“It’s all frivolous, meaningless. The only things that matter are already gone or almost gone. Already put aside in my safe, tidy compartment of lost things.”- Lena from ‘Who We Are Instead’
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a new book called ‘Who We Are Instead’ by Kyla Stone, which was provided by for review by ‘Paper Moon Press’. This is a very interesting book that touches on themes of loss, love, family, & finding your purpose in life. Fair warning this book does discuss mental illness, child abuse/neglect, drug/alcohol use, undetermined rape self-harm, & suicide, so if these issues are triggering to you, please don’t read this book, or proceed with caution. Now let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Who We Are Instead’ follows the dual perspectives of sisters Lena & Lux McKenna as they are forced to confront their individual personal demons when their father has a heart attack & is given a very small window of time to live. Lena must return home from her arts college where she is studying photography, & take on her role as “the responsible one”, while trying to resolve her issues with 18 year old “wild child” Lux. As we learn more about Lena, we see that issues from her childhood have cause her to become a more guarded & introverted person. Contrary to Lena, Lux has no desire to succeed in school, likes to party, smoke, do drugs, & drink a lot, & also leaves home for weeks at a time without informing anyone as to where she’s going.
So now we’ve reached the big question, is this book worth your time? Honestly the answer is a very loud yes! In this book we not only get to experience both girls perspectives, but also get a very strong sense of who they are as people, what has shaped them, & what’s important to them. We also get romance plots for both girls, & get introduced to Lux’s AMAZING childhood friends. I also really like that all of the characters we meet are flawed in some way of another, & the author does not attempt to redeem each of them which unfortunately does often mirror our own world very closely. With Lena & Lux’s stories we see how similar past experiences can cause different reactions in each person. We see that some people fight the past they are given to create the future they desire, while others run from their past in order to numb the pain & protect themselves. ‘Who We Are Instead’ gives us a very realistic & gripping tale of what can happen when a fractured family finally shatters, while also leaving the ending as ambiguous & open to promise as Lena & Lux themselves are. Definitely a 5 star read that’s will give you all the feels, but as also make you think about these very important issues.
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“…it feels a little like it was during those days and weeks after we were born— like we’re all still part of one greater whole. The older we get, the more we all stretch into our own identities, but I still love the reminder that we started out together”. -Reagan from ‘Four Of A Kind’
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we have a new book review courtesy of Patchwork Press. Today we’re going to change things up a little bit by reviewing 2 books in 1 blog post. I was given the AMAZING opportunity to not only review the 1st book in a new series, but also the prequel novella. Because of how the books are written, it just makes more sense to give you all of my thoughts in 1 review so you can truly know if this series is for you. So 1st up we’re briefly discuss the novella entitled ‘Where We Were’, followed up by the 1st main book in the series called ‘Four Of A Kind’, both written by Kellie Sheridan. So now on to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
In ‘Where We Were’ we meet our 4 central characters: 14 year old quadruplets Reagan, Reece, Reilly, & Rhiannon Donovan who are in the process of moving from their home in Richmond, Virginia to a small town in another state called Fairview. Throughout the book we get alternating chapters in which each girl narrates what’s going on in each of their lives in the final weeks before their move. This novella does a really great job of showing us each girl’s individual personality, as well as what their sister’s think of them through the use of a quote before each chapter begins. ‘Where We Were’ perfectly sets the stage for the beginning of ‘Four Of A Kind’, which is told from Reagan’s perspective & begins once the girls have moved to Fairview. We immediately see that the entire town has such a fascination with the girls’ birth, that they are minor celebrities in town. The story follows the girls (through Reagan’s eyes) as they deal with typical teenage drama such as friend & relationship issues, as well as trying to find their own identities in a town that watches their every move.
So now that you know the plot, let’s look at the book a little closer. First of all , Reagan is one of my new favorite protagonists. She is relatable, interesting, and most of all someone who you don’t mind spending the entire book with. She wasn’t a perfect character, but she was the kind of person that you can definitely see yourself befriending in real life. Now let’s move on to the love interest Kent, the son of a local reporter. Thank goodness for Kent! It is SOOOO hard to find a love interest in young adult literature that is loveable. They do exist, but they’re hard to find. I know that we are all tired of the bad-boy, the rebel with a heart of gold, the emotionally/physically abusive guy that our protagonist falls for because they’re “wounded inside”, basically the ‘you should never actually date this guy trope’. With Kent we don’t see any of this, instead we get a nice, friendly guy from beginning to end, he respects Reagan & honestly always seems to want what’s best for her. I thought that at some point he would turn on Reagan to help his mother write a scandalous story about her & her sisters but he never did. Needless to say there is definitely a great need for more characters like Kent in young adult literature. Next I really want to compliment the author on her awesome writing style. Although the story is told from Reagan’s point of view, you really feel like you get a sense of each sister’s personality. In both stories each sister is instantly identifiable, & none of them feel as if they get lost in the plot. We also get some diversity through the character of Reilly when we find out that she’s a lesbian. Although this is not thoroughly explored, it also doesn’t feel like a tacked on label in order to check the diversity box, but instead a real part of who the character is. Honestly there is so much that I can & do want to say about this book, but I would have you here all week. This is one of those truly great books that you instantly know will be one of your favs as soon as you finish it, & this definitely made this author an auto-buy author for me. With all that said I HAVE to give these books a 5 smiley face rating because I will DEFINITELY be re-reading them again this year, & look forward to reading the sequels that are already out, & any additional books in the series that are released in the future.
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“Us adults are frequently suspicious of the young. You see it all the time on the news, hear the whispers on the streets. It’s always seen as such a terrible thing that young people are gathering with their friends, wearing strange clothes, saying words we’ve never heard, listening to music we don’t like. We forget so quickly that you’re us and we’re you.” – Poppy’s mom from ‘Ten Birthdays’
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a very interesting new book by author Kerry Wilkinson called ‘Ten Birthdays’, which was provided for review by Bookouture. This book was released in May of 2017, and is a coming of age story about a British teenager. So let’s get to why you’re all here, the book review! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Ten Birthdays’ follows the life of Poppy Kinsey as she evolves from a 16 year old teenager, into a 25 year old woman. On her birthday, Poppy receives one of 10 letters her mother wrote for her before her death on Poppy’s 15th birthday. At first Poppy is not sure if she wants to open the letters because it brings painful feelings to the forefront of her mind however, she eventually does read the 1st letter, and for the next 9 birthdays reads one letter a year. Throughout the story we see Poppy’s life change as she deals with friendships, relationships, and finding her purpose in life. Along the way poppy’s mother gives her life advice and tells her stories through the letters she wrote, and thus is able to stay a constant force in Poppy’s life.
Although you would think that this story would be very sad, it is actually more of a coming of age story, than a story of loss. Anyone who has had someone close to them pass away can relate to Poppy’s mixed feelings of love and sadness in regards to the letters her mother left her. Also, I really enjoyed the fact that Poppy is not your stereotypical happy protagonist, and because of this faces struggles and consequences for questionable decisions throughout the course of the book. You find yourself constantly rooting for Poppy, and interested to know what the next year of her life will bring her. I also like that the book shows the difficulties Poppy and her two childhood best friends Mark & Freya face as they grow older and make decisions that determine who the kind of people they will grow up to be. Lastly, although there is not a lot of diversity in this book, Freya is bi-racial (her mother is Jamaican and although the book does not actually describe her father, it does allude to the fact that he is white). Because of all of these factors, I would definitely give this book a 4 smiley face rating. It is a very enjoyable novel that you will not want to put down, and I definitely hope that we will get a sequel one day because I would love to continue to see how these amazing charterers’ lives turn out.
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Hello people of the internet!!! Today we have the pleasure of being apart of the cover reveal for Young Adult author Katie McGarry’s latest amazing book entitled ‘Only a Breath Apart’ which will be published by Tor Teen on January 22, 2019. If you haven’t heard of Katie McGarry’s previous work, then you HAVE to check out her book IMMEDIAELY (seriously her books are the best you can thank me for this recommendation later). So know that you’ve seen how gorgeous the cover is (and seriously that is such a beautiful cover I honestly can’t wait to give it a place of honor on my shelves), you probably want to know what the book is about right? Don’t worry I have y’all covered! Ready? Ok here we go!
Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most. Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done. Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no. Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.
I mean honestly we all know that this will be on EVERYONE’s TBR in 2019 so definitely keep your eye out for it. Now even though this book will be available for sale on January 22, 2019, it is currently available for presale through any of the links below, and I HIGHLY recommend you pre-order this one, because once you read 1 Katie McGarry book, she will be an auto-buy author for you!
Pre-order ‘Only a Breath Apart’ here:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2M6S24K
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2tnkyXZ
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Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to talk about an amazing BookTuber that you NEED to be subscribed to. I’m serious. Go subscribe right now & then we’ll continue. Don’t worry I’ll wait. Did you subscribe? Awesome! Now that you’ve already made one great decision today, make another one by sticking around to find out why you’ll love Sophie’s channel (trust me you made the right decision by subscribing). Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Sophie’s ‘The Booktube Newbie Tag!’, which was uploaded on March 27th, 2015 (you can check out this video below). This is a really great video to start off with because it allows you to not only get a glimpse of Sophie’s personality, but also her love of books. In this video Sophie allows us to really feel like we know her by explaining why she started a BookTube channel, what book/book series got her into reading, and what fun & unique things she can bring to the BookTube community. After watching this video you’ll feel like Sophie is already your bestie, and it will leave you wanting to know even more about her. Luckily for us, we can learn more about Sophie in her ‘FIVE OF MY AUTO BUY AUTHORS’ video, which was uploaded on July 10th, 2015. Honestly you can learn A LOT about a person based off of who their fav authors are. When you’re a bookworm you read A LOT of books, and I mean A LOT of books so because of this, we all have a small list of authors who we love so much that you can blindly buy any book they release and know that you’ll likely fall in love with it. It’s fun to see our fav BookTubers nerd out with us.
Next up we have Sophie’s ‘BOOKS I’M BRINGING TO COLLEGE!’ video, which was uploaded on September 26th, 2015. Ok, real talk for a second everyone. Now if you’re a book nerd then you know that this is a problem that you either have faced, or will face in your lifetime. For most of us books are like family, they take you to far away places when you need an escape, put a smile on your face during good times, and offer you a warm sheet to cry on during bad times. So the prospect of leaving behind these treasures when we pursue higher education is really sad. Luckily, Sophie is here to remind us that it’s fine if you take some of your books with you on this adventure they call college, and even describes how she decided which books to take. This video is a MUST WATCH for all book addicts. The last video that we’re going to talk about is Sophie’s ‘ANTICIPATED RELEASES OF 2016’ video, which was uploaded on January 9th, 2016 (you can check out the video below). In this video Sophie gives us a list of some of the INCREDIBLE books she’s excited for this year, and also a quick summary of why she’s excited for these books. If you love books then this video will definitely get you hyped for the many awesome 2016 releases (it’s going to be a VERY good year people of the internet!). So now that you’re completely addicted to Sophie’s channel, go check out the rest of her videos, I promise that this is one channel that you’ll constantly have on replay.
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YouTube: Sophie’s Series
Goodreads: Sophie’s Series
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to discuss one of the most exciting announcements of 2016 so far (seriously it’s AMAZING!!!). Yes, we’re talking about the announcement of the ‘Gilmore Girls’ reboot. For 7 seasons ‘Gilmore Girls’ entertained us with the show’s witty writing, interesting characters, and overall charm. Now that we have the opportunity to go back to Stars Hallow and see how all of our fav characters are doing, I know we have so many questions. So let’s all meet at Luke’s Diner and discuss the burning questions we all want answered. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Everybody here? Ok then let’s begin!
3) What is Rory’s relationship status and what career path did she take?
Throughout the duration of the show we saw Rory with three boyfriends who were very different people, and helped Rory grow into the person she would become. When we last left Rory she rejected Logan’s (her college boyfriend) proposal and was single and ready to focus on her career. It will be interesting to see what Rory’s relationship status is now, and what career she chose. With her intellect the sky was truly the limit, so I know that we’re all anxious to see where they’ll go with her character.
2) How the show will honor Richard’s memory after Edward Herrmann’s passing, and how Emily handles this?
I know that we will all miss seeing Edward Herrmann on our screens because of his unbelievable talent, and the amazing way he was able to help mold Richard into a character that we all still love and respect. Emily (Richard’s wife for anyone who doesn’t know) was always a very complex, and often confusing character to understand, so I’m really excited to see how her character will evolve and change as she adjusts to the life of a widow (btw Kelly Bishop who played Emily confirmed that Emily is now a widow).
1) Did Luke and Lorelei ever get married?
Yes we’ve reached the BIG question on everyone’s minds! I mean we loved Lorelei, we loved Luke, and more importantly we loved them together, so c’mon ‘Gilmore Girls’ writers let’s make this happen (please don’t break our little hearts and sink this ship, we might never recover for the shock…seriously 😩).
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an awesome new YouTube channel that every book lover will want to subscribe to right now (well finish reading this post and then go subscribe to the channel…ok? Ok). On this channel Zoe gives her viewers book recommendations, shows us book/bookmark hauls, and proves that she’s a fangirl just like the rest of us (so we can all obsess over our OTPs together yay!!!). So if you’re ready to release your inner nerd then let’s talk about some of the videos on this amazing channel. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Zoe’s ‘BOOK UNHAUL! [#1]’ video which was uploaded on June 28th, 2014 (you can check out this video below). Honestly this is one of the first book unhauls that I remember watching and I really like the concept of this type of video. Just in case you’re not familiar with this type of video, a book unhaul is when a BookTuber discusses books that they are going to get rid of because they did not enjoy the book, decided that they will probably never read the book, for various other reasons. These are really great videos to check out because you can get a person’s honest opinion about a book before spending money on it. After watching several videos on a BookTuber’s channel you usually get a good idea of what their personal tastes are, and if you have similar tastes then their opinion of a book will probably match your opinion. The next book that we’re going to talk about is Zoe’s ‘BOOKS I’M TAKING TO COLLEGE’ video, which was uploaded on August 22nd, 2014. Now as every book lover knows, if we could we would literally carry our book collections with us everywhere (and I realize that you can do that with e-books but that’s a different topic for a future blog post). If you are/will be living in an apartment or dorm room in the near future then this is an excellent video for you to check out because honestly it can be hard to leave books at home when you now you’ll be away from them for a while (ok we have to resist using #thestruggleisreal here…must resist…ok we obviously can’t because the struggle really is real).
Now we’re going to discuss Zoe’s ‘MY FICTIONAL BOYFRIENDS TAG’ video, which was uploaded on May 28th, 2015. Now we know we’re all fangirls/fanboys at heart, and because of this we honestly have a very deep emotional connection to our favorite book characters (and because of this so many ships are constantly set loose on the world). This is a really fun video that you will definitely have on replay, and a entertaining tag that you can play by yourself or with friends. The final video that we’re going to talk about is Zoe’s ‘BOOKS I WANT TO BE ADAPTED’ video, which was uploaded on December 30th, 2015 (you can check out the video below). If you love books (and you obviously really do if you’re still reading this post), then you know that you have a list of books that you think deserve a TV and/or film adaption. With the trend of so many of our fav books already getting adaptions, it is very likely that your favorite novel could get a small or big screen adaption some day. I highly recommend this video because Zoe gives a very interesting list that’s full of variety, so you’ll definitely find something you like on this list.
Keep up with everything Zoe is doing here: