Teen Book Con 2016!

IMG_6839This past weekend, I got to go to Teen Book Con! Teen Book Con is a book festival held in Houston. This was my second year to go and I had such a great time! I’m already counting the days until next year ūüôā

IMG_6840The day started off with Ruta Sepetys (pictured to the right) ¬†as the key note speaker. I had hear of Ruta before, all¬†the booktubers talk about her but have not read one of her books. I absolutely loved listening to her speak. She talked about fighting dragons. Fighting dragons being a metaphor for over coming obstacles. ¬†She also talked about telling stories and how telling stories gives a voice to not just you but to the people of the stories you’re telling. I’m usually not a fan of historical fiction, but after listening to her speak, i’m dying to pick up one of her books, especially her newest, Salt To the Seas.¬†Her speech left me feeling inspired and was a great way to kick off the day!

Once keynote was finished, it was time to break out in to panels. There was a total of six panels to choose from. Of course, I went in to the day with a game plan, knowing exactly what panels  I wanted to go to and when.

IMG_6841The first panel I went to of the day was SHIP IT. This panel consisted of Jesse Andrews (pictured to the left), Tina Connolly, Samantha Mabry, Meredith Moore and Kristin Rae.After having read¬†Me and Earl and the Dying Girl last week, this was probably my most anticipated panel of the day. It didn’t disappoint. I might even go as far as to call this my favorite panel of the day (and that’s a super hard call). This panel was moderated by Jennifer Matheu, author of The Truth About Alice and¬†Devoted. She had recognized me from when I went to the launch party for Devoted last year. I thought that was super cool! I’m glad she was there because i’ve been wanting to tell her how much I loved Alice (you might remember I mentioned this book in my Christmas Song Book Tag as a book I think that everyone should read). I loved how much this panel made me laugh. I love Jesse’s since of humor and if you’ve read one of his books, you know what i’m talking about. Also, I really enjoyed seeing Samantha Mabry from this panel. She was witty and bubbly and also very funny. She and Jesse played great off each other.

Up next I went to the I’m New Here panel. This panel included Sean McGinty, Julie Murphy, Becky Wallace and Jeff Zentner. This panel was called i’m new here because of all of the authors in the panel only have one or two books out. What drew me to this panel, was Julie Murphy. I loved listening to her talk about her writing process. Something ¬†else I enjoyed about this panel, was listening to Becky Wallace talk about how creepy certain aspects of Sleeping Beauty¬†are. I agree with her one hundred percent when she says that dancing with strangers in the forrest is creepy and something we should not be teaching our daughters.

After lunch, I went in to the Life is Rough panel. I got to see E.K Johnson, Amber Smith, IMG_6842Ray Villareal, Nicola Yoon and Amy Zhang. I loved this panel because all of the author’s stories are strong character driven stores- my favorite kind. Also, I was the only one in that room who had heard of the undertaker (I love WWE!). I learned this when Ray mentioned he had a book called¬†My Father, the Angel of Death,¬†a book about a boy whose father is a wrestler named the Angel of Death. He mentioned that the Angel of Death was heavily inspired by the undertaker. Naturally, I added this to my TBR on goodreads right away. I loved hearing Nicola Yoon’s story about how her book got it’s tittle¬†Everything, Everything. As a young writer, I love hearing about authors who have published books at a young age. Any Zhang published her first book when she was still in high school. It gives me hope. Plus, when I got to meet her in the signing lines that afternoon, she gave me some great advice on getting my query letter written.

For my last panel of the day, I went to Back in The Day with authors Ruta Sepetys, Jennifer Donnelly, Monica Hesse, Katherine Howe and Steve Sheinkin. All of the authors write either nIMG_6843on-fiction or historical fiction. Now as an adult reader, i’ve never gravitated to historical fiction, witch I find hilarious because as a kid, the American Girl books were practically all I read. What I loved about this panel was hearing about how the authors get inspired by real life events and how they want to tell the stories about things that happened that aren’t in our history books. This panel started a spark in me to pick up some young adult historical fiction.

The closing session of the day a local high school improve group preformed along with author Michael Buckley, an author in a panel I didn’t get to make it to. They were great performers and was it was a neat way to close out the day.

IMG_6846They very last part of the day was book signing! ¬†Unforunately, as a broke college student, I wasn’t able to buy nearly as many books as I wanted to but I did make it out with a pretty awesome stack. ¬†I don’t think you guys even realize how much I can’t wait to dive in to this pile of books and start reviewing them! Also, I can’t wait to go and pick up more books from some of the authors I saw today.

I had a blast and I would definitely say that Teen Book Con 2016 was a success! Have you guys read any of the books I bought? Tell me witch one I should read first because I can’t decide.

Much Love,

Kaitlyn

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Teen Book Con 2016!

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

img_6756¬†Tomorrow, I am super excited because I am going to a book festival! There will be many authors there including Julie Murphy author of¬†Dumplin’, Nicola Yoon author of¬†Everything Everything and Jesse Andrews who is author of¬†Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.¬†¬†When I go to meet authors or listen to them speak in panels, I like to have read their books before hand. At first, I didn’t even realize that Jesse Andrews was author of¬†Me and Earl and The Dying Girl because the festival website only lists the author’s most current work. In the case of Jesse, it’s¬†The Haters. I’m not sure how I found out that this book was his, but when I did, I went and bought a copy and read it immediately.

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl is about Greg (me) his friend Earl and a dying girl (named Rachel), it’s like the tittle says. So basically, high school sucks for Greg and that’s no big secret. He lays low and mingles with everyone. The only real friend that Greg has (Greg likes to think of hims more as a co-worker) is Earl, who he met in kindergarten. Together, the like to make films that are really bad and that they won’t let anyone watch. On the first year of his senior year, Greg’s mother informs him that one of his classmates, Rachel has leukemia and she forces Greg to hang out with her.

I have never laughed out loud so much at a book. Let alone, a book that’s about death. The cover of the book has a quote on it that compares it to The Fault in Our Stars I was expecting to feel heart broken, empty and cry my eyes out at the end of this novel. Not the case. As previously stated, this book had me laughing out loud the whole time,¬†I couldn’t put this book down and I didn’t want it to end.

I loved the writing style. The characters were all so unique. I loved their distinct and hilarious voices. I loved how the background information was tied in. It was relevant to the story and the way it was told was so entertaining I didn’t care if it was important to the story or not. I just wanted to read this book and I was not a happy camper when I had to put it down.

Something that I thought was a great touch was that the novel while you’re reading it, you find that the story is told like the narrator, Greg has written this novel. And with that, you get gems like this “Although, let’s just do a new chapter, because this chapter got really fucked up somehow and i’m afraid of what will happen if I continue with it.”

This is the best book I’ve read in a long, long time and possibly one of my favorite books that i’ve ever read. I can’t wait to meet Jesse tomorrow and I can’t wait to dive in to his new book,¬†The Haters.

I gave Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 5/5 stars. I really love this book.

Much love,

Kate

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Bumped

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Bumped, by Megan McCafferty, takes place¬†the year 2036 where a virus has swept the plant making anyone over the age of eighteen infertile. So, teen girls have become the most important people on the planet. Adults are paying these girls to have children for them.Melody, a sixteen year old has scored a huge contract with a rich couple to “bump”. But, Melody’s luck is about to run out. Her long lost twin identical sister¬†Harmony, who was raised in a colt like religious community, comes up out of nowhere and a case of mistaken identity could ruin everything.

Really, I’m not sure where to start with this book.

I didn’t know much about this book going in to it other than it was a book about teen pregnancy. I didn’t expect it to be dystopian. I thought it was going to be more of a contemporary, witch in some ways it was. It was like a mix of those two.

I liked how it was told in alternating point of view between the two twins, Harmony and Melody. This way, you were able to see things through both of their eyes. It also helped keep the pace of the story moving quickly.

I would have liked a bit more of an explanation about the virus and bumping. Yes it was eventually explained but specifically, in the first few chapters. It was confusing at first.

I wish the virus would have had a name. Yeah, calling it “the virus” doesn’t take away from the story but had it had a name, it would have given some depth to the world.

Also, in the first two chapters, I would have liked to seen more distinction between Harmony and Melody. ¬†Yes, they’re very different and they’re names are at the top of each chapter when the switch off happens but there was a couple of times where I had to couple take because they were acting so similar.

I actually ended up really enjoying this book for the first fifty or so pages, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. At one point, I remember thinking probably shouldn’t have bought the sequel right away. But I really got in to it, the two hundred-ish pages I read in one sitting.

It was an interesting take on teen pregnancy and surrogate pregnancy. It’s definitely unlike anything I read before.

And the thing I really didn’t expect was, I can’t wait to dive in to the sequel,¬†Thumped. I can’t stop thinking about the unexpected ending

Because of the uniqueness of this story and because I wasn’t able to put it down, I gave¬†Bumped 4/5 stars.

Have you read¬†Bumped? I’d love it if you shared your thoughts with me!

Much love,

Kaitlyn

 

Bumped

Truly Madly Famously 

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Madly Truly Famously is the sequel to Famous In Love. By reading this blog post, you might accidentally spoil Famous in Love. I suggest that you read the first book and then come back and read this blog post. Never heard of Famous in Love? You can read my review of it here.

At the End of¬†Famous in Love, Paige made her choice. She choose Rainer and while she knows that she choose wrong, she is happy being Rainer’s girlfriend. Rainer makes Paige feel safe in the crazy Hollywood World. Yet, Paige can’t deny her feelings for Jordan. At a party where Paige and Rainer fight, Paige calls Jordan to come pick her up. The media gets ahold of some pictures that aren’t what they look like and it blows up in the meida. Even though she’s made her choice, Paige is still very much caught in ¬†a love triangle, just like the one in the movie that she, Rainer and Jordan starring in. Only, this is real life, not a movie.

I think I liked Truly Madly Famously even more than I liked Famous in Love and I really liked Famous in Love.I was sucked in to the plot. There nothing better than a good love triangle! Placing it in Hollywood, with fame and paparazzi, just adds to the drama- all for the better.

Something I loved in¬†Truly Madly Famously that¬†Famous in Love¬†was lacking was characters other than Jordan, Paige and Rainer. The addition of Alexis was a great move because it gave Paige someone to help guide her through Hollywood and a friend who gets what she’s going through. Anther thing I really liked about Alexis, was that she had known Rainer and Jordan, long before the story started. It helped give more depth to their characters.

There was so much character growth in Truly Madly Famously. I really enjoyed these characters figure out what they want and what they should do about it. In that process, they learned so much about themselves and the world around them. I really do love all these characters and I want to see them be happy.

When I was reading Truly Madly Famously I thought there was going to be a third one, up until the last page where it seem to end with no loose ends. I was happy with the ending. But when I was playing around on Goodreads, I  saw this:

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PLEASE LET IT BE TRUE! I’ve really come to love Paige, Rainer, Jordan and Alexis. I would absolutely love to get another story with them. Also, while I was playing around on Goodreads (or procrastinating on doing my homework is a better term) I found out that there’s a novella e-book of¬†Locked the novel turned movie franchise that Paige is starring in. I can’t wait to read it.

Reading the sequel, has made me even more excited for the TV Show adaptation of¬†Famous in Love. I have no idea when it’s going to air or if its even in production but I’m really looking forward to it.

I gave¬†Truly Madly Famously¬†4/5 stars. I’ve really enjoyed reading this duo and I’ve really come to love Rebecca Serle’s writing style. It won’t be long before I pick up one of her other books. Her book,¬†The Edge of Falling¬†looks amazing!

Have you read¬†Truly Madly Famously or any of Rebecca Serle’s books? Share your thoughts with me!

Much Love,

Kate

Truly Madly Famously 

Famous in Love

Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle is about Paige Townsen who has known her whole life that she’s wanted to be an actress. When there’s an open audition for Locked, the latest blockbuster book turned movie, she goes. What she never imagined was that she would actually get the part and get thrust in to Hollywood. She also never imagined that, like her character August, she would be caught in a love triangle with her costars, Rainer and Jordan.

So I have to say, I didn’t know much about this book going in to it. I saw it at Barnes & Noble and picked it up thinking that it looked cute and it was from the poppy subdivision of little brown publishing and that I had never read a bad book with a poppy on the spine.

I have to say, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I initially thought I would. ¬†It’s not that I had a bad attitude going in to this book, it’s just more so that I had no expectations, minus the poppy on the spine.

The story moved at a good pace. Everything mentioned in the story was relevant to the plot and the writing style was enjoyable.

The author did a really good job with character development. Paige, the main character, was lovable. I was rooting for her and I wanted to see her pick the right guy, and see her achieve her dreams. I also love how the author managed to make me feel stuck between the two boys, Jordan and Rainer (Although, I’m team Jordan). I like how they were well developed characters as well. Sometimes, in these YA romance novels, I feel like the love interests aren’t that well developed and when that’s the case it takes away from the story.

Also, if you didn’t know, this book along with it’s sequel, is being turned in to a TV show for ABC Family. I think Bella Throne is going to be playing Paige. I look forward to seeing how this story translates on to the big screen.

Also, the sequel will be finding it’s way home with me next time I visit Barnes & Noble.

This book was a fun light read. I give it 4/5 stars. The words weren’t crammed on the page (something I really appreciate) and the story sucks you in. I’d recommend this book to fans of¬†Anna and the French Kiss and it’s companion novels, by Stephanie Perkins.

Have you read Famous in Love? Are you team Jordan or Rainer? Tell me!

Much love,

Kate

Famous in Love

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Hadley Sullivan misses her flight to London, for her fathers wedding, by four minutes. Luckily, she’s able to get on another flight that takes off a few hours later. While she’s waiting to catch her next flight and trying not to think about the wedding that’s she’s been dreading for the last year, she meets Oliver, a cute and charming British boy, who also ends up not only being on her flight, but having the seat next to hers. What Hadley finds in the twenty-four hours that follow, is that those four minutes changed her life forever.

I’m going to say it up front, my favorite part about this book was the last page. I can’t say what happens, obviously, because that would be a spoiler (and we at Book Alphas don’t approve of spoilers). But I will say it was absolutely adorable ¬†and it was where the tittle of the book comes from.

So, I will say that this story follows Hadley and what happens after she and Oliver separate at the airport. ¬†The summary on the back of the book didn’t make that so clear. I was relieved to find this out, because there’s only so much that can be done with the two sitting on the air plane.

I do wish there would have been last time spent on the air plane. That was about the first half of the book and at times, I felt like it was moving a bit slow. My favorite part was the second half of the book, where Hadley was at the wedding/ running around London. I loved seeing the effect that her such short time with Oliver had on her.

I love Jennifer E. Smith’s writing style. I’m typically not such a huge fan of third person but I love the way she does it. This is the second book i’ve read by her (the first being This is What Happy Looks Like.)¬†and I am still blown away with how beautiful her writing is.

I did enjoy reading this book. It was a fun quick read and everything that’s good about young adult contemporary.

Also, I know that¬†The Statistical Probability of Love at Fist Sight¬†is being adapted in to a movie! I’m not sure exactly when it’s coming out but I do look forward to it. I think it’s going to make a cute chick flick. And, Hailee Steinfeld is going to be playing Hadley. I’m super excited about this because I loved her in¬†Barely Lethal.

I liked this book but it didn’t blow me away. I also found the plot very predictable and because of that I gave it 3/5 stars.

Have you read¬†The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Or have you read any of Jennifer E. Smith’s other books? Tell me about those too because I can’t decide what one I should pick up next.

Much Love,

Kate

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Identical

 

IMG_6278Before I get in to talking about the book, let me explain this picture. As you might have figured out from previous posts, my co-blogger, Tina, is a huge Ellen Hopkins fan. I’m always looking for a good book, so when Tina was telling me about Ellen Hopkins, I looked at the summaries of her books on Goodreads and thought that Identical¬†looked really interesting and I added it to my check out cart on amazon. That was several months ago. So when I finally did get around to reading it, I sent her this ridiculous selfie.

Identical is about identical twins, Kaeleigh and Raeanne. Their mother is a politician and their father is a district court judge. They look like the perfect family but in fact, they’re far from it. Kaeleigh and Raeanne both have dark secrets- Kaeleigh is being abused by their father and Raeanne is craving that affection, feeling like she is loosing at the game of Daddy’s favorites. Eventually it gets to a point where Kaeleigh nor Raeanne can handle it on their own and one will have to step up and save the other. But who?

I liked how the twins personalities were different but different in a way so that Kaeleigh and Raeanne complimented each other.

This was hard to read at times for a couple of reasons.

The first reason being, Kaeleigh and Raeanne some pretty dark secrets and demons. Being inside their minds was pretty difficult at times.

The second reason was at times, the story did kind of drag on. I wish the plot and the pace of the story would have moved faster. At times, I felt like I was forcing myself to finish this book.

This novel is written in verse, meaning it’s in poetry. This didn’t scare me off because when I was in middle school, I loved reading Sonya Sones’s books. Although, it did take some getting used to with how some of the stanzas are aligned left while others might be centered or aligned to the right. I didn’t like this at first but as I continued reading I grew to like it. It really adds to the tension and emotions of the story.

I almost put this book down but I’m really glad I didn’t. The ending was fantastic and I absolutely did not see it coming.

I liked this book but I didn’t absolutely love it, so I gave it 3/5 stars. I’m not going to rush to pick up another Ellen Hopkins book but I wouldn’t be opposed to reading another one.¬†Burned¬†is still on my TBR after reading Tina’s fabulous review of it.

Have you read Identical? Tell me your thoughts about it!

 

Identical