Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Hi guys! I hope you’re having a good day! This was the second book I read in the month of July as well as The Book Junkie’s July pick. The Book Junkies is a book club that my friends and I started on Goodreads. I linked the page if you wanted to check it out.

So what is this book about anyway??

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Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

 

Publisher: Speak

Publish date: July 16, 2013 (original: December 2, 2010)

Page #: 372

Edition: Paperback, Alternate Cover, USA

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I have seen this book around since its release. I’ve always intended to read it, and I couldn’t ever get myself to do it. It has stayed popular since it’s original release in 2010, and even got a gorgeous new cover with the release of Isla and the Happily Ever After. I mean look at that design! Props to whoever designed it because all three books are gorgeous and complement each other really well. Bookstagram loves photos of the trio.

Anyway, the lovely girls who I co-moderate our book club book suggested a reread since I hadn’t read it yet. Now I finally understand the hype!

In one word it’s cute. I definitely needed this after the soul-crushing ending of The Memory Book by Lara Avery. (Here’s the link to my review of that one.) I couldn’t wait to see if Anna would truly live up to what people say about it. I was looking at the ratings and reviews of some of my friends and most of them were 5 star ratings.

Anna has one of the best names that I’ve heard in a while. I like how creative Perkins got with her and Bridgette’s names. Anna’s move to Paris and her adjustment to new surroundings clicked with me immediately. I recently had to leave my parents for the first time, and I know exactly the feeling of being so alone. 

While being sent to Paris for school isn’t something many people would complain about, I know why Anna does. She doesn’t want to go, and she has no choice but to do what her father wants. I can’t believe what it would be like if I had to change my entire lifestyle for one year, senior year. It’s such an integral part of people’s lives, and she does it in a foreign country without anyone there with her. Perkin’s captures those feelings really well, and I really liked that element of the story.

Anna really lucked out in the floor neighbor deal. Meredith is a wonderful girl, and I loved her immediately. She and her group of friends are very accepting of Anna, and I feel like if Mer hadn’t reached out that first day the story would be completely different. They make me wish I had a squad like them!

I had a bad feeling when Anna went back home after spending so many months away from America. The whole thing smelled of a cliche. I wish things had ended better between Anna and Bridgette.

ETIENNE!!!!!!!! *le sigh* I know why so many people love him because I love him too. One thing that bothered me about him was how he led Anna on for so long. Grow a pair man!! This added angst to the story was very teenager-y. It wasn’t bad and definitely served a purpose to the story.

As much of a love story this is, I like how Anna finds herself in the whole mess of things. I can’t wait to see what comes of her in the two other books. I know they’re stand-alones, but I know that the characters have cameos in each other’s books.

Okay I’m going to wrap this up because I now realize how long my review has gotten. I just had a lot to say!! Have you read Anna and the French Kiss? What did you think

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

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General Update: My Bookish Life pt.20

Hi, guys! I apologize for not posting yesterday, but I was busy all week with band things and I totally forgot since I didn’t have anything planned. I’ll have more time to stay on top of it next week, so don’t worry!

This week

Pre-season band things started. That means 2 rehearsals a day Monday through Thursday. The new kids I have in my section are pretty good already, and I’m looking forward to a good season. Our senior class is already a lot like a family. We’re working together pretty well.

I haven’t had time to much other than band all week. We had a senior bonfire after our late rehearsal on Thursday so I was pretty tired on Friday. I worked a few days, and I’ll be working all weekend.

I finished An Ember in the Ashes in preparation of A Torch Against the Night this coming month. I can’t believe I have to wait until the 30th for it though!! I found this book quite intriguing. I know there has been a lot of buzz about this book, and I’d say some of it is warranted. I’ll have a review coming to you in the near future. I started Phantom of the Opera after I finished Ember. Our band’s halftime show is Phantom and I’ve seen the movie, but I wanted to read the book (duh). So far it’s going slow for me. It seems as if classics are always a slow read for me. I wouldn’t say things are vastly different in the book than the movie, but they did cut out a few details so far.

Today

It’s the start of Coast Guard Festival in my town which is Coast Guard City USA. Every year we have a festival celebrating the Coast Guard, and all week there’s a carnival down the main street, street vendors, and so many different activities that end in a parade and fireworks. (We have the best fireworks display in my opinion.)

Today is the kid’s parade which isn’t as big as the one next Saturday. I’ll be walking with my bookstore to hand out candy and flyers about our midnight release party for HP. Later on I’ll be working then I have to play in a pep band for a class reunion. After that I have to come back in to work and help with the midnight release party. It’ll be quite a busy day.

This coming week

This is the first Coast Guard week I’ve had off all of high school. I usually have band rehearsals this week but my director pushed it a week back instead this year. Instead I’ll be working, so that’ll be fun. I might go down to the carnival with some friends. I have one rehearsal Thursday to prep for the parade Saturday, and we’ll be charting somethings on the field too. The week after this one I’m going to band camp for the last time! I’ll have posts prepared so don’t worry about it. You may see a post or two from Beth again. (Don’t you just love that gal?! :))

Will you be going to a midnight release party for HP? What are you up to this week?

Happy reading!

Sophie 🙂

Hi everyone! It’s Beth here from over at The Books Are Everywhere, with a bookish recommendation for you guys.

So, I was chatting to the lovely Sophie the other day about my most recent read, The Square Root of Summer…and she said something that made me think – ‘it sounds like The Love That Split the World!’

Well, I realised Sophie was right! So why not share this news with you all?

Basically, did you read this and love it?

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Goodreads | Amazon

Then there’s a big chance you’ll also love this!

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Goodreads | Amazon

Both books are romantic, deep and poetic…and they also both involve some kind of time travel! What more could you wish for?

You can see my review for The Love That Split the World here and my review for The Square Root of Summer here.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

And would you like more posts like this one?

-Beth

If You Like this, You’ll Like This #1

Hi guys! I’m here on Tuesday again because of my book tour for How to Keep Rolling After a Fall yesterday. You can check that out here if you’d like. Here’s some things I found while roaming social media in the past week along with this week’s releases. (Yes that includes Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts I & II Special Rehearsal Edition Script, which I’m sure a TON of people may already know.)

This week’s releases

ICYMI here’s a rundown of what happened last week

  • Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson are cast as Maddy and Olly in the Everything, Everything movie

I was so excited when this buzz hit Twitter! You’ll remember Amandla as Rue (our favorite tribute) from The Hunger Games. The Hollywood Reporter helped Yoon announce this awesome news and shared more details about the movie. You can read the full article here.

  • Becky Albertalli will be releasing 2 new books

Publisher’s Weekly made it official in their weekly report of book deals and Albertalli shared her news on Twitter. One of the books will bring us back to the world of Simon and his crew – I can’t be more excited for this! If you haven’t read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda you must stop whatever you’re doing and go read it now! I was interested and my friend Beth (The Books Are Everywhere) kept bugging me to read it. You can read all of my thoughts about that lovely book in my review here. The other book is The Upside of Unrequited whose cover was revealed a few weeks ago.

  • Emily France sold the rights to her second YA book

Her first YA novel Signs of You debuted last week, and already has many positive reviews. The second book is titled Zen and Gone which centers around the disappearance of a little girl in a zen garden in Colorado. It’s projected release is 2018. (Refer to the above link about Publisher’s Weekly for full details.)

  • Marie Lu shared a sneek peek of The Midnight Star

On Monday night at 7 EST Marie Lu read an excerpt on Facebook live for her fans. This is the highly anticipated sequel of The Young Elites series. Don’t worry if you didn’t tune in! Penguin Teen posted it on their wall and you can view it here. On July 11 Bustle also shared the first chapter of The Midnight Star. You can read that here.

  • V. E. Schwab’s This Savage Song was optioned for film

Sony bought the rights to this movie, and so many people were excited. This has blowing up all over social media, and I can’t wait to dive into this book. It debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list as number 1, and it seems as though people can’t get enough of Schwab’s writing. She also announced the title of the sequel to this book as Our Dark Duet. Sounds spooky doesn’t it? I’m sure it’ll be fabulous!

  • We Need Diverse Books is releasing 2 anthologies focusing on diversity

Random House Children will be helping this great organization publish 2 anthologies- one middle grade and one young adult. WNDB is a grassroots organization that helps spread awareness about social issues that include people of color, LGBTQIA+, ethnic and cultural diversity, and so much more. Some authors include Matt de la Peña, Nicola Yoon, Melissa de la Cruz, and Jacqueline Woodson. I stumbled on this article on Nicola Yoon’s Twitter after searching for the articles about EE. You can read it here.

What do you think about these awesome bookish things? I couldn’t include everything I saw (like San Diego Comic Con, I mean, hello!?), but I did squeeze in what I thought would be really fun a pertinent.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Bookish News: 25 July 2016

Hi guys! Instead of another day of Bookish News, I’m here to kick off the blog tour of How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo which is due out August 2nd. All week our blog and others will be celebrating the release of this adorable read.

About Karole Cozzo

THE BASICS:

Karole lives outside of Philadephia, PA with her loving husband, eternally exuberant little girl, and perpetually pleasant little boy.  Hobbies include nursing a persistent Starbucks addition, eating way too much candy, emptying her wallet at Target, spending time with her family, decorating her home, and completing any other crafty project she can think of.  Karole has degrees in School Psychology, women’s studies, and biology but has never taken a formal creative writing course, although she’d really like to one day.

FAST AND FUN FACTS ABOUT KAROLE:

  1. “Cozzo” is a pseudonym, one that pays tribute to Karole’s patriarchal surname.
  2. Karole is a left-handed Scorpio, who admittedly possesses qualities of a left-handed Scorpio, good and bad.
  3. One time Karole got proposed to by someone dressed up as Peter Pan. She said yes. She’s been married to Peter Pan for coming up on seven years.
  4. Karole’s favorite contemporary literary couple is Amy and Poe.  Snark and swoon!
  5. Karole’s father is still her hero.
  6. She considers the steady disappearance of book stores a national tragedy.
  7. As a full-time working mom with two small kids, Karole’s life philosophy is as follows –>

You can reach out to her through these:

Twitter/Instagram/Goodreads/Facebook/Website

 

Here’s what the book is about:

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Goodreads | Amazon

After a cyber bullying incident turns her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl that everyone deserves a second chance.

The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That’s all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl’s suicide. Now Nikki’s been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can’t look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates – almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it’s like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance… and everyone deserves to be loved.

Publisher: SwoonReads

Publish date: August 2, 2016

Page #: 272

Edition: Paperback, USA

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What a cute, quick read! I read this on the way to Brown so I’d be prepared for the tour.

There were so many elements in this book – grief, remorse, finding yourself again. I really liked how Nikki’s character turned out. There are many times in books that I find myself hating the main character during snippets of the book, but I really like her the entire time. I found her struggle with reconciling her new self with the old to speak volumes of the person she would become in the end of the story.

Pax is a sweet guy. He struggles with many things he isn’t used to struggling with, and adjusting is something that both he and Nikki deal with. He serves as a good contrast for Nikki especially. If something like what happened to him happened to me I can only hope I would be as well-adjusted as he is.

The scenes with Nikki’s old friends were interesting. I liked how they added depth and dynamic to the story. I think Nikki handled them well, especially after what happened. I felt so proud of her when she confronted them.

There’s a part that involves the girl who was the bullying victim and I could not love this scene more. It doesn’t go the cliche way and I was very pleased with that.

This is definitely a good beach read!

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Here’s the rest of the tour dates, and you should definitely see what others have in store for this cute read!

July 25th
Margie’s Must Reads >> Excerpt
Books Direct  >> Review
Bookish Escapes >> Review
The Mind of a Book Dragon >> Review
Book Reviews & More by Kathy >> Review

July 26th
The Cover Contessa >> Interview
Betwixt the Pages >> Review
Novels and Necklaces >> Review
Daydreaming Books  >> Review

July 27th
Kindle and Me >> Review
My Book Addiction >> Review
Hello Beautiful Book Blog >> Guest post
Between Books >> Review
Feed Your Fiction Addiction >> Review

July 28th
Smada’s Book Smack >> Review
Rhea’s Neon Journal >> Review
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! >> Excerpt
BooksChatter >> Interview
Here’s to Happy Endings >> Review

July 29th
Quite The Novel Idea >> Review
Dani Reviews Things >> Guest post
Ceres Books World >> Review
Adventures in Writing >> Review

There is also a tour-wide giveaway. Click this link to access the Rafflecopter. The prize is a copy of How to Keep Rolling After a Fall and the giveaway ends on August 4th. Open to US and Canadian residents only.

I had so much participating in this tour! I hope you take a minute to check out this cute book:)

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Blog Tour + Stop: Review-How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo

Hello! How are you? I hope you’re having a good day! I love, love Strohmeyer’s Smart Girls Get What the Want because Gigi is beautiful. When I saw this I knew I had to read it.

Here’s what the book is about:

Addie Emerson doesn’t believe in love. Not for herself, anyway. With one year left of high

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school, she’s more interested in snagging a full scholarship to Harvard than a full-time boyfriend.

That doesn’t mean she’s oblivious to the ways of the heart. Or, rather, the head. Because after months of research, Addie has discovered how to make anyone fall in love. All you need is the secret formula.

But will her discovery be enough to win the coveted Athenian Award and all its perks? (See above, full scholarship to Harvard.) Or will she be undone by Dexter, her backstabbing lab partner, who is determined to deep-six her experiments at their exclusive private school?

Those are the least of her problems now that she’s survived a death-defying flight with a mysterious, dark-haired boy, who has delicious chocolate-brown eyes and a few secrets of his own.

With an experiment to mastermind, an infatuated exchange student on her hands, and at least one great white shark (more on that later), can Addie’s prefrontal cortex outwit her heart? Or will she have to give in to her amygdala and find out, once and for all, if this thing called love is more than just her brain on drugs?

Publisher: HarperTeen                                Edition: Hardcover, USA

Publish date: May 10, 2016                         Page #: 352

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To say the least, I enjoyed this book. I read it right after my finals were over and it was a nice transition into my summer. Addie’s thoughts and commentary were funny at times, and I was intrigued the whole time.

The story starts off right in the middle of action. I like especially how it starts because I feel like we get a really nice picture of Addie, who she is and what kind of person she is. She’s a bit prickly, but she grew on me. The awkward nerd girl trope is really apparent here, but it works for this story. I don’t like Addie as much as I love Gigi, but she’s a wonderful character in her own right.

Dex threw me for a loop. At first I thought it would go in the love triangle direct, but it didn’t and I’m glad it didn’t. I think it would have been too much if Dex and Addie ended up being romantically involved. I don’t like how his character turns out in the end. I wish he could have been salvaged, but I know why he wasn’t.

I love when female characters have other strong women around them. I find it strengthens the MC as a whole. The friendship between girls is something that I feel should be fostered even more in books. Girls need to see girls supporting girls. I think there’s too much drama and competition between women as it is and that isn’t necessary.

The ending of the book!!!!! I feel like I should have seen the plot twist, and I did have an inkling right before the end. I really liked how it ended. I can’t elaborate too much more without giving away what happened, so I’ll just say I liked much more than I expected I would. It didn’t end in an extremely cliche way either.

I would definitely recommend this if you want a lighter, funny read. It’d be great to curl up with on a rainy day or at the beach.

Happy reading!

Sophie 🙂

Book Review: This is My Brain on Boys by Sarah Strohmeyer

Posted in Bloggers, General Updates, Sophie

General Update: My Bookish Life pt. 19

Hi, happy Saturday! I can’t believe another week has passed – summer is going by way too fast. I feel like I haven’t even really begun to enjoy my summer. I’ve only been back for a little over 2 weeks from Brown. (TAKE ME BACK!!!)

This week

I worked a few days, but otherwise I haven’t done much. It was my niece’s first birthday on Thursday and my parents and I went over to see her. Really all I do lately is read, work, derp on the computer, write/work on college apps/essays, and sleep. Band is starting up soon for me (sooner than I expected), and I don’t feel ready for any sort of responsibility. I want more time to sit and settle into my routine of doing nothing.

This week I read Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler, which I had to read for a blog tour. After that I decided to finish out my Stephanie Perkins kick and read Isla and the Happily Ever After. That wasn’t as good as I was expecting – I finished, but there was too much Josh and not enough Isla. I will be writing a review and catching those up as soon as I motivate my butt. I started An Ember in the Ashes in preparation for A Torch Against the Night‘s release this August.

I’m planning on participating in ARC August hosted by Octavia and Shelley over at Read. Sleep. Repeat. For those of you who don’t know, ARC August is a month long read-a-thon of just ARCs so you can power your way through a stack. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to read, but I know that I want  to read Kids of Appetite by David Arnold, The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven, and Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz. I don’t want to do just ARCs in the month of August, but I think this is a fun way to challenge myself in a new way.

Today

I work again today! I’m glad I’m getting more hours in but I fear it’s not nearly enough. I need to really start saving because college takes your lunch money and beats you up. Needless to saw I need to start saving lots and lots of money.

This week

Band starts up. I thought I already had another week before I had to do anything. My band director switched the week we usually have preseason. I have that week free now, and I don’t know what to do with my time!! #TheStruggleisReal My bookstore is having a midnight release party for Harry Potter, and I get to work it! I think I’m going to dress up as Cho Chang. I mean how could I not?

What’s going on with you guys this week? What’s your current read?

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Hey book dragons (and Friday)! I hope you’ve had a great week so far. I know there has been so much drama lately on the internet, but thankfully the book things aren’t all that dramatic (unless your prose is drama of course).

A few weeks back, my final assignment for Brown was to interview a journalist that I admire. Yin Chang is the amazing host of the podcast 88 Cups of Tea. The focus of 88 Cups of Tea is to bring authors and other people in the literary/performing arts field(s) to listeners and help them learn from experts who have already succeeded there. Yin has had the opportunity to speak with people like Morgan Matson (The Unexpected Everything), R. J. Palacio (Wonder), and most recently Matt de la Peña (Last Stop on Market Street). I’ve linked the pages of each chat and the Amazon page of each book in case you wanted to check them out. I highly encourage it – Yin is so warm and engaging with each guest that I can’t help but love each episode I listen to.

Here’s a bit about our amazing host Yin:

Yin Chang is an actor-turned-podcast-host, a #1 Amazon bestselling co-author, short film producer, and writer. She was born and raised in New York and currently resides in Los Angeles.

Yin is the creator and host of 88 CUPS OF TEA, a podcast show dedicated towards helping storytellers move forward in their careers. Yin interviews bestselling authors, and successful directors, screenwriters, and producers. Yin asks engaging questions where her inspiring guests discuss how they created opportunities for their careers, allowing listeners to apply actionable steps towards their own. Through the podcast, Yin creates a tribe, a safe space, for storytellers to learn and feel empowered, inspired, and motivated.

As an actor, Yin made her feature film debut in Walt Disney’s PROM. She is most recognized for her work in three seasons of CW’s GOSSIP GIRL, a TV show hailed by New York Magazine as, “The greatest teen drama of all time.” Yin has also made numerous appearances on major TV shows and starred in THE BLING RING. Learn more about Yin’s work as an actor here.

This is what she hopes to achieve with her podcast

Everyone has a story to tell.

88 CUPS OF TEA is a podcast crafted for the novelist, the screenwriter, the filmmaker, and the creative in you. I interview directors, writers, and producers who are responsible for the successes of shows like 30 ROCK, ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND, RIZZOLI & ISLES, TWISTED, LAW & ORDER: SVU, and many more.  I document my chats with inspiring international and New York Times bestselling authors and award-winning writers and filmmakers.

I have my own stories I need to share, just like you. I’ve taken writing classes and joined writing workshops, and from these classes I’ve learned that there’s still so much more to learn.

Through this curiosity, I chat with those who are “doing it”: Those who are able to balance their passion for storytelling, make a living, and more importantly, those who are able to prioritize time for their family, friends, and hobbies. I’m still learning to balance all of that. I want to do work that brings me joy and do it in a way that still provides a roof over my head, and most importantly, I want to always be grounded and human about it all.

I crave for real talk. I get a high from picking the brains of those I’ve worked with and became friends with throughout my acting career, and of those who I’ve admired from afar. That hunger for conversation with storytellers birthed 88 CUPS OF TEA, a podcast for fellow curious storytellers just like me.

The conversations with my guests constantly leave me feeling so moved and inspired, and it will leave you feeling just as inspired through their generous and invaluable tips and advice. These motivating discussions will keep you moving forward in your career by learning how these guests create opportunities for themselves.

88 CUPS OF TEA is a safe space where we all gather together to learn together from these mentors, to be each other’s cheerleaders, and to root for the underdogs in all of us.

Welcome to our tribe.

What’s your story?

_________________________________________________________________

So if you haven’t caught on by now, I chose Yin to interview for my final project, and I want to thank her a million times for agreeing to do this for and with me. Below is our own discussion on her career, how she started, and some amazing episodes she captured.

Sophie: Hi Yin! Thank you so much for being here with me! How do you choose what guest you want on your show? Is it hard to contact them?
Yin: Before I launched the podcast, I reached out to friends and colleagues I
made while working on set. At the time, they were my directors,
producers, and screenwriters of TV shows/movies I acted in. Interviews
with them helped me build a very solid roster of guests as a foundation
to reach out to other guests I had never met.

My initial process for selecting guests for the show was pretty organic
and spontaneous. I would either pass through Barnes & Noble and gravitate
towards books that stood out to me, or I would read through summaries of
books that were displayed in the bestsellers list and reach out to
authors whose stories resonated with me most. As the show progressed, I
became more involved with social media and found fantastic guests by
paying attention to whose work the listeners are currently reading.  I’ve
also had several authors pitched to me by publicists, publishers, and
literary agencies, and I bring on the ones who would fit the show best.
For guests outside of the world of authors, I make sure to keep an ear
out for cool new movies or TV shows that are in the works, or are in the
film festival rounds before they’re released to the public. I tend to
lean towards creative people who have created something from absolutely
nothing.

General rule of thumb I like to stick to: Only invite or accept guests who
I’m interested in having a genuine conversation with. Something about them
needs to jump out at me and keep me interested, or else it wouldn’t be
interesting for my listeners either.

For all of my guests, aside from a few guests who were already my friends,
I reach out to them via email.

S: What’s your strategy for interviewing people? Is there one question you
like to ask every time?
Y: Generally, the guests and I have about 3-5 minutes to ourselves before we
get into the interview. This is where I give them a friendly reminder
about the audio technicalities. In those few minutes, I’m usually able to
feel out their personalities. Although rare, there are times we instantly
click like long-lost best friends and we’ll hop right into a beautiful
conversation about life overall, and if appropriate, I’ll steer the
direction of the interview with questions I feel would best benefit
listeners.  Most of the times, I like to kickstart conversations by
having guests backtrack all the way to their earliest memories of the
first steps towards their creative path. From there, I pay close
attention and engage by listening intently, asking questions, and giving
my two cents, like I would with a close friend.
At the very end of the episode, I love to wrap it up by asking each guests
what kinds of books they recommend for listeners to check out!

S: How long does it take for you to conduct an interview for a podcast? Does
this include editing as well?
Y: It usually takes about an hour for an interview. Unfortunately, that
doesn’t include editing. I wish it did! Editing takes about 10 hours.

S: Do you usually conduct your interviews in person or another way? Do you
have a preference?
Y: I’ve yet to do an in-person interview, though I’d love to when the time
is right! I travel quite a bit and am always on the go, so I conduct all
of my interviews via Skype.
S: What’s your favorite part of doing research on an author?

Y: I love learning about their personal lives (I also love chatting with
them about their personal lives!), their favorite hobbies, and their
daily routine. It humanizes them beyond the work that they’ve created and
are most recognized for, and I’m able to connect with them on a deeper
level in addition to just talking-shop.

S: Why a podcast? What do you like about publishing your work through a podcast?
Y: I was obsessed with podcasts about a year (might’ve been about a year and
a half) before creating one. I love the ease and convenience of podcasts.
I’m able to multi-task— hike, shower, put on makeup, cook, drive, etc.—
all while learning and feeling productive with each episode I’m listening
to.

S: How did you figure out that this is what you wanted to do after your work
as an actress? Have you always also been a writer?
Y: Shortly after moving out to LA to work as an actor, I created a short
film, “Strain”, about bullying prevention. My intentions were to have it
available as a free resource that would spark important conversations
amongst teens about the effects and consequences of bullying. The short
film went on to do way more than I had hoped and was used as an
educational tool for teachers, parents, and students. Having experienced
what it was like to tell a story that mattered to at least one viewer,
and experiencing first-hand the kind of effort it took behind-the-scenes
to bring something to life, together with the entire team, was enough to
hook me into the “other side” of acting.

From there, I reconnected with my love for writing. I took fiction and
screenwriting classes online and joined an in-person writing workshop. I
realized through those classes that I had so much more to learn, not just
about the craft of writing but also about real-world experiences. I had
listened to a ton of podcast episodes about small business start-ups and
entrepreneurial topics, and I desperately searched for podcasts that were
in the same vein but geared towards writers. I couldn’t find a show I
could relate to, either I wasn’t vibing with the host’s personality or I
couldn’t relate to the conversations.

Around the same time, I had a handful of friends from the entertainment
industry I wanted to catch up with and chat about their career and how
they got started. I was sure that there were other people out there who
shared the same kinds of questions, thoughts, hopes, and fears as a fellow
creative soul.  Everything clicked from there on out, I realized I could
basically record our conversations so that listeners could learn along
with me.

S: Have you ever interviewed someone then decided against publishing? Why or
why not?
Y:There’s only been two people I’ve interviewed that I couldn’t publish.
One was due to extremely poor audio quality. I had the file sent to
several different editors and even they couldn’t do anything about it.
The other guest’s file was corrupted when I brought the laptop to Asia
while I was traveling for three months. I had that file passed around to
about 5 different computer repair shops over a span of about 7 months
hoping to somehow recover the file. I was devastated and still am because
those are precious quality time that was set aside for the conversation
and moments like that can never be re-created.

Aside from that, I’ve published every single interview because there’s
always something someone can take away from that particular conversation!

S: What is your favorite part of this job?
Y: I’m so lucky to have listeners like you see this as a job. Podcasting was
a dream formed from another dream, and it’s incredible to watch it grow
into something very “real” through hard work and commitment. Seeing it
from idea through execution is one of the proudest moments I’ve had.
Having incredible conversations with guests give me an absolute high.
Hands down though, my favorite part of this job is hearing directly from
listeners about how the podcast has helped them. When they go the extra
step of dedicating a blog post to the podcast, it’s outrageous, I’m
overwhelmed with happiness.

S: What has been your favorite episode to record? The most challenging one?
Y:This is a tough one! Been thinking about this for nearly an hour and I’m
still having difficulty narrowing it down to one favorite episode. I’ll
give you three of my favorites: Jean Kwok, Tyler Knott Gregson, and
Jacqueline Woodson. The most challenging episodes are the ones where the
guest and I have the best time chatting for nearly two hours and then
having to edit it down to about 45 min – 1 hour.

S: Would you mind chatting about those episodes?

Y: Jean Kwok, Tyler Knott Gregson, Jacqueline Woodson were guests I
immediately clicked with emotionally and shared very similar values and
view points. Talking to Jean was like re-connecting with a long-time
friend, we had so much to talk about, to laugh about, and to ponder about.
We shared very similar upbringings because of our Asian cultural
backgrounds it was so natural and easy for us to understand where we came
from, and the kinds of struggles our parents had and how that influenced
and impacted us growing up. That laid a great foundation in touching other
topics with genuine and authentic ease.

With Jacqueline, I resonated with the racial injustices she and her
children have to face every single day. It was the show’s very first
episode where we removed all guards and had a very honest and raw
discussion about race, injustices, and diversity. I always tend to focus
on topics about writing but with Jacqueline, I felt a heavy responsibility
and urge  to dig deeper and discuss the grim reality of race and
injustices. In order to create change, we need to start with honest
conversations. I’m honored to have had the chance to touch on where my
frustrations and concerns were coming from with one of the brightest
changemakers herself.

Tyler was someone that I immediately connected with on an emotional and
psychological level. We’re both very sensitive to our surroundings and
share a very similar outlook on life and the philosophy of it. I loved
learning how Tyler sees the world in a way that magnifies the littlest
details that most people overlook. It automatically creates a shift in
perspective and makes you so much more grateful for the things you already
have and the people in your life.

Rita Williams-Garcia was another fantastic guest that I thoroughly enjoyed
chatting with.  We met up at her favorite coffee shop in Queens, New York
while I was visiting my family! The coffee shop is cozy and welcoming, and
Rita was just as I had expected– warm, inviting, open, and a bundle of
positive energy. Man, we were chatting for nearly 3 hours and it was the
very first time we met face-to-face! If I didn’t have a lunch meeting to
get to, we could’ve chatted more! She is just one of those people who you
can talk to for hours at a time and swap stories like long-lost best
friends.

________________________________________________________________

Thank you again so much Yin for chatting with me! I had a great time, and I can’t wait to hear what’s coming from you in the future. I appreciate you taking time to talk to me with your busy schedule!

If you’re looking to find more episodes go to 88cupsoftea.com. I highly encourage you to check them out because even if you’re just a reader they’re fun to listen to 🙂

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Q & A Friday:Yin Chang, host of 88 Cups of Tea

Book Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Hello! This is a review of the book I got in the May Uppercase Box. (You can read my review of that here.) The funny thing about this is that I was writing my Bookish News post and I found this book through that. It passed through my radar, but was a funny coincidence when I opened my Uppercase.

Here’s some things you might want to know about the book:

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs

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Goodreads | Amazon

each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

Publisher: HarperTeen                          Edition: Hardcover, USA

Publish date: May 17, 2016                   Page #: 382

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Maguire is awesome. I really loved Stokes’ writing style and how she approached this topic. Mental health is something that is being discussed more and more lately and I think this book is another good representation of that.

The story opens with Maguire going to see her therapist. The way she approaches therapy is one that I feel like a lot of people do when they don’t want to actually go. I like her little quirks – the good luck rituals, the research. She reminds me of myself in the way she is always prepared and wants to be in control. A lot of people want to be in control, and Maguire is struggling to feel like she has it so she does it in every way she can.

All of the string of events that happen to her are a little outrageous. While they aren’t entirely phony, I know speaking it’s unlikely that all of that would happen to her. I like the tension and element of weirdness that this adds to the story. Maguire truly can’t be understood by other characters and she knows that. Her journey working against her bad luck is one that made me smile and laugh and cry.

Maguire has a wonderful support system the entire book – she just doesn’t realize it. Her mom is a beautiful woman and I like how they want to heal themselves together. I like how Jordy never pushed her to hang out with him. Though he was persistent he never forced himself or his friendship. Penn and Jade deserve their own shoutout in their own right, too! I love how easily Jade befriended and accepted Maguire. It was something she really needed in her life.

THE PLOT TWIST HAD ME LIKE WHHHHAAAAAAAAAATTTTT?!?!??! I honestly love the irony and the way Maguire rises above her situation. It’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and I love how she takes the experience to grow instead of retreating into herself like before.

I hope this review has helped!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

LBDLWL-BTBanner
Banner Courtesy of the host RockStar Book Tours

Hi there!! As you can see I’m changing today’s post from Book Chat to another blog tour! Today I’m helping feature Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler which was released yesterday!

Here’s a little bit about the book:

Title: Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies25337536

Author: Laura Stampler

Release Date: July 19, 2016

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 352

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description:

The Devil Wears Prada meets Sex and the City in a wickedly funny debut novel about a girl who lands a dream internship at a magazine in New York City. If only she hadn’t lied about being a dating expert on her resume . .

Harper Anderson has always thought she should have been born somewhere more glamorous than her sleepy Northern California suburb. After all, how many water polo matches and lame parties in Bobby McKittrick’s backyard can one girl take?

Already resigned to working at a Skinny B’s Juice Press for the summer, Harper is shocked when the ultra-prestigious teen magazine, Shift, calls to say they want her to be their teen dating blogger for the summer. All she needs to do is get her butt to New York in two days.

There’s just one teeny, tiny problem: Apart from some dance floor make-outs, Harper doesn’t have a whole lot of dating experience. So when Shift’s application asked for an “edgy” personal essay, Harper might have misappropriated her best friend’s experiences for her own. But she can just learn on the job…right? Will the house of lies Harper has built around her dream job collapse all around her, or will she be able to fake it until she makes it in the big city?

You can find it here: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | INDIEBOUND | SIMON & SCHUSTER | GOODREADS

About Laura Stampler

Laura Stampler is a Californian turned New Yorker. After graduating from Stanford University, she became a journalist, interning—and then worked on staff—at various newspapers and magazines. Laura has written about everything from dating to social media stars to social justice issues at Time magazine, Business Insider, Huffington Post, The Nation, The New Republic, and The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably looking at pug gifs on the Internet.

You can find her here: TWITTER | TUMBLR | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

_________________________________________________________________

Today I’ll be sharing my review of the book, which I finished late Monday night. I feel like it is an exact mix of the two titles the description says it is.

What first piqued my interest was the cute-as-can-be cover this book got. I love the black and white with yellow and red accents. It’s all very sweet and aesthetically pleasing. I’m always a sucker for a pretty cover 😉

The book starts off with Harper getting her internship, and I like how it’s the most inopportune moment for her to get the confirmation call. It really sets you up for the rest of the book and how Harper is as a character. I didn’t like her at times, but I do like how her character turned out in the end. Harper struggles with an identity crisis throughout the whole book. She feels like a fraud and how does she reconcile New York Harper with Castalia Harper? I love her support system. Her parents, her best friend, and even Aunt Vee are wonderful at (trying to) being there for her. While Harper comes to her own conclusions, they’re there to help nudge her in the right direction in finding her true self.

Kristina!!!! She is (one of) my favorite girl best friends. I don’t think this world can be too much with strong women. After she finds out what Harper did to her by stealing her own personal story, I love how she stands up for herself. Kristina gives Harper the rude awakening that she needed badly. Harper’s treatment of Kristina can’t be condoned and I like that she doesn’t throw Harper the pity party that Harper wants after everything. Through everything though, she is one of Harper’s biggest fans. A fight like the one they had didn’t ruin their rock solid relationship, and I fell like it does a little too often in YA lit.

I know I was supposed to hate McKayla, Harper’s boss, but boy did I hate her. On the other hand, I was a bit bothered by the “bitchy woman boss” trope. I feel like women are too often portrayed that way in positions in power, but I know that is the character Stampler was going for, and she did it well.

The journalism aspect of the book took me by surprise. If you’ve been reading my General Updates, you’d know that I’ve just gotten back from a journalism class at Brown University. This form of journalism is one that I was not taught. It was interesting to see the virtual side of things since I wrote mostly for print. It’s interesting to see Stampler’s take on journalism and her portrayal of it due to her experience in the field. I partly enjoyed the stereotype that Stampler played in the story, but the other part of me wanted to see something different. Something not as cutthroat, but I don’t think it would have worked for the story if it was a nicer environment for Harper.

This book made me both want to get an internship at a magazine and not at the same time. I love New York City (or at least the idea of it). I was so jealous Harper got to spend nearly three months in that gorgeous metropolis. Maybe that’s just the small town girl in me, but I would love an opportunity like her. Overall I’d say it was a pretty good story. I enjoyed reading it, and I may or may not have read the epilogue before I finished because I had to know that it ended the way I wanted it to.

_________________________________________________________________

There is a tour-wide giveaway of two hardcover copies of this lovely book. Click this link for a Rafflecopter giveaway.  Must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway is US only. Giveaway ends July 26 th at 11:59 PM Pacific. Book will be ordered from Amazon. Prizing courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours.

Though this is the last week of this tour, here’s the full schedule if you wanted to see what other people had to say about the book!

Week One

Wed. July 6 – Please Feed the Bookworm – Review
Wed. July 6 – Read Now Sleep Later – Guest Post
Thurs. July 7 – Worth Reading It? – Review
Thurs. July 7 – YA Book Madness – Review
Fri. July 8 – Awkwordly Emma – Review
Fri. July 8 – YA Reads – Character Interview

Week Two

Mon. July 11 – Fictional Fox – Review
Mon. July 11 – Curling Up With A Good Book – Author Interview
Tues. July 12 – Fiktshun – Review
Tues. July 12 – The Anatomy of a Bookworm – Review
Wed. July 13 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review
Wed. July 13 – Whatever You Can Still Betray – Guest Post
Thurs. July 14 – CreatyveBooks – Review
Thurs. July 14 – Latte Nights Reviews – Review
Fri. July 15 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
Fri. July 15 – Books & Beauti – Guest Post

Week Three

Mon. July 18 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Review & Character Interview
Mon. July 19 – Book Briefs – Review
Tues. July 19 – A Dream Within A Dream – Guest Post
Tues. July 19 – All The Crannies – Review
Wed. July 20 – The Mind of a Book Dragon – Review
Wed. July 20 – Dazzled by Books – Author Interview
Thurs. July 21 – Vibin With Books – Review
Thurs. July 21 – The Recipe Fairy – Guest Post
Thurs. July 21 – Oh, For The Love Of Stories – Review
Fri. July 22 – Books and Bindings – Review
Fri. July 22 – Underneath the Covers – Guest Post

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. This was my first tour with RockStar Book Tours, and I loved it. I hope to participate in more in the future!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

 

Blog Tour + Stop: Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler