Lit Up Fandom #1: The Eleanor & Park Special Edition

July 4, 2014

The idea for Lit Up Fandom took root way back in November/December 2013. I remember that there was a lot of talk about starting unique features, how difficult it is to think up of any, and how once you do come up with something no one else has, several copies immediately crop up. It got me thinking. I really, really wanted to come up with something unique like Cee's You're Just My Type or Georgie's Cover Palette or Amber's Famous Last Words, but I simply couldn't think of anything that isn't already out there.

It was around that time that I began putting together the Under The Never Sky Farewell Party, and as I was searching for post ideas, I found so much amazing art by the fans that kind of blew me away. And I was like, wait, how come no one is showcasing this stuff? And thus a seed of an idea was born :D

As much as I wanted to share the art, I was also really interested in talking to the artists themselves because to me, creating fanart for books is so much tougher and more complex than doing the same for say, a TV show (not that that isn't tough too. God knows how I struggle to draw a simple face!). Because here, the only prior information you're working with is words, and there's bound to be a difference. I wanted to know how they did it.

But me being me, the idea stayed in my head, where I kept turning it on it's head and trying to figure out how to get this show on the road. Whether to simply showcase the art or do interviews or do both alternatively? And that was how six whole moths went by with me doing nothing. Also (I cant believe I'm saying this out loud. Well, kind of.), I didn't know what the response would be like, and I wasn't all that sure I wanted to find out if it was going to crash & burn. And then came Asti with her awesome ideas and posted this thing on coming up with unique features, and how Bookish Games nearly never happened. After reading that piece, I realised that it really wasn't that much of a big deal to start something new, and who knows, people could actually find it fun! (Also, it kind of lit a fire under me because she mentioned fan art, and I didn't want anyone else to grab the idea) Go, Asti! :D

Asti's post couldn't have come at a better time because it was just few weeks later that the Eleanor & Park Special Edition was getting released, with FOUR AWESOME PIECES OF FAN ART! I figured this would be a perfect way to kind of celebrate the release of the book (let's ignore the fact that this is a month late, okay?) and also kick start my new feature at the same time. Pooja @ On Books!, Aaliya (the fandom Yoda) and I came up with the name for the feature after a long brainstorming session which involved some very weird names and fierce competition (dont ask about what). I managed to get hold of three of the four artists whose art is published in the special edition and I asked them a few questions, and HERE WE ARE, PEOPLE!

The Time I Learnt Math From Infinity + One by Amy Harmon

June 26, 2014

The latest book that rocked my world is Infinity + One by Amy Harmon. Infinity + One first came under my radar when Colleen Hoover started raving about it on Facebook (she probably did on Twitter too, but a lot of stuff gets lost in my feed under the continuous barrage of tweets). I've never read any of Amy's works before, but now, you can be sure I will be checking them out!

Infinity + One is the story of Bonnie Rae and Finn Clyde (Bonnie & Clyde, get it?), and how they come to terms with their own lives after one extraordinary event which brings them together. Bonnie is a country star (the singing type) who simply gives up on day on tour and attempts committing suicide. But before she can, Finn, who in all probability should not be there or even have been able to see her, stops her from jumping. Finn himself is not all that fine with life in general. A couple of years out of jail, he is jobless, for all means and purposes homeless, and down in the dumps when he gets a call to join a casino in Vegas, which is where he's headed when he spots Bonnie. Determined to take some time away from the hustle and bustle of her tightly controlled life, Bonnie invites herself along on Finn's trip. And so begins their journey across the country, where they meet extraordinary people, deal with their respective problems and find that maybe, just maybe, Bonnie and Clyde are meant to be. 

Books For A Cause: A Win-Win For All

June 18, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, as I was chatting away on Twitter, I saw this tweet from Heather @ Turning Pages about something that sounded interesting - Books for A Cause. So I went and checked out the official page for the program, and honestly, it sounds like something both fun and beneficial. You know how sometimes you have multiple copies of a book and dont know what to do with it? Or way too much swag to fit your bedroom and your mum's telling you to make some space in your room already? Yeah, Heather's got a solution for all that. But that's not all. There's more, guys!

So today we have Heather, the brains behind Books For A Cause stopping by to tell about this awesome thing she's thought up that's going to be a huge help to loads of people very soon! Read on :)

HEATHER ON BOOKS FOR A CAUSE


Hi everyone! My name is Heather and I am one half of the duo that makes up the blog, Turning Pages. Before I get started, I really want to thank Fahima for allowing me to spread the word about Books for a Cause here on her blog!

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a few fellow bloggers on twitter about starting up some type of fundraiser, involving reading/books, to raise funds for cancer research. I recently lost my Aunt after a long battle with Cancer - read my full story on her blog - and I am is very passionate about raising money and spreading the word for this great cause.

After contacting Stand Up 2 Cancer, they have offered their help and support. Additionally, a fundraising page as well. 100% of the proceeds raised during this fundraiser will be donated to their foundation, directly.

In addition to monetary donations, I am organizing an auction all bookish things related (mid-late July time frame) But I NEED your help too! Spread the world, donate books/swag or anything else to auction off. Your ideas too, would be great!

Of course, I am not doing this alone. Tonya at Lily Bloom Books is graciously helping me with all the “behind the scenes action” as well helping me get organized for the upcoming auction to help support Books for a Cause.

I am so excited to launch the auction and am so thankful for all of the authors and bloggers who have already contributed items! Please stay tuned and continue to help spread the word about Books for a Cause!

You can contact me directly at hsheffield2011(at)gmail(dot)com or Tonya at lilybloombooks(at)hotmail(dot)com if you are able to donate items to the auction. You can also donate directly on the fundraising page by going to the website. In addition, you can contact one of us with ideas for other ways make this fundraiser a success.

A hashtag has been crated - #BooksForACause to help spread the word.

Please tweet, share on Facebook and/or on your blog sidebar (using image above).

The goal is raise $2,000. Help us get there and Stand Up 2 Cancer!

Sincerely,

Heather

What do YOU think about Books for A Cause? Isn't it a wonderful idea? Do you have any ideas to add that'll help out in this endeavour? We'd love to hear from you!
Do read Heather's story (it's beautiful), and don't forget to spread the word!

Against Against YA: No One Should Be Embarrassed About What They Read

June 6, 2014

The wanderings of a mind that is wont to ponder. Check out past Between Bookends posts here!
I dont know how many of you know about this, since it's still pretty recent (and this is surprising, because God knows I'm usually the last person to know about things), but the Slate published an article titled Against YA: Adults should be embarrassed to read children's books.

I am usually a peaceable person, but never has an article annoyed me as much the aforementioned one. 

I believe that everybody is entitled to their own opinion on a subject. That is what you think, that is the way you see the world, so really, I dont have a problem with that. If the author has a problem with adults reading YA books, that's fine. Go right ahead. It's a free world, people. 

For those of you who do not know what I'm talking about (or are too busy/lazy to read the entire article :D), the bottomline of the article is this: 'At the risk of sounding snobbish and joyless and old', and while acknowledging that everyone should just read whatever they like, what the author feels is that adults who read YA should be embarrassed about themselves and they are 'missing something'.

Like I said, that's your opinion. I dont care. But I do take offense when you tell me what to think and do and to feel ashamed about my choices. Which is why I'm going to give (what I hope will be) a constructive rebuttal to the article (Ha! Right. Who am I kidding? This is a rant, people. Be warned).

Review: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

June 3, 2014

Title: Say What You Will
Author: Cammie McGovern
Publication date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Rating: 
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Amazon Goodreads TBD
John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern's insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.
"This is the book I've been waiting for all year. Thank you, Cammie McGovern", is what I thought just as I slowly turned the last page on Say What You Will, a few lingering tears still on my cheeks.

You've Got Snail Mail: Tabitha of Life by Committee

May 27, 2014

Inspired primarily by Pooja at On Books! and similar to Sincerely, Cee at The Novel Hermit.
Remember the times when you're reading a book and you realise how similar you are to a character? Or how aspects of their lives resemble yours? Well, You've Got Snail Mail is where I write letters to bookish characters sharing all those things and more!

Dear Tabby,

While I was reading your story, there were a lot of occasions when I didn't couldn't agree with what you were doing. But while that was happening, there was also this other side of me, that kept going, "I totally get you, girl." or "Haha! I remember when that happened to me!". I know from my review it doesn't appear like the story left me with a positive impression, but you now, are a completely different matter.

Review: Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

May 22, 2014

Title: Life by Committee
Author: Corey Ann Haydu
Publication date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Rating: 
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Amazon Goodreads TBD
Some secrets are too good to keep.

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?
I went into Life by Committee really, really enthusiastically. I mean, c'mon, a secret society of secrets, bullying, cheating, a social pariah, and not to mention the really high ratings I kept seeing everywhere (I dont usually read reviews for a book I know I'm going to review in the interest of being 'uninfluenced'), of course I was excited about this one!
--
And yeah, I know you can all hear the 'but' that's about to come
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