Super Space Chick’s Weekly Round Up (#4)

Super Space Chick’s weekly round up is a blog series in which I’ll be chatting to you about what’s going on in my life, what I’ve been posting on YouTube and my blog, some favorite instagram photos of the week, and such.  So basically just general life happenings and feelings!  I looooooove writing book reviews but I also love reading more personal blog posts so I want to make an effort to share more of my full life here and not just my reading life.

Hello friends! Las Sunday after waking up late and trying to adjust to the life of a person with short hair, Cassie and I hung out over Google+ chat, first and foremost for our The Upside of Unrequited book club and then to hang out before Cassie went off to finish her early copy of ACOWAR.  As I had mentioned in my last weekly recap, I was besides myself awaiting my own copy of ACOWAR.  Monday was a blur until a second ago when I just realized that my day / night was spent eagerly awaiting for the release.  Cassie is the best friend ever and she sent me some photos of the book pages early (up to page 100! serious dedication)- so I spent Monday night reading those pages and trying my best to stay up until midnight so I could buy a kindle copy to start reading before my physical copy came in the mail.  I didn’t make it (#old) but I did set an alarm and wake up at 4AM on Tuesday morning so I could pick up where I left off.  I spent so many hours reading and reading on Tuesday (I was really proud that I ended the night over the halfway mark, on page 400!).  Andrew’s went out to dinner with his friend NIck so when they came back to our apartment after their dinner I didn’t want to be rude and I put my beloved book down.  We ended up playing a game of Smallworlds (it’s a tabletop board game where each person gets a race of creatures and a power- I was Forest Elves- and the goal is to conquer as many territories as possible and earn coins for each and then have the most at the end).  I won!  It was only my second time playing but I’ve really enjoyed it both times we’ve played.  When Nick left after midnight, I couldn’t possibly read another page so I went to sleep and attempted to get up early the next morning to get back into ACOWAR.

But alas, I was too tired.  I spent my commute and breaks reading furiously and by the time I got home I had finished reading the story.  It was every bit as epic as I dreamed.  I cried so many times while reading and I thought ACOWAR really tied things up very nicely.  There are some loose ends bothering me and some things I want more of but I’m expecting they’ll be addressed in the next book.  Cassie and I are going to be doing a Spines with Wines Book Club episode for ACOWAR on Saturday May 13th at 5PM (and Melissa is expected to rejoin us!) so you’ll hear my full review there.  After I finished, I didn’t feel ready to pick up anything new so I gave it a day before jumping into Always and Forever, Lara Jean (another trilogy ender by Jenny Han!).  Andrew and I finished watching Sailor Moon R and I had this idea a little while back that we should watch all of the Star Wars things in canonical order and with May the Fourth happening, we decided it was the perfect time to start.  Andrew and I are planning on collabing on some videos for our thoughts on the rewatch and we’re going to be tweeting under the hashtag #SilverSpaceSW.  I made us some blue milk milkshakes and we started with a painful viewing of Phantom Menace.  I have to say, it’s actually worse than I even remembered until the ending.  I’m most excited to finally see The Clone Wars series, catch up on Star Wars Rebels and go from watching Rogue One immediately into A New Hope.

Then on Friday, I met Monica at DŌ, which is a place I’ve been dying to try! I had the Dunkaroo cookie dough that came in a pink cone and I was so excited that I forgot to ask for frosted animal crackers atop it! While we were there, these girls were trying to instagram their dough with Monica’s bright pink hair in their photo and it was so adorable.  Even better is that Monica had no clue.  Then we went to McNally Jackson and saw the books hanging from the ceiling above the cafe.  I had been there before but never noticed because I always walk straight downstairs for the event / YA book section.  On Saturday morning, Andrew and I got dressed and ready for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2!  I bought a bag of Sour Patch Kids so large that Andrew said it makes him sick just to look at them.  I just have to say that I didn’t think I could possibly love baby Groot anymore than I already did and yet I do<3

Reading: I finished reading A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas wand now the internet feels like a safe place again (at least from ACOWAR spoilers).  I started reading Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han which is adorable and making me crave chocolate chip cookies, and I finished volumes 9 and 10 of the Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches manga.

Watching: Pretty Little Liars– remember how I said that the second episode was HELLA problematic? Well, the third episode was just flat out ridiculously awful.  It was so bad that I almost want to give up on this show despite making it this far.  As I mentioned above, Andrew and I finished watching Sailor Moon R and it was perfectly perfect.  I’m excited to start Sailor Moon S at some point in the future.  Also mentioned above, we started our Star Wars viewing marathon of all the things with Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones but I’m really in this for The Clone Wars.  And we finally found out who killed Jason Blossom on Riverdale! It was NOT who I was expecting. (Also, LOOK AT ALL THOSE MOVIES! As I said in my May Small Goals post, I am the worst at seeing movies so I’m pretty proud of this week’s viewings!)

I’m even better than on schedule this week- I posted three videos PLUS our book club livestream!

  • None! My week was devoted to ACOWAR and Star Wars<3
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Kristin

May Small Goals

I’ve seen a bunch of people post small monthly goals and I really like the idea of re-centering and re-evaluating everything more frequently.  It’s awesome to make yearly goals but it’s also easy to lose focus or forget about them entirely over the 365 day period we’re aiming to accomplish them in.  Having small monthly goals to help get to those bigger picture yearly ones is something I’m eager to try out!

APRIL CHECK-IN

1) Read at least 10 books – I have another exciting TBR set aside and I’m hoping to get through a bunch of backlist books before May, the month of a million new releases, is upon us! 

DONE – Read 13 books!!!

2) Complete the #BookishPotter17 Instagram Challenge  – I usually try to commit to 3-4 instagram challenges per month so if I don’t like a specific prompt for a day I can chose to take a photo of something in one of the other challenges but I’m pretty confident that I want to stick to the #BookishPotter17 challenge because HARRY POTTER<3.

FAIL – My mom ended up in the hospital for the majority of April so I had zero time to sleep at my apartment, let alone set up bookstagram photos there.

3) Order & send out Wedding Thank You Notes  – Andrew and I are coming upon our first wedding anniversary and the time has come to order and send out our thank you notes! This one has been on my goals list for months at this point but we just haven’t ordered them yet.  This year, there’s no excuse!

HALF PASS – So again, we spent most of April visiting my mom in the hospital, but once she returned home, we were able to at least ORDER our wedding Thank Yous!  They should be arriving in the latter half of the week and I can’t wait to share them here!

MAY GOALS

1) Start our really ambitious Star Wars marathon – I decided that it would be fun to watch all of Star Wars in canonical order (yes, including the prequels >.<).  I’m most excited to 1) see The Clone Wars for the first time ever(!) and 2) go from watching Rogue One straight into A New Hope! We’re thinking we’ll be starting this on May the Fourth because obviously.

2) See Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2  – You might be thinking, what the heck kind of goal is this? (Actually both of my listed goals so far are more fun than anything!) But for some reason, I went from AVID moviegoer to the worst at seeing anything ever.  Seriously, I’ve seen more Broadway plays than films this year and that includes films I’ve watched at home.  So sad!

3) Send out Wedding Thank You Notes  – The order has been placed! We finalized our design about a week and a half ago and now we just have to write them out once received.

4) Spend as little as possible  – I’ve been doing a good job of putting money into savings each month, but I would love to pay off my credit card and be able to save even more.  We’ve had a ton of things come up lately and it’ll be a nice feeling once we’re all paid off!

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1

A Court of Thorns and Roses Wrap-up Post + Giveaway

Welcome to the second and final wrap up post which is part of the A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury re-read organized by Alexa of Alexa Loves Books, Cristina of Girl in the Pages and myself!

Alexa’s Question:  Of all seven courts, which is the one you think you would be most suited to live in?

Without a doubt, I see myself living in the Autumn Court.  Autumn is my favorite time of year and it would mean my wardrobe would consist of jeans, boots, cute sweaters, scarves and leather jackets.  All of my favorite limited edition pumpkin spice foods wouldn’t be so limited anymore.  I would spend weekends walking around and enjoying the ever present fall foliage and going apple picking!  I would bake all the fall pies and drink all the apple cider and I would enjoy sipping hot tea and pumpkin spice lattes all year round!  And this might be cheating but my second favorite court would be summer and I have a hunch that’s where Alexa would dwell, so I would definitely visit her plenty!

Kristin’s Question:  Do you have any ACOWAR theories / what are dying to see more of in the final book?

Okay so, there is one theory I heard online that is not my own but I’m REALLY hoping it’ll be the case.  Since Tamlin is a shifter and he was able to turn Andras into a wolf, shouldn’t Feyre be able to fix Cassian’s wings?  I have really high hopes for that one! I also know that Sarah J Maas has already warned us all that one of the Night Court’s inner circle won’t make it but obviously I’m praying that that’s not the case.  I just want everyone to get their happily ever after (except for Tamlin obvs).  I’m also looking forward to seeing more Lucien and hoping that he’ll be redeemed in A Court of Wings and Ruin since he was one of my favorite characters in ACOTAR.  I think the most exciting moment that I know is coming is for when Feyre and Rhysand reveal that they’re married<3

Cristina’s Question:  Which secondary character’s story in ACOTAR and/or ACOMAF are you most compelled by? Who do you think the companion series will focus on?

Lucien, Lucien, Lucien! I just want all the Lucien.  I want his backstory, I want all the time in the Autumn Court, I want him to realize that Tamlin is terrible (hopefully that’s coming in ACOWAR) and I want his happily ever after with Feyre’s sister! I would also be interested in seeing more of the inner circle.  Each character in the Night Court is fascinating and I’m sure I would love anything that Sarah decides to write about them<3.

Giveaway

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Kristin

Super Space Chick’s Weekly Round Up (#3)

Super Space Chick’s weekly round up is a blog series in which I’ll be chatting to you about what’s going on in my life, what I’ve been posting on YouTube and my blog, some favorite instagram photos of the week, and such.  So basically just general life happenings and feelings!  I looooooove writing book reviews but I also love reading more personal blog posts so I want to make an effort to share more of my full life here and not just my reading life.

We had a really quiet week and it was glorious! On Tuesday I got copies of the Sailor Moon R movie and the second season of Snow White with the Red Hair.  And I did some shopping (at Her Universe, Hot Topic & Loungefly) so I’m eagerly anticipating those packages which should be arriving soon! I also received The Melting Library’s Villains sampler for April and I love it so much more than I was expecting to (mainly because I’ve just been dying for the fictional confections sampler so I haven’t even thought about anything else).  My favorite candle in it is Amarantha who is one of the villains I love most.  Photos to come!  This week, my bosses also got me the most beautiful flowers and brought in Doughnut Plant which was a lovely surprise.  Other than that, I read some great books, watched A LOT of Sailor Moon R and OH YEAH WE GOT NYCC TICKETS NBD.  And I cut off more than half my hair.  Actually, storytime below!

On Thursday morning, I got a really exciting email re: NYCC.  It’s not a confirmed thing that I can share yet, but it will basically be a dream come true if it happens.  We had been hemming and hawing over whether to attend NYCC this year because of how overcrowded its gotten but after this email we had to buy at least one set of passes and once I fell into that waiting queue, the adrenaline was pumping and it felt like the race was on.  I was driving myself crazy reading the tweets of those who bought tickets within, 5, 10 and 15 minutes while I slowly watched the minutes tick by and the passes start popping up on eBay.  Some people were saying that Saturday tickets were already sold out so my stress level just amped up even further but an hour later when our time finally came, all four days had tickets available and we got them with no issue.  Speaking of stressful things we do for fandoms, I spent Friday going to not one, not two but THREE Target’s looking for an early copy of A Court of Wings and Ruin since everyone in the world seems to have already received theirs while I’m just waiting over and here and slowly dying.  At the third and final Target, I HAD A COPY OF A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN IN MY HANDS… and then it was taken away because they’re not allowed to sell it until May 2nd… even though they clearly are because I’ve seen so many other people with them (including my bff Cassie!).  So after that horrible, horrible night, I went home and drowned my sorrows in Ben & Jerry’s PB & Cookies non-dairy ice cream and more Sailor Moon.  I know it’s silly since at this point, I will have the book in two days but I just want it now, ya know?

Reading: I finished reading The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli which is just as amazing as her first book.  Cassie and I are getting ready to host our book club in about an hour for the book and I can’t wait to talk about it in depth with her!  I also finished reading I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo which is outlandish and adorable and the 8th volume of Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches which is a manga series I’ve really come to love. And lastly, I started my A Court of Mist and Fury re-read in anticipation of ACOWAR!

Watching: Pretty Little Liars– the second episode was HELLA problematic.  I did not appreciate the writers including a storyline where a girl falsely accuses someone of sexual harassment.  It was just done in such poor taste, especially with how uncomfortable victims already feel about reporting their cases.  Famous in Love continues to be adorable and I still think Nina is by far the worst and most manipulative character on the show and I’ve just loved every single minute of Sailor Moon R <3 <3 <3

I am back on schedule this week with three videos posted!!! WOOO!

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Personal Thoughts:  I’m going to be totally honest here- I was very skeptical of Geekerella before I started reading it.  In theory, I love the idea of books about fandom but they can be SO hit or miss for me.  And *usually* they’re misses.  Plus, it has the word geek in the title so that was also going against it. But after seeing a couple of friends read and enjoy the story, I decided to give it a shot.  Actually, the main point that sold me is that the main character, Elle, works at a vegan food truck called the Magic Pumpkin.  I’m so happy that I didn’t allow my initial hesitation to keep me from reading this book because I ended up giving it 5 stars!

Plot Summary:  Geekerella is a modern day Cinderella retelling following a girl named Elle who finds out that Starfield (aka her lifeblood) is being rebooted as a film franchise.  But they’ve cast a good looking actor known for his work in a soap opera and his constant presence in the tabloids as Carmindor, the lead role.  When he misses a simple Starfield trivia question on a morning show, Starfield fan everywhere are outraged and questioning whether Darien is a real fan fit for his role.  Everything culminates in a cosplay competition at ExcelsiCon where the winner gets a meet and greet at a masquerade ball with Darien himself.

Critique:  This tale is just as charming as the plot summary sounds.  Danielle, or Elle, has been living with her stepmonster and evil stepsisters since her father passed away.  All she has left of him are memories which are strongly tied to her love of Starfield so she has really high hopes that come crashing down when she finds out that Darien is cast as her beloved Carmindor.  All plot points aside, my love of Geekerella comes from the fact that Ashley Poston is able to perfectly capture the feelings of how much a fandom can mean to one person.  Elle’s love of Starfield = my love of Star Wars.  Despite Starfield being more closely akin to Star Trek, I felt completely connected to this fictional fandom.  From the believable catchphrases that fans quote from the series, the personal investment in the characters, the way Starfield fans pour over the old episodes and speculate hopefully about the prospect of something new and exciting, and most importantly, the amount of heart the characters display for their fandom, I felt like I was reading about my life with Star Wars.  I also love the portrayal of the different types of fans that you’ll meet at conventions.  From the accusatory “you’re not a real fan” fan to the welcoming “let me help you with your last minute cosplay” fans, Poston nailed it.  And the fact that Elle runs a Starfield blog that gains popularity as the movie gets cast is so relatable for those of us who’ve loved and blogged about geeky things before they were in the mainstream.  The one thing I wasn’t completely sold on was the romance, but I was completely here for all of the characters separately (Elle, Darien, Sage, etc) and for the fandom feels.

Do I Recommend?:  If you’ve ever been a diehard fan of anything, I think you’ll be able to relate to Geekerella.  I love this book so much more than I had anticipated and I’m pretty sure that if you’re reading my blog, you’re also the target audience!

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Kristin

#ReadADessen: Dreamland Book Look + Giveaway

Note: I was provided a copy of  Dr. First, Dr. Fourth, Dr. Eleventh and Dr. Twelfth by Penguin Teen as a #PRHPartner to read and spotlight these books.

The countdown is upon us for Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, Once and For All, which is being released on June 6th.  I’m so excited for her newest book because wedding planning(!) but in the meantime, Penguin Teen put together a special blog tour, highlighting Sarah’s backlist books and encouraging readers to read or re-read everything during the countdown to Once and For All.  Today I’m posting a Book Look for Dreamland.  Dreamland is one of Sarah’s more serious books and the story is much darker than your typical summer contemporary.  It follows a girl named Caitlin who’s sister ran away and she’s dealing with the feelings of missing her sister and a mother who’s withdrawn when she meets Rogerson Biscoe.  From then on, it feels like Caitlin has entered a dreamland where nothing is quite real.  Rogerson is compelling and magnetic, but his darker and more dangerous side starts coming out and suddenly, being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him.

Dreamland

 

Dreamland by superspacechick

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

KEEPING THE MOON

April 24 – In Wonderland

April 26 – Great Imaginations

April 26 – The Fox’s Hideaway

April 27Mary Had a Little Book Blog

April 27Confessions of a Book Addict

April 27Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile

April 28A Page with a View

Bumble Bee Books

Booksthetics

DREAMLAND

April 24 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader

April 24 – Reed’s Reads & Reviews

April 26 – Grownup Fangirl

April 26 – SuperSpaceChick

April 27Girl in the Pages

April 29A Little Book World

Swoony Boys Podcast

Oops I Read a Book Again

Bibliophile Gathering

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Kristin

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Mr. Men Books

Note: I was provided a copy of  Dr. First, Dr. Fourth, Dr. Eleventh and Dr. Twelfth by Penguin Teen as a #PRHPartner to read and spotlight these books.

Penguin was kind enough to send me the first four books in the Doctor Who + Mr. Men mash up books and after flipping through and reading them, I knew I *had* to share them here.  The series is written and illustrated by Roger Hargreaves’ son Adam and they’re retailing for only $6.  These beautifully illustrated books are the perfect opportunity to convert any child in your life into the Whovian you know is laying dormant inside them, just waiting to be awoken (and they’re also a pretty adorable treat for adults, chock full of easter eggs from the television series).  The first releases follow the First, Fourth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors (Eleven being my favorite of course!).

There are a ton of familiar faces as you read through each Doctor’s story.  I was most excited to see River Song but you’ll also see familiar baddies such as the Cybermen, Daleks, Silurians and Weeping Angels.  And each Doctor is illustrated with their signature accessories (and they totally nailed Twelve’s angry eyebrows).

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Fixer #2)

Personal Thoughts:  OH MY GOD I LOVED THIS BOOK.  After adjusting to teenagers being privy to the happenings of the US Government, I ended up enjoying The Fixer which is book one in the series.  I thought I would have similar feelings toward The Long Game but boy oh boy did the feelings this book inspired come out of nowhere!  The Long Game is exponentially better than The Fixer.  My only issue now is that the sales aren’t high enough and Disney hasn’t contracted Jennifer Lynn Barnes to write a third book (AND THERE NEEDS TO BE A THIRD BOOK, TRUST ME OKAY?!).

Plot Summary:  In this follow up to The Fixer, Tess Kendrick embraces her role as Hardwicke’s resident fixer.  Someone cashes in a favor and she ends up leading their campaign to become president of student council.  Meanwhile, her guardian, Ivy, is working on cracking a terrorism case unfolding in the United States and chaos ensues when both issues intertwine.

Critique:  The Long Game had much higher stakes than The Fixer which you might find hard to believe if you’ve already read book one.  I came to appreciate Asher even more in this installment because his comic relief was a necessary addition to the otherwise intense situations.  The Long Game is full of action in the best way possible.  The story pulls you in and there’s such a sense of urgency for every issue that it’ll get your heart rate pumping.  I also loved the parallels to the game of Chess which were prevalent in the story.  But best of all are the characters who shine even more than they did in book one.  The Long Game is overflowing with awesome female characters from Tess and Ivy, to Vivie, Emilia and Georgia, and as I mentioned above, the only disappointment is not knowing how their story will continue.  The series was sold as a dulogy, but there is a CLEAR cliffhanger at the end of book two.  It’s rather frustrating but I am still grateful that I was able to spend any time with these characters and I will forever hold out hope that a second duology or even just a final installment with some more closure will be on the horizon.  Also, if you’re looking for romance, this series is almost completely devoid.  It focuses much more on the politics and social issues.

Do I Recommend?:  YES PLEASE READ THIS AND HELP MY DREAM OF A THIRD BOOK BE REALIZED THANKS.

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Kristin

Super Space Chick’s Weekly Round Up (#2)

Super Space Chick’s weekly round up is a blog series in which I’ll be chatting to you about what’s going on in my life, what I’ve been posting on YouTube and my blog, some favorite instagram photos of the week, and such.  So basically just general life happenings and feelings!  I looooooove writing book reviews but I also love reading more personal blog posts so I want to make an effort to share more of my full life here and not just my reading life.

Last week was pretty awesome.  My mom came home from the hospital on Tuesday (*insert party horn emojis here*) so we’ve all been getting back to a more normal schedule.  I’m so happy to have her home and she’s been able to get better quality rest in her own bed.  Andrew and I spent Easter with her, my dad, my brother and his girlfriend at the hospital and then the beginning of the week was dedicated to getting done all of the boring adult chores we’d been neglecting for the past couple of weeks.  On Thursday night I met up with Alexa at Books of Wonder- I wasn’t planning on buying anything but ended up walking out with two signed hardcovers of The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon and Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl.  Alex also was so kind to lend me her ARC copy of I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo which is a YA novel about a girl who decides to implement all of the dating advice she’s seen on K-dramas.  I’ve been highly anticipating that one and it’s going to be my next read! While everyone was obsessed with Starbucks’s Unicorn frappacinos, Alexa and I opted to go to Union Fare for unicorn croissants which were delicious.  The weather is also getting warm enough that Union Square park has a bunch of neon green tables set up and we were able to spend the remainder of our night there, chatting about books and anime as per usual.

Then Thursday night, my cousin Rachel came into town because she was able to score Hamilton tickets last year and the date of her showing is finally upon her!  She got to my apartment later than I normally go to sleep (#old) and we ended up staying up late catching up on general life happenings, our love of Marvel movies, and everything coming to Disney and Universal in the future.  The next morning we went to a quick brunch with my mom, grandparents and aunt and then sent Rachel off into the city.  I spent the rest of my day filming BookTube videos (I was SO behind) and then headed over to my parents to make them some dinner.

The next morning, Cassie and I planned a huge nostalgia brunch with some of our best friends that we don’t get to see as often as we’d like to.  I was really expecting some people to cancel but all 10 of the invitees made it! We went to La Flaca on the Lower East Side where I drank red sangria, ate huevos rancheros (my favorite!) and we accidentally got sucked into some very entertaining show called One Miracle Morning where a guy on a motorcycle was racing a goose.  After brunch, we headed to a bar called The Library where we met up with my brother.  I had a couple of root beer floats (stoli vanilla + rootbeer + a cherry) which were surprisingly delicious, and then we headed out to a place that I’ve ALWAYS wanted to try, Taiyaki NYC.  I love taiyaki but I haven’t ever been to the ice cream / pastry hybrid shop before.  While we were waiting for our ice cream, we met a couple of guys with lightsabers, so naturally, we asked if we could play with them.  Then this morning, Andrew and I somehow found the motivation to go for a run (how cool is the photo with my shadow in it?!) and then I made breakfast with what I can only describe as winning the avocado lottery.

Reading: I finished reading: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones which I enjoyed because I just kept picturing David Bowie every time the Goblin King was described, Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle because I wanted to read it before I started watching the television show, and The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher because Star Wars! I also started Geekerella which I’m completely in love with!

Watching: Pretty Little Liars came back this week so I was eagerly anticipating that! One more season and then I’ll be free.  Cassie and I are basically hate watching it together at this point and I’m mostly only still in it for our snarky texts.  I also started watching Famous in Love which is completely different from the book and we watched the only two available episodes of The Ancient Magus Bride anime which is wholly enchanting.

I posted less this week than normal because I ran out of prefilmed videos.  Although, I did get to post my Guide to Manga Genres video which I filmed so long ago that it has my old bookshelf set up!

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Kristin

Tea & Book Chat: Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

Personal Thoughts:  As I may have (definitely) mentioned, Katie Cotugno is one of my favorite contemporary YA authors.  In fact, she’s definitely in the top three.  I love her words to pieces so when I heard that her newest novel would be set in Orlando in the 1990’s during the boy band craze, I couldn’t possibly be more on board.  And the cover! And the endpapers! While Fireworks didn’t end up being my new favorite of her’s (the number one spot still belongs to How to Love), I did thoroughly enjoy it, especially for the setting. And possibly the most exciting part (for me) is that a character in the girl band is named Kristin! Spelled the same way as me! I didn’t even care that she’s kind of a bitch because I’ve never read a book with a character that has my name and for it to have been in a Katie Cotugno book just amplifies my excitement.

Plot Summary:  Best friends Dana and Olivia leave their small Georgia town and head to Orlando where Olivia is going to be auditioning to become a pop star in a new all girl band being formed and Dana is there as her moral support.  During the audition, Dana gets picked out of the crowd to show off her skills and both girls end up being chosen to move to Orlando to start rehearsing.  But things get complicated when Dana’s lack of formal training start inhibiting what has always been Olivia’s dream and the girls start to become each other’s competition.

Critique:  Fireworks is yet again, another messy and complicated story from the brain of Katie Cotugno.  I love the way she tackled the evolution of Dana and Olivia’s friendship as the girls begin to grow up and their circumstances change.  It’s so easy to fall into a routine and to believe that one person is your be all and end all when you haven’t experienced anything else and Orlando really opens up both of their eyes about what else is out there in the world.  There’s also an adorable love interest named Alex who’s a member of Hurricane State, a boy band similar to N’SYNC who’s just starting to make waves in the industry.  Alex is honest and supportive and quite honestly, he put up with a lot for someone just starting a relationship.  The best part of the novel is hands down the setting.  I love the little nods to the 90’s and just Orlando in general.  I felt like I was reliving my own early childhood while reading and I could perfectly picture myself running around in jean shorts and eating ice cream cones on hot summer nights.

Do I Recommend?:  Yes! Especially if you are a fellow fan of the Britney Spears / Christina Aguilera and Backstreet Boys / N’SYNC era.

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Kristin
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