This Or That (19)

This or That

Gae Polisner!

Hello readers, bloggers, authors, and generally awesome people (who happen to love books!) and welcome to This Or That! This Or That is a feature posted every week and it works like this: each person is asked a series of This Or That/Would You Rather-type questions, some serious and some funny, and by doing so we get to learn just a bit more about our favorite bookish people!  This feature is currently scheduled through June 2013 but if you would still be interested in signing up, please check out this post and fill out the form!

After taking a small break from This Or That, I am so excited to bring it back this week with a supremely awesome person & author! Gae Polisner, author of The Pull of Gravity (my review) and a forthcoming YA novel, is, as stated above, and awesome person who knows how to keep the giggles coming. Her humor not only shines through on her blog, her twitter, and her Facebook, but it is also evident in her books (even if the subject matter is not all that humorous. On a sidenote though, The Pull of Gravity is full of amazing so if you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you do so like right now!) I am sure you are just dying to know more about her so without further ado, let’s meet Gae!

Gae Polisner

About The Author: Gae is the author of The Pull of Gravity (now out in paperback from Square Fish!) and a forthcoming YA from Algonquin Young Readers. When she’s not writing, she’s a practicing attorney/divorce mediator, and when she’s not doing that or watching her two awesome boys do their stuff, she can be found in water, the pool off-season, or the open waters of the Long Island Sound spring through fall. Last summer she swam her first five-mile swim and is still waiting for her wetsuit to turn her into a superhero.

Do you prefer reading paperback or hardcover books?

I prefer reading from paperbacks (especially when reading in bed) but prefer hardcovers on my shelf which means I have been known to repurchase a hardcover I’ve loved, just to have it on my shelf.

You MUST pick one: reading or writing?

Writing. Reading only makes me realize where my writing falls short. . .  ;)

If given the option, would you want your books turned into movies or turned into a TV show?

Well, supposedly, someone is working on a movie of The Pull of Gravity and I shouldn’t jinx that, so MOVIE. However, if one of my stories got made into an HBO series, I probably wouldn’t cry.

Do you outline your books like a crazy person or do you just start writing down whatever pops into your head?

Woe is me: whatever pops into my head. . .

You’re forced to be your main character for a week; do you pick to be Nick or Jaycee from The Pull of Gravity?

Easy peasy: Jaycee! She is the bold, quirky teenage girl I wish I’d been brave enough to be.

Dessert time: cookies or cupcakes?

CUPCAKES!!!

Do you listen to one specific type of music or mixed genres?

Definitely mixed. In my next life, I will be more music-hip than I am in this one, though.

Would you rather type out your entire book using only your pointer fingers while blind-folded or only using your toes?

Really? REALLY?!?! Um, if I could possibly type an ms using my toes that would be cool, but for now I’m going with pointer fingers.

Are you a Coke person or a Pepsi person?

Black cherry cola (this might not surprise you if you’d read TPoG.) Neither Coke nor Pepsi cross my lips. Ew. They taste like sugar and plastic chemicals.

If you had one day to be a super hero or a super villain, which one would you pick?

Superhero. Preferably in water, with super watery powers.

When it comes to your reading tastes are you a bigger contemporary fan or a fantasy fan?

Contemporary.

A year without books or a year without your favorite food?

No.

Would you rather read outside in the sun or inside all snuggled up with a book?

In my hammock in the backyard in the sun. . . though often I fall asleep. . .

When writing do you have to be in complete silence or utter chaos?

Usually silence, though my husband is taking piano lessons (cue: “Aw’s) and I’ve gotten a little better at writing through his endless nightly scales. . .

Do you keep your books on bookshelves or random spots throughout the house?

Bookshelves. I love bookshelves.

What are your favorite parts to write: world building or character building?

Characters.

Cover talk: Do you like people on the covers or a design?

Definitely design. However, in YA, people on the covers still seems to be the trend. . .

Swimming or Walking?

Hahahahahaha! You’re kidding, right?

Are you one to sing along or dance along?

Both, badly.

Would you rather be stranded alone on an island with endless amounts of books or be surrounded by people but you only have one book to last you for forever?

Which people? Do I like the people? Okay, fine, people. One book. I can rewrite the ending. ;)

See! I told you people she was full of funnies, obviously I wasn’t kidding! So what did you guys all think? I for one, loved all of her answers. I may have been slightly kidding on the swimming or walking question but come on, this lady loves to swim! Also, I am a fan of all sorts of cherry flavored pop. I drink that over Coke & Pepsi every single time. And when it comes to Miss Jaycee, I totally want to be her too! Her spunkiness is what I strive for every single day…even if I don’t quite reach it. A huge thank you for Miss Gae for agreeing to participate in this week’s This Or That. I so loved having her on the blog! Please leave a comment below letting us know what you thought of this week’s This Or That and be sure to check out the links below to stalk…err follow/like/be-friend Gae throughout the internet!

Author Website

Author Goodreads Page

The Pull of Gravity Goodreads Page

Forthcoming YA Novel Goodreads Page

Twitter

Facebook

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

 

 

 

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!

Book Review: The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

Title: The Pull of Gravity

Author: Gae Polisner

Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Pages: 208 Hardcover

My Rating: 4/5 stars

While Nick Gardner’s family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot’s final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to the Scoot’s father. There’s just one problem: the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck’s life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.

Characters you’ll want to become friends with and a narrative voice that sparkles with wit make this a truly original coming-of-age story. (Summary from Goodreads.com)

Let me just start off by saying that in a former life, Gae MUST have been a teenage boy! She wrote the character of Nick Gardner so extremely well. I love that this book is told from a male point of view. I love that Nick, Scooter, and Jaycee were so unique and realistic. I love that this small book tackled so many great things yet still seemed to be fun and light-hearted. Basically, I LOVED this book!

The story follows Nick right after a ton of crap has been thrown his way. His fat, lazy dad who does pretty much nothing decides to get up and walk across the greater part of the country. Nick’s former best friend and neighbor is dying. Nick’s older brother is acting like an older brother in the sense that he is a jerk. Not to mention that Nick is a pretty normal teenage boy dealing with some pretty normal teenage stuff or in other words his life sucks.

This is where Jaycee Amato enters his life like one giant windstorm. Whereas Nick is shy and very straight edge, Jaycee is outgoing and marches to the beat of her own drum (colored hair, troll necklaces, slinkies for bracelets….I LOVE THIS GIRL!) Jaycee speaks exactly what is on her mind yet remains mysterious and dramatic when she wants to be. She comes to Nick with this great plan to fulfill one last wish for the dying Scooter, to find his dad and give him an extremely pricey old book. This sends these two exact opposites on a road trip and let me tell you something, any book that has a good road trip included in it is pretty much an insta-favorite!

Before I start into why this road trip was so wonderful, first let me explain the wonderful Scoot. Even thought this story follows mostly Jaycee and Nick, we still get to learn a lot by this kid and I loved every second of meeting him. The Scoot is such a kind, forgiving, wonderful person. Even after him and Nick drift apart, he is quick to forgive him and befriend him when Nick needs him most. He knows he is dying yet he stays strong for those around him. He quotes Yoda ALL THE TIME and he always says the right thing at the perfect time. By learning about Scooter we as readers, are able to see why Jaycee and Nick are quick to agree to this road trip.We know they owe this to the Scoot for always being such a great friend.

Nick and Jaycee setting out on their own proved to be just how different they are but in this story it is simply perfect. Nick needs some cheering up. After dealing with everything Jaycee is the perfect anecdote. He is forced to grow up a bit and even start facing some of the problems going on in his life. Jaycee and him learn to be great friends to each other and really starts to see how great of a person she is for him. And in the end, this road trip proves to be exactly what the two of them needed.

Gae’s writing is beautiful. The story she lays out for is full of laughter and tears, heartache and friendship. You see just how far two friends will go to fulfill the hope of the sick Scooter and after all of that you are left with a book that makes you smile. I loved this book from the second I opened the cover of it and I know for a fact that I will be reading anything that Gae writes in the future.

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

In My Mailbox (15)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. It is a way for book bloggers to post what they have received for review, borrowed from a friend, bought at the bookstore, or picked up at the library. I got some great books last week but I ran out of time to post this IMM so this week’s is two weeks in one. At the end of this post I will also be doing a little re-cap of the Dark Days of Summer Tour that I attended yesterday; so awesome! As I said, this is two weeks in one so there are a lot of books to take in. Click on book title to add to your Goodreads account!

Review:

Witch Song by Amber Argyle (PDF)

Summary: The world is changing. Once, Witch Song controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons-but not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by a traitor. All but Brusenna. As the echo of their songs fades, the traitor grows stronger. Now she is coming for Brusenna. Her guardian has sworn to protect her, but even he can’t stop the Dark Witch. Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find the traitor. Fight her. Defeat her. Because if Brusenna doesn’t, there won’t be anything left to save.

My Thoughts: I am so excited about this one! I have heard little about it and the summary is quite vague but I just have this feeling that it is going to be epic. I can’t wait to start reading!

House Trap by Mike Mauthor (PDF)

Summary: Rachel Evans is a sixteen year old overachiever who would take nothing less than to achieve her goal of getting into Dartmouth College. But Rachel’s life would never be the same once she stepped into the house of Alicia Hausefalle, the most popular girl in Wedds High School. Rachel was there to tutor her. She never expected to meet two strangers who were ready to end her life.

My Thoughts: I just finished this one yesterday! It is a thrilling, suspenseful novel! Review to come soon.

A Potential Problem (Lily Gardner Series) by Jennifer Groepl (PDF)

Summary: A gifted student, Lily follows the rules, makes her parents proud, and gives the impression that she’s strong enough to handle anything. Maybe that’s why her recently divorced parents think it’s perfectly acceptable to leave her unsupervised All. The. Time. What they don’t seem to realize is that their barely teenage daughter is struggling because of it.

When her middle school reputation downgrades from awesome potential to “creepy counting girl”, Lily begins to act out as only a gifted teen can – faster and more thoroughly than everyone else. Diving head first into trouble, Lily falls hard for Tony Jacquez, a local gangbanger with a problem much bigger than hers. In way over her head, but too young and in love to realize it, Lily ultimately uses both her book-smarts and newly-acquired street-smarts in a plan to help Tony. Only this time it’s Lily who forgets she’s really just a kid.

A Potential Problem is a 53,000-word realistic YA fiction novel, the first novel in the Lily Gardner series.

My Thoughts: I am so very excited to read this one! A good girl meeting a bad guy that leads her down a dark path is likely a book to leave me speechless!

The Childe by C.A. Kunz (Signed + Personalized + Swag)

Summary: Cat Colvin is pretty much your typical run-of-the-mill teenager growing up in the small port town of Astoria. Sure, she is taller than average, has a mane of fiery red hair that is impossible to tame, is left handed, and has one eye that is sky blue and one that is amber, but that is where the differences end . . . unless you include the minor detail of her slow metamorphosis into the Childe.

We all know how difficult high school can be, and for Cat Colvin it is no different. Except for the fact she has the daunting task of trying to hide her budding Childe traits as they begin to reveal themselves at the most inopportune times.

This first book in this coming of age fantasy series follows Cat’s life through the twists and turns toward finding out what and who she really is. Come and take the plunge with Cat into a world filled with biting humor, darkness, and yes, a few life lessons as well.

My Thoughts: A HUGE thank you goes out for Carol and Adam (the C and A of C.A. Kunz) for sending this awesome package! So far the book is extremely interesting. In the package they included a signed copy of the book, a lovely moonstone necklace, two bracelets, several pins and bookmarks, and smiley face coins. I am so thankful for this!

Children of the Lost Moon by Gabrielle Blue (Signed)

Summary: Savannah Henderson, 17, is lonely. An only child of always busy and never at home doctor/scientist parents, Savannah struggles with Attention Deficit Disorder, struggles in school, and struggles for the approval of her unapproachable and disapproving parents. Athletically, however, she is practically unmatched, having mastered the art of Kendo (The Way of the Sword) as a child, then moving on to saber fencing. Physical activity calms her mind, a perfect channel for her A.D.D. She dreams of becoming the next Olympic gold medalist.

Savannah is introduced to a new fencing coach, Aaron Sloan. Unbeknownst to her, Aaron is not only a “finisher of fencers,” but is also Alpha of a shapeshifter pack, protector of the human species, ensuring their survival against those ancient enemies, werewolves.

Thrust into this impossible world, Savannah’s life becomes intertwined with the shapeshifters as she is targeted by werewolves and drawn into their war. Under the protection of the close-knit Sloans, she finds excitement and danger, as well as family and a sense of belonging, something she’d never had before. She also finds romance with Luke, Aaron’s son.

My Thoughts: First of all, holy smokes this sounds good! I have always assumed werewolves and shapeshifters were one in the same. I am so excited to see a new spin on this where they are actually enemies! Secondly, THANK YOU Gabrielle Blue (a pen name for two co-writing sisters!) for sending me not one but two signed copies of this book! Now, what is a girl to do with two copies of a book *wink, wink*

Bought:

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

Summary: While Nick Gardner’s family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot’s final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to the Scoot’s father. There’s just one problem: the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck’s life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.

Characters you’ll want to become friends with and a narrative voice that sparkles with wit make this a truly original coming-of-age story.

My Thoughts: If you haven’t heard of the awesomeness that is Gae Polisner yet, you have clearly been living under a rock. I have not read her book yet but it is sure to be a major hit with me :) Gae is an awesome, hilarious, wonderful person so I CAN’T WAIT to read her book!

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Summary: My father took one hundred and thirty two minutes to die.

‘I counted.

‘It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I’d ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri-La. We were going to the ocean, hundreds of kilometres away, because I wanted to see the ocean and my father said that it was about time the four of us made that journey. I remember asking, “What’s the difference between a trip and a journey?” and my father said, “Narnie, my love, when we get there, you’ll understand,” and that was the last thing he ever said.

‘We heard her almost straight away. In the other car, wedged into ours so deep that you couldn’t tell where one began and the other ended. She told us her name was Tate and then she squeezed through the glass and the steel and climbed over her own dead – just to be with Webb and me; to give us her hand so we could clutch it with all our might. And then a kid called Fitz came riding by on a stolen bike and saved our lives.

‘Someone asked us later, “Didn’t you wonder why no one came across you sooner?”

‘Did I wonder?

‘When you see your parents zipped up in black body bags on the Jellicoe Road like they’re some kind of garbage, don’t you know?

‘Wonder dies.’

My Thoughts: I have this wonderful blogging friend named Ashley. She is the creator of this magnificent blog called Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing, you may have heard of it? Anyways, this is her favorite book. In fact, I have heard on more than one occasion that she threatens to injure unless one reads this book. Okay, you caught me, maybe she doesn’t threaten harm onto anyone but she LOVE, LOVE, LOVES this book so I just need to read it. I already <3 it just knowing that she adores it so much.

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (Signed)

Summary: It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess.

My Thoughts: Holy smokes I got a signed copy of this book! There is an awesome indie bookstore about 2 hours away. (The Dark Days tour I am talking about below was hosted there). This bookstore is awesome, in the fact that they have signed books all over the place. This just happened to be one of them. Aimee Carter was indeed at the Dark Days event as an attendant but I am way to big of a chicken to ask her to sign my book so I just picked up a pre-signed one. Maybe it is about time I stopped acting so shy? Yeah, I think so!

Bought for Dark Days of Summer Tour:

Wings by Aprilynne Pike (Signed + Personalized)

Summary: Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

My Thoughts: I have had this book for forever and I still haven’t read it yet. I want to get started on it very soon. I’ll be picking it up sometime this summer for sure!

Spells by Aprilynne Pike (Signed + Personalized)

Summary: Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger–and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?

My Thoughts: Again, I have had this one for forever I just need to find the time to read it! I am sure that after reading the first two I will hurry out and purchase the third book, Illusions!

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (Signed + Personalized)

How do you defy destiny?

Summary: Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

My Thoughts: Well, this book looks gorgeous! It is so shimmery and pretty. On top of looking good, it sound fabulous! I can’t wait to see the interesting spin that Josephine took on the whole Helen of Troy thing.

Vampire Kisses: The Beginning by Ellen Schreiber (Signed + Personalized)

Summary: A new guy in town.

Rumors of vampires.

Dangerous first love.

This is where it all begins. . . .

The mansion on top of Benson Hill has stood empty for years. But one day it seems to be occupied, and its mysterious, handsome inhabitant Alexander Sterling becomes the source of much talk around town. Raven, a vampire-obsessed Goth-girl who has always considered herself an outsider in “Dullsville,” is determined to uncover the truth surrounding the secretive Alexander. As she gets to know him, and their spark intensifies, Raven finds herself in some unanticipated situations. Can Alexander make her lifelong dream come true? But love always has its complications—especially when it can only be awakened at nightfall.

The first three books in Ellen Schreiber’s bestselling Vampire Kisses series capture the thrill of a most unusual romance.

My Thoughts: I didn’t plan on getting this book at first but after hearing Ellen talk about it I just had to! I know the vampire thing has been a bit over-done but I think this one is going to have something new and interesting to bring to the table!

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Signed + Personalized) 

Summary: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

My Thoughts: This news just in, “Katelyn is the last YA fan on Earth who has not read Divergent yet!!!” Yeah, I feel so very lame for not reading this yet. It sounds SO good and I hear amazing things about this book on a daily basis!

Dark Days of Summer Tour Recap:

*Ellie (Book club friend), Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed), Veronica Roth (Divergent), Caroline (Book club friend), Katelyn (Yours truly), Ellen Schreiber (Vampire Kisses Series), Aprilynne Pike (Wings Series)*

*Yes guys, I really am that short in real life!*

I made it to my second author event ever! It was such an amazing, wonderful experience. The fellow book club members and I drove down to Lansing, MI to a wonderful indie bookstore called Schulers. This store has every amazing book you could ever imagine plus they host great events such as the Dark Days Tour! After browsing around the store for a little bit, my friends and I settled in our seats to await the big event. The event started off with a quick bio of the authors and a little bit about the books that they write. After that, we went right into Q&A. You guys may not know this but I am shy. Like ridiculously shy. That picture you see up above took me a full 2 hours to work up the courage to ask if they would take one with us. So the odds of me asking questions that day were slim. Regardless of my own personal fears, other audience members still managed to ask interesting and intriguing questions. I loved the responses from all four authors! Josephine Angelini was so great! Not only was she super funny (she came up with the craziest metaphors!) but she also had a wealth of knowledge. All of her answers were so well thought out. Veronica Roth was so dang cute! She was funny and so honest with all her answers. Ellen was also quite amazing! She shared so much information on being a published author. Plus her personality was fabulous! Aprilynne rounded out this fantastic group of girls perfectly. I love her input on all the hard, tough questions that were asked. After the super great Q&A, we moved on to book signing. All the girls kept on their brave faces (even though they must have been running low on energy) as they signed a ton of books for a ton of people! All in all, it was a super memorable event. My only complaint is I wished more bloggers could have been there. It would have been pure awesomeness if I could have met some of my great blogging friends.

In My Mailbox (12)

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. It is a way for book bloggers to post what they have received for review, borrowed from a friend, bought at the bookstore, or picked up at the library. I didn’t get a whole lot this week but the stuff that I did receive, I am very excited about!

Bought:

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Summary: As a pastor’s kid, it’s hard not to buy into the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reasons to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI, and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town goes missing, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam’s personal one, and the already worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.
           
In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed—about God, your family, and yourself—is transformed.

My Thoughts: This book sounds sensational! I think the part that intrigues me the most is the fact that Sam is the daughter of a pastor yet is questioning her beliefs. It sounds really interesting!

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

Summary: Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years—that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. Tackling an increasingly discussed topic that is both fascinating and disturbing, C. J. Omololu weaves an hour-by-hour account of Lucy’s desperate attempt to save her family. Readers join Lucy on a path from which there is no return, and the impact of hoarding on one teen’s life will have them completely hooked.

My Thoughts: This is our next book club choice and I just can’t wait to get started. It sounds twisted, unique, and fascinating. The world of hoarders is something I have a very strange interest in. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson

Summary: Destiny Faraday makes a point of keeping her distance from her classmates at Hedgebrook Academy. Her number-one rule: Don’t get attached. But one day, unexpectedly finding a car at their disposal, Destiny and three of her classmates embark on an unauthorized road trip. They’re searching for one fair day—a day where the good guy wins and everything adds up to something just and right. Their destination: Langdon, a town that Destiny’s unsuspecting companions hope will hold simply a day of fun. But, as Destiny says, “Things are not always what they seem.” Only she knows that Langdon holds far more than that—a deep secret she has never shared with anyone. The Miles Between explores the wonder and magic of a very real world where chance, mystery, and secrets abound.

My Thoughts: I will admit that it was the cover that drew me in on this one! I love the butterflies and the picture reflected in the sunglasses. Now that I read the summary, I have to say I am still drawn in! I love stories of road trips and one that holds mysteries and secrets is even better!

Gifted:

 

The absolutely wonderful and generous 2011 Debut author of The Pull of Gravity, Gae Polisner, was nice enough to send me a ton of awesome bookmarks, pins, and finally my own little troll. After two failed attempts (the trolls were taken right out of the mailbox), my little guy finally made it to me safely. I would like to thank Gae for her never-ending kindness! She truly is an amazing gal :) You can expect to see Gae’s book on shelves this week!

That is it for my mailbox this week! Feel free to leave a link to your mailbox in the comments & I’ll be sure to check it out!