Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
Knopf BYR (Random House), 256 pages
Expected US Release Date: December 11, 2012
Format: e-ARC
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley - thank you!

Love is awkward, Amelia should know.

From the moment she sets eyes on Chris, she is a goner. Lost. Sunk. Head over heels infatuated with him. It's problematic, since Chris, 21, is a sophisticated university student, while Amelia, is 15.

Amelia isn't stupid. She knows it's not gonna happen. So she plays it cool around Chris—at least, as cool as she can. Working checkout together at the local supermarket, they strike up a friendship: swapping life stories, bantering about everything from classic books to B movies, and cataloging the many injustices of growing up. As time goes on, Amelia's crush doesn't seem so one-sided anymore. But if Chris likes her back, what then? Can two people in such different places in life really be together?

Through a year of befuddling firsts—first love, first job, first party, and first hangover—debut author Laura Buzo shows how the things that break your heart can still crack you up.
--------------Goodreads summary
Notable Quote
"The important thing to remember," said Chris, "is It's Not About You. Some people are just pricks. And that's not only true in here."
If you were to ask me on any normal day how I felt about a 15-year-old and a 21-year-old dating, I would immediately scrunch my nose at you and say, "Ew. No way in hell. NO."

Apparently today is not a normal day, because I wanted Chris and Amelia together SO BADLY. I can't even think about them without thinking how absolutely perfect they were together, and it pains me to know what an age gap it was. This book entirely broke my heart and made me so happy all at once.

If you read the summary closely enough, you pretty much know what happens. The story is nothing more and nothing less than what it says, so don't get your hopes up. But at the same time, even though I knew the basic plotline, the details and filling in the gaps were absolutely brilliant and hilarious and far more than anything I could have expected. Chris and Amelia are such wonderful characters, filled with such passion and personality and emotion that they were stunning on the page. They're personified so well, and their thoughts and feelings are so raw and real that I felt like I was them in some of the pages. I'm surprised that I loved their friendship together, almost more than their weird maybe-feelings-possible-relationship! Their friendship is the kind you spend a lifetime searching for, one where you can ask whatever you like without judgment or say what you need without it falling on deaf ears.

I feel weird because I have to little to say about this book! And I don't mean that in a negative way - I have little to say because it's all so amazing. I can't talk in details since that will give away some things, and really, I just want everyone to experience it themselves. You'll be so swept up in Amelia and Chris's friendship/relationship, and I can't take that away from anyone by giving hints. Just know it's totally worth the journey, and there are some seriously funny self-deprecating moments that just made the heartache so bitterly enjoyable.

I did also love the other parts to Amelia and Chris - what their lives were like, their other friends, their families, the journals Chris kept. They were really great elements to help shape who Amelia and Chris are, and not just be topics they could discuss. I particularly enjoyed Amelia's dynamic with other people.

So, the ending...don't worry, I won't spoil it! Like I said though, you pretty much know going in. While I don't actually endorse contemporary novels that are series or not-standalones (I'm iffy on companions), I would love love LOVE reading a follow up book about Chris and Amelia. In like...7 years. That would be awesome to know what they are doing, where they are in life as individuals and as a pair. However...I'm also really happy with the version I've created in my head, too. And for me to be happy with what I only think has happened? That's a pretty amazing novel.

4.5 Stars / 5

Monday, November 26, 2012

Top Ten Most Anticipated 2013 Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the fab ladies at The Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten 2013 Books
I'd Gladly Bribe Anyone For
Every year I think Young Adult books can't be topped, and every year I'm constantly proven wrong. This category of books keep getting better, and I absolutely love it. Even though my 2013 TBR list could proooobably go on for decades, these are my top 10 I'm DYING for.

(And I'm serious about bribing. If anyone has copies/ARCs of these and would let me borrow, I will gladly give access to my own lending library and/or send cookies. I make an awesome peanut butter cookie. Swear.)

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
January 8, 2013
(My WoW feature here!)

Reboot by Amy Tintera
May 7, 2013
(My WoW feature here!)
Because it's about a 178 and 22 and the possibilities are endless! I adore Amy, too.

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
March 12, 2013
(My Cover Love feature here!)
Because artificial intelligence (robots?) and that cover and yes. I also happen to love Debra.

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
April 30, 2013
(My WoW feature here!)
Because this sounds exquisite and fabulous and The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight is one of my absolute favourite contemporaries ever. And I love the names Graham & Ellie.

Taken by Erin Bowman
April 16, 2013
(My WoW feature here!)
Because I need to know what the heck happens to these boys! And how kids exist. Read my WoW, it's got the questions there. Plus, that cover is be-yoooootiful.

Pivot Point by Kasie West
February 12, 2013
Because how would you choose your future if you knew the outcomes?

[ Sequels ]
Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis
January 15, 2013

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi
January 8, 2013

[ Already Read, But Still Excited For ]
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
March 5, 2013
I loveloveloved this book. I want to be in a relationship with this couple. (Weird? Maybe. BUT I DON'T CARE.)

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
March 5, 2013
This was breathtaking and amazing and how am I to wait for Book 2 if one hasn't even released yet!?

Seriously guys. I make awesome cookies.

**All release dates are subject to change.

What 2013 books are you dying for?
Leave your link and I'll hop by!
PS. Last few days to enter my Holiday Giveaway! Two winners can choose 1 of 4 books!
International, ends 11/28

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Weekly Wrap-Up (17): Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope all the Americans had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Mine was fantastic, I played kickball (and by "play" I mean "pitched for ~5 minutes, then sat on the bench chatting with friends") with friends in the morning then went to my aunt's house and had Thanksgiving dinner with my mom's immediate family. Followed it up with some epic Black Friday shopping, which was surprisingly tame - the longest line I waited in was to check out at Best Buy, and that was only a half hour! Of course, my sleeping schedule is all sorts of wacko now - which explains why I'm typing this up at 3:17am!

The rest of the weekend is Family Filled Fun! It's my grandparents' 80th birthdays and 55th wedding anniversary, so we've gathered literally all the family we can for a HUGE celebration! We've rented out a ballroom in a local hotel, and we're going to party the night away together haha. Which means I'll be a bit MIA on here and Twitter as I spend the days with family, but I know you all understand :)

In case you missed it...
Review: Meant To Be by Lauren E. Morrill
Possibly the perfect book. You will love it. 5+ stars.

Event Recap: #YAintheSun
So much YA author awesome!

Top Ten Authors/Books For Which I Am Thankful.

Waiting on Wednesday: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Last few days to enter my Holiday Book Giveaway!
TWO winners, a choice between 4 YA holiday novels!
And if TBD ships to you, you can enter!
ends 11/28

Coming up...
A review of Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris and Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo, and an awesome Top Ten Tuesday. I'm also in the midst of brainstorming something awesome, which I hope to discuss as early as December...but you'll have to stay tuned for that. ;)

Onto the book haul!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews
The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber
Doing It by Melvin Burgess
Seeing Cinderella by Jenny Lundquist
The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald
Crash Into Me by Albert Borris
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill.
I loved it so much I couldn't not buy it the moment it came out!

Insurgent by Veronica Roth.
I reaaaally need to get around to reading Divergent, I know. Saw this on sale during Black Friday and had to get it!

Double Vision by FT Bradley, from the author - thanks F!
Also Known As by Robin Benway, via NetGalley - thank you Bloomsbury!

HUGE giveaway pack from #YAintheSun! Detailed here.

Dear Teen Me (signed!) from the amazing Zest Books and my friend Allison.

And this is the entire reason I did this Weekly Wrap Up...
Time Between Us Prize Pack - from the author. Thank you so much Tamara!
Is this not the cutest prize ever?! Here it is all laid out...
And the book is personalized+signed, with little sticky notes to indicate when a song from Anna and Bennet's playlists are appropriate. SO. CUTE.

What books came into your possession this week?
Leave your link and I'll hop by!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine
meant to highlight an upcoming release we're excited for!

Reboot (Reboot #1) by Amy Tintera
HarperTeen, 352 Pages
Expected US Release Date: May 7, 2013

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

-----------------------Goodreads summary

I have been dying to post this as a WoW pick for awhile now, but was waiting on the cover - so hooray! Can we talk about how much I love it? It's so fascinating and I love how it ties into Wren's number. So cleverly simple.

I'm very lucky to know Amy in real life - we officially met at Shannon Messenger's Launch Party for Keeper of the Lost Cities, and silly me didn't put two and two together when I met her! I knew we had mutual friends, I'd learned she was getting published in May by HarperTeen and even heard her talk about her book a little - but I stupidly never asked her what the title was. Only later when I got home and saw her name was I like "holy crap Amy! She's the writer of Reboot!"...and I quickly scuttled off to Twitter to apologize and tell her I'm a dolt for not realizing. Still, I adore Amy and love whenever we get the chance to see each other and chat. Plus, we've talked about books and she has fantastic taste in reading - so there's no question to me that her book will be just as awesome!

But enough of looks and name dropping - doesn't this sound fantastic?! The idea of how long you're dead means you're farther from being human...it's one of those ideas that's so plainly obvious and so original all at once! And of course, the possibilities between a 178 and a 22 are endless. I can't wait to see what this book will be, and what it means to disobey an order. Plus, since it's part of a series, I'm curious about the larger picture, too. You can't say 'soldier' without me thinking there's something crazy going on in the world around them, too! (I could be wrong, I don't know. See what I mean by needing to know?!)

Sigh. May is so far away.

What book are you eagerly awaiting?
Leave your link and I'll hop by!

PS. Have you entered my Holiday Giveaway? You could win your choice between 4 books!
(2 winners, open Internationally - ends 11/28)

Top Ten Authors/Books To Be Thankful For

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the fab ladies at The Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Authors/Books
For Which I Am Thankful
Happy early Thanksgiving, all!

1. JK Rowling
Harry Potter changed the world, guys. Not just that it's a fantastic story filled with true friends, real adventure, and what it means to be kind and good - but it changed the world of reading. Suddenly, it's ok to read children's and young adult books. It's ok to enjoy a fantastical setting, to want something not quite real in our world (at least, that we know of!). I'm not saying I needed the approval, but a wider acceptance means a wider access. I'm grateful. Also, Harry <3

2. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
While I'm certain I read YA before picking up Nick & Norah, that is the first book I remember thinking, holy shit this is where I am meant to be. Their collaboration novels are still some of my favourites today; something about their characters together make me feel like I'm home, like I'm not really alone in the world.

3. Kirsten Hubbard
For two reasons: 1) Wanderlove is one of my favourites of 2012, and favourites ever. It's a fabulous book and I feel like I'm seeing my emotions on the paper when I read it. She's written a gift, as far as I'm concerned. and 2) she was one of the first authors I truly wanted to meet, and she was so sweet and kind when we finally did. She continues to tolerate my probably-less-than-appealing fangirling, and I really think she is one of the main reasons I've been as involved in the YA world as I have been. She's introduced me to her friends, and I feel very lucky to say she's an author friend. Also, without her, I never would have met...

4. Cindy Pon
If you've ever met or seen Cindy, you know that she is absolutely unforgettable. She's hilarious and has this loud, distinctive laugh that just lights her up like a Christmas tree. She is friendly and selfless and always making connections between people. Cindy has introduced me to numerous people in the YA and writing world (I got to hang out with Cassie Clare because of Cindy!), and I feel grateful to even be within her thoughts ever - not just a reading and writing friend, too. She's always thinking of others, and I really hope that if/when I'm an author, I'm just like her and constantly remembering readers as well.

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women is the first book I loved with all my being. I was Josephine March, it is the reason I read and write and carry myself as I do. It is the core to my reading/writing life.

2. His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
This will always be my favourite series, as I often say here. It's because it's the first one I read that made me realize that writing has absolutely no limits whatsoever. So what if a witch never actually falls out of the sky and chats with me? If I want to write a talking, fighting, loyal polar bear, I damn well can. Lyra's world is fascinating and fantastical and fantastic in all the ways possible, and I adore it for being a revelation to me as both a reader and a writer.

3. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
This is the first book I ever wrote a review on. When I read it, I just had to talk about it because I loved it so much. Writing this review (which is actually pretty cringe-worthy when I look back at it) made me realize that hey...this is something I like doing. That it's something I wanted to keep doing.

4. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Across the Universe is the reason I found book blogging. After I read it (I picked it up when I saw the cover at the library - it was too gorgeous not to check out!), I loved it so much and so hard that I absolutely had to know what was going on. I googled the series, and stumbled across book blogs that had reviewed it or were early reviewing A Million Suns. It had literally never occurred to me before that book blogging would exist.

5. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
As I write in my review here, and what I tweeted and told Nina when I met her - The Disenchantments made me want to write again. There's a subtle force to Nina's writing, and it is so strongly what I hope to evoke in readers one day that it just made me yearn to pick up a pen and get scribbling again. I turned away from writing for some very personal and tough reasons, and it was wonderful finding the desire again.

6. If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Gayle's books made me realize that a young adult book can be many things. It can be fun and happy and filled with angst and boys and drama...and it can also be serious. It can be filled with introspection and tough choices and life and death and everything that ever encompasses. Gayle's books appeal to the deepest parts of our souls, and I adore that it's in a Young Adult novel. Her books prove the worth of Teen titles.

What authors/books are you grateful for?
Leave your link and I'll hop by!
PS. Have you entered my Holiday Giveaway? Two winners can choose between 4 books!
International, ends 11/28
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