The News | May 2016

Welcome to The News, were we discuss the new releases this month that we’re most excited about! Let’s get to it!

Lila

9780062422583.jpgThe Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (May 17, 2016)

This one looks so good that I couldn’t help but preorder it from Audible! With it’s magical competition and Russian setting, it’s giving me vibes of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern meets The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bradugo!

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (May 3, 2016)

How could I not have this much anticipated sequel by one of my faves, Miss Sarah J. Maas, on here? I can’t wait to see what happens to Feyre and Tamlin (and, ugh, I guess Rhysand too) next!

17838528The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (May 3, 2016)

This looks like a cute little summer contemporary! I’ve never read a Morgan Matson before, but this seems like a great place to start!

The Last Star by Rick Yancey (May 24, 2016)

So The Infinite Sea left me a little shaky, but I loved The 5th Wave so much I just can’t not finish the series! I’e invested so uch in this series that I just have to see if it pays off! Plus I have soooo many unanswered questions…

25028285The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood (May 3, 2016)

I’m a physics major so when I heard that this magical realism book mentions quantum mechanics (one of my scientific buzzwords), I was all in. That’s really all I need to know!

Ruined by Amy Tintera (May 3, 2016)

I don’t know much about this one but the cover and summary are really intriguing. I wasn’t a fan of Tintera’s Reboot trilogy, but I’m willing to give her a second chance in a different genre. So we’ll see how it goes…

Claire

17927395A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas (May 3rd, 2016)

Oh man oh man oh man. I have had this ebook preordered for months! This is easily my most anticipated novel of the year. Because I foolishly sought out spoilers, I have had same major plot points spoiled for myself, but that has only made me even more desperate to get my hands on this book! May 3rd cannot come soon enough! (Also, Lila: don’t hate me, but I love Rhysand. If I find the time, I will make a Rhysand Defense Post before the release of the new book!)

The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3) by Rick Yancey (May 24th, 2016)

I’m going to wait for the reviews to come in for this one. While I absolutely loved The 5th Wave, I was really unimpressed with The Infinite Sea. (How many times can you use the phrase “undulating waves” in one book?!) I’m hoping that The Infinite Sea was just suffering from middle-26192915book-syndrome and this next installment will be as great as the first!


Outrun the Moon
by Stacey Lee (May 24th, 2016)

In early 1900s San Francisco, an impoverished Chinese girl named Mercy Wong uses her wits to get into an elite girl’s school in attempt to advance her place in society. When an earth-shattering quake hits, life in San Francisco will never be the same. I’ve heard great things about this book (Sabaa Tahir gave it 5 stars) and can’t wait to get my hands on it!

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Claire’s #WWCW: Sarah Kay | April 27, 2016

Hello, and welcome to my Woman Writer Crush Wednesday! Every week I will showcase a different female author whose work I admire. Since each post will be accompanied by a photo over on our Instagram page, the order of the women I talk about will largely depend on which books are in my proximity. This week, my woman writer crush is Sarah Kay.

WWCW Sarah Kay

If you’ve heard of Sarah Kay before, it’s probably for her spoken word poetry. One day I was watching TED talks on YouTube, clicking from suggested video to suggested video in the sidebar, when I stumbled upon Sarah Kay’s TED talk. In it, she opened up with a spoken word poem entitled “B (If I Should Have a Daughter)”. I was enthralled with her poise and rhythm, and how she seemed to effortlessly jump from one thought to the next without breaking stride. After watching her TED talk, I looked up more of her videos. And through those videos, I found a collection of spoken word artists performances on Button Poetry’s channel. I spent hours watching those performances, utterly enamored. I was never able to get into poetry when assigned analyses in class, but something about spoken word spoke to me. I felt myself relating to people even as they spoke about experiences I had no claim to. I loved it.

So, when I found out last year that Kay had a poetry book out, No Matter the Wreckage, I immediately thought I have to have that. When I finally did get my hands on a copy, I had intended on sitting down and devouring the petite book in one sitting. However, I quickly learned that this is not the type of book you just read all at once. I find that I get the most out of it by skimming through the pages and choosing a poem at random. Sometimes, the poem I land on doesn’t click with me. Sometimes later that same poem will start to mean something. Other times, if I’m lucky, I stumble upon exactly the right poem.

 

Claire & Lila’s Weekend Rewind | April 18-24, 2016

What We’ve Been Reading

Claire

Lila

What We’re Currently Reading

Claire

…with midterms coming up, I’m holding off starting anything new until The Raven King!

Lila

16172638

What We’ve Been Blogging

Claire

This past week I started two new segments: #WWCW and Igniting the Passion! In lieu of doing problem sets, I’ve also been adding some photos over on our Instagram page.

Lila

I haven’t done much blogging aside from the usual weekly memes and segments over at The Bookkeeper’s Secrets. Cait’s (at Paper Fury) list of 22 things to do before she reaches 22 really inspired me, so I did my own! It’s definitely late, but I was inspired, so better late than never! Other than that, I’ve been kinda laying low, taking it easy, but hopefully I’ll have some good content for y’all soon 🙂

What We’ve Been Liking

Claire

SUNSHINE! It’s finally been getting warm around here, which means I’ve been able to break out the sundresses and sandals!

Lila

FEELING UPBEAT! I was in a pretty good mood these past two weeks and have really felt like making some positive changes. Of course with depression, anxiety, and chronic illnesses, you have your up times and your down times, so I’m not expecting to feel so positive forever, but it’s really nice while it lasts and I enjoy it and savor it in the moment.

In Other News

Claire

Book-wise, these next two weeks should be so exciting! The Raven Cycle comes out Tuesday the 26th and A Court of Mist and Fury comes out May 3rd. (!!!!) I can’t believe the wait for these books is almost over. Look for reviews in the coming weeks!

Lila

I’ve been slowly learning basic HTML and CSS! I’m really having fun doing it and it’s something that I can do while in bed or out of bed, so it’s a win-win kinda thing. I’ve been practicing it on my blogspot, so it’s fun to see my skills turned into something concrete! I’ve also been doing a bunch of stuff with my graphic design and looking up royalty free resources for that, so I’m having a ton of fun in that arena! Otherwise, I’ve just been chillin’ like a villain.

Lila’s Monday Music | April 25, 2016

This week is a bit of a throwback to a teen 🙂
When I was 17, I spent a month at Governor’s School for Math, Science, and Technology and one of my best friends there introduced me to Eliza Doolittle and I fell in love with her music. It’s just so poppy and upbeat and positive that you can’t help smile when you hear it! Whenever I hear her songs, I flash back to some of my favorite memories. I hope these songs give you a good time too!

The News| April 2016

Welcome to The News, were we discuss the new releases this month that we’re most excited about! It’s a little late but better late than never! Let’s get to it!

Claire

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater (April 26)17378527

Despite having been eagerly awaiting this book for over a year, I almost don’t want it to come out. I’m not ready to say goodbye to the women of 300 Fox Lane or the Raven Boys! Especially because Stiefvater has been very explicit about the fate of one of the characters… (Also, I’d just like to say, this is my favorite of the covers so far. Absolutely gorgeous.)

The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Ahdieh (April 26)

I thought this book came out May 3rd, so I was SHOCKED (and extremely pleased) when I saw it on Lila’s list for April. The only question now is: what do I read first? The Raven King or The Rose and the Dagger?

25320766Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Ansty (April 19)

I stumbled upon this book by browsing the “Readers Also Enjoyed” suggestions on Goodreads. One book led to another led to another led to this– a lady entomologist and a dashing spy entwined in a fake dating scheme? YES PLEASE.

Lady Renegades (Rebel Belle #3) by Rachel Hawkins (April 5)

To be honest, I didn’t much like Miss Mayhem (Rebel Belle #2). I thought it had too little plot and too much setup for the rest of the trilogy. That being said, I’m really hoping that setup paves the way for an adventurous and humorous finale!

Lila

25203675The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (April 26, 2016)

I’m so excited for this Indian mythology infused fantasy! It has a gorgeous cover and has been getting rave reviews! The premise is intriguing and mysterious and it’s one of my most anticipated debuts of the year (if not my most anticipated).

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (April 26, 2016)23308084

This is not a drill! This is not a drill! The moment has finally come and I’m waiting with baited breath to see what happens to Blue, Gansey, and the gang.

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh (April 26, 2016)

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this sequel since I finished The Wrath and the Dawn last year. The last book left off at quite and exciting moment and I’m eager to see where the sequel takes us!

 

 

Claire | Igniting the Passion pt.1: Henry and Mudge

What books have made a difference in your life?
What books have ignited your passion for reading?

Hello everyone and welcome to the first post of a 10-part series I’m calling Igniting the Passion. I got the idea for this series as I was brainstorming posts for Book Conversion. I really wanted to highlight books that have had a significant impact on my life, books that made me who I am today. But I’ve read hundreds of books–which ones haven’t impacted me in one form or the other? The longer I thought about it the more I began to realize that although every book I’ve read has left it’s imprint on me (no matter how small) I could point to certain times in my past when reading a particular book or author changed the trajectory of my life. This series is about those books.

When I was very little, my mom would read to my brother and me before we went to sleep. Although my brother is no bookworm, I credit my mom for first instilling me with a love for reading. On evenings when she got home from work and days that she had off, reading became a favorite pastime of ours–something we could do together. Our favorite read was always Henry and Mudge, written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Suçie Stevenson.

As a toddler I was obsessed with exactly two things: butterflies and dogs. Naturally, any book/movie/TV show I liked had to incorporate one of these. The Henry and Mudge books followed a young boy named Henry and his massive, dopey, completely lovable dog and therefore met my criteria. I think my mom just really liked the illustrations of Mudge.

If the books had some moral lesson, I can’t remember it. What I do remember is sitting on my mom’s lap, following along with the story as I sounded out the letters and learned to read. Of all the books I read during my early childhood, these are the most vivid.

Who was the first person to introduce you to reading? What books did you use while learning how to read?

Claire’s #WWCW: J.K. Rowling | April 20, 2016

Hello, and welcome to my first of (hopefully) many Woman Writer Crush Wednesdays (#WWCW)! Shout out to Lila for the awesome graphic! Each week I’ll be posting about a different female writer whose work I admire. To start things off, the Queen of Modern Literature: J.K. Rowling.

Throughout history women have been revolutionaries in the literary world, forever changing the course of what and how we read. In modern times, I can think of no author more influential in the writing world than J K Rowling.

The Harry Potter series wasn’t just an incredible story–it was a cross-cultural global phenomenon. Harry Potter inspired the creation of movies, musicals, parodies, bands, songs, cosplays, incredible works of fanfiction, fansites, friendships, marriages, foods, drinks, a theme park–the list goes on.

I grew up in the golden age of Harry Potter, and for that I am eternally grateful. There was never anything like it, and it’s hard to imagine something similar occurring again. I recently had the pleasure of introducing a friend to Harry Potter for the first time via the movies, but I struggled to impart on him just what it meant to grow up alongside Harry Potter.

Imagine it: you’re a child reading about a young boy living under the stairs. You witness as he discovers the magic of Hogwarts and are there when he must fight battles he did not create. You’re enveloped in the magic and when you turn the last page, you’re full of anticipation for what comes next.

And you’re not alone. Your sibling and parents have read the books and are discussing at dinner who would be in which Hogwarts house. You go to school, and on the playground people are fighting over who they think Harry will end up with. Even the teachers have an opinion. When a movie comes out, everyone has an opinion on the adaptation–what changed, what was left out, and why couldn’t they just make it three hours like The Lord of the Rings?!

In the weeks leading up to the next book release, a busy street gets closed down and all the storefronts become Harry Potter themed. You sit at a table gluing glitter onto a stick wand next to an elderly woman in a pointy hat who has decorated hers in feathers. And the day before the release, thousands of people around the world queue up for hours in their book stores, trading theories in line with complete strangers, just so they can be the first to get their hands on the new book when the clock strikes midnight.

Oh, how I would love to take a course on the impact of Harry Potter on children’s and young adult literature. Her influence is impossible to quantify–after all, who knows how many writers were inspired by her to create their own stories? One thing’s for sure: before the advent of Harry Potter, the New York Times did not have a Children’s Bestseller list. From personal experience, I remember the creation and growth of the middle-grade and young adult shelves in book stores.

I think I speak for all of us, Potterheads and bookworms and nerds and moviegoers and all of the above, when I say:

Thank you, J.K. Rowling.

Thank you for giving us magic.