Author Archives: Jessica

About Jessica

I love to read YA fantasy fiction and classic literature. I also like to write and what better to write about than my life? Because looking back makes me realize how funny my life was. Painful at the time, but hilariously funny now. I'm also a stay at home my with two young boys. My house is not as clean as it could be, but I don't really care. Books are an escape for a reason.

This Blog Has Moved

This Blog Has Moved to

www.booksatruestory.com

Thanks


Once Upon a Read-a-thon Wrap-up

I made it!  Though staying up until midnight took it’s toll on me by day 3 and I just couldn’t stay awake anymore.  If this had been on a weekend, I would have killed it.  It was a challenge to fit in as much reading as I could in the evenings and honestly, I got distracted sometimes.  But it was fun!  I wanted to read 4 books, but 1 1/2 is pretty good, too.  Here’s the final stats for my read-a-thon:

  • Total reading time: 9 1/2 hours
  • Total Pages read: 572
  • Books read: Shiver and half of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Mini-challenges entered: 6/6

Once Upon a Read-a-thon Day 3

Mini Challenges!

The first challenge is from Wicked Awesome Books.

So in the spirit of matchmaking, I’m setting you with the task of playing cupid and shooting your arrows at two characters from different books in, what I’m calling, LET’S PLAY MATCHMAKER!

I would set up David from the Wings series by Aprilynne Pike with Hermione from Harry Potter.  I think David’s science geekiness and Hermione’s book geekiness would get along perfectly.  They’re both intelligent but in different ways, so I think they would challenge and learn from each other.

The second challenge is from Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.

Because I’m such a fan of book recommendations, I want you to recommend books to me. I want you to recommend 2 books to me.

Book rec #1: The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing The World One Cor(r)ection at a Time by Jeff Deck

When I saw this book at Borders, I had to read it.  The plot is pretty basic, but the way he said things had me utterly charmed from page 1.  His view of the world was witty and unique.  It was laugh out loud funny and by the time I got to the end I wanted to go out and change the world in a small way, too.  It was inspirational, insightful and entertaining.  It’s the best book you’ve never heard of.

Book rec #2: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

Maggie Stiefvater is a great storyteller.  I liked how she used smells to describe everything. The question it seemed to ask the whole time was: what if you couldn’t choose to be a werewolf? It was heart-breakingly sad and beautiful at the same time.  The pace was calm to me – kind of like winter. It was slow but refreshing at the same time. Loved it. It even made me cry.

Here’s my stats for day 3.

  • Total time reading today: 2 1/2 hours
  • Pages read today: 152
  • Books read today: Halfway through Linger

Once Upon a Read-a-thon Day 2

Mini Challenges!

First challenge is by YA Bliss.

Top 3 Love Triangles

1. Twilight.  Super-obvious, but she set the gold standard.

2. Wings series by Aprilynne Pike.  She did a great job making each guy have strengths and weaknesses that would make it so hard to choose!

3. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.  It’s kind of a love triangle between the Summer King and her human boyfriend.  The Summer King used magic on her so it felt like she was choosing between fate and free will.  Still, you didn’t know who she was going to choose.  It was great!

Second challenge is by The Bookish Type.

Pick any book from your readathon pile and write a fake synopsis based solely on the cover. The synopsis does not have to be related to the actual book at all, just the pretty, pretty cover.

Sam’s girlfriend is now a wolf and it’s his job, along with the doctor/rock-star Cole St. Clair to find a cure or they’ll lose themselves forever.  They do extensive research on rats and case studies and spend millions on experimental medications that don’t work.  Can there be a scientific explanation for magic?  Will they spend forever together as humans or wolves?  WHY is everything red??

I learned a few things today.  First thing,  I don’t like re-reading books because without that drive of wondering what happens next, slow books are kind of boring.  I loved Shiver the first time, but it wasn’t as gripping the second time.  I’m kind of wishing I would have just gone straight to reading Forever.  But now that I’ve started, I want to finish Linger, too.

  • Total time reading today: 3 hours
  • Pages read today: 166
  • Books read today: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.  Started Linger.

Once Upon a Read-a-thon Day 1

End of Day 1 of the Read-a-thon at Pure Imagination.

I entered both mini challenges at:

Though the second challenge with the close-up covers was really hard, I finally finished it!  I managed to keep both my kids alive and entertained today as well as surviving a trip to the grocery store with said kids.  I also rewashed all my dishes three times and then in soaked them in vinegar because my stupid dishwasher doesn’t work.  Reading was a nice, relaxing and much needed rest.  I’m exhausted. Here are my stats for today:
  • Total time reading today: 4 hours
  • Pages read today: 254
  • Books read today: More than halfway through Shiver

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon Kickoff!

I had every intention of staying up til midnight to start the read-a-thon right on time.  I fell asleep at 11:30.  Oh well.  I am going to re-read Shiver and Linger and then Forever when it comes out tomorrow (all by Maggie Stiefvater).  And if I have time, The Giver by Lois Lowry, too.  I intend to do this read-a-thon while living my normal life of watching two young kids, cooking dinner, grocery shopping and helping a friend move.  It’s not a read-a-thon unless it’s challenging!

UPDATE: Mini-challenge! From IB Book Blogging

Mini Challenge Question 1:
What is your favorite type of myth (Greek, Roman, Egyptian etc)?

I love Greek mythology!  Rick Riordan talked about how family dysfunction and divorce is not a modern problem – just read Greek mythology.  I love that!

Mini Challenge Question 2:
What is your favorite book with some type of mythology in it?

Harry Potter by far!  She incorporates more mythology from different sources than any one person should be able to!


Book Review: The Woman I Was Born To Be by Susan Boyle

It gets slow in the middle, but when you get to the part about her overnight fame and her incredibly honest reaction to it, it was very inspiring. If you’ve never heard her audition from Britain’s Got Talent, then look it up on YouTube before you read this book.

Content Review: Mild, at the most there were a few swear words.  She’s a very devout Catholic and keeps it clean.


Book Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

It’s like Harry Potter meets Ancient Greece with a mix of Bruce Coville’s “My Teacher is an Alien.” It was entertaining, if not a little immature, but the part that was most touching to me was why Rick wrote these stories.  His son loved Greek Mythology and when Rick ran out of stories, he made them up.  He created Percy Jackson off the top of his head and Percy had ADHD and dyslexia like his son did at that time. The author was showing his son how someone became a hero with the same problems he had and, in an indirect way, that he was special.

He talks about this and other things more in his interview here.

Content Rating: Mild, for a few swear words and action.


Flashback Friday: Fizzy Lifting Drinks

This is what happened after my Civil War in 3rd Period English as I remember it.

So after my own personal civil war, I decided to avoid a situation like that at all costs by missing school. A lot of it. At the barest rumblings of trouble, I would stay home. It worked for a while and there were no more embarrassing and painful situations, but I started to fall behind in school. I also started to notice something peculiar about my illness.

Peculiar symptom number 1: whenever I got sick, no one else would. Either I have the immune system of an 80 year-old or there’s something else wrong with me. Another strange symptom was that once the storm hit, if you will, the pain passed and I felt good as new. So I revised my strategy of staying home at the drop of the hat and went to school for half of the day. This saved me from staying home all day, convinced I was sick, and then it turned out I wasn’t. It felt like a waste. If I was sick in the morning, I would wait for whatever-it-was to run its course and then I would go to school the rest of the day. If I started to feel sick at school, I would go home well before any problems hit. It was a nice plus that I got better at asking to go home.

But how did I know beforehand if I was going to be sick? The answer is quite graphic and honestly you probably don’t want to know, but for the morbidly curious let’s just say that I had the symptom of IBS that is called “bothersome belches.” The nickname I had for this symptom was much more crude. If you use your imagination and the letter “D” you can probably think of my nickname for it. This was peculiar symptom number 3 and it would hit 24 hours or less before the fire. As uncomfortable as this was to live with, at least I had a warning sign.

Missing half days of school was better than the entire day, but my teachers started to notice and they would bring it up at Parent/Teacher conferences that I seemed to be missing a lot of half-days of school. My parents were unblinking under their judgmental stare and wrote me as many excuse notes as I needed, but they had a point and it was getting stressful to me to try and keep up.

Time for a plan. Did you know that they make medicine for problems like mine and they sell it over-the-counter? Neither did I, and as soon as I found out, I asked my parents to get it for me. My mom was reluctant, but she got it for me and voila! I was back at school. I didn’t even have to beg a doctor for it. Just my parents.

At first, I followed the directions on the Imodium AD. But there were some mornings when I knew that I was going to need it later on, but I couldn’t take it at school. So the heck with the directions, I took it before any symptoms hit. And I took a lot of that stuff. Here’s where my plan backfired.

I started having a different version of the same problem and this one was infinitely worse. Before, my pain was a sudden gruesome battle that was over quickly. This was a slow, agonizing cold war that just wouldn’t end. My dad would often offer me apple juice for “my problem.”  It wasn’t very helpful.

It got to the point where I needed to go see a doctor. This was going to require more than just begging. I was going to need essays and the like. It may sound cruel, but let me explain a little why my parents were this way.

When I was 4 or so years-old, I went to the doctor for severe side pain on my right side. The doctor was stumped, I guess, and recommended me to a specialist. The specialist was positive that I had appendicitis and I’m sure my parents were worried that I had something so serious when I was so young. That was, until I went to the bathroom and came skipping down the hall past three very shocked adults.

“I was sure she had appendicitis…She was in so much pain,” the specialist said.

Needless to say, going to the doctor after that required some convincing on my part. Don’t judge them too harshly. Maybe their reason was they didn’t like spending money at the doctor when waiting and a good bathroom break seemed to cure a lot of my ailments. Maybe the biggest reason, though, was the fact that this doctor was ready to rip me open in emergency surgery and all I had was a severe case of clogged pipes. As a parent now, I would be a little horrified at that. Either way, after a lot of convincing and a lot of time, I went to the family doctor. Warning: Doctors like to use graphic language and Latin words.

“What seems to be the problem?” Dr. I-Can’t-Remeber-His-Name asks.

“Well, I’m having constipation and diarrhea,” I reply.

“That’s not possible.”

I have no idea what to say to that.

As we sit there in awkward silence, he decides that I need to do an x-ray. I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either but into the x-ray machine I go.

When the x-ray is developed, he informs me that I have “a large amount of stool in this area,” pointing to the right, and he prescribes me Draino – I mean, laxatives. Laxatives and a liquid diet for a week and things should go back to normal. As bad as this sounds, I’m willing to try anything at this point.

Liquid laxatives taste a lot like lemon-lime soda. They’re fizzy with a citrus zing and they don’t taste half bad. I take them and I’ve made sure to plan this momentous occasion around a weekend so I miss minimum school. It’s a great idea until I get an unfortunate phone call on Friday, which was Day 1 of Desert Storm. It was from a cute guy named Ryan at school.

“Do you want to go bowling?” Ryan asks me.

“Um…” I’m trying to buy myself some time. There are bathrooms at bowling alleys, I think, but how would it look if I spent the whole date in there? From what my doctor said, it’s going to be an eventful weekend. I really want to go on a date with him, but I’d like to make a better first impression.

“It’s okay,” he says. “You can say no if you want to.” Clearly, I’ve taken too long to answer.

“No, no! I want to go, it’s just…I’m not really feeling well today. Maybe another time.” I kind of lied. I haven’t started feeling ill…yet.

He never did call me back. Stupid boys and their stupid insecurity. I don’t know what’s worse – the fact that I turned down a date to prevent embarrassment or that I turned it down and then NOTHING HAPPENED. No planes, no bombs, not even so much as a hand grenade. I was relieved and seriously worried about how normal I was at the same time. I did end up feeling better, but “my problem” never totally went away in both of its ugly forms. I made a vow to never touch over-the-counter medication again.


My Reading Journal

Before I started this blog, I kept a reading journal in a black composition notebook.  I started it in 2005 and I still use it.  It’s been my catch-all place for books I’ve read, stickers, articles, comics, notes on difficult books, reading lists, and favorite quotes.

Front Cover

Back Cover - I got the "trust SNAPE" sticker at Borders for preordering HP7. I'm so glad I was right.

Here’s how I have the pages organized: I have 3 columns – one for the year I finished the book, one for the title and one for the author. Books without a date haven’t been read yet.

 

I scribble in the margin where the year usually goes when I’m writing a quote. At the end of the quote, I write the author name and the book it came from.
 
I recenlty put sticky notes that authors signed. When I met author’s whose books I had in ebook on my kindle, I didn’t know what to have them sign. I decided on sticky notes so I could keep them in my reading journal.

 What would you have an author sign if you bought their ebook?