First off, I joined into with the #ArmchairBEA Twitter chat this afternoon and had an absolute blast. I had a lot of fun discussing today’s topics, won a prize and even made some new friends. I now look forward to participating in many more Twitter chats in the future.
I decided to write a letter to my all time favourite character to address today’s task.
I’ll like to begin with a sincere thank you. I don’t know what I would have done without you. You are inspiration to me and to thousands of girls and boys all across the world.
I’ve always been the nerdy one. The first one with their hand up, the one who does their homework on the night they get it, the one who spends all their time in the library. And thanks to you I am proud of this fact. I don’t hide from who I am and instead embrace it. However I don’t let it limit me. Like you, I hope to be strong, brave, intelligent, determined and unapologetically myself. Usually female characters have to choose between being strong and being feminine. You aren’t having any of that. You looked absolutely stunning and danced beautifully at the Yule Ball but punched Draco and kicked Death Eater butt. Yes, I’m proud of my intelligence, but I don’t want to be just intelligent. I want to be strong, brave and determined too.
Certainly you made mistakes, especially when it came to boys. Though I don’t blame you when it comes to Ron. You two are perfect together, but I can imagine he’s quite hard work at times. I’m glad you two stuck together, I mean I know it’s not always easy. But if it was easy, would it be worth it? Lots of people tend to complain about Viktor Krum, but I don’t blame you in the slightest. He is famous, good looking and quite a nice guy. Besides at that point, Ron had been fooling around with other girls. Never mind, I’m getting slightly off track here. I just wanted to write this to say how much you mean to me. I am so lucky to be part of the generation that grew with you.
Thank you again.
Emily @ Alwaysopinionatedgirl
I totally get why bloggers find having 107 different forms of social media great for their blog, but I’m afraid my mind’s just not that big! I can only deal with a certain number of things, and for me Goodreads, WordPress, and Twitter are plenty for me.
Since my blog is on WordPress and that allows to me to see other’s blog posts and comment and like, I think it qualifies as social media. I mean, I interact with other human beings so it totally has to count! WordPress is great in the regard that when I’m uploading my posts and checking out my stats etc, I can also have a look at what fellow WordPress bloggers are up to. It requires minimum effort and is usually the first thing I check when I log on to my computer.
Twitter, the second thing I check, is a recent love of mine. I only got Twitter relatively recently, but I already can’t imagine blogging without it. It’s a great way to communicate not only with other bloggers but with authors, publishers and people who just generally like books. I have found so many new blogs through Twitter and I think Twitter has definitely helped me to be bolder and more confident when interacting with authors which is something I’m super proud of. As well as blogging, Twitter has really helped me with my writing by giving me access to awesome word sprinting groups like Write All Year which help keep me motivated whilst writing and have helped me make some awesome friends.
Goodreads is something I never really considered social media until I saw it mentioned under that category and I had a sudden epiphany. Of course, it’s social media. I mean I do kinda social stuff on it. Only recently have I discovered Goodreads as a form of social media, before I mainly used it as a bookish journal just for me. Now however, Alyssa, Michelle and I have set up a book club on Goodreads which is already helping me make new friends. I now am finally starting to understand Goodreads as social media and I like it!
Book bloggers unable to attend the BEA Bloggers Conference or Book Expo America (BEA) in New York City, but would like to ‘meet’ other book bloggers and publishers to discuss books and book blogging can participate in this virtual event. Armchair BEA has been run by book bloggers on a volunteer basis since 2010, although giveaways are sponsored by authors and publishers.
Here are the five questions I have chosen to answer as my intro too Armchair BEA.
Why do you loving reading and blogging?
I cannot even remember when I began to love reading, it has always been such an important part of my life. I often joke it’s genetic as both my mum and my auntie also adore to read. Reading has been an escape for me. I can have my own little world away form what’s happening in my life.
Blogging is a relatively new discovery for me as I haven’t even been blogging for a year yet. However I already know exactly why I love it, it’s a fantastic community where I can be myself and be surrounded by like minded people. As well as making loads of new great blogging buddies, I have also got opportunities I never would have before and discovered a whole new section of the internet which is such a beautiful place.
What does diversity mean to you?
To me, diversity means that everyone in the world should be able to open up a book and see a main character just like them. I’m very lucky because I am a middle class, white, heterosexual, female teenager, meaning I am pretty well represented. And that’s great for me! I love it! So why shouldn’t everyone else be able to experience the same thing?
Diversity both excites me and terrifies me, I must confess. As a reader diversity excites me however as a writer diversity does tend to scare me. As I have clarified above, I myself am not particularly diverse so I’m scared about writing about diversity in my books in case I mess up. I mean, I don’t want to wrongly represent these people.
What is one book everyone should read?
I’m going to cheat and say seven, but they’re a series so… I think you can all guess what series I’m talking about, Harry Potter, of course. Now most people agree with me and say they’re entertaining and that certainly is true. However they are not solely entertaining, they taught me so many important life lessons about friendship, family, bravery and many more. I grew up with Harry, Ron and Hermione despite the fact that all the books had been released by the time I started reading them. They were an important part of my childhood, are an important part of my teenagehood (what’s the right word for this? Anyone know?) and will be an important part of my adulthood.
What is your favourite genre and why?
I would probably just have to say YA as I really can’t decide within that. I think it often depends on my mood – currently I’m really looking contemporaries like The Heartbreakers and Nowhere But Here which is quite unusual for me. Traditionally I like fantasy and paranormal however recently I’ve fallen in love with contemporaries. I think this probably due to the excitement surrounding contemporary novels in the book blogging world.
What is the top book in your TBR pile?
Since I had such a huge TBR pile, I decided to reorganise and make myself a TBR bookshelf. This bookshelf is arranged in rainbow order, going from red to white ands it looks so beautiful. I’m so proud of new book shelf and I can’t wait to share the pictures with you guys which will be coming soon. So, finally answering the question I guess the first book of my TBR shelf is Ketchup Clouds By Annabel Pitcher which I hope to read before YALC.
Nowhere But Here By Katie McGarry
Wow! This is my third five star novel of 2015 and it was absolutely amazing. I was kind of worried that this new series might not be as good Katie McGarry’s other series, but she did not disappoint!
This book was wonderful because it not only focused on romantic love but on family. This is an entirely unrepresented area in YA and Katie McGarry captures it perfectly. She really understands what it means to a family- that you don’t have to blood related and it’s not always easy to love your family. She shows the most true and beautiful form of love, not only in Oz and Emily’s relationship but in the way that Olivia is like Oz’s mother and how Eli is always determined to protect Emily even from himself, in the way that Violet tries to fiercely protect her brother and the way that everyone drops everything to help a family member in need. Nowhere But Here is a novel everyone can relate to, surprising though it may sound. It is one of these peculiar yet brilliant talents that Katie McGarry has, the ability to interest me and make me care about things I’ve never even thought before. She’s done it before in her Pushing the Limits series, I mean I’m English and I couldn’t care less about baseball, but Dare You To really engrossed me. Before reading this I was tenuous about the idea of motorcycle clubs, but it was Katie McGarry so I just had to read. And I thank goodness that I did. I now have a great desire to move to America and join a motorcycle club. I cannot wait for the next book, especially after googling and discovering it’s about Razor, a character I can’t wait to to find out more about. I am intrigued as to who could be Razor’s perfect girl.
The Motorcycle club was such an intriguing setting for a novel that was so unlike anything I have ever read about before. Admittedly sometimes my feminist side had a bit of a huff and grumble about the attitude to women within the club. I didn’t like all the bras on the walls as if the women were some sort of trophy or the fact that the women had no say when making decisions and were almost seen as property by some men. Luckily the main romantic relationships within the novel were ones when the women were completely respected and didn’t take no nonsense from their men. Oz treated Emily with complete respect, and loved how she had her own mind and wasn’t afraid to share it.
I loved the dual perspective in this novel because it showed that both Oz and Emily were the main characters and neither was just the love interest. They both were interesting realistic characters that had their own stories and weren’t just made important by the other. Each of their perspectives was so well written yet different from the other and completely reflective of their own personalities.
Another thing I thought would be weird about this novel is the fact that one of the main characters has the same name as me – Emily. However I found it didn’t positively or negatively impact my reading experience in any way. I almost disconnected in my brain the fact that my name is Emily whilst reading it – if you know what I mean.
Now usually at the end of a review I try and talk about the parts of the book I liked less, but I genuinely can’t think of any improvements for Katie MGarry. All I can say is keep up the good work and write faster!
Paladin By Sally Slater
Brash, cocky, and unbeatable with a sword (well, almost), Sam of Haywood is the most promising Paladin trainee in the kingdom of Thule… and knows it. The only problem is that Sam is really Lady Samantha, daughter of the seventeenth Duke of Haywood, and if her father has his way, she’ll be marrying a Paladin, not becoming one.
But Sam has never held much interest in playing damsel-in-distress, and so she rescues herself from a lifetime of boredom and matrimonial drudgery. Disguised as a boy, Sam leaves home behind to fight demons-—the most dangerous monsters in Thule—-alongside the kingdom’s elite warriors. Pity that Tristan Lyons, the Paladin assigned to train her, is none other than the hero of her childhood. He hasn’t recognized her–yet–but if he does, he’ll take away her sword and send her packing.
Sam is not the only trainee hiding secrets: Braeden is a half-demon with a dark past that might be unforgivable. Whether he can be trusted is anyone’s guess, including his.
As demons wreak havoc across the land, rebellion stirs in the West, led by a rival faction of warriors.
A war between men is coming, and Sam must pick a side. Will saving the kingdom cost her life–or just her heart?
I don’t even know where to begin. This book was originally one of the rare good fantasy novels on Wattpad so when I read it as a published novel I immediately fell in love. I’m so glad this book got published, for me Sally 100% deserved it. Not only is she a great writer but she always seems so nice and interacts awesomely with her fans. She even allowed me to interview her which you can see here.
Anyway, back to the book, I’m so glad I bought it as the changes made from the original Wattpad version were great. The bits I looked forward were still there, but I felt as if her writing style had matured and the plotline fine-tuned, removing any flaws. The idea for this novel is so unique. Yes, I know we’ve all seen the whole ‘girl dresses as a man to fight’ thing in Mulan, nut Sally Slater rewrote this with her own flair. Sam didn’t go to escape a marriage or to protect a family member, she went for herself. She went because she wanted to and I liked that, a protagonist who is sometimes selfish and does things for themselves.
Now, leading very smoothly on to the characters, I absolutely loved them. Sam is one of my new favourite female protagonists. She is not strong ‘for a girl’, brave ‘for a girl’ or determined ‘for a girl’. She is simply strong, brave and determined. She proves multiple times she’s better than most men. At some points she starts to fall down the slippery slope of strong female characters not being able to be at all feminine. However luckily, Sam managed to cling on to a tree branch so she didn’t actually fall down the slippery slope. Throughout the entire novel, Sam is aware of the two different sides of herself but doesn’t understand how she can be both, making the last line truly wonderful. “And Sam who was both warrior and woman, finally found a place where she belonged.” Finally! A badass female character who realises she can also be a woman.
Looking at the rest of the characters, I want my own Braeden. Pretty please…… I promise I’ll be good. Braeden spends the entire novel trying to atone for sins he has committed and sees himself as completely unlovable, which is what makes him so adorable. Braeden is a refreshing change to the usual fantasy love interest, he is Sam’s equal in every single way, however he is struggling with problems of his own and is in no way perfect.
Now with Tristan, this had the potential to be the horrible unnecessary and downright awkward love triangle. I was immensely relived when it wasn’t. Sam is firm in her love for Braeden and Tristan doesn’t even get a look in. There is only one team here and it’s Team Braeden. Tristan and Sam’s banter is great though – they both bring out the other’s sassiness and are great friends whilst he thinks she’s a man.
The rest of the cast of characters are an interesting bunch and I look forward to seeing more of them in the future. I am especially interested in finding more out about the High Commander and Braeden’s past. One of the things I really enjoyed about his novel is you never know what is going to happen. You’re permanently on the edge of your seat and there’s nothing you can do about it except read faster.
I would really appreciate it if you filled in my new blog survey so I can learn more about you guys and what you want. Ive tried this before and not many people answered so please, please, please do. I’ll love you forever! (Not in a creepy way…)
Thanks so much!
The Heartbreakers By Ali Novak
When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. Unbeknownst to him, I was the only girl in the world who hated his music.”
Since Cara’s health has been deteriorating, all Stella Walter can think about is trying to cheer her sister up. Her life revolves around Cara to the point where Stella drops out of one of the country’s top photography programs so she can spend what little time she has left with her sick sister.
With Cara’s birthday around the corner, Stella wants to get her the perfect gift. An autographed poster of her sister’s favorite boy band should do the trick. Sounds simple enough, right? But life isn’t always so easy.
Not only does Stella hate The Heartbreakers because of their terrible music, but when she realizes that the cute boy she met at Starbucks is really Oliver Perry, the lead singer of the band, her life seems to spin out of control…
Will Stella be able to swallow her pride and get the autograph that she so desperately needs to make Cara happy? And will Oliver be able to show Stella how to live her own life again?
Meet… The Heartbreakers.
Before I start, I feel as if I must confess that despite the fact that I am a teenage I don’t really like boy bands. I find other people’s obsession with them frankly rather strange, however I suppose the same could be said about me and books.
I have finally found a boy band I can gush over and adore, with their posters plastered on my walls and their album on repeat. The only flaw in my plan: they’re fictional. Why Ali? Why have you done this to me?
Ali Novak is awesome! She has once again written a thoroughly enjoyable read-in-24-hours book that I will be telling my friends about. Like with MLWTWB , I read this book first on Wattpad , so when I saw it on NetGalley, I immediately requested it and was majorly excited when I received and e-arc. Having read this book now, I would say I even enjoyed this more than MLWTWB.
The characters in this novel are great. As well as loving the main characters, Stella and Oliver, I couldn’t help but fall for all of the Heartbreakers and wish I had siblings like Cara and Drew. Each character was good on their own, but they were brilliant together. It was the way the characters reacted together that made this novel so enjoyable. The boys, JJ, Alec, Xander and Oliver were hilarious together whilst the way the triplets stuck together through thick and thin was not only adorable but so admirable. I would have a hard time picking a favourite member of the Heartbreaker but in the end I think I’d have to go with Alec as he’s just so sweet and caring and awwwwww…
Some criticisms for this book involve the fact that it’s so unrealistic, that the chances of becoming a famous band’s photographer and then falling in love with one of the band members are slim to none. I hate to break it to you, but there’s a reason why I read fiction instead of biographies. I don’t always need realism. Sure, some gritty, heart wrenching novels are absolutely amazing, but I read book that make me happy and this book definitely did that. This book is like a warm hug full of giggles from your best friend.
This book was so great, it inspired the world’s least creative person (me) to create fan art and if I do say so myself, I’m pretty proud of it. Check it out!