I strive to create a good story, to make characters that everyone will love but also stay true to who I created. I want to build a world so great that no one says it “lacked world building” and I want characters to fall in love naturally and quickly but no one remembers to say “so much wuv” and “quick love strikes again”. I want to write what I love but not hear “this is just generic YA again”.
Friday was Valentine’s Day, and I admit that I was not very on top of it this year.
I feel like this year has just begun but it is already going too fast. I dropped the ball on Galentine’s Day and then really dropped the ball again the next day on Valentine’s Day. Oops.
However, I went to Green Apple Books right after work and picked up some books for my husband. I got him some books there for Christmas and since then have fell in love with the place. I don’t live in the city, which is good because I think I would spend all my paychecks there. For Christmas, I found books for him in the huge staff picks selection and went straight there for some books for Valentine’s Day. As usual, they did not disappoint.
My husband, Mike, has found a reformed love for all things nature thanks to his promise to himself to get out more and the legendary documentary film maker, Ken Burns. He wants to go to all the National Parks some day and I am more than happy to follow him there. As a writer himself, I found In the Sierra: Mountain Writings by Kenneth Rexroth. I’m sure Mike will be inspired to do his own poetry and prose for the parks he embarks upon. Along with that, I got him Suicide by Edouard Levé because Mike loves French literature and this book not only sounded heartbreaking and interesting, Levé took his own life a month after submitting the manuscript which adds even more intrigue.
But the book giving didn’t end there. Mike’s gifts to me were a few chocolate covered strawberries and An Abundance of Katherines by John Green because I am slowly making my way through all of Green’s work. The day after Valentine’s Day we went to Berkeley’s Books Inc. to browse and I finally found a copy of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi so I asked Mike if he would buy it for me. Valentine’s gift bonus! I have heard nothing but great things about this series that recently came to an end and I hear it is very steamy and as I write my own young adult novel, I try to find great YA romances who turn the heat up so I can see just how far I can go! I’m very excited for both of these books.
Recent gift givings between us have turned exclusively to books and I love it. He knows me better than anyone else and knows exactly what I will like. He knows what books I’m on the look out for and what authors intrigue me and he knows how to read the back of a book and see if I will like it. I think that… well, I just think it’s really neat.
[A 'Spark' is anything I write here that is just a small bit of prose, maybe just a thought, maybe longer than a single thought, that needs a space and this blog needs some reading material]
They said, life has a soundtrack. ‘They’ are probably manic pixie dream girls from YA novels or crippling indie movies that cling to their wanted genre but come off flat. But they said it, they said life has this soundtrack. I didn’t believe them until I found the song, the one song that plays on infinite repeat when we’re together. So I guess the girl in big glasses with a short haircut and a Keruoac novel under her arm made a believer in me.
This is my first review and I feel like to mark the occasion I need to tell you a little bit about me, The Book Lover.
Actually, The Book Lover in me is similar to the Movie Watcher, the TV Lover, and the Music Listener in me: we’re all pretty chill. I read, watch, listen to what I want, am overall okay with it and move on. Does that mean I’m not in some fandoms and listen to some albums over and over again and discussed all types of theories and opinions with friends over the Divergent Trilogy ending? Heavens, no. I’m in fandom, I write fan fiction, I put albums on repeat (current: Lana Del Ray and Beyoncé), and I will CAPS LOCK ABOUT BOOK FEELINGS until the cows come home. So what do I mean, I’m “pretty chill” and “move on”?
What it means is, I give almost anything I finish a four or five star rating. If I don’t like it, I stop reading it (Uglies comes to mind). When I watch TV shows, I hardly speculate on what will happen next or go into spoiler threads or hate new story lines. I trust the writers and see what happens. This sometimes doesn’t work out to my favor (The Office) but for the most part it makes me a happy participant.
Do I have opinions? Yes. Do I have high and low feelings about art that make me feel things and want to explore themes and style and characters more? Yes! I just think I take a step back at these things when it is just me and my thoughts. Can I have a crazy conversation about a character’s arc through an entire trilogy? Yes, I did it for almost two weeks when Allegiant came out.
This may be confusing, but I just needed you to know that about me before you see how I view the wonderment of books. In no way do I consider myself a great reviewer of books or a beacon of knowledge of structure and narratives that make me some kind of be all of book reviewing. I just like books, and if I like one, I want more people to know about it. Today’s book:
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Well, we can moan and groan about my absence and blatant silence on this blog but why when we can just look at my most recent book hauls?
These are from the past couple weeks and include mostly gifts. I have already read one of them and hope to get review out soon. A prized gift is from my friend Abby, Exclamation Point by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld. It meant a lot to receive it in many ways (thoughtfulness and spunky, self esteem messages), but my husband and I wanted to buy this book for our future children’s library. So, thank you, Abby!
Also, can you believe I borrowed The Hunger Games trilogy and never bought the books until now? Ridiculous.
And everyone, enjoy the photos and list now! Continue reading
Happy New Year!
I’m not one for resolutions because they always fail, but I just wanted to dust the surface of my literary goals for 2014. Continue reading
The year is ending and that means a lot of things to a lot of people. For me, it means the end to the year that I finished my first draft of my first novel and finally put my foot down and called myself a writer. With becoming a writer came the responsibility to not only write but to read.
I read a lot this year. I have three hours a day of commuting that I can devote to reading so there is no lapse in the need for books and there is no lapse in the continual stream of amazing books that I stumble upon and must read. Thus, I have read 45 books this year and it is definitely my most read year in my life and I’m very proud. I know other readers would laugh at the length of this list but I think now is a good time as any to stop comparing myself to others. I have a whole published author life I haven’t lived yet where I can do that.
Anyway, I present my year in books!
Since I started writing my novel, I have been reading within the genre I’m writing for. As if it is hard to tell from my book hauls, I’ve been reading a lot of YA literature, especially dystopian, post apocalyptic, and romance. This December I’ve been participating in pulseit.com’s #31daysofreading whenever something strikes my fancy.
However, I miss my favorite author JD Salinger. It’s been years since I read any of his work, probably. So I am doing a reread of all his published works in chronological order, starting with Catcher in the Rye. I’m almost halfway into it now and have decided to live tweet my reread. I’m just posting some of my favorite lines (unfortunately I can’t do all of them because some are too long and I refuse to butcher them). Social media really is the new dog ear.
See my tweets by following me on twitter or you can click on this link to see only the Salinger tweets, you goddamn phonies.
Everyday by David Levithan Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini Flutter by Gina Linko Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick