Category Archives: About me

My Birthday, Yo.

It’s always been a tradition for me to post about my birthdays on here (first ever example feat. hyper mads), and since I am super lacking in the creativity department, I thought I would tell you, IT’S MY BIRTHDAY WOOT WOOT PARTY.  I am an official adult (is that telling you guys too much? I’ve always been so ‘mysterious’ with my identity). So, yay!

YA Worthy Adventures in Everyday Life

I have always been a big reader. And subsequently, always had an adventurous spirit. Whenever I read a book, I am jealous of the characters. The adventures they have, and the relationships that developed because of it. However, one can only get so far lusting away at fictional character’s expeditions. I’ve had one too many book hangover that resulted in weeks of wanderlust inspired depression. It comes to a point where one must take it into their own hands. And for me, that is today. Hopefully.

That’s where my European backpacking trip comes into play. It’d be a trip of a lifetime. Trying exotic foods, hopping onto last minute train rides across the continent, the all around foreign romance of travel. I’m in the process of trying to make my ideal adventure a reality. More than likely, I’m being entirely foolish, filling the ever cliche role of the teen going on a trip to ‘find myself.’ But it’s something that I feel like I need to do. Must be my destiny calling. Maybe I’ll meet a dragon or unicorn on the way there. What is your adventure, and how will that make it happen?

I think that is one of the key aspects to a happy life. Figure out what your adventure is, and make it a reality. For those of you who are muted, introverted spirits like myself, I highly recommend NerdFitness and LevelUpYourLife. Steve Kamb offers a wonderful resource to get you on your journey towards finding that adventure in your life. I also highly reccomebd the films Maidentrip and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. They should both send you well on your way to figure out what your adventure should be.

I would love to hear about your ideal adventures in the comments. What inspired them, and how will you attain them?

 

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.

 

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

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

Revealed

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After a mysterious cameo from Charles Lindbergh, it’s up to Jonah to save his town in the seventh book of the New York Times bestselling The Missing series, which Kirkus Reviews calls “plenty of fun and great for history teachers as well.

It’s morning as usual at the Skidmore household—until Charles Lindbergh, the famous historical pilot, appears in their living room. Jonah can hardly believe his eyes—and then Lindbergh grabs Katherine and vanishes again. And that’s not all. Chip, Andrea, and all the other children from the plane have disappeared too. And worst of all, Jonah’s parents and all the other adults in his town have de-aged into children.

Jonah is the only one left, and the only one who can save everyone. With the help of de-aged JB and Angela, he has to collect the clues. And they lead directly back to Gary and Hodge, and a terrible plot that could mean the end of everything Jonah has ever loved. Can Jonah put the pieces together before time runs out?

As some of you long time readers may remember, I am a long time fan of Margaret Pererson Haddix, and especially her series The Missing. And Revealed is a great addition to the series! In it, we find out Jonah’s identity, and some other plot twists. Some of which, I had theorized about back when Foundfirst came out, and I was spot on! Pretty proud of myself.