Rating System:

For those of you who don't know, I rate books based on their ability to hold my attention. I don't really like to rip apart someone's hard work. If I don't finish a book, then I don't feel comfortable rating it. So you might see a lot of 4 and 5 star ratings. However, if I do have issues with a book, I will always tell you. Enjoy! (:

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Beginning of Everything Review

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
4 Stars
I liked this book and I feel like maybe I could have loved it, had I not read it right in the middle of a slump. The characters were funny and I kind of found myself wishing I could be friends with some of them, specifically Toby. I'm not going to dive into my thoughts on Toby because, I feel you need to discover him for yourself. The main character, Ezra Faulkner, started out seeming a tad whiny to me, rightfully so, but at some point I found myself really just wanting to give him a hug and cheering him on. I couldn't tell you the exact moment that this happened only that it did. While The Beginning of Everything is about how everyone gets a tragedy, you might find yourself laughing the way I did. I laughed, I cried, I got angry, this story just plays with you in the best way. I did hit a patch within the last three chapters where I was crying and unsure whether or not I wanted to finish. I'm glad I did. Robyn Schneider changed the way I look at certain moments in my life. I can honestly say that not many books have touched me in quite that way. I strongly suggest picking it up and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

"I STILL THINK that everyone's life, no matter how unremarkable, has a singular tragic encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. That moment is the catalyst -- the first step in the equation. But knowing the first step will get you nowhere -- it's what comes after that determines the result. So who was I in the aftermath of my personal tragedy?" (The Beginning of Everything)

I would love to hear the thoughts of anyone who has read this. You can even let me know if you plan on reading it.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tucson Festival of Books

Tucson Festival of Books
March 15, 2015

This year was my first year attending the festival and I had an awesome time. I planned my schedule out beforehand and was able to do most of the things that I wanted to. Day one didn't go as planned at all! In fact, because of work schedules Tyler, Logan, and I missed Mitch Albom! However, we did get to walk around and stop at a few tents which was cool. Big tip: Wear sunscreen and drink a lot of water.

Day two was just Logan and myself. The first thing we did was walk down to the Education Kiva to see the Girl Power seminar featuring Ally Carter, Jenny Han, and Sarah Mlynowksi. I was genuinely interested in what these ladies were saying. One of the things being that if the cover of The Hunger Games had a female on it, fairly less people probably would've read it. It's a sad thing to think about. Girls can be strong and tough, not just boys. I really hope one day we'll be seen as equals. My favorite thing discussed was Sarah's books and how she gave her princesses happy endings. Now this does not mean marrying the prince. In fact, her version of Cinderella is not weak and her happy ending includes a successful career. I look forward to reading them and if I have a baby girl one day, I'll pass them on. Hell, my son can read them too if he so pleases. After the seminar I met the lovely ladies and took the pictures seen above. Sarah was kind enough to sign a bookmark and Jenny signed my book. I only wish I had something for Ally to sign. They were so genuinely nice, I hope to see them again in the future. Maybe an even bigger panel next year? Who knows. I also spotted Andrew Smith and since his signing was said to be on Saturday, not Sunday, I left my copy of Winger at home. Logan offered to buy me 100 Sideways Miles to get signed and as we were about to checkout, Andrew Smith left. It was a pretty sad moment for me. I really loved Winger and I had planned on reading his other works anyway. However, I didn't have the money so I decided to put the book back and buy it at a later date.

The second half of day two included some much needed grub and a seminar titled "NFL Concussions and the Future of Football". Now this one was even more interesting than the last. I'm honestly intrigued by the link of football and brain damage. A link that has been denied for a long time. These four men brought up the analogy that every hit on a football field is essentially a car crash. It's jarring to the brain whether it causes a full on concussion or not. You look at 10,000 hits vs 3 big blows and though the big ones may seem more dangerous, it is actually all of those little ones. I look at it like hitting a wall with a hammer. Now matter how hard you hit it, you'll see more damage after 10,000 little hits. I don't understand everything perfectly so I'll leave you with a link to the footage if you're interested.

This was actually one of the best weekends ever and I fully plan to go again next year and take advantage of all the fun stuff they have going on. I highly recommend it to my fellow Arizonans and anyone who would be willing to travel for the book festival. Next year I'll be buying all of my books months in advance, a backpack to carry them in, and saving up any extra money I might want to spend because I could have experienced so much more had I been prepared. Did any of you attend the TFOB this year or any of the previous years? What's your favorite bookish event (anywhere in the world)?


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ambitious March TBR.

For the past month or so I've been in quite the reading slump. I went from finishing 9 books in the month of January to finishing only 2 in February. However, I felt like I should make a TBR for March anyway. I know I will not finish all of these books this month, but I would like to at least start them. In fact, I have already started half of them! 

The Geek's Guide to Dating by Eric Smith: I was lucky enough to be sent this book for review from Mr. Eric Smith. I've already started it and I love it so far. For those of you who don't know, this book is a legitimate guide to dating and it's hilariously wonderful.
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider: I chose this book using my reading challenge jar. The challenge was to read a book that was gifted to me and even though I had a few choices, this was the only one that seemed right. It's about that one life changing moment that we all have, specifically a tragic one. Maybe yours hasn't happened yet, mine hasn't, but Ezra Faulkner's has and this book takes you through how it shaped him. At least that's my understanding.
Day 21 by Kass Morgan: I was actually super excited about this novel. The hardcover actually came out last year, but I forced myself to wait for the paperback copy so my books would match. I can't say too much about this one since it's a sequel, but you should definitely check out the first one, simply titled "The 100". The series follows a selection of people from the Ark station in space. There was a nuclear war on Earth and 100 prisoners are sent back down to see if the Earth is survivable because the Ark is dying. I must say, the television show is pretty great as well.
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger: This book made my TBR for this month because I want to see the movie with my mother. Basically DUFF stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend and everyone has one. This doesn't mean a person is ugly or fat and I believe that the book kind of teaches self worth, At least that's what I've heard. I've heard nothing but great things and I cannot wait to dive into this story.
I Refuse by Per Perrerson: I don't know much about this novel at all. Eric Smith was kind enough to re-home his ARC to me and I hope to a least start it before its release on April 7, 2015. I could be wrong, but I think it will be my first novel translated from another language.
The Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell: This is the March/April pick for the Better Read Than Dead Bookclub on Goodreads. All I know about this novel comes from the synopsis and I'll share a bit of it with you now... "Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard. Neither of them were beloved." If that doesn't draw you in then, I don't know what will.

* Anyone can join the Better Read Than Dead Bookclub. Because of our leaders' busy schedules we're starting slow with one book every two months so there's plenty of time for you to jump in and read The Death of Bees with us. We welcome you with open arms.

What are you planning on reading in the month of March? I'd honestly love to know.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dirty Rush Review

Dirty Rush by Taylor Bell
4 stars
I bought this book on a whim. I saw it and was nostalgic for the television show Greek. That and once upon a time, I wanted to join a sorority. I went in to this book expecting kind of a cutesy sisterly love type of deal. What I got was a hot frat guy, anal beads, strange hazing, drugs, a sex tape, and some revenge. If you’re not intrigued by that then, I’m shocked. I must say, I did enjoy reading this, just not in the way I had originally expected to. Like I said, this book took me completely by surprise. It is a tad fast paced and part of me wishes it was longer given that it takes place over an entire school year, but I see why that could’ve been necessary. The only thing I found annoying throughout Dirty Rush was the use of the word cute. Example: Instead of “crystal clear” the characters would say “crystal cute”. Needless to say it drove me a little crazy. Overall, it was a good read. I felt myself longing for the type of friendships shown and also glad I didn’t have some of those people in my world. I’d actually read a sequel if one were to be made. If you’re good with raunchy reads, pick this up. It’ll make you laugh, you might get jealous or angry, and maybe you’ll find yourself loving some of the characters to the point of heartbreak. I know I did. If you have read it, please tell me your thoughts.