made him funny. He wasn't the best romantic. But he was good at being charming. (Honestly. How is he not Prince Charming?) He was kind. But very ignorant. Which I thought was hilarious. His lack of knowledge about the real world made his remarks funny. The fairy remark? Wow. Amazing. He was very good at talking with people. Which makes me wonder how he got with Deliliah. (Not reading the first book is bad. Bad.)
I simply dislike Deliliah. She annoyed me. You have to have a life outside guys. She had to be annoying... She was a bit obsessed. There wasn't much personality in her character. She was attached to Oliver. And became a mopey teenager otherwise. She had no life outside of the book. It's like grades didn't matter. No extracirciulars! Alas! The teenager in her natural habitat. Pining after people who may never notice her. But her someone did. Which is the odd thing.

The Adventure Begins (And Ends)

The plot wasn't bad. I thought it would be all cutesy, but it turned out to only snippets of that. It was a bit of a hunt for the wishes. I wanted more of Seraphima and Oliver in the real world, though. That was perfect. They were so hilarious. I couldn't stand it. I had to laugh. The plot wasn't the most interesting. It was interesting to see their hunt for a wish. That was cool. We got to explore the book more. And the book was a cool place. Towers and castles and unicorn meadows. Unicorn meadows. I can't help but smile at the thought of unicorns pranching around a meadow of daisies and Whatnots.
There was a lot of romance, though. Which isn't bad... I didn't particularly like Delilah and Oliver. Edgar and Jules was so much better. The romance was funny when Deliliah had to pretend to like Edgar. Dear god. That was hilarious. I swear I felt palpable sexual tension in that mini golf course scene. Dang.

The Swoon-Gasp-Swoon Factor
There wasn't a lot of action. It was mostly a lot of drama. Which was okay. It wasn't anything quite amazing or important. Just dramatic. Oh my, look who has cancer. Look who needs to be out. Romance romance romance. If there were a few fighting scenes, I might have enjoyed this more. Oh well.

Ka-Pow Power


Kiss Kiss Fall in Love

The Deliliah-Oliver relationship annoyed me. Probably because I didn't read book one (Between the Lines.) But Edgar and Jules? Nice. There was more chemistry with Jules and Edgar. More tension. It was funny to see them try to resist kissing. They struggled. Delilah was wimpy when she was away from Oliver. And Oliver was too accepting. Another reason why fantasy princes shouldn't be dating real girls.
It seemed like everyone was pairing off, though. I mean...seriously? The real world isn't like that. Who didn't get a relationship? Maureen? Everyone did. That's annoying. I don't think the world pairs off everyone. Shouldn't there be more single people? Like whoa. Even Chris got a girl! And I didn't like the actually-geeky-popular-girl thing. That's cliche. Way too cliche.

Special Effects

When Serphima entered the real was hilarious. I loved it. What's a mall to them? A food court? It was funny. Good comedic relief. It was perfect.
And her argument with Allie. That was amazing. Cat fight! (Sorry. I had to.) Both were cruel in their own way. Saucy in their own way. So that clash. It's like two opposing forces finally meeting. It was crazy. It was offensive on a different level. Snappy dialogue. I could imagine the scene right in front of my eyes.

The End

The ending was...odd. I thought Jules would be pulled in. Seraphima might enjoy the real world in the end. Who knows? Maureen did. I felt like there could have been more. The end scenes with Jessamyn...not bad. Tension-building scenes. It's do or die really. And that was quite interesting.
But the ending ending? Meh. Less than I expected. Why couldn't Jules be happy too? I mean...why? Seraphima liked our world anyways. Just trade the two again. I don't get why Oliver and Delilah get a happy ending, but Jules doesn't. Excuse me? Jules was so much cooler than Delilah in her pinky finger. It didn't seem fair.
But fair isn't how stories work.


Review: 'End of Days' by Susan Ee

Saturday, May 23, 2015

End of DaysSusan Ee

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?


Here Be the Players

I like Penryn. Still. She's still badass. In those scenes when she's I love that about Penryn. She is so badass. She is a tough heroine. She can defend herself. She doesn't need a guy. She doesn't need anyone but her family. I love that about her. She isn't like other girls. She's that badass. 
Penryn does change. Wow. She changes a lot. In the first book 'Angelfall', she's innocence. The daughter of a 'crazy lady'. (Aren't we all a bit crazy sometimes?) She becomes a leader. A strong leader. Someone who is shoved under the position. She doesn't like it. I see that. But she's a good leader. She can make people rally. She's just that type of person. I love this. She's become a better heroine with her leadership. Penryn is badass to the max. One of my top heroines that exist. 
And Raffe. He isn't cold as usual. Which is great! (Kinda?) He's still awesome, though. He's still a good fighter. Not entirely the cold, distant guy we had in the earlier books. This guy is truly awesome. He's can fight. He's a great leader. Raffe is a colder, more angelic version of the Penryn we all know and love. And he's more buff. 
He's warming up to Penryn. Which is great. (I ship it.) I love that. He's losing this hard exterior. This is a good change. Really. This change is great. It really changes the dynamics of the story. It makes the relationship more viable. I'm happy this is happening. It took almost three books for it to happen, but Raffe ended up having a heart. 

The Adventure Begins (And Ends)

The plot. I can gush about the plot. Wow. I can gush all day about this book's plot. 
The action was breathtaking. When you have someone like Penryn who isn't a novice to fighting and Raffe who has been fighting for years, you have perfect action sequences. Add those two components to angel adversaries and locusts. (Those locusts are odd. They're both foe and friend at once. Which seems abnormal.) This creates an amazing combination for fighting. Penryn is great with Pooky Bear. She knows her stuff. And Raffe...with or without a sword. He's a great fighter. They both know their stuff.
The drama with the relationship. That caused so much trouble in this book. That was making my pulse race. What would happen? You didn't know. It could turn any direction. Raffe was pulled back and forth. He was hot and cold. As they say. He would say he cared. Then push her away. It was always dramatic. Extremely. Such a soap opera.
The change in scenery. Okay. I want to know about the hellion world now. What happened? Will we know what happened? I know it has to do with Lucifer. But...what happened to the people? To the people living there. What made them turn into little beasts with horns and wings? What made them succumb to the Fallen? There is so much I want to know. 
And the talent show. Gah. That was perfect teamwork. I wanted to squeal in delight. The twins working with the others. Their genius is astounding at times. The way humanity works together for a good stand against the angels. It's their only chance. It was a beautiful scene. Especially the one with the ballerinas. That shattered my heart. Such a poignant scene. Showing the after of the apocalypse. The effects it has on humanity. How alone people are but never lonely. 
This plot=soap opera + kickass action + loneliness + different settings. 

The Swoon-Gasp-Swoon Factor


Ka-Pow Power


Kiss Kiss Fall in Love
Deep breath, guys. (Ooh. I feel like this is a spoiler... Kinda?) We've all been waiting for this relationship. I've been cheering for it. We all have. I know it. 
Admittedly. We were given what we wanted. Such steamy scenes. Penryn was melting. I honestly think she was a Popsicle in Raffe's arms. She was truly falling for him. All over again. Because wow. I was a bit uncomfortable actually. (If you know me well enough, you know about my...reluctance to romance.) 
While I might not like romance, these two are adorable. They both protect each other. Which isn't necessary. Penryn and Raffe can both fend for themselves if they had to. They don't always need the other. Except for support in times when the other is completely surrounded. That's when they might need the other. But. They were the duo that would fight back-to-back. (That should have been a scene!) 
Romance isn't my thing. But this couple isn't bad. 

Special Effects


The End

The ending. Alright. 
It's not the ending I was expecting. I was expecting fanfare. Or another apocalypse. (I was disappointed to see that this was the last book in the series. I can't wait for Susan Ee's next book, though.) 
But it was a good ending. Raffe and Penryn were happy. Both of them. Which is great. I'm surprised that Raffe would give up that much for Penryn. But maybe that's the relationship between those two. I was taken aback by what Raffe did. Wow. He really did care. That's great. Honestly, that's amazing. A surprise twist! 
As an ending to a series...not bad. It was a happy ending. (To my surprise.) Both parties were happy. It doesn't have questions left. It's a good note to end on. 

For the entire series, I truly loved it. It was a great series. Action. Enough romance to make me turning the page without deterring me. Great characters. A fantastic twist on the classic apocalypse. 
Thank you, Susan Ee, for this great ride.