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


BLOG TOUR --- Mayfly by Jeff Sweat [Review + Giveaway]

Title: Mayfly
Author(s): Jeff Sweat
Edition: Hardcover, eBook; 320 pages
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Book Depository - iBooks

Tour Schedule

Week One:
5/1/2018- What A Nerd Girl SaysReview
5/2/2018- RhythmicBooktrovert               - Review
5/3/2018- The Cover ContessaInterview
5/4/2018- To Be ReadReview

Week Two:
5/7/2018- Twirling Book PrincessExcerpt
5/8/2018- Bri's Book NookReview
5/9/2018- K.L. Knovitzke – AuthorExcerpt
5/10/2018- A Dream Within A DreamReview
5/11/2018- Confessions of a YA ReaderExcerpt

Week Three:
5/14/2018- Daily Waffle - Excerpt
5/15/2018- F A N N AReview
5/17/2018-Two Points of InterestReview
5/18/2018- The UndergroundInterview

Week Four:
5/21/2018- Buried Under BooksReview
5/22/2018- YA Books Central- Interview
5/23/2018- Sincerely Karen JoReview
5/24/2018- Wishful Endings- Interview
5/25/2018- Jena Brown WritesReview

Week Five:
5/28/2018- Eli to the nthReview
5/29/2018- Sweet Southern HomeGuest Post
5/30/2018- Simply Daniel RadcliffeReview
5/31/2018- Books A-Brewin'Excerpt

The Summary

Jemma has spent her life scavenging tools and supplies for her tribe in the their small enclave outside what used to be a big city. Now she’s a teen, and old enough to become a Mama. Making babies is how her people survive—in Jemma’s world, life ends at age seventeen.

Survival has eclipsed love ever since the Parents died of a mysterious plague. But Jemma’s connection to a boy named Apple is stronger than her duty as a Mama. Forced to leave, Jemma and Apple are joined in exile by a mysterious boy who claims to know what is causing them to die. The world is crumbling around them, and their time is running out. Is this truly the End?

My Review

Mayfly by Jeff Sweat is a stand-out debut.  A look at a what-if world, where the familiar becomes alien and teens are literally fighting against time itself to survive, this is one book you will regret not picking up.

Mayfly takes Los Angles and turns it into Ell Aye, a world dominated by teens because all the "Parents" have died. No one lives past 17, and this has created a fleeting and fast-paced society where every minute counts, "kids" become "adults" well before 18, and procreation is the most necessary of jobs.  Our main character, Jemma, lives in Holywood, a peaceful community underneath the remains of the Hollywood sign.  She has been tapped to become a Mama, but that isn't what Jemma wants.  So she, along with three other characters: Apple, the boy she loves; Lady, her best friend; and Pico, an Exile from the community of Malibu, set off on a trek to find out why the Parents died and how the teens could survive past 17.

The world-building is amazing in Mayfly.  Ell Aye is both familiar and foreign, with the oral tradition of this new world shifting the meaning and use of everything left behind by the Parents.  Within Ell Aye there are several "tribes" that are all distinctly different and rule over different parts of what we know as the Greater Los Angeles area.  They aren't all peaceful either.  This is a harsh world even if Holywood is peaceful.  There is danger from The Biters, a cannibalistic tribe that rules from Palos Verdes and preys on the other people in Ell Aye, and there is danger from The Last Lifers, teens on the brink of death (all 16-17) who went crazy when faced with the end; now they roam in mobs, killing anybody they find.  All of this is plotted within the first few chapters of the book, and then Jeff does an excellent job adding layers upon layers, reveling what exactly happened to the Parents, and how the societies developed.

Twists around each corner, heightened tension on each page, Jeff Sweat never lets you rest for long within the story.  You are rooting for these teens to survive, raging against all their obstacles, and gasping at the truth they find.  A strong start to a series, you won't want to leave Ell Aye once you visit.  Mayfly by Jeff Sweat is out in bookstores nationwide; do yourself a favor and pick up a copy!

Final Rating

About the Author
Jeff Sweat has made a living from words his entire career, starting out as an award-winning tech journalist for InformationWeek magazine and moving into marketing.

He led the content marketing team for Yahoo and pioneered its use of social media. He directed PR for two of the top advertising agencies in the country, Deutsch LA and 72andSunny. He now runs his own Los Angeles–based PR and marketing agency, Mister Sweat.

He grew up in Idaho as the middle of eight children—seven boys and one girl—and attended Columbia University in New York. Jeff lives in a big blue house in Los Angeles with his wife Sunny and their three kids, two cats, and a racing greyhound.

He loves to travel and writes everywhere he goes, even when there's not a desk. He likes karaoke, motorcycles and carpentry. He was once shot in the head with a nail gun, which was not a big of a deal as it sounds. But it still hurt like crazy.


1 winner will receive MAYFLY prize pack which includes buttons, custom art and maps, and a t-shirt, US Only.


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.
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