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Jul 23 2014

Waiting on Wednesday {48}

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Waiting On Wednesday is originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, but we just love this meme so much we had to tag along! Each Wednesday, one of the Lit Up Review writers will post a book she is looking forward to, along with the summary and cover. You can find all of these posts by clicking on the category button and selecting “Waiting on Wednesday,” and fill up your Goodreads shelves with great books to get excited about!

18710739Blackbird by Anna Carey | Goodreads
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen

This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her. 

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined. 

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.

I have never read a book told in second person before, but given Anna Carey’s talent for world-building and suspense-crafting, which she proved to me in her Eve trilogy, I have confidence in her ability to pull it off. I can tell this will be a painfully addictive read, and I cannot wait to get lost in it.

Jul 22 2014

#TeenBookBloggers {5}: Summer of Blue Sky Bookshelf

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#TeenBookBloggers is something the Lit Up Review team started in the summer of 2013, and we’ve brought it back to life! This summer on Tuesdays we’ll be having an interview from different teen (under 18) bloggers from around the world. At the end of the summer, we’ll host a huge twitter chat, so stay tuned for that, as well as the installments throughout the summer!

Today’s blogger is Summer of Blue Sky Bookshelf.

1. Has your reading style changed since you started blogging?1 Bookshelf sky button1
Most definitely yes. I was strictly contemporary pre-blogging and now my favorite genre is fantasy.

2. How do you balance life and blogging?
Honestly? I feel like I don’t balance it well at all. I take care of life and then make sure I squeeze in blogging. To-do lists are wonderful.

3. How did you first start blogging?
My sister peer pressured me. She can be very persuasive.

4. Has your blog influenced your future career plans in any way?
ARE YOU READING MY THOUGHTS? Another question I’ve been thinking to myself lately. Answer: Yes. It’s given me a better look into the book industry and after interacting with the amazing publicists, it’s made me reconsider my future.

5. What are some things you don’t like about blogging?
The pressure. The inevitable comparing, which then leads to insecurity. The occasional jealousy. The never-ending list of things you want to fix or do, but don’t know how to do them. The scheduling! (Contrary to what I just wrote, I really do love blogging.)

6. You recently wrote a brilliant discussion post about how a person’s age can impact his or her blog. Since you are an older teenager, do you think your blog will change in the next few months as you transition into college?
I haven’t thought about it too much, but I don’t think it will. Actually, I HOPE it will. Not drastically, but I always want to be changing and improving (just like our beloved main characters) with the blog. I think transitioning to college may influence some things, but nothing drastically.

7. Speed round!

  • Tumblr or Twitter—(but Tumblr for the gifs, it’s super confusing to be a user though)
  • Netflix or Hulu 
  • Ice Cream or Cupcakes—THE QUESTION OF ALL QUESTIONS…how ’bout you split the cupcake in half and put ice cream in between?
  • Library or Bookstore 
  • Bookmarks or Random Items on Your Bedside Table
  • PC or Mac
  • East or West Coast (USA)

Thanks for stopping by, Summer!

Are you interested in being a part of the #TeenBookBloggers series? Go here to apply and we’ll email you if you’re accepted, along with your interview questions!

Jul 21 2014

Happy Birthday to The Page Girls!

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Hey Litlets!

Last week, I received an email from the lovely Cecily Gates, telling me about a new online magazine site she was about to launch. Called “The Page Girls” and enameled with a simple and classy pink-and-blue design, it would feature weekly themed issues with short stories, book reviews, cocktail recipes, and more.

The best part? She, along with the rest of her team, would be hosting a launch week birthday party, and she wanted Lit Up Review to participate. As one of the blogs involved in this celebration, I get to give away an ebook of Normal is the Watchword by Jasmine Tru (US/ international) as well as a set of Page Girl coasters (US only).

You can enter below, but make sure to read our giveaway terms and conditions first.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering and be sure to stop by The Page Girls

Jul 20 2014

The Weekly Blaze {46}: July 14-20

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weeklyblazeToday’s Weekly Blaze is fashionably late, but still as informative as ever. Here’s a rundown of everything we posted this week.

Tuesday, July 15: Jessica’s #TeenBookBloggers Interview: Learn more about Jessica, then apply to be a featured blogger by clicking here.

Thursday, July 17: Ten Illuminations on Book to Movie Adaptations: We talk about books that have been made into (good) movies.

Friday, July 18: Grace’s Discussion Post on the Issue with Book Hype: “Do we ever go into a book objectively? Whether it’s from the cover or the blurb or the buzz, we always come in with some pre-destined opinion about it.”

Saturday, July 19: Emily’s Review of Like No Other by Una LaMarche: “Like No Other is at once about staying true to yourself and exploring new ideas, finding love and learning when to let it go.”

Jul 19 2014

Like No Other by Una LaMarche

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18667862Novel: Like No Other by Una LaMarche | Goodreads
Release Date: July 24, 2014
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: ARC
Source: PLA

Fate brought them together. Will life tear them apart? 

Devorah is a consummate good girl who has never challenged the ways of her strict Hasidic upbringing. 

Jaxon is a fun-loving, book-smart nerd who has never been comfortable around girls (unless you count his four younger sisters). 

They’ve spent their entire lives in Brooklyn, on opposite sides of the same street. Their paths never crossed . . . until one day, they did. 

When a hurricane strikes the Northeast, the pair becomes stranded in an elevator together, where fate leaves them no choice but to make an otherwise risky connection. 

Though their relation is strictly forbidden, Devorah and Jax arrange secret meetings and risk everything to be together. But how far can they go? Just how much are they willing to give up? 

In the timeless tradition of West Side Story and Crossing Delancey, this thoroughly modern take on romance will inspire laughter, tears, and the belief that love can happen when and where you least expect it. 

Like No Other appears to be a book based on clear, solid divides. Jaxon’s ancestors are West Indian; Devorah’s mostly-covered skin is pale. Jaxon comes from an average happy family; Devorah has been raised with restrictive regulations. Even the setting physically separates these characters, placing a street between them and confining them to their own neighborhoods—and that is not the only thing keeping them apart. Devorah and Jaxon can never be together; their cultures are simply too different and the rules of Devorah’s religion are too restraining. However, while this book’s premise may be based on a strict dichotomy of cultures and a strict set of religious guidelines, its story is all about the gray space between the groups and the rules.

Raised in a Hasidic family that keeps her from watching television, going out without a long skirt and tights, and most of all having any romantic feelings before an arranged marriage, Devorah thinks she knows the difference between right and wrong. However, in Like No Other, she begins to question the truths that have been instilled in her for her whole life, learning that being a good person is not as black and white as she thought. I loved watching her moral grappling as she debates whether or not to pursue her relationship with Jaxon  and questions each lie she tells her parents. Devorah’s decision to finally consider that there might be some room for deviation in the laws she knows so well causes her to grow immensely. Most importantly, her conflict poses a question—what is morality, and how strict should its rules be?

Devorah does not denounce her religion completely after meeting Jaxon, though, which creates another mass of unclear questions in her life. Not only does Like No Other raise questions about morality in general, but it encourages readers to consider Hasidism in particular. Despite sharing her growing dread at the life her religion ensures, Devorah admits that she loves several things about her culture, saying her family is everything to her and clutching to religious traditions and beliefs as much as she can. LaMarche creates a vibrant and educational picture of the religion, both the good and the bad, and lets her protagonist discover the extent of her faith and decide which aspects she agrees with. As someone who could never be part of a culture with as little freedom as Hasidism offers, I could not help mentally urging Devorah to make the decision I would make in her position—Go! Go! Get out while you have the chance and find a way to somehow go to college and make a life for yourself that does not include marriage and babies at 18!—but more than that, I enjoyed watching with fascination as Devorah decides whether or not Hasidism is right—or what parts of it are right—for her.

Most of all, LaMarche explores the bridging of cultures. Her characters repeatedly reference race and culture-related stereotypes, from society’s assumptions about people of Jaxon’s skin color to Hasids’ scorning of “goys,” people outside their religion. However, neither Devorah nor Jaxon fits neatly into his or her stereotype, and they spend much of the novel sampling each other’s lifestyles. Obviously, Devorah tests Jaxon’s culture by breaking her rules against romance. Jaxon also looks into Devorah’s life in smaller ways like like planning a Shabbat date that does not require any of the activities that Hasidism forbids its members to complete on Saturdays. Not only does their willingness to experience each other’s cultures strengthen their own relationship, but proves that culture divides in general are not impossible to overcome. 

I have not even come close to capturing this book’s captivating complexity, but as much as I would love to ramble about the rest of this book’s facets, I will stop myself here for fear of spoilers or an excessively long review. Through complicated relationships and knotted thoughts about their own beliefs, both Devorah and Jaxon grow into new, more mature and self-aware people, creating a stunning tale about shaping yourself and your future. Like No Other is at once about staying true to yourself and exploring new ideas, finding love and learning when to let it go. It is a book that any fan of love stories, multicultural tales, or novels about the shaping of self needs to read and one I will continue to recommend long into the future.



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