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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BookTube: Top 5 Books I Read This Spring

Hello bookworms! (It’s been way too long since I last said that!) Now that I’m getting back into the swing of things I’m catching up on all the videos I’ve been wanting to make since before the wedding.  One of them is the Top 5 books I read this Spring which I have to show you here today!

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5 Fandom Friday: Bookish & Geeky Podcasts You NEED to Listen to

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.

I am completely addicted to Podcasts.  Last year I went from being someone who would just walk around NYC to her destination (namely, work and back) looking at the world around her, to becoming a a girl who perpetually has headphones in her ears aka a full blown podcast junkie.  Since I walk 3 miles per day Monday – Friday, I tend to blow through them rather quickly so I’ve spent a lot of this year going back and listening to podcasts I love from episode 1 to current.  Below are my top 5 favorites!

5FF Podcasts

1) Talking Comics / Talking Shojo / The Missfits – Okay, so this might seem like three podcasts (and technically it totally is) but I’m cheating by placing them all together because they come from the same podcast family and the hosts tend to shift between each of the shows under their umbrella.  Each show follows a similar format and runs for 1-2 hours depending on the episode.  Each episode begins with recommendations from each person before they get into the topic they’re covering that episode.  Talking comics obviously focuses on comics but they also review comics films. Talking Shojo covers anime and the girls always give great manga recommendations and The Missfits is a group of females covering a plethora of geeky topics!

2) Welcome to Night Vale – This is the podcast I’ve been listening to the longest. I started it when I would drive to work and I fell about a year behind when I switched over to commuting by train because trains are made for reading on IMO.  When I started listening to podcasts while walking, I quickly caught up and super quick and now I’m always on top of new episodes.  Night Vale probably needs to explanation at this point but it’s a fictional news podcast about a strange town called Night Vale.

3) Sword and Laser – This is a nerdy news and book podcast that focuses on adult science fiction and fantasy novels.  It’s hosted by Veronica Belmont (who you might know from the Vaginal Fantasy book club) and Tom Meritt.  This is honestly one of my favorite podcasts.  I listen to it just as much for the witty banter between Tom and Veronica as I do for the book news.  I also like that I’m able to listen to it even if I haven’t read the book they’re reading for the month since the spoilery sections seem to be contained to the goodreads threads.

4) First Draft – This is a podcast that Alice introduced to me and I’m so happy she did!  It’s hosted by Sarah Enni who travels around the U.S. interviewing a ton of YA authors.  Each episode is dedicated to a different interview and they tend to run at about 59 minutes each. In addition to finding out more about the author’s background (where they grew up, how they got into writing etc.) Sarah ends each episode by asking for the author for writing advice.

5) Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy – This podcast was developed by WIRED and each episode features an interview with someone from geeky pop culture.  Sometimes the host David will interview authors (some favorite episodes include Patrick Rothfuss, Ernest Cline and Joe Hill) and other times he’ll interview people who specialize in different fields.  The last episode is about geek feminism and I’m planning on listening to that one tomorrow morning!

What are some of your favorite podcasts? I’m always looking for new recommendations! Especially any that are bookish or geeky!

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My Walt Disney World Haul

Before Andrew and I packed our suitcases to the max when leaving Disney, I posted a spoiler photo of our haul on Instagram (to which many people replied.. what on earth did you buy?!).  Well, if you’ve been curious, here’s our Walt Disney World haul!  There will be a separate video coming for our Harry Potter World haul!

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Tea & Movie Chat: Finding Dory

Andrew and I had the pleasure of seeing an early screening of Pixar’s newest film, Finding Dory, last night and I have to say that I loved every minute of it.  Often sequels are nowhere near as good as their predecessors and one of the most challenging obstacles is to turn a side character into a main character, and harder yet is to do it well.  Finding Dory excels on all of these points.  As we all know from Finding Nemo, Dory is an optimistic fish that suffers from short term memory loss.  She’s endearing and her constant confusion leads to plenty of laughs for the audience but in Finding Dory, her songs and rhymes adapt a deeper meaning.  Dory begins having memories of her parents and story takes off from there.  She, Marlin and Nemo set off on another cross ocean adventure as Dory tries to piece together the few memories that begin to resurface.

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My favorite character is hands down Hank the octopus who is voiced by Ed O’Neill.  Hank is desperate to avoid being released into the ocean and he begrudgingly assists Dory in her search.  He perpetuates a tough guy exterior but it’s clear he has a lot more heart than he lets on.  And his constant camouflaging to evade humans is extremely comical.  I also loved Destiny, the mostly blind whale voiced by Kaitlin Olson who is super friendly and positive despite always bumping into walls.  Oh and I have to say that Dory is the cutest fish baby.  Her flashbacks of her parents teaching her about her memory loss are heartwarming to the max.  I wanted to reach into the screen to hug her and tell her that everything would be okay.

Overall, the message that Finding Dory tackles is so important.  Just because Dory is different, it doesn’t mean that she’s incapable of solving problems in her own way.  Sometimes, thinking outside the box is necessary!  Dory proves that different is good and she will no doubt be a role model for anyone living with any type of ailment that’s made them feel inadequate at some point.  There were quite a few moments where I found myself tearing up whether it be out of sadness or joy for the lovable marine life.  To get personal for a moment,I always found Dory to be hilarious in Finding Nemo but in the past year my grandmother has been suffering with Alzheimer’s so Dory’s memory loss as portrayed in this new installment really hit home for me.  I can’t even imagine how frustrating it must be to know something or someone important but be unable to recall what / who it is.  I felt a deep emotional connection to Dory and I was rooting for her all the way.

Rating 5

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Waiting on Wednesday: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling

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 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling which really needs no explanation.  Yesterday I began my re-read of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and I’m planning on re-reading The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows as well prior to the sequel release next month and I’m getting more and more excited by the minute.  I already assembled my squad for the midnight release party and the only thing that’s left is to plan my outfit! If you haven’t already, you can find the midnight release party closest to you on this new website set up by Scholastic!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places. (via Goodreads)

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EternalCon: The Cosplay

Last weekend, Andrew, Kelly and I met up to attend EternalCon on Long Island.  It’s still a relatively new convention (this being it’s 4th year) and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun we had.  The floor was full of exhibitors and cosplayers and everyone seemed to be in good spirits.  I love that there’s a local convention that’s so easy to get to and I’m definitely planning on going back next year.  Here are some photos of some of the best cosplay I saw at the show.  An EternalCon vlog with con footage and our purchases is coming next week!

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