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Thursday Thoughts- Versatile Blogger Tag.. But not!

I am a playlist person with *certain people*. I often have a hard time expressing certain emotions to certain people. When that happens I am very thankful for my parents raising me on everything from Motown to the Doors to Dylan and James Taylor. Of course, from there I've picked up on everything from 80s everything to Billy Joel, My Chemical Romance, Nsync, being a 90s Pedophile, Gomez (my cat's namesake), Harry Connick, Jr., Robbie Williams and Mika. I've often turned to their lyrics and book quotes to say what I couldn't find words to express.

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Top Tuesday: Books/Series that Led Me to a Novel Life

I wanted to do a different spin on the Top ____ Tuesday and so I came up with an idea. There was NO DOUBT a landslide of Young Adult books that led me to start Novel Lives. I am not going to review or even attempt a mini-review of each. I went on a YA reading binge between June 2017 until Novel Lives launched in July 2018 and no they weren't all home-runs. Even for those that were all home-runs. For some it is a more horrific draw... an attachment based on being placed between empathy and disgust, and four days of insomnia (you know who you are). While, for others it is a love for the gift they've brought to the world. Others have provided desperately needed escapes and some desperately needed hope I can turn to, while others provided hope, taught me about the world, about myself and for one it is for a plan, a future I never got to live out and I miss it with every beat of my heart. They are all too meaningful and too different  in their respective purpose to single out and say one belongs before another. That is not what we do to art. And all of these are pieces of art.

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ARC Four Star Review: The Disasters by M.K. England

The Disasters is a laugh out loud mash-up of characters so diverse that even when you think you know where they lie on the spectrum of diversity, two chapters later you realize they have a multi-cultural and sexual orientation chasm going on in one character. Meanwhile I don't remember any of this being mentioned in the promotion for the book, nor the overriding Middle-Eastern themes. Well done on the England and HarperTeen's part to let that be a surprise welcome. This book is being promoted on the the plot, characters and overall fun to be had. Oh and the dedication, which I love. To everyone who's ever felt like a disaster. Here, have a spaceship! Now fly. 

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Weekly Round Up… My Favorite Blog Posts of the Week and What’s To Come…”The Aftermath is Secondary”

When life well, lifes... sometimes it becomes hard to even lean on the things that get you through, like reading, writing and my little corner of the internet. So instead of relying strictly on deadlines and what I planned, once I was passed September 4th, I went to what I wanted to read, which changed things up. That isn't to say I didn't want to read what I planned. Not at all. I just had a couple ARCs calling to me (one I am not planning to review till *ahem* November* and one not coming out till the end of the month) but it was the right choice! They really helped me connect with things I had to deal with and the other helped me laugh, and just get of my own head. If I end up reviewing it sooner than expected? So be it.

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ARC Five Star Review: For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

Warnings (mentioned by author in book): Mental illness (bipolar), blood use in magic, gun violence, war, colonialism, racism, descriptions of dead bodies, mention of reproductive coercion, mentions of torture, mention of suicide Heidi Heilig  has created a piece of art that is multi-faceted in characters, writing structures and plot points. Within this she has interwoven an own voice struggle as a bipolar woman through the main character, Jetta, who simply refers to it as her malheur, the french word for misfortune. Heilig discusses writing a bipolar heroine at the end of the book. She balances writing Jetta's manic highs driving her family's successful shadow plays, her ability to defend herself and control spirits through necromancy. However, it also causes rash decisions and leads to actions that harms herself and those she cares the most about. This comes with the depressive lows where she withdraws, panics and sleeps due to the exhaustion of fighting it all because of a driving resilience, intelligence and need to not have her malheur define who she is nor her life.

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Thursday’s Thoughts… Currently Reading Tag

I don't read more than one book at a time (unless you count audible "rereads" which I sometimes fall asleep to). However, I also read pretty quickly. If I read more than one book at a time, at the rate I read, I wouldn't be able to absorb it all. I think the only time I've stopped one book to pick up another is if I've had an ARC dropped in my lap right before its publishing date and/or if it was an attempt to go back to a book I was about to DNF (did not finish). 

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Review of A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma: 4.5 Stars

If poetry could be prose then Nova Ren Suma would be the Beatles of it. Her lyrical and often mesmerizing phrasing pulls beauty and atmosphere off the page and fills your senses. Much like an pointillist painter gives you a whole scene from afar but it becomes a blur of tiny points of paint the closest one gets to the portrait.

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Life is What Happens When You Are Making Other Plans- John Lennon

When your week is more unpredictable than St. Louis weather? When it has more highs and lows than St. Louis weather? To the point that Gomez can't bare to look.. can't even begin to cat? Yeah. That's the kind of week I've had. Because Christina said it best... When hasn't someone on Grey's said it best? 

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Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani with Afterword by Viviana Mazza

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani interlaces coming of age rituals, best friends and foreshadowing to set-up the fictional retelling of 2014's terrorist raid of a Nigerian village based on the stories of those women that survived.

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TAG! You’re it! This or That!

Hello you beautiful bookish fiends you! My dear Sleepy Sam Reads tagged me in a brilliant and twisty bookish version of This or That, which she originally saw on Rain’s blog and I'm glad she did because it has been a while since I've been tagged! So, thank you my dear! I will be adding one question at the end (shhh...) I can't stick to the college themed week that everyone else is celebrating but just remember, as we get this party started.....

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Review of Mirage by Somaiya Daud- First Posted July 17- Updated August 28th 3.5 out of Five Stars

When I'm wrong I say I'm wrong. And 1) this was my very first review.  2) I didn't know enough about the blogosphere to have found out that this was not a stand alone book. If I had. If you look at the last paragraph of my blog. You would see that I was begging, pleading for a second book. With that in mind there are still one or two things that are still a bit on the predictable side that I'll leave below but I'm going to tweak my review to better match what I believe will be an solid series that will be better with each book (aka I expect this to be the lowest rated of the trilogy).

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Review of The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart: Four out of Five Stars

What are the rules of the Fight Club? You do not talk about Fight Club. You DO NOT talk about Fight Club! If someone yells "stop!", goes limp, or taps out, the fight is over. Fourth rule: only two guys to a fight. You might be asking why I'm bringing up Fight Club in a review of Sacrifice Box but lets be honest. Is there ever not a good time to bring up Fight Club? And did it ever go well to break the rules of Fight Club? Right. Plus, like Fight club, this box has a set of rules. Never come to the box alone. Never open it after Dark. Never take back your sacrifice. All seems straightforward, right? When is anything straight forward for twelve-year-olds I ask you. Taking a lot of the best parts of Stephen King, Stewart starts off Stand by Me and goes straight to It in Final Jeopardy, without the thirty-year time skip (well, not for Mack, Hadley, Lamb, Arkle, and Sept).

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Weekly Update (There Will Be Bragging)… Future Forecasting (More Bragging)

It truly has been a novel week! A record-breaking week! Publishers and authors have recognized reviews, discussed them on twitter, followed me (on twitter- no restraining orders needed and last I checked I was still Tiffany Jackson's bodyguard on call), and I'm really proud to say that my post on ADD: A Plea to Publishers for Hard Copy ARCs is making a difference! I am planning a round-up of publishers making a difference in the next couple weeks (some are still working out logistics and I don't want to leave them out).

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Friday Feelings, Thanks,and Explanations

Much of our lives we choose our own family these days. So much of the Young Adult Community, in almost every genre revolves around the idea of the family you choose rather than the one you are born into.  Don't get me wrong. I have my Mom and my brother but they are quite a distance away. Mostly my chosen family consists of a lot of fur.

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Recognizing Excellence in Art & Literary Magazines (REALM) for NCTE: An Honor to Judge

Today's post isn't one that fits in any one category. It is different an meant to be so. I was asked to volunteer to do something very prestigious and want to take today's blog to both quickly thank the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) for allowing me this opportunity to participate and to recognize the young men and women across the country for the amazing work they have submitted.

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WOW (not the good way unfortunately) Wednesday: Review of Rule by Ellen Goodlett

Spoiler and Trigger Warnings: Self-Cutting/harm, child abuse, alcoholism, incest (kind of- but we'll get to that in a minute) Let's just say if I was writing a report card for Rule, I would say it had an inquisitive mind. It is a shame really because character building starts off particularly strong. You have three very different sisters from extremely different backgrounds, classes and worlds (although at times their personalities seem to mush together).

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Review of Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey

Heartbreaker is the most character driven book I have read, possibly ever. Here’s the kicker. One of the most essential characters is the setting of the book: The Territory. Turning the setting, remnants of cult in the 1980s, down to one original member,  into an essential character of the book is no easy task but Dey does it without skipping a beat. She does it by using the Territory to fill the spaces between heartbeats with a chilling frost that doesn’t let go and keeps you guessing until the end.

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Attention Deficit Disorder: A Plea to Publishers for Hard Copy ARCS

Yes, I’ve been doing this all of a month so let’s get that out of the way right now. Go ahead. Tell me I have no right and I’m out of my league. Its fine. Here’s the thing though. I’ve got a voice; a platform and I’m going to throw down like Thor. Read it, discuss it or step aside. This is one of the most important things I’ve learned over the past month about my ability to run a successful, productive and enjoyable book review blog.

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Fresh Ink

Fresh Ink is an anthology of “twelve label-defying” stories. For those familiar with Point-of-View short story works that have recently come out, Fresh Ink is not centered on a central plot point. For instance, it isn’t the same as Feral Youth by Shaun David Hutchinson (a fantastic read if you get the chance). Edited by the co-founder of We Need Diverse Books, Lamar Giles, the anthology includes topics on coming out, poverty, untimely death, transitioning and romance. I am not going to go through every story, but I am going to talk about my favorites without giving too much away. Dedicated to the late, great Walter Dean Myers, I am going to leave Tags for last.  

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Review of The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King, Holly Black's Sequel to The Cruel Prince, Comes Out on January 8th, 2019 *Spoiler Free* I'm going to keep this as spoiler free as possible because: 1) I was not given an embargo date for the review and it doesn't come out until January 2) How I even ended up with the honor of receiving this ARC through Edelweiss and Little, Brown and Company in return for an honest review is still beyond my understanding-- Thank you! 4) Due to the fandom of this series and their need for information that doesn't kill the read, I'm going to do my best to keep it a spoil-free faerie fruit.

Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Such an incredible book by such an incredible writer. I’m so glad you loved it as much as I did.

Sleepy Sam Reads

33385229 TITLE: They Both Die at the End

AUTHOR: Adam Silvera

PUBLICATION DATE: September 5th, 2018

GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+

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Acknowledgement Wednesdays

Girls Corner Intl

There is only one joy, the joy of staying together, blogging together, playing together… above all,… the joy of sharing Girl issues together,

which is the aim of humanity, the main motive behind Girls Corner International …

“together as one”.. I salute u all: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

    I Celebrate you’ll                  ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥  ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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Though it took quite sometime to write this blog post, but am truly grateful i have you’ll. Waking to see all the beautiful posts you share each day is a Blessing so I celebrate you’ll.

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