Let’s Talk Shop

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything besides reviews, promos, etc. And while the response has been fantastic, I would like to first, know a little bit more about my readers. Who are you? Tell me about you and what you like to read. I will use that to make sure that I include what you’re interested in on here.

What would you like to see more of on the blog?

What are some issues you think need to be addressed? Is it hard to find contact information? Would it be better if I added a different or more social media networks?

Would you like to talk about writing?

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a writer. I’m constantly working on new stories and I’d be very interested in knowing what you think is missing in YA. What would you like to see more of? What would you like to see less of? What annoys you? What do you love?

Writing is a struggle. Sticking to schedules, factoring in life, it can be a chaotic, crazy mess. I know that for me, as a freelance writer/editor/all things related to books that I am constantly swamped with edits and fact checking and research and managing everything that needs to get done (thank you for planners right?). 

Would you like to talk about those struggles or my own writing issues? Would you like help in your own process? 

Comment or shoot me an email about WHATEVER. I want to make this blog more helpful and insightful. Send me your thoughts!

Always,

Jordan

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Liebster Award

Today, I was both shocked and super psyched to find out that this blog was nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely Samantha over at Spines and Covers Book Blog. For those of you who have been following my journey and evolution as a book blogger, you are well versed in how much I love and respect the blogging community and the wonderful relationships built between readers, reviewers, authors, and publicity agents. The blogging community is full of compassionate, quirky, creative, and all around awesome people. I am so completely floored and impressed by the fabulous people I meet and talk with through this blog and through the blogs I follow. Talking to people, sharing opinions, love of books, and helping to promote talented authors has been one of the most rewarding and fun things I’ve ever done. I’m so happy that I get to share books with you all and bond. 🙂 You’re the best. Semi-sappy rant aside, I want to thank Spines and Book Covers Blog for reading my reviews and giving me a chance. I’m so glad you found my reviews and enjoyed my blog!!! As always, sharing is caring in the blogging world and I encourage my readers to check Spines and Covers out as well as my nominations for the Liebster Award.

Liebster-Award

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  • The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers.
  • It’s an effective and structured way to spread the word about bloggers and introduce blog readers to others.
  • The Liebster Award is a version of a chain letter. The goal is to nominate and pay it forward.
  • You can refuse the award.
  • Whether or not you participate is entirely up to you, you are under not obligation to continue the chain, AND you should not feel bad for declining the award, if it is not for you.

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  • You must link back to the person who linked you
  • Answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 new bloggers and come up with 11 new questions to ask
  • You cannot nominate the person who nominated you
  • You must let the person you nominated know you nominated them

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1) What are your favorite childhood books?

When I was younger I was obsessed with The Jolly Pocket Postman. Someday, I hope to buy these books for my own children. They’re little treasure hunts in book form. They have clues, letters, objects in the pages and it kind of reads a little like Alice in Wonderland but it’s about a postman and his adventures while delivering the mail. It’s magical.

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2) If you were stuck on an island, what are three books you’d love to have with you?

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The Madman’s Daughter is poetic, beautiful, an amazing read and deals with how to survive in the wild on an island so it’s useful as well as entertaining. Through the Ever Night like The Madman’s Daughter has a dual function of being one of my favorite books and has detailed descriptions of hunting and survival skills in the woods in addition to by the sea. The Amber Spyglass is my all time favorite book. It was the first to make me cry and nothing has trumped it.

3) What is one author you would love to meet?

324620Laini Taylor. Author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. I would love to meet Laini Taylor because not only does she seem like a genuinely cool person but her writing style is one I admire greatly. I love the cultural references and her colorful, vibrant portrayal of Prague. Her dialogue is fantastic, her characters are some of the more ingenious I’ve ever seen and I was completely and utterly in awe the first time I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I felt compelled to start writing again.

4) If you could have any power what would you choose?

My standard answer to this question for a couple years now has been the ability to place my hand on a book, speed experience everything in the book, and really know all the details 100%. I feel like this is the only way I’ll ever get through my TBR pile.

5) What was your favorite book from 2013?

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My reasons for this are far too many to put in this small list. For an entire post worth of gushing about this book check out my review: The Madman’s Daughter

6) Where would you like to travel to the most?

I’ve been to Russia and many states in the U.S. but my dream place is Wales 🙂

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7) Who is your favorite character? Why?

This is an impossible question. As an avid reader I can’t even fathom having one favorite character it’s just not even…I can’t.  Some of my all time favorites would have to be Zuzana from The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, Daemon from the Lux series, Barrons from the Fever series, and Roar from Under the Never Sky. Zuzana has so much spunk, she’s sassy, creative, and her creepy stories are always entertaining. She sees the world in such a way that it’s like a kaleidoscope of emotions, experience, and perceptions. Her lines are hilarious, she’s got such a loud personality for such a small girl. Daemon is oh so sexy, he’s sarcastic, charming, and the way he taunts Katy, he’s my YA book boyfriend. Barrons is just…aggressive, he’s a fiery beast of a man, oozing sex appeal and violence. He’s my adult book boyfriend and I wouldn’t trade him for anyone…except maybe Ryodan. Roar is caring, rough, gruff, and yet so funny, loving, and his heart is so filled with feels.

8) What is your favorite quote?

But he didn’t understand the price. Mortals never do. They only see the prize. Their heart’s desire, their dreams…But the price of getting what you want is getting what you once wanted. 

Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot. 

-Neil Gaiman

9) What fandoms are you apart of?

  • Harry Potter
  • Divergent
  • His Dark Materials
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Game of Thrones
  • Jane Austen
  • Chronicles of Narnia
  • The Mortal Instruments
  • I mean…there are billions I could list…

10) Do you read one book at a time, or several at a time?

Depends on my mood. I’ll sometimes start a book and not be in the mood for it and then find another and switch back and forth.

11) What are 2 books you are looking forward to reading this year?

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The In-Between Place

Such A Novel Idea

Nuts About Novels

Books for a Delicate Eternity

A Lot Like Dreaming

Reflections of a Book Addict

The Grown-Up YA

Endless Bookshelves

Book Gossips

NutFreeNerd

Brin’s Book Blog

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  1. What is your favorite book genre?
  2. What’s your favorite kind of love story?
  3. What do you think is overdone in YA?
  4. What’s your favorite magical creature?
  5. Do you believe in magic?
  6. How do you feel about foreign languages in books without translations?
  7. What’s your favorite book to movie?
  8. Are you a writer?
  9. What is your all time favorite fandom?
  10. Would you get a literary tattoo? If so, of what?
  11. I don’t get Dr. Who, do you? Please explain.

All of these blogs are fantastic. Check them out, explore, have fun, and find some new reads.

Pleasant reading all,

-BB

First Five Friday (1)

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Lately on all the blogs I follow I’ve seen meme after meme of blogish/bookish goodness but I haven’t found any that are quite me and that I feel like I can stick to weekly. So I’ve decided to tweak some of the premises I’ve seen in Friday posts to fit my own personal preferences and style.

What is First Five Friday?

First Five Friday is where I give you the first 5 lines of books I plan on reading and reviewing from the time of this posting until the following Friday. This is not only to share with you what’s coming up on the blog but also to piqué your interest in new books by the power of a few lines. When I start reading a book, the first lines are crucial to whether or not I stick with reading. As you read in my DNF piece, I generally read about 20% of a book before putting it aside and going back later. If I’m not sold at 20% it could be that I’m not in the right frame of mind or mood for the book and so I’ll give it another go later or if, after the second attempt, it will take residence on my DNF indefinitely. I strongly feel that some books are meant for certain points in your life and you may not be there yet but at the same time, the beauty of such a vast variety of books is that there’s something for everyone not that each book is for every individual. It’s hard to find universal appeal and that is why it’s important to read a few reviews to really get a rounded opinion of a book.

TBH: I read reviews after I’ve already read and reviewed. I find that afterwards, I can read less than stellar reviews and mull over whether or not I agree but I don’t want anything to destroy my initial reactions and also I don’t want to risk spoilers.

That being said, welcome to First Five Friday. I hope you enjoy and learn about new books. But really, what I want is to explore the majestic nature of the first few lines, how they make you feel and how they influence your scope or overall opinion of what the book will be. Next Friday, I will reflect on my first line feels and see if they were accurate. This is an experiment and adventure and I hope that you will join me, have fun, and rethink how you see first lines.

Had anyone told me that my entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, I would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat.

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Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Already you can see the personality of the main character in this strong voice. The introduction of a life-altering event is always a key part to keeping the attention of the reader. Plus, the hint at something terrible brewing as horrible as it is, captures attention and makes you want to know more.

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Risking my life to steal an orange was a stupid thing to do, but today of all days, I didn’t care about the consequences. If I were lucky, the Shields would throw me to the ground and put a bullet in my brain. Dead at seventeen. It would be a relief. As I hurried through the crowded market, I touched the back of my neck and tried not to wince.

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Pawn by Aimée Carter

Dystopian? Why is she/he so depressed? What happened that day? What’s on his/her neck? 

***

The human cell is something to be admired. It adapts to survive in the most unusual circumstances. Splicing occurs when you mix animal cells with human cells, which results in what some scientists call a parahuman, a type of cryptid. A cryptid can be described as a paranormal being with some animal-like traits. This is the story of one of those creatures.

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Reveal by Brina Courtney

Whaaa??? What is this magical creature/cell technology? What animal is the character mixed with? This is a short sample of the premise and really showcases what the theme is. 

***

Captivating-that’s what he was. For nine years I’d been über fascinated with Adam Westcott; and this shit wasn’t going away anytime soon. Not because he had some bizarre talent I envied, or anything even remotely close. I was merely intrigued with him because he held a secret-my secret, to be exact. Adam wielded the power to bring me down, by divulging hidden parts of me only he’d seen, and yet he hadn’t.

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Wicked Fate by Tabatha Vargo

Nine years is a long time to hold on to a crush. The internal dialogue is real, it has great personality and I want to get to know this character.

***

Marie Toussaint moved as fast as her plump body would go down the street running between Iberville Projects and an expensive cemetery located outside the French Quarter of New Orleans. The early autumn night was chilly enough to make her shiver despite the gown she wore. Street lamps rendered the sidewalk well-lit while the graveyard and the side streets were shrouded in darkness. As a member of a culture that revered death and celebrated the transition of a person from flesh into a spirit, Marie normally felt comfortable-honored even-to be anywhere near the tombs of the deceased. Except when she came to the city.

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Cursed by Lizzy Ford*

New Orleans. That’s almost enough for me. Combine that with the darkness, the dead, and notion of a lifestyle that glorifies death. Count me in. Now is she a witch, a necromancer, a priestess? 

***

I had never kissed someone before. Yes, I had been kissed, but to make that last move-the final step before lips pressed against lips and warmth and wet blended together in an orchestra of emotions, need and magic-I had never done that before. I had never wanted it so much that I would fight against my own insecurities to do it. I had never been brave enough. **

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Soul of Flame by Rebecca Ethington

Ah. The magic of a joint first kiss and wonderful self discovery. This scene is magnetic. Who is worth the risk and why does she finally give in?

***

There was a demon in McDonald’s. And it had a powerful hunger for Big Macs. Most days, I loved my after-school job. Tagging the soulless and the damned usually gave me a mad case of the warm fuzzies. I’d even given myself a quota out of boredom, but tonight was different. 

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White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Lynn Armentrout

This is fun. It’s quirky. It pulls you in with its weirdness and a demon liking Big Macs. Tell me more.

***

I smack into him as if shoved from behind. He doesn’t budge, not an inch. Just holds my shoulders and waits. Maybe he’s waiting for me to find my balance. Maybe he’s waiting for me to gather my pride.

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Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

I don’t know what to make of this one. Seems like it could be a future love interest. What I do want to know is why he’s till holding on to her. The unknown is always a good way to draw a reader in. We need to KNOW.

This is a tentative schedule. But my goal is that by participating in this weekly meme that I’ll stick to my plans.

*Cursed is an ARC so it’s possible that the first 5 lines have been altered. Since the book releases next week, I thought I’d share to get you in mood for the release.

**I refrained from including line 5 in the Soul of Flame book because it’s spoiler-ish if you have not yet read the first 3 books in the series.

Please let me know what you like or dislike about this post and ways it could be improved. I love ideas. Be creative! Share your thoughts on the lines, speculate and mostly, get excited!

Happy reading,

-BB

Announcement & Question!

Hi everyone,

I realized that maybe starting a Facebook group was not the best choice when a page that you can simply click like on is so much better and easier if you want to see reviews in your FB feed! YA Book Madness Facebook Page It’s just a baby so please give it a like.

Okay, I don’t know how many of you have looked at my side widgets but you might have seen I have a novel in progress listed there? Well, I’m the sort of person who needs a deadline or at least a little push to get things done. I have several WIP and I can’t decide which one to focus on so…how about a vote?

If you’re interested, I’ll share my progress with you and maybe I’ll finally finish this thing by the end of the year.

Thank you for reading and checking out my blog,

-BB

New Adult/Adult Reviews

Hi all,

This is just a brief announcement of what is coming up this week. I have a research paper on the ICTY and implementation of genocide charges which is taking up a massive amount of my review time. However, I have several blog tours and giveaways scheduled for this week. The majority of these reviews are NA or Adult. Don’t worry, I will definitely include new release YA in between the NA. I have received so many requests lately and oddly enough, most of them have been for adult fiction. Go figure. But I’m happy to review anything really and hope that all of you are open to exploring this world of adult fiction with me while I review a genre I haven’t touched in years. Just don’t think that I’ve given up on YA because that is NOT the case. My love of YA knows no bounds and I have a bunch of YA reviews and reveals in the works for you. If you guys have any requests or suggestions, feel free to comment or contact me in one of the options under contact info at the top of the blog.

As always, happy reading friends,

-BB

The DNF Pile

As avid book readers we’re no strangers to categorizing and putting things into nice little piles. We all have our TBR, our TBReviewed, and various subcategories that we create on Goodreads to help give us the semblance of sanity and/or order. But the dirty secret, the black sheep in the corner is the DNF(did not finish) pile. We don’t like to talk about it, we don’t like to think about it, and in fact, every time we’re forced to put a new book into that pile our hearts break into a billion itsy bitsy pieces and the guilt, THE GUILT could damn near destroy us.

Everyone assumes the DNF pile is bad, that the books in there are trash, riddled with grammatical errors, typos, and boring, stereotypical characters and plots filled with holes. Here’s my confession:

The truth is, the books in my DNF pile are not typically any of those adjectives above but simply did not resonate with me. The DNF, I would argue, is extremely personal. It’s not about the book, it’s about the special connection that seeps deep beneath your skin, spreads through your body warming your heart and touching your soul. Just because something is in a friend’s DNF pile doesn’t mean that it sucks and you shouldn’t try it or that you should throw the book away, in fact, I suggest that you put the book aside and try it at a later date.

As a reader, you know as well as I that sometimes you’re just not ready for a specific book, sometimes extenuating circumstances in your life can make you feel so intensely towards a book that you immediately dismiss it. It may be that you tried, read to your cut-off page limit* and just couldn’t read anymore. It might be that a certain character or plot element really disgusts you or pushes your buttons and for some people that is enough.

It’s been a while since I’ve had to place a book in my DNF pile and with a heavy heart I did so today. I read, and I pondered, and I tried my hardest but this book just did not work for me. I was unprepared for the twisted hurt that invaded by thoughts and the nauseated feeling I got as I cast the book aside. THIS IS NOT OKAY. As a blogger and general lover of books, it nearly literally makes me sick to put a book aside but the thought that I can go back to it and later and maybe, just maybe I’ll fall in love gives me hope.

We’re all different people with a kaleidoscope of emotions and likes, dislikes, preferences. Don’t let the DNF pile consume you. If you read a review and see a book that you think sounds fantastic on a DNF pile, take that with a grain of salt. Ultimately, you as the wonderfully unique person you are decide what to love and whether a book is valuable to you.

I look at my DNF pile as a land of misplaced toys or second chances, something to revisit at a later date and find again. Try it, I bet you’ll feel better.

***Mine is page 50, if I can’t get into the book, I’m done.

Keep reading, have a great weekend,

-BB

Facebook Group

Hi everyone,

For those of you who are more inclined to be on Facebook than WordPress or if you would like to have an additional reminder of reviews or posts in your feed, join the newly created Facebook group for this blog!

YA Book Madness Facebook Group

A new review will be out a little later today on Abby McDonald’s The Anti-Prom and maybe a bonus review of Lizzy Ford’s Dark Summer so check back later, I’ll keep you posted.

For now, pleasant reading book lovers and check out the Facebook group. If you have any suggestions or something you would like to see on this blog or in the FB group just shoot me and email or a message on FB. For those contacts just click the contact tab on the main page.

-BB