15 Book Nerd Facts About Me

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I have seen a few book nerds writing up some book nerd facts about themselves and I thought this would be a fun and quick post to make!! So here are 15 BookNerd Facts about me!!

1. Books have been a HUGE part of my life from the very first word I learned how to read.

2. Covers of Books have ZERO influence on what I buy now, because in the past year some of the prettiest covers, had the crappiest stories.

3. I don’t care if I buy used or new books, and lately I have been heading more towards used books, because I am GENUINELY trying to spend less money on books. For the price of one book, I can get 10..NO JOKE.

4. I have slowed down my requesting of titles for review. I requested too many last year and disliked most.

5. My current favorite writer is V.E. Schwab.

6. I am editing my first novel, and have four other ideas juggling around in different parts of the writing process. You can call me crazy.

7. I usually have my Kindle on me.

8. Which brings us to this fact…I enjoy Ebooks and Physical books. I have no rhyme or reason as to what format I get.

9. I stop paying attention to any reviewer who only gives books 4 or 5 stars to absolutely EVERYTHING they read. I notice it more and more with people who seem to just try to kiss ass to get free stuff from publishers. You are in it for the wrong reasons, and I have no respect for you.

10. YES, I do prefer the company of books.

11. I try to convince everyone to read the Harry Potter series.

12. My boyfriend lets me talk his ear off about books I am reading, or book ideas I have to write. He’s quite supportive.

13. I hate seeing shelves with pristine books like they have never been read. It breaks my heart.

14. I hate hate hate the mortal instruments series…NOT SORRY.

15. I own over 600 Books.

*Bonus fact: I worked at a book store for about two years and it is where I met one of my best friends and it was one of the best times I had.

Those are just 15 little fun facts!! Enjoy, and tell me some of your booknerd facts!!

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Between Shades of Gray – Book Review

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This book has nothing to do with that shamble of a series called 50 Shades of Awful. This is an exceptional book telling a horrifying story. One that seems to be forgotten when people talk about the atrocities that occurred during World War II.

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Between Shades of Gray starts off in 1941 and follows Lina Vilkas a 15-year-old girl who lives in Lithuania and somehow ends up on Stalin’s extermination list. She gets sent to a prison camp all the way in Siberia where she’s faced with horrors we could never even begin to imagine. She takes risks to save her family and herself, doing anything possible to simply survive.

Between Shades of Gray Book Review

This book had me hooked before I even opened it. The synopsis was enough to get me to pick it up. It is beautifully written but extremely sad read. Lina is a wonderful and strong character. Going into this historical fiction story I didn’t know much about what the Soviets had done during World War II, this story while a fictional tale, paints a picture of the horrors people went through at the hands of the Soviets.

This is a young adult novel that does not read like one. I say that because it gets very dark, and it does not hold back from sharing the events that this family goes through. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this story because I don’t always read historical fiction, but this made me want to read a lot more of it. There’s a specific line that I have seen many people use when they talk about this book, but it is the one line that lets you imagine where the book goes.

 

“Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother’s was worth a pocket watch.”

 This line tears my heart apart. These are the things you can expect from this story. Using their last bits of their past, last few things they own to continue to survive.

I want to give you a very eloquent review, one where I delve into characterization, the plot, and everything else that normal book reviewers dive into, but I just can’t. All I can say about this book is that it made me feel so many emotions at the same time, mostly a mix of rage and sadness at the things happening to our main character, her family, and her friends.

I think if there were a book that needs to be read this year, this would be it. It brings to light a lot of issues that get tossed into the background about World War II. There are many stories that have been silenced for so long, and this screamed one of those tales at the very top of its lungs. I was left with a sense of loss myself after finishing it. It is in no way a light hearted read, and people should know going in that you are in for a rough ride, but its an incredible book that deserves more attention.

This book received 5 out 5 Metalhorns from me!!

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My Top 10 BookNerd Problems

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When you are an avid reader, there are some things that regular people will say or do that will just get under your skin. Then there are just somethings that come with the territory of being a booknerd. Here are my top ten booknerd problems. Are you ready for this? I am!

1. When you are reading, and someone asks “What are you reading?” 

Take note here, If I am reading a physical copy of a book, do NOT ask me what I am reading, just read the damn cover and then google it. If I am reading on my Kindle, do NOT ask me what I am reading, for the simple reason that it is fucking annoying!! Wait until I put it away and then ask. If you’re not even a reader, don’t ask me just to make small talk. I hate small talk. Just go away honestly.

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2. When people say they’ve watched the movie, and don’t need to read the book. 

This might be my biggest Booknerd Problem. That is the dumbest thing someone can say. The story you see on the big screen could never ever live up to the books. Even the movies I love that are based from books, I still love the books 100 times more! You have no idea what you are talking about, and you are making me angry for no reason. Sit down somewhere and think about what you’ve done!

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3. When you finish an amazing book, and can’t decide what to read next.

Booknerds, you know what I am talking about. This happens to me quite often. I will read something amazing, and then everything else I try to start seems so mediocre compared to the beautiful piece of fiction I just finished reading. Sigh. What can you do, but continue to dig through your piles to find your next amazing read.

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4. Waiting for the next book in a series… 

Anyone who is a reader and a serious booknerd will tell you, this is some serious business that requires the patience of a saint. Currently I am waiting for the next book in the Kingkiller Chronicles, The Song of Ice and Fire, and A Darker Shade of Magic. Luckily V.E.Schwab who wrote A Darker Shade of Magic is on point, and her next book is being released next month. As for George R.R.Martin and Patrick Rothfuss I will wait patiently because I know how amazing their books will be no matter how long we wait. I still remember waiting for the Harry Potter books to be released one by one and how incredible it was to finally have the book in my hands. But what am I going to do while I wait?!

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5. When someone says I read too much…

Well, all I can say to that is, you don’t read enough and you can suck a dick. I love to read. I always have from the very first word I learned how to read till this very point in my life, and until my very last day on this earth…reading will always mean the world to me. Some of you should try OPENING a book and reading it once in a while. Could be useful to the world.

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6. Moving…

When I moved from the USA to Germany the main things that were packed up and shipped were all of my books. People kept telling me I was nuts and that I should have given them away to charity. I don’t tell you to give a way the things you hold dear do I? Anyway once we moved to a different apartment here, I had to pack them up again, and move them…AGAIN. Now that we have about 600 books on our shelves…I am kind of dreading the day we will move again. Balls.

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7. Running out of shelf space…

We recently had to pick up some more Swedish puzzles (aka Ikea Bookshelves) to organize my books. Running out of shelf space is a common booknerd problem. They were starting to pile up all over the place. I have it under control at the moment. My book collection has grown with the local used book sales that seem to be happening more and more often now. I can’t help it when I get a giant stack of books for 20 bucks. So we haven’t run out of shelf space…yet.

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8. When a book is so amazing that you don’t fall asleep…

I have lost count how many times I have done this. Sleep is not a priority when I am hooked into a book. When I first read the King Killer Chronicles I was twitching in the morning because I stayed up all night reading. I have done that more than once. Call me irresponsible if you would like, but I always do my work, and I always study the next day. I mean I will probably start dozing off while I make dinner, but that’s besides the point. Some stories deserve that kind of attention.

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9. When someone asks you what a book is about, and your brain goes into overdrive…

This happens to me all the time. I gush about a book and someone will ask what it is about, and then suddenly my brain simultaneously explodes and goes blank. I want to say so much, but then I want to say so little because I wouldn’t want to spoil a book for someone else. Its hard out here for a booknerd.

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10. When your favorite characters die…

There are many characters to name, but within the Harry Potter series are the ones that truly broke my heart. I couldn’t bare with the death of Sirius Black and Dumbledore (and so many others.) I cried serious tears and yelled into the wind the words “J.K. Rowling…WTF?!” It gets seriously rough, and obviously I am a masochist because I just reread it, and get punched in the gut every single time. Again and again.

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So those are my booknerd problems! Comment down below and tell me some of yours!!

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The Worlds in my Head

photo-1450849608880-6f787542c88aI have loved reading books since a very young age. I remember it actually the first time I was learning how to read. The teacher had given us this yellow book, the story itself I cannot remember because I think I was about 5 or 6. The book was used and kind of old already at the time, it had a very distinct smell to it, as books often do. I remember a few years later having the most wonderful 5th grade teacher. Mrs.Taub was her name, and she might be truly responsible for my love of reading and beautiful stories. She would constantly read to us. She had us remember parts of Shakespeare, some of which I can still recite to you. I loved book fairs, I loved ordering books from those scholastic order forms(it is where I ordered my first Harry Potter Book, but not in 5th grade) My parents never said no when I asked for books. I had every single Goosebumps book. I loved Little House on the Prairie. I continued to read through my school years. I just really enjoyed it. Through that love, I also realized how much I loved to write.

Writing Teen Angst Poetry,Writing Fiction

Obviously I enjoy writing, or this blog most likely would not exist. The written word, for the most part, comes easy to me. Not saying that I am a five star writer, I can always improve. I have improved, especially in the last year. I realized the more books I read, the better my writing becomes, because now not only do I have these fictional worlds and stories building up in my head, I have found the right words to describe them. This is a great improvement to the humongous folder of poetry I wrote through out my teen years. Some of it isn’t awful, but a lot of it is just angsty rage or borderline depressing shit. I am at least a lot better then I was at that point in my life.

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But you see, I made a choice, and a promise to myself that I would continue to write. While last year (2015) was my most productive writing year with 40,000 words down for a contemporary story, I want to go further this year. I am nearly done with that story. I say nearly because it is entering the turning point, and its final hurrah. It is my absolute first full novel. The idea of that actually scared me for a while, and scared me to the point where I couldn’t really write. Still, I am not only proud of myself, I am looking forward to finishing this one. I want to dive into the other worlds and stories in my head. Currently I have 4 other major ideas, 2 of which I have started research on. More so for one, as it will be a historical fiction novel.

Why am I telling all of you about this? Well because I really hope to one day be able to share the worlds that are trapped in my head with you. I think there are some of you that would love them. I also feel like people don’t actually understand the deep seated love I have for writing and reading. Of course my job, my school work and my family will always come first, but writing? Writing is my heart and soul. It is my dream and my ultimate ambition. Sure it would be nice to get published. I would love to one day walk into a book store and see MY book on a shelf. That won’t come easy.

The Year of Writing

That is why this year, I am calling it the year of writing. This is NOT a resolution. I do not make resolutions. I started this last year, but I had many bad moments where I lost sight of what I was writing, and why. There were days where every word looked awful within my story. I think I will have those days again. It seems to be a part of the territory. This year though, I need to push myself through those moments where my confidence falters. I just need to write a little bit each day. If it’s a bad day, I need to put at least 200 words down on a page. I need to pull more late nights at some point. I need to finish this first book and spark up the next one. I have to do this for myself. I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do on the other hand need to prove to myself that this is something I can do. This is something I feel happy doing. I may feel tired some mornings this year, but the outcome will be worth it.

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So as I type this, I am looking at a couple of books I am about to crack open for research purposes for my next story. I know the road ahead is paved with caffeine jitters and notes of all shapes and sizes, but I am looking forward to continuing this journey, and I hope that some of you will be there at the finish line.

MATG

 

Trouble in YA Paradise

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I am specifically using The Hunger Games as my opening image for a reason. You will catch onto it soon.

There’s trouble in YA fiction paradise, and it has been stirred by a white male author who I wanted to originally leave nameless, but at the same time I want to tell you who it is so you can decide whether it is worth your time to read his book. I try so hard not to tear into writers, because I myself am an aspiring author, and I wouldn’t want it done to me, but this falls under an exception and here is why.

Scott Bergstrom wrote a book called The Cruelty, and it has apparently garnered him so much attention, that the book already has a movie deal. I would be happy for any author to get this because I still strongly believe that YA publishing is pushing the industry forward, but I am not happy about this particular deal. This book is described by Publishers Weekly as:

“Bergstrom’s heroine is Gwendolyn Bloom, a Jewish, slightly overweight 17-year-old, who is transformed into a “lean warrior with hair dyed fire-engine red,” during her mission to rescue her father, a kidnapped diplomat. Her search takes her into Europe’s most dangerous slums, and into contact with gangsters, spies, and arms dealers.”

I would like to give the writer the benefit of the doubt as many other YA authors have tried to do, but let’s be honest those writers are probably nicer than me. The description is there because he wrote the book this way. As if a female needs to lose weight to become empowered, or important. I will come back to this clusterfuck in a second. The real problem I have with this is the fact that this writer decided that he was going to put down the entire YA Sector of fiction by saying:

“The morality of the book is more complicated than a lot of YA so I wanted to try doing it on my own,” Bergstrom said. “In a lot of YA, the conflict takes place inside a walled garden, set up by outside adult forces. If you think of those stories as a metaphor for high school, they start to make a lot more sense, but that was one thing I wanted to depart from.”

and the even bigger cock of a quote:

“I’m inspired by the world around me. What troubles me about so much of today’s fiction aimed at young adults is that its set in an imaginary time and place.“

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So you’re troubled by imagination and those who can create worlds you probably could only dream of creating? You don’t come out of the gate as an arrogant prick, and those two quotes tell me all I need to know about this writer. He is coming in with his chest puffed out and his nose up in the air claiming that he’s writing something different, something unique. Sorry sir but your trope has been done before, and not just in YA. It’s sad really that men think it’s okay to write young women this way. When your target audience is young women. Here’s where you, and all those people backing you will run into some snags in the near future, your target audience isn’t simple minded. Your target audience has grown up reading amazing and strong female characters and they have reached a point in their reading lives that they don’t want to be told that as a female, the only way to feel like an empowered warrior is to lose weight. NO ONE wants to read that. I know I don’t.

But apparently someone thinks that females of the world need this shit.

“Kicking butt to save your dad is actually a lot easier for me to swallow than kids killing kids in The Hunger Games.”

That’s a quote from his agent’s neighbor or someone who read the story, and apparently never actually read The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is one of the most morally complex YA novels out there. Katniss throws all of her heart and soul to save not just her sister, but also so the future of Panem would be more than just “kids killing kids”, and not to mention it paved the way for so many other YA novels to be published, unfortunately that includes this story by Mr. Bergstrom.

If you go on twitter and look at the hashtag MorallyComplicatedYA you are going to find that the target audience of your novel Mr.Bergstrom is highly offended by your remarks and your plot. How does that saying go? You shot yourself in the foot? You may have gotten all those deals rolling in, but I am going to gather by the truly empowering females all over social media aren’t falling for your shit, and in fact might be turning on you. You offended an entire genre, you insulted fellow writers who could have backed your story, you offended the entire female gender with your remarks. I wish you luck, because you are going to need it from this day forth.

I imagine your agent and your publishers are all feeling a little nervous now, and will probably force you to apologize. Hope you try your best to sound genuine, but fantasy seems to be a concept you cannot grasp.

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I could continue tearing into this, but I think I will sign off now. Just know, all young females deserve to read empowering characters, yours is not one of those, and everyone seems to know that.

Peace and Love

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The Reading & Writing Slump Blues

me in Portugal
me in Portugal

If you noticed that I have not updated in a while, it is because I was not around. I went to Portugal for about 10 days. While I could have scheduled some blog posts while I was gone, I decided not to, because I would not be able to give those posts the adequate attention they would require. I spent those ten days with Family, and making new friends. (SURPRISE MOTHER FUCKER!!)

So not only did my blog fall into a slump, but I also fell into a reading slump. I barely read anything at all while I was over there. I don’t regret it because I had more important things happening. Still now I am trying to both break the blogging slump and the reading slump but that feels a little frustrating right now.

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Luckily, I have things for work to write that are helping break the writing slump a bit, and school work that requires my focus as well, and since those two are important tasks I truly need to get through, it has helped me quite a bit. Even though my cat, hasn’t quite gotten over the fact that I was gone for ten days, so she keeps roaming around me and jumping on my lap at inappropriate times. STAY KITTY!!

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My reading slump, is the first real one I am dealing with this year. I typically break them by rereading Harry Potter, but I didn’t want to start a reread until around Xmas time. So the next idea is to read some graphic novels, which tend to be fast and simple to get through. I have Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (J.K.Rowling) waiting to be read, and I got about 8 chapters in, but I don’t feel like reading. Which is ridiculous because I love this series, and this one opens in such a disturbing way. So it has nothing to do with the book itself, I just need to get back into it. Hopefully a couple of graphic novels will help.

There are a couple of concerts coming up as well, which will also interrupt my reading a bit, but this has never been an issue before. Then again, I don’t think I have ever felt a slump like this. Ah well, I am sure I can manage to break out of it. I have at least broken out of the blogging one, and I will head back into my work so that I can continue to write and further push me to want to read something entertaining. *crosses fingers* I will be posting some reviews and such soon on here again. Stay Tuned!!

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Twilight the Nickelback of Fiction

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Twilight was released 10 years ago, and beyond making me feel a little old, and as if time is zooming past me, it has also brought the surprise release of a Gender bent Twilight reimagining by Stephenie Meyer. I will get to that in a few but before I do, let me get to it.

Twilight is the Nickelback of Fiction. Here’s why I say that. Everyone loves to hate Nickelback, but somehow they have sold millions of records, sold out arenas, and I believe still have a career going. So EVERYONE hates this band, but yet they are still quite a successful band. So someone or a few someones are lying about how they feel about them and their music.

Well, over the span of this decade that Twilight has been out, so many people have come out and said how ridiculous it is. How awful it is. How silly it is. People love to hate Twilight. Let’s look at the facts though, this series has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Those ridiculous movies grossed over $3.3Billion. That’s not chump change there. So which one of you assholes is lying?

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When Twilight was becoming really popular, I worked at a bookstore. People kept asking for it, so I got it for myself as well. I really enjoyed the story. Yea it’s flawed, the writing isn’t amazing, but it was entertaining. People can talk shit as much as they’d like about this series, but at 100 Million copies sold, some of those people talking shit have Twilight on their bookshelves (and probably Nickelback on their iTunes). I am not here defending Twilight as some amazing piece of literature, but I will defend it for what it has done for Young Adult fiction.

The numbers don’t lie. Young Adult fiction has been the fastest growing branch of publishing. Harry Potter has a lot to do with that, because that series opened the imaginations of youngsters wide open. But technically Harry Potter was a middle grade novel, at least I would say the first two are. When Twilight was released and became as popular as it did, it made even more teens and young adults fall in love with reading. In 1997, about 3,000 YA fiction novels were published. The numbers these days are above the 30,000 mark per year. Did you know that print books are making a come back and are still selling more than expected considering the digital age we are in? Here’s my opinion on the matter… On youtube, Instagram, tumblr, and yes wordpress and plenty of other blog sites young adults and adults in general are coming together for their love of not just YA Fiction, but all kinds of books. This is why I don’t hate on Twilight, it was one of the first few stories to burst those walls down, and has allowed for Hunger Games, Divergent, and Throne of Glass to become the popular books that they are, because Twilight started something, and it started something huge.

Now Stephenie Meyer released that gender swapped Version of Twilight called Life and Death. Her reasoning was because she got tired of hearing about Bella being a Damsel in distress, but come on, Ms.Meyer you wrote her that way, even if you don’t seem to see it. I am intrigued by this gender swapped thing, but I am not about to buy another copy of Twilight to read it. If it came as a stand alone, I would get it, and I am not ashamed.I don’t believe in guilty pleasure. But those Gender swapped names, Beau and Edythe?

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See look at me, being a hater. But here’s why I hope it still sells. In the digital age, the time of selfies at every second, and those stupid ass Kardashians, I am glad that books are selling like they are. It makes me happy that young adults and adults too are more interested in a half assed attempt at a new novel by Stephenie Meyer, than of Keeping up with what dick the Kardashians are sucking this week. (ugh so Brash,I know.I can’t help it.)

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So Cheers to you Nickelback of Fiction. You are still successful and will probably continue to sell. There will be another version of you down the line, but Books over Bimbos, I always say. Not every book ever written needs to have some sort of wonderful message behind it. Not every book needs to be a call for world peace or be a work of fiction that snobs go around misunderstanding anyway. Sometimes a book is an escape or a break from the stress of life. So what difference does it make to you if someone else reads a book about a glittery vampire or a pulitzer prize winning piece of literature? Stop being a hater (and a liar, I see that Twilight book on your shelf).

Twilight the Nickelback of Fiction, is still more successful than you. So Stop it.

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MATG