Bookishly Ever After, by Isabel Bandeira

21018154I was really excited to get my hands on an ARC of Bookishly Ever After, by Isabel Bandeira. The book was released earlier this month and I think it will appeal to lots of YA book lovers for one reason -it’s all about being in love with books. Genius! There are things I loved about the book and things that bothered me. To be totally honest, the formatting of the ARC was really wonky, which I think could have messed up my reading experienced. But I’m trying not to let that biased me. But before I give more of my opinions, here is the book blurb: In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing? Continue reading

Top Ten Recent(ish) Middle Grade Reads

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Happy Tuesday! It’s a freebie for Top Ten Tuesday and I’m talking about middle grade books! I don’t know if its because I’m in a writing program for kids or doing some freelance curriculum work aimed at middle school students or just that there are so many good middle grade books out, but I’m getting into these books a lot. Here are some of my favorites from the last year or so. Let me know what you think! Continue reading

Another Perfectly-Timed Letter from FutureMe

Really needed this today friends. Still in California and totally freaking out about the semester ahead (in a really nonproductive way). Seriously, if you aren’t using FutureMe you definitely should be. Here’s what arrived in my inbox this morning to save the day (or at least my sanity):

Dear FutureMe,

Tomorrow you are going to turn in the first draft of your thesis. Chill out girl. Everything is going to be fine. You worked harder than you might of, but not as hard as you could have … that is literally almost always true. You also had a lot of other things to deal with (which is also always always true) and you are doing a great job.

Try to celebrate your accomplishments going into this next step of school. Who knows what will happen … but that is exciting because it means lots and lots and lots of really awesome, cool things could happen.

You are still in school. School and writing should be your focus.

You’ve created such a fuller life for yourself in New York than you’ve had since college. Seriously, think of the friends and activities and events you’ve built into your life. Great job!

It’s okay to be scared and nervous … you are undertaking big things and big dreams. It would be silly not to be nervous about them.

It’s also okay to set the fear and anxiety at the door for the semester (as much as you can) and just really try to enjoy the end of this process as much as possible.

I know you will lean into every opportunity you have.

With much self love,

Alison from a month ago

Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR

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Hi friends! I am in LA today after spending two weeks driving from LA to Seattle (and back again) with my sister. There were so many amazing bookstores along the way. The Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle. River House Books, my favorite bookstore in Carmel, California. And, of course, the gloriousness that is Powell’s City of Books in Portland. Here are some new, very eclectic, books that have been added to my TBR on my journey. Excited to blog more about the trip (and head back to NYC) soon! Continue reading

The Royal We, by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

22875451In November and December, I hit a bit of a reading slump. I was reading good books and I was liking them. But they were all so sad. Books about death and suicide and mental illness. Even the fantasy I was reading, The Jewel by Amy Ewing, was dark and hard. A world where girls are sold as surrogates to rich women against their will – not exactly light reading. Deciding to end the streak, I picked up The Royal We, by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan. The title and the cover alone were enough for me to guess what the book was about, but I this surpassed my wildest imagination and definitely broke my sad book slump. I mean I’m not going to say that it’s essentially 454 pages of Will and Kate fan fiction … but I’m also not going say it isn’t. What I can say, without qualm, is that is fun, drama-filled, and (perhaps surprisingly) well written.  Continue reading

Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t

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Too many books too little time. This is a phrase I will write over and over and over again on this blog, unless we suddenly get a magical eighth day each week just for reading. Even then I still might not be able to fit in all the books. Here are some 2015 releases I meant to read, but haven’t yet. Hopefully many will be read this year! Continue reading