David Levithan – thegrammariansreviews.com

I spy a book festival + updates!

Sep
21

4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: News

It’s time for the National Book Festival in D.C. again! Remember last year when I met Sarah Dessen? Good times.

BUT THIS YEAR WILL BE EVEN BETTER. Why?

John Green. R.L. Stine. David Levithan. Lowis Lowry. Melissa Marr.

These are some of my favorite authors. I can’t wait to see them, to hear them speak. (And maybe get some autographs if I feel like standing in lines for several hours.)

I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet any fellow bloggers last year, but I’d love to change that this time around, if possible. Let me know if you’re going!

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And now, an obligatory response to the Where have you BEEN? question:

School. It has taken over my life. Even when I’m not in classes or at work, I’m STILL working. When I have downtime, I tend to waste it playing games or lurking on Twitter. You know – basically wasting it on everything aside from reading and blogging. But this isn’t anything new, is it?

Bottom line is I’m booked solid. But I’m not gone!

I’m doing my best to keep in touch while also keeping my school priorities straight. It’s an important year.

Hope everyone’s doing well!

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What did I miss? {6/10 – 6/17}

Jun
17

6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Memes, What did I miss?

What did I miss? is a new feature here at The Grammarian’s Reviews. I thought it was about time I feature weekly updates and highlights from both here and other bloggers. So let’s get on with the recap!

[review] Every Day by David Levithan — You probably already love Mr. Levithan. Well, this will only make you love him more.

Let’s talk ARCs — My thoughts on ARCs and their popularity.

[review] Grace by R Rodriguez — My first one-star review. (I think.)

Top 10 Beach Reads — My personal top 10 fun, guilty pleasure beach reads.

Whip it Up Mondays — How to make your own popcorn at home without all those icky preservatives and fake butter.

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This was a bit of a spontaneous reading week for me. I never intended to read Grace or Every Day, but they showed up in my inbox and I just couldn’t resist. I never packed all of my TBR books to take with me to my internship, so right now e-books are actually the most convenient and easily accessible.

As some have noticed, I took down my Follow Friday meme post. I’ve decided to take an indefinite break from Follow Friday and TGIF (or any other weekend memes that may appear). To be honest, while they increased traffic to the site, they never really left me with very many new followers, if any. Most times it’s just been people coming by, leaving spam-like comments that they leave on every other person’s FF/TGIF post, without a care in the world about what I do. I realized that, while the memes were supposed to be leaving me happy about connecting with the community, they were actually upsetting me; they became “filler” posts. But like I said last week, I’m trying to make The Grammarian’s Reviews more content focused. And to do this, I think it’s best to stay clear of these for a while.

Feeling pressured from book hype? — Kelly addresses the pros and cons of book hypes, and how your expectations can either be met or left hanging.

Cialina reviewed Flirting in Italian — I’d been very much looking forward to reading this one. It sounded perfect for summer. But then I found out it was a total dud. Bummer.

BEA Recap — Mandi over at Never Too Fond of Books recaps her week at BEA. But what separates her recap from the rest is the priceless doormat picture.

Book Trailers, yea or nay? — Anne at Creativity’s Corner discusses the inner workings of book trailers and how they are used to attract readers.

Can you judge the quality of your own work? — Jennifer Hubbard, an author I immediately fell in love with, briefly questions the act of judging your own writing.

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REVIEW! Every Day by David Levithan.

Jun
16

10 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book reviews, Four Stars

Every Day by David Levithan

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

MY THOUGHTS:

Mind is blown.

I didn’t think Levithan could handle the subject and concept of love any better than he did in Boy Meets Boy and The Realm of Possibility. But he did.

It’s interesting that the book’s description claims A is a “he,” when, in fact, A is, in a way, an ambiguous narrator. It’s a tricky, touchy structural aspect, but works rather seamlessly; I never got caught up or confused about A’s gender. A simply existed to me, and the way the plot carries on allowed me to trust this style of narration.

As far as characters go, A is consistent. Although waking up in another person’s body every day, A manages to maintain “his” own personality while also putting forth each person’s personalities as well. Some are more interesting than others, but they’re all their own persons, and there’s always something to be learned from them. Rhiannon is a more predictable character, but not unlikeable; she complements A really well. If anything, I would’ve preferred to learn more about her on a personal level; I wasn’t satisfied with the majority of the information about her being gathered by A, because A is often too preoccupied with her beauty.

Every Day is a love-at-first-sight kind of story, testing every internal and external struggle a relationship can withstand. It’s not always cute, and it’s not always upsetting. It’s wholesome. It’s about having hope and doing what it takes to be with the one you love, no matter their appearance. There’s a lot to be taken from this story, a lot that needs to sink in. While it reads easily, the words eventually stick together, clogging your thoughts, making you think.

In the midst of this beauty is a darker side, though. One that I wasn’t expecting. For me, it’s a bit too out of place, and left me unsatisfied with the ending. I needed more information.

But Levithan’s writing is the star in all of this. It’s so emotional, so raw, so real, so touching. Even when he’s being blunt, he’s caring.

Every Day is a mishmash of What ifs and everything that’s both wrong and right in the world; it’s a story that encompasses so much more than this one life.

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Let’s talk ARCs.

Jun
14

33 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized

Everybody knows ARCs. Here in the book blogging community, we’re all major bffs with the ARCs – so much so, that we’ll stand in long lines to get our grubby hands on one. Or twenty. We’ll contact publishers, building our egos as we make ourselves sound like the perfect candidates to read this and that book. We follow as many authors as possible on Twitter, always ready to pounce on their spontaneous giveaways. We spend hours browsing through NetGalley, requesting new title upon new title; and when we don’t get the good news email within 30 seconds, we become vocal, treating this waiting period as an injustice.

Let’s face it: ARCs turn us into animals, people pleasers, supposed superior readers, and just all around nutcases.

I, myself, am guilty of doing some of what I’ve mentioned. No point in denying it. (Remember when NetGalley didn’t approve me for The Immortal Rules for weeks?) But I never really thought and reflected upon the act of searching for, and receiving, ARCs. Until today, when the ever-so-lovely Every Day by David Levithan popped up in my NetGalley downloads. I’d forgotten I requested it. I’d forgotten its existence. And then, there it was. All for me. A gift. I tore into it. (Only 15 pages left, as I speak. Er, type.) But in a pause from my reading, I couldn’t help but notice that its publication date is August 28th.

And my first thought was, I can’t believe people are going to have to wait about two more months to read this. It’s brilliant. They need to read it now.

And my second thought was, This is a privilege.

And it is. It’s not about exploding egos, jealousy, grabbing, hitting a Request! button, or winning. Sometimes I think we forget that; we think we can effect the outcome – and maybe we can, but so what? If we get an ARC, then who’s missing out? And who’s to say that those missing out wouldn’t appreciate our ARCs any more than we would?

Of course, I’m not saying we should give up our precious ARCs. I just think it’s important to acknowledge, at least every once in a while, how lucky and fortunate we are, as both book bloggers and readers. We have people willingly and freely nourishing our love of reading. How awesome is that? Some people aren’t so lucky.

So, I ask you: Have you hugged your ARC(s) today?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Good Beach Reads!

Jun
12

6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Books I’d Recommend As Good Beach Reads


From left to right:

Caribbean Cruising by Rachel Hawthorne.

Picture Perfect by Catherine Clark.

So Inn Love by Catherine Clark.

Maine Squeeze by Catherine Clark.

Mediterranean Holiday by Kate Cann.

Tourist Trap by Emma Harrison.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan.

Thrill Ride by Rachel Hawthorne.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.

Spanish Holiday by Kate Cann.

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Yea, okay. I know. They look a little hokey. Like maybe you’d want to put a nice, decorative slip cover over them. But that’s the fun in them! They’re cutesy guilty pleasures, totally perfect for the beach. You can finish one (or two!) in just a few hours.

So whip out that towel, set up some shade, and get ready for a relaxing bookish day.

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Waiting on Wednesday (25).

May
16

2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized

Waiting On Wednesday is from Jill, at Breaking the Spine.

 

Every Day by David Levithan

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

I love David Levithan. And probably always will. Every Day seems a bit out of his usual realm of contemps, though, so I’m interested to see how it’ll work out.

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Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish.

TOP TEN BOOKS TO READ IN ONE DAY!


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. When I opened this book, I literally could not stop reading. It demands reading in one sitting. IT’S THAT GOOD.

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa. I understand that this is the last in the Iron Fey series, but it was my absolute favorite in an It-All-Leads-Up-to-This! way. I tore through this book. So good, and Ash is just so swoon-worthy.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. This one gets overlooked a lot, but I consider it a treasure. It’s ridiculously cute, and ridiculously short, so there’s no way you CAN’T finish this in one sitting.

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan. I’m sorry, but I love this man’s writing, and this is another overlooked gem of his. It was one of the first verse novels I ever tried and ended up falling in love with it.

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. Um, hello? Marcus Flutie. ‘Nuff said.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. I’m sorry, but there’s just something so wonderful and magical and youthful that keeps me coming back to this tale!

Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund. You probably know her for her killer unicorn stories, like Rampant, but did you know she has this other incredible series? About people IN COLLEGE? I bet you didn’t, or haven’t given it a shot. It’s humorous and just makes me feel good all-around. It takes me to another school and makes me want to be in a secret society for a day, too.

All American Girl by Meg Cabot. This book completely won me over, way back when. It’s just full of good vibes and teen angst, and would be perfect for a day-long reading marathon.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. It’s not a perfect day if you’re not at Hogwarts.  Granted, this would be a more lengthy challenge for one day, if you’re also trying to tackle nine other books, but. Totally worth revisiting again and again.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. This is just a wonderful, summery, day-brightening book. I would love to go traveling with these girls again, even if only for a day.

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Waiting On Wednesday (9).

Jun
01

7 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

Waiting On Wednesday is from Jill, at Breaking the Spine.

Every You, Every Me by David Levithan
In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he’s been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan’s starting to believe it’s Ariel that’s behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself.

I haven’t even gotten around to reading The Lover’s Dictionary and I’m already waiting on another David Levithan novel. But I can’t help it! I absolutely love his writing.

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In My Mailbox (6).

Jan
10

3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

This meme originates over at The Story Siren.

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan.
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard.

I love love love David Levithan so I can’t wait to read The Lover’s Dictionary!
As for The Secret Year, it seems promising, though a bit depressing. But I’m all for the unhappy endings!

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REVIEW! Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares.

Nov
24

6 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book reviews, Three Stars

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

FROM THE COVER:

I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.


Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash the right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

My rating: 3 hearts.
MY THOUGHTS:
Ultimately unconvincing.

The notebook Dash and Lily exchange is hardly a book of dares, and what they do share is hardly dreams and desires. Instead it more resembles fluff – stereotypical boy/girl issues.

Dash is charming and creative, but also too pragmatic; the mix of his personality is unsettling and remains that way throughout the novel. Lily can hardly be considered a sixteen-year-old. Her character is overwhelmingly immature and bland. If anything saves the two of them, it’s Dash’s dialogue, which is most times witty. But the two of them are very unconvincing in terms of chemistry.

The plot seems scatterbrained and unfocused. Events happen and characters appear and all I can ask is, Why? The main premise of the notebook is ditched halfway through the story. There’s buildup to their meeting, and then it simply falls flat. Some issues are never resolved, especially parental issues, and so they feel unnecessary.

The writing itself is lacking. It’s repetitive, descriptions are dull, and the dialogue seems forced. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares leaves much to be desired.?

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