Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Just Juliet" by Charlotte Reagan Review (LGBT+ Book!!!)

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Book: Just Juliet

Author: Charlotte Reagan

Publisher: Inkitt

Release Date: September 21, 2016

Links: Goodreads Amazon 

My Rating: ★★★★

Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. Thank you Inkitt for the copy!

Synopsis: Ever wondered what lesbian love between two teenage girls feel like? Read the story of Lena and Juliet.

Currently available for free pre-order on www.charlotte-reagan.com!

Lena Newman is 17 years old and pretty satisfied with her life. Until her world is turned upside down. Juliet James is the new girl at school and very quickly manages to send Lena’s heart wild. Juliet introduced Lena to a part of herself she didn’t know was there, taking her on an emotional journey where loyalty, friendships and family relationships are tested. Juliet represents the road less traveled. Will Lena take it? 

      When I was approached by this publisher to review this book, I was a little hesitant to accept it. I've had publishers approach me in this past, and then a lot of the time, I ended up not liking the book. This was not the case this time. Ultimately I ended up picking this book up because it is an LGBT+ young adult book and there simply isn't enough of those out there. Also, the main character is a bisexual female, how many books can you count that have a bisexual female main character??? I wanted to read a diverse book with hopes that it would be accurately portraying the people it was discussing.



      Boy oh boy did this book surprise me, and in the best of ways. I don't think I have ever read such a diverse book. This book tackles sexual orientation, religion, mental illness, race, privilege, and other diverse topics I'm probably forgetting to talk about. It felt so nice to see so many people represented in this novel, and accurately too! It's so important that the books we read are diverse and reflect the world around us so that everyone can feel represented.



      This book was definitely more character driven than plot driven, which is something that I usually hate, but worked for me this time. I loved each of the characters so much. They were unique individuals that all represented a multitude of intersections. There experiences and behaviors were real and you could tell that they were just your cookie cutter characters. While there were some problematic stereotypes in the books within these characters, they aren't so big that they take away from the diversity and representation that is present.



      My only dislike towards this book was the plot, which is why I rated this 4 stars. There really wasn't a plot. It didn't really go anywhere, and that's okay. You read about these characters experiences and the struggles they go through and that's the important part; learning from their struggles. I did have a problem with the ending. The epilogue tried to cram everything that didn't happen into one chapter, and when I mean everything, I mean like the last five years. It was very rushed, and I wish it would have been splayed out more.



      Overall, I truly enjoyed this diverse read. I think it's important that there is young adult books out there that represent different people and intersections in our world. and I think it's important that people read these types of books so they get exposure to more than just "the norm".

      Sorry if this review seems kinda vague, but I truly think this is something you should go into blind. You'll be surprised more and I think that will make the experience all the more better.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

NERDGIRL RECOMMENDS: NON-FICTION BOOKS

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NERDGIRL RECOMMENDS: NON-FICTION

      There are very few non-fiction books I like, and when I say very few, I mean very few. Me and non-fiction just don't get along that much. It doesn't capture my attention like fiction does. However, there are some that have managed to do the impossible, and I thought I would share those with y'all.



Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

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While I wasn't head over heels in love with this book, I did enjoy it. It tackles depression and anxiety, things I have experienced (and continue to experience) and that I'm sure some of you have too. Jenny is humorous in the way she tackles these dark topics, and it's nice to read.

How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston

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This book hilariously tackles what it means to be black in America. As someone who this, I could identify with it so much and thoroughly. It's not just for black people though; everyone could learn a lot from this book, especially if they want to be culturally sensitive and aware.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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This is one of the first non-fiction and required reading books I've ever liked. I read it for AP Language, expecting to hate it, but I really enjoyed it. The narration style is really easy to read and the story is just so captivating. It's style mindblowing to think this actually happened to a real person.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

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I was definitely not expecting to like this, especially since I'm not a fan of elderly people (sorry not sorry, they creep me out). This story was so touching and actually taught me quite a bit. It also reaffirmed my atheism. 

The Last Lecture by Randy Pasuch

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One of my friends from high school actually bought me this in hardcover because she said that it was important that I read it, and I'm so glad she did. Even though the book is rather small, there is so much to tell about how you should live out your life with the time you have.

 So what do you guys think? Have you read any of these books? If so, did you like them? Tell me all about it in the comments down below.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

TALKTIME #19: Book Blogs Help You in Life

10:30:00 AM

TALKTIME #19: BOOK BLOGS HELP YOU IN LIFE

     So it's been quite awhile since I've done a discussion post, so I thought I would write a quick little something explaining myself. There was a short little period where I was chugging out discussions posts left and right; the ideas kept coming to me and I just kept writing. Then it happened. The slump. I had ideas, but I just didn't have the energy to write discussions posts. But now I'm back, and it's time to start writing all of these ideas down.



      Today I will be discussing how book blogging can help you in life. You're probably thinking, what the hell do you mean it will help you in life? Will it get me a job? The answer, in fact, is actually yes; it can help you get a job. To better explain myself, I'm going to provide several real life examples that have happened to me.


  1. My job at the school of medicine: I got hired their because of my reading, writing, and social media skills. During the interview, they asked me what I do in my free time, and I'm going to be honest, at first I was really hesistant to say that I read a lot and run a book blog because that can be seen as antisocial, however, I figured with the correct phrasing and explanations, I could turn it into a good thing. So, I explained how I do a lot of reading, which obviously helps with literacy competency and improves grammar and writing skills. They liked that, but I went a step further. I discussed how I run a book blog, which reaps many benefits:
  •  HTML skills: The interview was for a job that dealt entirely with running a website and social media. The HTML skills I have learned from building my blog were completely applicable to their website and put me ahead of their other applicants who had no real life applications of their computer skills.

  • Social media skills: As a part of my book blog, I run a twitter account (as well as an instagram account, but I hardly ever use that). I understand how to engage with an audience and basically everything necessary to run a good twitter account. This was very beneficial because they were looking for people who could run their social media accounts.

  • Building relationships: Running my blog has helped me build connections I never thought I would have. I have connections with not only other book bloggers, but authors and publishers. Networking and building connections is so important in the real world.


  1. Practice medical school interviews: For those of you who don't know, over the summer I was a part of a summer medical educational program. Part of the program, was preparation for the med school application process, including interviews. I'm going to brag for a second, and say that I rocked those mock interviews. Running a book blog gave me so much to talk about in those interviews and in all honesty, it blew the interviewers away because it was something they weren't expecting. There are not a lot of people out there that run book blogs and are applying for med school; so own it! Interviewers love to hear what makes you unique and how running a book blog has helped you.

  1. Research position: While the research position was not entirely attributed to me having a book blog and had more to do with the connections I have made through networking, it helped solidify their offer simply because running a book blog proves that I not only know how to read, but I can do it well, in large amounts, and know how to articulate. In research, there is a lot of reading and writing of literature that goes on, so it is important that you can do it well. While it is certainly a different type of literature, your current skills will help you adapt better than most.


Basically what I'm saying, is don't be scared to use the fact that you read a lot and have book blog; I promise you it will help you more than hurt you. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Furiously Happy" by Jenny Lawson Lil' Review

10:30:00 AM

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Book: Furiously Happy

Author: Jenny Lawson

My Rating: ★★★1/2

Synopsis: In LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, Jenny Lawson baffled readers with stories about growing up the daughter of a taxidermist. In her new book, FURIOUSLY HAPPY, Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

According to Jenny: "Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos."

"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"

Jenny's first book, LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, was ostensibly about family, but deep down it was about celebrating your own weirdness. FURIOUSLY HAPPY is a book about mental illness, but under the surface it's about embracing joy in fantastic and outrageous ways-and who doesn't need a bit more of that? 

      Jenna, the booktuber from Jenna Clarek did a video talking about listening to the audiobook, and based off the audiobook, it seemed like I could really like it, so I decided to listen to the audiobook as well. It took me awhile to get through it because I only listened to it while I cooked, ate, or cleaned, but I eventually got through it.



      In the start, I really enjoyed it, but as it continued, I didn't like it as much. I really enjoyed the messages Jenny had to say, but sometimes I didn't like how she went off track a lot, but I suppose that is just the type of person she is. I've been exactly where she is with depression and anxiety. While my anxiety has improved vastly since high school, the depression hasn't in the least bit. I loved how she would describe the days when she just couldn't get out of bed or would hide under her desk because the world was too much for her. I've had those days more often than I'd like, but it was nice to read about someone who has felt the same thing I have felt.



       Overall I liked the book, but it wasn't anything phenomenal or great. I enjoyed it, but there were times when I got bored.   


Thursday, September 8, 2016

"Giant Days" by John Allison and Lissa Treiman Review

10:30:00 AM

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Book(s): Giant Days Vols. 1-4 & #17

Author: John Allison

Illustrator: Lissa Treiman

My Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis (for Vol. 1): Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of handwringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Going off to university is always a time of change and growth, but for Esther, Susan, and Daisy, things are about to get a little weird.

      I don't remember whose blog I saw a review of this series on, but I liked what they had so I decided to get a sample on Kindle and see if I liked it. I liked it, and one thing led to another and I binged the entire series, well, all of the volumes and single editions that are out right now.



      When I first started reading the graphic novels, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not. It was definitely interesting, but I wasn't sure where it was going. In the first two or three volumes, it felt like there was no plot, but as the series progressed, the plot came to light and I really started liking it.



      All of the characters were unique individuals and they were all very interesting to read about. I felt like this series is more character-driven then plot-drive, and generally I'm not a fan of that, but I actually rather enjoyed it. Each character had their own issues they had to deal with and I loved watching them approach them. Susan was a feminist with medical and political ambitions all while trying not to overload and go crazy with the stress of freshman year of college. Esther was just trying to look for love and deal with being cut off from her parents. And finally we have Daisy, a girl coming to terms with her sexuality and how to live in the world after being homeschooled by her grandmother.



      I really wish I would have read this series during my freshman year of college instead of right before starting my sophomore year. In addition to them all individually dealing with their problems, they take on their first year of college, and I could identify with them so much.



      I would highly recommend this book to anyone that loves feminism, likes LGBT+ books, or is coming with terms with being a young adult and having to deal with the real world in college. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Real Neat Blog Award

9:48:00 PM
THE REAL NEAT BLOG AWARD

First and foremost, I would like to thank Emily @ The Paperback Princess for nominating me.

The Rules: 

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them.

2. Answer the 7 questions they gave you.

3. Think up 7 more questions and nominate 7 other bloggers to answer them.

The Responses:

1. What book is your guilty pleasure read?



*cough* all the books *cough* If I had to choose just one book, it would probably be "Maybe Someday" by Colleen Hoover. That book just fills me with all of the feels and the fact that it is a new adult contemporary is like what????

2. Switching it up with Thomas' question: Play "Snog (kiss for us Americans), Marry, Kill" with your LEAST favourite characters.




Do you know what you just asked me to do? Do you? Ugh. Well my top three least favorite characters are Lincoln from The Violet Eden Series, Adam from Shatter Me, and Tamlin from ACOTAR.



Snog: I guess if I had to kiss someone it would be Adam. I could get it over with quickly and never see him again.



Marry: Personally, I don't want to marry anyone, period, but if I had to get married, and it had to be one of these poor suckers, it would be Lincoln. He's hot and the most tolerable. Plus he's like half-angel so that's dope.



Kill: No hesitation, it would be Tamlin. That motherfucker deserves to die, and you can be damn sure that I'm going to make it a nice, long, slow death with as much pain as possible.



3. Favourite (once again favorite for us Americans) book to movie/tv show adaption?



I know it's always said, but seriously, Harry Potter. They did a fantastic job with it and I can read and watch it over and over again and fall in love each time.

4. What book genre would you erase from this world? i.e. eliminate all books in said genre.



This is a hard one because it is something I have never really thought of. If I had to choose one, it would be straight up erotica. That shit's weird af.

5. Are you a cat person or a dog person?



Well I'm allergic to both, but when I wasn't, I definitely loved dogs more. Like, I've always hated cats, except one little kitten named Ghost who lived on the farm next to my Grandpa's house and kept getting kicked by the cows but still managed to remain alive.

6. What exotic animal would you have as a pet?



I would have a giant gorilla as a pet. Probably not the safest thing, but after watching "Mighty Joe Young" a lot as a kid, I've always wanted a giant gorilla.


7. Which fictional character would you want to bring to life and be your best friend?



Why must you make this so hard? Do you know how many fictional best friends I have? I would choose Bonnie Bennett from "The Vampire Diaries" (from the tv show though, not the book; I don't want anything to do with the book Bonnie).



Also, I would be her best friend so I can knock some fucking common sense into her. She needs to be more assertive and think for herself. Like damn, she is always getting hurt, and I would stop that shit real quick in its tracks.



And while we're at it, I would make her bring back Kai from the dead because they would be perfect for each other.

My Nominees:

shit do I even know 7 bloggers???

If you want to do it, do it because I can't think of 7 people right now.

My Questions:

1. What book would you want to be adapted into a tv show or movie?
2. What do you like to do while you read. (ex: listen to music, drink tea, etc.)
3. If you could live in any fictional place, where would you live?
4. If you could go into any book and make anything happen, what book and what would you make happen? (ex: I would go into ACOMAF and slay all of Feyre's enemies so her and Rhysand can be together)
5. If you could erase any horrible book from your memory, what book?
6. What book would you read for all of eternity if it was the only book in the universe?
7. Kill, kiss, marry characters from the last book you read.

I can't wait to see your responses!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"The Replacement Crush" by Lisa Brown Roberts Review

10:30:00 AM

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Book: The Replacement Crush

Author: Lisa Brown Roberts

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Page Count: 400 (paperback)

My Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: True love can’t be strategized.

After book blogger Vivian Galdi’s longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of safe crushes, determined to protect her heart. 

But nerd-hot Dallas, the sweet new guy in town, sends the mission and Vivian’s zing meter into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where Vivian works, Dallas wages a counter-mission.

Operation Replacement Crush is in full effect. And Dallas is determined to take her heart off the shelf. 

Disclaimer: I was provided a review copy by Entangled Teen for an honest review. Thank you so much Entangled.

2nd Disclaimer: This book should have a trigger warning, but it doesn't, so I'm giving one here. There is rape mentioned a few times, and there is an attempted rape. 

      This is a tough book to review. I have mixed thoughts on it, and honestly, I'm still not sure what to think. There were its good parts and there were its bad parts. And I'm going to be honest, for the most part the book was very mediocre and seemed to have more bad than good. But, I'm going to do my best to articulate my thoughts without spoiling anything.



      Where to even start. The premise for the book was a good idea, but the execution could have been a lot better. I was expecting to like our main character, Viv, since she is a book blogger, but I honestly didn't. I couldn't identify with her in the least bit, as a girl with a crush or with a book blogger, She was just very... stupid? I don't think that's quite the word I want to use, but it's the best I can come up with right now. Her decisions were not the greatest and I can't even fathom how she could have some of the thoughts she had. For instance, she victim-blamed herself after an event happens, and I was so frustrated when that happened because she is a smart girl, and a feminist at that.



      Our main love interest, Dallas, really was nothing. Like yeah, he's described as a hot nerd, but that's it, and that's so typical. I also really didn't appreciate how the author stereotyped him, not only with regards to his nerdiness, but based off of his race too.



      While the plot was kinda cute when it wasn't annoying, it was extremely predictable. It was your typical cookie cutter girl meets boy story. Overall, the book was alright, and though I didn't go into details because I didn't want to spoil anyone, it was quite problematic.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

NERDGIRL RECOMMENDS: ""The Princess Diaries"

11:30:00 AM

NERDGIRL RECOMMENDS: THE PRINCESS DIARIES BY MEG CABOT

I've decided to start a new meme type thing on my blog called "Nerdgirl Recommends". It's exactly what it sounds like: I'm recommending books I enjoy to all of y'all. I wanted to start this because I feel like my "Talktime" was more discussion based while this will be just me telling y'all you should read books. So without further ado, let's move right into the first "Nerdgirl Recommends". 



WHY I LOVE THE PRINCESS DIARIES

  1. The growth we witness Mia go through: It is amazing watching the growth we watch Princess Mia go through. She is a almost a completely different person in the last book compared to the first book. In the first book, she is this insecure, scared, hormonal, obsessive girl who wants nothing to deal with the world. Come the last book, she is much more confident, in tune with herself, a smart, and amazing woman. She is who I aspire to be.                                                                                       
  2. Feminism for the win: From the beginning, feminism is prevalent. Growing up, it was so nice to read about this teenage girls with such strong stances on feminism. Although I had my issues with Lily, I really admired her feminist stances, though at times they were extra.                                                                                                    
  3. The love, man, the love: I really really really wish I was Princess Mia just for the sake of having a guy like Michael Moscovitz. He was really swoon-worthy, though there was a brief period of time where he was a complete dick and I wanted to swear him off. Literally, all throughout high school, I would think about how nice it would be to have a good-looking, genius boyfriend who could save the world with amazing medical technology.                                                                                                      
  4. It shows how much we can change in such a short time: All of the characters change so much in the course of the four years, not just Mia, Lily, really discovers who she is and branches into a different person, though I can't say that's entirely a good think. Hell, even Kenny, excuse me, Kenneth, a minor character changes quite a bit. And I love the message that sends. We as humans are capable of changing so much in so little time. Especially as teens. We are so impressionable and everything can change in the blink of an eye: our personalities, friendships, goals, love interests; nothing is ever constant, and that's okay.                                                                                                              
       
  5. It's so binge-worthy and feel-good: I re-read the entire series in less than a week, and it felt so damn good. The books are fast-paced and really easy to read. And damn it if they don't feel good. There are so many highs and lows and I found myself having so many heart palpitations. There were moments when I couldn't stop reading, and there were moments when I had to put the book to the side and just breathe because I couldn't handle what was going on.              

So that was my first "Nerdgirl Recommends". I hope you guys enjoyed it and if you haven't read the books, you will. And if you have, let's talk about them in the comments down below.  

My Rating System

★★★★★ This book is a gift from the literary gods
★★★★ This book was pretty damn good
★★★ This book had potential but missed the bar
★★ I probably didn't finish this book or it was god awful
★ Why does this book exist?

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