The Kid Travels to NYC

If you read my review of Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan, you’ll know that I recently went to New York City and with that came some bookish adventures!

Besides some generic sight seeing I ended up FINALLY getting a chance to visit Strand Bookstore! 18 Miles of Books, as well as The Stephen A. Schwarzian Building at the New York Public Library main branch on 476 Fifth Avenue (42nd St and Fifth Ave) the big one with the lions in front, guarding all the books obviously.🦁

I was sad to learn that their Rose Main Reading Room was closed for renovations, you might not know the name but it’s used in the beginning of the first Ghostbusters film in 1984. Besides being very hot in the building, when we went there was a Hamilton exhibit! Seeing old documents, maps, books, and learning a bit more about Alexander Hamilton was awesome.

My favorite part was to see all of the bookish gifts to buy for that special reader in the family. Items ranging from totes to socks to pins and poster sheets from stores like Out of Print as well as the Library’s own resources. Traveling to the gift shop where you stared at the walls of all the novel associated presents you’d like to buy, you now can hear the Hamilton Broadway soundtrack filtering through the speakers. My eyes wandered over everything as I was rapping along with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. Absolute heaven.

The Strand was again another bookish dream come true. The gifts and tote bags I wanted to buy along with every book ever. Downstairs in their basement the shelves of books continued as well as a vinyl section that I was dying to purchase!

The floors were filled with every and any title you could think of. I had a blast in the Comic and Graphic Novel section as part of the wall had a section devoted to employees favorites to read. Shout out to the worker who loves Saga! Hey now 💁 psst…this employee clearly knows what he’s talking about because it’s one of my favorite comics I’ve discovered since reading☺️

Just walking through the aisles and looking at the vast amount of reading material was awesome and even though we were on a bit of a time restraint that afternoon, it was a really great time! It’s close to Union Square which looked like such a blast and I’m sad I didn’t get to spend more time there but… I mean, I did get to gawk at books so it wasn’t too bad of a deal.

I sadly ended my trip back home on a train that was a half hour late, my feet were killing me from walking with no socks on and a shoulder that had a heavy bag I’d been carrying around and hadn’t been able to put down yet. Mix that in with an old train and I end up getting to share a seat with one of the worst passengers ever. UGH. I can’t even think about the torturous trip without getting all ragey again.

Full details here:

 

Hopefully I can get back to the city soon enough! I always enjoy going and feel very at home there 💕

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Love is the Higher Law | Review

*bit of a long post*

Love is the Higher Law | Available for Purchase: Amazon.com « Barnes & Noble « Book Depository
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 25, 2009
Pages: 176 pages, hardcover
Received Copy: Paperback copy, also signed by author

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

First there is a Before, and then there is an After. . . .

The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.

Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.

David Levithan has written a novel of loss and grief, but also one of hope and redemption as his characters slowly learn to move forward in their lives, despite being changed forever.

Just last weekend marked the 15th year anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the United States in: New York City, Washington, DC, and Shanksville, PA. I was invited to meet with a friend on the 9/11 date to spend two days in New York City and in doing so I decided to finally read David’s novel. I bought Love is the Higher Law few years ago when he did an author visit at a local bookstore. It was right near the anniversary and he explained some of the sights he witnessed and also notes this at the end of the book. I thought it was most appropriate reading on the day we remember all of the lives lost, innocent and the brave ones who died saving others.

I read the book on the train, well what I could–there were some loud talkers who ended up breaking my concentration from time to time and I also went in and out of periods where I was overwhelmed with emotion and kept tearing up. I was in high school so I remember more vividly than others who might’ve been younger at the time and also living in New Jersey which wasn’t as far away from NYC as opposed to where I live now. While reading Love is the Higher Law I could relate on various levels of the characters in their feelings, even though I wasn’t a New Yorker or someone extremely close to the situation, that day left a mark on everybody who was able to witness it.

Claire, Jasper, and Peter are coming from different viewpoints on this tragic day–Claire at school Uptown, worried about her younger brother, and getting word from their mother. Jasper has slept through the entire morning in Brooklyn only to be awoken by a phone call from his parents in South Korea to hear of the news, and Peter who skipped school to hang out at a record store and see the effects from Midtown. All present at a party a few nights before, they’re all thrown into the mix Claire and Jasper meeting just by chance, developing a friendship with him and eventually Peter who is a fellow senior such as herself. Peter and Jasper who were supposed to have their first date September 11th, but the day postpones things giving a bad vibe on their meeting. Looking at the devastation and destruction these characters start looking at their lives in a new perspective and realizing they don’t exactly understand what’s happened but know they are forever changed. Thinking deeply, caring more, and an array of emotions helps shape their lives now.

It’s a short read and it’s really interesting from a YA point of view–a time when teens already have so many emotions, to put this new level upon them having the characters examine their lives. I might read it again next year on the date, haven’t decided but I’m glad I have it on my shelf because I haven’t seen a lot of books on the subject like David notes in his final acknowledgements in the back of the book. And again, as someone who was a bit younger than the main characters but still able to witness the impact of that day is really fascinating to read.

The picture above does no justice on how truly amazing this sight was to see in person. The overwhelming emotion of patriotism, love, sadness, anger, and sorrow you have looking at the new skyline and the lights that shine brightly for not only all of the victims but the loss of the buildings which represented a part of the city as well. The sun set beautifully that night and my friend and I watched the sky turn from bright reds, to cotton candy pinks and blues, to a dusty gray, to finally the darkest black to show the twin lights.


I’m pretty sure I’ve shared this on social media at some point, but I’m sharing it again:

For the life of me I can’t remember my first period schedule but, it was our first year using a type of blocking scheduling at our high school. Day Whichever had XXX class first period (driving me crazy I can’t remember), then Driver’s Ed with Mrs. Collura who was BFFs with my English teacher Mrs. Hults–their classrooms were next door to each others, and third period was French II with Madame Cardell…ugh! She was such a useless teacher. I’m getting off topic but I had to set the scene. We started early at my high school, morning bell was at 735am, and classes started 750ish, so I was already a quarter to halfway done with second period.

Mrs. Hults called on our phone system to Mrs. Collura to turn on the news. Most classrooms did have TVs, albeit not modern but would work well enough, and when she did, I believe both towers had been struck by the planes at that point. Either it was just the one, or the second happened in moments that I wasn’t paying attention because I kept thinking ‘Wow, this is just like a movie!’ Not looking at the severity of it nor the sheer magnitude of what happened. Mrs. Collura told us we were probably witnessing history, little did she know how right she would be. Those moments watching the towers burn are forever engrained into my brain. At that point, class ends and it seemed determined by staff that we really shouldn’t be watching the television and try to get back to our classes but within the switch from Driver’s Ed to French, word around school was that the Pentagon had been hit by a plane as well. We watched a little of the coverage, I honestly don’t remember the towers falling or if I watched it live. I think at that point we weren’t allowed to know much else as students but I started going into panic mode.

Before French ended I gathered up two quarters so I could call my mom. With the knowledge I have of Philadelphia now that I live so close and actually working in Center City, I understand the layout and the surrounding towns. I didn’t realize back then that my sister’s attendance at St. Joseph’s University isn’t near the heart of Philadelphia if damage was done but at that time, you honestly didn’t know which piece of news you would hear next. We could all agree that this day, destroying those buildings had a huge impact on markets and big businesses who set up shop in those towers. My dad worked in the financial industry at the time and would seldom have to take the PATH train in right underneath the towers. I never really knew whether or not he would have to go to New York or not until after the fact and he came home after his day. Needless to say I ran to the payphone at school and was able to get a hold of my mom who told me my father wasn’t in NYC today, and my sister should be fine, no reports in Philly so she’s relatively safe.

The weirdest part of that day was hearing some surrounding schools were dismissing kids early. As millennials do, we were sorely disappointed our school wasn’t one of them. The rest of the school day was a blur, everyone and their mother tried to teach us when all we could do is discuss the morning and if there were other revelations we hadn’t heard about. Some kids were called to report to the office over the loud speaker having us all look at each other and morbidly wonder what had happened. A lot of classmates had parents who worked in NY/NJ right where everything happened and you could only imagine.

My neighborhood was next to the high school and I remember walking home, turning on the television seeing every station was reporting the coverage–Nickelodeon, MTV, local news stations, etc. all broadcasting. I came home exhausted and fell asleep listening to the news; I just couldn’t take it. The anxiety for everyone, the anxiety for the people I knew hoping they were okay, the country, the tears I shed when I came home. What’s pretty crazy is my mom would always tape her soap operas on the VCR when she worked. Guiding Light on CBS at 10am, Days of Our Lives on at 1pm on NBC, she recorded a bunch of the coverage that I still have the VHS tape recording history live on TV.

The next year, a family friend and native New Yorker took my sister and I on a day trip to the city. We walked by Ground Zero and the enormous holes in the ground just left you speechless. The construction going on to rebuild, the Missing people’s pictures up and American flags everywhere was a sight to see. Not only that but it was quiet–just so very quiet for the city that never sleeps.

 

That was my day, my recollection of September 11th, 2001. Parts of it mirror what Claire, Jasper, and Peter experienced that day. Obviously on a more emotional level as I didn’t live as close as they did, but the perspective is there for sure. To learn more information on the events & to donate, check out the 9/11 Memorial website http://www.911memorial.org

Mini Review Recap (3)

Deciding to join ARC August was a good idea because the summertime has been slack-time for me and my reading habits so it’s nice to have a little incentive to push through my slump. That being said, I have some new books and comics I have mini reviews for!

Woohoo! Let’s get to it 📚


The Rose & the Dagger
Renee Ahdieh

This novel picked right back up after The Wrath & the Dawn which was great because I had recently read that so I didn’t feel like I had to stretch my mind and remember what had happened. The Rose & the Dagger had more of a magical element to it than the first in the duology. You get a good mix of characters but now that we’re spending most of the novel outside the palace’s walls, we get more interaction with Shazi’s family and friends. Khalid and Sharazad’s passion was my favorite and I did not stop getting irritated at Despina’s character. If you’re looking for a fun fantasy and feminine heroine to read, I’d recommend this duology to try out!


The Wicked + the Divine #20 & 21
Kieron Gillen, Illustrators Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson

(film not included which was super cute btw) Laura is alive and she’s rounding up the crew and discussing about Ananke’s shadiness. Starting to piece parts of the story together and shedding light on what could possibly happen if Ananke gets her way, the group could be in more trouble. The art continues to be gorgeous and I think this story arc is ending so we’ll see where things go from here.

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)
Victoria Schwab

I really liked this book for it’s inventiveness and interesting main characters. Bad girl Kate Harker meets up with August Flynn in a world that have humans and monsters semi-surviving in the world. August gave me the vibes of Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Edward Cullen in Twilight–the monster who lives with remorse of the creature he happens to be. I really love the interactions between Kate and August and the trials they go through to survive. There’s drama, action, gore, and a friendship that breaks barriers. It’s an interesting spin on monsters and their powers and after I finished the book I found out there’s a sequel called Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2).

Paper Girls #7 & 8
Brian K. Vaughan, Matt Wilson, Cliff Chiang 

Things are really starting to move along with the series. The bridging of the 1980’s and present time is so cool! The girls from the past are starting to figure out some of their futures and realizing how different the world is 30+ years from when they were growing up. I can definitely see signs of Saga that trickle through, some of the other worldly creatures, but like WicDiv, the artwork is so great and the girls are a cool cast to follow. Cannot wait for more!


P.S. I Like You
Kasie West

GUYS! This book though! I have a tendency to read Kasie West’s books and literally fly through them–reading it in a day or so. P.S. I Like You is such a treat to read! It was an adorable and whimsical concept bringing back the original letter writing in a generation built upon digital conversation via texting and email. Kasie’s writing continues to shine––her last few titles haven’t hit home for me like this one but when I started reading P.S. I Love You, I could not put it down!

Even though it might be a bit of a stretch that Lily and her mystery pen pal at school don’t get caught by classmates and teacher, the story is super cute and Lily Abbott is charming. You get on her level with having the crazy family and feeling like she has a lot riding on her because she’s the middle of the Abbott family food chain. Best friend Isabel and her were a fun duo and then there’s Cade…. OH GOD I FELL FOR HIM INSTANTLY! It’s a cute story of self-discovery when it comes to friends and family as well as seeing people deep down and not who they appear to be.

SOOOO excited that the new Harry Potter script came out aka the eighth book recently! I haven’t started it yet and have sadly heard mixed reviews but I’m keeping an optimistic mind about where things are in the future world of wizards and witches!

Have you read any of these yet? Good/bad? – xoxo Linz aka the Kid

ARC August – update week 1

Oh so we’re really into the swing of things aren’t we? Well I’m off to a bit of a rough start. It’s only been 39 pages of one of my book picks BUT . . . I did take this amazing photo of arcs that I hope to read. So, that’s some, um …. progress?

I kid but seriously I’ve gotta buckle down and promise to read at least one book this week. I’ve also picked And I Darken as my book club pick so I know that book I’ll most definitely be able to finish.

Onward and upward for week 2!

Calling All Outlander Fans!

Hey Everyone!

Just wanted to spread the news about a project I’m working on. I’m helping out a family friend who is a travel agent and has a tour to Scotland in the works based off the Outlander book/TV series! Super exciting stuff so I just wanted to kinda of do an ad for her, and see if some people are interested and/or would like to help promote it!

If you’d like to help out, I’m recruiting any fans to write what they love about the TV or book series! If you’re interested you can email me at ideklinz.books@gmail.com 🙂

The blog is still fairly new, it’s called Outlander Lasses and it’s hoping to grab readers and travelers to book a trip to Scotland and see some sights that reference the book series and television show! There’s an itinerary already lined up and it includes

  • Edinburgh sightseeing
  • Blair Athol Distillery and Folk Museum
  • Clava Cairns & Urquhart Castle
  • Down Castle & Culross Palace
  • Aberdour Castle
  • Blackness Castle
  • Hopetoun House & Midhope Castle
  • and so much more!!

If you’re interested, please contact us to book your travel today! Kate DeLosso Travel has the Outlander tour scheduled from September 23rd to October 1st. Spaces for this trip are limited! Register today! For more information, contact Kate by phone at 610-361-0535 or by email at kate@katedelosso.com.

ALSO: please remember to email me if you’re interested in writing up a blurb about your love for Scotland/Outlander books or TV series! Stretch your fingers on those keys and help us out!

Thank youuuuuu!! And pass along if you can 🙂 ❤ Linz

Hey 2016, why so serious?

Oh hi, do you remember me? I’m alive and well (well, mostly well) and it’s been a crazy January so far!

First, happy 2016! I really have been meaning to do several posts but I kept on failing, silly me😁 And now that we’re nearing the end of the first month of the new year (already, I know–insane!) I figured I’d recap the month. I promise I’m going to try harder for February about being up to date with more posts, Top Ten Tuesdays, Waiting on Wednesdays, Mini Reviews, etc.

As for a wrap-up of my end of year and all the reading I tried to get in before the new year, let’s take a walk down memory lane!

Yeah, so comic central over here on The Kid’s Goodreads 😕 I met my challenge which is all that counts–2016 is ready for me to read 60 books, an in-between for 2014 & 2015 which I think will be a decent, happy medium. I’m off to an okay start…not too far behind but still maintaining a good pace.

I also started the month off with Book Rock Betty who is now the newly formed Brave New Betty to watch the sun rise at Valley Forge to mark the freshness of the new year! While the sun rising was pretty non-existent [see pics] we grabbed coffees, did some soul-searching, had a feast at the diner (where we had minor drama with a snippy waitress), we made some goals and decided to look forward to great changes for the New Year.

January also marked my third year attending ALA Mid-Winter!! Visiting the snow-less Boston (last year let’s remember how they were under like 72″ of snow in like five mins) and I had such an awesome time!

The book haul I got was fantastic (thank you, THANK YOU publishers!!!) and I got to check out some fascinating US history in the process! I’m a history nerd so walking the Freedom Trail and climbing the Bunker Hill monument was memorable and felt really good as an American🇺🇸

Lunch at Blunch and guest starring as a Star Wars jedi

Freedom Trail where we stop along for sweet treats👅at Sweet Cupcakes bakery

And of COURSE!!! While I look hideous in these pics, I had fun seeing some of my favorites!! (Along with meeting a bunch of new bloggers/readers too!) Alyssa, Elizabeth, and Brittany💋👯☺️ #bloggersunite

January also took away one of the greats…actor and literary friend playing Professor Severus Snape

Lastly, I’m still majorly on the hunt for a full-time job. I have babysitting that helps but unemployment is like basically done, and I just want to find something where I’m not so bored and wasting brain cells. This October I turn the big 3-0 and I’d like REALLY REALLY want to start acting like an adult.

….aside from book goals (going to try and do a recap of 2015 book accomplishments), I want to try and keep up the motivation, I’m continuing therapy, and most importantly I’m trying to focus on good friendships.

For 2016 I want to start shedding some of the dead weight that I know I have in this personal department. Lost relationships, failed friendships, also letting go of other people’s BS because I’m ….for the *most part* a good person and an even better friend. With some people I know, they tend to take it for granted and I don’t want to be the person who gets walked on all over. Some people only want to keep me at a certain distance and I just have to accept that. My brain can be a haunted place where I create more craziness than probably what’s going on, but I’m on the hunt for people I want to be around that accept me for who I am and not someone you once in a while make time for. I do have a few friendships that work like that but is somehow an agreed upon friendship.

Sorry for the heavy but Happy 2016, besides every other celebrity dying, can we just like have this year be semi-positive?

 

ALSO!!! One last thing!! I STARTED ANOTHER BLOG!! I’m going to try and do another post on that, but if you’d like to check it out I created The Bionic Fangirl, @bionicfangirl, where I’m keeping you up to date with pop culture fun times! I’m hoping to get it going, still a little tricky juggling both😊
bionic

Last Minute Reads -Mini Review Roundup

We’re nearing the end of 2015, getting ready for a new year meaning things are coming to a close, and I’m desperately trying to tie all my reading- figuratively- loose ends. 

For 2015 I decided since I read beyond my last two challenges I figured I’ll be on track to deliver the same results so I should give myself a bigger goal. That was an adorable thought but I find myself, in this last month of the year, seriously scrambling to read a lot in a short amount of time. 😉 It’s just a small challenge, and no one but myself will care if I can or cannot surpass it. The fact is it really has been bothering me, haha, so I’m trying to do all of the reading! Big books, small books, comics and graphic novels of all kinds will help me just reach that 75 Reading Challenge goal.

Yes, if you look at the last handful of books I’ve read, they’re mainly comics and they’re like the shortest ever 😉 but this year I’ve been in a huge slump so at least I’m still reading which is important. I’ll be doing a yearly recap towards the end of the month which I’ll address that diving into comics was on my list of things to read for 2015, so all the more reason why I have more listed within my challenge. With that, I give you my mini review update:

Mini Review #1:
The Hogwarts Library (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, The Tales of Beedle the Bard)
J.K. Rowling – Newt Scamander, Kennilworthy Whisp


J.K. Rowling, again, delivers such a treat for Harry Potter fans to read. She continues to deliver creative realms throughout her magical world that make you feel like you’re reading real history. Quidditch Through the Ages is so fun and is a sports history guide that you’d find for American baseball or English football which is fascinating. The revolution of the sport, the description of teams and regions where reigning champions are from will bring back Goblet of Fire memories. Tales of Beedle the Bard was really enjoyable to read as a magical Hans Christian Andersen’s lore of sorts. Obviously channeling Deathly Hallows, hearing Hermione’s voice as she narrated the Three Brothers tale which was a real treat to finally see on paper. What’s interesting is that Fantastic Beasts is the latest Harry Potter book to film and it was my least favorite. There wasn’t anything fun about some of the terrifying creatures I know from real life, reimagined worse than my actual, literal nightmares. I’ll still see the film, duh, and Newt’s journey will be exciting I just have to make sure I close my eyes if he finds every single creature. Although let’s be clear–I’m here for the Phoenixes, Hippogriffs, and Dragons. Yes please.

Mini Review #2:
Saga #31
Brian K. Vaughan (Writer), Fiona Staples (Artist)


As a new fan of this series AND as a reader who started with volumes–that they flew through reading– the individual issues are a bittersweet torture I’m bestowing upon my soul. I liked this issue, I saw on Goodreads it had some mixed reviews like “that’s it?!” but issues are small, there’s a certain amount of progression, so to me it’s understandable if nothing was extremely groundbreaking in the return of this story. Maybe in previous issues more went on but I still loved reading about Hazel and her journey and I’m back to panicking again about where the characters are in the series. Cannot wait for more!
PSA: IF YOU HAVEN’T READ SAGA WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???!!

Mini Review #3:
Truly, Madly, Famously (Famous in Love #2)
Rebecca Serle

We’re back in the Locked universe where the first film in the franchise seems to be a success but MC Paige is channeling her character’s August storyline in having feelings for both of her co-stars, Rainer and Jordan. It was a decent follow-up, quick read and the movie magic, or rather celebrity drama is always interesting to read. Behind-the-scenes continues and Paige is struggling to keep up with her work life, home life, and personal life while not to create unflattering headline news. I continue to be Team Jordan and got a few treats within the pages of Serle’s book two of the series. Can’t wait for the next!

Mini Review #4:
The Boy Most Likely To
Huntley Fitzpatrick

A companion of sorts to My Life Next Door, we’re back with the Garrett’s but this time we’re on a journey with Tim who was a fun, hot mess side character and friend of Sam from the original story. We’re seeing post-accident where Tim Mason is at, now that he’s trying to stay sober and out of the political realm. Alice Garrett, the eldest of the female Garrett siblings, is dealing with a lot of stress the family is now going through. The attraction at first seemed to come out of nowhere and developed into something deeper but Tim gets an unexpected surprise on his doorstep one day which in the long run helps him become the man he should have if he didn’t get mixed up in a crazy social life and an uncomfortable home life. I loved going back into this storyline though! The characters are all so fun to read, especially the Garrett kids, and in a way My Life Next Door carries on which is delightful to read!

Mini Review #5:
Paper Girls #3
Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang (Illustrator), Matt Wilson (Illustrator)

The twists and turns in this new series from Vaughan and Chiang are really good–of course you’re always left at such a cliffhanger! The art continues to be awesome, you get some childhood throwbacks, and you have tons of drama! The group of girls continue to be badass and band together when most needed. Very interested to see where the story goes next.

 

If you want to catch up on more of what I’m reading, I’m on Goodreads! Feel free to add 😀