Friday, August 26, 2016

8 Books to Read If You Like "Gilmore Girls"

It's been a long time since I did a post like this one, but the "Gilmore Girls" revival is simultaneously hurdling toward us (how is it almost September already???) and taking forever to get here (but OMG it could not get here any slower).


I thought this would be the perfect time to go through every book shelved on my Goodreads account. And there were lots.

I did a post last year like this, except it was books to read if you like "Doctor Who." A lot of us book nerds love Netflix almost as much as we love libraries. Reading is awesome. TV shows are awesome. There are so many ways to figure out which book to read next if you like a certain one. You can talk to your book blogger friends, consult Goodreads, find other books that author has written, etc. And Netflix and Amazon and Hulu and every streaming site out there is just all too willing to recommend other shows to you until you're drowning in the amount of episodes you have yet to watch. And obviously you're going to watch twelve today, because the dishes can wait. But resources to figure out which book to read if you like a certain TV show? Not many.


Let's fix that.

The cool thing is this works both ways. If you like "Gilmore Girls," now you have a whole bunch of new books to read that are similar to it to pass the time until November. If you don't watch "Gilmore Girls," but like the books listed, now you have a new show to watch!

Oh, Sam--I mean Dean. You have much to learn.
 

1. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell



(I use any excuse I can get to mention this book.) But in all seriousness, this book's simplicity matches that of "Gilmore Girls." And the dialogue! Rainbow Rowell is a master at dialogue. Her level of wit and the naturalness of her characters when they're speaking are what I hope to achieve in my own writing. And for those of you who watch "Gilmore Girls," you know that feeling you get when you hear the theme song or see the DVDs? That's how you feel after reading Eleanor & Park; all fuzzy and warm, and you immediately want to read it again.

2. Coffee at Luke's: An Unauthorized Gilmore Girls Gabfest by Jennifer Crusie (and also many authors)


Maybe I should've started with this one, since it's the most obvious. An entire book of essays dedicated to studying the show, the characters, and everything in between? Yes, please. Some of the essays are fantastic, others are a little more bleh, but you're sure to find something in there that you enjoy. That's the beauty of anthologies.


3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee



Besides the fact that this is most definitely a book that's been on Rory's gargantuan reading list at some point in her life (and was probably a reread), there are other factors that make this the perfect read for a "Gilmore Girls" fan. Like the snark, the small town with lots of different characters to add flavor to the story, and the family dynamics. Some of my favorite scenes with Scout involve her interacting with extended family members.


4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell




BECAUSE RAINBOW ROWELL.

Okay, but in all seriousness, I could see her writing authentic "Gilmore Girls" fan-fiction, because so many aspects of the show are in her books. This one especially, seeing as it's an introverted writer finding her way around college life. Rory Gilmore, anybody?

5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott



More family dynamics! A female driven story! Daughters who love their mothers! Something that's cool about this book is that there are four girls who are all very different, so women aren't portrayed all in the same way. "Gilmore Girls" does that, too. Sookie is very different from Lorelai who is different from Lane who is different from Rory who is different from Emily who is different from Miss Patty. I could go on.

6. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum


Oh, the wit. The banter and bubbling romance between Jessie and her anonymous correspondent is reminiscent of Rory and any one of her love interests. From the cover to the plenty of white space within the pages of the book due to the frequent exchange of e-mails that happens in the story, it's sparse in the best way possible, and I think "Gilmore Girls" is like that, too. Plus, this book is addictive. I read it while I was sick with the flu, and when I wasn't napping, I was devouring this. Much like anyone would binge-watch "Gilmore Girls."

Basically the whole book.

7. The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill


More introverted writer girls! And a shy one, to boot. Simple story, very character driven, just like "Gilmore Girls." For people who like Fangirl, too, you'll like this one. And vice versa.

8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett



This is another fantastic female-driven story in a town where everyone seems to be connected in one way or another. It's hysterical and sometimes sad or frustrating. And the food! Can Minny just come over sometime and cook for me? Please?

Because one can never have too many pie gifs when it comes to this book.


Are you as freakishly excited for the "Gilmore Girls" revival as I am? What books remind you of the show? Leave a comment!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

30 Bookish Facts About Yours Truly That Will Confirm All of Your Suspicions . . .

. . . Yes, yes I do have problems.

This post was shamelessly politely stolen from Cait at "Paper Fury."

1. Currently reading?

Like a thousand books. Okay, really it's just A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, and The Fangirl Life: A Guide to All the Feels and Learning How to Deal by Kathleen Smith. But those first three books are big.

2. Should’ve read, like, yesterday?

Or maybe more like last year? Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. How have I not picked this up yet?

3. Book that impacted you?

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. It wasn't one I'd really expected to impact me that much, but I was going through a rough patch with my writing and it gave me a good kick in the pants with some motivational words of wisdom. Plus, it's Felicia Day. You can't help but love her and everything she does.


4. Hyped vs backlist titles?

I like and dislike both for different reasons. The good thing about hyped books is that everyone's talking about it, so it's on my radar when maybe it might not have been. And once I read it, I have plenty of people to talk to, and those people might have conflicting opinions. It brings up good discussions. But if it's a hyped book, sometimes I end up hating it because I've set my expectations so high based on the five-star reviews that basically go something like, "OSIJDGOUIHSDJFK I CAN"T EVEN READ IT NOW YOU WON"T REGREAT IT OMG I CAN"T EVEN TYPE JUST GO IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFEEEE." If I read something like that, I'd better get a life-changing book, and often it's not the case.

Backlist books are great because I can go into it with zero expectations and either be pleasantly surprised and wow-ed or find it to be totally blah. Either way, it's a mystery to me, which makes it all the more exciting. However, I'm usually the only one that's read it, so if I want to talk about it with people, I have to basically bind them to a chair and put duct tape over their mouths while I force the book on them. Don't worry, I'm still nice about it. I'll turn the pages for them when their hands are quite literally tied.


I told you I have problems.

5. Current series crush?

Apparently Starflight by Melissa Landers is going to be a series? So color me ridiculously excited for that.

6. How strong is your self-control around books?

Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahahahahahaha........



Again, I have problems.

7. Plot vs characters?

Characters all the way. Don't get me wrong, an amazing plot helps, but if I don't like the characters, I don't like the book 99.9% of the time. How am I supposed to care about a story when I couldn't care less what happens to anybody in it?

8. Would you write under a pseudonym?

Probably not, but I guess that's subject to change. 

9. Would you marry your bookshelf?

My bookshelf is too problematic for that. We'd never work out. It's constantly being rearranged and bowing in the middle of the shelves. That's too many unknown factors for me.

10. Do you ever get sick of reading?

Not really, only because I find it impossible to get sick of reading in general. I might get sick of the books I'm reading, but that's only because seven other shiny books are calling to me from my problematic bookshelf. So I might get into reading slumps because I simultaneously want to finish the books on my nightstand and also stop reading them right there.

11. Random bookish memory?

I have lots of memories from when I was younger of me tiptoeing out of bed at night to read on the stairs with a blanket. See, I shared a room with my brother, so I couldn't turn the light on, but there were lights above the stairs. And the way they were positioned, I wouldn't be seen by my parents (until they came up to bed later and found me asleep on the stairs. Totally safe.), and I could sometimes listen to whatever show they were watching. I was a sneaky little thing.



12. Character you relate to?

I'll name a few: Hermione Granger, Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, Ellie Sweet from the Ellie Sweet series by Stephanie Morrill, and Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson.

13. Do you own bookish merchandise?

Yes, indeed! I have Deathly Hallows Earrings, a Snitch necklace, a Time-Turner (sadly without actual time travel functions), a Harry Potter charm necklace, a Harry Potter bracelet made with actual pages of the book (used book), a Mockingjay pin, a "Not all those who wander are lost" tote bag, a Ravenclaw Quidditch team captain shirt, an "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good" t-shirt, and several stick-on Harry Potter quotes in the HP font that are up on various walls around our house. Oh, and Pop! dolls: Dumbledore, Harry, and Fang, so far.

As you can see, besides books, this is what my paychecks go to. And I'm sure I'm forgetting some.

14. Controversial opinion?

I despise The Catcher in the Rye. Couldn't stand Holden, couldn't stand the story. I spent the entire book moaning and groaning. It is the only book to date that I have angrily tossed across the room once I'd finished it with a, "Thank god that's over!" But people either seem to love or hate this book, there's no in between.

I also couldn't get into The Book Thief. I tried for a hundred pages before DNF-ing it.

15. NOTP?

If we're talking canon, Calaena and Dorian from the Throne of Glass series. I will forever ship her and Chaol.

If we're talking headcanon, Harry and Voldemort. Who the hell came up with that?!?!


16. Why didn’t I love this?

Girl In the Arena by Lise Haines. Just--like--what--no. I read it ages ago for a book club, but dear sweet lemon drops, this book was everywhere. And what's with the lack of quotation marks when doing dialogue?! It tried to copy every other dystopian book out there, but only the worst parts of every dystopian book.

Also Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I felt very ambivalent about it. It was a little juvenile for a YA book and took forever to get to the actual point of the plot. Also? Not creepy. Poor advertising on marketing's part.

17. Hardcover vs paperback?

I love to read paperbacks but display hardcovers.

18. Do you ever like villains?

More often so in TV shows than books, I've found. I wish that weren't the case, though, because well-done villains can be some of the best characters ever. Ooh, but the characters in Nimona by Noelle Stevenson were fantastic! Lots of wonderful villainy there.

19. Cringeable reads?

The Haters by Jesse Andrews. Here is the point where I DNF-ed: "Dick harm is a thing that comes up with us a lot. It's kind of our go-to trope. [...] Basically, the idea is, if something is really great, we get so amped that we have no choice but to do harm to our own dicks. That is the true measure of how wonderful a thing can be."



Is that enough of an explanation as to why I couldn't even stand to continue?

20. Where do you get your books from?

Our Indie bookstore and the library, primarily.

21. Haunting read?

Ooh, that's tricky, but I'm going to have to go with We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I can't say much more without giving it all away, which would completely ruin the experience for first-time readers.

22. Highly anticipated upcoming release?

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (which seems to be coming out on my birthday next year!) and Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I'm not even a huge Alice in Wonderland fan in general and I know it's going to be amazing because, duh, it's Marissa Meyer.

23. Annoying character qualities?

Being blaaaaaaaaaand. I think I would rather hate a character than be bored by them.

24. Least favourite genre?

There's no genre I can't stand, but I'll just say non-fiction, because unless it's freaking amazing, there are a thousand other fictional worlds I'd rather dive into.

25. Best tropes?

Ambiguous and/or bittersweet endings. Retellings of any kind. Klutzy characters. Actual introverted fangirl protagonists. Short chapters. "I-hate-you-no-wait-I-love-you" romances. Slow-burn romances. Characters without families who find friends that are like family. Villains with a heart for one specific thing or character. Time travel. Etc.

26. Rereading?

In theory, I'm all for it. But the reality is I rarely have time to reread anything when there are NEW AND SHINY books to read.


27. Have you abused a book?

Yes, but not always on purpose, besides the Catcher in the Rye book-throwing incident. I also underline and write notes in the margins of books I adore, on occasion. But this one time I was reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on the stairs for the umpteenth time when I was little and the book completely split in half because of how many times I'd read it. We've also had to tape loose pages back to the binding.

28. Series you quit on?

Beautiful Creatures, but only because I got distracted and totally forgot what happened in the first two books. I'll probably go back one of these days, but not in the near future.

29. Wish it wasn’t a standalone?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! I'd love more stories about Albus's adventures at Hogwarts.

30. Bad bookworm side-effects?

Forgetting about real life responsibilities and suddenly e-mails and chores are piling up and that unfolded laundry has been sitting there for a week and what do you mean I have to change for work in five minutes?


Problems, I tell you. I. Have. Problems.


Tag, you're it! Answer some questions in the comments or steal this for your own blog, if you'd like!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

'Til the Last Star Dies - The Immortal Witch/Mortal Monster Hunter Romance You Didn't Even Know You Needed

I have an announcement!

I entered a contest through Inkshares with my YA fantasy romance novel, 'Til the Last Star Dies. If I win, Inkshares will help me through the entire publishing process so I can get my book out in the world with Geek and Sundry's logo of support printed on it as part of the marketing. Exciting, right?!


The way the contest works is by collecting pre-orders on your book. Whoever gets the most pre-orders is the winner. If you spend $20 on a pre-order and my novel ends up being the winning one, you get:

-A signed paperback copy of the book
-An ebook
-Access to drafts and updates from the author (me)
-And free shipping in the US

I would absolutely love and appreciate it if you could help me by pre-ordering my novel. Even if you can't, just spreading the word on social media or talking to your friends and family about it can be a HUGE help! The best way to get the word out about a book is by talking it up to people you're close with.

I do ask that you kindly refrain from violence when spreading the word. It can do serious damage to the book. Oh, and, you know, the human being hit by it.

If you do pre-order (and thank you thank you thank you if you do), don't worry, you'll get a full refund on it if 'Til the Last Star Dies doesn't end up winning.

To see if you're interested, here's what it's about:

Lila is a witch. One of the firstborn, to be exact, which makes her powerful. And dangerous. And in demand. The demon Angelique has a plan for the world, one that involves cities devoured in flame and dying stars. If Angelique can convince Lila to join her army, the universe will have reason to quake in fear.

But there’s another complication. Melody. Lila’s fallen for her, and if there’s anything Lila can do to protect her, she’ll do it. This means Angelique will have to find another way to get Lila to succumb to the darkness. And Melody is the perfect bargaining chip . . .


I also have a cover and some concept art from my Pinterest board related to the novel:






I know this is grammatically incorrect, but I wasn't the one who made it, so there wasn't a way to fix it.
 













If you want to get a sense of the tone, you can check out the playlist I created for it HERE.

Any questions you may have about the book or the contest, I'll do my best to answer! :) Thank you so much!

Pre-order 'Til the Last Star Dies here!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

30 Day SuperWhoLock Challenge - Day 3


 


Day 3 = "Favorite 'Supernatural' ship?" 

Again . . . I'm in the minority here, but I'm not a Destiel shipper. I don't have anything against the ship itself or anyone who does ship it (and there are times I can totally see valid points to the ship. And who didn't ship them in Twist and Shout?), but I have another ship on my mind.




Yes, Dean. Megstiel.

An angel and a demon? In a ship? In love? Bear with me here.

This is not your typical angel. Cas is as much the duty-bound angel as Dean is an exercise freak. That is to say, Cas isn't another soldier from Heaven. He's broken free from their constructs and twisted principles.

And Meg still has heavy traces of demon in her, yes, but she evolved just like Cas did. She believes in free will and gray area and doing what's best for the people on your team. She happens to be against most of Hell.

The crazy thing is I never would've expected to ship an angel and a demon in this show. And towards the beginning, I despised Meg. But because of the amazing writing and storytelling and character development, I ended up squealing and writing Megstiel fan-fiction.
Cas and Meg have the possibility to be opposite in every way, but their differences compliment each other. The things they have in common are the most important ones, giving this ship everything it needs to be sea-worthy.
 
 
Are you a SuperWhoLockian? Feel free to steal these prompts for yourself! Which "Supernatural" ship is your favorite?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

July Wrap-Up

Books I Read

America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart

4/5

I've been learning a ton about our government system, especially with the upcoming election, so this book was a hilarious and entertaining way to get a lot of info in a sarcastic tone. So sarcastic, in fact, that there were a few times I wasn't entirely sure whether he was joking or being literal. I love every video I've seen with Jon Stewart, so it was no surprise I liked this. The occasional commentary from Samantha Bee about how Canadians do things or the funny flow charts were great, too. (Although I was more than a little disturbed at the photo-shopped supreme court justices . . . who were naked and used as either paper dolls or a "match the supreme court justice to their clothes." I can't quite remember. I think I've blocked it from my mind.)

Starflight by Melissa Landers

4/5

I haven't been this excited about a sci-fi book since I read The Lunar Chronicles. It has a slow-burn, "I-hate-you-no-wait-I-think-I-might-love-you" sort of These Broken Stars type romance. But it also has plenty of action. I was never bored. There were pirates and heists and chases through space. It reminded me a lot of "Firefly." All of the characters were great and the writing was snarky. All in all, a fast and highly recommended read.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

3.5/5

A friend of mine called this "a ghost story without an actual ghost," which is the perfect way to do it. I loved the fact that the narrator of the book is never given a name. It's done well so it isn't confusing, but leaves you wanting to know. The beginning of the book is really slow, but the payoff is worth it. I haven't read many gothic novels, but I enjoyed this one. I had lots of theories going into it that I was very surprised about.

Movies I Watched

"Like Crazy"

4/5

Great Indie film with an awesome cast that mostly focuses on two characters, an exchange student from England and an American carpenter. It's a very untraditional love story with an ending I'm still not sure how to feel about! But I loved it.

"Zootopia"

4/5

This was super cute and creative. It handled a lot of issues we see today without being preachy. I liked getting to see a fun animated film be able to have the feeling of a tame "Castle" episode.

"Ghostbusters"

3/5

Kind of cheesy and over the top, but that's how the original "Ghostbusters" was, too. It was a nice change to see an all female cast be able to kick ass in jumpsuits rather than a skintight leather getup. It definitely passed the Bechdel test. I'm always a big fan of Kate McKinnon's mannerisms, too.

"Sing Street"

5/5

This was SO. GOOD. All I wanted to do after watching it was move to Ireland and write music. The whole soundtrack is great (and catchy) and the movie was really funny. I especially loved how they handled the ending.

"Jurassic Park"

3/5

Now I can finally say I've seen Jurassic Park. The effects were great for a movie made in 1993, and it definitely didn't lack in action and excitement. Not the greatest movie if you're looking for awesome characters or a complicated story, but it was fun.

"Jurassic Park: The Lost World"

3/5

See above. ^

"Jurassic Park 3"

3/5

See above. ^

Quotes I Wrote

At the latest writer's camp I went to, my friend Dana and I performed this piece I wrote as a script for my final reading. I was Person 1, she was Person 2.

Decision Making


Person 1: "Do we dare?"

Person 2: "How can we?"

Person 1: "We probably shouldn't."

Person 2: *after some contemplation* "Then again, it's just so easy to do it . . ."

Person 1: "You know we'll regret it later."

Person 2: "Or it'll be totally worth it."

Person 1: "We can't."

Person 2: "Yes we can."

Person 1: "But no."

Person 2: "But yes!"

Person 1: "How--"

Person 2: "Just go with me here."

Person 1: "What if someone catches us?"

Person 2: "Who's going to catch us?"

Person 1: "Everyone?"

Person 2: "We need to talk about a little something called having faith in us."

Person 1: "I need to rethink my life choices."

Person 2: "It's too late for us."

Person 1: "For you, maybe."

Person 2: "Hey!"

Person 1: "You know I love you, you melodious mushroom."

Person 2: "I love you, too."

Person 1: "So what's the plan?"

Person 2: "Let's not over think it. Just pick a plan of attack and stick with it."

Person 1: "This goes against everything my New Year's resolutions stand for."

Person 2: "Shh, you'll thank me later."

Person 1: "Pretty sure I won't."

Person 2: "Don't chicken out when we're so close."

Person 1: "Close to what? Eternal regret?"

Person 2: "We're not robbing a bank."

Person 1: "We can't compare our serious decisions to robbing a bank. Our actions define us. This is an important moment right here." * pauses * "Are we going with the Chips Ahoy or the Oreos?"

Person 2: "Both. Always both."

Person 1: "Sprint to the self-checkout counter."

Person 2: "We'll earn these cookies." 

This next section is the beginning of a short story I wrote at the same camp about Faye, a demon, and Nathaniel, an angel, and how neither feel as if they fit in their respective kingdoms.
 

She was born from fire and broken hearts. He was born from lullabies and spring breezes. Both looked the part, neither felt it. She looked up from her destruction with a smirk on her face, but her eyes held the truth. He looked down from his cloud with a humble smile, but ached for the wildness he'd been denied.
            Stranger things had happened in these two planes, worlds apart, but those tales tended to be swept under the rug. Hidden from prying eyes. Very hush hush. These two souls demanded to be heard in the years to come. They would not go quietly into their futures. They gripped it with relentless strength and ripped it free from societal expectations.
            And so on an unassuming December night, like twins separated before birth, Nathaniel and Faye came into the world. 
-Heaven and Hell (a working title)

"Why don't you just take me to your mistress so she can let my friends go."
    "Yes, let's," he said as he straightened up, wiped away a few specks of blood from the corner of his mouth. Another high-pitched shriek traveled from one of the upper floors to the one Lila and Richard were on. He smirked. "That's her now, I believe."
    Lila frowned at him as he pressed a button for the elevator. "The one screaming?"
    He gave her the look of a child who'd been given free reign of a candy story. "The one causing the screams."
    The elevator dinged and the doors slid open to admit them. Richard let Lila go ahead of her, though she felt tingles on the back of her neck that had nothing to do with her magic as he watched her enter. He followed, pressed a button for a few floors up, and the two waited as they rose higher.
    "You wouldn't recognize me from your past forays into the dark side," Richard said after several seconds of silence. "I'm a recent demon. Just performed the ritual a few months ago. New hire."
    Lila couldn't figure out for the life of her why he spoke to her like they were distantly related cousins, but she was having none of it. "Ah, so you're the overeager henchman. Got it. You do realize people like you are the ones they use for bait and as sacrifices, right?"
    He sputtered as the doors open, and she took her chance to push past him as if she owned the place.
-'Til the Last Star Dies 

Obsessions I Acquired

"In the Heights." Another Lin-Manuel Miranda musical! I definitely like "Hamilton" better, but this one has a fun story with a good cast of characters. The music is very catchy and unique. There's even a full version you can watch on YouTube pretty good cast considering it wasn't the original!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - OMG it's so good. I'm 3 parts in out of the 4. It feels exactly like coming home after being away for a long time. I love the surprising directions it's taken. I have no clue what's going to happen, but every plot twist has snuck up on me so far. I'll probably have it finished by the end of the day.

Picture of the Month 

(From left to right, top to bottom) Anna Marie, Sam, Kat, Peyton, me, Dana, and Sarah. We all had a blast at writer's camp.
The seven of us trying to be "hipster" when really we're all just a bunch of fangirls who kill off too many of our characters.
Mikey and Charlie came out to visit again. So much fun. It was nonstop laughter.
Can you figure out whose limbs are whose?
Mikey and me at my local library.

Rafflecopter Winner

Thank to everyone who entered my Rafflecopter giveaway for a free e-book of Fauxpocalypse! :) Congratulations to the winner, Jimmy!

A little side note, this post is my 500th! Crazy, right? How was your July?