Guest Post: Ten Foods (& their significance) in Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn

Samstag, 31. Oktober 2015

   I am obsessed with food, and so it shows up, in more or less degrees, in every book that I write. In Forget Tomorrow, for instance, Callie dreams of becoming a Manual Chef -- meaning a chef who prepares food by hand, as the majority of food in Eden City comes straight from the Meal Assembler.
Here are ten different foods that show up in Forget Tomorrow:

   1. Roast chicken and green beans with cloves of garlic. A meal fit for the New Year, prepared in honor of Callie's Memory's Eve. Everything has the slight plasticky taste of food that's been prepared in the Meal Assembler.

   2. Chocolate cake. Handmade, misshapen, one side higher than the other. Callie is touched by this cake because her mother makes it in honor of Callie's dream to become a Manual Chef.

   3. Peppermint tea. Callie's family drinks this tea around the eating table when they are talking, simply being together, or remembering the past.

   4. Glop in prison. Disgusting, and it makes Callie want to turn her stomach inside out. But it is one of the few possessions Callie has, and so she offers it to her neighbor Sully as a bargaining chip. Sully, not surprisingly, turns it down.

   5. Pot roast. When Jessa was a baby, Callie made this for her school project because the carrots and potatoes were soft enough for her sister to eat.

   6. Rice in the woods. After running away from civilization, Callie boils rice from a canteen hung over a fire, using broad green leaves as a plate. This simple act of cooking makes her feel more like herself again.

   7. Guacamole. Some people said Callie's guacamole was unbalanced, but Logan loves that extra punch of lime. (He might or might not be a little biased. Lol.)

   8. Venison stew. The first dish Callie prepares for the community of Harmony, after she watches Zed skin a deer. Logan feeds Callie bits of the stew with his fingers, and she feels the tingle all the way to her toes. For a recipe of Callie's venison stew, check out this link:

   9. Fish stuffed with diced veggies. Callie and Logan catch and scale the fish themselves, and as she looks at the fish's googly eyes, she feels like she can make a home in the wilderness.

   10. Spaghetti squash. Another Meal Assembly specialty. Logan, being the gentleman that he is, waits for Callie to start, and then they dig in, the crunch of the noodles overtaking any need for conversation.

   And there you have it! Ten foods that appear in Forget Tomorrow! What are your favorite foods? What special memory do they call for you? Please share!

Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn
Expected Publication: November 3rd 2015 by Entangled TEEN
Number of Pages: 400 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #1

   Imagine a world where your destiny has already been your future self.
   It's Callie's seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she's eagerly awaiting her vision-a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they're meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.
   Or in Callie's case, a criminal.
   In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo-a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn't spoken to in five years, she escapes.
But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all-Callie, herself. (

About the Author

   Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”
   Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.
   She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at:

Cover Lust Friday: Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski

Freitag, 30. Oktober 2015

Cover Lust Friday Logo

   Cover Lust Friday is a new weekly meme that's all about covers. Pick a cover that stands out to you, add your reason why you've chosen that particular one or what you like about it. Let's have fun with it and share the love for our favorite covers.

   The Cover:

New Cover
Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski
Published: June 18th 2013
Number of Pages: 396 Pages (Kindle Edition, 3rd edition)
Series: Yes, #1 in the In the Company of Killers Series
This is a book intended for mature audiences.

   Sarai was only fourteen when her mother uprooted her to live in Mexico with a notorious drug lord. Over time she forgot what it was like to live a normal life, but she never let go of her hope to escape the compound where she has been held for the past nine years.
   Victor is a cold-blooded assassin who, like Sarai, has known only death and violence since he was a young boy. When Victor arrives at the compound to collect details and payment for a hit, Sarai sees him as her only opportunity for escape. But things don’t go as planned and instead of finding transport back to Tucson, she finds herself free from one dangerous man and caught in the
Original Cover
clutches of another.

   While on the run, Victor strays from his primal nature as he succumbs to his conscience and resolves to help Sarai. As they grow closer, he finds himself willing to risk everything to keep her alive; even his relationship with his devoted brother and liaison, Niklas, who now like everyone else wants Sarai dead.
   As Victor and Sarai slowly build a trust, the differences between them seem to lessen, and an unlikely attraction intensifies. But Victor’s brutal skills and experience may not be enough in the end to save her, as the power she unknowingly holds over him may ultimately be what gets her killed. (

   The Reason:

   When I first stumbled upon this book a year or two ago I was immediately intrigued by the cover, the original one. I liked the fact that despite the picture actually being horizontal it had been turned vertical for the cover. It just had something that caught my attention, closely followed by the red hair and blood on the models hand.
   I admit, after adding it to my 'to-read' pile on goodreads I kind of forgot about it until I stumbled upon it once more, but this time with the new cover. That's when I knew that it was definitely time to finally read it (here's my review in case you're interested). I love the new cover, how simple yet expressive it is, plus the blood really contrasts amazingly with the black and white aspect of the overall picture.
   The font is awesome, and the fact that the two words are written in two different colors makes it only stand out more in my opinion. 
   Overall this cover is great. It immediately shows you want to expect from the story. It's intrigued and simple at first glance, though it's so much more.

* * *

Want to join in? No problem! Just follow the 'rules' below:
  1. Write a blog post about a cover you love.
  2. Add your link in the comment section of the original post (click here) so we can have something like a list going on.
  3. And if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  4. Check out other posts, and have fun!

Waiting on Wednesday: Shade Me by Jennifer Brown

Mittwoch, 28. Oktober 2015

   Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

   The book:

Shade me by Jennifer Brown
Expected Publication: January 19th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
Number of Pages: 448 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #1 in the Nikki Kill Series (?)

   Nikki Kill does not see the world like everyone else. In her eyes, happiness is pink, sadness is a mixture of brown and green, and lies are gray. Thanks to a rare phenomenon called synesthesia, Nikki’s senses overlap, in a way that both comforts and overwhelms her.
   Always an outsider, just one ‘D’ shy of flunking out, Nikki’s life is on the fast track to nowhere until the night a mysterious call lights her phone up bright orange—the color of emergencies. It’s the local hospital. They need Nikki to identify a Jane Doe who is barely hanging on to life after a horrible attack.
   The victim is Peyton Hollis, a popular girl from Nikki’s school who Nikki hardly knows. One thing is clear: Someone wants Peyton dead. But why? And why was Nikki’s cell the only number in Peyton’s phone?
   As she tries to decipher the strange kaleidoscope of clues, Nikki finds herself thrust into the dark, glittering world of the ultra-rich Hollis family, and drawn towards Peyton’s handsome, never-do-well older brother Dru. While Nikki’s colors seem to help her unravel the puzzle, what she can’t see is that she may be falling into a trap. The only truth she can be sure of is that death is a deep, pulsing crimson. (

   My thoughts:

   This book sounds amazing and so unique. The idea of seeing emotions as colors was definitely the first thing that caught my attention about this book because I've never seen it in a book before. The fact that it's a suspense one only made me want to have it more, probably like yesterday, since I have an undying love for all things suspense/thriller. 
   The cover is so pretty, even though it's relatively simple, so maybe that's why it stood out to be. The font looks really unique and eye-catching. The tagline beneath the title is on point: White lies never fade to black. Yes! 
   All in all it sounds like a fascinating read that I cannot wait to get my hands on. I wish I could get an ARC for it but the chances are unfortunately rather slim so I'll have to wait until January along with you guys.

   Let me know in the comments below or via twitter (@Alice_Reeds) which books you're waiting for this Wednesday!
Shade Me by Jennifer Brown Cover

Ask the Author: Robin Constantine (The Secrets of Attraction)

Samstag, 24. Oktober 2015

   A couple of weeks ago I've read and absolutely loved (why have I not written a review yet? Beats me) The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine so of course I had to write her an e-mail asking for an interview. To my surprise she actually said yes! So today I am bringing you her wonderful answers to my questions.

The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine
Published: April 28th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 384 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   Madison Parker is on fast-forward. Working toward a scholarship for a summer art program, she already has her future figured out. But when a visit from a family friend turns her life upside down, everything she thought she knew becomes blurred. All she wants is to stand still for a moment.
   Jesse McMann is stuck on repeat. Reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band, Jesse divides his time between working as a barista and trying to find the inspiration to write music again. All he wants to do is move forward.
   The night Maddie strolls into Jesse’s coffee shop after yoga class, the last thing on his mind is hooking up, but her smile and witty comebacks are hard to ignore. The spark between them is undeniable, but once-a-week flirting is hardly the stuff of epic romance.
   Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett. When Jesse discovers that Gray’s girlfriend is also Maddie’s best friend, he invites Gray to join his band as their new drummer, hoping this connection will give him more time around Maddie. Slowly but surely, Jesse and Maddie forge a friendship, but do they have what it takes to make their relationship truly sync? (

Interview with Robin Constantine

   1 – Describe The Secrets of Attraction with a haiku.
   Warm drinks and kisses
   A song played from the heart
   Jesse gets the girl

   2 – What sparked the idea for The Secrets of Attraction? Was it the simple idea of girl meets boy or something else entirely?
   When my publisher acquired my first novel, The Promise of Amazing, my editor asked me if I would be interested in writing a companion novel from Madison’s point of view. I loved the idea! Madison is such a different character from Wren (the female protagonist in PoA) and it was fun fleshing out her story. I also always wanted to write a band book – great potential for tension and playful scenes, so that’s how Jesse and Yellow # 5 came about. My husband plays guitar and was in numerous bands, and I took a lot of inspiration from that as well!

   3 – What do you like most and least about your protagonists Madison and Jesse?
   Madison: I love Madison’s fashion sense, her daring and what a fierce friend she is to Wren and Jazz. What I think she can work on is thinking before acting (instead of avoiding things altogether). Some of the ways she avoids Zach are a little sneaky.
   Jesse: I love his passion for his music, and how conscientious he is when he’s making Madison’s hot chocolate! I do think his ego can get in the way when it comes to the band and sometimes he takes his friend Tanner for granted.

   4 – In retrospective, is there anything that you’d change about the story or are you happy with the way it turned out in the end?
   Wow – this is a great question! First – I stand by the book as it is but I’m sure I could open to any section and get that desire to revise! I think that’s the nature of being a writer – you can always see ways to improve your work. At a certain point in the process you have to trust the choices that you’ve made and stick with them because you can drive yourself crazy since there are literally infinite roads to take in any story. In a much earlier version of The Secrets of Attraction, Madison was interested in Leif, the yoga instructor, and made advances toward him (which I’m glad I switched up!). The book was also slightly more tragic at one point, but then I made the decision to keep it light and fun and focus on the romance between Madison and Jesse, which is my favorite part to write!

   5 - How long does it usually take you to finish a story? How long did it take you from first idea until publishing deal?
   This varies and depends if I’m working on deadline or not. If left to my own devices, I’m not sure how quickly I’d write a book. There’s a lot of staring into space during my process. My first novel length work (unpublished) took me three years to write (including multiple revisions). Ideally, a first draft for me can take anywhere from six months to a year, but I’ve written drafts in as little as three months. The Promise of Amazing took just under two years – it went through numerous revisions with my agent – and it sold about two weeks after being on submission. But to answer your second question –I wrote my first novel length story in 1998 – so it took me close to fourteen years to land a publishing deal. Perseverance is key.

   6 – What do you think about the covers for The Promise of Amazing and The Secrets of Attraction?
   I adore my covers. I really lucked out. I think each cover captures the essence of the book. And I love the typography. Bravo to the design team!

   7 – Where do you like to write the most?
   Very boring answer – at my home office. I have my desk and my creature comforts and an unlimited supply of coffee. I think I’d be too distracted to sit at a coffee house! Also I hate the feeling of someone looking over my shoulder as I write.

   8 – What lead you to writing and wanting to be an author? Is it the way you imagined it would be?
   Reading. I was (and still am) a voracious reader – books, magazines, blog posts, news, etc. but mostly books. The book that really inspired me to become an author was Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume. I’m not sure why it captured my attention the way it did, but I loved that book – I think because it was so relatable and funny and Judy Blume is a Jersey girl too!
   It’s everything I imagined and nothing I imagined. I love writing and creating and I love meeting readers – those are the fun parts. The business side – branding, social media, book sales, writing under deadline – is a little trickier. Yes it’s nice to have a dream come true, but it’s also a lot of hard work. The difference for me between being published and not, is that if I’m on deadline I need to write – even when the words aren’t flowing that easily. That can be tough.

   9 – What is your favorite genre and why?
   I’ll have to say contemporary romance because it’s an escape! Sometimes though when I’m writing, I need to read something completely different from what I’m working on and then I turn to paranormal or thrillers!

   10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?
   Don’t be in such a rush to send your work out – make sure you’ve gone through it, thoroughly, which means it’s imperative to have first readers. People you can depend on, not only to lift you up but to show you where you need improvement. I wouldn’t be where I am now without my writing group. If a group doesn’t work for you at least find a critique partner. Even one outside opinion can help. Find what you love about writing – this way when it gets difficult, you can remind yourself of that. There is always rejection at every stage, so just embrace it and persevere.

   11 – If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
   I think I’d love to fly – the ability to get somewhere fast would be really handy!

About the Author

   Robin Constantine is the author of The Promise of Amazing and The Secrets of Attraction. A born-and-raised Jersey girl, Robin likes to spend her days dreaming up stories where love conquers all, eventually, but not without a lot of peril, angst, and the occasional kissing scene. She loves swoony books, flip-flops, dark chocolate and the full moon.

Cover Lust Friday: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Freitag, 23. Oktober 2015

Cover Lust Friday Logo

   Cover Lust Friday is a weekly meme that's all about covers. Pick a cover that stands out to you, add your reason why you've chosen that particular one or what you like about it. Let's have fun with it and share the love for our favorite covers.

   The Cover:

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Published: March 26th 2013 by Harlequin Teen (first published 2012)
Number of Pages: 443 Pages (Paperback)
Series: Yes, #1 in the Blood of Eden Trilogy

   To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…
   Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.
   Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again. (

   The Reason:

   I don't really know what it was about this cover that originally caught my attention but I know for a fact that I adore it. I love how dark it is, thanks to being like 90% black, since I'm quite sure that it perfectly mirrors how dark the story itself is. Yes, I admit I've not read this one yet even though it stands on my shelf at home, shame on me, I know.
   Furthermore I really like the golden eclipse like splash with the title inside of it. The font fits really well and was probably one of the reasons why the cover caught my eye. I know that this one originally had a different cover, which was awful, so I'm happy they changed it. The covers for book two and three are also really pretty so I cannot wait to get into this trilogy so that the entire thing can take it's place on my shelf.

* * *

Want to join in? No problem! Just follow the 'rules' below:

  1. Write a blog post about a cover you love.
  2. Add your link in the comment section of the original post (click here) so we can have something like a list going on.
  3. And if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  4. Check out other posts, and have fun!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens

Mittwoch, 21. Oktober 2015

   Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

   The book:

The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens Cover
The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens
Expected Publication: November 3rd 2015 by HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 336 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.
   As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past. (

   My thoughts:

   Last year I've read and loved Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens, even though it wasn't an easy story, so I immediately knew that I would read any and all books she's going to put out. The Lies About Truth sounds amazing and the cover is stunning so I cannot wait to finally read it and see it standing on my shelf. Courtney is an amazing author so I'm positive that this book will be just as good as Faking Normal.

   Let me know in the comments below or via twitter (@Alice_Reeds) which books you're waiting for this Wednesday!

Review: The Amazing Book is Not On Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester

Samstag, 17. Oktober 2015

The Amazing Book is Not On Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester Cover
The Amazing Book is Not On Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester
Expected Publication: October 8th 2015 by Ebury Press
Number of Pages: 224 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   Hello reader,
   In this book is a world. A world created by two awkward guys who share their lives on the internet!
   We are Dan and Phil and we invite you on a journey inside our minds! From the stories of our actual births, to exploring Phil's teenage diary and all the reasons why Dan's a fail.
   Learn how to draw the perfect cat whiskers, get advice on what to do in an awkward situation and discover which of our dining chairs represents you emotionally. With everything from what we text each other, to the time we met One Direction and what really happened in Vegas... (

   This was an incredibly fun read that made me laugh loads thanks to Dan and Phil's humor that so nicely translated onto paper. As someone who really likes to watch their videos having the ability have something from them, especially in book form, standing on my shelf is really nice, which I guess is also exactly what they've been going for. For this review I will try to keep my inner fangirl at bay and try to be as objective and unbiased as possible.
   When the first YouTuber book wave hit the news I groaned inwardly because when I think of a book I imagine a novel and not a collection of stories, pictures, or pieces not even written by the YouTubers but someone else. But, when I heard that danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil were working on a book I got really excited and hoped for it to be something fun. Luckily I got just that.

   I enjoyed this conversation type vibe that a big chunk of this book had going on because it almost felt like reading a transcript of their video(s). I also really liked how different their writing styles were, which was also underlined by two certain stories that can be found inside the book(those who have read it will know which ones I mean). Dan uses longer, wonderfully articulated sentences, whereas Phil's parts felt a bit simpler, typically Phil like (which will probably only make sense to those who've watched his videos), but funny and intriguing nonetheless.
   Another good thing was that despite the fact that, for example, I've seen almost all of Dan's videos, and a number of Phil's, I still learned so much new stuff about them in this book. I really enjoyed the way they described their University life and, once again, felt awe when reading that Phil is so smart and has a Bachelor and a Master.
   The format of this book was also quite fun. There were many colors used, many really cool and interesting pictures to look at, and the story about what really happened in Vagas was brilliant. Let's also not forget the part where they talk about the time they met One Direction. Even someone like me who isn't really involved in the One D world nor really listens to their music, I could feel the emotions that Dan and Phil were describing and I could perfectly understand them. I applaud them for that.

   All in all I think The Amazing Book is Not On Fire is incredibly funny, interesting, and immensely entertaining. I finished it in under twenty four hours because I could just barely make myself stop. This was definitely a YouTuber book that did not disappoint me, but rather made me want to pick up more of them, though I only think there is like one more out there that I really want to have. So if you're a fan of Dan and/or Phil, I think you're very likely to enjoy this read, and even if you're not, you could still give it a try even if only for the laughs and giggle.
I give The Amazing Book is Not On Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester 5 out of 5 Stars.

Cover Lust Friday: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Freitag, 16. Oktober 2015

Cover Lust Friday Logo
   Cover Lust Friday is a weekly meme that's all about covers. Pick a cover that stands out to you, add your reason why you've chosen that particular one or what you like about it. Let's have fun with it and share the love for our favorite covers.

   The Cover:

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Published: June 4th 2013 by Atria Books
Number of Pages: 434 Pages (Paperback)
Series: No

   I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.
   Full of rage and without a purpose, former pianist Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone discovering her past and to make the boy who took everything from her pay.
   All 17 year-old Josh Bennett wants is to build furniture and be left alone, and everyone allows it because it’s easier to pretend he doesn’t exist. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.
   Everyone except Nastya, a hot mess of a girl who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. The more he gets to know her, the more of a mystery
she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he may ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding or if he even wants to.
   The Sea of Tranquility is a slow-building, character-driven romance about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.
   Please Note: This book contains mature content including profanity, drug/alcohol use, and sexual situations/language. (

   The Reason:

   This is the second ever Cover Lust Friday posts I thought I simply have to talk about my favorite YA/NA Contemporary book and it's gorgeous covers. I say covers because there are two, as you can see above. The first one is the current cover it has under Atria Books and the second one is the old cover which it had under Antisocialite Press LLC.
   Back when I first stumbled upon this book the cover, the old one, caught my eye because of its simplicity and the beautiful font. It's remarkable how well the cover fits with the slow and tranquil atmosphere of the story. And there's also something intriguing about the new cover, which now stands proudly on my shelf. On one had it's there two silliest of faces looking at each other and on the other spilled while paint. I absolutely love these two covers and the book itself.

* * *

Want to join in? No problem! Just follow the 'rules' below:
  1. Write a blog post about a cover you love.
  2. Add your link in the comment section of the original post (click here) so we can have something like a list going on.
  3. And if you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  4. Check out other posts, and have fun!

    Waiting on Wednesday: Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul

    Mittwoch, 14. Oktober 2015

       Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

       The book:

    Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul Cover
    Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul
    Expected Publication: October 27th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
    Number of Pages: 304 Pages (Hardcover)
    Series: No

       Underneath Everything is a seductive, gorgeously written debut about two girls bound by an obsessive and toxic friendship, perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver and Courtney Summers.
       Mattie shouldn't be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason. But now Mattie is a senior, and she's sick of missing things. So here she is. And there's Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know—she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson.
       But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can't figure out where Jolene's life ends and hers begins. Because there's something Mattie hasn't told anyone: She walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left. (

       My thoughts:

       This book sounds absolutely amazing. I mean, a toxic friendship and an LGBTQ undercurrent, what more could you ask for? The cover is also really pretty, nice and simple with a interesting light blue font. I cannot wait to dive into this one, especially since I've had my eye on it for months now. Can it be October 27th already? Please?

       Let me know in the comments below or via twitter (@Alice_Reeds) which book you're waiting for this Wednesday!

    Review: The Martian (Movie, 2015)

    Sonntag, 11. Oktober 2015

    Title: The Martian
    Release: 2015
    Runtime: 141 minutes
    Cast: Matt Demon (Mark Watney)
    Jeff Daniels (Teddy Sanders)
    Sean Bean (Mitch Henderson)
    Chiwetel Ejiofor (Vincent Kapoor)
    Based on The Martian by Andy Weir

    During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. (

       Last year I read the book that this movie is based on and loved it. It was one of my top 5 favorite books of 2014 and I told basically everyone I know about it. So when I heard that there will be a movie I was both super excited and scared. Most of the time book to movie adaptations, with the exception of very few, are not quite good, or at least not as good as fans of the books would wish them to be. But, The Martian was amazing.
       Ever since I saw the first trailer for it, which I've also reviewed and teared up while watching, my expectations shot sky high which only made me more nervous when I went to see it with my friends yesterday (thanks Germany for making me wait a week). But, as previously mentioned, I was not disappointed and my expectations were met, a huge relief really, because I wouldn't have forgiven Hollywood and Ridley Scott if he would have messed this up.

       I'm having a hard time with figuring out how to transfer my thoughts and emotions about this movie onto a review that would make sense so maybe let's start at the beginning of the movie.
       We start off right before the incident that leads to Mark being left behind on Mars since his crew thinks he is dead, though he obviously isn't. I enjoyed the fact that there wasn't some long made up stuff before that but that we were thrown right into the story just when everything got messy, though we started off with a joke about Mark having found dirt on Mars which I thought was actually funny.
       I know from articles and YouTube videos that the sandstorm is more fiction then non-fiction, but the author needed a reason for him to be left behind so that's okay, considering how scientifically accurate everything else that happens in the movie is. That brings me to my next point, the fact that this isn't one of those action filled space stories but one filled with actual survival, science and jokes. I liked the fact that the movie, and book, showed just how hard it would be to save an astronaut due to the cost and distance between the Earth and Mars. They didn't just mud that over and make it unrealistic and easy, but in a way that felt realistic which I always appreciate. Everything had a scientific base, though the movie science was a little easier to understand then some of it in the book.
       Next up, as someone who first read the book with no real knowledge how all things Mars missions look like, I definitely appreciated the fact that I now know how the rover really looks like or the HAB in which Mark lives during his Mars time. While reading I had no actual clue how these things look like and I can tell you that my imagination was very far of from how everything actually looks like.

       As for the actors, especially Matt Damon, I really liked all of their performances, even though Sean Bean did not die in this movie. Can you believe it? I've never been much of a fan of Matt Damon so when I first heard that he would play Mark Watney I wasn't sure if I liked that casting choice. But now that I saw the movie and his performance I definitely changed my mind. He played Mark amazingly and believably. Surprisingly enough he fit the role really well which is always a plus point. 
       I really like Mark's character and the fact that he never gave up, never just sulked around and contemplated how high the chance is of him dying. Every day he got up and kept himself busy to stay alive a while longer, to make his chances of surviving a little bigger. I cannot even imagine how hard that would be in reality and how lonely he felt but I guess in his situation you would try to not think about it since that could just ruin your motivation and you could run into just giving up which wouldn't really help you.
       We didn't get to see the rest of his crew that much throughout the movie but what we did get to see of them was also really good. I liked how mixed the cast of characters was and how well the actors fit their roles. That also goes for the NASA members. Usually when movies involve nerds or super intelligent people we only get to see them portrayed in a very stereotypical way but not in this movie. There were many different ones around and, as far as I've heard, the fact that they use Lord of the Rings references is also a thing that actually happens so that's awesome.

       The scenery shots of 'Mars' were breathtaking. I enjoyed all the wide shots of Mark driving around in his rover that allowed us to see more of the 'planet' and proved even more just how hard it would be for a real astronaut to survive on a planet like that completely on his own.
       What I also liked was that many of the jokes from the book made it into the movie, though it's too bad one of my favorite quotes about duct tape didn't. Even the Iron Man joke made it, though in the movie it was a little bit sillier then in the book but that's okay.

       All in all I loved The Martian and how true to the book it was. Sure, a couple of things didn't make it into the movie and others were changed a little to make the movie more interesting but that's not big of a surprise. I'm happy with how the movie turned out, with the actor's performances and everything.  I definitely want to see the movie again, many times though for that movie tickets are too expensive. I think this might so far be my favorite movie of 2015 so I recommend it to basically everyone. It's not scary, doesn't involve aliens or random jump scares and idiocy. It's a brilliant movie about survival on a planet that is definitely not made for humans as is.
    I give The Martian 5 out of 5 Stars.

    Ask the Author: Tammara Webber (Easy)

    Samstag, 10. Oktober 2015

       For this weeks Ask the Author I'm bringing you the wonderful Tammara Webber, author of Easy, a book I read and enjoyed last year. I got the chance to ask her a couple of questions which is super exciting, since here answers are detailed and interesting.
    Here's his book and his A's for my Q's:

    Easy by Tammara Webber cover
    Easy by Tammara Webber
    Published: November 6th 2012 by Penguin Berkley
    Number of Pages: 321 Pages (Paperback)
    Series: Yes, #1 in the Contours of the Heart Series

       When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.
       Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night - but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.
       When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy. (

    Interview with Tammara Webber

       1 – Describe Easy with a haiku.
       contours of the heart
       though flawed, inconsistent, are
       tensile… connected

       2 – What sparked the idea for Easy? Was it the simple idea of girl meets boy or something else entirely? 
       Jacqueline began telling me her story. I woke up with it in my head on multiple occasions. As a rape survivor, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of writing it at first. I wasn’t opposed to writing about a serious issue, but that subject wasn’t something I ever thought I’d tackle—certainly not in a romance book. It wasn’t until she began showing me more of Lucas and I saw the possibility for a relationship between them that I put aside the book I was working on at the time (the final book in the Between the Lines series) to write Easy.

       3 – What do you like most and least about your protagonist Jacqueline? 
       In a way, characters are like their creator’s offspring; they’re real to us, connected but separate from us. I don’t judge my characters harshly, because then I’d want to make them more “perfect”—and real people aren’t perfect. They are who they are, and I want to respect the choices they make, whether or not I agree with or even understand them. The thing I like most about Jacqueline is that she doesn’t give up. No matter what happens, even if she becomes dejected or scared, she keeps on. Our stories and personalities are very different, but I understood her underlying fear, and I admired her perseverance.

       4 – What do you think makes Easy stand out? 
       I write coming-of-age books that feel very YA but feature characters who are older than typical YA books. As I wrote and published my first series, I was working with university students every day as an academic advisor. Many of my students came to college unprepared for the new power they had over their lives and futures. No one becomes an adult overnight, and most of us don’t know who we’re going to be or how we’re going to structure the rest of our lives when we’re eighteen or nineteen, even if we have dreams and goals in mind. I’ve been fascinated with that 17-24 stage of life for a long time, and it’s all I wanted to write about, but publishers—at that time—turned away stories about college students. It was self-publishing that pushed the category now called New Adult forward, and Easy—self-published in May 2012—was one of those front-runners.

       5 – In retrospective, is there anything that you’d change about the story or are you happy with the way it turned out in the end? 
       I’m happy with it as is and would not change the story. If I had the opportunity to revise anything, it would be minor writer quibbles—word choice, recurrence and the like. I’m learning the power of letting go and moving on to the next project.

       6 - How long did it take you from first idea until publishing deal? 
       Before 2007, I wrote three shelf novels (publishing-speak for “a manuscript that will never see the light of day”). In 2009, I began a fourth manuscript: Between the Lines. After a year of query letters and pitches to agents at writing conferences, I self-published (May 2011). I’d already completed the second book in the series, and I wrote the third during 2011. Easy was my seventh manuscript, and in May 2012 it became my fourth self-published book. It hit the NYT bestseller list its second week, and agents began emailing me. Under the guidance of the agent I chose, I accepted an audiobook offer, a UK-rights offer (Penguin Razorbill), and several translation offers during the summer of 2012. I also turned down four US offers. A couple of months later, Penguin made a US offer to publish Easy under an adult romance imprint (Berkley) while assigning me to a young adult editor. I accepted, and Easy was republished by Penguin Berkley in October (digital)/ November (paperback) 2012. To date, it has been translated into 24 languages.

       7 - How did you feel when you first realized that this story you had written would soon be read by thousands of people and how do you feel now, years later, before your next book will be released? Did the feeling change or is it still the same? 
       I wrote Easy knowing it would be read by at least the readers I’d gained from the first three books of the Between the Lines series. I wrote Between the Lines in total obscurity, worrying more about what my mother and non-writing friends would think about it than readers—which I had no idea of at all. Since the publication of the second BTL book, I’ve felt increasing internal pressure to write the perfect story for my readers. I still strive to improve as a writer with every book, but I knew while writing Easy that it would be the definitive work of my career. I have no problem with that, and I never will.

       8 – What lead you to writing and wanting to be an author? Is it the way you imagined it would be? 
       I began writing stories and making construction paper “books” as soon as I could write. By age twelve, I was writing poetry and journaling. I kept the poetry (not haikus, however, as is probably obvious by my attempt to answer question 1) and progressed to writing essays as a teen, and blogging once blogging was invented. By nineteen, I knew I wanted to be a novelist; it took over two decades to become one. I considered pursuing journalism at one point, but decided I was more interested in developing ideas through fiction than reporting facts.
    When I was growing up, even highly successful novelists moved through life in an anonymous way. We seldom knew or cared what they looked like and never saw them in person; the books they wrote were all that mattered. Getting “in touch” with one of them required tracking down their editor’s New York address and posting a letter that had slim hopes of ever being answered. I imagined that being an author meant having a book on a shelf in a bookstore, period. I didn’t think I’d be interacting with readers on social media and through email, let alone in person at huge signings with dozens or hundreds of other authors. As an introvert with social anxiety issues, it’s been a difficult adjustment to be known and judged by strangers in such accessible ways. I don’t read reviews of my work, not because I don’t care what readers think – I definitely do – but because I can only write in the voice and with the style I’ve developed over my lifetime. I take the position that reviews are for readers, and I write stories I would want to read, because that’s the only way to ascertain my personal best work.

       9 – Paperback or hardcover? 
       I buy hardcover when possible.

       10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors? 
       Realize that writing is a skill. Don’t fall for the idea that instant success is required. It’s completely possible to slow-build a writing career. At the same time, never be satisfied with your first draft of anything – even if it’s fabulous, it isn’t your best work. Revision is where you’ll find and connect the emotional thread to your stories. Read authors you want to emulate, authors who inspire you to write better, and never, ever plagiarize another writer’s words.

       11 – If you were forced to participate in The Hunger Games, as female from District 12, what would be your strategy? Fight or flight? 
       My strategy would be hiding and observing! I would only fight if I knew I could win, or if I was trapped. Otherwise, BYEBYE.

    About the Author

       Author of the CONTOURS OF THE HEART series and the BETWEEN THE LINES series.
       I'm a hopeful romantic who adores novels with happy endings, because there are enough sad endings in real life. Before writing full-time, I was an undergraduate academic advisor, economics tutor, planetarium office manager, radiology call center rep, and the palest person to ever work at a tanning salon. I married my high school sweetheart, and I'm Mom to three adult kids and four very immature cats.