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Board Game Review: Fleet

It's no secret that I'm a gamer. I make that pretty clear with with my Zelda and FF7 obsessions and all. But what you may NOT know is that I'm also kinda into board games.

Truthfully, it's my husband that is really into board games. I'm not talking Monopoly and Apples to Apples, I'm talking nerdy european style board games and card games and games with cool themes (like space and the wild wild west!) and creative mechanics (like auction style and rondels!).

There are some hard core and fantastic board game reviewers out there. Let the record show I am not one of them. What I am is your average girl who likes to play cool games and wants to share those cool games with you in the best way I know how.

Let's get started.

The Game: Fleet
Created by: Benjamin Pinchback and Matthew D. Riddle (no relation to Tom Marvolo, I hope.)
Publisher: Gryphon Games
Number of Players: 2-4
Ages: 10+
Time: 30-45 Minutes
Source: Purchased via Kickstarter
Style: Card based, some auction
Cost: Around $30

The theme: You're trying to build the strongest fleet with the most boats, fish, and fishing licenses. Lest you think that sounds lame, please watch an episode of Deadliest Catch and see how hard core this business is. Thank you.

The actions of the game and the rules are pretty basic. Even better, they put the action options on the card for you so you have a reminder of what to do and when to do it. I REALLY like that.

Basically you get a fishing license at the auction, if you can afford it, launch boats and hire captains and get fish. There are a couple extra things you can do like process or trade your fish with a special license that helps you manipulate the cards a little bit. 

After each player has gone through the turn sequence, you start a new turn. The player with the most victory points from boats, fish, and licenses wins! 

There's lots to like about this game. For one, it's a quick and easy learn which means it's quick and easy to replay again and again. I really like card based games, so I was predisposed to like this one, but even I was impressed with how much I liked it. 

This is what the game looks like about halfway through. You can see Andrew and I both have some licenses (the pale cards) and some boats (the cards with boats on them). You can also see that the cards have fun artwork and are easily understood as they represent multiple elements during the game.  And just in case those symbols don't come naturally to you, the back of the Turn Sequence card has a symbol key. I LOVE SYMBOL KEYS. It makes life so much easier and prevents me from asking all of the questions. 

Despite my best efforts, I was not the best captain out on the sea. Andrew beat me by 7 points, so it was a close one. He only won because he bought two Fisherman's Pubs (on the upper right corner) which doesn't seem legit (but totally is). Regardless, I think Captain Phil would have been proud of my mighty fleet. What more could a girl want?

The good:
- Doesn't use a ton of space. We were able to easily play two player on our kitchen table and had plenty of room.
- The cards are high quality. The artwork is fun and the cards themselves are actually thick and sturdy and don't bend easily. Huzzah! Makes for good repeated use.
- The symbol legend.
- The cards have various uses (ships, captains, money) so you never feel like you have a bad draw. You just need to use your noggin to figure out the best play for you with the cards you have.
- Wooden bits! Since Andrew kickstarted the game, we got an upgrade to little blue fish (instead of little blue cubes) and it came with a yellow fishing vessel to denote start player that's also wooden. It's the small things that make me happy.
- Usually card based games are space themed (which is fine by me!) but it was refreshing to see a different theme. Plus I'm in love with Deadliest Catch so you know, it worked out.

The not so good:
- Despite this being a custom box for the game, not all of the cards fit. I think that's a bit odd and a bit disappointing.

Overall, this was a great two player game for the hubs and I. It has enough variability that you can't just hone in on a strategy and repeat. I think this would be a great game for families to play too, as it isn't super competitive and cut throat. Sure, you're competing, but you're not screwing anybody over because the cards have so many uses.

[FTC Notice: I did not receive any compensation for this review.]

Bloggiesta: 2012

What up, Bloggiesta! Let's do this.

Deets on what Bloggiesta is for those who do not know:
- Basically a time to knock stuff off your blogging to-do list
- Make lists and love them to bits. (Just me?)
- See what other bloggers are doing and meet new peeps.

Here's my to-do list for Bloggiesta 2012:
I made this at work while our internet was down and our phones were wonky. Thus the goldfish and huge calendar. Never fear, I always have a Moleskine on me so I was good to go when I saw April's picture of her list and was reminded to get my butt in gear.

Good luck to the rest of you blogging your little hearts out this weekend! 

May your lists be long, organized, and checked off completely. 


Okay so I can't buy this shirt, but I WANT TO.
For obvious reasons.

My drawers (and closet) are now overflowing with Batman and Star Wars and Zelda shirts so I HAVE to stop buying such tees as these for awhile.

But if I were to break my t-shirt buying ban, it would be for Maleficent who is the baddest villain in all of Disney. For real y'all, she takes 15+ years in her revenge for not being invited to a party at the palace for a newborn princess. SHE MEANS BUSINESS.

Also she turns into a dragon so BADASS BONUS.

Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Title: Firelight (Firelight #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Pub Date: September 2010
Pub Deets: Harper Teen
Source: Purchased on Kindle

In a sentence or so: Jacinda is caught in her dragon form by a group of hunters and has to go on the run with her mom and sister before the tribe can punish her.

So Jacinda and her friend are out cruising the sky in their dragon forms and they KNOW it’s not allowed but whatever, its super fun, so they do it anyway. A group of hunters catches sight of them and barely misses capturing them. It is kind of a big deal and the dragon leaders are all “We need to do something about her” which translates creepily into “Let’s clip her wings and marry her off to the son of the tribe leader”.

Fortunately, Jacinda’s mom helps their family escape. Unfortunately, they go to super duper dry Arizona where Jacinda’s inner dragon can barely survive. Which just might be her mom’s way of killing off her draki side so she can live a normal life. But what if Jacinda doesn’t want a normal life, okay?!

There are DRAGONS, I say! There are also cute boys, swoony times, self discovery, mean girls, and sweet family dynamics that are complicated and feel so very real. Most importantly though, DRAGONSSSS.

I zoomed through this book in no time, thanks to Sophie Jordan’s solid writing and fresh plot. It was one of those stories where the reader is plopped into the fantasy (which I strongly prefer), rather than a slow reveal of abilities or whatever.

Honestly, if you like YA romance and fantasy and quick reads that make you happy while making you think a little bit, read Firelight. It’s super fun! Oh yeah, and there are dragon things happening. In case you missed it.

Pairs well with: A misty mountain view. Since Jacinda’s real home is in the mountains where it’s humid and easy peasy for her draki form to come through, that’s where she’s happiest.

Fix er up: The insta-love. Give me some dramatic tension!

Where I'm at with A Game of Thrones

You may recall that I am kind of a Game of Thrones fangirl. Both the show and the books kind of make me rage and cheer and generally feel all the feels.

I attempted to review the first few books here, here, and here. I did not bother reviewing A Feast for Crows (you're welcome) and honestly it's gotten to the point where I don't even know how to review them anymore so I'm not bothering with A Dance with Dragons.

Because the truth is these books are crazy huge with SO MANY THINGS and so many people and just SO MUCH happening all the damn time.

In short, they are fantastic.

So, if you're a fellow GoT nerd, let's chat. Share your conspiracy theories with me. Rage with me about how dumb Sansa is or I guess you could make a case for her (HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA) if you want. Just be a doll and mark any spoiler comments as SPOILER COMMENT when you post it. Thanks a bunch.

So I feel this post has purpose, I want you to know this song was in my head whenever I read about Daenerys Stormborn or Arya Stark or Asha Greyjoy or Brienne of Tarth or any of the other bad bitches of Westeros. This one's for you, ladies.

Review: The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1) by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Pub Date: October 23rd 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Netgalley

Amazon | Goodreads | Author Blog | Author Twitter

Previously: The Iron KingThe Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen, The Iron Knight

It's no secret that I adored the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. I literally pre-ordered The Iron Fey box set while reading The Iron Prince. So yeah, I'm kinda obsessed. But would I love The Lost Prince? I mean how could I ever hope to love a book and a boy as much as I love Ash?

Oh Julie. I will never ever doubt you ever.

We reenter the world of the fey through the broody eyes of Ethan Chase, half-brother to Meghan Chase the Iron Queen. He's spent his years missing Meghan, hating faeries, and trying to shut everyone out to keep them safe from his messed up world. Only when he moves to a new school - AGAIN - there's this adorably plucky girl who doesn't fall for his tough guy act. Kenzie is drawn to Ethan's brooding ways, no matter how much he tries to push her away. Truthfully, he kinda likes it.

As always happens with the fae, things go crazy and Ethan is on the run from some crazy new kind of faerie that he's never seen before. They threaten him and Kenzie and kidnap his reluctant new friend and half-phouka Todd and that sets Ethan on a course that will lead him straight to the heart of the Iron Court and to his sister. Will she remember him? What explanations can she possibly have for abandoning him and his family all those years ago? And most importantly, will Ethan be able to keep Kenzie safe in the Nevernever?

Julie Kagawa took all of the pieces we love most about The Iron Fey series and made it fresh and exciting all over again in The Lost Prince. I loved Ethan's broodiness and I loved Kenzie's perkiness and I loved all of the familiar elements of faerie and trods and the courts and all of the things. While Julie Kagawa created an incredible world the first time, she doesn't rest on her laurels and rehash the same stuff. Oh no. Ethan Chase is is own man and this is his very own story.

Fave quote: "I felt lost, overwhelmed. Like I was a tiny speck of driftwood, bobbing in a huge ocean, waiting for something to swallow me whole." (Location 3332 of 4337 of ARC on Kindle)


Pairs well with: Your life sized poster of Prince Ash. Wait, y'all don't have one of those too? Hmmm.

[FTC Notice: Despite my fangirling, I was not compensated in any way for this review.]

Review: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again 
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Pub Date: 1937
Pub Deets: My edition was from 1999, Houghton Mifflin
Source: Bought

Amazon | Goodreads

In a sentence or so: Bilbo Baggins, a clan of dwarves and Gandalf go on an adventure to score some treasure from a dragon.

Bilbo is just a chill little hobbit who likes hanging out in the Shire. He’s more into the tea and biscuits than grand adventures. Although even the most reclusive of hobbits can’t say no to a journey with 14 dwarves and his favorite wizard Gandalf when there’s a potential to cash out huge in the end. So Bilbo takes a risk, albeit very reluctantly, and joins the dwarves on their quest.  

Crazy things happen! Bilbo proves useful! But he also remains fussy that he’s not at home with a cup of tea! They have to rely on teamwork and wit! Dragons are super rad! 

Friends, you know how I feel about Lord of the Rings. I watch the extended edition movies about once every 2-3 months. Andrew and I own at least 3 LOTR themed board games*. Yeah. I’m serious about it. BUT I’ve never read the books. I KNOW. Shame me and take my nerd card or whatever but I’m just trying to keep it real here.

I read The Hobbit to try and begin fixing this glaring absence in my nerd repertoire. I loved the adventure and the characters and Bilbo’s inner monologue. I loved the wit and narrative asides from Tolkien to the reader. I completely understand why this book is an adored classic.

However, if you’re not familiar with the world of fantasy, there are lots of descriptions and stories and songs that aren’t directly plot related. Hell, even if you do know the world of fantasy, this one still strays off the path more than most. However, those asides DO add to the overall warmth of the book. Just be warned that this adventure is a bit winding. 
If you haven’t already read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and classic literature, fantasy, and/or adventure are your thing, DO IT. You will regret nothing. 

*If my nerdiness is too much for you after this, I totally understand. 

Fave quote: "So they laughed and sang in the trees; and pretty fair nonsense I daresay you think it. Not that they would care; they would only laugh all the more if you told them so. They were elves of course." (46)
Fix er up: Some of the descriptions were a titch much for me. 
Pairs well with: The Hobbit movie that is sure to be ALL sorts of epic! Peep the trailer below.

Shatter Me Quoteable

So I recently reread Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi before I read Unravel Me. I read Shatter Me on my kindle and virtually dogeared just about every damn page.

Needless to say, finding JUST ONE quote to share was difficult. So difficult, in fact, I ended up choosing a quote that isn't even FROM the book, but instead from Tahereh's tumblr.

This is what I think of when I read about Warner. He is broken. I will fix him.

In related news, I'm naming myself the official Warner Fan Club President. This is serious, y'all.

Unravel Me review won't be up for awhile. Do yourself a favor and reread Shatter Me in anticipation. 

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Pub Date: September 2011
Pub Deets: Poppy (an imprint of Little, Brown)
Source: Contest from Jess at Gone with the Words

Amazon | Goodreads | Author Blog

In a sentence or so: A girl meets a boy and sweet, swoony, quirky, thoughtful, and simply lovely things happen in the midst of frustration, grief, and delayed flights.

Hadley's late for her flight to her dad's wedding in London to some lady she's never met and doesn't want to meet, thank you very much, because it basically destroyed her family. She's got her angst amped up to 11 when she misses her flight and bumps into this adorable British boy named Oliver who ends up sitting next to her on the plane and being genuinely awesome and a tad silly but also sincerely interested in what Hadley's got going on in her life.

This is a story of life changes and disappointment and unexpected hope. While I thought Hadley was totally justified in her frustration and angst, I loved that Oliver listened to her, respected her, and tried to give her some perspective while being supportive. He ended up voicing a lot of the advice I would have to Hadley. Which of course endeared him to me all the more.

Sure, Hadley and Oliver are what keep the pages turning, but within those pages is depth and insight into families and second chances and life changes we can all relate to. I was expecting an adorable romance (hello - BRITISH BOY) but was pleasantly surprised by the emotional exploration and family plots.

If you're looking for a read that will make you laugh, swoon, think and hope, please read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. You know, if you're one of the 4 people who hasn't already done so.

Fix er up: More, please!

Pairs well with: Your favorite latte. Because like your favorite latte, this book will make you feel all warm and fuzzy and happy inside. Also, it reads like a friend over a cup of coffee so that is double perfect.

Fave quote: "In the end, it's not the changes that will break your heart; it's that tug of familiarity." (21 ARC)

Just so you know

Andrew and I are having a massive X-Files watch. Like all of the episodes of the entire series and the movies. Consecutively.

So if I start getting paranoid or thinking aliens are living next door or whatever, I apologize. But not really because hello how hot are Mulder and Sculley?

Odds are pretty good I'll cover an episode here and there. Scully is a badass chick who's crazy smart and doesn't need Mulder to protect her. Mulder is confident and quirky and funny and equally smart. They have amazing chemistry and subtle flirty things that keep my swoon levels in check whilst delivering really well-written episodes that ask Big Questions.

What more could this girl want?

A very special Thank You!

I want to take a moment to say thanks to the 5 people who made the Giveaway-a-Day possible on my blog this past week to celebrate my 5 years of blogging.

I shall thank them by naming my top 5 favorite things about each of them.  Yes, this is one of THOSE posts. Deal with it.
She gets my love for Warner.
She adores SafetySuit to the ends of the earth.
She's encouraging.
She's thoughtful.
She's always good for a laugh!

She's fancypants in the book world.
She keeps me in the loop on upcoming books.
She plays fantasy football...kind of.
She reads MG!
She makes me smile.

She loves Patrick Ness.
She dances to Girl Talk. 
We love the same media things.
She subjects all of her emails with rap lyrics.
She's caring.

She's sweet.
Girl loves HP & Narnia. 
She writes amazing reviews.
She loves coffee.
You can count on her for a good twitter conversation.

Girl is all about the CAPS
She took over Korra for me while I was away.
She's a nerd.
She makes me happy.

If you haven't checked out these lovely ladies (seriously, I have nothing but gorgeous blogger friends it seems!), I highly recommend them. And the other blogs on my blogroll as well - ALL those peeps are stellar.

So - THANK YOU to Ginger, Tara, Ash, Alexa, and Ame for making this week possible.

THANK YOU to all of the bloggers who encourage me and support me and get my nerdiness and like me anyway. 

THANK YOU to all of the readers who think that what I have to write is worth reading. The internet is a big place. Thanks for choosing me. 

Giveaway-A-Day: Day 5

In case you missed the memo, I’m hosting a daily giveaway on the blog to celebrate my blogging anniversary! 5 years of blogging = 5 days of giveaways. Holla!

Today, I have my lovely and equally nerdy friend Amy from Tripping Books here to give away a copy of one of her favorite books of the past 5 years. If you haven’t met Amy, that’s a total shame because she’s hilarious, LOVES THE CAPS, and is totally into middle grade, fantasy, dragons, swoony times, and all other sorts of rad things. I just have a lot of feelings about Amy.

So what book does the awesome Amy want to give away? Let’s ask her!

My good pal Lisa has asked me to tell you what makes The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson so special to me. And because she's awesome, and because I love this book SO much, I'm going to try and tell you. I hope I'll be able to explain myself well, because I often find that, when it comes to the things I love the most, I have the hardest time explaining why. Like I don't know words that are important enough. But I'm happy to give it a shot!

Above all things, to me, The Sky Is Everywhere is about the bond between sisters. Yes, there's a boy, and guys, he is SPECIAL. And of course there's family drama, and misunderstandings, and CAPSLOCK LOVE. But the thing that stands out the most to me about The Sky Is Everywhere is the way you totally understand how close Lennie and Bailey were before Bailey's death, even though Bailey is never a character we see alive. How inseparable. How their stark differences actually made their bond tighter and stronger. And how Lennie is kind of like a frayed rope, flapping in the breeze without Bailey around. It's a constant ache. Not a sadness, per se, because this book is actually pretty joyous in its own way. Just…achy.

I don't know how many of you all have sisters, or siblings for that matter, but I have one myself, and she's just the bestest person I know. She reminds me of Bailey. The way she's always trying to get Lennie (that would be moi) out of her shell, and how she lives with all of these huge feelings that she doesn't hide from anyone. I'm totally like Lennie, nose always buried in a book, shy and guarded. So when I read The Sky Is Everywhere, and I saw their closeness, it reminded me so much of my relationship with my sister. Jandy Nelson just GETS IT, friends. I don't know if i can explain it better than that. It was like she was writing about us. And you know what little thing totally made it for me? That little throwaway thing that made me go, "HOLY CRAP she IS writing about us!"? In one of Lennie's poems--her GORGEOUS poems are sprinkled throughout the book--she mentions that people called her and Bailey "the girls." Like they were two parts of just one thing. That was it. My sister and I are "the girls," even though we're both completely grown women, and we'll probably be "the girls" until there's no one left who even knew us that way. Isn't that the weirdest reason to feel a connection to a book? But there it is.

Of course, for all that the sisterly love is important and huge and wonderful, there is another kind of love in The Sky Is Everywhere, which brings me back to that boy I mentioned. Friends. Real talk? Joe Fontaine is very nearly the swooniest, most passionate, warm-hearted guy I've ever read in a book. One of the remarkable things about Jandy Nelson's writing and characterization is that you can feel the warmth of his personality as you read. NONE of the characters in The Sky Is Everywhere seem fake or flat. That is what makes Joe so instantly lovable, it's what makes his relationship with Lennie--complex and deep--so outstanding, and it's just one of a BAZILLION reasons why The Sky Is Everywhere is my favorite book of the last 5 years.

PS. I mentioned Lennie's poems, and I just can't write anything about The Sky Is Everywhere without sharing one of them. This is one of my favorites, but trust that the rest of the poems are just a gorgeous, and the writing of the book itself is beautiful, too.
"Remember how it was when we kissed? / Armfuls and armfuls of light thrown right at us / A rope dropping down from the sky. / How can the word love / the word life / even fit in the mouth?"


So, friends, because I love this book HARD, and because we are celebrating 5 fabulous years of Miss Lisa and her beyond wonderful blog, I can't wait to share 1 hardcover (because I like that cover better) copy of Jandy Nelson's The Sky Is Everywhere with one of you. Huzzah!

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THANK YOU AMY for giving away such a rad book and for being so special and fantastic and lovely. MWAH.

Giveaway-A-Day: Day 4

Oh yeah dudes, it's ANOTHER day of giveaway! Seriously, how cool is this? The coolest (is what you should be saying).

Today's giveaway is hosted by the adorable and enthusiastic Alexa from Alexa Loves Books. Let me drop some knowledge on you - Alexa is the reason behind this week of giveaways. That's right, she inspired this. In addition to being a muse, she is the best commenter in the world, is all about the blog love and building up the YA blogging community, and has nothing but positive things to say about anyone or anything ever. In addition to being an all around gem, she also knows her stuff when it comes to books. Seriously, this girl is fabs.

So what book did Alexa pony up for the giveaway...

Why Alexa picked this book: The overall reason is because I LOVE traveling, and this books certainly takes me to places that I've never been before. Plus, the writer has a great eye for details (which makes the setting in the books even more realistic). I also love the writing style - it's easy to read, but still strikes me as emotional and lovely (when it comes to choice of words).

Enter for your chance to win Amy and Roger's Epic Detour with the form below:
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Thanks, Alexa!

Giveaway-a-Day: Day 3

Yeah, this is still happening.

The whole 5 days of giveaways due to 5 years of this kid blogging? Still a thing.


Today, to celebrate the middle of my giveaway a day shindig, I have my friend Asheley of Into the Hall of Books. Ash is special to me because we like lots of the same music (MUMFORD) and lots of the same shows (AVATAR) and have crushes on lots of the same people (DARRYL). Also, she loves fantasy books like The Iron Fey series and books about dragons and oh yeah we geek out over Chaos Walking like ALL THE TIME. So yeah, she's kinda special. She's also one of the world's greatest encouragers so you want her in your corner.

What book is the lovely Asheley giving away for you today?

Asheley says: I'm choosing to give away a copy of Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor because I have a love affair with the story, those characters, and especially Laini Taylor's writing. When I read the book for the first time, I fell fast in love with it - it's as simple as that. But the second time that I read it, Laini Taylor's words reached out and grabbed me, pulling me back into the pages and into her vivid and lush setting so that I was walking the streets and flying through the air alongside her characters. I want everyone else to have the opportunity to love this book as much as I do. When they read it, I want them to smile and maybe sniffle a little like I did. When they finish with it, I want them to hug the book like I did. I want them to recommend it to other readers. And I want them to anticipate Days of Blood & Starlight like I do. This book and this author are that incredible to me, and I'm so excited to share this book with somebody!

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Thanks for the giveaway, Ash! This was one of my all time faves too. Hooray!

Remember - each giveaway is only 24 hours so get crackin.

Giveaway-a-Day: Day 2

Remember yesterday when I said I'd been blogging for 5 years? And the best way for me to celebrate was to have 5 days of giveaways? ME TOO. 

Day two of the giveaways, y’all! I’m serious. All week long there are giveaways of great books from great bloggers because I’ve been blogging 5 years and I do what I want. You’re welcome.

Today I have the talented and creative Tarafrom Hobbitsies sharing one of her favorite books of the past 5 years (which was NOT easy for her to do...so she didn’t pick just one) with you! And by share I mean she’s giving you a chance to win it. She’s pretty fantastic that way! If you haven’t checked out her blog, you’re missing out on a wide variety of books and authors and genres and authors. Tara is amazing at reading all sorts of good books – from contemporary to MG fantasy – and reviewing them honestly and sincerely. I adore her for her great recommendations and for geeking out over fantasy reads with me!

But you’re not here to read about my and Tara’s lovefest. You’re here for the GIVEAWAY. So let’s roll.

Tara says: Guys, Lisa is amazing and a total inspiration. I can't believe she's been blogging so long! Happy Blogoversary, Lisa!

Without further adieu, in honour of Lisa, I'm giving away some of my favourite books! Yes, plural. Cause Lisa told me to choose a book and I said no, I'm picking TWO books.

The first one is Adorkable by Sarra Manning. Adorkable isn't out in the US yet but I cheated and bought it on my kindle and I just devoured it in one sitting. Adorkable is SUCH an adorable and awesome and hilarious book, not to mention RELATABLE. I'm not usually a huge fan of blogging/twitter in books cause it gives me the willies, but Adorkable did it SO PERFECTLY and I just want to share this amazing title with the world.

The other book I'm giving away is a finished copy of Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler. Sarah Ockler rocked my world with Twenty Boy Summer, but the writing Fixing Delilah just blew me away. I cannot praise this lady and her books enough, and it was SO HARD for me to pick between Twenty Boy Summer and Fixing Delilah to give away. But I ended up going with Fixing Delilah because it didn't make me cry as much and I'm having a bad day. Is that not a good enough excuse?

TWO BOOKS. Get some.

Thanks, Tara! <3

Giveaway-a-Day: Day 1

So about this time, roughly 5 years ago, I started blogging.

Yeah. I know. 5 YEARS YOU GUYS. It is crazybeans. And also true.

Granted I haven't always been as dedicated to the blog as I am now and I haven't always been as into the YA Blogging community as I have in the past couple years, but the truth is my very first post was September 8, 2007. It was a review of The Golden Compass for my YA Lit course.

So since this is my blog we're going to celebrate how I WANT - with good friends and good books.

Each day this week - DAILY I SAY - you'll have an opportunity to win a favorite book from one of my favorite bloggers. I've tasked them with picking one of their favorite reads of the past 5 years (no easy feat) and giving it away to one of YOU. EACH DAY. Monday - Friday. Seriously. This is happening.

Let's kick off this crazyawesomegiveawayadventure with my main squeeze, Ginger at GReads! She's one of my absolute favorite blogging pals and long distance friends and I just adore her to pieces. Watch for our band All Hands and Awkward Faces. Our album should be dropping next summer. The girl is creative, encouraging, and one of the best promoters out there! So what book does this incredible girl recommend to you?

Why Ginger picked this book: Wanderlove is a story about a girl who ventures out on a backpacking trip through Central America. She begins this journey wanting to shed her past and embark on something new. What she doesn't realize is that it's the self discovery she makes along the way which holds more meaning than any miles traveled. I chose this book to give away because I feel as though blogging has become my own personal self discovery. It's literally changed my career path in life (I was working a 7-4 desk job biding my time, only to discover I had a passion to want to teach children's literature). Blogging has exposed me to so many new friends that I would not have met otherwise. Through these friendships I've learned more about myself and the type of person I am still striving to be. Every day I am challenged by what book I read, and the discussions which usually follow suit. I adore the interactions that books have brought into my life. Blogging has definitely prompted many new discoveries for me.

Enter to win here! Each giveaway is only lasting 24 hours so you best get on it!

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THANKS, G. Much love.

Guess what?

This is happening. Starting Monday. Check yourself. 

Stay tuned because it's about to get REAL.

My heart. It's bursting.


Zelda + Jay Z.

I just can't even put it into words.
So I won't.

Ender's Game Quotes

So my friend April over at Good Books and Good Wine inspired me (as she frequently does) with her new feature Quoted and Noted which runs on Mondays.

I was inspired by Insignia which reminded me of Ender's Game. 
I loved both books a whole lot. 

Review: Insignia by S. J. Kincaid

Title: Insignia (Insignia #1) by S.J. Kincaid
Pub Date: July 10th, 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (imprint of HarperCollins)
Source: Borrowed from Anna of Anna Reads
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge

Amazon | Goodreads | Author Blog | Author Twitter

In a sentence or so: Ubergamer teen Tom Raines is drafted by the US Military to train for and eventually virtually fight in World War III going down in space.

Tom doesn't live a great life. He bounces from hotel to hotel with his gambling dad and attends a virtual high school...sometimes. He's not cute. He's socially awkward. But that boy Tom can GAME. That special talent eventually catches the eye of a top recruiter for the military and after his father essentially signs his life away, Tom starts a whole new life. A life where he matters. A life where he's smart and special and better. A life that is taking him down a path of power and prestige. A life that involves great risk and even greater reward.

It's no secret that I like video games. When Anna was reading this book, she went all CAPS at me in her insistence this was such a Lisa book. GIRL WAS RIGHT.

Insignia has elements of Ender's Game meets Divergent with a heaping serving of techy goodness. While I was all about the gaming and tech speak, I also really really liked Tom and his friends and the plot that drove the story. His roommate and quick best friend Vik refer to themselves as the Doctors of Doom when they get their prank on. I mean REALLY. It doesn't get much more awesome and teenage boy than that.

I don't think you have to like video games to like this book. I think you just have to like solid male main characters who are smart and funny while being insecure and desperately wanting to do what's right in the midst of moral gray. S.J. Kincaid blends world building and character building perfectly with a constant balance dramatic tension and 14 year old boy humor.

So come. Meet Tom and his friends at the Pentagonal Spire where he trains to fight in a space war and immerse yourself in the moral dilemmas and love triangles and budding best friendships in the midst of a war fought by teenagers. You'll be glad you did.

Fave quote: "Tom decided he'd stay up all night if he had to. His brain was whirling. He had a date...kind of. With a real, live girl...he hoped." (15)

Pairs well with: VIDEO GAMES. Get your game on, yo. Even if it's Tetris, that counts. Geek out. It's good for you.

Fix er up: Um yeah, you guys probably already know this about me but I'm basically a 28 year old lady on the outside and a 12 year old boy at my core. So there's nothing about this that could be better. Unless I was at the Pentagonal Spire hanging with the crew too, obvs.

FTC Notice: I borrowed this book and reviewed it without compensation of any kind. 


This is pretty much the best mash up ever.

If you haven't checked out MST3K, you should get on that. It's really funny. I highly recommend Touch of Satan. 

If you haven't checked out Star Wars, please stop everything and watch Episode IV and V right now. VI if you must. Never I, II, or III if you can help it. And FOR THE LOVE do not watch the digitally remastered versions where George Lucas pops in Hayden Christiansen because it is beyond absurd.

Just making sure...

...that y'all know this is a thing because it is glorious beyond words.


It's a mash up of Mean Girls and The Hunger Games.

Example of the awesome:


And never ever stop trying to make fetch happen. No matter what the love of my fictional life Peeta says.

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Title: Seraphina (Seraphina #1) by Rachel Hartman
Pub Date: July 10th, 2012
Publisher: Random House Publishing
Source: DAC ARC Tours
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge

Goodreads | Amazon | Author Blog

In a sentence or so: While the uneasy peace between dragons and humans grows increasingly tense, the half-human and half-dragon Seraphina tries to figure out who she is and how she fits into this decades long drama.

THERE BE DRAGONS, YO. Seriously, dragons are the best. These dragons can take a human form, which burdens them with Feelings and Emotions and Vulnerability. But when they aren’t in human form, they’re all about their hoards and stuff. Half of them are for the peace, but the other half are all about taking down the weak humans.

Seraphina is half and half which is totally unheard of, probably forbidden, and freaks out people on both sides. However, Seraphina is also smart and kind and an incredible musician who’s ridiculously brave. So when she starts to become increasingly involved in the Dragon and Human conflict, you root for her and trust in her and want the world to accept her for who she is.

The medieval setting partnered with dragons and court intrigue and political motives made for a YA read unlike any I’ve read before. As a lover of fantasy things, this didn’t bother me in the slightest, just surprised me a bit.

If you’re looking for a fantasy that will make you think, present an incredibly fresh perspective on dragon lore and a kick-ass heroine, as well as a good doses of mystery, self discovery, and swoon, you will love Seraphina by Rachel Hartman!

Fave quote: “For the merest moment I couldn’t breathe. Something inside me quivered, some oud string plucked by his words, and if I breathed it would stop.” (174)

Fix er up: It takes awhile for things to really get started, what with the world building and all. So you have to be in the mood for this sort of book. And if you are, you are in for the best of reads!

Pairs well with: Orchestral yet totally badass music. If you're feeling especially fancy pants, go all medieval with it. Then it will be like you're channeling Seraphina herself! Also, sweatpants. Not just because sweatpants are the best but because there is a particularly swoony scene practically in blizzard conditions.

FTC Notice: I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of the DAC ARC Tours Blog. Thank you, Random House!

7 Things

1. I needed it in the worst way. As I stated in my announcement post, I was burned out, jealous, petty, bitter, and generally unpleasant internally (not externally, I hope) when it came to my blog. Taking some time away helped me to realize just how unhappy I was. I’m glad I stepped back when I did. You should be too. I would never forgive myself if I Hulked out on all of you.

2. I’m a slow poke. I really predicted I would have an epiphany within days of my blogging break. Go ahead. You can laugh. No such epiphany occurred within a week, or even a month. In fact, the end result can hardly be called an epiphany at all. I needed to be patient with myself and trust that I’d know what’s best in time. Good lesson for the future, folks.

3. I like reading books. I don’t need to write about books to read them and love them. I don’t need to write about books to share my thoughts and feels with others. Thanks, friends!

4. I do like writing about books. I’m not exaggerating at all when I tell you I absolutely thought I would not come back to blogging. For at least the first 2 months, I thought it was over. I had no desire to blog or be near a blog. Then slowly but surely, the itch to write about books came back. I pondered what that meant and talked to my friends and le hubs about it. I was back at square one where I sincerely wanted to write about books even if NO ONE read it. That’s how I knew my decision was made.

5. I need to make changes. Changes for how the blog fits into my life and how my life fits into the blog. Changes on how often I post and what I post about. Changes for what I read and how I read it. Changes that will prevent future burnouts and result in a sustainably happy Lisa.

6. I could have prevented this. There are so many blogs out there with so much content and so many things that overwhelm me and make me a jealous blogger. It is up to me to prevent that from happening and to check myself before I wreck myself. Again.

7. I have really supportive readers and friends. For reals, y’all. You all supported me and encouraged me and were so so so good about giving me space and time. I just can’t even express in words that make sense how much that means to me. I can try by telling you it makes my heart safely swell within my ribcage to try and make room for all of the feels. And also I can say thank you.

So you may notice some changes around here. I hope you like them, because I do. I want to make you happy as my reader, but ultimately I’m here to do what makes me happy.

I honestly believe that unabashedly nerding out about things that I love with you makes for better content AND a happier Lisa. That’s what we call a win-win.