TGIF (55)

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:

Back to School Reading:

Which books would you like to see in today’s high school Literature classrooms?

I owe my re-love of reading to my Young Adult Lit class. It is that little fact that really makes me think that if more teachers went above and beyond the required reading material, then maybe there would be more teen readers out there today. What if teachers were to push certain books onto you because they knew you could relate to certain characters? What if they got reluctant readers to enjoy reading because of a well matched book recommendation? Mrs. Andersen, my YA Lit teacher had an AMAZING classroom library on top of an awesome required reading list (After interrogating her yesterday I found out some of her required reading this year and it includes The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner, and Looking For Alaska by John Green just to name a few). Add these great books and our daily discussions about the latest Y.A. books that were rocking her socks off and you have one incredible combination. There was so much love for YA books in that class and I just know that so many others learned to love books as well. However, I know not everyone has the option to take a Young Adult Lit class during high school. And even more than that, the amount of books their teachers are able to provide for them may be limited. A few books that I wish so badly would be in more classrooms would be:

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (8/17-8/24):

TGIF (54)

Life As Kate (22)

In My Mailbox (37)

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Tune In Tuesday (66)

Book Playlist: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

 

 

 

TGIF (53)

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:

Unexpected Books:

Which books did you have reservations about reading, but ended up loving once you did?

It feels so good to be back and doing these TGIF posts again AND on such a good week since I totally love this question! Before I list things off here, let me be completely honest about something: I am totally SHOCKABLE. I am not even kidding here. I can have certain exceptions for books, I can predict that I am going to like/dislike certain books but 9 times out of 10 I am getting shocked good or bad. With that being said, here’s a list of book that shocked me the most:

Any Other Night by Anne Pfeffer

When I first accepted this book for review, I thought I was going to enjoy it. I mean it sounded interesting enough. I did not anticipate falling in love with it. The storyline and characters were so much more than I could have expected.

Slammed by Colleen Hoover

One of the best books I’ve read so far this year! I don’t want to say I thought it was going to be boring exactly but I mean come on, it’s about poetry! I hate poetry! Some of the major points in this book caught me completely off guard and it is most certainly safe to say I was also shocked to see how much I fell in love with the poetry this book introduced me to!

On Little Wings by Regina Sirois

The summary of this book makes it seem nice, the cover is pretty, it seemed like a nice simple read. But as it turns out, I enjoyed it times 1000 because it was not nice and simple! The writing was truly beautiful and the family/life issues dealt with in this book were so relatable. It was one of those books I did not expect to fall in love with but in the end I am so glad that I did!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Holy wow! I just finished this one the other day and I was blown away! I hadn’t heard much about this book so I really went into it blind. I did not expect the world to be so fascinating, the characters to be so interesting, and Sarah’s storytelling to be so impeccable. It has been a good while since I’ve been so totally enraptured with a fictional world.

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

This is the first real “adult” book that I have read and I must say, I have so been missing out! After meeting Meg, I assumed that her books would be funny and charming. And I was right of course but this series has been so addicting and I did not expect that! It is charming, and it is funny but it is also mysterious, full of quirky characters, and there is also romance. If every adult book was like this I would most certainly be re-thinking this whole YA thing (kidding….sort of!)

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the scariest cover ever! I wanted to basically punch my best friend for suggesting we read this for book club because Katelyn + scary DO NOT MIX…AT ALL. However, what I found within the pages of this book was a super fascinating story and an author’s extreme talent of turning old, creepy pictures into a story that made sense and was supremely enjoyable!

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Ask me what my favorite book is and it will likely not be this one (I mean come on, Sarah Dessen…DUH!). But ask me for a book recommendation and I will always, always, always suggest this book. I really picked this up on a whim at the store. I never heard anyone really gushing about it but I liked the pretty colors on the cover. Holy-freaking-bejezus! There is music, there is the most interesting main character EVER, and there is just so much goodness filled throughout the pages of this book. Maybe it’s because of the little-to-no expectation I had for this book or maybe it’s just that it’s that good (the more likely option) but this was definitely the most shocking (in a good way) books I’ve ever read.

This week on Kate’s Tales Of Books And Bands (8/3-8/10):

I’m Back (Hurray!!!!!!)

Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Tune In Tuesday (64)

It’s Almost Party Time! Please stop by and help me get ready for a blog birthday!

 

 

 

The Best of Twenty-Eleven

The year has come and gone so quickly that I can hardly believe it! It seems like just yesterday I was starting my winter semester as a college Freshman and I was trying to squeeze in every ounce of fun that I could. A ton of memories were created this past year, some bad but mostly all good, and I like to think it has been one of the best years yet. In keeping with the same format that I used last year, here are some of the best moments of 2011!

Sidenote: Almost all of these are a tie between two or more things. Sorry about that, I tried my best to narrow it down but it just wasn’t happening!

1. Best Vacation– This is definitely a tie between the Myrtle Beach vacation I took with Kati and the Myrtle Beach Vacation I took with my family a month later. The weather was gorgeous both times and I got to experience a ton of different things with each trip. I was so lucky to be able to go on two vacations back to back like that!

2. Best Concert– This one also has a tie! It is between Warped Tour 2011 and the acoustic performance by We The Kings! Warped Tour is a day filled with music awesomeness! I saw so many bands perform, got a ton of stuff signed, and I even got to talk to a few of the performers. The We The Kings acoustic performance was brilliant for so many reasons: It was acoustic, it was small, it was free, it featured my future husband, I got to put my arms around my future husband, and I even got to take a picture with my future husband. IT WAS AMAZING!

3. Best CD– This is also going to have to be a tie! We The Kings dropped their latest album this year entitled Sunshine State of Mind. The title of the album couldn’t be more perfect because I get in a sunshiney state of mind EVERY TIME I listen to their CD. So what could be the competition to such an epic CD? All the mixed CD’s I got this past year! I had a lot of friends make me CD’s and all of them were filled with awesome songs that brings a smile to my face!

4. Best New Activity– I can’t explain too many details because I have yet to send out Christmas presents to some pretty freaking lovely bloggers but I do enjoy jewelry making. It takes time and is far more expensive than I could have imagined but it is so much fun to create!

5. Best Birthday Present– Last year I got a whole new bedroom so I was wondering how anything could ever live up to something like that. The answer came in the form of a brand-new bookshelf! I was making just the one work but I was desperately in need of one and my parents luckily noticed it! I love it so freaking much!

6. Best Movies– Well I do love me some movies…and popcorn! Some of my favorites were: Breaking Dawn: Part 1, Bridesmaids, Crazy Stupid Love, The Help, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows: Part 2, and Footloose.

7. Best Books– Oh gosh! It was my original goal to read 100 books in 2011 but Goodreads just wouldn’t stop telling me how sucky I was at completing that goal so I changed it to 80 and I still didn’t accomplish it! However, I did squeeze in 76 books. The best ones (some 4’s and all 5 stars) are:

Sidenote: Some of the titles will be linked to my reviews and other will be linked to Goodreads since I have not yet reviewed them!

Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

A Girl Named Willow Krimble by Giuseppe Bianco

Rising Shadow by Jacquelyn Wheeler

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Released by Megan Duncan

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Faithful by Janet Fox

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Matched by Ally Condie

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Re-reads of both Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Echols books

Fade by Lisa McMann

The Childe by C.A. Kunz

Between by Cyndi Tefft

Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Girl v Boy by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

8. Best Blogging Moment– How does one even choose something like this? In the past year I have met more authors, connected with more bloggers, reviewed more books, joined more weekly features, and had the most fun than I have EVER had! This whole experience has been one joyous event after another and I have all of YOU to thank for that. I have found some of the greatest friends and most influential people (and let’s not forget they all also kick butt when it come to writing reviews!) than I could have ever imagined. I would not trade this past year for anything!

9. Best Friend(s)– It is no secret that Kati has and always will be my best friend. I talk about her awesomeness all the time. But because of recent events, I feel like I must give a shout-out to my dear friend Stacey. Her and I were running buddies in high school. You could never find two girls who hated cross-country with such a deep passion like the two of us (even though we secretly loved it!) She has been there for both Kati and I through so many things and now it’s our turn to be there for Stacey. These two girls make my days so much better and I love them for that!

10. Best Family– Well of course this goes out to my family once again but not without some complaints! Zack and Zeke aka The Brat Pack drove me absolutely INSANE this past year. Those two boys are the epitome of annoying little brothers. I love them to death but jeez louise they sure are crazy! In all honesty, I am lucky to have my family always there for me. They support me through everything and even though they make fun of me every once in a while, they always know how to make me smile!

So that’s it for my 2011! I hope you all had a great year and an even better 2012!

Blog Tour + 25 Days of Jubilation + Tune In Tuesday: Part 2

Three awesome bloggers (Cyndi @ Dog-Eared & Bookmarked, Jacinda @ The Reading Housewives, and Yani @ The Secret Life of an Avid Reader) have come together this holiday season to host the 25 Days of Jubilation! What is this 25 Days of Jubilation you say? Well it is a month-long blog tour. Each day a different blog is posting a holiday related post and giving away lots of great goodies. Today is my turn to post for the event and I decided to go with HOLIDAY MUSIC!

Buddy the Elf once said, “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear,” and I couldn’t agree more with that statement! I love the day after Thanksgiving for a lot of reasons but the biggest reason would be that it is finally an “acceptable” time to turn on the Christmas music. I am most definitely one of those crazy people who could listen to Christmas songs all year long. I have been known to rock out to the classics but I like to mix them up with modern-day songs as well . Below are my top ten “nontraditional” favorites, in no particular order:

1) Santa Baby – Taylor Swift

2) Christmas With You – Artist vs. Poet

3) This Christmas – Every Avenue

4) Wishlist – The Ready Set

5) Santa Stole My Girlfriend – The Maine

6) Winterlove – Parachute

7) Baby Please Come Home – Anberlin

8) Baby, It’s Cold Outside – She & Him

9)Winter Passing – The Academy Is…

10) Christmas at 22 – The Wonder Years

So tell me, what did you think? I thought posting some of these lesser known songs/versions of songs would be a fun way to celebrate this holiday season!

Now on to the part that you are all here for, the giveaway!

As you all can probably guess, I love music. I also love books. BUT what I love best is books with music in it! Today I will be giving away your choice of two of my favorite music inspired books! The giveaway is international (as long as The Book Depository ships to you) so anyone can join! Please fill out the form below to be entered into the giveaway!

Your music related book choices:

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Don’t forget to stop at all the other blogs on this tour to enter some more awesome giveaways and to celebrate this holiday season!

Thursday, December 1st:

Christen at Goldilox and the Three Weres

Friday, December 2nd:

Molly at Surrounded By Words

Saturday, December 3rd:

Meridith at Mint Tea and A Good Book

Sunday, December 4th:

Sandie at Teen Lit Rocks

Monday, December 5th:

Shannon at Books Devoured

Tuesday, December 6th:

Bex at Becky’s Barmy Book Blog

Wednesday, December 7th:

Christi at Christi the Teen Librarian

Thursday, December 8th:

Jen at In the Closet with a Bibliophile

Friday, December 9th:

Sara O. at The Librarian Reads

Saturday, December 10th:

Ginger at GReads!

Sunday, December 11th:

Asheley at Into the Hall of Books

Monday, December 12th:

Tina at Tina’s Book Reviews

Tuesday, December 13th:

Heidi at YA Bibliophile

Wednesday, December 14th:

Jess at Gone with the Words

Thursday, December 15th:

Lisa at Lisa Is Busy Nerding

Friday, December 16th:

Jen D. at Not now…I’m Reading!

Saturday, December 17th:

Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner

Sunday, December 18th:

Andrea at The Busy Bibliophile

Monday, December 19th:

Karis at YA Litwit & Sarah at Workaday Reads

Tuesday, December 20th:

Katelyn at Katelyn’s Blog

Wednesday, December 21st:

Ruby at Ruby’s Reads

Thursday, December 22nd:

Jac at For Love and Books

Friday, December 23rd:

Asher at Paranormal Indulgence

Saturday, December 24th:

Nikki at Books Most Wanted

Sunday, December 25th:

Merry Christmas!

Tune In Tuesday (38)

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!

This is the second week for the month-long Concert Edition!!! For this week I decided to talk about my favorite venue to go to when seeing a concert. About a 45 minute drive from my house is the town of Pontiac. Up until 5 years ago I knew this only as the place where my grandpa went to work. However, once I was 14 or 15 and my parents started letting me go to concerts with the friends, Pontiac soon became known as my favorite town. There is a small club in Pontiac called the Crofoot Ballroom. It is here at this club that I get to see one awesome concert after another. My first time being there was to see 3oh!3 and I’ve been there several times since. A ton of the bands I introduced last week have also been at Crofoot and trust me people, it is amazing! It is such a small club, you feel like you are right there on stage with the performers. The concert area usually gets packed so the energy is just AMAZING! I seriously love going to these small venues to see concerts. And now, without further ado, some awesome bands I have seen at The Crofoot (or other equally awesome and small venues):

3oh!3

We spent SO MUCH time on those shirts!

Stereo Skyline

I was convinced he would be my second husband (after Travis Clark of course!)

The Downtown Fiction

Sucky picture but AWESOME concert!

Austin Gibbs

All Time Low

FICTIONAL CONCERT I AM DYING TO SEE:

Like last week, I am thinking out of the box on what fictional concert I would love to see in real life. It is no secret that I love Five Flavors of Dumb. If you don’t believe me, check out this review I did of it because nearly every other word is gushing about something. In this book, a deaf girl manages a band called dumb. And throughout the book the band kind of sucks at working together. They all have an awesome stage presence but no one knows how to play off of each other’s strengths. BUT at the end of the book, there is a concert that sounds so incredibly awesome that I wish I could be there to see it! They have energy, they work together, and from what I can guess, they put on an amazing performance!

TGIF (13)

TGIF is a fun little feature hosted at GReads! Every week we re-cap what has happened on the blog plus Ginger asks a question for us to answer. This week’s question is:

Book Associations:

Which genre, authors, or particular books do you think people associate with your reading style?

Oh my goodness gracious, this is such a fun question and probably one of the easiest ones I have ever had to answer! Seriously, you guys were probably getting a bit tired of my super long lists that are also known as my TGIF posts. Anyway, when people think of me and my blog, it’s safe to assume they think about Young Adult books but more specifically Contemporary Fiction. I LOVE reading mystery, paranormal romance, historical fiction, etc. BUT my heart truly lies with Contemporary books. They are just so full of awesomesauce!

When people think of particular authors, I hope with all of my heart they think of the few that I ramble about week after week. Most importantly there is Sarah Dessen. She is my writing rock star and I really don’t know what I’d do without her books. Other loves of mine that everyone should read at least one book by are Diana Peterfreund, Jennifer Echols, Melina Marchetta, and Simone Elkeles. The Secret Society Girl series, Forget You, Jellicoe Road, and the How to Ruin series are books that fill my heart with happiness. (Notice how I threw book recommendations in there? I am just a sneaky ninja like that!)

Now for the books in particular! The Truth About Forever, Just Listen, and This Lullaby are my three favorite Sarah Dessen books so my smiling face should always come to mind when reading those! I would love to say Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta but my darling Ashley at Books From Bleh To Basically Amazing is the only person I picture when thinking of that book (Seriously, she will recommend that book to a ROCK, but at the end of the day she is still spreading the love for one of the best books ever written). For the people who know of my rocker girl-ish side (I REALLY love good music, if you didn’t know already!), I hope that books like Audrey, Wait! and Five Flavors of Dumb pop into your head when you think of Katelyn from Katelyn’s Blog!

Now let me know what you think! Did I guess what genres, authors, and books come to mind when you think of me?

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (8/19-8/26):

Instructions for an Inexperienced Lover by Amanda Leduc

A Potential Problem by Jennifer Groepl

Tune-In Tuesday (22)

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith Book Trailer + Giveaway (ends 8/31)

Alex Charles: The Evening Oak by Kim Reynolds

TGIF (11)

TGIF is a fun little feature hosted at GReads! Every week we re-cap what has happened on the blog plus Ginger asks a question for us to answer. This week’s question is:

Author Block Party:

If you could gather a handful of authors to hang out with, who would you choose? 

This is the post in which authors will (if they haven’t already) start thinking I am Creep Mc.Creepster. There are a TON of authors who I think are made of awesomesauce. I have read books by most of them, I have chatted with a few (very few! I am still uber shy) on Twitter, and the rest I stalk whether it be on their vlog, blog, or through Twitter. So if I were to have the most awesome of awesome parties I would send out invites to… (Keep in mind that my version of handful is A LOT. I am just greedy like that)

Sarah Dessen & Melina Marchetta are Y.A. Contemporary Goddesses! I am 99.999% sure that books don’t get much better than theirs do. Sarah has been a favorite of mine since I first started reading Y.A. I will always love her books for the simple fact that they got me so completely hooked on reading. I have only read one by Melina Marchetta but I can say with confidence that I will absorb, adore, love, and cherish every book that she writes. I would probably burst with happiness if I were in the same room as them!

Yvonne Collins, Sandy Rideout, Simone Elkeles, and Jennifer Echols have all created some of the best books. Yvonne and Sandy have these light, easy reads that can make you laugh and cry within the span of a few pages. Simone is a genius when it comes to creating hot, Latino boys that I want to keep for myself (the books themselves aren’t too bad either ;) you should probably read them if you haven’t already!). Jennifer Echols is the author I probably fan-girl the most. She makes some seriously HOT scenes in her books! I could die a happy person if I were able to meet all of them!

Elizabeth Eulberg, Antony John, and Robin Benway all put my two favorite things together, books and music. For Elizabeth, she took the rock stars known as The Beatles and mixed them with a wonderful main character to create a book I love, The Lonely Hearts Club. Antony John’s Five Flavors of Dumb was such a wonderfully unique story about a deaf girl managing a rock band. Perhaps my favorite of all of them is Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway. This  is a book in which there are no words to describe the musical goodness that comes from it. I imagine myself, along with these three authors, would have lots to talk about between books and music!

Diana Peterfreund is another favorite of mine, of course! I would probably interrogate her on her Secret Society Girl series. The story is just so incredibly well-written and full of mystery & romance. I am dying to know if any of the stories are true!

Kiersten White is hilarious. I could just watch her stream of Tweets day & night and be completely entertained.

 Stephanie Perkins created Etienne St. Clair. That should be enough to convince ANYONE to invite her to their party.

Stacey Kade. I talked to her once on Twitter….about pizza. It was the greatest fan-girl moment of all time. I love, love, love her book The Ghost and the Goth! She was able to do the whole character switch-er-roo thing so well and I love how her characters play so well off of each other. I can guess that Stacey and I would have a wonderful conversation about ghosts and if that doesn’t work out, there is always pizza!

 Gae Polisner, author of The Pull of Gravity, a book I have NOT read, would be a definite invite to my author block party. Not only is Gae super nice and generous but she is funny, like REALLY funny! I will sometimes just read through her Facebook updates for fun. And trust me on this one, it is lots of fun!

Karsten Knight is another author of a book that I have not read before. I would invite Karsten for the simple fact that he will have the whole party laughing; there is no doubt about it. I even subscribed to his Youtube channel because I find him so freaking hilarious! 

 Carrie Harris, yet again, have not read her book but I think we could have a good conversation about zombies and book bloggers who stick plungers in their head.

 Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman, co-authors of Sirenz are two more goofballs I’d love to meet. Charlotte is always dropping sweet, funny, random tweets and I love her for it. She has even convinced me to purchase a red pair of shoes to wear while reading her book!

I would also like to add one more to this list. LK Gardner-Griffie is such a sweetheart! I have yet to read her book, Misfit McCabe but trust me, I hope to make that very soon!

There are all the authors I would invite to my bookish party of awesome. I am sure there are many, many more but that is all I could think of off the top of my head. Don’t forget to let me know what you think of my guest list and of course, leave a link to your TGIF post and I’ll be sure to check it out!

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (8/5-8/11):

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

In My Mailbox (22)

Tune-In Tuesday (20)

Friday Is Forever Tour