Monday, July 14, 2014

Blogging Hiatus: On Vacation

Hello everybody! 
Here's something you need to know. By the time this is posted, I'll probably be in Florida!! :) I thought I was going back to my home country for a month to visit my family and friends, but I'm going to Florida instead cause apparently everyone is there this time of year. I haven't seen them in years. After that I'm heading out to Oshkosh for a big camporee with my church. 

I can't wait! I need a break from life. 
I'll be back to blogging sometime in august! As soon as I get back, I'll be happy to check everything. Thank you guys for being awesome! You get lots of virtual cookies and cyber hugs from me! :)
When I get back, school will be right around the corner. Wow....can you believe how quickly the year is ending?! I hope I don't miss too much of anything while I'm away!

Remember, Feature a Blogger signups are always open, so sign up if you want to get featured on my blog! :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Guest Post: How I became an Author by Sheldon Greene

Please welcome, Sheldon Greene, the author of After the Parch to the blog!
How I became an author

Probably the first factor was an early love of reading. It stimulated my imagination, helped it to flower. I developed the capacity to look into sites and visualize what was going on behind the window. I saw people and imagined their motivation, their back story.

 I was never one to escape into my own private fantasy world. Rather I suppose that the novelist in me needed to create an external world of my own, one that was public, for others to see and experience. Over a period of time it became a habit, an onanistic form of gratification. It was also an exercise in problem solving, a way of sorting out and making order out of the complexities of life.

Writing was never an obsession, just something that I do, much like eating when I'm hungry. I read about some event and it triggers a story in my mind. A few years later it's a manuscript and the characters are compressed on the pages looking for an audience, a chance to inhabit a reader's imagination. I do it because it's cathartic and in the end pleasurable. And it's a form of orderly, enduring communication, one that transcends my finite life.

-Sheldon Greene

About the Author
Sheldon Greene has been called "a born storyteller" by the Los Angeles Times for his book Lost and Found (Random House). This is his fifth novel. "I felt the need to describe our country as what it might become if we continue on the current trajectory." He is a lawyer and an executive in a wind energy development company, and has a background of high impact public interest litigation in health care, labor law, land policy, and immigration. He also sings in the Oakland Symphony Chorus and serves on several boards. 

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Sheldon! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Today's Post is Brought To You by The Letter.....P

Hello, Browsers!

Simon from Stuck in a Book has started a new meme. I thought it was a whole lot of fun, so I joined in, ofcourse! It's really easy...but may be a bit challenging depending on what letter you get. Basically, you get assigned a random letter and you state your favorite book, author, song, film and object beginning with that letter. Easy, right?! If you'd like to join in, leave a comment, and I'll give you a random letter, so you can do your own post. The letter I got from Simon is...P

Let's do this!

Favorite Book...
This is Easy!

This works out perfectly for me. I love Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice is my favorite novel by her. Let's hope the rest of this challenge goes as smoothly...

Favorite Author...

I'm going to have to go with the author's last name....James Patterson!

We can all argue about what book he did and didn't write, but all I know is that all the books I've read under his name has been an incredible journey. The mystery of it all just pulls me in. 

Favorite Song....
My mind is a blank right now,  all I can think of is Please don't leave me by Pink

Favorite Film....

Score! Pride and Prejudice again! 

Favorite Object....

The pen! I love my pen because I love writing! It's one of my favorite pastimes with reading right next to it, ofcourse. I know that typing is the "new thing," but I like writing everything down before typing it up. I used to annoy my friends with that in high school because they thought it was stupid to write an essay twice (once with pen and once typed up on a computer), I never could convince them it was something I had to do. Haha! Good times!

So....what about you? Comment for a letter if you want  to join in! :)

As usual, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Top Ten Blogging Confessions

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find out more about it here.

It's been a long time since I've done this feature, but there was no way I was going to miss out on a fun topic like this. Let's dive in!

1. I overthink everything. I'm always double guessing myself when it comes to this blog (in real life too) and I end up thinking so much that I become  anxious. Not the regular type of anxious, I'm talking about the anxiety where you feel as if one mistake could ruin everything. I actually still re-read my old posts to check for errors. I can't stop myself
2. I'm still lost. I have no clue how people can manage to read four books a week, run a decent blog, socialize, join clubs, get good grades, and keep a job at the same time. How are you guys doing it? Are all of you cyborgs? How do you keep up? I'm still lost on how to manage everything.

3. I end up procrastinating on other important things to work on this blog....I'm trying to break this habit. Even though I only post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I end up working on the blog atleast 6 days a week. Why, Monique? Why? What's the point of that?

4. I handwrite my reviews before typing them out. I also used to do this with my essays in school. It's just easier for me because a blank computer screen freaks me out. I have to write my thoughts down before typing them out or nothing will get done.

5. I do not like John Green's books as well as some of the rest of you do. No, that's a cop out. I mean, his books are not for me. I'm less of a feeler and more of a thinker.... it seems the only book I liked by him was the book that all you thought was his worse books. lol! Guess which one? And no, I have not finished TFIOS. Sorry again. I started it, but have yet to finish.

6. I still feel awful for writing negative reviews...I'll still write them, but I hate it. I'll be honest, but I'll also try my best to highlight anything I liked about the book. It still feels weird to me, here you are giving me your  book for free in order to help you out, but here I am telling people the awful experience I had while reading your book. It sucks! I always feel as if maybe I wasn't trying hard enough to make myself like the story. This is something that I'm definitely working on.

7. I'm behind on my reviews. Are you surprised? Probably not. I blame netgalley! :P Well, it really is my fault for refusing to say no to all those beautiful review copies. It's ok though, I just recently started getting back on track with them.

8. I feel bad for not posting every day... Sorry

9. Sometimes, I don't always feel as if I'm part of the community. Perhaps that's because I don't post every day?

10. I get really frustrated when things I've won take so long to get to my mailbox. That's because I'm a really impatient person. I'm always thinking worst case scenarios. What if they forgot to send it? What if it gets lost in the mail? What if it got sent back to the sender without my knowledge?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You by TM Franklin

How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You
Title: How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You
Author: T.M. Franklin
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
Link: Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Oliver Wendell Holmes (Yes, his parents are just that peculiar, but his brother’s name is Sherlock, so it could have been worse) knows that he’s different. He’s quirky, awkward, and he’s okay with that. Oliver also likes making lists—meticulous procedures for achieving his goals, step-by-step. Whether it’s “How to Get an A in Chemistry” or “How to Get Accepted to MIT,” he has a process, and it’s worked for him so far. He doesn’t even care that the popular kids mock him. Oliver’s got his eye on the prize.
So when he decides it’s time to declare his feelings for Ainsley Bishop, the girl of his dreams, it’s only natural for him to make a list—a point-by-point strategy to win her heart. He knows it will take a grand gesture for her to see all he has to offer, and her approaching birthday provides the ideal opportunity for Oliver to put his plan into action.
Finding the perfect gift is a challenge Oliver meets with his usual dogged determination. He’ll need to watch her carefully for clues to pinpoint exactly what he should give her. And along the way, he might just learn that what Ainsley really needs is not quite what he expected.

I received an ARC of this book for an honest review

 My Review
4/5 stars
I LOVED this book!

Oliver is such an easy character to relate to. I'm sure we all have weird quirks and insecurities just like him. I was so happy with the banter between all the characters that I didn't even notice when I was almost finished with the book. It was that good! 

I think my favorite characters would have to be Viney. I don't think the book would've been that amazing without him. I have a thing for supportive friends that know you even more than you know yourself. Is it wrong if I want Viney to have his own story? I would like to get into this character's head to know him better. I want to know what Viney would be like if he ever fell in love. 

In this book, we meet Oliver, who has a thing for lists. He's decided to make a list on How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with you (hence, the title) but there's the whole issue of Ian (Ainsley's boyfriend). I don't like the concept of going after someone else's boyfriend or girlfriend, so I was really scared that I was going to end up hating this book, but I was totally wrong. It helped that Ian was a jerk. I don't feel bad for jerks! :P Oliver is so ridiculously awkward and flustered around Ainsley that it was hard not to laugh at his antics. I also loved the family dynamics in Oliver's household. Sherlock (Oliver's brother) is hilarious! 

This is the type of book that makes you go Aww... at almost every page. I definitely recommend it to anybody who is interested in reading YA novels. I dare you to not like it! It's an amazingly written book with fun characters! :D

Friday, July 4, 2014

Let's Talk: The Series Takeover in YA books

Hello, my lovely Browsers!

Is it just me or is everything a series nowadays? Where did the amazing stand-alone books go? When did readers sign a petition for back to back series?

I'm thinking how much I loved Delurium by Lauren Oliver....and then it turned out to be a trilogy.

then I fell out of love with the story as a whole.... 

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate everything that is a series. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and the Alex Rider series contain some of my favorite stories, so I know it's possible for me to love a series. However, I don't think that every single story needs a sequel, and every book does not need to turn into a trilogy, regardless of it's genre. *cough* Dystopia *cough* 

One of the most prevalent characteristics of a trilogy is the dreaded love triangle. That is just a huge no no for me. Find out Why I hate Love Triangles

What do you guys think? Do you prefer a series or a good stand-alone novel?

Happy Browsing!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Your TBR Shelf: Do you really want to read all those books?

I was checking out my TBR pile and noticed it was HUGE!!!! I think it's impossible to actually finish reading all the books I have in that pile (especially when I keep adding books to that giant pile). I know a lot of readers can relate to that. My TBR pile is probably much less than the normal, but it's huge to me because I'm a person that likes to finish things and cross things off lists. I'm not good at leaving things unfinished. 

I actually took the time to view each one of the books on my TBR pile...and OMG!!!

Imagine my surprise when I found out that I didn't even want to read all those books in the first place. Yeah, maybe at some point I actually wanted to read them, but that time has definitely passed.

I mean, there were books that I didn't even know how they got on there? What was I thinking? This sounds horrible? How did this book even get here? 

Then there were books that I sorta-kinda wanted to read somewhere in the long future, eventually. I quickly got rid of those along with the books I didn't want to read. 

I mean these books didn't really interest me that much. I just thought I'd read them cause....I don't know. Just for the sake of reading of them, I guess...

I feel like my TBR pile should be one filled with books that I'm SUPER excited to read, books that I'm anxious waiting for them, books that make me feel like 5 stars is a definite possibility! 

All my hard work went to waste because I think I added atleast twice as much books as I removed at the end of the day, but atleast now I feel like I definitely want to read ALL those books. I feel so good about it that I don't even mind the fact that I now have more books in my TBR pile than ever! 

So from now on, I'm going to check out my TBR pile once every six months just to see if I still want to read all those books. It'll be a long process, but I'll do it anyway. The TBR pile will be defeated! I will conquer it!

So do you guys really want to read ALL the books on your TBR shelf? Do you think your TBR pile should be books you're extremely passionate about or do you think books that you kinda-sorta want to read should be on your TBR pile as well? Let me know your thoughts on this.

Happy Browsing!

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