Monday, September 30, 2013
Hate List
by Jennifer Brown
Published: 10.5.10
Pages: 432

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.
There are some authors who can write a love story in under 100 pages that makes your heart smile. There are some authors who can instill in your imagination a thirst for adventure. There are authors who can make you laugh until you cry, and others that make you cry until you're dry. But then there are authors who can make you think. Authors who can take a tough subject and make you see it in a whole new light. Authors who can write a book that changes your perspective. Jennifer Brown is one of those authors. Hate List is one of those books.

The subjects presented in this novel are intense, that goes without saying. But the feelings presented, are a whole different ballgame. Val has been through a pretty tough situation. It's not pretty in her brain, that's for sure. And while it's not cheese and sprinkles, it's not dpression-land either. You are sucked into Val's brain from the beginning. You feel for her, sympathize, yearn like she does and want things to be good. Val's healing process is beautiful, and this book makes it wonderfully easy to share it with her.

I really don't know how to talk about this book you guys. The feelings and subjects presented are tough. But they are dealt with in a way that makes you think and feel about it in a good way. It's not a happy story in some aspects, but it's a learning story. One I highly recommend reading if you're looking for a fabulous gritty contemporary.

Content: [Discussion of difficult subjects. Light innuendo. Some language]

This is an oldie, but a goodie! Have youread it? Thoughts? XOXO.

Saturday, September 28, 2013
[Jessi] Hello loverlies! We’re here today to talk about our reviewing processes!
[Inky] Thanks so much to Lisseth from Read-A-Holicz for submitting this topic! Let’s get this party started!

The Reviewing Process

So Nator Twin, is there a specific way that you review books?

Well, for me, there definitely is. I have to take notes when I’m reading, otherwise I forget everything. When I keep track of my thoughts, I feel like I have more in depth and accurate reviews. Plus, I like to use quotes to back my claims!

And we all know how famous your quotes are for making me want to read or not a book. (If you didn’t, now you do).

(I didn’t know. Thank you for the enlightenment!) I used to read a book, then make up my post and write my review as soon as I finished. Then I started getting really bad at reviewing things as soon as I was done, letting them pile up until I had 4 or more reviews I still needed to write. As a result, my reviews got more and more vague! Then recently I adopted Ashley’s way of reviewing: To draft the post before I start reading the book so that all I have to do is type up my review when I’m done. It’s SO much easier!

Gotta love smart blogging methods! I should probably learn from you two but that probably won’t happen =]

Hee hee to each his own! I also like to keep at least 2 week’s worth of posts scheduled. I used to pretty much wait until the day before to type a review post, and it became so stressful to do everything last minute that I had to resort to scheduling. Then I know I’m good for a couple weeks and I can take my sweet time typing the next post. I feel much less pressure!

I like your process. Unfortunately I really can’t say that I have one. Ha. When it comes to reviews I’m really unpredictable. First I read the book. A very crucial element of this process, wouldn’t ya say? Since I don’t put quotes in my review I only take notes if I have issues or small things I want to remember. Because I include a content review I usually keep note of that as well.
I like to use the Evernote app on my kindle. It makes me feel snazzy and professional, when in reality..I’m not.

I love Evernote!

Once I’m done with the book I usually sit and try to figure out what I think about it. I’ll either add to my written notes or make a mental list. Then I visit Goodreads and give the book a rating and long with a quick one-liner review before going to the blog. It messes everything up if I don’t establish this base. Once I’m at the blog I open a new post and set up the title so if I have to come back later I can find it. It does double duty when it sits there bugging me in draft form.

This happens a lot.

Same here! I don’t like to wait too long because the draft annoys me.

As for writing up a post it really varies. Usually I start by adding any notes I’ve written down onto the post. Any thoughts/feelings or points I also want to address go there. This is a big help especially if I can’t write the review just then. As for formatting vs. actually writing the review, the order changes all the time. Story of my Blogger Life. In some cases I just have to write my thoughts out right then, and I format everything else later. Sometimes I start with “everything else” and then right my review. I really have no set guidelines. Generally though, I have found that doing “everything else” first keeps my brain in line and connected to the muses of Bloggerdom.

That’s a long process! Do you do any kind of scheduling, Nator Twinsies?

Scheduling wise, it goes up in the next available slot. I try to schedule at least a few days ahead. It all depends on how much is scheduled already. If I’m doing really well it’ll go up the next week. Two weeks is a blessing from the gods. Making my nator twin a heavenly being or something. What does this say about me? I don’t know. I’ll be honest, sometimes I even schedule it the day before.

That’s okay, I used to do everything the day before too. Yay for procrastination! *fist bump*

*fist bump* Please Note: I DO have a blogging calendar. I put all my blog tours on it so I can be ahead of the game, assuming all goes well. I don’t put reviews down like Jessi does but I DO use it. There, now you won’t think of me like I’m the most discombobulated blogger on the planet. Which I might be. This is seriously like a big “I’m Not Lame” campaign.

At least you keep track of something! You’re not discombobulated! (Your discombobulation is my combobulation ;D)

Haha so that’s how we do it! I think Jessi wins the “Most Organized Nator Award”. Yay Jessi. I really need to get my lazy butt into shape with this whole scheduling thing.

*takes a bow* I try! I was lazy for the first year of my blogging life and it just got too stressful to do everything last minute!

May I learn from your experience so I don’t have to go through with it. Hehe. Anyway, thanks for stopping by! Below you can find a lovely little overview of our entire systems. Jessi gets the idea credit. Go Jessi!


Inky’s Process:
  1. Read book
  2. Take notes
  3. Establish thoughts on Goodreads
  4. Create blog post
  5. (In post) Make a ist of thoughts/notes/feels to address
  6. Format post
  7. Write review
  8. Schedule to post on next open date
  9. Get excited I'm finished
  10. Start all over again
[Inky] Occasionally 6 & 7 like to act naughty and switch places for fun. It creates dramatic tension. *eyebrow wiggle*

You know, if you switched to Wordpress you could get the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin and you wouldn't have to format your posts anymore ;p

*cough* Peer Pressure *cough*

Jessi’s Process:
  1. Draft review post, set up all info in UBB
  2. Read book
  3. Take notes while reading
  4. (In post) Outline main points I want to discuss as soon as I finish book
  5. Write full review when I have time
  6. Schedule 2 weeks in advance (hopefully)
  7. Write reviews in planner
  8. Add review to Goodreads (or write summary if it's not out for a while)
Let us know what your system is in the comments below! And don’t forget to submit a suggestion for what you’d like us to talk about!

Anything you'd like us to discuss? Submit a topic!
Don't forget to visit Jessi on Auntie Spinelli Reads! Happy Saturday! XOXO,

Friday, September 27, 2013

Innocent Darkness
byt Suzanne Lazaer
Published: 8.8.12
Pages: 408

Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.
When your favorite part of the book is the front cover, that's a pretty big sign there's a problem. But well, some books just don't fit you. And unfortunately Innocent Darkness didn't fit me. I'll try to make this quick, so it's not a super duper crazy rant.

I loved the idea of Steampunk meets Faeries. However in this case, I feel like the fey aspect overrode the Steampunk so much that they didn't work well together. The development of the Steampunk aspect was very little and almost seemed to be taken for granted. We never got to know the world. How it worked, how it runs, it was just..a world we were living in. And the fey part was even more so. There were these random words in there used regularly, such as hoyden. As the reader, I felt like I already had to know certain aspects and what things meant in regards to the fey before I read the book. Maybe these worlds didn't work because they were thrown together. Maybe for others it does work! But for me, I had too many questions and not enough were answered.

So while the lack of world building made it hard for me to fully immerse myself in the story, I think that the main problem I had was connecting with the characters. Any of them for that matter. Noli came through a bit strange, and hypocritical at times. She was stubborn one minute and almost blubbery the next, and frankly I found her quite childish. I really wanted to like her, and so it saddens me that I couldn't. The rest of the cast wasn't any different. Sure, they have interesting names and faces that have to interact with Noli, but I couldn't find anything to really endear me too them. The queen didn't seem to live up to somet of the things said about her, Kevign was very disturbing for my tastes, and the romantic interest fell flat. *sigh* These characters have so much potential and I'm sorry I couldn't connect with them.

The plot had a chance at redeeming this book. A very interesting conflict is raised in the beginning and for the first little bit I was honestly interested, but unfortunately like the rest of the book, it felt short. I must be getting pickier or soemthing. To me the way it played out felt dragged on and on till the end when we go out with a bibbidi-bobbidi-boo and Happily Ever After. It was great and all, but I needed to be able to feel like the HEA was justified. And in this case, I didn't get that.

So I'm unfortunatley left to conclude that this book didn't work for me. I'm sad to admit it, but that's the truth. I know this book has been enjoyed by quite a few people, so maybe this will be up your alley!

Content: Moderate
[kissing, a man has man perverted thoughts about women. characters are chaste, but sleep in bed together. it is known that some characters are not chaste.]
Well that's me! What do YOU think? XOXO,

Thursday, September 26, 2013
I'm baaaaaaack! 
What's that
you say?
Oh yes! 
It's true
Inky has
indeed returned!
And with
her crazy
is tons
of bookish
fun stuff
that she
is so
super duper
excited to
share with
you and 
your friends.
Oh your 
beautiful faces
have I 
indeed missed! 
But let
thy heart
no longer
be depressed, 
for it
is really
trule accurate.

P.S. Huh
somehow I 
totally managed
to completely 
change tenses...
Haha whatever.

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