What did I miss? {7/1 – 7/8}


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

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

My reading comfort zone — Sometimes expanding your reading tastes can backfire.

Book sessions: a reminder — Just a quick reminder that there’s still time to join the first session! Come read and chat without worrying about reviewing!

Authors: the Twitter experience — Authors aren’t always what we hoped they’d be.

Book jewelry — I found the cutest little book charms on etsy and had to share them!

Whip it Up Mondays — The many uses of Greek Yogurt.


I got to work from home this week, and aside from some work hiccups, it was really nice getting to sleep in a little later and being surrounded by family and hanging with friends. Also, internship is almost over! Coming into the home stretch right now. Couldn’t be more excited at the thought of getting to finally settle at home for a month. Commuting almost two hours is such a pain. (Yet, the work and experience is well worth it.)

Far as reading goes this week, I finished the last of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray and am about to begin Red Glove by Holly Black. I also bought Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. So, basically,  I’ve very excited about my upcoming reads!

…Oh! And my blog birthday is less than three weeks away and I’ve got nothing planned! Time really did fly away from me. TGR will be two. TWO! My little site is almost a toddler! …Anyway, have any ideas for a birthday bonanza?

Review Requests — Amanda discusses what should be proper etiquette used for sending review requests to bloggers.

Need a good contemp? — Then check out Liz’s Top 10 favorite YA contemps!

Tea, anyone? — Guiltless Reading found the cutest Alice in Wonderland teas, cookies and cupcakes.

Revisiting the 90s — Tara has a great nostalgic post about 90s teen mags, like YM and Teen Beat. (Man, I miss the 90s.)

Pocket Princesses — Because they’re cute.

Having it All — Author Jennifer Hubbard talks feminism.

Tiger Lily, a review — Nafiza’s powerful review only fueled my need for this book even more.

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My reading comfort zone.


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What do you do when a book takes you by surprise? Do you keep reading to see what happens? Or do you surrender and tuck it away in a DNF pile?

I ask you this because, as I keep edging away from my reading comfort zone of contemporary reads, I find myself more and more surprised (sometimes unpleasantly) by new reads. Abandoning my comfort zone has been an ongoing project for myself. Reading used to be black-and-white to me: good reads versus bad reads, genres I like versus genres I dislike. But as I became more involved in reading reviews, and scouring Goodreads for upcoming titles, I realized reading isn’t always so black-and-white. Sometimes it’s worth going out on a limb and picking up a book that you never thought you’d read, no matter whether, in the end, you like or dislike the book.

So what do you do when you try something new and don’t enjoy it as much as you’d hoped you would? As much as you thought you should? Do you give up, or do you plow through?

Lately, I’ve been plowing through. And while this method has been allowing me to experience new genres, writing styles, and authors, it’s also left me unsatisfied. I wonder if I’m pushing myself, if I’m forcing expectations. When it comes to writing reviews for these out-of-the-box reads, a wave of writer’s block hits me. It hits me hard. I wonder if the lack of satisfaction I personally felt doesn’t do the book justice. I wonder if it would be an excuse to outright claim I’m no experienced reader in Genre X, Y or Z. I wonder if I’m turning reading into work, or keeping it as discovery.

I’m still unsure of the answers.

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Book Sessions: a reminder.


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The Book Sessions is a cross between a Read-Along and a Book Club.

Each session will feature 2-5 books of a specific genre or theme that we will be both reading and discussing over the course of several months. The discussions are intended to provide connections between involved readers and spark discussions that go beyond book reviewing and blogging.

Blogging and reviewing are not mandatory or even necessary. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. Feel free to simply read and discuss with us!

For details, click here.

The first session:

August 1-31 : Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

(OPTIONAL) August 24-Sept 15 : The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky (Anne and I will be reading this together in preparation to see the movie, coming out the 15th. Please email us if you’d like to join in!)

September 1-14 : What a Boy Wants by Nyrae Dawn (currently on sale for $0.99 in eBook format!)

September 15-Oct 7 : Catching Jordan by Miranda Keannally

Oct 7-Nov 7 : My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

sign up here!

*Participants for the first session will be notified during the second week of July.

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Authors: the Twitter experience.


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Sometimes, when I discover a new, amazing read, I look to follow an author on Twitter for news about their novels, writing tips, tours, etc.

Sometimes, after following a favorite or new author on Twitter, I regret doing so.

Just like with books, there’s a certain expectation – or image – in my mind when I think of/picture my favorite authors. And, just like with books, sometimes those expectations and images aren’t met or are ruined. And sometimes this causes conflicting emotions:

1. Oh. So THAT’S what you’re like.

2. Oh, wow. You’re kind of a jerk. …But your writing is so amazing! …Should I keep buying your books? …No. I’d be supporting a not-nice person. …Well, wait. That upcoming book looks irresistible. *pre-orders* *feels guilty*

3. I thought I would like your book. I REALLY wanted to like your book! But oh, man, I really disliked your book. But you’re so nice and charming and you help make Twitter less suck-ish.

4. You post WAY too much. You’re taking up my entire timeline. I already know you like cats.

5. You’re so cool and down-to-earth! …Look! You’re having a bad day just like any other person! …Oh, wait. No. No, you’re not. You’re whining. A lot. Every day. I don’t know what to make of this.

6. Oh… you only post advertisements for your book(s). That’s… nice… *unfollows*

Don’t worry, buddy. I feel ya.

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Book jewelry.


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So I came across this little shop on etsy, called Mini Books Jewelry. And approximately two seconds later I was squealing over the absolutely adorable little literary charms.

I’m not normally one for charm bracelets, but these are too cute to resist. From John Green’s books to Catcher in the Rye to the Hunger Games trilogy to How to Kill a Mockingbird, this shop has so many charms. They even take custom orders, so you can have any book you want made into a charm.

I think there’s something appealing about miniature trinkets, especially ones you can wear. And when you’ve got the added combo of books, it’s all the better.

Call me crazy, but I’m a book and jewelry junky.

Have you ever found any cute, book-related trinkets?

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photo credit: slightly everything via photopin cc

When I’m not reading, blogging or doing homework, I’m cooking. Cooking is a lot like reading and writing: it brings ingredients together to create a single dish that tells a story of flavors, family, friends and experiences. And just like with books, you don’t have to be the creator. Sometimes we’re all just looking for a little eye candy. So here’s a little food for thought!

I don’t know if you all know this, but I’m a total foodie. A foodie is “someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food.” Cooking is all about discovery for me – seeing which ingredients work well together, what flavors can be created, and what new foods can be tried. So now I’m bringing this discovery to TGR!

Every Monday I’ll be sharing a new food find, recipe, and of course, some eye candy.

This week: Greek yogurt

In the past few months I’ve not only discovered Greek yogurt, but also grown to love it. Sounds strange, I know – but for me, it’s been a big help. As someone who will choose vegetables over meat any day, I began to realize I wasn’t getting enough protein in my diet (especially while living off dining hall food). And although Greek yogurt is no substitute for meat, it’s still chock full of protein and is a nice change from eating other protein-packed foods, like peanut butter and quinoa.

What I didn’t know is that Greek yogurt can be used for so many other things, aside from being eaten on its own! I’ve only just started experimenting with it, but these are the three things I’ve so far found to be really helpful and, of course, tasty:

  • Smoothies. Yep, instead of dumping a scoop or two of ice cream into your smoothie, try Greek yogurt. Same thick texture, but much healthier.
  • Dips. This one really surprised me. Yogurt… dip? The two didn’t seem related at all. But plain Greek yogurt has all the taste of sour cream. So if you take some plain Greek yogurt and throw in some seasoning, you’ve got an awesome personal-sized cup of dip. It makes for a really good snack.
  • Sour cream replacement. Like I just said, plain Greek yogurt is similar to sour cream. So if you happen to be out of sour cream, or want a slightly healthier alternative, Greek yogurt is the way to go. (However, the yogurt is a bit thicker.)

Do you know of any other uses of Greek yogurt? Please share!

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What did I miss? {6/24 – 7/1}


4 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!

Reveal: Iron’s Prophecy by Julie Kagawa — Bet you thought we’d never hear about Ash again. Well, we will!

[review] The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg — A very surprising read.

Introducing: The Book Sessions — Ever want to read books and chat about them without having to review them? Then The Book Sessions is for you!

The importance of titles — Because titles need love, too.

Whip it Up Mondays — Sushi and sashimi.


This definitely wasn’t my best week. Way too much stress in my life right now. Still, I’ve persisted reading and keeping up with posting. Problem is I’m running out of reading options again. Read any good books lately? I’ll take all the suggestions I can get!

Highlight of the week, by far, was the introduction of The Book Sessions, a project Anne and I have been planning for weeks. I’m really excited at the thought of coming together with other readers without the pressures created by blogging and reviewing.

Also, I’m still not any closer to having/setting aside a special “vacation” day. So I’m feeling a little bummed right now. But I’ll keep my head up and hope for the best. Hope all of you had a better week!

The power of language — Amanda shows how seemingly harmless messages can be taken negatively online.

Tell me a story — Author Jennifer Hubbard discusses the want and need to change stories.

Reading reasoning — Kaye started a good discussion about what, exactly, grabs our attention when we see book covers.

Books…and ice cream? — Yes. Books and ice cream. The girls at Novel Sounds created an awesome post pairing books with matching ice cream flavors.

*I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers are taking summer hiatuses, or are too preoccupied/busy to post otherwise. Because of this, this week felt particularly slow to me, as far as posts around the blogosphere go.

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Reveal: Iron’s Prophecy by Julie Kagawa


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Meghan Chase is finally getting used to being the Iron Queen, ruler of the Iron Fey. Her life may be strange, but with former Winter prince Ash by her side at last, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

But when they travel to the Summer and Winter courts’ gathering for Elysium, the oracle from Meghan’s past returns with a dire prophecy: “What you carry will either unite the courts, or it will destroy them.” Now Meghan faces a devastating choice that may determine the future of all fey—and her and Ash’s unborn child….





I don’t normally post about upcoming titles, but for this I just couldn’t resist. I mean, it’s ASH! And…you know…Meghan. But more importantly: ASH! Again!

Being a big fan of the Iron Fey series, I’ve been impatiently awaiting the next step of the story, The Lost Prince, which revolves around Meghan’s brother, Ethan. So imagine my surprise when Kagawa tweeted and posted about Iron’s Prophecy. Or, refer to the following gif:

Sure, Iron’s Prophecy will only be an e-novella. And yes, its release date is still unknown. But who cares? It’s Meghan and Ash! It’s the couple I came to adore, the two I never thought I’d hear about again. I’m excited for the prospect of getting more closure for them.

If you’re also a fan, make sure to add this to your TBR list ASAP! Because we all need a little more Ash in our lives.

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The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

Brie’s life ends at sixteen: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn’t love her, and the news breaks her heart-literally.

But now that she’s D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy Brie loved and lost-and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there’s Patrick, Brie’s mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul…who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick’s help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she’s ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?


So confusingly good.

Be prepared for a whirlwind of a story, because The Catastrophic History of You and Me will blow you away.

When I began reading, what first stuck out was the notion of dying of a broken heart. Cacophony is what I thought. How ridiculous. Backed by Brie’s fifteen-year-old voice and perspective, it sounded all the more exaggerated. But the long, drawn-out pacing helped ease me into her narrative. After many pages filled with “adorbs,” “offish,” “realzies,” and other such teen slang, it started to seem like less of an annoyance and simply more a part of who Brie is. The quirks came to define her…positively.

I don’t know how I expected the story to fill out 400 pages, but I didn’t expect to get to spend so much time with each of the characters – again and again and again. If you pick up on a loose thread, don’t worry. Rothenberg makes sure to put it back in its place, until there’s a perfectly painted picture. This, to me, was quite a feat. Little details do get lost, but major things continually find their way back into the story, things I’d forgotten about or never thought would pop up again. This made for a delightfully surprising read!

Some aspects seem a little too off track though, almost as if they’re misplaced, not unimportant. And this, I think, results from the length and slow pace. Something had to take up Brie’s time, and sometimes the events carried on for far too long (unnecessary drama included). Problem with this is that it made me want to slap her. It got to the point that I didn’t think there was any hope for Brie; for a long while she consistently proved a stubborn, childish, cheesy snot. I was begging for her to change, to show some semblance of growth. It was at this low point that the story did a 180 and changed course, for the better. I was hooked.

This story will test your patience, but it proves worthwhile if you stick with it. It’ll even make you teary-eyed.

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Introducing The Book Sessions!


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What is The Book Sessions? So glad you asked! The Book Sessions, hosted by both Anne from Creativity’s Corner and myself, is a cross between a Read-Along and a Book Club.

Each session will feature 2-5 books of a specific genre or theme that we will be both reading and discussing over the course of several months. The discussions are intended to provide connections between involved readers and spark discussions that go beyond book reviewing and blogging.

The Details:

  • Reading lists and potential schedules will be posted up to two weeks prior to the beginning of a session, along with a sign-up sheet.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’ve never read the books listed, or if you’ve read them 100 times. As long as you’re willing to read them with us and discuss them, we don’t mind.
  • Placement in sessions will be limited – we want to be able to get a good real-time discussion going [see: use of Skype], and we want you to be able to get to know your fellow participants.
  • There will be one official discussion for each book at the end of the allotted reading time. However, Skype names and email addresses will be exchanged between participants, and we encourage you to discuss on your own while you’re reading. (Just try not to spoil for anyone who hasn’t finished yet!)
  • These are open-ended discussions. We will have guiding questions to ask should the conversation drag, but we want YOU to talk about what you want. We will, of course, accept suggestions for questions from participants as well. (Note: we don’t want any of the readings to feel like assignments. These are open discussions for gushing, questioning, chatting, etc.)
  • Toward the end of each session, we will be asking for suggestions of book titles, genres, themes and potential dates for upcoming sessions – you’ll have a say in what you want to read!
  • It is NOT necessary to have a blog to participate. If you do not have a blog, and would like to post about the books somewhere and do not have a blog, Anne or I will be doing a round-up post for each book. For those who do have blogs, at the bottom of the round-up posts we will include a linky for reviews or any other kind of post you’d like to add. (Note: reviews and/or any other types of posts are NOT required. Feel free to simply read and chat with us!)

Some things to consider before signing up:

  • YOU are in charge of finding your own copy of the books, BUT where you get them (as long as it’s legal!) and what format you use (e.g. library book, ebook, audiobook etc.) is up to you.
  • All discussions will be held on Skype unless otherwise stated. Skype is free to download and use, but if you would rather not use it, then please don’t sign up.
  • International participants are welcome! Please be aware that all discussions will be held in English, possibly spoken as well as written. Also, do be aware that we are holding discussions in real time, so we will need to be able to find common times [see: Doodle poll details].
  • You MAY NOT choose to skip a book. If you sign up to be part of a session, then you are agreeing to read and discuss ALL of the books on the reading list for your particular session. Don’t let one book on the list deter you from a session; you never know: you may end up liking it!
  • As previously stated, places are limited! If you would like to be considered for a specific session YOU MUST FILL OUT THE DOODLE POLL. We will be choosing participants based on common availability, so this is absolutely imperative. If you do not fill out the poll, we will be forced to immediately disqualify you from consideration for that session. (Please note: we are aware that schedules change, and if you aren’t 100% sure about your availability, please just give us your general availability. We will do our best to make sure that if you’re chosen to participate, we’ll find a time that works for you.)
  • For all potential participants: The Doodle poll times are all in Eastern Standard Time (use New York City as a reference). If you need help with the time conversion, please see THIS SITE.

What now?

This sounds great! Sign me up!

Great! We’d love to have you. Please fill out the form below, and DO NOT FORGET to fill out the Doodle poll! (Please make sure the name on the entry form and the name you enter on the Doodle poll match so that we know who you are!)

I want to participate, but I don’t like the books/genre you’ve chosen! OR I can’t attend during the dates you set!

Not to worry! There will be multiple sessions, all of different lengths, at different times of the year, and with different types of books! We’ve chosen to set up the first session as an example, but we want YOUR input on what to do next time, and we’ll be asking for that later. Please just fill out the form below, and instead of filling out the Doodle poll, please mark “Not this time, but please keep me informed about future sessions!”

I want to participate and filled out the google doc form. When will I know if I’m in the session?

For this first session, we’ll be announcing/contacting the participants during the second week of July. This way you’ll have time to get the first book without having to scramble!


Still confused? Check out the first session below (just click on the titles to check out a description):

August 1-31 : Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

(OPTIONAL) August 24-Sept 15 : The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky (Anne and I will be reading this together in preparation to see the movie, coming out the 15th. Please email us if you’d like to join in!)

September 1-14 : What a Boy Wants by Nyrae Dawn (currently on sale for $0.99 in eBook format!)

September 15-Oct 7 : Catching Jordan by Miranda Keannally

Oct 7-Nov 7 : My Life Next Door by Hunley Fitzpatrick

sign up here!

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