On Feeling Read-iculously Burnt Out

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I love blogging. I love the freedom that my own WordPress domain symbolizes. I love the feeling of hitting “publish,” not knowing where my words might end up in the world. I also love reading. I love stories and being so engulfed by another world that just for a second, you forget it’s not real. I don’t love pulling up the calculator app on my phone, having to figure out how many books I need to read each week so I have enough content to review. I don’t love obsessively counting how many pages I have left, thinking to myself to read faster. I don’t love feeling forced.

For those of you who don’t know, I have had the lovely privilege of being a Co-Admin over at In Wonderland Book Blog. When I applied to be a coauthor last November, I never imagined that my online social life would bloom quite as beautifully as it has since then. I have made so many friends and had dozens of bookishly fruitful conversations – it’s been amazing! But, like any time consuming hobby, I feel I’ve lost focus of my original desires. I certainly do not want to stop blogging or reading, I just think that after nearly 6 months it’s time for some Pokémon-esque evolution.

I feel like lately I’ve missed the fun in reading, with blogging and school, my hobby has turned into a bit of a job. I had to have a serious talk with myself about my priorities and hobbies. I have loved reading my entire life, but until a year ago – I was not involved in the reading online community at all. Once I discovered BookTube and Twitter, the way that I picked books to read and bought books completely changed. All of a sudden I only wanted to buy books that I had heard other people talk about. I was petrified to buy a book that I hadn’t seen or heard anyone mention yet. I became obsessed with buying books at the rate that I saw other people buying. I used to never get more than two at a time (unless it was my birthday or Christmas) and suddenly I was buying five or six in one go. Spending so much more of my time and money in consuming books than actually reading them. At first, this kind of shopping was fun, SO fun. I had never let myself freely buy so much of one thing that I wanted before. Fast forward a year and a half later of this behavior, and I have accumulated just about fifty books that I have yet to read.

Fifty is a big number! So large and intimidating, and BIG. Thus became my current/old problem. So many books to read, almost too many. I felt like I had to read them fast, so I could get through my pile. And with that, came my motivation for Pokémon evolution.

STEPS OF EVOLUTION:

  1. Admit that you need to change. I’m serious here!
  2. Pull ALL books from your collection that you have yet to read and separate them from the rest of your books. From that pile, pull any and all books that you have zero interest in reading and get rid of them. Allow yourself to not feel guilty about giving them away/selling them. That book filled some sort of purpose at the time you bought it, and it’s okay if it no longer serves a purpose.
  3. Count what’s left.
  4. Vow to never to do this to yourself again.
  5. No more buying books until all of the unread books become read.

You see, it’s quite simple really. Identify the problem, then change it. I have managed to stick to these five steps over the past month and a half wonderfully – and it’s glorious. I just pick out the ones that I want to try and read for the month and read them as I feel like reading. Somehow, with the pressure to read having been removed — I immediately feel like my hobby is fun again. I also feel like a weight of stuff has been lifted. My pile of “to read” books still seems massive, but as time goes on and I finish books at my leisure, it’s getting better. Dear reader, please don’t ever let a buying habit get ahead of you like I did. It burns you out and drags you down. I love reading, and after changing how I read and buy books, I feel like I’m falling in love all over again.

It’s interesting to look at how BookTube and Blogs really do influence what you want to read and buy. I felt seriously compelled to get my hands on anything that I saw mentioned by platforms that I loved. Bloggers really are the new way to advertise books. I know so many girls that are as heavily involved in this online book world that are dealing with the same problem: too many books not yet read. I constantly wonder what my reading life would be like today had I not discovered the entire online book community. I can’t even remember how I used to read. What does it say about a community when it totally and completely changes its participants? Whether you might see my personal struggles over book buying as a positive or negative side effect, it still happened. I cannot change the months I spent obsessing over books I was never even close to getting to. But, if I can make the next year just like the past seven weeks have been, then I think I just might have evolved again.

THOUGHTS?

What do you think? Do you regret your giant TBR pile? Do you relish in it? Let me know down in the comments or find me on Twitter @nerddelizzie

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Top 10 Favorite Unconventional/Big Girl Reads

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Recently, I’ve been trying to stretch my reading interests a bit. My love for Young Adult will never perish, but I feel like as an educated twenty something I need more. Finding this “more” and learning what/who I enjoy has been the tough part. I tried just walking into the sections of the bookstore that I never wander, but that didn’t cut it. I needed recommendations or a place to start. So, after some serious research and a trip to my Amazon shopping cart, here is what I came away with. I haven’t yet read any of these, but I am so looking forward to it. I promise to keep you updated on my Big Girl reads progress!

Also quick side note, me calling this list of books “big girl”/unconventional reads in no way takes away from those of you nerds who only read YA/MG. I just mean that to me, these books feel a little out of my comfort zone. Having them on my shelves and sitting down to read has me feeling like a real Young Woman™ – and I haven’t quite reconciled what that means yet.


Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

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“A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.

“Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.”

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.” (Synopsis taken from Amazon)

Me, My Hair, and I: Twenty-Seven Women Untangle an Obsession edited by Elizabeth Benedict

me my hair and i.jpg“Ask a woman about her hair, and she just might tell you the story of her life. Ask a whole bunch of women about their hair, and you could get a history of the world. Surprising, insightful, frequently funny, and always forthright, the essays in Me, My Hair, and I are reflections and revelations about every aspect of women’s lives from family, race, religion, and motherhood to culture, health, politics, and sexuality.

They take place in African American kitchens, at Hindu Bengali weddings, and inside Hasidic Jewish homes. The conversation is intimate and global at once. Layered into these reminiscences are tributes to influences throughout history: Jackie Kennedy, Lena Horne, Farrah Fawcett, the Grateful Dead, and Botticelli’s Venus.

The long and the short of it is that our hair is our glory—and our nemesis, our history, our self-esteem, our joy, our mortality. Every woman knows that many things in life matter more than hair, but few bring as much pleasure as a really great hairdo.” (Synopsis taken from Amazon)

Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space by Lynn Sherr

sally ride.jpg“The definitive biography of Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, with exclusive insights from Ride’s family and partner, by the ABC reporter who covered NASA during its transformation from a test-pilot boys’ club to a more inclusive elite.

Sally Ride made history as the first American woman in space. A member of the first astronaut class to include women, she broke through a quarter-century of white male fighter jocks when NASA chose her for the seventh shuttle mission, cracking the celestial ceiling and inspiring several generations of women.

After a second flight, Ride served on the panels investigating the Challenger explosion and the Columbia disintegration that killed all aboard. In both instances she faulted NASA’s rush to meet mission deadlines and its organizational failures. She cofounded a company promoting science and education for children, especially girls.

Sherr also writes about Ride’s scrupulously guarded personal life—she kept her sexual orientation private—with exclusive access to Ride’s partner, her former husband, her family, and countless friends and colleagues. Sherr draws from Ride’s diaries, files, and letters. This is a rich biography of a fascinating woman whose life intersected with revolutionary social and scientific changes in America. Sherr’s revealing portrait is warm and admiring but unsparing. It makes this extraordinarily talented and bold woman, an inspiration to millions, come alive.” (Synopsis taken from Amazon)

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

tiny beaut.jpg“Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can’t pay the bills—and it can be great: you’ve had the hottest sex of your life; you get that plum job; you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar—the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir Wild—is the person thousands turn to for advice.
Tiny Beautiful Things brings the best of Dear Sugar in one place and includes never-before-published columns and a new introduction by Steve Almond.  Rich with humor, insight, compassion—and absolute honesty—this book is a balm for everything life throws our way.” (Synopsis taken from Amazon)

 

Bad Behavior by Marry Gaitskill

bad behave.jpg“Now a classic: Bad Behavior made critical waves when it first published, heralding Gaitskill’s arrival on the literary scene and her establishment as one of the sharpest, erotically charged, and audaciously funny writing talents of contemporary literature. Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times called it “Pinteresque,” saying, “Ms. Gaitskill writes with such authority, such radar-perfect detail, that she is able to make even the most extreme situations seem real… her reportorial candor, uncompromised by sentimentality or voyeuristic charm…underscores the strength of her debut.” (Synopsis taken from Amazon)

 

 

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

white teeth.jpg“Zadie Smith’s dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to John Irving and Martin Amis. But the truth is that Zadie Smith’s voice is remarkably, fluently, and altogether wonderfully her own.

At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”). Samad’s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal’s every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith. Set against London’s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.” (Synopsis taken from Amazon

Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin

delta of venus.jpg“An extraordinarily rich and exotic collection from the mistress of erotic writing.

In Delta of Venus, Anais Nin pens a lush, magical world where the characters of her imagination possess the most universal of desires and exceptional of talents. Among these provocative stories, a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hatmaker named Mathilde leaves her husband for the opium dens of Peru.” (Synopsis taken from Amazon)

 

Self Help by Lorrie Moore

self help.jpg“In these tales of loss and pleasure, lovers and family, a woman learns to conduct an affair, a child of divorce dances with her mother, and a woman with a terminal illness contemplates her exit. Filled with the sharp humor, emotional acuity, and joyful language Moore has become famous for, these nine glittering tales marked the introduction of an extravagantly gifted writer.” (Synopsis taken from Amazon)

 

 

 

The Portable Dorothy Parker edited by Marion Meade

dorothy parker.jpg“The second revision in sixty years, this sublime collection ranges over the verse, stories, essays, and journalism of one of the twentieth century’s most quotable authors.

For this new twenty-first-century edition, devoted admirers can be sure to find their favorite verse and stories. But a variety of fresh material has also been added to create a fuller, more authentic picture of her life’s work. There are some stories new to the Portable, “Such a Pretty Little Picture,” along with a selection of articles written for such disparate publications as Vogue, McCall’s, House and Garden, and New Masses. Two of these pieces concern home decorating, a subject not usually associated with Mrs. Parker. At the heart of her serious work lies her political writings-racial, labor, international-and so “Soldiers of the Republic” is joined by reprints of “Not Enough” and “Sophisticated Poetry-And the Hell With It,” both of which first appeared in New Masses. “A Dorothy Parker Sampler” blends the sublime and the silly with the terrifying, a sort of tasting menu of verse, stories, essays, political journalism, a speech on writing, plus a catchy off-the-cuff rhyme she never thought to write down.”

The introduction of two new sections is intended to provide the richest possible sense of Parker herself. “Self-Portrait” reprints an interview she did in 1956 with The Paris Review, part of a famed ongoing series of conversations (“Writers at Work”) that the literary journal conducted with the best of twentieth-century writers. What makes the interviews so interesting is that they were permitted to edit their transcripts before publication, resulting in miniature autobiographies.

“Letters: 1905-1962,” which might be subtitled “Mrs. Parker Completely Uncensored,” presents correspondence written over the period of a half century, beginning in 1905 when twelve-year-old Dottie wrote her father during a summer vacation on Long Island, and concluding with a 1962 missive from Hollywood describing her fondness for Marilyn Monroe. (Synopsis taken from Amazon)

I Don’t Care About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Se nsitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I’ve Dated by Julie Klausner

idc“I Don’t Care About Your Band posits that lately the worst guys to date are the ones who seem sensitive. It’s the jerks in nice guy clothing, not the players in Ed Hardy, who break the hearts of modern girls who grew up in the shadow of feminism, thinking they could have everything, but end up compromising constantly. The cowards, the kidults, the critics, and the contenders: these are the stars of Klausner’s memoir about how hard it is to find a man–good or otherwise–when you’re a cynical grown-up exiled in the dregs of Guyville.

Off the popularity of her New York Times “Modern Love” piece about getting the brush-off from an indie rock musician, I Don’t care About Your Band is marbled with the wry strains of Julie Klausner’s precocious curmudgeonry and brimming with truths that anyone who’s ever been on a date will relate to. Klausner is an expert at landing herself waist-deep in crazy, time and time again, in part because her experience as a comedy writer (Best Week Ever, TV Funhouse on SNL) and sketch comedian from NYC’s Upright Citizens Brigade fuels her philosophy of how any scene should unfold, which is, “What? That sounds crazy? Okay, I’ll do it.”

I Don’t Care About Your Band charts a distinctly human journey of a strong-willed but vulnerable protagonist who loves men like it’s her job, but who’s done with guys who know more about love songs than love. Klausner’s is a new outlook on dating in a time of pop culture obsession, and she spent her 20’s doing personal field research to back up her philosophies. This is the girl’s version of High Fidelity. By turns explicit, funny and moving, Klausner’s debut shows the evolution of a young woman who endured myriad encounters with the wrong guys, to emerge with real- world wisdom on matters of the heart. I Don’t Care About Your Band is Julie Klausner’s manifesto, and every one of us can relate.” (Synopsis taken from Amazon)


 

This list is by now means easy to swallow. Some of these I picked purposefully because they are tough, whereas others I picked because they spoke to me. At this point in my life (the, doe-eyed-omfg-I-am-adult-I-can-do-this-okay-breathe phase) I feel like I need more from things. Books, TV, movies, podcasts, music – I want more. I can’t quite articulate what that more is, but I think with this list and other things I’m finding, I’m getting close. The journey of figuring this out has definitely been hard, but I am determined to quench this need for more. Not enough people my age — particularity girls my age — strive for that. To be horribly pretentious and quote Thoreau, I choose to live/breathe/read/listen deliberately. Want to join me?

Thoughts?

Have you read/want to read any of the aforementioned titles? What did you think about them? Any that you think I should read? Let me know down in the comments or find me on Twitter @nerddelizzie

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Nerds Need Podcasts: Coffee with Chrachel

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Over the past month, I have been obsessively listening to podcasts. I’ve always loved them, but for some reason 2016 has been the Year of Podcasts for me. All I want is to hear strangers yammer on and on about anything and everything  while I drive, do my makeup, make dinner, stare at a wall. Currently, I’m in the middle of marathon listening to Chris and Rachel from Coffee With Chrachel. With over 56 episodes ranging from 60-90 minutes, it’s like audio crack. But, before I really get into proclaiming my love for two people I’ve never actually met, let me explain:

The Who

Chris Hubbard and Rachel Whitehurst are a twenty-something couple living in Seattle, Washington. Rachel runs a YouTube  channel, and Chris works as an IT guy for Amazon. They make an interesting pair, covering topics ranging everything from embarrassing middle school stories, politics, trash pop culture, and mental health. Their conversations are basically everything that you wish coffee meet ups with your friends could be. Having moved across the country to live out their lives, each episode is filled with stories of amateur hilarity and the type of genuine authenticity that I find myself craving in the media that I consume.

The what

Like I said before, in their episodes, Chris and Rachel cover a surprisingly vast array of topics. Rachel tends to steer the conversations wherever her mind wanders, and Chris is always along for the ride. They have flexible talking points throughout the episode, allowing for a natural progression from topic to topic. Because there is no obvious script, you get to hear some seriously hilarious dialogue between the two. Sometimes it’s stuttering, genuine laugh out loud reactions between the two on what’s said, or just Chrachel being Chrachel – I always find myself dying laughing at least once per episode.  Not only is this podcast real, funny, and really funny (see what I did there?), they cover some equally serious topics as well. Rachel created a #Byebiphobia campaign that she primarily speaks about on her YouTube channel. Discussing her coming out process/feelings, dealing with her new found self-actualization, therapy, and her daily motivation to give the world and its hate a giant Fuck You. She doesn’t go into great detail about her campaign each episode, but it is mentioned from time to time in the podcast. Chris often brings up what I like to consider “Reddit topics.” Basically, topics that avid Reddit users, i.e. young people who are 50% actively informed about the world and 50% too-smart-for-their-own-good internet trolls, go to discuss anything you could ever want to think of. These are also incredibly enjoyable to listen to, it brings forward the educated but still youthful approach to less talked about subjects in New Adult geared media.  I think what I like so much about them is that they are about as “informed” with the world as I am. I mean that in a very positive way – they are up to date in political happenings as well as pop culture. Presenting their opinions/ideas in a way that I personally find incredibly easy to follow. The rhetoric of their podcast is more than acceptable for the target age of listeners – what I have estimated at 18 y/o +. I can’t say it enough, these two are purely authentic. Making them ultimately relatable in every way.

The Why

If anything that I said above peaks your interest, I highly suggest you go check them out. It’s a fresh, authentic atmosphere filled with ridiculousness and sprinkled with some real life on top. Whether you are there because you need a laugh, enjoy the discussion, or just need some new coffee recommendations – Chris and Rachel are here to help. It is not often that I come across two people my age creating something so simple, yet so enjoyable. They are doing what every young person should ideally be doing – talking. Talking about anything and everything that needs to change, should change, or could change. They have created a platform for easy nuanced discussion; haters, Kanye, decaf, and trolls be damned.

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2016 #LoveAThon, An Invitation to Tea..

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My dearest reader, you are humbly invited to….

This afternoon over at Fleurs et Nerds, I shall be hosting a tea for three special guests. Those guests shall arrive no later than 4pm in their best afternoon tea attire – hats are option, grace is required. Upon their arrival, they will be greeted by a table of fresh flowers, the soft cadence of birds singing, and of course: tea, sweets, and savories.

 

The menu will feature sweets such as toasted chocolate hearts, made with love and a hint of British charm. As well as lemon scones with lavender creme, made with lavender from my garden. And grown under the purest of mother nature’s suns. Some savories shall include chicken parfait, cooked to perfection. And, smoked salmon souffle, made by the finest hands this side of the tea party.

 

 

The guests shall include:

Tahereh Mafi – for she is the classiest, most poetic talker around. Her books will forever hold a special place in my heart, and her writing may one day be etched onto my skin. It is for those reasons that she deserves a seat at my table.

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Emily Henry – for she is the most beautiful, cunning debut author of the year. Her novel The Love That Split The Word bound my heart back together, it loved me, hugged me, and nursed me back to health in the best of ways. It is for the reason that she deserves a seat at this table

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Hermione Granger – for she is the smartest, most brilliant witch of her age. For setting the standard of bad ass female heroines everywhere, and for always being one step ahead of the game. It is for those reasons that she deserves a seat at my table.

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We shall talk and laugh about anything and everything, giving each other that special kind of support that only a group of amazing women can create in unexpected moments. Afternoon tea is the cure for everything, so, bring your lips and your thoughts, leave with love and a full stomach.

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2016 Love-a-Thon!

 
1. What’s your name?

Lizzie! Technically it’s Elizabeth, but that’s just no fun is it?

2. Where in the world are you blogging from?

Sacramento, California. Northern California is beautiful, it deserves more love and attention! And bookish events that aren’t  just in San Fransico…

3. How did you get into blogging in the first place?

I had always been an avid reader of other YA book blogs, just too intimidated by the whole process to feel motivated enough to start my own. A few month ago, I applied to be a co-blogger over at In Wonderland Book Blog and the owner of the blog, Stephanie, offered me the position! I have learned SO much in the past four months as a co-blogger on her site. Everything from format, writing style, and requesting galleys. Learning all that stuff helped my writing confidence grow ten fold. Enough so that I felt confident in my ability to start this blog a few weeks ago!

4. How did you come up with your blog name?

I wanted something that sounded pretty and acted as an extension of my personality. I don’t want this blog to focus ONLY on bookish things, I wanted it to be like an “everything bagel” of my girly nerdy interests. SO, I started playing around with phrases that included the word nerd in it. The first that came to mind was “Talk Nerdy to Me,” but sadly that domain name was already taken. Then, Fleur de lis popped into my head. I tried Fleur de Nerd at first but had trouble with that domain. Frustrated, I talked to one of my friends who speaks fluent french, and he suggested Fleurs et Nerds. It means “flowers and nerds,” and I thought it sounded perfect.

5. What genre do you read and review the most on your blog?

My heart sings for YA, does opera for fantasy, and falsetto for sci-fi. I particularly stick to: those two, paranormal, dystopian, magical realism, and post-apocalyptic. I enjoy reading contemporary as well, but I definitely have to be in the mood for it!

6. What other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews?

I have a few series that are in the works, but a few that are already up are podcast features, discussions, and a series called “Nerds Need Inspiration: from fiction to non-fiction” where I talk about taking inspiration from the books I read and applying them to my own life. Similar to the “beyond the pages” posts that a lot of other bloggers do — just with a nerdy twist!

7. Best blogging experience so far?

Since this blog is so new, my best experience thus far was when one of my posts got its fist comment. It was SO kind, and made me feel amazing. When I finally built up enough courage to start this blog, I really didn’t think many people would care to read it. Seeing that comment gave me the motivation to continue even if no one really reads my posts. It made me want to keep doing it for me, because I love it.

8. Favorite thing about the blogging community?

Everyone is so kind!! I don’t think that I have encountered a single person that wasn’t encouraging and welcoming towards me. I’m slowly making more friends, there is nothing quite like meeting “your people.”

9. Name the 5 books you’re most excited for this 2016!

As always, this is impossible for me to pick. But, nerds do love a good challenge. I consulted my Goodreads shelves, and here is what they had to say:

  1. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  2. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  3. A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
  4. Untitled Book 5 in the Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
  5. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

10. Name the 5 books you want to read this 2016 that you didn’t get to in previous years!

My TBR shelf is bulging with books that I’m determined to get to this year. Some that have been sitting for way too long are:

  1. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  2. Percy Jackson and the Lightening Theif by Rick Riordan
  3. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  4. Uprooted by Niomi Novik
  5. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

11. What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?

This is a hard one for me, I find myself always reading the books that get the most attention over blogs and booktube. But, there are a few series that I have fallen in love with that totally deserve some love. At the top of that list is: The Unearthly Series by Cynthia Hand! The romance, the angels, the villain – so good.

12. Which book boy or girl would be your book BFF?

I think my book BFF would have to be Natalie Cleary from Emily Henry’s The Love That Split The World. She is the coolest, funniest, wittiest, gal pal around. I am pretty much 100% sure that she would be the best shoulder to cry, and always there to kick my ass when I need it. What more could a girl ask for?

13. Which book boy or girl would be your book boyfriend/girlfriend?

My heart and soul belong to one William Herondale from the Infernal Defices Series by Cassandra Clare. I can’t really describe what it is about him that makes him my one true love. Is it his brooding poetic nature? His tenderness? HIS WITT. I think it’s really all of the things that make him, perfect.

14. Who would you recruit for your apocalypse squad (5 characters max)

You just know your girl (aka me) has already thought this through *ahem*

  1. Captin Thorne – for his luck
  2. IKO – because duh, it’s IKO
  3. Will Herondale – for something pretty to look at, oh, and for protection
  4. Manon Blackbeak – she could bring Abroxos!
  5. Natalie Cleary – a girl needs her best friend during the end of the world!

15. Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?

My nerd senses go aflutter for drawing — both digitally and using Copic markers — nothing quite like creating. I also love playing on my 3DS, though I’m not very good at it!

16. Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for?

More art supplies, more pajamas, and furniture.

17. At a party, the DJ suddenly changes the song – and it’s your song. What song would be playing?

That would be the ultra funky tune: Bottlez by T-Pain.

18. Pick out either a book you want turned into a film/TV show, or a film/TV show you want turned into a book.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab turned into a show – OH WAIT! 😀

19. What would your dream library look like

Floor to ceiling wooden shelves, books covering the floor, on nightstands, and tables. All in a small cottage in the woods. (Hot lumberjack required)

20. Author you want to meet and sit down to tea with?

Tahereh Mafi.

And now, I bid you ado:

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my little corner of the internet! Tell me all your thoughts down in the comments, or find me on Twitter @nerddelizzie 🙂

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Nerds Need Hobbies: Writing

#amwriting

Sometimes — seems like all the time actually — the hardest things to do end up being the most fun. This past year, I started to really get into writing. This was very hard for me, mainly because I just felt so intimidated by the idea. It didn’t feel like something that you could lightly say you did as a hobby. It’s like that meme that says “ONE DOES NOT SIMPLY WRITE A BOOK!” And, an English major I may be, but that doesn’t make me feel any more prepared to sit down and start typing.  I’ve done it before for various classes, but it never felt close to my heart. It was an assignment, not something that I would slave over and genuinely pursue its real-life publication. The idea of being a published author among the sea of aspiring authors seems like one of those things that you imagine happening but don’t think actually will. But…it could…or won’t…or it could. 

When The Idea popped into my head, it made me feel simultaneously excited and terrified. To quote the wonderful Emily Henry’s tweet, “the scariest part of writing for me is having a New Idea. You always know there is a chance you’re going to break it.” I most certainly didn’t, still don’t, want to break this idea. I’ve spent the past two months working on it nearly every day. It’s one of those things that you hold so close to your heart that you almost don’t want to tell anyone about it. What if telling someone about it ruins the magic?

So, after a massive amount of courage — and a few mental slaps to my own psyche — I decided that maybe, just maybe: I might tell someone what I want to do.

What do I want to do? I want to be a YA writer. I want to be a part of this crazy, amazing, writing world. I want to take people into the mazes in my head, with these characters that I’ve created, and bring them on the kind of fictional roller coaster ride that I crave every time I crack open a book. I want to have a chance to do every author’s work that I ever obsessed over some serious justice. I am so excited at the thought of all this, and it got me thinking: the best part about admitting this –regardless of the internet format — is it makes me feel like I have the ability to actually do it.

I want to try and make my idea the best end product that it could be. So, I’ve enlisted the help of some other aspiring author friends and the internet to help me. I thought it might be fun if I shared with you some of the tools that I’ve actually found useful! In all honesty, I feel like you really only need a few tools to jumpstart your idea. If you get too caught up in all the things that are supposed to help you write, you’re not going to really ever get much done. Obviously, not everyone is that way, and because that is my own personal mantra, I decided to make two separate lists of helpful tools. One that’s more condensed and includes only the  things I’ve been doing, and the other that’s a master list of everything that anyone has suggested I take a look at or try and use. I will try and keep that list updated throughout the entirety of this process. Skim through the links and find what’s helpful for you!

What I’m using:

  1. Google Docs – this is a great free alternative to anyone who does not already own any kind of Microsoft word program. I recently built my own computer and forgot to budget in for the new Microsoft software. There are other various free knock off tools, but Google docs is the best. You can access it from anywhere, share documents with your friends, and there is even an app for your phone if you want to do some writing on the go.
  2. Master Outline Template – This is an outline from Better Novel Project. It is SO helpful if you like to really organize your thoughts. The author of this site compares plot elements from Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Twilight to help you construct your perfect story arc. All of the elements of the outline are explained in great detail, and I have found it to be the perfect way to figure out my ideas. I’m not using to a T, because the story I’m trying to tell isn’t necessarily a “Hero’s Journey,” but if your WIP involved a hero at all I think this will be super helpful for you.
  3. John William’s Playlist -this is something that I thought of myself. I wanted a little background noise that wasn’t lyrical songs. If you didn’t know, John Williams is an amazing composer who has written nearly every epic movie’s theme song. He’s done Star Wars, Indiana Jones, E.T, Harry Potter, and many more. I find it really inspiring to listen to — especially if a really epic or sad song comes on, it’s like it sets the scene for the ideas in my head to just flow.

What was recommended to me:

  1. Scrivener – this is a computer software that functions as an all inclusive, Microsoft-Word-but-better, tool that was made specifically for aspiring writers. It has a virtual corkboard for all your ideas, helps track your progress, various outlines, grammar, etc. It looks SO helpful and is honestly something that I am very tempted to try and use. The only set back is that it is not free. Sits at about $45  for Mac and Windows computers. Not exactly an expensive software, but you can only use it on the computer that you download it on. As well as taking me back to my initial point, too many tools: leads me to feel overwhelmed and not productive at all.
  2. Susan Dennard’s “For Writers” – Yet another thing that I will most likely look through once I am a bit farther into my own project. If you didn’t know, before New York Time’s Best Selling Author Susan Dennard was an author herself, she was a writing (consultant? teacher? advisor?) Basically, her website is chalk full of little bits and bobs to help yourself through the writing process. I’ve skimmed through it a few times, but have yet to take full advantage of ALL of the information she has available to look at — for free! In particular, she has tons of resources about the publication process.  That, I will be reading in great detail when time comes!
  3. The Pub(lishing) Crawl’s Critique Partner Connection – if you’re not familiar with this blog already, go check it out! This is one of my favorites, and just recently they did a whole post about aspiring authors needing good critque partners. They have a way you can find your own in the post, and some great advice on the topic as well. I have yet to reach out to anyone looking for a partner just yet, but hopefully, I can take advantage of this great idea once I gain some more courage!
  4. Noisli – this is an app that’s designed to help you “block out outside noise, get quickly into the zone, increase productivity, and reduce stress!” Basically, it’s individually curated for each user as the best kind of white noise/background noise to help with productivity or relaxation. The app is currently $1.99 in the iTunes/Andriod store, but I believe you can use portions of it for free through their website. This is yet another thing that has been recommended to me – through V.E Schwab’s twitter to be exact – that I want to try and use but haven’t gotten around to just yet. The fact that it isn’t free is most likely the only deterring factor, BUT that’s not to say that I won’t cave soon.
  5. Cure for Writer’s Block – this was recommended to me by a fellow aspriring author as a great place to go if you need a little something to jog those creative juices! I haven’t really looked at it yet as I’m still in the outlining process but it looks promising!
  6. Passion Planner – I have seen this little thing all over social media, it’s basically an amazing layout to help those who need some scheduling in their lives. It has a spot for everything, your daily focus, weekly quote, a good thing that happened that day, to-do lists, your appointment calendar, and free space to put whatever else you need in. You can find thousands upon thousands of amazing photos of how people decorate these on Instagram and Tumblr. It’s kind of addicting to look at, and makes me really want one!

The majority of all the things that have been recommended to me I would like to try out eventually! I think in the beginging stages of this process, I’m going to have to stick to what feels plausible for my skill set. Anything fancy feels intimidating, and I suggest if you’re like me and you just now that spending money on lots of tools at one time makes you counterproductive, to just stick to your guns. All the info I listed above is helpful, but at the end of the day all you need is your brain, and some pen and paper.

Thoughts?!

Was this helpful at all? Should I do more of these? Have you used any of the stuff I mentioned above? Let me know down in the comments or find me on Twitter @nerddelizzie 🙂

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Where Are All The Hairy Men At?

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From my experience, it seemed like 50% of the guys at my high school grew facial/body hair over night. I can distinctly remember a particularly earth shattering event during my freshman year PE class where all the guys were allowed to take their shirts off and I was hit with a wave of hairy reality. At the time, young men’s body hair could not have been more disturbing for me. My dad had a beard and hair on his back, like, ew. Not a single fiber of my fifteen year old being wanted to have a crush on a guy with extra hair. But, fast forward three years: I want me some hairy manly men. Did this new found  love happen over night? Maybe. Was is because I saw a picture of Henry Cavil with shirtless ? Beyond likely. What got me really thinking about this was The Pub(lishing) Crawl’s post Sex in YA.  While reading their discussion, I realized, there are practically NO male leads with body hair in YA. I even skimmed through a few of my favorites YA novels and couldn’t find a single mention of light stubble or tasteful happy trail. Why?

I have a few ideas, so let me try elaborate:

Age group of audience

Young Adult fiction is categorized as catering to individual’s between the ages of 12-18. While I think that is seriously narrow, it is important to recognize that your readers could be as young as twelve years old. If they were anything like 12-16 year old me, body hair on the love interests would be a serious turn off. The classic image of a fresh faced sixteen year old is clean shaven. No rugged five o’clock shadow to be found.

Age of your character

This is where you start to lose me a bit. I would like to argue that if your character is over the age of sixteen, he at least has an awkward peach fuzz mustache. Obviously, you’re writing/reading  fiction. It is very much within the acceptable limits of your genre to omit details that would otherwise be present if that character were to exist in real life. Do you want your target audience to picture this young,  ripped, strong-jawed Adonis with a peach fuzz mustache? Probably not. In YA, it seems that body hair is usually linked to characters of older age. It’s the trait that sets the young protagonist apart from his older counterparts.

Genre

I can see the biggest split in character traits between genres. It seems like you are much more likely to read about a hairy man in your mom’s trade paperback romance novels compared to your kick ass fantasy or contemporary. Basically, the closer the genre is to reality, the more likely you are to run into a male lead with realistic body hair. There is zero mention of faerie warriors with chest hair, or demon killers with serious happy trail. The farther you are from reality, the less you expect those characters to be like you. Why should there have to be chest hair on sexy af woodland elves? Is it really that this one, seemingly insignificant detail just doesn’t fit the tone of that genre? Would a YA fantasy novel featuring a hairy male lead be unsuccessful just because of this added detail? I almost want to say: yes.

So, what gives?

When I asked one of my best friends if she would like a male lead with body hair as much as she does to those without, she said she didn’t think so. Book boyfriend’s aren’t real. They look like perfect models in our minds – and models? 95% of them don’t feature an inch of body hair. So, what’s the real issue then. Is it because that particular element of reality does not fit the already thriving world of YA, or is it actually a very real social standard to have men with little body hair? I think it’s a bit of both. Socially, we want men that are clean shaven and absent of significant body hair. You can see why simply by the phrase I just used: “clean shaven.” I think we often associate body hair as being unclean, thinking that men that have a beard or anything more than minimal happy trail are not as clean as those who shave off that excess hair. As well, little body hair often correlates with youth. In fashion both women and men are featured with very little body hair to give the sense of youthful beauty. Extra hair comes with age, it is a very obvious example of someone’s physical maturity. Ironically enough, you would think that people would be more attracted to men with body hair. It is a great subconscious sign to our cave men brains that that person is of age and healthy. Two characteristics that would promote good genes for breeding. Have we really all just bought into the idea that less body hair is more attractive simply because it’s younger and cleaner? Maybe so.

Personally, I find men with body hair significantly more attractive than those without. (This opinion coming to you from the average straight, twenty year old, American girl) Not everyone finds that attractive – in books or in real life. But, it surprises me still. I think this might all be caused by culture. In America’s pop culture, we have a very big movement of wanting the ideal man to have more feminine characteristics. More sensitive, nurturing, caring. So, it would make sense that we would want our men to look more feminine, i.e less body hair. Stereotypically the “manly man” is emotionless, harsh, rough, and rude.  You expect someone who looks rough, to be rough. Smooth muscle and clean shaven? Easier to assume that they will behave accordingly.

Whether you look at it as a product of the target age or social desires – there absence is still evident if you’re willing to look. Arguably, it can be chalked up to their name. Hairy men, not teenagers. But, my point still stands. The average age for the male lead in YA is between 17-21. Very much making them men. I can’t quite decide if the reason is because hairiness simply doesn’t fit within the rhetoric of young adult literature, or because culturally, socially, and aesthetically less hair is more attractive. I might never decide, but a sexy af woodland fairy with a well-groomed beard just might help me figure this all out.

Thoughts??

What do you think? Would you like to see some hairy male leads? Would you rather not? Am I missing something big here? Let me know down in the comments or find me on Twitter @nerddelizzie 🙂

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Review + Read Along Experience for A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E Schwab

There is nothing quite like racing thumbs and smiling like an idiot during a Twitter chat. Only recently have I become (semi) vocal on social media, and I am so happy that I did. In the past few weeks on Twitter, Jamie over at Fiction Fare hosted an #ADSOMreadalong in preparation for A Gathing of Shadows coming out at the end of the month! In the spirit of getting involved, I joined in on the fun and tried to document my thoughts.

The Twitter Chat:

Hosted two Mondays in a row, the Twitter chat was crAZy. Unfortunately, both times I had to arrive late to the party and spent most of my time playing catch up, but: nothing compares to reading other people fangirl over something you loved. The bookish community has been so welcoming to me over the past few months, and it’s events like these that always remind me exactly why I wanted to be a part of the community in the first place. Learning how to speak up has been a bit of a challenge, I’ve never been that great at updating social media. I feel like there is slight pressure when it comes to always saying something witty on Twitter. I personally think I’m a hilarious person in real life, but translating that over the internet? My dad jokes make dad jokes. Similar to blogging, I just need to learn how to find my voice. Because I want to feel that kind of comradery again! Bookish community, don’t you ever change. You give me endless gifs and the best fanart, how I love thee.

The Book:

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As part of the #ADSOMreadalong, I picked A Darker Shade of Magic back up and started right where I left off during my initial read through months ago. I am SO pleased with myself for giving this one a second chance! It was witty, epic, and mind-blowingly whimsy. It boggles my mind how Schwab managed to weave together multiple dimensions, magic, dystopian + utopian society, endless action, and a dash of Sci-fi into one book. Once I had finished Saturday morning, I sat and thought for about an hour how it was possible that this idea managed to form in Schwab’s mind. What was her main inspiration? Did it just pop up in her mind one day like HELLOOO! Or did it start out as something else and completely morph into what we were given? I could go on and on, but I will save my questions for when she comes to San Fransico on tour *heart eye emoji* and report back with answers!

The Who?

How do I even begin to introduce these characters? Well, first there is Kell; antari magic wielding, cheek pinching inducing, sweet Kell. He is the main male protagonist in this novel. At first, it took me a while to warm up to him. I found his thoughts a bit confusing to follow, and his motives for doing things seemingly contradicting. The introduction of his adopted brother Rhy had me feeling all warm and fuzzy again – I mean how could you not blush while reading Rhy flirt – but something was still off. When I initially picked up this book last June, I got a little less than a third of the way through before I put it down. Looking back, I can’t quite figure out exactly why I was disinterested. It could have been Kell’s slow burn into my heart, or the complex world building that felt a bit heavy at the time – regardless of the reason, the other two-thirds of this are phenomenal. So phenomenal in fact, because we meet Lila. Lila is every badass chick you’ve ever wanted to be. She’s cut-throat, witty, and has killer trenchcoat style. She brought me back into the world of Grey London, and I felt myself cozy up to her instantly. I was pleasantly surprised with the level of diversity that Schwab created in her main characters. They have the perfect balance of chemistry and differing personalities, igniting an indestructible bond between them.

The What?

The entire concept behind antari magic and antari blood was my favorite element of this story. I love magic in all it’s many forms but this one was so imaginative! Everything from how magic was wielded, to the parameters of use was so unlike anything I have ever read before. Along with the magic, the language that everything was spoken in was just as interesting to read about. I so desperately hope we get to learn more about the magic system in the next installment!

The Where?

Grey, White, Red, and Black London. How you initially confused me so! Bringing it back to my earlier comment on possible reasons why I put this novel down the first time – the world Schwab creates is a doozy. Her writing style was very mature compared to the majority of YA I had read at the time. So, couple that with a complex world and I was feeling utterly lost. Once I got the hang of it – SO COOL. Made for some seriously unexpected twists and turns.

The Why?

The initial establishment of who was essentially running from who majorly kept me on my toes. Every new person that Kell would meet instantly became my number one suspect of betrayal. Once everything was finally laid out, I had not seen it coming! Beautifully executed motive by Schwab, and an even better possible motive set up for the plot of the rest of the series. I can’t quite say without giving anything away, but Schwab tied everything up in a perfect bow.

Why I Loved It:

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This story truly defines the word “epic.” In every way possible, I was thrilled by Schwab. Her writing style is to die for – you could pretty much stamp any of her words on a mug or t-shirt and I would be all over that – it’s mature, but in a way that sets the tone for the story. The “mature-ness” of the writing didn’t take away from the treasured YA qualities of the novel, it enhanced them. Her characters are complex, but not in the YA Trope kind of way. They felt real, like someone you might run into at the (magical)  grocery store. No abstract internal conflicts or reaching insta-love; only genuine authenticity. A Darker Shade of Magic is a YA epic like no other. From the action, magic, or snappy dialogue, Schwab includes a little something for everyone. This left me hungry for more stories in Red London, and a serious hankering for a black velvet trench coat. Well done Ms. Schwab, I cannot wait to read the next one!!

Thoughts?!

Have you ever mustered up the courage to participate in a Twitter chat? Have you read ADSOM? What did you think?? Let me know down in the comments or find me on Twitter @nerddelizzie 🙂

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Nerds Need Podcasts: Stuff Mom Never Told You

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On this lovely Friday, I thought it best to bring you the first installment of my new series “Nerds Need Podcasts!” In the past year or so, I have really gotten into finding interesting podcasts to listen to on my commute to University. Music will forever remain close to my heart, but sometimes you just need something will a little more oomph. Something that will get me thinking, discussing, and most of all: learning.

The What?

Before I drive right it, let me give you a little back story.When I initially set out to discover some new podcasts, I really didn’t know where to start! Four years ago, there were ALOT less up and coming podcasts being produced. I remember endlessly scrolling through each genre just looking for something that caught my eye. I wanted something that would be funny, engaging, and interesting. Geared towards my age group, and full of authenticity. After about a half hour of endless scrolling, I stumbled upon what would soon become one of my favorite podcasts of all time: Stuff Mom Never Told You.

The Who? (No, not the Doctor!)

This podcast was created back in 2009 by the show’s co-host Cristen Conger. She felt like there was a serious lack of accurate educationally driven media available and geared towards women (sort of still is!) and she wanted to change that. Now, this podcast has become so successful – it’s #44 on iTunes’ Top Charts – that Conger was able to take this show concept and apply it to other popular platforms. It has a fantastic blog and a YouTube channel with over 176,537 subscribers. The videos are laugh-out-
loud funny, and the blog is filled with endless resources on thousands of subjects. Add the show’s other co-host Caroline Ervin into the mix, and you’ve got consumer heaven.

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The Why:

I have been religiously listening to the show since I was about 15-16 years old. I have listened to those ladies talk about everything from “Does Ballet Have a Diversity Problem” or, “When Did Women Start Shaving Their Legs” all the way to “The Hidden Cost of Valentine’s Day Flowers.” The show covers anything and everything from beauty, politics, history, pop culture, fads, economics,  authors, celebrities, and woman’s issues. Not only are these episodes genius, they are also hilarious. Both Cristen and Caroline have the perfect witty sense of humor  to make every episode SO enjoyable to listen to. It’s not every day that you can discover a platform that continuously creates and produces material with such care and attention to detail as this podcast. Once you hit play, you are taken from whatever room you’re sitting in or car your driving, all the way to the most straightforward, smart, and educational atmosphere. These ladies do their research, and the time spent on each episode is immediately evident. Want to know what year Mattel decided to make Barbie? They have it for you. When pin-up girls became a thing? They have the entire timeline from hundreds of years ago up to now. I think what has made me such a loyal listener for these past years is the fact that this show just keeps getting better. I can’t think of a single week when an episode was released and I was disappointed by the topic. I’ve introduced my mother, aunts, friends, and co-workers to this show and they all LOVE it. We always find ourselves talking about the episodes over lunch, or sending each other texts like: “HAVE YOU LISTENED TO IT YET?!” “WHAT DID YOU THINK?”

Though each episode doesn’t follow a linear story line similar to the likes of popular podcasts like Serial or Welcome to Nightvale, you are still just as enthusiastic to hit play on the next episode. I love feeling like I can spend my time listening to something of value, and still feel like it’s entertainment. I wanted to write this post because I know there are other women like me out there that are just craving the opportunity to find new and exciting media to enrich their lives. With the continuing exponential rise on social media, smartphones, and technology it seems harder and harder to find quality products to endorse. Just scrolling through your Facebook feed and you can see hundreds of ads for click bait articles, celebrity gossip, or products that are being constantly shoved in your face. I got so frustrated with what I was seeing my peers talk about on Facebook one day that I deleted my profile. I wanted to follow things that catered to my intellectual and entertainment interests. This podcast has always – and I suspect always will – fulfill that need for me. I encourage you, dear Reader, to check this out! Scroll through there hundreds of available episodes and hit play on the first one that peaks your interest. I can promise that you won’t regret it.

Thoughts?

Have you ever listened to this podcast before? What’s your favorite episode? Would you give it a listen? Let me know down in the comments or find me on Twitter @nerddelizzie 🙂

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The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry Review

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What can I say about The Love That Split The World that everyone else already hasn’t? How do I proclaim my love differently? Let me count the ways….

  1. I’ve never finished a book and felt like it hugged me before. In every sense of the word, this story hugged me. It gave me the warm and fuzzies, held me tight, and smelled like home. I don’t think I will ever be able to do this feeling justice, it’s indescribable. It’s amazing. It’s love.
  2. Natalie Cleary will rock your world. She hits top three favorite female protagonist status. She’s funny, smart, scared, brave, and most importantly real. She felt like my best friend by the end of the book, like one I’ve known for years and watched pee with the door open.
  3. Beau Wilkes, you gorgeous motha-trucka. You were everything and more, you feel like my first and last love. You felt like summer, and spoke like honey. God damn.

The above comments may never do my feelings justice, but I had to try. If for some insane reason you are still on the fence if whether or not you should give this book a shot, I’m here to insist you do. Go to the store, pick it up, kiss it, buy it, read it, love it. It’s that simple, really. I knew going into this book that everyone was loving it, and for good reason! Henry’s writing is so witty and so beautiful it hurts. Practically every element of her plot was specifically chosen to warm your soul.

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The Setting:

Personally, I have only ever left my home of state of California once in my life. I want to adventure and travel the world SO BADLY. I’ve had a running list of places I want to visit since I was about thirteen. And after reading this book, Kentucky just shot right up to the top. All I have been able to think about since finishing TLTSTW last night has been Kentucky summers. Summers in NorCal are dry, and hot. The pictures that Henry painted in my mind were gorgeous. At certain points it was like I could feel the wind in my hair, or the crisp morning sun just starting to make little beads of sweat form on my hairline. I want to be driving down the highway and catch sight of some grazing buffalo, or feel that thrill of possibility that summer night brings. There is something about summer time in the South: it feels so utterly pure. Like for some reason drinking sweet tea or listening to the crickets chirp late at night just puts you one step closer to Mother Nature.

The Characters:

From what I gathered from reading the story and Henry’s acknowledgments at the end; Henry’s characters in the book were inspired by so many of her real life relationships. You can feel that while reading. It’s like every sentence or thought that Natalie has about certain people throughout the book is a thank you, or a love letter. Natalie herself is fantastic. She is so obviously flawed, but not broken. She loves with her whole heart and soul, and it makes her all the better. Beau is like every slow country song you’ve ever heard. He is gorgeous, and soft. He had my heart at fahn. Megan is the perfect counterpart to Natalie. Matt broke my heart so many times, I lost count. Coco and Jack were so believable, so supportive of each other. It was wonderful to see that kind of sibling dynamic. Rachel was harsh, but in the best way possible. Natalie’s Mom and Dad were amazing parents. It’s so rare that you read a YA book with a supportive family. Where the conflict doesn’t come from the home. Their entire family dynamic was so refreshing.

The Sci-fi/Magical Realism

I had a complete and utter mind blown feeling once everything was finally explained. I’m pretty sure I had to go back and read it a few times to make sure I really understood what was happening. It doesn’t all get explained until about twenty pages from the end. And up until that point I was like THERE IS NO WAY THIS WILL ALL GET WRAPPED UP AND MAKE SENSE but by God it did. And good golly Miss Molly was it good.

Why I Loved It So Much

Taking all the above reasons into consideration, I think I loved this story so much because it was the first time that I happy cried at the end. I have never been so moved by words in a positive way as I was while reading this book. It’s everything YA should be without the usual tropes. Even though, it has tropes! Any that you could potentially pick out are completely disqualified when you look at how they were done. Nothing was cheesy, or forced. This story was definitely not like the others. It personifies why people love Young Adult literature: adventure, self actualization, and there is love -in every way there is love. I have zero negative things to say about this book except for the fact that it made me run out of page flags. Nearly every five pages there was something I just HAD to highlight, or mark so I could find it again. My soul needed this book, and I didn’t even realize it did until I was reading. Everything began to patch up past holes, words were sewing up old snags. I woke up this morning feeling like the world loves me – and that’s a feeling I will never forget.

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Normally, I try and tone down my level of fangirling, but I cannot stop with Emily Henry. Not only is her book one of kind (and now permanently etched into my heart) but she is one cool cat. If you’re not following her on Twitter you should be. I laugh out loud daily reading her tweets, she insanely kind, and so down to Earth her feet must be hitting the mantel core. I have – and will continue – to shamelessly proclaim my love for her. I don’t think the cosmos could have chosen a more worthy person to bless with such talent. I pray that one day I could write something as profoundly touching and passionate as The Love That Split The World. I thought there was no better book to give the title as “my-first-post-on-my-own-blog” to. Thank you so much Emily, my heart and soul will forever be in your debt.

Thoughts?!

Have you read TLTSTW? Do you follow Emily on twitter? Is Beau Tim Riggins incarnate?!? What did you think? Let me know down in the comments, or hunt me down on Twitter @nerddelizzie 🙂

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