The Education of Margot Sanchez | The Reviewing of Becca Stevenson 😉

Title: The Education of Margot Sanchez

Author: Lilliam Rivera

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, #OwnVoices

Published: February 21, 2017 by Simon & Schuster (who provided this delighted blogger with a review copy! Yay! This does not affect the honesty of my review.)

Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.

THINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:

Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot
Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts.

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.

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BOOKISH MYTHBUSTERS: Bookworm Stereotypes

“Normal” people have sure got some funky ideas about bookworms.

But don’t fret, friends! That’s what Bookish MythBusters is for. This bi-monthly feature created by the lovely, vivacious ME will clear up those odd bookish legends.

Today’s mission? The Bookworm Stereotypes!

Myth #1: Bookworm’s Don’t Talk to People

HAHAHAHA. Well, not if we can help it, no.

But really, bookworms don’t just read all the books. We chat about the books, gossip about the books, cackle about the books, sob about the books, scream about the books, WE TALK ABOUT THE BOOKS. WITH PEOPLE.

I mean, what do you think the 56, 681, 115,137 book bloggers (this number is accurate there was a study and everything google it) do with their blog?? Eat it?

So yes, bookworms are all:

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But we’re also all about the:

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img_0787Myth #2: Bookworm’s Utter with the Supremest Terminology

Okay but how did this myth even come to exist? Let’s take a look at some of the eloquent utterances of a couple of readers after finishing their latest reads:

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EXHIBIT A
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EXHIBIT B
Oh yes, we bookworms are very expressive.

img_0795Myth #3: BOOKWORMS HAVE BOOKS ONLY BOOKS THERE IS NO LIFE ONLY BOOKS

What?! That’s not true! We totally eat and occasionally sleep too! Sometimes we even brush our teeth.

Time to face reality, bud. Reader’s can possess a whole array of interests! And if it’s evidence you desire, search no further:

We  ❤ our books, but we  ❤ our numerous other passions too.

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Myth #4: Bookworms are Super Duper Smart!

Yes! We are! That’s what happens when  you read! Thanks for noticing! No MythBusting needed here, coconut!

What Bookish MythBusting posts do you request? Any bookworm stereotypes you hate? Any you LOVE? What assumptions have people made about your bookish life?

Make it or Break it: Books as Broadway Plays

All of the bestest Broadway plays have been inspired by books. Les Miserables, Wicked, HAMILTON.

This is my opinion, and therefore a fact.

But not all books are meant to take the stage, with a chorus shuffling their pages, a dance to glorify their action. So: Broadway and books. Which would work, and which wouldn’t?

  

Soooooo. Huh.

First of all, the songs would be half-metal half-Irish folk song, resulting in a very scrumptious soundtrack. Plus, all the fight scenes could be dance duels which would be both wildly entertaining and also altogether mortifying to Broadway as a whole.

Imaginative, yes. A good idea—in part, yes. But I can’t see the plot working with a stage.

WE’RE BREAKING IT, CHUMS.

  
I think Broadway could actually make this book and its ridiculous title work! 

Think about—cute, contemporary music, a little tap choreography, and you’ve got a play that some people will go to maybe because who even pays that much to see performances anymore albeit me.

MAKE IT. Why not.

  
YES. OH, YES, OH YES.

Middle Eastern music, Silky, intimate choreography—I’m thinking the Arabian dance in the Nutcrakcer-esque.

AND THE COSTUMES. I NEED TO PLAN THE COSTUMES. The set will be gorgeous, the music will be better, and I’ll be directing choreography, thankyouverymuch.

MAKE IT TO THE MOON AND BACK. BRB going to go make a Broadway play now.

  
Meh. I don’t see it.

As a book, it works out great. It’s cute, it’s heartfelt. But on stage, everything is big. It needs to be larger than life, and yet able to see the smallest of details. This book just can’t handle that.

Sorry, break it.

So what are your Broadway favorites? Do you agree with my choices? Are there award-winning productions you have in mind? CAN YOU HIRE ME FOR THE CHOREOGRAPHY PLS??

NaNoWriMo 2015 | Prep, Managing Time, and More!

I’m going to be participating in NaNoWriMo 2015.

Surprise!

This is actually going to be my first NaNoWriMo, so I’m probably not the best person to asking for tips. However, I thought I would share some of my plans to handle time, how I’m prepping, etc.

(In case you’re wondering, here’s my NaNoWriMo profile: BeccaandBooks)

Preparing for Your Novel

  1. Create your story. Obviously you can’t start writing yet, but planning can start months before. You can start with a little synopsis and work your way into an outline, or whatever you need to map out your story.
  2. Know your characters! I like to make a list of all my characters’ attributes, personalities, etc. It really helps to have a full grasp of all the dimensions a character might have.
  3. Research. Tedious, I know. But it seems that no matter what you’re writing about, you’re going to need to do at least a little bit of research. You can start by knowing what information in your story you need to know more about and just googling articles on it, it can be as simple as that. Though if you’re rich and writing about ten countries around the world, you might as well buy a few plane tickets!

Stocking up

  1. Coffee. And lots of it. Fewer hours of sleep seems to be the side effect of writing 50,000 words in a month.
  2. Outline/Story Map/Synopsis. As I said above, you really want to have a plan for what you want to write. There’s absolutely no time for writer’s bock, and it’s okay if you veer off your original plan, but you absolutely need a backup.
  3. What inspires you? Whatever it is, get plenty of it! If it’s a scent of a certain candle or the album of your favorite band, make sure it’s ready when you need to write.

Managing Time

This is probably the toughest part of NaNoWriMo. We all know that their are certain things we can’t get out of. School, work, we need to be there. Though there are probably things you don’t need to do as much. You can give up most of the time you spend on social media. You’ll have to give up on quite a bit of reading for a month :(. Plans with friends should be kept to a minimum, especially because weekends are the best time to write like crazy.

Sneak a few words in whenever you can! Use your lunch break and any other time you usually just use to think your thoughts or flip through an old catalog. Don’t waste any time!

What to do in October

  1. Finish a series you’ve been meaning to get to. You won’t have time in November!
  2. Write some blog posts. Clearly I’m lacking in this category, but I’m working on it! Expect a few more posts as this month comes to an end and some NaNoWriMo updates in November.
  3. Relax! You really need to, because there won’t be any time in November. Make plans with a friend you’ve been meaning to see, or finish binge-watching on Netflix.

I hope that was helpful! Let me know if you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year in the comments!

Becca

Magnificent May Wrap-Up!

Still on vacation, but I couldn’t stay away!

I read quite a few books this month, so without further ado, here they are!

5 Stars

 
Review here!

 
  

Review here! 

 
Review here! 

 
Review here! 

  
4 Stars

 
  

  

  

  

(Review coming soon)

3 Stars

  

(Fun fact: I’ll be going to a cafe where Ernest Hemingway used to sit and write!)

 

2.5 Stars

  

(Review coming soon)

Total books read: 13

Total pages read: 4,111

Not my absolute best reading month ever, but certainly up there! Stay tuned for bookish photography, lots of book reviews, and a HUGE BOOK HAUL!

 

Coffee Book Tag!

1. Black: Name a series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans.

 

 I stumbled through this book because of all the fans, but just like black coffee, I really never got into.

2. Peppermint mocha: Name a book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year.

  

I’m choosing the popular choice for this one. For some reason, the Harry Potter books have a very festive feel.

3. Hot chocolate: What is your favourite children’s book?

  

This has been one of my favorites for so long! So sad, yet so good!

4. Double shot of espresso: Name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

  

This trilogy is full of so much action, and I love that so much! The dual POV always ends in cliffhangers, making you want to read each chapter! Plus Day and June…❤️

5. Starbucks: Name a book you see everywhere.

 


Oh, Starbucks, how I love thee. ❤️

Red Queen has been receiving a bunch of hype right now, and personally, I think this book deserves it.

6. That hipster coffee shop: Give a book by an indie author a shoutout

 


😊👌 Great book. Set in India. You should read it!

7. Oops! I accidentally got decaf: Name a book you were expecting more from.

 

 

*ducks rocks thrown at me*

Sorry, sorry, sorry! I loved The Fault in Our Stars, but Paper Towns didn’t do much for me. 😪

8. The perfect blend: Name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet but ultimately satisfying.

 

 

I don’t know how satisfying this was, but it was definetly bittersweet.

OH THE FEELS.

I tag anyone who wants to do this tag! 

Ambitious April TBR!

I’ve been sick, but since I love you all soooo much, I’m writing despite my misery.

Okay, slight dramatization there, but still.

New Releases

  

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

This book is going to be released on April 21, and I cannot contain my excitement! 

This novel is the sequel to Prisoner of Night and Fog, which is a historical fiction novel revolving around Gretchen, who calls Adolf Hitler “Uncle Dolf.” She meets a Jewish reporter who starts to reveal some truths she didn’t see.

This novel was also one of my most anticipated releases, and also feels like a belated birthday present to me , since my birthday is only two days before.

 
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir 

I don’t know much about this book, but I’ve been hearing so much hype, plus Sabaa Tahir is going to have a book signing near where I live! 

Review Copies

 
Silent Echo by Elisa Freilich

Diversion books (the publication company) was kind enough to send me an eBook of this book. YAY!

Silent Echo is about a mute girl who can suddenly use her voice. I know it also incorporates Greek mythology, which I LOVE.

Library Books

   

The Elite by Kiera Cass

 

The One by Kiera Cass

As many of you probably know, The Heir is going to be released in May, so I want to read the rest of the series. Plus, Kiera Cass will have a book signing near where I live!

 

 

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

I started this book, but then I got sick and my brain requested to just be a vegetable, so I’ll finish it in April.

So, it’s about vampires. And I really, really don’t like that. I just plain don’t like stories about vampires. However, I’ve heard so much hype, so I decided to pick  it up. So far, I really enjoy her writing style, but I still hate the vampires part. They’re creepy, okay?

That’s it for my April TBR! Not too many books, but with my immune system, who knows when I’ll get better. 

With my birthday and this awesome selection of books, I know it’ll be a great month!

Comment below your thoughts, if you’ve read these, if you want to, or if you just want to say hi!

Becca💕 

Top Ten Prettiest Book Covers

Welcome to the post where we judge books by their covers. 


The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski 

Pretty dress. ‘Nuff said.

These Broken Stars by Amid Kaufman and Meghan Spooner

The colors, and the dress, and the stars…IT’S SO PRETTY. 

The Shatter Me Trilogy by Tahereh Mafi

All of the covers in this trilogy are perfect. The eyes, and just, everything. Perfect.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Welcome to the most tumblr book cover ever. I LOVE IT.


Mosquito land by David Arnold

I LOVE THIS. I really love the fun colors and quirky artwork. ❤️


A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

“I don’t care what this book is about, I need to own it. Now.” Said every book lover ever.


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Pastel colors. Adorable room. Tumblr scheme. I NEED IT.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

THIS COVER. Not only is it gorgeous, it gives you a pretty good idea of what the book is about.


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

The old covers were horrendous, but now the covers are BEAUTIFUL. Because Paris. It’s Paris.

And yes, I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t read this book yet.


All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

The happy title and adorable colors almost convince you that this might be an uplifting book. Almost.

There ya go! Did I miss any? Tell me down below! Also let me know if you’ve read any of these books so we can fangirl!!!

Mwah!😘

Read-O-Rama Readathon TBR

Read-O-Rama is a Readathon created by a few booktubers. I thought it looked swankified (Wicked reference in case you musical newbies didn’t know) and fun, so I decided I would join in!

It takes place from midnight, March 8 to 11:59, March 15. Ergo, it starts tomorrow!

There are 7 challenges that you try to complete, and the goal is to read 7 books. I’m not sure if it’ll happen, since I do have school, buuut I’ll do my best!

Read a book from your TBR Jar, or a book someone else picked out for you.

Since I don’t have a TBR jar, I asked my sister to pick out a book for me. I have no idea what The Alchemist is about, but I know it’ll be a quick read, since it’s less than 200 pages.

Read a book with green on the cover



Okay, there are greenish lights reflecting off the water. It counts. Right?

Read a book with the letters RAMA in the title/author name

As you can see, there are 2 As, 1 R, and 1 M. So excited to read this! I’ve been in a real fantasy kick lately.

Read a diverse book

I don’t have one picked out yet, I think I’ll go to the library and pick one out. After all, it’s free!

Read a book with flowers on it

Well, there’s one flower. It counts. I think.

Read a Contemporary 

Both We Were Liars and All The Bright Places are contemporaries, so I think I’ve got this challenge covered.

Finish a series


I’m so excited to read this! The Grisha Trilogy is so GOOOOOD!

I’m also going to try to get to another book so that I’ll have read 7 books, though I’m not sure what I’m going to get yet. I’m also not sure if I’ll read all these books, I might read other books to complete the challenges instead of the books I have listed here. We’ll find out in a week!

Comment below if you’re going to take part of this Readathon, I’d love to know if other bloggers are going to take part!

Happy Reading!❤️

The Winner’s Crime | Review + Discussion

Title: The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2)

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 STARS!!!

Warning! Contains Spoilers for The Winner’s Curse. See that review here.

Synopsis:

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them. 

Spoiler Free Review:

I didn’t think it could get any better than the first book.

I am SO HAPPY that I was wrong!

The writing was so beautiful, I felt myself feeling all of the emotions expressed, and having a crystal clear picture in my mind. 

And the story is just perfect. I was even more attached to the characters than I was in the first book, so it was an insanely emotional read. And when I say emotional, I mean:



Marie Rutkoski is extremely talented in characterization. All of the characters are complex, making you love them or hate them with every fiber of your being.

If you like fantasy, purely beautiful writing, and a heart wrenching story, please, PLEASE pick up this book!

Spoiler Full Discussion:

DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK. SERIOUSLY.

Wow. Just wow.



So, let’s start with the emporer. That guy makes me SO FREAKING MAD. He’s so despicable and creepy. Then he makes her watch the Herrani’s torture, and oh my goodness, I was about ready to throw up myself.

And then we see Arin, and–excuse me, I need to go sob now.

When I thought Arin wasn’t going to come to the palace, UGH I WAS DEVASTAED. 

But, HE MADE IT!!!! That scene me so happy and so sad. So very sad. The emotions!!!!!!


The scene with the emporer digging his thumb into Kestel’s arm freaked me out  SO MUCH. I was just sitting there cringing.


I like Prince Verex, he’s nice. I think he’ll be a really good friend for Kestrel.

THE MISUNDERSTANDINGS BETWEEN KESTREL AND ARIN. THE FRUSTRATION.

But the ending. What was that. What. What.