Sunday, September 10, 2017

I Hate Everyone But You Blog Tour (Excerpt)


ABOUT THE BOOK


Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Sincerely,
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)

We're still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.
G

So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?



EXCERPT

THE COMPLETE MORTIFICATION OF AVA HELMER (1999–PRESENT)

Ava Helmer <AVA.HELMER@gmail.com>

to Gen


1) Birth. I poop inside my mom’s womb. I obviously don’t remember this. But I do remember all the times my mom talked about it at family events.

2) Kindergarten. I try to sit on the teacher’s lap during naptime. She tells me that is inappropriate. In front of the entire class.

3) Third grade. Becky Olsberg and Laura Jenner invite me over for a playdate. We share secrets. I confess that sometimes I eat flowers. They tell everyone that I am secretly a horse trapped in a girl’s body.

4) All of middle school.

5) Jordan F. asks me to come over to his house to ask me about you. (Did I ever tell you this? I knew you hated Jordan F. so I might have kept that as a silent shame until now. Oh, no. What if you DIDN’T hate Jordan F. and I ruined your one shot at true happiness as well as any chance of you staying in California for college? He goes to Stanford. I love him so much.) 

6) Prom. You remember. 

7) Day 3 of rushing. When I find out that only 3 of 10 houses want me back. EVEN THOUGH THE AVERAGE IS 7! Only getting asked back to 3 houses in the second round is unheard of. I’m mortified.
a) One of those houses, Pi Phi, is like the COOLEST house on campus, so they have obviously just invited me back to be nice. Or as a cruel joke. (Please refer to #3 above.) 

 I don’t even want to go back to rush. If I do, I’ll feel like I’m asking for it. (Not sexually; I know women can’t actually do that.) 

 I want to cry, but stupid Jessica won’t leave the room! 

A dead person, formerly known as Ava Beth Helmer 

P.S. I’m already crying. Just really softly.


AUTHOR INFO

 

Allison Raskin & Gaby Dunn are two best friends who live in Los Angeles. They started the comedy YouTube channel Just Between Us in 2014 and have since then spent far too much time together. Gaby’s journalism has appeared in pretty much every major publication and Allison has written some really funny group texts with her family. They hope to die within one hour of each other so neither has to plan a funeral. I Hate Everyone But You is their debut novel.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I'm on Bookstagram!

I've spent so much time on Instagram, and of course, one of my favorite types of accounts to look at are bookstagram accounts!  I've come across many and realized that they're run by bloggers I've been following for years, and there are many more I've discovered through that platform alone.  I've always thought "why don't I try this?", because I went to school for photography, after all, and I've always loved shooting still life.

In May I took the leap and created a separate account for my books.  Like my blog, it's simply called thehollowcupboards.  I started to love setting the pictures up, editing, and figuring out how to caption them.  Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my recent Life Update post, I had to pack up all of my books, so at the moment, I'm very limited to the pictures I'm able to take.  I'm hoping to get back into it very soon, though!  Here are a few of my favorites so far:


Are you a Bookstagrammer?  Leave your username below so I can follow you!

Life Update #1

I've disappeared for a few months, and here's why:

1) My bedroom ceiling collapsed!  I had to pack up all of my belongings and move them out so my room could be completely redone.  The hardest thing I had to do was pack up my books.  I must have 20+ boxes of them!  It's bittersweet, because although starting over again is good, and this is my first time giving my room a makeover since high school, my walls are no longer turquoise.  This kills me because that color was my favorite thing about my room.  I have since purchased a tapestry that I'm hoping will make me feel more at home until I decide where I'm going next.

2) I quit my job and started a new one!  Let's be real, waking up at 4:30AM sucked, but the people I worked with sucked even more.  Although I loved the pay, the tasks, and the feeling of accomplishment, none of that was worth going home crying every day.  I ended up taking a job with one of my best friends, and it's so much closer to my house, the hours are great, and I have a lot of time and freedom, so I'm able to work on my blog more, catch up on my tv shows, and read more books!

3) We had puppies!  Well, Joel's dog had puppies...but I imagine that it's almost as exhausting as having children, because there are 7 of them and they need us ALL the time.  They're the most adorable little creatures, though, and I've definitely fallen in love.


For more puppy pictures, check out my Instagram!

In other news:
I've decided to dye my hair pink and purple!  While I have played with colorful dye in the past as an angsty emo teenager, I've never had the balls to dye my whole head.  Once my manager gave me the okay to (my last 4 jobs wouldn't allow unnatural colors), I jumped at the opportunity, bought a variety of dyes because I had NO idea how I wanted to do my hair, and went crazy.  I love the way it turned out, but it's fading A LOT each week, so I've already redyed it twice.  I'm planning on posting more about it, because I'm planning to keep these fun colors as long as I can!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ipsy July 2017

Another subscription I opted to join is Ipsy, a $10 a month beauty bag!  I love makeup, but I don't love paying for it because I just don't put a whole new face on every day.  As with most things, I go through a phase of loving it and wondering why anyone would waste their money on something that they'll never use most of.  I can't even tell you how lipstick crazy I went last year, or how many eyeshadow palettes I own.  Those are my downfalls!

When I saw my one of my friend's ADORABLE makeup bag, and she told me it was from Ipsy, I signed up just for that!  In the bag, they include a variety of 5 items hand-picked to suit your style.  While most of the items are deluxe sample sizes, usually one or two items in the bag will be full sized!  I did the math, and this month, my Ipsy bag was worth at least $40!

This month Ipsy collaborated with Gudetama, the lazy egg from Sanrio!


So what was in my bag?
-Hypnose Drama mascara from Lancome
-Winky Lux Double Matte Whip liquid lipstick in the shade Angel Food
-Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive facial cleanser
-mPrincess pressed eyeshadow in the shade Biscuit
-Ciate Wonderwand gel-kohl eyeliner in Black
-Hempz herbal lip balm

First off, the bag is super cute, and I'm very pleased.  I love Sanrio characters, and Gudetama is SO me.  Although the bag smelled a bit plastic-y/like chemicals, it didn't bother me at all.

I've only gotten the chance to try a couple of these items, but my first impression was a little meh.  I could live without these items in my collection, but I have to say that I really do enjoy the Hempz herbal lip balm.  It smells and tastes good, it keeps my lips moisturized, and I find myself reaching for it more than my EOS lip balm (which I couldn't live without for the longest time).

The mPrincess eyeshadow will probably get more use as an under-the-brow highlight, and the Hypnose Drama mascara seemed to hold up just fine for me.  

I was most excited to try the Tarte cleanser because I love that brand, and I've already thought about purchasing it, so why not try before I buy?  I was so disappointed by the size of it that I haven't even picked it up yet.  At about half the size of one of my fingers, it's easy to forget about, but I'm hearing that a little goes a long way!

The Winky Lux lipstick seems a little too peachy for my skin tone, but I haven't done more than a swatch on my arm, so maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised when I try it on my lips.  I also haven't tried the Ciate eyeliner, although I'm glad to have it, because even if I skip any other item, I will always reach for an eyeliner.

LootCrate July 2017

As I've mentioned here, I've wanted to subscribe to LootCrate for years.  In April, I went for it, because I read a spoiler that the box would contain items from Stranger Things, The X-Files, and Batman.  I was not disappointed.  Three months later, I enjoyed it enough to subscribe to another 3 months!  

This month's theme was Animation, and it was so anticipated that the box became sold out half-way through the month!  Items included were based around the shows, Bob's Burgers, Futurama, Rick and Morty, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I can't say I'm the biggest fan of any of these, but I can still appreciate and enjoy the items included.


So what's in the box???
-Futurama Slurm can koozies
-Rick and Morty "Peace Among Worlds" figure
-Bob's Burgers Recipe Cards
-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt
-Bob's Burgers Gene enamel pin

I love the pins that LootCrate includes every month!  I'm slowly building up my collection, and I'll need to figure out a way to display them...At the moment I have them all pinned to my Totoro messenger bag, but since I don't want to lose them when I'm on the go, I'm thinking of getting a small cork board to display them instead.

The Bob's Burger recipe cards are so great!  Sometimes I'm feeling a little adventurous, and there are 25 unique recipes that I can try out when I'm sick of having a plain old cheeseburger.

Finally, a t-shirt to match my phone case!  Haha.  Joel bought me a TMNT phone case a year ago because it was one of the only iphone 4s cases he could even find in store anymore (I know, my phone is a dinosaur!)  I have to say that the t-shirts are my favorite part of each LootCrate, because they generally feature something that I'm fond of, and if they're not, they're something that I can give to friends!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Bout of Books 19: Goals and Updates

Lately I've been wanting to read so many books at once, when I came across a post for the Bout of Books readathon, I knew I had to join!  It's a low-pressure, week-long readathon, giving me plenty of days to read as much as my heart desires without stressing out about it!


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Readathon TBR


I'm starting this readathon with something I rarely ever do...a reread!  Thirteen Reasons Why is one of my favorite books, and starting the Netflix series made me itch to pick the book up again!  After that, I'm planning on finishing The Unexpected Everything, which I'm already halfway through.  Honestly, I'm not expecting to read all of these.  I'll be glad if I get through 3, but I have no reason not to aim high!

Progress:

        Monday                                                                                  Tuesday
-Books read today: 0                                                               -Books read today: 1
-Number of pages read: 252                                                   -Number of pages read: 50

      Wednesday                                                                              Thursday
-Books read today: 0                                                                -Books read today: 0
-Number of pages read: 0                                                        -Number of pages read: 28

          Friday                                                                                   Saturday
-Books read today: 0.5                                                              -Books read today: 1
-Number of pages read: 237                                                     -Number of pages read: 228

          Sunday
-Books read today: 1
-Number of pages read: 269

-Total number of books finished: 3.5
-Total number of pages read: 1,064

Overview:

Monday: From the moment I started watching Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix, I knew that I wanted to reread the book, because it had been about 5 years since I first read it and I was foggy on the details of the story and I wanted to see how the two compared.

Tuesday: In the early hours of Tuesday, I finished the last 50 pages of Thirteen Reasons Why, but got caught up in errands, so I wasn't able to start my next book just yet.  The book was as good as I remembered, although I didn't cry this second time around.

Wednesday: My boyfriend was kind enough to share his cold with me, so I spent a majority of the day in bed, trying to sleep off the virus.  No such luck...it's Sunday as I type this, and I'm still sick!

Thursday: Still fighting a cold, so I was only able to read a few pages of Shattered Warrior, which is a really great graphic novel that I'll be a part of a blog tour for very soon!  This one wasn't even on my list, but it was calling to me from my bookshelf.

Friday: I finally finished the last half of The Unexpected Everything, and I have to say, it wasn't my favorite Morgan Matson book.  It was cute, don't get me wrong...I guess I was just hoping for more from such a long story.

Saturday: I continued reading Shattered Warrior until I finished it in just over an hour.  Can't wait for a sequel!  Review will be up on May 24th!

Sunday: Finishing off this awesome readathon with Words in Deep Blue, because I know it'll be a quick and easy read for me, but I don't want it to stop here!  I want to keep pushing myself to read multiple books a week.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

What I've Been Watching: April/May

What I've finished:
Parenthood
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2

I decided to watch Parenthood after my Gilmore Girls binge because I couldn't get enough of Lauren Graham, and it turned out to be an amazing show that I hadn't heard that much about prior to watching!  It's emotional and funny, but also so realistic.  I wish I had a family like the Bravermans.  

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 was actually better than the first, which rarely ever happens!  I'm so in love with Chris Pratt, and I already can't wait to go see it again.  Of course, we had to rewatch the first one immediately after seeing the sequel.


Currently watching:
The Anna Nicole Show
Santa Clarita Diet

I'm not one for crappy reality tv, but I watched one episode of The Anna Nicole Show and got sucked in.  I doubt I'll finish it, but it's good for when I want something mindless.  In a way, it reminds me of The Osbournes, which I actually really loved when it first came out, so it's bringing back some nostalgic feelings.  

Santa Clarita Diet is kind of hokey, but I'm really enjoying it.  The dialogue always has me laughing out loud.  Drew Barrymore is also one of my favorite actors, and it's great seeing her in a tv show!

What's next:
Thirteen Reasons Why

I'm planning on starting this show today, because there's so much controversy over it lately.  I read the book years ago, and it was one of my favorites, so I still have high hopes.  I think once I finish this show, I'll probably want to reread the book to compare.


Have you seen Thirteen Reasons Why?  What did you think about it?
What would you recommend I watch next?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Challenging Reality of a Book Junkie

What's the point of having a book collection?  How often do you actually reread books after you've already finished them once before?  Personally, it is rare for me to reread something unless I absolutely loved it.  Having a book collection is not like having a movie collection, because admittedly, I have watched many of my DVDs at least two or three times over, and yet I have only read most of my books once.  The rest of my books fall into the categories "soon" and "someday".

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love having a collection.  I love having options.  If I have an entire room of books, the possibilities are endless.  Unfortunately, my space is so limited right now, I've come to the realization that I have two options: get rid of some or stop adding to the pile.  Recently, my best friend's teenage sister asked me if I had any books for her to have, because she's just starting to get interested in reading.  I was instantly filled with the excitement of opening her eyes to so many new worlds, just as I was able to do at her age, when I started this blog.  Instead of feeling dread, I was looking forward to going through my shelves, piles, and stacks.


For as long as I've been blogging, I've been playing Tetris with my books, placing them where they fit best, not organized by author or genre.  I'm lucky if I can even get a series together.  I tried to Google "how to declutter/organize books", but I was met with many minimalist articles.  While I enjoy watching minimalism videos on YouTube, I also know that lifestyle isn't for me.  One thing did stick out, though, and that was the idea that if you hold something and it doesn't bring you instant happiness, let it go.  The idea seemed simple enough, so I went for it.

First I was able to pack up all of my duplicates.  Next, I started actually sifting through my shelves, one by one.  I remembered reading many of the books in my hands, but I didn't remember the story or if I actually liked it or not.  This is probably one of the biggest reasons to let those books go, but I second guessed myself.  Others were more difficult to get rid of, because I felt they belonged with other books that I wanted to keep. It got a little easier as I went on, pulling at least 40 books off of my shelves and finding room to fit books I previously kept on the floor.

I know that this isn't the last of it.  When I move, I'll go through my books once more, hopefully finding the strength to part ways with the books I couldn't say goodbye to this time.  The more I think about it, the more I wonder, do I REALLY need half of the books I own?  At this rate, I will never get through all of them anyway.  

Do you struggle with this as well?  What are your tips for downsizing?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Review: Bang by Barry Lyga

Title: Bang
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: April 18th, 2017
Pages: 304 (ARC)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one--not even Sebastian himself--can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father's gun.  

Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend--Aneesa--to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past. 

It took a gun to get him into this. 

Now he needs a gun to get out.

Boy, 4, Shoots, Kills Infant Sister

There's nothing quite as gripping at that headline.  For the past 10 years, Sebastian has been drowning in regret.  His actions weren't malicious, but everyone in the town looks at him with a mixture of pity, fear, and disgust.  There's no escaping what happened, and at just the age of 14, Sebastian is looking forward to the day it all ends.  That is, until he meets Aneesa, an intelligent and understanding individual.  She's the only one who doesn't know what happened all those years ago, and Sebastian intends to keep it that way.  Aneesa is Sebastian's only sliver of normalcy in the life he's made for himself.

I was hooked as soon as I read the synopsis of Bang.  While I was expecting a rollercoaster of emotion, I also knew that Sebastian's story would be a hopeful one.  The struggle that this main character goes through on a daily basis is hard, especially after he meets Aneesa.  Sebastian struggles most with forgiving himself, because he can see the pain in his mother's eyes when she kisses him goodnight, and he can feel it in the emptiness his father left behind.

Aneesa is a wonderful character to have interact with Sebastian.  She pulls him out of the hole he's been living in, encouraging him to turn his passion into a career.  I actually really loved that they were able to start a YouTube cooking channel and monetize the videos instead of getting your typical summer job.  This is something I've always been interested in doing myself, plus, Sebastian's pizza recipes made my mouth water!  While they work on that project together, Sebastian realized that there's much more to the world than his own problems, and it opens his eyes when he sees that Aneesa is being verbally attacked online solely because of her race and religion.

Bang is a book that I think everyone should pick up, especially now, in a world full of gun violence and prejudice.  It deals with hard-hitting topics that are perfectly portrayed through these characters, and it will make your heart ache when you connect them to real-life events and people we see in our day-to-day lives.

Funko Pop haul

I've been collecting Funko Pop figures for as long as this blog has been up and running, starting with my Hot Topic exclusive Daryl Dixon.  My collection hasn't grown insane like it would if I allowed myself to buy them as often as I want to, but I do have 36 of my favorite characters hanging around various parts of my bedroom.  If I could have one thing in the world right now, it would be more space for books and Pops!  Here's my most recent haul, since Hot Topic recently had their Hot Cash sale and I've gone long enough resisting the Pops that I've been wanting desperately!

Image may contain: 1 person

-Heimlich from A Bug's Life
-Kira and Fizzgig from The Dark Crystal
-Sookie St. James and Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls
-Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury from Sailor Moon
-Kylo Ren from Star Wars VII
-Elivra Mistress of the Dark
-Bobby Singer from Supernatural
-Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange

Admittedly, a couple of these were impulse buys, but I don't love them any less!
I was actually eyeing up a few Stranger Things Pops until I realized that they didn't apply to the sale :(

I was ecstatic to learn that an Elvira Pop was released, and I've been looking for an Alex DeLarge Pop for quite some time after seeing that the original became so rare.

For more of my Pop collection, check out my Instagram!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Title: Geekerella
Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release date: April 4th, 2017
Pages: 320 (ARC)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first. 

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

When Elle's father died, Starfield was the only reminder she had left of his existence.  Starfield was what brought her parents together, and later became a family tradition, something she would carry with her for years to come.  Her "stepmomster" was on a mission to get rid of any and everything left over from Elle's past, including memorabilia and reminders of the family she once had.  On the other side of the country, Darien Freeman struggles in the spotlight.  He's been cast as Carmindor in the new remake of Starfield, but he didn't realize what a challenge it would be to play such a beloved character.  His father, aka his manager, does whatever will make the most money and get the most attention, putting Darien's best interest behind everything else.   When Elle and Darien begin texting each other anonymously, they realize that there's much more to life than what's right in front of them.

The compatibility between these two main characters is perfect.  Although Hollywood has pinned Darien as a teenage heartthrob, he's secretly as big of a fan of the series as Elle is, even attending ExcelsiCon- a Starfield-based convention- before he was famous.  They each find solace and an escape in their daily conversations.  I have to say that my favorite character was a green-haired girl named Sage who acts as Elle's fairy godmother when Elle's ExcelsiCon plans go up in flames.  She helps Elle with her cosplay costume and encourages her to make the changes necessary for her happiness.

This is a modern Cinderella retelling, but the author did a fantastic job making it original.  The Magic Pumpkin was a vegan food truck, and the royal ball was a cosplay masquerade.  Everything about this book is perfect for those who love all things geeky.  There are also many fandoms mentioned, which I really enjoyed, because I could envision myself in ExcelsiCon with Elle and Darien as a part of the Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer groups.

I love that this story is told from both Elle and Darien's points of view.  As the reader, we get to see two opposites coming together, one who lives her day-to-day life as a slave to her stepmother and stepsisters commands, and the other who lives in the limelight surrounded by screaming fangirls at all times.  Darien was far more down to earth than I expected him to be, which made me swoon the more we got to know him.  Geekerella is a fantastic novel for all those who have found comfort in a specific series, been labeled as a geek, or simply love cute, unique romances.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Summer TBR

Since I'm a bit of a mood reader, TBRs haven't always worked out for me in the past.  I think that I like making lists more than actually completing them, so I'm going to try doing this seasonally.  Of course, I'll pick and choose books as I please, but for the most part, these are the books I've been interested in reading for months! 

  
  
 
 
 

It's no lie that I love a cute, fluffy contemporary romance during the summer months, so I made sure to stock up on them!  I can't even decide which book I'm most excited to read first!