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Thursday, July 2, 2015

The TBR Change-Up + Win a Kindle!!

I've been wanting to change things up, so rather than a traditional monthly TBR from here on out, I'm going to be giving a more limited TBR a chance, and I'm calling it TNFB: The Next Five Books in my stack!
Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments, and which style tbr you prefer! =)



THE GIVEAWAY INFO:
• Sponsored by The Sword and Its Servant, a young adult dark fantasy novel; more on the book here:  http://www.grauwelt.com/sword-servant-grauwelt-part-one/  
•  Grand prize winner: Kindle Fire 7” HD and a Kindle copy of The Sword and Its Servant. Five first prize winners: autographed hard copy of The Sword and Its Servant.
•  Open July 1st – July 31st, 2015 to residents of the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Ireland.
• TO ENTER, go to http://www.grauwelt.com/misty/  and enter a valid email address. That's it!
•  No purchase necessary to enter. Winners will be drawn August 1st and announced via email on August 5th by Grauwelt.com

THE BOOKS:
Rebel Mechanics: http://amzn.to/1E83DEG
The Curious Word of Calpurnia Tate: http://amzn.to/1DXxv7B
Silver in the Blood: http://amzn.to/1E83IrQ
Mistaking Her Character: http://amzn.to/1Iy4jFS
Suddenly Mrs Darcy: http://amzn.to/1fzGjew

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Reluctant Romance... Guest post from Danielle L. Jenson, author of the Malediction series!

I've mentioned on this blog (and in various vlogs) numerous time how much I loved Danielle L. Jensen's debut, Stolen Songbird. I even listed its sequel, Hidden Huntress among my top 5 anticipated books of 2015, and in all of the amazing books set to come out this year, that's really saying something. So of course, I was eager to invite Danielle back to the blog, to talk a bit about the series, now that the second book has made its way into the world.
I gave Danielle a few topics that I personally find most interesting about the books, and she picked her favorite and is here to talk with us about it! Check it out below, let us know your thoughts in the comments, and if you haven't already, make sure to check out this awesome series!




A big thanks to Misty for hosting me on her blog and for offering up the awesome topic: “something about the difficulties of building a convincing romance when the characters are being forced into it, essentially. I'd imagine it'd be tricky to avoid it being too Stockholm Syndrome, or just generally kinda iffy and agency-lacking.”


In my mind, the big reason why their relationship doesn’t fall into the Stockholm Syndrome category is that Tristan isn’t Cécile’s captor – his father is. The King takes away Cécile’s agency by forcing her to be bonded to Tristan, but he also takes away Tristan’s agency.


“You are the last person in the world I’d choose to marry,” I hissed.
“I don’t entirely relish the idea myself,” Tristan said, “but sometimes we must do the unthinkable.”
“Why must I?”
Tristan tipped his head slightly, expression considering. “Because you have no choice,” he finally said. “Just as I have no choice…” ~ Stolen Songbird


They are both subjugated to the will of the King, and as much Cécile dislikes Tristan in the beginning, she is not unaware that fact. They both perceive the King as an enemy, and their true relationship begins not in their forced union, but in their alliance against a mutual antagonist. It is in that alliance where their agency is recovered, because it is very much their own creation.


Making their relationship realistic required giving it time to develop – a slow burn romance. They begin as allies, become friends, and then fall in love because of the aspects of each other’s character that they’ve come to know and admire. But even given all that, the fact remains that Cécile is a prisoner, which calls into question whether she’d have fallen in love with Tristan if leaving Trollus had been an option.


“She’s your prisoner.”
Tristan showed no visible reaction, but I felt Chris’ words strike him to the core.
I turned, pressing my back against Tristan and pulling his arm around me. “That isn’t true Chris. I told you – I’m here because I want to be.”
“That true, my lord? Does she have the choice to leave if she wanted to? Has she ever had the choice?”
Tristan was silent. I could hear his heart beating furiously where my head rested against his chest.
“Just as I thought.” Chris’ face was dark with anger. “You stole her from her kin and now she’s your prisoner. She might say she loves you, but I don’t believe it for a minute. You’ve either put some magic on her mind or she’s just saying it because it’s what you want to hear!”~ Stolen Songbird


Cécile knows her own mind – she knows that her love for Tristan is true, not some twisted byproduct of her captivity. And she knows that she wants to stay in Trollus, not just to be with him, but to see the revolution through. However, Tristan – and potentially the reader – has no such certainty:


“Because I can’t live this way, Cécile. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I live every moment on edge, thinking that I’ll turn around and you’ll be gone. I never know whether you’re telling me what you feel or what you think I want to hear. I need to know that you’re here by choice, not because you were never given one.” ~ Stolen Songbird


The beach scene is the moment where Cécile is given control over her destiny and, ultimately, where I intended for the reader to see that she isn’t living a life that she was forced into, but one that she chose herself.


Interestingly (at least to me), Cécile addresses much of this in a scene in Hidden Huntress where she is asked whether she regrets that decision, and she gives sort of a summary of their relationship.


Hed been snide, nasty, and wicked, and Id loathed him. Except even then Id sensed something wasnt right, that there was a mismatch between what I was seeing and hearing and what I felt. It was this mismatch that made him captivating, and even as I was grasping for ways to escape, the need to know more about him had lurked in my heart.
That need had only been compounded when wed been bonded; the veneer of his exterior cracked to reveal a young man so different from the one he pretended to be. A Tristan whom I was uniquely privileged to know. He became a puzzle I needed to solve the key, Id thought, to my freedom.
Except solving him hadnt relinquished his hold on me. I remembered the moment in the empty palace stables where the truth had come out, when Id finally seen the emotions filling my head written across his face, and the veneer had fallen away entirely. It was then I stopped seeing the troll and began to see him. He became my friend, my ally and the leader of something I could believe in.
Id admired him, and yes, lusted after him, but then Id fallen. Fallen for a man who felt too much and took on too much, who believed if only he worked tirelessly and ceaselessly enough, that he could improve the lives of an entire race of people. And Id had that depth of passion turned on me seen it in his eyes, felt it in my heart. He loved me, and I loved him. And Id love him as long as I lived, and if my soul endured, Id love him for eternity. ~ Hidden Huntress

~ Danielle




ABOUT THE BOOKS:

Stolen Songbird 
Get It | Add It
Fantasy, 469 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Strange Chemistry
For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.


Hidden Huntress
Get It | Add It
Fantasy, 464 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Angry Robot
Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…



Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.

Monday, June 29, 2015

GAY IN YA + Bookish Rainbow

I wanted to do something to commemorate the Supreme Court's ruling for marriage equality, so I thought I'd do a bookish rainbow made out of LGBTQ+ recommendations!
There are TONS more books out there folks, and more on my own shelves that I'd recommend that just didn't fit the rainbow, but I'd highly recommend picking some up! We need diversity of all kinds in our books, no matter what our own race, orientation, ethnicity, gender or any other signifier may be. Books are a great leveler of playing fields, and a great tool for teaching compassion & acceptance, so buy them! Promote them! We create the market, folks! =)

For more recommendations, check out this post, where I asked for favorites on FB -- and be sure to add yours!



THE BOOKS:
Alice + Freda Forever
Eon
One Man Guy
Every Day
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Lizard Radio
Shine
The Realm of Possibility
Openly Straight
Beauty Queens
Anything Could Happen
The Color Purple
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Tomboy
Ask the Passengers
The Bermudez Triangle

IF YOU ARE AN LGBT TEEN who needs somewhere to turn, or someone to talk to:
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
http://www.glbthotline.org/talkline.html

Friday, June 26, 2015

June Mail Bag! | Book Haul & other stuffs

June's not quite over, but I always seem to do these things a touch early. Just can't contain myself, I guess... ;)
Here's a look at the books -- and some other things -- that came my way this month.
Thanks for watching!



THE STUFF:
Naturebox: https://naturebox.com/
Schwarzkopf ULTIME Hair Care box, via Influenster
Six of Crows (+ swag) | Leigh Bardugo
First & Then | Emma Mills
Mistaking Her Character | Maria Grace
Suddenly Mrs Darcy | Jenetta James
The Inheritance, and Other Stories | Robin Hobb "&" Megan Lindholm
Daughter of Deep Silence | Carrie Ryan
Rebel Belle | Rachel Hawkins
Miss Mayhem | Rachel Hawkins
An Ember in the Ashes | Sabaa Tahi


Disclosure: Some products shown in this video, including the Influenster vox box, were sent to me for review purposes. Nothing in this video is a paid advertisement,  and all opinions are honest and my own. =)

And further note on the hair care products, I'm really not sure how much longer I'll continue using them. I may use them occasionally and sparingly, but though I did think it seemed nice at first, I noticed a sort of...weird texture to my hair after using it for a few days. It didn't feel dried out, necessarily, but just...off, I guess. Almost plasticky, like it the shampoo &/or conditioner was leaving a film of some kind, or just generally affecting it. I dunno, guess we'll see, but, if after a few more uses I still am finding it sketchy, I may end up passing it on to someone in my family, or something.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

5 Questions for... The Last Man Team! | Blog Tour


I've been talking about the recently translated French series, Last Man, for some time now, and teasing that I'd be hosting a Q&A with one of the authors (as well as including it in my Graphic Novel Week, which will be coming soon!).
Well, the tease is over, because one of the creators of the series is dropping in today to talk to us about how Last Man came to be, and the fascinating process of not only working as part of a storytelling team, but then taking that story from one language into another!
Balak
Check it out below, and then make sure to see what the Last Man team has to say about their intriguing world in the rest of the blog tour stops!

What inspired the story and the world of the Last Man series?

Balak: Bastien is known in France for his graphic novels, (I wouldn't say they’re artsy fartsy but I'll say it anyway: they’re ARTSY FARTSY – but good ones), but he always want to try different things. After reading Bakuman,  he wanted to make a big, epic manga-ish adventure. The challenge of drawing twenty pages a week, developing characters and drama over hundreds of pages, it's appealing. So he asked me to jump onboard, since he knew I was some kind of an otaku who loves manga storytelling. And Mic was the perfect choice to make the team complete, since he shares the same sensibilities and a similar drawing style with Bastien.  We dug into what excited us as teenagers, the kind of stories that made us fall in love with comics, movies, etc. We decided to go with a tournament story, quite conventional, and to put a little twist in it with that big rude stranger in it, teamed up with that innocent little kid. Bastien wanted to tell a story about a child and his mother, and the relationship between them. And it's more exciting to do this with fights and people chasing after one another!
Bastien Vivès

What's the process like of working together to bring the story to life?

Balak: Picture three kids playing with GI Joes, He-Man and Polly Pocket toys, locked up in a room, making up stories. That sums it up quite accurately. In short, Bastien comes up with the idea of the volume, I storyboard it, come up with dialogue, and Bastien and Mic draw ten pages each; then repeat.

What was the process of translating the book like, and is there anything you're concerned was lost in translation?

Balak: The book is very well translated. The US audience lost a little bit of cursing, but nothing major. It's very faithful. The most important stuff is to keep the names of the characters and the locations right. There is a hidden secret meaning to them....

The series is already established (and acclaimed!) in France, but is there anything you want this new audience to know going in? 

Michaël Sanlaville
Balak: We hope you'll like this universe, because we're currently explanding it in other mediums, video game and animation. It's a very cool and fun experience, and the relationship the French readers have with our characters, Richard, Marianne, etc., is incredible. Some people come at us, saying that they had goosebumps reading this or this bit, that they were tearing up with joy, or rage, or was just plain sad after some event…. That's such a huge gift to have that kind of feedback from the readers. That's why you're doing this job in the first place. We hope American readers will have similar reactions.

And lastly, I like to promote interviews with the author's own words for the book via Twitter, so: Your book (or series) in a Tweet -- the Last Man series (or one of the volumes) in 140 characters or less. 

Balak: To promote the interview, right? Hm. "Last Man is the best thing coming up from France to the US since Lafayette in 1778, says authors, drunk"

Best answer ever.


ABOUT THE SERIES:

The Last Man series by Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville, & Balak 
Richard Aldana is defeating all challenges in the Games, despite his outlandish refusal to use any magic, and relying solely on martial arts. With young Adrian fighting at his side, he's beginning to look like a likely contender for the Royal Cup.

But in a breathtaking twist, everything changes: this world is not what you thought it was, and Richard Aldana is certainly not who he claimed.



ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Bastien Vives studied illustration and animation at the Ecole des Gobelins. After movie-making classes, he dived into comics, and his first title came out in 2007.

Balak (aka Yves Bigerel) works as a storyboard artist, 2D animator and TV show director in France. He works with Marvel Comics on the new digital Infinite Comics brand, as a storyboard artist (Avengers VS X-men with Mark Waid, Guardians of the Galaxy with Brian M. Bendis, Wolverine: Japan's Most Wanted with Jason Aaron and Jason Latour).

Michael Sanlaville graduated from the Emile Cohl school, and later the Gobelins, after which he followed twin careers in animation (at the Xilam studio) and in comics with Casterman Publishers.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Little Happinesses | Tea Chat

Inspired by the recent blog tour of the book MORE HAPPY THAN NOT, I thought today we'd look at all of those silly little things that make us instantly happy.
Preparing for and recording this was a HUGE mood-booster for me, so if you've been feeling down, I highly encourage you to share some of your little bits of happiness in the comments, or make your own list of things that make you more happy than not.
And if you make a list & are willing to share, instagram or tweet it with the hashtag #TeaChatwithBookRat! That's another silly little thing that makes ME happy. ^_^

If you have ideas for things you'd like to see discussed in a Tea Chat,  let me know!

Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Guest Post & Giveaway: STRAYS by Jennifer Caloyeras!

Today I'm welcoming Jennifer Caloyeras, author of the recently released contemporary novel, Strays, to The Book Rat. Jennifer is here to share a few facts that we may not know about both herself, and the main character of Strays! Check it out below, and then if it sounds like it's up your alley, make sure to enter to win a copy of the book!
And don't forget to leave Jennifer some love in the comments, as well as maybe sharing a few facts yourself!



Five Things to Learn about Author Jennifer Caloyeras and her main character, Iris Moody (from the new novel, Strays).

Jennifer:
  1. I spent an entire summer living in a tree. The trunk had been hollowed out and there was space for a mattress and a wood-burning oven to stay warm. There was a window and a swinging door. I quickly learned that I had to leave the window open at night because bats lived at the top of the tree and flew out to hunt each night.
  2. I sang on movie soundtracks. When I was in high school I sang with a choir on the soundtrack to Home Alone 1 and 2 and the movie, Hook. It was an amazing experience with John Williams directing us.
  3. I sew.  I took up sewing about six years ago. I’ve made children’s clothing, dog beds, baby bassinets, a few dresses and ties. All of my projects are perfectly imperfect!
  4. I used to live in France.  I spent my junior year in college living in Aix-en-Provence, in the South of France and home to the artist, Cezanne. It was a magical year filled with tons of travel and lots of lavender fields.
  5. I have a fear of clowns. Painted faces. Red noses. Oversized shoes. I just don’t like them. If I see one I run away. It’s pretty much eliminated the circus as an activity I can do.

Iris:
  1. She loves coffee.  And not just the fact that it gives her energy, but she actually appreciates the flavor. She has even learned to ride her bike with one hand so that she can hold her coffee cup with the other.
  2. She is an animal fact aficionado. She is especially fond of nature shows on TV and likes to regurgitate facts, even if her friends aren’t that impressed.
  3. She is afraid of dogs. When her mom was younger, she was attacked by a dog and would often show Iris the scar on her arm.
  4. She lives in Santa Cruz, California. Iris is still getting used to her new beachside community. She feels calm staring out at the waves of the Pacific and she loves the freedom she finds on her bike. 
  5. Iris has a temper. When things don’t go her way, she keeps everything inside until she explodes. But she’s working on it!



****GIVEAWAY****
Jennifer has offered up a copy of Strays (choice of physical or ebook) to one lucky winner!
This giveaway is US only, and ends June 25th at midnight EST EXTENDED to July 4th because Misty wasn't doing her job and forgot to publicize...
Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter.
Please do not leave email addresses or sensitive info in the comments -- these will be deleted!
Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


ABOUT THE BOOK:
Strays by Jennifer Caloyeras
Get It | Add It
Contemporary, 232 pages
Published May 1st 2015 by Ashland Creek Press
Sometimes, life becomes unleashed...

Sixteen-year-old Iris Moody has a problem controlling her temper—but then, she has a lot to be angry about. Dead mother. Workaholic father. Dumped by her boyfriend. Failing English.

When a note in Iris’s journal is mistaken as a threat against her English teacher, she finds herself in trouble not only with school authorities but with the law.

In addition to summer school, dog-phobic Iris is sentenced to an entire summer of community service, rehabilitating troubled dogs. Iris believes she is nothing like Roman, the three-legged pit bull who is struggling to overcome his own dark past, not to mention the other humans in the program. But when Roman’s life is on the line, Iris learns that counting on the help of others may be the only way to save him.

With sparkling prose and delightful humor, Jennifer Caloyeras’s novel beautifully portrays the human-animal bond.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Caloyeras is a novelist and short fiction writer living in Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. In English from the University of California at Santa Cruz, an M.A. in English Literature from California State University Los Angeles and an M.F.A. In creative writing through the University of British Columbia.

She is the author of two young adult novels: Strays (2015) and Urban Falcon (2009). Her short stories have been published in Monday Night Literary, Wilde Magazine, Storm Cellar and Booth. She has been a college instructor, elementary school teacher and camp counselor. She is the dog columnist for the Los Feliz Ledger and the Larchmont Ledger. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I LOVE A LISTICLE...

Now, I love list-making in general. Even when I know I probably won't stick to it, even when I know I have no intention of following through, the process of making a list and fulfilling different requirements, fitting it together like puzzle pieces, is just therapeutic.  (And though I wouldn't generally consider myself a Type A personality, I clearly have Type A tendencies...) Seriously. There is nothing quite as satisfying as a good list-making session (other than scratching things off of that list, of course).  I used to participate avidly in various Goodreads reading challenges, for the joys of making a list, sourcing things I maybe wouldn't read otherwise -- even if that didn't always work out in my favor -- and then working my way steadily through them. [Am I killing anyone with my split infinitives yet? ;P ] I even created and hosted one of the challenges myself. [It was a big, scary one. And so much fun. =D]

It's been awhile since I've really had the time to devote to doing a challenge, and have had to fulfill my need for lists and structure through other ways (hence the rise of the TBR vlog, among other things), but even though I can't complete them -- or sometimes, even begin them -- that doesn't mean I don't still love seeing what they're all about and completing my own list of Never Gonna Happen.

So when I got a notification a couple of days ago, about the new quarterly challenge in one of the groups I'm in, and I saw that it's actually probably pretty doable, even just working in things I'd already been planning -- or needing -- to read, it seemed fated. To the List-Maker™ I went!
*Note; the List-Maker™ is just a pad of paper and a Sharpie pen. High tech stuff, yo.

I thought some of you might like a challenge, or just might enjoy a good list, as I do, so below you'll find the Goodreads challenge, edited for brevity (if you hop over to the challenge itself, there are links that lead to lists -- more lists! -- of books to give you ideas in nearly every category). And below that, you'll find my very own, very satsifying listicle. sigh.

THE CHALLENGE
Duration: June 1, 2015 – August 31, 2015
We are a YA Book Club, so most books should be young adult (unless otherwise noted). 
You have 3 months to read 10 YA books that satisfy following requirements:
1) Read a book that is a new release published in June, July or August of 2015. 
2) Read a book whose title starts with one of the letters of the word SUMMER.
3) June 6 is Russian Language Day. Read a book written in or translated from another language. 
4) Summer Cleaning!!! Read a book that's been on your TBR pile the longest.  [Misty's note: since this says A book and not THE book, I take it to just mean one that's been there awhile. Not the literal oldest book in your stack. Which is good, I couldn't even begin to guess at that.]
5) June 8 is Ocean Day and June 18 is Fishing Day. Read a book about water or with a water cover. 
6) July 13 is Geek Day. Show your geek pride by reading a fantasy or science fiction book.
7) July 25 is Parents Day. Read a book with an important parental figure. 
8) July 30 is Paperback Day. Read a physical book, bonus points if it's a paperback. 
9) August 8 is Happiness Happens Day. Read a book that makes you happy. 
10) August 19 is Photography Day. Read a book with a beautiful cover. Bonus points if you take a picture of it.

MY LIST
  1. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson, pub date July 7th (I may give myself bonus points with this one, as I'll be reading a number of summer pubs. Will add them in as I go.)
  2. Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George (also a summer pub)
  3. The Royal Cup, vol 2 of Last Man series, originally published in French -- check out my interview, including ?s about the translation process, coming up in a couple of weeks!
  4. TBD. I honestly don't know what I'll read for this. Maybe a Stack of Five is in order?
  5. Does pinkish purple water count? If so, I'm currently reading Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins. If not: a book with a strikingly similar design.
  6. Heh. All the things. Nearly everything I read/will be reading could fall in this category, so I'm going to tweak it to a different leg of geekdom, and go with: The League of Regrettable Superheroes, a book about hilariously bad comic book characters.
  7. I'll be finishing up A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler this month.
  8. Most of my pile is ARCs, which are paperback... do they count? But I'll go with a sincere paperback, finished and published: Jane Austen's First Love by Syrie James
  9. Emma by Jane Austen [SPOILER: This will be the Austen in August read along book this year!]
  10. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (hopefully)

All these...



...and then some.

So, are you a list maker?
If you're interested, let me know your list in the comments! Or if you do your own summer reading list, or challenges and what not, lmk or send me a link!

Happy summer reading!



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lexie™ Talks L.A. | #TheLexieProject

The Lexie Project, the follow up to Heather Demetrios' awesome debut, Something Real, has begun in earnest -- and you can read it for FREE over on Wattpad. [And if you haven't read Something Real, a) don't worry, this is a companion, and b) you totally should!]
Today, Lexie™ herself is here to tell us about her go-to hotspots, now that she's out on her own in the City of Angels.
Check it out, and let us know your thoughts in the comments!



Lexie’s Travel Guide To LA

So this is the thing. I’m an actress. And a reality TV personality. And a nineteen-year-old. I also like the color pink and am blonde. For all of these reasons, LA is the town for me. Below are my top tens for the City of Angels, in no particular order. There are tons more places I love, but I tried to narrow it down, with a mixture of things. Grab your sunscreen, your Juicy Couture tracksuit, and a pair of Marc Jacobs shades and get ready to hang out!


  1. The Beach


I mean, duh, right? But here’s the thing: you can’t just go to any old beach. You have to find the right beach. It depends on what you’re looking for. If I want prime people watching and cafes, I go to Santa Monica. But this is only if I don’t intend to swim because that water is nasty. If you want to get in the water and watch hot surfers do their thing (though usually they only go out at dawn, so good luck with that), then you have to go to Zuma Beach in Malibu. Gorgeous beach, clean water, and way less crowded.


  1. 3rd Street Promenade


This outdoor shopping street (pedestrian only) is so awesome. Not only are there a bunch of stores and restaurants, but there are tons of street performers and it’s only a couple blocks from the Santa Monica pier. Bonus: they have affordable parking garages. Grab a frozen yummy drink from Coffee Bean and browse, or go check out a movie. I like to just sit and people watch, too. Santa Monica has loads of weirdos. There’s also good sushi.


  1. El Cholo Mexican Restaurant


Okay, people, listen up, cuz Imma school you on Mexican food: the best thing about LA, hands down, is the Mexican food. I have turned into a total snob about this because it is So. Freaking. Good. Benny took me to El Cholo because they give discounts to USC students and I seriously thought I might die from happiness. The food is amazing, the margaritas are out of this world (shhhh, don’t tell) and at the end of your meal, they give you pralines! There’s one on Vermont near downtown and another in Santa Monica. Totally worth the extra hard workout you’ll have to do the next day.


  1. Downtown Culver City


I totally love it here, and not just because I live a five-minute drive away. It’s so cute! The old-school hotel is adorable, Sony Studios is right there. The whole area has an old-Hollywood vibe. Great boutiques, delish restaurants, fun times.


  1. The Getty Center


Not gonna lie, I’m not super into the art, but I love the views of the city and the gorgeous buildings, not to mention the amazing gardens. I love just coming here and hanging out in the garden while eating overpriced salad.


  1. Pink’s Hot Dogs


I’m not even into hot dogs, but this is so much fun to do. Basically, you wait in line for hotdogs with all kinds of crazy toppings and it’s like this whole scene. You never know who you’re gonna see in line. Also, great food when you’re tipsy.


  1. Amoeba Records


So I’m not a super old-school kinda person, but I promised Chloe’s boyfriend, Patrick, that I’d take him here (he buys records, of course). BUT. They do have really great shows in-store, plus it’s a cool place to go on a date because you just talk about your favorite bands and it’s super chill.


  1. Hollywood Forever Cemetery


Tons of famous people are buried here. Also, in the summer they do outdoor movies, which has potential to be super romantic, if I ever find a guy worth doing something cute like that with. (Other cool movie spots: The Silent Movie Theater and Grauman’s Chinese Theater).


  1. The Viper Room


First, coolest name for a club ever, right? This is where River Phoenix died and tons of cool bands play here. Whenever I go, I wear a black leather jacket, a miniskirt, and boots with super high heels. This is a see and be seen place—super cute rocker types hang out here.


  1. Drive Around At Night


Okay, so this is cheap and so, so fun. LA is most beautiful at night. Drive up the PCH, drive down Sunset, zip down the freeways. Whatever you do, have some great music blasting and stop every now and then for something to eat.

~ Lexie





ABOUT THE BOOK:
Lexie Baker is ready for her close up and nobody’s gonna get in her freaking way.
Nearly a year after graduating high school and taking a hiatus from her family’s reality TV show, "Baker's Dozen," Lexie is in Los Angeles, on a mission to take Hollywood by storm. From red carpet premiers to helping her YouTube star roommate film weird videos, Lex fits right in with the droves of girls just as hungry as she is for some screen time. When Jax Wilson, a young, hot producer, offers to launch The Lexie Project, a reality show that will chronicle Lex’s adventures trying to make it as an actress in LA, she jumps at the chance. It isn’t an Oscar-winning role, but it’s a start.

Then she meets Liam, a film student who brings books to parties and is one of her twin brother’s closest friends. When it becomes clear that her brother, Benny, has a serious drinking problem that's causing his life to spiral out of control, Lexie relies on Liam to help protect her brother from the media…and himself. But spending time with Liam soon makes Lexie question if the life of a starlet is really what she wants. And if it is, how far will she go to get it?

The City of Angels soon becomes Hell on Earth and Lexie realizes that everyone—even Liam—has something they’re hiding. It’s time to find a new role to play–not the one she was cast in at birth.

This companion novel to Something Real features several major characters from the novel. Perfect for fans of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Lexie's novelized memoir is a multiplatform storytelling experience told in real time that reaches readers through social media, including weekly chapter installments on Wattpad. Daily updates on Lexie’s social media accounts will give readers the chance to interact directly with Lexie and have opportunities to influence the course of the story.
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