*I read an early copy through Penguin’s First to Read program.

I thought this book was so beautiful. I loved the tension between the characters: the romantic tension between Jaxon and Devorah, Devorah and her family and their traditions, and Jaxon and how he interacts with the world. There’s a lot of discussion about race and cultural issues that I thought was handled really well. I’m glad to see Penguin publishing a book that honestly represents the diversity in real life. The romance here felt honest, and both Jaxon and Devorah were complex and intelligent characters. I loved the book from a plot and characterization standpoint, but also down to individual sentences. Some of them were so beautiful, and I can’t wait to see them circulate on Tumblr. (And I’m sure that they will!)

BN / IndieBound

(Source: ohmywalkers, via youngadultescent)


Okay, #reblogbookclub-ers. How do you feel about not knowing the specific cause of society’s downfall a post-apocalyptic novel?

How much do you need to know for a book to work? Can you think of specific titles that have revealed/hidden information to the book’s benefit/detriment? 

Is the amount of background information shared working in California?

I love the amount of back story we’re given! It feels like all of the Important Issues (but especially economic inequality and environmental factors) got so heavy, that everything crashed inwards? Like, it wasn’t a war between countries or a virus or anything that required outside intervention or a specific catalyst. And I don’t think the book hints that there’s anything larger at work either, which is nice, because sometimes dystopias or post-apocalyptic books spend so much time teasing a big reveal that it ends up falling flat once readers get more information.

It’s a different age bracket and style of writing completely, but I think The Maze Runner series suffers from the lack of meaningful back story. Those books were so frustrating that even the reveal in the third book isn’t satisfying to read. Every time new information is given, it feels like there’s a tiny asterisk next to it that says BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE, and it doesn’t feel organically earned at all.

I think books stop working when information is concealed just for the sake of keeping the reader in the dark. If something major happened and most of the characters are aware of what that thing is, I want to know and I don’t want to spend hundreds of pages trying to figure it out. Books just work better when the writing style undersells what the surprises are going to be. I’d rather see characters figure things out in their own time than have an exposition dump or an explanation drawn out for no reason.



4 notes

once the bell is rung, you can’t unring it [x]



I just described California to my sister as “Red Dawn meets Little House on the Prairie.” That might not be very accurate, but it did the job of getting her to want to read it!

This book is quite unique & I find it hard to describe. How are you guys describing it to people?


No, really though. That’s all I needed. There’s a couple, and the wife is pregnant, and they have to figure out what to do about this baby situation when their whole life situation is already pretty awful because nothing exists anymore. This is exactly how I pitched it to my best buddy, like, actual months ago, and we were both in immediately. We thought there would be more domesticity than there actually is, but luckily we love lady problems and dark stuff that makes us sad.

(*I’m always stealing finchermara's ideas. This is her hashtag, etc etc.)

What does your security look like?


Academic librarians: What’s the security situation on your campus and at your library? We have no staffing whatsoever, and depend solely on 9-1-1. 

Depends on the school. My community college is an open campus and has a team of contracted security officers who patrol regularly (even when the campus is closed for the night), a few of those blue light emergency phones, and a number to call in case of emergencies. Sometimes there’s a uniformed police officer on campus, but not very consistently. Also, the phone number is for the security office at the main campus fifty miles away, and then the security officers on campus get notified. (However, the campus is VERY small, so I would hope they wouldn’t need a notification for an emergency situation…?) Currently, we don’t have a particularly effective way to track concerns about students, but the school will be rolling out a program in the fall that will serve this purpose.

The law school I work at is a closed campus and has one security guard on duty at the front desk while the campus is open. It’s a small enough school that the guard recognizes all students and employees, but that doesn’t prevent anyone from causing any problems if they become disgruntled for whatever reason after they get inside the building. The law school’s parking lot is large, dark, and backed into woods, and it’s not fun to walk to my car at midnight, especially knowing that some security guards leave the front desk early to do their last sweep of the building, leaving no one to watch the cameras on the parking lot. To my knowledge, the law school has no contingency plan.

Neither school has the capability of sending out mass alerts. Neither school has any guards stationed at or near the library.

Honestly, even though both schools have security guards, there’s really not anything that they can do if anything were to happen. The guards are not allowed to be armed and none of them are all that intimidating. I think the community college has guidelines on what to do, but it boils down to hide until it’s over and call 9-1-1 if you can.

(via thelifeguardlibrarian)

17 notes

"Her protagonist, Frida, isn’t much of a heroine. She’s annoying, self-centered and tragically naive."

from Sara Sklaroff’s review of CALIFORNIA in the Washington Post.

I have many feelings about this:

1. A mention of Frida’s flaws and immaturity should be paired with a mention of Cal’s. It’s interesting to me that so many readers hate on Frida, but not Cal. They’re both frustrating and difficult!  For me, Frida’s flaw is that she is a brat.  Cal’s?  He is a coward.  What do you think?

2. A couple of reviews have called Frida immature. That’s true, in some regards. But let’s review: She’s in her late twenties. Before she moved in with Cal, she lived with her parents. The world went to shit when she was very young and she never got a chance because of that.  Her brother died and her parents weirdly took it out on her. She has been isolated in the woods for two fucking years.  I mean…!  She is doing pretty well, considering, no?

3. It seems to me that readers want unlikeable characters only if that’s the book’s”thing”—that is, if the text makes a nod to that as its project.  But if a character is occasionally petty or immature or unkind, as we all can be, then it can be difficult for some readers to get over. This is fascinating to me.

4. Don’t get me wrong, Frida drives me nuts.  And I love her. She is a human being.

5. What do you think of Frida?  Cal?

(via italicsmine)

I genuinely don’t understand reviews like this? I haven’t finished the book yet, but it’s pretty clear to me that Cal is the one who would deserve to get more criticism for his lack of heroics? He’s crunchy enough to go to Walden College and be one with his surroundings, but he also has no faith in humanity whatsoever and refuses to admit that pregnant women need certain things that he alone would be unable to provide or find or whatever. He’s a much more passive character than Frida is.

I don’t know. I guess I just don’t think books owe me nice characters, but EITHER WAY, I don’t think either Cal or Frida are THE WORST PEOPLE EVER. I think it’s realistic that they both keep secrets, and it’s normal to want to be part of a community, and maybe pregnant people deserve to be a little self-centered sometimes, we can’t all be self-sacrificing all the time.

listen here @ 8tracks
latch by sam smith | i don’t wanna break by christina perri | our deal by best coast | big jet plane by angus & julia stone | give me love by ed sheeran | over the rainbow by ingrid michaelson | flaws by bastille | the girl by city and colour | you’ve got the love by florence + the machine | wonderful world by james morrison | with you by natalie walker
buy landline by rainbow rowell at bn or indiebound!

listen here @ 8tracks

latch by sam smith | i don’t wanna break by christina perri | our deal by best coast | big jet plane by angus & julia stone | give me love by ed sheeran | over the rainbow by ingrid michaelson | flaws by bastille | the girl by city and colour | you’ve got the love by florence + the machine | wonderful world by james morrison | with you by natalie walker

buy landline by rainbow rowell at bn or indiebound!

"Such a sweet sight, his clothing, wrinkled and wet, removed from his body. Even when things got difficult between them, doing Cal’s laundry made Frida feel a love so tender she could weep."

California, Edan Lepucki

So, I want to compare this quote to one originally posted by so there’s that

"The night they met, she had asked, ‘You know why they don’t say ‘men and children first?’. He said he didn’t. ‘Because that would be redundant,’ she replied."

I like that Frida is complex, and I think we all are. I’m a feminist and I also really love cooking for those that I love. I think sometimes complexity and individual interests/inclinations/sort-of-lost-for-a-word-here get lost in our conversations around gender and relationship dynamics.

This is mostly just a note to say that I’m really looking forward to the conversations we are going to have about their relationship.

(via brooklynbook)

(can we read bad feminist next? i am just saying.)

(via reblogbookclub)