Happy 2 Year Blogiversary!


I’m very excited to share with you all that this Friday, August 28th, marks my two year blogging birthday! I’m kinda excited especially because when I recently decided to originally go back to my first post, I thought it was dated in September. It turns out the first post was just shy but I figured that was pretty good luck I searched back and didn’t miss my date. [clearly that happened last year] 😉

This blog originally started as a way to showcase my book buying obsession, which still goes on today, but I have a tighter budget so I’ve calmed down…mostly. I did finally incorporate more reviews, participating in Top Ten Tuesday and Waiting on Wednesday features along with showing my geeky side and branching out into pop culture fun!

On top of cracking my knuckles at writing, posting, learning about blogging tips, etc, I’ve established some really awesome friendships and participated in some great events because of my book blogging & thirst for reading!

As I thought about how far things have come in my two years with an online book presence I decided to browse my shelves and pick out some titles that I figured could use a better home, so I’m hosting my first giveaway! While taking the books off the shelf and placing them into a pile I noticed they had a theme accidentally. They were similar shades and after I processed my blogiversary date I decided to do a theme! Most of the spines are white or on the lighter side and one happens to focus on Summer, so I thought what better way to host this giveaway then presenting a theme: No White Spines After Labor Day. Traditionally this coincides with white fashion, which you can read more about here, but I thought with Labor Day coming up for us in the US and summer ending I thought this would be a cute idea 😀

Again, this is my first time so bear with me 🙂

This will be a Rafflecopter giveaway where you can enter to win! The titles included are:

Vivian Apple at the End of the World (Vivian Apple #1) | Katie Coyle
Second Chance Summer | Morgan Matson
Six Months Later | Natalie D. Richards
Maybe Someday | Colleen Hoover
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor | Lucy Christopher

#nowhitespinesafterLaborDay

#nowhitespinesafterLaborDay

I really enjoyed reading these books and hope you do too! I wanted to do something fun with giveaway and decided since I don’t have a Facebook where you guys can generate more entries, I was hoping those who participate can offer up some summer pics or white pics to go along with the Giveaway theme!

Good Luck to all those who enter and thanks in advance for participating! The giveaway starts on 8/28 and runs until 9/6 before Labor Day!

xx Linz aka The Kid

 

Another Day by David Levithan | Review



Another Day (Every Day #2) | Available for Purchase: Amazon.com « Barnes & Noble « Book Depository
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Pages: 300, hardcover
Received Copy: Advanced Reading Copy (e-Galley from NetGalley on behalf of Random House in return for an honest review)

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

The eagerly anticipated companion to David Levithan’s New York Times bestseller Every Day

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan (co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green) tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person . . . wasn’t Justin at all.

Another Day is David Levithan’s companion novel to Every Day which is…no words. Literally, David’s work is some of my favorite–I fly through his books because he writes genuine characters, the kind you fall in love with that stay with you forever. That being said I was so completely stoked to get approved to read Another Day because I cherished Every Day!! In this novel, we get to see the flip side of what was happening in Every Day, we get Rhiannon’s version of how she met A, how she coped with finding out about who/what A is, and what her future holds for her and boyfriend Justin. As a whole, this book is around 3.5 stars because I definitely had high hopes this was a sort of continuation–I’m a bit fickle with opposite points of view as a whole other book. Sometimes I feel like an author wants to put out another novel they know will do well. I honestly do not feel like it was the case with David. I’ve met him and heard him speak several times and I think he enjoys his craft, he takes pride in it, and I suppose he genuinely wanted to give Rhiannon’s side of the story. There was probably 75% of the novel that I already knew about, 25% was new information I didn’t know about Rhiannon’s character and how her home life was, what went on with Justin. If you haven’t read Every Day, which you really won’t have to–this could actually be a stand alone, but if you pick this book up first you’ll still understand pretty much everything David has already laid out for the audience in the first book.


They’re back…
Going back into this universe was so awesome! I LOVEDDDD EVERY DAY! A is a character that just….everything is so right about it (he/she)! A and Rhiannon have a very interesting relationship that is put to the test on so many levels and I love this. How much outside and inside appearance matter when finding that attraction in another–it’s pretty ingenious and fascinating because David gets it so right, he really does. Even though it’s Rhiannon’s turn to tell her side of the story, I still was here for A, LOL!!

Future audiences…
Honestly, there’s a ton of sexual situations (not graphic, just discussed) that probably could border on not being recommended but I wish this and Every Day were being used in classrooms across America. In a world where transgendered people are embracing themselves and the topic is now more widely discussed, this book could really and truly help generations of readers/people to understand that sometimes things aren’t just as simple and categorized as we’re taught. That’s a big problem and why there’s so much controversy. David does a really brilliant job on focusing how A is neither he nor she but rather ‘it’. A grew up experiencing so MUCH surviving in body after body and became this being that just accepted any and all. A always goes by merits in a person, their heart and actions, rather than one’s outward appearance and this could really teach us a lot. Not everyone is born fully accepted in their bodies and A is an original character that I think many could relate to and learn from.

Stand alone…
Like I stated before, even though this novel is a companion, you really can get away with just reading it and loving the story just as much. Obviously I will push Every Day on you because I love it the most but this novel had a bunch of scenes that felt like I re-read, so I would say this could be purchased on its own and you wouldn’t miss anything by not reading the first.

Duh…
IT’S MORE DAVID LEVITHAN!!! HE’S ALWAYS WORTH IT!


So, yeah…
A lot of what I read felt like I was just reading a bunch of the same storyline that I had just forgotten specific dialogue but a lot of Rhiannon’s interaction felt the same as it did in Every Day. For me, re-reading just from a different point of view is disappointing. I usually have a problem with books that have alternating POVs because of this specifically! When I heard Another Day was a book that was happening I was so excited! Too excited that I think I hadn’t read any synopsis until I finally decided to add it on Goodreads and skimmed reviews saying that it was in fact Rhiannon’s POV and not a real continuation of A’s story.

Leave the ex alone…
Rhiannon just was tirelessly in love with the idea that Justin was going to be the Justin who was at the beach the first day which opens the story. Throughout the novel, Rhiannon seems to give excuses for Justin’s behavior for pretty much everything. While I will admit, in high school, “love” and one’s emotions on this scale are at an all-time dramatic high. One cannot bare to be separated from XYZ, or One will die because ABC is going/doing/planning whatever, etc. I get that, I really do. Rhiannon just is tireless with her determination to not let go of Justin and it kinda gets old. Justin is lifeless: he wants to have sex, play video games, does not care about school, hates “drama”, hates his job, hates his dad…see where I’m going with this? Justin’s character is just mind-numbing for Rhiannon and throughout most of the book she just never sees that. **I also tend to lose my patience with individuals quickly and like to have my space so sometimes reading from Rhiannon’s point of view was a little much.

Ending…

I mean, THAT’S IT?!

.

Overall, I really did enjoy the book! David creates fantastic characters and I never finish a book without feeling some sort of heavy emotion: elation, sadness, pride, happiness, hope….his stories and characters are full of this and always a delight to read. If you haven’t read Every Day, seriously what are you waiting for, but if you haven’t you should definitely check this title out! (And even if you have already read Every Day you can/should still check it out :D)

xx Linz aka The Kid

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we can’t wait to read.

So I’m doing my first Waiting on Wednesday post which I’m excited about because I can’t wait for this book to come out!

Face Paint: The Story of Makeup | Lisa Eldridge
Available for purchase on October 13, 2015 at: Amazon « Barnes & Noble


Probably not your typical Waiting on Wednesday title you’d see but I’m obsessed with make up even though I can’t afford the good stuff and I definitely cannot make myself up but I can still be in awe of those who have this kind of talent. [Side note: also HUGE fan of SyFy’s Face Off film make up challenge and competition show as well!] I think it will be interesting to see the history of make up, how centuries ago they didn’t have MAC and Estée Lauder counters so it’ll be fascinating to see where these pieces to paint your face were improvised and derived from.

Synopsis:

Makeup, as we know it, has only been commercially available in the last 100 years, but applying decoration to the face and body may be one of the oldest global social practices. In Face Paint, Lisa Eldridge reveals the entire history of the art form, from Egyptian and Classical times up through the Victorian age and golden era of Hollywood, and also surveys the cutting-edge makeup science of today and tomorrow. Face Paint explores the practical and idiosyncratic reasons behind makeup’s use, the actual materials employed over generations, and the glamorous icons that people emulate and how they achieved their effects. An engaging history of style, it is also a social history of women and the ways in which we can understand their lives through the prism and impact of makeup.

Probably should choose a YA book but I saw this book on a blog recently and it’s been on my mid ever since!

What’s everyone else waiting on???

Pointe by Brandy Colbert | Review

Pointe | Available for Purchase: Amazon « Barnes & Noble « Book Depository
Author: Brandy Colbert
Publisher: Speak – Penguin Books USA
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Pages: 333, paperback
Received Copy: Personal copy (Amazon had a really great deal for my tight-unemployed budget)

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Speak meets Black Swan in this stunningly dramatic debut novel

All that drama, plus pointe shoes? Yes, please: this is one book that’s bound to make a splash

Theo is better now.

She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abduct or. 

Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.

Right away I can tell you that I was super thrilled to find a book with a diverse set of characters, races and genders, different backgrounds, this is what I was really happy about when reading the story! When stories tend to give cookie cutter characters, it’s easy to read the monotony so this story, given it’s synopsis and characters, breaks this mold which is refreshing. Main character

Theo is now at the point (no pun intended) where she can grow into an elite ballet dancer if she works hard and puts forth the dedication to possibly take her hobby of ballet life and turn it into a career. While this is happening, mysterious Hosea from school who, is the go-to-guy for certain illegal substances, turns out to be a faux-prodigy piano player now filling in at Theo’s ballet school. This begins a spark between the two, friendship and ultimately a relationship that is hush hush but it gives something to occupy Theo’s brain when she isn’t worrying about ballet or the return of her best friend Donovan. Donovan returning stirs up Theo’s memories of who she used to be and who she used to be with which sets off a chain of events and semi self-destructive state for her.

Theo has a dark past that she’s usually kept hidden mainly because she didn’t know any better and towards the end she comes to terms with how wrong and vulnerable she was when it all happened. Saying something now could change her future and give her unwanted attention having her weigh her decisions daily. Brandy Colbert’s novel brings up some really tough issues that her characters go through: eating disorders, growing up, sexual assault, post-traumatic stress disorder, drug use, Stockholm Syndrome, just to name a few. I never felt like there was too much or too little that Colbert’s novel didn’t cover which was great to read.

YAY Diversity…
WOOHOO! So happy and excited the novel had a diverse cast of characters: black, latino, white…all present which was so refreshing to read! As reader, half the time I usually insert myself as the main character (well the female character anyway haha!) but in my head I don’t always assign a race, even if things are described, but this was still great to see in a YA novel.

Typical Teen Drama…
I liked the fact that there was a real rawness to the characters, they acted like typical teens. Drug use, promiscuous teens–it’s probably not even a drop in the big teen pond of what goes on these days, but certain themes that were a little more on the adult-side were present and I liked that the author didn’t beat around the bush, especially with the sexual aspect. Theo has a vulnerable side just like we all do and you saw that with her timidness towards Hosea in the beginning, hiding her dark secrets, trying to survive high school in one piece. Sometimes YA novels paint sex as this precious, put-up-on-a-pedestal thing, but not every teen experiences this. Some don’t wait. Some don’t want that special moment. Some are confident. Some can’t hold that responsibility, but that’s what makes it real.

Trigger-warning…
To go along with the teen drama, I liked that the issues Colbert explored with Theo’s character were tough and very touchy-subject. Eating disorders. Sexual assault. Sex. These topics can be no-no’s in the young adult world but there are ratios of teens that experience these sorts of traumas/instances which makes the story and characters even more relatable. I think the exposure was good and handled fairly well–Theo had a lot on her plate and at that age, most usually do.

 


Inner monologue…
Sometimes I just wanted to shake Theo and be like, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING THEO! You need serious help and need to get it now!, but that’s how you know a book is good–it can get inside you and you development a relationship with the character. In regards to her adult relationship that she had when she was barely a teen left a mark on her and it shows through this inner dialogue. It tended to drive me insane though because while being young and vulnerable sometimes I wanted to just be like, you need to realize how messed up this was and you need to examine this–no more secrets, spill it. Again, for the situation, it was probably pretty accurate, as a reader I just wanted to shake the character.

Final point[e]…
Throughout the whole book the reader has been built up on Donovan’s return and Theo realizing she needs to confess knowledge that will not only help Donovan but her in the process and it’s discovery felt rushed. I kept realizing how the pages remaining were less and less and thinking that there is so much there has left to be discussed and the audience gets a brief summary. This felt disappointing because I wanted to know a little  more about the case, what Donovan was doing, how Theo and her family were coping but Theo is thrown into a new setting and we get a few pages and the official ending. I just had hoped for more.

 

Really did enjoy this novel. The themed weren’t your typical YA and with the diverse characters I really liked it. Also to be cliche, I couldn’t stop thinking about popping in my Black Swan/Center Stage DVDs to finally get my ballet visual fix. (YES I HAVE SEEN CENTER STAGE AS A GUILTY PLEASURE, DEAL WITH IT!)


 

Ta ta Linz aka The Kid

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read the Most edition

August 11: Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From, the weekly topic provided by The Broke & Bookish


    
    

sjm copysm copy kk copy

All my favs 😉 until next time! Linz xx aka The Kid

Remembering the Artist She Was

I remember where I was when I was told to discover her, I remember where I was when I had gotten word she had died.

The guy in my Small Groups Comm Studies class was cute and he and I had struck up a conversation about music. I bragged about having a diverse and plentifully-filled iPod and he grabbed a hold of it and laughed…a lot. He might have seen that I had a few Barbara Streisand tracks (thanks, Mom) and this track that might, well, most definitely was the theme song to….Baywatch. I was totally embarrassed but that’s when he said, “You know, you should check out some real artists like LCD Soundsystem, Lily Allen, or Amy Winehouse.” After that debacle, I headed home for a weekend and downloaded all the Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse I could get my hands on…that was back in 2006.

*

It was summertime and I was listening to my iPod on shuffle while taking an afternoon shower. I’m not sure what I was doing before then, probably being lazy and enjoying a peaceful time alone. My family had all been down to the Delaware beaches and I wasn’t able to take time off because of my job. I regret that I don’t actually remember the actual track I had heard while showering. I’m thinking it was Just Friends from her Back to Black album–I know it was a slower track, a subtle track that is good relaxing, in-the-background music to listen to. With the shower off and a towel now on my head, I naturally ended up looking on my Twitter feed to read the tragic news. Amy Winehouse had been declared dead and unresponsive….July 23, 2011.

Film: AMY
Director: Asif Kapadia
Run Time: 128 minutes
Productions: On The Corner Films, Universal Music, A24
Release Date: July 3, 2015 (limited release)
Summary: The story of Amy Winehouse in her own words, featuring unseen archival footage and unheard tracks.


When the trailer debuted, AMY sent chills down my spine. Obviously being a fan of her work and voice, I took the trailer more to heart than others who happened to see it in a commercial or as a filler preview. The haunting ending panning out to show a montage of pictures making up Amy Winehouse’s face–the music stripped, leaving the echoing vocals for her “Back to Black” track gives a spectacular creep factor and sadness. A feeling of tragedy and a sense of sorrow. I was determined to make my way to theaters even though I knew it would probably break my heart.

I finally had the chance to see the film and I wanted to share with you my thoughts. For some, when you say Amy’s name, you typically get an eye roll, a scoff, a pssh, a generalization about how she was a hot mess that had a crazy drug problem and got what she deserved. For others, you can see the sadness on their face because they realized that Amy’s voice was out of this world, out of this time because she could give some of the greats a run for their money! In watching this documentary, I was shown more proof on how some people are made for the limelight and some are just tragic artists who end up crumbling under pressure.

With a rocky childhood of her parents eventually splitting up and an absentee father, Amy admits in voiceover interview that her dad never showed up for anything of importance and when her parents officially ended things, she decided she was going to do whatever she wanted. This set up a path of wanting and needing a certain love, her father until the bitter end seemed to take what Amy gave but never returned the favor. Mitch Winehouse is painted as a father who steps back into her life just as she’s coming into her own as a successful singer and mysteriously is present for the big wins, BRITs, GRAMMYs, television show documentaries that really don’t have Amy’s approval. To see that unfold is tough because you see this raw talent and you just want to hug her and say you have something that is amazing, don’t get sucked in–be better than your demons.

To see her relationship and obsession with Blake Fielder, who inspires her songwriting–between breakups, makeups, marriage & divorce, he seems to be the leading factor into her spiral.

In the beginning, Amy’s friends show a side of her only wanting to purely be an artist, becoming one of the greats purely for music. She does maintain this notion throughout the film telling of her career but hooking up with Blake just as she was on the rise ended up being very dangerous. She smoked cigarettes, she drank, and she definitely smoked weed–that is abundantly clear to the audience but Blake introduces her to crack, eventually heroin is thrown into the mix as well as other highly fatal drugs. Learning about this on top of Amy’s very slim figure, you find out about her bulimia and the drug cocktails she takes never mixes well within her system.

The struggle for her rehabilitation is so sad because on the night of her GRAMMY win, her friend quotes her as stating that even though she’s sober things aren’t remotely enjoyable because there’s no drugs. It’s so upsetting to hear because you again see this girl with such talent, her voice is stunning–the notes she hits, high and low, raspy and sensual, drugs she have never brought her down. The fame and drugs took the heaviest toll on her body and in the end it seems like she was more willing to give in because the struggle would be forever.

The real treasures in this film are her pure moments: her first club performance, the first property she buys with her big-girl paycheck, the GRAMMY wins, her happiness and awe working with Tony Bennett, and lastly her songwriting. For other music documentaries that I’ve seen it’s amazing to see an artist put a melody to words, Amy was truly talented in this way. Her lyrics hit the listener hard, they’re eloquent, they’re solid, and they can leave you with an array of emotions.

I feel like I’m now just rambling because again, I’m a fan but I really do recommend you seeing this film if it’s playing in your area. Her music was genuine and unlike any other artist within the last however many years. Her sound is unique and soulful and she deserved more out of this life than being remembered as another tragic member of the “27 Club”. While the word “vulnerable” was thrown around many times throughout the film, that was more towards her demons and addictions but she’s actually a really strong person. Before the craziness, she developed a sense of throwback style, bringing back ’50’s style chic, pin-up girl tattoos, cat-eye lashes, and the biggest beehive hair you ever did see. She was cool and defiant in her own way. Strip away the pressure to produce, the paparazzi, to keep up the success, and her struggle, you’ll see what I see.

I also wanted to leave you with a few tracks that are my absolute favorites that she sings:


This track has an extra long instrumental but it’s the only one that was her recording…it’s my FAVORITE track!


If you ever followed the British Football scene, this song is so spot on for the WAG-lifestyle! It’s sassy and a very fun track


Just a haunting track and well worth the listen 🙂

If you’ve seen it, did you like the documentary? Tell me some of the artists documentaries you’ve seen before that you’ve loved and would recommend!

xx Linz aka The Kid

If you know of anyone that battles with drug use or an eating disorder please let them know there is help!

National Eating Disorder website:
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-help-support

References for Drug Addiction:
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/where-can-family-members-go-information

**GIFs & movie poster images not personally owned**

Mϟ. Marvel – Comic Book Post

Hi All!

Well my reading slump is still in full effect even though I’ve recently dabbled with an ARC that I’ll need to post soon and an audiobook but I still haven’t officially caught the bug again. I’m not sure why or what’s going on…maybe my brain is sick, but I was able to get through a comic book volume and I want to talk about my newbie status to the Comic world!

 

Ms. Marvel (Marvel NOW! Series) | G. Willow Wilson
Vol. 1: No Normal « Vol. 2: Generation Why « Vol. 3 : Crushed « Vol. 4: TBD
Publisher: Marvel
Pages: Varies …at least 100+, around 4-6 individual comic issues combined to make volume
Copy: Personal library/gift …must buy

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

The all-new MS. MARVEL, the ground breaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is just an ordinary girl from Jersey City–until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel?

Again, as I’ve stated in some previous posts, I’m super new the comic world. I understand comic films but I’m very inexperienced when it comes to the comic book world so these thoughts and notions are purely from what I’ve experienced and not delving into previous Ms. Marvel storylines.

Overall with combining the two volumes I like Kamala A LOT! She’s ordinary, she’s that struggling teen we all were and her character is extremely relatable to. In the first volume you find that Kamala has a lot to bring to the superhero table but also has much she has to learn like how the job isn’t as easy as it looks. Even for someone like Peter Parker who was a young student like Kamala is, it’s tough to balance out the hero lifestyle while continuing to be the teen from Jersey City. She also has another element that crosses over into her Ms. Marvel life, the fact that she’s a practicing Muslim. What’s so cool is that G. Willow Wilson has incorporated teachings from the Islamic world and how they’re prevalent to discovering who you are, superhero or not. Looking at the bigger picture, asking for help–things do get tricky because as of right now where I’m at Kamala is trying to keep her identities separate (Ms. Marvel & Kamala teen) but I’m loving it a lot!

The second volume I was captivated by reading because it tells a real truth: this generation matters. The Inventor (an evil mastermind that Kamala has begun to take down a piece at a time) has decided to take advantage of missing teens and using all of their energy to power his machines. The Inventor eventually explains that this generation has nothing to give because they’re so sucked into an online world and glued to their phones. There may be some truth but Kamala Khan won’t stand for this sort of injustice because she knows it’s not right.

There will always be drawbacks to each generation, but there’s plenty to discover and revolutionize, it’s insane to dismiss a whole generation! Kamala helps the teens realize just how much potential they have if they believe in themselves and see how much of a difference they can make. To not let a crazy villain demoralize them because he thinks this generation has no worth. I can’t express how some of this could be true in our real lives. I’ve seen it more than ever, now that social media brings news swiftly and readily, there’s always something new to stand for, to discover, to try and change for the better. If we shout enough, voices can and will be heard. Even through art such as a comic book storyline, this is how you continue building the generation why!


Okay so I got a little preachy at the end but I still really recommend checking this comic out! This comic is so on point with bringing feminism, diversity, integrity into the comic book world for the better! You need to read Kamala’s story 🙂

until next time … xo Linz aka The Kid