November Wrap Up

It’s been yet another month! I am very excited to be done with November. It was not the best, but I am ready for Christmas and 2016! Here is a recap of what I read by rating:

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Binge

What did you read this month?

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A Work in Progress by Connor Franta Review

A Work In Progress

A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

Published Atria/Keywords 2015

Genre: Nonfiction Memoir

Format: Kindle ebook

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400In this intimate memoir of life beyond the camera, Connor Franta shares the lessons he has learned on his journey from small-town boy to Internet sensation—so far. Here, Connor offers a look at his Midwestern upbringing as one of four children in the home and one of five in the classroom; his struggles with identity, body image, and sexuality in his teen years; and his decision to finally pursue his creative and artistic passions in his early twenties, setting up his thrilling career as a YouTube personality, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and tastemaker.
Exploring his past with insight and humor, his present with humility, and his future with hope, Connor reveals his private struggles while providing heartfelt words of wisdom for young adults. His words will resonate with anyone coming of age in the digital era, but at the core is a timeless message for people of all ages: don’t be afraid to be yourself and to go after what you truly want.

This full-color collection includes photography and childhood clippings provided by Connor and is a must-have for anyone inspired by his journey.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998I have been reading quite a few books by YouTubers lately – Dan Howell and Phil Lester’s, Grace Helbig’s, Mamrie Hart’s. However, this one is going to take the position as my favorite book by a YouTuber so far.

The concept of YouTubers writing books makes me slightly uncomfortable, at first. I don’t really like the idea of them taking the spots in bookstores that other authors would typically get, but I am always up for more interest in the publishing world and more people reading. Plus, I am a huge fan of some of these YouTubers. I have followed Connor Franta for a while now, certainly not since the beginning of his career or anything. However, I really appreciate his videos because of how visually stunning they are. His photography in this book shows just how amazing he is as an artist, his multi talented book of skills, and gives him that extra edge in terms of all the other shelves of YouTuber books.

I think that Franta really took this book in stride – he realizes that he is young and probably not in the typical position for this type of thing and that works. It gives a good look into his life until now, but also recognizes that he doesn’t know everything and that there is even more stuff that will happen to him after this. I really think that his writing was pretty good. Some parts of it seemed a little too *YouTube* for me with lots of actions described and some weird vernacular, but other than that, it read pretty easily.

This book is definitely something that I related to as we are both at similar points in life. I mean, I am not very similar to Franta in many ways, but there is still a connection that I feel to him. He’s very relatable and personable, so that really comes through in this. If you aren’t a fan of him already, you probably will feel at least a little closer to him after this.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Summer of Supernovas

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine, showcasing upcoming releases. This week, I’m talking about:

Summer of Supernovas

Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

To be published May 10 2016

As the daughter of an expert astrologer, Wilamena Carlisle knows that the truth lies within the stars. So when she discovers a rare planetary alignment, she is forced to tackle her worst astrological fear – The Fifth House of Relationships and Love. But Wil must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her mother’s legacy, when she falls for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the chart.

Debut author Darcy Woods explores love in all its complexities and how to best honor the loved ones who have passed before us, in a novel packed with both humor and heart.

I love contemporaries and this sounds like a really cute one! I can’t wait for this debut.

What are you waiting on?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful For

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is top ten Thanksgiving freebie – so I’ll be doing books that I am thankful for. There are different reasons behind all of these, so I am just going to put these out there.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking     A Work In Progress     The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)     This Song Will Save Your Life     Hate List    Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

The Help     Will Grayson, Will Grayson     The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World

  1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain – I’m thankful for this book because it helped me learn and understand myself more. I will never forget it’s message and I am constantly rereading this one!
  2. A Work in Progress by Connor Franta – I’m thankful for this book because it showed me a new type of lifestyle that I am not very familiar with, but really made me feel for Connor and understand his very inspiring life story.
  3. The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert – I’m thankful for this book because it woke me up to some bigger issues on our planet and made me think about things like conservation and sustainability.
  4. Where She Went by Gayle Forman – I’m thankful for this book because of the journey that both characters go through during this story and how much it helped me at a difficult point.
  5. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales – I’m thankful for this book because it’s one of my favorites that I would not have found without book blogging (and now has pretty much a permanent spot on every TTT list I make!).
  6. Hate List by Jennifer Brown – I’m thankful for this book because it explored a lot of deep issues and I felt a very scary personal connection to it. It really helped me think more about what I do and spreading kindness.
  7. Just One Day by Gayle Forman – I’m thankful for this book because it showed me that anything can happen in one day and helped me push outside of my comfort zone.
  8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – I’m thankful for this book for being such a wonderful example of feminism and its quotes continue to inspire me.
  9. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan – I’m thankful for this book because of its quotes about falling and trying to understand life.
  10. The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales – I’m thankful for this book for helping me start to find a path in life and realize what being a part of this new generation really means, both good and bad.

What books are you thankful for right now?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews Review

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Published Amulet 2012

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Format: Kindle ebook

b38bc-coollogo_com-221351400Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

029c6-coollogo_com-9181998This book has been on and off my TBR for years. I have picked it up from the library, bought it, and downloaded it on my Kindle multiple times but never got to it. I kept pushing it off for other things, mostly because I have not had much success with cancer related YA (think The Fault in Our Stars). People told me this would be different though, so this time, I finally went through with it and read it!

I LOVED this book. Honestly, it did not even feel like reading. I am very busy right now with college, so my reading time has gone down substantially, but I always wanted to come back to this every night. I loved the way that Greg writes this novel. He is so sharp and witty, causing me to laugh out loud sometimes about his funny narration. Greg is very self depreciating and aware of his own faults. Even better is his friend Earl, who adds the perfect balance to Greg’s story.

This whole book is not like the typical cancer book – there is no message being shoved down our throats. We really only understand this issue for a very short time period, just like Greg. The short length of this makes it a little detached from the situation, but that does not decrease any of the feels. I totally felt for every character in this book, including all their frustrations and problems. There is no perspective from Rachel and we don’t spend much time with her. However, this book still left me in tears at the end.

This is truly an amazing book. It is able to do so much without really doing anything. The narration of the book is so strong that it pulls through the lack of plot and underlying theme, yet it somehow makes up for it. This is definitely a new favorite for sure and I cannot believe I put it off for so long!

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Top Ten Quotes I’ve Read From Books In the Past Year

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week’s theme is top ten book quotes from books I have read over the past year or so. I don’t typically underline quotes or make notes about this type of thing while reading, so I had some fun looking back at what I’ve read and remember about each of these books.

  1. Goodbye, I say, goodbye, as I disappear little by little into the middle of the middle of my own spectacular now.” – The Spectacular Now, Tim Tharp
  2. “It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.” – Paper Towns, John Green
  3. “Sunsets are the photography equivalent of people telling you what they dreamt” – You Deserve a Drink, Mamrie Hart
  4. “Happily ever after just gets sidetracked sometimes.” – Just Like the Movies, Kelly Fiore
  5. “It sucks to lose your best friend, even if only to distance. Even when it isn’t really losing her at all.” – Everything Leads to You, Nina LaCour
  6. “maybe tonight you’re scared of falling, and maybe there’s somebody here or somewhere else you’re thinking about, worrying over, fretting over, trying to figure out if you want to fall, or how and when you’re gonna land, and i gotta tell you, friends, to stop thinking about the landing, because it’s all about falling.” – Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green
  7. “But still, I find the need to remind myself of the temporariness of a day, to reassure myself that I got through yesterday, I’ll get through today.” – Where She Went, Gayle Forman
  8. “Friendship is something in the soul. It is a thing one feels. It is not a return for something.” – The Heart of the Matter, Graham Greene
  9. “When you have one foot in the future and the other in the past, you piss on the present.” – 10% Happier, Dan Harris
  10. ““Sometimes there is such beauty in awkwardness.” – Between Shades of Grey, Ruta Setepys

What are some of your favorite quotes?

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My #NaNoWriMo Update #1

Hello everyone! Today, I just wanted to update you a little bit on my progress for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I decided to join this year and talked about it a little bit in this post, but I wanted to give a recap of my experience so far as we are a little over a week through at this point.

First of all, I am really excited that I have been able to keep on the word count for each day! Well, for the most part. I have had a really busy and tiring week the past three or so days, so I haven’t written anything. I am hoping to catch up today and this weekend, especially now that I am starting to get into the meat of the story without as much world building. I ordered some really cute stickers from this Etsy shop that I put in my planner to remind me the number of words I should have at the end of the day. I am trying to stick with that, so that I can write a little every day. Sometimes, I write more the day before and then have less to do the next day, but I am pretty much always on track with that number for the most part..

Anyway – plot wise this book has really been different that what I was going into. In general, I am a pantser (I have a very loose outline without much detail) and this attempt has been no different. In fact, I did not plan to have two alternating perspectives, but it happened! Everything just kind of fell into the tone of the book and it is all working out well now. So I have two main characters, which I think will make more sense in the end. I do see some plot concerns coming up already. I have a problem with info-dumping and world building, partly because this book is in space. And I see some parts that need to be fleshed out and edited, but I haven’t gone back to anything yet! That shall be a task for another day.

Time management has been the hardest part of NaNo so far. My original plan at the beginning of the month was to wake up early and write, but that just has not been happening. I think it has happened once so far. Now, I find myself writing right before bed and doing a whole bunch of Twitter sprints. Those have helped me to focus for a certain period of time and sometimes will include a fun challenge to incorporate into my story. However, looking forward into my calendar, I can see times that this will get very stressful and intimidating as we get into Thanksgiving and preparing for finals. Wish me luck!

How has your NaNo progress been? Any advice?

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