quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


Top Ten Tuesday - Books I Disliked/Hated but Am Really Glad I Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.  It has since moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Books I Disliked/Hated but Am Really Glad I Read
I will say that all of these books are classics.  As other English Lit majors can attest, we have to read A LOT of books; not all of them are the things we'd choose to read.

I, myself, have never been a big classics girl; I like my literature contemporary for the most part.  Of course, there are contemporary "classics" and some "classics" that I love, so it's all subjective.  But below are definitely 5 books I disliked when reading, but am glad I did.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - Focusing on a pair of downtrodden ranch hands during the Great Depression, there is a lot of themes going on in this book, talking about the American Dream, loneliness, and how people ostracize themselves from one another with hatred.  I felt the book was boring and the end, what happened to poor Lennie, the whole circumstances around Lennie in fact, just made me hate the book.

Moby-Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville -  Beautiful imagery and symbolism showing the struggle of man against nature and the destructive drive of their own ego.

But wooh boy was this tedious to read.  TEDIOUS.  Too long, much too long.  I get it, Ahab is searching for The White Whale and it is his life's mission, but I don't need to go on the whole journey.

Paradise Lost by John Milton - I read this in my Catholicism and Literature class, and wooh boy was it intense.  I have never read the Bible in it's entirety from cover to cover, but it felt like I almost was when reading through this epic poem (it's a POEM guys). 

But the importance of this piece, especially utilizing the events/characters of the Bible to critique the monarchy of England at the time, is undeniable.  But it is intense for sure.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - I understand the importance of examining Pip's moral maturity, but I really didn't care.  I felt this book was boring, and a waste of my time. I guess I feel like I couldn't connect with this book.

I've read other "rags to riches" stories that I've liked much more, so this one just isn't for me.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo - I am sticking to the film from 2012 for this one.  I have never read a longer book, nor a book that spends so much time describing a building or a park.  It's beautiful and speaks to the greed of men, etc., etc. But it is too long.

It rambles all over the place, with Hugo sometimes interrupting the narrative by inserting himself, and there is just too many "lucky" breaks and too many "unhappy" coincidences for me to really have enjoyed this 1,500 page (YES that many pages) book.

So there you have it, 5 books I disliked/hated, but still happy I read.  For me, the reason I'm happy to have read these is that they are literary classics and I have learned a lot from studying them.  But man did I hate reading them.


Past. Present. Future - May 2018

This feature highlights the books I've read, the books I'm reading, and the books I'm going to read; just a fun little way to keep track of everything!

I'd love for you all to join in if you want! Leave me a comment to your post or just let me know in the comment what's your Past. Present. Future. in Books!

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne - I loved this book so much!  Full of romance, mystery, and space, Alexa Donne does an amazing job of re-imagining such a beloved classic as Jane Eyre.  Such a great job in fact that you do not have to know anything about Jane Eyre (or even like that book) to enjoy reading this one.  Interesting look at a possible future for the Earth, with a little The 100 vibe as well!  Check out my review for more info!

All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell - This is a short story collection about, as you can see from the title, queer teens.  M/M, F/M, trans males, trans females, gender queer, and more is all represented.  I'm loving it so far, especially that not only is the queer rep really expansive, but the cultural rep is as well.  It ain't all white up in this book, which is still rare in the book community here in the States.  One to add to your collection!


Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older - This is the second book in the Shadowshaper series. I loved Sierra and her friends as they discovered their gifts in the first book, Shadowshaper.  So getting to see them grow even more both in power and friendship will be great.  Of course nothing is ever that simple, so the danger will grow as well.  A great latinx rep, with all the flavors of Brooklyn too; definitely an urban fantasy series you need to read!

If  you've read any of these books, let me know what you thought (but NO spoilers) down below in the comments!


Waiting on Wednesday - Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming/recent releases that we seriously can’t wait to read

Here's my pick for the week:

Undead Girl Gang
written by Lily Anderson
Publication Date: May 8, 2018

Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There's not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley's favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone's explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer...before the killer strikes again. 
(Summary from Goodreads)

Amateur witchcraft turn necromancy?  Yes, please!  I love the mix of the supernatural and murder mystery.  Also, look at that cover!!!!  I need this to grace my shelves immediately!  Luckily, Undead Girl Gang hit shelves yesterday across the nation, so oops I bought it!

What book are you waiting for?


Top Ten Tuesday - Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.  It has since moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover
My favorite color will always, without a doubt, no arguments about it, be blue.  All types of blue: sky blue, turquoise, navy, cobalt, periwinkle, etc.  I mean just look at these gorgeous blues (not an exhaustive list, there are a crap-ton of shades):
With my love of blue, it stands to reason I am attracted to book covers with these beautiful shades gracing the covers.  Below are my top 10 favorite blue book covers (in no particular order because I can't possibly pick one blue shade over another)!






Each of these covers utilizes the shade of blue in an interesting way, either as a shadow or highlight, a depiction of cold or isolation, of love or magic, a stark contrast or crowded blur.  But within each cover the blue helps tell the reader what this book may hold within its pages.  And that is what great cover design can do, whatever shade or picture it utilizes.

What is you favorite color and favorite matching book cover?  Let me know in the comments, so I can stare at all the pretty, pretty books!


BLOG TOUR --- Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne [Review + Giveaway]

Title: Brightly Burning
Author(s): Alexa Donne
Edition: Hardcover, paperback, eBook; 400 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository - iBooks

Tour Schedule

Week One:
4/30/2018- BookCrushinGuest Post
5/1/2018- A Dream Within A DreamReview
5/2/2018- BookHounds YAInterview
5/3/2018- Book-KeepingReview
5/4/2018- Novel NoviceGuest Post

Week Two:
5/7/2018- Eli to the nthReview
5/8/2018- Owl Always Be ReadingReview
5/9/2018- JustAddaWordReview
5/10/2018- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
5/11/2018- What A Nerd Girl SaysReview

The Summary

Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind.

But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.

My Review

While Brightly Burning is packaged as "Jane Eyre in Space", you do not have to have any working knowledge of the classic to enjoy the hell out of this book!  Alexa Donne has done a phenomenal job updating and selecting the choicest plot points and characterizations from the original, spinning them with a clear feminist and modern edge.  This is a non-stop read that will have you racing ahead to find out what goes down!

I've had the pleasure to know Alexa through an amazing sci-fi convention, DragonCon, where she was a staff member on the YA Lit Track (can you guess where we met?).  So I know that she has been hard at work on this book, and it really shows!  The whole thing is a standalone, which is rare in YA these days.  But luckily she's working on another re-imagining set in the same universe, so you'll be able to visit again.

The story follows Stella, a crew member on the clunky, falling apart spaceship, the Stalwart.  She works as an engineer aboard after being dumped by her remaining family following her parents deaths.  But her real dream is to be a governess, as (a) she loves to teach, and (b) that would get her off the failing spaceship, extending her survival.  Being on a good ship is key in this world, because the Earth is experiencing an Ice Age, and any ship who fails must do an emergency re-entry, never to be heard from after.  Needless to say, the Stalwart is looking at a re-entry situation in the very near future.

But get her governess job she does, and Stella is off to the private ship, the Rochester.  But while the ship is amazing, filled with more luxuries than Stella has experienced in many years, it is also filled with mysteries and danger for both Stella and the crew.  With a budding romance starting with the ship's captain, Hugo, Stella must not only navigate her feelings, but the mysterious situations aboard ship.  What is all of this leading to?

I can't say anymore because it will spoil things!  But the Rochester is definitely not where the story ends.  So while some Jane Eyre aficionados may be able to guess plot points, I think that the twists are different enough, while still paying tribute to the original that everyone will love it.  Stella is a strong female lead, and there is an interesting diversity focus in the book; while there are white characters, there are many Asian characters as well.  This reminds me of the show Firefly, where the main language spoken was a mix of Mandarin and English, with a lot of Asian cultural influence (this is something that some linguistics predict will happen, as China is one of the major power players in the world.  Also that Spanish may become a universal language due to the population boom.  Linguistic trends are fascinating stuff).  Stella's pursuit of her dreams, of the mysteries aboard ship, and her relationship with Hugo make you cheer for her to always succeed and get what she deserves.

I really loved Brightly Burning, and I have, honestly, never been a big Jane Eyre fan.  But like I said, you don't have to be to enjoy this story.  It is action-packed, chock full of mystery, survival, and best of all, romance.  Out now in bookstores everywhere, you don't want to miss this one; a YA sci-fi must-have for sure!

Final Rating

About the Author
Alexa Donne is a Ravenclaw who wears many hats, including fan convention organizing, teen mentoring, college admissions essay consulting, YouTube-ing and podcasting. When she’s not writing science fiction and fantasy for teens, Alexa works in international television marketing. A proud Boston University Terrier, she lives in Los Angeles with two fluffy ginger cats named after YA literature characters. Brightly Burning is her debut novel.


3 winners will receive a finished copy of BRIGHTLY BURNING, US Only.


BLOG TOUR --- Cold Hard Truth by Anne Greenwood Brown [Review + Giveaway]

Title: Cold Hard Truth
Author(s): Anne Greenwood Brown
Edition: Hardcover, paperback, eBook; 256 pages
Publisher: Albert Whitman Company
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository - iBooks

Tour Schedule

Week One:
3/26/2018- Angelic Book Reviews- Excerpt
3/27/2018- Portrait of a BookReview
3/28/2018- BookHounds YAInterview
3/29/2018- The Desert BibliophileReview
3/30/2018- Here's to Happy EndingsReview

Week Two:
4/2/2018- Wonder StruckReview
4/3/2018- Adventures Thru WonderlandReview
4/4/2018- Falling For YAReview
4/5/2018- Literary Meanderings - Interview4/6/2018- Eli to the nthReview

The Summary

Emmie O’Brien is a former good girl now on the fringe. She spent a crazy year involved with Nick, her mom’s drug dealer; after her arrest she was lucky to go back to her old life. But she’s haunted by the choices she made—first, to be with Nick, and then later, to testify against him. 

Max Shepherd is a senior varsity hockey player with serious anger issues. His grief over the death of his girlfriend causes him to see injustice wherever he looks. When they meet in community service, Max is drawn to Emmie’s calm energy, but Emmie knows better than to get too close to anyone. 

When friends of Nick show up seeking revenge, Emmie is forced to come to terms with her past, while Max has to control his protective instincts. They must trust one another, especially when Emmie’s situation takes a dangerous turn.

My Review

While Cold Hard Truth isn't going to stand out as a shining star among YA contemporary romance, it was a solid book full of emotional situations and intense issues.  Definitely one that is on the older YA side, so while it is a romance, it is not super cheesy as younger YA romances can be.

Emmie and Max, as the synopsis indicates, come from troubled pasts.  Those pasts influence their future, especially on Emmie's part, as her fex-boyfriend is the one who really landed Emmie is trouble.  So she is hesitant to pursue anything, but as she gets to know Max, the relationship develops.

Emmie was my favorite character. She was fiesty and while she made bad decisions and was scared in different situations, she pushed through to come out the other side.  Max, I felt, was your typical alpha romance lead, being a bit too pushy for my tastes when his and Emmie's relationship was starting.  But ultimately it is Emmie's choice, and she isn't tricked or pressured into doing anything she doesn't want.

Overall, this is a solid YA romance.  It was a fast read, and the situation with Emmie's mom, which started all her trouble in the first place, is well resolved by the end of the book.  If you're a fan of YA romance, you'll like Cold Hard Truth.

Final Rating

About the Author

Anne Greenwood Brown lives in Minnesota with her patient husband and three hilarious children.
She is the author of the following Young Adult novels: Cold Hard Truth (contemporary/romance); Girl Last Seen (contemporary/suspense); and the paranormal mermaid trilogy: Lies Beneath, Deep Betrayal, Promise Bound.
She also writes adult romance under the name A.S. Green.


3 winners will receive an ARC of COLD HARD TRUTH, US Only.

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