Friday, February 28, 2014

My English Teacher Would Be Appalled!

By appalled, I mean by my HORRENDOUS grammar on this blog. Of course, she might also be shocked at the extraneous amount of ALL CAPS and squealing and talking about boys and relationships and in general, just at the totally teenager vibe of this whole blog. BUT as an English teacher, I feel like she'd be most taken aback by how I write on this blog. 

If you've ever read any one of my posts here, I think you'd get what I mean. I pepper sentences with commas like nobody's business. I often use the word and in a sentence four times and more. And my diction could probably improve by MILES. 

The thing is, I know all this. I do. I mean, I'm getting a decent mark in English class so I MUST have some knowledge of how to write well. So how come all these rules just seem to be totally thrown out of my book on this blog? (Or defenestrated. If my teacher does happen upon my blog and finds this post, at the very least she can be content in thinking that I do have a vocabulary that extends beyond definitely, awesome, and OMG.)

And the truth is actually very simple. Because I don't want to. I'm happy with the content I put out even though my writing is crazy and might make you cringe. I love what I create and it satisfies me. Of course, I could absolutely put in more effort into editing my posts and writing them so they're akin to the assignments I hand into my teacher but that's just not my style and not what I want. The Runaway Reader is not one of those blogs you read where you're just like "Wow, this blog is so professional and the blogger is such a great writer". And I'm totally 100% okay with that. Because firstly, I know that that's never going to be me even when I'm exerting my very best and secondly, because that's not what I want to be remembered for. That's not what's important to me when I think of what I want my blog to be. 

When people visit The Runaway Reader, I want them to feel like they're actually listening to me talk. I want them to feel like they know me, like the totally pure Annie. I don't want to brush myself up (partially because I'm really lazy) and present myself that doesn't feel real.

It's one of my fears that I'll be like totally posh-sounding on this blog and when I actually happen to meet book bloggers IRL, they'll be extremely ill-prepared for how un-posh I actually am in person. They won't be expecting squealing and enthusiasm x10 or run-on sentences and fangirling about TV, boys (omg, my poor friends who have to listen to me talk about boys all day, I'm so so so sorry for you. You should just be glad I don't have a boyfriend) and all the other stuff I like to fangirl about. And I don't know, but for me that just sounds like the worst thing ever. 

So basically, what you see is what you get on The Runaway Reader. Which is why, thank goodness, my teacher does not read this blog (she actually did try searching me up once after I mentioned I blogged once in my assignment) because I do not think she would like what she saw. Imagine her just trying to get through one of my sentences! I feel like she would shake her head at me in disgust secretly every time she saw me, thinking "I thought I taught you better!". 

Oh well. I guess I'll just have to hope she never finds this.

What about you? Does your writing on your blog reflect how you speak and how you are IRL? Speak your mind in the comments!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

(Also known as Good Oil)
Published December 11 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 243 pages
Borrowed from library

After school, Amelia works at a grocery store to help earn some extra money. She and co-worker Chris immediately hit it off, talking about anything and everything and before she knows it, Amelia is in love. The only problem is that Amelia is 15 and Chris is 21. Six years does not seem like a big difference (fun fact, my parents are six years apart!) but it's everything to Amelia and she knows it can't be. But still, she can't help that she's in love. And maybe, just maybe, there might come a day when he likes her too.

This has been on my TBR list for SO LONG and I'm just so HAPPY that I've finally gotten to it. Maybe because I can finally cross it off (as a person with a TBR that never stops growing, this is obviously a very monumental achievement for me) but also because I really, really, really, really liked this book. I might even use the word LOVE. Because man, Buzo just absolutely blew me away!

Going into Love and Other Perishable Items, I thought I was going to find a fluffy book with cute characters and cute writing that would make me SQUEAL a lot. Truth: I did not squeal a lot when I read this book. But instead, I found really solid, amazing characters, great writing, and a storyline that felt so REAL and great sub-plots hitting on real issues and I THINK I ACTUALLY DO LOVE THIS BOOK. Because Buzo has written one of those stories that's just so relatable, where you want to be like, Hey girl (or boy) I totally get what you're going through.

I loved the dual perspectives. They're usually a hit or miss for me but this time, the two voices worked so well. They actually helped me to connect more with each character and I loved that I could learn a little bit more about each of them through it and of course, their thoughts on each other and life in general.

You don't even understand, I'm getting MORE and MORE excited about this book as I'm writing this review. That has never happened to me before. Like honestly, I'm going to explode with tears of love (is that a thing?) in a minute because I just love this book too much and all I want to do right now is clutch it to my chest and keep it forever.

Everything was terrific. The writing was terrific, the characters were terrific, and THE ENDING WAS PERFECT. I could not have imagined it to end in any better way. LOVED THIS BOOK. 

LOVED THIS BOOK. Definitely going to be one of my favourites for the years to come. Everything about it was just so amazing and spot-on. It's one of those books that I regret getting from the library because I just want a copy for myself which I will probably end up getting. THIS BOOK IS WHY I LOVE AUSSIE AUTHORS. Gah, so good. So much depth. AMAZING. 

Not everyone will like this as much as I did but if it sounds like your kind of book, READ IT.


Anna @ Anna Reads says "Amazing. No other words. Loved it. I suspect this book will be ranked among my favorites for years to come."
Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner calls it "a quietly beautiful coming of age story about the stickiness of crushes and first love."
Lee @ Rally The Readers gives it 2.5 stars: "I couldn’t find the emotional investment for this one."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Around the Blogosphere (1)

I remember talking about starting this feature back in December so look how long it took me to finally get a post out! Inspired by Christina Reads YA, I thought I would make my own version of her feature (Christina Makes The Bookish Rounds) so that I have a place to store all the blog posts that I love and of course, share them too! 

This time around, I didn't include ALL of the links that I had bookmarked for the past two weeks because my data ran out and since I was on my phone for internet, I wasn't able to update this post regularly. And then the posts started building up and now I have this gigantic monster in my feedly that I need to go through and comment on before I even think of linking. But anyhow.

Around the Blogosphere will be up bi-monthly and will consist of all the posts that my bloggy heart loves, both bookish and non-bookish. Here's the first edition! 

read these books now!

discussions galore.

bloggy tips.

author love.

bookish news.

other news.

clothes, clothes, clothes.


best of beauty.

  • I've always dreamed of studying abroad and even though it doesn't seem to be a reality anytime soon, I'm bookmarking this post on Rookie just in case...
  • If you follow Taylor Swift's every fashion move like I do, you might know that Taylor was talking of getting a cut similar to Karlie Kloss' and you might also think that was really exciting because how good would that look? For the past month or so, she's been tricking us by pinning her layers back and hinting at a haircut and it was like JUST GET IT ALREADY and then she finally did. And it's gorgeous. And can I have her hair? 
  • Disney movies are one of my favourite things in the entire world so it was so much fun to read Mashable's post on this animated map that plots Disney movies by location!

Were there any posts I missed? Did you come across any really great and interesting posts these past few weeks? Share them in the comments! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Robert Langdon #2)
Published March 28th 2006 by Anchor
eBook, 490 pages

When Robert Langdon, acclaimed symbologist from Harvard University, arrives at Paris, he's expected to meet with Jacques Sauniere later on in the evening. Langdon is not sure what the reasons behind the meeting Sauniere, the elderly curator of the Louvre museum, organized but he's looking forward to it nonetheless. So imagine his shock when a phone call in the dead of night informs him that Sauniere has been murdered right in the middle of the Louvre. Langdon is swept off to the crime scene and is shown the mangled body of Sauniere surrounded by seemingly random codes and symbols. Never one to back down from a mystery, Robert Langdon, with the help of cryptologist Sophie Neveu, goes on a hunt to discover what Sauniere's death truly means.

One of the things I wanted to do this year reading-wise was to finish up on some old series that I started but never finished. I began The Da Vinci Code while I was in fourth grade but promptly put it down for reasons I totally forget. While I was on my winter getaway, I brought my Kobo along and even though there was a lot that we did, I still found myself with TONS of reading time so being bored with all my other books, I dug The Da Vinci Code back up and started rereading it.

Despite the fact that I didn't read much of the book in fourth grade, I remember really enjoying it. And even though I was nine then and still thought those Geronimo Stilton books were prime reading material, I decided to trust my judgement then and so went in with super high expectations. After all, I did read and like the first instalment in this series, Angels and Demons so I thought that this one would be just as great.

And um, yeah, it wasn't really at all what I was expecting. At first, the book was good and I enjoyed it. I got really caught up with the whole mystery and so the first 100 pages passed like nothing. Brown set up an interesting premise and I'm always one for mysteries. And Paris! I thought the symbology was really cool and the whole thing with Leonardo Da Vinci was very interesting. So far, all good!

But then after maybe 200 pages in, it just felt like I was turning pages but not really making any progress. Look, 490 pages is really not a lot for me. I've read the Harry Potter series, I've definitely handled some chunksters, okay? But with The Da Vinci Code, 490 pages felt like an eternity. I would be reading on my Kobo and see that I was 83% done with the book only to find out later that I still had a good 100 pages left. Which usually is nothing to me but again, with this book, it was like OH MY GOD END OF THE WORLD CRYING WHY CAN'T IT JUST BE OVER.

Because after a while, The Da Vinci Code just feels very repetitive. And way too filled with testosterone. It's basically Langdon and Neveu get a clue, they don't know how to solve it until after thirty pages where Langdon (sometimes Neveu, but mostly Langdon) figures out the solution and they're excited, until more crap arises. Oh, and did I mention that like every five pages, there's like ten pages where it's just MASSIVE INFO-DUMP. I actually did not mind it the first few times because I'm rather interested in all this religious stuff and conspiracy theories (you don't even know how many hours of the History Channel I've watched) but after a while, like with everything else, it was just very boring and very repetitive because this book is like 75% reliant on its ginormous web of a mystery (credit to Brown for sitting down and actually plotting it out). If you subtract the mystery, you're basically just left with okay, streamlined writing and flat characters and like, basically no character development. It's all action, action, action. Which is good because sometimes, it's just nice to settle down with those type of books that sweep you away with all the stuff that's happening in it and that doesn't really require you to think too much or too hard but after a while, like with EVERYTHING ELSE, it just becomes a very tired routine.

Another thing that did not really help me flip those pages was that the plot got more and more absurd as we delved deeper into the story. Like I don't know if we were going for realistic here or just like a thriller rooted with real-ish facts (more on that later) but some parts just had me scratching my head. I just did not comprehend HOW any of the things that went on in the book could have happened in our world logically. Major suspension of disbelief here. I mean, I don't mind if a book gets a bit ahead of itself and maybe things happen that might not otherwise but in those cases, I know that that's supposed to be what's happening. With The Da Vinci Code, I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be crazy and totally unrealistic or if it was supposed to be realistic but like in a James Bond-ish kind of way.

And then now about the real-ish facts I talked about in the above paragraph. I discovered, after I had finished reading the novel, that many historians had found much of Brown's book inaccurate. I'm really not sure about this because I'm not a historian so naturally while I was reading the book, I literally did not see anything inaccurate. But to be fair, Brown could have said anything and I would have believed it. I just want to mention this because when I found that out, it was a bit like adding insult to injury and making my brain hurt even more after the super-duper complicated mess that is the 490 pages of The Da Vinci Code.

I liked it at the beginning and was really into it because I love mysteries and conspiracy theories and sorts but things quickly went downhill after that. There was just a lot of repetitiveness and ALL ACTION and complicated plot that didn't really make any sense with really nothing else - no great narration, no strong characters, no character development. I was really looking forward to this book after my nine-year-old self really enjoyed the nine pages that she read (which makes sense because I really enjoyed those first nine pages too) but in the end, it was just a disappointment.

I'm honestly not sure. I know a lot of people do like this book and I can totally understand why but...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Epic Recs: February 2014

Thanks to Shelly for asking me to be her partner for Epic Recs because I would never have thought to join otherwise! And also, thanks to Judith and Amber for being the masterminds and coming up with such a great idea. If you want more information behind Epic Recs and how to participate, make sure to check out this post!  

shelly's rec for me.

my rec for shelly.

This month, I'm forcing Shelly to read Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. It's one of my favourite books of all time and since Shelly hasn't read it yet, I'm going to make sure that she does! I also know that Shelly really enjoys contemporarys and I thought this one was really well done! Also, MUSIC. If you love music and want some awesome suggestions, check out this book for Roger's playlists! And ROAD TRIPS. AND SUMMER. I honestly don't know how much better this book could be. No pressure Shelly but seriously if you don't like this book, I think I might have to stop talking to you.

On the flip side of the coin, Shelly is making me read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I'm really excited because this book has been on my TBR for a really long time and I've heard such great things about it. Especially from Shelly's review. Also the cover is so pretty. Will someone squeal over the font choice with me? 

Tell me in the comments: have you read any of these books and what did you think of them? Am I in safe hands with Shelly's pick? And is Shelly going to be good with my pick? 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Love-A-Thon 2014: Award Time!

This was the last mini-challenge of the Love-A-Thon and it was supposed to go up last night but I just totally did not feel like doing it. Then, anyway. Because I actually really do like this idea. I think it's so much fun to give out like virtual bloggy awards to bloggers to let them know how much I appreciate them!

best blog design.
This is so tough because there are literally TONS and TONS of bloggers with fantastic designs. One that really sticks out is Pop! Goes The Reader. I love the color scheme and the entire thing just oozes such a fun vibe. I'm also a huge fan of Novel Sounds (which doesn't come as a surprise because it's designed by the very same Cindy Pepper who's responsible for Pop! Goes The Reader). Oh Chrys has owls (always a bonus) and a color scheme I wish I could claim for myself. Constellation Chronicles also has such a gorgeous design and reminds me of those winter-themed games I used to play online. Both I Swim For Oceans and The Perpetual Page Turner have adorable designs that bring a smile to my face every time I see them. I can't forget about The Novel Hermit and the narwhal (can I have one too?). Or Live To Read, Love To Read, Natflix & Books, The Paper Sea, Hello Chelly, So Obsessed With, Stay Bookish, The Starry Eyed Revue, A Novel Idea, A Reader of Fictions, Effortlessly Reading and The Story Siren. I realize those are a lot of bloggers but everyone just has such attractive sites! If I HAD to pick a favourite though, it would have to go to Rather Be Reading. Their design is basically everything I could ever want for mine and it is absolutely gorgeous. Love it!

best weekly feature.
Right now, I'm really loving Life of a Blogger @ Novel Heartbeat because it helps me to learn a little more about my favourite bloggers outside of reading and blogging. Top Ten Tuesday @ The Broke and Bookish has been a favourite since I started blogging. I'm not participating much any more but when I do, it's very fun! Also Books and a Beverage @ The Book Addict's Guide and Procrastination Pro Tips @ Forever Young Adult. There are also so many great non-weekly features that I feel need recognition so hello, Listen Up @ As Told By Rachel, Book Bags @ Hello Chelly (one of my all time favourites), Nailed It @ Rather Be Reading, and Arts and Crafts @ Novel Sounds.

best discussion posts.
My top pick would probably be Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. I find she always has great things to say that make ME want to talk too! Charlotte @ Gypsy Reviews also has wonderful discussions, as does Chrys @ Oh Chrys. I love reading discussions by Sandra @ Tea Between Books, they're so witty and I find myself nodding at everything she says. Asti @ A Bookish Heart also has great discussions and so does Josephine @ Dudette Reads. I love Mel @ The Daily Prophecy's discussions as well.

friendliest blogger.
What even is this question because literally all bloggers are super friendly. Anyway, when I think of friendly, I immediately think of Asti @ A Bookish Heart. She's actually the sweetest and nicest blogger ever. So, so kind and so, so friendly. Cal @ Read Books and Live Green is also so friendly. She's literally so sweet, my teeth ache. Lesley Marie @ Books and Beautiful World is really nice as well, so is Emily @ Forever Literary, Shelly @ Readiculous Reads, Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner, Jasmine @ Flip That Page, Meredith @ Lit Up Review (and Mere Mai!), Liz @ Fangirls of Fiction, and Emily @ Constellation Chronicles. I'm forgetting people but actually, every single blogger I've met was so nice so really everyone deserves this award. And of course, our wonderful Love-A-Thon hosts Katelyn @ Kate's Tales of Books and Bands and Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books. So sweet and friendly!

most helpful reviews.
I trust Christina @ A Reader of Fictions very much with her judgement on books. If there's a book I'm iffy on, I usually check her blog and see if she's reviewed it. Gillian @ Writer of Wrongs has reviews that I trust as well. Anna @ Anna Reads has great reviews too - short but ones that always manage to convey her thoughts perfectly. Bookistry also has the most amazing reviews and her judgement is held very high in my book as well!

favourite bloggers to fangirl with.
I do most of my fangirling on Tumblr so I can't actually recall many bloggers that I've fangirled with. Liz @ Fangirls of Fiction is one (guys her Twitter is the best, like actually) and I remember fangirling with Judith @ Paper Riot over Once Upon A Time (oh my god, so soon). And uh, that's it? I know, lame list in comparisons to my other ones.

best surveys.
This goes to two bloggers: Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner (remember her Friday Fun posts? I loved them!) and - I'm sure someone has already beat me to it - Jasmine @ Flip That Page. Share some of your survey making skills, guys!

bloggers i miss the most.
In the blogosphere, things change very fast and bloggers come and go. Here are some of my favourite bloggers that aren't really blogging any more: Reem @ I Read and Tell, Meg @ Adrift on Vulcan, Lexi @ The Literature Lion, Steph @ Steph Su Reads, and Sash & Em @ Sash & Em. Please come back guys! Be like Kelly (from Radiant Shadows, now Pretty Little Reader) and come back. I miss you all!

best gif use.
I'm always admire bloggers who are able to seamlessly integrate gifs into their posts because it just adds so much personality to the words. When I think of bloggers who really have a good hold on gifs, a few come to mind like Debby @ Snuggly Oranges, Gillian @ Writer of Wrongs, and Christina @ A Reader of Fictions.

favourite new finds.
The Love-A-Thon is all about sharing bloggy love and finding new bloggers to love so I thought it would be a nice touch to end with this category. Relatively speaking, Dudette Reads has been a pretty recent find but with amazing discussions and great reviews, has quickly grown to be one of my favourites! Same with Singing and Reading in the Rain and Literary, Etc. Blogs I've found through the Love-A-Thon though that I really like are The Sea of Pages (not as an actual participant but through a blog roll) and Love At First Page.

So there are my bloggy awards! All great bloggers that have been featured so please, go and send them some love! And with that, my 2014 Love-A-Thon is officially over! I'm getting kind of teary-eyed to be honest because I had such a great time chatting with bloggers and writing up these posts. I cannot believe I have to wait until NEXT FEBRUARY until Love-A-Thon comes around again. Boo!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Love-A-Thon 2014: Dear Annie

Last year, during the Love-A-Thon, this was also a mini challenge and just because I was curious about what I wrote, I decided to dig it back up. I was expecting something totally cringe-worthy but instead, I found myself reflecting on my blogging journey. I'VE COME SO FAR. Like I haven't even been blogging that long but still, I'm so proud of myself for accomplishing so much and sticking with this for as long as I have and still going strong!

Sorry about that, I was just letting out my disbelief over how long I've lasted doing this. As for my letter, I'm going to be writing to Future Annie once again. It's more directed to life in general, like my path in life and what the choices I have to make for university. Sometimes I feel like the days pass by so quickly that there isn't time to just stop and think about the choices you're making. And right now, I'm a bit scared of how things are going to turn out. I hope everything will be good for me in the end (of course, I'll try my darnedest to make sure of that) but nevertheless, I want to write to Future Annie to send off some words of wisdom, even though I'm pretty sure she'll be wiser than me at that time and won't really need me to tell her so at all. Anyway, I know it should be more about blogging but the same message still applies to my blogging goals and dreams.

Dear Annie in the Future,

Hey! How are you doing? Good, I hope.

I know this might be a bit weird for you, but don't get creeped out! It's still Annie, except years in the past - in 2014.

By the time you finally agree to read this (I say agree, because I know you'll make sure you don't see this ever again until enough time has passed), things have most definitely changed by miles and miles. I don't know if you'll still blogging or reading but I just want to say that I hope you're well and that you've grown into someone that the future version of us can be proud of.

There's still so much left to do and learn, and while I think I'm doing an okay job right now with doing and learning, I hope in your time, you'll accomplish things that I don't even dream of right now. Just be true to yourself, take it easy and keep your head up. You'll be great!

Love, Annie from 2014

Love-A-Thon 2014: A Song For You

To be honest with you, I had a really hard time thinking up of a topic for this mini-challenge! Initially I had thought to do something related to travel but as I already have a top secret feature based around that underway, it wouldn't do. Sooo I decided to choose music instead and feature a few books with a song that I think would fit well with it. I'm reusing some ideas I posted on Random Reads and thinking up some new ones! Let's get started!

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn --- Daylight by Maroon 5
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist tells the story of the relationship of two people over the span of one night. Nick and Norah have just met so they don't know each other very well but they get to know each other very well and while there's no doubt in my mind that they'd see each other again after that one night, their story still relates to the song Daylight very well because obviously, neither one of them wants the night to end and have to leave.

Lola & the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins --- You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift
While I was reading Lola, I could envision perfectly Cricket singing You Belong With Me to Lola while she was with Max. Because anyone could see that they were like perfect for each other! Another reason for choosing this song is because of the music video. Watch it and do you notice some similarities? The boy next door? The messages passed through the connected windows? Ended with a trip to prom? It's uncanny how similar these two stories are...

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols --- Cowboy Casanova by Carrie Underwood
While reading Dirty Little Secret, it was so obvious to me that Sam was so not good for Bailey. I really despised their relationship because I really despised Sam and even though it seems as if he's changed or has improved towards the end, I still refuse to believe that anything good could come out of their relationship. Yeah...NO. So given the country theme throughout the book and the fact that Sam IS a total bad boy, I thought that Cowboy Casanova would be a sweet match for the book. 

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer --- Two Is Better Than One by Boys Like Girls ft. Taylor Swift
I'm less sure about this choice than any of the other ones. But when I think of Oliver and Delilah's relationship (which I still don't understand), I think of like a really sweet and slow song. And Two Is Better Than One definitely fits that bill! I kind of picture it to be a story of first love, like the person is just realizing that maybe having someone else by my side is better than being alone and I think that goes for both Oliver and Delilah. They're both quite alone in their own way but when they come together, it's like, I don't have to be alone any more and yay, somebody finally understands me.

Do you agree with my song choices? Or do you think there's a better pick for each book? Or maybe you have a totally different song & book pairing. Share it in the comments!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love-A-Thon 2014: Mad Lib Time!

Last challenge of the day, which I'm VERY excited about because I love Mad Libs! I used to fill them out all the time as a kid - they were my favourite thing to do! So without further ado, here's my completed Mad Lib story for the Love-A-Thon!

One day, I was flying with Etienne St. Clair. Out of the blue, a shoe came out of nowhere. It was so smelly, disgusting and ugly. At first, we were afraid, we were petrified, but we laughed. We hopped on a segway to make our getaway.

As we escaped, we turned up the radio because Sexy and I Know It came on and made me cry. Everything was extremely smooth sailing until a flamingo appeared in the middle of the road. We swerved to avoid it but while Etienne stayed on the segway, I got thrown onto my side in the woods.

I couldn't get up, and felt stupid as I lay there staring up at the trees. What was I going to do? I heard a boom-sha-ka-la-ka among the leaves, and felt annoyed. Surely, this was going to be my end. As my eyes fluttered shut, the last thing I saw was a head of green hair and purple eyes.

When I woke up again, I was on a stool. My body hurt a whole lot less, and I could sit up. There was a yoga mat and a toothpick in the room, along with pickles and cough syrup. The door suddenly opened to reveal Dexter Jones, a concerned look on his face. I blushed and averted my gaze, but he flinched and said, "Don't be shy. It's okay."

He came over to sit by me, and we started talking after I told him my name. We chatted about eating, knitting and cleaning and realized we had a ton in common! I thought he was smexy and couldn't help feeling a little swoony.

Just as he reached out for my hand, the door crashed open and in came Noah Shaw. "Don't let him charm you away, my love!" He yelled, running at Dexter. They each had spoons in their hands and began to fight. "Stop!", I yelled, feeling so upset. They didn't listen to me. Before I could intervene, Dexter fell to the floor and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

"What was that?" I asked, staring at the empty space. Noah dropped his weapon and came over to me. "Magic, but you are safe now, munchkin." He hugged me clsoe, and I suddenly knew that this was the real deal and not just a dream.

Just as Stay Stay Stay started playing in my head, I woke up. I cursed my rotten luck. Why had it only been just a dream?

And that's my story! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it. Leave me links to your Mad Lib stories in the comments! 

Love-A-Thon 2014: Will You Be Mine?

So. Yesterday was Valentine's Day which means another day in which I'm painfully reminded that I don't have a boyfriend. Haha, just kidding. Not having a boyfriend isn't that painful for me but wouldn't it be nice to have one? Except all the boys I know IRL are either totally taken or totally gross. So I'm going to settle for the next best thing: book boyfriends. Here are some valentines for the boys who've stolen my heart through the pages.

#1: Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkisn

#2: Dexter Jones from This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

#3: Noah Shaw from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkins

Whew, was that fun! Hey Etienne, Dexter, and Noah, if you see these Valentines, leave me a response ASAP! But if Andrew Garfield comes calling for Valentine's Day, I'll make sure to tell you so we can forget this ever happened!

Now it's YOUR turn to share your Valentines for your book boyfriends! Unless they're for Etienne, Dexter, and Noah because THEY'RE MINE so BACK OFF. Just kidding. I'd love to see your Valentines either way! Share them in the comments please!

Love-A-Thon 2014: Book Spine Poetry

Time for the very first Love-A-Thon mini challenge: book spine poetry! It was actually much harder than I thought it would be so after spending like thirty minutes gathering my books and thinking what I could possibly do with them, I just decided to go for a more...abstract vibe. So when you read my poems, remember ABSTRACT. ARBRITRARY.

Poem #1: Made with love from books I own

Poem #2: Made with love from books I've borrowed

Okay, yeah, I know, they're really REALLY bad. And also a bit sombre but hey, I'm out of practice! Here's a link to last year's book spine poems!

Happy Love-A-Thon guys! 

Love-A-Thon: Hello Hannah!

Any of you remember a year ago when I participated in this very same Love-A-Thon on Random Reads? It seems so long ago! Anyway, I had such a wonderful time getting to chat with bloggers and meet everyone that I jumped at the chance to do it again! So I'm definitely very excited to do it again!

To kick off this wonderful event (thanks to Alexa and Katelyn for organizing it!), I have an interview with my partner Hannah at In The Best Worlds. It was so great getting a chance to meet her and chat with her, she's so nice! Check her blog after reading this review to give her some love and see the interview she did with me!

1. Hi Hannah, to get started, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm a small town girl from northern Minnesota, but I pulled up my roots and moved to New York in 2012. I've spent my entire life reading, from my English degree, to my time spent working at a bookstore, and now I work in publishing. My life is enriched by stories, which means when I'm not reading, I'm probably binge watching TV shows.

2. What made you pick up book blogging?
I was reading so many books so quickly that I decided to start recording my thoughts. I'd been following a few blogs and decided that was my best outlet to talk about the books I read.

3. What's your favourite thing about being a blogger?
I get to talk about books! I love being a part of promoting books and authors - it's really cool to be a part of a book's life.

4. If you could be any character from a book, who would it be?
This is so hard! I'd love to be Anna from ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, if only to be in Paris and have Etienne in my life. Although, I'd also want to be one of the strong fantasy heroines like Celaena from THRONE OF GLASS or Elisa from THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS.

5. Which book do you think everyone should read at least once?
BROOKLYN, BURNING by Steve Brezenoff. It's a short, different, beautiful book about love knowing no gender. It's an incredible book and I just feel like the world would be a better place if everyone
read it.

6. Quick! Name three favourite authors!
Libba Bray, Rainbow Rowell, and Jennifer Echols.

7. What else do you enjoy doing besides blogging and reading?
I absolutely love traveling. I haven't been able to go anywhere in awhile, but I will always jump on any chance I have to travel. Other than that, I'm usually marathoning ABC Family or CW TV shows. I also dabble in writing, but just for fun.

Thank you so much Hannah for doing this interview with me! I totally agree with your answer to #3. I never imagined I would be able to witness so much of what goes on behind the scenes with marketing and stuff by blogging! And though I haven't read Throne of Glass OR The Girl of Fire and Thorns (I know, I need to get reading), I think Anna would be amazing to be! Paris and Etienne. I don't know what could sound better. I haven't heard of Brooklyn Burning but it sounds really interesting! And Libba Bray is definitely on my favourite authors list too! I love travelling as well and marathoning TV is also a huge love of mine.

Once again, thank you Hannah for taking the time to chat with me! It was wonderful meeting you!

Find Hannah Elsewhere:

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today's February the 14th and I'm pretty sure we all know what that means: Valentine's Day! Though typically it's viewed as a celebration of romantic love, I think Valentine's Day is also a swell opportunity to say words of appreciation to people you love in general.

Okay so maybe that might partly be to cheer me up over the fact that nothing even slightly romantic has ever happened to me on Valentine's Day. BUT. I still stand by what I said, regardless of the intention behind it. Why should Valentine's Day only be limited to the romantic? What about the platonic? Or the maternal/paternal? I don't know about you, but for me all the love in the air - romantic or not - is enough for me to start feeling an overwhelming gratitude and appreciation for everyone ever who has given me their love.

I've already made sure to say my I Love You's to my family and (some of) my friends but now I want to take the time to send my gratitude and love to you guys. I've probably said it a thousand times already - how wonderful you all are - but I don't think I'll ever be able to express the mass of my emotion in words. I know I'm being pretty vague right now but basically thank you to everyone who has inspired me to grow my blog and strive for better (even if you're not sure who you are), who has commented on my blog, who has ever talked to me or read one of my posts or said something sweet or made me happy with one of the things you posted. Thank you to everyone who has ever written something totally life-changing or totally helpful or just totally awesome. YOU are the reason why I love blogging and why I will continue to keep it up. I love talking and meeting with every one of you and honestly, without all you wonderful people out there in the blogosphere, blogging sure would be a bore.

Looking back on the year and a half I've blogged, it's great to see how far I've come and how much I've accomplished and I'm so so proud of myself because I never imagined it would have become so big to me and I definitely did not imagine that it would have lasted so long. Where at first, I enjoyed blogging solely because I liked sharing my thoughts now I have to say that the community is pretty fantastic as well. And without al you wonderful people, I don't think I would have managed to have stuck with blogging a few months ago when everything was just bleh.

So yeah, basically I love you all and thank you so much for helping fuel what I now know as a tremendous love of mine and just being someone for me to talk to and/or look up to! Tons of hugs to you all and CHOCOLATE. Oh, and a valentine made with love from Tumblr.

Hope you guys had a terrific day and celebrated with your loved ones!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Good Books, Wherefore Art Thou?

Maybe you've noticed, or maybe you haven't, but lately, I've been going through a really bad bookish slump. The kind of slump that leaves me so not interested in reading anything other than Teen Vogue, the kind of slump that leaves me wondering where the heck all the good books went.


It's not that the books I'm reading are bad, by any means. (Okay, some of them are kind of bad.) It's just that none of them are memorable or outstanding. They're just kind of all mediocre. Seriously, look through my review archive from the very beginning and count how many times I sounded like I wasn't too excited about the book. Basically my entire archive, right??

And it's not just this past week or even this past month. I'm sure I've been feeling this blehness about the books I've been reading at least since December. And now that I've set my mind to finishing all the books I HAVE to read (like review copies and books for school), the slump is kicking in. Talk about perfect timing, right? I have so much I know I have to read and now it's in full mode and I can't even bring myself to pick any book up without being bored to my mind.

THAT ACTUALLY NEVER HAPPENS TO ME. Well, at least, it doesn't happen this frequently and consistently because usually, there's at least ONE book that I'd be interested in. There are zero right now.

It's scary how much this total disinterest in books is occurring lately. Have I lost my touch with books? Or do I just suck at finding good books to read? Or maybe it's me and not them - have I become too critical that I can't find enjoyment in books I would like otherwise?

And I know I'm not the only one because Jamie wrote a post a week ago about how she's also going through a reading slump. I didn't really think about this at that moment but after looking at my list of books read, it kind of dawned on me, like OH MY GOD MY READING HISTORY HAS BEEN AWFUL.

But anyway, whatever the reason is, I just want this slump to be OVER. Because no matter how much this slump makes me think that there are literally no good books out there or none that I will ever mind, no matter how much this slump makes me want to stay far, far away from touching anything with more than fifty pages, deep down I still want to return to those good old days when reading was fun and I loved it and had a good book to read all the time that I couldn't even decide which book to get back to.

Especially since I have a HUGE stack of books that I need to finish.

[via Tumblr]

Especially since I hate writing reviews now because all the books are unmemorable and leave me with nothing to say. Especially since I just want to go back to normal and read tons and tons of books and enjoy doing that again.


So dear Book Gods, if you're bored one day and happen upon my little blog and see this post, will you send some luck my way? So that hopefully, I'll get my reading mojo back on?

Have you ever felt this way? Maybe you're going through this right now! How do you cope? And because I'd REALLY like to get back to enjoying reading and reading great books, do you have any recommendations?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry

Expected Publication Date: March 1, 2014 by Albert Whitman Teen
ebook, 259 pages
Received from publisher through NetGalley -- thanks!

Kate's boyfriend Sheldon (or Shelton?) broke up with her and after a few days, she's still absolutely miserable so her best friend (whose name I so don't remember) decides to bring her out on an outing with her boyfriend and her cousin, Aidan who's staying with her family for a while. Kate and Aidan spend time together and soon find themselves taking a fancy to each other. And because I don't know where else to put this, Aidan is also a war veteran who got his right arm blown up during his time in Afghanistan. Not that it has anything to do with the actual story.

The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry is one of the cutest novels ever, because of its simple storyline and easy narration. It wasn't hard for me to get into it at all and it wasn't hard for me to finish it in a matter of three or four hours. It's just that kind of book. Cute and sweet but frankly, without much depth. 

This book did touch upon living with diabetes (Kate) and being disabled (Aidan) and I appreciated that but I always kind of felt that the novel was more centred on the romance and to the point that all of the other things Kate and Aidan were going through felt meaningless. Like they didn't add or take from the story, really making very little difference. I wish that they were a bit more emphasized throughout the book because it would have made The Summer I Found You less like a generic contemporary romance.

I did really like Aidan and Kate together. They're just so cute! Read this book and tell me that they don't seem cute! The dual perspective really helped in this case because the attraction between them were very well articulated on both sides, so it wasn't hard for me to imagine that they really liked each other. 

The Summer I Found You was a sweet book but not very memorable. Kate and Aidan were sweet together and the writing flowed very easily but there was very little depth and nothing that really stood out for me. It was a very fast read as I read it in a day which is really good because I'm usually a very slow reader.

you if you're looking for a cute and fast romance.


Camelle @ Home of a Book Lover gives it four stars: "The book is inspiring and wonderful."
Book Passion for Life gives it 3.5 stars: "I don't think it's a book that will rock your world, but I do think it's a good story that is worth a read."

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Life of a Blogger (1): Favourite Bands

Hosted by Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat. Life of a Blogger is a weekly feature designed to reveal more about the blogger outside of books and blogging.

So obviously I love talking about myself and about things OTHER than books and while I still think that I'd like to start a new blog to mush all that non-bookish stuff together, I also think that it'd still be good for me to not talk about books on The Runaway Reader 24/7. Because I have a lot of interests and it's always so stuffy for me to have to do similar things even when it's centred around something I really enjoy so Life of a Blogger is a really fun and good thing for me to participate in and also for a chance for you to hopefully get to know me a bit better! 

This week, we're talking about... Favourite Bands.

I probably love talking about music as much as I love talking about books. I get that same crazed look in my eyes while I start rattling off songs that I adore and just like when I talk about books, people back slowly away from me. Thank goodness this is over the computer so that I can't see you walk away too! But maybe, you like the same bands that I do? And maybe you'll tell me in the comments so we can gush together? 

1. Phoenix >> I discovered them through Anna's blog approximately four years ago and I have been a huge fan ever since. I love how eclectic their music is and OMG, THOMAS MARS. He's just the coolest dude ever. I would probably give up a lot of things to see this band play live.

I like... Lisztomania, Long Distance Call, Rome, Entertainment, Trying to Be Cool, Run Run Run, Drakkar Noir, 1901

2. Of Monsters and Men >> You do not understand how much I love Of Monsters and Men. They probably top my favourite band list right now (maybe alongside Phoenix). I don't have any words to explain their greatness so I'll just give you some songs to listen to ASAP. 

I like... Mountain Sound, Dirty Paws, King And Lionheart, Love Love Love, Slow And Steady, From Finner, Six Weeks, Your Bones

3. Maroon 5 >> Maroon 5 is one of my ultimate go-to artists. I know I'm always going to love their music and want to sing along even if I have a much stronger preference for their earlier work. Whatever, I still sing along obnoxiously whenever they come on the radio. And ADAM LEVINE ASDFGHJKL. 

I like... Sunday Morning, She Will Be Loved, Harder To Breathe, Misery, This Love, Payphone, Makes Me Wonder, Through With You

4. Fall Out Boy >> I've listened to Fall Out Boy since I was 8. They were squeezed right between Hannah Montana and Jesse McCartney. I kind of fell out of listening to them afterwards but then their album Save Rock & Roll came out and I started listening to all their songs again and they're so good for jamming and also Patrick Stump is like the bomb diggity. 

I like... The Phoenix, Thnks Fr Th Mmrs, Sugar We're Going Down, Dance Dance, This Ain't A Scene It's An Arms Race, A Little Less Sixteen Candles A Little More Touch Me, Alone Together

5. Bastille >> After hearing Pompeii, I totally fell in love with Dan's voice and downloaded their entire Bad Blood album which I just love SO much. Definitely, definitely one of my favourite bands.

I like... Pompeii, Laughter Lines, Bad Blood, Things We Lost In The Fire, Laura Palmer, Flaws

6. Noah and the Whale >> I haven't been listening to Noah and the Whale for very long but they have quickly cemented their spot on my list of favourite bands. They just have a very quirky and fun vibe that I really love and that I don't think I see enough of.

I like... 5 Years Time, L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N, The First Days of Spring, Atoms in a Molecule

7. OneRepublic >> OneRepublic is another one of those bands whom I've liked for a long time. And I honestly have no clue what else I can write in these little blurbs so I'll just say that they're really good, I enjoy their music, and Ryan Tedder is just crazy amazing at everything.

I like... All The Right Moves, Life In Color, Feel Again, If I Lose Myself, Secrets, Good Life, Counting Stars, Apologize, Stop and Stare, Mercy

8. Imagine Dragons >> Another awesome lead singer named Dan! Is there some sort of a pattern I'm seeing? And I'm actually crazy in love with their name.

I like... On Top Of The World, Amsterdam, Demons, Bleeding Out, It's Time, Radioactive, Round and Round

9. Marianas Trench >> Canada represent! It's funny because whenever I learn that non-Canadians like them, I get this really shocked face because I still don't really understand the mass of their fanbase. I always feel like their music is really only played in Canada, like Hedley and Down With Webster. But it's great that they're getting recognized because they're so good!

I like... Haven't Had Enough, Desperate Measures, Good to You, Ever After, Stutter, Desperate Measures, Fallout, Celebrity Status

So clearly, I have waay too many favourite bands. I don't even think I'm halfway done! This is just a little peek at the artists I love. And sorry for the blurbs. As you can see, I'm obviously rubbish at coming up with descriptions.

If you share my favourites, or if you have an recommendations, I would love to see what you think in the comments! Happy listening!

** Images via GQ, NPR, The Sun, WNYC, and Starpulse