READ-A-THON TBR | Winter Re-Read-a-Thon

THE READ-A-THON IS UPON US!

There were a series of challenges to complete during this read-a-thon.  For me I’m going to be relying a lot on books that I have on my Kindle due to the fact that I am currently in the process of packing up all of my belongings before I make the move to Texas early in January.  Either way I will be hosting Twitter sprints tomorrow so be sure to check that out!  I will also have some fun challenges of my own and a giveaway for people to participate it.  So if reading your favorite books again wasn’t enough incentive NOW THERE IS ALSO A GIVEAWAY FOR YOU!  I will also hopefully be doing more giveaways in 2015 for you all to participate in so that’s cool!

Here is my TBR for this read-a-thon:

1. Re-read a stand alone book: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

2. Re-read the first book you remember reading (that you own): A Horse Called Wonder by Joanna Campbell

3. Re-read a book by your favorite childhood author: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (or any of the Harry Potter books really)

4. Re-read at least 6 books: To fill out this portion of the challenge I will also be re-reading the First Comes Love trilogy by Katie Kacvinsky

What books will you be reading?  Link me to your TBR’s below and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the first Twitter Sprint tomorrow as well as the opening of the giveaway tomorrow! :D

TRENDING TOPICS | Zoella and the Facts About Ghost Writing

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Find it online!

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes and Noble

Background Information:

Zoella, a popular YouTuber who posts beauty and fashion videos as well as vlogs, recently released a book called Girl Online.  The book sold more than J.K. Rowling AND Dan Brown’s debut books did, coming in at a whopping 78,000 books sold in the first week it was released.  The book focuses on a girl named Penny who, like many YouTubers, has an alternate personality online where she talks about school, boys, drama, etc.  But then Penny meets Noah and everything gets interesting! (Side note:  I have not read this book).  Shortly after it’s release, Zoella admitted that she had a ghost writer, author Siobhan Curham, help her with the book.  It should be noted that Siobhan Curham, while not credited on the front of the book, is given acknowledgment in the “Acknowledgement” section at the end of the book.

“everyone at Penguin for helping me put together my first novel, especially Amy Alward and Siobhan Curham, who were with me every step of the way”.

Since releasing this information, Zoella (or Zoe Sugg), has received an insane amount of backlash for her decision to use a ghost writer on the book.

Facts About Ghost Writing:

While Zoe Sugg is definitely not the first or the last person to use a ghost writer, people seem to think that ghost writing isn’t as popular as it currently is.  So here are some facts about ghost writing!

  • When a ghost writer is hired an agreement is made that they will work WITH you to help start and complete the work.  After the work is finished a ghost writer usually signs over all copyrights to the work.
  • Ghost writers for books MIGHT be listed as co-authors or as an editor for the book but are more often than not listed in the acknowledgements page.
  • Authors such as V.C Andrews, H.P. Lovecraft and many others have used ghostwriters to help them finish or start some of their works.  Occasionally, as in the case of V.C. Andrews, the ghost writer continues writing under the authors name after the author has passed.

Many authors have used ghost writers before and as long as the ghost writer is credited for helping with the work in some way, whatever was agreed to, then everything is just fine.

What are your thoughts about the ghost writing situation with Girl Online? Sound off below!

READ-A-THON NEWS | Winter Re-Read-a-Thon

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So I have some very exciting news to share with everyone (or at least I think it’s exciting)…….myself, Alma from Diary of a Booklover and Anna from Unquenchable Reads will be hosting a read-a-thon this month called the Winter Re-Read-a-Thon!  This read-a-thon focuses on having the participants re-read the books they have deemed their favorites.  We will have giveaways, twitter sprints and some other really cool challenges for everyone to do during the span of the read-a-thon.  So here is the information on when it’s happening, where to find us, and how to join!

WHEN? December 22nd – January 2nd

WHERE CAN I FIND EVERYTHING?  The Re-Read-a-Thon has it’s own Twitter page where all of the information about challenges, twitter sprints and giveaways will be!  There is also information on my YouTube channel, Anna’s YouTube channel and Alma’s blog!

HOW DO I JOIN? There is a sign-up blog post on Alma’s blog that you can join and see who else has joined the Re-Read-a-Thon as well.  There is also a Goodreads page so you can chat with the other people involved in the Re-Read-a-Thon and make some new friends before all of the madness starts :)  Don’t forget to connect up with us on YouTube and Twitter to make sure you get all of the information when it’s out!

BOOK REVIEW | Hopeless

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Rating: 5/5 stars

Find the Book!

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes and Noble

Connect with the Author!

Twitter | Official Website

Summary from Barnes and Noble:

Would you rather know a truth that makes you feel hopeless, or keep believing the lies?

Beloved and bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with the spellbinding story of two young people with devastating pasts who embark on a passionate, intriguing journey to discover the lessons of life, love, trust—and above all, the healing power that only truth can bring.

Sky, a senior in high school, meets Dean Holder, a guy with a promiscuous reputation that rivals her own. From their very first encounter, he terrifies and captivates her. Something about him sparks memories of her deeply troubled past, a time she’s tried so hard to bury. Though Sky is determined to stay far away from him, his unwavering pursuit and enigmatic smile break down her defenses and the intensity of the bond between them grows. But the mysterious Holder has been keeping secrets of his own, and once they are revealed, Sky is changed forever and her ability to trust may be a casualty of the truth.

Only by courageously facing the stark revelations can Sky and Holder hope to heal their emotional scars and find a way to live and love without boundaries. Hopeless is a novel that will leave you breathless, entranced, and remembering your own first love.

Review:

**This book contains mature content.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of ANY form abuse please tell someone.  You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is suicidal please contact the Suicide Helpline.

Colleen Hoover created an amazing piece of literature with Hopeless. I wasn’t sure what I would find with this book but I fell in love with the characters the plot and everything involved with Hopeless.

The plot that Hoover develops in this book starts off seeming like a simple new adult romance novel. There’s a hot, brooding, misunderstood boy and a complicated, misunderstood girl who is very independent. When I first started this book I was nervous that these stereotypical roles would overpower any amount of brilliance in this book. Oh how wrong I was! Although these characters start off being semi-stereotypical, they develop into people with complex backgrounds. Hoover creates a well-developed character around events that are life changing and are more intense than some new adult books will cover. She tackles topics like sexual abuse, suicide, adoption and other traumatic events with grace and ease. I applaud the fact that she didn’t make it seem like it was something that was ease to overcome. She showed the struggle and the ugliness that can be associated with them. The pain and the hard stuff that sometimes people don’t get to see.

I am so incredibly excited to pick up the next book in this series and have extremely high hopes for Sky and Holder and Karen and all of the characters that I have come to love in this book. I will DEFINITELY be picking up more from Colleen Hoover in the very near future.

5 Must Visit Bookstores Around the World

After about a month of being absent from the blog I am making my reappearance! Although this reappearance comes around the time of finals it still counts!  This last month has been crazy busy and I hope that I will be able to update much more regularly now that the crazy busy month has ended.  So here is this Thursdays awesome update!

As Christmas approaches many of us book lovers are looking to make lists of books and bookish items that we want from our friends and families.  Now this post isn’t about bookish Christmas gifts for the book nerd in your life, that post will be happening though, but it is about fabulous places to take the book lover in your life.  I found that instead of getting bookish items for Christmas I really just want someone to take me traveling so I can explore these absolutely amazing bookstores.

So here are the top 5 bookstores around the world that I would love to visit at some point in my life!

5. Libreria Acqua Alta | Venice, Italy

If this isn’t the most gorgeous little hole-in-the wall book shop that you’ve seen then I don’t know where you have been looking but you should direct me there.  This book shop is located right on the canal and the owner keeps the books in boats and various other objects that float.  This is because every year the canal next to the shop floods and he wants to protect all his books.

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I literally have no words to describe how gorgeous this shop is to me.  Anyone want to take a visit to Italy?

4. Shakespeare and Company | Paris, France

Once again, another hole-in-the wall bookshop.  I love the feel of walking into a store and seeing piles upon piles of vintage books.  This store has a long history as a hangout for famous authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound and James Joyce.  After closing in WWII the store re-opened in 1951 and is still a favorite to all those who visit it.

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3. Atlantis | Santorini, Greece

At first when I was looking at pictures of this bookstore I thought that it was just a little shop on the side of the street.  There are bookshelves built into structures of a house and it looks adorable at ground level.  However the most spectacular portion of this shop isn’t above ground, it’s below ground.  The book store was started by too men who were visiting the island and noticed a distinct lack of a haven for readers and writers.  Not only is this wonderful location a bookstore but they also host festivals and sunset readings out on their terrace which has a beautiful ocean view.

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2. Book People | Austin, TX

Now I’m going to venture a guess and say that this bookstore made it this high up on my list not only because of it’s awesome atmosphere and look but because I am moving to Austin next month and that makes this bookstore a viable option to visit. (If you have any awesome Austin hangouts feel free to let me know so I can explore them when I get down there).  The Book People is the largest independent bookstore in Texas and for that reason it made my list.  I love visiting and supporting bookstores that aren’t huge chains like Barnes and Noble.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but there is a sense of pride and accomplishment in knowing that you are helping keep independent bookstores alive.

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1. Barter Books | England

From a young age my mother instilled a love of two things in me. Books and trains. In my parents basement we have a collection of model trains and train tracks and other odds and ends that we swear will be set up eventually into a model train display for our house.  So when I found Barter Books I instantly fell in love and started planning my imaginary trip there.  This bookstore is well known for it’s discovery of the lost wartime catchphrase that many of us have seen on the internet, Keep Calm and Carry On.  Even though this is the claim to fame for this bookstore, for me the draw is in the model train that runs along the top of the bookshelves.  It acts as a connecting force for each shelf and runs just over the heads of the visitors.  I don’t know when, if ever, I will be able to visit this shop but one day it will happen hopefully.

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BOOK REVIEW | After

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Rating: 3/5 stars

Find the book!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

Connect with the Author!

Twitter | Official Website

Summary from Barnes and Noble:

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER… Life will never be the same. #Hessa.

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

Review:

I recieved this book from Gallery Books in exchange for a review of the book.

**This book contains mature content**

I LOVE fanfiction.  I applaud those who write it and bend and shape pre-existing stories to create new adventures with old characters.  For those of you who have not explored the world of fanfiction I highly encourage it.  Although I would express a word of warning when searching topics for fanfiction and searching websites for fanfiction.  Normally they are well labeled for how appropriate they are for certain ages, but just so everyone is aware I make no guarantees of what you will find.

I went into reading After blind.  I did very minimal research on the book before I requested it, but I did this for a reason.  I have found that many people are unhappy about fanfiction being published like original works are.  I understand their reasoning for this but I didn’t want their unhappiness about it or bias opinions to taint a book that I otherwise might enjoy.  And I did enjoy parts of this books.  However there were some problems I found with it that forced me to give the book 3 stars instead of a higher rating.

What I Enjoyed:

I thought that the pace of this book was excellent especially considering how long this book is.  While most new adult/romance novels run at about 200 pages, this book comes in at a whopping 600 pages.  It is nothing to sneeze at.  When I first picked up the book the fact that it was so large was definitely daunting.  I wasn’t sure how the author was going to stretch the story in order to get it to the length that she had.  While the book does drag at some points and there were some things that I could see being taken out to shorten the book, I felt that it kept a decent pace throughout and allowed the reader to continue at a steady pace throughout.  The other thing that I rather enjoyed about this book is that, while it was a bit cliche in how it was written, for the most part the mature content in the book was well written.  Also please note that I am basing this book off of fanfiction for the most part.  I thought that as far as fanfiction writing goes, this book was well written and kept to the format for new adult and romance novels with their “love” scenes.

What I Wasn’t As Fond of:

Some of the portions of this book seemed a bit repetitive.  Events that happened earlier in the book felt like they repeated or occurred in a similar matter later in the book which was something that got on my nerves a bit.  However that was a minor thing compared to the scheme of things that could have been wrong.  The other portion of this book that bothered me a little were the hints of emotional abuse that I could see in the Harry Styles character.  For me this was a bit of a turn off but let’s be honest if we look at literature that is circulating today emotional abuse in main characters isn’t terribly uncommon *cough* Twilight *cough*.  For some people I know this was outraging and something they could have done without in the book.  For me I saw less of it than they picked up on but could still sense undertones of it.

This book is definitely still worth a read if you are intrigued by it.  As far as fanfiction goes I was pretty alright with how this book turned out, even if I might not pick up the rest of the books in this series.