Beach Readin’!

Top Ten Tuesday
Beach Reads!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Here are 10 books that I think would make GREAT beach reads, in no particular order:

10. SUMMER OF SLOANE by Erin L. Schneider – [Goodreads] I had the immense pleasure of reading SUMMER OF SLOANE as an ARC and it is THE PERFECT summer read. Not so much in the sense of light and fluffy, as the themes deal heavily upon dramatic situations, but more in the sense of the setting (Pssst. . .it’s Hawaii!). I think the book would read especially well with the sound of waves crashing in the background while your toes are submerged in sand. ☀️🌊🌅

9. BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray – [Goodreads] I have not read this particular Libba Bray book, but I have read and loved The Diviners. I’ve seen Libba three times at speaking events and she is absolutely hilarious! I always leave with a sore cheek muscles from constant fits of belly laughing. BEAUTY QUEENS is about a plane crash that leaves thirteen beauty contestants stranded on an island and they have to learn how to survive, while still practicing their retinues. . .just in case they’re rescued in time to make it to the competition. It sounds hilarious! 👄👠💄

8. THE BELL JAR by Sylvia Plath – [Goodreads] The following is a tradition that I started unintentionally. My birthday is in July, which is also when my family vacations. I was gifted a paperback of THE BELL JAR and was so excited I immediately started reading it. . . on the beach. The next year, I packed it without thinking and read it on the beach. It is now a tradition and I plan to do the same this year. Sylvia Plath is a genius and I love this book. 📒💊😵

7-5. THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY Series by Jenny Han – [Goodreads] THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY series is PERFECT for summer time. They’re fast reads and you will want to devour one after the other! It’s a bit of an emotional read, but it’s worth it. The ending is perfect! 👫💏☀️

4-2. ANNA/LOLA/ISLA by Stephanie Perkins – [Goodreads] These companion books will completely carry you away. You’ll start on page one and you’ll be on page three hundred some before you realize you’ve been reading for hours and you’re probably sun-burnt. I love them all so very much! 🗼🌉🇫🇷

1. THE NEPTUNE PROJECT by Polly Holyoke – [Goodreads] I have not read this one yet, but I plan to read it this summer. Imagine. . .on land your vision isn’t great and you have a hard time breathing, but in the water you feel comfortable and at home. What if you just found out your genes have been altered to survive in the ocean and live among the dolphins! Such a cool premise and a little switch up from all the summer contemporaries! 🐬🌊🏊


I hope you enjoyed my list and maybe found something to add to your summer TBR. What are your beach reads this year? Let me know below in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by!

X O
Elizabeth

Monthly Rewind: May 2016

Monthly Rewind: May 2016
MEMORABLE PHOTOS:

Left: Saturday, May 7th I drove to Hudson NY for the Hudson Children’s Book Festival. I drove all that way (from Boston) because Lauren Oliver is one of my favorite authors. I met her once at BEA15 and it was rushed due to the HUGE signing line she had. Totally understandable. I had to make the drive to see her in a more relaxed setting. Totally worth it! We got to chat and she signed all my books, which was A LOT! She signed them in the order she wrote them which was fun. I loved seeing her again.

Right: I have a new reward system for writing! When I write 1,000 words before noon, or write a scene I’m very proud of, I get to read a few chapters from a beloved book. As the first run of this reward system, I chose CHRISTINE by Stephen King. My all time favorite Stephen King novel and one of my all time favorite novels, period! I absolutely LOVED IT! I loved being back in that world, if only for 50 pages. I highly suggest it as a reward system!

LIFE:
Life has been kind of crazy lately. Crazy in a good sense. House hunting has consumed so, so much of my time. I honestly was not expecting it to be this demanding. We started looking the first weekend of May. The third house we viewed, we absolutely fell in love with. We put in an offer and it was accepted! So that’s where we’re at right now. Husband and I have been doing copious amounts of research. Since we’re in the buying stage, and things still can go wrong, will you send prayers, thoughts, and good vibes our way, please!

As you can probably tell, I’m a Dunkin Donuts lover. They now sell chocolate chip cookies and I’ve started a new trend. Every Friday I get a coffee and a cookie. Fridays for me are, ‘I just don’t give a hoot day’, so I indulge in a cookie. I run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, so I feel like a little treat at the end of the week is totally justified. 😀 🍪

I can tell you now, this month for reading hasn’t been great. Since I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had much time to read and the time I do have to read, I’m just being really picky. (Subconsciously.) I’ve picked up so many books and just nothing is hooking. Though I will say that I am reading PARTY GAMES by R.L.Stine right now and I think this one is going to stick. I’ve missed his writing SO MUCH! I read almost all the Goosebumps and Fear Street novels as a kid (my mom never supervised while I was at the library – *snicker!*) and it feels so good to be reading Stine again. PARTY GAMES is the first of the Fear Street Relaunch. There are four other novels included in the relaunch. I can’t wait to read them all.

MOVIES:

STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND GO SEE CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR!!!!!!!!!! Oh My Gosh CIVIL WAR was F R E A K I N G I N C R E D I B L E ! ! ! 5/5 | Highly recommend for everyone!

I had planned to see THE JUNGLE BOOK this month, but alas, it did not happen. Maybe next month.

Were there any movies you saw this month that were noteworthy? Did you see CIVIL WAR? What did you think??

I READ:

Books Read: 7
Total Pages: 2,438
Favorite Read of the Month: REPLICA by Lauren Oliver.

HORROR READING CHALLENGE:


4/16! Woohoo! Finally starting to pick it up! I have three horror reads I’m planning for next month! Wish me luck!

HAUL:

Bought: CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SCREAMING STATUE by Lauren Oliver and H.C.Chester [GR] | STAR WARS: BLOODLINE by Claudia Gray [GR] | WRAITH (WELCOME TO CHRISTMASLAND #1-6) by Joe Hill & Charles Paul Wilson III [GR] | (I also bought the new beautiful covers for the DELIRIUM trilogy by Lauren Oliver. I couldn’t resist; they’re so pretty!)

From Trades: THE CURIOUS TALE OF THE IN-BETWEEN by Lauren DeStefano [GR] | THE SPINDLERS by Lauren Oliver [GR] | REQUIEM by Lauren Oliver [GR]

LOOKING FORWARD:

  • In June, you’ll see reviews for ASTROTWINS: PROJECT BLASTOFF by Mark Kelly, THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord, PHOBIC by Cortney Pearson, CURIOSITY HOUSE: THE SHRUNKEN HEAD by Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester
  • FANDOM FRIDAY might be a little short for next month. I made a post earlier this month about how I’m swamped and blogging may be a little slow for a while. Please bear with me!
  • I’m attending a few author events in June, so look out for the recaps of those!
  • I plan to read a few more horror books in June. Joe Hill’s THE FIREMAN just released and I’m kind of hooked on R.L.Stine’s relaunch of Fear Street.

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! I hope you had a great May! What was your favorite part? See any good movies? Read any great books? Let me know in the comments below!

XO –
Elizabeth

TheMarauders

The Marauders #3 – Harvard Square

I solemnly swear I am up to no good. *Tap*

The Marauders
take Harvard Square!

Welcome to a brand new feature!! The Marauders is a feature where three book blogger friends share their many exciting adventures! Whether it be sailing the Charles River, ritualistic sacrifices in Salem, scaling the face of the Old Man of the Mountain in New Hampshire, or simply visiting a local independent bookstore, it’s bound to be a blast! Our grand adventures take place along the six states that encompass the vast and wonderful New England. Join me, Marci of The Plot Bunny, and Nicole of Nicole’s Novel Reads as we bring you along on our adventures, but keep track of us, for sometimes we shed our human forms and revert to our animagus forms! (Don’t worry, we’re registered!)

For our May adventure, we found ourselves in Cambridge, Massachusetts in Harvard Square. We met for a day filled with brunch, books, and sugar. It was a beautiful Spring day. The sun was shining, the temperature was rising, and the wind was low. I took an empty seat on the bus and started to read my book. (PARTY GAMES by R.L.Stine, if you were curious.) Page after page of suspense and chills. I was so engrossed, I almost missed my stop!

Nicole and I met up in Harvard station. My bus arrived at the same time her train was pulling in, so it was great timing! We walked a short walk to The Coop, which is the Harvard and M.I.T. store. It was full of books! Nicole and I were browsing, when a voice called from above – it was Marci calling from the balcony. Nicole and I ascended the beautiful spiral staircase and made our way to her table setup. We sat and chatted for a bit, as we were waiting for one more. That’s right, one more! We had a guest Marauder on this adventure. Her name is Rachel, she blogs and she tweets! She’s a future librarian and she gives GREAT book recommendations. Tweet her if you ever need a recommendation!

Once we were all together, we set out for our brunch spot. Park Restaurant and Bar. This was my second time, so I thought I’d choose a different brunch option. The first time I got the breakfast platter, which was eggs, potatoes, and bacon – standard and delicious. This time I ordered crispy french toast, which was apple and cheddar stuffed brioche. It was good, but a little too crispy. Rachel can attest, she tried some.


“Shelfie” taken at Harvard Book Store

Once gorged, we set out again with the destination of Harvard Book Store in mind. On the way there, we spotted Curious George.


Photo Top Left: Courtesy of Nicole. Bottom: Courtesy of Marci

The Curious George shop was adorable! I wanted to buy EVERYTHING! They had a small collection of YA and MG books, Out Of Print baby onsies, puzzles and plushies. It was such a cute store and I can’t wait to visit again.

At Harvard Book Store we made our rounds. We commandeered the entire aisle of MG and YA books. Rachel went up and down the shelves, pulling books and handing them to me. Her recommendations are good and I made note of them. Sadly I could not buy any books. (I’m buying a house and it’s expensive!) We talked about beloved books and Rachel read passages from some of her favorite titles.

We then proceeded downstairs where we perused the used books section. Whenever I’m in a used book store, I always check my favorite authors first. Han, Lord, Oliver, Perkins. Those are my top four favorite authors and I collect their books. Any version that I may not own, any cover that changed and I may not own it, etc. I did not find anything new, which perhaps is a good thing because I definitely would have splurged had I made an interesting discovery.

One bookstore definitely wasn’t good enough. We then decided to go back to The Coop and drool over more books I can’t buy look at more books.

Rachel and I didn’t realize we were that ahead of Marci and Nicole. We crossed the street while Nicole and Marci waited for the next light cycle. When bored and feeling silly, take a selfie!

Hahaha! Rachel is a fabulous book model! Her facial expressions are spot-on and she’s well-read, so she knows just the one to display for which ever book.

Also at The Coop, I spotted a favorite ARC read of mine! SUMMER OF SLOANE by Erin L. Scheiner is the perfect summer read and I absolutely loved it! I have not been able to buy my finished copy yet, so this was tempting and a bit depressing. If you’re not currently buying a house, I highly suggest picking this one up before your next beach day!

After a day of delicious breakfast foods, and beautiful books, I think we were all in need of a sugar pick-me-up! We decided to go to Sweet, which is a quaint little cupcake shop. The whole display was cupcakes. I didn’t see any other bakery treats. The cupcakes were OK, not great, but definitely hit the spot with the sugar rush!


Thanks so much for stopping by! Have you ever been to Boston? Do you have a favorite indie book store? Where do you think the Marauders will go next?

*Tap* Mischief Managed.

Middle Grade Review: RAVENOUS by MarcyKate Connolly

Middle Grade Review:
Fantasy

RAVENOUS by MarcyKate Connolly
Published: February 9 2016 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Pages: 435
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – It was GREAT!
Goodreads Synopsis: A witch has come to the city of Bryre. She travels in a hut that has chicken feet, and is ravenous for children. And once she gets what she desires, she never lets it go.

But when the witch captures Hans, Greta’s little brother, Greta refuses to let her have him. The two strike up a bargain. Greta will retrieve something the witch desires in exchange for her brother’s freedom.

To get the prize Greta must travel to Belladoma—a city where she was once held captive—which brings back terrible memories. With the help of a new friend, Dalen, a magical half-boy and half-horse, Greta embarks on the journey and tries to overcome both foes and her own weaknesses.

Book Yabber Review:

MarcyKate has done it again! Ravenous is set in the same world as Monstrous and picks up right where Monstrous left off. I am so in love with this series and I highly recommend you pick up Monstrous, if you haven’t already. I would love to see more, but at the moment, nothing is planned.

RAVENOUS sucked me in and I became lost in a world that I had fallen in love with previously. It felt so very good to be back. Visiting all the characters I had missed and even some new developments.

The characters were mostly the same from MONSTROUS, but in this installment, we get to know Greta on a deeper level. We get to see her overcome different hurdles and learn about her past. Her character arc is full of growth and I absolutely loved her. While also revisiting loved characters, we meet some new ones along the way and they are just as lovable.

The story is whimsical and compelling! Much like MONSTROUS, I had a hard time putting this book down, which was unfortunate for me as I had a very busy week with minimal time to read. The story is much like a Grimm fairy tale; enchanting and deliciously dark.

RAVENOUS was a great read! I do have to deduct a star because though very minor, the story did seem a bit slow in places. Aside from that, it was incredible and I highly suggest the series to anyone who loves fairy tales, adventure, and great characters that will stick with you.


About the Author:


MarcyKate Connolly is a children’s book author and nonprofit administrator living in New England with her husband and pugs. She graduated from Hampshire College with a double major in Music and Literature, and from Boston University with an MS in Arts Administration. Her debut middle grade fantasy series is available now from HarperCollins Children’s Books and includes Monstrous and the companion novel, Ravenous.

Follow MarcyKate: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads | Google +


Thanks so much for reading! Have a great day!

Au revoir!
XO, Elizabeth

Just a note. . .

Just a note. . .

Dear Friends,

If you’ve been following my If We Were Having Coffee. . . and/or Monthly Rewind posts, you know that I have been talking about house hunting for my first house. Well, my husband and I have officially started.

While the process is exciting, we’re both feeling very stressed right now. My free time has greatly decreased and I worry about the frequency in which I will manage publishing posts. I’m writing today to let you know that this month and next month will be a little sporadic. To anyone who has house hunted, I hope you can sympathize with me and to those who haven’t, it’s a stressful ride. We’re viewing houses, online research (a LOT of research), there’s stressful waiting periods, etc. We haven’t started closing, but we understand that takes a while as well.

With all that being said, I do have some reviews scheduled ahead of time. I have the rest of May and all of June scheduled with reviews. I’ll try to write up a few discussion posts and schedule them as well. Is there any discussion post requests? If so, leave them in the comments below.

You are awesome and I hope you’ll grant me leniency for the next couple of months. I appreciate your patience and understanding! If you feel so inclined, we could use good vibes, thoughts, prayers, luck, etc!

THANK YOU!!!

XO –
Elizabeth

ARC YA Contemporary Review – SUMMER OF SLOANE by Erin L. Schneider

Young Adult Review:
Contemporary

SUMMER OF SLOANE by Erin L. Schneider
Published: May 3rd 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 304
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – It was GREAT!
Goodreads Synopsis: Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.

These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.

Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.

But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to find as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.

Book Yabber Review:

Summer of Sloane is enthralling debut from Erin L. Schneider that will grab you and not let you go until you’ve finished reading. For me, I had such a hard time putting this book down.

The story was realistic. The scenarios are definitely those that happen in real life. The actions and feelings of the characters are spot-on. I was so impressed, I thought I was reading a non-fiction journal at times. While realistic, I appreciated that the characters weren’t overly dramatic.

Speaking of the characters, I had an immediately attachment to Sloane. I really felt for her and all she experienced from the very first page. As the novel went on, I grew to love her and wanted the absolute best for her. She was definitely my favorite character by far. The supporting characters were all great, too! Her family and friends – everyone was fully developed and wonderfully crafted.

The setting was beautifully described and I absolutely wanted to escape to Hawaii. Instead, I was reading about beautiful Hawaii while New England was having one of it’s weird April snow storms. Quite envious of Sloane’s summer plans.

Contemporaries seem to be fast reads and this one fits that bill. The pacing is exceptional and there was never a feeling of drag or boredom.

If you’re looking for a quick and fun summer read that will keep you engaged and captivated, I highly suggest you pick up Summer of Sloane! It’s the perfect beach read!


About the Author:


Erin L. Schneider is native to the Pacific Northwest, attended college in Honolulu, and – although Hawaiian – should never be allowed on a surfboard. With more than twenty years in corporate merchandising, she’s now a full-time writer living in Seattle with her husband, Neal; their baby boy, Kellan; a rowdy German shepherd named Ronin; and two crazy cats, Ono and Poke. She’s a member of both the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and SCBWI, and is also co-founder of the YA Buccaneers.

Follow Erin: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Website


Thanks so much for great! Have a great day!

Au revoir!
XO, Elizabeth

What I love to see in book blogs.

Discussion Post:
What I Love to See in Book Blogs

I’m a book blogger, but I’m also a blog READER. I don’t do it for competition or to get followers, I genuinely love reading other book blogs. For the most part, I’ve not come across many aspects of blogs that I don’t like, but I wanted to highlight the parts of blogs that I really enjoy.

Book Reviews: If you review Children’s, Middle Grade, and/or Young Adult books – I want to follow you! In my experience, it seems that book reviews are dying, or at the very least slimming out. I love book reviews because it helps me find books that I may not have found on my own. Not only that, it’s a review, so I get to read about what you thought of it. What were the positives, what were the negatives, would you recommend it, etc.

Don’t Forget About Back List Titles!: This also goes hand in hand with book reviews. Advance Readers Copies (ARCs) are great. It’s nice to know how that anticipated release is before it actually releases. But lest we forget back list titles. There are some incredible back list titles out there and I feel like some reviewers get caught up in the ARC game. I’m one of those people that prefer the finished copy over the ARC, and I know that doesn’t apply for everyone, but it’s important to have a good mix of new and old titles. I like reading about both!

A for Effort: I believe that blogging should be fun and not a chore, but if you’re going to do it, give it your all! Too many times I’ve come across a post that looks promising, but it appears to have been just thrown sloppily together. I see this mostly with memes/features. The Goodreads links weren’t provided, or there’s no information other than the title and author, etc. I appreciate the posts that look beautiful, with links and descriptions, reasons why that blogger is looking forward to a particular title. Basically I like reading blogs where the blogger cares about the content they are publishing. If you’re passionate and put effort into it, it’ll show, if you threw it together to meet a deadline, it’ll also show.

Memes/Features: I love reading Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, and Feature & Follow Friday posts. Making lists is one of my favorite things to do, and I love to see what other people come up with too. I want to see what you’re excited about, why you’re excited, and most times, I end up adding the book to my TBR! For Feature and Follow Friday, I love discovering new blogs! On Tuesdays and Fridays, I spend as much time as I can visiting new blogs. I love when blogs are on Bloglovin’ because that’s the easiest way for me to follow.

Personal Blogging: It’s cool when book blogs have their own personality. They differ from all the rest because they’re unique. One of the ways that’s possible is by slipping yourself into your posts. Reviews are very personal – the entire review is what you thought about the book. I like when it goes deeper than just that. I like discussion posts where the blogger is sharing a personal problem they’re having, or in a wrap up post and they share good/bad news they received, etc. It brings the realization that this isn’t just a bot formulating these posts, it’s a real being. I like it. It’s definitely a favorite blog aspect of mine. I want to know how you’re doing, if you got good/bad news, if you’re planning an exciting trip, ETC!

Originality: Original features are THE BEST! Creativity is a wonderful thing and I love seeing the outcome of a visit to the mind palace. One of my absolute favorite examples of this is Pages to Tea on Nicole’s Novel Reads blog. She matches a tea blend with a book! It combines two of my favorite things and I love those posts. I’m not talking exclusively features here either, I love to read gripping discussion posts. I love topics that engage their readers!

Navigation: Ever visit a blog where you enjoyed their post so much, you’d like to follow them for more of the same amazing content. . .but you weren’t able to find the follow button? It’s happened to me. I immediately look in the side bars for social badges, if they’re not there, I check to see if there is a Contact page or an About page. If it’s not in any of those places, I give up. Easy navigation is definitely a plus for me.


I just wanted to share a few of my favorite things with you. I’m interested to know, what do you like to see in book blogs? Let me know in the comments down below!

Thanks so much for stopping by and for reading! Have a great day!

X O
Elizabeth

fandomfriday

Fandom Friday! May 2016

Welcome to a Fandom Friday! A Book Yabber original feature! What is Fandom Friday? Think along the lines of a news page, gathering all the latest news stories from favorite fandoms over the past month and splicing them together in one convenient location. It’s open to all bloggers, so take a look at the linky below, follow links to other blogs, and read about all the fandoms!

My top two fandoms are Star Wars and Harry Potter, so expect to see that kind of news from me. What are your top fandoms? Gather news stories from the month, put them all into a blog post, and leave the link below to participate! I only ask that you link back to Book Yabber in your post. Let’s get started!

Build-A-Bear Workshop Introduces:
Wicket the Ewok!


Wicket the Ewok takes over Build-A-Bear Workshop!. I don’t want to spoil Star Wars for anyone, but let’s just say that Wicket plays an important role in the Battle of Endor and now you can have your very own Wicket to snuggle at home, here on Earth!

Build-A-Bear also has other Star Wars bears! If you’re more of a Dark Side gal like me, they have Darth Vader bear and a Stormtrooper bear. If you want to remain on the Light Side, they also have Chewbacca and Master Yoda. They’re so cute! I hope to make one for myself soon. I’ll take pictures so you can relive the journey with me.


Book Releases:
Marvel C3P0: THE PHANTOM LIMB & BLOODLINE: NEW REPUBLIC by Claudia Gray

Two books released this month and I was fortunate enough to grab both! So far I’ve only read C3P0: THE PHANTOM LIMB, which was tragic and I’ll admit, I teared up.

BLOODLINE: NEW REPUBLIC by Claudia Gray is a new extended universe novel taking place after THE JEDI RETURNS and before THE FORCE AWAKENS. There’s an interview with Claudia Gray titled, 7 Things You Don’t Know About Star Wars: BLOODLINE. I haven’t read it yet because I haven’t read the book yet and I’m paranoid of spoilers.


Star Wars Day:
May The 4th Be With You!

Wednesday, May 4th 2016 was Star Wars Day. A lot of retailers were having sales on their Star Wars merchandise, hashtags on Twitter formed (#StarWarsinFourWords), and general outpouring of love for the fandom. In addition, some new things were announced. I’ll run through my favorites.

May the 4th Be With You Mini Collection from Fortune Cookie Soap [Link] Wow! Fortune Cookie Soap outdid themselves with this limited edition line. I purchased Dark Force Body Wash and I can’t wait to try it out. Check out Come To The Darth Side Whipped Cream, it sounds like it smells so good!!!! At 12 Central time, Fortune Cookie Soap went Live on Facebook and I watched their stream, they even read my comment. Hi, I’m Elizabeth and my favorite character is Kylo Ren. LOL. Check out the new line and buy while you can!

Coming Soon from Funko. . . [Link] Wave 2 of THE FORCE AWAKENS Pop! Vinyls are coming in July! I’ll give you one guess as to who I pre-ordered today. I can’t wait to own all of these! Pops are such an obsession/addiction.

Star Wars Celebration 2017 was Announced! – [Link] It’s in Orlando Florida and tickets go on sale May 25 2016!! THIS MONTH! As much as I desperately want to attend, I don’t think it’s in my cards. House hunting is slowing ruining my life. . .HA, but I hope you can go!

Still with me? I know it’s a lot, but people wait until Star Wars Day to do all their announcements. I only have one more! Hang in there!

NEW LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer! [Link] This new trailer is so awesome! We find out there’s so much more story to explore in the game than was in the movie, like how did Han and Chewie capture the Rathtars and more of Lor San Tekka’s backstory! I’m so excited and I can’t wait for June 28th!!!!!


Thanks so much for joining me on FANDOM FRIDAY! If you wrote up your own post, link up below! I can’t wait to read your posts about your favorite fandoms! If you missed this one, make sure to join next time! Fandom Friday is the first Friday of every month. See you then!

X O
Elizabeth

Why I Couldn’t Finish THE SERPENT KING by Jeff Zentner

Young Adult Review:
Contemporary


THE SERPENT KING by Jeff Zentner
Published: March 8th 2016 by Random House
Rating: DNF – Did Not Finish
Goodreads Synopsis: Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

Why I Couldn’t Continue Reading. . .

This is the perfect example of how not every book is for everybody. The Serpent King is getting absolutely raving reviews right now from just about everyone who is picking it up. Three of my very close friends suggested that I pick this up too. I put my request in at the library and somehow managed to get the first loan.

I stopped half way through the book and I want to talk about why.

Trying too hard. I realize the book is supposed to be emotional and the characters are not portrayed as having an easy life. But it was laying it on pretty thick. It was like a constant reminder of poverty and hardship.

Didn’t connect with characters. I did not connect with these characters immediately. So I gave it twenty more pages. Another twenty. Another. I still didn’t care about them. They didn’t seem very well developed to me. Perhaps with the exception of Travis. He was starting to take shape as I was making up my mind to DNF the book.

It’s very slow moving. The pace of this book is very slow. I remember stopping after the first fifty pages and talking with a friend about how slow it’s moving. Still, I gave it more time and here I am, halfway through the book and not much more has happened. I was very, very bored.

Very strong religious tones. For someone who is not an ounce religious, this got very old, very quick. I wanted to skip the sections with Dill’s mother entirely because it only left me infuriated. The book and I didn’t mesh on this aspect at all.

Overall, this book was not for me. The emotional and religious tones were too heavily weighted. The pacing was very slow. I got half way through the book and not much had happened. Definitely not enough that I was emotionally invested. I reached a point where there was no desire to continue and I had no curiosity left. I didn’t connect with the characters. After 180 pages, I still had no feelings for these characters. The book and I had to part ways.

That all being said, I have a question for you. At what point do you decide to not finish (DNF) a book? I usually try to make it 100 pages, but with this one I wanted to push further as so many people were raving about it. I went halfway (180 pages) and I couldn’t continue. It shouldn’t take more than halfway through a book for me to be hooked.

Thanks for reading and for stopping by Book Yabber!

Au revoir!
XO, Elizabeth

TheMarauders

The Marauders #2 – Salem, Masschusetts

I solemnly swear I am up to no good. *Tap*

Welcome to a brand new feature!! The Marauders is a feature where three book blogger friends share their many exciting adventures! Whether it be sailing the Charles River, ritualistic sacrifices in Salem, scaling the face of the Old Man of the Mountain in New Hampshire, or simply visiting a local independent bookstore, it’s bound to be a blast! Our grand adventures take place along the six states that encompass the vast and wonderful New England. Join me, Marci of The Plot Bunny, and Nicole of Nicole’s Novel Reads as we bring you along on our adventures, but keep track of us, for sometimes we shed our human forms and revert to our animagus forms! (Don’t worry, we’re registered!)

Our April adventure led us to Salem, Massachusetts. Again we were graced with a beautiful sunny day, albeit windy and a bit chilly in places. This adventure starts in a place called Red’s Sandwich Shop, where we feasted on glorious breakfast foods (my favorite kind of food.)

With full and satisfied bellies, we roamed the streets of Salem, popping in and out of little shops. It wouldn’t be a Marauders trip without first visiting a bookstore, so we made our way to Wicked Good Books.


It was a small charming bookstore. Nicole and Marci had both visited the store before it supposedly redesigned the inside. They were saying how the entire store contained literal stacks of books. This was my first visit to Salem and respectively Wicked Good Books.

The Coven’s Cottage was our next stop, but unfortunately they didn’t allow camera’s inside so I am unable to show you the amazing treasures there were to behold. Quick Funny Story: As I was kissing my husband goodbye, about to set off for a day in Salem, he grabbed me by the shoulders and said, “Don’t bring home any human bones.” I smiled and said, “OK.” Then he specified further and said, “No animal bones either.” DANG IT! SO while The Coven’s Cottage was filled with dried flowers and mixed brews, I was most interested in the bones, those of which I was forbidden to purchase and bring home. There were deer mandibles, antlers, skulls, ETC! It was a cool place!


Awesome panorama by Marci

Wynott’s Wands was an amazing shop that felt like you were really stepping into Olivanders in Diagon Alley. As you enter, you’re greeted by a chirping cage, containing two beautiful birds named Bill and Fred. Around the room, you’ll see shelves and shelves of wand boxes. Some wands were out for the testing, as Marci was practicing her flick and swish techniques (pictured below).


Remember Salem is just next store and I’ll be honest, the store I was most looking forward to visiting! It’s a Harry Potter store! Flails, flails, flails!!

Remember Salem’s magnet game was strong and I bought three of them! I bought I SOLEMNLY SWEAR I AM UP TO NO GOOD, the Deatheater magnet Marci is holding, and a Slytherin crest magnet. I also bought of four pack of Flying Cauldron’s Butterscotch Beer. Nicole had brought some bottles to my house for Pottermas15 and I was hooked on my first sip. I had to get some more while in the store that carries it!


Photo by Nicole

These hauntingly beautiful pieces of art are called Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty. You can visit pem.org/stickwork to see more of Patricks works. If you’re close to Salem, I highly suggest going to visit. You can walk inside them and get a close up look at the detailed work. It’s quite amazing.

And because it’s us, we can’t just refuse a cup of tea. We strode into Jolie Tea Company and noticed that they offer tea sittings. We picked a tea, a scone, madeleine, and French macaron and sat down to enjoy the goodies. I wasn’t very adventurous with my tea selection, I went with a favorite green tea of mine, which is Japanese Sencha and it was delicious! Just what I needed.

We spent a good amount of time here, sipping our tea, enjoying our goodies, chatting and enjoying the company of our fellow Marauders. Before we left we all visited the loo, which had beautiful wallpaper! Quiz time: I’ll give you one guess as to which two zany Marauders took selfies with the wallpaper?

If you guessed, A. Pooka (Marci) and B. Scales (Elizabeth), you are correct; the two Slytherins! Funny tidbit, we took these selfies completely independently. I was the last to use the loo and when I got back to the table, I mentioned my silly selfie. Marci mentioned she took one too and we had a great laugh.

After we left Jolie Tea, we walked around Salem a bit more, popping into shops here and there. The living Marauders took a stroll among the dead, decomposing bodies of the local cemetery. We had plans to walk to the Wharf, but it was much to cold sans water, could you imagine how cold it could have been WITH WATER.

We went to a few comic shops, which I greatly enjoyed. This next photo is going to be a nod to those who have read MECHANICA by Betsy Cornwell. Look! It’s Jules!!!!!!! I found him in Harrison’s Comics and Pop Culture. If you haven’t read MECHANICA, I highly suggest you do! (You can read my full review here)

Still at Harrison’s, a few other unexplained things occurred. Us Marauders all have our animagus’, and we’re all legal, so we’re used to the others transforming into their animagus’, but it seems our friend Pooka, has a dual-animagus? She turned into a UNICORN! It could have been a misdirected jinx or she could have just been having a laugh, it is still unclear.

Also, whilst browsing movie posters and tin signs for sale, Master Yoda appeared. If you’ve been a reader of Book Yabber (or a Twitter friend) you know, I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan (and that is an understatement), so I couldn’t pass up a selfie with Yoda himself! He was generous enough to grace me with a selfie, though he did keep his lightsaber raised, as he did not trust me. Rightfully so, as I am a Sith Lord.

I had such a great time with my Marauders in Salem. Have you ever been to Salem, Massachusetts? What was your favorite thing to do there? Where do you think the Marauders will go next time? Leave your guesses/suggestions in the comments below. Thanks so much for reading and we’ll see you next time!

*Tap* Mischief Managed.