None right now

Friday, December 29, 2017

Schoolyard Treasures #3

This is a feature I thought of in class, when I was supposed to be doing something that was not thinking of blog posts. Basically, since school started back up, I know I won't be doing much reading for pleasure, but, as an English major, I will be doing a ton of reading. I wanted to share with you all some of the new authors/stories/etc. I've read for a class and really enjoyed. I love that this gives me a space to talk about classic literature and short stories, which I usually don't talk about.
This past semester, I was in a graphic novels class, which I loved. For the first time in my college career I actually did pretty much all the reading for a class--and some of it I did in advance, which I can assure you has never happened before. 

I got to read a ton of interesting graphic novels and learn about a ton of interesting graphic novels that I want to read. But today I'm here to share with you my favorite graphic novel that I read for class, which I'd never even heard of before. 

Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba
Published: February 8, 2011 by Vertigo (DC Comics)
Summary from Goodreads:What are the most important days of your life?

Meet Brás de Oliva Domingos. The miracle child of a world-famous Brazilian writer, Brás spends his days penning other people's obituaries and his nights dreaming of becoming a successful author himself—writing the end of other people's stories, while his own has barely begun.

But on the day that life begins, would he even notice? Does it start at 21 when he meets the girl of his dreams? Or at 11, when he has his first kiss? Is it later in his life when his first son is born? Or earlier when he might have found his voice as a writer?

Each day in Brás's life is like a page from a book. Each one reveals the people and things who have made him who he is: his mother and father, his child and his best friend, his first love and the love of his life. And like all great stories, each day has a twist he'll never see coming...

In Daytripper, the Eisner Award-winning twin brothers Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá tell a magical, mysterious and moving story about life itself—a hauntingly lyrical journey that uses the quiet moments to ask the big questions.
 This graphic novel has won some major awards and has been on the NYT bestsellers list, I'm pretty sure, so it's not like it's unknown or underrated or anything, but I've never heard of it before and I'm a little uncertain as to why. Maybe because it came out in 2011? I don't know.

Either way, I really enjoyed this graphic novel. Not only is it beautiful, but it's an interesting, kinda mind-fucky story. If you're a graphic novel person, I seriously recommend this one. And if you're not a graphic novel person, I seriously recommend this one.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

My Favorite Books of 2017

I know, I know. We still have a couple days left of 2017 so I could potentially still discover a new favorite to add to the list, but I don't know how much reading I'm going to be doing, so I figured I'd take my chances. Here are my top ten favorite books of 2017 (in no particular order).

1) What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum | (MY REVIEW) - This books gave me so many emotions. It was sweet and heartbreaking all at the same time. This is a beautiful contemporary novel and features a character on the autism spectrum. ★★★★½

2) Caraval by Stephanie Garber | (MY REVIEW) - This was an absolute roller coaster of a read. It had my emotions ALL OVER THE PLACE. And it certainly kept me on my toes. It was a wild, all-consuming ride and I loved every single second of it. ★★★★★

3) Noteworthy by Riley Redgate | (MY REVIEW) - A SINGING BOOK!! And a good one at that. This novel was so fun and explorative, a novel that stands out among the trillions of YA contemporary books at our disposal. ★★★★¼

4) Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - Holy shit this book (and its predecessor) is such an exciting, crazy read. It starts out a little slow, a little confusing and then it picks up speed and flies. I could not turn the pages fast enough. The characters are great and it's told in such an interesting format and I cannot wait until book 3. ★★★★★

5) Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin | (MY REVIEW) - This one certainly took me by surprise! It's a bit gritty and complicated and left my feelings all sorts of confused. It alternates between standard formatting and play formatting, between past and present. It was a truly wonderful reading experience. ★★★★★

6) Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - Morgan Matson is an expert at characterization. I fell in love with all the characters in this novel and cried so many tears. Everything she writes is beautiful and relatable and speaks to my heart. ★★★★

7) Heartless by Marissa Meyer | (MY REVIEW) - I fucking love this book and I will never stop loving this book. It was so fun and interesting and exciting until it broke my heart into five gazillion pieces. Freaking incredible. ★★★★★

8) Once and For All by Sarah Dessen | (MY REVIEW) - Sarah Dessen is the queen of all queens, okay. This book was both lovely and tragic. And very Sarah Dessen. Let's just leave it at that. ★★★★½

9) Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples - I read the first half of this graphic novels series last year, but I re-read it this year and continued on and it's SO GOOD. The art is incredible and the story is addicting and the characters are so bad ass. ★★★★★

10) Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett - This book is very much in the vain of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, so of course I adored it. It's cute and emotional and so real. ★★★★
Those are my favorites of 2017. WHAT ARE YOURS? DO WE HAVE ANY  IN COMMON?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Eclectic Corner #8: My Unrealistic Christmas List

The Eclectic Corner is a feature on The Left-Handed Book Lover in which I talk about basically anything I want. A whole variety of topics! This is kinda like my chance to talk about non-bookish things. I came up with this idea because I really wanted to incorporate my love of TV shows and music somehow. This gives me a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers beyond similar taste in books.

So basically on this list are going to be things I really want but would never ask anyone to get me because MONEY (or because they're just not feasible wishes). This year it has been a bit tougher to decide because my situation is VASTLY different than it has been in the past 2 years. Beside straight up money, there's not a whole lot I need, but here we go! 

I'm something of a clothes addict, and ya girl has not purchased any new clothes in a hot minute. It's torture, I tell ya. TORTURE! But with the onslaught of adulthood comes bills and grad school application fees and other less-fun things I have to spend money on. So, if someone could just take me into a store or two and be like, "Hey girly, buy everything your little heart desires," that would be ideal, thanks. 

Speaking of grad school applications, I really wouldn't mind if someone handed me an acceptance letter or two. Applying has been an exhausting, nerve wracking process, and I'm not even close to being finished yet. Also, am very much convinced that I'm not going to get accepted anywhere so I'd like it if that, you know, weren't the case. 

Listen, I don't like country music, but Shania Twain is my queen. My goddess. MY PRESIDENT. I am literally obsessed with her and this little last hurrah tour she's doing would be my once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see her live, which is basically the dream. Funny story, though, I'M GOING TO BE OUT OF THE COUNTRY WHEN SHE'S TOURING so I guess the caveat to this wishlist item would be that I get tickets and meet & greet passes during a time when I'd actually be able to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be bitter about this until the day I go, just so everyone is aware. 

So I have a slight tattoo problem. I currently have 7 and want at least a billion more. Problem is, they're expensive. I just don't see anyone in my family paying for me to get more anytime soon. Let's just say I'm pretty much the only ink enthusiast in my family. 


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jingle All the Way Book Tag (Year 2)

This is a Christmas book tag I created last year and so I figured I'd bring it on back for round two.
A fun, light-hearted book/series 

Okay, so this novel isn't ENTIRELY sunshine and unicorns, but it's really heckin' fun and cute.

A book/series with a scandalous romance

This entire graphic novel series basically hinges on their scandalous relationship and their even more scandalous child! Now Everybody and their frickin chinchilla is hunting them down and all we can do is hope that their love (and their lives) can stand the trillion trials and tribulations they undergo. 

A book/series you are determined to re-read

I've been wanting to re-read this series for a while now, and with the new book (!!!!!!!!!!!!) coming out, I absolutely HAVE to re-read it. 

Your most anticipated release of 2018

This was incredibly difficult because there are so many books coming out in 2018 that I need in my life (more than usual, it seems--maybe because I've read more new releases this year so I gotta get the sequels in my hands stat), but I picked Obsidio mostly because I finished Gemina like a week ago and it was incredible. I need to know what happppppppens. 

A beautiful book/series that everyone knows

This book is obviously beautiful to look at, but the writing is beautiful and the characters are beautiful and I'm in love with this book. Feel free to check out my review from earlier this year!

A book/series with great worldbuilding

This is the first book I read in 2017 and it remains one of my absolute favorites (Take a gander at my lil review if you want to read all my nonsensical gushing). One of the reasons it was so utterly captivating and magical is because the world that Marissa Meyer gives us is quirky and, yeah, based on Lewis Carroll's world, but also completely her own. 

An underhyped book/series that is so great you want to tell everyone about it

I wasn't really sure what I was getting into with this novel, but I fell in love with it. It's a romance but it's more than a romance. And it has autism rep. It broke my heart and sewed it back together. I cannot understand why more people aren't talking about this novel (but you can totally read my review if you wanna know more about it).

Favorite trilogy
Delirium by Lauren Oliver

All right, well, fuck me because I have read very few trilogies in their entirety. This was tough because Delirium is one of my all-time favorite novels, but I'm not as fond as the rest of the books in the series. I mean, they're not horrible or anything, but they are by no means on the same level as the trilogy's first installment.

A book/series with an underdog protagonist who rises up
Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

When I think about this trope, I don't usually think about contemporary novels, but in a way, most contemporary books fit this description. Noteworthy has excellent character development, and I really loved to see how Jordan, the protagonist, started from the bottom and rose to a whole new level of happiness and talent and awareness. (My review for anyone interested.)

A book/series that helped you get through troubling times
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Okay, this is the only answer I'm keeping the same as last year, because this will always be my answer to a question like this. I could write an entire post about this. In fact, I have! Check out the guest post I did over at Book Nerds Across America if you're curious how deeply significant this book is in my life.
And that's all for the Jingle All the Way book tag! I'm not going to tag specific people, but I encourage you to do this if you think it sounds fun!!! 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings Me


Okay, sorry, I just really love Christmas. I'm calm now.

That said, I present to you the books I wish Santa would bring me (but like prolly not because I never get books for Christmas, as sad as that is).

1) Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley - Crowley's Graffiti Moon is one of my all-time favorite books and so I was pumped as heck when I saw she was releasing this one. It was one of my most anticipated releases for the year. It sounds so cute and yeah I just really wanna read it.

2) There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins - Another one of my most anticipated releases.

3) The Magicians by Lev Grossman - I'm obsessed with the TV series and it doesn't feel right to love it so much without having read the series.

4) Saga, Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staple - This is the only book I actually asked for for Christmas because I am obsessed with this graphic novel series and graphic novels are v expensive.

5) Now I Rise by Kiersten White - Annnnd another of my most anticipated releases of the year (see a trend here?). I've made no secret of my love for And I Darken, the first book in the series and I cannot believe I haven't picked this one up yet.

6) Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli - I just finished Becky's most recent book and really enjoyed it, and with the movie coming out soon, I need to read this one!! (Plus, NICK ROBINSON my love)

7) Into the Black by Ava Jae - I adored the first book in the series and the sequel's release snuck up on me without me even realizing it.

8) The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee - I have heard nothing but fabulous things about this one! It seems like the kind of fun I've been craving since My Lady Jane.

9) Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire - Another book I've heard a ton of buzz about and it sounds incredibly interesting.

10) Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco - I'm going to be reading the first book in the series very soon so it would be nice to have the sequel on hand the moment I finish.

Monday, December 18, 2017

7 Books I Need To Read Before The End Of The Year

All right, lads and lasses. We are two weeks (!!!!) away from the New Year, and if ya girl wants to complete her Goodreads goal of 50 books, I need to read 7 more books before this year comes to a close. And ya girl wants to reach her goal. I've actually never reached my Goodreads goal before, but by the grace of graphic novels, I'm closer than ever this year, and I gotta cross that finish line.

A book every two days. I can do that. Easy peasy??????

Here are the 7 books I plan to read, selected from the few books I brought to Florida with me and the books that are on my kindle.

I've heard truly marvelous things about this book and its sequel. I've had this book sitting on my shelf since its release and grabbed it on a whim before leaving for vacation. Also, after a writing project for school I've been especially interested in Jack the Ripper, so it seemed like a perfect read to take with me.

This is a book I've been wanting to re-read for quite some time because I wanted a refresher before cracking open the series' newest addition. Plus, I know it will be quick and light and fun. A good time guaranteed. 

3) The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert 

I don't know much about this one, but I feel like I've heard some positive reviews and I have an eARC so, ya know, might as well.

4) A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

Again, I don't know much about this one but it's on my kindle and it is fairly short.

5) The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

This is one of the longer novels on my list, but this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I got an eARC and I never read it and so I'll be very disappointed in myself if I don't finish this one by the end of the year.

6) Kiss Me in New York by Catherine Rider

This is really short and sounds cute. Plus, judging by the cover, it's fairly winter-y and it takes place in New York and it sounds like the perfect recipe for a quick, cute contemporary, which we all know I can't get enough of.

7) Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne

Another book I got from NetGalley and have yet to read (I suck, I know). But after re-reading the summary, it sounds interesting as heck and I can't wait to read it. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Spoopy Reads #1: Creepy TBR

Hello, ghouls and goblins. I'm Spoopy Reads, Lefty's evil poltergeist and I am taking over Lefty's blog for the month of October MWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA.

Okay, but on the real: October is my favorite month because it means pumpkin patches and haunted houses and scary movies and HALLOWEEN. In my opinion, all of October is a holiday. I adore all things spooky (and spoopy) so everything I post this month is dedicated to the eerie, the ominous, the spine-chilling.

If I'm being honest, as a person who loves scary stuff, I have a surprising deficiency in my creepy reading. I've read approximately zero horror novels, and that is something that must be remedied as soon as ghostly possible. Here are some creepy books I desperately NEED TO READ (clicking on pictures will take you to the Goodreads page).


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Yes, I am still alive.

Hi everyone! I know it has been a while, but I just wanted to do a quick check in to let you all know that, yes, I am still alive.

I know I say this literally all the time, but, so far, this semester has been absolutely insane. I'm actually hurriedly typing this before I have to jet off to a meeting! Because that's all this semester has been. Meetings and events and homework and work and breakdowns. Heh. But no worries. I am surviving.

I have vowed to myself that I will work on blogging more. Because I do miss it! I might be a little light on the reviews because all of the reading that I do is for school, but that doesn't mean I can't keep producing bookish content!

So. Stay tuned, friends. I'll be coming at y'all with some more nerd fun soon!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blog Tour: When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn (Review & Giveaway)

When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn
Published: August 1, 2017 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
Source: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review as part of the blog tour. All opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own.
Summary from Goodreads:
“This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it.”

Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly about what happened on what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.

I don't have much experience with thrillers or mysteries, but when I read the synopsis for WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH  YOU, I was immensely intrigued and knew I needed to read this novel! I'll admit, this is more of a survival story than a thriller, so it wasn't quite what I expected, but there were still so many wonderful things about this book! 

The characters in this book and their relationships with each other were phenomenally done. That was by far the most fascinating aspect of this story. Here we are with a group of teenagers, all broken and flawed and hoarding their secrets, but just trying to do their best. I was so invested in figuring out the intricacies of this group. Who is lying to whom? Who is sleeping with whom? Who hates whom? That was the most thrilling part for me, unraveling their truths. They were all kind of shitty, but that was most of the fun. 

From the very beginning, Ben, the narrator, tells us he is locked up, that he killed his girlfriend Rose and he doesn't feel bad about it. He tells us that he's not explaining everything because he's seeking to lighten his punishment. He just wants the truth to be out there. Interesting, no? Of course, the main appeal of the novel is to figure out why he killed Rose, but from the beginning, I had a hunch and my hunch was correct, so the ending wasn't as shocking as I would have liked. But, once again, it was amazing to see Ben transform with each page, to see how he reached that point, how he ended up in a cell. 

While this book had plenty of plot, it felt more character driven for me. I just found the plot to be...slow toward the second half. As far as thrillers go, I wasn't particularly thrilled. And I guess that's because this book is more of a survival story than a thriller. That's the only reason this book wasn't a five-star read for me. Because, while the writing was incredible and the characters were enticing, I found myself slogging through certain parts. Plus, it's a dense book, so even though it's only like 300 pages, it felt much longer than that. 

My rating: 

•3 copies of WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU by Stephanie Kuehn will go to 3 winners 

•1 winner will receive a copy of WHEN I AM THROUGH WITH YOU & THE SMALLER EVIL by Stephanie Kuehn

•4 winners total

•US Only
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

August 2nd
Pink Polka Dot Books- Welcome Post

August 3rd

August 4th
Bookish in Bed- Revew & Fave Quotes

August 5th

August 6th
FicGal- Review

August 7th
Reading in the Rain- Review & Fave Quotes

August 8th
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr

I grew up in Berkeley, California, which is a quirky sort of a place with many wonderful bookstores. When I was fifteen, my very first job was working in one of those bookstores. It’s where I would go after school, and I’d read everything that I could. Back then, some of the books that had the greatest impact on my life were young adult novels, and now, as an adult, I’ve found my own passion in writing for teens.

Other passions of mine include mental health advocacy, social justice, and sports of all kinds. When I’m not writing or reading (or studying for graduate school), I’m usually outside running or playing with my family. I currently live in Northern California with my husband, three kids, and our menagerie of pets. Life is loud, joyous, and filled with animal hair.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my last name is pronounced keen. I know! I don’t get it either.