Book Feels: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman, high priestess of FEELS! Honestly, I don’t know how she does it! She has such a skill for peeling back the layers and getting to the heart of the matter, and for opening up her characters to the reader in a way not many authors can achieve. I’m always left with such a deep sense of understanding after reading a Gayle Forman novel, even when the subject matter is completely foreign to me. I mean, I’ve never been on life support, or traipsed around Paris (or the world) trying to figure out what love truly is, and I haven’t dealt with the suicide of someone I hold close only to be left trying to pick up the pieces…but I can say that because of Gayle Forman’s books letting me in to the soul of her characters, I am infinitely changed.

I Was Here
I Was Here is Gayle Forman’s fifth novel and a fresh departure from her last two sets of duologies, If I Stay and Where She Went, as well as Just One Day and Just One Year. I adored all of these books for their storytelling and honest emotions. There’s nothing I love more than reading a book that makes me feel as though I have been granted a special, inclusive look into the characters life. I Was Here does all of this and more! This book is a non-stop roller coaster of feels and my heart just ached for Cody the entire time as I watched her struggle through her emotions of trying to piece together the devastating clues.

We meet Cody when she is just coming off the suicide of her best friend. She’s lost, alone and struggling to make sense of what happened. Thanks to a cryptic note and a desire to understand what brought her friend to such a dark place, Cody embarks on an emotional journey as a way to piece together the clues and figure out what happened. With each new clue, she learns that there was SO much more to her friend than she ever knew. Experiencing Cody’s discoveries through her eyes is so emotional and overwhelming as a reader. I appreciated how well Forman unravelled the mystery surrounding Meg’s death and how she portrayed Cody’s grief and confusion. It all came off as authentic and I was just as invested in finding out the truth as the characters of this book were.

Forman knows how to give us relationships that are fulfilling and add so much to her stories. Cody’s somewhat strained and confusing relationship with Ben only adds to the layers of this story and by the end you’re cheering for them both to get their happy ending. Ben is the perfect foil to Cody’s character and brings to light a whole other side to her personality. They both have their reasons for trying to put the pieces of their lives back together, and watching them try to accomplish this as a pair is something so moving and beautiful.

I Was Here is an emotional and moving story of one young woman’s journey through grief, understanding and ultimately, her journey of self-discovery. If you’re a fan of Forman’s previous novels then there is no doubt in my mind that you’ll love this one as well. It hits all the same notes but in a very different, and very satisfying way.

Love It

TMYK

18879761I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Publication: January 27th 2015 by Viking Juvenile
Pages: 288 | Format: ARC | Source: Gifted
Pre-order this book

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

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Waiting on Wednesday: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman was one of the very first YA authors I ever read, so she holds a really special place in my heart. Before that, I was one of those people who assumed I wouldn’t connect to YA Lit or get any emotional reward from it. I want to thank Gayle Forman for proving me incredibly wrong. I read all four of her books in less than a month’s time and was an immediate super-fan of hers and Young Adult books in general!

If I Stay, Where She Went, Just One Day and Just One Year all touched me so deeply, and all for totally different reasons. The story of Mia and Adam helped me work towards coming to terms with the loss of my father and the questions I had about him being aware that I was there in the hospital room with him. Willem and Allyson’s story appealed to the crazy wanderlust I always have simmering beneath the surface, and also my belief that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Gayle’s writing is powerful, emotional and grounded so deeply in reality that you can’t help but connect to the story.

When I heard that her fifth book, I Was Here, is coming out this January, I immediately pre-ordered a hardcover. Before I even knew a thing about it! See…total super-fan here! I Was Here promises to be another powerful novel by Gayle and I am really looking forward to seeing how she handles such a dark and emotional topic. If it’s anything like her previous novels it will be absolute perfection.

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source: goodreads

source: goodreads

I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Expected publication: 1/27/15 by Penguin
Pages: 288 | Pre-order this book

Cody and Meg were inseparable.

Two peas in a pod.

Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything, so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.
 
I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

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

Fangirl Friday: 2015 Releases

Happy August everybody, hope you’re all having a great Friday. Now that we’re officially in the second half of 2014 (ugh) I find myself starting to think about all the amazing 2015 releases we have coming our way. I’ve highlighted just a handful of the books we have to look forward to but I know there are so many more out there that I don’t even know about yet!

PicMonkey Collage

cover images courtesy of goodreads

First Row

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard: The cover alone makes me giddy with joy, but you throw in the prospect of royalty, supernatural abilities and a fantasy setting, and I am soooo there!

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler: This book was just announced the other day and it’s already blowing up my Goodreads feed! It’s a contemporary re-telling of The Little Mermaid featuring a female MC that is a minority! Oh heck yeah! #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Fairest by Marissa Meyer: I’ve always found Queen Levana from The Lunar Chronicles super intriguing, so I’m really looking forward to a story told from her perspective. Let’s face it, bitch is hard-core eeeeevil, but maybe we’ll get a little insight as to why!

Second Row

I Was Here by Gayle Forman: What is about Gayle Forman that makes me want to burst into tears? Her books just make me feel all of the feels. This 2015 release promises to touch on some pretty intense subject matters but I have no doubt Gayle will write them beautifully and honestly, and in a way that will touch us all.

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord: Ohhhh Emery, the things you do to me. Open Road Summer was everything I wanted it to be and more, so you can imagine how FREAKING excited I am for this release. How gorgeous are Emery’s covers by the way?

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby: I don’t know a ton about this novel and I’m not really not a huge fan of mysteries. But something about the summary intrigued me and I totally want to read it now. Not gonn lie though, the bee kinda freaks me out.

Third Row

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows: Another book I don’t know too much about but the summary once again drew me in. I love a good fantasy novel and this one hits all the right marks; a princess/spy living in a magic-filled world. SOLD!

Winter by Marissa Meyer: Another Lunar Chronicles novel makes the list…but this one comes wayyy late in the year so we still have a pretty long wait. This installment features Winter and if her appearances in the previous novels are any indication it should be a pretty interesting read!

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios: After her debut novel Something Real, I’ll forever be a uber-fan of Heather! I’m super excited to be a part of her Blogger Caravan for Exquisite Captive and so thrilled we’ll get ANOTHER new release from her next year! Three releases in one year…thankyouverymuch!

I’m not done yet…

Pretty epic list so far right? BUT…those only include the books that have cover designs. I’ll continue my list of some releases that don’t yet have covers but that still cause me to flail in excitement when I think about them.

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller: Where the Stars Still Shine was one of my very first YA novels and it will always hold a special place in my heart for sparking my love of YA Lit! So you know I’m sooo ready for another masterpiece from Trish.

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick: I adored My Life Next Door and always knew there was story hiding inside Tim waiting to come out. Hoping that Samantha and Jase make a cameo here and there.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Let’s face it…I will read literally ANYTHING Sarah writes. But a Beauty and the Beast re-telling involving a young, handsome Faerie Lord and my excitement levels are taken to a whole new stratosphere. Apparently there is another Throne of Glass installment coming in 2015 but I can’t find much information on it. Come on though, you know it’s going to be epic!

Is it 2015 yet? What releases from next year are you most excited for? I’d love to hear so I can fangirl with the rest of you.

 

 

 

Fangirl Friday: Book Boyfriend Edition

Waaa-hoooo it’s Friday ya’ll!! There’s nothing better than the end of the week and a whole two days of freedom ahead of you. I had a ton of fun with today’s Fangirl post. I’m thinking I was a little inspired by how much fun I had with my first ever Top 10 Tuesday post, so I decided to put together another Top 10 list for you today. THIS list is filled with pretty boys so hopefully it will put a smile on your face.

I couldn’t call myself a YA book blogger if I didn’t have a list of my favorite book boyfriends, and I certainly couldn’t call myself a fangirl if I didn’t imagine what these guys would look like. The list below reflects MY vision of my all-time favorite book boyfriends. Now, I know we all have our ideas of what these guys may look like, so I’m sure you might disagree with some of my picks but I hope you have as much fun reading as I did writing!

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original photo source

I think by now, we all know how much I adore Levi from Fangirl. I actually casted him as Ryan Gosling for YA Prom, but when I saw this photo of Hunter Parish I immediately saw Levi. I’m thinking Ryan is too old anyways, so I’m officially declaring Hunter as my Levi! Can’t you just see him snuggling up and reading with you in bed? Orrr….is that just me? Wishful thinking?

“I like your glasses,” he said. “I like your Simon Snow T-shirts. I like that you don’t smile at everyone, because then, when you smile at me.… Cather.” He kissed her mouth. “Look at me.” She did. “I choose you over everyone.” 
― Rainbow RowellFangirl

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Gaspard-Ulliel-gaspard-ulliel-10804113-413-500

original photo source

Ohhhh Mal….I loved you from the very beginning. You’re quite and brooding, but still waters run deep and when you let yourself open up it made me love you even more. I’d never heard of Gaspard Ulliel before but when I saw this photo it felt like I was seeing the Mal I envisioned in my mind come to life!

“I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me why we don’t belong together,” he said fiercely.”
Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone

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original photo source

From the moment I met Chaol in the opening pages of Throne of Glass, I immediately pictured Tom Mison from Sleepy Hollow. Choal is a natural leader who focuses intensely on his duties, but we also find out that he is a sensitive man, fiercely protective of Celaena. Tom Minson captures this dual personality perfectly; a dude who looks like he means business but behind those eyes is a big old softie.

“I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So I willalways tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.” 
― Sarah J. MaasCrown of Midnight

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original photo source

OK….so I TOTALLY cheated on this one. As I was doing my research for this post, I came across a blog post in which Emery Lord mentioned that she would cast Matt Lauria as Matt Finch. I don’t watch Parenthood so I had to go ahead and Google him, and when I did I was SOLD! Why have I never heard of this hottie before? Thank you Emery for introducing me to this fine specimen of a man.

“When his eyes land on me, something about his expression changes—like he recognizes me from somewhere, too. I look back, appraising him quickly. He’s kind of beautiful, in an understated, comfortable-looking way—the kind of guy who doesn’t mind seeing a rom-com with you and gives you his hoodie when you’re cold.” 
― Emery LordOpen Road Summer

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diane-kruger-jake-abel-the-host-cast-portraits-exclusive-03

original photo source

Ohhhh Jase Garrett, how you make me swoon! You’re a family man, you take care of those you love and you know exactly what to say and do to make everything better. Seriously, your sexy one-liners (as seen below) are made of awesome! Jake Abel totally fits the bill for me, tall, brownish-blonde hair and always with sexy little smirk on his face.

“Um. So … Are we going to study?” Jase slides his thumbs behind my ears, rubbing the hollow at their base. He’s only inches from my face, still looking into my eyes. “You bet. I’m studying you.” 

― Huntley FitzpatrickMy Life Next Door

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original photo source

OK, this one made me a little sad because I was so devastated when he passed, but the moment I saw this picture all I could think of was Patrick Sheldon. As Heather Demetrios would say, “He looks like the kind of boy who would jump trains, strum a guitar, and pass a joint.”  Ummmm yup, River is the perfect not so bad boy….looks like he could get you in a lot of trouble but he’s really just a sweet and thoughtful guy underneath it all.

“That boy has forever written all over his face when he looks at you.”
― Heather Demetrios, Something Real

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original photo source

For some reason, this pick makes me the most nervous. I know Etienne fangirls are HARD CORE and I don’t want to piss anyone off. But looking at this photo of Aaron Johnson, I totally see Etienne. He’s got that messy hair, the big brown eyes and all I want to do is stroll the banks of The Seine at night with him.

“Because I was right. For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It’s a person.
And we’re finally home.” 
― Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss

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USE

original photo source

This is another one I can’t really explain why but when we first meet Willem in Just One Day, I pictured Dave Franco right away. I know he doesn’t have the blonde hair of Willem, but he definitely has the look of a guy who’s been around the world and seen a lot of things. He’s got those intense eyes that tells me he’s got a few good stories to tell.

“He looks at one of the pictures for a long time. Then he looks at me. “I’ll keep you up here.” He taps his temple. “Where you can’t get lost.”
― Gayle FormanJust One Day

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AlmanzoLrg

original photo source

This one is pretty cool, so I had to sneak it in here! The photo above is the real life Almanzo Wilder from the Little House series. Kind of easy to see why Laura Ingalls fell madly in love with him! Dude is smoking hot right?!

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original photo source

Last but not least we have the ultimate book boyfriend, Gilbert Blythe. He was the one that started it all for me! From the book to the movies…I couldn’t get enough of Gil. I would like to commend whoever cast Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe because that person KILLED it! He’s absolutely perfect in the role! Gil is everything you want in a book boyfriend, confident but quiet, patient, romantic and selfless. I mean, the guy gave up his teaching job in Avonlea so Anne could stay close to home with Marilla. What a stud!

Anne, I’ve loved you as long as I can remember. I need you. 
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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Now it’s your turn! Who’s your ultimate book boyfriend? What do you think of my picks? Is there one I got totally right or totally wrong. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Armchair BEA 2014 – Author Interaction

Happy Tuesday friends…I don’t know about you but getting into the swing of things today has been a chore! Long weekends are THE.BEST, up until you have to drag your butt out of bed on Tuesday morning! Thankfully I had another day of Armchair BEA to look forward to and today’s topic is about author interaction! What a timely topic as I was JUST reading a new post by Ginger over at GReads! where she talked about her dream YA panel of authors. I was so inspired by her post and by the topic for today’s Armchair BEA posting that I thought I would create my own list of authors I would love to meet!

Design by Nina of Nina Reads

Design by Nina of Nina Reads

I want to start off this list by saying that although I have never been to an author signing or panel, I’ve still been lucky enough to have some fabulous author interactions on Twitter with many of the people I list below. I’ve found that Twitter is a great way to reach out to your favorite authors, as most of the time they are super responsive and SO friendly. As a matter of fact, the interactions I have had with authors via Twitter is one of the things that inspired me to start this blog. What they bring to the book blogging community with their interactions and friendships with readers is so heart warming and I totally wanted to join in the fun! If you haven’t done so already, I highly encourage you to reach out to your favorite author on their Twitter account. I guarantee it will be a great experience.

OK….now on to the authors I simply MUST meet someday. In no particular order…

fangirl

Sarah J. Maas
Do I really need to say anything besides the fact that this woman is responsible for Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight? I’d love to meet Sarah simply to thank her for writing such a strong female character who is brave and strong, but also naturally flawed. I sped through these books and could not put them down. Her next book, Heir of Fire, is the third book in this story and I’m not the only one eagerly anticipating its release this September. I have a feeling her appearance at BEA will be one of its most popular events of the expo.

Rainbow Rowell
I’ve only read Eleanor & Park and Fangirl but Rainbow is definitely an author I would love to meet someday. Both books were told with such real voices that really made me identify with each of the female leads. I mean, who hasn’t gone through a little bit of self-exploration and discovery. Rainbow manages to take some really heavy life moments and write them with such wit and humor that you can’t help but immediately relate. Plus – her Twitter feed is hilarious so I know she has a great sense of humor and would be a blast to have a quick chat with! Look for her newest release, Landline, releasing on July 8th.

Stephanie Perkins
When I first started getting in to the book blogging community I met a fantastic blogger named Andi of Andi’s ABCs! She’s what I like to call my book guru and one of the first books she recommended to me was Anna and the French Kiss. I immediately picked up a copy because I ALWAYS listen to Andi’s suggestions, and I fell in love. Right after finishing Anna, I started Lola and the Boy Next Door and my love for all things Stephanie Perkins continued! She really knows how to right swoony love stories that involve the swooniest of book boyfriends. I’d love to sit with Stephanie and talk to her about her inspiration for each book and how she manages to write such amazing characters. She has an upcoming release this summer, Isla and the Happily Ever After, that fans are rabidly waiting on! Myself included.

Emery Lord
I don’t even know where to start when it comes to this fabulously talented debut author! Her novel, Open Road Summer took the book community by storm this spring and SOOO many people are absolutely head over heels in love with this story about forever friendships and new love. Out of all the authors I interact with on Twitter I would say that Emery is the most engaging and always takes time out to respond to my fangirl tweets…even if they get borderline obsessive sometimes! All kidding aside, Emery has such a raw talent and I am so excited to see where her writing takes her. I’d love to meet up with her, give her a BIG hug and then ask her if she wants to take a road trip to Cali this summer.

A.C. Gaughen
Ohhhh…A.C. Gaughen….do I have a bone to pick with you! I’m hoping we get to meet someday so I can scold you for breaking my heart into a billion little pieces! Just kidding….sort of! Her first two books Scarlet and Lady Thief are an exquisite re-telling of Robin Hood that left me crying my eyes out by the end of book two. My heart was broken…but in the best possible way. A.C. was actually sweet enough to sign her two books for me at a Boston-area author event that I wasn’t able to attend and for that I will be forever grateful. If I were ever to meet her I’d want to give her a big hug for being the sweetest and also bribe her for details on book three of her series so I can sleep at night!

Rae Carson
You guys…if you haven’t read the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, I don’t think we can be friends! OK, not really but I’m seriously urging you to pick up these books and binge read them as soon as possible! The world building that Rae is capable of is nothing short of amazing and I MUST get inside that ridiculously talented head of hers to find out how she can write such fantastic stories. OH…and the rooooomance in this series is one of my most favorite in all of the swoon-worthy love stories out there (say it with me now…HECTOOOORRR!!) and I would personally like to thank her for giving me ALL the feels! Seriously…all of them!

Veronica Rossi
Another author who knows how to build some seriously amazing worlds in her Under the Never Sky series! You’ve got Dwellers vs Outsiders, Aether storms, Perry and Aria, and Roar…oh my sweet little Roar (heart-broken)! What I wouldn’t give to pick Veronica’s brain to find out how she came up with this epic journey of a story and also thank her for writing one of the best male/female friendships I’ve ever read in a book. The supportive and protective relationship between Aria and Roar was such a refreshing change of pace from the love triangle scenario we see in so many books. So, Veronica, if you ever come to Boston you know I’ll be there!

Gayle Forman
Speaking of swoon-worthy romances!!! Sigh…where do I begin? Willem and Allyson of Just One Day/Just One Year? Adam and Mia of If I Stay/Where She Went? PLEASE…don’t make me choose! Gayle’s stories make me weak in the knees! The drama, the passion…it all weaves together into these beautifully told love stories that will make your heart just ache! Gayle is another author who is so engaged with her readers on Twitter and I don’t know how she finds the time to respond to all of the love/questions/comments that she must get on a daily basis. When I do meet her (because I will) I definitely want to just let her know how much I appreciate the kindness she shows towards her fans.

Last but most certainly not least…

Laini Taylor
Just give me a minute while I hyper-ventilate into a bag! AHHHHHH…Laini Taylor!!! To quote an upcoming review I will be posting in June of Daughter of Smoke and Bone (sneak peek ya’ll!!)

“There are passages in this book, like the one above, that I would gladly crawl into and live there forever. Laini Taylor has a way of weaving her words and painting a picture on each page that makes you feel as though you are there…Just a few pages into this book and you’ll find yourself completely engulfed in the world that Taylor has built & you won’t want to leave any time soon.”

Or in other words….girlfriend can WRITE! I found myself reading and then immediately re-reading entire passages from the books because they were so freaking beautiful! I could not get over how intense her world building was and how she manages to write soooo beautifully about some really horrible things! The final installment of the series, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, was released in early April and I STILL haven’t managed to read my pre-ordered copy because I’m just not ready for the story to end. When the day finally comes for me to meet Laini Taylor I’ll probably lose my ability to speak and just stand their to bask in her glory!

There you have it..the authors that I fangirl over the most and really, really (fingers crossed) hope to meet one day! How about you? What authors are out there that you simply MUST meet! Do you have any favorite author interaction stories? Tips you can give me for not being completely star-struck when I finally do meet my favorite authors?