Remembrall Readathon by the HPA

I just wanted to put out a link to this Readathon hosted by the Harry Potter Alliance. They’re re-reading the entire Harry Potter series this summer leading up to the release of The Cursed Child.

The HPA is a wonderful organization that I’ve supported in the past and will continue to support. They’ll be posting weekly updates on the progress of the readathon and I’m hoping that their YouTube videos will become good places for book discussion during the course of the summer!

They’ve outlined a suggested schedule to keep up with if you want to stay on track with them. The first few books are allotted about a week’s reading time, with longer amounts of time set for the books with higher page counts.

It’s been a long time since I read any of the Potter books, so I’m looking forward to diving in here and getting my hands back on them. The structured readathon is just a great excuse for me to return to Hogwarts.

Take care y’all!

Book Review: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

All the Birds in the Sky | Charlie Jane Anders | January 26, 2016
Tor Books | 320 pages | ARC provided by publisher


From the editor-in-chief of, a stunning novel about the end of the world–and the beginning of our future

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families.

But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world’s ever-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together–to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse


All the Birds in the Sky is a coming-of-age novel that takes place over the course of several years. Patricia and Laurence are brought together in school because they’re both considered outsiders: everyone believes Patricia to be a witch, and Laurence, the science whiz, gets picked on for his smarts. Continue reading Book Review: All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

How I use the 5-Star rating system on Goodreads

Most book reviewers believe in some way that rating all books on the same scale of 1 to 5 is messy. For example, what am I supposed to do when I just read a really good fantasy book that is nothing like any of the literary fiction picks that dominate my shelves? What do those five stars even MEAN? Why are there only five? Why is rating books even important?

Over time I stopped putting 1 to 5 ratings on my blog reviews, because I think the definition of what those stars mean varies too much from person to person. Continue reading How I use the 5-Star rating system on Goodreads

Book Review: Binge by Tyler Oakley + GIVEAWAY

Binge Cover
Title: Binge

Author: Tyler Oakley

Publisher: Gallery Books

Pub Date: October 20, 2015

Pages: 320

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased


Pop-culture phenomenon, social rights advocate, and the most prominent LGBTQ+ voice on YouTube, Tyler Oakley brings you his first collection of witty, personal, and hilarious essays.

For someone who made a career out of over-sharing on the Internet, Tyler has a shocking number of personal mishaps and shenanigans to reveal in his first book: experiencing a legitimate rage blackout in a Cheesecake Factory; negotiating a tense stand­off with a White House official; crashing a car in front of his entire high school, in an Arby’s uniform; projectile vomiting while bartering with a grandmother; and so much more. In Binge, Tyler delivers his best untold, hilariously side-splitting moments with the trademark flair that made him a star.


[If you’re here for the giveaway, scroll down to the bottom! Of course, I wouldn’t object to your reading some of what I’ve written about the book as well . . .]

Binge content warnings: profanity, eating disorders, depression, sexual content.
I’ve never fully understood Tyler Oakley’s Youtube demographics, but this is a very grown up books, and I would not recommend Binge to readers under the age of 16.

A couple of my favorite excerpts (SPOILER FREE!):

"It's like when I was in sixth grade and this kid 
told me in the hot-lunch line that I had a hook 
head. When I asked what what even meant, he said 
that the back of my head jutted out like a pirate'shook, like I've got a big brain or a least a siza-
ble tumor going on. I had no clue whether it was 
true, but he had planted the seed of doubt in my 
big hook head. To this day, you will never catch meprofiling my silhouette." - pp 111-112
"February 29 needs to be discussed. Every four 
years, we have an extra day in our calendar and 
call it a leap day, and everyone just kind of goes along with it. But why don't we do something radi-
cal on that day to celebrate? Like something com-
pletely outrageous. I've got ideas. Hear me out. 
What if, on February 29 we . . .
-Give women equal pay.
-Don't shoot people based on racial bias.
-Gays and straights alike accent the existence of 
-People stop accusing me of having a hook head.
Let me know what y'all think! Maybe if everyone 
likes these the first year, we can just make them 
an everyday thing?" p 159

I’m going to start another review detailing what this book is NOT. This book is not written in the lush prose styles of literary fiction. This is not the type of book that is going to win a Pulitzer. I think we tend to forget that the vast majority of published works out there do not go on to win groundbreaking or career-defining awards. Most books are just books. A lot of them are good books, don’t get me wrong! But there are only a few selected every year that get the prestigious honors we tend to associate with “good” literature. Continue reading Book Review: Binge by Tyler Oakley + GIVEAWAY

Book Review: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Title: More Happy Than Not

Author: Adam Silvera

Publisher: Soho Press

Pub Date: June 2, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 293

Source: Purchased

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?


Attention everyone: If you are looking for one last book to round out your summer reading list, this might be the one! Continue reading Book Review: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Book Review: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

Never Always Sometimes

Never Always SometimesTitle: Never Always Sometimes
Author: Adi Alsaid
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pub Date: August 4, 2015
Format: ARC Paperback
Pages: 320
Source: provided by publisher

Never date your best friend


Always be original


Sometimes rules are meant to be broken


Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school.


Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Continue reading Book Review: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

Welcome to Night Vale: The Book Review

Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel

Welcome to night vale book coverTitle: Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel
goodreads | amazon
Author: Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Pub Date: October 20, 2015
Pages: 416
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: Provided by publisher

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge. Continue reading Welcome to Night Vale: The Book Review

Books for ComicCon

…or just wishing you were there.


Yes, that time of year again. When I’m glued to my computer and watching every livestream/interview session/news coverage of San Diego available. The nerds have taken over the city. And despite not being at Comic-Con myself, and not really wanting to brave that madness anyway, I can still revel in the amazing nature of fandom. Here are some of my SDCC-related picks:

Of course, if you’ve been following my blog for long, you’ll know that I love the Whedonverse (or as it was originally called, the “Jossverse”). If I absolutely had to pick one type of book that I enjoy reading the most, it would be books of essays about Joss Whedon projects. So here are two among many that I love:

Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion
Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion
Reading Joss Whedon
Reading Joss Whedon

Next, a (new) book about fandom that blew my mind. Note: there are a lot of Whedon examples in this one, but it does talk about other things, like for instance the recent tragic death of Cory Monteith and its affect on glee and its fandom. This book addresses the question that has created anxiety among fans for years – what happens to a fandom after its show is cancelled?

Post-Object Fandom
Post-Object Fandom

And now, a book that absolutely rocked my world. A book about fanfiction, textual poaching, reading against the grain, and the future of fandom. Featuring an absolutely inspiring concluding essay written by the wonderful Amber Benson (of Buffy fame, actress-turned-author) herself:

fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World
fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World

And to wrap things up, a book by one of this year’s special guests, blogger and author Allie Brosh. Hyperbole and a Half is one of my favorite books ever. It’s the one I reach for the most often when I’m sad or upset, and don’t want to read anything else. There’s something of a solidarity in knowing your personal problems are shared with other human beings. Also, DOGS. This book has dogs in it. Cute ones. And it’s funny. Read it.

Hyperbole and a Half

Hyperbole and a Half

I hope these recommendations will help you enjoy the spirit of ComicCon from the comfort of your favorite armchair! Indulge in your nerdy side, book lovers! 🙂

Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Book Review (13)

Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Pub Date: September 1, 2015
Pages: 320
Format: ARC Paperback
Source: provided by publisher
This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

Continue reading Book Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Book Sales Infographic: 2014

Infographic time! I came across a bunch of publishing industry statistics that sparked my interest. Are U.S. bookstores doomed? No. Are eBooks taking over? Not really. People still love print books, and bookstores are still opening around the country. In fact, overall paper book sales went up in 2014 by 2.4%. That may seem like a minuscule amount, but when you consider how much money the U.S. spends on books annually, it’s more than just a chunk of change.

book sales stats
please link back to this page if you want to use this infographic.

(stats vary depending on the source)

AAP – Publisher’s Weekly
AAP – Ink, Bits, and Pixels
AAP – Digital Book World
ABA – Ink, Bits, and Pixels
The Bookseller
Hewlett Packard – Publisher’s Weekly

My faith in paper books has been renewed, and I can sleep soundly knowing they’re not going anywhere any time soon.