Tea & Book Chat: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley is the kind of book that makes me want to get on a rooftop and scream about how much I love it (but since that sounds dangerous, I’ll just gush about it here in my review).  Highly Illogical Behavior is told in dual perspectives and it follows a 16 year old boy named Solomon who suffers from panic induced agoraphobia and 17 year old Lisa who is determined to cure him and write a brilliant essay about her experience so she can get into college and move far away from Upland, California.  Lisa remembers Solomon from middle school when he had the final incident that led to him living inside his parents house without being able to go outside (not even his backyard, driveway or open garage) for the past three years.  She reaches out to him “by chance” and soon become a fixture in his life.

Highly Illogical Behavior

I instantly fell in love with Solomon.  He’s a Star Trek obsessed sarcastic teenager who enjoys playing Munchkin, so yeah, his character immediately filled up some of my heart space.  I love that while Solomon struggles with mental illness, a reader would never be able to use that as his main identifying characteristic.  He is so much more than a kid who’s afraid to go outside.  He’s a friendly and thoughtful person and his sense of humor, including the ability to make fun of himself, just adds to his charm.  I actually found Lisa to be less sane than Solomon but I still had a soft spot for her.  I don’t think her decision making is at its peak in this novel but her passion and determination are qualities I always admire in people.  Then there’s Clark, who’s the quintessential good / nice guy.  He seems a little lost about his own future and apathetic toward his fellow Water Polo teammates since all they care about is hooking up with girls while he’s respectful of his relationship with Lisa.  Lisa inevitably introduces Clark to Solomon and we all know the saying “three’s a crowd.”  Their relationship becomes complex in the most interesting ways but the tone of the novel remains the same.  Dinners with Solomon’s equally funny parents and his firecracker of a grandmother help lighten the mood when things get heavy but they never take away from the issues present.

Final Thoughts:  Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley is a must read for everyone.  It’s impossible to judge how mental illness is portrayed because it effects everyone afflicted with it differently so while I cannot say whether it is accurate or not, I can say that to someone like me who has low level anxiety, it felt real.  I’m just so utterly charmed by these characters and I’m amazed at how Whaley is able to tell such a full and satisfying story in such a short number of pages.  Normally I am bothered by open endings but in this case I think it’s the right choice.  Solomon, Lisa and Clark have so much life ahead of them to evolve and change and grow into who they’ll ultimately be.  This book gets all the thumbs up and I sincerely hope you’ll consider checking it out.

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Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same. (via Goodreads)

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Spines With Wines: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

This month’s (belated – we know, we know) episode of Spines With Wines, Cassie, Melissa and I discussed A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas which is the second book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series and is all of our favorite book of the year so far.  Seriously, it’s gold.  If you’ve read it and it’s predecessor, you should watch our live show so you can gush about ships with us!

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5 Fandom Friday: Fandom Habits + July Photo Challenge

5 Fandom Friday is a weekly meme hosted by yours truly and Megan of The Nerdy Girlie!  For more information, here’s our introduction post about how 5FF came into being.

1) Matching Editions – I cannot even handle when the publisher changes the cover aesthetic of a book series (see The Winner’s Kiss rant which was thankfully rectified), or the height of a series that’s currently in the process of being published.  I ended up getting rid of my Selection series paperbacks because the final book is slightly shorter than the first two books. WHYYYYY. I have no idea why this is done or why anyone thinks this could ever be a good idea.  Just give me my matching series and change future editions if necessary! This is the only instance that I cannot handle change in.

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2) Preordering – One of my favorite things ever is being able to preorder books and films via Amazon.  They have a preorder price guarantee so if an item is ever priced lower between the date you placed your order and the date it ships, Amazon will refund you that money.  And you don’t even have to keep track of it.  Their handy algorithms do all the work.  They’re also really easy to cancel (which I will do if a bookstore near me is having an author event I want to attend so I can buy the book there to support the store).  I also love perusing my “Open Orders” tab to see all the things that I can expect to arrive in the future.  I seriously check several times per week (despite also having release dates written in my planner).  I can’t help it, it’s a habit and I find it to be enjoyable!

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3) Rearranging My Shelves – Whenever I get a new book or movie or collectible, the thing I look most forward to is incorporating it into my shelves.It’s kind of like having a life size puzzle to figure out (especially since I’m forever running out of space and I may need to start rotating some things seasonally).

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4) Reading Comics – One of the most difficult things about being a comic book reader is wanting to start everything from the beginning (especially when it comes to out of print comics since I refuse to buy comics digitally even though I probably should).  There are so many different continuity lines to follow and companies are constantly changing which stories are canon and which are separate.  It’s kind of a huge chore to follow but it’s one I take pride in knowing.  It’s definitely my most time consuming fandom habit and I haven’t been as on top of things lately because of general lack of interest in newer titles but alas, I could never just pick up an issue and start reading. I need background and I need a #1 and the storyline preceding it if it’s relevant.

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5) Collecting – This habit is the biggest issue when it comes to having physical space.  I am such a collector at heart and once I get into something, I go all out.  For instance, I cannot just get one Harry Potter Funko, I need them all. The same goes for Disney’s Tsum Tsum’s, Nintendo’s Amiibos, YA books in general but especially series and my most recent addiction is Marvel Vinylmations.  My husband always jokes about we managed to find a huge apartment that almost isn’t big enough because of all the stuff I have. I just can’t help it!

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July Photo Challenge

So yesterday Megan and I announced that 5 Fandom Friday is being overtaken by Potter Month in July! We’re both so excited to be returning to Hogwarts and showing our wizarding appreciation<3 (If you haven’t read the introduction post yet, you can do so here!)  One thing that many people have been asking us about is if we’re going to be hosting another Instagram challenge so we’re happy to announce that we’re doing another this July but we’re changing things up! Instead of a daily photo challenge, we’re switching over to a weekly format.  We feel it’ll be much easier to keep up with the challenge if you’re only aiming to post a minimum of one photo per week (although you’re totally welcome to post as many as you’d like to if you get creative and interpret the topic in multiple ways!)  So we hope you’ll also join in this fun and without further ado, here are our photo challenge topics!

5FF Photo A Week Challenge - July 16

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BookTube: May – June Book Haul!

Since I’ve been behind on videos, I figured it would make the most sense to combine my May and June Book Hauls.  I’ve already posted my BEA Book Haul (which is the majority of books I received in May) so I excluded those here.  May was a HUGE release month and in June there was barely anything I had on my preorder list.  What are some books you’ve acquired these past two months?

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5FF: Potter Month Celebration & Link-Up!

Magic is in the air! Each day we’re drawing closer and closer to the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child where we’ll get a closer look at what Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco have been up to for the past 19 years (even though the story will focus primarily on their offspring).  Megan and I wanted to host a blog event worthy of one of our favorite fandoms so we decided to declare July POTTER MONTH and make it a month long celebration.  Potter Month is going to replace 5 Fandom Friday for July!  We’re encouraging everyone to post as many NEW wizarding posts as they see fit to spread wizard love in the blogosphere<3  Unlike 5 Fandom Friday, we’re not going to give you a specific topics to follow because we want everyone to be creative! Here’s a list of post ideas to you get you started: sorting non-HP characters into Hogwarts houses, magical outfits of the day, Harry Potter ships, House pride, re-read or re-watch thoughts, thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child excited? not excited?, etc.  I can’t wait to see what everyone will come up with! We’re also going to have a link-up go live on July 1st when Potter month kicks off so you can link your posts for all to see! The link up will last through August 1st.  Below are some guidelines if you’d like to participate.

Potter Month

The link up will run from July 1st to August 1st for all NEW Harry Potter themed blog posts.  If you link to old posts, we will be deleting it (and we will be checking).  The link up can be found HERE and in Megan’s post beginning on July 1st.  And if you’re posting on social media, you can use the hashtag #PotterMonth!

Please use the below format when linking:

Blog Post Title – Your Name @ Your Blog Name

ie. For my kick-off post, I would type:

Potter Month Celebration & Link-Up – Kristin @ Super Space Chick

Don’t forget to check back here throughout the month to see what your fellow Potter fans are up to!

Link Up

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Tea & Book Chat: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love is a must read for any fan who’s ever attended a convention.  This story really hit home for me because it takes place at my home con, New York Comic Con, over the period of Friday – Sunday.  I thought because the story takes place at a convention I have been attending for years that I wouldn’t be able to put nitpicky things aside and enjoy the plot but Tash’s convention depiction is pure perfection.  She got all of the little details right between methodically planning cosplay and your daily schedule, to avoiding people in larger than life costumes and even to the seating arrangements on the Long Island Rail Road.  I even love how the cover photo is taken outside the Javits Center on 11th Ave because it makes it that much more authentic.  One thing to note is that the diner Tash talks about outside the convention center on 11th Ave was recently closed and is being turned into a high rise building (but that happened after she would’ve already gone through the publishing process) and having eaten there myself I was so happy to see it included.  (Side story: Funnily enough, the last time Andrew (who works for a structural engineering firm) and I walked past it, he said mark my words, that one story diner will never last to the end of this year.  There’s so much wasted sky space and lo and behold, he was absolutely correct.) Also, I could not possibly have empathized more re: line drama UGH.

the geek's guide to unrequited love

Even more important than the setting, Tash also captures the spirit of fandom and young love as told by our narrator Graham.  Graham is the most endearing type of nerd and he’s been harboring a crush on his best friend in the whole world, Roxana.  He decides that NYCC is the perfect place to tell her and he spends a huge chunk of his time daydreaming and planning about how he’ll make a grand enough gesture without potentially frightening her.  I also have to note that Tash mentions the epic upside-down-in-the-rain Spider-Man kiss on page one so you can bet that I was hooked.  Despite the geeky references and the goings on of NYCC, The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love tells a much bigger coming of age story that is not even the slightest bit overshadowed by the amount of pop culture it contains.  I genuinely wish that John Hughes were still around so he could adapt this novel because I think many pop culture nerds would love to see this on screen.  The supporting characters, Casey and Felicia were among my favorites in the story and if I have one complaint, it’s that I would’ve liked to have gotten to know Roxana a bit better because what I did learn about her, I really admired. (Although, I would also love to read a book from college Graham’s perspective.  He really weaved his way into my heart!)

Final Thoughts:  If The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenez Tash is not yet on your radar and you’ve ever been to and enjoyed a comic convention, you need to pick up this book immediately.  It’s such a fun look at how pop culture brings people together and the entire time I was reading, I felt like I time traveled back to high school to hang out with my group of friends.  The book is entirely accurate and you’ll feel the nerd rage that I’m sure you’ve experienced IRL when you join Graham, Roxana, Casey and Felicia throughout certain moments in their adventure.  The story is engaging, the characters will warm your heart and the setting is everything – especially when we’re smack dab in the middle of con season!

Rating 6

John Hughes meets Comic Con in this hilarious, unabashedly romantic, coming-of-age novel about a teenager who is trying to get his best friend to fall in love with him from the author ofThree Day Summer.

Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy…
Archie and Veronica…
Althena and Noth…
…Graham and Roxy?

Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones. (via goodreads)

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BookTube: 10 Books I Want to Read this Summer

As a kid I used to live for summer reading.  The days that school would end and my mom would take my brother and I to our local library to sign up and pick out our first books are some of my fondest memories (also the ice cream parties my library would hold as part of the program).  I started creating summer reading lists very early on in life and I don’t ever foresee myself stopping so I made a video detailing ten books I want to read this summer.  It’s fun to plan in a new format!

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Waiting on Wednesday: Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly awaiting.  This week I’m choosing Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton.  Shiny Broken Pieces is the second book in the Tiny Pretty Things duology.  I basically inhaled the first book earlier this year (it’s the first book I did outfit of the day photos for, I reviewed it AND most recently, I included it in my Top 5 Books I Read this Spring video) and I loved it to pieces.  Ballerina drama is apparently my jam.  I blame my high school days of loving Center Stage.  In this installment the girls are competing for one spot in the American Ballet company so as you can imagine, the stakes are high and the girls are at their meanest. *GIMME*

Shiny Broken Pieces

 

June, Bette, and Gigi have given their all to dance at Manhattan’s most elite ballet school. Now they are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose…and no one is playing nice.

June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. However, getting what she wants might cost her everything—including the only boy she’s ever loved. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. Even if she returns, though, will she ever regain the spotlight she craves? And Gigi is not going to let Bette—or the other dancers who bullied her—go unpunished. But as revenge consumes her, Gigi may be the one who pays the price.

After years of grueling auditions, torn ribbons, and broken hearts, it all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever? (via Goodreads)

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Book Look OOTD: Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

Ever since I read the Nantucket duology by Leila Howland I’ve wished that I could visit Nantucket for a summer.  While I don’t miss being in school, I do truly miss having a two plus month summer vacation each year.  Since I tend to mostly read YA novels, I feel even more envious of those with a long break just about every time I pick up a book.  Why I didn’t become an English teacher with summers off is beyond me.  Anyway, Nantucket Red is the second book in the duology and I think this series, more than any, really encompasses ~summer~  I love the main character Cricket and I would do just about anything for a third book because I often daydream about what she’s doing now.  When I saw this ModCloth dress, it immediately reminded me of something I could wear to walk the boardwalk so I paired it with my mermaid necklace, chambray headband and sunflower sandals to give it an extra bit of that summer something and make it Nantucket-worthy.  If you haven’t read any of Lelia’s lovely series, you can check out my review for the first bookNantucket Blue, and see if it’s something you’d be interested in.

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Outfit Details: Dress (ModCloth)  |  Shoes (Kate Spade – Similar

Necklace (Eclectic Eccentricity)  |  Sunglasses (Ray-ban)  |  Headband (Forever 21 – Similar)

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Tea & Book Chat: Summer in the Invisible City by Juliana Romano

*This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This is no way swayed my opinions.*

Summer in the Invisible City by Juliana Romano is a coming of age YA novel that takes place in New York City.  I always love reading about my city through the eyes of other people so I’ve been eager to check this one out since I first heard about it.  I also feel like the cover is an excellent representation of people who live in NYC (their clothes choices are spot on) and I love the outline of the skyline behind them.  The novel follows Sadie, a teen taking a summer photography class, during the summer between her sophomore and junior years of high school.  Sadie is at that pivotal point in her life when she over analyzes every situation and the circumstances that she’s faced with does not make it any easier for her to handle.

Summer in the Invisible City

Sadie is a really interesting character to read from the perspective of.  She’s not your typical strong female character but her summer experiences transform her.  Sadie is vulnerable and desperate at times, especially when it comes to handling her less than perfect father.  Allan is an “important” artist who Sadie has been looking up to her entire life.  He’s the reason she became interested in photography and the reason she wants to attend art school for her college education.  She’s spent years of her life trying to impress him but no matter what she does, he remains uninterested.  It’s heartbreaking to read about their relationship because he is just such a disappointing person and it’s for reasons completely independent of Sadie.  As if her father visiting NYC for the month weren’t enough, Sadie is also struggling with her social life.  One of the “popular” girls is in her summer class and they begin to form a friendship but it seems to be coming at a cost to her relationship with her long time best friend Willa.  Willa is probably my favorite character in the book. She’s so certain of herself at such a young age and you can tell how much she cares about Sadie.  I only wish we had gotten more of an ending for her character.  The there’s Sam and Noah but I won’t go into them because it’ll be more interesting to discover as you read (but I promise it’s not a love triangle!).  It’s a combination of the relationships between people and the time period in Sadie’s life that this book takes place that make it special.

Final Thoughts:  Summer in the Invisible City by Juliana Romano is an enjoyable coming of age story taking place is the greatest city in the world, New York (not that I’m biased or anything).  It blurs the lines between fluffy beach read and raw contemporary, exploring the positive and negative relationships in Sadie’s life and how they’re altered throughout her summer as she figures out who she is.  I would recommend this book to anyone who’s ever felt a little bit lost in their life and is looking for a character that displays a different type of strength in her own time.

Rating 5

A sparkling coming-of-age story about self-discovery, first love, and the true meaning of family, perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen.

Seventeen-year-old Sadie Bell has this summer all figured out: She’s going to befriend the cool girls at her school. She’s going to bond with her absentee father, a famous artist, and impress him with her photography skills. And she’s finally going to get over Noah, the swoony older guy who was her very first mistake.

Sadie wasn’t counting on meeting Sam, a funny and free-thinking boy who makes her question all of her goals. But even after a summer of talking, touching, and sharing secrets, Sam says he just wants to be friends. And when those Sadie cares about most hurt her, Sam’s friendship may not be enough. Sadie can see the world through her camera, but can she see the people who have loved and supported her all along?

Set against a glamorous New York City backdrop, this coming-of-age romance is a gorgeous summer read—one whose characters will stay with you long into the fall. (via Goodreads)

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