Blog Tour: You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman

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Hello, bookworms and dragons, and happy Thursday! I loved Girl Out Of Water by Laura Silverman, so as soon as I heard she was writing an #ownvoices Jewish rep novel that also has queer rep in it, I knew I had to get my hands on it ASAP. Then, as luck would have it, after the publisher was kind enough to send me the digital galley via NetGalley and while I was actually reading the book, I received an email about a blog tour for it. You KNOW I had to sign up. And so here we are! Keep on reading this post for my full review and a bookish soundtrack followed by an awesome giveaway! 🙂 But first, let’s have a look at the synopsis for You Asked For Perfect.

Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.

Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options

Ariel might not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.

 

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My Review:

As I said before, I went into You Asked For Perfect already knowing I like Laura Silverman’s writing style. Also, that synopsis… how could I not read this? I was super excited to be allowed the privilege of reading it before it’s release so it’s only fair that I write a fully honest review. I did not note any TW/CWs while reading this so if you’ve read You Asked For Perfect and noticed any, please let me know in the comments or via this form, which you can do anonymously.

The characters were built up enough to be three-dimensional. I especially loved reading Ariel’s point of view because he is basically me when I was in high school except he has a clearer understanding of his sexuality than I did at that point. I’ve seen people say that his stress level and drive to be perfect in school is unrealistic but to that I say HA wouldn’t that be nice. The reason behind my “obsessive studying” (as I liked to call it) was different so I skipped the volunteering, though I did have a part-time job so it kind of evens out. Long story short, it is realistic and anyone who says otherwise can suck an egg.

You Asked For Perfect is a contemporary novel set in Georgia, which is relatively close to me so it was easy enough to imagine the general feel of the world. What wasn’t easily imaginable based on what I know of Georgia was filled in nicely by the author. The world was pretty immersive, which is something I’ve found lacking in many contemporary novels. I’ve speculated that this is probably because the author assumes everyone knows what the real world is like, but one can never be sure. This novel brought in a few locations and built them up enough that any reader could easily put themself into the places Ariel and Amir were in through the story.

The story itself had a couple of minor issues, but as this is an ARC and these issues can all easily be fixed by an editor, I’m going to assume they’ll be corrected in the finished edition. It flows really well from beginning to end. In some places, the story speeds up and the novel is REALLY hard to put down. In other places, the story slows down a bit but instead of feeling boring it’s almost like savoring the characters and their journey. I don’t know how Laura Silverman made this magic happen, but I’m definitely into it.

You Asked For Perfect is a bit of a spin on the coming-of-age tale where the many facets that make up the characters are all somehow ever-present throughout the story. I love that we get to see how much each thing is a part of Ariel’s identity and how none of it is dropped after being addressed. His whole character carries through the entire story from beginning to end and I loved it. I can not wait to dig into whatever Laura Silverman writes next!

Overall, I rate You Asked For Perfect 4 out of 5 bookworms. Don’t just take my word for it. Add it on Goodreads and get your hands on a copy to enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can preorder from so you can read this awesome novel when it’s released on 5 March 2019 are:

 

Bookish Soundtrack

This one was fairly easy to put together a soundtrack for, partly because there’s so much music referenced in the book itself and partly because there are so many songs that make me think of either the story or one of the characters. Anywho, here is the finished result! 🙂

 

About the Author

Laura Silverman.jpegMy debut novel, GIRL OUT OF WATER, is a summery coming-of-age story about a California surfer girl sent to landlocked Nebraska for the entire summer. It debuted in May 2017. You can order it from most book retailers and of course request it at your local library! My second novel, YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT, is about the effects of intense academic pressure on a teenage Valedictorian-to-be. It comes out March 2019, and you can add it on Goodreads here.

I have degrees in English and Advertising from the University of Georgia, and I have an MFA in Writing for Children from the New School. While I lived in NYC, I interned at Penguin and two different literary agencies. In addition to writing, I also freelance edit manuscripts and query letters. Please check out my services if you’re interested! I particularly love helping with those query letters!

 

GIVEAWAY

You made it to the giveaway portion of this post! One lucky reader will win a finished copy of You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman. As if the news couldn’t get better, this giveaway is International so long as Book Depository ships to you!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

 

Follow The Tour

Want more chances to win? Want to see some more amazing content? Well follow the rest of the You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman Blog Tour! How, you ask? Simply click on THIS LINK!

 

A really big thank you to Laura Silverman, without whom we wouldn’t be here talking about this AMAZING book you’ve written.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for allowing me the privilege of reading this amazing book before it hits the shelves.

And, last but not least, thank you so much to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me to participate in this blog tour. (If you’d like to sign up to be a tour host with this lovely group — and why wouldn’t you?? — CLICK HERE.)

 

That’s it for this post, bookworms and dragons. Happy reading!

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Chapter 2: February 2019 TBR & To Do

Happy February, bookworms and dragons! The computer I wrote this post on to be posted later is currently fried so I’m retyping. Woot! Let’s have a look at what I’m hoping to get out of next month.

Books I Hope To Read

This month is going to be incredibly busy, but I’m hoping I’ll still be able to get some reading in. One of my goals, since this month is Black History Month, is to read at least two books by black authors. Here’s my full TBR for this month. 😁

  • Becoming by Michelle Obama (I’ve already started this, but I’m hoping to finish it.)
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  • On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

Things I Hope To Accomplish

February will be the first month of really getting ready for summer. I know, I know. It’s a loooong way away. But I’m already in April at work so it’s not a stretch.

I’m also going to start getting ready for starting school, which will hopefully involve fixing the fried computer and not replacing it. I’m still figuring out how I’m going to make that work but y’all might have noticed I’m a planner so I’ll get there.

I’m going to do some more research and outlining on the WIPs I’ve been flipping back and forth between. I’m hoping the drafts and research info I already have can be salvaged, but I’m going to keep moving forward anyway.

February Book Releases I’m Excited For

Here’s at least most of the book releases I’m excited for this month in order of release date (and author’s last name when necessary).

5 – Narwhal’s Otter Friend by Ben Clanton

5 – Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

5 – On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

11 – Poisoned in Light by Ben Alderson

12 – Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

What are some February book releases you’re excited for?

Chapter 1: January 2019 Wrap Up

January. Oh, how I hope this past month hasn’t been a preview of how the rest of the year is going to be for me, though I feel like it likely is. It’s been full of an incredible amount of stress and while there were a few positive points, it’s hard to focus on them as much as they really deserve. Let’s dive into this wrap up and hopefully leave all this nonsense behind us!

Books I Read In January

January has been a slow reading month for me. Maybe that has something to do with why I’ve been so stressed? Idk but here’s the list of books I managed to read this month. Asterisks for the ones that were on my TBR at the beginning of the month and links for the ones I’ve reviewed. 🙂

  • Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi* 🐛🐛🐛🐛
  • Vicious by V. E. Schwab 🐛🐛🐛
  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke 🐛🐛🐛🐛
  • Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson 🐛🐛🐛🐛🐛
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black 🐛🐛🐛🐛
  • Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed 🐛🐛🐛🐛
  • Evermore by Sara Holland 🐛🐛🐛 1/2
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik 🐛🐛🐛🐛

Other Things I Did In January

I had a lot of medical stuff happen, which really added to my stress level. I usually avoid sharing things like this online but I figure it’s caused so much stress for me and this is probably the only place I can talk about it without having people try to one-up what I’m going through so there it is.

I was officially accepted to my first choice graduate school. It still feels a bit unreal to be honest but, yes, I cried and danced and screamed flailed around appropriately when my acceptance letter arrived in the post.

“Home” life has gotten quite precarious. I didn’t end up getting that apartment a few months ago and the situation I’m in is still not ideal. This causes the bulk of my stress. More, probably, than the medical stuff if I’m being honest. Let this serve as your reminder that sometimes family is toxic but also sometimes people don’t have a choice but to be poisoned by it. Fingers crossed it won’t be too much longer.

I decided not to continue live-tweeting one read each month using the hashtag #KittyReads though I’m sure I’ll find something else to use the hashtag for because it makes me smile a bit.

I did The 100 Truths Blogger Tag because it looked fun and it lived up to appearances. I really enjoyed doing it! So much so that I went looking for another tag to do. I didn’t really have to look far, but I somehow forgot to post the other one? Oops. 😅 January 2019 was the month of book tags, obviously. 😂

I also somehow managed not to actually publish any of the posts I wrote? I’m hoping I’ll get better at that but… oops?

What were some of your favourite reads or things you did in January?

The 100 Truths Blogger Tag

I saw this on Librae Paints Pages after reading their post about the harmful representation in Fantastic Beasts 2 and it looked like a lot of fun so I decided to do it. Plus, what better time than just before the new year when I’ll be spamming you with posts to do this, right? I’m not going to tag anyone so if it looks fun to you too, consider yourself tagged! 😉

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1. What’s your name?

Hi! My name is Kitty. Or as I’m known at work “the opinionated mermaid-haired one”

 

2. Any nicknames or aliases?

Technically Kitty is a nickname so I guess so? I don’t even go by my legal name at work though and I’m hoping one day to be willing to spend the money it’ll take to legally change it.

 

3. Your gender?

This kind of fluctuates? I use both she/her and they/them.

 

4. Your star sign?

Cancer ♋

 

5. How old are you?

30ish. I can figure the exact number based on my birth year but I’ve honestly just stopped keeping track of my exact age.

 

6. Your relationship status?

Single

 

7. Any children?

I have two amazing children who I have so much fun with.

 

8. Any pets?

I have an outdoor cat who is a love muffin. My oldest child named him Moo because he’s white with black spots and apparently to a 2 year old that means it’s a cow that meows.

 

9. Any tattoos or piercings?

I have three tattoos and I definitely plan to get more! I have several piercings in each ear but the other piercings I’ve had (eyebrow, tongue, and belly button) have all closed up because I stopped caring. I keep considering getting an industrial but it’ll probably never happen because I think I’d rip it out.

 

10. What do you like about yourself?

I like that when I really work at it, I can make myself form new habits. My favourite one that I’ve formed is the one where if I’m afraid of doing something I make myself do it. It often leads to amazing results. Example: I was terrified of failing if I went back to school for my bachelor’s degree, so I did it. The result? I WORK AT A LIBRARY. Total win.

 

11. What do you dislike about yourself?

LOL the list goes on and on and on and……..

 

12. Righty or lefty?

Both! 🙂 I’m ambidextrous, though I write a bit better with my right hand because my left is a little more out of practice. Gotta use the muscles or you lose them blah blah blah…

 

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13. The last thing you drank?

Red Bull: The Red Edition, which I’m really into lately even though it’s probably horrible for me. Sparkling cranberry flavoured beverages are my jam.

 

14. The last thing you ate?

I had a slice of chocolate babka for breakfast. 😍

 

15. Your last phone call?

My grandmother, though I’ve already forgotten what we talked about.

 

16. Your last text message?

I texted my gingerbearded Englishman friend good morning. 🙂

 

17. Your last email?

The last email I received was from the University I applied to saying that I’ve been accepted to the school and my application has been passed along to the graduate program I’m applying to. 😀

 

18. The last song you listened to?

 

19. The last book you read?

I finished reading Annelies by David R. Gillham yesterday and it was painful but amazing.

 

20. The last time you cried?

Yesterday morning.

 

21. The last blog you read?

I keep up with a couple, but the last post I read as of right now is Top Ten Tuesday by the (book) supplier.

 

22. The last person you spoke to?

My kids because THERE ARE TOYS EVERYWHERE. Also, we just finished having a wizards’ duel because of course we did.

 

23. The last place you visited?

I think this refers to travel? So the last place I visited was about an hour outside of Portland, Maine. It was the end of September/ beginning of October so autumn was beginning and OMG it was gorgeous. Also, I got to see my best friend get married and I honestly don’t think there’s ever been a more wonderful wedding ever in the history of weddingdom.

 

24. Your last holiday abroad?

I’m kind of sad to say that I haven’t been abroad in just over two years now. Back in 2016, I got to visit London, England and Rome, Italy. London was amazing and I can’t wait to visit again. I’m still not sure how I feel about Rome, though that might be because I think the cab driver was trying to kill me. Not literally. Apparently, that’s just how they drive there.

 

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25. Have you ever gotten back with an ex?

Once. Never again. NEVER again.

 

26. Have you ever been cheated on?

Yes.

 

27. Have you ever cheated on someone?

No. I feel like if I cheat then I’m only cheating myself. I also feel like I should note that a polyamorous relationship is not the same thing as cheating because that’s still just the one relationship.

 

28. Have you ever lost someone special to you?

Yes and I miss her every day, even decades later.

 

29. Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?

Nope. I’ve definitely been so drunk that I thought I was going to throw up but stomach control won out in the end. 💪

 

30. Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?

Yes. Well, more like slid out of love with someone? It happened gradually.

 

31. Have you ever met someone who changed you?

Almost everyone I meet changes me. Not because I let them change me or mold me somehow, but because I like to think that everyone I meet can teach me a lesson about myself and how I can improve.

 

32. Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?

Yes. Within the last few years, in fact. Only one remained.

 

33. Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?

Yes omg and I try not to think about it.

 

34. Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?

Yeah. I’m still working on being okay with this because it’s not something I can control. It’s something I’ve always struggled getting over. People are going to talk about you behind your back. It happens. And yeah it kinda sucks.

 

35. Have you ever broken someone’s heart?

I think so, yes. It’s kind of hard to be sure because I certainly didn’t ask directly. I did it because it was a choice between breaking their heart or stay in an abusive relationship, so while it was difficult I don’t regret doing it.

 

36. Have you ever kissed a stranger?

I want to say no to this, but my brain shoved a memory at me from this one time my friend and I went to a dance club so… Yes.

 

37. Have you ever had your own heart broken?

Yes, and that’s why I LOVE when the Philadelphia Eagles lose.

 

38. Have you ever had sex on the first date?

Nope. Definitely not my style.

 

39. Have you ever been arrested?

No and I hope to keep it that way.

 

40. Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?

There isn’t a gender I don’t usually find attractive so… no? 😅

 

41. Have you ever done something you regret?

No. And that’s not to say I haven’t done anything bad. I’ve done some pretty horrible things and lived through some bad experiences. I don’t regret any of them because they’ve shaped me into who I am today and put me into the place I am today. And… I’m honestly kind of content with where I am and where I’m (hopefully) on my way to.

 

42. Have you ever had a threesome?

Yes. It’s definitely not for me.

 

43. Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?

The thing about being embarrassed is that you have to give yourself permission to be embarrassed. I’ve been nervous about things in public but I can’t make myself be embarrassed anymore, I don’t think. I’m also not going to go out of my way testing that theory though.

 

44. Have you ever misjudged someone?

Yes. I’m fairly certain we’ve all misjudged someone at one point or another. I’m no exception.

 

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45. Do you believe in God?

I don’t not believe in God. I don’t believe there’s just the one or that they’re all powerful or created the world in a week or anything, but I mean something could possibly be out there, right?

 

46. Do you believe in yourself?

Yes. It took me a long time to get here and I kind of surprised myself with it but yes. I honestly do believe in myself.

 

47. Do you believe in Santa Claus?

Yes, but not in the fictitious “ho, ho, ho” and lives at the North Pole way. I believe that Santa Claus is the giving and helping spirit within all of us. In that way, he’s totally real.

 

48. Do you believe in ghosts?

Yes. Sometimes, we’re just not ready when our bodies are.

 

49. Do you believe in aliens?

I feel like it’d be ridiculous of me to acknowledge how hugenormous our universe is and then say there’s no such thing as extraterrestrial life. Whether that life is what we might consider intelligent, I can’t say, but I can’t rule out the possibility of life of some sort out there somewhere.

 

50. Do you believe in miracles?

Science is full of miracles. Just because we can explain and understand the how or why doesn’t mean it’s any less miraculous.

 

51. Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?

Yes and no. This is a tricky one because I often see it applied to mental illness, which is laughable yet exhausting. I do think that believing you can do something has an effect on whether or not you accomplish it. Like when I believe I can fully plan a storytime program at work in under three hours. I do not think that positive thinking is the solution for everything. Thinking I can get out of bed in the morning on a bad day doesn’t guarantee I’ll stay out of bed or even make it out of my room, even if I do manage to drag myself from the mattress.

 

52. Do you believe in love at first sight?

I’m not sure. I didn’t, but a friend of mine recently explained that she experienced love at first sight with her first husband. I don’t know what happened to the relationship after the amount of time they were married, but they’re still friends so it couldn’t have been horrible. So, I’m currently rethinking my beliefs when it comes to love at first sight.

 

53. Can money make you happy?

No, but it certainly makes things easier. Also, money buys books…. So, on second thought, maybe.

 

54. Would you describe yourself as a feminist?

Yes. There’s too much inequality in the world for me not to be.

 

55. Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

I’m pro-choice. Your body is your body and I have no right to tell you what to do with it.

 

56. Do you have strong political beliefs?

Maybe? It seems like humanity is political, so probably yes.

 

57. Do you have strong religious beliefs?

I have varying thoughts on religions and the organizations within them, but I don’t hold strong religious beliefs of my own.

 

58. What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?

Respect, both for themselves and others around them.

 

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59. Are you eating anything right now?

No, though I’m kinda hungry so I probably should.

 

60. Are you drinking anything right now?

Herbal tea because if I drink anything but tea or water right now I’ll never get to sleep.

 

61. What are you listening to right now?

 

62. What are you thinking about right now?

What I’m going to wear today. Yes, I’m still in my fluffy Sully onesie. Don’t judge me.

 

63. What are you waiting for right now?

My wee monsters to get dressed so we can walk over to my grandmother’s house.

 

64. What are you most excited about right now?

I’m working on a teen program series for work that I’m theming around Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles and I’m really excited about digging into it!

 

65. What is your pet hate right now?

LYING. Please don’t lie to me. It’s the literal worst.

 

66. What’s your favourite thing right now?

Audiobooks. I’m in a slight bit of a print/digital reading slump and audiobooks have saved me. Also, Arctic Fox hair colour because my mermaid hair is still going strong. 😉

 

67. If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?

Probably sleeping.

 

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68. Your first best friend?

When I was four, I lived in this apartment complex in Virginia. I was on the bottom floor and there was a boy named Eric who lived upstairs and across the hall. We hung out all the time. He would pick me up in his little motor jeep and we’d drive all over the hill in the back yard. We also watched a lot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which my mother didn’t like so I wasn’t actually allowed to hang out with him, but obviously I was a rebellious child because I did anyway.

 

69. Your first kiss?

Was gross. I went on a double date with a friend in middle school because her boyfriend couldn’t come out unless his brother did. I guess he assumed that my presence meant I wanted it? But yeah. It was gross.

 

70. Your first celebrity crush?

I’m not sure I’ve ever had one to be honest.

 

71. Your first holiday?

The first one I remember was when I was four-ish we all got together with my grandmother, uncles, and aunts at a house on the beach in California. We flew kites and looked for sand dollars (back before it was illegal to do so). I remember being afraid of the crabs and my grandmother helped me get past that. I don’t remember a lot more from that trip, but I do remember feeling happy.

 

72. Your first pet?

The first pet I remember having… I actually had two dogs at the same time. They were doberman/lab mixes named Rosco and Randy and I (apparently) used to ride on them like they were horses.

 

73. Your first regret?

I regret letting people get to me when I was a kid, but mostly because thinking about it still hurts me a bit and makes me feel pretty negative. I don’t regret this enough to fully regret it though if that makes sense.

 

74. Your first job?

I did landscaping and house cleaning and babysitting when I was like 12 or 13. I liked the landscaping bit until summer hit and it was 110F out.

 

75. Your first childhood memory?

Hiding in the basement during Hurricane Hugo and finding a trunk full of dolls.

 

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76. Love or money?

Love. Definitely love.

 

77. Twitter or Facebook?

I spend an equally wasteful amount of time on each so I don’t know which I’d choose. 😂

 

78. Hook up or relationship?

Relationship. I can’t just hook up. Any time I try to imagine it, I get the heeby jeebies.

 

79. Dogs or cats?

Yes. Also, ferrets, birds, squirrels, snakes, lizards, turtles………. I just like animals, okay?

 

80. Coffee or tea?

Probably tea, though coffee and I are good friends, too.

 

81. Beer or wine?

Wine. I’m really into Girl & Dragon‘s Malbec right now.

 

82. Sweet or savory?

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83. Introvert or extrovert?

DEFINITELY introvert.

 

84. Vampires or werewolves?

Yes.

 

85. Seaside or countryside?

Countryside. I don’t like the way sand feels.

 

86. Summer or winter?

Winter. I miss the snow, but not the ice, shoveling, icicles, black ice, sleet, etc. Just like… snowmen and snow forts and pretending to be eight years old. 😂

 

87. Books or movies?

I love both but obviously books, right? Definitely books.

 

88. Horror or comedy?

COMEDY! I don’t watch horror movies. Nope, nope, nopety, no.

 

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89. Do you wish you could change your past?

No. Where I’ve been has brought me to where I am and where I am is right where I need to be to get to where I want.

 

90. What’s your dream job?

Youth Services Librarian 😀

 

91. What’s your guilty pleasure?

I don’t think people should feel guilty about enjoying things, so long as those things aren’t hurting anyone. If you like romance novels or chocolate cake or sleeping extra late on Sundays, do it. If you like harming people or making other people unhappy at all, please rethink your life.

 

92. What are you afraid of?

Drowning or being buried alive.

 

93. What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?

A teacher. But then I grew up and realized that teachers are underpaid and overworked and often work on their unpaid time and put their own money into what they do and then get blamed when children don’t apply themselves or receive any other help than in the classroom and…. NOPE. Teachers are basically saints and I could never do what they do.

 

94. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I’d love to have the ability to convince people to do things.

 

95. If you could change anything about your life, what would it be?

I would really like to not have lost my house. If I could change anything, I’d probably still have it. It maybe wasn’t the best, but it was mine.

 

96. Would you want immortality?

Nope. One lifetime is enough.

 

97. If you could interview anyone alive or dead, who would it be?

My paternal grandmother.

 

98. Would you say you are happy?

No, but I am content and that’s enough for me for now.

 

99. What is one piece of advice you would give yourself at age eighteen?

Just because you know them doesn’t mean you know them.

 

100. Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

Working as a Youth Services Librarian and saving up to be able to actually retire. Maybe living closer to my best friend, who I miss immensely.

Chapter 1: January 2019 TBR & To Do

You thought the massive amount of wrap up and TBR posting was through, didn’t you? Well, you aught to know better than that! I’m really looking forward to starting out the new year with determination only to lose it around mid-February/early March. So, while I’ve still got it, let’s do this thing!

 

Books I Hope To Read

This month has loads of holiday time, AKA time I’m not being paid to work. I’m hoping to get at least a moderate amount of reading done, so this list is going to be slightly more ambitious than it probably should be. I will not, however, be participating in any reading challenges beyond the Goodreads challenge this month or any other in 2019 because I’ve found I just enjoy reading less when I do that. Here’s the list of books I’m hoping to finish consuming during the month of January.

* I’ve used this symbol to mark the book I’ll be live-tweeting this month using #KittyReads

 

Things I Hope To Accomplish

January, for me, is going to mostly be a month I’ll be working toward forming new habits. Making myself take the time to work toward the goals I’ve set for myself for this year. Making myself rethink things a bit. And I honestly think that’s enough without setting any other lofty goals for myself. That TBR list is more than lofty enough for this whole post to be considered unreasonable. 😉

 

January Book Releases I’m Excited For

I’m sure that I’ll forget at least one of these but I’m really excited about all of them! Here’s the book releases I’m excited for this month in order of release date (and author’s last name when necessary).

8 – The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

8 – The Wicked King by Holly Black

15 – The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

15 – Annelies by David R. Gillham

15 – Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

15 – Our Year Of Maybe by Rachel Solomon

22 – Song of the Dead by Sarah Glenn Marsh

29 – King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

 

What are some January book releases you’re excited for?

Opening the Book: Ten Things I’d Like To Accomplish In 2019

Hey there again, bookworms and dragons! It’s so great to see you again, especially so soon. It feels like I’m doing more posting in the past few days than I have been over the past few months, but I feel like this is a great way to start off the new year. By setting unrealistic expectations for myself. Speaking of unrealistic expectations, let’s dive into this list of things I’m hoping to accomplish in 2019.

 

Start Graduate School

This one I won’t be starting until at least this summer, but it’s the biggest thing on my list so it’s naturally at the front of my mind. I’ve applied to one school at this point and, while I do have a backup plan, I’d rather just stick to plan A if that’s cool? As of right now, I’ve been accepted to the school but I’m still waiting to hear from the program as to whether I’ve been accepted or not. I’ll try to keep y’all posted on that, which will most likely happen either in monthly wrap ups or on social media. Or both. But yes. Library School yay!

 

Create a Shadowhunter-themed Library Program Series

I’m actually already brainstorming this one, but I’m really hyped by the idea of having a series of Shadowhunter related programs for teens at my library? I already know that at least one teen is a fan of the series because we’ve talked at length about it. This interaction inspired me to create a program which kind of blew up into a series of 4-6 programs? Idk, like I said, I’m still brainstorming. Any and all ideas are appreciated! ❤

 

Figure Out Sewing

I’ve been slowly working on making this a thing? I have so much fabric and I really want to make bookish scarves with it, but my sewing machine skills are…. Well, I took a beginner class so now I can thread the machine. Luckily, scarves are not overly difficult things to sew. I’m mostly just hoping to actually get myself to put the time into getting better at it.

 

Knit More

It’s been a while since I’ve actually finished a knitting project. I’d really like to get back into it, especially since I have literal boxes full of yarn. But also, there’s a hooded scarf that’s been about 1/3 done for literally two years. I should probably work on finishing that…. I also want to start knitting basic (yet warm) hats for an idea I have for next winter? Which would make good use of all of the yarn. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

 

Actually Make Time For Language Learning

I’ve been on again, off again, learning three different languages. I’ve decided it’s time to settle on one and work on it for a while before picking up any of the other ones besides what I do with them for work (my storytime programs have American Sign Language moderately incorporated). I’ve gone back and forth between Russian, French, and ASL for literal years and I’ve decided to let myself settle into Russian for a while. I’ll still use ASL at work and I’ll do a little French so I don’t lose what I have already, but I’ll spend most of my language learning time on Russian for probably the entirety of 2019. I don’t expect to get all of my previous fluency back in that time, but I do want to make sure I spend at least an hour a day on it so I can get some of it back.

 

Buddy Read More

I realized that the thing I’ve missed the most about being in a book club was having a common book to talk with someone about. This is different from when I host the children’s book club at work because it’s discussing more mature material on a higher processing level. I can get this from some of the teens, but I don’t do teen programs yet so I have to wait til I’m assigned to be on the Teen desk and those shifts are just too few and far between for me. So, I’ll be buddy reading with the lovely Katie @ Katsyxo once a month or so. 😀 (Maybe, she’ll even slip me some more of her WIP….. HINT HINT 😉 )

 

Say Yes Less

I’ve gotten into the habit now where I feel like I have to say yes to things, even when I know I don’t have the time and/or energy for them. I often feel guilty about even considering not agreeing to these things because the person asking them almost always is in a position of power over me. I’ve decided that for my mental health I’m just going to stop saying yes to everything and I’m going to try not to feel guilty about not making myself be stretched to near breaking. All. The. Time. It’s exhausting and I just can’t handle it with everything else going on right now. Okay? Okay.

 

See Snow

I know this one seems pretty basic but it’s been some years since I’ve seen snow in person, okay? Snow is so magical. Well, maybe it’s not always magical, but when you live in Florida and the only flurries you get melt before it can accumulate, it’s magical. I miss the snow, not the shoveling or icicles or black ice on the roads or sleet or …. you get the picture. I miss playing in the cold, fluffy stuff. I’m already working on plans to drive up and see my best friend and some of my family next winter. I’m SO EXCITED! I can’t wait.

 

Write A First Draft of Something

Note the word “something.” That’s because I’ve got two stories running around in my head consecutively and I’m having trouble figuring out which one to work on first. One, however, requires a good bit more research than the other one so I might just research and then outline that one and see what happens? I don’t know! Help me out, writer friends. What do you do when you’re haunted by multiple stories at once? I’d like to get at least a first rough draft down of at least one of these two by the end of 2019, which I figure isn’t too long because work + family + school (hopefully) is going to be a lot.

 

Blog More Regularly

I feel like this is my anthem. I say this almost every year and then things get busy and… well, you know. I’m working on blogging about books and things here on Vicarious Bookworm. I’m working on posting my library programming and things on Watercolor Librarian, which is slowly coming along. I’m doing all of the other things. It’s a lot, but I really enjoy it so I’m hoping I can keep up with it this year.

 

So that’s basically it, bookworms and dragons. I’m hoping to add a few hours to the day and invent the caffeine patch that’ll let you stay up for days with no side effects. It’ll be great!

What are some things you’d like to accomplish in 2019?

Opening the Book: My Ten Most Anticipated (First Half Of) 2019 Releases

Happy New Year, bookworms and dragons! There are so many amazing books coming our way in the first half of 2019 and I want to read all of them. Unfortunately, my sense of realism refuses to let me believe I’m capable of reading even half.

However, there are a few I’m more excited about than the others and they’re all on this list! Instead of putting them in order of most excited to least excited (because I’m practically flailing and rolling around on the ground for all of them), I’ve got them in order of release date. Let’s dig in! 🙂

 

The Wicked King by Holly Black – 8 January

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Add The Wicked King by Holly Black on Goodreads.

 

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – 29 January

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Add King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo on Goodreads.

 

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas – 5 February

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

Add On The Come Up by Angie Thomas on Goodreads.

 

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard – 12  February

Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

Add Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard on Goodreads.

 

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi – 5 March

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the stunning sequel to Tomi Adeyemi’s New York Times bestselling debut Children of Blood and Bone, the first title in her Legacy of Orïsha trilogy.

Add Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi on Goodreads.

 

The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare – 9 April

From #1 New York Times bestseller Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu comes the first book in a new series that follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world after the Mortal War. The Red Scrolls of Magic is a Shadowhunters novel.

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

Add The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare on Goodreads.

 

Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi – 16 April

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents best-selling author Roshani Chokshi and her sequel to Aru Shah and the End of Time. Aru is only just getting the hang of this whole Pandava thing when the Otherworld goes into full panic mode. The god of love’s bow and arrow have gone missing, and the thief isn’t playing Cupid. Instead, they’re turning people into heartless fighting-machine zombies. If that weren’t bad enough, somehow Aru gets framed as the thief. If she doesn’t find the arrow by the next full moon, she’ll be kicked out of the Otherworld. For good. But, for better or worse, she won’t be going it alone. Along with her soul-sister, Mini, Aru will team up with Brynne, an ultra-strong girl who knows more than she lets on, and Aiden, the boy who lives across the street and is also hiding plenty of secrets. Together they’ll battle demons, travel through a glittering and dangerous serpent realm, and discover that their enemy isn’t at all who they expected.

Add Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chokshi on Goodreads.

 

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – 14 May

People lived because she killed.

People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing in Arawiya, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a world inspired by ancient Arabia.

Add We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal on Goodreads.

 

I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver – 28 May

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.

Add I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver on Goodreads.

 

Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd – Unknown

The witches, beasties, goblins, and Royals return in this spellbinding conclusion to New York Times best-selling author Megan Shepherd’s Grim Lovelies duology.

Ever since she discovered her affinity for magic, seventeen-year-old Anouk has been desperate to become a witch. It’s the only way to save her friends who, like Anouk, are beasties: animals enchanted into humans. But unlike Anouk, the other beasties didn’t make it out of the battle at Montélimar in one piece.

With her friends now trapped in their animal forms, Anouk is forced into a sinister deal involving a political marriage with her sworn enemy, a wicked plot to overthrow London’s fiercest coven of witches, and a deadly trial of fire to become a witch. The price for power has always been steep in the world of the Haute. Now, it will cost Anouk everything.

Wicked and delightful, this spellbinding sequel and conclusion to Grim Lovelies is perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and The Hazel Wood.

Add Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd on Goodreads.

 

What are some of your most anticipated 2019 releases?