December 20, 2018

Your Best Posts of 2018 | A Master List of the Posts Bloggers Loved Writing this Year

The end of the year is a time of self-reflection. This year, instead of just staring into a mirror and lamenting about all of the goals I never achieved and promises that I broke to myself, I thought I would celebrate the achievements of the blogging community.

So, I went to Twitter and asked for your favorite posts that you wrote this year, whether it was a review that you are proud of or a thoughtful discussion that didn't get as much love as you wanted. There is a whole spectrum of posts in this list with all kinds of book bloggers lending their favorite posts of 2018. 

I learned a lot from this list and found quite a few new bloggers. Sometimes, the posts that we are the most proud of aren't the ones with the most comments, the most views, or the most shares on social media. Pride doesn't have to equate to statistics. The heart writes what the heart writes, whether or not it goes viral. That being said, I hope this master list of posts can help spread some love to the posts we are most proud of this year.

*I also included some quotes from random posts to further entice you to check out these posts and their discussions.

December 4, 2018

Paper Girl by Cindy R. Wilson | Blog Tour and Review

Paper Girl
By Cindy R. Wilson
400 Pages
Published December 4th, 2018
Young Adult, Contemporary
Trigger Warnings: Child Abuse, Panic Attacks, Drugs, and Alcoholism

This book was provided to me from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.

I haven’t left my house in over a year. My doctor says it’s social anxiety, but I know the only things that are safe are made of paper. My room is paper. My world is paper. Everything outside is fire. All it would take is one spark for me to burst into flames. So I stay inside. Where nothing can touch me.
Then my mom hires a tutor. Jackson. This boy I had a crush on before the world became too terrifying to live in. Jackson’s life is the complete opposite of mine, and I can tell he’s got secrets of his own. But he makes me feel things. Makes me want to try again. Makes me want to be brave. I can almost taste the outside world. But so many things could go wrong, and all it takes is one spark for everything I love to disappear...

December 2, 2018

Welcome to Winter | Fall 2018 Wrap-Up

As soon as December 1st hits, it is the Christmas season for me (sometimes even before that). And, at least in my hemisphere, that means sweaters, snow, and everything else wintry. So, I am calling my combined wrap-up of October and November my "fall wrap-up" in order to properly welcome the holiday spirit and winter wonderfulness.

Not to mention the fact that I have already had snow in my wonderful Northern location, so I am going to reap the benefits of the winter season if Mother Nature is going to throw snow at us this early.

November 30, 2018

Fairytales outside of Disney | How to Fracture a Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen

How to Fracture a Fairy Tale
By Jane Yolen
Published on November 5, 2018
320 Pages
Fantasy, Short Stories, Retellings

This book was provided to me from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.

Fantasy legend Jane Yolen presents a wide-ranging offering of fractured fairy tales. Yolen fractures the classics to reveal their crystalline secrets, holding them to the light and presenting them entirely transformed; where a spinner of straw into gold becomes a money-changer and the big bad wolf retires to a nursing home. Rediscover the tales you once knew, rewritten and refined for the world we now live in―or a much better version of it.

November 10, 2018

I Have Been Betrayed | Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns

By Kendare Blake
Three Dark Crowns #1
Published on September 20, 2016
398 Pages
Young Adult, Fantasy

When kingdom come, there will be one.
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing gets the crown.

October 30, 2018

Halloween Books for my Fellow Scaredy-Cats

I am the first to admit that I am a coward. I don't do horror movies, haunted houses, scary costumes, or anything that will involve a jump scare. When it comes to horror, I am screaming mess who reacts to every little scare (sometimes things that aren't even meant to be scary).

Due to my sensitivity to spookiness, I always feel left out during the Halloween season. After the age of 12, it is so longer acceptable to wear cute costumes and content yourself with candy. Instead, you are meant to dive headfirst into a world of horror, blood, and guts-- a world I was not meant for. For the past couple of years, I have been searching for the common ground between scaring myself senseless and just sitting on my couch alone, eating candy while watching rom-coms.

So, in the spirit of being a scaredy-cat who still wants to enjoy Halloween, I am going to list some of my favorite Halloween inspired books to help you enjoy the season even if it scares the dickens out of you.

October 23, 2018

Moral Ambiguity is my Cup of Tea | My Favorite Anti-Heroes and Gray Villains

My favorite villains are the ones who may not be evil. I love a good villain who can convince me that they are the hero of their own story. I love conflict between right and wrong that doesn't have a clear answer, as the line between good and bad is rarely clear in the real world either.

In short, I like it when villains make me think. They need to have a good backstory. They might even be masquerading as heroes. Sometimes a main character is neither unequivocally good or bad, and I think that the gray area in between is the most interesting. I am interested in where the lines meet, when a character is not necessarily a hero but doesn't exactly fit the bill of a villain either.

Authors who can make me love a villain or root for an unlikeable anti-hero have clearly mastered the art of the character. Here's a list of my current favorite complicated villains and morally ambiguous heroes (and heroines!).

October 20, 2018

When Murder Disappoints | Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Truly Devious
By Maureen Johnson
Truly Devious #1
Published on January 18, 2018
416 Pages
Young Adult, Mystery

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. "A place" he said, "where learning is a game."Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

October 12, 2018

The Beauty of Ridiculousness | Takeaways from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

5 Takeaways is a feature designed to exalt books that deserve more than just a review. You can see the other posts in this feature here. 

This feature is specifically for books when I decide that a review was kind of pointless. Almost everyone knows about the book and you don't need another person screaming at you to read this book (no matter how amazing it is). It is a given that my review would never do it justice. Instead of convincing you to read it, I want to discuss what I got out of it besides a five-star review.

The Hitchhiker's Guide is a renowned classic on multiple levels, but not on the dusty old level of Shakespeare and Dickens (which I say with the most love possible, as an English major). It is a cult classic that has greatly influenced science fiction, including one of my favorite shows of all time, Doctor Who. Even though it isn't an academic classic, there are still a bunch of takeaways worth discussing (in a fun way, not in an English class way, I promise).

October 1, 2018

As Summer Leaves | September 2018 Wrap-Up

The seasons have finally changed and I am embracing the colder weather by staying inside with a cup of tea and a good book. Time is moving faster than the falling leaves and I am completely unprepared to say goodbye to September. I had forgotten how quickly time moves in college, with countless deadlines and sleepless nights making time a little too scarce. I haven't even had time to put up my Halloween decorations yet.

But, as months come and go, I just remind myself that we are a little bit closer to Christmas.

I am not in the business of holiday erasure though, so I fully plan on celebrating Halloween, particularly with some "spooky" novels. Even though I can't do full on horror (for books or movies), I am planning on reading books with more mysteries, ghosts, and witches.

But first, let's recap what happens at Crazy for YA and in my life during September!

September 25, 2018

I Promise I Still Love You | Books By My Favorite Authors I Haven’t Read

Hello, my name is Tessa and I am really bad at keeping up with series. I have talked about this before in a discussion post, but the time has come again to shame myself into actually finishing some series.

Unfortunately, this problem even affects my favorite authors. Even though I have loved their past writing, I cannot bring myself to read their other books. Sometimes it is due to the fear of being disappointed (a girl has to have high standards) or sometimes I just get distracted by shiny new books. Regardless, I still love each and every one of these authors, even if I haven't gotten to one (or maybe three) of their books yet.

Fun fact: Most of these books can be found in my TTT from 2016. Yes, my procrastination problems span years, not mere weeks.

September 23, 2018

I Can't Believe that I Am Writing This | Celebrating 500 Posts

Like Rome, Crazy for YA was not built in a day. Or even a year. This little baby is going on six years and I still don't think that it is completely built.

But, despite the never-ending pursuit of building the perfect blog, the process of writing, posting, reviewing on this blog has changed my life.

When I started this blog with my friends, I didn't think it would last beyond middle school, let alone to the 500th post milestone that I am celebrating right now. Writing a single review would take me hours, and they didn't have graphics, SEO, fancy fonts, or even a book summary. What they did have was an obnoxious pink font and a whole lot of love and care.

However, despite the obnoxious colors, middle school writing, and complete lack of design, I still haven't deleted any of my old posts.

There is literally an archive of my blogging journey (mistakes and all) still available for public criticism. This blog is me. This is me at my best and at my worst. These typos are me. These terrible graphics are me. These bad decisions, lack of knowledge, hurried posts, all led to where I am today. And all I can say is that the view is pretty good from here.

That being said, read on if you want to see a timeline of Crazy for YA throughout 500 posts and six years!

September 15, 2018

A Tapestry of Culture and Characters | Nocturne by Kat Ross

By Kat Ross
The Fourth Talisman #1
400 Pages
Published on October 14, 2017
Young Adult, Fantasy

This book was provided to me from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.
Nocturne, a wilderness of eternal night.
Solis, a wasteland of endless day.
Nazafareen is a Breaker, a mortal who has the rare ability to shatter spell magic—although her power carries a high price. With the memories of her former self erased and nowhere else to turn, she comes to Nocturne hoping to start a new life under the triple moons of the darklands.
But when an assassin forces Nazafareen to flee to the sunlit mortal city of Delphi, she finds herself embroiled in a deeper mystery whose origins lie far in the past. Why was the continent sundered into light and dark a thousand years before? And what really happened to the elegant but ruthless creatures who nearly reduced the world to ashes? The new Oracle might know, but she’s outlawed magic and executes anyone caught practicing it. Nazafareen must hide her powers and find a way out of the city—before it’s too late.
As the net slowly tightens, something ancient and vengeful begins to stir in the arid death zone called the Kiln. A dashing daeva named Darius is pursuing Nazafareen, but so are a multitude of enemies. War is brewing again. Can she stay alive long enough to stop it?
So begins the first installment in an epic new fantasy series from the author of the Fourth Element Trilogy!

September 10, 2018

The Pros of Being in a Book Slump

Even though I find myself a pretty agreeable person, I do have a nemesis that I hate more than anything else in the world--book slumps. 

For those of you who are lucky enough to never have suffered through one (please tell me your secrets), book slumps are extended periods of time when reading just isn't fun anymore. There are many causes, such as lack of time or the after-effects of a five star book, but no concrete cure. 

When I am in a slump, all the books I try to read end up disappointing me. And then, if the case is severe enough, I stop reading altogether. 

However, in the spirit of mercy for my mortal enemy, the book slump, I forgive its wrongdoings. Grudges apparently aren't good to hold on to, so here are some benefits to being in a book slump. 

September 5, 2018

Nothing like Novellas | Mini-Reviews of Books I Read to Catch Up with my Reading Goal

It is officially the time of year when I start freaking out about finishing all of my yearly goals, including but not limited to my Goodreads reading challenge. I always start out with the best intentions, getting ahead of myself, but it never lasts and I end up with three months to read more than I did in the past six months combined. 

Thankfully, I am not beneath using cheap tricks to achieve my goals. From now until the end of the year, I will be reading copious amounts of novellas, graphic novels, and short books in order to inflate my reading numbers. I am not proud of it, but I am going to do it anyway.

The good news is that if I read more books (even if they are shorter) that means more wonderful reviews like these for you to read. Really, I am doing this all for you.

September 1, 2018

A Bittersweet Tale of Summer | August 2018 Wrap-Up

Most people think that I am crazy, but I love dark chocolate. I would rather eat one bar of dark chocolate than have one thousand white chocolate bars. I guess that there is a metaphor in there about my preference for preferring my sweetness to be mellowed with a little tartness.

Just like dark chocolate, August is always bittersweet. It is the end of summer's freedom, but also the beginning of a new school year with promises for new opportunities and amazing people (as well as homework, but that isn't the main point right now). The blogging news this month is also a mixed bag; I have been making a lot of progress but the impending school year is going to stunt some of it.

August 30, 2018

The Difficulty of Seeing Space without a Telescope | The Raging Ones

The Raging Ones
By Krista Richie and Becca Ritchie
The Raging Ones #1
Published on August 14, 2018
Young Adult, Science Fiction

This book was provided to me from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.
In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds. 
Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday. 
Until the day she does. 
Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him. 
Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny. 
With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.

August 27, 2018

Looking on the Bright Side | Books I am excited to read this semester

Even though it comes the same time every year and I am fully aware of its impending doom, the start of the school year always surprises me. When I am in summer mood, it feels like nothing will ever harm me again (or at least make me do homework again). Alas, every summer comes to an end at the same time in August and I have to grieve my last of free time and freedom. However, the great thing about college is the opportunity to pick your own classes, and being an English major, my classes mostly revolve around my passion, literature. So, in an attempt to look on the bright side, I am going to share the required texts that I am actually excited (or at least not dread) to read.

August 22, 2018

Mirage by Somaiya Daud | Strength in Softness and Faith

By Somaiya Daud
Mirage #1
Published on August 28, 2018
Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

This book was provided to me from Netgalley and The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.
But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.
As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancĂ©, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection...because one wrong move could lead to her death.

August 20, 2018

Fantasy is changing (for the better) | Takeaways from Children of Blood and Bone

5 Takeaways is a feature here at Crazy for YA designed to exalt some books that deserve more than just a review. You can see the other posts in this feature here. 

This feature is specifically for books where I decided that a review was kind of pointless. Almost everyone knows about the book and its pristine reputation. You don't need another person screaming at you to read this book (no matter how amazing it is). It is a given that this book received five stars and that my review would never do it justice. 

To me, the signal that a book is truly great, unforgettable, and absolutely worth reading is that it taught me something. Or even in rare cases, more than one thing. The real power of Children of Blood and Bone not only lies in its good story, but the ideas it leaves with the readers.

August 15, 2018

Sunshine Blogger Award


Since summer is almost over and the dark descent of fall is coming shortly, I am going to hold on to every remnant of warm weather and sunshine that I can, starting with the Sunshine Blogger Award.

I would like to sincerely thank Susan @ Novel Lives for nominating me for this award. My procrastination with the posting does not do the honor justice, but I hope you know that I really appreciate your shout-out (and your wonderful blog!).

August 10, 2018

Max's Most Anticipated | Mini Reviews with a Special Guest

Hi everyone, I’m Max, the guest blogger Tessa has mentioned, here to review some of my most highly-anticipated reads of this summer! Keep reading to figure out if they were just as great as I had hope they would be. In case you don’t know me, I used to post on this blog back in its early days, until I unfortunately just didn’t have the time to keep up with it. Thankfully, Tessa’s done and amazing job with it and I’m so proud of how it’s grown since back in the day.

August 7, 2018

How We Learned to Lie by Meredith Miller | Blog Tour & Review

How We Learned to Lie

By Meredith Miller
Published on July 31, 2018
384 Pages
Young Adult, Contemporary

This book was provided to me from Edelweiss and The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.
Violence in the small, suburban town of Highbone, Long Island, is escalating, and best friends Joan and Daisy are finding themselves in the centre of it.
Joan has always been fascinated by the inner workings of living things: dogfish, eels, stingrays. But the more she sees of life outside her microscope, the more she realizes that people aren’t as easy to read as cells on a slide, and no one, not even Daisy, tells the truth.
Daisy’s always wished he had a family more like Joan’s, and that desire has only grown since his dad went to jail. But not even Joan can help Daisy keep his deadbeat older brother from putting everyone close to them in more danger.
When tragedy strikes too close to home, Joan and Daisy need each other more than ever. But no matter how hard they try, their secrets and lies have driven them apart. It’s only a matter of time before their friendship, just like their town, goes up in flames.

Book Links

August 2, 2018

It's the Little Things in Life | July 2018 Wrap-Up

July has been a month of growth for me. It took me half of the summer to this blog into gear, but at least I have finally gained momentum before tackling the obstacle of going back to college. However, we are not going to think about the upcoming funeral for my free time because today is about my monthly accomplishments (and the fact that there actually are some) and the wonderful happenings around the blogosphere.

July 31, 2018

Hyped Books that Earned Their Stars

Even though we try to ignore it, gossip is a part of a reader's life. We are enthusiastic creatures by nature, and the only way to get us talking is to mention books. Then all of the dirt comes out.We love hearing the dark secrets of characters, relishing in their tragic backstories and all the details of their relationships.  

When it comes to books, gossip does not always have a negative connotation. In fact, hyping up books, the main practice of book lovers and bloggers alike, is just spreading enthusiastic word-of-mouth about books. Instead of using gossip to break down the community, we tend to use it to proclaim the praises of stories we love.

Whether it is through reviews, discussions, enthusiastic Twitter threads, gorgeous bookstagram pictures, or even in real-life conversations, book lovers live to scream about their new favorite books, authors, and characters.

I will never shame book-lovers for their intense passion to spread the joy of books, but all of the hype can be overwhelming. Hype isn't necessarily a lie, but it is more subjective than we really want people to believe. 

However, there are some cases when books lived up to, and even surpassed, the amount of hype they received. Every mention of these books was justified. I will spend the rest of my life screaming from the rooftops about these books, constantly contributing to the hype that I was unnecessarily afraid of in the first place. Without a doubt, these books earned their stars.

July 27, 2018

Stories about Stories | Mini-reviews with a side of inception

Since I do not have a Time-Turner, a TARDIS, or a cloning machine, I just do not have time to write a full review for all of the books that I read. So, I have decided to write mini-reviews to discuss the books that I do not have as much to say about. That does not mean that I did not like these books, but sometimes, as creative and amazing as my brain is, I just cannot think of that much to write about a book.

This round of mini-reviews is about an oddly specific facet of fantasy, a story focusing on other fairy-tales as if they are real. Essentially, these are stories within stories, within stories in the true sense of inception. This concept of interwoven and layered stories can be hard to wrap your head around and even harder to get right. So, let's see what I thought about these ambitious books that exist in different layers of storytelling.

July 22, 2018

Beautifully Brutal and Peculiarly Predictable | The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince
By Holly Black
The Folk of the Air #1
370 Pages
Published on January 2, 2018
Young Adult, Fantasy

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

July 17, 2018

The Fault in Our Stars vs. Turtles all the Way Down | Book Battles

Welcome to Book Battles, a feature here at Crazy for YA where I put two books in the battle ring and have them fight it out to see which one is better. See all of my previous bloody, literary battles.

Today's fight is a vicious fight, two masterpieces from the same creator, a cult classic vs. the new book on the scene, The Fault in Our Stars vs. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.

In case you want to catch up with the record of our contestants today, you can find my original book battle between The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska here.

In addition to both being written by the same author, TFIOS and TATWD are extremely similar. They both deal with tragedy, death, and philosophical teenagers. Both novels have a female main character who has to deal with these unfavorable circumstances aided by a love interest. Parents play a large role in both stories, unlike his other novels.

Today, I am going to investigate which of John Green's stories is superior.

July 14, 2018

Mystery Blogger Award | Tag

Today, I am honored to be accepting the Mystery Blogger Award from Noly @ That Artsy Reader, a fellow book-lover and blogger champion. Being nominated for any award is awesome, but it means so much more that Noly was the one who thought of me. You can see her acceptance here (as well as her one of her most embarrassing childhood moments, which is definitely worth a read!). 

The tag was originally created by Okoto Oke Enigma on her lifestyle blog in order to discover new blogs (so that they are no longer a mystery, get it?) and spread the love throughout the entire blogging community. The bonds created through this tag is so impressive that it has already crossed several niches, starting with Okoto's lifestyle, fashion, and beauty blog to the wonderful realm of book blogging. I hope that I can help it reach even farther in the community!

Honestly, the only mystery is how I qualified for this award, but I am going to accept it anyway. 

July 10, 2018

Ereaders aren't completely terrible | The surrender of a hardcover lover

I am a very traditional person who is stuck in many of her ways. I don't like change very much. I will wear one pair of shoes until they have too many holes to properly walk in and then I will go to the store and buy the exact same pair of shoes. I survived throughout middle school and high school solely on the consistency of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I had every day for lunch. Having the same lunch every day was a comfort for me in the ever-changing (and terrifying) jungle of high school. I even ate them on the weekends sometimes because I missed them so much.

The same applies to my reading habits; I prefer reading hardcover, physical books that I can actually turn the pages (and caress softly). Spine and paper books will always be my favorite (everyone knows that nothing bets the scent of a new book or the crack of the spine when you first open it). But...

I don't completely hate ebooks.

There was a point in time when I thought this was a divisive issue that I had to go all or nothing on. I thought that in order to love physical books you naturally had to hate ebooks. However (like most of the issues in the world) there is not a 100% right answer in the debate and both sides have valid arguments.

So, against my formerly stringent traditionalist views, I am going to share my reasons for liking ereaders.

July 2, 2018

Milestones and Must-Haves | June 2018 Wrap-Up

As it turns out (even though no one is particularly surprised) I have succumbed to the laziness of summer. On one hand, this means that I spend a lot of time laying around my house with a book. On the other hand, writing posts for me is not exactly a leisurely activity, so it hasn't been getting done.

If anything, this summer so far has been an important lesson about how difficult blogging is and how much dedication is required. Blogging takes more than just free time; it requires hard work, motivation, and the will power to avoid procrastination. 

I didn't completely fail with blogging this month though, I just missed a few of my targets for the beginning of summer. Fortunately, I still have about two months to make up for it! In the meantime, I still have a few milestones to celebrate with you guys and a ton of blogger love to share!

June 26, 2018

Cardboard Castles by K. L. Young | Book Blitz + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the book blitz for Cardboard Castles by K. L. Young! Even though I don't normally participate in book blitzes, I couldn't pass on the chance to share about this introspectively dark fantasy debut. The premise reminds me a little bit of the dangerous whimsy of Alice in Wonderland, with the promise of transport to a magical world, but also with the added complexity of real life. I am super interested to see how Young combines reality and fantasy, and the very real dangers of both, in her first book!

Cardboard Castles
By K. L. Young
Published on May 17, 2018
404 pages
Graye Castle Press
Young Adult, Fantasy

"I am my father's daughter, and I am terrified of that fact." 
Seventeen-year-old Josilyn is the city’s rumored Cardboard Princess. 
Living in a crumbling cardboard castle under the park bridge and struggling to care for her mentally ill father, Josilyn’s life has been anything but regal since her mother’s death. 
But when a former friend discovers Josilyn's secret and leads Child Protective Services directly to her, her father’s visions of dragons and dark knights become the least of Josilyn’s problems. 
Now separated from her father and terrified for his safety, Josilyn begins to see the world of his imagination for the first time, forcing her to consider the possibility that he’s not insane, and that someone may be desperate to see her father dead—and her in chains. 
In a stunning twist of reality, survival may not be a matter of sanity, but who to trust, and who to kill.

There are two special deals going on right now with Cardboard Castles:

1. The ebook is on sale for only $2.99 through July.
2. A portion of all sales from the book are being donated to Chattanooga's Community Kitchen, which serves the author’s city homeless population.

June 18, 2018

How to Get Me to Follow You on Twitter

Twitter is scary. Twitter is overwhelming. Twitter is relentless.

Twitter is also the reason I am so involved in the book blogging community. Twitter is my lifeline to the bookish community outside of my blog. Twitter is a source of humor, insight, creativity and amazing people. (There is also quite the opposite lurking in the depths of Twitter, but for the sake of sanity and optimism, I am focusing on the bright side).

For me, scrolling through Twitter doesn't feel like a waste of time (unlike Pinterest, Facebook, and sometimes Instagram) because I am always inspired by all of the amazing people on my feed. It is also really easy to find ways to interact with other book lovers and forge relationships. 

Over the past five years, I feel as if I have been becoming more and more involved in the community. Since it is definitely not because of an increase in skill, I am going to attribute it to the rise of social media, especially Twitter. While those 240 characters can be used to anger, ridicule, and dramatize, you can also put a lot of love, friendship, and support in so few words.

However, there is a steep learning curve that I am still trying to climb. A fair amount of my social media skills were learned through experimentation and trial and error, but most of what I know is from the other amazing people on Twitter. So, I am breaking down why I follow the people I do and impart some knowledge with my impeccable taste.

June 12, 2018

My Realistic Summer 2018 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a list-based meme hosted by the amazing Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. If the meme sounds familiar, it was formerly hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

Apparently, 2018 is halfway over. On the plus side, this means summer and more books. On the minus side, I have all of the crushing anxiety of the unfinished goals that I need to complete by the end of the year. 

Anyway, I am staying on the plus side today by looking forward to some of the amazing books that I am (probably) going to read this summer. This is by no means an exhaustive list. My TBR is a monster that I can hardly maintain, let alone limit to only 10 books. In an attempt to regain control (or at least the facade of it), I am limiting my goal to these ten books that I am determined to read before the end of summer.

Basically, if I could only read ten books this summer, these would be it. Hopefully, that will not end up being the case, but I would still be happy if I only got to these stories.

I split the list between already published books that I have waited extremely too long to read (yes, I know that it is ridiculous that I have not read them but please forgive me) and soon-to-be published books that dominated my radar.

Update: I now realize that I have done the TTT for 6/19. I apologize sincerely but I hope you still enjoy my recommendations!

June 4, 2018

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf | Blog Tour + Review

Bring Me Their Hearts
By Sara Wolf
Published on June 5, 2018
400 Pages
Young Adult, Fantasy

This book was provided to me by YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.

Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.
Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.
Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.
So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.
Winner takes the loser’s heart.