A Quick, Summery Read; With Some LGBT Characters! // Thoughts on Nina LaCour's Everything Leads to You

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Everything Leads to You

Author: Nina LaCour
Page: 312
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 15th 2014
A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still. A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world. Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.


Everything Leads to You has been a book on my TBR for basically ages. I have heard such great things about it, it was classified under LGBT, and I thought the cover was gorgeous. So when I finally picked this up, I really did not know what to expect. I had read the synopsis so many times but it wasn't the most descriptive on what to expect for the rest of the book. It only really does talk about the first 30 pages of what happens in the book. Everything Leads to You did end up being a lot different than what I expected. In the end though, I actually really enjoyed it and am really glad I finally picked it up, despite the fact that it took so long for me to finally finish. If you're looking for a quick, light contemporary, definitely look into Everything Leads to You.

There were some pretty interesting parts of this book, one being the characters. There are a good amount of characters in the book and they each bring something special to the book. Each character was different from each other and getting confused between characters didn't even happen, which saved me a lot of trouble. What I also love about this book was the fact that the main character was a lesbian. I rarely read LGBT books, and that is something I have got to change but I liked reading a book about a girl having history with other girls and I especially liked how normal it felt. The author never made a big deal about the fact that her main character likes the same gender as herself, she writes about it as if the main character was any other main character (because she is) and in my opinion, that is how I would love LGBT books to handled. Normally and casual, as if the LGBT thing was just as accepted as being straight. 

The plot also provided such an interesting read. I really loved the flow of events and how there were so many things happening in Emi's life but nothing felt rushed or the flow events never got too messy. It also never got boring. The things going down in Em's life were things I was really interested in reading about and I enjoyed reading about them. 

The ending of this book was also really well written. It tied up this chapter of Em's life and even though the book talks about the ending of one part of Em's life, it also includes a little bit of a new part of Em's life, leaving me feeling satisfied with how this book ended and also, open to a sequel to this book.

The one final thing I want to talk about is how interesting it was to read about Emi's job. Most YA books don't include characters having jobs and if they do, it most likely isn't included in the book too much because it's really irrelevant to the plot but I actually enjoyed reading about Emi's job in this book. Not only was it pretty relavent to the plot, it was also a really fun job to read about. She is a set designer for movies so it was really awesome to get to read about her finding furniture and pieces for a set because it's not a job I've read about before and it was just fun to imagine a set that Emi had created. 

In Which I Talk About Four April Cover Drops...And They're All Beautiful Covers! // Look at the Beautiful Cover #11

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hey everyone and welcome to another Look at the Beautiful Cover post! Today, I am here to talk about some of the cover reveals that went live in April. Some I really like, some not as much. Nevertheless, I am really excited for the books mentioned here in this post. Check them out and I hope you enjoy.

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

I fairly enjoyed Passenger, the first book to Wayfarer and was excited to know that the this cover had been revealed. Passenger's cover was gorgeous and I absolutely loved it. My thoughts on this cover? It's definitely a bit different compared to Passenger but I like it nevertheless. I really like how they kept the glass object in this book and the tree? So relevant to the story, I love it. The purple is very interesting though. I like the shade of color it is in and I like how it's kind of like this dark fog around the tree in a glass. Not totally in love with it but I don't hate it as well.

The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon's first book Everything, Everything was fabulous. It was a great debut and I really enjoyed it. When I heard she was writing another book, I was really looking forward to reading it and seeing the cover. When I first saw it, I was pretty flabbergasted. I mean, look at it. It's made of thread and nails creating the words and the colors. THE COLORS. I love everything about this cover and I am so excited to be able to hold this book in my hands and pet the drop dead gorgeous cover.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber 

I was so excited for this cover reveal because I am currently dying to be able to finally read Stephanie's novel. I read the synopsis before this cover came out and it only made my desire for this book stronger. Now throw in the cover and I am basically itching for this book. OMG DO YOU SEE IT? I was in class when I saw this cover and I had to hold myself back from rapid tweeting about my love for this cover because really, I wasn't supposed to be on twitter during class. BUT LOOK AT IT. I love the swirly read things, I love the typography, and the sparkly blue thing behind the title is just BEAUTIFUL. It's simple yet not boring and such an exquisite cover.

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

This is the final book in the Young Elites trilogy and it makes me sad because I remember the first book coming out around the time I started blogging. My thoughts on this cover? It's probably my least favorite. It looks okay but the blue sparkly circle things just look kind of weird to me and don't really fit in with the series itself. I like how the font throughout the books have been kept really consistant and the mountains at the bottom of the cover are very interesting. Maybe they will have something to do with the story?

I hope you guys enjoyed these recently released covers! Let me know which one is your favorite and if you disagree on any of my thoughts...

In Which I Talk with Erin Schneider About Her Recent Release // Interview with Summer of Sloane Author Erin L Schneider!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hey everyone and welcome to my post for Summer of Sloane's Sunday Street Team tour, run by Nori! I have a super exciting interview for everyone to read and I hope you enjoy. Make sure you check out Summer of Sloane if you haven't heard of, do check it out.

Summer of Sloane

Author: Erin L. Schneider
Pages: 291
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle. These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart. Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home. But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself. 


Interview with Erin Schneider

1. Hi Erin and welcome to Next Page Please! Super excited to have you here. Huge congrats on Summer of Sloane's release, what did you do in celebration?
Hi Kaitlin -- thanks so much for having me!
When I first found out SLOANE was going to be published, my husband took me to this amazing restaurant here in Seattle called the Book Bindery (which was housed in building that used to be an old book binding company) -- fitting, right? We wanted to go there again to celebrate my actual launch, but the restaurant unfortunately closed last Summer, so instead, we went to one of my all-time favorite restaurants in Seattle. It’s actually a big week for me, as my birthday is 5/1 (and this year was a big one!) and then my book came out two days later -- throw in my launch party on 5/7 and my first actual Mother’s Day with my little kiddo, well, it’s an entire week of celebration!!!

2. Is there a certain aspect you are excited for readers to read about?
I loved setting the book in Hawai’i -- and tried my best to capture what the Islands are all about. From the smell of flowers and suntan lotion that immediately hits you as soon as you step off the plane, to all of the amazing food, to the gorgeous sunsets that, if you let them, will take your breath away. Hawai’i truly is paradise and my home away from home.

3. As a Hawaiian, what is one thing you love most about Hawaii and it's culture?
Ohana, or family, is a huge part of growing up Hawaiian. Family means everything -- and to me that couldn’t be more true. Plunk my family on a Maui beach, surrounded by all the beauty of Hawai’i, and then the great food on top of all that? Well, there’s absolutely no way I could be happier.

4. Do you have any tips for someone who is looking to publish their novel?
Do NOT take no for an answer. You’re going to hear a lot of them as you trek down the path to publication, but keep going, keep pushing until you hear that yes. And read, read, read books in your genre -- writing is a craft that gets better the more you do it and reading will help that.

5. What is one thing you wish you'd have known about publishing before you starting going into that process?
You can only control so much. When you first write a book, the story is yours and yours alone. But when it sells, that story belongs to so many more people -- and it’s that team that turns it into something you might not ever have imaged. But along the way, you’ll have to learn how to be flexible and you can only control so much, so pick your battles.

6. When you hit a writer's block, what do you do and how do you overcome it?
I stop writing altogether and focus on something else. If I try to keep writing, what comes out is never worth my time and I end up having to scrap most of it anyhow. So why bother writing down crappy words, if you’re just not feeling it? Wait until you can get behind your story, so that every word counts.

7. Thank you so much Erin for answering my questions and being here today! For my final question, I would love to know your thoughts on Summer of Sloane's cover and what was reaction when you first saw it?
The first draft of the cover was almost exactly how it is now, with the exception of a different model - and the first time I saw it, I knew it couldn’t be more perfect. From the girl with the cast, to the beach, to the gorgeous sunlit sky. I honestly don’t think any other cover would have compared, so I’m glad they didn’t show me any other options! Thanks so much for having me, Kaitlin -- it was great to be here!

In Which I Met Morgan Matson, Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, and More Fab Authors All in One Week! // Event Recap

Friday, May 20, 2016

Recently, I got the chance to see five authors. Tuesday, I went to Morgan Matson, Suzanne Young, and Siobhan Vivian's signing, and on Thursday, I met Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff again! Today, I am here to talk about my wonderful experience at the signings and I hope you enjoy.

Morgan Matson, Suzanne Young, and Siobhan Vivian

May 3, 2016

When Morgan announced that she was going to be touring, I immediately hoped that she would have a Northern California tour date, and she did! With Suzanne and Siobhan as well, which was awesome because I adored Suzanne's The Program trilogy, and I had only read one of Siobhan's book but enjoyed it! Even better, the location she was having her signing at was so close to me compared to other signings I have been to. So the event started at 7, and I left to go to the event at around 5:30. (Yes, that is how close the event as to me. Legit like half an hour.) On the way, I actually called the Target close by to the Barnes and Noble where the event was held out to figure out whether they would have the Target exclusive edition on their shelves because, well I really wanted the deleted scenes.
En route to the signing!
Turns out that they only sold that online, how did I find that out? Calling Target, being put on hold for a total of 15 minutes and going through three different Target associates while doing so. *pouts* Thanks Target.

You've Heard of My True Love Gave to Me! Now Get Ready to Meet It's Summer Sister // Blog Tour: Summer Days and Summer Nights (Interview with Editor Stephanie Perkins!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Summer Days and Summer Nights

Author: Stephanie Perkins and Various Authors
Pages: 400 
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 17th 2016 
Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love. Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.


Interview with Stephanie

1. Why did you decide to bring these particular authors together for this anthology?
I reached out to authors who are writing stories that I love. All of them have strong voices and—whether or not they primarily write romance—a kind and romantic heart.

The crazy and fantastic thing is that there are literally dozens of other YA authors who also fit this description. There are so many talented, inspiring writers in this industry! I had to make some tough decisions, and a lot of it just came down to keeping a balance between the genres.

2. How does editing a short story collection compare to writing a full-length novel? Did your process as an author influence your process as an editor?
It’s easier. A lot easier. I only had to come up with original content for 1/12th of the 400 pages! My writing process is slow and generally agonizing, so . . . yeah. It’s just not even close. But it’s a huge part of the reason why I love to edit. I’m a slow drafter, and I prefer the tinkering, shimmering stages of editing and revising. It’s where a good story becomes great. My nitpicky brain loves working on that level—finding a better word, a tighter theme, a more developed character, a more textured setting. And I absolutely love helping other authors to find their own deeper, truer stories.

I think most authors become a better editor as they become a better writer. I’m the opposite. I started off with stronger editorial skills, and, as they improve, they’re helping me to become a better writer.

But, being an author, I will say that when I’m wearing my editorial hat, I heap a LOT of praise onto the other authors. I leave tons of notes for them in the margins and mark every single passage or phrase that I love. Writing is difficult work, and I always appreciate it when my own editors take the time to mark their favorite bits. Praise also shows me how to revise my work! It teaches me which parts are the good parts! And that’s revising in a nutshell: adding more good parts, removing the bad parts.

3. What are your thoughts on summer romances?
Naturally juicy! When you’re a teenager, they’re often fleeting and filled with drama. So much can happen over a single summer. You can reinvent yourself. There’s magic in that.

4. What can we expect to see from you next? Are there any plans of releasing a new full-length novel soon? 
My next novel is a teen slasher, which hopefully (if I finish it on time!) will be published next year. I’m having such a blast writing in the horror genre. And it’s honestly not as big of a departure as it seems.

There’s still an attractive boy, an intriguing setting, and quippy friends. It just also contains a lot of murder.

5. What are your favorite summer love stories?
Several of the authors in my two anthologies have written swoony summer romances. A few that immediately spring to mind: I’m pretty sure all of Jennifer E. Smith’s books take place over summer (The Geography of You and Me is a favorite), as well as Nina LaCour’s The Disenchantments and Everything Leads to You, and Jenny Han’s Summer series, starting with The Summer I Turned Pretty.

6. If readers could take away one thing from having read Summer Days And Summer Nights what would you hope it would be?
It always sounds corny, but . . . hope is the hope. No matter what’s going on in your life right now—and as teenagers, so much of your life is out of your own control—it will get better. You’ll get more control, you’ll get to make more choices. Make good choices. Learn from your mistakes. I promise—with every single fiber of my heart—that life gets better. There is always hope.

Yet Another Fabulous Read With an Chinese Main Character // Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee (Review and Giveaway!)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hey everyone and welcome to a super exciting Sunday Street Team post! Today, I am here to talk about a new favorite of mine and why I love it so much. Based on the title, you can probably tell it's main character is Chinese which makes me very happy. If you're interested in learning more about this book, read on! Oh! And don't forget to enter the very interesting giveaways at the bottom of this post. Thank you Nori @ ReadWriteLove28 for hosting this.

Outrun the Moon

Author: Stacey Lee
Pages: 400
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 24th 2016 
San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes. On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can't sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the 'bossy' cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city? 


I got an ARC of this book from Stacey and her publisher in exchange for an honest review. None of my thoughts have been affected by this.

To find out about Stacey’s new novel was so exciting for me. I had really enjoyed Under a Painted Sky and was definitely ready for more writing from Stacey. When she offered to send me an early copy of Outrun the Moon so I could read and review it, uh duh I said yes! I finally finished it and oh man, I loved it. The characters are so fabulous, I really liked the setting this book took place in (whoo SF!), and I had a fun time reading about Mercy’s adventures. If you enjoy historical fiction novels that dance a little differently compared to other books, definitely pick up Outrun the Moon.

Stacey Lee writes about strong Chinese women and if that isn’t a reason to maybe try her books out, then sit down because I can go on. Mercy was a joy to read from. I loved how she was able to take care of herself, really cared for other people, and let no one come in her way of being able to achieve whatever she put her head to. She is really great at persuading with people and had big dreams that she wants to achieve. She is a strong independent woman and in a time period where strong independent women weren’t very accepted and common amongst a society. I also really love the character development Mercy is able to go through this story. Obviously, she is greatly changed in the story due to the many things that happen to her. Throughout this whole book, she keeps her head high and learns new things. How to deal with certain people, what it is like to lose, and most importantly, she got a taste of what it is like to be herself. What it is like to be able to take charge and lead a group of people without being called names or being ridiculed. If it was anything she deserved, it was that. 

The minor characters are such a great addition to this story. Mercy’s family is the best, she makes fabulous friends along the journey of Outrun the Moon, and her best friend is someone I would love to know in real life. They all come from very different backgrounds but I really love the pizzazz they all bring to the book and it just made it a lot more of a fun read.

As for the other aspects of this book, they were equally just was perfect as the characters in this book. The plot was really great to read about and I loved having the book surround the 1906 earthquake. Both of her books are so awesome but, I have to say, I think I enjoyed this book a bit more than Under a Painted Sky. One other thing that I loved about this book was how much I could connect to it. Guys, Stacey’s books are the only books where there is Cantonese, the first language I learned. It’s not as good as it used to be but I can most certainly read the Canto words in my head in it’s correct pronunciation and that is beyond cool for me. The fact that the main character is Chinese is cool enough, the fact that I can say some of the words mentioned in the book in my first language is even more awesome. And the fact that this book took place in San Francisco is even better because the Bay Area is my home, it’s where I grew up. I loved knowing the certain places Stacey mentioned in her book and being able to see them in my head. In general, I connected with this book so much and that definitely let me enjoy it a bit more. 

I gave this book 5 stars because I really really really enjoyed and loved it.

Find Out Which Character From Her Book Ashley Blake Would Bring to Life! // Interview with Author of Suffer Love, Ashley Herring Blake

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hey everyone and welcome to an interview with Ashley Herring Blake, author of Suffer Love! I'm super excited she has taken the time to answer some of my questions and I hope you guys enjoy. If you haven't check out Suffer Love, definitely do.

1. Thank you so much Ashley for being here today! Super excited for the release of Suffer Love.
Thanks for having me, Kaitlin. I’m excited to be here!

2. What are some words you would use to describe the different emotions you go through in Suffer Love?
Excellent question! For me as the writer, there were a lot of feels and so I hope the same is true for the readers. I think Hadley and Sam’s story covers a lot of emotions. Loneliness and anger play a big role with both of my main characters as they are dealing with pretty heavy family issues. I also think nervousness and the excitement of first love are factors in their relationship, along with that relief of finally interacting with someone who understands what you’re dealing with. Betrayal is also a big word for this book, but in the end, I think that hope is one of my favorite words to describe what readers might feel while reading Suffer Love.

3. What are 3 books people might enjoy if they enjoy Suffer Love? 
Oh, this question! I love it and fear it because it always feels like I’m comparing myself to these amazing books, which, you know, readers can only be the judge of that. :) Okay, so, it’s hard to pick actual titles, so I’m going to stick to authors. I think readers who enjoy books by Sarah Ockler, Kasie West, and Corey Ann Haydu might enjoy Suffer Love. While writing the book, I wanted that glorious blend of romance and familial issues and situations that many teens face or have faced in their past. Those are my favorite types of books to read, so that’s what I set out to write.

4. If you were to bring one character from your book into life, who would it be and why?
That’s a tough one. I do love Hadley and Sam, but if I were to bring one character to life from Suffer Love, it would be Livy, Sam’s little sister. I really fell in love with her while writing the book. She’s this beautiful blend of lonely and lonely, and fiery and strong. She really leaped off the page for me.

5. Who are some people who inspired your love for reading?
I always read as a kid, books by L.M. Montgomery and Ann M. Martin, Mary Dowling Hahn, and Judy Blume. I drifted away from fiction in my early twenties, but when I came back to it, I fell in love with kidlit because of three specific authors. Polly Horvath, who writes amazing and quirk middle grade fiction; Jandy Nelson, whose The Sky is Everywhere not only helped me grieve my own mother but also helped show me that contemporary YA was where I belonged, and Holly Black’s Curse Workers series, which really just got me to fall in love with story again.

6. If you were to find slips of paper on your front door, what would you want them to be about? 
Oh wow, well, certainly not what they were about when Hadley found them! Hmm…I think I’d want them to simply be beautiful words. Before I wrote fiction, I wrote poetry—still do—and I find I can be inspired by the simplest sentiment if it’s said beautifully.

7. Thanks so much Ashley for being here today! My final question for you is what is one thing you are doing to celebrate the publication of Suffer Love? 
Thanks for having me, Kaitlin, and for asking such lovely and fun questions! For Suffer Love’s publication, I’m going to take the day off from work, go ogle my book in bookstores with some friends, and celebrate with a lunch party at my favorite book store, Parnassus Books, in Nashville, TN!

Suffer Love

Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Pages: 352
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
“Just let it go.” That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all—to leave her alone. Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is, until he sees Hadley for the first time. Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth?