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

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!