3 Year Blogversary!

Sonntag, 31. Juli 2016

   It's been exactly three years today since I sat down and set up this blog, posted my first post having no idea what the hell I was actually doing. Now, three years later, I still have no clue but I try to wing it anyways. Looking at all the things that happened across those years, I think I've done a good job, somehow. I still have no idea how I got here and how already three years have passed, but I think it's a great opportunity to look back at a brief history of this blog:

   Back in July 2013 I had the idea of setting up a blog for my reviews. On July 31st I posted my first introductory post and so the journey began, but this blog hasn't always been the way it was now. Back in 2013 I originally planned on only posting in German because I wanted this to be like a exercise for me to not forget how to properly use German. But, very quickly, I realized that most of the books I've read were not even out in Germany, and would probably not be for a while, so I switched to english, adding the occasional movie review to my repertoire.
   Along the way I had the opportunity to go to a movie premiere with my best friend where we got to see City Of Bones, which arguably was quite a shit movie, but that didn't matter to use much then. What mattered was being there, experiencing a movie premier and being in the same room was the actors we were about to see on screen. Amazing!

   Thanks to this blog I've got to chance to do many other amazing things, but above all, I've discovered some of my favorite books that I would've probably never found otherwise. I mean, this blog gave me my now two favorite books in this world, and I totally know you know which ones I'm about to name: The Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin and The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. These books are amazing and I cannot get enough of them.
   But, I've also gotten the chance to receive a bunch of ARCs across the years, which truth be told is something I wasn't even aware was thing before getting into the book world and having this blog. Sure, I don't get like twenty physical ARCs sent to me by the big five publishers like some other bloggers do, but then again, this blog has never been about getting the most ARCs and bragging about them. I'm beyond thankful for all the eARCs I've gotten to read, the awesome books I enjoyed before they even came out.

   In 2015 I came across Francesca Zappia and her phenomenal novel, Made You Up. The idea popped into my mind that I wanted to interview her and talk about her book. With that idea, the Ask the Author segment was born and is still running to this day, even though it's been kind of on and off across the past two months. Ever since that post I had the pleasure of interviewing and interacting with an abundance of amazing authors, an experience I am beyond thankful for.

   Amongst my favorite people to interact with across the years were, in no particular order: Francesca Zappia (because of the above mentioned reason and because I loved her book), Andy Weir (because The Martian was literally everything and interviewing him was amazing and surreal // interview), Pintip Dunn (her books are phenomenal and she's such a nice person!), Amy McNamara (because her book was beautiful and showed a raw and stunning side of grief and just showcased impossibly beautiful writing // interview), Karen Fortunati (thanks to this blog I dare calling her my friend, her book is brilliant (review) and am beyond thankful for the time she took to have a look through some of my WIP) and Mia Siegert (whom I can now also call my friend, who is amazing and lovely, and let me read the first draft of her current WIP while she also read some of my WIP giving me amazing tips and critiques // review). Without this blog I would've never gotten the chance to talk to any of these people so this seriously all blows my mind.

   So, to celebrate, I've prepared a whole months of celebrations with a bunch of authors and people from the book community. I hope you're just as excited as I am, because I am busting with excitement tbh. Everyone who's part of this has answered a set of three simple questions (though they vary slightly between authors and book community people). I've enjoyed reading their answers so I hope you guys will too!

   Thank you so much for coming along this journey, thank you to regular readers and those who might be visiting this blog for the first time right now. The past three years were amazing and I cannot wait to see what the next years will bring, hoping you'll come along to see it with me.
   Cheers to three years and many more to come!

Pokemon Go Book TAG

Dienstag, 26. Juli 2016

Disclaimer: Pokemon Go belongs to Niantic and Nintendo, please don’t sue me. 
Also, all credits for the graphics go to the original creator.

   To be honst with you guys, I've never been into Pokemon, never watched the show nor played any of the games until Pokemon GO came around. I was extremely hyped as I waited for it to be out in my country and, if you've checked my twitter, you know I'm OBSESSeD with the game, as is almost anyone right now. if you've somehow not heard of it yet, it's basically an augmented reality Pokemon game where you actually leave the house and walk around to catch Pokemon. Amazing, right? in the first 3 days after downloading it onto my phone I walked like +30km so there's that.
   Anyway, when I saw that Aentee aka Reading at Midnight created a book tag for Pokemon Go, I immediately knew I had to check it out and do it, though I've not bee tagged by anyone. So, thank you to Aentee for creating the tag and let's dive right in, shall we?

   I chose Bulbasaur just so you know. No idea why it just kind of happened. It wasn't until two days later that I found out there is a way to get Pikachu as starter but it was too late already. I seen a Squirtle on my nearby list but not actually seen it, and Charmander, no sign of him.

   I'm probably the odd one out by saying The Legend of the Ice People by Margit Sandemo because no one ever knows what I'm on about when I mention it. I found it at my grandma's house and randomly read the first 12 tomes across two weeks because I just got so into it. Maybe I should read it again some time, see what it was that made me so addicted to it.

   I want a Pikachu but wow they are so hard to come by. Props to those who caught one, so jealous really.

   Of course I'll be totally original here and say Harry Potter, because Harry Potter.

   So far I've caught and seen so many Zubats in my area it's crazy. Anyone else? Then again, the most common ones around me are Pidgeys and Rattatas, but Zubats are closely behind those two. Though I've not come across the evolved version just yet.

   When it comes to a book I lost interest in because it's everywhere I actually have two answers, both probably equally unpopular. Number 1 is Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. This book is really hyped, as are the sequels, but I've just really lost any interest I had at first to read it. I've heard a lot of mixed things about it, my bestie told me I probably won't like it, so this one is very high on my 'probs not gonna read it' list.
   A close second is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I've read Throne of Glass and I fairly enjoyed it, but then I started the sequel and lost my interest. Also, let's face it, this series is also everywhere and everyone talk about it and either really loves it or is indifferent toward it. From what I heard where the series is going (Yes, I've actually watched Polandbananasbooks' reviews for all the books...) I'm even less interested in it. I guess high fantasy is just really not my cup of tea.

   To be honest, I've pondered bout this question for three days now and the only book that came to my mind was Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED Anna but let's face it, it had a lot of tropes and things we've already seen done numerous times in YA, but, still a cute read tho.

   I've not seen a Snorlax yet either, though that's not quite true since I saw someone have it at a Gym, but I've never seen it in my surroundings being actually catchable.

   I'm probably the last person in the book community to read this one even though I even got it as audiobook, but yes, I've still not read Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. I've loved The Infernal Devices, I enjoyed The Mortal Instruments, so I have no idea why I've not made my way through Lady Midnight just yet. I mean, I've started it but only got about 10% in before I stopped to read a book I had for review so...But I hope I'll get around to reading this very soon. But like that size tho, holy.

   For some reason Gengars remind me of danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil solely because they have plushy version of it and it was in one of their videos, I think. I don't even know. But I'd really like to catch one.

   The last book that has kept me up at night because I simply had to know how the story continues and how it'll end was Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander. This was an amazing read and worth all the sleeping hours I've sacrificed to read it deep into the night. You should check it out.

   So far I've only encountered and captured their smaller versions (bravo me for not remembering what they are called and being too lazy to look it up...fake fan) in both the male and female version.

   I have so many OTPs BUT I have three main ones belonging to my favorite standalone, trilogy and series. I can't decide on one single favorite so each of these three has their own one.
   Starting with my fave standalone, The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay, which has my OTP Nastya and Josh. That book is amazing and these two are perfect and I just love them so much.
   Next up my favorite trilogy is the one I can all of you can name because let's face it I've talked about it at least a thousand times on this blog already - The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin. Mara Dyer and Noah Shaw are perfection, fight me. I love Noah so much I even named my laptop after him. That's dedication right here.
   And my favorite series (I see people coming after me already for not saying Harry Potter) is Vampire Academy because it's awesome and it has Rose and Dimitri. Dimitri is literally goals right there, just saying.
   BONUS: Alec and Magnus from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. They are my favorite pairing from all her books, because like how could they not be?! Malec are a-maze-ing!

 First of all, I love Ponyta and Rapidash, they are legit my fave Pokemon of them all, just saying.

   I'm gonna go with Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. This is an outstanding read with a fast pace, thrills and scary moments, and a incredibly unique way of telling the story in terms of formatting. So impossibly cool! You should read it if you haven't yet.

   Eevee is so cute and her evolved versions are really cool and I'd totally love to get all of them, but until now I've only seen a total of three Eevees so I guess I'll have to wrap myself in patience.

   I'm no not going to surprise anyone with my answer because of course I could never get enough of the Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin, so the fact that there will be a spin-off series makes my heart perform the biggest happy dance ever. Can't wait to read it all!

   When I first heard about Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead thanks to th movie trailer I was underwhelmed BUT then I actually watched the movie (and was one of the very few people who actually really like it) and simply had to read it. To my surprise the series quickly became my favorite series of all so theres that.

   For this one I'm going to go with the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. The book world is crazy about these books and the Six of Crows duology (?) so I cannot wait to finally get to reading it and finding out what all the hype is about.

   The only one that comes to my mind is that amazing edition of Harry Potter in the four house versions because I'd totally want the Slytherin one, because I'm obviously one. Too bad that they are so crazy expensive.

   Heres a tiny rant: All the eggs I've so far hatched were all complete crap. Like how even? Each one I hatched was a Pokemon I already had before, and like there was like a Rattata in a 5km one. WHY? Still waiting for my Ponyta, seriously.

   A book y a debut author I look forward to is The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati even though I've already read it, but I can't wait for others to read it and hopefully love it just as much as I did. It's an absolutely phenomenal book that means the world to me. So much love.

   I have a few authors that I love so much that I would just buy anything they write, even like their grocery lists or something, just to have more words from them. Two that I'm going to name will be familiar since I've mentioned them before, and two are new ones so here they are: 
   Michelle Hodkin (selling my soul to her because Mara Dyer is everything), Sebastian Fitzek (he's the only German author I enjoy reading and his psychological thrillers are just absolutely chilling and goals), Karen Fortunati (a-ma-zing and just such a nice person, I like Karen a lot) and Mia Siegert (brilliant author, amazing words, such an incredibly nice person that has so many helpful things to say and like her current WIP is the best thing ever and I'm so excited that I got to read part of it).

   Even though the servers were down in my area a few times, I've actually never seen this screen--lucky me--but as fellow players I know you've most likely encountered it and you know what horrible sight it is, especially when you just REALLY want to play. Though I've spent way to much time with the loading screen, like seriously, we're like frenemies now and I am slowly getting a bit sick of seeing it so much.

   I am DYING as I'm waiting for Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, the sequel to Illuminae. I LOVED Illuminae last year (here's my review), and I might be getting an ARC of Gemina so I'm beyond excited. I've heard really good things so far so that doesn't help. Must have it. Must read it. NOW.

* * *

   And that's it for the Pokemon GO Book Tag. If you want to do this tag, feel yourself tagged by me right now, and if not, I hope you enjoyed reading my answers. Below in the comments, tell me if you play the game and, if so, which team are you?

Ask the Author: Shannon Lee Alexander (Life After Juliet)

Samstag, 23. Juli 2016

   In this weeks edition of Ask the Author I'm bringing you the amazing Shannon Lee Alexander, author of Life After Juliet, the companion Love and Other Unknown Variables. I absolutely loved Life After Juliet (find my review here) so I'm really happy that Shannon agreed to do this interview with me.
   Find her amazing book and As to my Qs below:

Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander
Published: July 5th 2016 by Entangled TEEN
Number of Pages: 304 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, companion to Love and Other Unknown Variables

   Becca Hanson was never able to make sense of the real world. When her best friend Charlotte died, she gave up on it altogether. Fortunately, Becca can count on her books to escape—to other times, other places, other people...
   Until she meets Max Herrera. He’s experienced loss, too, and his gorgeous, dark eyes see Becca the way no one else in school can.
   As it turns out, kissing is a lot better in real life than on a page. But love and life are a lot more complicated in the real world...and happy endings aren't always guaranteed.
   The companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables is an exploration of loss and regret, of kissing and love, and most importantly, a celebration of hope and discovering a life worth living again. (goodreads.com)

Interview with Shannon Lee Alexander

   1 – Describe Life After Juliet with a haiku.
   I haven’t written a haiku in so long! What a fun way to start an interview.
Quiet bookworm hides
Spotlight reveals deepest grief
Defies stars for new life
   2 – What was the first initial thought or thing that sparked the idea of Life After Juliet?
   Waaaay back in 2013, my editor asked if I’d ever considered writing another book in the Love and Other Unknown Variables universe. LAOUV is the companion novel to Life after Juliet. I laughed and said no. No way. But then, she said, “It’s just that some of us here are wondering…what happens to Becca?”
   Once the question was asked, I couldn’t stop thinking about Becca and what might happen to a girl like her after the events of LAOUV. Eventually, I started writing my ideas down and Life after Juliet was born.

   3 – What was the most challenging about writing Life After Juliet and which scene was the most fun to write?
   There were many challenging things about Life after Juliet. One of the most difficult was to be sure Becca’s voice was authentic to her and that the grief journey she was on was her own. I didn’t want to color her life with my own experiences, so I had to be very careful and deliberate in creating her character.
   I think the dumpster scene near the end is one of my favorites. Becca seems so happy and like she truly fits in again. I love that scene. And I think it’s funny. I love funny!

   4 – What do you like most and least about your main character, Becca?
   I like Becca’s honesty, with herself and others.
   I guess what I liked least about Becca when I was writing was her ability to sit still for so long. Main characters that prefer to sit alone and read do not make very exciting stories! I really had to shove her into the spotlight!

   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?
   Hmm…maybe not change. I’m sure there are little tweaks here and there I’d like to make if I were to go back and read it now. But as far as major structure, I like the bones of this story. It works for Becca. I’d hate to change that.

   6 - How did you feel when you first realized that this story you had written would soon be read by hundreds 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 was absolutely terrified with the first book! Terrified!! And while I still get nervous when I think about people reading (and judging) Life after Juliet, I’ve really made my peace with my role in the creative process and where it ends, which is the moment it becomes available to readers.
   Life after Juliet was mine until July 5, when it launched and became the property of readers. It’s a gift. And I can’t take it back. And it isn’t my place to interpret the gift I’ve given. It’s my job to give the gift with all my heart and then let others receive it.

   7 – What do you think about the cover? Is it anything like you imagined it being?
   I love the hombre blue hues in this cover!! They are so pretty. And the title font is gorgeous (I’m a big fan of fonts, which is weird, but I just love them). I honestly struggled a little with the couple on the cover at first. But Entangled Publishing worked with me on a few things, and now I can see their vision for the cover much more clearly.
   I didn’t exactly have a vision for this cover (or LAOUV either), but Entangled always comes through.

   8 – Seeing as you’re a YA author I’m sure you also read YA, so I wondered, what were the last three books you’ve read and what did you think of them?
   I’m going to check my Goodreads to be sure:
   1) Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee—LOVED this middle grade book! Gave it 5 stars. It’s the story of a girl and fox and the mysterious ways their lives are linked. I cried so many times when reading it. It was beautiful.
   2) Everland by Wendy Spinale—I liked this one and gave it 3 stars. It’s a steampunk retelling of Peter Pan, which was a really cool angle! I enjoyed it, but not as much as my 13-year-old daughter. She finished it in one sitting!
   3) Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler—I’m a big Sarah Ockler fan. I love her characters’ inner monologues. She makes me laugh and tugs at my heartstrings, too. I gave this book 3 stars, though, which is low for a Sarah Ockler for me. She’s usually a 5 star author. It was a cute story about a figure skater turned baker and the ways she’s trying to pull her life back together. Very fun, but I wanted something more. My favorite Sarah Ockler is Fixing Delilah.

   9 – Do you have a writing routine or do you write whenever creativity strikes?
   I write whenever I get the chance. That doesn’t happen every day. I have two very busy kiddos whose lives come first for me right now. They won’t be at home with me very much longer, and I just don’t want to miss out on anything. Time here on Earth is short and life is fleeting, so I spend as much time with people I love as I can.

   10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?
   Find an amazing critique group. Make sure they are always honest (even brutal when necessary) with you. Your writing won’t grow from praise, but constructive criticism will do you wonders! I wouldn’t be a published writer if it weren’t for my critique group, the YA Cannibals. Our motto is We Eat Our Own. We figure it’s best to have our stories shredded by each other, so we can put them back together stronger and better.

   11 – If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
   Telekinesis? I think I’d like that. If it means I can make the vacuum work and fold the laundry without actually having to do that, then sign me up!

About the Author

   Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife and mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. Math makes her break out in a sweat. Love and Other Unknown Variables is her debut novel. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.

Cover Reveal: Remember Yesterday by Pintip Dunn

Montag, 11. Juli 2016

   Welcome to today's very exciting post all about a very stunning cover!
   As you guys may or may not remember, last year I read, loved and 5 star reviewed Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn, so when I saw the chance of getting to reveal the cover of the sequel on my blog, I just had to jump at it. Thank you so much to YaReads Blog Tours, Entangled Teen and YA Interrobang (check out their post here) for letting me be part of this.
   I can tell you guys, I am in love with the cover of Remember Yesterday. I think it's absolutely gorgeous and I so hope I'll get the change of getting my hands on an ARC just like last year because I cannot wait to see where the story is going!
   But, without more of my waffling, check out the amazing cover right here:

Remember Yesterday by Pintip Dunn
Expected Publication: October 4th 2016 by Entangled TEEN
Number of Pages:
Series: Yes, #2 in the Forget Tomorrow Trilogy(?)

   Sixteen-year-old Jessa Stone is the most valuable citizen in Eden City. Her psychic abilities could lead to significant scientific discoveries, if only she’d let TechRA study her. But ten years ago, the scientists kidnapped and experimented on her, leading to severe ramifications for her sister, Callie. She’d much rather break into their labs and sabotage their research—starting with Tanner Callahan, budding scientist and the boy she loathes most at school.
   The past isn’t what she assumed, though—and neither is Tanner. He’s not the arrogant jerk she thought he was. And his research opens the door to the possibility that Jessa can rectify a fatal mistake made ten years earlier. She’ll do anything to change the past and save her sister—even if it means teaming up with the enemy she swore to defeat.

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. Her debut novel, Forget Tomorrow, is a finalist in the Best First 
Book category of RWA’s RITA® contest. She is a member of Romance Writers of AmericaWashington Romance WritersYARWA, and The Golden Network.
She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com

Ask the Author: Gaby Triana (Wake the Hollow)

Samstag, 9. Juli 2016

   After a one moth pause I'm finally back with new interviews! 
   Today I'm bringing you Gaby Triana, the author of Wake the Hollow and other amazing books. She was so lovely as to take some of her time to answer my questions for you guys. 
   Find her book and her amazing answers below:

Wake the Hollow by Gaby Triana
Expected Publication: August 2nd 2016 by Entangled: Teen
Number of Pages: 304 Pages (Paperback)
Series: No

   Forget the ghosts, Mica. It’s real, live people you should fear.
   Tragedy has brought Micaela Burgos back to her hometown of Sleepy Hollow. It’s been six years since she chose to live with her father in Miami instead of her eccentric mother. And now her mother is dead.
   This town will suck you in and not let go.
   Sleepy Hollow may be famous for its fabled headless horseman, but the town is real. So are its prejudices and hatred, targeting Mica’s family as outsiders. But ghostly voices carry on the wind, whispering that her mother’s death was based on hate…not an accident at all. With the help of two very different guys—who pull at her heart in very different ways—Micaela must awaken the hidden secret of Sleepy Hollow…before she meets her mother’s fate.
   Find the answers.
   Unless, of course, the answers find you first. (goodreads.com)

Interview with Gaby Triana

   1 – Describe Wake the Hollow with a haiku.
   I’m not much of a poet but how’s this?
   Journal hidden near
   First to find wins money, fame
   But beware the ghosts

   2 – What was the first initial thought or thing that sparked the idea of Wake the Hollow? And in what way do you think does Wake the Hallow stand out and offer something that should make readers even more interested in it?
   The Disney short film, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, was one of my favorites growing up. I used to show this in my classroom to all my students too when I was a teacher. I loved the autumn vibe and spooky feel, and I loved reading “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and discovering that it wasn’t so much a story about the Headless Horseman as it was about a love triangle. I thought how cool would it be to write a modern-day version through the POV of Katrina Van Tassel, only in my book she’s Micaela Katerina Burgos. My book stands out in that it’s not a straight retelling of an old classic. It’s a reimagining with a modern mystery crime twist, where the ghosts are spirit guides and the real live people are the ones we should fear. It also features a Cuban-American character in a tale as American as apple pie.

   3 – What was the most challenging about writing Wake the Hollow and which scene was the most fun to write?
   The research was challenging. There was a lot to learn about classic author, Washington Irving, who features in his own story’s retelling. Also, evoking a spooky feel in first person POV was challenging, because I wanted to vividly describe the entire town while still staying true to “teen think.” The chase through the cemetery is one of my favorite scenes. Also the one at the safe deposit box at the bank.

   4 – What do you like most and least about your main character, Micaela?
   What I like the least is that she didn’t bother to learn more about her mother before she left town six years earlier. She could’ve learned a lot about her heritage at that time, but what I love is that she redeems herself throughout the book and grows closer to her mother even after death. It’s never too late to change ourselves.

   5 - How long did it take you from first idea until publishing deal?
   This book took me the longest, because it was conceived, written, shopped, rejected, then…it sat around collecting dust. Revived. Revised multiple times, shopped again, and overall it took 7 years from idea to publishing deal.

   6 - How do you feel about the fact that in only a few more weeks (August 2nd) hundreds of readers will be able to hold and read your novel?
   I’m probably going to cry, because this is my favorite of all my books. I’m a big Halloween freak, so it’s the one that allowed me to write what I love, which is a good ghost story. For a while, I thought it would never be published, but I kept the faith, and now everyone will get to read it.

   7 – What led you to writing and wanting to be an author? Is it the way you imagined it would be?
   I’ve been writing stories since I was in 3rd grade. It was always a natural progression for me. I won writing contests in high school and always wrote, even though I went to college to become a teacher. In that way, I felt I had sidetracked myself, but I was always slow in figuring out what I wanted from my life. Now I live the dream of writing every day for a living.

   8 – What do you think about the cover? Is it anything like you imagined it being?
   The cover is the farthest thing from what I ever imagined. I always thought there would be darker black and orange tones with a headless horseman in a forest or something. When I first saw it, I thought it was beautiful but was concerned about how it would tell the story within. Then I realized it doesn’t need to tell the story within, it just has to capture your imagination, and I feel it does exactly that. It’s GORGEOUS!

   9 – Book adaptations – movie or TV series?
   Definitely a movie! This is a story that is told in one powerful burst, not spread out. That said, I can see a sequel being told in segments over time.

   10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?
   Write every day. Write even if it’s terrible, because you can always go back and fix it, but the important thing is that you got it down. Don’t judge yourself as you go, just tell a story, and always, always revise and revise before you share. That’s the point of writing versus talking. You don’t have to get it right the first time.

   11 – If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
   The ability to destroy hatred. Imagine what a wonderful world we would live in.

About the Author

   GABY TRIANA is the award-winning author of six YA novels—Wake the Hollow (Coming 2016), Summer of Yesterday, Riding the Universe, The Temptress Four, Cubanita, and Backstage Pass, as well as thirteen ghostwritten novels for best-selling authors. Originally a 4th grade teacher with a Master of Science in Elementary Education and ten years teaching experience, Gaby earned Teacher of the Year in 2000, wrote her first novel, Freddie and the Biltmore Ghost, then left teaching to launch a full-time writing career. She went on to publish young adult novels with HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, win an IRA Teen Choice Award, ALA Best Paperback Award, and Hispanic Magazine’s Good Reads of 2008. She spends her time obsessing about Halloween, Christmas, and Disney World, as well as hosting parties, designing mugs, making whimsical cakes, and winning costume contests. When she’s not writing, she might also be watching Jurassic Park movies with her boys, posting excessive food pics on social media, or helping run the Florida region of the SCBWI. Gaby lives in Miami with her three sons, Michael, Noah, and Murphy. She has one dog, Chloe, and two cats—Miss Daisy, and the reformed thug, shooting survivor, Bowie. Visit her at www.GabyTriana.com.

Review: Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander

Freitag, 8. Juli 2016

Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander
Published: July 5th 2016 by Entangled TEEN
Number of Pages: 304 Pages (hardcover)
Series: Yes, companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables

   Becca Hanson was never able to make sense of the real world. When her best friend Charlotte died, she gave up on it altogether. Fortunately, Becca can count on her books to escape—to other times, other places, other people...
   Until she meets Max Herrera. He’s experienced loss, too, and his gorgeous, dark eyes see Becca the way no one else in school can.
   As it turns out, kissing is a lot better in real life than on a page. But love and life are a lot more complicated in the real world...and happy endings aren't always guaranteed.
   The companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables is an exploration of loss and regret, of kissing and love, and most importantly, a celebration of hope and discovering a life worth living again. (goodreads.com)

* Thank you to Entangled TEEN for providing me with an 
eARC in exchange for my honest opinion *

   Life After Juliet is the companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables, which I personally didn't know until after requesting it. At first I was unsure if that meant I wouldn't be able to understand certain things, since I didn't read Love and Other Unknown Variables, but I quickly fell in love with the story and characters nonetheless. So, even if you've not read Love and Other Unknown Variables, you can very much enjoy Life After Juliet.
   In Life After Juliet we follow Becca who is dealing with the loss of her best friend Charlotte, who died due to cancer, and how she slowly makes new friends and falls in love with a boy named Max. I'm not joking when I say that Max will very quickly make it very far up on your list of bookish boyfriends because he was an amazing character.
   Something I very much enjoyed in this story was the representation of grief, of how people who grief sometimes feel guilt if they find themselves forgetting or missing the person less that they've lost, and so on. I really liked the fact that the loss of Charlotte was an ever present thing in Becca's character, that it wasn't just something mentioned once in a while so we wouldn't forget, but it was simply a part of her character, naturally and realistically.

   Generally I really, really liked Becca. I love how, in the beginning of the story, she was hiding behind her books, counting time in pages and just so caught up in her grief, but also how her character developed across the story and how she began to change. She felt very realistic and three dimensional with realistic problems and trains of thought. Also I loved her relationship with her brother Charlie, with Max, and of course with the rest of the gang, being the theatre kids, both the technicians and the actors.
   Speaking of which, as I mentioned before, Max was an amazing character. I love the way he behaved toward Becca, loved his family and the fact that he had his own grief, knows the pain Becca feels, and how that connects the two on another level. I also very much enjoyed his friendship with Victor, which was just generally amazing and seeing those two together was just amusing and entertaining from beginning to end.

   Another thing that I really loved about Life After Juliet was how, despite dealing with such a heavy topic, grief, it also offered a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. Some scenes and lines of dialogues were seriously brilliant and just impossibly funny! The balance between serious and relaxed/funny was perfect.   Shannon's writing style is amazing and she is really able to capture your interest and create fascinating, realistic and three dimensional characters. They behaved like teens, had teen like problems, and also talked like teens which I very much appreciated.

   All in all I really, really enjoyed Life After Juliet a lot. I definitely want to pick up Love and Other Unknown Variables to see where the entire story began and see Becca's friendship with Charlotte before it ended. So, if you're looking for a read that blends seriousness with humor and amazing characters, then I definitely recommend this one. I binged 70% of this book in just a few hours and really had to make myself set the book aside and go to sleep at 3am.
I give Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander 5 out of 5 stars!