Monday, January 15, 2018

I'm Reading for Myself Again

It's been a long time since I've blogged about books.  Life has gotten busy, it's true, but I also burned myself out.  Last year I thought that maybe I would reinvent my blog, but it was also the year that I posted the least.  I see that many of the bloggers who were around when I started are barely posting anymore. 

Maybe everyone has moved on to bigger and better things, or maybe they're hopping on the BookTube bandwagon that I always wanted to try but never had the guts to begin.  I feel so out of the loop, but this time, I don't mind so much.  I'm reading for myself again.  I don't know which new books are coming out anymore, and I'm okay with it.  Now I just get a happy surprise if I go to the store and see that one of my favorite authors has released something new.

Right now I'm reading books that I choose to read, not books that are coming out soon because I have to review them.  Don't get me wrong, I love creating hype for a book that I was fortunate enough to enjoy earlier than most, but there's also something so relieving about picking out a book that's been sitting on your shelves for a while, patiently waiting to be read.

Current Reads:


It by Stephen King

I absolutely loved the new theatrical remake of Stephen King's It.  I spent a month after seeing it in theaters just looking up more of the story.  I finally purchased the book on a whim, and I'm loving it.  I know that it will take me a while to read, though, because it's a daunting 1,157 pages long!

After finishing Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia, I needed a new ebook to read, so I went with Kasie West's new novel, Love, Life, and the List.  Since I mostly read on my kindle during my lunch breaks at work, I thought that this would be the perfect, fluffy read.

What are you reading?
Blogger Tricks

Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Title: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author: Francesca Zappia
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: May 30th, 2017
Pages: 385 (eARC)
Rating: 3 out of 5
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. 

Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try. 

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. 

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

The first thing that appealed to me about Eliza and Her Monsters was that just by the description of the book, I could see a lot of myself in Eliza.  In high school, I was always the quiet kid who kept to herself.  I sat in the back of my classes with a pen in my hand-- not taking notes, but writing about another world to escape into.  Like Eliza, I became obsessed with one of my stories, and I worked hard on it for years, posting it online anonymously.  While I gained some loyal readers who knew nothing about the real me, it wasn't nearly the fanbase that Eliza created for herself with Monstrous Sea.

When Eliza starts to fall for real-life Monstrous Sea fan, Wallace, she chooses to keep her real identity a secret.  As a reader, you know that this can only end one way, but it was fun to read about their relationship nonetheless.  Before him, Eliza never had anyone other than her family and two long-distance online friends to spend her time with.  Spending time with him and his group of friends helps her experience so many new things.  One thing that had me on the fence about Wallace and Eliza was that most of their conversations take place over text or in notes, even if they're sitting face to face.  Somehow, that made their connection feel too impersonal to me. 

By the time I got to the end of the book, I felt that I was just reading to get it over with.  There were many predictable, and some unbelievable parts that I couldn't shake once I read them.  I would say, though, that the story is nicely paced and well written, portraying relatable characters and an interesting plot.  I used to feel so alone in my writing and interests, but by reading about characters that I can see so much of myself in, I now see that was never true.  I would have loved a book like this if it had come out 10 years ago, and I hope that teenagers read this today and see parts of themselves in Eliza or Wallace, too.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I Hate Everyone But You Blog Tour (Excerpt)


Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)

We're still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.

So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?



Ava Helmer <>

to Gen

1) Birth. I poop inside my mom’s womb. I obviously don’t remember this. But I do remember all the times my mom talked about it at family events.

2) Kindergarten. I try to sit on the teacher’s lap during naptime. She tells me that is inappropriate. In front of the entire class.

3) Third grade. Becky Olsberg and Laura Jenner invite me over for a playdate. We share secrets. I confess that sometimes I eat flowers. They tell everyone that I am secretly a horse trapped in a girl’s body.

4) All of middle school.

5) Jordan F. asks me to come over to his house to ask me about you. (Did I ever tell you this? I knew you hated Jordan F. so I might have kept that as a silent shame until now. Oh, no. What if you DIDN’T hate Jordan F. and I ruined your one shot at true happiness as well as any chance of you staying in California for college? He goes to Stanford. I love him so much.) 

6) Prom. You remember. 

7) Day 3 of rushing. When I find out that only 3 of 10 houses want me back. EVEN THOUGH THE AVERAGE IS 7! Only getting asked back to 3 houses in the second round is unheard of. I’m mortified.
a) One of those houses, Pi Phi, is like the COOLEST house on campus, so they have obviously just invited me back to be nice. Or as a cruel joke. (Please refer to #3 above.) 

 I don’t even want to go back to rush. If I do, I’ll feel like I’m asking for it. (Not sexually; I know women can’t actually do that.) 

 I want to cry, but stupid Jessica won’t leave the room! 

A dead person, formerly known as Ava Beth Helmer 

P.S. I’m already crying. Just really softly.



Allison Raskin & Gaby Dunn are two best friends who live in Los Angeles. They started the comedy YouTube channel Just Between Us in 2014 and have since then spent far too much time together. Gaby’s journalism has appeared in pretty much every major publication and Allison has written some really funny group texts with her family. They hope to die within one hour of each other so neither has to plan a funeral. I Hate Everyone But You is their debut novel.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I'm on Bookstagram!

I've spent so much time on Instagram, and of course, one of my favorite types of accounts to look at are bookstagram accounts!  I've come across many and realized that they're run by bloggers I've been following for years, and there are many more I've discovered through that platform alone.  I've always thought "why don't I try this?", because I went to school for photography, after all, and I've always loved shooting still life.

In May I took the leap and created a separate account for my books.  Like my blog, it's simply called thehollowcupboards.  I started to love setting the pictures up, editing, and figuring out how to caption them.  Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my recent Life Update post, I had to pack up all of my books, so at the moment, I'm very limited to the pictures I'm able to take.  I'm hoping to get back into it very soon, though!  Here are a few of my favorites so far:

Are you a Bookstagrammer?  Leave your username below so I can follow you!

Life Update #1

I've disappeared for a few months, and here's why:

1) My bedroom ceiling collapsed!  I had to pack up all of my belongings and move them out so my room could be completely redone.  The hardest thing I had to do was pack up my books.  I must have 20+ boxes of them!  It's bittersweet, because although starting over again is good, and this is my first time giving my room a makeover since high school, my walls are no longer turquoise.  This kills me because that color was my favorite thing about my room.  I have since purchased a tapestry that I'm hoping will make me feel more at home until I decide where I'm going next.

2) I quit my job and started a new one!  Let's be real, waking up at 4:30AM sucked, but the people I worked with sucked even more.  Although I loved the pay, the tasks, and the feeling of accomplishment, none of that was worth going home crying every day.  I ended up taking a job with one of my best friends, and it's so much closer to my house, the hours are great, and I have a lot of time and freedom, so I'm able to work on my blog more, catch up on my tv shows, and read more books!

3) We had puppies!  Well, Joel's dog had puppies...but I imagine that it's almost as exhausting as having children, because there are 7 of them and they need us ALL the time.  They're the most adorable little creatures, though, and I've definitely fallen in love.

For more puppy pictures, check out my Instagram!

In other news:
I've decided to dye my hair pink and purple!  While I have played with colorful dye in the past as an angsty emo teenager, I've never had the balls to dye my whole head.  Once my manager gave me the okay to (my last 4 jobs wouldn't allow unnatural colors), I jumped at the opportunity, bought a variety of dyes because I had NO idea how I wanted to do my hair, and went crazy.  I love the way it turned out, but it's fading A LOT each week, so I've already redyed it twice.  I'm planning on posting more about it, because I'm planning to keep these fun colors as long as I can!