Tuesday, August 27, 2013

GIVEAWAY: What Goes Around by Courtney Summers (closed)

If you know me well, or have followed this blog, or have clicked on my About Me page, you might know that I'm a huge fan of Courtney Summers. Huge!

I have what I call my "Holy Trinity of YA Authors", and for a while, it was called the "Holy Trinity of YA Authors + Courtney Summers" (two more authors have since joined the ranks), and since I love spreading love for these authors, they are: Melina Marchetta, Sarah Dessen, John Green, Courtney Summers, Markus Zusak, Patrick Ness, and Cath Crowley.

But I digress. What I really meant to say is that I really, really, really like Courtney Summers. Each one of her books are better than the last, and 75% of her books have gotten 5/5 stars from me on Goodreads (take into consideration that I have only rated one book 5/5 this year). Plus she's really funny on Twitter and really thoughtful and awesome on Tumblr (and she likes Melina Marchetta!). Plus she's a Canadian. And she likes Supernatural*. I sound like an infomercial because every time I write something positive, I just have to go 'but wait, there's MORE'.

So that's why I'm thrilled today to be able to give away a copy of What Goes Around, which is a bind-up of her first two books: Cracked Up To Be and Some Girls Are. Thank you so St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to host this giveaway!

You can read the first three chapters of both Cracked Up to Be and Some Girls Are here, if you want a taste of Courtney Summers' genius (trust me though, you'll want more than a taste).

In addition, you can follow Courtney in all her online glory by stalking her Facebook page (plenty of links to other giveaways!) Twitter, Tumblr, and website. She talks a lot about video games and zombies, y'all.

by Courtney Summers
released September 3rd

Two girls. Two secrets. Two gritty, critically acclaimed novels in one. 
For Parker, perfection is all that matters. No one will know how wrong she is inside if everything she does ends up right. But when the pressure proves too much, she makes a devastating mistake she’ll do anything to keep hidden—even if it means becoming a perfect mess. For Regina, popularity comes with a price. When she’s kicked out of her clique, she finds out what it’s like to be those she’s bullied and destroyed. Everyone says she has it coming . . . but is there something they don’t know? 
There is more to these two girls than meets the eye.

To Enter: 
-fill out the form below (Yes, a form. Yes, I'm a dinosaur.)
-Open to US/Canada only
-ends Saturday September 7 at 11:59pm
-if you post about this giveaway somewhere on the internet, you get an extra entry!
-if you follow Courtney Summers on twitter, you get an extra entry!
-if you follow me on twitter, Oprah gets an extra entry!


This contest is CLOSED. The winner is Cialina-- I will email you for your address later today! Congrats! :)


In addition, Ciara from Lost at Midnight Reviews is hosting a Courtney Summers read-along, which you guys should definitely check out. Go go go! What are you waiting for?!

TL;DR- read Courtney Summers' books because they will mess with your head and your heart and she is so wonderfully talented. What Goes Around is a bind-up of her first two (critically acclaimed) novels and it is released September 3rd!!

*this is one of my absolute favourite Supernatural-related tweets from Ms. Summers herself

Thursday, August 1, 2013

BR: The Spectacular Now

by Tim Tharp

This book is being turned into a movie, and I watched the trailer a month or so ago and thought "I need to watch this so bad." But I thought it'd be nice to read the book first.

I'm not the biggest fan of movie
tie-in covers either. 
Summary (goodreads):

SUTTER KEELY. HE’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

 Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go forth and prosper.

But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.


My Thoughts

There's something endearing and beautiful about a boy who wants to save someone yet desperately needs his own saviour.

There's something thoughtful and realistic about writing about imperfect people trying to do their best in life and life nonchalantly swatting them back.

There's something sad about books that portray lives as less than ideal we hope for and trick ourselves into believing.

There's something that makes me smile and tugs at my heart when characters are flawed and real and drink too much, who crave people and love and passion, who think about futures and think about nows, and there's something so deeply wonderful about books that can assure you that life isn't a fairy tale but there are individuals in life who make it worth living. 

I loved the ending. I loved the writing, Sutter's narration (his character will be a hit-or-miss for readers), and Aimee's portrayal. The dialogue is sharp and Tharp really excelled in showing not telling, especially when it came to Sutter Keely. Readers are able to end up forming a clearer picture of Sutter than even he can fathom, and I think that is the heart of the story and that is the reason why this book was so moving. We see the insecure, lonely boy that he cannot bear to face.  

I'll just leave you with a few quotes. 

"...Let me repeat, she is not a girl I'm interested in having sex with. Not now or any time in the future. I will not have sex with her in a car. I will not have sex with her in a bar. I will not have sex with her in a tree. I will not have sex with her in a lavator-ee. I will not have sex with her in a chair. I will not have sex with her anywhere." 
"Oh right, I forgot. You're out to save her soul. Give me a hallelujah for Brother Sutter and his messianic complex."
"My what?"
"Messianic complex. That means you think you have to go around trying to save everybody."
"Not everybody. Just this one girl."


"Yeah," she says. I'm beginning to see that her "yeahs" are almost always two syllables, one for "yes" and the other for "but I don't know if anything will ever come out of it."


"...But I don't want just Thursday afternoons either. I don't want just moments. I want a whole life."


Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: people who enjoy movies like (500) Days of Summer
Acknowledgements: 3/5

8.7/10 - because it speaks about quiet truths and complex characters. I adored the character dynamics and the dialogue. I can't really think of a drawback, only that I'm not head-over-heels in love with this book. However, it definitely struck a chord with me and I'm looking forward to this movie now more than ever. Give this book a shot. I can't stop thinking about it.