Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ask Me Anything- No Really, Ask Me!

Yesterday was the release date of the new film, Ask Me Anything, starring Britt Robertson. It was also written and directed by Allison Burnett, who wrote the novel it was based on, Undiscovered Gyrl. I had a couple discussion post ideas for people to use to help promote the film. If you would like to help out, refer to this post.

I have decided to do the Ask Me Anything blog post- where you get to, that's right, ask me anything! I can always refuse to answer something, but I'll do my best to answer any questions about me, my blog, whatever!

First off, I want to let you know that the movie is out now at the Arena Theatre in LA (and more theaters soon we hope!) as well as most digital platforms imaginable, such as iTunes. Be sure to visit the official facebook!

And now, ask away! What do YOU want to know?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Vitamins and Death - Book Blast Giveaway

VITAMINS AND DEATH, Prizm Books/Torquere Press, December 10, 2014
Purchase from Prizm, Amazon – Vendor sites will be updated on the author’s site.

Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother's briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High. Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, she thinks no one will figure out they're the Battles from recent news and that they're safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed Deidra's life. Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Discussion Post Ideas!

Hey everyone! I'm sure most of you have seen my review for Ask Me Anything by now. If not, it's about a post down! I'm currently trying to help the screenwriter/director, Allison Burnett (he also wrote the novel it's based on!) spread the word. At the same time, we'd really love to get discussions going about online identity.

Therefore, if you'd be willing to write up a discussion post on your blog, we would love to know about it! All you have to do is mention the film (say the post is inspired by it, whatever!) and include a link for people to learn more. They have a facebook page, or you can link to IMDB. Again, that's up to you!

The contents of the post, however, will be about online identity. Do you use a pseudonym? Why or why not? Do you share personal details about your life? Do you share photos of yourself/friends/family? A couple other bloggers have already expressed interest in writing something, so I'd love to have more of you sharing your thoughts and experiences!

If this isn't something you're interested in doing, but you would like to still spread the word about the film (it comes out this Friday, Dec. 19th!!) then you can do another type of post titled....ASK ME ANYTHING! Yeah, I'm original. I might be doing this on Friday myself. The idea is to allow your blog readers to, yes that's right, ask you anything. It's hopefully a fun way to get to know the bloggers behind the blog. Of course, you should think about the questions you're asking. You can ask something a bit more personal (hence Ask Me Anything) but every blogger is allowed to answer the questions they deem appropriate or the ones they are willing to answer. That's their right!

Anyway, I hope one of these will inspire a post in you! If you're going to post something, please let me know. Comment here with the link or email me and I'll pass it along to Allison.

Ask Me Anything Facebook - like them!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know by Brent Hartinger

The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know by Brent Hartinger

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley/author; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Russel Middlebrook is twenty-three years old, gay, and living in trendy Seattle, but life isn't keeping up with the hype. Most of his friends have a direction in life—either ruthlessly pursuing their careers or passionately embracing their own aimlessness. But Russel is stuck in place. All he knows is that crappy jobs, horrible dates, and pointless hook-ups just aren't cutting it anymore.

What's the secret? What does everyone else know that he doesn't?

Enter Kevin, Russel's perfect high school boyfriend. Could rekindling an old flame be the thing Russel needs to get his life back on track? Or maybe the answer lies in a new friend, an eccentric screenwriter named Vernie Rose, who seems plenty wise. Or what the hell? Maybe Russell will find some answers by joining his best friend Gunnar's crazy search for the legendary Bigfoot!

One way or another, Russel is determined to learn the all-important secret to life, even if it's a thing he doesn't even know he doesn't know.

Review: You might remember the Russel Middlebrook books, starting with Geography Club, which I reviewed in the past. This is the same guy, but now he's 23 and this new series of books reads more like NA than YA, and I loved it! This is what I wanted when people started talking about NA. Similar stories about growing up and making your way through life, like YA and Adult books cover, but focused on the twenty-something crowd. Nothing too angsty or books all about sex. Something realistic, at least in terms of contemporary YA.

As for this particular book, Russel is living on a houseboat in Seattle with his long-time best friends, Min and Gunnar. Min is in graduate school and making new friends. Gunnar earned a lot of money with a successful app, which paid for the houseboat and allows him to aimlessly research new interests, like Bigfoot. As for Russel, he's working two jobs and hooking up with random guys because he let his high school boyfriend "walk" away. Now that boyfriend, Kevin, is in town and Russel isn't sure if dating him again would make things better or not. Russel has also met an older lady named Vernie Rose, who has been through a lot in her life and is happy to pass along her wisdom and knowledge.

I really appreciated this book, being in my twenties at the moment, because sometimes it does feel like other people have their lives figured out and you're just wandering. I definitely have goals and a path that I'm moving toward, but there are plenty of things I don't know or haven't done yet. It's all a part of life, and it's great to follow Russel on that journey.

Since this is NA, there are some sexual scenes. Nothing too overly graphic, but just something I like to point out! I'm definitely excited for the second book in this new series, coming out in 2015.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Film Review: Ask Me Anything

Ask Me Anything 

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Film review by Lauren

Official Synopsis: Beautiful, wild, funny, and lost, Katie Kampenfelt takes a year off before college to find herself, all the while chronicling her adventures in an anonymous blog into which she pours her innermost secrets. Eventually, Katie's fearless narrative begins to crack, and dark pieces of her past emerge.

Review: Author Allison Burnett's novel, Undiscovered Gyrl, is hitting the big screen as Ask Me Anything, starring Britt Robertson, Justin Long, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, and more. What's even more exciting about this is that Burnett wrote the screenplay and directed the movie based on his own novel.

I read and really enjoyed Undiscovered Gyrl, so I was excited to get the chance to view Ask Me Anything before it's December 19 release date (select theaters and many digital platforms). Katie is taking a year off between high school and college but she doesn't really know what she wants to do. She finds a brief job at a bookstore, and then ends up being a nanny for a little boy. At the same time, she is really coming into her sexuality. At the start of the film, she is having a sexual relationship with a film professor, even they both are in a relationship. She's wandering, a bit lost, and she catalogs this year in a blog.

It's easy to look at Katie's actions and condemn them, but the story is more than that. Katie is obviously searching for herself, and at the same time, she surrounds herself with an interesting cast of characters. These people make up a large part of the story, though it's all through Katie's point of view. Ask Me Anything is one of those movies where the less you say, the better. The book was the same way. There are moments throughout that you don't want anyone to spoil for you, so I'm trying not to say too much.

I did like the idea of Katie keeping a blog though, as I'm a blogger too. I don't write about my personal life all the time and I definitely don't go into the details that Katie does, but it makes you wonder about people that do. The blogging aspect is something that you just have to see the movie to really understand, but it's essential to the film. 

Overall, this was a very enjoyable film. The acting was well done, and with so many well-known names, nobody overshadowed anybody else. Britt Robertson was exceptional as Katie; she really breathed life into the character and reminded me of Evan Rachel Wood in the film Thirteen. If you enjoyed that movie, I think you would like Ask Me Anything as well. Both deal with realistic, sometimes tough issues, but the characterization and acting really make it worth watching.

Burnett did a great job, and I commend him for making his wonderful novel into an equally fantastic film. I hope you will check it out next Friday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Graphic Novel Review: Batman and Son

Batman and Son by Grant Morrison, Andy Kubert, J.H. Williams III, and Tony S. Daniel

Review by Lauren

source: copy from library, all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Batman receives the shock of his life when he discovers that he has a son, Damian! After violent conflict with Robin and Damian, Batman must teach his son what it means to carry the legacy of Gotham's Dark Knight. Meanwhile, mysterious Batman imposters begin to appear on the streets of Gotham. One of these imposters begins to kill cops, working his way towards Police Commissioner Jim Gordon. But after failing in his pursuit and being captured, Batman falls into a coma and his mind flashes back to a defining adventure in the life of a young Bruce Wayne...the hunt for his parents' killer!

Review: Yes, I'm back with another Batman graphic novel. Don't worry, I won't make this a long review. Overall, I liked this story. I find it fascinating to learn more about Damian, Batman's son. However, I don't feel like he was used much in this particular collection. I also found it a bit difficult to follow the storyline sometimes. I suppose that's because they go "back in time", so to speak, based on the summary. Regardless, I tried to just read each chapter on its own and I really enjoyed most of them.

I have read this is the beginning of Grant Morrison's Batman run, which is apparently great, so I am curious to try and read more by Morrison. I just need to find what comes next and where I can find copies!

Have you read this book? What did you think? Did you know Batman had a son?

I read this for the Graphic Novel Challenge- 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Circus of the Damned by Cornelia Grey

The Circus of the Damned by Cornelia Grey

Review by Lauren

copy from Netgalley: all opinions are my own

Official SummaryMagician Gilbert Blake has spent his entire life conning drunkards in the seediest pubs in the darkest towns, careful to hide the true depths of his power. But when he spends a little too much time in Shadowsea and the infamous slumlord Count Reuben gets wind of his abilities, hiding within the Circus of the Damned may be Gilbert’s only chance at survival.
But there’s more to the Circus than meets the eye. Every time a performer dies, a new one must take his place, or the entire circus suffers the consequences. And while the handsome ringmaster Jesse isn’t one to coerce unwilling performers into giving up their souls to the devil, a recent death in their ranks makes Gilbert exactly what they need.
Yet the longer Gilbert stays with the Circus, the more danger he seems to bring them. Being with Jesse is more than Gilbert could have hoped for, but as Count Reuben’s men continue to search for Gilbert and the Circus loses another performer, they all face running out of time long before the Devil claims his due.
Review: This book was fantastic! I've been trying to read more genres other than contemporary, and The Circus of the Damned was one fantasy book that really worked for me. Gilbert is a magician, and he uses his skills to win card games and lots of money. He does his best to make sure that people don't suspect he is really a magician though, one with actual powers. One night he goes too far though, and Count Reuben is soon after him, leading Gilbert right into the path of the Circus. The ringmaster, Jesse, is honest with Gilbert about joining the Circus, but a drunk Gilbert is ready to do anything to get away from the rough gang after him. So he joins...and now he's stuck for life like the other members, an eclectic cast of characters that really helped make the book.

As the book goes on, Gilbert does develop a relationship with Jesse and there are a few graphic, sexual scenes. However, this is not the main focus of the book, so even if that aspect leaves you a bit wary, I would still recommend trying this out. Jesse has a dark, burdened past and it's difficult not to feel sorry for him. He is more than what he seems, but he is still on the good side of this deal with the Devil. Gilbert isn't so sure about Jesse or the Circus at first, but he eventually begins to feel at home with these people who are not afraid to self-identify as "freak", a word that Gilbert has run from his whole life.

There is only one scene where the Circus gives a performance and you learn just what everyone does, and it was so wonderfully written. It's something I wish I could see with my own eyes, though the book provides enough details to let your imagination run wild. I was particularly surprised by what Gilbert comes up with. It was spooky and yet fantastic, all at the same time.

Overall, I really loved this book. It was a fast read, but also something I didn't want to end. I would definitely root for a sequel.  

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