Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sweet Giveaway

Happy June! Erin and I are both hosting a giveaway starting today!

This giveaway is for Emmy Laybourne's Sweet and also a Sweet swag pack! If you're not familiar with the book yet, then here's the description.

*People would kill to be thin.*

Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised—dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days—it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host, Tom Forelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

*But will they die for it, too?*

Tom Forelli knows that he should be grateful for this job and the opportunity to shed his childhood “Baby Tom-Tom” image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get a bit wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when his celebrity hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong.

I personally can't WAIT to read it, so you should definitely all check this out and enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 30, 2015

REVIEW: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Released: April 8, 2014
Source: Library
Pages: 352

Description: Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can't get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she's charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper's least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him--and discovers that David's own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y'all beg for more.

My Review: I am so upset with myself for not having read this earlier. This is probably the third time I've checked it out of the library. (I tend to be fairly optimistic with myself about how much reading I can do, and as a result I end up checking out two or three too many.) Anyway, this time I got to it, and I am so glad that I did.

The characters are fairly believable, and I'm fairly certain I actually may have gone to high school with a few of them. I really ended up caring about them-- even the ones you only see for a few moments.

This book has all the elements that I love. Violence, magic, myth, dark pasts that aren't talked about, romance that doesn't get too mushy, and fancy events! I put it right on my goodreads wish list shelf. (A few months ago, I would have just ordered it, but I'm trying to do better.)

Of course, there were a few issues, as there are with any book, but I didn't dwell on them. There are a few moments I thought were a bit unnecessary or rushed (there was alarmingly little fallout from the principal's office visit) but in the end, I didn't really mind.

Also, apparently there is a sequel? I was unaware of its existence, but I guess I'll have to check it out. I'll probably take my time, though. While of course I want more of these characters, I actually felt the book ended well.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Writing Wednesday #13

I haven't gotten any writing done on my book, but I did write TWO new parodies last week!

One is about the Berlin Wall, and the other is about the Singing Revolution, specifically in Estonia. Neither is recorded yet, so I can't give you links, but I may do that for next Monday.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post created by The Broke and the Bookish.

I actually loathe the beach (sand is the worst) but I do read beach reads in the summer anyway. With this list, I did not go solely for "beach reads", but rather for books I hope to read this summer. Some, yes, are beach reads in the traditional sense, but others are just books I need to get to. 

1. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

2. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

3. Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita 

4. The Beach Lane Collection by Melissa de la Cruz

5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

6. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

8. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

9. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

10. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Monday, May 25, 2015


Happy Memorial Day! Today's Music Monday will be American patriotic songs. 

Traditional Patriotic Songs

1. The Star-Spangled Banner (obviously)
2. Stars and Stripes Forever
3. My Country, 'Tis of Thee
4. This Land is Your Land
5. America the Beautiful
6. Battle Hymn of the Republic
7. God Bless America
8. Over There
9. Taps
10. You're a Grand Old Flag

and, of course, the songs for each branch of the military

Navy-- Anchors Aweigh
Army-- The Caisson Song
Air Force-- Off We Go
Marines-- The Marine's Hymn
Coast Guard-- Semper Paratus

Yes, I know the words to all of these. I was, after all, a music major for a while. (Though admittedly, I only know the old version of "The Caisson Song-- not the new revised version that doesn't involve caissons. Guess I should get on that.)

Friday, May 22, 2015


Hey, all! Since I've managed to change the shop name, I can now introduce you to my etsy shop!

Like this blog, it is also called Bibliophile at Best, and it can be found HERE.

For now, there's only one posting-- my book purses. (And no, before anyone asks or gets distressed, I do not just throw away the pages.)

However, I'm hoping to soon add more listings for book lovers. I've considered items decoupaged with book pages, items embroidered with bookish quotes, and, of course, paper jewelry.

SO, if you would be so kind, please take a peek and then comment here about what you'd like to see in my shop, and I'll see what I can do!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

REVIEW: Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Released: April 21, 2009
Source: Mine
Pages: 352

Description: Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents' marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude.
When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it's all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening--to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she's the only person who can stop Kasey -- but what if that green-eyed girl isn't even Kasey anymore?

My Review: Wow. I picked this up at TBF, having never heard of the author. I ended up reading the whole book in two days because it's so fastpaced.

The characters are a little off, but that's part of their charm. They don't quite feel like people you could know in real life, but it helps maintain a small distance from the story, which isn't about things that happen every day in real  life. (Though they are, of course, possible.)

This book started off pretty relaxed. It was a little odd, but it seemed more like an average story about a teen who didn't quite fit in than anything else. Slowly, though, things started getting weirder, and it eventually snowballed at what quickly became an alarming rate. By the end stages of the book, I couldn't put it down because it was moving so fast and furious.

As a side note, I'll just say that I've lived in a haunted house, but it was never THAT bad.

When I got this book, I didn't check the date, so I thought that it was fairly new. It turns out, it's several years old, and there are now two sequels! I'm definitely going to try to find them and read them now.

Katie Alender is great, and anyone who likes ghosts and paranormal books should definitely check it out.

Thumbing Through Throwbacks: Little House

Thumbing Through Throwbacks is a weekly post, originally from The Book Nut.

I've been reading the Little House books since I was little. My mom gave them to me because I share a name with the main character and author. I can't quite remember when I started reading them, though I think it was in elementary school.

I always loved the autobiographical nature of these books. They're so approachable for a young girl, and honestly, for anyone else. They made me want to go live in the woods as a pioneer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Writing Wednesday #12

I've been having trouble writing lately. I haven't written a word in weeks.

Yesterday, I decided to check out the 22 steps to a story, from The Anatomy of Story.

I checked it against my most developed book and found that the book does not at all follow the 22 steps, which is unfortunate. I was hoping to gain some insight, but I did not. Hopefully I'll figure something out soon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Today's TTT is a freebie, so I'm going to do Ten Little Things from TBF.

1. The girls in line with us for signing who asked Erin and me for our blog addresses.

2. The gorgeous stained glass window in the library.

3. Getting a book *technically* signed by Ally Condie because even though I missed her, Mia got an extra bookplate.

4. Charles Benoit coming over to us in a panel because he thought it was crazy that we came all the way from Ohio.

5. Jennifer Lynn Barnes and April Henry then remembering us later for it.

6. Emmy Laybourne talking to us about the maps in her Monument 14 books.

7. Getting two books to give away at the end because they had leftovers from the raffle. (by the by, I'll be having a giveaway soon)

8. Channeling Felicity Smoak when it got too warm. 

9. Relaxing in the hot tub at the hotel.

10. Meeting Cinda Williams Chima for the second time!

Disney Song Book Tag

Since I forgot to do Music Monday yesterday, I'm combining it with this tag!

I was tagged by Erin, The Book Nut.

Part of Your World- What book world would you change yourself for so you could be a part of that world?

Oh, that's tough-- there are so many. I would change myself into a hobbit to live in Middle Earth!

Let It Go- What book did you not want to finish because you loved it so much?

I didn't want to finish The Heir by Kiera Cass. Thank you, Ms. Cass, for physically tearing my heart out of my chest. That was great. I can only hope that the sequel hurts a little less, though I don't imagine it will.

Beauty and the Beast- What book do you think is/will be timeless? 

Well, one of my favorite books that has already proven itself timeless is Pride & Prejudice.

So This is Love- What book were you hesitant to read at first but ended up loving?

I was very hesitant to read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater because there was a lot of hype, but I've found that the hype was totally warranted.

Friend Like Me- Which character would you like to be your best friend?

I think Luna Lovegood and I would be besties.

Reflection- What book really made you think/changed the way you viewed things?

I don't really have that book that totally changed my life and altered my views, though most of the nonfiction history books I read change my views on the past slightly by broadening my knowledge of the past.

Colors of the Wind- Who do you tag? 

I tag... anyone who enjoys doing book tags. haha

ROCTBF 2015 Pictures

Yesterday I meant to make a few more posts, but I got some calls, and then I went to visit my cousins, so you'll get a few extra posts today! Woo!

This one is for the pictures I have from TBF.

Me and Erin on the car ride to New York

Me, Erin, and Mia in Julie Kagawa and Katie McGarry's panel

the flattering face I made at the mass amounts of youths

Meeting Emmy Laybourne 

Meeting Sarah Dessen

Meeting James Howe

Cinda Williams Chima (who we've actually met before)

Monday, May 18, 2015

ROCTBF 2015 Haul

Books I got signed

Matched by Ally Condie
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation by MT Anderson
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Everlost and Unwind by Neal Shusterman
The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Books I didn't get signed (ah, well)

Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
Les Coeurs Feles by Gayle Forman (forgive the lack of accents-- my laptop doesn't like them)
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Books I got there

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
Don't Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout
Girl Wonder (2) by Alexa Martin

ROCTBF 2015 Recap

Happy Monday! Now that I've had a good night's sleep in my own house, I'm ready to give you all the rundown.

Actually, a LOT happened, so you're going to get TWO posts! Well, actually, you're going to get three-- it is Music Monday, after all. But I digress.

I went with two other bloggers-- Mia from M&Em Reads and Erin from The Book Nut. We drove to New York (a five-ish hour drive) on Friday so we could get settled in our hotel.

Then, Saturday morning, we got up crazy early and headed to Nazareth College. We got there before the insane crowds of people did, so we found seats for the opening remarks. They had a jazz band come in and play a few songs-- they did Valerie, which was awesome, because it's one of my favorites.

The authors started everything off with Truth or Talent, which was hilarious. After that, there were four breakout sessions. The three of us voted the day before, so we knew where we wanted to go. The sessions were mostly question-and-answer with the authors, which was great.

We started with Julie Kagawa and Katie McGarry. Then we went to Neal Shusterman, Heather Terrell, and Jonathan Maberry. Third, we did April Henry, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and Charles Benoit (who thought it was crazy that we came in from Ohio). We left and had lunch between sessions, and then after that, we went to our last session, which was James Howe.

Then it was time for signings, so we got to the gym (where most of the authors were) early, and waited in line. I already posted about which authors I met, and I'll let you know which books I got signed in the next post.

Most of the authors were in the gym, but several were off in different areas, which was a little confusing. Our strategy was to hit the shorter lines first, so we didn't miss anyone who might leave for exactly that reason. It worked well in the gym, but less well for the authors who were stationed elsewhere. I only got to one author in another building. Next year, I hope the authors aren't so spread out, though I understand the reasoning.

Overall, it was insanely awesome, and I am 100% going back next year!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

TBF Post preview

Woo! I made it home, but it is sort of late, so for now you can have a little preview!

Here is the list of authors that were present, with notes about my experience.

^met again
! got a book signed
missed them
*went to their session

     M. T. Anderson!
     Jennifer Lynn Barnes*
     Charles Benoit*
     Heather Brewer
     Jessica Brody
     Michael Buckley
     Cinda Williams Chima!^
     Ally Condie! I missed her, but another blogger got me a signed bookplate for my book)
     Matt de la Peña
     Sarah Dessen!
     Kevin Emerson
     Gayle Forman
     April Henry*
     Ellen Hopkins
     James Howe*
     Julie Kagawa*
     A. S. King
     Jo Knowles
     Emmy Laybourne!
     Jonathan Maberry*
     Katie McGarry
     G. Neri
     Jennifer Niven
     Chris Pallace
     Jason Reynolds
     Kevin Serwacki
     Neal Shusterman!*
     Heather Terrell
     Terry Trueman

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rochester TBF

Hey all! Surprise-- I spent the day at TBF in Rochester, New York! I didn't bring my laptop with me, so I can't give you the whole rundown tonight, but when I get home (probably Monday) I will have pictures for you. 

Oh, and shoutout to Yael for having a literary-themed bat mitzvah in 2013. I saw the bag and met her mom at TBF, and it was awesome. I wish my confirmation party had been book-themed. Haha

I notice the little things, being a writer myself. I cannot imagine one day being successful enough with my writing to be an author at a book festival, but that's the dream.

Until Monday.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

REVIEW: Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released: March 25, 2008
Source: Library
Pages: 432

Description: High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It's an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle's hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.

But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he's there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena's sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom--an impossible union it's up to Jena to stop.

When Cezar's grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can't imagine--tests of trust, strength, and true love.

My Review: I first read this book several years ago, and it's remained a favorite every time I've read it. Every so often, I pick it back up, and I always notice something new.

I've always loved fairy tales, and fairy tale adaptations are the best! This particular story blends together two of my absolute favorite fairy tales-- The Twelve Dancing Princesses and The Princess and the Frog. They aren't very popular fairy tales, and they're slightly disguised here, but I love them.

The characters in this book seem all too real. I really feel for these characters and for their troubles and joys. I can see the setting from the description, and it makes me want to travel to Piscul Dracului and look into Taul Ielelor.

There is something in this book for everyone. Tragedy, some comedy, magic, romance, adventure. It really has it all.

Part of its charm is the state of suspense you're in. With fairy tales, of course you expect everything to come out right in the end. This, however, is not strictly a fairy tale. I've read this book many times, and I still find myself gasping at times and wanting to cry at others. Everything is not as it seems, and everything is not good or evil, black or white.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

REVIEW: Flight Volume Seven

Publisher: Villard
Released: July 20, 2010
Source: Library
Pages: 288

Description: Collaboration

My Review: Volume Seven is just as awesome as Volumes One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six. This is the last one that my library has, but I believe there are at least two more. I'm going to have to find the other ones to read, because these books are the absolute best.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

REVIEW: Flight Volume Six

Publisher: Villard
Released: July 1, 2009
Source: Library
Pages: 288

Description: STORIES BY: JP Ahonen, Graham Annable, Bannister, Phil Craven, Mike Dutton, Michel Gagné, Cory Godbey, Rodolphe Guenoden, Steve Hamaker, Kazu Kibuishi, Andrea Offermann, Richard Pose, Justin Ridge, Rad Sechrist, Kean Soo

My Review: As expected, Volume Six is just as gorgeous as the others. It's difficult to review something like Flight, because it consists of several graphic stories. All I can really tell you is that it's an experience. The art is gorgeous, and the stories are touching, and absolutely everyone should read it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Book Mail!

I was one of the winners of The Book Nut's giveaway for Ohio Author Appreciation Month, and my books came today!!! 
I won Just Ella and Palace of Mirrors, both SIGNED by Margaret Peterson Haddix! If you recall from a previous top ten Tuesday, she is one of my all-time favorite authors, so I am super excited! 
The new covers are gorgeous, by the way.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

REVIEW: Flight Volume 5

Publisher: Villard
Released: July 22, 2008
Source: Library
Pages: 368

Description: STORIES BY: JP Ahonen, Graham Annable, Chris Appelhans, Bannister, Matthew Bernier, Scott Campbell, Svetlana Chmakova, Tony Cliff, Phil Craven, Michel Gagné, Kazu Kibuishi, Kness, Sonny Liew, Reagan Lodge, Made, John Martz, Sarah Mensinga, Ryan North, Richard Pose, Paul Rivoche, Dave Roman, Kean Soo, Joey Weiser

My Review: Just like volumes One, Two, Three, and Four, Volume Five is amazing. I waited YEARS for the library to get the later volumes, and let me tell you, friends-- it was well worth the wait. Several stories are familiar, but there are still surprises and newcomers to Flight that keep things exciting.

REVIEW: The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: September 19, 2000
Source: Library
Pages: 240

Description: She's just a New York City girl living with her artist mom...

News Flash: Dad is prince of Genovia. (So that's why a limo meets her at the airport!)

Downer: Dad can't have any more kids. (So no heir to the throne.)

Shock of the Century: Like it or not, Mia Thermopolis is prime princess material.

Mia must take princess lessons from her dreaded grandmére, the dowager princess of Genovia, who thinks Mia has a thing or two to learn before she steps up to the throne.

Well, her father can lecture her until he's royal-blue in the face about her princessly duty--no way is she moving to Genovia and leaving Manhattan behind. But what's a girl to do when her name is Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo?

My Review: I have always loved the two Princess Diaries movies, and I knew there were books behind them, but I never picked them up. My old library didn't have them, but the library in my new town does, so it was about time.
I had NO IDEA how far the movies deviated from the book! I guess Anne Hathaway has a bit of a problem with being in bad adaptations *cough cough* Ella Enchanted *cough cough*. The grandmother is completely different, Mia is fluent in French, the father is alive, they live in Manhattan! After a few pages, I decided to completely let go of the movie as its own separate story that just happens to be similar. That turned out to be the right choice, because this book is amazing.
I'm going to have to read the rest of the series and evaluate at the end, so I'll keep this short.