May Monthly Recap

~*~On The Blog~*~

Overall a very emotional month for me. It started off with finals and me saying good-bye to many friends I never thought I would meet that have legitimately changed my life and mean so much to me. In the middle I adjusted to being home and learning what it is like to have your independence temporarily stolen from you. And, well, it ended with BEA. What more could I ask for? Side note, because of BEA, the blog has been slightly inactive this month and that will change!

Books Reviewed:
One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva - 5 stars
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick - 4 stars
The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell - 4 stars
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - 3.5 stars
Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel - DNF

Books Reviewed on Tynga's Reviews:
Darkest Hour by Meg Cabot - 4 stars (book #4 in The Mediator series)

The Broadway Review:
  • I introduced this new feature here if you want to check it out! This feature is dependent upon audience interest, so please comment on any of the reviews if you still want me to keep it! At this point in time, I think I will be closing it down after June due to lack of audience interest and how long it takes me to put together these posts.
  • I got to see THE BOOK OF MORMON all because of a simple RT! Check out my journey to the tickets and why I am forcing everyone to go see this show here!
  • I spent my last weekend of freedom in NYC with my best friends, but I also decided to see a show I've been desperate to see because, hey, you gotta go out with a bang, right? OF MICE AND MEN was everything I hoped it would be and more. Definitely on par with THE GLASS MENAGERIE in regards to my favorite Broadway play, but I think it edges it out for the title of my favorite by just a little bit. Check out my review here.
Giveaways:
  • Samantha Shannon, author of THE BONE SEASON, stopped by to tell us about her writing process and to promote her event at the 92Y that happened this month. She was also awesome enough to give away 3 copies of her debut here! Unfortunately, that giveaway has now ended.
  • I launched my blogoversary giveaway to celebrate my two years blogging! You can find six giveaways here!
Discussion Posts:
  • Not many discussion posts went up this month because of my transition to being in college to being back home, but I did manage to get a post up about good places to read if you ever visit NYC. You can find that here! Take note of this list for next year's BEA!
College Blogging 101 Posts: 
  • Rachel from Tiger Lily Rachel stopped by to talk about the importance of having fun while blogging. You have to enjoy the ride!
  • I took a moment to discuss roommates. This was a serious concern of mine entering college and, well, I didn't have the greatest roommate. But that's okay! I learned a lot and, honestly, no matter what kind of roommate you get you can make it through the year. Things will get better and you can go nowhere but up. Check out this post here!
  • Connie from Book Echoes also stopped by to talk about how blogging is beneficial to your career. Guys, this woman knows what she is talking about and it is seriously a huge career booster. Check out why here!
  • My second post of the month could not go up because of technical difficulties. So sorry for the inconvenience, guys! Some things are impossible to work around...like temporary faulty Internet connections.
Discontinued Series:
  • I chose to stop posting "Broadway Review" posts. There has been no audience feedback for it and the posts are too time consuming, so I have to say goodbye...

~*~What I've Been Watching~*~


Broadway Shows:
  • Since I am discontinuing my Broadway Review series, this is where I can talk about the shows I have seen. Firstly, I was surprised with a ticket to Hedwig and The Angry Inch. Guys...this is my favorite show of the season. Neil Patrick Harris is absolute perfection. He simply is Hedwig, and Hedwig is the most beautiful rock goddess out there.
  • I saw THE BOOK OF MORMON and you can read my full thoughts on that show here.
  • I also saw OF MICE AND MEN and you can see my thoughts on that show here
  • Honestly, May was just an out of this park month show-wise.

TV:
  • Once Upon A Time has ended! My heart is broken! However, there was this huge twist in the last few seconds and it is making waves in the fandom. I think it's going to be absolutely amazing!
  • Survivor has also ended. I have to say that I'm not at all happy with who won. I hate his gameplay. It' sad to think that his win was all based on the poor (and clearly deluded) decision of a co-player.
  • The Challenge: Free Agents has been a religion for me and it's got just as much shenanigans and craziness as ever. I am definitely loving this season! Is anyone else happy that Jordan is out of the house? Ugh.
Movies:
  • My college got us free tickets to see an advanced screening of THE NEIGHBORS featuring Zac Efron, Dave Franco, and Seth Rogen. It was absolutely hilarious and I would have seen it even if I had to pay. It was so hard not to go bursting onto the Internet with spoilers because I literally cried from laughing so hard at one point!
  • I did, however, pay to see THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2. Definitely very different from the first film, though I enjoyed it. I experienced an emotional roller coaster and I still don't know how to react fully to certain things. I can, however, say that Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield, and Dane Dehaan who plays Harry Osbourne completely knocked it out of the park. I am so excited for the third one. If Paul Giamatti's acting says anything about it, it's going to be abso-freaking-lutely amazing.
  • Moonrise Kingdom was my last movie night with my girls and holy crap, this movie is sheer perfection. I'm officially a Wes Anderson fangirl. Seriously, if you are a sucker for quirky love stories like I am, this is a must see!
  • I had to pack up my college dorm by myself. Packing and moving out is so much harder than moving in because moving in you have help and you're organized. I no longer had my strong Dad to move things around for me and make things easy. So, with the six hours it took me to fix up my life and empty my dorm room, I decided to watch American Hustle. And holy cow, is this movie a gem. I can't say anything aside from the fact that it is definitely worth a shot. Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, and Jeremy Renner seriously hit it out of the park.
Do you have a monthly recap or thoughts on anything I'm reading/reviewing/watching? Share your thoughts below! Every comment is greatly appreciated! <3

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 224 (Hardcover)
Source: Bought
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

On May 20th, I went to a signing and E. Lockhart was one of the many authors there. She had nearly the entire crowd captivated about her novel for one reason alone...when asked to explain her novel she sat there and explained that her publisher won't allow her to do so. I was going to buy the book and get it signed before she said that, but that line would have convinced me to buy it if I were on the fence.

After reading the book, I completely understand why this book cannot be described or spoken about. Nothing can be said about it because part of the experience is discovering the insanity for yourself. I will tell you nothing of this story, and only of the writing and my most vague thoughts. It would be improper for me to actually analyze anything for you because I don't want to ruin this amazing reading experience for anyone.

Plus...if you ask me about the ending...I'd have to LIE

In the beginning of the book, we are not told much about Cady. We know something bad happened and we know how she is today as a result of whatever happened, but everything else is blank. This story is her discovering what happened to make her the way she is now because she can't remember. It is an absolutely enthralling journey that takes the reader unimaginable places. There's something to be said when an author is willing to go to great lengths and enter untouchable territory. E. Lockhart does such a thing marvelously.

And then there's the ending. Part of me saw it coming only because of a gut instinct, but I didn't exactly see the full picture until I read it. My jaw dropped and I sat there in shock for a little. Anger, grief, sorrow, hope, shock...those are just a few of the emotions that coursed through me after flipping the very last page. The twist in this tale is certainly unique, but I beg nobody to skip ahead. I'm seeing several instances of people skipping ahead and it ruins the tale if you do so. Do not do that to yourself. Instead allow yourself to be immersed in the insanity that is Cady's family and her mind. 

The writing in this book is absolutely beautiful. It is very poetic and unique and though the book is very short, it drags you in immediately. The imagery and detail and out of this world description is mind-bogglingly beautiful. There's no other way to describe it. Awesome story aside, this book is worth reading merely for the writing and the unparalleled story line.

And the best part about this book is that it makes you think. It makes you think about the one percent, those with trust funds and how they go about living. Are things all merry the way it looks on the outside or is there some really messed up drama bubbling under the surface? Are there threats? Is there desperation? It makes you think about the horrors that come with abundant amounts of money and how those with high-class lifestyles may have deep-rooted elitist beliefs and ways of going about things. You know a book is amazing if it gets you thinking.

However, I can't say I loved this book. I was simply satisfied, and I think that is contributed to the hype surrounding this book. Sometimes a book lives up to its hype and sometimes it makes the fall from the pedestal even worse. I was expecting something that completely blew me away, and though I greatly enjoyed the mystery in this one, I was not wowed the way I thought I would be. The hype, in this case, ruined it for me. I hope it doesn't do the same for anyone else.

Warning for parents: There is underage drinking and stupid decisions in this book. 



3.5 stars

~*~Links~*~

Review: What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
Source: Gifted from Gillian
From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.

Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

A magnetic, push-me-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Before I begin this review I just want to applaud that cover. I know Huntley Fitzpatrick fought hard to have a normal girl on that cover and I absolutely adore her for it. And now, for the review.

I wanted to love this one, and I did. But I didn't like it as much as MY LIFE NEXT DOOR. I had trouble getting into the book in the very beginning. Part of this can probably be attributed to the fact that I turned to this book to get me out of a reading slump. The other part of this is because I just couldn't get into it. I think this is because Fitzpatrick has us wait a long time before she explains to us why Gwen is the way she is. We can figure out the general gist of it, but the details and everything aren't revealed for a while. This frustrated me because I didn't know how I should feel about Gwen. Furthermore, when I finally figured out what happened, I was mad that Gwen blamed so much on Cass when it was very obviously Spence's fault. She hurt herself because she chose to play the blame game with the wrong boy. Talk about frustrating. She totally pushed her soul mate away in a moment of freaking out.

Gwen really is easy to love. She's a hard worker and although she is from the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak, she aspires to go to an Ivy League school. Despite her broken family, I still adore them. Her father is a very tough guy who still needs help with his laundry. I think I love him because his masculine ways remind me of my own father. Her mother is a dreamer who is constantly getting lost in steamy romance novels. Her grandfather is a crazy, lovable old Portuguese man that likes to illegally fish. Her younger brother, Em, is simply Em. He is not autistic, but he is something, though there is no way to describe him aside from unique. I absolutely adored him. And then there's Nico, her cousin and best friend, who I enjoy as well. He aspires to be in the Coast Guard.

Then there's Vivie who lives across the street. She and Nico are in love and have been since they were little. I disliked her from the beginning. I found her to be hypocritical and the huge plot twist involving her was something I picked up on earlier in the book, which made it all the more annoying to me when everyone freaked out later. Really, some characters are so oblivious to what is going on right under their noses. I think the fact that Gwen's "rock" annoyed me so much detracted from my love of this book.

And then there are the rich boys. I adore Cass simply because despite his upbringing, he's not a snob. As Em says, he is Superman and he is one of my favorite love interests ever. His best friend, Spence Channing, is a rich snob who should never be given the time of day. I never liked him and I thought he was a real jerk. Whenever he was in a scene, I found myself putting the book down for a few seconds because I found him to be so vile. However, such strong emotions elicited from characters is a positive sign in an author's ability to make us connect to characters.

I loved Gwen's exploration of the island and her life on the island. I loved her story and the underlying themes of sex. The fact that sex is not just sex and it should mean something was hugely important in this book. There was no slut-shaming and instead there was regretful discoveries and do-overs. In other words, I loved the overall plot. Fitzpatrick found a way to take a modern problem and make the readers connect to it wholeheartedly. Though slightly heavier then her first book, she is still one of my favorite contemporary authors.

I highly recommend this one to anyone, but I still believe her debut was slightly better. I'm very curious to see what she has in store for us next. No matter what, I know there will be a ton of laughs.

Warning: There is sex, talk of sex, a little bit of cussing, and underage drinking. 

 
4 stars

~*~Links~*~

2 Year Blogoversary Giveaway #6


So, with my two year blogoversary I wanted to do something big for ya'll. But, as a broke college student, there's only so much that I can afford. I'm going to host six different giveaways for signed books, a small mystery box, unreleased ARCs, and even one international giveaway. You will not find out what giveaway is for that day until you check the website at midnight and the rafflecopter is up!

The final giveaway is going to be a signed JLA book. What book? Well, that will be a surprise since I have learned to love surprises! I will tell you that it is a first edition of whichever book it is. ;) I chose to end this event with a JLA book because I not only love her, but she is an author that I would not have found if I were not a blogger. I owe a lot to my blog in the end, so I thought this was the perfect way to go out.


The giveaway schedule is officially complete. Thank you so much for spending my blogoversary with me!

May 20 --> Comment Contest!
May 21 --> Free To Fall giveaway!
May 22 --> Strange and Ever After giveaway!
May 23 --> Mystery Box of 2014 ARCs giveaway!
May 24 --> signed Alice in Zombieland giveaway!
May 25 --> signed mystery JLA book giveaway!

~*~Giveaway Guidelines~*~
1. Must be 13 years or older to enter
2. Must live in the United States
3. I reserve the right to delete any entries that I deem as cheating. Please don't cheat.
4. Winners will have 48 hours to respond to an e-mail before the new winner is chosen.
5. The giveaway will last for a month after its start date.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Thank you so much for spending this week with me! May the odds be ever in your favor. ;)  
 
 There will be no college blogging 101 post because I temporarily lost Internet and was not able to put it together! :(

Stacking the Shelves #69


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
 
A very simple week pre-BEA, but a glorious one nonetheless.


For Review (Thank You, Bloomsbury!)
Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon

 
Bought and Signed
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Last STS before BEA! I am so excited! <3 What did you add to your shelves this week?

2 Year Blogoversary Giveaway #5


So, with my two year blogoversary I wanted to do something big for ya'll. But, as a broke college student, there's only so much that I can afford. I'm going to host six different giveaways for signed books, a small mystery box, unreleased ARCs, and even one international giveaway. You will not find out what giveaway is for that day until you check the website at midnight and the rafflecopter is up!

The fifth giveaway is of a book that has a huge following. I'm giving away a brand new, never before read signed hardcover of Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter. This series is highly beloved, so I know whoever this goes to will undoubtedly appreciate it!

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….


I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I'd tell my sister no.
I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I'd tell them I love them.
I wish... Yeah, I wish.
The giveaway schedule thus far is as follows...Don't forget to check in at midnight for the last giveaway of yet another signed book. I wonder who the author is. ;)

May 20 --> Comment Contest!
May 21 --> Free To Fall giveaway!
May 22 --> Strange and Ever After giveaway!
May 23 --> Mystery Box of 2014 ARCs giveaway!
May 24 --> signed Alice in Zombieland giveaway!
May 25 --> Mystery

~*~Giveaway Guidelines~*~
1. Must be 13 years or older to enter
2. Must live in the United States
3. I reserve the right to delete any entries that I deem as cheating. Please don't cheat.
4. Winners will have 48 hours to respond to an e-mail before the new winner is chosen.
5. The giveaway will last for a month after its start date.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 Year Blogoversary Giveaway #4


So, with my two year blogoversary I wanted to do something big for ya'll. But, as a broke college student, there's only so much that I can afford. I'm going to host six different giveaways for signed books, a small mystery box, unreleased ARCs, and even one international giveaway. You will not find out what giveaway is for that day until you check the website at midnight and the rafflecopter is up!

The fourth giveaway is going to be a mystery box of 2014 ARCs. Unfortunately, the biggest box I can find in my house can only fit 6 ARCs, but hey, they are all from 2014! They may or may not be released. You'll have to wait and find out!


The giveaway schedule thus far is as follows...Don't forget to check in at midnight for another giveaway of a signed book!

May 20 --> Comment Contest!
May 21 --> Free To Fall giveaway!
May 22 --> Strange and Ever After giveaway!
May 23 --> Mystery Box of 2014 ARCs giveaway!
May 24 --> Mystery
May 25 --> Mystery

~*~Giveaway Guidelines~*~
1. Must be 13 years or older to enter
2. Must live in the United States
3. I reserve the right to delete any entries that I deem as cheating. Please don't cheat.
4. Winners will have 48 hours to respond to an e-mail before the new winner is chosen.
5. The giveaway will last for a month after its start date.
6. The biggest box I can find can only hold six ARCs, but they're all from this year!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NYC Reading Spots: The Perfect BEA Downtime


With BEA quickly approaching, I wanted to take a moment to share my favorite reading spots in NYC in relation to BEA. Some of us are going to be here longer then the few days that BEA actually runs. Why not find a nice place to go with those new books and read? I got this idea off of Jennifer E. Smith's post about places to read found here.

1. South Street Seaport

The Seaport is my favorite place to read. There is an abundance of places to choose to sit, all with different views of Brooklyn. There are certain places that families go, where there's grass, where dogs hang out, etc. Honestly, it's just nice to sit out in the sun and look out over the water while you read. It's made doubly nice that the entry to the seaport has a Hagaan Dazs right there!

2. A Park

I highly suggest Central Park if you are in midtown or upper-Manhattan. It's so large. I especially love The Lawn. I get to people watch and play Frisbee while I take a reading break. Just make sure not to situate yourself near a young couple that are a tangle of limbs. Then it's not so pretty. If The Lawn doesn't appeal to you, they have a bunch of boulders to perch on and an area where you can even watch Quidditch and baseball games.

If you are in downtown Manhattan, then I suggest checking out Battery Park. A lot of free concerts go on here and it also has a great view of the water. I love to go for a walk here every now and then. Brooklyn Bridge park is nice, too, but you obviously have to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to get there. It's a nice thing to do on a nice day. Bring a blanket, a book, and some munchies and you're set for the perfect picnic!

My favorite park ever, though, is The High Line. It's like a suspended garden, pretty much. NYC took old train tracks and converted it into a park. And, yes, there are benches there to sit down with a nice book and enjoy a very unique NYC experience.

3. Your Bed

I do my best reading at night. It's nice to just curl up with a good book, you know? BEA is so amazing, but it is also extremely exhausting. Sometimes you just want to go home with a book and read.

4. The Exhibit Floor

I actually get a lot of reading done at BEA. I tend to get there early, so I'll read while I'm waiting to be let in. I also read on the huge lines for authors. I crack open a book I got earlier in the day that I am beyond anxious to start and sometimes I'll even bring my Kindle to keep up with my eARCs.

5. The Library

Nothing better then being surrounded by a bunch of people that love books, right? Plus, it's always quiet and the New York Public Library puts all other libraries to shame. This is coming from someone whose first job was at a library.

6. The Subway

I'll be honest here, I actually avoid reading in the subway. I love the convenience of the system and I tend to always take express trains, so none of my ventures are long enough for me to truly settle and engross myself in a book. Instead I plug in my headphones and listen to music while I observe my route on a map to make sure I get off of at the right spot. However, it's awesome to people watch and to stalk what they're reading on the Goodreads app. If you do find yourself on the Subway for more then twenty minutes, I highly recommend bringing a book because it is an amazing reading spot if it is not crowded.

Can you share some of your favorite NYC reading spots with me?

2 Year Blogoversary Giveaway #3


So, with my two year blogoversary I wanted to do something big for ya'll. But, as a broke college student, there's only so much that I can afford. I'm going to host six different giveaways for signed books, a small mystery box, unreleased ARCs, and even one international giveaway. You will not find out what giveaway is for that day until you check the website at midnight and the rafflecopter is up!

The third giveaway is for an ARC of STRANGE AND EVER AFTER by Susan Dennard, the epic conclusion to her Something Strange and Deadly series. I loved this book and was so thankful for the opportunity to read it in advance, so I want to make sure someone else gets that opportunity, too!

 In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus...all before it’s too late.

Susan Dennard will leave readers breathless and forever changed in the concluding pages of this riveting ride.




The giveaway schedule thus far is as follows...Don't forget to check in at midnight for another giveaway of a mysterious box. Cue the spooky noises. ;)

May 20 --> Comment Contest!
May 21 --> Free To Fall giveaway!
May 22 --> Strange and Ever After giveaway!
May 23 --> Mystery
May 24 --> Mystery
May 25 --> Mystery

~*~Giveaway Guidelines~*~
1. Must be 13 years or older to enter
2. Must live in the United States
3. I reserve the right to delete any entries that I deem as cheating. Please don't cheat.
4. Winners will have 48 hours to respond to an e-mail before the new winner is chosen.
5. The giveaway will last six weeks from the start date of May 22, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday #47


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.
My pick of the week is...
Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff

From the acclaimed author of Brooklyn, Burning comes Guy in Real Life, an achingly real and profoundly moving love story in the vein of Rainbow Rowell and John Green, about two Minnesota teens whose lives become intertwined through school, role-playing games, and a chance two-a.m. bike accident.

It is Labor Day weekend in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and boy and girl collide on a dark street at two thirty in the morning: Lesh, who wears black, listens to metal, and plays MMOs; Svetlana, who embroiders her skirts, listens to Björk and Berlioz, and dungeon masters her own RPG. They should pick themselves up, continue on their way, and never talk to each other again.

But they don't.

This is a story of two people who do not belong in each other's lives, who find each other at a time when they desperately need someone who doesn't belong in their lives. A story of those moments when we act like people we aren't in order to figure out who we are. A story of the roles we all play-at school, at home, with our friends, and without our friends-and the one person who might show us what lies underneath it all.
~*~Why I Am Waiting~*~
Honestly, I think the synopsis says it all with this one.
Is anyone else looking forward to this book? Share your WoW picks below! 

2 Year Blogoversary Giveaway #2


So, with my two year blogoversary I wanted to do something big for ya'll. But, as a broke college student, there's only so much that I can afford. I'm going to host six different giveaways for signed books, a small mystery box, unreleased ARCs, and even one international giveaway. You will not find out what giveaway is for that day until you check the website at midnight and the rafflecopter is up!
The second giveaway is a copy of FREE TO FALL by Lauren Miller. I felt it was right to start off this giveaway series with a book that came out this month.

What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness? What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice?

What if you never had to fall?


Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results. Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school. Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.

The giveaway schedule thus far is as follows...Don't forget to check in at midnight for another giveaway of an *ahem* unreleased ARC.

May 20 --> Comment Contest!
May 21 --> Free To Fall giveaway!
May 22 --> Mystery
May 23 --> Mystery
May 24 --> Mystery
May 25 --> Mystery

~*~Giveaway Guidelines~*~
1. Must be 13 years or older to enter
2. Must live in the United States
3. I reserve the right to delete any entries that I deem as cheating. Please don't cheat.
4. Winners will have 48 hours to respond to an e-mail before the new winner is chosen.
5. The giveaway will last one month from the start date of May 21, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top Ten Pieces of Advice for BEA


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

So, I picked my own topic today because I wanted to spread the BEA cheer. Here it goes!

1. Get a Subway App and a MetroCard
When I first moved to NYC the Subway system confused the heck out of me. I am happy to say that I have conquered it. This is in large part thanks to the fact that I downloaded the app HopStop when I first moved here. Essentially, you turn on your locations settings and it will find where you currently are on the map and then you plug in your destination. It'll give you a bunch of different train options and tell you where you want to go. The Subway system can be daunting. by the $2.50 taken off of your metrocard for one trip is way better then paying for a cab at times. It's also good to download a Subway map so you can check your route. If all else fails, Google Maps, the king of battery draining, is there too.

2. Bring Snacks
But when I say bring snacks, I mean snacks that will fill you up and fit in your purse or backpack or whatever you choose to bring. I typically eat a bagel for breakfast and survive the day off of granola bars and fruit snacks then have a huge dinner. You are so engrossed in the chaos of BEA that you don't really have the time to sit down and eat or even realize that you're hungry, so bringing snacks for the few times you do get hunger pains while on a long line is definitely a must.

3. Comfortable Shoes
You can be wearing the comfiest shoes around and your feet will still kill you after BEA. It's roughly seven hours a day on your feet hauling around books. It's going to do a number on your feet, but the comfier shoes make it more bearable.

4. Nice Clothes
I'm not saying show up as if this was the business interview of your life, but you are going to meet industry professionals here. Wear appropriate clothing as if you were marketing yourself. Don't show too much skin, don't bear your stomach, but you can be weather appropriate at the same time. My go-to outfit is skinny jeans, Sperry's, and a nice lightweight shirt or a nice dress with comfortable sandals.

5. Business Cards
If you have them, bring them. There are hundreds of industry professionals here, HELLO!!!!!!!

6. Be Kind
It looks really bad if you're pushing people or cutting people or even tackling people to get in a line. Do not scream, do not start a fight. It makes you look bad, not the person you're screaming at. It's easy to get tired and easily angry, but we're all adults united by a common love of books. Have fun and be happy! Don't open yourself up for craziness and don't allow anyone, regular attendee or industry professional, ask why you are causing an unnecessary scene.

7. Schedule But Be Flexible
BEA scheduling is half permanent and half ever-changing. You have to be flexible. While it is important to bring a schedule of all things you are interested in, prioritize and make those your goals. Then make sure you keep track of all non-priorities because booths can change times or a wrong time could have been posted on the website. If you are not flexible, then this can be a long and frustrating three days.

8. Don't Get Blinded By The Books
Obviously, we all love books and the idea of seeing all these new releases is enticing, but don't allow a blind need of books to blind you. Make sure that you take a moment out of your rush to say hello to friends and meet up with them. These are people you may not have a chance to see again until next year's BEA. This is an event that gets book lovers from all over the country's to a single venue. Take advantage of it.

9. Bring A Charger Of Some Sort
I always had my chord on me, but I never used it because it's hard to find a place to charge your phone. Plus, Javits is a battery suck. I often put my phone on airplane mode and take it off every now and then to see if I have a missed call or text message, which I often did because I wanted to see everyone. If you happen to have one of those traveling battery things, then that is a must!

10. Bring a Suitcase
You can deposit your tote bags full of books in a suitcase that you checked in for about three dollars a day. If you have a break inbetween signings or a friend willing to wait on line while you go run and do this, do it. It eases the burden on your shoulders and it frees up your arms for more books. Books are lovely, aren't they?

I am so excited for BEA! Does anyone else have any tips and tricks to share?


2 Year Blogoversary & Giveaway

Happy two year anniversary to Lili's Reflections!

Thank you, Gillian, for making this gorgeous banner
This has been an interesting year full of ups and downs. I've struggled with solidifying myself as a serious blogger and my roommate drove me up a wall, but there has been an outpouring of support from so many people both in and out of the blogosphere. I couldn't be thankful enough. I owe so much to a lot of you. There are simply too many of you to name because my hands would never leave my keyboard.

I don't know where my blog will be at the end of the summer. Its fate is still unknown to me, but for now we are going strong and we will see where my feelings take me. Every single view, comment, and whatever that you do for me leaves a smile on my face. Know that the little things mean the world to me.

Enough about me, I want to celebrate this milestone by thanking you for making me smile by supporting me and helping me achieve this amazing accomplishment. You guys keep me going.

~*~Stats~*~

This is for me to record my advancements each year and to help me take pride in this wonderful little corner of the Internet that I occupy. I want to share some facts with you because when I started this blog on a whim two years ago, I never thought I'd be where I am now.
  1. This is my 598th post on my blog in 2 years. So close to 600 that it is nuts!
  2. I am approaching 160,000 page views!
  3. I have over 1,200 followers total, not including Twitter and Facebook.
  4. After the US, most of my readers come from Russia. Then there are many from Ukraine, the UK, Germany, Canada, Iran, France, Spain, and China. 
  5. I have survived my first year of college without extensive damage to my blog.
  6. I know host giveaways, discussions,  post reviews, share author interviews and guests posts, share The Broadway Review feature, and I've also launched the successful College Blogging 101 feature. I'm trying to expand my content. Is it working? ;)
  7. I will be attending my second BEA and I'm anxious for it to be here already!
  8. I have an unlimited amount of life long friends whether I continue blogging or not.
~*~Giveaway Series~*~

So, with my two year blogoversary I wanted to do something big for ya'll. But, as a broke college student, there's only so much that I can afford. I'm going to host six different giveaways for signed books, a small mystery box, unreleased ARCs, and even one international giveaway. You will not find out what giveaway is for that day until you check the website at midnight and the rafflecopter is up!

~*~International Giveaway~*~

So, there obviously has to be a giveaway on this post! The first giveaway is the comment contest! For the next month (now through June 20th) I will keep track and tally all comments I get on the blog. For every comment your name will be drawn on a slip of paper and thrown into a hat. I obviously draw a name and that person wins!

1. To enter, all you have to do is comment below answering this question: What is your favorite aspect of my blog? Also, leave a way to contact you if you win!
2. This contest is open internationally. 
3. The winner will send me their wishlist and depending on where they live I will order them a surprise book from Amazon or the Book Depository. 
4. The more comments, the more of a chance you have to win. Comments left after you read this post on any post that is currently up or will go up before June 20th will count as an entry in this giveaway.

~*~Remaining Giveaway Schedule~*~

Check back each day at midnight to see the next giveaway. You must follow me to be considered for all giveaways because this is in celebration of my followers.

May 20 --> Comment Contest! International.
May 21 --> Free To Fall giveaway!
May 22 --> Strange and Ever After giveaway!
May 23 --> Mystery Box of 6 2014 ARCs giveaway!
May 24 --> signed Alice In Zombieland giveaway!
May 25 --> mystery signed JLA book giveaway!

Good luck, everyone! <3

Review: The Castle Behind Thorns by Merrie Haskell

Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Pages: 336 (eARC)
Source: Edelweiss
A magical adventure set in an enchanted castle that is sure to appeal to fans of Gail Carson Levine, Karen Cushman, and Shannon Hale

When Sand wakes up alone in a long-abandoned castle, he has no idea how he got there. The stories all said the place was ruined by an earthquake, and Sand did not expect to find everything inside-from dishes to candles to apples-torn in half or slashed to bits. Nothing lives here and nothing grows, except the vicious, thorny bramble that prevents Sand from leaving. Why wasn't this in the stories?

To survive, Sand does what he knows best-he fires up the castle's forge to mend what he needs to live. But the things he fixes work somehow better than they ought to. Is there magic in the mending, granted by the saints who once guarded this place?

Unexpectedly, Sand finds the lost heir, Perrotte, a girl who shares the castle's astonishing secrets and dark history. Putting together the pieces-of stone and iron, and of a broken life-is harder than Sand ever imagined, but it's the only way to gain their freedom, even with the help of the guardian saints.

With gorgeous language and breathtaking magic, Merrie Haskell's The Castle Behind Thorns tells of the power of memory and story, forgiveness and strength, and the true gifts of craft and imagination.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I've never read a novel by Merrie Haskell before, but after reading this one I am determined to check out her other tales. A very loose retelling of Sleeping Beauty, this story focuses on the power of friendship and imagination and emphasizes how forgiveness is important to continue moving forward in life. I adored this fairytale and I think readers of all ages will enjoy it despite the fact that it is a middle grade level book. Really, the only thing that makes this book for younger readers is the lack of romance and the fact that our main characters are thirteen years old.

The very beginning of this book was slightly confusing. Sand literally wakes up in the huge fireplace of the sundered castle with no understanding of how he got there. Once inside the castle behind thorns, he could no longer get out because of the bloodthirsty thorns that surrounded the building. If you threw anything at them or went near them, they would prick you, poison you, and attempt to envelop you. Really, the beginning of the story was very interesting and necessary because we had to explore the castle and understand the unique world the story took place in. But what made the first 15% of the book such a slog for me was the fact that Sand was utterly alone. There was barely any dialogue because Sand was alone and had nobody to talk to. It was all description--necessary description--but it had no interruptions whatsoever. What little dialogue there was belonged to a memory sequence, Sand talking to himself and then scolding himself for sort of going insane, or his conversations with the stuffed falcon that he randomly found while searching the castle. He decided to name her Merlin since Sand needed someone to accompany him in his new castle which he was the "king" of. The second the 15% mark passed it is as if the book took on a new life because everything began to pick up and Perotte was properly introduced.

Perrotte is the famous murdered heir of the castle. She passed long before the sundering, so it is absolutely shocking when Sand finds her in the castle. At first, she's very haughty and frustrating. She's privileged, but Sand is not a peasant that is going to bow down to her easily. This is his castle, his discovery, and his current home because he was alone so long. Observing Perrotte's slow shift in character was perhaps my favorite part of the book. While Sand knew who he was and was comfortable in that fact, she changed drastically and began to understand her past and what her world is truly like. She has a desire to learn and is determined to do so. She specifically loves studying the stars, which I found to be very adorable. For the first time in her life instead of having an evil step mother named Jannet watching over her every move and taking away what is dear to her, she has a friend in Sand. Her story was really quite lovely.

And then there's Sand. Sand's struggle has to do with the fact that his heart is telling him to follow in the family trade of blacksmithing. It is what he loves and how he learns to cope in his new home. However, his father wants him to attend university because he's so smart. It's this ongoing fight between the two that inadvertently led to his awakening in the sundered castle, and it's a huge point of conclusion near the end of the story when all is revealed.

The family ties and twist and turns of events are definitely shocking. People relate to each other in unimaginable ways. While it was initially hard to figure out the hierarchy of characters and royalty in this story, it all became clear in the end. Since Perrotte's castle belongs to a land desperately trying to show that they are separate from France, there's a lot of underlying political plot lines, just as there is twisted familial plot lines that very easily coincide with the Sleeping Beauty tale. All and all, this book is full of surprises that I did not expect. The synopsis above only scratches the surface of this story because it holds so much surprising depth.

I would recommend this to lovers of fairytales as well as those who love the unraveling of several convoluted mysteries. This is also a good book for clean readers because there is no cussing or romance. As a romance lover myself, I thought this would diminish the tale. But the journey towards friendship in this one is so powerful that I find myself completely satisfied with what the future will hold for both Sand and Perrotte. Definitely a tale that will undoubtedly put a smile on your face if you give it the chance to do so.



4 stars

~*~Links~*~

FTC Disclaimer: I did not receive any form of compensation in exchange for my honest review.

College Blogging 101: On Roommates


College Blogging 101 is a weekly meme hosted by Lili's Reflections where a variety of hosts answer questions and give advice in regards to blogging in college. The purpose of this is to help upcoming college students and to create an open discussion forum. If you would like to write a guest post, please fill out this form. If you have a question you want answered, please fill out this form.

~*~*~*~

I left my college on Tuesday, May 13th. My second semester and first year of college officially closed on Saturday, May 17th. Four more years like this and I have my Masters degree.
 

This is my first time writing one of these posts, ever, without having a second bed in my room occupied by someone who pretty much hates my guts. It's an amazing feeling, guys. But also entirely foreign. I know that it's sad to say that I got used to the constant tension, but I did because adaptability is simply a part of life. It's weird not to have this girl who made parts of my first year a living Hell no longer in my life because, unfortunately, she was such a big part of it for nine months. But I'm damn well happy to be rid of her.

Freedom has never tasted so good!

Really, MY independence day.

Part of me is weirded out by this freedom, though. The ability to, I don't know, eat food without being stared at as if I'm fat and the ability to walk around my room wearing whatever I want whenever I want without fear of her walking in whenever is awesome. She will not be missed, but the idea of her will be missed. This person who I hate and could spend months ranting about (and did!) is officially deleted from Facebook and all other social media websites and it's bittersweet. Not because she's missed, but because I grew used to what my life at college had become, her included. But again...it's feel so damn good to be gone! It's also nice to know that people I barely know can stop coming up to me telling me she's a cold person now. I mean, you live with someone and you know what kind of person they are, am I right?
 

I suppose the point of this full-circle rambling and plethora of epiphany's serve a single purpose: no matter what, it will get better.

My biggest fear for college was having a crappy roommate. Lo and behold, look what happened. 

A lot of people have terrible roommates, a lot of people have amazing roommates, but you WILL meet friends at college that will get you through. Take mine for instance:


Say hello to my best friend, Max.

You'll find a Max of your own, good or bad roommate aside. They'll be there for the good, the bad, and the ugly and if they aren't there every step of the way, you haven't found a proper Max yet. According to my Dad, I'll come out of college with anywhere from three to ten Max's, but I'm very satisfied with my one and I'll find the others slowly with time.


I think that my experience has been a very rare one, but in the end I wouldn't change it. My roommate taught me to tolerate idiotic demands and extremely rude people. She taught me how to manage my self control and not throw something out the window when she passive aggressively tweets about me. She taught me what it was like living with a roommate, including the constant banging of things in the morning when she gets ready but that's obviously how it's going to be for everyone. She taught me that people suck (which I already knew, but she and her friends simply reaffirmed this for me). She taught me that even people who can't stand each other can laugh about naked girls scaring their RA together and share a Papa John's pizza at 1am because, damn, girls gotta eat when they're hungry. 

If you get along with your roommate then you have a friend to turn to that'll always accept your bad habits. And if your roommate is your best friend, you'll have a person to cry to and laugh with and never live without. If you don't get along with your roommate, you have a damn interesting conversation topic 24/7.

All situations, though not as ideal, sound amazing to me. You have to learn how to deal with chaos at one point in your life, right? It's better that it's sooner rather than later.

This post is really here to tell you that you shouldn't worry about your roommate. Even best friends will argue occasionally. You have to be open and kind and considerate of what they want and it can happen. Be the bigger person in any and all situations and get through your first year and you'll be set for good for the future. You'll come out with best friends that are fully equipped to handle any and all drama thrown your way alongside you. And while some paths aren't easy, they're all necessary.

Just have confidence and you can really get through anything, even if your smile may occasionally falter.

I can't believe I'm lamenting on my time at college. It's nuts that my first year is over.
 

~*~*~*~

What are your roommate concerns or have you had any unique roommate experiences if you're already in/out of college? Share them below! Every comment is greatly appreciated. <3

Stacking The Shelves #68


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

A very simple week, but absolutely perfect nonetheless. I read ADRENALINE CRUSH yesterday and it was absolute perfection. So excited for Julie Berry's middle grade novel as well!


For Review (Thank you, Macmillan!)
Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Review: One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Reading Level: Young Adult, 13+
Pages: 272 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher for Review
Funny and heartfelt, One Man Guy serves up the raucous family humor and gentle romance of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, as told with David Sedaris–style wit

Alek Khederian should have guessed something was wrong when his parents took him to a restaurant. Everyone knows that Armenians never eat out. Between bouts of interrogating the waitress and criticizing the menu, Alek’s parents announce that he’ll be attending summer school in order to bring up his grades. Alek is sure this experience will be the perfect hellish end to his hellish freshman year of high school. He never could’ve predicted that he’d meet someone like Ethan.

Ethan is everything Alek wishes he were: confident, free-spirited, and irreverent. He can’t believe a guy this cool wants to be his friend. And before long, it seems like Ethan wants to be more than friends. Alek has never thought about having a boyfriend—he’s barely ever had a girlfriend—but maybe it’s time to think again.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I've been looking forward to this book for a while because I don't think that there's enough LGBTQ fiction in the world. But, dang, does this book do the LGBTQ world justice. As a college student that has a gay best friend, I can honestly say that this is as realistic as it gets, and that makes me (and him) very, very happy. I may or may not have showed all of my gay friends this book, actually. Plus the straight ones. Let's get real for a moment...I've shown this book to everyone I know.

While this book is definitely a love story, I interpreted it as Alek's journey of self acceptance. Alek Khederian is our main character and he definitely goes down among my favorite characters of all time. Though very sassy with his strict Armenian parents, he wasn't himself in the beginning of the book. He wore what his mother bought him, did what his parents expected of him, and was never really a person that could stand out in a crowd. He didn't know himself because he was the person that his family had molded him into. And then he met Ethan. Ethan turned his world upside down and made him learn to be his own person. His journey to discovering his sexuality was done very lightly without immense focus, but it was done perfectly. It was not shoved down our throats, nor was it too much in the background of the plot. It was simply there as part of the story and when it happened it happened and he accepted it and moved on. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Ethan, on the other hand, is Alek's complete opposite. Where Alek is very intelligent and does whatever his family says, Ethan is more relaxed and rebellious. Even his speech is littered with slang and cuss words whereas Alek is constantly conscious of what he says. Actually, Ethan's speech in itself is something that you have to adjust to, but it's very obvious that it is simply part of who he is. He is self-assured and comfortable with the fact that he is gay. He has nothing to hide from it and is out and proud to the world.

I found their backgrounds to be very interesting because, like them, I am from New Jersey and often take trains into New York City because it's an easy commute and New York City is so much nicer than Jersey. I'm very lucky to go to college and live in NYC and because of this I often go out on my own exploring. While I read this book, I had a lot of fun noting the places that Barakiva mentioned when Alek and Ethan slowly began to fall in love in New York City. Of the 10+ places I noted from the book, I have visited over 2/3 of them. If you are ever in New York City you should definitely visit The High Line. And if you live in New York City, you definitely need to read this book.

I also found Alek's upbringing to be very interesting. I only know one Armenian individual and I know that two things are true: 1) the fact that the Armenian genocide is not recognized as an actual historical event enrages them and 2) they really hate that Kim Kardashian was chosen to represent their community. This book illustrated both of those aspects of Armenian culture, but also taught us so much more. To see the family dynamic and familial experiences play out is interesting. It makes me curious how much pride is involved in such a community. They have their own church, their own foods, their own everything. I find other cultures so fascinating, so this definitely interested me. It's a young adult cliche to have absentee parents which the Khederian's definitely are not. It was a change of pace to see overbearing parents, for sure.

And, obviously, I saved the best for last. The romance was superb. It was slow-going and perfect. Things were not too fast or too slow. They were simply there. There was no rushing or forcing to take it to the next level--it just happened, and I think that's the way a relationship should be. I was rooting for these two so hard. Heck, I even loved Alek's nerdy older brother and his girlfriend, Nanar. I'm a little upset that this book ends here because I desperately want a second book to see what happens in the future. I'm so satisfied with book one, but I loved it so much that I want more.

Full of laughs, simple writing, and a true story of love between two boys who are finding themselves in this world, I would recommend this to any romance lover who is looking for a unique tale about first love in New York City. This is doubly perfect for those who love reading LGBTQ fiction. In other words, you have to pick up this book.


5 stars

~*~Links~*~
|Amazon|Goodreads|Author's Website|

FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for this honest review.

The Broadway Review: Of Mice and Men

Date Seen: Saturday May 10, 2014
Seating: Row E, Orchestra
Cost of Tickets: $35 each
Ticket Source: Student Rush
Rating: Two Thumbs Up
Last Show Date: July 27, 2014

Featuring:
James Franco as George
Chris O'Dowd as Lenny
Leighton Meester as Curley's Wife
Of Mice and Men is set in California during the Great Depression, and follows two migrant workers George, a sharp but uneducated, short-tempered man, and Lennie, a large but simple-minded man. Together they hope to one day acquire their own piece of land. But when Lennie stirs up trouble on the job, George must choose between protecting his friend or staying the course towards his version of the American dream.
~*~Journey to the Tickets~*~

This journey was really an interesting one. Friday night into Saturday was simply one of those nights where I couldn't sleep. Everyone has them. The impending stress of finals on top of the fact that I was in the midst of my last weekend of freedom in New York City made it hard to fall asleep instead of taking advantage of what the city had to offer. I get a text from my friend Tara around 3:30am that night because she was pulling an all-nighter due to how much work she had left. 

After a long conversation I discovered that Tara had never rushed a Broadway show. She really wanted to see OF MICE AND MEN because she has an obsession with Chris O'Dowd and I wanted to see it because I adore the play. We decided on rushing it since she would be awake for it anyway, but I didn't know if it was a serious decision or not. It was a way to go out of New York City in style, you know?

I went to sleep shortly after that and woke up to a knock on my door around 6:15 am. Yeah, this thing was happening.

Tara and I sat down on plastic bags and read for four hours to guarantee that we would get orchestra seats to OF MICE AND MEN for $35 dollars. I got to observe her reading Shatter Me while I reminded her that if she doesn't like it I may have to disown her as a friend.

After a breakfast run and a Starbucks run, the box office doors opened at 10am on the dot. We got our seats, took some quick naps back at school, and showed up for the 2pm showing. It was absolutely amazing. Afterwards we waited to get pictures with the stars. Unfortunately, only James Franco came out, but I got this gem (including me being soaked from all the down-pouring) right here:


Excuse my wet hair and the fact that my eyes look like they're fully black. I'm secretly an evil being, obviously.

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

OF MICE AND MEN was my favorite play in high school. Actually, my favorite play that I have ever read for school. It was the first play that invoked really strong emotions in me and also the first play that I was truly engrossed in. I think this also has to do with my fascination of interpretations of the "American Dream." I actually wrote an award-winning essay in high school about the comparisons of different American Dreams throughout history and lifestyles as evidenced by The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman. This topic is just one of those topics that I am drawn to, thus I was very worried about this play. I wanted to make sure that these big names did it justice.

And I am so happy to report that they did. I would not change a damn thing about this performance.

Chris O'Dowd was the absolute perfect Lenny. This was made very clear by the very first scene when you see this gentle giant on stage for the first time. Several audience members actually teared up around me right then and there because it was obvious this would not be an easy performance to get through emotionally thanks to Chris O'Dowd. While I feel as if the entire cast was perfect, he was on an entirely different level than any of the other actors. He deserves his Best Actor Tony nomination and as someone who has seen many of the nominees in action, I truly think he deserves to walk away with it. Who would have thought the nerd in the basement on THE IT CROWD would someday turn into this?

James Franco also captured George's attitude perfectly. He was constantly angry and screaming, but he loved that big fella more than life itself. He never wanted him hurt despite the fact that he was the source of all his troubles. Though he flubbed a line or two, I give him major credit. He had some major dialogue in there and worked with it damn well. I wouldn't really want anyone else to play George.

If you've read the play at all, you know that Curley's wife is a very important character though she isn't in many scenes. Leighton Meester played her very well and almost made me wish she was more present in the play. Annoying and naive, yet very desperate for a friend, she enacted her perfectly. On a side note, there's a pivotal moment in the play involving her character and it's pretty funny to figure out those who have not read the play because they gasp in shock when it happens since they never saw it coming. But girl needs to gain a little bit of weight, she's so busy she's turning into a toothpick.

All other side characters were cast phenomenally, but I think the only other aspect of this play worth noting without risking any spoilers is the genuineness of it all. It's very true to script, yet certain mannerisms and the way people deliver certain lines added some light humor to the play that was not present when I read the play out loud in a classroom during September of my freshman year of high school. This made George all the more frustratingly respected and Lenny even more endearing, making the ending of the play all the more powerful.

Bravo, guys. I so greatly wish this was not on a limited run because so many people deserve to see this.

~*~*~

Don't hesitate to check out my other Broadway Reviews here!

You can read more about OF MICE AND MEN here.
 

Please note: This is a new feature dependent on audience feedback about whether you want me to continue it or not. At this point, I will most likely be ending it this summer due to lack of audience enjoyment and how time consuming the posts are.