Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Books of 2012 (Part 1)

We made a vlog of our faces and voices for the whole internet to see! *flails*

We talk about some of our favorite books of 2012. Also, Rachel interrupts Megan a lot and mentions cute boys way too many times a normal and healthy amount of times.

(The picture we mentioned.)
Check back soon for part two!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Do you want to see me ramble really awkwardly to a camera in the corner of my basement?

This whole video thing is WEIRD. But I think I like it.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Megan Rambles About The Summer Series

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
From Goodreads:Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

I just recently finished the Summer Series by Jenny Han and I really, really liked it. This is a unique contemporary series that follows Belly, her brother Steven, and their friends Conrad and Jeremiah as they spend their summers growing up at Cousins. Each of the three books takes place during the summer, skipping the entire year in between which is something I had never experienced before. In between each book Belly grew up so much because there was so much time in between.

Rachel has been trying to get these books forever, and I am so glad I finally did! Everything about Belly's summers from laying in the sun to swimming in the pool, going to parties on the beach, and swimming in the ocean is amazing. It made me wish that I could have summers like Belly's. Also that it was still summer and I wasn't in school. *cries*

Right, right awesome series of books. Sorry.

Plus can we just talk about Conrad and Jeremiah for a second? I am totally 100% Team Conrad. He's angry, mysterious, hot, and basically everything I look for in a book crush. Don't get me wrong, he definitely had his jerk moments, but by the end of the series I felt like I understood him a bit better. Especially once there were a few chapters from his point of view in the third book, We'll Always Have Summer. Jeremiah was great too, playing the role of the goofy younger brother and usually Belly's partner in crime. But MAYBE there is something else there? IDK IDK IDK.

The relationships in this book were constantly changing and getting more complicated. When this series starts in The Summer I Turned Pretty, it is just a light, fun contemporary about spending the summer at the beach. Then as you get into the story there is a lot more beneath the surface. By the end of the series, Belly, Steven, Jeremiah, and Conrad have all grown up a lot and I really liked getting to see how they changed from book to book.

I might not have always liked Belly, or understood her decisions, but I still really liked her story. From the light and fun moments to the sad ones, The Summer Series was a great read that left me wishing summer would just hurry up and COME BACK already! If you love summer, the beach, and cute boys, then you can't miss this series!
Plus, the covers look pretty cool together. I love matching covers :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Struck By Lightning

Struck By Lightning by Chris Colfer
From Goodreads:
Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips, who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker. At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school. At a time when bullying torments so many young people today, this unique and important novel sheds light with humor and wit on an issue that deeply resonates with countless teens and readers.

I had no idea what to expect from this book. All I knew was that the film version looked like it was going to be pretty awesome, and that guy from Glee wrote it. I hadn't read any reviews or anything, so I really didn't know if this was going to be any good.

Struck By Lightning didn't exactly blow me away with its awesomeness or anything, but it was a pretty good book. The main character is a typical outcast kid at school. He's the kid who gets bullied and wants more than anything to get out of the small town he's trapped in. I thought Carson was absolutely hysterical. He was sarcastic and hilarious and bold, and reading from his point of view was a lot of fun.

Even though this book deals with some serious issues, it was mostly just a really funny book. There were so many high school related jokes that I could relate to so perfectly, and I felt like Chris Colfer really got the whole teen angst no one understands me! thing down.

This book is made up of Carson's journal entries, which could have potentially been super cheesy, but I really liked it. It made sense in the story since Carson is a writer, and his voice came out really well in the journals. The reader got to experience his completely unedited thoughts.

Struck By Lightning didn't change my life or anything, but I definitely enjoyed reading it. It was a quick read that had me laughing hysterically on almost every page. Carson's descriptions of his high school and classmates are spot-on, and any kid who has ever felt excluded in school at some point will be able to relate to him easily. 

If you're looking for some excellent teen angst and a quick read that doesn't require too much emotional investment, then I think you should give this book a chance. I can't wait to see the movie! If the trailer is any indication, it's going to be awesome.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
From Goodreads:
An arresting un-coming-of-age story, from a breathtaking talent

Becca has always longed to break free from her small, backwater hometown. But the discovery of an unidentified dead girl on the side of a dirt road sends the town--and Becca--into a tailspin. Unable to make sense of the violence of the outside world creeping into her backyard, Becca finds herself retreating inward, paralyzed from moving forward for the first time in her life.

Short chapters detailing the last days of Amelia Anne Richardson's life are intercut with Becca's own summer as the parallel stories of two young women struggling with self-identity and relationships on the edge twist the reader closer and closer to the truth about Amelia's death.

Beautiful. That's the first word that comes to mind when I think of this book. The writing style is absolutely beautiful, though the story is far from it.

Becca's seemingly dull and uneventful life is cloaked in a layer of creepiness that left me unsettled the entire time I was reading this book. From the first few pages, I could tell that something didn't quite feel right, but it was hard to put my finger on what it was. Even after finishing the book, I don't really know how to explain it. But it was there. This small-town, boring life broke my heart in ways I still don't understand.

The sections from Amelia's point of view only add to the creepiness. I mean, you know from the title that she dies, so it's not exactly a comforting feeling knowing that with every page turn, she gets closer and closer to her death. 

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone is unlike anything I've ever read. The plot is not exciting or intense in any way. It's more of a subtle story that will take over your mind without you even realizing it. A mix of beautiful words and an unsettling, mysterious feeling combine to create this little book about this little town that doesn't seem to be a big deal at all. Yet when you finish reading it, you know that you've just read something amazing.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (15)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Harken by Kaleb Nation
From Goodreads:
After surviving an assassination attempt, teenager Michael Asher discovers that he is at the center of a worldwide conspiracy reaching higher than any earthly power. A supernatural organization desperately wants him dead. He doesn't know why. Everyone who might have the answers has already been killed.

Tumbling into a web of international secrets, Michael is forced to fight back and dig up the truth. He begins to question how much of the world is truly as people are led to believe it is. Are there things that humanity is not being told? Who is the puppet master? And how far into the maze can he venture before he is lost forever?

I made an entire post about how excited I am for this book, which you can find here. But all you really need to know is that I think this book sounds amazing, I absolutely adore Kaleb Nation, and I am counting down the days until I can finally read it!

What are you waiting on this week? Leave links to your Waiting on Wednesday posts in the comments below!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Harken by Kaleb Nation

Do you guys know who Kaleb Nation is? I'm sure you do. And if you don't, well, you should. So...get on that please. Because he's awesome and I may or may not have had a crush on him since I found his Youtube videos a few years ago as a young middle school fangirl.

Kaleb has been working on his SECRET KALEB BOOK for freaking ever now, and everyone has been dying to get some information about it.

And we finally have some information!

Here, why don't I just let Kaleb explain what this book is all about:

It started off with a few announcements and a super special mailing list and the title reveal and a live webcast, and now we have the cover reveal. You can watch the video below to see the awesome cover.

I absolutely love the cover. I love that it's dark and mysterious and intriguing and not too flashy but also cool enough that it would draw your attention in the bookstore.

I also love the hand thing. Kaleb has been telling all his fans to write things like Don't Trust Anyone and #SecretKalebBook and #Harken on their hands for awhile now, and though we didn't completely understand why we were doing it, we did it anyway because we're such loyal Nationeers.

(On a side note: This is actually a bit alarming. What if Kaleb told us to, I don't know, form an army or something? WE WOULD TOTALLY DO IT.)


And it's so cool to see the hand on the book cover because it means there was an actual reason why we were writing it on our hands!

Anyway, you probably want a summary of the book, so here you go:

After surviving an assassination attempt, teenager Michael Asher discovers that he is at the center of a worldwide conspiracy higher than any earthly power. A supernatural organization with authority over world leaders, celebrities, and the wealthy desperately wants him dead. He doesn't know why. Everyone who might have the answers has already been killed.
Tumbling into a web of international secrets, Michael is forced to fight back and dig up the truth. He begins to question how much of the world is truly as people are led to believe it is. What is humanity not being told? Who is the puppet master? And how far into the maze can he venture before he is lost forever?

Does that sound awesome, or does that sound awesome?! Be sure to check out the Goodreads page and add it to your to-read list!

Kaleb read the first chapter during his live webcast, and let me tell you, it was so cool. You have no idea how badly I want to read the entire book!

If this post has sparked your interest (which I'm sure it has, because come on) you should head on over to the official website to find out ALL THE THINGS about this book. You can also sign up for the mailing list so you get information before everyone else. :)

I feel like Harken is the kind of book I've been waiting to see in the YA world. A supernatural conspiracy theory sounds exciting and unique, and I think it's definitely going to be a Big Freaking Deal once it's released.

Everything about this book sounds crazy exciting, and I'm so happy for Kaleb Nation. If you aren't already stalking following him at various places on the internet, here are a few links:

Kaleb's Youtube channel
Kaleb's Twitter
Kaleb's Tumblr

And I think that's pretty much all you need to know. Are you excited? I know I am. :D


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Every Day

Every Day by David Levithan
From Goodreads:
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

This book is beautiful, unique, and emotional. I finished it days ago, but I still can't stop thinking about it.

The idea behind this book is absolutely fascinating. The main character, A, wakes up in a different body every single day. A has no appearance or gender. A just exists as the spirit or soul in the body of whatever person he happens to be in that day. This concept is original and crazy and awesome.

When A is in the body of a boy named Justin, he falls in love with Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon. Instead of moving on and leaving her alone, like he should, he is unable to forget her. He ends up meeting her again several times, in a different body each time. So that, of course, makes things quite complicated.

Rhiannon struggles to accept A and his unusual lifestyle. There's really no way their relationship could ever work out, but A is so in love that he's willing to do anything so he doesn't have to lose her. The love A feels for Rhiannon is a bit love-at-first-sight, which I generally have a hard time believing. But when you take a character like A who is, above all else, lonely and longing for companionship, it's not hard to believe that one girl could completely change his life from the first moment he sees her.

This book broke my heart in so many ways. Because of A's lifestyle, you know that he and Rhiannon could never have the relationship he so desperately wants. This isn't a fun paranormal romance book. This is a gut-wrenching, emotional book that can change your entire outlook on life and make you feel ALL THE FEELS.

One of the biggest things about this book is the way gender is treated. A is not a boy or a girl. (Although, in the summary and in this review, the pronoun "he" is used. I don't know, I guess A just feels like a he? It's complicated...?) When A is in the body of a girl, Rhiannon treats him differently than when he's in the body of a boy. The entire novel blurs the lines of gender roles in society and everything, in a completely awesome and fascinating and thought-provoking way. This is, of course, totally relevant to today's society and everything, especially when it comes to teenagers. Every Day is the kind of book that needed to be written, and now that David Levithan brought this beautiful masterpiece into existence, I feel like it should reach as many teens as possible.

It's difficult to explain just how freaking AMAZING this book is. All I can say is, if you read it, I don't think you'll regret it. I mean, your reading experience is not going to be all rainbows and butterflies. This book broke my heart in several places, but it's the kind of powerful and emotional read that I'm so glad I read anyway, even if it made me cry a little bit.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Shadowland

Shadowland (The Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot
From Goodreads:
Suze is a mediator -- a liaison between the living and the dead. In other words, she sees dead people. And they won't leave her alone until she helps them resolve their unfinished business with the living. But Jesse, the hot ghost haunting her bedroom, doesn't seem to need her help. Which is a relief, because Suze has just moved to sunny California and plans to start fresh, with trips to the mall instead of the cemetery, and surfing instead of spectral visitations.

But the very first day at her new school, Suze realizes it's not that easy. There's a ghost with revenge on her mind ... and Suze happens to be in the way.

This is a series that Megan told me to read YEARS ago, but...I didn't. Until now. Sorry it took me so long, Megan!

I read Shadowland in one day. Actually, I read it in one sitting. When I was supposed to be doing homework...

It was so worth it! Let me tell you guys, this book is like CRACK. Fun and fast-paced, it was impossible to put down once I started reading. After being stressed out for an entire month (thanks NaNoWriMo!), this book was just what I needed to chill out and relax for a little bit.

The main character, Suze, is pretty badass. She's funny, sarcastic, bold, and a bit reckless. Which means she has pretty much everything I look for in a main character. So I absolutely loved reading from her point of view.

Also there's this cute boy named Jesse who is actually a ghost from like one hundred and fifty years ago who haunts Suze's bedroom. Like, she walks into her new bedroom and there's some dude sitting there so she's just like OH HI WHO ARE YOU. How awkward! Obviously Jesse becomes the love interest, and holy crap I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. He is officially my new book boyfriend. (Along with my 87 thousand other book boyfriends, but whatever.)

Suze's and Jesse's relationship is kind of nonexistent in the first book, but you can tell it's only a matter of time before they get together. I think they're adorable, and I am so excited to keep reading the series so I can see what happens between them.

The plot of this book is awesome. Suze's busy being a mediator and talking to ghosts and everything, and some of these ghosts become a bit of an issue. Suze ends up in quite a few dangerous situations, and I'm sitting there reading the book like "AHHHHHH! HOW THE HECK ARE YOU GOING TO GET OUT OF THIS ONE?!" and then she does something amazing and it turns out she's pretty freaking smart and she can come up with some genius plans.

Ghosts obviously aren't a very original idea, but I thought the way they were presented in this series was unique and intriguing. Ghosts aren't the bad guys, but they aren't the good guys here. They're just like regular people who happen to be dead, and they need Suze to help them get to where they're going next. They might need her to pass on a message to someone or find out who murdered them or something, and they hang around until they get some kind of closure. Sometimes the ghosts are really pleasant, and other times Suze has to kick some ghost butt. 

This book is fun and fast-paced and hilarious. If you're looking for a quick read to totally devour in one sitting, then you should definitely check this book out. Just to warn you, though, you'll probably get addicted to this series. I'm telling you, it's like freaking crack! :D


Waiting on Wednesday (14)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
From Goodreads:A world-defying love is put to the ultimate test in the heart-stopping sequel to Veronica Rossi's "masterpiece," Under the Never Sky. (

It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

When I read Under the Never Sky, I fell in love with the characters and the world. It was so unique and I couldn't put it down! I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel to read more about Perry and Aria. And also Roar. Because I love him.

Plus, look how pretty the covers look next to each other! I love matching covers:)
Leave a comment below with a link to your WoW and I'll check it out! 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Megan Rambles About Nanowrimo 2012


Which if you follow this blog and don't follow us on Twitter, you might NOT actually know as I pretty much did absolutely nothing here during November. And I am very sorry about that. But during November, Rachel and I DID A THING.

This thing is called Nanowrimo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month and means you write 50,000 words in a month. If you want to know if you should consider doing it next year, I suggest asking me in a couple months when I have recovered enough to convince myself that doing Nano again will be SUPER FUN and not make me go insane at all.

But anyway, just before November 30th began at midnight, after staying up till like 2 am (If my parents are reading this, then NO I was not up until 2 am. *nods* *is a good daughter*) for the past two nights I HIT 50,000 WORDS! *dances* *throws confetti*. That means that I won! And I get to wear a super cool winner's t-shirt and stick THIS button in random places:

This was my second year doing Nanowrimo and my second year winning, but not technically finishing my draft. There is one major difference this year though. I think I am actually going to try to finish this draft. I love my characters, the story, and I really want to continue writing this one. Plus Rachel's younger sister has been threatening my life about finishing this story since I first explained my idea to them a couple of months ago.

If I can actually finish this draft, it will be the first one I've ever finished and that will be AWESOME.

Now, I need to pause and thank Erika from Rescue Reads and Aneeqah over at My Not So Real Life. During Nanowrimo they had an ongoing four way conversation with Rachel and I, doing word wars and giving us support. We started an awesome group of awesome, which Erika made a button for:

I know we are so cool, just like this combination of all of our blog names. Seriously though, I would not have finished Nanowrimo this year without those word wars, so if Erika and Aneeqah are reading this, THANK YOU. I couldn't have done it without you!

Now that Nanowrimo is over I can go back to doing things like reading, blogging, and maybe even a bit more writing. There will probably be some school thrown in there. But at least it means that I will be back to blogging on a somewhat regular basis. Rachel and I should both be around a lot more now and we will be able to write things like *cough* guest reviews *cough* that we were supposed to right but haven't gotten around to writing yet.

I'm looking forward to jumping back into the internet world. I'VE MISSED YOU INTERNET.

So how was your November? If you participated in Nanowrimo, how did you do?


Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Recap of November (Rachel)

Hey guys. So I know I've totally neglected this blog the past month.

But I have some good reasons excuses. Most importantly, I participated in NaNoWriMo. (For those who don't know, basically I just wrote 50,000 words of a book in 30 days and it was insane.)

I hit 50k on November 28th, which makes me....A WINNER!!


My book is not TECHNICALLY finished yet, but still. 50,000 words of a novel is an excellent start!

Last year, after I hit 50k, I was basically just like:
And I slept for like a week and never even looked at my draft again until like February, and then only so I could make fun of how bad it was.
But this year I think I actually like my story enough to continue it. I can't stop thinking about my characters ALL THE FREAKING TIME and I actually kind of know what happens next and I want to write it. I mean, the book totally sucks right now, but once I finish it and then go back and revise it like 87 thousand times, I think it could be really good. So yay! That's nice!

Another thing that happened this month was I GOT MY DRIVER'S PERMIT! 
I am Phoebe. Ross is my mom/dad/driving instructor.
But then after driving for like a week I realized that driving isn't really that fun. It's mostly boring or stressful and I'd really rather sit in the passenger seat and listen to my ipod or take a nap or read a book instead of wasting all that time "paying attention to the road."

Something else that happened: I officially became addicted to Tumblr, as you can probably tell by all the GIFs. I liked it before, but in the past like two weeks I have developed a frightening addiction to it.

Here is a link to my tumblr, if you're interested. It's not fancy or anything. I basically just reblog a lot of nerdfighter stuff and Harry Potter stuff and anything book-related. :)
Another thing that happened: SCHOOL ALMOST KILLED ME.
Niall is me. The other guys are my friends.
I'm a sophomore in high school, so obviously I HATE SCHOOL WITH A BURNING PASSION. This is the first marking period that I didn't get all As and Bs, so BASICALLY I AM A FAILURE AS A HUMAN BEING.

LOL JK. I'm good. I got As in everything except two classes, WHICH IS PRETTY FREAKING AWESOME IF I DO SAY SO MYSELF.
Self high-five!
I got a C in algebra, but like, who even needs math, you know? WRITERS SURE DON'T NEED MATH. I got a D in...wait for it...
I can't even handle it! I got a D in English. What are my two favorite things in the entire world? Reading and writing! What are the two things you do in English? Read and write!
I should probably be concerned but I can't even stop laughing. And, I mean, it's only because of one project. I have 100s on basically everything, except the summer reading essay (which I didn't do because I didn't read the book because I was busy reading like 80 other books). So like, honestly?
*clears throat* Um, I mean, my high school education is super important and it will get me places in life. And stuff.
Another thing that happened: The last week of NaNoWriMo, I'm sleep-deprived and losing my mind and stressed-out and miserable, and I have to go meet with my guidance counselor. I'm sitting there trying not to fall asleep in her office and she's all "What do you want to do with your life?"
And I was like ""
And she's like "Well you are sixteen years old so OBVIOUSLY you need to have your entire future planned out or you'll be homeless and lonely and a total failure."

(Okay so she didn't say EXACTLY that. But you get the point.)

And then I almost started crying because I was just having such a terrible week and I just wanted to go home and sleep for like three days and she was like "oh you're smart what college are you going to" and I was like "I DON'T KNOW OKAY I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA" and now I'm all scared about the future and stuff because college and money and a career and a job and money and GOOD GOD YOU MEAN WHEN I GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL THERE IS *MORE* SCHOOL and yeah.
Also she was like "why aren't you in any clubs?" and I was like "well, I don't really like the people at my school and we have like two clubs here and they suck" but she basically told me that if I don't join any clubs no college will every accept me and I was like "WELL WHAT IF I DON'T WANT TO GO TO COLLEGE? THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS YOU KNOW. LIKE WHAT IF I WANT TO TAKE A YEAR OFF TO GO BACKPACKING THROUGH EUROPE AND FIND MYSELF?" But she did not approve.

So that was wonderful.

I honestly feel like I'm having a sort of mid-life crisis right now, except for teenagers. So that's weird. I guess that would make it like a quarter-life crisis? I don't even know. But yeah, like, I'm just so done with everything right now and this whole "growing up" thing is seriously pissing me off.

Anyway. Wow. That was quite a bit of teen angst right there. Let me just channel Holden Caulfield for a second here...EVERYONE IS A PHONY. YOU'RE ALL PHONIES.

Ahhh, that felt nice.
*end rant*

Back to a more serious tone, NaNoWriMo was really awesome this year. Despite being stressful and terrible at times, it was also crazy fun. I'd like to thank Erika from Rescue Reads and Aneeqah from My Not So Real Life for helping Megan and I get through this month. You guys are the best, and I love our little writing group thing that we started! :D
Thanks Erika for making this. :)
Look at the beautiful combination of our blog names. Just look at it and be extremely jealous of how awesome we are. :P

So yeah, this month has been a bit CRAZY, but things have already started to calm down. Christmas is upon on, and so we have officially entered my favorite part of the year ever.

*sings along to Christmas songs* *drinks hot chocolate* *bakes cookies* *eats cookies* *puts up Christmas lights* *trims Christmas tree* *makes paper snowflakes*

I am the happiest person alive right now. :D YAY CHRISTMAS!

Megan and I should be posting a whole bunch of blog posts in the next few weeks, so look out for them!

(Also, this will be relevant to one of you, so hopefully you're reading this: THE GUEST REVIEW WILL BE WRITTEN SOON. I PROMISE.)

So, how did YOUR November go?!