Tuesday, April 14, 2015

March/April Recap

Hello, everyone. You're all busy, so I'm here to make it easier for you to keep up with my blog and booktube channel, The Lushables, with a recap of my posts and videos for the last two months. Click on any of the pictures in the video to be taken to the post in question or look under the cut for the links all listed for you :).

On my blog, I posted my bookish rounds edition 75, edition 76, edition 77 and edition 78. Bookish rounds posts cover MG / YA / NA book related news -- from new publishing deals to cover reveals to movie and tv adaptation news to the newest releases for young adult.

I gave away a copy of The Cake House by Latifah Salom and hosted Latifah Salom with a guest post, where she talked about her inspiration for writing her debut novel, which was described as a Hamlet retelling set in Los Angeles. I also interviewed Francesca Zappia, author of MADE YOU UP, in which a girl with paranoid schizophrenia is determined to get through her senior year unscathed, and a boy from her past shows up with a monkey wrench. In that post, I'm giving away an ARC annotated by Ms. Zappia herself.

I discussed my reading tastes and experiences, the blogging milestones that I've missed, and YA science fiction/dystopian novels based off something that Neil DeGrasse Tyson had said on StarTalk. I confessed that I'm terrible at reading lists. I also revealed how I make my bookish rounds posts - how I gather my links and follow cover reveals and the like.

I reviewed The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma, Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman, Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey, and Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge. On April 13th, you'll be able to read my review of Made You Up by Francesca Zappia, and on April 21st, you'll be able to read my review of The Heart of Betrayal by Mary Pearson (and win my ARC!).

And I announced that I'm headed to BEA.

I'm also celebrating my four year blogoversary! Head over to my blog before April 15th for a chance to win some books.

In terms of booktube videos, I posted my top 7 recommendations for YA science fiction novels.

WHUT. Why do I only have one video? Well, so a lot of things have been going on in my life that have needed more attention. At the end of February, the beginning of March, I was supposed to be giving a presentation on the data I've been analyzing since I started my job in July. I got SO nervous. I really shouldn't have, because I've been doing a lot of work, and I know this; and yet I couldn't stop myself from getting extraordinarily stressed about the whole prospect. And then it was over, and I realized that that Friday, I was going on vacation to Japan to visit a friend. Oh, I thought, I should really prepare for that, huh, but I couldn't get everything done in time. I was in Japan for a week, and then when I returned to work, there was this really silly technicality on a project I'd done and LITERALLY no one else in the department had been asked to do something like that despite their projects being very, very similar. So that week, it was like trying to catch up after a vacation, trying to get this side thing done, and I was headed to a professional conference the next week, so I was preparing my materials for that, doing more research. In a class that I'm auditing, I'm supposed to write up a manuscript for a journal article (for those of you who don't know, science is pretty similar to book publishing; you write up manuscripts for submission for publication in journals, etc. etc.). And that was so much more work than I thought it would be because my god, there's always something to learn! I actually didn't finish it before I left and was spending part of my vacation in SoCal working on it. Anyway, the last week of March I headed to San Francisco for the conference, and since I was on the west coast, I went home to see my parents in southern California. And this past week, I've been catching up on everything else!

Besides all that, I figured that from now on, I don't think that I'll be able to post more than 1 booktube video a week. Running a blog and a booktube channel at full capacity is just impossible unless I want them to take over a lot of my time. Enough of that depressing news! 

What did I read these past months?

I read Chime by Franny Billingsley, and you can read my mock review of that on Goodreads. If you've been blogging for a while, you know about the Chime controversy. For the 2012 National Book Awards, I think it was, the nominees were announced, only instead of Chime, they'd said Shine by Lauren Myracle. But obviously they meant Chime, and so there was this back and forth of apologies and clarifications and hooplah. The good thing was it exposed me to this book, and I'm SO glad I read it. I would compare my experience reading Chime to my experience reading the Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Chime has got this magical realism atmosphere and it's quite simply beautifully written and unlike anything else I've read in YA.

I read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, which is going to be as popular as everyone says; The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead, which was a bittersweet closing for the Bloodlines series; The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey and Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman, both of which I reviewed these past two months as well. While I was home, I, uh, read the entire On Dublin Street series by Samantha Young.

Okay, so there's kind of a story here. When I was in my sophomore year of college, I volunteered at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. I don't know exactly when it was that I first started reading romance novels, but I'm guessing that it started after that convention. And anyway, my college was only about an hour's drive away from home, so sometimes my parents would visit. I would give my mom some books to take back with her because there wasn't any space and I'd already read them. It turned out that when she saw the bodice ripper covers of the romance paperbacks, she read them. And then she started to ask me if I had more of those books. She would ask me to order her some. And during my senior year of college, she said that she wanted to read these novels while she was exercising but it was too hard to grip the paperbacks and the font was too small. During my junior year, she'd bought me a new laptop even though my old one was still working; so I got her my old laptop and synced my Kindle account there, and suddenly my mom was reading my romance and erotica novels while she was exercising. She likes to say that "they give her energy" to continue. Anyway, that laptop is over five years old and is definitely going to break down soon, so after I'd graduated and was living at home, I bought her an iPad with the money I had saved from college. And so after that she got through the novels even quicker because she takes her iPad with her everywhere. Even though I've shown her how to buy ebooks on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, she'll still ask me every once in a while about getting her some new reads. So when I was home last week, I was like, well, I have heard good things about On Dublin Street and my mom does like contemporary romance more than my usual historical romance, so why not? But the thing is, I get sucked in too, when I buy these books for her. For me, I think it's that romance novels are strangely calming. I don't know why -- maybe it's because some of them are wish fulfillment, and some are predictable, and some will have HEAs; nope, I don't know why. But there were several moments when my mom and I were less than feet away from each other, on sofas, reading our romance novels. MOTHER DAUGHTER BONDING, y'all.

Currently reading:

Uh, I'm not allowed to tell you what I'm currently reading, haha. But after THAT, I'll probably be reading Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn.

Book Haul:
And I got a bunch of books for review and I don't know why (especially since so many are sequels and I haven't even read the first book!), but I'm giving ALL OF THE FOLLOWING books away, so check out the links when you can!
So that was March and April for me. How were/are they going for you? What did you get to up to this month? Read anything interesting? Like any of the blog posts listed? Let me know!


  1. I am still working on my Chime discussion to send to you (we had some internal drama, then I was ill on Wednesday). I really LOVED reading Chime with you! It was a great book to pick for a discussion!

  2. Sorry to hear about the drama & that you were ill (hope you're feeling better!). No worries on the discussion -- and I loved reading it with you too :D :D :D


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