Posted in News, Reading

My Giveaway Is Over!

I used Rafflecopter to pick the winners:

Jennifer M. won the e-book by liking melissagiorgiofan on Facebook! Daniela won the paperback by following Melissa_Giorgio on Twitter!

I e-mailed them both and gave them a week to respond in order to claim their prizes. Prizes claimed! Thank you all for entering and congratulations to the winners!

If you didn’t win, please buy the book!

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Posted in News, Reading

Buy The Sight Seer today!

It’s a day early than I expected, but the Kindle version of Melissa Giorgio‘s The Sight Seer is available today! And for only $2.99! For less than a cup of coffee, you can be swept up in the YA paranormal thriller adventure of Gabi Harkins and swoon-worthy Rafe Fitzgerald.

Buy it now!

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If you don’t have a Kindle and don’t want to use the free Kindle app to read it on PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones and web browsers, or you just love holding a book in your hands and keeping it on your shelf, the paperback version of The Sight Seer is due soon, probably within a few weeks. I’ll keep you posted when I see it for sale!

Posted in News, Reading

Free YA Book Giveaway! The Sight Seer

This contest is OVER!!

I’m proud to announce the first ever giveaway on my blog:

The Sight Seer by Melissa Giorgio, a YA paranormal thriller

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Gabi Harkins likes to think she’s a pretty normal sixteen-year-old. She goes to school, suffers though an awful part-time job, and deals with a bratty younger sister. But when a potential shoplifter morphs into a monster right in front of her, Gabi realizes her life is far from normal—especially when that monster follows her home and ends up battling a boy wielding a sword in her backyard.

The boy, Rafe Fitzgerald, is a member of Silver Moon, an organization devoted to eradicating demons before they kill humans. If this little bit of news isn’t earth-shattering enough, Rafe reveals that he needs Gabi’s help. As strong as Rafe is, he does not possess the Sight—a rare ability that allows a hunter to See through a demon’s glamour, enabling them to strike before the demon does. But guess who does?

While Gabi is reluctant to face another demon, she knows she owes Rafe big time for saving her. Together, they’re thrown headfirst into heart-stopping situations as they battle newer and more frightening demons. When she starts to fall for Rafe, Gabi knows her normal life is gone forever.

Anyone who’s been keeping up with my blog knows that Melissa is one of my best friends and beta reader. I had the pleasure of being one of the first The Sight Seer readers, and I remember being upset because she’d only sent me about half the book before going out of town—and I was salivating for more! You guys won’t have to wait to read it all.

So here’s the deal.

I’m giving away one e-book copy and one paperback copy of The Sight Seer. The contest is open internationally. You can enter for both, but on the off chance that you win both, I’ll ask you which you prefer to have and pick another winner for the other category.

The e-book copy is for the Kindle, so the winner will have to provide me with an e-mail address connected to his or her Kindle account. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still get the digital Kindle copy and read it via a free Kindle app for PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones and web browsers.

 Click here to enter to win The Sight Seer e-book.

I’ll ship the paperback copy via the USPS to the address provided to me by the winner after a confirmation e-mail.

Click here to enter to win The Sight Seer paperback.

Contest ends June 14th, the projected publication date for The Sight Seer. Once the e-book is available, and the contest ends, I’ll send it to the winner after I confirm his or her Kindle e-mail address. The paperback copy may take a couple of weeks more, depending on when it’s available and how quickly it ships first to me and then to you. Enter both every day, and follow the instructions on Rafflecopter for even more chances!

Posted in Books I Loved in Middle/High School

Books I Loved in Middle/High School, Part 11

I know I left off this series discussing manga I loved in middle or high school, but this time I’m doing a half-manga, half-novel entry because I remembered I never covered one of my favorite books in middle school…

Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan

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In 5th and 6th grade, my Reading teacher (we had separate Reading and English classes in 5th and 6th grade for some reason) passed out mini-catalogs of books to take home to our parents. We got their permission and brought the cash, I think, and she would order a book for us that we could pick up at school in a few weeks. This was long before Amazon, and it was a great way to find books we’d never otherwise have heard about.

Since a friend and I were fantasy fans (largely thanks to The Chronicles of Prydain books), a fantasy book in this catalog called Winter of Fire piqued our interest. We both got copies, and we both wound up loving it. I re-read it a number of years later, and although I know I found it a bit simplistic, I still loved it—and made it a quest to track down the other (many out of print) niche titles by New Zealand author Sherryl Jordan (whose most well-known book, I believe, is The Raging Quiet).

I don’t remember a ton about Winter of Fire, other than it was set in a bleak, snowy fantasy world where half the people, the Quelled, are slaves to the other half, the Chosen. The slaves are miners, digging up firestones, which heat the homes of the Chosen. The protagonist, Elsha, is a slave (with a broken eye socket—you can kind of see it on the cover!)  and something happens to make her slave (handmaiden, says the wiki summary?) to the leader of the Chosen. I remember there was romance, too, and I believe Elsha had a special power…

After I graduated high school (thus her books never appear in this series), I started reading Diana Wynne Jones (thanks to news that Miyazaki Hayao was set to adapt one of her books, Howl’s Moving Castle) and devoured every one of her books I could get my hands in within a few years. DWJ is definitely the queen of middle grade and YA fantasy in my opinion, but I have a special affinity for Jordan’s fantasy books, too. I’m still working on reading them all—I managed to buy most of them second-hand a few years ago online—but I’m pretty close. My love for the first book of hers I read was enough to inspire me to keep reading her books all these years later. (Too bad her latest release seems to be New Zealand only…)

Kodomo no Omocha (“Child’s Toy,” called Kodocha: Sana’s Stage in the US) by Obana Miho

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I’m kind of cheating here because I’m not sure I read much of the manga before graduating high school. (I did buy and read it all shortly thereafter, though.) However, the anime based on the manga was a favorite in middle and high school. Kodomo no Omocha, called Kodocha for short, is a zany comedy series starring 11-year-old Kurata Sana, a (fictional) popular child actress. The story follows her shooting her most popular TV show, commercials and other events, but it’s largely set in the normal school she attends and at her crazy home.

Sana’s mother drives a Power Wheels-type car around the house, always wears a kimono, and lets a pet squirrel live in elaborate and ever-changing tiny homes in her hair. She’s as rich as Sana, having written an award-winning and globally-best-selling book called The Gigolo and I, the story of her troublesome and crazy marriage. Sana’s mother’s ex-husband, whom Sana lovingly calls the Gigolo, and whom she’ll tell you early on is not her father, is often over begging Sana’s mother for money she made from the book but rarely gets it.

Sana and her mother live with Rei, a twenty-something homeless guy Sana picked off the street and made into her bodyguard, whom she lovingly and publicly refers to as her “pimp,” thinking the word means something like “boyfriend.” (Although that’s entirely one-sided on her part.) Sana requires Rei to wear a suit and tie and sunglasses at all times, even at night, because she thinks that’s what bodyguards need to wear.

Sana’s happy-go-lucky insane life is turned on its head when she goes back to school to find that a bunch of delinquent boys have so scared their teacher, they goof off and cause destruction during class and the frightened teacher doesn’t do anything to stop it. In one instance, the boy’s leader, sullen Hayama Akito, sits back and orders the other boys to shoot their teacher with water pistols. Sana, who’s tried to ignore the problem but has had enough, snatches a water pistol and shoots Akito instead. Akito vows revenge after school, but when Sana goes to finish the altercation, she finds him ordering the other boys to shove one of her friends into the pool—all because that friend called him a “demon child.” Sana and Akito fight, and Sana’s not intimidated, even when Akito, karate champion, gets rough. The two begin a rivalry that has the potential to blossom into something more as Sana tries to get to the bottom of why, when she’s so happy in her own life, someone could act like Akito does and not care much whether he lives or dies…

Kodocha tackles some serious drama (sometimes melodrama), but it’s mostly incredibly funny. The manga lasted for 10 volumes, but the 102-episode anime made up a few story arcs and characters to get the most out of the franchise. I actually prefer the anime to the manga—it’s even funnier, and Sana’s insanity has to be seen to be believed—but the manga that started it all is funny and just as sweet, if a bit even more melodramatic.

Posted in Geek Out, Reading

To E-Read or Not to E-Read?

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Perhaps you can tell from the odd extra spacing, but that’s my manuscript cover page on my new Kindle.  My manuscript looks so… real! (Like it wasn’t real before? Well, you know, it’s nice seeing it almost book-like in any format outside of Word.) I finally joined the digital book world and got an e-reader as a gift this week, and I love it even more than I thought I would!

Let me back up. I’m not a huge digital gadget person. Cell phones don’t interest me, and I pretty much only use mine for calling people, and not that often. Reading books has always been a nice way to escape the endless LCD- and backlit-screens I stare at all day while working, surfing the web, watching TV and playing games. The idea of staring at yet another screen to read just wasn’t appealing since reading was one of my last hobbies left that was screen-free.

That’s not to say I poo-pooed anyone else who wanted to read books on e-readers! It doesn’t bother me at all how people choose to read (or “hear” books like radioplays via audiobooks, as my sister loves to do!); I just love that they’re reading. My mom got a Kindle a few years ago, and it’s made reading easier than ever for her, and she’s become an even more avid reader. I just never could think of a reason for me to get one. But when I saw my mom’s Kindle in person, I was surprised how paper-and-ink-like the screen was! Seriously, I’ve never seen such a beautiful, glow-free digital screen with such crispness and clarity.

Last summer I was invited to review some e-books in the new Sweet Valley adult series, The Sweet Life, but I didn’t have an e-reader. (And my mom couldn’t lend me hers. She seriously reads too much to part with it for too long!) So I read it on my laptop. My eyes went googly. I saw a cheap brand e-reader on sale for like $30 one day and thought I’d get it just to finish the e-books on, but it was terrible. It was an LCD screen (so it felt just like staring at the laptop screen anyway), and the e-bookstore was terrible, and it was hard to navigate, and yeah… You get what you paid for. Luckily I was able to return it even though I’d opened it and tried it out! I knew then I’d wait and save up or ask someone for a Kindle.

So I got it last week and I uploaded my manuscript to it right away to check it out. I also bought an e-novella and got the first five chapters of Leigh Bardugo’s Siege and Storm, which are currently available for e-readers for free. (And which only serve to make me more anxious about waiting for the release of the rest in a couple of months, but I’ve been reading it anyway!) I got a few more free e-books I haven’t really touched yet. I’m scared of having too much to read because there’s a lot available for free!

But I’m still reading traditional paper books. I have nine on my to-read shelf (six of which have been there for way, way too long and keep getting pushed down the priority list) that I vowed to finish this year. I love being surrounded by shelves full of books, and I think I will buy Siege and Storm in print instead of electronically to finish reading. But I’ve been surprised how little reading the first few chapters on my e-reader has bothered me.

I have decided that whenever the next A Song of Ice and Fire book comes out (years from now…), I’m going with the e-reader since I realized with the last book that it’s a bit of a pain to carry a 1000+-page hardcover around. And it’ll be great for the dozenth time I read a manuscript, when I’m just looking for little tweaks (and then can run to the laptop and make them, without having stared at the laptop screen for hours and hours).

Do you have an e-reader? Which one? Do you prefer reading books electronically, on paper or both?

Posted in Geek Out, Reading, Writing

The Fanfiction in My Head

I read a tumblr post recently (sorry, lost the link!) in which someone asked a professor what he (she?) thought of fanfiction. The overall point seemed to be “write what you enjoy, and actually, all writing is fanfiction to a degree and has been for hundreds and hundreds of years.” The professor also said something about how before this stress on originality (and even then, how 100% original can we be?), readers really only wanted what was essentially fanfiction. A writer would take something like a King Arthur tale, for example, and make it even better than ever before.

In any case, the post got me thinking about fanfiction and my own experiences with it. I actually have never read much of it (for one, the best source for it is the Internet and I don’t like staring at a computer screen to read text for long, long periods if it can be helped), but I did write some when I was pre-teen and early teen. One was a relatively short pure Mary Sue about a “Sailor Universe” in the realm of Sailor Moon who had ALL of the senshi’s powers (before I knew about Sailor Cosmos, by the way). Another was a somewhat more original seven-chapter series about Genbu no Miko, a prequel to Fushigi Yuugi. In the original manga and anime, Watase hinted at a girl who had been the Genbu priestess in the past, but she hadn’t yet fully developed the story, so I took her hints and spun my own tale. Years later, Watase did her own version, which of course was infinitely better than mine.

They’re actually still on the Internet under a pseudonym (yes, we had Internet when I was that young, ha, although it looked a whoooole lot different), if you tinker around with the way back machine, but I’m not going to link you to it. Geh! I just visited the page and found another short fanfiction I’d forgotten all about: Usagi from Sailor Moon wishing she could leave Mamoru for Seiya. Too bad for Chibiusa, eh?

But then I was thinking, what other writing did I do back then? It may not have been fanfiction, but it was inspired by my love for something at the time. I read The Chronicles of Prydain, and I was writing my own (unintentionally hilarious!) attempt at high fantasy. I saw and read Centennial, and all of sudden I was writing a Western historical. And it sometimes still happens today. I got back into a Regency and Victorian era kick recently (not that I ever stopped liking them), and an idea for a Regency historical started kicking around in my head.

Perhaps most embarrassingly of all to admit, but ever since I could remember, I’ve “performed” (?) fanfiction in my head. Not as much these days since I have less trouble hitting the hay, but when I was younger, it’d take me quite a while to fall asleep after I went to bed. If sleep wasn’t happening, I imagined whatever book/movie/show/comic/anime was new to me or a favorite thing at the time, only with… Me. Basically, with a Mary Sue. And the very worst kind of Mary Sue, who has greater powers than the other X-Men, for example (a favorite “power” to give my Sue, as you can see from the Sailor Universe thing above, is having EVERYONE else’s powers, ha, like a single being wouldn’t like explode with the sheer force), and who’s befriended by all of her favorite characters. Now that I know what a Mary Sue is (I did start doing this in elementary school), it’s extremely mortifying to admit that that entertained me, but I guess it entertains a lot of people. The term exists for a reason, right?

That said, short of my young days of writing those few fanfiction, I don’t pretend that a Mary Sue I come up with would entertain anyone else. As a reader, I would hate to read about a perfect, deus-ex-machina character. (Not that I haven’t come across a few…) In fact, even in the fanfiction in my head, I prefer drama to everything magically going the Mary Sue’s way. There’s something about arguments, misunderstandings, obstacles and characters learning to improve themselves along the way that perfect Mary Sues just don’t hold a candle to.

Then again, apparently people are entertained by fanfiction and Mary Sues. I’m not even talking about the tons of free fanfiction available online to those who seek it—read what you love, and enjoy the well written stuff out there. But I just love informing the random women I come across who love a certain extremely insane-selling erotic book series how it’s a Twilight fanfiction. These types of women don’t usually know what fanfiction is, but once I explain the Twilight parallels (and how the author originally uploaded it for free with the Twilight characters’ names in tact and basically just did a search-and-replace with new names for publication)*, they start understanding: they love fanfiction! They love erotic fanfiction at that. And for them, that’s okay. Apparently I love fanfiction in my head, so who am I to judge? (Just maybe, the next fanfiction to get published could have a little better character development and prose? _)

*How do I know so much about these books? No, I haven’t read them, but I have read samples and articles explaining the original Twilight connection. That’s my story (but it’s truel!) and I’m sticking to it.

Posted in Reading, Writing

The Reading and Writing Never Ends

I don’t remember exactly what J.K. Rowling interview I saw (or read, which would be more appropriate to this post, but I do think it was something I saw), but I remember her talking about how she can never stop reading, even if she has to read the ingredients in a bottle of shampoo when in someone else’s bathroom. It clicked with me because I’m much the same. All day, every day, I read and write and live in a world of words bouncing silently around in my head. I think it must be much the same for other writers.

I work as a writer, and I prefer communicating with my clients (or with most anyone) by email, so I’ve never actually spoken with a number of clients who’ve offered me work, even those who’ve offered me work for years. I’m better at communicating my ideas in writing, and it was my strong suit in school. (And I’m grateful for the wonderful teachers in high school and college who encouraged me and helped me grow as a writer!)

I’m introverted (which is NOT the same as lonely, I enjoy solitude)—always have been—and besides my boyfriend and family, I don’t do much with friends. I do, however, have a wide network of dear friends to whom I once wrote handwritten letters. (I still do write to many of them by hand, but not anywhere near as often.) I’ve had pen pals since I was 7 years old! The Internet has made it easier to keep in touch with most of them online these days more often than not, but rarely a day goes by where I don’t check in with a number of them. And I keep in touch with school friends online, too. I almost feel like we’re reading each other’s minds. All of this communication happening thanks to words you never speak aloud. Kind of trippy in a way!

As for reading, well, most of the distractions on the Internet I enjoy consist of reading rather than watching videos. (Not that I never watch videos!) It’s always been easier for me to understand and learn something written down than via a visual or audio lecture about the topic for some reason. At breakfast and when I step away from the computer for lunch and I’m alone (and sometimes even when not), I read the newspaper or a catalog or anything within reach, whether I actually care about the topic or not. People sometimes lecture me for reading while eating, and I respond with a line that connected with me from the Steam Detectives manga a decade or more ago: “I’m not reading while eating. I’m eating while reading.”

This habit means you would expect me to finish more books in a timely manner, but it is rare for me to read for pleasure for long periods at a time other than right before bed. And sometimes even then, I prefer gaming.

I do watch TV and I love going to the cinema, but I also watch a lot of foreign language shows (mostly anime), so even then, I’m still reading thanks to subtitles. I think the only other times when I’m not reading or writing is when driving, doing chores, showering (baths are a great place to read, though!), exercising, eating with others (and even then, not always) and sleeping. I can’t stand to be caught without something to occupy my mind for more than a few moments if it can be helped. If I’m leaving the house and expecting even a minute of downtime, I bring a book or newspaper with me.

Are you a non-stop reader and writer? Do you think this helps you improve your writing?

Posted in Books I Loved in Middle/High School, Reading

Books I Loved in Middle/High School, Part 10

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but when I last did, I was working on getting through the manga I loved in middle and high school, and some recent news that one of those manga is getting a sequel spurred me to get back to business! In both of these cases, I was introduced to the anime version first, and it wasn’t until late high school/early college that I got my hands on English-translated versions of the manga series. But still, I loved the stories in middle and high school and imported the Japanese versions originally, so they count, right?

Marmalade Boy by Yoshizumi Wataru

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One of the first shoujo (aimed at pre-teen and teen girl readers) series I liked that was just plain dramatic (and occasionally comedic) hijinks, no magic or sci fi or fantasy elements included. In the sense that there are so many love entanglements it’s practically a mishmash of love octagons, Marmalade Boy isn’t that different from standard shoujo fare. But it was my first, it was addicting, and I remember ravenously consuming every anime episode when I first watched—and then went on to re-watch it all within a year again. (I also re-watched it all some years later and realized only then how cheesy and overdramatic it could be, but I still love it. It certainly spoke to me when I was in the target audience.)

The basic introductory summary for Marmalade Boy is wild, and I could certainly see it as a zany YA book. As time goes on, the craziness that starts the action of the story is less important than the everyone-has-tons-of-people-who-want-to-date-them-and-misunderstandings-lead-to-heartbreak that follows, but still. It stars Koishikawa Miki, a high schooler whose parents come home from a Hawaiian vacation with smiles on their faces and inform her they’re getting divorced. If that wasn’t shocking enough, they inform her that they still love each other (more like brother and sister love, they say), and they’re both getting re-married—to another couple they met also on vacation in Hawaii who’s divorcing each other with no ill will. (As in, Miki’s mom is marrying the husband of this couple and her dad is marrying the wife.) And since the original couple still considers their exes-to-be good friends and there are kids to consider, they decided they’re all moving in together, both new couples under the same roof, with kids in tow.

Miki is flabbergasted, to say the least. When she hears the other couple has a son named Matsuura Yuu her age, she feels even more awkward, but she hopes he’ll think it’s as bizarre as she does and that the two of them can talk their parents out of it. Nope. When she first meets her new step-parents and step-brother-to-be, Yuu doesn’t give a crap about the situation, and Miki’s literally the only voice of reason. Before she can have more than a melt-down or two, her parents are divorced and re-married, the new step-parents are moving in, and she’s got a new step-brother, who’s aloof… But also really cute.

Of course, Miki’s got a ton of emotional baggage with her childhood friend and once unrequited crush, she has a gorgeous and quiet best friend who’s hiding an earth-shattering secret from her, and Yuu’s ex-girlfriend isn’t taking kindly to him living with another girl to whom he’s not technically related—just to give a hint of all of the drama to come. There’s a lot more going on with Miki’s and Yuu’s parents than meets the eye, too.

The manga, only eight volumes, is almost entirely adapted in the anime version, but I was able to read it later, so it was a refreshing way to get back into the story. There’s an entire arc set in the US that’s in the anime and not the manga, and the manga does have one small arc later on that never made it to the screen. Definitely check it out if you like crazy drama and sweet romance!

Shoujo Kakumei Utena (Revolutionary Girl Utena) by Be-Papas/Saitou Chiho

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Shoujo Kakumei Utena was one of my favorite anime in high school. It’s visually stunning, artistically bizarre, and really spell-binding. Unlike the other manga I’ve reviewed in this category, it was created to be an anime, and there was a manga adaptation, but that came after in development. (Although I believe it started publication slightly before.) If you like one, you’re sure to like the other. The stories in both are fairly different, too—enough to get a different experience when you read and watch.

Utena is hard to explain, but I’ll try. It takes place in a pseudo-classic French-looking Japanese boarding school (but you never see the real world). Tenjou Utena is a middle schooler who dresses and acts like a boy (but still looks fairly feminine). It turns out when she was very young, when she was at her lowest at her parents’ funeral, a prince appeared and offered her words of comfort as well as a rose signet ring. Instead of falling in love with the prince, she decided she wanted to become him, so much did she look up to him. She wears the ring still and always stands up for those who are weak and bullied.

One day she comes across a beautiful student watering roses in a greenhouse. She watches in horror as another student, a high school boy, batters her. Utena intervenes and learns that the female student, Himemiya Anthy, is engaged to the boy and has no objections to him beating her. Horrified, Utena challenges the boy to a duel, thinking they’ll meet in the practice room of the kendo club. Instead, the boy sees her ring and asks if she’s a duelist, saying he’ll meet her in the “arena” outside of the school.

Utena goes, and finds that she can only open the door to the arena with her ring. She climbs magical, impossible stairs and finds a strange scene at the top of the arena. Anthy appears dressed as a princess, and her fiancé claims she’s the “Rose Bride.” He draws a sword out of her chest and fights Utena, who manages to defeat him even with only a wooden sword with which to defend herself. Baffled, Utena leaves and goes back to her dorm, not sure what to make of what happened.

Anthy appears at her dorm shortly thereafter. She explains that Utena is now the victor of the duels and that means that she, Anthy, is engaged to Utena. She’ll do whatever Utena asks of her, and Utena now must accept challenges from any duelist with a ring who asks for a duel. Originally unsure that she wants to be engaged to this other girl, Utena eventually comes to revel in the duels and keeping Anthy away from unworthy fiancés/fiancées, determined to protect the weaker girl and show her what it means to have self-confidence and self-respect. And of course, there’s a pretty weird, magical reasoning behind everything going on that’s revealed over time… And all these years later, I’m only sort of sure I understand it, actually, but I love it even so.

For some reason, the only kind of “battle” I love watching on screen is a sword battle. (I’m talking lightsabers, medieval swords, whatever.) Utena has plenty of those, as the duels are sword-based. Each duel has its own operatic song, too, and I just really got pumped every time I watch the duels, even when I’ve re-watched the series a few times over the years.

There are only five volumes of manga, and it entirely skips a large arc of the anime. There’s also a bonus sixth volume loosely based on the movie—and the movie itself is a different continuity than the anime series, so there are plenty of different versions of Utena to go around.

Posted in Geek Out, Reading

Late to the Party or First One in Line?

I was trying to think of how many books I’ve read as soon as they came out. It’s a pretty limited number, and that small number is limited largely to sequels/prequels to books I already loved, or on occasion, a book by an author I know I already love. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a brand-new book by an new (or new to me) author anywhere near its release date.

It seems like I’m always “late to the party” when it comes to books. They have to get a lot of buzz and/or a recommendation from a friend before I bother to pick them up. It’s not that what the new (or new to me) authors have to offer doesn’t interest me–far from it–but it feels like I’ve always got a pile of books to read (probably because I literally do) as is, mostly books that others read months or even years ago and I’m just getting to. Fitting in a brand new book I’m not even sure I’ll like is hard when I’m already excited about the books I already have! But it does feel weird to be on the sidelines, to hear friends discuss a book you may not read for years if at all. (But of course, I do have friends who plow through books at a much faster rate than I do!)

I picked up ONE YA book last year that my friends hadn’t already read, and I wasn’t too impressed. (I read it a few months after it came out–I’d just read a summary online and got intrigued.) A few years ago, I did read another series that I liked and none of my friends have yet read (The Forbidden Game by LJ Smith, if you’re interested), but I think that covers the only YA books I’ve read that they haven’t. So maybe I’m not meant to explore the bookscape wilds without someone to light the path before me, and that’s okay. I may be late to the party, but I’ll get there someday!

That said, I’d love it if people read my first book as soon as it came out. 😉 But I understand that there are just too many exciting books out there to read!

Do you love discovering new favorites in brand new releases or are you still crossing old releases off of your to-read list?

Posted in Geek Out, Reading

Happy Reading, Happy Holidays!

I haven’t been blogged in a few weeks, largely because of the holidays. I hope you’re all enjoying the end of the year and all the vacation time (I hope), celebration and laughter that comes with it. I know I have!

I just decided to drop by and blog about the books I got this Christmas:

  • The Casual Vacancy (don’t know when I’ll read it, but I have to read Rowling’s new offering!)
  • The Luxe final book (I got this from a friend a few weeks ago–I’ve yet to read the series, but she likes it so much, she got me all four over the past couple of years!)
  • Death Note complete box set (I borrowed it from the library in the past, and now I have my own copy; one of the most thrilling manga I’ve ever read [until about halfway through, but it’s still good])
  • Fullmetal Alchemist 3-in-1 volumes 1-3 (so really volumes 1-9; also a library read in the past, and one of my favorite anime series [both incarnations])
  • Skip Beat 3-in-1 volumes 2-3 (so really volumes 4-9, as I had 1-3 already; another former library read, a humorous and fun shoujo story)

I also got a lot of games, so it’s going to be hard to decide which to do in my free time. What reads did you get this year?