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Sunday, July 27, 2014


I've been teasing this video for far too long now (which those of you who follow me on Instagram will know...). But after ages and AGES of planning and making charts and editing and agonizing over something as silly as background music, I am FINALLY ready to play a little game with you.

Some of you may remember making "Cootie Catchers," or paper fortune tellers, when you were a kid. (If not, google it. Super fun!) I decided to take that idea, but rather than giving you a fortune, the Cootie Catcher will tell you which book you NEED to read before summer's up! (Or winter, if it's cold where you live (soz!), or you're watching this hella late.)

That's right, we're taking it back old skool (I will never write that again, I promise), so if you're up for some fun and a random read, play along!

How it works:
1) You start HERE. The video will guide you to choose a number, and you'll click on the annotation of the number you chose (If you missed the boat, they're listed after these rules.)
2) When you click on your number, it will take you to a new, hidden video that will guide you through the next stage of the game, and from there, we'll find out what book the Cootie Catcher thinks you should read!
3) If at any point you regret a decision you made, don't worry! The Cootie Catcher was feeling beneficent (this time), and will allow you to start over!
4) Come back here and chat with me about what you thought of the game! I'd love to hear your thoughts, or know if there's a specific genre you'd like to see for the next round of Cootie Catcher Books!
But please, try to avoid spoilers with the books in the comments on this video! =D

If you missed it, this round you must choose between:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Book Haul and then some...

Shaking things up a bit today with a combo book AND beauty product haul, as I've had a number of you ask me on instagram/twitter to share what's in ALL THOSE BOXES I get... lol!
Let me know what you think of having videos like this, and non-bookish vids in general - on the channel; I'd definitely love to hear your thoughts! And if you're really into the books, don't worry: I have TWO book hauls coming...

Conversion | Katherine Howe
Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea | April Genevieve Tucholke
Wolfsbane | Gillian Philip
The Rise of Aurora West | Paul Pope, J. T. Petty & David Rubin

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso
Stila Forever Your Curl Mascara
Silta Smugestick Waterproof Eyeliner in Stingray
Stila Convertible Eyecolor in Slate
Stila Smudge Crayon in Pink Violet
Stila Lipglazes in Cherry Mint and Huckleberry
Stila Eyeshadows in Pigalle and Shell
Stila Convertible Lip and Cheek Color in Peony
(basically LOTS of Stila)
NYX Chunky Dunk Lip Crayons in Berry Mojito and Sex on the Beach
NYX Butter Lipstick in Razzle
NYX Wonder Pencil in Light
Ulta automatic eyeliners in Jade and Black Plum
Ulta automatic lipliner in Bare
Ulta Super Shiny Lipstick in Rio
Ulta Fabulous Face Cream Foundation and Double Duty Foundation/Primer, both in Classic Ivory
Ulta Lash Blow Out Mascara
Loreal Miss Manga Lash Waterproof Mascara
Yes to Cucumbers Makeup Remover Pads
Yes to Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub
Yes to Cucumbers Facial Wipes
and various samples from Ulta
and lastly (finally), Zoya polishes in Aurora, Sparkle Gloss and Monet

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Face Off: The Truth About Alice

We've had Jennifer Mathieu's debut novel, The Truth About Alice, on FFO before, in a combo face off / cover reveal, when the final US cover went up against the temporary (but still very nice) ARC cover. But because those aren't the only options for Alice — and because I quite like all of Alice's many faces — we're going to have a round 2! The winner of the first Alice face off (the US hardcover) is going to try to defend its win today against the cover for the UK/AUS version of the book. Take a look at both below, and then let me know in the comments, which one do you prefer? Which would grab your eye on the shelves and make you more curious? Which would you rather display on your own shelves? If you've read it, which do you think suits the book more?
Which one did it better? 

Last Week on FFO: Two dead-eyed girls-in-grass, via All Unquiet Things and Kisses and Lies, went head to head, and the overall hella-creepy vibe of All Unquiet Things snagged it a win.
Winner ----------> 

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Falconer by Elizabeth May | review

Over on the youtubes, viewers voted for a vlog review of The Falconer back in June, so I figured it's time I got around to uploading it... A few things, before we get started:
1. Yep, this was recorded on my phone, before shiny new camera got here. We'll be back to crisp, delicious videos soon. ;)
2. I'm wearing a tank top, not just hanging out in my bra. Honest...
3. I took notes when I was reading, and 1 note didn't make it in, but I wish it had: "
This reminded me of an action movie with a lot if pithy one-liners, that manages to still be fun despite, or because of, how cheesy it is." LULZ.

Alright, let me know what you think in the comments, and thanks for watching!

about THE FALCONER by Elizabeth May
Get It | Add It
Steampunk/Historical/Fantasty, 378 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Chronicle Books
Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh's social events -- right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it's the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She's determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city's many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana's father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose -- and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

Saturday, July 12, 2014


So, I didn't get through much in July, and I'm thinking we're going to have to have a little chat about funks, 'cause... (SERIOUSLY. I can't remember the last time I read this little for such an extended period of time). But here's a look at what I DID manage to read, and what I thought of it!

actually finished:
The Lost | Sarah Beth Durst
Vicious | V.E. Schwab
need to finish:
Amy Unbounded | Rachel Hartman
The Kiss of Deception | Mary E. Pearson

Thanks for watching/rating/subbing, and make sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments! =)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Face Off: Kisses & Lies vs. All Unquiet Things

I know today's Face Off contestants aren't perfect cover twins, but it's been awhile since we had 2 totally different books with similar feels — vs. two different versions of the same book — on FFO, and this pairing has been lingering in my drafts for awhile now. Squaring off today are Laura Henderson's Kisses and Lies and Anna Jarzab's All Unquiet Things. Both feature super-close crops of young girls lying in the grass with dead-in-the-eyes blank stares, and the effect is a little jarring. That said, I'd imagine these are wholly different in tone and topic, and that K&L isn't nearly as dark as AUT seems to be. But there's no denying that they both give off a similar creepy vibe, whether that's what's intended or not. So which of these would you reach for? Which would pique your interest? Which would draw your eye on the shelves?
Which one did it better? 

Last Time on FFO: There was no Face Off last week, and though it's mostly because I forgot, I'm going to say it was because of the holiday... But before that, two different (VERY different) versions of Folly went head to head, and it was basically a dead tie — some liked the dark, creepy vibe of the hardcover, and some liked the mysterious, melancholic feel of the paperback...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Austen in August 2014 Invitation & Call to Arms!

It's that time of year...

That's right, Austen in August is right around the corner!  That means it's time for me to officially extend the invite (none too soon, as I've already had people telling me what they're planning for AIA this year. ;P), AND for me to put out the call to arms.

So this is where I tell you want to expect, and invite any of you who are interested to participate by contributing a guest blog/vlog, review, giveaway, Darctiltleyworth love fest, etc., etc., This invitation is especially important this year, as I'm going to need all the help I can get! But before I get to that, What the Eff is AIA?

The Deets:
  1. Austen in August is a wall-to-wall celebration of all things Jane Austen, featuring book and film reviews, discussion posts, vlogs, giveaways, author interviews and more! [See years one, twothree and four for more of an idea of these events.] You can stop by any time during these 2 weeks and get lost in Austen. It's all very austentatious. . . alright, I'll stop now.
  2. This year's event runs from August 18th through August 31st, and everyone is welcome to participate. You can just read and comment on the daily posts, if you'd like, but  as always, I will also be welcoming guest posts — this year more than ever! Want to review or giveaway your favorite adaptation of Jane's work? Share your Top 5 MOJ (Moments of Jane)? Discuss why Wickham and Willoughby are misunderstood? I'd love to host your awesome post! You can fill out the interest form below with what you'd like to do and I'll reserve a spot for you!
  3. Are you an Austenite author who wants to be involved? EMAIL ME! I'd love to have you involved!
  4. There will also be a linky up on the first day, as always, if you're not the guest-posting type or have last minute posts you want to share. :)
  5. Once again I will be hosting an Austen Read Along to coincide with the event, as well as a movie watch-along or two, since we had so much fun with that last year. Liz and I area also incorporating #WednesdayYA into this year's event, so yay! But more on all that to come. =D
So that's the basics, and now that that's out of the way, I have a small plea — as those of you who follow my vlogs know, between my new job and the fact that said job is moving locations right smack dab in the event, my August is going to be hectic at best. I know for a fact that I'm not going to be able to do as much as I'd normally do, to the point that I even thought about skipping this year. But this August marks the fifth year that I've had a summer Austen event, and I just can't stop now. So instead, I say these two things to you:
I need your help more than ever
I need you to bear with me if things are lighter or more sporadic this year.

You guys are always amazing at contributing your time, creativity and enthusiasm to this event, and one of my favorite things about putting this together is seeing what everyone has to say. I don't ever want anyone to feel obligated to contribute in any way, but if you've been on the fence and too shy in the past, I'd love to feature you this year! I'm going to need all the help I can get keeping the event full and fun, but I also just want to hear what you have to say!

For those who are interested, the form to be a featured guest or contribute in some way is below. Now, I generally spend a lot of time pre-event tracking people down and emailing back and forth with people that then back out, and dude, I totally get it, things change and we're all busy. But as I've said, this year, I just don't have time to waste — I've got to make every moment count in putting this together, so please, only fill out this form if you're serious about being part of the event AND can have your post or whatever is needed to me by no later than August 8th. One month. I know that's a tight timeline for some people, but remember, there's always next year!

For those I haven't scared away, please fill out the following if you want to be featured during AIA!* If you are an author, see my note below. Other than that, see all you Janeites real soon!

*And because I get this question every year: this form is just for those who want to guest post or be featured on The Book Rat. You're welcome to do whatever you'd like on your own blog or vlog, and there will be a linky to share things if you so choose. But you do not have to fill out this form to say you're writing a post on your own blog. =)

UPDATE: Since we are getting close to the event start date, I have disabled the form, as the timeline is too short to keep checking it. If you're interested in participating, please email me!

NOTE TO AUTHORS: Few things: yes, authors are welcome to participate, and if you have a guest post or something you'd like to do, feel free to fill out the form. If you want me interview you, or you want to give away a copy of your book during the event, please email me directly.
And unfortunately, due to the above-mentioned hecticness of my summer, I'm not taking on more books for review during AIA, as I'm really not sure how many I'll get through as is. But I'd be happy to feature your book in some other way, so again, feel free to email me. =)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Very Big book haul, really...

REALLY. Such book. Many long. Wow...

So, for those of you who don't follow me on Twitter and didn't get to weigh in on this ridiculously long video: I'm sorry. (For those of you who were like: YAY, LONG HAUL, here you go! =D )

This is some stuff that's been piling up recently, and OH MAN, there is a lot of it. Trust me, I knowwwwww how long this video is. I had to re-edit it THREE TIMES because my computer kept freaking out... But if you make it through, let me know what you think in the comments, which ones you're eager to read, etc., and tell me what you're reading at the moment.

(Also, if you make it through, you get to meet Marley, the huge, lovable, apparently-scared-of-fireworks St. Bernewfie... ^_^ )

Anywho, on to THE BOOKS:
Horns | Joe Hill
The Fool's Girl | Celia Rees
Because It Is My Blood | Gabrielle Zevin
The Flight of Gemma Hardy | Margot Livesey
Revolver | Marcus Sedgwick
Toads and Diamonds | Heather Tomlinson
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland... | Catherynne M. Valente
Changes | Mercedes Lackey
While Beauty Slept | Elizabeth Blackwell
The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw | Christopher Healy
Through the Woods | Emily Carroll
A Million Ways Home | Diana Dorisi Winget
Finding Ruby Starling | Karen Rivers
The Dyerville Tales | M. P. Kozlowsky
The Bone Season | Samantha Shannon
Exquisite Captive goodies | Heather Demetrios
Broken Hearts, Fences & Other Things to Mend book & swag | Katie Finn
The Wrenchies | Farel Dalrymple

Also Mentioned:
Meg Cabot
Francesca Lia Block
Fairyland series
Fairy Tale Fortnight (here there be dragons. And by dragons, I mean the links to Elizabeth Blackwell / Christopher Healy / M. P. Kozlowsky)
Tweet Heart
Exquisite Captive pre-order campaign
and EC #My3Wishes contest

Elizabeth Blackwell
Heather Demetrios
Bloomsbury USA
Simon & Schuster
and Walden Pond Press

If I missed anybody, I'm very sorry, but YOU KNOW and I KNOW that you're amazing! =D
And if I forgot a link I said I'd include, someone let me know - that was a lot to keep track of! =P

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July's #WednesdayYA pick is... [1.7]

Well, it was a battle well-fought (and I really thought it was going to come down to a tie-breaker), but in my & Liz' little impromptu battle of the gender benders, only one girl in disguise could come out on top to be our featured July #WednesdayYA read. And that girl was...

Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen
Historical/Retelling/Gender-Bender, 292 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Walker Childrens
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

Though I'm eager to read Eon, too, my girl Scarlet wins the day this time. And at least one of you was one over by Richard Armitage, so... I may fight dirty, but to that I say: You're welcome.

I really hope that you'll join me and Liz in reading and discussing Scarlet throughout the month of July. I'll be sharing bits here and there, so keep an eye out on instagram and twitter, and Liz and I will be hosting our wrap-up discussion of the book on the last Wednesday of the month, July 30th at 8:30 EST, 7:30 Central. You can follow along and join in with the hashtag #WednesdayYA. Hope to see you there!

And for all of you who are bummed that we're not reading Eon this month - keep an eye out, because it will happen!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

JULY TBR | 2014

Oh, July... We're half-way through the year, and I DON'T EVEN KNOW.
June was abysmal(ish), so here's to hoping for a better July!
Let me know what you think of the books in the comments, or what you have planned for July. And if you're so inclined, come let me know which tag you want me to record this month, from my July Stack of Five!

carry-overs from last month (haaalp!):
Riot | Sarah Mussi
Shattered | Teri Terry
The Summer Invitation | Charlotte Silver
One Man Guy | Michael Barakiva
new this month:
Through the Woods | Emily Carroll
and stuff from my Jane Austen shelf (feel free to weigh in!)

#TopTenTuesday: the #WednesdayYA takeover — Book Battle, y'all!

At our June #WednesdayYA chat, Liz and I asked you guys how to pick July's book, and you (apparently) want to see Liz and I duke it out, because you chose a BOOK BATTLE. So we're taking over Top Ten Tuesday this week in an effort to convince you to pick the book we each want to read this month. Liz will be trying to talk up Eon, but before you go see what she has to say, let me tell you why I think we should totally read Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen! That's right, it's the battle of the gender-benders this month, and I. Am. Excite!

So why do I think we should read...
  1. Because it's a retelling of the Robin Hood stories, but one where "Will Scarlet" is a girl in disguise. Just look at this synopsis and tell me you don't want to pick it up:
  2. Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.  It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.
  3. Because when we're reading about "Thief Take Lord Gisbourne," we can pretend we're reading about...
  4. And because when we're reading about Robin...
  5. ...just take a minute and let those, um, reasons sink in.
    There we go.
  6. Because so many people loved it. Just loved it. People whose tastes I trust. Awesome people. And we could be those awesome people, too.
  7. Because people have been pushing it on me for ages, and my fingers have been itching for it ever since it showed up and claimed a spot on my bookshelves.
  8. Because if we read it, our monthly twitter discussion will naturally devolve into a discussion of other Robin Hood incarnations, including but not limited to the BBC version above, the Kevin Costner version*, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. We can sing the song. [And we'll all agree to ignore how borderline offensive it is. Ahh, the 90s...]
    *And I will regale you with stories of how desperately in love with Kevin Costner I was as a kid. Like, embarrassingly.
  9. Because it's not a BAJILLION PAGES LONG, like Eon. I mean, I like big books and I cannot lie, and all, but damn. It's summer. We could read Scarlet twice for the same amount of pages. Ain't nobody got time fo'...okay, maybe I do like to get lost in an epic on a balmy summer day, BUT STILL.
  10. Because it not only hits on some of my major buzzwords, the things that make me auto-acquire a book (girl in disguise, retelling), but it also hits on one of my major, um... buzz covers? We need a word for that, community. Anyway, it has a dagger on the cover, and I'm all sorts of about that.
  11. Because I really want to reeeeeeeeead it! And I think some of you have been meaning to, too. And some of you have already read it and loved it. And we should all discuss it together.

And there you have it. Feel free to go check out the reasons why Liz wants you to choose Eon (pfft!), and then let us know in the comments (here or there) which book YOU want us to choose for July's book club: SCARLET or Eon. We'll announce the winner tomorrow!


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