Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 2015 Challenge Recap



I did pretty horrible with reading for my challenges this month. I guess I had a reading slump and it didn't help that I had 1.5 weeks of three epic trips where I didn't read much at all. I am hoping to step up the game for June. You can check my intro post about Flights of Fantasy here. You can check out January's recap here, February's recap here, March's recap here and April's recap here.

Flights of Fantasy books I've read in May 2015





I did a bit better with diverse books this month compared to fantasy books. I am still not pleased about how many books I've read this month but at least I read something in May. Please check out my intro to the Dive Into Diversity challenge here. You can check out January's recap here, February's recap here, March's recap here and April's recap here

Dive Into Diversity books I've read in May 2015




Tuesday, May 26, 2015

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


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten Tuesday asks bloggers to list ten books they plan to have in their beach bag this summer.

Sadly, I probably won't be able to head to the beach often this summer since I will be busy with a 6 week college prep summer academy for work. I hope to have some free time to read though. The following books are in no particular order.

1. The Heir by Kiera Cass because I would love to read about Eadlyn's Selection.


2. Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell sounds like a pretty awesome steampunk version of Cinderella.


3. Tonight the Street Are Ours by Leila Sales (pending if I can get my hands on this at BEA) is a book that is on my TBR list for the summer. I fell in love with This Song Will Save Your Life and I hope TtSaO is just as good.


4. I Crawl Through It by A.S. King has been on my list since I saw it on edelweiss. Hopefully I will get around to it right before September.


5. Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly looks a like a cute Middle Grade book and I am hoping to read it before the Tunnel Tour since I just got my hands on my own copy recently.


6. Lola the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins is a book that has been on my TBR list for some time. I read Anna and the French Kiss awhile back and would love to continue the series. This will also make a perfect summer read.


7. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins because I might as well finish both Lola and Isla since Anna has been getting all the attention lately.


8. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson seems like a good summer read. I have been meaning to read this last summer but since I haven't gotten a chance to read it yet, I might as well read it this summer.


9. Firewalker by Josephine Angelini because I enjoyed reading Trial by Fire so of course I want to find out what happens next. This is dependent on whether I am able to obtain an ARC of Firewalker at BEA.


10. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness is the last book in the All Souls Trilogy and I still have yet to read it even though it came out last summer.



Friday, May 22, 2015

BEA 2015 is Almost Here!

 

After months of waiting, BEA will be here in less than a week! I am currently at MISTI-Con from Thursday, May 21 - Monday, May 25 for 5 epic days of Harry Potter fandom fun! But after Monday, it will be BEA mode all the way. I will be leaving from Boston on Tuesday, May 26 in the late morning for Penn Station.

Check out my BEA series

Part 1: Pre-BEA tips
Part 2: Things to do in NYC
Part 3: What to expect
Part 4: BEA Essentials
Part 6: Etiquette
Part 6: How to work the lines

Where to find me during BEA week

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My train will be arriving at Penn Station sometime after 3:00 p.m. and I will most likely be checking into the hotel with my friend Selina. I want to pick up my badge if the registration area is open on my arrival day. I am not sure if Selina is attending the Teen Author Festival but I plan to attend Jenny Han's P.S. I Still Love You Release Party hosted by Powerhouse Dumbo in Brooklyn. Make sure you RSVP if you decide to attend. I would love to meet up with anyone who plans to attend the event.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

BEA Day 1 is quite short with the Exhibit Hall being open from 1:00  to 5:30 p.m. This day will be my chill day to scope around the area and to meet up with people. The only author signing I plan to attend is the Mike Curato signing and I plan to attend the galley drop for Tonight the Streets are Ours by Leila Sales. Other than that, I am pretty much free to do whatever I please.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

BEA Day 2 is tame but a little bit more busier than Wednesday. The Exhibit Hall opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 5:30 p.m. Authors that I must meet include Carolyn Mackler and C. Alexander London. If time allows, I would also like to meet Josephine Angelini and Soman Chainani.

Friday, May 29, 2015

BEA Day 3 is my crazy day and it should be interesting how I plan to prioritize everything I want to do. Selina and I plan to attend the Children's Author Breakfast from 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. I would love to meet Richelle Mead! Her signing is a must!  Other authors I would love to meet include Kim Liggett, Liza Wiemer, Marie Lu and Jennifer Walkup. I also plan to pick Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt at a galley drop. There are plenty of other things I want to do this day but it depends on how much free time I have. We'll wait and see since my train leaves sometime after 5:30 p.m. from Penn Station to head back into Boston.

Are you going to BEA 2015? If so what are you looking forward to?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Off to MISTI-Con 2015


So remember that convention that I was talking about...the one about Harry Potter? Well the time has come and today is the first day of MISTI-Con. I was fortunate enough to attend MISTI-Con 2013. This year I am bringing my boyfriend to MISTI-Con 2015! This year's theme is the Wizarding World Fair! MISTI-Con is hosted at The Margate Resort in Laconia, NH from Thursday, May 21, 2015 to Monday, May 25, 2015. The Margate will house only witches and wizards! That's right, no Muggles are allowed on the premises except for The Margate's employees.

So I heard there will be programming which will include live wizard chess, Harry Potter Mugglenet Family Feud, tea with the Malfoys, story time with Snape and even lakeside ghost stories with Madame Lestrange. The usual Opening Gala, Masquerade Ball and Wrock show will occur as well as a bunch of other goodies.

If you are available on Saturday, May 23rd from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. and plan to be around Laconia, NH, definitely join some witches and wizards at The Wizarding World Fair component of the convention which is open to the public. The Wizarding World Fair is is a celebration of culture, creativity and community. You will have access to the Bewitching Bazaar and Author's Alley, live performances, Q&A with Chris Rankin, Quidditch games and more!!!! Definitely check it out because it will be loads of fun!

Five days of wizarding fun will tire me out but I will try to save some of my energy for BEA. My plan is to return home on Memorial Day to empty out my bags and to pack for BEA. I will be in NYC the next day which will be Tuesday, May 26th. If you think BEA is crazy, imagine going to a 5 day convention and then less than 24 hours, heading to NYC for some bookish fun! This is what I call an epic vacation! Nicole is going on holiday!!!! Throughout MISTI-Con and BEA week I will be tweeting and posting pictures on Instagram. A recap of both events will mostly likely be posted sometime in June.

Are you interested in partaking in the magical world of Harry Potter via conventions? Check out my post about Harry Potter conventions. There will be a convention called Leviosa which will be located in Las Vegas in 2016. Some people might take a liking to GeekyCon (formerly LeakyCon) as well which is an annual convention. Leviosa and GeekyCon have some pretty impressive YA literature tracks as well with some fairly well known authors. Hopefully there will be a MISTI-Con 2017 because I will definitely be there.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Something Real by Heather Demetrios

Title: Something Real
Author: Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication date: February 4, 2014
Pages: 406
Source/format: Purchased/Hardcover

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): 

Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show's cancellation, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it's about to fall apart . . . because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™'s mom and the show's producers won't let her quit and soon the life that she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before. 

Heather Demetrios' Something Real is the winner of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award.

My Thoughts:

Bonnie Baker is finally trying to live a normal life after being on a reality TV show for countless number of years. Under the name Chloe, no one knows she is Bonnie Baker. Things take a turn and a Bakers Dozen is going back on air and Chloe is furious. All she wants is live her own life how she wants to. How can she live her life when cameras are always following her recording every action and every word? She can't even call Patrick Sheldon in privacy.

Heather Demetrios wrote a fabulous book. Not only is the plot line unique but the characters make the book. At first it was hard to remember who is who, but I enjoyed reading the relationships between each Baker. Life for Chloe is a whirlwind. I feel bad for Chloe at times because MetaReel pretty much threatens her that if she doesn't comply to their every whim, it will be her fault for ruining things within her family. It's a lose, lose situation kind of deal.

I am glad her friends don't treat her different just because she is on TV. Tessa, Mer and Patrick are very supportive and are always checking in with Chloe to make sure she is okay. Chloe's brother Benton is also very supportive of her and he has similar feelings to how they are being exploited without permission. On the other hand, Chloe's mom doesn't care about Chloe's feelings. In fact it seems like she doesn't care about anybody's feelings but her own. Beth Baker only cares about herself and the publicity the show is giving the family. Does she care whether Chloe cares if a camera follows her pretty much 24/7? No. Does she care if Chloe can't hang out with her friends in peace? No. I absolutely love the ending. It's perfect. For all the things that Chloe had to put up with her whole entire life, the ending is probably one of my favorite parts of the novel besides the slow burning relationship between Chloe and Patrick.

I loved how Demetrios includes references to Harry Potter and 1984 within the novel. The comparison of 1984's Big Brother to Bonnie's life right now is pretty on par. It's very similar to the Truman Show as well. I read 1984 and watched the Truman Show in my Junior English class in high school. Something Real would make a great addition to an English class which incorporates 1984 into their curriculum as well as an advertising unit.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Title: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: April 7, 2015
Pages: 303
Source/format: Library/Hardcover

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised. 

 With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. 

My Thoughts: 

Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a coming-of-age story about Simon Spirer. Simon is so close of getting blackmailed by Martin Addison. Of course Martin wants something in exchange so he won't out Simon and Blue to the whole entire world. Shady Creek, Georgia isn't what you will call a progressive town. I enjoyed reading Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. Becky Albertalli writes in a honest voice. She conveys Simon's family life, school life and his secret life quite well.

I love how Albertalli alternates certain chapters with e-mails from Simon (aka Jacques) to Blue and from Blue to Simon. The e-mails between the two guys added something special to the book and I love how comfortable they feel talking to each other. Simon feels relaxed talking to Blue. He enjoys conversation about things other people don't understand with Blue. It's so cute how Simon squees about Blue throughout the novel. It's like the feeling of a first crush and you can't stop thinking about that crush. You get butterflies in your stomach and that person makes you smile. You get all giddy and excited for no apparent reason.

Throughout reading the Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, all I wanted was to eat waffles, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Oreos. I wanted to drink Oreo frappes (aka milk shakes) and watch reruns of Harry Potter. All the Harry Potter references are wonderful. I loved every single one of them. There is so much reference to pop culture besides Harry Potter. Adventure Time, Doctor Who and even Assassin's Creed make appearances. Books like Fahrenheit 451 make an appearance. Pocahontas, Aladdin, The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast make appearances. I absolutely love it!

If you are looking for a cute contemporary read, pick up Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Make sure you have a package of Oreos and a glass of milk near by. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Top Ten Authors I REALLY Want To Meet at BEA


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten Tuesday asks bloggers to list ten authors they REALLY want to meet. Since BEA is around the corner I decided to choose authors who plan to attend BEA. The following authors are in no particular order.

1. Kim Liggett's Blood and Salt is Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn. In the town village of Quivira, Kansas, there is a history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. How awesome does this book sound? Liggett will be signing at the HorrorWrites Booth #2651 on Friday, May 29th at 10:00 a.m.


2. Richelle Mead wrote two of my favorite series, Vampire Academy and Bloodlines. Now, she is coming out with Soundless. Fei lives in a village with no sound. When the village is threatened, it's up to Fei to help stop the crisis. Mead will be signing Soundless on Friday, May 29 at 2:00 p.m.


3. Marie Lu's The Rose Society is the second book in The Young Elites series. I enjoyed The Young Elites a lot and I need to know what happens to Adelina! I would love to meet Lu at BEA. Lu will be signing at the Penguin Random House Booth # 3319 on Friday, May 29th at 1:00 p.m.


4. Leila Sales wrote one of my favorite books, This Song Will Save Your Life. I am looking forward to her fall release of Tonight the Streets Are Ours which is about a girl who takes a road trip to meet a blogger she admires. Sales will be signing in the Autographing Area at Table #4 on Friday, May 29th at 1:00 p.m.


5. Mike Curato's Little Elliot, Big City is one of my favorite children's picture books. Curato will be coming out with Little Elliot, Big Family. I would love to meet Curato. His illustrations are stunning and I love how timeless his first book is. Curato will be signing at the Macmillan Booth #3056 on Wednesday, May 27th at 4:00 p.m.


6. Carolyn Mackler is coming out with Infinite in Between. The novel has five main characters in high school and echoes John Hughes' The Breakfast Club. I am super excited about this novel. Mackler will be signing in the Autographing Area at Table #13 on Thursday, May 28th at 12:00 p.m.

7. Liza Wiemer's contemporary novel, Hello? will be released this year in the fall. I have been hearing great things about Hello? which is about five teens' stories about friendship and family, loss and love, heartbreak and healing, serendipity and ultimately hope. Wiemer will be signing at the Midpoint Trade Books Booth #1356 on Friday, May 29th at 11:00 p.m.


8. Josephine Angelini's Trial by Fire blew me away last year. I am anticipating Firewalker which is the second installment in The Worldwalker Trilogy. I also want to meet Angelini since I missed out in meeting her last year. Angelini will be signing in the Autographing Area at Table #5 on Thursday, May 28th at 10:00 a.m.


9. Jennifer Walkup's This Ordinary Life has a compelling synopsis and I love the cover art! I cannot wait to meet Walkup at BEA and to read about Jasmine who has life full of family dysfunction causing her to put a hold on her future plans until she meets Wes. Walkup will be signing in the Autographing Area at Table #8 on Friday, May 29th at 1:00 p.m.


Author I wish was signing at BEA

10. Marie Marquardt's debut novel Dream Things True is something I must get at BEA! Even though she will not be signing, I need to get this book! It's a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story in which a wealthy Southern boy falls in love with an undocumented Mexican girl. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement are making raids around town. Also, how cute is this cover? I love E for Evan and A for Alma. Very clever typography I see here.


Friday, May 8, 2015

BEA Tips (Part Six): How to Work the Lines


BEA is a few weeks away and I know everyone is getting anxious. It's exciting and there are so many things to plan out. You should be expecting different types of lines at the Javits for BEA.

If you missed part 1,  part 2,  part 3,  part 4 or part 5 of my BEA series, make sure to check the previous posts out.

Tip # 1: Autographing Area 

Meeting an author is always a wonderful experience. Even though you have only a couple short minutes with the author, it's pretty awesome. The Autographing Area can get a bet hectic sometimes. If there's an author that you are dying to meet and somewhat popular, I highly suggest waiting in line 1 to 1.5 hours prior to the signing. The lines get long pretty quickly. Most authors will be signing ARCs and finished copies that just came out.

If the author is a ticketed author, you must have a ticket. Usually these authors are quite popular. These tickets can be obtained either at 7:00 in the morning at the Javits or you can receive 10 preselected tickets with your badge if you purchased the Avid Reader Pass. If you plan to use the Front of the Line pass, you must have both the ticket and the Front of the Line pass.

The Front of the Line pass can be used on non-ticketed authors too. Just show your ticket to a BEA staff member and indicate what author you want to use the pass for. The good thing about the Avid Reader Pass and the Reader Pass is that you already donated for the ARCs you are planning to get signed. BEA recommends attendees to donate a dollar per book they get signed at the Autographing Area. ARCs are more expensive to print than finished copies due to the small amount being printed. There is a donation box at the Autographing Area for you to donate money if you did not purchase one of the reader passes.

This year the Autographing Area is located on the far right of the Exhibit Hall. It will be further away from the major publishing booths. This is something you might want to consider when you are making your schedules for signings, panels and galley drops.

Check out the 2015 Autographing Area author signing list.

Tip # 2: In-booth autographing

Sometimes author signings will occur at a publisher's booth. These signings also require lines ahead of time and are a bit tricky. You cannot block booths and aisles so you will see lines wrapping around several booths. It's best to ask where the line starts and ends so you know where line up. I remember lining up at least 1.5 hours ahead of time for the Harlequin Teen hour last year. It was a long wait but I was able to meet 5 authors in one go. Some in-booth signings are ticketed. You will need to obtain tickets earlier on the day of the signing. If you have a ticket, you will be allowed to join the signing line later in the day.

Check out the 2015 in-booth author signing list.

Tip # 3: Galley drops

ARC/galley drops are quite popular at BEA. There are two types of drops. There are drops where the ARCs are places in stacks on the floor and attendees can pick up an ARC from the pile at a certain time and go to their next destination. However, some publishers will have lines for certain drops. You will need to line up ahead of time and an employee of the publisher will hand you the ARC. When the Exhibit Hall opens, usually the first come, first serve grab and go method occurs. The lines for galley drops happen throughout the day.

One tip is to visit the publishers you are interested in and pick up a galley drop schedule in the morning. The schedule will list what ARCs will be dropped and at what time. This will help you plan accordingly for the rest of the day. Some publishers will list the ARCs and times for that particular day only and you will have to visit the booth each day for the schedule. Other publishers will have three days worth of drops on one schedule.

Publisher Weekly posts some information regarding galleys being available at BEA. This will help you create a schedule beforehand. Some publishers will release their drop schedules ahead of time on their websites. However, there are times where drops occur randomly and do not follow a schedule. This is where being at the right place at the right time comes in handy.

Check out Publisher Weekly's  2015 children galleys to grab.
Check out Publisher Weekly's 2015 adult galleys to grab.

Tip # 4: Swag drops

ARCs aren't the only things being dropped at BEA. You will find a good variety of swag being dropped. I have accumulated coveted tote bags, buttons, hats, t-shirts and etc. at publishers' booths. Some booths will even have food related item to promote a certain book. Kiera Cass had chocolate covered Oreos (some bride and some groom) to promote her book The One. Disney-Hyperion had some kid of frozen hot chocolate or something of that sort to promote John Rocco's picture book, Blizzard. I was also able to pick up a red beanie hat that said Blizzard on the front and had a white pom pom on top.

Tip # 5: Panels

I know it is easy to get swept away with the ARCs, swag and the autographing but make sure you attend at least one panel at BEA. Not only do you get to sit down and rest your feet and shoulders, you will enjoy authors and other industry people talk about upcoming books, trends, etc. Some panels are geared toward certain interests. I always find it fun to hear what my favorite author has to say about certain topics or just to hear them talk about their latest book. I also love finding out more about upcoming trends. As an educator, I love attending panels geared toward children's literacy in schools. I used to work in magazine and academic book publishing and I often find panels about the publishing industry quite fascinating. The line for the panels are not horrible but if there's a panel you must attend, I suggest lining up early to get a good seat. Some panels will take place on main stages in the Exhibit Hall and some of the smaller panels will take place in the basement of the Javits.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs

Title: The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks
Author: Sam Maggs

Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication date: May 12, 2015
Pages: 208
Source/format: Hardcover from Quirk Books! Thank you Quirk Books!

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):

Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed with tips, playthroughs, and cheat codes for everything from starting an online fan community to planning a convention visit to supporting fellow female geeks in the wild.  

My Thoughts:

"Fandom has given me a voice to advocate for the things I'm passionate about."

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks is the perfect book for all girl geeks out there! Seriously from the moment I received the book, I was flipping through the pages reading pretty much everything. I read the book in less than two days and I will definitely be referencing this book quite often. I love how Sam Maggs covers a wide variety of geeky topics such as fandoms, conventions, cosplaying and fan fiction. It's like she knows me. There is no shame in loving fan fiction or geeking over comics no matter what the age. It's okay to be passionate and dedicated to something you love. If it makes you happy, do it. I enjoyed reading interviews about other women who describe themselves as fangirls and how being fangirls positively influenced their lives.

Being able to share the same love for something I love so much with others means a great deal to me. I pretty much died when I saw all the Harry Potter and Sailor Moon references. I fell in love with Harry Potter since the first day I started reading the books and I have immersed myself into the wonderful world of being a Potterhead. I love every aspect of the fandom whether it be fan fiction, conventions, meet ups, watching Quidditch or attending release parties/movie screenings. Thank you Maggs for writing The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy. I know I am not alone. I have others that I can geek out with and it's okay. I am doing what I love and I am connecting with others who love to do what I do. Not only is the book relatable but I love learning more terminology about other fandoms and geeky topics that I am not as familiar with. There is something for everyone.

Where was this book when I was a teenager? It would have definitely helped me with my self-esteem and finding out who the real Nicole is. The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy is empowering. For those who think they are a bit weird and don't fit in with the mainstream, this will help them know that it is okay to like things like Zelda or LARPing. It is okay to be who you are. Maggs encourages readers to stay true to themselves. I would highly recommend this book to all my friends and also to my students. It's a pretty through guide to everything geeky and nerdy.

In terms of packaging, I love the size of the book and the book is fabulous with the dust jacket on or with it off. The colors are on point and the hand drawn items on the naked book are too cute for words.

Monday, May 4, 2015

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Title: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Number of Pages: 279
Source/format: Purchased/Hardcover

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from goodreads.com):

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, This Song Will Save Your Life is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together. 


My Thoughts: 

"I believe a person's taste in music tells you a lot about them. In some cases, it tells you everything you need to know."

This Song Will Save Your Life is inspirational coming-of-age story about self-discovery. Elise Demboski of Glendale isn't popular and she doesn't fit in with the mainstream. She tries so desperately to change herself into someone she is not. However, one day she stumbles upon a music warehouse and that one action changes her life forever. She finally finds people who accept her as she is. She does not have to live a lie. Readers follow Elise's journey about what it means to live. Elise meets Vicki, Pippa and Char who become her friends outside of reality. Elise and her friends live flawed lives which makes them more human. It's realistic.

I enjoyed reading this compelling novel. Leila Sales captures the reality of high school which includes the cliques, the bullying, depression, etc. but also interlaces an underground music scene. I feel attached to the musical world Elise was thrown into. Music was a big deal during my high school years. I feel connected to music because words have power. It is a way to drown out reality and to connect with the lyrics and rhythm of a song. I believe Elise used music to escape reality but once she found a place of acceptance, she uses music and her DJing skills to lift other's spirits.

This Song Will Save Your Life hit me hard. Although, I have not been bullied in high school, I was bullied when I was in elementary school. I know how it is not to fit in with the mainstream. Now, I know it's okay not to be like everyone else. It's okay to be who I am. Elise is realizing that very same thing. She is finding herself and finding the meaning of life. Throughout her whole life she thought she wanted to be popular. Start, the underground night club, gives her hope. Start gives her friends. Start gives her a life. Through music, Elise finds her voice. She finds her identity and she is happy. This Song Will Save Your Life is perfection!

"I hadn't wanted popularity. I had only wanted friends."

Saturday, May 2, 2015

April 2015 Challenge Recap



I did okay with the fantasy reads for the month of April but I want to challenge myself in May. However, I have two events coming up at the end of the month. I will be attending MISTI-Con and BEA, so reading a lot of books during that week and a half will be hard. You can check my intro post about Flights of Fantasy here. You can check out January's recap here, February's recap here and March's recap here.

Flights of Fantasy books I've read in April 2015

  



I have always been fond of diversity books. I choose a book based on the synopsis and sometimes it just ends up being a diverse book. I have not had a problem finding diverse books but I am grateful for all the wonderful books full of diversity that are coming out now. There are more books with different subgenres under diversity which helps me expand upon what I typically read. Please check out my intro to the Dive Into Diversity challenge here. You can check out January's recap here, February's recap here and March's recap here.

Dive Into Diversity books I've read in April 2015

  
 

Friday, May 1, 2015

BEA Tips (Part Five): Etiquette


Remember, BEA is a trade industry event. Etiquette is super important especially when a huge crowd of people are in such a small space. You want to be polite, courteous and patient.

If you missed part 1,  part 2part 3  or part 4 of my BEA series, make sure to check the previous posts out.

Tip # 1:  Don't take everything that is handed to you. Take books you know you will read.

At first you will be overwhelmed with all the free stuff you can take. But think about it, how are you going to bring all of that stuff home. Are you going to read the book? Or are you just taking it because it's free? Prioritizing what books you want ahead of time will help alleviate some of the stress. However, sometimes you might stumble upon a book you were not aware of prior to BEA but definitely are interested in reading said book. Just don't be too grabby. You want make sure there are plenty of ARCs for everyone. Be selective!

This year I am limiting myself to books that I am super excited about reading. Not only will my bags be lighter but I will have a small but amazing collection of books that I know I will read instead a big pile of books that I might read.

Tip # 2: Chat with other BEA Attendees

Waiting in a line? It doesn't hurt to meet other book loving people! They don't bite! Who knows, you might meet a new friend. You never know who you will meet at BEA. Be open minded. Also, if you are unsure what a line is for, ask a fellow person in the line. I am sure they are more than willing to let you know what the line is for. Same goes for if someone picked up an ARC or tote bag you are dying to have. Ask nicely. Everyone at BEA is super helpful.

Tip # 3: Be patient. Be respectful.

I understand that it will get crowded at the Javits but there is no reason why you need to push and shove people. This is not the Hunger Games. ARCs are not weapons and supplies at the cornucopia.  Please be patient and treat everyone with respect. Remember, this is an industry trade event. Publishers are working at the booths and many meetings are taking place at BEA. If you meetup with someone at BEA, please do not block the aisles. Please stand on the sidelines or find somewhere to sit down to chit chat.

Tip # 4: Recognize the staff for what they do.

The BEA staff is doing everything they can run the expo as smooth as possible. Things happen and most often it is not the fault of  the person that you talk to. Do not blame and point fingers at a staff member. They are trying to do everything they can. Make sure to be courteous. I am sure they will try to help as much as they can or refer you to someone that you address your problem or concern.

Tip # 5: Stay calm and collected. 

Take a breath and take one step at a time. Do not stress out. BEA is a fun social event to network with others and to discover new authors and books. Do not get upset because you meet a certain author or obtain a certain book. It is not the end of the world. You can always pick up the book at a later time via library or through purchasing it at the bookstore. I am sure authors will be visiting your home state so take advantage of those events.