BOOK REVIEW: THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND BY KASIE WEST



When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfr
iend's graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.


mild spoilers but it's not going to ruin the whole book for you

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THE INS & OUTS OF BOOKISH FAN ART

Fan art is amazing - and don't let anybody tell you otherwise (and boy, will they ever try)! We can rhapsodize about our favorite things all day long (and boy, do we ever try!), but eventually we run out of ways of expressing the depth of our emotion when it comes to a series.

Along came fan art. Presumably, people are fans of something other than books, and therefore create fan art for things utterly unrelated to books - but this is a bookish blog, and a bookish community, and here all the fan art discussion is of the bookish variety. Also, not to be self-aggrandizing, but bookish fandoms lend themselves best to all forms of artistic expression, precisely because they take place entirely inside our heads. A character can look however we want them to look - and the same holds true for a place or a bizzarre scene.

Bizarre scenes might be the best. It's still up for debate. But bookish fan art is our favorite. There is no debate to be had here.


When I published my last piece and emerged from my blanket fort (wherein I hide upon publication of any piece - it's hard to declare something complete when you're an indecisive pumpkin), I got quite a lot of fan-art-specific questions, which all boiled down to the same thing. And in the interest of covering all my bases - behold! An exhaustive and exhausting fan art post to answer any and all queries, questions, musings, zen koans and limericks I've gotten on the subject.

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TOP 10 FICTIONAL CHARACTER NAME TRENDS

Whichever side of the writing process you're on, this much you're sure of: 
  • naming characters is a delight akin to naming children
  • naming characters is a pain akin to delivering children.
And as with most things trope-ish, it is (almost) inevitable that another famed author has already claimed your superduper unique name as their own in that one fantastically popular series you've been avoiding for ages (which you'll only discover once the book is out in print). Likewise, as with most things trope-ish, whichever name you do end up settling on - you're likely following a trend. And isn't that ever so annoying?

So to make it still more annoying, this week we're linking up with The Broke And The Bookish's Top 10 feature and listing our 10 favorite and least favorite memorable naming strategies in YA.


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EVERYTHING I LEARNED (I LEARNED FROM BOOKS)

In light of author Tommy Wallach's rather unfortunate approach to the topic of suicide in YA literature (and broader), in the past couple of weeks the community has turned to discussing the resilience of the YA readership base, and the (in)correct way to approach a controversial subject in a book aimed at teens as well as adults.

As far as the act itself, Victoria Schwab addressed it better than I ever could in a guest-post over on YA Book Central, and more still on her Twitter page. Many others have likewise chimed in with incredibly intelligent insights. The consensus stands thus: YA readers are flexible, inflexible, resilient, fragile, tough, and delicate. As all large communities, we are our very own bell curve. And as such, trigger warnings apply. And never is it appropriate to joke about teen suicide to a crowd of teens one neither knows nor sees, nor has an insight into their state of mind.

Quite apart from our resilience, however, another topic bears mentioning - and it's one that we all thought so commonplace that it didn't need a mention. But now, having found ourselves knee-deep in censorship debates and mental health mockery, it apparently doesn't seem so?

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BOOK REVIEW: ZENITH BY SASHA ALSBERG & LINDSAY CUMMINGS


There is darkness sweeping across the stars. 

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness: a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her fearsome glass starship the Maurader, she’s just Andi, their captain and protector. 

When a routine mission goes awry, the all-girl crew’s resilience is tested as they find themselves in a most unfamiliar place: at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter connected to Andi’s past and a harrowing betrayal. 

Meanwhile, on the far side of the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The final pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two. 

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their ship—or just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles towards the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only thing certain is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted. 




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LONDON BOOK SIGNING WITH SARAH J MAAS

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand we're back from our hiatus!




Last year I went to a book signing in London to meet Sarah J Maas on her A Court of Thorns and Roses book tour here in the UK. My post about it is here. I was lucky enough to go again this year for her Empire of Storms tour and I have returned to tell you all about it. I have a lot to say about it and a few comparisons because this year was a lot stricter and had many different rules. As in, last year was miles better.



I took more pictures this year so enjoy the goodness! Due to nerves of being near Queen Maas, my pictures aren't the best because *shaking* and also because I'm a terrible photographer. No matter how many times I tell people that I love photography, I'm still not good at it. And the lighting was shit, as is my phone camera.



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