Everybody should believe in something. I believe I'll read another chapter.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Book Review: Girl Online

NOTE: I got this book as an ARC the day it was published.

As an avid internet fanatic, I am a huge fangirl of YouTube. Especially British vloggers. One of my favorites is Zoella (Zoe Sugg), and she is a bubbly, beauty-focused vlogger who happened to write a book!

(I chose this gif because Doctor Who is British, not because he's shirtless psh no)
The premise of Girl Online hooked me: a sixteen-year-old girl decides to blog anonymously about her life, from fun things like shopping excursions and hanging out with her friends to more serious things like dealing with heartache and panic attacks. As her blog gains popularity, she goes to New York with her parents and her best friend Elliot and meets Noah, a mysterious, amazing musician, who has a secret of his own.

Disregarding my fangirl stance on Zoella, it was a really good book. I do have one bone to pick with it, but I'll list the things I liked first!


One: I loved the characters. Penny, Noah, Elliot, and Tom, especially, were all fun to read, relatable, and had great dialogue. Especially Penny/Elliot and Noah/Penny. I, like everyone, fell in love with Noah because wow, that boy was fantastic.

Two: Like I said, the premise was intriguing and I was instantly captivated. The internet and how teenagers use it (especially near the end) is a really cool bit to add to novels, especially YA ones. And Sugg did a great job of integrating the blog posts and the actual story, keeping the voice authentic to both.

Three: Noah and Penny's romance was one of the most adorable ships of this year. Don't even try to tell me otherwise.

I was super sad by how quick the ending was untIL I SAW IT WAS A SEQUEL so I'm okay now. I can't wait for the sequel! And I hope you all check out this book, it was so much fun!



Friday, November 28, 2014

ARC Review: The Bookseller

NOTE: Guys, I read a book for adults dammit, I'm growing up.

So today, I am reviewing the book The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson, that comes out in March. It's about this woman Kitty, a single bookseller in 1962 Denver (REPRESENT) who starts having these vivid dreams that she's Katharyn, a married mother of three. As Katharyn's life becomes more real, she must decide which one is the real world and which one is imagined.


First off, this premise is without a doubt one of the coolest I've seen. Plus, it's a bookstore! Look at the name of this blog. Swanson did a great job crafting the story and drawing parallels between the two universes. I personally loved this part a lot because it was fun seeing the similarities and differences between the lives of Kitty and Katharyn.

(get it? because they didn't have gifs back in the 60s)
I also loved the almost/kinda two points of view. While Kitty and Katharyn are technically the same person, their lives are vastly different. It became very interesting to see how Kitty became Katharyn and Katharyn became Kitty. Confused?

Plus, the twist at the end. God, when I read it, I had to set the book down for a second (which was very hard because I refused to set this book down) and just pause because wow. Swanson did a great job writing this story because it makes so much sense in hindsight but when I read it, I was very much shocked.

I rate this book 134 bookstores out of 134 because this debut is just THAT good.


Owyn the Intern

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Trilogy Review: Anna, Lola, Isla

NOTE: I've been waiting a long time to review these :D

The three books I'm reviewing are by Stephanie Perkins and are technically companions to each other, rather than a series. The first is Anna and the French Kiss, then Lola and the Boy Next Door, then finally Isla and the Happily Ever After.

So I keep myself organized, I'm going to first tell you about the series as a whole.

Me in every other aspect of my life but my blog


The characters and dialogue, since these often go hand in hand. Perkins delivers realistic, complex, dynamic characters that offer sparkling, hilarious dialogue. I was in awe the entire time I read it, and I've read each book multiple times. They just make me so happy and flail-y with their awesome character development.

The plots They're actually very simple (even beyond the who girl-meets-boy) but Perkins weaves these stories in such interesting and fascinating ways that they seem brand-new.

The romance I think these books might have given me the worst relationship-envy I've ever gotten from a book that isn't Nora Roberts. THESE COUPLES ARE SO CUTE AND AMAZING AND DESERVE EACH OTHER LIKE GAH EMOTIONS.

Now individually.

Anna and the French Kiss

This one was probably the most dramatic and charming. Anna is such an awesome character and you instantly root for her, and St. Clair is just drool-worthy. Personally, I'm a sucker for guys with great hair but St. Clair just took that up a notch. I thought their romance was just sweet and the way they hit it off and stayed amazingly adorable just made me want more and more.

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola is probably the most interesting character of the trilogy. I totally envied her ability to wear whatever she wanted however she wanted. And Cricket was that kind of awkward adorable nerd that just warmed my heart. I think their plot line (no spoilers!) was realistic and sweet and also a great message, especially towards the end. Plus, it was awesome how Anna and St. Clair showed up. The fact they remain the ultimate power couple just reinforces every hope I had for this as a companion series.

Isla and the Happily Ever After

This one was the cutest, but at the same time heart-stoppingly realistic. It showed consequences and talked about mental disorders all while juggling one of the fluffiest beginnings to a romance I've seen. And it brought me so much emotions and cuteness. I read this on an airplane and I was awwing the whole time and I don't even want to know what the stewardesses thought of me. The only critique I have is that Anna/St. Clair and Lola/Cricket were not shown enough in the book. While I'll admit their appearance towards the end was very impacting, I'm greedy and I wanted more ;)

But yes, 98 SOAPs out of 98. Perkins did a great job. Definitely read them, especially since the story is now complete. Which both breaks my heart and warms it.



PS Senior year is hard okay I'll try to post/read more though!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

ARC Review: Horrorstor

NOTE: This book comes out in September, and also features a fancy double-dot thing on top of the third "o" that I don't know how to replicate on my computer.

Today, I am going to talk to you about a book called Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix. It is a haunted house story set in a store that is a lower-priced Ikea.

So this book is unlike most things I read. I don't normally read horror books, because I find them too slow. The first 40-60% of the book is tension/build-up with too many descriptions and I honestly don't have the patience to deal with it.

But this book is different.

It's slightly humorous, and gives you more about character dialogue instead of pointless build-up in the beginning. The build up is actually there. In fact, with the way that it presents itself, I thought it was going to a satire on horror movies. Especially since it's set up like an Ikea catalog and starts with snappy dialogue.

And then I read it.

I was so terrified in the middle of reading it, I had to put it down and just pet my dog for a while.

But this book is also terrifyingly good. Allow me to list the ways.


It's like real-life people got trapped in a horror movie. Yes, there were the standard tropes, like the Badass Girl, Badass Boy, True Believer, Horny Bastard and the Innocent, but their dialogues and actions weren't over the top ridiculous. You rooted for the characters to survive and winced at their downfall because they were so true.

The horror aspect. This book probably scared me more because I went into it thinking "oh this is a satire" but I was very, very wrong. It has the satirical aspects, but this book is straight-up horror. With intense action and cringe-worthy torture (physical and mental), I was instantly enthralled and frightened.

Me in the middle of reading it
It was clever as hell. The dialogue, characters, plot, and what caused the horror were all really well done. I was so pleased that the time I wasn't mentally screaming in terror, I was mentally praising the book and Hendrix.

When this book comes out, definitely check it out! It's awesome. 99 Brookas out of 100.

Until next time,


Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Moaning Incident

NOTE: I realized that I've never actually chronicled my time as an intern, and therefore this blog title was very misleading. Too lazy to change it, I'm going to tell you a story that happened almost a year ago.

I won't be going into too much detail in this part, but there was an incident at my bookstore involving a adolescent boy. He tried to aggresively hit on a customer, but he got rejected and left the store crying.

I read about this on our little news site, and of course I was a bit concerned, even though the situation was handled.

But reading about that is probably why I was so freaked out about the...


So I went downstairs into the basement of the store, going to work on replacing the recommended tags when all of a sudden I heard a soft moan.

I didn't think anything of it at first, but then I heard it again.

And I froze. 

As an awkward teenager (*cough cough* still am,) I did a "covert" turn around to try to find who was doing this.

It was a tall, older man. To be honest, he looked a bit homeless but he could've easily been a hipster. We get both of those around our store sometimes.

When I was looking at him (COVERTLY,) he did it again.

This was my reaction, not him moaning btw
Even though it was kind of under his breath and he didn't make any uncomfortable facial expressions at me or another customer, it still terrified me a bit.

Luckily, one of the business people I knew (who I shall name "May") was walking past at the same moment I couldn't find one of the books to put a rec tag for.

"May! May." I tried to have composure but I'm never composed. "Mind helping me find this book? I've been looking but can't." I make an "oh you" face at myself. 

She nodded, "Sure. This section is always terribly shelved for some reason."

We both looked for the book, and I wanted to tell her so badly about the moaning man but he was less than two yards behind me and he would've heard me. So I kept waiting for her to acknowledge it, but she never did.

What I wanted to do, to be honest
After like two minutes, she just shrugged and said, "Sorry, Owyn. I can't find it. I'm sure (your boss) will understand." Then she had to leave to do businessy things.

I just nodded and tried not to cling to her legs sobbing so I wouldn't be alone.

I finished the rest of the rec tags as quickly as possible and then ran to my friend in the Used section, "Mia."

"Hey what's up?" She greeted, spinning around on her swivel chair because she's cool.

"Okay I'm kinda freaked out right now." I told her.

She froze as well, "What happened?" She said, instantly concerned because I was essentially the baby of the store employees at 15 then 16-years-old. 

I told her everything. And she went downstairs to check on it while I manned the Used section. 

And by "manned the Used section," I mean "spun around in the swivel chair and waited for people to show up but no one did." 

In a total reversal of my bad timing, right as Mia was about to tell me what she discovered about the Moaning Man, a customer came in with a lot of books and I had to head back up to my boss "Elaine" anyway.

When I walked the flights upstairs to the office I worked at, I explained to Elaine what happened and she was concerned too, even though I explained that I was fine.

We called Mia, and Mia said that she went downstairs to the section I told her, and waited for him to make the moaning noise. She said he did it a couple of times (while reading an architecture book for the record) and she approached him as a bookseller and said, "Is there anything I can help you with?" 

Apparently, he was totally polite and nice and said, "No thank you!" Before turning back to the book.

My boss and I shared a look, then Mia explained, "I think he might just breathe like that. I don't think those weird noises had any ill-intentions towards anyone." 

After that phone call, my boss and I had a nice laugh about it and I went back to work. 

I remembered this incident the other day, and I was like: "This needs to be a blog post." So hear it is. 


Hope you liked the story, and tell me if you want more!


Owyn the Intern

Friday, July 18, 2014

Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

NOTE: It's been a while. Whoops.

While traveling the East Coast looking for colleges, I spent my spare time not having an existential crisis reading memoir-ish books. One of them was Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns by Mindy Kaling.

Now I've never seen The Office or The Mindy Project but I just might have to now because WOW she is hilarious.

This book had so many good things going for it, I'll just list the bigger ones for you.

Straight up hilarious. If I could repeat this seven billion times, I would but that would bore you. Kaling just has this great diction/voice to her writing style that instantly endeared you to her. Her whole book is like a friend telling you something stupid they did and you're allowed to laugh while still remaining their friend.

Me the entire book
Amazing interspersed pictures. I, for some reason, hate little packets of pictures in the middle of biographies/memoirs, so when this book had pictures of Kaling's childhood and her Broadway life, and selfies from her Blackberry throughout, I was ecstatic. Plus, pictures always make better sense in context, so it's awesome the book does that.

Inspirational. She details her rise to stardom, playing Ben Affleck and Kelly Kapoor and writing for The Office as the only woman writer on staff, along with essays about her childhood stories and friends in a hilarious and self-deprecating way. Truly inspiring.

But yes, definitely pick up a copy of this book and read it and laugh. The essays are charming and funny and cute and awesome so read them all and enjoy.

Giving this book a 30/30! For teh lolz.



Sunday, June 29, 2014

ARC Review: Magnolia

NOTE: This book comes out August 5th, 2014.

I was just talking about How Much I Hate Romeo and Juliet Adaptations, this review might seem a bit weird, so I'm prefacing this by saying "I do not mean Magnolia by Kristi Cook."

So today, I am talking about Magnolia by Kristi Cook.

This is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet where instead of there being feuding families and teens who love each other, the teens are feuding and the families love each other.


My emotions, except for happy tears.
Here are the main reasons why I love it:


It's such a good modernization. I'm not actually sure what makes a "good" modernization, but Cook changed the names slightly (Juliet-Jemma, Romeo-Ryder, Capulet-Cafferty, Montague-Marsden,) she switched up the deaths, and made the dialogue modern. Plus, she gave homage to a very classic play with an awesome modern twist.

There was action and it was awesome. The kind of tense, dramatic action that happens as the climax kept me on the edge and totally hooked. It was clear with great descriptions, so I could perfectly visualize it and almost feel I was there. It was so INTENSE YOU GUYS WOW.

The Southern aspect. This is more personal, but I was totally enamored with the Southern details, like the debutantes and the gun-shooting and the Southern hospitality because it was integrated so well without being all over the top.

But yes, this book was really well-done, one of the best R+J modernizations I've seen. 55 guns out of 60. Definitely check it out in August!

(Sorry I haven't been on much, I suck.)



Friday, May 23, 2014


(This about the act of going to the pre-showing and a little of the movie itself, I will write a full Book vs. Movie on the Boulder Book Store's Blog.)

Okay, I've expressed my fears and hopes about The Fault in Our Stars on this blog many a time. And since I know some awesome people (Liesl, the children's buyer from the Bookstore, and Jill from Penguin Young Readers,) I got pre-showing tickets to the showing of TFIOS in Denver.

It was a school night the week before finals, but HELL YES I said yes because if I didn't I would be an idiot.

Taking my mom (who introduced me to the book,) my sister (because family,) and my friend from Teen Advisory Board, Zoe, we drove to Denver to see TFIOS TWO WEEKS-ISH EARLY.

My friend Zoe and I (before the show because after we were too busy crying to take a good #selfie)
The people were (understandably) paranoid about people filming the movie on their phones so we had to sign a waiver, get a ticket with a number, and then put our phones into plastic baggies, then leave them with a legitimate security. 

My emotions before/during/after the movie
In order to get into the theater, we had to get scanned like TSA with handheld detectors. Again, I understand the precautions but it was still so weird but still awesome I WAS SEEING THE FAULT IN OUR STARS TWO WEEKS EARLY EVERYTHING IS SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS AND TEARS OF JOY BUT ALSO SADNESS BECAUSE TFIOS IS SAD.

My thoughts on the movie itself

This is abridged, but I was so pleasantly surprised with how they handled the movie. Seriously, I was very scared because it's a movie adaptation of one of my favorite books and since when do those do well?

But they actually did a great job.

Like, all of us were so awed and pleased and crying throughout the movie.

It was moving and sweet and heartbreaking and fantastic.

I chose this gif because it makes me laugh and cry. Just like the book.
But I will say this, I hate the fact they cut a lot of stuff that I REALLY REALLY wanted to see. Like a lot of stuff with Isaac, and cute Hazel/Augustus moments. But I definitely understand that they had to cut stuff to make the movie commercial length, and what they left was awesome and told the story well and kept to the book. So I forgive them.

If it were up to me, the movie would be seven hours long with extra stuff with Gus and Isaac and the parents and the college friend and everything and everyone ;) slash :D and also a little of :'(


I'M VIP!!! (and also apparently called "Liesl" but just ignore that part ;) )
We all enjoyed the movie and the experience, and you all need to see my sister's snapchat about the heartbreaking aspects of the movie:

I am so glad to have this opportunity, thanks to Jill and Liesl for giving it to me, I'm so grateful. Everyone needs to see this movie!

Well... after they read the book ;)






Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Reader Quirks

I've revealed to you guys my Bad Reader Habits and my Readability Scale. Now I'm going to tell you my reader habits.

What are reader habits, you ask? (okay you're probably not asking but I'm still going to explain) It's the things you do while you're reading.

I know.


Maybe you sit in the same chair. Maybe you need complete quiet. Maybe you're upside down hanging from a chandelier and that's the only situation you can read. Maybe you like drinking tea while you read.

I have couple different reader quirks myself. Allow me to share.

Reader Quirk #1: I can read anywhere

I can read in a car, plane, airport, room, bed, sofa, school desk, etc. I can read outside, inside, on the beach, in the snow, in the dark (if my iPhone light is on, otherwise it's a pain.) I consider this a quirk because I have not met many people who can read in cars. People get carsick or headaches (my mom and sister are pretty bad offenders) and they always always ask me "how I do it" when they see me reading in moving vehicles.

Reader Quirk #2: I will often react physically when a book is making me feel things.

And I'm not talking about crying. I'm talking about shoving my face in between the pages I'm reading when something cute happens between love interests, shouting "GAH" whenever a character does something stupid, or throwing it somewhere when it's pissing me off. NO. NO.

I *had* to use this gif
Reader Quirk #3: If I find a passage interesting, I earmark the page.

This is actually my favorite quirk because I love re-reading books so I can just jump around from bookmark to bookmark, looking at the parts of the book that either make me happy, emotional, or laugh out loud/mentally.

Here are some examples:

My copy of *The Art of Lainey*
My copy of *To All the Boys I've Loved Before*
What quirks do you guys have? Leave them in the comments!



Saturday, May 10, 2014


I have decided my Summer Resolution for myself is to read more classic/older books and recent/maybe older memoirs and maybe just some books geared towards adults because I'm almost 18.

I've realized I read a lot of teen stuff, and not that there's anything wrong with that, I just really want to check these out.

I may not finish them (just because they're "classic" and "long revered" doesn't mean they necessarily please my personal tastes) but I will write a review for each book I read on this list. And still post reviews of the teen books I read.

DISCLAIMER: This list might expand because BOOKS. And it's not in order.

Classic/Classic Enough Stuff: Will be referred to "Classic Stuff Reviews"
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1951)
The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O'Brien (1987)
Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare (1590)
The Princess Bride by William Goldman (1971)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (1940)
Heartburn by Nora Ephron (1983)
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (1893)
Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (1934)
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (1940)
Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (1881)

Modern Adult Books: Henceforth known as "Adultish Book Reviews"
Wallflower at the Orgy by Nora Ephron (2007)
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan (2013)
When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison (2012)
Sweet Love by Sarah Strohmeyer (2008)
Vanity Fare by Megan Caldwell (2012)
(more will definitely be added but I can't think of any more at the moment)

Memoirs of Young and Old: AKA "Memoir Review"
I Don't Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner (2010)
I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron (2006)
My Misspent Youth by Meghan Daum (2001)
Popular by Maya Van Wagenen (2013)
Crazy Salad and Scribble Scribble by Nora Ephron (2012)
I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections by Nora Ephron (SHE'S MY IDOL) (2010)
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich (2002)
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (2012)

Plus all the teen books I want to read.

ARC Review: Art of Lainey

NOTE: I read this back during spring break but I was re-reading it and I almost forgot how awesome it was so I needed to share.

The Art of Lainey is the tale of Lainey Mitchell, who decides to use Sun Tzu's Art of War to win back her ex Jason who dumped her in public. This plan includes being mysterious, stealth ops, and fake-dating her punk co-worker Micah.

First off, this book is an AWESOME teen romance summer read. It has the elements of drama, sexual tension, and fun plot.


The ROMANCE I loved the romance in this book. And not just the sexual tension (but definitely that too,) I really enjoyed what the book had to say had about the topic of "all's fair in love and war." I loved Lainey's parents' relationship and how people need to take a break after long relationships and the fact they used a "Dead Chinese Warlord's" military strategies to win back your ex because that's just awesome.

Fun but plot-filled. Not all summer reads have to be devoid of all thought, and this one had great character development (especially for Lainey) but it wasn't those long, ceaseless books that ponder things and mull them over. There was action (romance action, not cars exploding) and drama and awesomeness.

Sexual tension. I mentioned this earlier, but this deserves some more words on the subject. The dialogue that came into play with the tension between Micah/Lainey, Lainey/Jason, and Leo/Bianca was just so awesome and clever and every time there was a particularly good burn I mentally cheered because when done well (and this was DEFINITELY done well) I love sexual tension.

Definitely keep your eye out for this book this summer! It's fun, awesome, and hilarious! 49 Wars out of 51!

Have a lovely day!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Trends in YA Lit

Continued title: And whether or not I'm a fan of them.

Most kind of medias have trends that ebb and flow. Thankfully, some are good and stay a while (like empowering female leads,) and some are bad but eventually dissipate (paranormal romance THANK GOD WOW.) Here's a breakdown of trends I've been noticing and whether or not I approve (and why.)

Modernizations of Classic/Older Lit

Is this good? Occasionally

Why? Sometimes, re-doings of things have gotten to the point of cliche, like the billion Romeo & Juliet adaptations that are out there that make me want to bash my head in because IT'S NOT A LOVE STORY DAMMIT BUT THAT'S HOW THEY MARKET IT AND IT MAKES ME ANGRY, ALONG WITH STORIES ALONG THE SIMILAR VEIN.

But, on the other hand, these can be good because re-doing things in new light can be AWESOME. Awesome-but-similar like Elizabeth Eulberg's Prom and Prejudice or a badass extension like Dorothy Paige's Dorothy Must Die. I think putting well-written modern twists on stories help keep the classic alive and well so I think some modernizations have merit.

LBTGQ Themes 

Is this good? YES

Why? Teens are going through a lot of changes and discovering their sexuality. Books often offer different perspectives and solace for them. While I think it's awesome there are stories for those discovering/having problems with coming to term with their sexuality, there need to be more books about the relationships and them as people and not just gay people.

A Guy's Point of View

Is this good? Definitely

Why? I kind of feel like the majority of teen/YA/New Adult are written about and for girls, and not that that's wrong, I just think there needs to be a balance. I also think it's fun to read things with more POVs than I think I'd read normally. Plus, I haven't met enough boys who read and "girls are icky" so we need to work on expanding their demographic because they certainly aren't themselves.

Boys *scoffs*

Is this good? Depends...

Why? I'm not really sure how to write this so I'm just going to say it: Showing consequences of unprotected sex and showing couples making mature decisions are great because sex is a BIG DEAL and I don't care what some movies/people/TV shows (initially) say and I think not addressing that is the bad part. But look at Judy Blume's Forever... ! It was published almost forty years ago, and I can't think of more than five books that handled sex as well as Blume did. So this trend needs to be improved, but I still think it's helpful.

Death of a loved one/Cancer/Memory Loss


Why? I don't think I'm in a position to actually judge whether this is good or not because I have not really lost a loved one, had cancer/had someone close to me get cancer, or experienced memory loss. I'm never really sure if the emotions are being accurately described and, personally, I feel a bit awkward that I can't relate as well as things I have gone through. But I also think it's a good to get new perspectives on things and I like to think that people can find solace in books, especially in ones that are relating to what they've been through, so I'm glad this trend is a thing.

Abuse/Rape/Sexual Assault

Is this good?
Why? I think if it's well-handled, then it needs to be out there because people are too afraid to discuss this topic and it's something that definitely needs to be discussed. Otherwise, when it's poorly written (cough cough The boy who sneaks in my bedroom window,) I genuinely think it's an insult to the people who have gone through it. They deserve the things representing what happened to them (not necessarily their exact transcript of what happened, mind you) to be well-done. Not poorly like the author wrote it in one go without consulting anyone and thinking everything's happy and awesome and flowers.


Is this good? YES

Why? I've noticed this in some ARCs I read over spring vacation, but books like Royally Lost and Wish You Were Italian are just two that I've noticed in the (hopefully) growing trend of teens travelling to different countries and the experience they gain. It's awesome because maybe people who can't travel can live vicariously and people who can travel can relate to those experiences and I just think it's an awesome way to tell the fabled "hero's journey" by having a literal journey.

Plus, hot foreign people are always a bonus.

If you have any you've noticed, feel free to leave them in the comments! Or list some examples of these that you'd like to recommend. You can never have too many books to read ;)



Friday, May 2, 2014

Book Review: Dorothy Must Die

NOTE: I read this as an ARC but it was published on April 1st.

Dorothy Must Die is the start of a trilogy by Danielle Paige. It's about Amy Gumm, a Kansas girl who is whisked away to a dystopian Oz and roped into a dangerous, mysterious plot to murder Dorothy, who's gone mad with magic and power.

This book was badass. Allow me to explain:


The characters: With quirky names, traits, and back stories, the Ozians were fun companions to Amy's story. I really liked that everyone was flawed and "wicked" because, for a fantasy involving a girl being taken from the "real" world to a crumbling, famous one, they were fairly relatable. I really liked how I ended up feeling about the characters, like how I rooted for the witches, flying monkeys, and the munchkins...

And rooting against Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and the Lion.

The realm: The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite stories and movies when I was younger, and I had the twisted pleasure of seeing it morph into something terrible that needed to be fix by a seemingly run-of-the-mill "trailer trash" girl. It's an awesome world to get sucked into, and the aesthetics of it are awesome.

The premise: Everyone knows that there are no "original" ideas anymore, but we could at least have interesting twists on the old ones. I'm sick of the same reboots being done over and over and over. We should do more stuff like this. I think Paige did a great job taking the conventions of the original story and putting them in a fucked-up world with ideas and new conventions that our current world can offer.

Fancy phrasing aside, this book made me feel badass reading and hopefully you'll feel that as well when you read it. *cough cough*

9 Demented Dorothys out of 10. Yay!



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Review: Faking Normal

NOTE: This is a review of a book that I read as an ARC.

Faking Normal is a book by Courtney C. Stevens about Alexi Littrell, a girl who had a terrible thing happen to her over the summer and is having a tough time coping with it (in fact, scraping at her skin with her fingernails.) At the same time, Bodee Lennox, the odd boy who dyes his hair constantly, moves in after his own personal tragedy and they learn to cope with each other along with dealing with other dramas.

I want to start with saying that I was just about to put this book down when the book picked up.

Thirty-two pages in, and I was annoyed with the annoying friends and the fact she clawed at her skin made me uncomfortable and fidgety and I was just about to close the book.

And I almost lost the opportunity to read a fantastic book.

Because I got sucked in.

This book is severe in themes, and tragic, but also addicting and hopeful.

Severe: This book is about a girl who gets raped by someone she knows, because he's sad and she's there and he coerces her into it. It was well-written and well-handled, but also severe because it entails lots of other things. Especially like what it does to her family and friends when/if they find out. Plus, there's murder and abuse and difficult relationships that were all intricate and amazing to read.

My feelings while reading
Tragic: This is a story about rape. And, from what I've seen in news stories, it's accurate in how people handle it. And how people approach it. Fair warning to all if this is a triggering subject for you.

Addicting: As soon as I got to the part Bodee moves in, this book took off. It was fast-paced and had good dialogue and interesting characters and plots. I couldn't stand to put it down.

Hopeful: I don't want to spoil, but the ending. The ending, man. Wow.

If you're interested in a heavy read, then I definitely recommend this book. It was amazing. Check it out.




I changed my twitter handle from @AGirlNamedOwyn to @OwynWriter.

You should follow me.

Thank you,


Book Review: Love Letters to the Dead

NOTE: I read this as an ARC but it was published on April 1st.

The book Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira is about the young teenager Laurel, who chronicles her freshman year of high school through letters to famous celebrities, ranging from Kurt Cobain to Amelia Earhart.


This book is...


Moriarty can't handle the WOWness of this book
It's intense, and written with beautiful diction that you don't normally find geared toward the 12-18 demographic. And I appreciated that. Laurel used astounding comparisons and descriptions that made the book fun to picture.

Back to the intense thing, this book isn't for the faint. There are some very triggering things, like drug use, abuse, sexual assault, and death of a loved one. I don't say these to spoil, I just know some things can be harsh to read and I think it's fair to warn.

Plus, one of the things Dellaira did well was juggle all the story lines. Like Laurel coming to terms with what happened to her, and falling for the cute "bad" boy, and her new friends' romantic lives and drama, and her parents' inability to be truly there for her after her sister died, and the mystery of what happened on the night her sister died.

I couldn't, but Dellaira definitely could, damn.

It's a heartbreaking, beautiful, emotional read. I absolutely loved it. I hope everyone reads it. 

488/490 Poems.



Saturday, April 5, 2014

Colorado Teen Lit Conference 2014!!

NOTE: I switch tenses when I'm tired. 

If there's ever a good reason to get up at 6 in the morning, the Colorado Teen Lit Conference is one of the best. 

I walk in at 8 in the morning. Even though I've been here before, I still manage to get a bit lost.

Luckily, there are little pink feet taped around the floor so I was able to find registration.

follow the pink-taped-foot road
I go outside the main hall and see Maggie, one of the heads of the CTLC who helped me do a lot of awesome stuff last year. Since I had such a great time last year, I was very excited.

Look how excited
As you know from last year (and if you don't, check out this blog post,) I was a kinda-participant of last's years podcast interviews through the Denver Public Library with the authors last year, Lauren Oliver and Jay Asher. I also got to be on the Teen Connections Panel and ask those two lovely authors questions in front of a crowd. 

Since you can't be on the panel twice, I knew I wasn't doing that this year. 


But then Maggie offered me to sit in on the interviews with A.S. King and David Levithan.

Of course I said HELL YEAH.

So after checking in (my name not being spelled "Owen" made my day much more awesome,) I meet Amy, a Denver Public Library librarian in charge of the podcast. I find out I need to be there for the interviews between 10-12, which means I miss the first two sessions out of three but SINCE I GET TO MEET DAVID LEVITHAN AND A.S. KING I THINK I'M OKAY. Plus, if the contest winners who actually get to interview say it's alright, I get to ask them a question.

I find my friend Jake and his friends from the Boulder Public Library Teen Advisory Board.

Jake is awesome
 I also meet both Will Graysons.

Played by Sami
I also get to talk to some of the librarians from my school and some teens from Monarch who are totally rad.

Ignore the rivalry for the sake of books
And then the morning keynote speech was done by A.S. King, who had an amazing oration with lessons, symbols, metaphors, and just a great story that was inspirational and genuine and honest and I love hearing it.

When that amazing speech ended, I got to go to the room where I had the interviews with A.S. King and David Levithan. I'm going to post that whole experience through Statement, so I'll link that when it's up. For now, enjoy the selfies I took with both the authors.

Me with A.S. King

Me with David Levithan
Then we have lunch, and I eat with Jake, Sami, others from BTAB. We spend most of lunch eating food and candy and talking about sessions, book recs, tattoos, and why we can't stand classic literature (sue me.)

David Levithan, for his lunch keynote, read aloud from Boy Meets Boy and Two Boys Kissing. And it was such an awesome experience. Especially with Boy Meets Boy, which I love, it was so awesome to hear the author reading his words in a way that I had kinda always heard them along with the laughs of everyone in the crowd. Truly amazing. 

Afterwards, I make my way over to room 320 for the Local Author Panel, where I got to see a discussion five lovely authors.

Alane Ferguson: A freaking ghost hunter! That's amazing. She was vibrant and intellectual and also scanned me to make sure I wasn't haunted.

Anastasia Zhivotov: She had so much to say about life and her book seems fascinating and dark. I wish her and her self-publishing endeavors the best of luck.

Rebekah Crane: She told an awesome story where she inspired an urban criminal to get passionate about a Charles Dickens novel.

Barbara Wright: I thought her backstory for writing Crow, which is about a race riot she had never heard of and therefore wanted to write about it to correct her ignorance (paraphrased,) was intriguing and noble.

Rebecca Green Gasper: I find it very admirable to tackle dating abuse, especially when she told a story where most people didn't even know they were being abused at a conference about such a topic until she defined it.

It was fantastic, fun, dark, and interesting to sit in on, and I'm very excited for their books.

Then, the Teen Connections Panel starts.

So many hilarious things happened.

-A.S. King talked about her new book about an invisible helicopter and David Levithan "held" an invisible book.
-A.S. King's crazy roommate. 
-David Levithan saying that the worst thing about co-authoring was splitting the profit
-Awesome David/Amy friendship
-Lots of amazing questions *cough cough including mine*
--Mine was about how they don't really plan characters, but do characters ever manifest from people they know and have people ever called them on it? Amy (A.S. King) said her relative is completely stubborn on the fact Vera Dietz is based on her, even though it isn't. David says no one ever has said that they're a character to his face.

That was such an fantastic and amazing experience and I can't wait for next year!