All posts by Mads

I have been blogging on MaddieTV since January 2010, so if you go back far enough, it's pretty embarrassing.

YA Community – How to Get Involved

I have found the YA book community to be a wonderful sanctuary. I have made many friends (authors and bloggers alike) who have stuck with me since the beginning. However, I find that there is a huge lack of interest from the non-blogging YA readers. One does not have to be a blogger/author/etc to reap the benefits of the online society. It’s not a secret club. I’m going to list a few of the techniques I used at the beginning to get involved.

  1. Twitter. I cannot stress enough how interactive the YA community is on Twitter. This is a great way to start communicating with authors. In fact, I got to know two of my favorite authors (Susan Dennard and Leigh Bardugo) when they were first starting out on twitter. And now they are both NYT Bestsellers, and I still have a contact link with them. Pretty cool! Plus, if you do want to start a blog, Twitter will get you readership. Just tag the author you’re writing about, and they may give you a retweet. famous author retweets you – new readers.
  2. Fan mail – Do not be afraid to send your favorite author fan mail. Chances are, you’ll make their day. Fewer people than you’d expect send authors fanmail, so you have a good chance of a response. I cringe to look bad at some of the fangirly emails I wrote in my early days, but I did get to have conversations with some pretty cool people.
  3. Book conventions – This one is a little harder for some people to attain, but definitely worth it. Book conventions are where a bunch of amazing authors are all in one place for the day, and you typically get to interact with them on a really personal level. Typically book conventions are sponsored by a book store or library. My favorite conventions are TeenBookCon and TweenBookCon both sponsored by the amazing Blue Willow Bookstore in Houston, TX. Just last year I got to spend an entire day with Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) at TweenBookCon (Best day EVER).
  4. Independent Book Stores. Now, I could gush about independent bookstores (Again, Blue Willow Books is the BEST) all day but that can be an entirely different post. Just, go to your indie bookstores. It actually helps out the authors a lot more (as those are the sales that contribute to their NYT Bestselling ranks) and small businesses. Plus, they bring in authors a lot of signings, and are just generally cool people.

Overall, the YA Community is amazing, and easy to get involved in. I recommend checking it out, even if only a little, if you have any interest in reading. Which, if you’re reading this blog, you probably are. Feel free to contact me with any and all questions – I’d love be your first friend in the YA sphere.

 

Manners and Mutiny

18725742If one must flirt…flirt with danger.

Lessons in the art of espionage aboard Mademoiselle Geraldine’s floating dirigible have become tedious without Sophronia’s sweet sootie Soap nearby. She would much rather be using her skills to thwart the dastardly Picklemen, yet her concerns about their wicked intentions are ignored, and now she’s not sure whom to trust. What does the brusque werewolf dewan know? On whose side is the ever-stylish vampire Lord Akeldama? Only one thing is certain: a large-scale plot is under way, and when it comes to fruition, Sophronia must be ready to save her friends, her school, and all of London from disaster—in decidedly dramatic fashion, of course.

 

This series. This series. It started strong, and ended strong. And wasn’t a trilogy! (And incredible feat in our current YA society). A mix of Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass and Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly, this series had a little bit of something for everyone. Filled with humor and wit, the young girls of Geraldine’s school were constantly challenged to dangerous adventures, and inspired all readers. It reminded me of a steampunk Gallagher Girls (Ally Carter).

Along with being an enchanting read, this series managed to tackle many social issues of the Victorian era in it’s books. Racial divides between the social statuses(including skin color, but also including supernatural race, giving it a steampunk (but still valid) twist), aristocratic life (think of steampunk Downton Abbey almost), and sexism (interesting how these girls’ main weapon is their sexual appeal. interesting commentary on such a conservative era).

Overall, I highly recommend this series to all YA readers. I could go on for quite a while about the many amazing aspects to the series, but that would be a bit tedious and repetitive. The rating should be enough to explain itself.

I give Manners and Mutiny 4.5 Stars out of 5.

Maddie

The New MADDIETV

Hiya, Everyone!

So, as you all know, the blog has been rather inactive lately. I’ve decided that I need to change it up a bit. I’ll keep doing reviews, but I don’t think it’s the thing for me. Just like ‘movie news’ was kind of a fail, this is too. Anyways, I’m open to suggestions, etc.

I’m thinking of converting this into a hobby or life style type blog. Trying a new skill every month, and documenting how it goes. Or, just a sort of life journey type thing. I’m not sure.

Please leave your suggestions in the comments or send me an email!

Maddie

!!Book Sale!!!

Hiya, Guys!

So, I’m in the middle of a rather big move, and have decided to do a book clear out. I have a ton of books, and a lot of duplicates, so I’ve decided to clear them out! I am listing some that are signed (personalized to me, or just a plain signature), paper backs, and hardbacks. I also am listing some sets. There are some books that I’ll sell in a bundle with an ARC, or individual. I’m more than willing to negotiate prices. This is on a first pay first serve basis. I will not hold books with out payment, unless explicitly requested.

 

SIGNED:

Innocent Darkness (Lazear, paperback, personalized to me, comes with ARC OF Fragile Destiny): $7

Fall from Grace (Benoit, hardcover, personalized to me): $7

Everyday (Levithan, paperback, personalized to me): $20

Unearthly (Australia Edition, Hand, paperback, personalized to me): $10

Frey (Wright, paperback, signed): $5

Through the Ever Night (Rossi, hardcover, signed): $10

The Dark Days of Hamburger Haplin (Berk, hardcover, signed): $10

UNSIGNED Paperbacks ($5):




Beautiful Creatures (Garcia/Stohl)

Carrier of the Mark (Fallon)

Buffy: Watcher’s Guide

My Soul to Keep (Vincent)

Flipped (Van Drannen)

UNSIGNED Hardcover ($9):

Maximum Ride (Patterson)

Crewel (Albin)

Paper Valentine (Yovanoff)

Catching Fire (Collins)

Hoot (Hiaasen)

If a Pirate I Must Be (Sanders)

SETS (books can be purchased individually as well):

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Hodkin, paperback, personalized to me): $7
The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Hodkin, hardcover, personalized to me ): $10
Or bundle (which includes unsigned Evolution of Mara Dyer ARC): $15

The Reckoning (Armstrong, paperback, unsigned): $5
The Awakening (Armstrong, paperback, unsigned): $5
Or SET (comings with ARC of The Rising): $8

Found (Haddix, paperback, unsigned): $5
Sent (Haddix, paperback, unsigned): $5
Among the Brave (Haddix, paperback, unsigned): $5
Caught (Haddix, hardback, unsigned): $10
Among the Free (Haddix, hardback, unsigned): $10
Or SET: $18

RARE/COLLECTIBLE BOOKS:

Looking for Alaska: 10th anniversary copy (Green, hard copy, signed): $35

Paper Towns: First Edition (Green, hardcover, unsigned): $25

There you have it! Feel free to email me questions. As these books are sold, I will be listing more. I did research as to fairly list all of these books, however, I will negotiate if you purchase more than a few. This money will be going towards my schooling… Shipping will be its own fee.

Thanks, as always!

Maddie

Love and Other Alien Experiences

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In this heartwarming debut by HelloGiggles blogger Kerry Winfrey, a young agoraphobe begins a journey of first love that leads her to the true meaning of home—just by taking one small step outside of her house.

My name is Mallory Sullivan.

My therapist says I have an anxiety disorder.

My brother says I’m an “optimistic recluse.”

Everybody else says I’m a freak.

And they kind of have a point, because I haven’t left the house in 67 days and only attend class via the webcam on my laptop. The person I talk to the most other than my mom and brother is the completely obnoxious BeamMeUp, and all we do is argue on New Mexico’s premiere alien message board.

But after yesterday, I have something: a chance. If I can win the homecoming crown by convincing resident hot popular guy and Friday Night Lights spawn Brad Kirkpatrick to go as my date, then maybe #stayathome will never appear next to the name @Mallory_Sullivan ever again.

First, I have to leave my room.

This may be my favorite PLL book thus far! Granted, I say that every time I get to review one of their books, but this one was really special to me. As someone who has mild social anxiety (and anxiety attacks at times), this book covered this issue well. It really depicted the troubles and misrepresentations accuratley. Anxiety is typically disregarded, or exaggerated by the peers and family members of people suffering from it, and this book depicted that well. People don’t understand anxiety, and don’t care enough to take the time to learn about it, which can result with that person being outcast, our what happened in this novel. Books like this are so important. They can help others learn about anxiety, how to helps others with it, or even just to make people suffering from it feel less alone.

This book was also very well written. I related with Mallory on many levels, and sympathized with all of the characters (which is nice – many times supporting characters get overlooked). There was humor throughout which made this book very light and airy, despite the fact it was covering some serious issues. It kept me engaged, and interested. There were geeky references throughout, and JustJenni’s beauty advice was a great addition.

 

Overall, one of my favorite releases of the year!

 

4.5 out of 5 stars!

 

Maddie

Rules of Seduction

imageThe first rule of seduction is: don’t fall in love.

Fresh out of college, Dani Young heads for the LA sun to chase her dream of becoming a screenwriter-director. So when her former BFF turned actress Elise offers Dani the opportunity to work on the hit teen show Vamp Camp, Dani can’t refuse, even if it comes at a price: Elise wants Dani to seduce her boyfriend, Vamp Camp superstar Tate Lawrence. Turns out Elise has some major trust issues, and needs Dani to test Tate’s faith. The only rule: don’t fall in love with him.

Sure, Dani doesn’t mind occasionally glimpsing Tate’s megawatt smile…or accidentally-on-purpose brushing up against his perfect torso…but she’s no fool. There’s no way she’d ever fall for a shallow celebrity and no way one would fall for her, a lanky movie nerd.

But amidst vampire-crazed fans, a conniving fellow intern, and a devilishly handsome showrunner, Dani feels like all the rules she used to know have disappeared, except for one: Love doesn’t play by the rules.

Part The Devil Wears Prada, part How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days, this story of friendship and romance is sure to appeal to fans of Stephanie Perkins, Jennifer E. Smith, and Anna Todd.

A great novel! Another wonderful book from PLL. I’m always impressed with what their new authors produce. Anyways. This book was interesting in the fact that the heroine was more on the “new adult” side of the age spectrum. She was fresh out of college, and starting her own life. Yet, the book still managed to stay very teen friendly. It was a fast paced read, and kept me interested. It could be considered both YA as well as NA in my opinion. It was well written, but still had a debut feel to it, which I quite enjoyed. I love reading novels from newer authors, since you can feel the passion in their writing. And, RULES OF SEDUCTION had that aspect for me. My only real criticism, is I would have liked to have seen the first few chapters drawn out a bit more. Everything happened so quickly, that I really didn’t feel any of the mishaps were very serious. It just felt… Too easy, I guess… But, the rest of the book was great! I enjoyed it immensely, and highly recommend checking it out.

Maddie

Love Letter to IRL Talk

If you know me ‘IRL’ (crap, the puns are already starting and this only the first sentence…), then you have probably heard me talking about ‘this one podcast I really like about tech stuff.’ And you’ve probably heard the story about how it was once called Geek Friday, that show ended, and it became IRL Talk. Anyways, if you know me ‘IRL’ you’ve heard the whole spew.

I started listening to Geek Friday back in 2012. Back when I was having a really difficult time embracing my awkward, geeky personality. I started to listen to this podcast. This podcast whose hosts were undeniably awesome, and were the exact kind of people I wish I knew ‘IRL’ (I’m trying to stop using that as a pun but I just can’t control myself. Sorrynotsorry.).

Anyways, over the years, getting the new episode every Friday became a huge highlight for me! Definitely the best day of my week. Listening to Jason and Faith’s shenanigans never failed to make me laugh. I learned about technology, and culture, all the while slowly learning to embrace my geekiness. In fact, these two inspired me to start pursuing my interests in programming and writing. Faith is just the sweetest sass master I’ve ever heard, and Jason has taught me ways to be awkward that I use everyday. They’ve really influenced me a lot more than either of them, or I, will probably ever realize.

Because of them, I know that I want a firetruck as an everyday vehicle. Because of them, I want a robot butler (who I will not abuse because that’s just mean). Because of them I realize that both a submarine or helicopter would both be pretty freaking cool things to have.

Sadly, every good thing comes to an end. And now that IRL Talk’s finale is impending, I just wanted to say thanks. Faith and Jason, thank you for putting all the work into these podcast for all these years. Thanks for making all of our weekends so great. You rock.

That’s all I’ve got.

Maddie

Let’s Get Lost

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Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There’s HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila’s own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way.

I was VERY pleasantly surprised by this book. I was sent it to review, and was intrigued by the summary. Sounds kind of like a John Green book, right? It was so much more than just that! It had intriguing, and different characters, and each of their stories kept you guessing until the end. The writing was strong, and creative, and kept me reading until the very end. It was a very inspiring contemporary novel, that I would recommend to all ages.

Seize the Tuesday!
Maddie

A Spark Unseen

spark unseen

The thrilling sequel to Sharon Cameron’s blockbuster gothic steampunk romance, THE DARK UNWINDING, will captivate readers anew with mystery and intrigue aplenty.

When Katharine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain undetected and also find the mysterious and handsome Lane, who is suspected to be dead.

But the search for Lane is not easy, and Katharine soon finds herself embroiled in a labyrinth of political intrigue. And with unexpected enemies and allies at every turn, Katharine will have to figure out whom she can trust–if anyone–to protect her uncle from danger once and for all.

Filled with deadly twists, whispering romance, and heart-stopping suspense, this sequel to THE DARK UNWINDING whisks readers off on another thrilling adventure.

As it usually goes, A Spark Unseen was a wonderful novel,  but it didn’t quite capture me in the same way its predecessor did. The Dark Unwinding started out slow, as I mentioned in my review, but it did eventually pick up quite pleasantly. A Spark Unseen started out slow… And stayed slow. The whole book just felt, slow. The writing style was much more developed, which was great! It kept it’s beautiful flare, and kept me intrigued enough to finish the book, but overall, A Spark Unseen didn’t seem to have as much as a plot as I would have like.

That said, I did thoroughly enjoy it! It was a great addition to The Dark Unwinding, and though unlikely, I hope to see more stories with Lane and Katherine in the future.

I give A Spark Unseen 4 out of 5 stars.

 

Maddie

The Dark Unwinding

dark unwinding

When Katharine Tulman’s inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity.

As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle’s world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it.

As you all should know by now, I am a big steampunk fan. But after awhile, all steampunk books kind of seem… the same. That’s why I was so thrilled when I stumbled across The Dark Unwinding. Similar to The Diamond Thief, this series does not have too much steampunk in it, just a flare. Which was PERFECT. The story line itself was interesting, and the writing style was very hauntingly beautiful, that it just… felt steampunk without have gears all over the place.

Although it started out a bit slow, once it really got moving, it was great. It had a fast pace, and it kept me guessing. Some plot twists were a bit predictable, but then there were a few I really didn’t see coming. Having the contrast between the two really added to the story, and made it all the more puzzling – in a good way.

If any of you have played the Professor Layton games – which if you haven’t, I highly recommend them – this was ‘steampunk’ in the same way those games are. So if you’re a fan of those games, definitely check this book out!

I give The Dark Unwinding 5 out of 5 Stars

 

Maddie