BEA-utiful

Hello everyone!

The blog may be slightly inactive for the next 5 or so days because I will be attending BEA! I'm really excited because this will most likely be my last BEA.

Think about it...next year it is in Chicago, which will be a little too costly for me to attend. And the year after at, wherever it will be, may not be a thing for me because I will have received my undergraduate diploma and I will have walked at graduation about a week before BEA. In other words, in an ideal scenario, I'll have a job and life would be pretty snazzy.

With all of this in mind, I'll still be active on twitter, especially at night, and I have a whole slew of posts planned for my return to reality once the craziness that is BEA subsides.

If any of you see this post are also going to BEA, please say hello to me! Just scream LILI across the floor and I'll scream back and we can be two crazies screaming on the floor together. It'll be rad. Just you wait and see.

Post-BEA, I am hoping to share a lot of my treasures with you! I am having trouble finding homes for a lot of my ARCs, so I give them away after they are read to other bloggers or even donate them to my old high school. Keep an eye out for such giveaways because, hey, we all deserve to take part in the bookish fun someway somehow!

Catch ya on the flip side!

Without, you know, driving a car through your window or anything, that is.

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!

~*~*~

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+.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

Top Ten Authors I REALLY Want To Meet

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

This week's topic was great and also offered a nice quick reprieve to finals studying, so without further ado, the top ten authors I really want to meet that I have not read yet. In no particular order...

1. J.K. Rowling- I feel like the Queen is a given. Do I really have to explain this one?

2. Markus Zusak- He authored my favorite book ever, The Book Thief, and I desperately want to meet him because of that. Actually, if I could go to dinner with any author it would be Markus Zusak or J.K. Rowling just because I would want to pick their brains forever.

3. Rick Riordan- Creator of Percy Jackson, one of the authors that got me reading young and introduced me to one of the few series that I've re-read time and again. Just, ah, I'd love to meet him!

4. Robin LaFevers- She brought me one of my favorite historical fantasy series with assassin nuns and a crazy world that I never want to leave. Just, agh, I need to meet this genius woman! She has to come to New York City eventually, right?

5. Rae Carson- Girl of Fire and Thorns is so great! While I did not love Walk on Earth a Stranger, I still love her mind and her worlds, and I'd probably fangirl so hard I'd smack myself in the face if I ever got to meet her.

6. Kristin Cashore- Her books are beyond amazing and I am anxiously anticipating any future works she may choose to produce. The thought of meeting her makes me smile crazily, so I'll make it happen some day. One of the authors I am totally willing to travel for.

7. Emery Lord- I just love her books so much and I can't wait to meet her, BUT I WILL BE MEETING HER IN JUNE WHEN THE BOLDLY BOOKISH TOUR COMES TO NEW YORK CITY AND I CANNOT WAIT!!! AHHH!!!!!

8. Marissa Meyer- Every time she has been to New York City I have been unable to see her! It is so sad! I need to meet the writer of one of my favorite fairytale imaginings ever!

9. Melina Marchetta- I have not read many Marchetta books just yet, but every one that I have read has blown me away. I just have to meet this woman because her books are so amazing and her mind is just so...wow. Just wow. If Melina Marchetta came to America, I am sure there'd be a crazy swarm to meet her.

10. John Green- I feel like John Green is a nerd like the rest of us, and I feel like he'd be a great person to have a conversation with if he wasn't surrounded by thousands of his adoring fans. 


Who are your top ten authors that you want to meet? Do we have any in common? Link your TTT posts below! 

Burn by Sarah Fine & Walter Jury Blog Tour | Author Interview & Giveaway


Sarah Fine is one of my favorite authors and a dear author friend, so I am beyond stoked to be able to kick off her blog tour for BURN, sequel to SCAN! Keep reading for more information about the book and for Sarah's interview that gives her a sneak peek on her upcoming projects! Plus, there's an awesome giveaway!

 Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
"Car chases, explosions and action galoreawesome."—Kirkus Reviews on Scan

At the cliffhanger ending of Scan, Tate loses the very thing he was fighting to protect, what his father had called the key to human survival. Tate doesn't have much time to worry about it because he needs to get away, to ensure he and Christina are safe. His father left him one last thing that can do just that—a safehouse, which turns out to be a clue to what's really threatening the planet. As Tate follows the clues his father left behind, he starts to uncover the truth, realizing he's up against an enemy he's only beginning to understand.

A riveting, fast-paced "we are not alone" adventure, Burn thrills to the very end.
~*~An Interview with Sarah Fine~*~

Hi Sarah! I am so happy to have you on the blog, as always. You know I am such a big fan of your work! 

1. What is it like having a co-author? This series is your first co-authored series and I’m sure writing with a partner is different than writing on your own. 

Walter thinks out the framework and I write the details. Definitely, it’s different from my usual process, but over the course of writing/revising SCAN and BURN, I’ve learned a lot about story structure and pacing. 

2. How does writing a science fiction novel differ from your usual fantasy genres? 

Well, SCAN and BURN are set in the contemporary world, whereas my other books are set in more fictional places. Writing this sort of grounded sci-fi meant I had to stick within the boundaries of the “real” (I mean, for the most part), and rely more on existing technology and rules. I did as much research as I could in order to keep things feeling real and plausible while pushing the envelope as far as thrilling action. I hope we succeeded! 

3. Share with us the most interesting thing you had to Google in the name of research for SCAN or BURN. 

My research about homemade explosives probably got me onto a few watchlists. 

4. Did writing in Tate’s male perspective pose any challenges or new experiences to you as a female author with mostly female main characters? 

Not really. I knew Walter would call me out if something didn’t feel right. I wrote Tate like I write my other POV characters—he’s a developing human being with a set of experiences and knowledge that lead him to interact with the world in a certain way, and that world reacts to him, and they shape each other. He does have a different voice than, say, Wen in OF METAL AND WISHES, but I don’t know that that’s because he’s male and she’s female—Lela from SANCTUM, for example, sounds a lot more like Tate than she sounds like Wen. I just want each character’s voice to fit for them. 

5. The supporting cast of characters in the book like (Christina, Mitra, George, etc.) is absolutely awesome! Were any of these characters modeled off of someone important to you in real life? 

No. I almost never write characters based on people I actually know (with ONE exception, but that character is in one of my other series)! It’s just never worked that way in my process. Some authors talk about having their characters speak to them, maybe even lead them down an unexpected path. I suppose I’m more controlling than that. I need those characters to do specific things, and I don’t want connections with actual people to constrain their actions, motivations, etc. 

6. How did you get the idea for this series? Aliens, crazy technology, wars, and romance and family bonds…it’s all so great and complex! 

This was an evolution, of course, but the idea was originally Walter’s, as he pondered what really might have happened if aliens had invaded at a time when human technology wasn’t advanced. The rest really grew out of the process. 

7. Without revealing any spoilers, what was your favorite aspect to this series to write about? 

Oh, I love writing action. And the final, climactic scene of BURN was REALLY fun to write! 

8. Can you share anything with us about your next project? I love your writing style and am always looking towards the future with you! 

This summer, the sequel to OF METAL AND WISHES comes out—OF DREAMS AND RUST will be available on August 4th! After that, I am really excited to have a new fantasy series starting in January—THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN. It’ll also be published by McElderry/S&S and is about a girl who has been raised as the heir to a magical inheritance that will come to her when the current ruler passes away, but when the time comes, she turns out to be the opposite of what everyone expects. I’m looking forward to sharing it with readers! [Note from Lili: THE IMPOSTER QUEEN SOUNDS SO COOL!] 

Thank you so much for stopping by, Sarah!
 Sarah Fine is the author of several books for teens, including Of Metal and Wishes and its sequel, Of Dreams and Rust, and the Guards of the Shadowlands YA urban fantasy series. She is also the co-author (with Walter Jury) of two YA sci-fi thrillers: Scan and its sequel Burn. Sarah is also the author of the adult urban fantasy series, Servants of Fate, with the third book in the series, Fated, releasing September 2015. When Sarah’s not writing, she’s psychologizing. Sometimes she does both at the same time. The results are unpredictable.

~*~*~ 

Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour!

May 11 - Lili's Reflections - Interview
May 12 - Mundie Moms - Top Ten Sci-Fi Novels
May 13 - Love at First Page - BURN excerpt
May 14 - Oops! I Read a Book Again - Interview
May 15 - The Eater of Books - Why in 5

~*~Giveaway~*~
US only, must be 13 years or older to enter!

Thanks for stopping by and may the odds be ever in your favor. ;)

The Intern Diaries: I've fallen in love with the feeling of productivity


The Intern Diaries is a post series for me to share my thoughts as an eternal publishing industry intern on everything from what actually goes on at the internships to general musings about an internship.

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So, last semester, I put up this post talking about how my blog was going to endure a lot of changes due to my crazy new schedule. Little did I know, this semester would be even crazier...Allow me to let you peek in at my life for the past 14 weeks and what my life will continue to be like for the next week as I endure finals.


8 hour days of non-stop go-go-go? Shift coverages galore? The fact that I had to work 8-2 six Saturdays this semester for events, but they're not on this schedule because it wasn't EVERY Saturday? Yeah, all that and more. It even shocks me that I managed to maintain a social life throughout all of this, trust me. At one point I even had an 11pm-2am shift on Monday nights, but I swapped that out for the Saturday afternoon shift because I just couldn't do it anymore.

It's crazy, don't you think? The fact that the above picture is the regimented aspect of my every week, not including shift coverages, homework, hanging out with friends, interviews, doctors appointments, meetings, etc.

I wholeheartedly agree, but I've realized recently that I love the feeling of productivity. I hate not being productive. And, sure, I love those days where I chill in my room and do nothing but read or watch Netflix, but since I've been living alone I feel even more of a desire to go out into the world and appreciate it whether I'm alone among the millions of New Yorkers or purposely exploring with a friend. I just have to be doing something. And sometimes it's nothing because that's okay, but most of the time it's always something.

I also like the regiment schedule that an internship and two on-campus jobs provides. It gives me something to work around, to make plans, to do homework when DAing so I can make plans in my other free time, etc. It allows me to plan and, in all honesty, I'm a compulsive planner. I have to plan everything. I am the worst person to text spur of the moment because odds are I made plans to have dinner that night last week. It's just who I am because it's important to me to see people and lock things down so that I can actually see them.

It's because of my love of productivity that I hate the summer. I hate the fact that for extended periods of time I may not have anything to do. I also hate the fact that summer means humidity which means ew, sweating.  I am preparing to return to a hometown that I worked very hard to escape because I didn't like it or the people that were in it. I am going back to a town that requires me to drive in order to actually get places, but I hate driving and will forever miss the NYC subway system and the convenience it brings. I am going back to a town where I am reliant on my parents and they insist on treating me like their child, which is proper, but is frustrating after experiencing what it means to be fully independent while at school for two years now. And I am going back to a town where I can't work because it is so small the only job that will take you for a summer is if you want to be a delivery boy...notice how it does not say delivery girl. I am taking the steps to creating a productive summer, pursuing opportunities I really want to be a part of, but nothing is set in stone yet.

So, at this very moment, I am facing a summer of non-productiveness, and while it makes me really excited for all the reading I can get done, it's also scaring the daylights out of me after becoming accustomed to and learning to love a life where I am constantly working towards my goals, my future, towards monetary means, and even towards school spirit.

I think this is a great value that interning and working in general has instilled in me, and it'll make me pursue internships in my future with abandon. In truth, I don't want this character trait to ever leave me. I like the way that I've adjusted to college and school and work and interning, but because I'm taking more than half of those things out of the equation for this upcoming summer, I'm a little lost.

I was trying to describe this feeling to one of my friends recently and they laughed. They can't wait for the summer to laze around at their uncle's vacation home the entire time. That sounds wonderfully appealing to me, but I can't imagine spending three months of my life doing that. Three weeks maybe? Three days for sure! But three months?

So, I'm wondering, does anyone else have trouble turning off that productivity switch, so to speak, or would you say you simply don't have one at all? I know people like me and people who aren't, and I'm realizing a lot of it depends on where you are in life, what you're looking forward to, and what you've experienced in the past. I'm wondering if I'm the only crazy willing workaholic out there? I gotta find my clones here!

As always every comment is appreciated! <3 I am looking to foster a discussion with this one!

2015 Summer of Series Challenge

Sign ups for the first Summer of Series Challenge are now open! Scroll down to add your name/blog post to the linky, but read on for further information.

Last summer, I challenged myself to a Summer of Series, meaning I tried to read as many series as I could in the summer. There was a ton of buzz around it, and a lot of people expressed interest in it, so I contacted Danielle from Love at First Page who was doing her own year-long series challenge, and together we concocted this wonderful challenge by combining our efforts for you so that we could all join in on the summer fun!

So what will Summer of Series entail? Simple... read as many books as you can that belong to a series! Specifically, we are challenging you to read one series, front to back, each month for June, July, and August. Knock some lovelies off your TBR with it! We are counting a series as a trilogy or group of companion novels with at least three books in it. We ask that you do not include re-reads for this portion of the event, unless it's the first book of the serious only.

In addition, throughout the summer we will have some of our favorite authors stopping by on our blogs (typically on Thursdays and Saturdays) to answer fun questions about their series. (Bonus: there will be many giveaways in your future if you are part of the event!) Just to get you excited, these authors include Victoria Schwab, Susan Dennard, Miranda Kenneally, Sherry Thomas, A.C. Gaughen, and more! We are thrilled to have so many authors on board, and our hope is that this will spread the love of their series.

Be sure to follow myself (@LiliReflects) and Danielle (@loveatfirstpage) on Twitter as well as our blogs to stay up to date on the challenge!

So what's the first step? To participate, put together a post announcing your intentions to join the challenge (be sure to link to my and Danielle's blogs!, and feel free to use the banner) and where you can also update your progress each month. Next, link that post to the sign ups below! You are more than welcome to share which series you plan on reading, or you can write down ideas or ask for suggestions if you are unsure. Some of our own recommendations include:

~*~Lili's Recs~*~
Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson
Anna and the French Kiss companion series by Stephanie Perkins
His Fair Assassin Trilogy by Robin LaFevers
The Mediators series by Meg Cabot
Scarlet trilogy by A.C. Gaughen
The Lynburn Legacy trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan

~*~Danielle's Recs~*~
The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
Under the Never Sky trilogy by Veronica Rossi
Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater
Penryn and the End of Days trilogy by Susan Ee

Challenge Goals:
  • Encourage readers to start more series and to introduce them to new ones.
  • Knock some books off the ever-present TBR.
  • Have fun!
Challenge Details + Rules:
  • Summer of Series will run for the months of June, July, and August, and we'll wrap everything up on September 15th. Please look for posts at the beginning of each month, as that will house the series giveaway link ups. June will again include the original sign up linky, whereas July will include a new linky for you to share a review of the series you read in June (the same goes for the beginning of August--for the series read in July--and the beginning of September for the series read in August). We will choose one winner each month.
  • To be eligible for each monthly prize, you must add your name to the sign ups below (please link directly to your post, not your blog!) as well as the link to your full series review. There are no specific requirements for the reviews; just be sure to share your thoughts somewhere: your blog, Goodreads, etc. In other words, you have to complete the challenge each month by reading a full series. 
  • Remember, you do not have to link up to the challenge to enter these giveaways, but you have a greater chance to win if you do so! Simply posting about Summer of Series on your blog and adding that to the Linky qualifies you for these extra entries, as does actually signing up for the event. Completing the monthly challenge is required only to qualify for our end of the month round-up giveaways for a book of your choosing.
Series Challenge Giveaway:
  • The giveaway is one book per winner (three total) and is open internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to you. Winner receives a book of their choice, as long as it belongs to a series.
  • You will get one entry for the series that you read and reviewed for the challenge, but you can also link up to reviews posted the previous month for books belonging to a series (each book review gets you one more entry!). You will be eligible to link up during the first 15 days of the month.
Example: July 1st Link Up
  • I read the Under the Never Sky trilogy in June. I add the link to my review or acknowledgement of its completion to July's link. That's one entry.
  • I also posted a review of All Lined Up by Cora Carmack in June. I ad the link of that review to the linky. That's one entry since it works towards another series.
  • I also posted an ARC review of Lion heart by A.C. Gaughen in June. I add the link of that review to the linky. That's one more entry.
  • I get three entries total. One for completing my monthly challenge and two for reading two more series-related books and posting about them somewhere either in a review or in my monthly recap.


  • Just keep in mind that you cannot add reviews for series-related books only. To be eligible for the giveaway, you must have read and reviewed one complete series that month.
  • Each author giveaway will have its own criteria specified in that post, but entries do not depend on completing a series each month like the overall giveaways do.
Sign Ups:
**Remember to link us to your post not your blog!
**The deadline to join is August 31st!

I am so excited to be opening this to the public for the first time ever! I hope all of you are half as excited as I am! Good luck!


Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 343 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher for Review
When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.
The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.
Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~ 

Going into The Fill-In Boyfriend I was both wary and excited. Excited because Kasie West's contemporaries always wow me, but wary because despite my love for the fake boyfriend trope, Gia seemed very vain and there was a huge chance I wouldn't like her. Well, all that worrying was for naught because I love her, and I would totally read a sequel to this one if Kasie West ever decided to write one.

Kasie West does the fake boyfriend story so well! Fill-in Bradley and Gia, despite meeting in one of the most unconventional ways ever, really fit well together. They bring out the best in each other and Fill-In Bradley is an amazing guy. Discovering him for yourself is part of the fun, so I am not going to say anything about him aside from the fact that I can appreciate any kind of nerdy boy that understands emotions well when his own aren't getting in the way. Gia starts the book off very vain, but luckily her evolution starts quickly and she soon becomes a girl that is easy to love and respect. She becomes aware of her old, selfish ways, how terrible her friends are, and even how great people she judged prematurely could be. Never judge a book by its cover, after all. So, in other words, Gia's character evolution is A+ and she's a girl worth rooting for, making this romance even better.

My one issue with this novel is Gia friends. They absolutely suck. Jules sucks the most because she's a bully and is constantly competing with Gia, making her out to be a terrible person and picking apart everything in her life, but her other friends seemed to lack depth and a true understanding of Gia. As she started to transform for the better, they would just look at her in a confused way. No, guys. No. And while there's some small form of wrapping up their story line in the end, not all questions were answered in regards to them. Too many plot holes in a very important aspect of the novel, if you ask me.

But her terrible friends were overshadowed by an outstanding love interest, a great character evolution, and a newfound best friend that kicks some serious butt in the awesomness department. Plus, Gia's family, while really cold and calculating, is great because, like her, they undergo huge character developments and take steps to becoming a proper family instead of focusing on the terrible family YA trope of being absentee parents or all-around bad people. They've got a long way to go, but their evolution was nice to watch and it gave me hope as a reader, for both their fate and Gia's ability to have a proper support system that she can wholeheartedly trust for once in her life.

In the end, I absolutely loved this book. I was laughing out loud in a park while I read it, smiling crazily at the sheer cuteness of it all. Really, though, when does Kasie West not put a smile on anyone's face? Another gem by a contemporary genius. She's got me in the palm of her hand forevermore. 

4 stars

~*~Links~*~

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

Waiting on Wednesday #53


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.

My pick of the week is...

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if there is more than one world? From Heather Dixon, author of the acclaimed Entwined, comes a brilliantly conceived adventure that sweeps us from the inner workings of our souls to the far reaches of our imaginations.

Jonathan is perfectly ordinary. But then—as every good adventure begins—the king swoops into port, and Jonathan and his father are enlisted to find the cure to a deadly plague. Jonathan discovers that he's a prodigy at working with a new chemical called fantillium, which creates shared hallucinations—or illusions. And just like that, Jonathan is knocked off his path. Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that calls to mind The Night Circus and Pixar movies, but is wholly its own.

~*~Why I Am Waiting~*~

Firstly, do you see that cover? I acknowledge that when it comes to books I am totally vain and will fall in love with anything pretty, and this cover is just so pretty! On top of that, the synopsis has me hooked. Parallel worlds are always amazing when done right, and I am expecting this book to be awesome. Plus...I mean...there's an ode to Pixar in there. While tag-line related comparisons are typically never for me, Pixar is my life and such a line will always make me hopeful. Just, agh, I can't wait!

 Have you read this book? Do you plan on reading this book? Did you write your own WoW post of the week? Share your thoughts below!

A Court of Thorns and Roses Blog Tour | Sarah J. Maas's Top 5 Fairytale Retellings


AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! It is here!!!!!!! ACOTAR IS UNLEASHED UPON THE WORLD!!!!!!!!! Okay, now that I've got that out of my system, I was super excited when I was asked to be part of this tour because, hello, Sarah. J. Maas...Queen of YA Fantasy. Anyway, Sarah was awesome enough to stop by and share some of her favorite fantasy retellings with me because I am a fantasy nut just like her. When I heard her second series was going to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I seriously forgot how to breathe for a second, so the topic was fitting, don't you think? Check out a little bit about the book then continue on for her amazing list of recommendations and an awesome tour-wide giveaway sponsored by the lovely gals at Bloomsbury.

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

~*~Sarah's Top 5 Fairytale Retellings~*~

Oh, God. Where do I even start with this subject?

Hello, my name is Sarah. I've been a fairy-tale addict since I was in diapers.

You think I'm joking. I'm not. Growing up, I forced my parents to read me every and any fairytale they could get their hands on. And not just Europeans ones--I wanted folktales from around the world. More than that, I wanted stories about cunning, fierce, resourceful heroines. Even at a young age, those were the stories I wanted, I craved.

Growing up, I was no different. And when I learned that there were fairytale retellings? I was a goner.

I could go on and on and on about my lifelong obsession with fairytales and folklore. But I thought I'd compose a list for you all--my Top Five Fairytale Retellings.
Without further ado...  

1. Anything by Robin McKinley. I think she’s the official Queen of retellings. Beauty, Spindle’s End, Deerskin (my favorite), Rose Daughter… McKinley was my gateway drug to not just retellings, but fantasy as well.

2. Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey. I am the biggest balletomane. The biggest. I have season tickets to the American Ballet Theater, and go to see
Swan Lake every year. So when I stumbled across Mercedes Lackey’s retelling of Swan Lake from the point of view of Odile, the black swan, I was in heaven. Plus, it’s got one of the most gorgeous covers/dresses of all time. 

3. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. Flawless YA fantasy. Flawless.  

4. Black Ships by Jo Graham. Okay, it’s not a fairy-tale, but it’s a retelling/prologue to The Aeneid and it’s freaking incredible. I wish more people knew about this book.  

5. Everything ever by Patricia A. McKillip. Okay, she doesn’t have retellings, but her writing is literally a fairytale given form. Lovers of fairytales will go nuts over her books. Start with Alphabet ofThorn or The Forgotten Beasts of Eld.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Sarah. I have definitely added some of these to my TBR!

~*~Giveaway~*~
This giveaway is US only and is sponsored by Bloomsbury USA. You must be 14 years or older to enter.
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Don't forget to check out tomorrow's tour stops at Dark Readers, Fiction in Fiction in Fiction, and Bookish Broads