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Author Interview: Tiffany McDaniel and “The Summer that Melted Everything”

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Hello, and welcome to the VERY VERY FIRST author interview ever hosted by yours truly, Princess Penguin!

Today, I welcome Tiffany McDaniel to my little corner of the Bookish Block–thank you SO MUCH for taking time out of your schedule to sit down and chat with me a bit, Tiffany!

Penguins, can we get a HUGE flipper hello to the author?!

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About the Book:

The Summer that Melted EverythingThe Summer that Melted Everything
by Tiffany McDaniel
St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: July 26th, 2016
320 Pages
Magical Realism / Literary Fiction
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperature as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestle with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.

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About the Author:

Photo Credit JENNIFER MCDANIELTiffany McDaniel is an Ohio native whose writing is inspired by the rolling hills and buckeye woods of the land she knows. Also a poet and artist, she is the winner of The Guardian’s 2016 “Not-the-Booker Prize” for her debut novel, The Summer that Melted Everything. The novel was also a Goodreads Choice Award double nominee in both fiction and debut categories, is a current nominee for the Lillian Smith Book Award, and has recently been announced as a finalist for the Ohioana Literary Award and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award for Outstanding Debut.

“Sometimes this world is like red fences in the snow.  There ain’t no hiding who we really are.”—THE SUMMER THAT MELTED EVERYTHING


The Interview of EPIC

1.      If you could talk to any animal for a day, which animal would you pick and what would you talk about/ask?

 I would have loved to have had a conversation with my cat Fancy.  She recently passed on May 22nd.  She was twenty-one years old, so we came-of-age and lived a long time together.  I would have loved to have been able to talk to her and hear her side of those twenty-one years.

 2. The Summer that Melted Everything is your debut–congratulations!  Tell us a little bit about the book? (non spoilery, of course!)

Thank you so much for the congratulations.  The Summer that Melted Everything is about a man who one day puts an invitation in the newspaper, inviting the devil to town.  A boy, claiming to be the devil, answers the invitation, only this boy is not your stereotypical devil of red flesh and horns.  This so-called devil’s arrival coincides with the start of a heat-wave that threatens to destroy the town’s very sanity.  As the summer unfolds, the boy’s presence has tragic consequences on the town and everyone in it.  Who is the real devil?  That is a question The Summer that Melted Everything sets out to answer.

3. You wake up to find you’re suddenly a mythical creature!  What form have you taken, and what do you spend the day doing?

I would say a winged horse, or some other mythical-winged creature.  I’ve always wanted wings and the ability to fly over all the land.  Imagine flying above jungles, close enough to run your fingers through the foliage of the treetops.  To fly over the oceans, just above the whales, and onward to the highest mountaintop, steering clear of Icarus’ sun.  And then, come nightfall, to be able to fly all the way up to the stars.  I doubt there would be a better way to spend a day.

4. Do you have any weird or interesting writing rituals, such as yo-yoing when “stuck” or writing for one hour at 2 am once a week?

I wish I could say I do something really weird or interesting when writing, but I’m pretty boring in that I just sit there and type.  In my downtime, I garden, paint and draw, bake, watch movies, and spend time with all the animals in my life.  These things really prove to be great ways to step away from writing, and come back to it, re-energized.

5. What advice would you give aspiring writers/authors about publishing/the world?

To never give up.  While The Summer that Melted Everything is my first published novel, it’s actually my fifth or sixth novel written.  I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen, and wouldn’t get a publishing contract until I was twenty-nine for The Summer that Melted Everything.  It was a long eleven-year journey to publication, full of rejection and perseverance.  My writing is dark, and I was often told I was risky to publish, which is something I think female literary fiction writers often encounter in contrast to their male counterparts.  But if I had given up, I wouldn’t be where I am today with a book on the shelf.  So to all the writers out there on the journey to publication, I say, don’t let rejection destroy you.  Let rejection empower you.

   6. What piece of advice has most helped you with publishing/the world?

I have to go back to my answer in the previous question because the biggest piece of advice is to never give up.  That’s not only true in publishing, but in everything we do in this world.

7. If you could make a scarf out of words, what type of words would you use: your favorites, to hold close, or your least favorites, to remind you how to be strong?

I would make a scarf out of my favorite words.  Names of people and of animals I have loved, and of words that give me comfort.  To be clothed in the words that make me the happiest, that would be an ideal world.

8. Give us a few words from your word-scarf? What do these words mean TO YOU if they’re your favorites / why don’t you like them if they’re not?

The words I would use are words that would remind me of my favorite things. My favorite seasons, favorite colors, and words that have to do with nature and plants, because I love gardening.  There would also be the names and words of artists and authors I enjoy.  But also, the names of the people and animals I have loved in this lifetime.   A scarf that would ultimately be the story of my life, a story I could hold close and hold dear for all of time.

 9. Anything nifty tucked up your sleeve for your next project you want to give us a “sneak peak” into?

I’ve returned to that very first novel I wrote when I was eighteen.  It’s titled, The Chaos We’ve Come From.  I have eight completed novels, and just like in all of them, in The Chaos We’ve Come From, the fictional town of Breathed, Ohio will be the setting.  Ohio is a land that has shaped me as an author.  The Chaos We’ve Come From in particular is inspired by my mother’s coming-of-age in southern Ohio, in those foothills of the Appalachians, from the 1950s to the death of her father in the early 1970s.  It feels like a good time to return to these characters and to this story.

10. If you could sit down with any writer, alive or dead, who would you pick? What would you talk about? What do you expect they’ll choose for dinner?

There are a few authors like Ray Bradbury and Shirley Jackson that I would like to chat with.  Agatha Christie, too.  My answer seems to change each time I’m asked this, but today I would say Sylvia Plath.  I think we would talk about all the things we keep under the bell jar, in one way or another.  For dinner, I think she would choose a cake she’d made the day before.  Sometimes cake itself is the perfect dinner.


HUGE thanks, once again, to Tiffany McDaniel for sitting down and sharing these awesome answers with me–I had so much fun asking these questions, and hope all you Penguins out there had fun READING them and getting to know this author a little!

You can find out more about Tiffany McDaniel, The Summer that Melted Everything, and MOAR by visiting her website (just click the flowers, Penguins–CLICK IIIIIT!):

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Until next time, and as always, happy book-ing!

 

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16

Unpopular Opinions (Book Tag!)

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Unpopular Opinions

I was tagged by the bookishly wonderful Anna @ It’s my birth write — thank you so much, you happy fanceh penguin you!  ❤

The tag was created by TheBookArcher. Here’s a link to the original video.

Now then…. LET’S WRECK IT, RALPH!

(I’m sorry, I spent like lots of hours organizing all Keith and I’s movies in alphabetical order this afternoon/evening.  My penguin brain is mush and all I can think of are movies now)

1. A POPULAR BOOK OR BOOK SERIES THAT YOU DIDN’T LIKE.

How about I give you a few…and the reasons why I didn’t like them.  Because WELL-ROUNDED for the win!

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

 Rating: 3/5 Penguins
Quick Reasons: I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was reading Twilight again?; pretty slow start; lots of snark, agnst, and teenage drama; aliens…sort of?; fast-paced second half; some pulse-pounding, sexy moments

(If I re-rated this book now, it’d be closer to 3 Penguins)

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

Rating: 3.75/5 Penguins
Quick Reasons: interesting twists and embellishments to the ideas of “supernatural” powers; sometimes awkward, cliched plot twists; a few weird world-building blips; a story I cared about…with characters that I just couldn’t

(If I were to re-rate this now…I’d probably rate it closer to 3 or 3.25 Penguins)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

Rating: 3.5/5 Penguins
Quick Reasons: very slow beginning–seriously, it dragged; intriguing plot, unique cast of characters; I didn’t really feel invested in any of the crew; I wasn’t emotionally invested in the story, either, really; once the pace picked up, the read was quick; loved the addition of the photographs

2. A POPULAR BOOK OR BOOK SERIES THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO HATE BUT YOU LOVE.

Again, I’ll give you a few…and the reasons why.

The Gracekeepers

Rating: 5/5 Penguins
Quick Reasons: lyrical, poignant writing; an intriguing, unique sort of dystopia; imaginative, vivid world-building and imagery; heavy, emotional prose; unexpected, surprising twists; small snippets of a lot of different perspectives woven into the two main ones—and it works; endearing, complex characters; lots to love in this read

Rating: 5/5 Penguins Everything That Makes You
Quick Reasons: I don’t… I can’t… WHAT did I just read?!; there might be tiny pieces of my heart embedded in the carpet where it dropped out of my chest while reading; why isn’t this book talked about more?!; beautifully heart-wrenching; I LOVE the juxtaposition of these two “what if” situations

Betwixt

This one doesn’t even HAVE quick reasons because I read it so early in my blogging career!  If you want to read my review on it, though, you can find it RIGHT HERE!

3. AN OTP THAT I DON’T LIKE.

Crimson Sky (Dark Sky #1)

 Claire and Riley.  I just… I was ALL SAWYER ALL THE TIME from the very first page, and I cannot for the life of me stand behind Riley.  I just can’t.

4. A POPULAR BOOK GENRE THAT YOU HARDLY REACH FOR.

I…read pretty much anything and everything these days, so… *shrugs* Iunno? The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)

OH OH OH WAIT, yes I do!  High fantasy.  High fantasy and I don’t get along very well.

I’ve only managed to read a few, actually, so far… my favorite being this one right here–

5. A POPULAR/BELOVED CHARACTER THAT YOU DO NOT LIKE.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

Gale.  I just CANNOT with that boy.  I don’t even know why.

6. A POPULAR AUTHOR THAT YOU CAN’T SEEM TO GET INTO.

Ann Brashares.  Again, not sure why, except maybe my age? The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1)

7. A POPULAR BOOK TROPE THAT YOU’RE TIRED OF SEEING.

In.  Sta.  Love.

Also, “special snowflakes,” ESPECIALLY in dystopian/post apocalypse.  Not every main character HAS to be good at all teh things, okay?! So quit it!

8. A POPULAR SERIES THAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

Sorry not sorry?  This just doesn’t really scream at me to read it, and there are WAY too many other books I WANT to read out there for me to bother wasting my time on something I’m pretty sure I won’t like.

9. THE SAYING GOES “THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE”, BUT WHAT MOVIE OR TV SHOW ADAPTATION DO YOU PREFER MORE THAN THE BOOK?Beastly (Beastly, #1; Kendra Chronicles, #1)

This one!  Because…gaaaaah, I dunno, the movie’s just better IMO!

I TAG:

PandaPants

Deanna

Carrie Artrip

yourdaughtersbookshelf

By Hook Or By Book

 

3

Galentines Day with the Penguin

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HELLO HELLO to all my loyal bookish penguins (and a big hello to my NONbookish penguins, as well, because I was raised to be polite and not turn my beak on others.  Or something like that… I don’t know, some of the things I was taught growing up have subsequently been lost–those pesky little politeness pebbles!)

“BEEEEEETH!” I hear you whining.  “Why did you call us here today?  What do you even WANT, how can you even have time for anything you’re working like a maniac and don’t have enough hours in the day for all the things you must MUST do so WHAT DO YOU WANT?!”

Well, if you didn’t know already…

TODAY IS GALENTINES DAY!

“Wha…. What even are you…. Have you LOST your beak completely, woman?!”  I’m sure you’re thinking.

BUT LOOK!

Galentine’s Day is a holiday Amy Poehler’s Parks and Rec character Leslie Knope created that occurs every year on Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day. As Leslie herself explains on the show:

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SEEEEE?!  It’s totes a thing.  And I’m here to tell you some of the EPICAL AWESOME that would be Galentines Day for me and my fellow bookish penguins, because YAY FUN!

First and foremost…. It’s hard to keep track of all those RSVPs when you’re a penguin, am I right?  You don’t have the nifty fingers to clench them in your fists; cell phones are a TOTAL NO GO around water; and messages in tuna fish?!  Whoever heard of slowing down enough to read your food before eating?!?!?! HONESTLY.

Having similar party issues?!  No worries–just check out Eventbrite !  They have all the tools you need to make your get-together sparkle like the bow ties your fanceh penguin mates should be wearing on Valentines Day (just for you, of course!)

Now then, let me introduce you to….

GALENTINES DAY!…Epic Penguin Style

As I’ve already said, this party of awesome would be open to ALL MY BLOGGISH PENGUIN PALS because seriously, even the fanceh penguins need to get together with friends? (I know, I know, this totes contradicts the title of the thing, but HOOOOONESTLY let’s just let everyone have all the fun okay?! OKAY?!?!)

To start the night off right, what’s better than HARRY POTTER COCKTAILS?!?!?! (yes, yes, this is aaaaaaall going to be fandom based.  Because BOOKS, you!  Books!)

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I mean…don’t those just look DEEEELICIOUS?! (click the image to go to the webpage for recipes and tastiness!)

These would be followed by….

Discworld Delicacies

and

Discworld Desserts

I mean, obvs I won’t be charging my pals to eat the food, and I’d have to toooootally figure out my own menu because PLAGIARISM IS BAD FORM PENGUINS! … but DISCWORLD FOR THE WIN!  (No, seriously.  The menu would be Discworld, because I win like that)

AND ALL OF THIS EPIC!

Would be done while also enjoying the wit and wiles of one Elizabeth (Lizzie) Bennet, courtesy of my favorite youtube series of ever…

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Because honestly, who could ask for a better night with the pals than this?!

(Also, for all the fanceh penguins groaning in the background…you’ve been warned?  Don’t come if you don’t wanna?  Or, you know, grab some brooms and go play Quidditch in the yard instead.  Your choice.)

Of course, we’d probably also do other stuff and things.  Like what?!  Well…these are just a feeeeeeew ideas:

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 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Babel Fish Bottle

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Alice in Wonderland “Drink Me” Necklace

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Fandom Crayon Art

I mean…. COULD IT GET ANY BETTER than all of this epic?!  Because I certainly don’t think so!

What are some of YOUR ideas for Galentines Day, penguins?  Feel free to share them with me below, and remember to go check out Eventbrite for all your party planning/RSVP tracking needs!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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32

End of Year Book Survey (2016)

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I’ve been seeing a LOT of this survey floating around the last couple days, and decided I wanted to join in toooooo!

This was originally posted/created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner … though you can probably thank Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews for being the one to push me over the edge and make me want to do the thing.

So….let’s do the THANG!

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2016readingstats

Number of Books You Read:

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I won’t QUITE be beating last year’s total of books read…but I’ve gotten close despite the move and madness, so I consider that a success.  I mean really, the fact this penguin managed to read AT ALL with all that’s going on in her life lately is success enough, right?!  RIIIIIIGHT?!

Number of Re-Reads:

Night World, No. 1 (Night World, #1-3)

Zero.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada because I don’t usually re-read books unless I SUUUUUUPAH want to for some reason or other.

Wait, I lied!  I HAD ONE!!! I re-read Night World –I forgot to count it because I hadn’t read it since I was in, like…high school?  which was before my book blogging/book reviewer days.  I so fail at this game, oops!

Genre You Read Most From:

Diverse books?  Is that a genre even?  Because I read A LOT of diverse books this year, penguins.  Like….a lot!  But…if that doesn’t count, then I suppose I’d probably say fantasy, because…lots of fantasy as well.  Yup.

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Best Book You Read in 2016:

Oh boy.  Uhm.  How about I give you, like…five?  Does five work?  I think five is going to have to work because I’m not choosing just one.

The Love That Split the World Wrecked Everything That Makes You Sticks & Stones Untitled Beauty (Somewhere-in-Between #1)

and, I’m sorry, one more for good measure because I can’t possibly imagine leaving it out:

The Bone Sparrow

Books You Were Excited About / Thought You’d Love More, but Didn’t:

The Masterminds The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1) Rebel Bully Geek Pariah

You let me dooooooown, books!  You let me down so hard, and didn’t even offer me a cushion to land on.  How.  Dare.  You.

Most Surprising (in a Good OR Bad Way) Book You Read:

Arena (Arena, #1) I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did–I was sort of expecting to go into the read with a ton of excitement, only to have that excitement fade pretty quickly.  Surprisingly, though, that didn’t happen–this was one of the most entertaining, action-packed reads of the year for me in the end!

Book You “Pushed” the Most People to Read:

Valentina The Cilantro In Apple Pie Dark Water

Best Series Started/Sequel Of/Series Ender Read in 2016:

The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga, #1) –Series started.

Rating: 4.25/5 Penguins

Quick Reasons: interesting, though slightly confusing, world-building; I had trouble picturing the characters; some of the rules of the world were unclear; fun, entertaining, super snarky characters; not quite like anything I’ve read before

–Sequel of.Romancing the Nerd (Nerd, #2)

Rating: 4.25/5 Penguins

Quick Reasons: this is just as adorable as the first book!; the couple is butterfly-inducing and so realistic; LOVE all the LARPing that’s mentioned throughout; great focus on important societal/moral issues; there is a LOT to love about this series; I am officially in love with Leah Rae Miller

Wyvernhail (The Kiesha'ra, #5)–Series ender.

Rating: 4.25/5 Penguins

Quick Reasons: I LOVE that this comes full-circle at the end; this was a great way to end the series; important moral/societal statements explored; stubborn characters who give up everything for what’s right; awesome continued world-building

Favorite New Author Discovered in 2016:

There are TWO, actually.

The Duchess Quest (Jordinia #1) The Duchess Inheritance (Jordinia #2) The Red Pearl –C.K. Brooke, who writes fantasy/romance ; her world-building is always SUPER great, her stories are full of action, and her characters literally leap to life off the page.

AND

Untitled Beauty (Somewhere-in-Between #1) This is Me. The Boy with Words –C.E. Wilson, who ALWAYS pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me really consider the world around me, and the moral implications she explores in her worlds.

Best Book from a Genre You Don’t Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone:

Valentina

This book swept into my life like a wrecking ball and BROKE down all my barriers.  THIS book is the reason I decided to start picking up more thriller/mysteries.  Seriously, penguins, pick this one up–I promise you won’t regret it.  That ending is BOMBtastic.

Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of the Year:

Vinyl (The Vinyl Trilogy Book 1) The Uninvited Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

All three of these, honestly, for VERY different reasons.  Every Heart a Doorway is the book that made me realize I COULD, and probably should, listen to audiobooks without becoming distracted or feeling “bored.”  So there’s that, as well–if you’re looking for your next great audiobook, PICK THAT ONE UP!

Book You Read in 2016 that You’re Most Likely to Re-Read:

I’m not going to limit myself and say FOR SURE next year, because…who knows what’llEqual Parts (Supernova, #1) happen in the coming months?  But I will probably be revisiting Equal Parts in the future because HELLOOOOOOO wonderful!  Seriously, someone call up Emma Winters and find out when the next book will be released, because I NEED IT!

Favorite Cover of a Book Read in 2016:

The Gracekeepers The Museum of Heartbreak Midnight Sky (Dark Sky #2) The Voyage to Magical North The Counting-Downers

I just…. I couldn’t pick just one, so I gave you five.  Again.  And seriously, I must be feeling blue today–all these covers, except that last purple one, are SO blue!  What even?!  Favorite color of the day, I guess?

Most Memorable Character of 2016:

Everything That Makes You

Fiona Doyle.  Because this girl literally BROKE ME INTO PIECES and I can’t.

Most Beautifully-Written Book Read in 2016:

Artificial (The Kepler Chronicles, #1) A Mortal Song Somniare (Somniare #1)

I mean…when you ask me about “beautifully written” books, you’re bound to get several examples…mostly because my definition of what makes a beautifully-written book changes from book to book, depending.  For instance–the above three?  ALL gorgeous.  For vastly different reasons, not always just the flow of the prose.

Most Thought-Provoking/Life Changing Read of 2016:

Everything That Makes You

I mean…..you probably should have seen this answer coming?  Seriously, if you didn’t see this answer coming, you don’t know me very well at all.

Book You Can’t Believe You Waited UNTIL 2016 to Read:

I don’t really have an answer for this one, because…most of the books I picked up this year (read most as ALL) I didn’t actually KNOW about until this year.  So…there’s that.

Favorite Passage/Quote from a Book Read in 2016:

“Even though Marcus really believed some miracle would happen, he didn’t waste a second.” He gave a sad, lopsided smile. “So I learned this from my dying brother. Don’t waste it.”

“Waste what?” she whispered.

He looked at her for a long time. “Everything that makes you.”
Moriah McStay, Everything That Makes You

Shortest and Longest Books Read in 2016:

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Book that Shocked You the Most:

The Love That Split the World

I feel like I answered this question already?  Like, way up there that way ^^^ ???  Wait, I guess not–surprising and shocked can be two different things, I suppose.  Okay, so… I’m going to go with The Love That Split the World, because honestly, the last 100?ish pages are SO not what I expected going into this.

OTP of the Year (You Will Go Down with this Ship!):

Eeeeeeeeh?  I don’t really DO OTPs, mostly because…uhm…because I don’t wanna? LOL

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year:

#Hater (Hashtag, #2)

 Braeden and Rimmel have THE BEST relationship of all time.  You cannot convince me otherwise.

Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously:

The Ocean at the End of the LaneRating: 4.25/5 Penguins

Quick Reasons: Doctor Who meets Stephen King; this book is SO abstract and poetic and gorgeous; disturbing and beautifully haunting in a way only Neil Gaiman can manage; a complex, well-rounded examination of childhood, stories, and the truth about truths

Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Since You've Been Gone

I mean I guess it was about time I picked up a Morgan Matson book, so…thank you, book blogging block, for all the pressurizing?!

Newest Fictional Crush from a Book You Read in 2016:

Four Real

So….I have to say, ALL THE MEN! in this book are currently at the top of my “newest fictional crushes” list because they’re all so adorable.

Best 2016 Debut You Read:

This Is Where It Ends

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year:

The Bone Sparrow

I mean yeah, this is contemporary fiction….but you will literally FEEL like you’re in the detention center with Subhi the whole time you’re reading.  This book is just… Gaaaah, so many feels.

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read:

The Bad Boy Bargain The Summer I Became a Nerd (Nerd, #1) Anyone but Ivy Pocket

I mean seriously, pretty much any cutesy contemporary is going to make me smile, so the first two are a given.  Ivy Pocket, on the other hand…her snark is OUT of this world huge, and her journey so far has been entertaining and a blast to follow along on.

Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016:

NEARLY CRY FOR THE WIN because this penguin’s heart froze a long long time ago and I’ve not been able to find the right pebbles to kickstart it back to life yet.  No, no, I kid–sort of.  I just don’t cry easily, so you KNOW these books are bombtastic.

Full Tilt (Full Tilt, #1) The Bone Sparrow The Counting-Downers

Everything That Makes You The Love That Split the World Vinyl (The Vinyl Trilogy Book 1)

Hidden Gem Of The Year:

Touch by Natalia Jaster

Natalia Jaster is just…. She blows me away.  I’ve only read two books from her, but she honestly BLOWS me away.

Book That Crushed Your Soul:

Everything That Makes You

I mean… I bet you can guess, if you try hard enough.  I BET you know exactly where this is going.  I beeeeeeet you doooooooo!

Were you right?  SUUUUURE you were!  You know this penguin too well.

Most Unique Book You Read In 2016:

Untitled Beauty (Somewhere-in-Between #1) This is Me.

Seriously, this author’s ideas are OUT of this world amazing–and so super thought-provoking at the same time.

Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it):

Wrecked Rating: 5/5 Penguins

Quick Reasons: like the title suggests, this book WRECKED me; comfort zone? what even is that? I don’t think I know anymore; there’s an interesting play on “unreliable narrators” and “omniscient narrators” going on throughout this book that made this both frustrating, and intriguing; I don’t know what to feel right now; this book will shatter every perspective you think you have…and piece it back together in a different way

Symptoms of Being HumanRating: 5/5 Penguins

Quick Reasons: good god this book!; realistic, endearing, believable characters; lots of angst, drama, and confusion; delicious ambiguity; yet another book that will change your view of the world; this novel is SO IMPORTANT; well-written, sensitive, and amazing

yourbloggingandbookishlife

New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016:

Oh boy.  Okay.

Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews

Cait @ Paper Fury

Annelise (PandaPants) @ The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange

Chuckles @ Chuckles Book Cave

Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse

Favorite review that you wrote in 2016:

Vinyl (The Vinyl Trilogy #1), by Sophia Elaine Hanson

The Love that Split the World, by Emily Henry

Equal Parts (Supernova #1), by Emma Winters

Everything that Makes You, by Moriah McStay

Symptoms of Being Human, by Jeff Garvin

Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog:

How To: Freak the FRACKLE Out Over Scary Video Games

Dear How-To Penguin… (#2)

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.):

I…haven’t really participated in any yet?!  YAY for having almost no actual life!

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016:

MEETING THE PANDAPANTS AND MAKING PLANS TO TAKE OVER AHEM I MEAN RULE OVER AHEM I MEAN MAKE THE WORLD RAINBOWS!

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year:

Maintaining a consistent and awesome blogging schedule; figuring out how to keep ALL YOU PENGUINS entertained and coming back I mean seriously I only have enough tuna for ME okay go find a pebble and sit doooooown!

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views):

Uhm.  I honestly have no idea because I don’t know how to figure this out on wordpress.  I FAAAAAAIL at this game…maybe someone can teach me?

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love:

I don’t really pay much attention all things be told.  I guess I sort of wish my Villainous Love Songs posts got a bit more lovin’, because I have a ton of fun putting them together, but it’s really not a big deal.

Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.):

BOOK.  OUTLET.  Seriously, this is the best discovery of all discoveries ever discovered in my life.  Book Outlet is a life saver and a shelf lover.

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Well… I surpassed my goodreads reading challenge by about 65 books, and I read about as much this year as I did last year, and I read MANY more diverse books this year than I did last year….so I’d call all that a win, definitely.

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2) The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

Carve the Mark (Untitled Duology, #1)

2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Hate U Give

Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

Radio (The Vinyl Trilogy Book 2)

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

–Keep up my reading streak because it’s been awesome
–Read more of the books I already own because I’ve been failing hardcore at this
–Bring back my random “BOOK SALES!” posts because I fell off the bandwagon with those
–TAKE OVER THE WORLD WITH THE PANDAPANTS because it’s already in the works and you all know you don’t wanna stop us

A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga, #1)

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AND YAY, we reached the end!  This thing was MAAAAASSIVE, penguins, oh my goodness…did I survive?  did I lose a bunch of my pebbles?  I don’t know, I don’t know!

Feel free to link me to YOUR End of the Year Survey, if you took the thing, or your wrap ups if that’s easier, or any other posts you think I might be interested in looking at, or…whatever!

As always, happy book-ing!

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2

Villainous Love Songs (#34)

villainouslovesongs

Because c’mon–you think those characters with the hearts of ice, the unbreakable wills, the huge tendency to bully DON’T jam out to the mushy-gushy on their iPods sometimes?

I am of the firm opinion that villains, just like everybody else, have a love song they just can’t help but…well…LOVE!

This will be a consistent new feature on my blog–probably posted every Monday.  Because there are a LOT of villains, and a LOT of love songs, out there to match… and I’m bound and determined to do it!

If you like this meme, feel free to post up your own–just be sure to link back to mine!

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VILLAINOUS LOVE SONGS

Image result for poison ivy gifs

Image result for poison ivy gifs

Poison Ivy

“Haven’t you heard that I’m the new cancer?
Never looked better and you can’t stand it.”

I mean really, you can’t GET a closer match than this?  I can just imagine Poison Ivy singing this song at the TOP of her lungs while strangling someone with her vines.

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VooDolly
(Somniare, by D.T. Dyllin)

I mean….again, I guess I was feeling a bit ironic and snarky?  She’s a voodoo doll….the song is telling people to clap their hands… It just makes sense in my head, okay?!?! But you’d probably have to actually be IN my head to understand it.  Oops?

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Tinkerbell
(Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie)

It’s been said that Tinkerbell struggles so much with her emotions because she’s so tiny–she can only ever feel ONE emotion at a time.  Which is why, when she’s jealous or angry, that’s ALL she feels.  This song?  Basically sums her up.  Just think about it before you tell me I’m wrong, okay?

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AND THERE YOU HAVE IT!

Villains…and the love songs they don’t want anyone to know they rock out to.

If villains in your world had a favorite love song, which would it be?  Let me know what you think of this post below–or feel free to jump in and post your own pairs!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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Villainous Love Songs (#33)

villainouslovesongs

Because c’mon–you think those characters with the hearts of ice, the unbreakable wills, the huge tendency to bully DON’T jam out to the mushy-gushy on their iPods sometimes?

I am of the firm opinion that villains, just like everybody else, have a love song they just can’t help but…well…LOVE!

This will be a consistent new feature on my blog–probably posted every Monday.  Because there are a LOT of villains, and a LOT of love songs, out there to match… and I’m bound and determined to do it!

If you like this meme, feel free to post up your own–just be sure to link back to mine!

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VILLAINOUS LOVE SONGS

Image result for beastly gifs

Image result for beastly gifs

Kyle Kingston
(Beastly; also a book by Alex Flinn)

I mean really… Kyle IS made into a monster.  And there’s a reason for it, but that doesn’t make it any less heart-wrenching.  These lyrics?!  These lyrics SO fit the story.  Also, one of my favorite movies for the win.

Image result for aidan illuminae

Image result for aidan illuminae

Aidan
(Illuminae, by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman)

I KNOW I’ve used Aidan for several posts in the past, but PENGUINS–he’s just… I swear, if I could have a #bookcrush on artificial intelligence, Aidan would be at the TOP of my list.  Because…well…creeptastic, and adorbs, all at once? (I dunno, that might say scary things about my taste in crush material…)

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AND THERE YOU HAVE IT!

Villains…and the love songs they don’t want anyone to know they rock out to.

If villains in your world had a favorite love song, which would it be?  Let me know what you think of this post below–or feel free to jump in and post your own pairs!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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Villainous Love Songs (#32)

villainouslovesongs

Because c’mon–you think those characters with the hearts of ice, the unbreakable wills, the huge tendency to bully DON’T jam out to the mushy-gushy on their iPods sometimes?

I am of the firm opinion that villains, just like everybody else, have a love song they just can’t help but…well…LOVE!

This will be a consistent new feature on my blog–probably posted every Monday.  Because there are a LOT of villains, and a LOT of love songs, out there to match… and I’m bound and determined to do it!

If you like this meme, feel free to post up your own–just be sure to link back to mine!

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VILLAINOUS LOVE SONGS

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Deatheaters
(Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling)

I couldn’t find an official video for this song, but it doesn’t matter–Voldemort IS the Devil, and the Deatheaters are basically caught in his dance throughout the entire series.  So.  Yus.  SO much win with this pairing.

Image result for akiva fan art

Image result for akiva fan art

Akiva
(Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor)

Because I mean…. Basically?!  The ENDING of Daughter of Smoke and Bone just… I mean, if you haven’t read it yet, you wouldn’t understand why this pair works.  But trust me–IT WORKS.  It works so much.

Image result for rufio hook gifs

Image result for rufio hook gifs

Rufio
(Hook)

One of the most hard-hitting, heart-breaking scenes EVER…is the one where we learn just a little bit about what actually drives Rufio.  And how much he grows to respect Peter.  And just… GAH, my heart!  I need to watch this movie again soon.

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AND THERE YOU HAVE IT!

Villains…and the love songs they don’t want anyone to know they rock out to.

If villains in your world had a favorite love song, which would it be?  Let me know what you think of this post below–or feel free to jump in and post your own pairs!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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The Beauty and The Beast ( #booktag )

booktags

I stumbled across this #booktag while perusing bloglovin recently, and decided I wanted to play!  I found it on Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads’ blog–thanks, Kourtni, for posting it!  To see her post, CLICK RIGHT HERE!

I’m honestly not sure who the original creator of this tag was…if anyone knows, please feel free to inform me, I’d LOVE to link back to them?

With that said…LET’S GET IT ON (like Donkey Kong)!

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“Tale As Old As Time” – A popular theme, trope or setting you will never get bored of reading.

There are a couple, actually, so…

The Red Pearl

Enemies to frenemies to friends to lovers…because HELLO, can anyone say #alltheadorbs #moststeamylovesever #justkissalready ?!?!?!?!

The Boxer and the Butterfly

Faux romance to REAL STEAMY…because again, adorbs?  I guess I like my romance with a ton of drama and adversity in the beginning…

Belle – A book you bought for it’s beautiful cover that’s just as beautiful inside.

The Twistrose Key

Again…there are SO MANY I could have listed here!  I decided to go with a book I don’t talk about often, though.  Just LOOK?!?!?! at this gorgeous cover?!  This was one of the first #midgrade books I remember picking up…and I ADOOOOORED every second of it.  Seriously, guys–I recommend this one.  I gave it 5/5 Penguins.

Beast – A book you didn’t expect much from but that pleasantly surprised you.

Dark Water

 

If you know me, you know I don’t read thriller/mysteries often.  But something about THIS book called to me….and I’m SO super glad it did, because I LOVED IT SO HARD.  Seriously, penguins–this read is a TRIP, and will leave you picking up the pieces of your jaw at the end.  Trust me.

Also, fun fact?  It’s only 99 cents on Amazon for your ereader. HINTHINT, NUDGENUDGE.

 

Gaston – A book everyone loves that you don’t.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

 

PLEASE don’t send the seals after me, penguins!  I didn’t HATE this book…it just didn’t work for me personally.  I was booooored.  SO BORED.  I didn’t much like the main character.  I just…couldn’t get into it, I guess.  I’m SORRY, okay?!  I tried so hard!

 

 

Lefou – A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart.

The White Rabbit Chronicles: Alice in Zombieland / Through the Zombie Glass / The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1-3)

 

KAT!  I loooooove love looooooooooove!!!! Kat.  Seriously, Kat is total BAE and I think SHE should have been the MC of these books.  I mean, I still love these books, but…Kat!

 

 

Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumier & Cogsworth – A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught you something valuable.

There are so many books that I’ve read JUST THIS YEAR ALONE! that have taught me super important, valuable things…so I’m not going to list them ALL out here.  I WILL, however, tell you this:  you can find ALL OF THEM on the shelf I’ll link right below this statement.

TO THE SHELF–CLICK HERE!

Trust me.  You’ll want to click that, if you want to know a little about what books have touched me hardest.

“Something There” – A book or series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end.

Uhmmmmm… I don’t know that there are any?  If there are, I can’t think of them off the top of my head tonight!

“Be Our Guest” – A fictional character you’d love to have over for dinner.

Trick

 I deeeefinitely  have to say Poet.  He’s just so down-to-earth and honest and entertaining and…. GAAAAAAH, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW HARD I LOVE HIM OKAY?!

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I TAG!:

Annelise (PandaPants)

Lauren (Real Life Ghost Hunter)

Stefanie (I don’t have a nickname for you yet!)

And…ANYONE ELSE who wants to brave the tag!

That’s it, y’all!  PENGUIN, OUT!

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26

Let the Moving/Reading Mad-Dash Begin

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So… I mosey-waddled my penguin butt over to goodreads earlier ( because #reviewerobligations #Ihadto #it’sacompulsion ) and I got to looking at my goodreads challenges for this year and last year, and…

2015challenge2016challenge

I am SO CLOSE to reading the same amount…or BEATING! my total from last year.  SO I decided, at the last minute, to do the thing…and try to beat myself.  Because beating friends is fun, but beating YOURSELF is better.  #whateven #Idon’tknow

So.  I plan to read 7– YES, SEVEN!– more books before the end of December.  Can I do it?  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I’ll be moving part of that time, so…maybe not?  I might fail spectacularly.  But that’s what this post is all about–giving myself a mental BOOST!  Because I think, if I can get a few good reading days in, I can knock it out of the park.  Maybe.

What books do I hope to read?!  Weeeeeell… Fingers crossed, I’ll get to these:

Full Tilt (Full Tilt, #1)

The Neverland Wars

November Snow (Bad Bloods, #2)

Book of the Night (The Black Musketeers #1)

The Kiss That Saved Me (The Tidal Kiss Trilogy Book 2)

Future Threat (Future Shock, #2)

Everything You Want Me to Be

What do you think, guys?  Can I make it?  Will you help me?

I NEED SOMEONE TO PUSH ME, OKAY?!  #bemyreadingcoach #pushmetomakeit

What are you guys up to?  What are you reading, or planning to read before the end of the year?  HOW ARE YOU ALL?!?!?!?!?!

I feel like I yell at you and nobody ever answers me.

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6

Villainous Love Songs (#31)

villainouslovesongs

Because c’mon–you think those characters with the hearts of ice, the unbreakable wills, the huge tendency to bully DON’T jam out to the mushy-gushy on their iPods sometimes?

I am of the firm opinion that villains, just like everybody else, have a love song they just can’t help but…well…LOVE!

This will be a consistent new feature on my blog–probably posted every Monday.  Because there are a LOT of villains, and a LOT of love songs, out there to match… and I’m bound and determined to do it!

If you like this meme, feel free to post up your own–just be sure to link back to mine!

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VILLAINOUS LOVE SONGS

 Image result for elsa frozen gifs

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Elsa
(Frozen)

I mean, aside from the obvious TITLE SHARING that’s happening here (bahahahaha you see what I did here?!) I feel like Elsa might appreciate the lyrics of this song, too.  Seriously.  Listen to it.  Tell me I’m wrong–you won’t be able to.

Image result for angelfall fan art

Image result for angelfall fan art

Raffe
(Angelfall, by Susan Ee)

I mean…forgive my HUGE AMOUNT OF ironic sarcasm this week, penguins, but there’s something so super fitting about THIS character… with THIS song.  Seriously.  I’m sure Raffe knows exactly what this song is saying.

Image result for draco malfoy gifs

Image result for draco malfoy gifs

Draco Malfoy
(Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling)

We all KNOW Draco was feeling some serious pressure, especially in the last few books.  We all know WHY.  Can we just admit that this song might hit EXACTLY the spot…and that Draco might, perhaps, have hummed this to himself as he paced the castle?  Because I think yes.

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AND THERE YOU HAVE IT!

Villains…and the love songs they don’t want anyone to know they rock out to.

If villains in your world had a favorite love song, which would it be?  Let me know what you think of this post below–or feel free to jump in and post your own pairs!

Until next time, happy book-ing!

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