Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review: How They Met, and Other Stories by David Levithan

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre: Young Adult Literature, Contemporary Literature, Short Stories

Plot: This book is composed of eighteen love stories. Not just romantic love, but all sorts of love. Each story is unique and brings a new string of emotions, and a crazy attachment to the characters in such a short number of pages.

  • Short stories mean more variety
  • These were all so stinking cute/emotional
  • I was hooked after the first story
  • There are so many different kinds of love, and this book covered so many of them
  • I didn't want the stories to end!
Favorite Quotes: 
  • “I think one of the highest compliments you can give a person is that when you are talking to him, you are not thinking about the fact that you are talking to him. That is, your thoughts and words all exist on a single, engaged level. You are being yourself because you aren't bothering to think about who you should be. It is like when you talk in a dream.” 
  • “We always loved to say 'If I'd had a Monday-morning class, I never would have met you'. Or 'If you'd been reading something else, none of this would have happened'. We didn't believe in fate, but we believed in serendipity. We felt very lucky.” 
  • “Must interests be interesting? That is, must they be interesting to someone other than yourself?” 
  • “She wasn't pretty, but there were moments when I found her beautiful.”
My Thoughts: So, so, so cute. I love short stories, but I kept wanting these stories to keep going. After the first story, I turned the page expecting a new chapter, and actually said, "NO!" out loud in front of people at work. The different types and expressions of love made this book complete, and it made me happy, weepy, etc., just the way it was meant to. I haven't been able to get into any of Levithan's other books, but this one is so great.

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David Levithan

Book Review: Ask the Passengers by AS King

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genre: Young Adult Literature, Contemporary Literature

Plot: With no one else to turn to, Astrid Jones sends her secrets and her love to the passengers in airplanes she sees overhead. As her secret relationship progresses, secrets come out and rumors in her small town fly. All the while, Astrid continues to send her love, not realizing that her love is actually reaching the passengers and helping them in the best ways.

  • Switching between Astrid sending her love and the passenger who receives it is really cute
  • Gay main characters.
  • Takes place in a small town. Nae loves small towns.
  • Frank.
  • I like that she's super into philosophy.
  • The bird houses with her dad is a really cute bonding thing.
  • Dee calls her by her last name.
  • Astrid's sister is a twat.
  • Basically everyone in Astrid's small town is a twat.
  • The thing at the sorority party.
Favorite Quotes: 
  •  “I am equal to a baby and to a hundred year old lady. I am equal to an airline pilot and a car mechanic. I am equal to you. You are equal to me. It's that universal. Except that it's not.” 
  • “How can we say nobody's perfect if there is no perfect to compare to? Perfection implies that there really is a right and wrong way to be. And what type of perfection is the best type? Moral perfection? Aesthetic? Physiological? Mental?” 
  • “I don’t have enough gross words in my gross vocabulary to describe how gross that gross thought is. Gross.” 
  • “I’m not questioning my sexuality as much as I’m questioning the strict definitions and boxes of all sexualities and why we care so much about other people’s intimate business.” 
My Thoughts: It was good. I had so many people tell me this book would change my life, and it really didn't. But that doesn't mean it wasn't still a great book. I feel like every time I read a different YA book, there's something that sets it apart from the rest, and for this book it would be Astrid sending her love to the airplanes. I just really love that.

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AS King

Book Review: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre: Adult Literature, Contemporary Literature

Plot: Richard Walker has just died, and his estranged family returns to his home to clean out the years of hoarding he's left behind. However, the family does not realize that they're not alone-- the house is very much alive and aware of their presence. Alice and Sandra, who live within the walls and the floorboards and every other inch of the house, watch as the family copes with Richard's death each in their own way, and unveil secrets within the family and between themselves, as their worlds collide.

  • A "ghost story" told from the point of view of the house, rather than stereotypical ghosts, is just really cool and clever.
  • Everyone copes with loss in a different way, and every single character in this book is an example of just that.
  • The character arcs are amazing.
  • I like that the stories went between past and present and all tied up in the end.
  • It was kind of slow to start.
Favorite Quotes: 
  • "Parents teach you a lot of things, but the most important thing they teach you is this: how people will fuck you up in the future. If they're any good, they teach you to get used to it.” 
  • “She’s like a person looking through the wrong end of a telescope, complaining that everything looks small.” 
  • “People, Caroline thought, were like houses. They could open their doors. Your could walk through their rooms and touch the objects hidden in their corners. But something--the structure, the wiring, the invisible mechanism that kept the whole thing standing--remained invisible, suggested only by the fact of its existing at all.” 
  • “For the shortest time, shorter than the shortest second's breath, you get to stand up to infinity. But eventually, and always, infinity wins.” 
My Thoughts: This is such a unique book. I really enjoyed it after the first few, slower chapters. The perspective was great, and it really got me thinking about life in general, and time as we know it versus time as it actually is. It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, but it's definitely up there on the creepy scale. Such a great book. I hope Lauren Oliver writes more adult fiction in the future.

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Lauren Oliver

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Fantasy

Plot: As if the Quidditch World Cup being invaded by Death Eaters wasn't enough, Hogwarts hosts a dangerous, magical tournament, and fourth-year Harry's name is chosen. Thrust into this dangerous tradition, bound by a magical contract, Harry is isolated. His peers resent him and his best friend abandons him. But something even more dangerous is happening-- Lord Voldemort is regaining his strength. Follow Harry through his fourth year as his magical skills, friendships, and bravery are all tested.

(There really are too many to list but I will try)

  • This is really the book where the characters grew with the audience, and the story went from lightheartedly scary to legitimately life-threatening, and it really showed that JKR wasn't afraid to up her game and get a little dark
  • Two words: Cedric Diggory
  • Romione
  • Stamps.
  • It had everything. Like there was so much content in this book: the World Cup, the Triwizard Tournament, the graveyard scene. But even though there was so much to the story, it wasn't excessive. It flows well and it keeps the reader turning pages.
  • The fact that Hermione is bullied really shows in this book, between Malfoy and Snape, and that's just so important to her character.
  • The Quidditch World Cup. 
  • Basically all of the book. 
  • So many other things but I can't even list them all

  • Cedric died.

Favorite Quotes: 

  • “If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” 
  • “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” 
  • “Percy wouldn't notice a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing one of Dobby's hats.” 
  • “Can I have a look at Uranus too, Lavender?” 
  • "Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Harry?" he asked calmly.
  • It won't let me copy and paste the entire book here...

My Thoughts:  This is something like the tenth time I've read this book. At least that many. I've always really loved this one, and it's tied with Half-Blood Prince for my favorite in the series. It's just so great. As I said above, there's so much content in this book, and it's an adventure from start to finish. I always get that magical, happy feeling of Christmas break and my childhood and happiness when I read a Potter book, and this is no exception, even with the heavier, darker things that happen in the story. I love all things Potter, and I'm so glad that these books are a part of my life.

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Our Queen

Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz [SPOILERS AT THE END]

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Literature

Plot: Aristotle, an angry teenage boy who's kind of an outcast, meets Dante, a smart boy who hates shoes and looks at the universe with different eyes. As the boys spend more and more time together of the summer and then suddenly spend time apart, Ari and Dante learn that their friendship is bigger than they had originally imagined, and that together, they can start to discover the secrets of the universe-- and themselves.


  • This book was adorable. Like seriously so many feels.
  • It's kind of nice to read YA from a boy's point of view instead of a girl's.
  • Ari and Dante were so different, and that's what made them such great friends.
  • As time went on, their characters grew in such a great way.
  • So many great quotes!


  • I wish that Ari and Dante could have had more contact when they were apart. But I get that.

Favorite Quotes: 

  • “Words were different when they lived inside of you.” 
  • “I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone's hand.” 
  • “I had a rule that it was better to be bored by yourself than to be bored with someone else. I pretty much lived by that rule. Maybe that's why I didn't have any friends.” 
  • “Words could be like food - they felt like something in your mouth. They tasted like something.” 

My Thoughts: [SPOILERS] So I already said that this book was adorable, but I'll say it again-- this book was adorable. I really loved Ari and Dante's characters, and the whole time [spoilers] I was rooting for them to get together, and I was so glad that it happened. I really like the cultural differences in the book, and the cute little quirks that each character had. Seriously, such a great book. If you haven't read it, READ IT NOW.

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Benjamin Alire Saenz

Saturday, October 25, 2014

General Update

*insert Robin & Ted gif here*

So, I've had some amazing feedback on my book. Which is great because I was starting to feel a little down about it but my friends are amazing, and I'm really getting great feedback, negative and positive, and my book is almost ready to be sent out into the world.

You bet your hat that's a scary thought that keeps me up at night.

So, I've been busy still. Not a lot of reading or writing done. But I have two reviews to add asap: Aristotle and Dante [etc] and Ask the Passengers. I am hoping to write these tonight. I'm currently reading This is Where I Leave You because the movie looks hilarious but I wanted to read the book first (I have to, I can't help it).

Also, I ordered a new copy (of the same edition) of The Book Thief and I finally got it! I also ordered Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Between Shades of Gray, and Outlander. I'm kind of chilling on the library books for a while because I never read them fast enough and I have so many books that I want to read in my personal library.

Books, books, books!

Oh, last thing, I transferred my library excel list to a Google spreadsheet so I can keep track and have it on my Google drive, and then I can share it with people when they want to know what books I have while they're shopping for me and stuff. I may add my "to buy" list in a separate doc eventually, but this works for now.

Ok, gonna go read!

Saturday, October 18, 2014


I finished the third draft of my novel. Sent it off to one reader for now, a few others this weekend.
I'm in a slump and I have only finished one book since 9/12.
I just want to read and write but I don't have it in me.
Sorry for the absence. I'll post the review for Aristotle and Dante later.
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