Tuesday, June 9, 2015
This book is beautiful.
18-year-old Madeline is allergic to everything. From the back cover: "My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I'm allergic to the world. I don't leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and nurse, Carla." But then one day, a new family moves in next door, with a boy dressed in all black, and nothing is ever the same.
I really enjoyed this book. A lot. It was sweet and silly and lovely. The themes of first love and not wasting your life are beautifully woven throughout the story. Nicola Yoon's first novel addresses heavy topics like abuse and chronic illness in a way that is light while not discounting the severity of these issues.
While the novel and actual writing was enjoyable, the sketches and notebook-style entries made this book fantastic. They don't simply illustrate what the book is saying, but they continue the story in a unique way. For example, we don't simply hear Madeline telling us she wants to kiss Olly. We get a three page "Kissing Primer" (and let's not lie, what girl hasn't thought about all the steps that lead up to kissing?)
The characters of Madeline and Carla were well developed and relatable, but I'm split on Olly. I liked what we saw of him, but he felt kind of one-dimensional or superficial. We heard about the issues he faced and things he liked, but he seemed to only exist for Maddy and doing things with her.
The plot twist = genius. Loved it! But I wish we had a little bit more after. It felt like we had the twist, then some angst, and suddenly the book was over. I wish we had just a little more resolution, especially with Dr. Whittier.
But as a whole, I loved this book and you should read it. But you can't yet, unless you have an ARC. Everything Everything is on sale September 1, 2015. But once it comes out, you should definitely read it. Especially if you're a Rainbow Rowell fan, because it had a similar feel to it (and really, who's not a Rainbow fan these days?).
Also, there is a Tumblr set up for this book! There's not much there right now, but it looks like it will be a lot of fun when they get it going!
Want to hear more about my thoughts on this book? Check out my BookTalk here!
I received this book from First in Line at BookCon 2015 under no obligation for a positive review.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
BookCon15 was this past weekend and it was AWESOME. BookCon is truly where I find my people.
They get me.
This year, BookCon was extended to TWO days of Bookish awesomeness, so even though we were late getting there on Saturday, I still came home with a massive haul of 35 books (not counting the 7 I grabbed for others), only 4 of which I had to pay for, 16 samples for upcoming books, 6 totes, a slew of bookmarks, and random bookish things. (The end of this post has a shot of the books and a list of what they are, if you're interested).
Pretty much the moment I got to the Javits center, I went down to the autograph lines for the one celebrity I was most excited to meet. I waited two hours in line (was one of the first dozen people there), but it was worth it. Felicia Day is so sweet and geeky! She offered to sign Charlie's head when I pulled her out for the picture (which of course I allowed, because Charlie signed my Charlie). Related: anyone know a good sealant for use on vinyl?
One of the highlights of my month...maybe year (so far, anyways).
My brother and eventual-sister-in-law came with me on this adventure, but they spent most of Saturday at the hotel tired and with homework. Similarly, on Sunday I was up in line early so I could go to the First in Line Red Carpet Author Breakfast (free books + meeting the authors + food = awesomesauce. Also, I discussed Dean vs. Sam with Jennifer Niven) while they did things like sleep and eat. Amateurs. So I spent most of the weekend wandering alone getting swag like this:
One of my favorite things about BookCon is suddenly finding an author doing a signing at some random table. That's how I met Abi and Missy (authors of the Sinners series) and, most excitedly, Mike Berenstain of the Berenstain Bears!! Total fangirl moment with him.
The only author I waited in line to meet this year, aside from the FIL Breakfast, was Scott Westerfeld. I wanted to go to the Rainbow Rowell party, but it sold out in less than 30 minutes while I was still on the bus. Sad Panda. But, Scott Westerfeld!
When my brother and I asked to take a selfie, we kinda cracked him up. And look! I am officially Ashley-wa! My favorite thing about this is that he crossed out his name to sign it. So Bubbly.
The other highlight of the weekend for me was the BookTube 101 Panel and the meet up after. Got to watch my favorite BookTubers (Katytastic, Xtinemay, and JesseTheReader) live on stage, and then got to meet them! And they are exactly as sweet and amazing as you'd expect. The right side is the result of "okay, now a silly picture". Of course they obliged. Christine was especially enthusiastic.
Also, now I'm contemplating becoming a BookTuber. Such books, much fun.
In addition to all this fun, there was a Welcome to Night Vale panel where Cecil read the beginning of the new novel live. If I am ever in a coma or unable to do anything for myself, I want Cecil Baldwin to come read to me. Benedict Cumberbatch can take turns when he gets tired.
Lastly, let me show you the books I got. The books on the left are already released, about half of them are signed. The books on the right are all ARCs. The ones leaning on the side are the samples for upcoming books.
Left Side (Already available):
The Geek's Guide to Dating by Eric Smith*
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs**
The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla**
Love and Profanity edited by Nick Healy
How to be Interesting by Jessica Hagy**
Life After Perfect by Nancy Naigle**
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero**
Melt by Delene Castrovilla** (the last one there, missigned to someone else, so she let me have it)
Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki**
The Maze Runner/The Scorch Trials Collector's Edition bindup by James Dashner**
Reconstruction: First a Body Then a Life by Ara Lucia Ashburne
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (linked version not the same as what I got)
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven**
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart**
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Galactic Hot Dogs by Max Brllier and Rachel Maguire
Hiking Waterfalls in New England from Falcon Guides
Right Side (ARCs)
Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis*
Choose Your Own Love Story by Ilyse Mimoun
The Golden Compass Graphic Novel Vol 1 by Phillip Pullman
Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
Voyagers Project Alpha by D.J. MacHale
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon** (really excited to read this one!)
The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan
Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner
Finding Forever by Ken Baker
A Mighty Purpose by Adam Fifield
The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone (got the last one, insanely excited)
The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips
Another Day by David Levithan
The Keeper by David Baldacci
Steve Jobs Insanely Great [a graphic biography] by Jessie Hartland
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Stay tuned over the next few months as I try to read and review all of these!
Update: I've started a BookTube channel over on YouTube! You can see a video of this haul here.
Let's chat in the comments!
Which book above do you most want to read? Or which would you like to see a review on?
Did you go to BookCon or BEA this year? What was your favorite part?