Posted in #SBPT

Wrapping Up the Summer Blogger Promo Tour

g4JfMVsm_400x400Whew, did this summer fly by…

Okay, I should have written this in Word before reading Brooke’s wrap-up post about me, y’all, because I AM EMOTIONAL. This is going to be short. Otherwise, it’s just going to be a mess of me spilling my feels all over the place.

I signed up for this promo tour because I know Jess and I wanted to support my friend. I NEVER expected to get a partner as kind, generous, lovely and amazing as Brooke. Long story short, I never expected to make a new friend, not one as sweet and awesome as Brooke, and for that I am eternally grateful. Brooke was always up for anything and although we are mutual procrastinators (we’ll fix that…one day), we always managed to get the job done.

So Brooke, thank you for making this a fun summer, for being my co-blogger and my friend, for helping me want to blog again. We did rock it (and I hope we both get to continue rocking it in the future!)! I’m so grateful for your recommendations. Jenn Bennett’s books are ones so needed in my life and while they are outside my usual genres, I really enjoyed Daughter of the Pirate King and Anna Dressed in Blood! Thank you for putting up with my Type A, anxious self!

I ALREADY MISS YOU SO MUCH!!!!

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Posted in #SBPT

Swapping Favorite Reads with Brooke @ Brooke Reports!

This week for the Summer Blogger Promo Tour (#SBPT), Brooke and I have three bookish recommendations for each other. Check back next week to see the results of us reading each other’s favorite reads right now!

Brooke’s Recs

I love to read stories that fill me with giddiness, make me swoon, and give me all the feels–so when someone asks me for a good read, these are the three books that always come to mind straight away!

30312700Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett:

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I freakin’ ADORED IT! It was the perfect, swoony summer read! I feel like Tay appreciates the swoon just as much as I do, so I thought she may enjoy this one!

33643994Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller:

SO. Basically, I’m a Pirate-Whore. I needed Taylor to join me on this ship! I absolutely loved this one and everyone could use some swashbuckling fun in their lives right?

UntitledAnna Dressed in Blood by Anna Kendare:

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A BLOODY SUPERNATURAL THRILLER!? I’d be lying if I said the cover didn’t convince me to read this one. Luckily, the story inside was just as captivating. This book has romance, violence, heartbreak, AND LIKE?!? Yes, Taylor, please read this and be frightened IN A GOOD WAY?! Wow. Maybe i’m a terrible #SBPT partner lolol

 

Taylor’s Recs

I love stories that emotionally punch me in the face but also have a lot of hope and heart. For me a good read is a book that has a strong voice, strong feelings and strong, badass characters. These are 3 books that come to mind when people ask me for my favorites!

18718848Mosquitoland by David Arnold:

This book is just flat-out one of my all-time favorites. It’s fun, adventurous, validating and beautifully written. I need Brooke to read this so she can appreciate the fine treat that is a David Arnold book because each one is such a distinct type of reading experience. I also hope she’ll want to read Kids of Appetite and The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik too!

30653843Radio Silence by Alice Oseman:

When I think of amazing nerdy YA books that are super strongly voiced, this book sits at the top of the list. I need Brooke to experience Frances and Aled’s story about podcasts and finding the people that help you be your own brand of weird, even if that takes you on a path you never expected.

28588459Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King:

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t partially recommend this book because I want Brooke to cry and have all the emotions I’ve had reading this book. Sorry, you’re in for a wild ride, but also a tremendous treat of brilliant, cathartic writing in this book. It’s absolutely a favorite of mine and this story means so much to me.

Posted in #SBPT

My Reading Habits Book Tag with Brooke from Brooke Reports!

Back on a lovely Saturday for the next installment of the Summer Blogger Promo Tour (aka SBPT), hosted by The Book Bratz, where I have been doing a series of blogging and bookish challenges with the lovely Brooke @ Brooke Reports!

This week, our challenge was to complete a book tag. We chose the Reading Habits Book Tag. This was my first book tag and I found it to be a lot of fun.

Check out what we had to say about our reading habits:

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Taylor: Nope! I can be found all over the house with a book in my face! One of my favorite spots is the love seat in our living room, though.

Brooke: I do not! I read in lots of places at home; bedroom, living room, or kitchen!

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Taylor: I have really nice bookmarks, but then I’m afraid to use them and ruin them. So it’s usually business cards, receipts, scraps of paper, etc.

Brooke: I want to say bookmark but I mostly use random pieces of paper, or note cards, or business cards…I’m terrible.

Can you stop reading anytime you want or do you have to stop reading at a certain page, chapter, part, etc.?

Taylor: Sometimes I can’t stop and I’m like ONE MORE PAGE. But honestly, I do most of my reading on public transportation so I have to stop when the bus/train/subway pulls up to my stop.

Brooke: I can stop anytime! I prefer to stop at chapter breaks but if something comes up or I’m about to fall asleep, I’ll pop in random scrap of paper and stop.

Do you eat or drink while reading?

Taylor: Not usually. I’m clumsy and that would be a bad situation.

Brooke: I’ll usually have a glass of water by me while reading but I definitely never eat while reading–I’m not that coordinated. HA!

Can you read while listening to music/watching TV?

Taylor: Hahaha, I can’t concentrate on two things at once. Even if there’s music or TV on, I’ll end up paying attention to one or the other. I can’t do both.

Brooke: NOOOOOOO. I cannot!! I need to be 100% focused on what I’m reading!

One book at a time or several at once?

Taylor: I’ve gotten more into reading multiple books at a time, just because I have so many books that I need to be reading all the time now. So I usually have a few going at one time, at least one physical book and one e-arc.

Brooke: If you would’ve asked me this 6 months ago, I would’ve said one book at a time. Buuuut—right now I have 3 books started and I’m also listening to an audiobook 😛

Reading at home or everywhere?

Taylor: I’m always on the go, so…everywhere!

Brooke: Everywhere! I need to be better at bringing my book everywhere though!

Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Taylor: Silently in my head. I am quiet and awkward.

Brooke: Silently in my head for sure, 100%, always. Unless I’m reading swoony parts to my husband to tease him! (he hates it.)

Do you read ahead or skip pages?

Taylor: Hahahahaha I do this all the time and I hate that I do, but sometimes I’m like AGGGGH JUST A PEEK…phew. Or JUST A PEEK, OH FUCK HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN???

Brooke: NOOO! What?! Who does that!? Why!?

Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

Taylor: Why would you ever break the spine of a book? *gingerbread man voice from Shrek* YOU MONSTER.

Brooke: *chants* KEEP IT NEW! KEEP IT NEW!

Posted in #SBPT

Bookworm Biographies: Describe Yourself in 10 Book Titles or Less

This week’s Summer Blogger Promo Tour challenge was a fun one: describe yourself using up to ten book titles. Check out our bookish descriptions and then go check out these amazing books:

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Brooke:

In real life, girls like me, odd and true, the reader, dreamer, lucky in love, just another girl, under the never sky!

Books:

In Real Life by Jessica Love

Girls Like Me by Lola St. Vil

Odd and True by Cat Winters

The Reader by Traci Chee

Dreamer by L.E. DeLano

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Just Another Girl by Elizabeth Eulberg

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

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Tay:

A heart in a body in the world, still life with tornado, girl in pieces. sweet, furyborn, girl against the universe, let’s talk about love. wide awake, I crawl through it.

Books:

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Wide Awake by David Levithan

I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

Posted in #SBPT

Interview with Brooke from Brooke-Reports!

g4JfMVsm_400x400Hey hey! All summer I’ve been blogging with Brooke @ Brooke-Reports for the Summer Blogger Promo Tour, hosted by The Book Bratz! Brooke is one of the best, kindest and sweetest bloggers I’ve ever had the privilege of blogging with. This week I interviewed Brooke all about blogging, books and more!

 

Tay: You were really intimidated to start a book blog. How do you feel about blogging now and do you have any advice you wish you could give to your beginning blogger self (or maybe the newbie bloggers or soon-to-be bloggers reading this–I SEE YOU)?

Brooke: I can say with 100% honesty that I love blogging now. I look forward to writing a post. I wish I could’ve told my beginning blogger self, “This blog is for YOU.” I spent my first two years trying to gain followers, post everyday, and worrying about how many comments a post got. It’s not really about that. I love the fact that I can go back to a post I created 3 years ago and see what I thought about a certain book. My blog is a bookish time stamp of where I am in my life. It’s a way to funnel thoughts productively and creatively–it’s for me. I enjoy having an outlet, even if no one reads my post…I know I can always go back and read it.  

 

Tay: Brooke Reports, your blog, is a pun off of book reports. Did you have to write book reports in elementary and middle school and how did you feel about them? XD

Brooke: Ha! Yes, I totally had to write book reports ( I almost just typed brooke reports by way of habit) in middle school. I loved and hated them. I loved them because more often than not, we had to come up with a creative way to tell about the story. I remember having to make a cereal box that “sold” the book I was reporting on. I think it was a Judy Moody book. I hated them because I’d always wait until the night before it was due to start.

 

Tay: How do you approach writing book reviews?

Brooke: Typically, I write them a few days after reading the book, just so I can get my thoughts in order and make sure, “Yes, I did enjoy this one,” or “No, I did not enjoy this one.” Each review is different, I definitely don’t have a specific style or anything.

 

Tay: What kind of content do you hope to create more or would like to develop on your blog?

Brooke: I’d love to have more guest reviews, author interviews, polls, discussion posts, things like the Summer Blogger Promo Tour–content that connects me with another reader/writer/blogger. So, I guess what i’m trying to say is that I’d love to do more collaborations!

 

Tay: Out of your approximately 43 bookish boyfriends, who’s your favorite right now?

Brooke: Oh gosh. Oh man. I almost couldn’t decide but Porter is tapping on my brain like nobody’s business. Porter Roth from Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett. Gosh, such a stud.

 

Tay: What do you love most about Twitter and what do you hate most about Twitter?

Brooke: What I love most about Twitter is that it’s information delivered concisely. It’s so fast to read or send a tweet, and in today’s busy world that’s kind of what I need. I hate that Twitter unfollows people randomly at times!? What is with that Twitter?! Stop.

 

Tay: What’s the first book that made you fall in love with reading?

Brooke: Honestly, my earliest memory of books comes from when I was maybe five or six and my Dad would read me Railroad Toad every night before bed. Soon enough, I was reading it myself! As for what made me become an avid reader, I’d say A Series of Unfortunate Events in 5th grade. That series opened my eyes to the incredibly unique magic of storytelling and how that good storytelling can transport you anywhere.

 

Tay: Surprise! Instead of getting candy for trick-or-treat this Halloween, you get books. What upcoming 2018 or 2019 release do you hope your neighbor drops in your pillowcase after you ring their doorbell?

Brooke: Definitely WARRIOR OF THE WILD by Tricia Levenseller,  THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU AND ME by Olivia Hinebaugh, SERIOUS MOONLIGHT by Jenn Bennett and SERPENT AND DOVE by Shelby Mahurin.

 

Fast Round!

Sweet or salty?

Sweet! My sweet tooth is out of control at times.

Favorite flavor of hot pocket?

Classic Ham & Cheese. Can you believe I haven’t had a hot pocket in years? Back when i started blogging i was OBSESSED and a lot of people thought it was silly so i’ve kept it on there.

Paperback, hardcover or ebook?

Paperback!

City or country?

City!

Favorite band right now?

Always and forever Paramore.

 

Thanks, Brooke! I’m so happy you’re my #SBPT partner and I hope our friendship extends beyond the end of the tour in August! *all the purple heart emojis*

Posted in #SBPT

Sweet Stories and Bookish Cupcakes

Happy Sunday, Y’all! For today’s #SBPT post, Brooke and I have made y’all something extra sweet! We decided to make cupcakes based off of some of our favorite reads!

Tay’s Treats:

I had so much fun whipping up these bookish bakes. Thanks for everyone who helped me decide which books to serve as my inspiration. I definitely want to bake bookish cupcakes again soon, and play more with flavors and different frostings!

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Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

For this poignant contemporary novel about art and family, I baked a fluffy vanilla cupcake dyed two shades of purple and topped with vanilla buttercream and purple and blue sugar crystal sprinkles!

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The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold

For this twisty, surreal novel about a boy looking for an alternate trajectory in life, I baked a vibrant and fun vanilla cupcake dyed pink, yellow, green, bright blue and purple, topped with vanilla buttercream frosting and a neon rainbow of sugar crystal sprinkles!

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Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

For this feminist, twisty thriller, I baked a rich chocolate cupcake with a hidden surprise of a layer of blood red vanilla cake on the bottom topped with vanilla buttercream frosting and green and yellow sugar crystal sprinkles!

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Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

For this funky Parisian fantasy book filled with witches, goblins and more I baked a chocolate cupcake with a pop of white vanilla cake on the bottom, topped with vanilla buttercream and red sugar crystals!

Brooke’s Bakes:

My cupcakes definitely didn’t picture as well as I would’ve liked but hey! They were both still delicious and I think they captured the essence of both books.  

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

For my Anna Dressed in Blood cupcake, I made a black velvet batter with a cherry pie center, and buttercream frosting splattered with “blood”(cherry pie filling!) on top!

Click HERE to see my review on why I loved Anna so much! Click HERE to find out why Lies You Never Told Me turned into an insta fave!

Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson

For my Lies You Never Told Me cupcake I used the same black velvet batter, but this time I made a “fiery” cinnamon cream cheese frosting!

What books would you like to see transformed into cupcakes?

Posted in #SBPT

Guest Review: Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

7EB3DE4F-9962-476D-8561-FF4D812A79EA.jpegFrom the very first page I could tell that Heart of Thorns was going to be special. Not only did the opening scene hook me, the writing itself had me mesmerized. Barton’s prose is lyrical and sharp, captivating and tantalizing.   

I adored Mia. I thought she was sweet, intelligent, and humorous. Considering all the trials Mia is put through, she stayed incredibly level-headed. I mean, can you imagine believing something is true your whole entire life only to find out it wasn’t? This poor girl has her entire set of core values turned upside down, yet never loses her sass or spirit.  

I also really enjoyed Quin. He and Mia are forced into a harrowing journey that becomes one of survival. They go from barley speaking to having to trust and depend on one another—it was gratifying to see the change in their dynamic. Also, the amount of swoon these two create?! Immense.  

The magical element of Heart of Thorns was incredibly unique. I loved learning about the Dujia. Healing hearts, stopping hearts, stealing breath, intensifying lust—rare and wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it.  

In true fantasy fashion, this book is not without its villain—but read cautiously it may not be who you’d expect.

Heart of Thorns is a debut that can’t be missed!  I’m highly looking forward to the next installment!