The Last Good Day of the Year Blog Tour & Giveaway


So I am actually very excited to be part of this blog tour because I am not a fan of scary things. At all. But I really enjoyed this book because it eased readers into the horror slowly, making the entire situation all the more horrifying. ;)

Jessica Warman was awesome enough to stop by the blog and answer a question for me, so check it out below!

A new powerful thriller from the globally-embraced author of Between.

Ten years ago, in the early hours of New Year’s Day, seven-year-old Samantha and her next door neighbor, Remy, watched as a man broke into Sam’s home and took her younger sister, Turtle, from her sleeping bag. Remy and Sam, too afraid to intervene at the time, later identified the man as Sam’s sister Gretchen’s much older ex-boyfriend, Steven, who was sent to prison for Turtle’s murder.

Now, Sam’s shattered family is returning to her childhood home in an effort to heal. As long-buried memories begin to surface, Sam wonders if she and Remy accurately registered everything they saw. The more they re-examine the events of that fateful night, the more questions they discover about what really happened to Turtle.

Master storyteller Jessica Warman keeps readers guessing in this arresting page-turner.
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The Last Good Day of the Year is vastly different than your previous novels. What inspired this change of genre and how did you adjust to crossing genres? 

 It’s funny you make that point, because I genuinely hadn’t considered it before! When I’m thinking about my books, I tend to be much more focused on the characters than I am on the story. The story is important, of course, but I think I prefer trying to dig as deep into the characters as possible in order to tell the story the way I want to tell it, if that makes any sense. And my characters haven’t changed from book to book as much as their situations have changed; I’ve crept along the spectrum from mainstream to thrillers, and now this book is the closest I’ve come to horror, but I’m still dealing with the same kind of people. I think that has much more to do with my comfort level when it comes to simply making things up than it does my preferred genre, really. My first book, Breathless, had so many autobiographical elements out of necessity; I didn’t feel capable of making much up, because I didn’t feel like I knew enough about life. Instead, I borrowed the stories that had entertained me while I was living them.

The genre matter is important, though, because I don’t think I’ll ever want to write another book as dark as this one. It took longer to write than any of my others, and it’s also my shortest novel. That is no coincidence. I love horror movies, and I love scary books – love them – and I always wanted to give writing psychological horror a shot. Maybe I need to take a step back and ease into it more slowly, because I had way more difficulty dunking my head into this story as its creator than I’ve ever had as a consumer of thrillers/horror. Writing this book gave me nightmares. But that’s good, isn’t it? If I hadn’t written it, I think I would love reading it!

Thank you so much for stopping by, Jessica! This is a really unique way of looking at storytelling, and I'll definitely keep this thought process in mind when reading other authors forays into new genres!

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While you are here, don't forget to check out the author posts on tour!


And you definitely don't want to miss out on this awesome giveaway! US only ages 13+.

 

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Stacking the Shelves #99

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

So, it's been a while since I have done one of these since I've been so busy moving out of my college dorm, adjusting to life at home, obtaining an internship, and then preparing for BEA. But here I am with a huge haul that I am really excited about!

It's crazy to think that my next haul will be my BEA haul!


NetGalley & Edelweiss
The Pirate Code by Heidi Schulz (Thank you Disney!)
Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne (Thank you Disney!)
Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally (Thank you Sourcebooks!)
The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas (Thank you Harper!)
The Witch Hunter by Virgina Boecker (Thank you Hachette!)

What did YOU add to your shelves this week?

Let's Talk About It: There are certain words that bug me


In the throes of finals studying, I was hanging out in my library minding my own business when I stumbled across a word in my textbook that so did not belong. That word is acquiesces.

Acquiesce [verb] defined as "to accept something reluctantly but without protest."

So, I don't know if I necessarily hate this word because it is used a lot in regards to women bowing to patriarchal power throughout history, or just because it's plain old weird. Its spelling, the way it sounds when I say it out loud, it just bothers me. It totally halted my studying process enough because I was just like, "ew...acquiesces!"

As a lover of words, I embrace all words out there, even the weird ones that aren't so often used like "acquiesce," but that does not mean I sit there sometimes scratching my head. Then again, weirdness can be found in nearly anything if you look hard enough, right?

So, I have added a new word to the list of words I just can't stand for one reason or another.

  1. Moist (yuck!)
  2. Ointment (double yuck!)
  3. Acquiesce (*wrinkles nose*)
So, what I'm wondering is do you have any words that really bother you? Words that just gross you out or they're just so awkward you stop what you're doing and sit there with an invisible question mark floating above your head?

I'm curious! Let me know in the comments below!

I told one of my English major friends about this moment and it sparked a discussion about words that make us twitch despite our love for words in general. I am curious what other words are out there that, to some people, are cringe-worthy!

Holy Moly! It's my 3 year blogoversary!

Confession: I suck when it comes to commitment.

Yup, you heard that right. I've tried blogging before, on Tumblr, but after a while I got bored of it. I tend to get bored of things in general. I mean, I've even taken a hiatus here and there from reading to keep my brain power going. One of the greatest long-term commitments of my life, aside from certain friendships that have been going strong for well over a decade (I am talking to you Cheryl!), is this blog. Right here. Lili's Reflections. I'm completely awestruck that it has turned 3 years old today.


I don't really know what to say aside from THANK YOU. A huge, huge thank you to the over 3,000 cumulative followers I have found throughout these past three years. Thank you for each and every one of the 256,000+ page views I have gotten, and for every single comment or tweet thrown my way. Thank you for sticking with me and reading my posts and sharing your thoughts in response to my thoughts. Thanks for being awesome, really, and for giving me a platform to voice my thoughts and for giving me a space where said thoughts are actually valued.

I do not think I deserve any of you, but I love the fact that you guys allow me to occupy a little bit of your time anyway.

Through the past three years, a lot of has happened. I experienced what it was like to be at my lowest low numerous times, and each and every one of those times you came and picked me back up, helped piece me together, and told me it would be okay somehow someway. And, each and every time it was, but the simple fact of knowing you have a support network, no matter how big or small is marvelous.

The truth is that I may not be able to ever meet a lot of you. Most of you, really, but that doesn't make you any less important to my life. A lot of you are my friends, and I'm not talking Internet friends, but people that I value in general, that I can tell anything to, that I just simply want to have in my life. You've seen me through the crumble of past friendships that I valued--through the development of severe trust issues and perhaps even a little bit of anxiety--but realized may have been time to end, as well as personal attacks on myself, the struggles of adjusting to college, and the triumphs of college and interning, too. You've seen me literally at my highest highs and my lowest lows and yet all of you stick with me.

And it shocks me every time I open up my blog and I see I have a new follower or a new comment, or someone new as retweeted a post I put a lot of time and effort into. It gives me warm fuzzies inside!


This blog started off as a place for me to voice my opinions and share my thoughts about books. It has expanded into so much more. It has expanded into a place where I can talk about really personal things like my family and college life, a place where I can talk about my general interests no matter how nerdy they may be, a place to talk about my internships, my worries and aspirations for my future, my sheer excitement to know that I am working towards a dream career slowly but surely. But, most importantly, this serves as a place to allow me to connect to you...the person reading this right now...who most likely lives somewhere very far away, but still takes the time to read what I have to say even though I'm just a really tall deathly pale girl from Jersey with a lot of opinions and crazy curly hair...and a tendency to cuss a little too often when she's passionate about something.

Know that this girl appreciates every single one of you greatly. I'm unsure where this blog will be going in the next year as I will be spending 5 months out of the country come January, but for now, let's take it one step of a time and continue this awesome journey together.

But, most importantly, know that this frizzy haired freak really loves you, even if she doesn't really know how to show you that. She's working on it, because each and every one of you is ten times cooler than she can ever hope to be.

The Intern Diaries: A goodbye to Bloomsbury

This is a post series for me to share my thoughts about interning, but also to share what I have learned in office with all of you!

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Friday was a really emotional day for me. It was the last time I got to have the convenience of seeing some of my best friends any hour of the day, the last time I would walk up Fulton Street and stare at the gorgeous Freedom Tower in the middle of the night while I fell in love more and more with my city, the last time I return to my own dorm room where I could adult that way I wanted to since I'll never have that luxury again, and the last time I stepped in and out of the Bloomsbury USA offices as an intern. I kind of lost it at the end of Friday night, really, because I didn't want to leave even one of those things behind, let alone all four at once. Emotional overload.


But I want to talk about Bloomsbury with this post.

Bloomsbury started off in September because, over the summer, I got extremely lucky. I could not pass this opportunity up. But, shortly after starting and figuring out how to fix all of the technology I managed to break in the first week, I fell in love. So in love that I jumped at the chance to continue through the full academic year.

Prior to this internship I never imagined myself as a publicist. I didn't think I could do it. I had this misconception that it was very business oriented, and that I simply was not good enough for it. I come out of this internship enthusiastic about my future, and with a few more steps taken in the right direction. I know a lot more about publicity and even marketing, and I've discovered that I'm actually really good at it. Though I tend to adopt a no nonsense attitude when it comes to distributions, watching how my bosses would work out what goes where, how this works, how that works, where to send this author, who should do this or that, etc. was really fascinating to me. It would be rare for me not to point to a box of books or a pile of papers and ask, "what's that for?" 

As a blogger, I suppose I can say that I also went into this internship with a misconception about publicity, too. All I knew about it was what bloggers know, but there's so much more to it. In reality, bloggers are just a small aspect of a publicist's focus, and, at times, it's very hard to be accommodating because there is so much work that goes on constantly within a publicity department. It's cool, really, because publicity is linked to marketing and even editorial in certain ways, so this internship kind of let me sit back and observe the entire publishing house as a whole while gaining direct knowledge in publicity, marketing, and even a little bit of school & library marketing, too.And my boss's being super busy was awesome for me because once I had proven myself that meant lots of blogger interaction for me on their behalf. Which lead to a lot of excitement between my friends and I, and even the fostering of new friendships that probably would not have been made if not for this internship. A win-win for everyone, don't you think?

And, I suppose that's why it was so hard for me to leave. I was gifted with an opportunity to have fun and learn while I did it. I had an amazing boss. Well...4 or 5 bosses really, all amazing for different reasons, but my main superior was beyond kind and I'm thankful to now be able to call her a friend. I had a great position where I learned a lot and enjoyed doing it. I had fun. I kind of embodied a new identity as "the Bloomsbury intern" because I was able to do so much while there, and for a while it became a part of who I was. It was my job, really, and it was my pride and my joy and the regiment to my schedule. And it was just me...an intern who freaked out whenever an author stepped in an office or new ARCs came in, or even when I got to find out a secret before the rest of the world. And the entire time I was still shocked that I managed to land such a position, especially as someone who turned twenty on the job. 

Now I'm realizing how lucky I am. My age is a huge hindrance when internship hunting still because, in the grand scheme of things, I'm still young no matter how badly I want to parade around screaming my delight at no longer being a teenager. But I'm a young professional with perhaps the most kickass internship under her belt a girl could ever dream of. And, damn, I have to say I'm proud of my accomplishments, which is why it was so hard to say goodbye.

But, as always, I think the future is looking bright. There's still another two years of my life to explore the world, examine new aspects of my industry, and just be a bookish nerd with all of you. And I plan on taking advantage of every opportunity thrown my way. I love interning, and I love this industry, and as long as I am within it, I will be happy.

Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Series: To All The Boys I've Loved Before #2
Publication Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 337 (TLA Exclusive bound manuscript)
Source: Gifted from Mary (Thank you!)
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

This book was one of my most anticipated books of the season, and I'm happy to say I enjoyed it, but it didn't wow me the way I wanted it to. I'll get into that in a moment, though.

Lara Jean is back and it's just as easy to love her inquisitive nature, unique fashion style, and love of her family. Kitty is as blunt as ever and even her Dad is beginning to open up. Plus, she has that weird thing going on with Peter K. that she's trying to figure out. She has a job at Belleview where Stormy, a rather sexy old lady, gives her racy love advice constantly. Her older sister and her are patching things up, there's a dog with an adorable name running around the house, her Dad is taking the steps to being happier. Things are looking good for her. And then her final letter gets answered and someone from her past comes back into her life, and things have to get a little crazy again. I mean, it's Lara Jean, when are things properly normal with her anyway? But with that in mind, she grew a tremendous amount in this book, and I'll forever love her for that.

The main focus of this novel is the romance. After all of her past loves, we need to know who Lara Jean actually ends up with. We find out in literally the last two pages. So the suspense is killer as is everything leading up to it. There's this huge scandal evolving around an important scene in book one that has Lara Jean letting go of her sheltered ways very fast while she learns how to navigate people, mean girls, and even cyberbullying. An interesting aspect to this scandal was the whole sexist reaction to it. People were calling her terrible names, treating her miserably, but nobody bothered with the guy involved and some characters even applauded him. Sexism at its finest, ladies and gentleman, and though it makes me ragey I'm happy Jenny Han explored this.

But back to the romance. There are two guys. It's not much of a love triangle because she focuses on them at different times. But there are two guys nevertheless. One treats her very very well and the other has super passionate feelings for her, but tends to have blinders to the world around him and makes some not so great decisions because of that. It is this character that angered me greatly. I have dealt with being mistreated by people before. Terribly, terribly mistreated, and I've had friends who sit back and let it happen. To put it simply, these people are not my friends anymore. They recognize I am hurting, they recognize that it is not right, but they let it happen anyway. And this situation evoked a lot of really terrible memories in me in that regard. And it made me develop a strong dislike for this character, even if it's not entirely deserved, though it definitely is a little because messing up is messing up. Even if he acknowledged it at one point. Just, agh, it makes me flustered to say the least.

Which, in all honesty, is a great sign of an author, to be able to evoke such strong emotions in me because of my love for literally every character in this book except for Gen--token mean girl and evil incarnate who really just sucks all around and uses terrible familial happenings as a crutch instead of, I don't know, just being a nice person. Anyway, back to the point...My point is that this, overall, was an amazing book, and it's just me and my personal issues that are hindering me from being able to love it to its max capacity. There are mistakes depicting how first love can be hard, there's hard decisions, petty high school drama (as there always has to be!), and, at the heart of it, are two teenagers trying to navigate it together and work their way through some really serious and messed up problems. And I love that.

I just wish the ending was longer. The ending itself was beautiful and satisfying, but also left me simultaneously yearning for more that I probably won't ever get. I was upset that Josh played such a small role in this book, but loved how Lara Jean's family kind of took center stage in his place. And, of course, I wish there was more kissing because kissing is life. But, to set the record straight, I am totally team book number 3! I can't wait for this book to be unleashed on the world, and I can't wait to see what other people think, but it'll certainly be polarizing.

4 stars

~*~Links~*~

Let's Talk About It: Audiobooks


I was talking to Nicole of The Quiet Concert on Twitter because I saw she was listening to an audiobook of a book I enjoyed. I was curious about the audiobook because I enjoyed the book, but after talking to her it got me thinking about audiobooks. To put it simply, I am not one for audiobooks. This is because of many reasons....

1. I feel like narrators can greatly hinder your reading experience if they are not picked right. If a narrator is bad or simply average, it can greatly ruin your liking of the audiobook. I could love a book in its written form, but not be a fan of its audiobook because the narrator was not picked right.

2. I don't really have a place to listen to them. Audiobooks are generally associated with listening in the car, but the thing is I don't drive. I kind of hate driving, so if I am driving I have the music on low and I focus on the road with no distractions whatsoever. But I don't drive at all now. I spend all of my time in New York City where we have subways to get you around, and due to the location of my school, I'm never really on a subway long enough for me to actually get into a story between the ten to thirty minutes of travel I have.

3. I tend to zone out a lot. I like music because when I zone out and get lost in my thoughts, I have a background soundtrack but it is not integral that I am listening to it. I feel like if I had an audiobook in, I'll miss half the story and will just have to rewind again!

4. I can't find audiobooks for phones. I know, this is kind of stupid. I've taken to listening to certain podcasts, but because of my roughly hour-long commute in and out of the city during the summer months when I have obligations outside of my home, I tend to blast through podcasts fast and most podcasts, unless told like a story as in the case of Serial, just don't interest me. If I found audiobooks for phones then perhaps I'd be more gung-ho about them and could find one or two to span me a summer of commuting? Is there, like, a library where you can virtually take out audiobooks for phones or something?

5. There's just something about reading words that can never be replaced in my eyes. I don't know what it is, but I love to read words myself in my own voices instead of hearing someone else's interpretations. Audiobooks would really only help me with pronunciations and, perhaps, nailing an accent.

But, I am willing to give audiobooks a chance! So, which ones would you recommend for someone who has never listened to one before and is looking to be impressed so she would perhaps listen to more? Do you like audiobooks, or are you hesitant like I am? Comment below with your thoughts!