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Because I know you need more Graphic Novels in your life

comics, graphic novels, books, stories, juice

My friend Eriks found this site claiming 1000 great graphic novels and it's pretty darn neat.

The list of the 1000 great Graphic Novels is right here.

So go check it out and add one to your TBR! Let me know which one you added - or if you've read any already and think I need to check them out!

Review: Boys Like You

Boys Like You
Title: Boys Like You
Author: Juliana Stone
Pub Deets: May 2014, Sourcebooks
Series/Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Monroe is trying to heal a hole in her heart by living with her Gram in the sweltering Louisiana heat all summer. Nathan is trying to come to terms with the worst decision of his life and how his life is changing. Together, they will heal. 

Monroe and Nathan both had some demons to deal with - and not just "I cheated on my calculus test" demons. These problems are SERIOUS. Monroe has been in counseling (somewhat ineffectively) and Nathan has shut himself down from the world. They meet each other, are drawn to each other, and want to help each other. 

I'm usually not one for books where the main character has to heal with the help of someone else, but ever since Jen at Pop Goes The Reader and I had a little chat about grief and healing in regards to YA characters, I'm more open to people relying on others for help and not hating them for it. Monroe and Nathan definitely rely on one another and only seem to get out of their funk when they think about each other. 

Basically you read about Monroe and her grief and Nathan and his issues and grief and there are some SERIOUS sexytimes between them. Yes, it borders on instalove, but when you remember that these characters are emotionally devastated at the beginning, it isn't all that surprising. 

BOYS LIKE YOU reminds me a bit of an ABC Family movie but with a PG-13 rating due to sexytimes. 
Also, I couldn't help but picture Monroe as Lilah Garrety and Nathan as Tim Riggins. So that was amazing!

I could have really, really used some more authentic dialogue between the characters. And I get it, they find the other one sexy. We don't need to hear about it every chapter. The chemistry is there and we feel it. 

"I've learned in my sixteen and a half years that therea re things that will surprise you because you don't see them coming. They can be hard, painful things and it's those ones that will live with you forever, bound to your soul in layers that grow thicker each  year. Hopefully those layers will eventually dull the pain." (Kindle Loc 1618)

Armchair BEA - Expanding Blogging Horizons

Book Expo America has begun! And while many of you are already there and living it up at blogger events, meeting authors and hanging out with one another, Armchair BEA keeps those of us at home in the loop by doing our own event in partnership with BEA. Pretty great, huh?

Anyway, while I am SUPER EXCITED for all y'all at BEA proper, of course I am a bit jealous I can't be there myself. So I decided to hook up with Armchair BEA! I'm a couple days late. It's how I roll.

Today, the post prompt is about Expanding Blogging horizons. Let's explore that a titch.

What do you think about when you think about going beyond blogging or expanding your horizons?
I think about trying new features, about changing up my review style, about doing a vlog here or there, about partnering with another blogger for a new feature. Maybe featuring a little known author or giving a smaller publisher some web time.

To be fair, I am reading/reviewing THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS using a Twitter hashtag (#lisaandgofat) which is going beyond blogging! But I can do more. I know it.

With that in mind, I'll set a few goals for myself moving forward in regards to expanding my blogging horizons.

I LOVE when bloggers partner up for new features or do joint reviews or invite bloggers to be a part of a little mini-series or whatever. I always say I want to do this but never do. THAT CHANGES TODAY. 

I need to take the time to make buttons, headers, and other pretty little things to keep the blog fresh. I like to make stuff like that and put it off because I'm in a rush. It's better to take my time and make sure I love what I'm doing instead of checking something off my list! 

I have a voice for this blog that I am absolutely comfortable and confident about using. I need to stay true to that to avoid burnout and spreading myself too thin. I need to push myself to do new things and expand my horizons but always while remembering to stay true to my voice and my passions - not sell out and try to do what's popular. 

What are some ways you think about expanding your blogging horizons? Do we have any in common? Do share! And check out what everyone else has to say over at Armchair BEA Headquarters today!

Review: Open Road Summer

Title: Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Pub Deets: April 2014, Bloomsbury
Series/Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Source: Purchased

Goodreads | Author Website | Author Twitter

In a sentence or so: Reagan is on tour with her best friend and country superstar Lilah Montgomery. Reagan needs to heal, to grow, and she knows the best way to do that is to have the best summer ever with her best friend...and then a boy comes into the picture who turns everything on its head and has Reagan scrambling to figure out who she is and what she wants.

Yeah, I know this book is getting all of the praise and that it's like THE summer book and Matt Finch is the end all be all of YA love interests right now.

And I'm here to tell you that all of this hype is totally legit.

OPEN ROAD SUMMER is fun but sincere, funny but heartfelt, sexy but sweet. Emery Lord has written some deep characters that are incredibly addicting to read about and you will root for each and every one of them. Seriously, you will.

If you're looking for a coming-of-age story with a fresh perspective, that celebrates the glory of best friends and first loves, then OPEN ROAD SUMMER will totally be your jam.

Fave Quote: "The fog lifted from the scenes of my life, so clear that I couldn't believe I'd never seen it before: I'm better than all this. I'm better than all the losers I'd been dating for cheap thrills. My therapist said my 'high-risk choices' stemmed from a 'distorted sense of self-worth.' But I know I'm smart, and I work hard when I care abut the work, and I actually have goals that matter to me. Sure, I can regularly make shit decisions, but they're just choices, and I can make different ones. And finally, I wanted to." (126)

Fix Er Up: Debby over at Snuggly Oranges (a seriously rad blog and blogger, fyi) pointed out that there is a good deal of girl hate in OPEN ROAD SUMMER. It's true. And I'm not a huge fan of that. However, girl hate is real and it adds to the development of Reagan's character so I understand why it's there. Reagan is a prickly character and that's part of her appeal - but girl hate still sucks.

You need this today because it is Monday.

So I've kinda decided to post happy pictures on Mondays. It's my thing. MY THING. (reference)

Anyway, here we go for this week.

You Are Doing A F&cking Great Job Print: 11"x14" Motivational Quote Fun Hand-Lettered Typography Poster

First Loves Tour!

A couple weeks ago, I had the rare opportunity to go to an author event! As you probably know, I live in a small town so author events aren't something that happens in my life on the reg. BUT we were in H-town visiting fam and there just happened to be a YA author tour right by our family.


So off I go to meet Ginger from GReads! and the three authors on the First Loves tour hosted by Bloomsbury Teen. BUT WAIT IT GETS BETTER because Ginger gave me the heads up on a blogger meet and greet an hour before the event.

So not only do I get to go to a rad YA author event and meet Ginger, but I also got to chat with Emery Lord, Kristin Rae and Lindsey Leavitt for an hour before the event. This is real. It happened. I'm still over the moon.

Everything was fabulous. The authors were all absolutely lovely, friendly, and hilarious! Ginger was exactly as you would expect her to be - funny, kind, and the genuinely best ever.

These are the books being highlighted. 
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (review coming later this week!) | Emery's Twitter

The signed goodies!
Lindsey, thank you for saying I remind you of your sister in law you like. And for having such a hard time picking a song to represent your book. I like you.
Emery, thank you for being super chill and talking to Ginger and I about all the things and acting like it was no big thing and for ignoring the fact that I was squealing like a goob on the inside all during the meet and greet.
Kristin, thank you for being so down to earth, ridiculously adorable pregnant, and for putting me on to Mindy Gledhill's album Anchor because OH MY GOODNESS my heart. 

Ginger is just as awesome as you think she is, you guys. 
Can you tell how excited we are to meet each other?

Life is good. 


Today, Lucy turns one.

Where has the time gone? 

Anyway, I got this for the goose for her birthday.
And it's bookish so I thought I'd share!
(the girl wants for nothing, so no toys were purchased.)
you are so loved

Happy birthday to my happy, playful, silly, sweet and amazing daughter. You are so loved, Lucy.

Road trip!

Today, Andrew, Lucy and I leave on our first family road trip!

We're hitting a wedding in KC, Missouri. 
(Thanks for the fashion advice, Carla and Estelle).

And then it's on to the Houston area to visit family and hang out for Lucy's first birthday. 
I cannot.

ANYWAY! I've made myself a little reading list for the car and while we're there. 
Suggestions welcome! 

Finish THE RAVEN BOYS (kindle)
SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Morgan Matson (paperback)
BOYS LIKE YOU by Julianna Stone (kindle/netgalley)
And finally, read OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord (hardcover) because obviously it's meant to be read in the summer AND while on the road, but also because I'm going to the First Loves Tour in The Woodlands, TX. 
And do you know who will be there?
Besides AMAZING authors?
SO excited to see her beautiful face in person (and moderating the panel like a boss). 

I happily accept your further suggestions for reading material or other pro tips for a roadtrip with books and a 1 year old. 


Review: My Life Next Door

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Pub Deets: June 2012, Dial Books for Young Readers
Series/Stand Alone: Series(!)
Source: Cash money purchase, yo.

Amazon | Goodreads | Author Blog | Author Twitter

In a sentence or so: Samantha Reed is sucked into the Garrett family she's been watching over the fence for years. They're messy, busy, loud...and loving, supportive, unique, and exactly the type of family Samantha needs since her sister is gone for the summer and her mom is busy campaigning with a sleazeball.

The bloggers I know absolutely love this book. So of course I was terrified to read it. Could it possibly live up to the hype of being the best contemporary in the history of ever? (I exaggerate...kinda). Would I adore it like everyone else or would I let the hype monster get the best of me and hate it on principle?

Turns out, I loved it! The writing style and setting reminded me very much of Jennifer Echols, whom I adore, but was unique and set itself apart to keep things fresh and interesting. Samantha is right on the edge of being two dimensional, but the rest of the characters are so vibrant and complex and authentic that Sam's vanilla personality didn't bother me all that much. She'd crack wise here and there, but otherwise she was a pretty girl who wanted something more out of life.

MY LIFE NEXT DOOR is a sweet summery read with a nice balance of fun characters, coming-of age, and lots of exploring relationships (with hot boys and with morally questionable parents and friends). Prepare yourself to fall head over heels for Jase Garrett though. For real.

Assuming I am not the last person on the planet to read this yet - seriously, there must be at least 3 or 4 of you out there, right? - be sure to pick up MY LIFE NEXT DOOR! It's a longer contemporary read which means you can stay wrapped up in the glorious world of characters Huntley has created even longer! Wee!

Adventures Through Awkwardness: May

hosted by Amy @ Tripping Over Books and me! (Lisa is Busy Nerding)

OH HEY, Y'ALL! How's that Middle Grade reading going for you? 
I hope you're finding time to read some great MG! 

If not, here's your chance. Because as you know, The Adventures Through Awkwardness Challenge is a monthly challenge so you don't ever have to feel like a total failure. New month! New Challenge! GO YOU!

The theme for this month is: Reader's Choice.
Yep - you pick! 

Allow me to feature a few titles for you just in case you have no idea where to start! 

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald {Summary from Goodreads}
Under the EggWhen Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather’s painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That’s great news for Theo, who’s struggling to hang onto her family’s two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather’s legacy of $463. There’s just one problem: Theo’s grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen.

With the help of some unusual new friends, Theo's search for answers takes her all around Manhattan, and introduces her to a side of the city—and her grandfather—that she never knew. To solve the mystery, she'll have to abandon her hard-won self-reliance and build a community, one serendipitous friendship at a time.

The Last Wild by Piers Torday {Summary from Goodreads}
The Last WildIn a world where animals no longer exist, twelve-year-old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either. Locked away in a home for troubled children, he's told there's something wrong with him. So when he meets a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach, Kester thinks he's finally gone crazy. But the animals have something to say. And they need him. The pigeons fly Kester to a wild place where the last creatures in the land have survived. A wise stag needs Kester's help, and together they must embark on a great journey, joined along the way by an overenthusiastic wolf cub, a military-trained cockroach, a mouse with a ritual for everything, and a stubborn girl named Polly. The animals saved Kester Jaynes. But can Kester save the animals?

The Giver by Lois Lowry (The Giver Quartet #1) {Summary from Goodreads} - HAD to mention this one with the movie news! 
The Giver (The Giver #1)Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
Again - you do not HAVE to read any of these to participate this month!
Just some suggestions if you're looking.

After you've read and reviewed your book for the month, be sure to enter to win this month's prize!

In the meantime, keep it awkward, y'all!