Read-a-thon – Three o’clock pm

26 Oct

Yeah, guess I shouldn’t have bragged about not napping, because, well, I just woke up from a nap. Like I said, my current bout of depression and change in my meds means I sleep a lot. But I’m kind of proud I only slept for an hour. 🙂 And I listened to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban while I slept, so that counts, right? I woke up, had some mint Oreos and dug back into The Night Country, which is lovely and the language is so rich, it hurts a little, you know? The writing and story are just delicious.

Read-a-thon – Noon

26 Oct

And I made it to noon! Yes, that’s only three hours, but my current depression and change in my meds has me sleeping all the time, so the fact that I’ve been up since 7:30 is a huge win for me.

So I finished Chosen by Kiersten White and ZOMG I loved it even more than the first book in the series. If you’re a Buffy fan, or a fan of fun, snarky YA, you need to read this series.

I’m a huge Buffy fan, so there were moments where I was yelling across the room to the hubs when familiar faces appeared. And I loved that White nailed the voice of these old friends and the overall tone of the Buffy-verse.

Pretty light on the snacks so far: I ate a muffin and a couple of croissants. I also bought veggie tray, fruit tray, spinach dip and bread, Skittles, and mint Oreos. AND cranberry ginger ale (YUM!). The hubs is on fetch me food duty so I don’t have to. Such love.

Now I’m about to start The Night Country by Melissa Gilbert, the sequel to The Hazel Wood, which I LOVED. Super excited about this!

Pop over to Twitter and check out Rachel Noel’s account to see what she’s reading.

 

Here we go!

26 Oct

Anddddddddd it’s read-a-thon time! Just back from getting nommies (a nice mix of healthy and not so healthy) and I’m settling in with my first book, Chosen by Kiersten White, which is book 2 in her Slayer series. I started this a couple of days ago, so I’ll be finishing it this am.

My stack of books to choose from is kind of ridiculous, but I wanted to make sure I had lots to choose from. I have a nice mix of physical and ebooks and genres to keep me going.

I’ll post a picture later, as soon as I figure out how. LOL

Okay, I’m off to read!

 

Why, hello again!

25 Oct

Holy crappola! I know, I know. It’s been EONS since I’ve posted. Kinda fell off the book blogging earth, eh? Well, I’m back.

I’ve still been reading my ass off, but with work, my editing business, and, ya know, LIFE, I got kinda burnt out. But I’ve been thinking about getting back into book blogging for a few months now. And what better time than the night before Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon??

Truth be told, I forgot this was taking place. I’ve been having a rough time with my mental health the last month and adjusting to the increase in my meds has been hell. But then I saw a post about it on FB and was like “Dang! I forgot!” Of course I was bummed because I wasn’t ready at all. You know, I didn’t have the most important think for a read-a-thon: the snacks. But my super supportive hubby was just so thrilled to see me interested in something again that he told me “the gas station down the road has goodies”. God, love him. But the read-a-thon doesn’t start here until 9 am, so I have time to slip in and grab some nommies.

Tomorrow morning I’ll post my nommies and my reading list and then little updates as the day goes on. I’ll also be posting about some of my fave book bloggers. But right now I have to go get some sleep.

Looks like I have a big day ahead tomorrow.

C

Confessions of a Teenage Leper — Blog Tour

17 Sep

 

Publisher: Penguin Teen Canada
Released: Sept 25th,  2018
Genre: YA contemp
Source: ARC from publisher

 

Abby Furlowe has plans. Big plans. She’s hot, she’s popular, she’s a cheerleader and she’s going to break out of her small Texas town and make it big. Fame and fortune, adoration and accolades. It’ll all be hers. 

But then she notices some spots on her skin. She writes them off as a rash, but things only get worse. She’s tired all the time, her hands and feet are numb and her face starts to look like day-old pizza. By the time her seventeenth birthday rolls around, she’s tried every cream and medication the doctors have thrown at her, but nothing works. When she falls doing a routine cheerleading stunt and slips into a coma, her mystery illness goes into overdrive and finally gets diagnosed: Hansen’s Disease, aka leprosy. 

Abby is sent to a facility to recover and deal with this new reality. Her many misdiagnoses mean that some permanent damage has been done, and all of her plans suddenly come tumbling down. If she can’t even wear high heels anymore, what is the point of living? Cheerleading is out the window, and she might not even make it to prom. PROM!

But it’s during this recovery that Abby has to learn to live with something even more difficult than Hansen’s Disease. She’s becoming aware of who she really was before and what her behavior was doing to others; now she’s on the other side of the fence looking in, and she doesn’t like what she sees. . .

From Goodreads

 

I love when books take cliches and topes and approach them in a completely new way, making them something original again. “Mean girl has something happen that takes her down a notch and she redeems herself” has been done quite a lot in YA, but man, Confessions of a Teenage Leper, adds such a unique twist on it.

I had a feeling this was going to be a very different book, and it was. I loved finding out more about Hansen’s Disease and its history and I loved the coming of age aspect to the story, but what I absolutely adored was watching Abby’s relationships develop and deepen, especially the one she had with her brother.

This was a very addictive read and once I got into it, it was nearly impossible to put down.

I had a chance to ask Ashely a couple of questions and I am so glad that I did!

What made you decide to write about Hansen’s disease?

Kind of a long story, but while I was doing my undergraduate degree in creative writing, a prof assigned our class a historical fiction piece. So we had to find something in British Columbia’s history that interested us and then research it using three different sources (microfiche, interviews, encyclopedias, maps, etc. i.e. not the Internet) and then write a short story about it. I found out about a place called D’Arcy Island; a leper colony on a tiny island off the southern tip of Vancouver Island, not far from where I was going to university, in Victoria; it ran from 1891-1924. I did my research and wrote a short story from the perspectives of four men and one woman that had lived there. The idea had always stayed with me because it was so haunting, and the people sent there lived in really poor conditions and were basically sent there to die, not get better. So, about ten years later, I decided it was time to write a novel about D’Arcy Island; I went to the island and stayed three nights and visited the orchard they had kept and saw the foundations of the buildings that had housed them. I did about six months of research towards a historical fiction novel and sometime in the spring of 2015, June, I think, my friend sent me this article because he knew I was researching leprosy/HD, and it basically said that leprosy/HD is alive and well in the United States today in states like Texas, Florida, and Louisiana, because these states have high populations of armadillos and armadillos can transmit leprosy/Hansen’s Disease to humans and vice versa.

And that, just that one line about it still being a disease in these modern times — gave me the idea to do a young adult novel set in present day about a character who is very concerned with appearances and ends up contracting Hansen’s Disease. The whole novel shot into my mind like a single, focused, beam of light after reading that short article. And the next day, or maybe a few days later, Abby started talking to me and after that, there was no shutting her up.

What kind of research did you do for the novel?

Well, I mentioned that I stayed on D’Arcy Island; a former lazaretto. I went to the BC Archives and saw photos of the people who had lived on D’Arcy Island as well as some old newspaper articles about it and –fascinatingly– a letter from a concerned citizen to a doctor, pleading with the doctor to let a woman friend of his go to D’Arcy Island to care for these people (they had no nurses or medical care).

I also did a lot of secondary research through books and film. I read quite a few memoirs from people who had lived at Carville (the centre in Louisiana where Abby goes for treatment in the novel) and an excellent ethnography of Carville as well, which helped me get a lot of the small details right; the fact that Carville does their own Mardi Gras parade for example, and has special gold doubloons pressed for the occasion, featuring an armadillo on both sides. I liked that so I used it in the novel. I read a non-fiction book by a doctor who had worked with Hansen’s Disease sufferers in India for forty years. I read a great novel called Molokai about a young woman with Hansen’s Disease who is banished to Hawaii’s island of lepers, and the films, Molokai: The Story of Father Damien, The Motorcycle Diaries, and a handful of documentaries. I called the Hansen’s Disease Treatment Center in Baton Rouge, the same one Abby goes to, and I told them I was writing a novel about this young woman who contracts HD, etc. and was it okay if I asked a few questions. They said sure and were glad to help me. So that’s how I confirmed a few final details that I needed to know for the novel.

Helium — Rudy Francisco

28 Aug

Publisher: Button Poetry
Released: November 28th,  2017
Genre: Poetry
Source: ARC from Netgalley

 

Helium is the debut poetry collection by internet phenom Rudy Francisco, whose work has defined poetry for a generation of new readers. Rudy’s poems and quotes have been viewed and shared millions of times as he has traveled the country and the world performing for sell-out crowds. Helium is filled with work that is simultaneously personal and political, blending love poems, self-reflection, and biting cultural critique on class, race and gender into an unforgettable whole. Ultimately, Rudy’s work rises above the chaos to offer a fresh and positive perspective of shared humanity and beauty.

From Goodreads

 

I have to thank Button Poetry for reintroducing me to poetry. I have discovered all of my current favorite poets through them. If you like spoken word poetry that hits hard, you HAVE to check them out.

Ah, this collection. OMG ALL THE FEELZ. It’s hard to put into words what I loved about this collection or even how it made me feel, and I think that’s the thing that I loved about it the most. I just really connected with the feeling of the poems and please don’t ask me for my favorite, because I would be hard pressed to choose.

I connected so much with his poems and found myself nodding and smiling, or nodding and crying depending on the poem. There is just something about hearing someone put into beautiful words exactly how I feel. It makes me feel both understood and not alone. And hopeful. OMG the hopefullness in his words.

If you already love poetry then you will loved this collection. If you think poetry isn’t your thing? I think you will still fall in love with Rudy’s words.

 

Blood Will Out Blog Tour

27 Jun

 

Publisher: Penguin Teen
Released: June 6th,  2018
Genre: YA thriller
Source: ARC from publisher

 

 

Okay, first off the fact that I got to read a book by Jo? The highlight of my month, for real. I loved Jo’s books Ashes, Ashes. And I’ve (im)patiently been waiting for a new book from here.

Blood Will Out had me all goosebumpy and wigged out and OMG.

The tone of the book and the writing were very calm and deliberate which gave me a sense of foreboding dread through the whole book. Don’t think intense music, movie hero about to open the closet door on the killer tension. Think everything is calm but you still brace yourself and yet you are still caught off guard tension. And it worked so, so well for the story.

This is definitely a book you don’t want to read while eating. There are some very detailed, very graphic scenes but they weren’t put in the book for shock value. They were key to the telling of this story and added a horrific layer that had me wanting to shut my eyes and read more at the same time.

Other reviewers have complained that this book is promoted as “The Silence of the Lambs” for teens and they strongly think that it isn’t. After reading Blood Will Out, I can totally see the similarities in themes and drama and tension and tone. It totally had that whole creepy psychological thriller vibe.

I really enjoyed Blood Will Out and it reminded me how much I like reading horror/suspense/psychological thrillers. I defintely recommend it if you want a strong, true to form thriller.