Celebrating LILbooKlovers’s (Belated) 2 Year Blogoversary with My Research Paper on Middle Grade Literature!

Hi everybody!!! I had meant to post up a blogoversary post on May 28th–the day the first ever post went live on this site–but because of Boys State and last-minute activities, I was not able to schedule a post in time. But that is okay. It’s better to be late than never!

My opening remarks are going to be a bit short because I am way behind on posting (so my summer posts will be very erratic in the upcoming weeks) and because I want to get straight to my special gift for y’all. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported, helped, or contributed to the blog in any way. The blog has grown exponentially over the past year, and I have made so many connections with bloggers and authors all across the country. I appreciate all of the support and encouragement you have poured into my blogging and personal endeavors, and every kind word and cheer fills my heart up to the brim. To be able to make an impact on readers is what makes blogging worthwhile, and I am excited to see where this next year will take LILbooKlovers to.

For my AP English Language and Composition final research paper, I decided to use Middle Grade Literature as my topic. I wrote a total of 22 pages (along with 6 more pages full of cited sources) that explore why “The Importance of Middle Grade Literature for Adult Readers.” Yes, I wrote 22 pages. Yes, the page limit was supposed to be five to eight pages. Yes, I did get permission from my teacher. And yes, I did enjoy it. (Well, I liked the revising more than the drafting, which was really rough–pun not intended.)

Here is a little snippet from my essay if you would like a small taste of it:

By combining this experimentation of various genres, cultures, poetry and prose styles, and perspectives with the vast world of themes, issues, real-life inspirations and people, and conflicts, Middle Grade is an entire buffet of unique stories and qualitative writing that can be considered by many literary enthusiasts as modern classics. Alyssa Hollingsworth, author of The Eleventh Trade, reflects upon this high degree of excellence: “[I]t was just so amazing to me as I read Story Thieves that I was having the same metanarrative discussions on the same level that I did in an upper level English class at college” (Hollingsworth). Whether they possess subtle symbolism or majestic world-building or authentic realism, MG can be dissected for lesson plans in the classroom or discussed by readers of any age in book clubs and panels. It tackles a wide variety of issues in ways that more mature fiction cannot, and it has the power to promote unity and dialogue between children, adults, and their fellow peers, regardless of their backgrounds.

If you would like to read the entire essay and see the thoughts of many authors and professionals in the Middle Grade industry and community, please click the link below! I definitely hope you enjoy it!

The Importance of Middle Grade Literature for Adult Readers

In addition, I am being interviewed on MG Book Village (co-founded by the amazing Jarrett Lerner, author of EngiNerds), and it was really fun to be on the other side of the interview this time! Get to know a little more about me, my bookish life, and also my personal life as I approach my senior year of high school!

An Interview with Kester on MG Book Village

I hope you enjoyed my essay and interview, and thank you so much for celebrating our (albeit late) two-year blogoversary! It has been such an amazing journey to provide y’all with great recommendations and introduce many great author to you all, and I hope you’ll continue to stick with me and this blog.


Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

What are your thoughts on Middle Grade?

Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!

Email | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Bloglovin

 

 

 

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Announcing the Love Songs & Other Lies Street Team Blog Tour, Hosted by LILbooKlovers

Hi everybody! Today I am announcing the Love Songs & Other Lies Street Team Blog Tour, which starts this Monday! Although there is another blog tour going on, hosted by the amazing JeanBookNerd (who is very great–I was on her blog tour for The Queens of Innis Lear), all the stops in this blog tour are members of Jessica’s epic Street Team, which I am a part of myself! In addition, this is the first ever blog tour that I am organizing myself, so I am super excited to see how this all turns out!


About the BookLove Songs & Other Lies Cover

Title: Love Songs & Other Lies

Author: Jessica Pennington

Publisher: Tor Teen

Release Date: April 24th, 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.

Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Powell’s | Book Depository | Macmillan


Love Songs & Other Lies Blog Tour Banner

Monday 16th

LILbooKlovers – Interview

Ashleigh’s Bookshelf – Review

Tuesday 17th

The Clever Reader – Dream Cast

Tale Out Loud – Review

Wednesday 18th

Smada’s Book Smack – Top 10 Quotes

BookCrushin – Review

Thursday 19th

My Fangirl Chronicles – Excerpt

A Blunt Book Blog – Review

Friday 20th

BookishBitsBlog – Guest Post

Books. Life. and Everything Else. – Review

Monday 30th

The Candid Cover – Interview

Belle’s Archive – Review

Tuesday 1st

The Cursed Books – Playlist

The Heart of a Book Blogger – Aesthetic

Wednesday 2nd

Portrait of a Book – Aesthetic

 Vicky Who Reads – Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Read LS&OL

Thursday 3rd

The Mind of a Book Dragon – Interview

Boundless Bookaholic – Review

Friday 4th

Claerie’s Tales – Guest Post

Librarian Laura – Interview and Excerpt


About the AuthorJessica Pennington

Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. She lives in a Michigan beach town suspiciously similar to the one in her books, where she’s currently finishing her second novel, WHEN SUMMER ENDS, out April 2019.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Tumblr | Goodreads


Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

Are you excited for Love Songs & Other Lies? Do you like YA contemporary romances?

Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!

Email | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Bloglovin

 

My October Reading Re-Cap!

Hi guys! Happy End of Daylight’s Savings Time! I hope you got a nice extra hour of sleep! So this month, I managed to finish nine books (woo hoo!), which is really surprising considering my schedule is really busy regarding school and other activities at the moment. However, many of these books were really short novellas, and one of them was my English required reading. But does it really matter? They all still count towards my reading goal! And if you missed some of my October posts, you can find links to them below.

October


5 Stars

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

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Goodreads Continue reading “My October Reading Re-Cap!”

The First Ever LILbooKchat!: What It Means to be a Teen Book Blogger

Hi guys! As you know, I am starting my junior year of high school. That means two more years before college, but it also means one of the hardest years of high school. I know I’m going to be more busy with homework and extracurricular activities, so it got me thinking, “What does it mean to be a teen book blogger?” Because I am starting a monthly discussion bit, I thought this would be the perfect topic for my first ever LILbooKchat! I hope you enjoy!

So what does it mean to be a teen book blogger?

For me, it’s summed up in three words: School, Extracurriculars, and Time.

Continue reading “The First Ever LILbooKchat!: What It Means to be a Teen Book Blogger”

Lucky in Love Blog Tour (+ Summer of Authors #15): Exclusive Interview with Kasie West + E-ARC Review + Giveaway!

Hi guys! Man, I only have two weeks until school starts! I can’t believe Summer’s already gone by that fast! At least I have a ton of posts scheduled for now! But today, I am so glad to have Kasie West here on the blog! Here’s my review and interview for Lucky in Love, which is my first Kasie West book!

BANNER


About the Book30285562

Title: Lucky in Love

Author: Kasie West

Publisher: Scholastic

Release Date: July 25th, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis: In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.


About the Author5027236

I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, and BY YOUR SIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.


Kasie West1. Your latest book Lucky in Love revolves around the relationship between Maddie, a girl who recently won the lottery, and her co-worker Seth, who is unaware of Maddie’s recent win. As a YA contemporary romance writer, how do you manage to avoid overused clichés and stereotypes to make your love stories into unique and memorable ones?

Well, I don’t know if I avoid that completely. Ha. But I think the way I work on avoiding that is to really focus in on the characters. That way, even if a situation feels like something that has happened before, I can focus on how the character would handle it or react to it differently than anyone else would. If I can think of the characters as real people the story feels more original.

2. What about young adults inspired you to write romances between teens, rather than adults or children?

I love the themes of young adulthood. This time is full of firsts and firsts are so fun and exciting. First loves, first heartbreaks, first moves, first jobs, etc. etc. It’s so fun for me to explore these firsts. And teens feel everything so strongly. It’s a time of change and “big-ness”.

3. Have you had any exciting or funny experiences with lottery tickets, or other chance games and events?

You would think that maybe I’m a big lottery player after writing a book like this, yes? But no, I’m actually not a “game of chance” type girl. I like spending my money on things that are a little more guaranteed. That said, when I pass through Vegas I occasionally give myself a $5 budget and play a couple of slot machines. In the past I’ve won $20! I shouldn’t be so excited about that, but I was. It was fun.

4. If you were in a situation similar to Maddie’s, where you won $50 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money?

I’m a beach bum and I live in a place where the summers can reach 115 degrees. So, if I won that much money, I’d love to buy a home on the beach. That sounds like heaven to me.

5. Have any of the events in your most recent book or your past novels been based off of your personal experiences or people you know?

I wish this book was based off of my real life! That would be awesome. But no, my books are mostly from my imagination. I always say that I don’t base any of my books off of my personal experiences, but I’m sure that some of my experiences have spilled over into my books in some way or other. Especially the emotional experiences I’ve had in past relationships or friendships or things like that. It’s nearly impossible to keep myself out of my books, since I’m the one writing them.

6. How do you want to impact readers with Lucky in Love? What are a few themes that you want readers to take away from the novel?

I hope readers will realize that money isn’t everything. That maybe sometimes we think “if only I had this or that … I’d be happy”. But it is so important to be happy where we are, in our moment. Also, I think hard work is way more important than luck.


Here’s my review of Lucky in Love!4 StarsDisclaimer: I received a free e-ARC of this book from Edelweiss via the publisher and the Flying Fantastic Book Club Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Overall Thoughts: This is actually my first Kasie West book I have read (I know, how could a YA contemporary romance guy not read a Kasie West or Morgan Matson book?) and I actually really like the book. It did start off a bit shaky for me since it was very light, but it’s the perfect summer read to take to the beach. It definitely is a cute overload! It’s a book thay not only will make you swoon and go “Awwww” at the romance and characters, but it’s also one that explores life lessons, especially ones about money, friendship, and family. Now, I want more Kasie West books!

Romance and Life Lessons: Certainly, West has blended romance with dilemmas to create a book that will leave you with both a smile and thoughts about life. Although I wished there was more romance, the book was so cute! I mean, it’s like as if I’m watching a rom com (like Legally Blonde but a high school version with no innuendos). If this was a movie, I would certainly watch it! I love seeing the fire slowly ignite between Maddie and Seth. It was definitely a ball if cuteness in book form!

Regarding the life lessons, it definitely shows you the power money has when it comes to changing your life. Even though you can question some of Maddie’s decisions are very clear cut that they’ll be bad choices (like of course, if a relative calls asking for an “investment,” he’s probably just scamming you, an I right?), it does portray correctly how teens can be a bit reckless with their money sometimes. (I’m more of the “overestimate all the costs” type of guy.) It leaves you definitely with lessons about money, friendship, and family that some contemporary romances don’t have, which I really like. I think that it’s good when a book has a moral, so it not only entertains you, but teaches you at the same time. That’s how you change a life.

A Few Things: Now like I said, it did start off shaky for me a bit. I had to get used to the light writing style because I love reading deep, descriptive stuff. I could have felt a bit more of emotional connection and seen a little more vivid imagery, but because this book is meant to be a quick read, I didn’t mind it. I also wish there was more romantic parts! I would love that! Regardless, it was a great read, and I just didn’t want to put it down!

Concluding Thoughts: I really want to read more Kasie West books right now! Lucky in Love was such a fun, light, and cute that I’ll be looking forward to more of West’s upcoming works. I finished it in two days because it definitely got me hooked and feeling happy. Lucky in Love is a book you’ll fall in love with like a good scoop of ice cream on a hot Summer day. It’s the perfect summer read to bring anywhere you go!


Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule here!


Giveaway

  • 1 ARC of Lucky in Love
  • US only
  • Follow the tour for more chances to win
  • Runs through July 31
  • Please read Rules & Regs in Rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

Do you have any thoughts or questions?

Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!

Email| Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Bloglovin

Marty Frye Private Eye and the Case of the Missing Action Figure & Marty Frye Private Eye and the Case of the Stolen Poodle Blog Tour: Exclusive Excerpt!

Hi guys! Happy Friday! I’m about to go out of town to see the Niagara Falls (woo hoo!), and I’m super excited! To celebrate, I am super glad that I am hosting a tour stop for the Marty Frye Blog Tour! Hope you enjoy the excerpt and check out the books!

MARTY FRYE Blog Tour


About The Books:

Title: MARTY FRYE PRIVATE EYE & THE CASE OF THE MISSING ACTION FIGUREMARTY FRYE PRIVATE EYE & THE CASE OF THE MISSING ACTION FIGURE

Author: Janet Tashjian

Pub. Date: June 27, 2017

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback

Pages: 96

Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

Synopsis: Broken into three short stories of poetry and petty crime, this charming chapter book will have young readers in search of a rhyme in no time. Book 1 in the Marty Frye series!

Marty Frye is not your ordinary sleuth. Marty Frye is a poet detective–he makes up rhymes as he solves small crimes. When his friend Emma’s diary is missing, Marty is on the case. When Katie’s flour is nowhere to be found, Marty tracks it down. And when the brand-new Action Chuck figures mysteriously vanish from the toy store, Marty unravels the mystery. Will there ever be a case too hard for Marty to solve? Or a word too impossible to rhyme?

Broken into three short stories of poetry and petty crime, this charming chapter book will have young readers in search of a rhyme in no time.

A Christy Ottaviano Book 


Title: MARTY FRYE PRIVATE EYE AND THE CASE OF THE STOLEN POODLEMARTY FRYE PRIVATE EYE & THE CASE OF THE STOLEN POODLE

Author: Janet Tashjian

Pub. Date: June 27, 2017

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback

Pages: 96

Find it: AmazonB&N,  TBDGoodreads

Marty Frye is not your ordinary private eye. Marty Frye is “the poet detective”–he solves petty crimes by turning rhymes. In the course of a busy day, Marty tracks down his friend Emma’s lost diary, finds a box of toys missing from Mr. Lipsky’s store; and locates a bag of disappearing flour for his little sister, Katie. Although he hits some dead ends along the way, Marty Frye combines his three favorite hobbies–sleuthing, rhyming, and climbing trees–and leaves no case unsolved or unrhymed.

Three short stories with clear, simple sentences make this charming easy-reader an ideal stepping-stone to longer chapter books. Laurie Keller’s quirky illustrations capture the spirit of Janet Tashjian’s tongue-in-cheek humor. Young readers will be off in search of a rhyme in no time.


Exclusive Excerpt from Marty Frye and the Case of the Stolen Poodle, pg. 63-71

When Marty got home, his sister, Katie, was doing her homework. The kitchen table was filled with piles of pennies, nickels, and dimes.

Katie counted out pennies as she worked. “Three plus seven equals ten,” she said.

Marty swiped one of the pennies. “No disrespect, but your answer’s incorrect.”

Katie threw herself over the rest of the coins.

“Stop messing around with my equation! I have a test tomorrow.”

Marty was heading upstairs to play video games when their neighbor Jackie burst into the kitchen.

“Darlene is missing! You have to help me find her!”

Darlene was Jackie’s poodle. Jackie loved dressing up Darlene in sweaters and bows and tiny shoes that Marty thought were silly. He wondered if Darlene ran away because she didn’t want to be Jackie’s canine doll anymore.

“Don’t break a sweat—I’ll find your pet,” Marty said.

“Oh, thank you, thank you!” Jackie did a hula dance around the kitchen table that made Marty want to hide inside the cupboard.

But when you’re a poet detective, you don’t say no to a new case.

Marty and his sister followed Jackie to her house. “There’s a Bobby the Bloodhound marathon that Darlene and I were going to watch today. But our television isn’t working—I was trying to figure out how to tell Darlene.”

Marty was having second thoughts about helping Jackie. But Jackie had lived in their neighborhood for years and was a good friend.

It was time to ask some tough questions.

“About Darlene—when was she last seen?”

Jackie told him she was getting ready to take Darlene for a walk when she realized her poodle had suddenly disappeared.

“What’s that smell?” Katie asked.

Jackie led Marty and Katie into a kitchen full of goodies. Marty remembered that Jackie liked to cook and his mouth began to water when he saw the counter lined with tarts and quiches. (Here was another mystery—how could he possibly be hungry after eating so much candy that afternoon?)

Jackie took out plates for her friends. While the girls ate, Marty snooped around the house.

He found chew toys.

He found dog food.

But no Darlene.

Marty spotted something sparkly. He reached underneath the shelf then held up his discovery for Jackie to see.

“Put down your quiche—I found your dog’s leash!”

“That’s because I hadn’t slipped it on Darlene yet! Someone stole her, Marty!”

Marty was disappointed the leash wasn’t a clue. He’d already solved two crimes today—would he be able to solve a third?

Did that make you interested? If so, please check out Janet’s books!


About Janet: Janet

Janet Tashjian is a middle-grade and young adult novelist who’s been writing books for children for fifteen years. Her first novel Tru Confessions was made into a critically acclaimed Disney TV movie starring Clara Bryant and Shia LaBeouf. The Gospel According to Larry is a cult favorite and Fault Line is taught in many middle and high schools. Her novels My Life As a Book, My Life As a Stuntboy, and My Life As a Cartoonist are all illustrated by her teenage son, Jake. Their collaboration continues with My Life As a Ninja coming April of 2017.

Janet lives with her family in Los Angeles, enjoying her respite from the long Boston winters. When she isn’t writing, she’s rewriting. Learn more about her and all her books at JanetTashjian.com!

Janet has been doing school visits for fifteen years; you can email her at spatulaproductions@mac.com for details.

Website | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


Giveaway Details:

3 Winners will receive a finished copy of MARTY FRYE PRIVATE EYE & THE CASE OF THE MISSING ACTION FIGURE and MARTY FRYE PRIVATE EYE AND THE CASE OF THE STOLEN POODLE, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/19/2017- Novel Novice– Excerpt

6/20/2017- Why I Read– Review

6/21/2017- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

6/22/2017- The Pages In-Between– Review

6/23/2017- LILbooKlovers– Excerpt

Week Two:

6/26/2017- BookHounds ya– Review

6/27/2017-So Few Books– Interview

6/28/2017- Miracle Milli Reads Review

6/29/2017-Book Review Becca– Review

6/30/2017-Don’t Judge, Read– Interview


Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

Do you have any thoughts or questions?

Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!

Contact | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Bloglovin

 

LILbooKlovers 1 Year Blogoversary!: Q&A with Kester

Hello! Today is a special day for the blog because it is our 1 year blogoversary!!! Woo hoo!!! I can’t believe it’s already been one year that I’ve started this blog, and it has grown quite considerably! Now, to celebrate this special day, I’ve answered all your questions from last week’s post below! Hope you enjoy!


Misty from mistysbookspace

What was the first book that got you into reading??

Regarding my newfound of reading from 9th grade, I would say Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich made me first go “Reading can actually be super fun!” and I sped through it in a few days.

You can only read one genre for the rest of your life, what genre would you choose?

Historical fiction! I love reading books that are set in different time periods, especially World War II! I can’t get enough of Ruta Sepetys!


Tiana from The Book Raven

What time do you find yourself reading the most?

It usually depends on my schedule for the day. I usually read during breaks in school or the afternoon, or I read at night right before bed. But I don’t have a set time to read.

What are you currently reading and what do you think about it so far?

I’m currently reading That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim, which I think is pretty good so far. I love learning more about the Muslim and Pakistani culture that is inside the book, and I just love the romance!


Stephanie from TeacherofYA

Is it hard being a male blogger in a female-dominated market?

It provides its benefits and challenges. I think it is hard especially on Twitter because I’m often mistaken as a girl because I use the blog Twitter account under LILbooKlovers rather than my name, even though I use it 100% of the time. I think that it’s harder to find other males in the YA market, especially in the US, but it helps me stick out as a reviewer. You know, you need that male perspective on those romances!

Funny story: Brittany Goodwin and I talked about her secret epilogue for If You’re Gone, and I told her I didn’t like it. She said that males did not like the epilogue, including her husband, but females loved it. So you see how a male perspective is valuable for books!

What do you do when you enjoy a book that’s been labeled “problematic?”

I stand by my opinion that I personally don’t think it’s problematic. I’ve encountered this problem once now, and all I can say is that I will stick by my opinion. I will write what I feel about it in my review, regardless of whether it’s an unpopular opinion or not, but I will avoid debating about it.

What are your future blog goals?

I hope to expand the blog and get noticed by larger authors and publishers! It would be a dream to get ARCs from the Big 5 that are some of the hottest releases!

Who is your all-time favorite author that you’ve met, and that you still have yet to meet?

Shaila Patel’s my favorite author I have met. She’s super nice and sweet, and we’ve been chatting for a while leading up to SE-YA! She’s amazing, and I look forward to Soulmated‘s sequel!

I really want to meet Ruta Sepetys so much! Her books are some of my all-time favorites, and they have definitely changed my outlook on the world! She’s such an amazing historical fiction writer that I just want her to sign my books!

If you could buy a copy of any book or own any book (ARCs included), what would you pick?

A Caraval ARC. I really want one so much. I’m hoping I could trade for one soon! Or a signed Ruta Sepetys book!

Continue reading “LILbooKlovers 1 Year Blogoversary!: Q&A with Kester”

Milestone Sunday + Give Us Your Questions for Our Blogoversary!

Hi guys! Happy Sunday! School’s out, graduation for the seniors is over, and summer is starting! Woop woop! So I’m going to make a special announcement about our summer plans soon, but in the meanwhile, we have two things we would like to say!200 followers

First, this week we achieved 200 WordPress followers! *pulls out confetti cannons* Thanks so much to everyone who has followed us throughout the past year! From the blog’s inception til January, we had a total of only 20 followers through email/Wordpress, but in the last 4 – 5 months we’ve reached 200 WordPress followers! We would just like to thank everyone who has supported us, and it has been a great honor to be blogging for such a wonderful YA community!

So since our blogoversary is coming up on May 28th, which was the date I created the first ever post! After seeing ChicNerdReads’s blogoversary Q&A post, I’ve decided to make this post open to your questions! Please comment below your questions about any of us, the blog, books, etc. and we’ll pick our favorite ones (depending on the number) and answer them! Sounds fun? Ask away!

We’re so looking forward to seeing your questions for our blogoversary post next Sunday, so you better not miss it! Thanks so much, and happy reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

My Birthday Blog Post: My Reading Journey!

Hi guys! Guess what day it is? My birthday! Woo hoo! And that means a birthday book haul and the end of school… Oh my! As a special post for today, I’m going to tell you a little story about my love for reading. I’ll also give a special announcement at the end.

As an elementary school student, I was a big reader. I remember reading almost every single Magic Tree House and Hardy Boys book I could get my hands on. I kept on reading and reading and taking those AR tests to accumulate points.

AR stands for Accelerated Reading. It is a program where kids have to read books and later take quizzes on them. I read the entire Harry Potter series in 3rd to 5th grade and I could get 250 total points for all the books. Yes, the longer the book the more AR points you can get. That’s why The Order of the Phoenix would be like 50 points.

But as 4th and 5th grade progressed, I was pushed more to read higher level books. I couldn’t read books like the Hunger Games because they were so low level. I could only read 5th grade or higher, and there weren’t that many books that interested me. I couldn’t find myself reading Young Adult because nothing piqued my interest.

And that kind of ruined reading for me. It was like I was restricted with what I could read. The lowest books I could choose were Encyclopedia Brown and that was pretty much it. In middle school, I dropped the act. From reading 30 or 40 books a year, I only touched 5 to 10. Instead of reading, I would be playing video games or watching TV. (Now video games feel like a waste of time for me.)

I was stuck trying to read The Diary of Anne Frank (which I honestly didn’t like… I’m sorry for my unpopular opinion!) and being restricted to only the first book in the Among the Hidden series. I also tried to read during the summer, but it took me almost a month and a half to finish the entire 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which could now take me a week or two.

In 8th grade, I started finding books I liked. I’m going to tell you about Mr. Harris, who is a great teacher. One of the best English teachers you’ll ever find! He introduced me to The Giver (an amazing book but I don’t plan on finishing the Quartet) and Night by Elie Wiesel (very chilling). The books we read in his class were the first sticks in the fire. I also got to read 1984 on my own and I loved it so much that I even turned it into a speech team prose piece. (Sadly, I didn’t break…)

But I attribute the first “turning point” in my reading career to be the Infinity Ring series. Time travel and history? I had to read it. It was the first series that I finished, and it took me only a month to get through all the books. Yes, I admit they were short, but I couldn’t put them down. I remember traveling to World War II in a furniture store with Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Behind Enemy Lines. I did not want it to end.

I gave myself the challenge of reading the entire Maze Runner series, which took me the entire summer but it was worth. At that time, it was hard for me to read fast. Books would take me months at a time.

Soon, as I got to high school, my librarian Mrs. Mason introduced me to reading. After finishing the Kill Order I asked her some recommendations because I wanted to try reading out. The first book that made me go “Hey reading different books is fun” was Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich. Ever since, I always had a book with me.

The books that got me into Young Adult were The Islands at the End of the World duology by Austin Aslan. I remember looking at it and going “It looks so interesting but it looks too long!” At that time, I just wanted to read short books. I decided to try it out, and boy, I was blown away! I could not stop reading and reading. (Now Austin and I are friends, and you can check out his interview here!)

I finally reached the peak of my reading struggles and everything was downhill from there! In Winter of 2016, I went through a memoir phase. In Spring 2016, I got more into YA with These Gentle Wounds, Mosquitoland, and Between Shades of Gray (sadly I didn’t go to SE-YA that year and meet Ruta Sepetys… I will meet her one day!). Then I made my blog with my friend Lilly and launched our first post on May 28th, which is our blog-aversary! Then I surprised myself with reading a total of 64 books last year, which was unprecedented for me.

Now I read mainly YA with the occasional adult book. I’m super thankful for my love of reading because it has helped me connect more with the world around me, fellow readers and bloggers, and amazing authors! Books have opened up opportunities I never thought would be possible, such as this book or book festivals. 

 

The special announcement is the Summer of Authors! Throughout the summer, we will have over a dozen authors come onto the blog with amazing interviews, giveaways, and guest posts you don’t want to miss! I’m going to explain more in my blogoversary post on the 28th, but I won’t give away any secrets…

But it starts off this Monday with J. M. Sullivan, author of Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles, which just released yesterday! Go grab it if you have the chance!

So that’s it for my birthday post. I might post my haul soon, so be on the lookout! 😉


Happy Reading!

+ J.M.J.

~ Kester

(P.S. And I will be doing my best to do a quote of the week! It’s just been really hard lately, but I will try to get to one! 😉 )

Black Cat Blue Sea Award

Hi guys! Happy Sunday! Although I am so behind on awards and tags and haven’t yet updated our sidebar with our newest awards, I was able to do our tags for the Black Cat Blue Sea Award! We were nominated by Jannin from The Booknerd Dragon and Rendz from Reading with Rendz, two of the closest bloggers I have interacted with! They have amazing blogs, and I urge you to check them out! Thank you so much for nominating us!

 

black-cat

“This award is for bloggers who strive to write for everybody, and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee. It should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it, and it doesn’t mean that they must have hundreds of followers and likes.”

 

Rules

  1. Anybody nominated can nominate eight other bloggers.
  2. The nominee answers three questions posed by the nominator.
  3. The questions you ask while nominating can be any three questions.
  4. If any of the questions asked are offensive or the nominee simply does not want to answer, the nominee does not have to answer them to earn the award

 

Jannin’s Questions

1. What is your biggest fear?

Nope… Gonna keep this to myself! But one of my biggest fears is falling from heights. I’m not afraid of being high up, just whenever the chance of falling is great, like on a roller coaster where I get that weird feeling of my stomach shifting in my body. Ugh!

2. What is your favorite day of the week and why?

Sunday! It’s the day I can relax,  read, blog, and catch up on things. I love Sundays since it’s both the Lord’s Day and a day of worship and rest! I usually don’t have to worry about too many things on a Sunday. It’s great! I just pace myself that I don’t even try to stress myself!

3. Least favorite over-hyped book.

Fifty Shades of Gray. I don’t know why anyone would want to read it! Why? I haven’t read it and don’t ever want to! Just please no.

 

Rendz’s Questions

1. What is a book that brings up a good memory?

The Continuum Trilogy by Jennifer Brody. I remember those days when I couldn’t put it down! I could see the action, adventure, suspense, thrill, romance, and plot twists all unfold before my eyes! That’s why it’s my favorite series!

2. Do you have a person with whom you can fangirl/boy with at anytime of the day?

No because I’m one of the only big readers who actually like to talk about books with other people (I’m an ESFJ!). But sometimes I just geek out over books with a lot of my author and blogger friends like Shaila Patel (author of Soulmated which you should read), Stephanie from TeacherofYA, and Krysti from YA and Wine. There’s free promotion right there!

3. You can wish yourself into any fictional world you want, but you must leave behind this life (family, friends and books!) Would you do it and if so, where would you go?

Nope! I’d rather read about them than leave all my friends and family. I don’t want there to be no more blogging, La La La soundtracks, and violin, so I’d stay here.

 

Our Nominees

Stephanie from Teacher of YA

Krysti from YA and Wine

Mandy from Book Princess Reviews

Payton from Payton’s Book Thoughts

Kim from By Hook or By Book

Megan from ::bookslayerReads::

The Orang-utan Librarian

Olga from Olga’s Oddish Obsession

 

Our Questions

1. What is your favorite album or soundtrack you like to listen to and why?

2. Which book have you been wanting to get signed for such a long time?

3. Would you rather read only physical books but get a paper cut every 15 minutes or e-books but your device shuts down for 1 minute every 5 minutes?

 

If you were nominated, you are not required to do the tag! If you do, please tag us! I’d love to see your answers!

 

+ J.M.J.

Happy Reading!

~ Kester