Not Too Scary Books for Halloween

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Happy Halloween, friends! I am the biggest scaredy cat in the world. In 2nd grade, I got so queasy when the teacher said blood that for our spelling test it was called “the b word” before the other kids spelled out B-L-O-O-D. I had to leave the theater during Parent Trap for the ear piercing scene. The only horror movie I’ve ever seen is Pet Cemetery – and I still think about it and get freaked out fifteen years later. Here are ten books featuring suspense, magical realism, witches, vampires, ghosts, or just some great spooky vibes. None of these were too scary for me (including There’s Someone Inside Your House – the only horror novel on the list) and I hope they won’t be for you! Continue reading

There’s Someone Inside Your House, by Stephanie Perkins

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I’m a huge Stephanie Perkins fangirl. I’ve read Anna, Lola, and (my favorite) Isla too many times to keep track of. I cried when I met Stephanie Perkins. She’s one of my biggest influences as a writer. I wrote this blog post! But I was worried – really worried – when I learned her newest book would be a horror novel. I’m seriously the most sensitive person in the world when it comes to being scared. I didn’t know if I could handle reading it, but I also didn’t know if I could handle not reading it.

Well, in Halloween spirit I picked up the book. And of course, I sped through it. It had everything I love in a Stephanie Perkins novel – a nuanced and interesting heroine, a quirky love interest, the most swoon-worthy, romantic writing I’ve ever seen in YA. It also had someone killing people with a knife. And while I did stay up late to finish the book, I found I could handle it.  Continue reading

Depressing Book Slump

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Guys, I’m in a little bit of a reading slump. For the last month, I’ve basically only read super amazing but super depressing books. I keep thinking I’ll break out of it, but then I pick up another sad book. And part of me doesn’t want to stop, because they’ve all been really good. But it is starting to mess with my mind. Between this reading and devouring all the #metoo social media and Harvey Weinstein think pieces, I’m definitely in a rut of thinking the world is just a terrible and painful place. Continue reading

Top Ten Unique Book Titles

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Happy Tuesday, friends! I love book titles. A good book title will definitely convince me to read a book (see: The Princess Saves Herself in this One below). And I keep a long list of potential titles I might use some day as a writer. Here are some of my favorite book titles that stood out to me! They are all also excellent reads! Continue reading

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L. Sánchez

I am not your perfect mexican daughterJulia and her family are grieving the death of her older sister, Olga. Olga was a perfect Mexican daughter to her immigrant parents. She didn’t go away to college. She didn’t move out after graduation. She happily cleaned and cooked with her mother and brought her father water to soak his feet in when he got home from his factory job. With her gone, Julia knows she can’t fill Olga’s role. She dreams of moving to New York City and becoming a writer, and has never been the obedient child her parents wanted. But when Julia discovers a pair of sexy underwear and a hotel key in Olga’s room, she learns that her big sister might not have been the perfect daughter everyone thought she was. In her grief, she focuses on finding out the truth about her sister’s life. At the same time, she struggles through growing pains with friends, the odds against her in applying for college, first romance, and her own mental illness. Continue reading

Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books

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Okay, I’ll admit that I didn’t always go with the yummiest foods described in books. Sometimes I went for funny or interesting over delicious. Because in real life Potato Peel Pie sounds dubious and Turkish Delight is always a let down. But both pop of the page when described in their respective books!  I also limited myself to one food per book, otherwise the whole list would have been Harry Potter and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Continue reading

I Got to See John & Hank Green (aka the oddest book event I’ve ever been to)

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I’ve written a little bit (okay a lot) about John Green and how the vlogbrothers Youtube series is an important part of my life. I love John’s books, but more I love listening to him and his brother talk about writing, about mental illness, about family and life and everything from llamas to angler fish (more on angler fish in a moment). I don’t want to be too mushy gushy, but I think watching their conversation has helped me tremendously in the weird process of figuring out how to adult and how to deal with hard things instead of avoiding them. It’s not as big a part of my life right now as it always has been, but this is all to say I was VERY EXCITED about John’s new book and the fact I’d get to see John and Hank live at Town Hall in Manhattan last week.  Continue reading