Book Review: What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Title: What Happened To Goodbye

Author: Sarah Dessen

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

Pages: 402 hardcover

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Who is the real McLean?

Since her parents’ bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother’s new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Combining Sarah Dessen’s trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.

Sarah Dessen has done it again. She has created a book that I could fall into with complete ease. Characters that I could connect with from the beginning. A town I would want to live in and people I want to be friends with because they all seemed so very real.

McLean does not have an average life. Since she is constantly moving around with her dad, she likes to become someone new in every town that she lives in. One day she is the ultimate joiner which includes clubs and student government. The next day she is a quiet drama/dancer type. The beauty of never staying in one place too long is that she got to reinvent herself with every move. However, when McLean and her dad land in this new town, McLean finds herself being….well herself.

She is thrown into several situations that catch her off guard and before she knows it she is being called by her real name and doing what she wants to do not what the character she is playing wants to do. I loved McLean from the beginning (I ALWAYS love those Sarah Dessen characters from the beginning). She has a mix of what I love from all other Dessen characters. She has spunk, she is a little controlling, she is a kind, loving person but she is also dealing with hurt and pain from her past.

McLean’s mother and father were great parents to her. They were loving and always there for her. However, McLean’s mother left her dad a few years ago for one of her dad’s greatest heroes. It is because of this that McLean decides to live with her dad instead of her mom. I love McLean’s dad! He may not be accessible all the time but he is still there for McLean when she really needs it. What I didn’t like though is that he allows her to take on so much responsibility. She sets up their house every time with all the necessary things like internet and cable, she grocery shops for them, she basically acts like a wife. I felt that her dad either failed to see it or failed to put a stop to it. Allowing her to take on so much responsiblity only helped feed her need to distance herself from the people in the towns they lived in.

We also see a lot of McLean’s mom. This is where I am kind of torn. I understood McLean’s feelings for her mom. Her mom hurt not only her dad but also McLean by leaving him. McLean wants nothing to do with her mom, hates having full-out conversations with her, and the thought of spending the weekend at the beach with her is enough to cause a major meltdown. While I did understand exactly where she was coming from, I was also angry with her for not giving her mom the time of day. McLean’s mom tries so hard to make things right with her, to try to make amends but McLean wants no part of it. I wished throughout several instances during the book that she would just put down her guard of hatred and let her mom be her mom again. This does show just how great of a person her mom is though. Even though she fell out of love with McLean’s dad, she still desperately wants to be a part of McLean’s life.

There were several aspects that I didn’t necessarily like with McLean’s relationships with her parents, but it was still realistic. I have felt that way towards my mom before, in fact there are times where I still do. There are also times where I take on a lot of responsibility especially with my younger siblings that most teenagers shouldn’t have to do. Sarah is so great at including very realistic lifestyles into books and she most certainly did that with What Happened to Goodbye.

Alright, now that I got the “tough” stuff out of the way, let’s get to the FUN stuff, the friends & the romance! I love the friends that McLean made during this book. Sarah Dessen did another great job of creating fun, quirky characters that helped to bring this book to life! Deb is the biggest sweetheart I’ve ever seen but she is also kind of wacky! She is truly a great friend for anyone that will give her the time of day. Oddly enough, it is McLean who introduces her to the group. Riley and Heather are two girls that could have a book all their own. They are so fun and open yet they are so different it causes for extremely entertaining bickering between the two. Plus they take McLean in without a second thought, she needs friends so they are there for her. Opal is an older woman but she is so great. She truly loves the restaurant she manages and she is so passionate about it. We get to see her a lot throughout the book and we find that she is a remarkable person. And then there is Dave….<3

Sarah never fails to make up a guy that melts my heart. Dave is so cute in a dorky way. You know those ultimate geniuses that are just too smart for their own good? Dave is one of them. Do you know those guys next door with the sweetest personalities? Dave is one of them too! He is super smart but also super funny & nice. He had a solid upbringing (if only a bit too strict) and he recently got into trouble for the first time ever. He spends a ton of time and energy trying to make it up to his parents. If that doesn’t show you a bit about his character then I don’t know what will! There is not much else to say except he is a great person, a great friend, and a wonderful person that McLean really connects with.

I will forever be a Sarah Dessen fan. Book after book by her is remarkable in its own right. What Happened to Goodbye is another one that can be added to the list! It is a realistic story about friendship, love, family, and finding yourself.

Book Review: Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith

Title: Lockdown

Author: Alexander Gordon Smith

Publisher: Square Fish

Pages: 273 paperback

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

Beneath Heaven is Hell. Beneath Hell is Furnace.

Furnace Penitentiary: An underground hellhole. A place of pure evil with walls soaked in blood. Murderous gangs and vicious guards rule the darkness. Horrific creatures steal people away in the dead of night. And the impossible – escape – is the only hope.

“Hotter than Hell and twice as much fun.” -Darren Shan, author of the Cirque Du Freak series

“Fresh and ferocious.” -James Patterson

It is safe to say this is the creepiest book I read this year. In fact, it is safe to say it is one of the creepiest books I have read ever! Which is exactly why I am so baffled that I like this book…like a lot! It is no secret that I shy away from anything too scary but seriously guys, this book is the perfect amount of creepy. If I can handle it, there is no doubt that you will be able to as well.

The book starts off right with tons of action and a character that you won’t initially care for (I ask you again to trust me on this because he will grow on you!). As we first meet Alex he is breaking into a house with his friend Toby. See what I mean? You will not like him and all the stupid things he does. He has little respect for other people and their possessions. But you also get the feeling that he used to be a good kid and somehow got on the wrong track. On the night that they break into the house something absolutely terrible happens. It quickly turns into a nightmare and Alex is shipped off to Furnace.

This is where the freakiness really happens! I could picture every chilling, goosebump-inducing moment that Alex endured. Alexander’s attention to detail was impeccable. I really felt like I was there with him, living out this nightmare. Furnace is not your everyday prison. It is a place miles and miles in the ground with no way out. The guards are unhuman, nasty (skinless) dogs roam around with the evil warden, the living conditions are nearly unbearable, and there are gas mask crazies running around in the middle of the night marking people to kill. Yes, you read that all right. Dealing with having to spend the rest of your life in prison is hard enough but Furnace is like your own personal torture chamber that you get to live in day after day. Furnace includes all of your worst nightmares but this story is more than just a bone-chilling thriller.

We get to meet and eventually love not just the main character Alex, but also his cellmate Donovan. Alex is the fresh meat, and an obvious target from the boys who have survived the prison for the past few years. Donovan takes Alex under his wing, which in a place like Furnace, is a pretty brave thing. Like I said earlier, Alex is a character that grew on you. While he’s in Furnace he gets quite a bit of time to reflect on why he did all the bad things he did. He never fully comes to a conclusion which is okay. We all make mistakes and often times do it for no reason at all. What really struck me though is that he realizes he was wrong. He may not know why he did things like breaking into houses but he regrets it. He is sorry for the wrong choices that he made. Alex’s personality stays strong even though he is in a hellhole (almost literally). I love that he has this deep passion to escape. It is unheard of but Alex never looses faith that he will one day get out of there. He plans day and night on if, how, when he will be able to get out of Furnace. As for Donovan, I loved him! He has been in Furnace a LONG time so he’s built a tough exterior. However, Alex is the one kid who can kind of break through it. For the first time in a long time, Donovan starts to feel a little okay again and I love that! His friendship with Alex was realistic even for this crazy, out-of-this-world situation that they’re in. Donovan takes care of Alex and has his back no matter what and Alex inspires Donovan to hope again. It truly is a great thing to watch develop through a book.

This may not seem like the conventional “Katelyn” book but I am so glad I gave it a chance. The book itself ended up being a great surprise and that is somewhat due to the CRAZY ending! I was stunned with how things turned out so to say I am excited for Solitary is an understatement. I think it would be a perfect book to read around Halloween time when you are looking for a scary read!

Tune In Tuesday (36)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

I usually have these posts all planned out loaded with all sorts of great songs that will just blow you away. BUT I decided to be a MAJOR slacker this week. The songs I picked will still blow you away but there is no plan to them what so ever. I am just going to post the top three songs that have been on constant replay the past couple days because well, I love them hardcore. Enjoy!!!

Like a Prayer- Madonna

I have danced to this song while getting ready in the morning for the past TWO WEEKS! It is the instant pick-me-up!

It Will Rain- Bruno Mars

After weeks and weeks of listening to this one like 20-30 times per day, my love still has not wavered <3

Last Kiss- Taylor Swift

One day, when I become a brave person who is not afraid of what talent she may or may not have at all, I will write a book. This song will inspire it. #wishfulthinking

It’s My Birthday!

Oh my goodness!!! I have slowly been psyching myself up for this birthday and I cannot believe it is finally here! Nineteen years ago a brown hair, brown eyed, crazy little girl was born. And now, several hair colors later (but most recently back to brown. Trust me, I just WASN’T meant to be a blond…) and quite a few style changes (I have finally found my own personal style! Think librarian meets rocker chick) and this girl is still just as crazy! But wow, just let me get a grip now because I feel like an absolute NUTCASE (a more literal type of crazy) just saying that I am 19. Like whoa, I have actually been on this earth for 19 years. This is my official last year of life as a teenager. I will no longer be 18. Is that a white hair I see? Are those laughing lines or legit wrinkles forming? OH MY FREAKING GOSH….I AM 19 WHICH IS ALMOST 20 WHICH IS ALMOST 21 WHICH MEANS I AM ALMOST OLD!

Sorry for that brief freak-out! I will now act like a normal, almost sane person. All those comments aside, I am actually really excited to be turning 19! It means lots of food, even more cake, and some presents which are more likely than not, books! I feel like I am finally becoming an adult which is kind of scary but also very exciting at the same time. But to make my last year as a teenager memorable, I am requesting the help of you guys!

I have not had a very sheltered life per say but I was always kind of lame. I pride myself in being very knowledgeable on books and music but that is where my coolness ends. Aside from going to concerts, I have not done very many teenager-ish things. I go to work, school, and home. My home life includes laundry, homework, books, and blogging. So to say I have no social life is actually quite accurate!

Now I am sure you know of my best friend Kati (I do talk about her all the time but if this is the first time you’ve seen her name mentioned let me give you the basic info. She’s been my best friend for forever and she is pretty freaking awesome. End of story) so anyways, Kati and I were out to dinner one night last month when we decided that 19 is going to be the BEST YEAR EVER! This means we will be doing lots of fun, random, crazy things that I have missed out on due to my total lameness (important word being “we” because whatever I do, she will be a part of as well). We came up with a short list of what we should do (aka what most, NORMAL teenage kids do but I have failed to experience because I am Nerd Girl):

1) Go on a road trip….with no parents. (We have gone on several trips with the parentals so it is time for us to experience it on our own)

2) Go sing karaoke (I object to this idea adamantly but she very much thinks it will be SO MUCH FUN!)

3) Take the train to Chicago (This is more of a “Kati and Katelyn just want to go to Chicago” thing so it’s just being thrown into the list for the heck of it)

4) Get backstage passes to a concert (Out of the ba-jillions of concerts I have gone to, I have never ever been backstage!)


See we did not get very far into our list because if I am being quite honest, Kati also leads a pretty lame social life. This is where you guys come in! What fun memories did you create as a teenager? Is there any one experience that stands out in your mind that you think I should try and do this next year? As long as your idea is somewhere in the realm of possible, I am total game for trying it out. I’m being serious here guys! Let me know what you think in the comments section and sometime during the next couple weeks I will make a bucket list of sorts! I cannot wait to see what you guys can come up with :)

And since it is my birthday, that means I rule for today and I claim today as PARTY DAY. Go sing a song. Dance around like a rock star so I will not be the only one doing that on this lovely November day. Throw some confetti in the air…well on second thought maybe not. It can make a BIG mess. And eat some cake, lots and lots of cake because….I SAID SO :)

Life As Kate (8)

This is a feature I decided to put on the blog. Every Saturday I will post a list of ramblings to let you know what is going on with the person behind the blog! I had a rough week (imagine that!) so just a fair warning, there is complaining but I try (key word being TRY) to do it in a humorous way so as not to make you all hate my negativity :)

Okay last Saturday I worked from 12-7. As I’ve stated before, I work at an outlet mall so every weekend leading up to Christmas is bound to be super busy. Before work I DIDN’T go to Starbucks and here is why. I may be the only person who does this but I don’t go there for the sole fact that I don’t know how to pronounce a single thing on their menu. On the off-chance that I do go there, I only order the smallest size of whatever I’m getting because it is a “tall” and I obviously know how to say that. I feel like an idiot when I go there and completely SCREW UP every thing I order. I say one thing and the girl’s voice coming from the tiny box is like “Do you mean this?” or “Is this what you’re talking about?” so I try avoiding it at all costs. And yes, these are the things that truly go through my head. While I was at work I was called Bella Swan TWICE. Yes, I said TWICE. I will touch more on this subject a bit later, just you wait and see. I then came home to check my blog and found that 8 people found it by typing in Alex Fuentes. It is small things like this that truly make my world go round. You guys, I love Alex Fuentes like hard-core. I don’t even care that he is a fictional character. He is a HOT fictional character. After messing around on the computer for a bit I went upstairs to hang out with the family. Imagine my surprise when I saw my dad watching Arctic Monkeys on TV! Of course he claimed they just “weren’t his thing” but this shows a vast improvement on my dad’s level of coolness! Another thing I think I should mention that is very vital information for all of you to know is that I switched the part in my hair to the opposite side. You should also know that it’s driving me CRAZY. After trying to get my hair to stay on one side for more than five minutes I then went to stay at my friend’s house. We spent our Saturday night watching YouTube videos on Michigan accents. It stuns us that people believe we sound weird. What do you guys think? Do people from Michigan sound weird to you?

My friend and I woke up early on Sunday to go take stats for the wrestling team. We were not even there five minutes when I was called Bella Swan. The wrestler who told me this then proceeded to tell me that I would have “pregnant demon babies.” Pay attention to the wording there. Not only would I have demon babies but those babies would also be pregnant! This only goes to show that I made an extremely valid point in past Life As Kate posts, boys SUCK at compliments.

So this may shock you guys but I DIDN’T work on Monday. It seemed to be a miracle of sorts but this day then went downhill once I somehow decided I was made of money. Since it was my day off, I packed up my little brother (the 3-year-old) and went the craft store. I am making my Christmas presents (for the siblings, friends, and lovely bloggers out there!) so I needed to pick up a few things. On the way there, my tire went flat. Can I just say I love random acts of kindness from complete strangers? As I am attempting to fill up my tire with air and secretly praying I would not be the victim of some freak accident that involved a blown up tire, a man came and asked if I need help. He filled up my tire with the right amount of air and sent me on my way. I LOVE HIM! Once I got to the craft store I almost had a panic attack. I was so overwhelmed! I can’t spare too many details so I don’t ruin the surprise for you guys, but HOLY CRAP! I didn’t know they had so many things for that one project. In the end I spent well over $100 and I wanted to cry. I do NOT like spending huge chunks of money at one time. That night Kati and I went and saw Breaking Dawn! Oh my good god. I am in love. I am in love. I am in love. It surpassed my expectations. I was so worried they would make the last book a lame movie only because it doesn’t really hold the action factor like the previous books do but…WOW!

Tuesday I had school…boo :( BUT it was almost an okay day because one of my classes was canceled! I was a brave soul that day and wore leggings as pants. I don’t think I have ever wore leggings as pants. In fact I was always thinking girls were crazy for doing so. I found that it is in fact SUPER comfortable (as long as you wear either super thick leggings or two pairs. No one want to see your underwear no matter how goddess-like you may or may not be). Tuesday night is where shit it the fan. Excuse my language but it was a totally CRAP-tastic night in the Torrey household. I’ll spare you the icky details but it basically came down to my sister saying a terrible thing about me on Facebook that my dad saw. He does not take kindly to one family member hurting another family member. This caused a HUGE family meltdown which resulted in my sister leaving, my dad yelling (which is quite a feat for a man who seldom talks) and me crying. My night was on the verge of being one of the suckiest nights ever when the sweetest thing EVER happened to make me see just how lucky I was. My stepmom, my dad and I were all discussing the madness that just went down when the Zeke-monster (the 3-year-old) came up to me without saying a word and gave me the biggest hug you could imagine. I complain a lot about him but that moment made my heart melt. It was just so picture perfect and it made me realize that no matter how insanely angry I am at my siblings, I still adore them at the end of the day.

Even though I had this epiphany at the end of Tuesday night, I was still rather pissed off and I didn’t have work so I did what I do best, I power cleaned the house! Loads and loads of laundry, scrubbing, mopping, etc. and afterwards I felt so much better! Plus the house really needed to be cleaned for the Thanksgiving party we would be having at our house the next night. Really that is ALL I did on Wednesday. Such an eventful life I lead.

Thursday I woke up wishing a day spent with my royally screwed up family would be less awkward than it normally is. Well, that was a wasted wish. Goodness gracious, we are so WEIRD! This is a list of reasons my Thanksgiving was extremely odd: things were still off with my sister so I didn’t talk to her. My brothers were under the influence of something…not literally but they could have fooled me! My cousin who happens to be a new Atheist showed up to our house. Let’s keep in mind that my whole family and all the extended family (including his parents) are all Christians. We don’t judge him but it was hard holding my breath hoping that a fight or dispute wouldn’t break out in the middle of prayer or something. My 15+ cousins destroyed the newly cleaned basement after only 5 minutes. Zeke decided it would be a good idea to run around without pants on. All the kids thought that spreading Cottonwood pollen all over themselves would be a new form of entertainment (a word of advice: that stuff sticks to EVERYTHING!). My cousin’s “man friend” told me I had beautiful hair. That is just CREEPY coming from a 50-year-old. This was just for my dad’s side of the family! I then had to go celebrate with my mom’s side and that was just as strange. My mom was so hyper for some reason and it kind of irritated me after the first 10 seconds but I kept my cool (mostly). We came up with Christmas lists, I talked shoes and books with one of my aunts, my cousins do whatever it is that little 5-year-olds do, and my grandpa stayed downstairs watching the football game. He is a smart man! All in all it really wasn’t that bad of a Thanksgiving. I ate too much food (as always) but I loved hanging out with my weird family.

Friday is where all the fun happened. The mall I work at participates in Midnight Madness so I had to go into work at 11:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. I then worked until 4 a.m. which isn’t too bad right? That’s only four hours. Oh but wait a second, I then had to go back into work at noon and continue working until 6 p.m. We had lots of crazy shoppers, I may have made a fool of myself a few times, I was called Bella again 2 more times, and I found out that comfort really does win over fashion but it wasn’t too bad. After work I got myself some tops and a new, super cute pair of boots. I then went home, climbed in bed, and begun typing up this post.

Working my first Black Friday ever turned out to be much easier than expected. It is tomorrow that worries me though. I have to be in to work at 6:30 a.m!!! I think I’d much rather do the midnight thing! After work I have a dual birthday party with my uncle so this means two things: 1) CAKE!!!! and 2) my birthday is inching closer and closer!!! If I can manage to stay awake during the singing of Happy Birthday, I am sure things will turn out wonderfully.

And now I will rant….err I mean touch on this whole Bella Swan things. First of all I don’t see it AT ALL (Mandie agrees with me!) but my neighbor, family members, random people are constantly telling me otherwise! When I look in the mirror I see Katelyn not Bella, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Alyson Stoner, or whatever crazy starlet people want to compare me to. But it goes without fail that every time a Twilight movie premiers, people, Twilight fans in particular, go crazy and start hallucinating. They could probably look at a disco ball and think “Oh em gee! It’s Edward….in the sun. Ahhh, BITE ME PLEASE!!!” Seriously, they go CRAZY! This past week I have had several women approach me while I was at work saying “You know, you kind of look a little like Bella Swan.” Really people I don’t look like her. Just because I have long brown hair and brown eyes, and you just saw the movie so Twilight is the ONLY thing on your mind, does not mean we are the same. I am sure they mean this in the sweetest way possible but I will now explain why it is not necessarily a compliment!

-I do NOT stand around all day with my mouth hanging half-way open catching flies. Now I love the movies like no other but you must admit, Kristen’s mouth is always hanging open in some mid-gasp pose.

-I CAN function. I can walk without falling (some of the time), I can carry out full conversations with people without sounding like a complete ape (most the time), and I can even blink without looking like I’m getting ready to have a seizure (all the time).

-I like to think I have a bit of a personality. I laugh, I joke, I act crazy sometimes but when I think of Bella, I think of someone who is blahhh. I HOPE people don’t think I am blahh! In fact I hope they see how goofy I truly am!

-I am NOT clingy. I repeat, I AM NOT CLINGY. I am actually pretty independent. I don’t mind being on my own. I will NOT go bonkers should my imaginary boyfriend leave me anytime soon.

The only reason I take this as a compliment:

If there is ANY hint of truth behind Stephanie Meyer’s story, that means a hot vampire boyfriend for me and an even hotter werewolf boyfriend for my future daughter!

Now it probably sounds like I am being a Twilight hater. I really am a fan, I love the books and movies. I hope you guys enjoyed this week’s Life As Kate post!


This is actually not a bad picture of Kristen. She looks quite lovely in it but I still don’t see it!

TGIF (26)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

When You’re Not Reading:

What occupies your time when your nose isn’t stuck in a book?

When I am not reading…

I hang out with my two boyfriends. Yes, they are hot. Try not to be jealous.

I wrestle. Really, I am too legit to quit.

I try to survive through the many misadventures of babysitting.

I play maid to my evil stepmother and evil siblings.

I hang out and sing in a band with my best friend Kati. We are the most awesome rockstars you’ll ever meet!

I hit the books. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.

Okay…. you guys caught me. I may have embellished the truth just a tad ;)

When I am not reading, I really don’t get to hang out with Edward and Jacob but a girl can dream can’t she? And I most certainly DON’T have a boyfriend let alone two. So on the off chance that a really hot, nice, SINGLE guy is reading this, you know who to contact ;) Okay, joking…mostly! Back to what I do on a daily basis: I don’t wrestle but I do take the wrestling stats for my college. It requires me to spend my weekends looking at dream-like men rolling around on mats. Oh, the pain. The babysitting thing is absolutely, 100% accurate, unfortunately. It is exhausting and my siblings drive me bonkers but I kind of freaking love them. The maid thing is only half-true. My stepmom and siblings are really quite lovely (most the time). I do however clean (ALL the time)! It is a stress reliever for me and when you have 5 youngsters living in the same house as you, things get dingy rather quickly. As for singing in the band We The Kings, that is a total lie as well but Kati is for real my super awesome best friend and We The Kings is our favorite band! Seriously, she is the BEST! We are the nerdiest, goofiest two girls you’ll ever meet but we like to think we’re a good time. And I do hit the books. Like literally HIT THEM. I am in my second year of college (and I must admit, I have NEVER in my nearly 19 years of life showed up to school looking like that!) so homework is overflowing on my desk at the moment. I am hating all the work and I do sometimes take my frustration out on Trigonometry: Second Edition by Cynthia Young, don’t judge.

Honestly, my life is relatively normal (haha, that’s wishful thinking) okay, not normal per say but there is nothing too out of the ordinary. I go to work, go to school, sometimes I even talk to another human being that ISN’T related to me *gasp*, I like to play with my three dogs when they aren’t acting like total spazzes, and I LIVE for alone time in my bedroom when I get to blast music and just relax. So there you have it, all the uber great things that take up my time! If you find me semi-interesting you might want to check out the feature I do every Saturday called Life As Kate! I have been told it is all kinds of awesome, just ask Cheles and Ashely! (If you end up hating it, blame it on them! Those are the two responsible for puffing my head up with sweet comments!)

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (11/18-11/25):

TGIF (25) Giving thanks to the AWESOME book community!

The Poison Diaries: Nightshade Giveaway!

Life As Kate (7) Work, school, suckiness, more work, and embarrassing stories….so the norm for me!

Tune In Tuesday (35) Happy Birthday To ME!!!

Just Contemporary: Top Ten Lists + Guest Post with Jacinda!

I was on Jacinda’s blog guest posting my Top 11 Swoon-worthy Guys for Just Contemporary Month!

I was a guest reviewer on Ashley’s blog for Just Contemporary Month!

Top Ten List + Guest Post: Just Contemporary Month

Just Contemporary month is an awesome feature hosted by two equally awesome bloggers, Ashley & Shanyn! I love  contemporary books hard-core and am so glad that these two are dedicating a whole month to them! There are a whole lot of other bloggers participating so be sure to check them out! Today I have a guest post from a super fantastic blogger, Jacinda from The Reading Housewives of Indiana! She’s here to tell us her top list of swoon-worthy boys so be sit down for a while, enjoy, and fall in love with all the fictional hotties!!!

Also, don’t forget to stop by Jacinda’s blog to check out my list of swoon-worthy guys!


This was a difficult list to come up with, but at the same time, rather easy. I had problems narrowing it down to just nine! Technically, this is supposed to be a top ten list, but I’m happy with the ones I picked! I hope they are ones you’ve enjoyed or that I’m able to sway you to read them!
In no particular order…

Will from Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton. I say this time and time again…this book is just super, super sweet! Even though I’m over the name Will, I could go on and on about that, he is an all around great guy! No bad boy here! It’s a breath of fresh air to read about a guy who does things right.

In real-life, at least up until I read this, I haven’t been the type to fall for nerds, geeks, or the like. Stephanie has changed my thoughts! Cricket is a character I think, no I KNOW, everyone needs to experience!
P.S. I did a My Book Boyfriend post on Cricket…if you want to check it out!

Deni from Sea by Heidi R. KlingI recently posted my review for this one and I’ve found out MANY, MANY people believe this one is about mermaids…IT IS NOT! Just to clear the air and get it out there! It is a contemp! A very good one at that, one of my personal faves! I found myself swooning over a boy in a disaster ridden country. I felt kind of horrible for this, but I couldn’t help it! If you read Sea, I think you’ll fall for Deni as well…he is so good hearted it hurts!

Anyone and everyone needs to read Anna. Seriously this book is known just by Anna…just like Cher and Oprah…it’s THAT good! St. Clair started off as a friend and of course over the pages of the book things seem to change. I think his humor and the setting (Paris!) helped St. Clair to be swoon-worthy!

I was surprised by this book! I never wrote a review for it which in many ways makes me sad. I felt the most connected to Amy than I ever have with any character. She thinks how I think, she says things I would say, and she and I have or have had similar problems. Enough about Amy…there’s AVI! There’s just something about a guy that works outside all the time and is outdoorsy that’s just…*sigh*
Avi and Amy forever! :)

I want to start off by saying I really need to re-read this one! I need to re-read many, but I need to re-read this one and write a review for it! That’s what happens when you read books before you start reviewing them. I notice a trend in boys I swoon over in contemp…they’re all good guys. For some reason it’s okay to be a bad boy in a paranormal romance, but I prefer contemporary romances to have good guys. Jared is the all around perfect guy. I wish every guy was just like him! :) Seriously, if you haven’t read this one yet, just do it already!

Paradise aka Gabe from Paradise by Jill S. Alexander
Even though the ending of this book threw me for a total loop, I totally fell in love with Paradise! He was just cocky enough and to top it all off he played the accordion and is somewhat of a cowboy. UGH! Everyone needs to read Paradise to understand what I’m talking about! Those of you who have read it will understand! :)
P.S. This book will be mentioned in next week’s guest post for Just Contemporary!

Even if Jellicoe Road didn’t have a swoon-worthy boy, it is one of those must read novels even if the first 100-ish pages are difficult to follow. Jonah is a hard-shell military type, but he can still show his soft side at times. He is very loyal which is a very good quality to have!
P.S. I also did a My Book Boyfriend post on Jonah! :)

Just thinking about this book has me wanting to cry all over again. Ya’ll are probably wondering why I would mention crying when my list is supposed to be about the swoon. Adam is completely unselfish and sets himself up to get hurt. He goes above and beyond his duties when he could have easily walked away. If you want a book that will make you cry and a love interest that gives you hope in humanity, read Before I Die!

Find me on Twitter

I’m a 26 year-old Hoosier. Currently I’m a SAHM to a 4 year-old boy and a 3 year-old girl. I’ve been married to my hubby, Seth, for 6 years and I’ve known him since I was senior in high school. I have two dogs and a cat which I love dearly even though they can make my life more hectic than it needs to be. Besides my love of reading which is obvious, I love my Keurig, crafting, and football. I’m afraid of heights to the point where I will not stay in a hotel room above the 7th floor or drive in mountains unless it’s at night. I dislike milk and anything banana or coconut flavored, so I’m limited on my cocktail choices. I’m a big young adult reader, but I do read an occasional adult book. My favorite types of books would have to be contemporary and historical fiction, but it used to be paranormal before I became more of an avid reader.

Oh Jacinda, you are so AWESOME! I have read some of the books you mentioned and will most definitely need to check out the others. All the boys sound very swoon-worthy to me!

Tune In Tuesday (35)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

In exactly 6 days I will be turning 19! I am kind of excited about this (I REALLY love cake) but mostly nervous about turning old (After this year, I will no longer be a teenager!) Yeah, I know 19 is not really considered old to most, but to me it is! I do know that turning older will come with many amazing experiences so I am definitely trying to look on the brighter side of things. In an attempt to psych myself up a little, I am posting some of my favorite birthday songs!

Birthday-The Beatles

You just can’t go wrong when it comes to The Beatles. Their music brings me happiness!

Happy Birthday-Altered Images

This is a classic birthday song!

Not Your Birthday-Allstar Weekend

Awkward Confession #1: I sometimes don’t want to admit it, but I kind of like Allstar Weekend….like A LOT.

Happy Birthday-Ryan Adams

I love Ryan’s voice. I love Ryan’s music. I love Ryan singing this song <3

Happy Birthday-The Click Five

This is one of my favorites! I used to listen to it all the time back when I had a little iPod Shuffle.

Your Birthday Song-Go Radio

Go Radio is an awesome band. I never get sick of listening to their music! p.s. There’s a naughty word in this one!

Say Aah-Trey Songz

Ohh, I love me some Trey Songz. This may come as a shock to most of you, but I do love the occasional rap/hip-hop song. Trey has some swag <3

Happy Birthday-Travis from We The Kings

You can’t see Travis’ glorious face and beautiful hair but I can picture it. Also, he isn’t technically singing this song to me but a girl can dream, right? One day when we’re married, he’ll sing Happy Birthday to me even when it’s not really my birthday.

Life As Kate (7)

This is a feature I decided to put on the blog. Every Saturday I will post a list of ramblings to let you know what is going on with the person behind the blog! Every week is a crazy week for me, this one just proves it even more!

Last Saturday actually ran pretty smoothly. If you checked out last week’s Life As Kate post, you may have noticed that it was a huge shopping day at the mall I work at. We got to wear little walkie-talkies and it was basically like Christmas for me! I was so excited, a co-worker and I actually came up with spy names to call each other because you know, just wearing a walkie-talkie earpiece makes you feel like a secret agent. However, I now know that walkie-talkies can be EXTREMELY embarrassing (but when it comes to me, I can make pretty much ANYTHING embarrassing…) Just imagine me trying to talk to a customer, a normal, adult-like conversation with someone, while I have a co-worker singing Black Eyed Peas into my ear. It was SO HARD to keep a straight face.

Sunday, I had to work which was not all that bad. Actually, I don’t remember that day so saying it was not all that bad seemed like the best response.

Monday I had to work…again! But as soon as I got off of work, I went to my Grandma’s for a visit. She talked my ear off for a good hour and then we went to visit my aunt! I haven’t been able to see my aunt in forever so I was so glad to see her but the real reason I wanted to visit her was because she was cat sitting. My aunt’s mom got a brand new, baby persian kitty! I LOVE CATS! I will no doubt be one of those crazy cat ladies when I get older. I have been begging for a kitty for the past two years but since both my dad and brother are allergic, I will have to wait until I move out. Okay, now that I got sidetracked, let’s get back to what I was talking about. The cat my aunt was sitting is gorgeous and I was so happy to see it! It was probably the most adorable thing I have ever seen.

Tuesday was a bad day for me. I am not sure where it went wrong but I had a break down in Trig class. It was NOT a pretty sight. See the reason I want to be a math teacher so bad is because I have had sucky math teachers my whole life. I lucked out because math came easy to me (most of the time) but not everyone is like that. I want to be one of those math teachers who can really help students out, really make math an easier subject for them. Obviously my math professor does not posses the same passion as yours truly. Last Thursday, he spent the last TEN MINUTES describing chapter five to the class. Five days later, he gives us a quiz over chapter five. Does anyone else see what is wrong with this picture? He was nice to us by letting us get in groups to work on the quiz but there is something about me that you must know; people ignore me ALL THE TIME! I sat next to this guy for a full 20 minutes and asked him several questions about the quiz. Do you think he even acknowledged my presence? Heck-to-the-no! Usually, I don’t have an issue because I have a few friends in that class (if you count the weirdo that said I looked like an elf as a friend) but neither one of them were there that day! It was after several minutes of waiting for a response that this guy would just not give, I began to freak out. It wasn’t like a causing a scene type of freak out. It was more like an internal “Oh my god. I don’t get this. I’m an idiot, my teacher’s an idiot, this rude guy who won’t answer me is an idiot. How will I ever be a teacher? I hate this. I hate school. I’m quitting after today….” Yeah, that was the type of freak out I mean. After class, I was well prepared to punch anyone in the face who pissed me off. Thankfully, no one pissed me off or I’m sure there would be someone walking around with a black eye (probably myself since I am clumsy enough to punch myself in the face in an attempt to punch someone else).

Tuesday did turn around though! If you checked out my Tune In Tuesday post that day, you may have noticed I was sad about not being able to see my best friend. Well, luck would have it that we were both free that evening. We were able to meet up for some dinner and catch up! I can honestly say, she is a life saver. I am 99.9% sure my brain would have exploded from stress if I didn’t get a chance to vent. She is pure amazing and I am so glad she was there for me <3

Wednesday I was able to go out to breakfast with my stepmom, which was another great time with someone I love dearly. I consider her one of my very best friends and we have both been crazy busy so just a morning to ourselves was very nice. She complained to me about my dad (Seriously, the guy spent the WHOLE weekend trying to come up with a new system on how to best park our cars in the driveway. I don’t blame her for complaining LOL!) and I complained about school and work (big surprise there!). After breakfast I got to, just wait for it…..GO INTO WORK! You would think I’d be a millionaire by now!  Work went good up until a costumer walked in thinking she was the center of the universe. She was kind at first, a co-worker helped pick out a few different outfits for her and she was just checking out when she made me pretty irritated. I was trying on a super cute sweater while her stuff was being rung up. I was loving this sweater! It was only $20, the only one in my size, and I actually looked alright in it. Oh but this woman just would not let me get it. She requested to try it on. As in she made me take it off so she can put it on, fall in love with it, and then buy it. I was like “Shut the front door! Did this lady just steal a sweater I was going to buy!?!” It was at this point in the week in which I decided the world was out to get me.

Thursday’s classes went much better than Tuesdays! My professors were trying to make me a little less angry which is promising! After class, I had to work. Boo :( And after work I had to type up a whole paper in one hour…bigger Boo :( But I survived just fine!

And then I was all depressed because I wasn’t able to go to the Breaking Dawn premier with the rest of the world. I wanted to see it so bad and I think going to a midnight showing would be a ton of fun! However, there was just now way I could fit it in to my schedule. I did request my birthday off from work though so I am hoping I can go see it then!

Friday I was able to sleep in which after a week like this was pretty darn nice! Around 10:30 I woke up, got some Fruitloops (delicious!) and then spent the rest of the morning and afternoon cleaning my bedroom, the basement, and doing laundry. This may not seem like fun to any normal, sane person but to me it is relaxing. Cleaning helps calm my nerves so it was a much-needed cleaning. Plus I was really running out of clothes to wear. And you guys may or may not be stunned to find this out but after cleaning the house, I got to go into work! Three cheers for the overworked college students!!!! A woman came in at 8:30 p.m. knowing full well that we close at 9 needing help finding an outfit for her daughters bridal shower which was the next day! I know I procrastinate with the best of them but never that bad! I worked later than expected but I know she will be the best looking woman at that shower (aside from the bride of course!)

While I was at work on Friday, Kati sent me the most amazing message any girl could imagine. To make a long story short, she was supposed to go to BEA with me this coming summer but was instead offered a Study Abroad trip to Ireland. When faced with the choice between New York and Ireland, the obvious answer is Ireland. Her text changed everything though. She still wont be able to go to BEA but she is now going to a Spanish-speaking country instead. So how does this affect me you say? Well, when we graduate from college, and are both certified to teach young minds, we will take a trip to Ireland together!!!!!!!!!! It has always been a huge dream of mine to travel to Ireland and I am really thinking we can make this happen. She thinks it will be a great experience for the both of us to share together and I couldn’t agree with her more!

And now it’s Saturday. Can you guess what I am doing? I’ll give you a hint. It starts with a W- and ends with a -ORK. But if I just keep thinking “Ireland, Ireland, Ireland” over and over again, it’ll all be worth it!


Yeah, that’s right. I now have a color organized bookshelf! It took me forever and I know it is kind of a crap-picture but it looks awesome!

Giveaway: Nightshade by Maryrose Wood

Today I am taking a little break from Just Contemporary Month because I have an AWESOME giveaway that just couldn’t wait! Maryrose Wood, author of several books including the Poison Diaries series is releasing the second novel titled Nightshade. Today you get a chance to win a signed copy of it! First, a little bit about the book…

Title: Nightshade (The Poison Diaries #2)

Author: Maryrose Wood

Our heroine, Jessamine, has lost her faith in the men she loved, and her innocence as well. She turns to the dark side and plots to kill her father, using his own poisons, before becoming an assassin, a poisoner for hire. Can she recover from her heartache and reunite with her true love, Weed? Find out in this thrilling story where poisons, darkness and horror are a part of everyday life, and love is the only cure.


Now I am sure you are just DYING to enter the competition. Rules are pretty simple:

First: Head on over the The Poison Diaries website by clicking the picture below. Enter the garden through the gates and search for the plant Arum Maculatum and then add it to your poison diaries book.

Second: Like The Poison Diaries on Facebook! That’s as easy as a click of a button. While you are there say a BIG THANK YOU for the signed book giveaway and mention that you heard about it from Katelyn’s Blog!

Third: Follow Poison Diaries on Twitter and tweet the following:

@poisondiaries Through @KatelynTorrey’s blog, I found Arum Maculatum and want to win a signed copy of Nightshade!

Best of luck to all of you! Competition ends 11/25!