My Unique Book Recommendations

These books aren’t “unique” necessarily. I just mean that they aren’t commonly featured on Booktube/Blogs that I’ve seen! I’m going to keep doing this until I run out of books!! hehe

#1 Laurien Berenson

My very FAVORITE series that doesn’t get enough attention on Booktube (in my opinion) is the fabulous Laurien Berenson’s Melanie Travis series!!! (cannot gush…must seem professional…)

Ok, I am a dog lover and a mystery lover. A few years ago, I stumbled into these books. I can’t remember how, but I’m forever grateful. As I said,  I started these books quite a few years ago. So the beginning is fuzzy, but I don’t wanna give away any spoilers! (I want to do a re-read very badly, but somehow lost my entire collection in a move 😦 It seriously breaks my heart!) Here’s my summary!

Melanie Travis is such a fun character to follow. She’s very relatable and you feel like you somehow know her. Maybe she’s your best friend, sister, cousin…you? We all know someone like her. She entertaining. She’s a mom with mommy drama. She has an ex relationship that makes you giggle and her roll her eyes. Lastly, she eventually meets a man that makes her/you swoon.

Along comes Melanie’s, Aunt Peg. She’s a firecracker waiting to go off. She’s nosy and dramatic. She’s down right obnoxious, but only in the completely HYSTERICAL way. Well, maybe not to Melanie. hehe Aunt Peg is part of the Dog Show world. She used to have an entire kennel of dogs.

Side Note: I don’t know much about dog breeding, dog shows, etc but Laurien Berenson’s books opened my eyes. Please don’t feel like you need to understand that world. You really don’t. If you love dogs/mysteries, you’re set!

Back to Aunt Peg! She was (still is) the crème-de-la-crème in the dog community. She is highly respected and she’s use to getting her way. A force to be reckoned with…that’s Aunt Peg. When Aunt Peg yanks Melanie into one situation or another, Mel has no chance of escaping. It’s glorious fun!!!

Now, I said MYSTERY right??? Ok, so at this Dog Show….someone will die. They die before or they die after. Someone always dies (lol) and poor Melanie is somehow stuck in the middle of it. If she finds her way out, meddling Aunt Peg shoves her face first into the drama! It’s fantastic!

As a reader, you follow Melanie’s love life, life as a mom, a poodle owner and finally her journey to solving a wonderful mystery! The characters are funny and creative. You feel like you know them. I blew through book after book. I never wanted to stop and read something else. For me, that says A LOT.

Also, I felt I needed to point out that this series includes an amazing gay relationship. These characters are in each and every book. They aren’t stereotypical in my opinion. They are respectful of the community and realistic. Now-a-days, I feel like maybe some people put LGBTQ persons in a book just to include them. Lauriens’ books have been out for quite awhile and I never got the feeling that she did it for those reasons. I think she stayed true to the Dog Show community and all the many kinds of people you will find there. It’s all very positive and those 2 characters are my faves! I hope that I’m wording my thoughts on this very clearly. I respect the LGBTQ community very much and I wanted to point out an author who has done the same for many years.

In summary, the mysteries are adorable and I enjoyed them. Sometimes, I would have a vague idea who the killer could be, but was never sure until the end. They are definitely page turners and quick reads. I highly recommend them, as you can tell, and I can’t wait to pick up the last 2 books that she’s released! They’ve been on my list for ages!!! Grrr! lol

Please leave comments or questions below!! I’d be happy to answer anything you want! Also, please check out Laurien’s website or Twitter page . She’s pretty amazing!

 

Advertisements

I had a thought…

Hey Friends!! So, I’ve been toying with some thoughts lately. I’m not even sure how to correctly blog them, BUT after a week…still no “correct” way to do it. So I’m going to just let it all out and see what your thoughts and feelings are! Sound good?

Ok, so my thoughts started swimming after watching a wonderful video over at Raul’s channel Latin Lector YA, Booktube and Group Thinking. It was a great video and he pointed out how people recommending a book or people commenting negatively about a book, really affected how he felt about said book. This registered with me, because I have found that if I’m reading a book or about to read a book…and I go on Booktube…and I see a negative review…I will start to critique that book while I’m reading. Normally, I wouldn’t even noticed these “flaws” but now they are all I think about. Raul seemed to notice this as well. I never even took note of it, until his video.

That said, Six of Crows was a VERY hyped book. I picked it up and was very excited. If you’ve seen my review, you’d know I wasn’t thrilled the first 160 something pages. I ended up enjoying it, but if it wasn’t for the hype…I might have put that one down and never finished. That would have been disappointing now that I know how it all turned out.

Booktube has been such an asset to me. I love books like Harry Potter, Fablehaven and Percy Jackson. None of my friends share that interest. Coming to Booktube, I feel like one of the group. I’m with my fellow book lovers and I thrive here. That said, it is a group and Group Think is a reality. Thank you Trina from Between Chapters. Your Why is YA so popular on BookTube? video really made me think. I’m not as concerned with YA being so prevalent on Booktube, that doesn’t bother me, but what you said about Group Think did move me.

I kinda took a step back and evaluated my book choices and changes that I’ve made since joining Booktube. These are things that I noticed. This is JUST ME..I’m not mad or accusing anyone. I’m not saying this is everyone…just me.

First of all, I have bought quite a few books (some I loved, some I haven’t read yet) because of Booktube. I purchased them because they came with high praise and sounded like perfect selections for myself. I wasn’t disappointed…at least not yet lol Another reason I bought them….because I’m a newbie(ish). I wanted to make Bookish friends (I’ve made some WONDERFUL ones!!!) and I wanted to chat about those books with people who have read them. (Trina mentions this in her video, I believe). Turns out, I’m mostly on the tail end of a hyped book and  most people are over them. Minus Raven Boys….guuuush. I love you Michelle and Jody!!! hehe

Second, because of buying all these books…I stopped reading the books I would pick out. I noticed on Twitter there was a tweet going around asking who you are most likely to take a recommendation from (something like that)…I wouldn’t be chosen, because I’m only reading what others are reading. That made me sad. I felt more disappointed in myself, than left out. Thanks to all these conversations, I’ve looked at my reading habits harder and I’m glad that I did. I need to read for me and not to gain a common bond. If people enjoy what I’m reading, great. If they don’t, I still have great booktube friends.

Lastly, I think I jumped too quickly into Read-a-thons and Buddy Reads. I think I burned myself out. It was a FANTASTIC experience and truly a lot of fun…but in the end…I was super burned out. I still haven’t finished Dream Thieves and I really like the book. I think the pressure of reading a book in a certain time frame is just too much for me. (Or maybe it’s that I did them all back to back) I’m a slow reader. This leads me into Jody’s blog post When Life Catches Up To You. I thought this was raw and real. I related so whole heartedly. I love to game with my family. I loved tv lol Books don’t always come first for me. It’s my “me” time, but I don’t always GET “me” time. lol Sometimes…I just like Animal Crossing: New Leaf!!!

I’m NOT bashing Booktube. I’m so thankful to have Booktube and all it’s many channels in my life. I love the inspiration and creativity. I love the laughs and giggles. I’m just evaluating how I’ve been….operating and how I’d like to grow. Maybe this is a common newbie problem? I know Kristin from WhatsKappening had mentioned that newbies sometimes wanna buy EVERY book they see and it’s not always the wisest decision. I’ve done good on that front, but I have changed my habits as listed above.

So…what does this mean for me? I have no idea lol I’m still gonna blog. I’m still gonna watch Booktube videos with a smile on my face. I’m still going to read endless blogs, not unlike this one lol! I don’t even know if this all sums it up entirely/correctly.

In summary, I think I will be posting a book recs post soon (Soon=Right after this one if I can lol) and it will list books that I HAVEN’T seen on booktube. It’s a start right? It’s time for me to soak up the wonders of Booktube and yet still be…me. 🙂 Love you all!!!

When life catches up to you – Discussion

That One Girl Who Reads

I watched someone talk on Booktube about reading slumps a while back, I wish I could remember who it was but the name escapes me. She basically talked about how she didn’t really believe in reading slumps, that sometimes other things in your life just become more important.

This made a lot of sense to me because I always love reading, but sometimes I don’t feel like doing it. I never feel like I get burned out on reading, but I sometimes take it at a much slower pace, which for me is pretty slow lol.

This is happening to me right now, I am in the middle of 2 books. My re-read ofThe Dream Thievesby Maggie Stiefvater andThe Cuckoo’s Callingby Robert Galbraith. I’ve been at it for about 2 weeks now and I am not close to finishing.

However, this last week especially has been…

View original post 255 more words

Booktuber Meet & Greet

I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to word this post. I have found, as a newer booktuber, that the community in general is very kind. You are very welcoming! I joined Twitter and started Tweeting my lil heart out! I’ve made plenty of Booktube friends (there’s always room for more…tweet me at random 😉 )

Though, as a newer booktuber, I think it’s hard to know where to begin. HOW do you make new friends? Insert yourself into preexisting circles? It’s tricky! I don’t want to make this a “how to be a booktuber” blog post though, because quite frankly…I’m not qualified. Plus, my computer hates me and my channel has met it’s untimely death. Goodbye Videos!  *sniff sniff*

I DO want to introduce you to some people who may be NEW to YOU!! Some of these people ARE new to booktube. Some of these people have been around far longer than I, but I don’t think they have quite the recognition they deserve! With less than 1,000 subscribers….each one of these people has been kind to me and I want to pay it forward!

On that note…Let the Meet & Greet Begin!! I’m going to give you their Channel Name, their Twitter handle and THEN I’m going to give you a video I personally recommend. This may be the first video that I saw or it may hold some special value to me. I’ve tried to include video variety incase you are AWESOME and actually view them all!

PinkZebraReads (@pinkzebrareads) Friday Reads 2/19/16 Her name is Heather and she has been such a kind soul! She’s very friendly. Extremely helpful. Always sweet! I look forward to anything she has to say! Heather and I are mostly Twitter friends (follow her!) but I’ve recommended a great video for you. This really shows off who she is! Cute. Fun. Friendly!

LatinLector (@LatinLector) Raul is amazing. He’s fun and informative. He’s been very kind to me when we cross paths on twitter or the comment section. He has a lot of great things to say. I recommend this video January 2016 Wrap Up in particular because he also filmed it in Spanish!!! Fantastic, right?? I love it!

Stefan’s Books (@SCharalampou) is new to Booktube. He only has 3 videos so far. He’s the sweetest person I’ve met. I was searching for a new set of Harry Potter books and Stefan had a great collection. Not only did he recommend them…he gave me the link to the site I could find them, he filmed a video with them and DM’d me the exactly spot in his video where I could see them!!! Isn’t that the sweetest??? I watched the ENTIRE video…here it is February 2016 Book Haul!

TamikaUploaded (@TamikaUploaded) is fiery and sassy and I love her! She’s been great on Twitter and her videos are a lot of fun!! Here’s the one that I love…  HOUSE IDENTITY CRISIS! The Sorting Hat Quiz

Akossiwa K (@akossket) focus’ on Middle Grade books. Who doesn’t need a lil Middle Grade Lit in their life? She’s been very nice to me on Twitter and I enjoy talking to her. She films Book Hauls and Reviews. She also does this Nom Yum Chill vlog. They are totally random and I like watching them. So random lol Here’s a review for a series that I wanna pick up. It’s a tiny bit spoilery, but I think that’s because she tried to review each book in a series. That’s tricky! THE EIGHTH DAY Series (middle grade fiction)

The Secret Stacks (@TheSecretStacks) RJ is very soft spoken, but extremely fun to watch. This video cracked me up!! Bottoms Up For the St Patrick’s Day Tag He’s also a Zelda fan! 🙂

TwoPaperGirls (@Laura’s LauraJayne_C Amy’s Amy_H_23) Gosh these ladies are fun!! They are very sweet and funny!! Here’s my newest and fave video Top 5 Fictional Items

Bookish Realm (@Bookish Realm) Ashley is super sweet and fun. I want you all to check her out!!! I liked what she had to say on this topic. So I picked this one!  Her Reading Diversely Video

ShaeGeeksOut (@shaegeeksout) She is awesome. She’s boisterous and bubbly. She’s very fun to watch! I enjoy most of the books she likes! Bonus points! March Recommendations 2016: Standalones

Last, but CERTAINLY not least, AliBabaDeBooks (@alibabadebooks) I adore her! I have no idea why she doesn’t have thousands of subscribers yet! She’s energetic and entertaining. She’s informative and fun. Check out 100 Subscribers Q&A! to get to know her!

So, that’s my list for now. Again, many of these booktubers have been around a lot longer than me. I just talk to them, love what they have to say, and want to support them in any way I can!

I’m hoping to continue this “series” if it becomes one. I plan on doing a Blogger Version next weekend! Shout out to @AshleyEpidemic. She’ll be next time!!

 

PS Technology is going CRAAAZY in my place today! So I apologize if any links don’t work. Today, I’m not counting on anything going right! lol This is also why I haven’t included direct links to everyones Twitter pages. Sorry!!

 

T5W: Fictional Items I Want

This was created by the amazing Lainey at gingerreadslainey over on Booktube!

Ok, so besides Harry Potter, I couldn’t really think of too many book items that I would want. I want VIDEO GAME items!

  1. Double Clawshot from Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess! I don’t know exactly how to describe it/them. You can use them to get from one place to the next, in the air, and really quickly. OHHH YEAAAAH!!
  2. I want a KEYBLADE from Kingdom Hearts. It doesn’t even matter which blade, I just NEED a blade! I wanna fight Heartless, while traversing the Disney Worlds in the process. Livin the dream…..
  3. I want a Moogle from the Final Fantasy series. Are they an item? I’m counting them as one. Gosh, they are so cute and helpful! KUPO!!
  4. I want Materia from Final Fantasy 7!!!! I want Bahamut and I want healing/fire magic!! Woo HOO I’d be unstoppable!
  5. I want the Rose from Beauty & The Beast or Mary Poppin’s bag. I just can’t decide.

Short & Sweet!!! This was SO much fun!!! Please comment below and let me know what items you’d want!! Or send me a tweet on Twitter @LetsbookAboutit 🙂

 

 

Let’s Debate: Zelda Edition

So, I’ve decided to add a new Game feature to my site! Occasionally, I will write a blog about a random video game series! We can discuss which game of the series is the BEST!

My Zelda Background: I didn’t really have one. lol I never grew up playing the games. I had heard of them, but never saw them. I didn’t know anything about them. When my husband and I started dating, he introduced me to each one. Here are my thoughts!

So, the original Zelda for the Nintendo is arguably the BEST game in the series. It’s the game that started it all and it’s charming lil sprites really sell the game. I greatly enjoy the top down dungeons. You can see each enemy clearly and solve each puzzle effectively. Finding all of the hidden hearts/items in this game…so fantastic! I enjoy popping that game in with my hubby at the controls. I’m the brains. He’s the brawn. We pump out Zelda’s for breakfast! lol

Next, hmmm I think I’ll go with Wind Waker. I ADORE the graphics in Wind Waker. It’s playful and works well for the cartoony environment. The story is fun and who doesn’t love Pirates?!?! I adore each of the dungeons. They are unique and yet stick with the basic formula (Deku Tree, etc). My favorite feature of this game..is our GIANT map! It came with our strategy guide. It marks all of the hearts/items/everything involved in this game. You figure out what you need to collect, consult the coordinates on the map, and sail away! Perfection! This has become my Lil Ones fave Zelda as well. The graphics are very kid friendly and not too scary!

Side Note: My hubby and I actually played Phantom Hourglass on our honeymoon! LMAO! We are THOSE people. We had an 8 hour bus ride, so we passed the time hunched over a lil DS! That game is one of my faves!

I don’t know if I can decide between Ocarina and Twilight Princess next. Now, I know hardcore fans will probably pick Ocarina (or u picked it FIRST). You see, I didn’t experience Ocarina the way others did. I didn’t go from little sprites to OMG Ocarina. We just played them one by one in any order. I found the storyline of Ocarina to be quite interesting. Ocarina’s Gannondorf is probably my favorite version. My husband and I got lost (in a good way) for HOURS trying to collect all of the hearts, plant the seeds, and find the bottles in this game. I LOVED it! I think it was the biggest highlight of the game for me. Some of the hearts/items CAN be achieved when Link is small, if you know how. Thanks to zeldadungeon.net, we found them! LOVE you guys! It gave us a leg up and we blew through the dungeons after that! Excellent game.

I enjoy the story/characters of Twilight Princess the most. At first, I HATED Link being a wolf. I just…hated it. I wanted Epona and her speed. The wolf just wasn’t fast enough and couldn’t do everything Link could. I wanted his items back! The second playthrough, I learned to love it. I loved Midna. Is she good? Is she bad? I loved the dark vs light. I loved Zelda’s storyline. The dungeons were very unique and difficult in a good way. This HD version that came out, I’m freakin out about! I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Lastly, but still holding a dear spot in my heart is Skyward Sword! I LOVED this game. I loved the prequel aspect of the storyline. I loved how it all tied together in the end. I loved Link/Zelda’s relationship. The dungeons were my very favorite. You had to revisit areas later in the game, but the dungeons were always soooo very different/exciting! Graphically, its AMAZING. I loved this game!!! Now, that said…that annoying villain who’s name I don’t even care to remember…how LAME was he? The boss fight at the end of the game…WTF was that?! The “Big Bad” in this game, sucked. I also didn’t enjoy the giant blocks that you had to go find. Annoying. Lastly, the sky dungeon was a pain in the ass and that was AFTER we saught help online…still a pain in the ass. My hubby was at the controls and he still hates the Wii Remote controls for this game. Had to mention that. OHH and I liked the potion creation in this game! That was amazing! LOL!

Link to the Past and Zelda II are also wonderful games that we have played. I loved the storyline behind Zelda II and the story/graphics in Link to the Past.

This is my mish mosh ramble. Any thoughts? Please be kind. We may all be Zelda fans, but we are all entitled to our own opinions!

 

Genre’s VS Age: My Internal Debate

Awhile back, I had filmed a BookTube video on this subject. Unfortunately, my internet/computer did not allow me to ever post it. While reading my last post “Booktuber” Shout Outs, this topic came up. So, I wanted to give it another…more public…attempt.

This topic is about YA or Middle Grade books and who “should” or “shouldn’t” be reading them. Basically, it’s about people’s perceptions and my struggle with it.

This topic first came to my attention when I was in college and discovered this VERY popular book series named “Harry Potter.” I had seen many displays in bookstores for this book, but when I looked into it I discovered it was for “kids.” So, I didn’t give it another thought. Until, somehow (and I don’t quite remember how) it was brought to my attention that Harry Potter WASN’T just for kids! Parents were reading these books to their kids at night and falling madly in love with it! Plenty of adults were reading Harry Potter! So, I went out and snatched up The Sorcerer’s Stone!

I gobbled that book up! I went out and got the entire series! It came even before studying! I couldn’t get enough. Yet, I will admit (please don’t judge me) but I took the paper covers off the books when reading in my college common area. What if people saw I was reading a “kids” book and made a nasty comment? Or just made comments behind my back? I’m a very, very sensitive person and this bothered me. I still viewed Harry as a “kids” book myself and what if I was judged for it. Foolish, right?

I think after college it was even harder. I love fantasy worlds/stories. I love fairytales and Disney movies! I love video games with crazy worlds and even crazier characters. This all led me straight to YA and a little Middle Grade. Yet, I shied away. None of my other friends read those books. I would get a “huh” when telling them the title of a book. As though, I shouldn’t be reading that kind of book. I should be reading something more mature (late 20s at the time). So I did.

I snuck in Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. I actually intended to give it to a younger family member as a Christmas gift. I wanted to make sure it was appropriate, so I read it first. I LOVED it. I asked my dad (who was in Barnes & Noble) to grab me the box set. He said, “You know that was in the kids section, right? Ok!” I still felt judged! He didn’t mean anything by it, but he didn’t understand why I wanted “kids” books. (Same thing with Percy Jackson!)

I don’t think that everyone out there understands that YA and Middle Grade can be for anyone. My friend told me that a book was YA and that’s for her daughter. She doesn’t read those kinds of books. She was implying that they are all about teen storylines and not relatable to adults. It made me feel juvenile for liking them. I felt embarrassed. I think that some storylines DO transcend age ranges. I wanna know your thoughts!!

I didn’t learn to except and embrace my love of YA/Middle Grade until Booktube. People like Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes and Connor from Connor O’Brien really made me see that everyone can read any genre they please. Booktube made me feel welcome and free to express my thoughts. Here, in this world, everyone is so accepting. Everyone reads a variety of genres and no one judges you for it.

Has anyone else ever experienced this same feeling? Has anyone ever looked at you funny for holding/reading a “kids” book? I’m very curious. Maybe it’s just me and my little world. Please leave your thoughts and remember to be kind. It’s a hard topic to share.