Review Recap: Reviews and Reads for May 2015

Review Recap
                    may 2015

May was a productive month.  I read a bunch of lovely fantasy and a few others gems, I interviewed Sarah Dessen, and I spent three days at the fabulous Book Expo America!  Fewer reviews this month, since I was out of town for a week and a half and just starting my teaching.  Now that my travels are done, I'll have a full schedule of reviews for you in June, including some of the BEA gems I picked up.  

Click the covers to learn more. 

Click the titles for the review.  Click the covers to buy your own!

Chuck Palahniuk

Adult, Paranormal, Horror, Murder

5/5 stars 
Invisible Monsters
Chuck Palahniuk 

Adult, Contemporary, Fashion, Transgressive 
5/5 stars 
Saint Anything
Sarah Dessen

Young adult, Contemporary, Romance, High school, Family 
4/5 stars 
Dream a Little Dream
Kerstin Gier

Young adult, Urban fantasy, Dreams, High school 
5/5 stars 

other notables


Book News: BEA 2015 Day 3 Recap

book news

Alas, the last day of BEA had to happen, but it was a fantastic end to a great trip.  It was a little less stressful than the other days, with fewer books to grab.  I took the opportunity to flit around taking pictures, talking to publicists, and hanging out with my fellow bloggers and bookish people.  It was hard to leave, but at least I have 60 pounds of literary souveniers to comfort me!  

Highlights from the Floor

1.  Last day hanging out with Christina of Christina Reads YA and Summer of Blue Sky Shelf!  I'm going to miss these lovely ladies.  I also finally got to meet Shae of Shae Has Left the Room and Alexa of Alexa Loves Books

2.  The morning was largely occupied by the Six of Crows signing line.  As in, I got there at roughly 9:03 am from the side entrance (yayuh, China adjunct escalator) and the signing was at 10:30.  It was well worth it to meet Leigh Bardugo, who was very sweet (and has awesome hair, whatever she was complaining about).  

3.  Luckily, I was pretty far up in the Leigh Bardugo line.  Only 100 ARCs were available!  I know a lot of people missed out, which was sad.  :(  Hopefully they were able to get one from the drop.  I also had the pleasure of meeting Jen from Library of a Bookwitch and Rachel from Spencer Hill.  

4.  Had to get a picture of the famous Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.  Not only are they very charming, but they also have the distinction of writing paranormal before it was cool.  Relic was the first horror movie I ever saw (based on their first Pendergast novel).  Nothing like a monster wreaking havoc in the Field Museum!  (Okay, okay, it was the Natural History Museum in the book.)  Also, I hear Lincoln Child rarely goes to signings, so that was a treat.  

5.  Apparently, Christie Brinkley wrote a book.  (She's a model.  I had to google this.)  Her line was crazy long at Hachette, even though it was only to take a picture with her.  There were quite a few men in line, hem. 

6.  I snagged a copy of This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp.  She was super modest, and seemed incredibly surprised by the crazy turnout for her line.  

7.  Patrick Ness was delightful.  I  told him that I'd read all of Chaos Walking in a week (because babbling).  He said, "That's quite a lot of words," and then proceeded to question himself about what the date was.  Well worth my coveted Front-of-the-line pass.  (No, pictures are not my strong suit.) 

8.  Even though I've read All the Bright Places, I stuck around to get a copy signed by Jennifer Niven.  She is my hero, and also actually remembered me from that painting I did.  I had a small happy heart attack.  They gave out post-its with the book, which was super cute.  

9.  I ended the day at the Broadway performance of Finding Neverland.  It was the perfect way to end BEA, a story about a story.  

The Wall of Feminist Icons

I didn't stand in line for these ladies because I'd have been there three hours, but I did run around to get some pictures.  So much girl power in one room!  

1.  Mindy Kaling, new author and all-around badass.  

2.  Felicia Day, geek queen of the internet and surrealy adorable human being. 

3.  Gloria Steinem.  Yes.  Gloria freaking Steinem.  

The Book Call 

So, I kinda dropped the ball on this one and forgot to take pictures today.  Now, most of the books are in FedEx boxes on their way home.  However, tide yourself over with this sick Six of Crows cover.  

Another year, another BEA over!  I miss it already.  To all those at BookCon, I'm jealous and I hope you have a blast.  I'll see you next year in the vastly superior city of Chicago. 

Not that I'm biased, or anything.  ;)  


Book News: BEA 2015 Day 2 Recap

book news

Me, Christina, and Summer in line for Passenger!

BEA day 2 was possibly even better than day 1, partially because I've since recovered from the aching lack of Truthwitch in my life.  And I say this, even though I had to wake up at 5:15 in the morning to make it on time to the Harlequin Teen breakfast.  The sleeplessness was well worth it.  

Harlequin Teen Breakfast 

1.  For the first year, I was invited to the official press breakfast!  Seriously, I feel official now.  (Shhh, don't let them hear!  They might think it was a mistake!)  The breakfast was a lovely affair with coffee (actual good coffee), ARCs of the most popular teen titles, and a round robin discussion with the authors and publicists.  

2.  My delightful tablemates included the minds behind Christina Reads YA, Jesse the Reader, Katytastic, Poland Bananas, and Peruse Project.  I also ran into Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner!  

3.  Adi Alsaid is adorable at 7 in the morning before he's had coffee.  

4.  Eleanor Hermann came wearing a Persian dress and crown.  With a replica of a Persian cup.  Yes, she's a bamf.  

6.  Look at those gorgeous books on display!  

Highlights from the Floor

1.  We made it to the Passenger line!  If you're wondering, this is Alexandra Bracken's new book and it's insanely hyped.  They were only giving out 200 early-early release copies, so I was afraid of another Truthwitch scenario . . . but we got it!  Alex is also super sweet.  I mean, I'd expect nothing less of a friend of Sarah J. Maas and Susan Dennard.  

2.  So many good drops!  Finally got the rest of my most coveted from Harper and Hachette.  Hachette caused much distress in line with their claim in the broadside, "Take our quiz to figure out which ARC is right for you!"  Newsflash for the OCD among us:  the quiz was optional.  You could totally just pick one.  

3.  After a seriously crazy hour of being moved back and forth, we finally got tickets for Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray.  I made friends with the poor publicist in charge of redirecting line-seekers, and made faces with Libba.  She's a bit better at it than I am.  

4.  Yes, I ran over to Penguin to get a picture of Julianne Moore and her new children's book.  Don't judge me.  

5.  Prettiest ARC of the day award goes to Marvels by Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret (you may remember the recent movie Hugo) and one of the minds behind The Doll People.  You can't see, but the whole first half is illustrations.  

6.  I ate Javitt's center food.  The world is a cruel place sometimes.  

7.  The Javitt's FedEx is a treacherously expensive lifesaver.  Only 27.5 pounds... 

8.  Next up, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, and This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp.  Fingers crossed.  I might also stop by Jennifer Niven's signing.  I've already read All the Bright Places, but you know how much I obsessed over it.  Signed copy, please?  

The Book Call 

From the floor of the Javitt's center.  Seriously.  I'm not joking.  




Book News: BEA 2015 Day 1 Recap

book news

Despite the rain and the lack of eating (yes, Christina and I forgot to eat until dinner...), BEA day one was fabulous.  

Oh, and despite the extremely depressing lack of Truthwitch in my life.  Yes, the line cut off just as I got to it.  There were some internal tears going on.  

Check out the video for our full recap.  In the meantime, here are the highlights:  

1.  Selfie with Susan Dennard, who signed a Truthwitch book for me as a consolation because she's the sweetest.  

2.  The publicists at Candlewick, Soho, and Sourcebooks were some of the nicest people on Earth!  

3.  Meeting up with the amazing Summer of Blue Sky Bookshelf for a panini (Sergimmo's Salumeria is super high on my food list), a trip to the Strand, and a milkshake.  

4.  The Strand.  OMG.  

5.  That beautiful Illuminae galley.  Seriously, I can't even imagine what that printing must have cost. 

6.  Just made the signing with Amy Ewing for The White Rose!  I was so happy.  The Jewel was one of my favorites from last year, so I'd have been sad to miss it. 

The Book Call