None right now

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Lefty's Lowdown: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Published: May 8, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
Summary from Goodreads: 
Honor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn’s celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her.

Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn’s last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn . . . and ruggedly good-looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn’t. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn--but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences? 
 So I've finally read it. This book has been on my TBR for years, so when I saw a used copy at Hastings for cheap, I was all over that like gravy on potatoes. I'd heard really good things about In Honor and I've had pleasant previous experience with Kirby, and I was not disappointed this time around. In Honor was by no means an amazing, force-everyone-I-know-read-this-book book, but it is a sweet road trip story imbued with emotion and discovery.

I'll tell you all right here, right now: I cried by the second chapter. The novel opens with Honor at her older brother Finn's funeral, and you can tell how close they were and how heartbroken Honor is now that he's dead. I have two older brothers, both of whom I am very close with, so I was immediately hit with every feeling ever. As the novel progresses, we learn even more about their relationship and how much Finn was willing to sacrifice in order to make his sister happy. It kinda crushed me and made me want to call up my brothers to tell them how much I appreciate them.

I also found the perspective of this novel really interesting. Honor's brother was a marine killed in action. We're taught to really respect every member of the military because they have sacrificed so much to fight for our freedom, but Honor has a hard time appreciating the military when it killed her brother. She is juggling hurt feelings, confusion, and anger that her brother would just leave her for (what seems to her like) no good reason. I just think that we don't get that perspective that often in YA especially.

Obviously I connected with Honer, seeing as she made me cry so easily, but I definitely found her a bit annoying and immature. I can't put my finger exactly on what it was, but she acted like a giant brat sometimes and I couldn't help but wonder if she was a sophomore in high school instead of a girl who is supposed to be at her college orientation. She grows a lot by the end of the novel, though, and realizes that it's time to grow up and take some responsibility, which I really liked.

The other main character in this novel is Rusty, who I liked a lot while reading, but now, only 3 days later, I've become rather indifferent toward. I know that a lot of people are saying he is supposed to be based off of a Friday Night Lights character, but I've never actually watched that, so he reminded me a lot of Wade Kinsella from the show Hart of Dixie, whom I am head over heels in love with. He was definitely arrogant and not much for vulnerability, but when he let his guard down, it was hard not to like him. I just wish I got to know him more. We do learn a lot about him, but I just feel like I didn't get this complete image of him. Same goes for many of the other characters, such as Lilah and even the dead brother Finn.

The writing, of course, was beautiful. Jessi Kirby has a way with words! And I adore the ending. It's one of those that aren't quite tied up in a pretty little bow, but also not super ambiguous and leaving you hanging.. There was also one tiny scene that really tied the whole story together.

Although this book was not perfect, it was still a very enjoyable read. If you're a fan of contemporary, this is one you don't want to miss. There's emotion and an Impala (and if someone tries to tell me Kirby is not a fan of Supernatural, I will not believe them) and vortexes, which is a pretty cool combination.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Top Ten Songs I Wish Were Books

I am in love with this topic! I hear songs ALL the time that make me want to sit down and write a novel about them. I want to give the people in these songs life and I want to give the situations more substance. Unfortunately, if I tried to do that with every sing I heard, I'd go crazy. But nevertheless, here are the top ten songs I wish were books.

1) Fool's Gold by One Direction

2) Samson by Regina Spektor

3) Clumsy Little Heart by Every Avenue

4) The Run and Go by Twenty One Pilots

5) Screen by Twenty One Pilots

6) If I'm James Dean, You're Audrey Hepburn by Sleeping With Sirens

7) Tokyo by Vinyl Theatre

8) Just Apathy by Tally Hall

9) Greener by Tally Hall

10) Lead Me Out of the Dark by Crown the Empire

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday Post #10

  • Hi everyone! Happy Valentine's Day! I personally am not doing anything special today, but last night me and a few of my friends celebrated Galentine's Day and we had a blast! We did makeovers, had a dance party, and watched a scary movie. Who needs a romance when you have fantastic friends! 
  • Other than that, I'd call this a mostly un-noteworthy week. I pretty much ALWAYS have homework to do (but I don't always do it), and yoga and Zumba are both really fun! My roommate and I are going to start getting into meditation. We've done super beginner stuff and it's really nice! After we finished, I actually felt pretty energized. 
Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten OTPs
Just Write #1 (A new feature I'm using to incorporate my writing into the blog. Check it out!)
Would You Rather #1: Book Boyfriends (Another new feature. This one, I think, will be lots of fun!)

Amber at The Book Bratz posted a helpful How-To for Edelweiss and Netgalley. This is really awesome for new bloggers! 

Jen at Pop! Goes the Reader wrote a beautiful review of The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker. I've not read this book, but her review definitely makes me want to! 

From Netgalley: 

The Trick to Landing by Jenny Kaczorowski - Thanks Bloomsbury Spark!


(sorry for the crappy quality)

I won 2 ARCs from Confessions of a Book Addict! Thanks, Christina, for Pearl by Deirdre Riordan Hall and Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate. 

What has your week in books and blogging looked like? 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Would You Rather #1: Book Boyfriends

Hiya! Would You Rather is a pretty self-explanatory new feature here at The Left-Handed Book Lover, and I think it will be a lot of fun. Each WYR post will have a different theme.

With Valentine's Day right around the corner and yours truly date-less for the evening, I figured I'd turn to the guy--well, more like guys--who truly has my heart: my book boyfriends! This round of WYR is going to be especially tough because I rounded up a list of some of my favorite YA hotties and paired them at random, and now I'm stuck to choose between all my loves!

This was super tough, but I eventually made my decision for all 11 of the pairs. My choice is circled.

What do you think? Are there any choices you'd make differently? Any guys you would add/take away from this list? Tell me your thoughts! 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Just Write #1

Ever since I started blogging again, I've been looking for a way to incorporate my writing hobby on my blog. Finally, I've figured out a way to do it. I've started a feature called Just Write, in which I share some of my writing/writing ideas. I'd love feedback, and it would be super cool if y'all wanted to share some of your writing/ideas with me! You can either do your own Just Write post and link it up in the comments, or you can put it right there in the comments. I'm super excited about this, so don't be shy when it comes to interacting. I want to hear anything you have to say!

As some of you may know from some of my previous posts, I am currently taking a Screenwriting class in college. I think it's really cool, and I'm really loving learning how to write a movie. One of our first assignments was to write a pitch for the movie and read it to the class (let me tell you, that part was terrifying). I figured I'd share my pitch with you all and see what you think of the story!

Run and Go

One of the most basic human instincts is fight or flight, and the heroine of this contemporary drama, 17-year-old Riley Quinn, has a history of choosing flight. In ninth grade, when her father re-married and her boyfriend became her step-brother, she changed her name and booked a flight from Faber, her small Arkansas hometown, to L.A to live with her famous lawyer mother. She didn't offer an explanation or a good bye to her father and lifelong friends.

Now, three years later, her mother finds Riley and her new (and newly-orphaned) best friend Lexie hiding out in a motel in Rhode Island. To Riley, the punishment they receive feels more like torture—Riley and Lexie have to move back to Faber and live with Riley's dad and his new family.

Of course, her first reaction upon their arrival is to flee once again. However, Riley discovers her father's health is declining and realizes she cannot leave again. She realizes she must stay and fight. Nobody in Faber lets her off easy, though. Riley's father is hurt and confused. Her old friends are cold and unforgiving. Nobody is willing to overlook Riley's betrayal, and they certainly are not willing to accept Lexie, the only person Riley seems to care about anymore.

Riley's ex-best friend, Mia, has taken Riley's friends, first love, and has now taken it upon herself to make sure Riley and Lexie know they are not welcome in Faber. Riley has devoted the last three years to protecting thoughtful, fragile Lexie, but now she is is preoccupied, focusing her attention on convincing the town she is not as heartless as they think she is, stifling old feelings for the boy sleeping just down the hall, and wishing desperately to make up the time she lost with her father. Lexie feels overwhelmed and cast aside, especially as she realizes all the truths about Riley's life in Faber that she kept hidden.

Riley struggles to reconcile who she was when she lived in Faber with the life she forged for herself in L.A. She finally admits—to herself and to the rest of Faber—why she left so abruptly. Right when she believes she may be able to balance what she wanted then and what she wants now, when she believes she may be able to balance her newfound loyalty to Lexie with her old ties to Faber, the two worlds collide together and shatter Riley's life into countless shards of jagged glass, and she is left to decide which pieces she wants to pick up—Lexie's or her father's. Either way, Riley cannot run from this problem.  

Any questions, comments? I'd love to hear your thoughts or tell you more about the storyline. What do you think about this new feature? Also, I would definitely love to see some of your writing!  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Top Ten OTPs

I know it's a day late, but this is one of my favorite things on the planet to talk about. My OTPs, the ships I will gladly go down with. THERE ARE SO MANY THOUGH. It's extremely hard to narrow it down when there are so many couples in my heart. The first half are book OTPs, and the second half are TV show OTPs.

Will Herondale & Tessa Gray from the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare - Will is so sassy and so afraid of being vulnerable, but Tessa breaks down his walls, and no matter how much they fight it, they know they belong together. 

Noah Hutchins & Echo Emerson from Katie McGarry's Pushing the Limits - This is definitely an opposites attract situation, but they both have dark secrets, and they can only work through them with the help of each other. 

Aaron Warner & Juliette Ferrars from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi - Talk about a misunderstood bad boy! No one can see the good in Warner, and no one takes the time to see the actual human that is Aaron Warner--that is, of couse, except for Juliette. She gets Warner in a way nobody ever has before. It's beautiful and sexy at the same time. 

Teach & Anne from Nicole Castroman's Blackhearts - Their love story is doomed, but they are still so so so ship-worthy. They do whatever it takes to be with each other. 

Dimitri Belikov & Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead - I can't even put into words why this is so great. They went through so much just to be together. They denied and fought their love for the longest time, but eventually they realized it was impossible for them to stifle it any longer. They make each other better and stronger. 

Emma Swan & Hook from Once Upon a Time - the roguish pirate with a dark history and the girl who refuses to let people in. Mmmm. They are so cute and I just need them to be together forever. 

Blair Waldorf & Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl - Their relationship transforms so much over the course of the series. It begins very unhealthy and destructive, but eventually they get to a place where they make each other better, and they're willing to do anything for each other. It's got passion and sincerity and deep, herd-earned love. 

Jim & Pam from The Office - OKAY THEY ARE MY ULTIMATE RELATIONSHIP GOALS, Y'ALL. No joke, they are perfect together in every way and I can't even put words to it. This is very much a case of marrying your best friend. It's just the most precious relationship in the entire world. 

Toby & Spencer, Ezra & Aria, Caleb & Hanna - Okay, so I'm definitely cheating here because I have 3 OTPs in this show. Each of the couples have been through so much and they just deserve to be happy (with each other) because we all know that's what they want. 

Rose & Ten from Doctor Who - If you're a whovian, you get this. If you're not, I can't explain it to you. Just know that they have such a beautiful relationship. 

Please tell me about your OTPs. I loooove talking about this! 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Post #9

  • Today is my birthday!!! I;m 20 years old now. That's really weird. I don't really have any plans, though. I'll probably watch a lot of Pretty Little Liars.
  • My friends and I have been doing zumba classes through our school twice a week, and on Thursday we tried yoga for the first time. It was tough, but we really liked it. My abs are still killing me. 
I didn't do a whole lot of blogging this week. I'm just so exhausted all the time.

My whopping two posts this week: 
January Recap

Discussion on being a promotional tool - I would love more interaction on this one. I want to hear your thoughts! 

I won this beauty from the fantastic Rockstar Book Tours. I was super excited because this is one I have been wanting to read! Thank you so much!!

The lovely Lisa Maxwell (author of Unhooked) sent me this swag! See that purrrdy Neverland sticker on my laptop? She is an absolute delight and her writing is fantastic. Thanks so much, Lisa. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Proud Promotional Tool

The whole #bloggerconfessions debacle has dissipated, but there are, of course, a couple things that others said still lingering in my mind--primarily the issue of how we're being used by publishers as free promotional tools.

It's true, we are. We put so much time and effort and mental energy into our blogs. We don't get paid, but we're helping to sell books with every fangirl-y, gush-y word we type.

My question...

Why is that such a bad thing?

When I fall head over heels for a book, not only do I just want everyone else on the entire planet to experience that book, but I also want to support the author and publishing team that allowed me to experience that book.

Yeah, I'm helping sales by influencing others to purchase a book. No, I'm not receiving monetary compensation, but I don't need it. I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice (because if I could get money for breathing or eating or sleeping, I definitely would), I'm just saying that I'm perfectly content to work this hard without being rewarded by money.

I'm rewarded by so many other things. I know that's cheesy, but it's the 100% truth. I get rewarded by the amazing book I read and all the characters that I've undoubtedly become far too invested in, and I get rewarded by being a part of an endlessly fantastic community. Sometimes an author tweets me and that is like my dad buying me all of One Direction on Christmas. And, of course, I won't overlook the fact that I occasionally have the opportunity to read a book before its release or a publisher sends me a book for review. My point is, book blogging is incredible, and there are so many not-money perks that come along with it. So what if publishers are exploiting our hobby for money? It doesn't really make any difference in our blogging, does it?

As book lovers, many of us have claimed that reading has changed us for the better, that book blogging has changed us for the better. That being said, I figured we'd all be eager to help the publishers, as they are one of the major reasons we have the books that changed us (or, for me, saved us).

Maybe I just misunderstood what people meant. That's honestly very, VERY possible. So if I did, I'd love some clarity on the subject. Why is being the publishers' promotional tools such a negative thing?

Also, if you are one of the people upset by that aspect of this community, I encourage you to forget about any pressures from publishers, authors, and/or other bloggers. As I mentioned above, book blogging is a hobby. It should be fun! Blog for yourself. Blog in a way that you enjoy, that makes you happy! I know it's easier said than done, but baby steps will take you there!

How do you feel about this whole topic? Let's discuss! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

January Recap

Here's what my month looked like!

It's been a great month! The new semester started, and it is definitely kicking my butt. SOOOO much homework. But I get to take a screenwriting class and learn how to write a movie, and my British lit class this semester seems like it is going to be much better than last semester. 

I got a new tattoo and I died my hair red! I'm a-changin' (whether my dad approves or not). 

I started bullet journaling, so I feel like my life is just a bit more in order. Because of the bullet journal, I've gotten super into hand-lettering recently. I love to turn my favorite song lyrics into visual art! 

A couple months ago I applied for an alternative spring break program in which a handful of students gets selected to spend spring break in Atlanta and do community service to help the homeless. I was put on a wait list, and I got an email a few days ago offering me a spot on the team! I'm really excited about the whole thing. It kind of makes me sad that I won't get to spend my spring break in pajamas, but I definitely think it is worth it. 

 photo tiny Northanger Abbey 2_zpsq1wzbyay.jpg photo tiny Blackhearts_zpsohwszyoj.jpg photo tiny Unhooked_zps3izzld7r.jpg photo tiny Since Youve Been Gone_zpsshguz8vu.jpg photo mini This Song Is Not For You_zps3g3ksiyx.jpg

Top Ten Tuesdays: 


Blog Tours:



Bloglovin - 20 (gained 9)
GFC - 7 (gained 5) 
Twitter - 56 (gained 17)
Instagram  - 10 (gained 10)
Facebook - 1 like (gained 0)
Total pageviews - 2348

Books read: 3.5 
Book with the most pages: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson (449 pages) 
Books with the least pages: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (251 pages)

1 star reviews: 0
2 star reviews: 0
3 star reviews: 1 (actually 3.5) 
4 star reviews: 0
5 star reviews: 3
Most popular review:

Pageviews and comments -  

This one is so tough because I enjoyed everything I read this month, but I have to go with...


So, this singing duo came and performed at my school, and they were absolutely fantastic. Not only was their music (covers and originals) extraordinary, but so were their personalities. They are so quirky and kind! And they are the cutest couple to ever exist. 

Check out Shane and Emily and fall in love with them! 

TV Shows: 

Soooo we all know Shadowhunters premiered this month. I gotta say, I'm not really a fan. I can't bring myself to elaborate on that or it will turn into a rant. 

However, accompanying Shadowhunters was the premiere of the new season of Pretty Little Liars. I'd never watched the show before, but my roommate was a big fan. She has been watching the new season, and I got interested. So....the other day I went to Netflix and watched the first episode, which then turned into the entire first season--IN ONE DAY. It's so addicting. So so so addicting.