Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee {ARC Review}

I was sent an e-ARC of Tash Hearts Tolstoy in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion. 

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After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” 

Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.

Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.

And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.

Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?

How can I describe my absolute admiration for this book? Tash Hearts Tolstoy exceeded all expectations I had. I’m actually having a difficult time writing this review because I just don’t know how I’ll describe it. I apologize in advance if this review is a bit jumbled.

I have fallen madly in love with Tash Hearts Tolstoy. It is a fluffy, YA contemporary that needs to be added to your TBRs IMMEDIATELY.

One thing unique about this novel is Natasha–Tash–is asexual. I have personally never read a book that features a asexual protagonist. I wrote a thread about Tash Hearts Tolstoy and what it means to me if you’d like to read it.   

I really can’t express how much I enjoyed this book. Tash Hearts Tolstoy talks about many issues, not only Tash’s sexuality. It also discusses friendships, rising to fame, family, and relationships. While Tash’s asexuality is very present in this novel, it is not the focal point. The book also explains that you can be in relationships and have romantic feelings if you are ace which is a myth that gets tossed around quite frequently.

Tash Hearts Tolstoy is just so much fun. The book is set while Tash and her friends are working on a web series. All of the characters were unique and easy to remember which is a problem I have frequently.

Tash is definitely not a perfect character which is something I really liked. In books, the characters are often seen as perfect beings. That isn’t how real humans work, though. They make mistakes and sometimes let emotions get the best of them. Tash definitely felt real. She didn’t always do or say the right things, but Tash learned from her mistakes and had strong character development by the end.

The storyline was adorable. Honestly, it reminded me of a Wattpad story in all the best ways. It was addicting and somewhat realistic but a bit idealistic. The writing style was also simple but still having the addicting style like I said before. There were many parts that were so funny I literally laughed out loud. It was overall just a heart-warming, wonderful novel.

After reading this review, you can probably tell that I LOVED Tash Hearts Tolstoy. You need to buy it as soon as you can. Read it. Love it.

So, what do I rate Tash Hearts Tolstoy?

★★★★★/5 Stars

Have you read Tash Hearts Tolstoy? Is it on your TBR yet? 

-Liv

Interview with Kayla Olson (Author of The Sandcastle Empire)

Hello everyone! I’m so thrilled to have a wonderful guest on my blog today. Kayla Olson, author of The Sandcastle Empire, has agreed to do an interview and I’m SO excited about it. I won’t say anything else because I just want to get straight to the interview. Let’s get started!

1. Hey, Kayla! Before we begin the interview, can you briefly introduce yourself and The Sandcastle Empire?

Hi, Liv, and thanks so much for having me! The Sandcastle Empire is a near-future sci-fi thriller/survival story about four girls who set off for an island in hopes of finding freedom there—only to find it more dangerous than the war-torn world they’ve left behind. As for me, I love coffee and chocolate and the beach…but would not want to be stranded on one! (That said, if I ever were stranded on one, coffee and chocolate would help considerably with the whole survival aspect.)

2. When you were young, did you want to grow up to be an author? 

I’ve always been an avid reader, but when I was young, I never quite knew how to approach being an author as a viable career. I was more of a journaler back then—but I did get into that because I dreamed of having my words written in a real, actual, book with a bound spine and a hard cover! It wasn’t until after college that I started writing fiction. Fortunately, by then, the internet was full of amazing resources on how to pursue the path to publication.

3. What is your writing process like? Do you have any specific things you need to do before you can begin writing?

Ooh, great question—I always love talking about process, and hearing how other people work, too. For me, whenever I get an idea, I always open a brand new Scrivener file and do my best to get the first page written. I’m a big believer in finishing what you’re working on (and these days, I have contracts and deadlines, so I can’t really switch projects based on feeling alone), so it helps to get the first line and the voice down for any shiny new ideas that hit me while I’m knee deep in drafting/revising something else! Having the first line and the voice ready to go helps immensely when it comes time to focus on the shiny new idea—it makes it much easier for me to slip into the project, even months or years after that initial spark.

4. (Cliche Question) How did you come up with the idea behind The Sandcastle Empire? 

I was having a particularly strong longing for a beach vacation, which coincided with some particularly strong nostalgia for the TV show Lost—the island setting came first, but quickly morphed from ohhh, I wish I was at the beach to I *must* write this story about this mysterious beach/island I never, ever want to visit!

5. What about Young Adult made you decide to write for teens?

Being a teen is such a huge time for developing relationships, empathy, and worldview—I remember that time of my life so clearly, and naturally gravitated toward writing about those years when I decided to focus on writing books instead of music. I also simply loved reading YA, so it made sense to write in the category I knew and loved so much!

6. Do you have any other passions besides writing and books? Do your interests influence your writing in any way?

Music was my first passion, and in fact, I think everyone—family and friends alike—expected me to go that route. I’ve always been a big fan of lyrics (think Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, Sandra McCracken) and wrote a good handful of my own songs back in college. My background of writing/loving poetry and lyrics definitely influenced the way I approach words on the page!

7. Do you have any projects you are currently working on (if you are allowed to talk about it)?

I do! As you suspected, though, I’m not able to share specifics quite yet—I will say that it’s another YA sci-fi/survival story, with another tight-knit cast, and a good bit of mystery/intrigue there, too. It’s very different from The Sandcastle Empire, but still very me. I can’t wait to share more details about it—it’s planned for Fall 2018, again with HarperTeen, so watch my Instagram (@authorkaylaolson) or Twitter (@olsonkayla) feeds for more!

Thanks again, Kayla, for allowing me to interview you. It was a pleasure!

Check Out The Sandcastle Empire

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32051724-the-sandcastle-empire

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sandcastle-Empire-Kayla-Olson/dp/0062484877/ref=sr_1_2_twi_har_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474650236&sr=1-2&keywords=The+Sandcastle+Empire

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-sandcastle-empire-kayla-olson/1124588986ean=9780062484871&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7310909_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLCM000023

Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062484871&aff=hcweb

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/9780062484871?AID=10747236&PID=7310909

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Sandcastle-Empire-Kayl-Olson/9780062484871?ref=grid-view

Are you excited to read The Sandcastle Empire? Is it on your TBR or have you already pre-ordered it?

-Liv

May Wrap-Up

Hello everyone! May is over! May felt like such a long month. Sadly, I didn’t read as many books as I would have liked to. I only read three books, but I had a very busy month. Without delay, let’s get into the month of May!

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I had to return Fahrenheit 451 to my English teacher, and We Are Okay is packed in a box. My kindle represents the two missing books.

Books I Read in The Month of May

  • We Are Okay by Nina LaCour ★★★★/5
  • Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott ★★★★/5 [link]
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury ★★★★/5

What Did I Do In The Month of May?

  • I turned 16! It was my birthday on May 10.
  • It was also my dad’s birthday!
  • School’s finally over! My last day was May 23.
  • I reached my goal of 1,000 Twitter followers! I actually now have 1,300 followers!
  • Two of my best friends graduated! I’m so proud of them :).

What’s In-Store for June? 

  • I’m going to London! I’ll be gone June 5-12. I’ve been saving up for this trip since I was eleven.
  • I’m going to a book signing in Irving, TX on June 15! I’ll be very jet lagged, but I wouldn’t miss it! It’s a panel with authors like Stephanie Garber and Kayla Olson.
  • I’m moving to Pennsylvania. We’re moving around June 26. We don’t have a definite date yet!

What (Might) I Be Reading in June ?

  • The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
  • Tash Hearts Tolstory by Kathryn Ormsbee
  • Queen of Geeks by Jen Wilde

What are you planning on reading in the month of June?

-Liv

Blog Tour: Interview with Victoria Scott (Author of Violet Grenade)

Hello everyone! Today, I am very excited to have one of my favorite authors on my blog! I’ve been a fan of hers for over a year now, and I’m on her street team (#VMafia). I knew I just had to jump at the chance to host her on her Violet Grenade blog tour run through Chapter By Chapter. Without anymore delay, I’d like to welcome Victoria Scott!

1. Hi Victoria! Before we start, can you tell us a bit about Violet Grenade?

Hi! Violet Grenade is a young adult psychological suspense about a teen runaway with a second personality. It touches on bullying, revenge, manipulation, and love.

2. You’ve mentioned that you usually get your book ideas with a BANG: how did you get your idea for Violet Grenade?

It came as a vision, actually. I kept imagining this small girl getting targeted by an assailant, and then being surprised when she turns out to be incredibly violent. I love the concept of not knowing who you’re messing with.

3. Was writing Violet Grenade different than writing your other books?

Yes, it was. This was my first psychological book, and definitely the darkest. It’s much, much darker than my previous books, and it was liberating to be given licence to push the envelope.

4. What character is your favorite to write about? Why?

The personality in Domino’s head, Wilson, is my favourite, though it was difficult to balance him. I wanted him to be funny, but dangerous, and that was tough to nail down.

5. What is your writing process like?

I’m a very fluid writer. I don’t jump around, and I follow a general outline. I try to write 1,000 – 2,000 words a day, five days a week.

6. How long does it usually take for you to finish a first draft?

Depends when my deadline is. Ha! I’d love to have a full year to write a first draft, but it usually ends up being where I have three months to write the entire thing. That’s the situation I’m in now drafting my next story.

7. What made you decide to write your books for young adults?

I think I sort of fell into it. I was in my twenties when I first started writing books, so I read a lot of upper YA. Now that I’m 100% adult, I sometimes tinker with adult books, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully make that leap. We’ll see.

8. Finally, can you talk about your next upcoming project?

I can’t tell you too much, yet. I’m writing the first draft of a new young adult book now, and I’m hoping to be able to announce something very soon. I’ll give you one hint: Nirvana.

Thanks again to Victoria for the interview! It was wonderful to have you on my blog!

Check Out Violet Grenade!

DOMINO: A girl with blue hair and a demon in her mind.

CAIN: A stone giant on the brink of exploding.Violet Grenade

MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.

WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind. Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

Link to Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28226839-violet-grenade

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM|Chapters | Indies | Amazon| B&N| Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Giveaway!

Win a signed paperback of The Collector, a signed paperback of Titans, and a signed galley of Hear The Wolves!

A Rafflecopter giveaway

About The Author

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Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight books for young adults. Her novels are sold in fourteen different countries, and she loves receiving fan mail from across the world. Victoria loves high fashion, big cities, and pink cotton candy. You can find her online at VictoriaScott.com.

Website| Twitter | Facebook | InstagramGoodreads

 

 

Find the rest of the tour schedule here!

Did you enjoy the interview? Have you added Violet Grenade to your TBR yet?

-Liv

 

Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott {ARC Review}

I received this ARC from Entangled Teen via Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.

28226839DOMINO: A girl with blue hair and a demon in her mind.
CAIN: A stone giant on the brink of exploding.
MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.
WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.


When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind. Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

If you like the trope of unreliable narrators, then this book is for you! I’ve never read anything like Violet Grenade before. In my mind, there are strong Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and The Darkest Minds vibes in this book.

This book is so incredibly dark. I can’t stress that enough: Violet Grenade is dark. Domino falls under the unreliable narrator trope which is something I haven’t read recently. If you are a fan of that, then you’ll for sure like this book. The story follows Domino who has a voice/person in her head named Wilson. At first, I was creeped out by Wilson. By the end, I loved Wilson so much! Even the voice in her head goes through character development by the end of it.

I’d also like to say that there’s a potential TW later in the book for sexual assault and attempted rape. It’s later in the book, but it could be triggering to someone who has had history with either of these.

I didn’t completely love Violet Grenade, but it did meet my expectations. I feel like I always have an issue or two with each of  her books. Her writing style is very quirky and addicting which is one of my favorite things about her books. This isn’t my favorite of Scott’s books, but I did enjoy it more than her previous book. If you enjoy twisted/dark books, you will enjoy Violet Grenade

So, what do I rate Violet Grenade?

★★★★/5 Stars

Have you read Violet Grenade? What did you think of it? 

-Liv

 

Why You Should Be Following Teens in the YA Community (+List of Teens You Should Be Following)

Recently, there’s been talk about teens in the online YA community and their safety. Even in a community based on books geared towards teenagers, teens are still feeling unwelcomed. Taryn from novelparadise recently held a poll on Twitter asking the age of members of the YA Twitter community. The results are, well, a bit surprising.

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Note: The screenshot of the poll is with six hour and fifty-seven minutes left. Results may be slightly different by the end of it.

As you can see, 67% of 1,137 votes are over 20. Now, I know that many of the 20+ were teens when they started being involved with the community. I feel like the community needs to open up and be more welcoming to the new teens. It’s especially important for writers to listen and learn from teens. After all, they are writing books that are targeted for us.

If you are 20+ and you love YA, that is AWESOME. Young Adult is a diverse, growing genre that can be enjoyed by any age. However, don’t forget who YA is made for. It is made for teens. For that reason, it is important to listen to us when we talk about Young Adult.

Do you think you don’t follow enough teens (13-19)? Want *a few* recommendations?

My hand’s hurting from so much copying and pasting! Thank you to everyone who submitted their link! Are you a teen and want to be included in this list? Send me a DM on Twitter or leave your link in the comments!

Why do you think it’s important to follow teens in the YA community? Have you checked out any of the blogs listed yet? Do you have any new favorites?

-Liv

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books to Buy Your Mom This Mother’s Day

Hey everyone! I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday in quite some time. Since Mother’s Day was last weekend, I thought I’d participate in this one! My mom doesn’t read too much because she is so busy. She, however, is such a champ when it comes to taking me to book events and carrying my books! If your mom does like to read, these are a few books that I would recommend if she isn’t quite a YA reader yet:

1. My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows

I read My Lady Jane about a year ago; all I remember from it is how much I enjoyed it. It was hilarious and the characters were really enjoyable. It’s also historical fiction; so if your mom loves historical fiction, she would really enjoy My Lady Jane!

2. The Selection by Kierra Cass

For many people, The Selection is a classic for a new YA reader. Although it isn’t the best book series, it really is addicting which makes it great for a new reader.

3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

If you’ve never read A Monster Calls, what are you doing? I read it last year, and I absolutely loved it. I’d definitely gift it to my mom.

4. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

If you’ve been following my blog for a little bit, you might have seen that Upside of Unrequited was one of my favorite reads of 2017 already. I seriously wish I could recommend this book to everyone.

5. The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun is Also A Star is a really good book for people who aren’t as much into reading. The writing is super addicting, and the chapters are fairly short. It also deals with many issues that you wouldn’t normally see in a YA romance contemporary.

6. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Out of my entire reading career, I don’t think I’ve recommended a book more. I read it many many years ago, and it’s definitely one of my top favorites of all time.

7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Again, Cinder was a book that I think would be perfect for someone who is new to YA books. I found it really addicting, and I think it’d be a really good to gift a mom.

8. Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys

If your mom is anything like my mom, then your mom enjoys historical fiction. My mom has actually read one of Ruta’s other books and enjoyed it immensely.

9. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Does this really need an explanation? Cute contemporary by an #ownvoices author? It’s definitely a book I’d gift to a mom.

10. Legend by Marie Lu

This recommendation is a bit different than the other ones. Legend is great if you enjoy dystopian and action centered books.

-Liv

Love, and You by Gretchen Gomez {Book Review}

34335011one day i met a guy
who stole my heart,
we created a world
for ourselves.
and another day
he broke my heart
and shattered
my soul.

i took the tattered
pieces of this
broken soul and
became anew.

– here lies the hurting, the healing, and the learning

If you liked poetry books like Milk and Honey and The Princess Saves Herself in This OneTHIS BOOK IS FOR YOU. I used to really not enjoy poetry. I thought of it as a piece of work that I had to analyze during English class. I also thought of scenes in movies/shows when a group of people sit in a cafe and a hipster guy stands at a front and proclaims an exaggerated poem while everyone snaps. So needless to say, I used to snicker at the idea of poetry. And I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.

I have changed. I read Amanda Lovelace’s The Princess Saves Herself in This One and fell in love. Just between me and you, I think I enjoyed love, and you just as much. The poems are absolutely stunning. While reading it, I could really tell Gretchen poured her heart out in the book. It’s so honest, personal, emotional, and just raw. Even though I couldn’t relate to all the poems, I certainly connected with them and learned from them.

Everyone needs to read this. Whether you were broken in a relationship, you are in an unhealthy relationship, or you don’t want to touch relationships with a ten foot pole. You will not regret reading love, and you. Even if you are not generally a ‘poetry person’, try it out! It doesn’t hurt to try. I used to be in your shoes, and now I love poetry.

I’m so excited to see Gretchen’s work take off. This was just her debut, and I’m so excited to see what comes next. love, and you is for sure a new favorite of mine.

So, what do I rate love, and you?

★★★★★/5 Stars

Have you purchased love, and you yet? 

-Liv

April Wrap-Up

Hey guys! I can’t believe we are already four months into 2017. It feels like 2016 just ended. Anyway, April was quite an eventful month! I read quite a bit but not as much as i would have liked to though. Although, I had so many different things take place in April so I forgive myself. I read seven books this month. Let’s get into the wrap-up!

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Books I Read in The Month of April

  • You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner★★★★/5 [Link]
  • Love, and You by Gretchen Gomez ★★★★★/5
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon ★★★★★/5
  • Lord of The Flies by William Golding ★/5
  • I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo ★★★★/5
  • Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy ★★★★★/5

What Did I Do In The Month of April?

  • I saw Kinky Boots in Dallas on April 2nd! It was SO good!
  • I took the ACT! I thought I did fairly okay considering this was my first time taking it.
  • I saw The 1975 in concert with my brother! It was such an amazing show, and I’m so glad I got to see them live.
  • I’m participated in #AVAreadathon! I didn’t read all the books I wanted to but that’s okay. 🙂
  • I met Becky Albertalli at a book signing! She recognized me before the actual event so that was pretty cool.
  • I found out that I’m moving! This summer I’m moving to Pennsylvania because of my dad’s job.

What’s In-Store for May? 

  • School is over! I get out of school on May 25th.
  • My birthday is in May! I’m turning sixteen.
  • I’m less than 30 followers away from 1,000 on my Twitter! Can you help me reach it?

What (Might) I Be Reading in May?

  • The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
  • Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott
  • Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

How was April for you? How many books did you read?

-Liv

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner {ARC Review}

I received this ARC from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion.

25701463When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

In 2016, I became interested in a musical called Spring Awakening. It is a rock-musical based in 1800s Germany. A few months ago, I discovered Spring Awakening had a second run on Broadway. The second production was different because of this: a majority of the cast was deaf. The production was put on by the Deaf West Theatre in LA. As soon as I saw the Deaf West production of it, I became interested in sign language. I was fascinated that this language is entirely spoken by hand movements. I’m slowly trying to learn it now (I can say my name is Olivia and how are you woohoo).
I then began my research to find Young Adult books with a hearing impaired main character. I sent a request to Penguin Randomhouse and received an ARC.
I was really excited to finally read a book with deaf representation. With that being said, I think my expectations for You’re Welcome, Universe were a bit too high. The book was definitely good–don’t get me wrong. It just didn’t live up to the hype I felt. I really expected to be BLOWN AWAY, but I sadly didn’t feel that way.
Firstly, let’s talk about the diversity in You’re Welcome, Universe. We have an Indian-American teen, who is deaf, with two moms who are also deaf. Julia’s deafness was *what I believe to be* very accurate. In many other books/movies/TV shows, it depicts that there is no communication barrier between a deaf person and a hearing person. However, that is definitely not the case. Many deaf individuals can’t lipread very well, and most hearing individuals only know minimal sign language. It was very interesting reading a story like this in a deaf person’s POV.
Within the book, there are many pages with spray-paint artwork. I really admired this extra feature on the book, especially that it fit really well with the story. Julie is a graffiti artist which was really cool because I’ve never seen someone with that interest in a YA novel.
This book was not perfect. That’s quite an obvious statement because no book is truly perfect. In particular, I wasn’t super in love with the writing style. It felt very blatant; I just really wasn’t a fan. Also, the characters didn’t really grip me like I wish they would. The characters weren’t very unique. They were pretty ‘black and white stereotypical high school’ personalities.
With all that being said, I’m still really glad I read You’re Welcome, Universe. I really enjoyed the different areas of diversity within this novel.

So, what do I rate You’re Welcome, Universe?

★★★★/5 Stars

 

Have you purchased/read You’re Welcome, Universe yet?

-Liv

SST: Interview with Laura Silverman (Author of Girl Out of Water)

Hello everyone! As a part of the Sunday Street Team, I’m one of the stops for a blog tour featuring Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman. I am BEYOND excited about this. Without too much delay, let’s get to the interview with Laura!

1) Hi Laura! Before we begin, can you talk about Girl Out of Water and what it is about?

Hi Liv! It’s about a California surfer girl who has to spend the entire summer in landlocked Nebraska. There’s family, romance, summer vibes, and probably way too many descriptions of food

2) Talk about your writing life: have you always wanted to be a writer?

I have! I’ve been writing stories since I could write, and I took creative writing courses in high school and college. I thought it was something I would work at for a long time and maybe one day in the far-off future I’d get published, but I decided to go to graduate school for creative writing, fully dedicated myself to the work, and before I knew it I was signing with an agent for my first novel!

3) What is your writing process like? Do you outline before or just dive into the story?

I definitely tend towards diving. I outline a little bit, especially as I get into later drafts and the structure becomes more important, but I let my characters drive the car pretty often

4) You’re very open with your chronic illness on social media: how do you think your chronic pain has influenced your writing life?

It limits it – I used to be able to write seven to eight hours a day, and that just isn’t possible right now. But I’m very grateful I have a passion and a job with flexible hours, so it’s challenging, but I’m making it work!

5) Have you always enjoyed books?

Yes, yes, yes! I’ve genre-hopped back and forth a bit over the years, but I’ve always loved reading and can’t see that ever changing

6) What was your favorite book as a child?

As a kid I loved Harry Potter, Matilda, Coraline, Anne Frank’s Diary, etc. The list of course goes on and on!

7) What are some of your other favorite Young Adult books (besides your own)?

I can never pick favorite books overall but some recent favorite reads are THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED, THE HATE U GIVE, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, and UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES.

8) Would you like to talk about any upcoming projects you have? How are they similar (or different) to Girl Out of Water?

I recently sold my second book – it’s also a YA contemporary, but it’s pretty different. My main character, Ariel, deals with academic pressure and examining his Jewish identity. Though – both books do have swoony romances

 

Thanks again, Laura, for your wonderful responses. It was such a pleasure being able to interview you on my blog!

Preorder Girl Out of Water 

Fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen will fall in love this contemporary debut about finding yourself-and finding love-in unexpected places.

Ocean breeze in her hair and sand between her toes, Anise can’t wait to spend the summer before her senior year surfing and hanging out on the beach with friends. Santa Cruz is more than her home-it’s her heart. But when her aunt, a single mother, is in a serious car accident, Anise must say goodbye to California to help care for her three young cousins.

Landlocked Nebraska is the last place Anise wants to be. Sure, she loves her family, but it’s hard to put her past behind her when she’s living in the childhood house of the mother who abandoned her. And with every Instagram post, her friends back home feel further away.

Then she meets Lincoln, a charismatic, one-armed skater who challenges her to swap her surfboard for a skateboard. Because sometimes the only way to find your footing is to let go.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29640839-girl-out-of-water

Preorder Links:

Amazon- US:  http://amzn.to/2nMpDV1

Amazon – UK: http://amzn.to/2ohyxh6

Barnes & Nobles: http://bit.ly/2ohJC1x

Book Depository: http://bit.ly/2oaYo9S

Girl Out of Water Giveaway

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About The Author

Laura received her MFA in writing for children from the New School. She loves books and dogs—okay, and quite a few people too. She currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. You can say hello on Twitter at @LJSilverman1.

Follow Her On Social Media:

Blog: http://laurasilvermanlovesbooks.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LJSilverman1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15148197.Laura_Silverman

Tour Schedule

4/16

Interview – Pretty Deadly Blog

Review –  Sarcasm and Lemons

Interview –  Curly Hair Bibliophile

Interview – Hopeful Reads

Mood board & Review – Here’s to Happy Endings

Review –  Book Nerd Addicts

4/23

Review – Fafa’s Book Corner

Interview – Books, TV, and More…Oh My!

Aesthetics Post – Roecker Reviews

Review – Next Page Please

Interview – Awkwordly Emma

Review – A Thousand Words A Million Books

4/30

Review – Books and Ladders

Graphics Inspired Quotes –  The Cozy Little Book Nook

Interview –  Tattooed Pages  

Review –  Crazy for YA

 

Are you excited to read Girl Out of Water? Did you enjoy the interview?

-Liv

 

I Will Not Be Watching 13 Reasons Why and Here’s Why…{Discussion Post}

Trigger Warning: In the post, there is talk about self harm, suicide, and rape. Please use precaution before continuing.

Right now, it seems like I can’t go ten minutes without seeing something about 13 Reasons Why. Even boys in my journalism class were raving about it. However, I felt quite uneasy about the show from the beginning. The day after it was released, I saw a post on Twitter with all the triggers for each episode.

*These Pictures Are Not My Own I Just Had Them Saved to My Laptop, and I Can’t Find The Original Tweet*. 

I read 13 Reasons Why when I was in eighth grade. I must admit that I understand a good amount of the book. Looking back, though, I’m starting to realize how much I either lost from my memory over time or what went right over my head. Regardless, I was still really impacted by the novel. For this reason, I was quite excited about the adaption to a Netflix series.

Now that you know my history with the book, I’d like to take a minute to examine some information about suicide and entertainment.

  • “Prominent placement and undue repetition of stories about suicide are more likely to lead to imitative behaviors than more subtle presentations.”
  • “Detailed discussion of the method used in a given completed or attempted suicide should be avoided, because a step-by-step description may prompt vulnerable people to copy the act. For example, in reporting an overdose, it would be unwise to detail the nature, quantity, or combination of drugs taken, or how they were procured.”

Yes, 13 Reasons Why is an important story. Suicide is a topic that needs to be talked about; we need to be able to have discussions about it and give people the help they need. Suicide is one of the top five causes of death for teens between the ages of 15-19. It needs to be discussed.

However, having a T.V. show where graphic scenes are showed on screen can be incredibly harmful. They can trigger people who have had past experiences with self-harm and suicide. They can encourage people who struggle with it to continue with their harmful habits.

“BUT,” they say. “IT’S MADE SO MANY PEOPLE AWARE OF THEIR ACTIONS AND ALERTED PEOPLE TO SUICIDE AWARENESS!!!”

Not to play devil’s advocate, but it is true that shows that have themes of suicide and mental health can cause people to become more aware of it in their daily lives. However, I’ve noticed that this awareness is short-lived. It will last for a little bit, but it won’t has a lasting impact like we wish it would. Eventually, people will forget. New forms of entertainment will be the latest trend, and 13 Reasons Why will be left in the dust along with its intended message.

One argument in favor of the graphic nature of the show is this: in the beginning of the very graphic episodes, there are disclaimers. Here’s the thing: whether or not you put disclaimers at the beginning of the episodes doesn’t really make up for the fact that you are unknowingly helping people do the very thing you’re trying to raise awareness for. Not to mention, numerous psychologists repeat that showing a step-by-step process to self harm or suicide will do more harm than good.

A few days ago, my best friend’s boyfriend remarked: “I just feel like they treat Hannah [the main character] like she’s a college student. She’s a sophomore. Stuff like that doesn’t happen to sophomores.” Newsflash: Things like that do happen to people even younger than sophomores. Rape can happen to anyone. No matter how old they are. Self harm and suicide can affect anyone no matter their age. The themes of 13 Reasons Why are definitely not for the faint hearted. However, the story does need to be told. I do not believe that the adaption of 13 Reasons Why gives the subject matters justice. For that reason, I will not be watching 13 Reasons Why. If you choose to watch it, please take caution before doing so.

 

If you or anyone you know is affected by suicide or suicidal thoughts, please reach out. Here are hotlines and websites you can reach out to:

  • https://www.7cups.com/
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “Start” to 741-741
  • Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386.

 

Sources

 

Leave your opinions/comments about 13 Reasons Why in the comments!
-Liv