Paper Towns #readersacrosstheworld Project: Week 1 with Janae Mitchell!

Inspiration can come from many things, including books and places. Even as a small child, I’d read a book and it would inspire me to think about that world and how it differed from, or resembled, mine. Or I’d visit a place and it would make me think about the people who lived there, wishing I knew more about their lives. Needless to say, my love of reading led to a love for writing, and my love of the small, historic town I once lived in led to my first novel.

 A photo taken at The Revolutionary War Graveyard in Dandridge,

TN, where an actual scene from For Always took place.

Living in a house that was once slave quarters during the Civil War, we had many strange things happened, which led us to believe our house was haunted. Because of this, I became intrigued by the paranormal. The beautiful, historic town of Dandridge, TN, where we lived, only added to this interest. As you walk down the streets of this tiny, little town, it’s like the history around you comes alive, making the ghosts of the past almost feel like they are walking among us. I love it, and this love of a small town, as well as my fascination with the paranormal, inspired my very first published YA paranormal romance, For Always.

This novel takes place in Dandridge, where many readers have actually taken pictures of themselves at certain book locations and sent to me. There’s even a cemetery right in the middle of Downtown where several scenes in this series take place, which local readers of Dandridge seem to love, visualizing the story as they drive through town. Aside from this town being an inspiration for my first novel, my first novel has actually become an inspiration for me, taking on a life of its own, it seems.

When I wrote For Always, I never thought it would be something that anyone would read, let alone become published, with thousands of copies downloaded within a few months time. I also never thought readers would love this story and the characters as much as I do. So, when I started getting messages about how this series got someone into reading again, or how it’s someone’s favorite series ever, and the fact that I still get messages and comments like this, it inspires me to continue to write. There are several other books and authors that I take inspiration from, but For Always is the most personal one.

Putting so much of myself into my characters, they each have a part of me in them, and vice-versa. To this day, one of the quotes I say the most often (even more than Harry Potter) is one from my main character, Malyn Reed. “Sometimes keeping your mouth shut and not saying a word takes more strength than opening it and saying a thousand.” When I want to blow up on someone, or voice my opinion, when that opinion won’t add anything to the conversation or topic at hand, I say this quote to myself, biting my tongue. My characters seem to inspire me to be a better person, not only when it comes to writing, but in my everyday life. So, if you see this quote pop up randomly on my news-feed, you’ll know I’m having one of those moments.

When it comes to books, especially those I love, I don’t just read them, I devour them, highlighting those lines that take my breath away, re-reading them again and again. Books, including mine, are mostly written to tell a story, however, that story can light a fire inside us, inspiring us to do things we may not have done otherwise. Harry Potter makes us believe in magic, transporting us to a place muggles would never be allowed to go had it not been for J.K. Rowling. Twilight gave a new birth to YA readers across the globe, including me, causing us to embrace that once forgotten love of reading. The Hunger Games made us want to unite for a greater cause *hold up three fingers & insert whistle here*. They’re not just stories for some of us. For some of us, they are a part of us; a world we are a part of each time we open that book or think about that character, who we feel like we actually know, not just read about.

No matter if it’s Dandridge, TN… Forks, Washington… or Hogwarts… it’s home to us for as long as we like; or at least until we close the book.

 

 

 

Connect with me!

“The Secrets We Keep” by Trisha Leaver – REVIEW!!!!

The-Secrets-We-Keep

 

The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver is a heart wrenching novel about the ease of losing yourself in the midst of crushing grief.

Identical twin sisters Ella and Maddy Lawton could not be any more different. Quiet, reserved, artistic Ella just doesn’t understand the draw Maddy has to a wild social life, and is content to be the introvert of the pair. Ella claims that she will never be as overly dramatic and involved as her sister, until the night the girls get into a horrible car accident and Maddy is tragically killed.

When Ella wakes up in the hospital, everyone, including her parents, believes that she is Maddy. Because she feels enormous guilt for playing a part in the death of her sister, Ella internally swears to take on the life that Maddy never got to live, justifying her decision by the amount of sadness she will be saving the long list people who cared for Maddy versus her own small group of friends.

Ella soon assumes every aspect of Maddy’s life: her clothes, her friends, and her social calendar. She even goes so far as to attend a funeral dedicated to herself. The book follows Ella’s grief, regret, and self-doubt as she struggles to keep her survival hidden from everyone in order to give up her life so that her sister may live through her.

I found The Secrets We Keep to be both incredibly sad and uplifting. While the driving factor behind the story was rather depressing, the most of the novel focused on overcoming hardships in order to find yourself. I cried several times while reading this book, but also found lovely passages that made my giddy heart swell. Leaver is brilliant at weaving her reader’s emotions into a chaotic and yet beautiful harmony in which the good perfectly balances out the bad.

I recommend The Secrets We Keep to those fans of John Green and Jennifer Niven. You will not be disappointed in this hauntingly inspirational read.

Happy Reading!

Kayla

Buy the book here:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Connect with Trisha Leaver:

Instagram

Twitter

paper towns blog project

Hello Readers!

As you may know, the movie “Paper Towns”, adapted from the book by John Green, will be released in theaters on July 24th, 2015.

I am a massive fan of all of John Green’s work, but Paper Towns is hands down one of my favorite books. I am inspired and motivated to live life to the fullest every time I read it, and my tally of times read is becoming rather high. Along with my passion for reading and writing, I also love to travel and am intrigued by the many cultures and experiences there are in the world. These two enthusiasms are perfectly blended in Paper Towns, which got me thinking, as an excellent book should. And so, without any further adieu, here is my plan. It my not live up to the standards of Margo Roth Spiegelman, I hope you will join me nonetheless.

I would like to start a worldwide blog project in which guest writers from around the globe submit a post about a book that inspires them in life. There would be no specific rules or guidelines as to what to write about, as long as the post addresses how the book motivates or inspires the reader and why others should read it. Then, as I am also trying to include a worldly experience, I would love for the contributors to write about a personal experience that they’ve had in their own country, state, city, or town that shares a bit about the culture or wonders in that place. Think of it as a world tour through the stories of other readers and writers. If the experience could be related back to the book in any way, that would be even more amazing, although it does not have to.

Creativity is the only boundary, so feel free to include things such as pictures, quotes, or anything else to your post.

I sincerely hope you choose to participate! If you do, or if you have any questions at all, please contact me in the following places:

Email: literaryobsessionsblog@gmail.com

Instagram: @literaryobsessionsblog or @shadowhunter_runes_1234

Happy Reading (and Writing)!

Kayla

#ReadersAroundTheWorld

“COVENANT: Covenant of the Reborn” by T. E. Joshua – REVIEW!!!!

Covenant

 

Covenant: Covenant of the Reborn by T. E. Joshua is a thrilling and complex novel that tests the power of personal identity and beliefs in the face of generations of family loyalty.

Trained since birth to hate so called “Reborns”, Bodaway Lakota is among the most vicious assassins in the Covenant at only age sixteen. As deemed by the Covenant’s god, Lucian, Reborns pose a threat to the world and must be killed before they “Awaken” into their full power. When Bodaway is assigned to kill the Awakened Reborn Natalie Schultz, he is already beginning to question his faith and skills, and his questions only increase when his first attempt to behead Natalie fails terribly.

Realizing that Natalie must radiate power to be able to so easily escape his efforts (which have only failed once before), Bodaway concludes that in order to complete his duty, he must outsmart Natalie by getting closer to her rather than physically besting her. However, the more sacrifices that Bodaway, now called Tristan, makes in order to join Natalie’s world, the more he loses touch with his ancestral beliefs.

Covenant: Covenant of the Reborn was a novel that kept me on edge throughout the read. The book was thrilling, involving several allusions to cult philosophies, without being overly gory. The author skillfully paired all aspects of the story with a deeper personal meaning which made the book that much more enthralling.

If you’re looking for an exciting yet thought provoking read, this book is for you! Those fans of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings will find this book intriguing and enjoyable.

Happy Reading!

Kayla

Ready to Enter The Covenant? Find the book here:

Amazon

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Connect with T. E. Joshua:

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LOST BY JAIME GUERARD COVER REVEAL

JAIME GUERARD

Title: Lost (Awaken Series Book #2)

Author: Jaime Guerard

Genre: YA Paranormal Romantic Thriller

Cover Designer: Kimberley Marsot (K-Design)

lost cover

Lost Blurb:

One…Two…Three…Breathe

 There is no other choice

You know what you have to do

Don’t think, Bre, just go

I begin to take my final step forward, feeling the urgency of what I know I should do, but I immediately think of who I will be leaving behind. If I go I won’t be able to say goodbye. I won’t be able to tell him that I love him. I want to tell him that I’m sorry for what’s going to happen to me, and beg him to forgive me for what I’m about to do.

Tears begin to filter from my eyes as I realize there is no other choice. Perhaps I will finally know why I have been given this gift of seeing into the future.

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“Where The Staircase Ends” by Stacy Stokes – REVIEW!!!!

staircase

Where The Staircase Ends by Stacy Stokes is a beautifully intricate novel about society, individuality, and the  mysteries of life.

After a terrible rumor is spread all over the school by none other than her best friend Sunny, Taylor wants nothing more than to die and escape the social hell that has become her life. Until she actually dies, that is.

Now stuck on an enormous stone staircase with no way to turn back (literally), Taylor is forced to climb, unsure of everything around her. As she ascends the cracking marble, Taylor is transported back and forth between her new reality and events in her old life, reliving both good and bad scenarios. From sleepovers to breakups and beyond, Taylor is given a new perspective on her life and the decisions she has made.

I have to be honest: When I first began reading Where The Staircase Ends, I was almost positive that I wouldn’t  be able to fully enjoy it. The book holds a lot of “teenage girl drama”, which is typically something I find extremely frustrating to read. However, I believe every book deserves a fair chance, and so I powered through the first several chapters. And fell in love. In addition to becoming a serious page turner, the book is deep-minded and metaphorical as well. (The number of annotations I made… *sigh*)

Stokes does an impressive job at blending the transitions between past and present, making the novel flow almost effortlessly. There was never any *unanticipated* confusion, although the plot does keep readers hanging on a ledge! The characters are relatable to the point where I suffered from more secondhand embarrassment than I think I ever have before… which is a rare occurrence. The most beautiful feature of Where The Staircase Ends, however, is the juxtaposition of the mundane things in life to what is really important in the end – for people often fail to realize how precious life is until it is ripped away in one sense or another.

I recommend Where The Stair Case Ends to those who fall in love with novels such as The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Before I Fall  by Lauren Oliver, and If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

Happy Reading!

Kayla

“Kissing Frogs by Alisha Sevigny” – REVIEW!!!!

Kissing Frogs

Kissing Frogs by Alisha Sevigny is a sweet romance about finding yourself and following your own dreams, even when others disapprove.

Jessica is pretty, popular, and living what she believes is a socially acceptable life. But she wasn’t always one with the popular crowd. Transforming herself from a middle school nerd to a high school queen bee, Jess is shocked to learn that her makeover has not only affected her physical appearance, but her grades as well, which, until now, have always been good. When her teacher informs her that she is failing biology, Jess is left with two options: flunk the class, or join a spring break trip with the conservation club to Panama to study endangered frogs.

Jessica’s good girl side wins out as she forfeits her beach trip in order to save her transcript. As if being forced to study slimy frogs wasn’t bad enough, the trip only gets worse when she realizes her childhood nemesis, Travis, is also on the trip as an active member of the conservation club, and he’s still as judgmental and mean as he was several years ago.

Trapped in an awkward situation, Jess must decide between her desire to fit in with the her group back in America to retain her social status, or follow her heart to academic success – and the possibility of a new group of friends.

I loved Kissing Frogs! The book was simple yet relatable, and completely captivating! The plot line was smooth and the author’s transitions between past and present events was flawless, adding an interesting perspective to the story.

I would recommend this book to young adult readers in search of an easy, cute, and enjoyable read.

Happy Reading!

Kayla