Mar 28, 2017

Our 19th Birthdays & GIVEAWAY!!


Hello, everybody! It's officially March 28th, which means it's my (Jessica's) 19th birthday. As many of you may know, Amber's 19th birthday was ten days ago...and since our birthdays are so close together, it's time for our annual DOUBLE birthday giveaway!


That's right, you heard it here: TWO (2) lucky winners are going to be getting a book of their choice from The Book Depository ($25 limit)! This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY as long as The Book Depository ships to your country! 

Click HERE to enter the giveaway by Retweeting the pinned Tweet!

Plus, an added chance to win! If you Tweet the link to this post and tag us (@thebookbratz) on Twitter, you will get a second entry into winning!

There's no better way to celebrate a birthday than with presents -- but instead of them being for us, they're for YOU!


Off to celebrate my 19th birthday (& this giveaway!),


Mar 27, 2017

Geekerella Blog Tour!

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Today on the blog, I'm so super excited to talk about one of the most promising books of 2017 that I've read so far -- Geekerella by Ashley Poston! It was one of my first five-star reads of the year and I've been recommending it to anybody who's a part of any sort of fandom. So I'm going to start off this post by sharing my review with you guys, and then there's an awesome book trailer featured below that you should definitely check out, and a guest post by author Ashley Poston herself!




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Title: Geekerella
Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Paperback, 320 Pages
Publication Date: April 4th, 2017


Summary: 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 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. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?
I received an ARC edition of this book from Quirk to read in exchange for an honest review, and I'm so glad that I did! I'm a sucker for modern-day retellings of stories, and this one follows the path of Cinderella. Elle is a teen girl who is stuck living with her awful stepsisters and stepmother, and through a stroke of chance, she ends up texting a mysterious guy who had the wrong number. Before long, sparks fly, even though she doesn't know this guy's real identity -- the actor playing one of her favorite roles in her favorite television-series-turned-movie. 

I really, really loved this book. The story itself was adorable, especially because even though it paralleled Cinderella perfectly, it was also so uniquely different in a way. The ending of the story definitely seemed more Cinderella-esque than the beginning, but looking back on the story overall, it all made sense. 

Elle's relationship with Darien had me hooked from the start. Even when they didn't know each other's true identities, they confided in one another, made each other laugh, and created an adorable relationship that blossomed thanks to the wonders of the modern internet. Even when Elle's life seemed to come crashing down, and even when Darien felt that he had no control over his own actions, they turned to one another, and to the fantasy/sci-fi world they both loved, and in that they found comfort.

This book was absolutely geeky and I loved it from start to finish. It's been awhile since I was unable to put a book down, but that was definitely prevalent with this one. I missed the feeling of being totally absorbed in a book and not wanting it to end, so it was definitely a refreshing feeling that I got again with this one.

Seeing the life of a celebrity behind-the-scenes in daily life was also interesting. And the entire convention reminded me of BookCon,which got me super excited since I'll be attending that again this year! I pictured the Javits Center the entire time. I can't wait. :-)

The one thing that I wasn't crazy about in this book was the fact that some jokes were used too much. By the end of the book, if I heard another "Holy _____, Batman" joke, I would've lost my mind. Seriously. That's the one thing that this book could've done without. It was funny the first few times, but then it got a bit tiring. 

All in all, Geekerella was a fantastic book that I really enjoyed, and I'd definitely recommend that you put it on your TBR immediately. I'm so glad that I got an opportunity to read this book (thank you, Quirk!), and I'm also super excited that my first read of 2017 was a five-star review. It looks like things are going to be going up from here!

I really enjoyed Ashley Poston's story, and I'd definitely be open to reading more of her work in the future. Make sure you pick this one up if you get the chance!




Author Ashley Poston was awesome enough to put together a convention survival guide to make sure that you tackle your next fan-based event flawlessly! (Hint hint: Hopefully we'll be catching you guys at BookCon!) So here it is!

Con Survival Guide

Ah, cons. You love them, you hate them—you love to hate them and still go because oh, the pull is so strong…Whatever the reason, Cons are both wildly fun and absolutely exhausting. I’ve made some of my most cherished friendships at cons, and I’ve also had some of the worst experiences of my life there, too. So, if you’ve never been to a con before but you want to go, here are a few tips from this con-loving gal to you! (And you should definitely go to a con at least once—seriously, they’re fantastic).

A plan of attack. I suffer from anxiety, and so crowds are not always fun—especially when I’m in a new convention center in a city I’ve never been to before. My best advice? Plan ahead! Most—if not all—cons have some sort of schedule and map on their website. Check to see what panels you want to go to when and write down where they are! It always helps me to come with a plan.

Friends/Scheduled Fandom Meet-ups. Seriously, if for nothing else, friends are a must to keep your sanity—and the best part is, you can make those friends while you’re there! I’ve gone to cons alone and met some fantastic people while waiting in line for panels and meet-ups.

Duck-tape/sewing kit. Because it will never fail—your cosplay will break down. 

Fuel/Snackage. Panels are incredibly fun, but you know when they’re not fun? When you’re hangry. Pack some light granola or protein bars to snack on while you’re waiting in line or browsing the booths.

Phone Charger. It never fails—never fails—that the moment you need an outlet you won’t find one.

Water bottle. The thirst is real—and it’s always in your best interest to get a water bottle to refill while at the con! And it’ll save you a few bucks and a missed panel when you’re waiting in a ridiculously long line.

Spare cash because Artist’s Alley. While a lot of artists now take cards, it’s still a lot easier to just take cash. And you’ll want to because… I mean… fan art.

Unapologetic Enthusiasm. Because why go to a con if you don’t want to let your fandom flag fly? So wear your favorite fandom t-shirt, strap on your Poke-watch, and lace up your favorite high-tops, because there’s no place better.

Ready? Set? See you at the next con!

~~~

And now, time for the book trailer!! *heart eyes* I absolutely love this!!


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I'd like to extend a huge thank you to Quirk Books for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour! I absolutely loved Geekerella when I read an ARC a few months ago and recommended it to anybody who would listen, so I was more than excited to be a part of this. I definitely recommend adding this book to your TBR if you're involved in any sort of fandom in any way -- you'll relate to a lot of stuff mentioned in the book, and not to mention the romance is absolutely adorable!! <3



Mar 26, 2017

Review: Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass


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Title: Happily Ever After
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Paperback, 416 Pages
Published October 2015



Summary: The contents of Happily Ever After are as follows:The Prince (with the two bonus chapters), Maxon’s novella, The Guard, Aspen’s novella, The Queen, Amberly’s novella, The Favorite, Marlee’s novella, Three scenes from Celeste’s POV, Lucy’s scene (bonus scene from The One), The bonus epilogue, Where are they now?, A map, Various illustrations

 

I have always been a huge fan of The Selection series, so when I realized there was a book of novellas about the series, I couldn't be more excited. This book tells the popular stories from the series through the eyes of characters such as Amberly, Maxon, Aspen, Marlee, Celeste, and even Lucy. 

What I liked most about this book is that you learn things about the characters through their own eyes -- things that weren't specifically brought up in the series when it was told from America or even Eadlyn's POV. The book opens up with Amberly and her own Selection, and you get to see the drunk, horrid abuse that the previous Queen instilled on everybody, and you got to see the rough childhood that Clarkson grew up with that isn't really explained in the original series. You also get to see little moments that weren't picked out in the original stories since the original stories are in America's POV (and therefore the things that America didn't see or know, we didn't either). For example, Aspen witnesses several instances where Clarkson orders any work or changes Maxon has done during his workday to be erased as if they never happened. In the original stories, we don't see those things happening.

One of my favorite novella's was Maxon's, specifically the scene in the garden where he meets America for the first time. I loved that scene in the original book because it was sweet and hysterical at the same time, so getting to read about it again and know exactly what Maxon is thinking when he first lays eyes on America, and several moments after that. It's totally adorable and heartwarming and funny and my geeky little fangirl heart was beating wildly the entire time. 

Another part I really enjoyed was being able to read Aspen's thoughts throughout several key scenes in the story, and also finding out exactly what happened to Marlee and Carter after their caning. Overall, this novella gives you an extensive view of several key scenes throughout the series from different perspectives to give it a more diverse and comprehensive feel, and it's really fulfilling as a reader. It was great to revisit scenes I was familiar with, but to see them through a new set of eyes. I thought I'd be bored rereading the same story I already knew, but seeing it from the point of view of another character completely changes the scene and makes it so much more special and different.

The only thing that I didn't like all that much was that the stories were so short! Granted, the book is a compilation of novellas, so they aren't going to be long stories. But each story drew me in and made me want to know more and more about the character, so I was pretty bummed when I would turn the page and that character's novella would be over and it would be onto the next one! (Of course, then I started reading the next one, and getting caught up in that character's story, and so on and so forth in a constant cycle...) This wasn't the sort of thing I took stars off for, just a frustrating thing because I was so in love which each and every story that I never wanted it to end!

Overall, I very much enjoyed Happily Ever After. It was great to see the stories I've already read about from the point of view of the other characters, and also backstories to characters that hadn't been explored before, such as Amberly. If you read the entire Selection series and are craving more, I definitely recommend picking up this book and getting a little more of a fix in. And don't forget to check out my reviews of The Selection, The Elite, The One, The Heir, and The Crown!

I'm always a huge Kiera Cass fan. I can't wait to read more of her work!