The Sunshine Blogger Award (Take 3)

I’m so behind on my tags/awards. Last month I was nominated for this award by Milou @ Simply a Book Drunkard. Thank you so much! Sorry it’s taken me so long to actually answer your questions. Everyone go check out Milou’s blog, because it’s awesome.

I’ve actually done this award two times before, but it’s been a while. My favorite thing about this award is the fact that it’s different every time. Everyone comes up with such unique and fun questions.

Anyway, enough talk from me. Let’s get into it!

The Rules 

  1. Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write then 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

The Questions

1. What are three of your favourite books you have read so far this year?

Only three? Gosh this is going to be a hard one. I’ve read some pretty amazing books this year, so it’s like choosing my favorite kid. Ugh, but if I must. These are in no particular order. I’m not ready to declare my absolute favorite yet!

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake — This is the first book that came to mind, because it was a recent mind blower. I originally picked it up because the premise sounded cool and I had heard people talking about it. I’ve recently gotten into YA Fantasy, so I figured I’d give it a go. The beginning was a bit slow, but once I got into it I could not put it down. It felt like this book was made for a reader like me, because it had so many favorite elements. There was a ton of characters, different POVs, romance, an interesting world, different kinds of strong female characters, and a complex plot with lots of twists. If any of this sounds interesting to you, I’d definitely recommend picking it up.

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson — I couldn’t construct a favorites list of 2017 without this book. Two different people recommended it to me, and I’m so glad that they did. It was all around excellent and had so many of my favorite elements. The characters were great, the plot was complex and interesting, the writing was superb, and the world building was incredible. Lots of people say that Sanderson is the master of world building and I can see why. Also, I loved all of the heist elements. It was just so good and I’m hoping to read the sequel soon!

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson — Picking this last book was hard, but I went with this one. It is my favorite contemporary book that I’ve read all year. This was the first book that I have read by Matson, but it has gotten me hooked on her writing. I loved that this wasn’t just a romance, but also about friendship and family. I found Andie super relatable, because I went through some of the same things as her in high school. While my father is not a senator, I was left home alone a lot and her friend group reminded me of mine. Usually, when I read a YA contemporary the main character is either a loner or only has two or three friends. It was super refreshing to see a friend group featured and be so much a part of the story. Plus there are cute dogs in this book. How can you go wrong with cute dogs?

2. Of which blog post are you the proudest?

I don’t know if I have a blog post that I’m extremely proud of. I really enjoyed Top Ten Books My Mom Thinks You Should Read because I got to collaborate with my mom. I like all my Top Ten Tuesday posts, and I’m proud I am able to think of ten books each time.

3. Oz, Neverland, Wonderland or Narnia? 

I’ve got to go with Wonderland here, because I went through a huge Alice and Wonderland phase. It would be wrong of me to pick anything else, though Oz also sounds like a ton of fun.

4. What is the last picture you took on your phone?

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The last picture I took was this god awful selfie.

 

5. Do you eat any snacks while reading?

Generally no. Sometimes I read while I eat lunch, but that’s not very often.

6. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Surprisingly this is a hard question, because I’ve done a lot of crazy things in my life. What can I say? I’m just a spontaneous, up for anything kind of person. Up there would have to be the time I broke into my friend’s apartment to prank him, and the time that my best friend and I decided to walk like 20 plus miles to a bus terminal, because we didn’t feel like paying for a hotel room. There were many stops at 24 hour coffee shops along the way. I should probably mention this happened in a foreign country. We’re idiots, we know. It was fun though.

7. Where do you live? Tell us some interesting fact about your city/country…

I live on Long Island with my parents, because NYC is expensive. I actually grew up on Long Island and feel ruined for life because of it. There is excellent bagels and pizza, and my house is 20 minutes from the beach and 40 minutes from one of the greatest cities in the world. What more could I want?

8. If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?

Global warming, especially after recent events. It makes me sad and confused that we are not doing more to protect our environment.

9. You get one trip in the Tardis, which historical event would you go and witness?

I’m not sure if this counts as an event, but I would love to experience the roaring 20s. It would be a good time in history to witness, and then I can jet back to the present before the Great Depression happens.

Another cool event I would like to witness would be the Battle of Yorktown which was the final battle in the American Revolution. It was such an important moment in history that changed everything. I get goosebumps every time I listen to “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down)” from Hamilton. Being there would and celebrating with the founding fathers sounds like an amazing experience.

10. You can recommend me one book, which is it?

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel because it was an extremely interesting book with a lot of layers and excellent writing. Also, I think it is a book that has a little bit in it for everyone. Everyone in my book club loved it and we all have different tastes in books.

11. What is your happiest memory?

I don’t have a single happiest memory, there are many moments in my life that I’ve been really happy. Sophmore and Junior year of both College and High School were really happy times in my life, so I’m going to go with that.

My Nominees 

It’s time to nominate some awesome bloggers. I’m going to nominate my 11 most recent followers so that I can get to know you guys better.

My Questions

  1. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
  2. What fictional character would you want to be best friends with?
  3. Do you believe in ghosts?
  4. What are your favorite three books that you have read this year?
  5. What do you think about when you’re alone in a car?
  6. Who is your celebrity crush? If you don’t have one, feel free to tell me your book crush!
  7. If were to write an autobiography about your life, what would you call it?
  8. What is your favorite film?
  9. What are you currently binging on Netflix?
  10. If you could have a superpower, what ability would you want to have?
  11. Who inspires you?

 

If you’ve already done this award and don’t feel like doing it again, please feel free to ignore this and appreciate the love. Also, if I did not tag you but you want to answer my questions, consider yourself nominated! Ping me if you’ve done the tag so that I can read all of your wonderful answers.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you guys in another post soon!

 

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To BookTube or Not to BookTube?

I want to preface this post by saying that I do not plan on abandoning this blog at all! The book blogging community is wonderful and I feel lucky to be a part of it.

With that being said, I must confess that I have been thinking about starting a BookTube channel. I’m sure I’m not the only blogger who loves watching BookTube videos. Ever since I learned that BookTube was a thing, I’ve been hooked. It is definitely a huge reason why I decided to blog about books in the first place.

Originally, I chose to focus on blogging over vlogging because it was low risk and a place where I could remain anonymous. There is something about putting a video of yourself talking on the internet that is super scary! Also blogging is something that I am just more comfortable with, because I love to write.

However, recently I have been hit with this desire to make videos. I was a Film Studies major in college, so I used to make short films (or really music videos) in college with my friends. It’s honestly something that I miss doing. After consuming so much BookTube content, I feel like it is something that I could realistically do. I have a nice camera, editing software, and am not camera shy.

In my mind, I think the idea of having an occasional video on my blog would be cool. For example, I really want to do a monthly Book Haul post. My book buying has gotten a little out of hand recently and I want to tell you all about my awesome finds. However, I personally think that watching a Book Haul is way more fun than reading about one.

Another thing I would love to do is create video diaries about my writing. I just think it would be a cool way to document my writing process. Also, I think it would be cool to do these in a time lapse sort of fashion, because I do some weird things when I write.

While all of these things sound like fun, I’m still very hesitant about doing it. I’m concerned that it will be just too much to handle. Right now I work a 9-5 job, take improv classes, blog, and am trying to write a novel. I just signed on to do this community theatre show, so adding a BookTube channel to the mix might be a terrible idea. I’m already doing so much and I don’t want BookTube to take away from that.

I’m also pretty afraid of putting myself out there. It’s scary okay! When I used to make videos, they were more for me. The idea of people watching me be ridiculous is nerve wracking. Also, I don’t know if I will add anything new to the BookTube community. I already struggle with coming up with content for my blog, so coming up with video ideas will be just as hard.

I don’t want to my blog to suffer either from making a BookTube channel. I said it before, but I’ll say it again, I love the blogging community. It’s a cool place and I feel like I get more book recommendations here than on BookTube. I want to keep improving my blog and making it better.

Basically, I’m just a confused person who wants to make videos, but isn’t sure if that’s necessarily a good idea or not.

I’m curious if anyone else in the book blogging community has thought about making a BookTube channel. Why did you or didn’t you? I’d love to hear your thoughts. For the moment I’m just sticking to blogging. I will let you know if that changes.

September TBR!

This post is way overdue seeing as how we’re already eight days into September! I visited my friend in Seattle Labor Day weekend, so I didn’t have a ton of time to blog. The time I did have, I spent resting. Did you know there are so many god damn hills in Seattle? I swear, my friend walked me all over the place.

Since I failed at reading all of the things I planned to last month, I have a lot of catching up to do. On top of that, I have to read two books for my book club. We’re trying to read 12 books in 2017 and since we missed the first month, we picked this month as our double header.

Basically, I just have a ton to read. Let’s get into what exactly that entails.


1. The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke — I received an eARC from NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review. I intended to finish this book last month, but time got away from me. It follows Ellie Baum, a sixteen-year old girl, who accidentally time travels back to 1988 East Berlin thanks to a red balloon. Nobody’s quite sure how this happened, not even the members of this secret guild who use balloons to help people escape to West Berlin. I’m currently half-way through and really enjoying it! Ellie is such an awesome main character and I’m interested to see where the plot goes. This book was just recently released, so check it out if any of this interests you.

2. Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones — This is the other ARC I need to get to this month, as it comes out later this month. I’m so excited to pick this book up, because there are spies. I am all about the spies. Also, I am really feeling the historical fantasy too, so this book sounds like a match made in heaven. It follows sixteen-year-old Annis Whitworth who has just learned that her father’s dead and that all of his money is gone. Her next course of action? To become a spy of course. This story takes place 1818 in the city of London, and Annis has the ability to sew glamours into clothes which can disguise the wearer completely. I’m just so into the premise and cannot wait to dive into it. It’s been a while since I read something involving spies.

3. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan — This is my book club’s official book of the month. It was my friend Will’s pick, and he chose this because he is planning on applying for grad school for writing. Jennifer Egan is one of the professor’s at the program he’s looking at, so he wanted to get more familiar with her writing. Personally, I’m really excited to read this. I don’t know too much about it aside from the fact that it deals with the music industry (specifically punk rock), and has interconnecting story lines. From what I can gather the book plays around with time as well. I love all of these things, so hopefully I end up enjoying this book.

4. A Comfortable Madness by Francine LaSala — My book club decided a few months ago that this would be the book we read during our double header. Will is friends with the author and suggested it. I don’t know know too much about this except for the fact that it is a romance. From what I know it sounds good, and I’m excited to read something by a fellow Long Islander.

5. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas — At the rate that Bella and I are reading this, I’m not sure if we’ll actually finish it by the end of this month. However, I’m about 200 pages into this so I thought I would mention it. I’m obviously really enjoying it so far! Sarah J. Maas just writes book crack that you can’t help but get into. This is the conclusion to the ACOTAR Trilogy and I’m really scared, because I know someone dies (or at least, I can only assume someone dies as it’s the last book). With that in mind, I’m sort of glad I’m reading it slowly. I can savor it even more.


Those are all of the books I plan to read. I am determined to have a super productive reading month this September. I’m hoping to finish all of these quickly so that I can squeeze in an extra book possibly. One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake comes out this month and I want to read it asap. I read Three Dark Crowns a few months ago and have been obsessed with it ever since. Hopefully I have time, if not this will be first on my TBR for October.

What is on your TBR for this month? Are you planning on reading any of the books I mentioned? Let’s chat about it in the comment section.

August Wrap Up

I wish that I could say that August was a great reading month for me, but it wasn’t. I did not get through everything that I wanted to, which sucks. Now I’m left playing catch-up.

On the bright side, I didn’t read any bad books! I also saw some pretty awesome films that I want to talk about. I know this is a book blog, but I thought I would expand on my wrap-up by including all of my general favorites. (Also it’s a good excuse for me to blab about my favorite things).

Let’s get into what I read this month!

Books I Read

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo —  This is a carryover from July that I finished early on in the month. It is a cute YA Contemporary about a girl who uses K Dramas to get a man. I was pretty pumped to read this book when I heard the premise. I am into Korean pop culture and it’s a love story, so I thought that it would be right up my alley. Unfortunately, this book fell a little flat for me. While I thought Desi, our main character, was hilarious and loved all of the Korean culture references, it lacked depth. I wish that the story lines were more fleshed out and that Desi had a stronger personal journey. This book is like k drama, but without some of the complexity. This was just okay for me. (Rating: 3/5 Stars)

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller  – Mask of Shadows is the first book in a YA Fantasy series that follows Sal who is auditioning to be an assassin for the Queen. Mostly so that they can get their revenge on. I was lucky enough to receive an digital ARC through NetGalley in exchange an honest review.  It was pretty enjoyable. Something that sets this book apart from your average YA Fantasy is that the main character is genderfluid. I really enjoyed all of the action in this book. I did not expect it to have nearly as much action as it did. My biggest problem with it was the writing itself. It could have been stronger on all accounts. To read more of my in depth thoughts, please check out my review. That being said, I am interested to see what happens next. Miller has got me hooked. (Rating: 3/5 Stars)

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman  – This was my book club’s book of the month. It was the month that my friend Kim finally picked a fantastic book, loved by everyone. Especially me. It is hard to summarize this book without giving away too much. What I can tell you is that this book follows Ove, a grumpy old man whose world gets shaken when a young couple moves in next door. It is a quirky tale that manages to be hilarious, but also heartbreaking and sweet. I was bashed over the head with feels. I don’t know what I enjoyed, more the characters or the writing. Ove leaps on the page, and it’s hard not to fall in love with him. The writing was also fabulous. I loved how it was light hearted, but still incredibly deep and sad at times. I laughed, cried, was touched, and felt sad. It made me feel a range of emotions, sometimes in the same chapter. I think that is hard to do, and I give major props to anything that manages to make me laugh out loud and cry my eyes. This was easily the best book that I read all month. (Rating: 4.5/5 Stars)

Writing Goals

Last month I set some writing goals for myself, in attempt to push myself to be more productive. However, I got into a really bad funk that set me back across the board. Spoiler alert, I’m pretty sure I failed at all of these.

Blog Goals

1. Post at least 1 review a week – I posted a solid two reviews this month, Mistborn: The Final Empire and Mask of Shadows. Technically, it’s only one since I posted my Mask of Shadows review yesterday, the first of September. I’m counting it though since I wrote it in August.

2. Try and come up with discussion topics – This one didn’t really happen either. While I did start a series revolving adaptations, I did not post any discussion topics.

3. Post at least 3 to 4 times a week – Okay, so this was a MAJOR fail considering I took a two week break from Book to the Becky. My funk is completely responsible for that.

Creative Writing Goals

1. Finish a full chapter – My blog was not the only one thing that suffered due to my funk, my novel did as well. I honestly haven’t touched it since the beginning of the month. I really need to get back to it.

2. Come up with a sketch idea – I did not come up with a sketch idea, big surprise. I wasn’t terrible in the sketch writing department though since I completely rewrote an old sketch. I’m gonna say I half completed this goal.

I did do some writing though despite the fact that I failed most of my goals. I started working on a scene for my wedding series which has been a lot of fun. I’m almost finished with it too! So, I haven’t been a complete failure.

Favorite Things I Watched

I wanted to share and gush about my favorite films that I watched this month. I would mention some of favorites in the TV world too, but I sadly haven’t watched a ton of TV this month. The only thing I have been religiously watching is Show Me the Money Season 6, which is a Korean rap competition show. It’s been good, but there have been so many heated moments that I’m still not over. Enough random TV, let’s talk movies.

Dunkirk – Alright, so Christopher Nolan is my favorite director of all time. I love the way he tells stories. It’s always in a unique and interesting way. Needless to say, I have been excited for this film’s release since it was first announced. I wouldn’t call this a war film. It more accurately tells the story about how all of these British soldiers were rescued. I didn’t know what to expect going in, but this was a complex film about heroism. I loved the way the story told and the many layers in this film. On top of that this film had incredible cinematography that Nolan is sort of known for. It was especially highlighted by the fact that there was little to know dialogue. I would say this film was an experience and one that lends itself to viewing it in a movie theatre. While it is definitely not my favorite film by him, it was still solid. (9/10 Stars)

Girls Trip – This film took me completely by surprise. I went into it thinking that it would be a fun rom com, but holy crap! I was absolutely blown away. First things first, I was so wrong about it being a rom com. This was a straight up comedy. I can’t remember the last time I laughed this hard at a film. It was hilarious! Tiffany Hadish stole the fucking show and had me tearing up, that’s how hard I was laughing. Aside from being a brilliant comedy, this film also had a ton of heart. I loved that it was about female friendship and female empowerment, black female empowerment at that. There were a few moments that hit me so hard and that I related to so much. I said this about A Man Called Ove, but anything that can make me piss my pants and cry gets a high rating from me. I loved this film so, so, so much. Honestly, it might be my favorite film of 2017 so far. That’s how good it is. If you have not seen it, please go watch it. (FYI, it is rated R. If you’re under 18, make sure it’s either cool with your parents or something that you feel comfortable watching). (Rating: 9.5/10)


That about sums up my August, at least in terms of books, writing, and movies. Even though I was in a funk, I watched and read some pretty cool things. So I can’t complain really.

What books did you read this month? Did you read any of these? Let’s chat down in the comment section below. Also, let me know if you watched any awesome movies or TV shows. I’m always looking for some recommendations.

ARC Review | Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Title: Mask of Shadows
Author: Linsey Miller
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 384
Release Date: August 29th, 2017

I successfully finished reading this before it’s release date, but I failed at posting this review before the release date. I’m a bad book blogger, I know. However, I’ve finally sat down at my computer so that we can talk about this interesting book that has gotten a lot of mixed reviews. Let’s get straight into it.


Synopsis: Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class and the nobles who destroyed their home. 

When Sal Leon steals a poster announcing open auditions for the Left Hand, a powerful collection of the Queen’s personal assassins named for the rings she wears — Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, and Opal — their world changes. They know it’s a chance for a new life.

Except the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. But Sal must survive to put their real reason for auditioning into play: revenge.


This was the first ARC I was approved for on NetGalley and I was excited to receive a free eARC in exchange for an honest review. What first intrigued me about this book was it’s gorgeous cover. As soon as I read that Sal was a thief, I knew I needed to read this, because I love books about thieves. I also was interested to read a book with a gender fluid MC.

As mixed reviews started flooding in on GoodReads, I was hesitant to pick it up. It seemed like a book that people either loved or hated. After reading it, I can say that I found myself somewhere in the middle. I enjoyed reading it, but I have a lot of mixed feelings on some aspects.

We’re going to start off with the things that I really enjoyed. One of the best things that this book has going for it was it’s action packed plot. There was so much action in here that it kept me engaged. Also, it completely delivers on the whole audition to be an assassin thing. While this plot line is nothing new, Miller does not hold back with the violence and brutality that comes with trying out to be an assassin. In a way it felt fresh, because when I usually read these types of books the violence can be romanticized. I liked how how harsh it was at times, because it showed how brutal of a world these characters were living in.

Speaking of the characters, there were a few that really stood out to me. Sal, our main character, was certainly one of them. Their revenge plot line was interesting and I enjoyed the character growth in this book. I thought Miller did an excellent job handling that. I also liked that Sal was not good at everything instantly and we saw them become more skilled over time. It felt more realistic and showed us Sal’s vulnerabilities.

Two other characters that I really loved were Maud and Ruby. I felt that they were both standouts and couldn’t help but get excited every time they appeared on the page. I especially loved Maud, she was probably my favorite character. She was an atypical strong female character, which I appreciated, and I really loved her backstory.

I also really appreciated the representation that was in this book. I’ve never read a book with a gender fluid character before, so this representation was new to me. However, I thought Miller did a great job at explaining Sal’s identity without making it a big plot point. I loved the fact that the book doesn’t focus on it and it’s just a part of who Sal is. It was so refreshing, because often times I feel like books that try to represent different kinds of people are about what makes them different. This was just about a character who auditioned to be an assassin and is trying to get revenge. If your curious to read a review from an own voices reviewer, check out this one. I should also mention that there is some bisexual rep in here as well!

While I really enjoyed all of these things, I did have some problems with this book. All of my problems really stem from one thing and that is the writing. There were many areas that the writing could have been stronger. In terms of the plot, I thought that it could have been paced better. The pacing honestly was just all over the place. Also, the way that Miller did the ending was just strange. It almost felt like the book had two endings, and because of that I thought that it was a little too long.

Even though I thought that it was too long, there was so much that I wish she had expanded on. Like the world that she created was interesting, but she developed it in such a funky way that it took me so long to figure out all of the political details and magical elements. I get that she was trying to tie all of this info in when it was relevant to the plot, but I could have used more exposition in the beginning. Also, Miller could have done a better job at handling her characters. She had a ginormous cast, but the only characters that I really felt like I knew were Sal, Maud, Elise, and the members of the Left Hand. I could differentiate between the more prominent auditioners, but I wish there were better descriptions of all the rest of the characters. They all sort of seemed to blur together.

Honestly, I just wish this book had been better executed. It had so much going for it, but the writing really effect the impact. I really did enjoy the plot and certain characters, but the writing held this back from being a 4 or 5 star book for me. That being said, I did enjoy reading it. The action packed plot really was fun to read. I have a feeling that the next book in this series will be even better, as this is Miller’s debut novel. Also with the way that it ended, there is just a lot of different ways Miller can go. There is a lot of potential there.

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Anyway, I would love to know what you thought of this book! Did you love it or did you hate it? I would love to know all of your thoughts! Also, I know that I received an uncorrected proof, so I’m sure some of the grammatical errors were fixed. However, I’m curious to see how much changed. So if you’ve read a completed copy, please let me know what you thought of the writing itself! 

 

Top Ten Hidden Gems in Contemporary

Hey guys, it’s been a while. Sorry, I’ve been a little MIA. I just have been feeling kind of down and exhausted lately, and it put me in a blogging slump. I needed to take a break to rejuvenate and relax. Now that I’ve done some of that, I feel more motivated to keep up with this blog (and all of the other things I have going on).

Anyway, what better way to celebrate my return than with a Top Ten Tuesday. I’m so excited that The Broke and the Bookish are back with this meme, I certainly have missed it!

This week is all about finding the Hidden Gems in a genre of your choice. I picked YA Contemporary because it is the genre that I have read the most from. It’s a wide range of books and there are definitely a ton of throwbacks on here. Some of them may lean more on the “popular” side, but I put them on my list because I don’t see them talked about enough in the Book Community. Anyway, on with the list!


1. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila SalesThis Song will save your life

 

I randomly stumbled upon this book a few years ago. I was drawn in by the cover, the title, and the premise. As a music enthusiast, I’m sucker for books that involve music in their plot in any way. I ended up loving this book! Elise was such an awesome character and I really related to her (even though I’m not secretly a DJ, sorry guys). If you pick up any book from this list, I think it should be this one.

 

 

2. Sorta Like a Rockstar by Matthew Quick

Sorta Like a Rock Star

This was on my syllabus for a YA Literature class I took in college. I had never heard of it, but was really blown away. Amber, our main character, was one that leaped off the page and I loved her voice. I also really loved all the quirkiness that was in this book, but don’t let the quirkiness deceive you. This book pack’s a major punch. I need to reread it, because I remember loving it but it’s been a while. It was such a solid book though and an underrated one at that. Also, if this author sounds familiar it is because he wrote The Silver Linings Playbook.

 

3. How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standifordhow to say goodbye in robot

Okay, so this book is a hidden gem for a couple of reasons. One, you probably haven’t heard of it. I certainly hadn’t until my YA Literature class. This book was another great one on our syllabus (my professor picked some really awesome books). The second reason why this falls perfectly in the hidden gem category is because this book is not a romance. Yes, I repeat, THIS BOOK IS NOT A ROMANCE! I know, the pink cover is misleading, but this is really a story about the friendship between Bea and Jonah. It is so rare to see a book about a boy and a girl who don’t fall in love with each other. I’m also pretty sure that they’re both heterosexual (please correct me if I’m wrong), which makes it even rarer. I really enjoyed this, because it was quirky and hit me in the feels. It’s been a while since I read this, so it’s definitely due for a reread.

4. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

The conspiracy of us

If you know me, then you know that I really enjoy reading unrealistic realistic fiction. Basically, books that are set in the real world, but the things that happen in them don’t necessarily happen in everyday life. This book definitely falls under that genre as it follows Avery West who gets caught up in this secret society called the Circle. Apparently, she is the key to some ancient prophecy, but this is the first time she’s hearing of all of this. While this book did take me a while to get into, once I did get into it I could not put it down. I needed to know what happened next, which of course, led to more questions. This definitely gave me a bit of National Treasure (yes, the Nicolas Cage film) vibes too, which I liked. It was such a fun read, and I definitely plan on continuing on with the series.

5. The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The fixer

Okay, so this is another great book that also falls under that category of unrealistic realistic fiction. On GoodReads, the synopsis claims that it is a mix of Scandal and Veronica Mars in YA Thriller form. That statement is so accurate and should make you want to pick up this book immediately. I have read another novel by Barnes and really enjoyed her writing style. This book is definitely my favorite by her, and it is not talked about enough! I don’t hear anyone talking about it and it makes me so sad! If you pick up a second book from this list (after This Song Will Save Your Life), it needs to be this one! There is also a sequel that I need to get my hands on asap.

6. Airhead by Meg Cabot

airhead

Airhead is another strange contemporary novel that is so good. Basically, our main character Em gets into a bizarre accident that changes her life completely. I won’t say exactly what happens to her, but you may be able to gather that information from the GoodReads synopsis. The concept of this book definitely scared me a little, but once you accept certain aspects it’s so good and addicting. Airhead is the first book in a trilogy, by the same name. I flew through all of the books, they were so good. Quirky and weird, but also fun and good.

 

7. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

a study in charlotte

I would describe this book as a YA Sherlock retelling with a female Sherlock. Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are descendants of the famous detective duo you’ve probably heard of. They first meet at Sherringford, a prep school in Connecticut. Things start to go awry when a student dies and they’re sort of being framed for the murder. There’s not enough love for this book. I’ve seen a few people talk about it here in the Book Community (especially since the sequel, The Last of August, came out in February). I really enjoyed reading this, and thought it was super unique. I mean how many YA Sherlock retellings do you come across?

8. Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

megan meade's

You may be familiar with this author. She wrote the Private series and the Shadowlands Trilogy. This book was super popular when it came out back in the mid 2000s (this book was published 2006). It was the first book that I remember really falling in love with when I was a teenager. It holds a special place in my heart, and definitely is part of the reason I love YA contemporary romances so much. I included it on this list, because nobody talks about it anymore even though it was such a good book. If you’re looking for a great throwback, I think you should pick this one up. I hope to reread this one day, and see if I love it as much as I did then.

9. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

this lullaby

Okay, so you’ve probably also heard of this author. She just had a book come out and is considered a queen of YA contemporary romance. This is probably my favorite book that I’ve read by her and I’ve read most of them. Since it is an older book, it does not get talked about as much (hence why it is on this list). I think what stood out for me was the romance between Remy and Dexter. Also, Dexter is a guitar player and in a band, which makes him even more swoon worthy. As we have established previously, I’m such a sucker for books about music and this is another one of them.

 

10. The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak

The heartbreakers

Speaking of books that involve music and romance, this is another one I really loved. I’m a sucker guys, what can I say. I’m especially a sucker for the celebrity falls for a regular person trope. This book does that trope well, and satisfied all of my needs. It was just such an adorable romance and a perfect summer read. I believe this is the first book in a series. The other books revolve around the romances of the other members in the boy band that is featured. I definitely plan on continuing on and seeing how Novak handles that without writing the exact same story but with different characters.


Those are my favorite hidden gems in the YA Contemporary genre. As I was typing up this list, I realized that a good chunk of these books are in desperate need for a reread. If you see one of them pop up on a future TBR, you will know why.

Please let me know if you’ve read any of the books I’ve listed. We can gush about these awesome books in the comment section togehter  Also if you have a favorite YA Contemporary that is completely underrated and not on this list, let me know down in the comments. Always looking for more unknown books to read. 

Adaptation Spotlight|Netflix Buys Millarworld & New Hunger Games/Twilight?

Happy Friday everyone! You don’t understand how much I’ve been looking forward to this weekend. It’s been a rough week and I’m so looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.

If you’re new here, Adaptation Spotlight is a feature on Book to the Becky where I talk about recent adaptation news that I think is interesting.

The theme for this week is franchises. We got some pretty interesting news involving a few different franchises, and I’m really excited to talk to you guys about it. So we’re just gonna dive right in.

Netflix Acquires Millarworld

We’re going to start with news that may seem small now, but will have a big impact on a popular streaming service you may have heard of.

So, Netflix has just acquired Millarworld. What is Millarworld and why is it relevant? Basically, it is a comic-book publishing firm founded by Mark Millar. You’ve probably heard of two of their franchises, Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service.

I have never read the comics, but I loved both of the film adaptations. The sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service is actually coming out later this year and is one of my most anticipated films of the year. If you have not seen Kingsman or Kick-Ass you should go watch them, they are both excellent.

On the surface, this news does not seem like a big deal, but it is. Netflix is losing it’s contract to Disney, because Disney is creating their own streaming service. While it looks like Netflix might keep the rights to Marvel and Star Wars, it will take a hit and lose a ton of content. By acquiring Millarworld, Netflix will have a ton of material to work with and be able to create more of it’s own content.

This is the third time a comic book company has been purchased like this. Warner Bros. bought DC Comics and Disney bought Marvel. Those acquisitions worked out for both companies, and this could result in a huge payoff for Netflix.

I don’t know much about Millarworld’s comics. In fact, reading about this news definitely was the first time I realized it was a thing. I say again I loved Kick-Ass and Kingsman though, so I would love to see more adaptations from this company. I think Netflix could create some really awesome content and I’m interested to see what comes of this deal.

New Hunger Games and Twilight?

Alright, so this news came completely out of left field and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Apparently, the CEO of Lionsgate, Jon Feltheimer, wants to add to both the Hunger Games and Twilight franchise! Excuse me–what?!

He does not want to remake either of these series, but rather add to the franchise with spin-offs and new installments to the story line. Personally, I’m glad to hear that they’re not planning on remaking these films, because I’m not a big fan of remakes and it’s too soon. I don’t really know if I’d want a film that directly follows the conclusion to either sereies.

It’s been so long since I read or watched anything in the Twilight series. I can’t be the only person who feels this way, so adding the next chapter of Bella and Edward’s life may be difficult to sell. As for the Hunger Games, I thought that the conclusion felt like a conclusion. Seeing what happens next to Katniss may tarnish the series.

However, I would totally be into some spin-offs. For example, I would love to see how the first Hunger Games came to be and what that entailed. It might be cool to see what happens to Panem following the events in Mockingjay, but I would like it to follow new characters. Some Twilight spin-offs would be interesting too. I don’t know what they would look like, but I’d be totally willing to hear some ideas.

It’s like Lionsgate is seeing all the success that came from Fantastic Beasts and is looking to hop on that band wagon. Apparently, they are waiting to get approval from Stephanie Meyer and Suzanne Collins before any next steps can be taken. I am extremely interested to see what comes from this. It could be good or it could be bad, we’ll just have to wait and see.


Some other small bits of news that you may be interested in. My man Nick Jonas was cast in Chaos Walking, which is the film adaptation of Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go set to be released in 2019. Also, Thirteen Reasons Why casted a bunch of new people for it’s second season. The TV adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Mr. Mercedes of the same title, premiered this past Wednesday on Audience Network. King is having good year in terms of adaptations. We’re getting so many film and tv adaptations of his work this year.

That’s all of the news I have for you this week. Let me know down below what you’re most excited for. How do you feel about having more films in the Hunger Games and Twilight Series? What would want you Lionsgate to make, if they actually make a new film in either one of these franchises? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Also, let me know if I missed anything this week.