Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hungover Fiction Lover Has Moved

Hello everyone! This is a bit of a late notice but if you were not aware, I wanted to let y'all know that my blog, Hungover Fiction Lover is now found under a different URL! I will no longer be using this website  but I would love for those of you who have followed my blog here to follow me at my new blog home: Hungover Fiction Lover! The content will be similar but I am working on making more changes. Thank you very much to everyone who has supported me ever since I started this blog. I cannot wait for you to join me for my new blog related journey! 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Book Review | Before the Ripcord Broke: Stories

In his new collection of short stories, Charlie Close gives us people who try, succeed, and sometimes fail to connect with others.

He gives us a poor family celebrating its first Halloween in a rich neighborhood, a waitress trying to get the attention of the silent new man in town, teachers talking about their students’ crushes, a boy stuck in a car with the kid he beat up, a roadie who finally busts loose during sound check, a business consultant who assassinates her client, and a disgraced accountant who frames his wife for his own murder.

The stories are told with Charlie Close’s unique insight, compassion, and biting sense of humor. They are dark, comic, sweet, ironic, and…weird.

Read Before the Ripcord Broke and discover that, however different we may feel, we are not so different after all.

I tried writing my own synopsis but every time I tried, the description fell flat. The one above is much better. In the second paragraph of the synopsis, I couldn't help but smile, for it was a wonderful time thinking back on the stories that I have recently finished reading.

Some may go into this collection of short stories with the mindset that they are nothing special, but they would be wrong - and too quick to judge. I myself was skeptical at first because I'm not a frequent short story reader. Then I stopped being my close minded self and started reading the damn stories. I was trying to be more open minded. It paid off.

I went into these stories having relatively no idea what to expect. After the first few stories I still felt iffy. Hours upon hours later, I was sucked in and couldn't stop scrolling. The short and very short stories were attention grabbing for what they were. Simple, confusing, awkward, blunt - pick any adjective because whichever you choose would describe one or more of the many stories throughout.

Truthfully, I was shocked by how many of the stories reflected my own life. A bully stuck in the car with the kid he beat up - been there, sadly done that. Two grown sisters that don't see eye to eye - sounds familiar. Reminiscing while moving out of a dorm - yep, a recent feat of mine. Watching time fly by - always. I noticed these unavoidable parallels immediately. Family issues. Friendship issues. Relationship issues, right down to the names. It was scary, but refreshing to read that other people understand. The author clearly comprehends that we are all connected in different ways, to various individuals. It is and will forever be the way life works.

Also, I would love to list a few of my favorite short stories below with tidbits of commentary:
  • Lay [Reminded me of my dog that aged before I even noticed]
  • The Isomorphs [2nd favorite story]
  • Four [Basically my family members]
  • The Last Story of the Evening [Always trying to find meaning]
  • Argumentative Speech [This one is important]
  • Don't Ride with Strangers [Favorite story]
  • Candy Witch [Jenny is me]
There were loads of stories that made me laugh, grimace, or tear up but these were the few that really stood out to me.

I was pleasantly surprised with these stories as a whole. The very short stories packed a punch, but I don't want to list any because that would ruin them for future readers. In the end, I'm glad I had the opportunity to read this collection of stories and I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review his work. I would recommend to those who enjoy quick contemporary or anything on the more realistic side of the spectrum.

4 out of 5 stars

If you would like to know more about the author, check out his website:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hungover Fiction Lover Liebster Award Round Two

Hey everyone, I am officially on summer vacation which means I have [virtually] all the time in the world to read and review! Luckily, a little over a month ago, Hungover Fiction Lover was nominated for a Liebster Award yet again! This is the second time I have been nominated in the last year and I couldn't be happier, so thank you very much to my fellow book blogger Sierra over at The Nerdgirl Review. Let's get started!

As always, there are 11 questions for me to answer and afterwards I have the pleasure of nominating 11 other awesome blogs I enjoy reading.

The Rules:
  • You must answer all questions that are given to you
  • Must link back to the person that nominated you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers
  • Provide nominees with 11 questions of your choice
  • Cannot nominate the person who nominated you
  • Notify nominees via social media i.e. Blogger, Goodreads, Twitter, etc.
  • Provide nominees with a link to your post for more info

Here are my answers to Sierra's questions:

1. What is your least favorite genre?
I'm not a fan of Erotica or Western.

2. What aspects of a character automatically make them your favorite?
This is such a good question but I'm not quite sure. Sometimes I realize a character is my favorite early on, but a lot of the time, I take a definitive stance after I've finished reading the book. I look for qualities that set them apart from other characters I've read about; it's almost as if they need some sort of "it" factor. For example: I love Tris and Eric from Divergent. I enjoyed Victor from Vicious. I liked Holland from ADSOM. They are all their own kind of character - with different quirks and things that I love or hate about them.

3. What is your favorite place to read?
I prefer reading in my bedroom at home, but I lived in a dorm this year which meant I shared the same space with someone else. In the long run, the noise made me appreciate being able to read wherever and whenever. I try not to focus on where I am while reading!

4. If you could have dinner with an author, which author?
Three way tie between Veronica Roth, Victoria Schwab, and J.K. Rowling. Unintentional girl power.

5. If you could rewrite the ending of one book/series, which one?
I don't think I've read enough books to answer this question with a solid choice. The only one that currently comes to mind is The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyami. There were too many character stories left open ended. By the way, I don't love the ending to Allegiant either but that would have been an obvious choice.

6. Which book in your opinion has the best ending ever?
Again, I don't think I've read enough books this year, or in my life, to reply with a good answer. I will say, the end of Vicious was pretty damn cool.

7. If you could date one character, who would you date?
I would probably date Rhy from ADSOM or two other characters from a book I beta read for that I can't name at the moment. They were all swoon worthy.

8. If you could wipe a book/series off the face of the Earth, which one?
Well - for starters - this is my personal opinion and I don't mean to offend anyone. We're all entitled to like or dislike different books. Please don't hate me but...I cannot even deal with The Selection series and Babe in Boyland. There, I said it.

9. What do you like most about being a book blogger?
Aside from reading and writing reviews, I love meeting new bloggers and authors. They share similar interests with me which is rare to come by in my every day life. I also can't get enough of the blogging community.

10. Who would be your best book friend?
I don't know why, but I've always thought that Seamus from Harry Potter and I would get along really well. Or some of John Green's characters.

11. What do you like to do while reading?
I can't multitask. I have to focus solely on reading or else I get distracted.

Here are my nominees in no particular order:

Cody from Literary-ly Obsessed
Jeanette from Myriad Inklings
Caitlin from Peculiar Pages
Brooke from brookewrote 
Jana from Bookish Realities
Clare from Long Live Literature
Rebecca from bookvibes
Bethany from Faiths Bookspiration
Both Co-Bloggers at Novels and Necklaces

I couldn't think of 11 book blogs that fit the criteria or haven't been nominated a million times already, whoops!

My Questions:

1. What is your favorite thing about being a blogger?
2. How many books do you want to read this year?
3. What are your top three favorite books of all time and why?
4. Do you prefer chain bookstores or indie bookstores?
5. What sets your favorite author apart from other authors?
6. Do you have any music recommendations?
7. Favorite book to movie adaptation?
8. If you could date one character, who would it be?
9. Do you need complete silence to read, or does noise not phase you?
10. What is your favorite genre?
11. What are your plans for the future? Blogging, dream job, school?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Revolution Tour | Interview with Randi Cooley Wilson

Hey everyone, quick side note: my internet hasn't been working properly hence the late post - but everything is up and running now, so enjoy!

About the Book 


A King Rises
A Fate Seals
Realms Fall

Eve Collins has set in motion a chain of events that could destroy everything she's ever loved. Surrounded by dangerous creatures, dark worlds, and the struggle to become who she was meant to be, Eve must complete her ascension and accept her destiny.

War has begun. Losing is not an option. With dangers lurking around each corner, and everything against her, will Eve sacrifice her own happiness in order to tip the scale of balance? Which side will rise to power, and which fall to fate?

In this fourth installment in The Revelation Series, Eve must risk it all in order to prevent a centuries old war.

Everything comes with a sacrifice, even love.

About the Author 

Randi Cooley Wilson is a “New Adult” Paranormal/Fantasy and Contemporary Romance author. Randi was born and raised in Massachusetts where she attended Bridgewater State University and graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. After graduation she moved to California where she lived happily bathed in sunshine and warm weather for fifteen years. Randi makes stuff up, devours romance books, drinks lots of wine and coffee, and has a slight addiction to bracelets.


Author Interview

1. How did you come about the idea for your first book Revelation?

The idea for Revelation (The Revelation Series, Book 1), and the entire series, stemmed from my combined love of John Milton’s Paradise Lost and my affinity for architecture. Paranormal romance is my favorite genre to read, and nothing beats an epic love story in my book. Basically, I combined all those elements to created the series.

2. Did you go into the writing process knowing that this would be a series, as opposed to a duology or trilogy?

I did. I knew from the beginning, after writing the character’s bios/backgrounds, plot points, and story outline that there was no way I would be able to tell this story in one book. Three perhaps, but one would have never fully completed the journey, for a reader, the way I felt  it needed to be told. At the end of the day after reviewing my arc, I knew it was going to have be told over five books.

3. When you create characters, do they tend to reflect yourself and people you know, or do you consciously try to stray away from such similarities?

Eek. This is a loaded question – lol. I don’t consciously, or unconsciously, write characters that are like, or unlike myself, or people I know.  I do tend to pull in traits and special characters of people that surround me. For instance, the main heroine in The Revelation Series, Eve Collins, has the same eye color and hair color as my daughter. Two secondary characters, Callan and Abby tend to bicker the way my husband and I do. That said, those little elements within the characters are more for fun than anything else.

4. I find that many authors form these well rounded characters that end up getting cut from the storyline altogether. How do you determine what characters are necessary for your stories?

This is going to make me sound like the crazy author lady, but the characters dictate how important they are to the forward movement of the storyline. For me, a character must always have a purpose within the story. If they don’t, in my opinion, they are not needed. Basically when I introduce a character, after I write their background, if they perform a purpose, and are tied to the story organically, they make the cut.

5. What piece of advice would you give to aspiring authors that you wish you could have heard before becoming published?

I’m not sure I’m ‘seasoned’ enough to be giving advice. That said, honestly, write what you love and would read yourself. Whatever you feel compelled to put on the page is your story. Don’t let anyone dictate what that should look like. Everyone has an opinion, at the end of the day, the only one you have to answer to is yourself. If you like the book and the story, then that’s all you can hope for.

6. A little bird told me that you’re a William Shakespeare fan. What is your favorite literary work of his?

(Laughs) Well, your little spy birdie would be correct. I adore William Shakespeare’s sonnets and poetry. My favorite piece of his would have to be A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It embodies all of my favorite themes: love, loss of individual identity, sexuality, and feminism.  I mean, who doesn’t love fairies that manipulate lovers?

7. Do you have any must reads that you would highly suggest to your fans and other avid readers?

Ack. This is hard. I have so many favorite authors and books. Daily, I recommend the Stage Dive Series by Kylie Scott to those looking for contemporary adult romance books. I also tend to recommend anything by Jeaniene Frost and Jessica Sorenson, who are two of my personal favorites and I devour most anything they write.

Thanks so much for having me today. I’ve enjoyed being here.

Wait, there's a giveaway!

One Winner: Signed Apron, Revelation, Restraint, Redemption and Revolution signed paperbacks.
Five Winners: One Signed Paperback of Either: Revelation, Restraint, Redemption or Revolution
Ten Winners: One Digital Copy of Revolution

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Oh Hey, Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Day Late Update

This was my first year participating in any of Dewey's 24 Hour Readathons which occur twice a year, every October and April. It was also my third readathon ever. Keep in mind that I'm relatively new to these types of events. If any of you have followed my previous readathon attempts, you would know that I'm not very good at participating. But third time's a charm, right? I had everything planned out as usual; I did not follow the plan.

05:00 AM. To 11:00 AM. You're probably thinking that I read during these six hours. Nope. I was sleeping and woke up around 11 o'clock in the morning. I stayed in bed, scrolling through Instagram and Twitter posts about the readathon on my phone. Off to a productive start, as always. 

11:30 AM. My roommate asked me why I wasn't reading yet...awkward...even she knew I was supposed to be doing something. Still wasn't feeling motivated, hence the impromptu trip to the market. Snacks were needed. 

12:07 PM. In a perfect world, I wanted to finish Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch buuuut that did not happen. I will say, I made more leeway with it than I thought I would. At this point, I had heard from most of my cheerleaders. They didn't make me want to read more, but it was a nice gesture! 

02:23 PM. I kept trucking along with Snow Like Ashes because I was suddenly becoming more and more immersed in the world - then everything went to hell for another few hours. I live across the street from my university's football field and there was a practice game yesterday - it was loud and distracting, like most of the people on my floor. I was not a happy reader.

05:05 PM. By this time, I was legit waiting for everyone in the building to leave because they were all being loud. Singing, screaming, and bickering. All freaking day.

06:00 PM. For whatever reason, it was dead silent for two hours, not that I'm complaining. It was wonderful. I didn't get much reading done though which was kind of the point? I did however manage to read more of the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Graphic Novel!

08:20 PM. I took a music break, then picked up Snow Like Ashes for the seventh or eighth time. This was the last time I picked up a book for the readathon.

09:45 PM. Yep, I stopped here. Maus Volumes 1 and 2 were on the agenda but I just never felt the desire to crack 'em open. I continued to read the hourly updates and took a peek at what my friends were reading, so congrats to those of you who actually accomplished what you intended to! I don't have the attention span or patience to read for long periods of time. Not ideal for a day long readathon.

End of Event Meme

1. Which hour was the most daunting for you? The first few hours were daunting because I didn't have the motivation to start reading and the last few hours were also daunting because they were going by super-fast.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I can't list specific titles but I do have some advice. Definitely read shorter books. Other participants got more read because their books were between 200 and 300 pages. Aside from shorter books, I would recommend graphic novels or short stories.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I would try to spread word of the Read-a-thon earlier on because I didn't find out about it until two days before it started.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year's Read-a-thon? I think the instructions for each mini-challenge were clear cut and the prize list was handled well. There was a nice systematic way of getting things done that made everything easier to understand as a Reader.

5. How many books did you read? Okay. Honesty hour. I didn't finish reading any books. I attempted to finish two.

6. What were the names of the books you read? See above paragraphs.

7. Which book did you enjoy the most? Snow Like Ashes. I usually prefer regular novels over graphic novels.

8. Which did you enjoy least? That leaves Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children the Graphic Novel.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year's Cheerleaders? I was not a Cheerleader this year and I don't plan on being a Cheerleader next year. But anything can happen!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I'm definitely going to participate in the next Read-a-thon if I can. I will most likely take on the role of a Reader again.

How was your 24 Hour Readathon experience? What books did you read? 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Collegiate Level English

Bookish Banter is an original feature at Hungover Fiction Lover in which I speak about various topics I find intriguing and worth discussing in depth.

For awhile now, I have been feeling moved to discuss the overview of my English classes here at school. During Fall Quarter, I didn't take any English courses because English is supposed to be my "easy" general education core requirement category. Instead, I took Classics in Literature, but that was a humanities course. As my first quarter at university came to a conclusion, I signed up for Winter Quarter classes. One of my three classes that quarter was English 101. Moving along to Spring Quarter, I am currently enrolled in English 201 and Intro to Fiction. Each of these three classes has presented their fair share of pros and cons, so sit tight while I elaborate.

English 101 shed light on what I come to identify as perspective. At first, I thought the class was boring. My professor would write a new word on the board every week with the definition. Eventually, she stopped doing that. She moved on to more important lessons. The day we began brainstorming for our first paper, she went through an interesting process involving a few questions that went something like this...

"How many of you have written a persuasive essay?" Most of the class raised their hands.
"Is there anyone who has never used MLA format?" About eight people raised their hands.
"How many of you have written an analysis essay?" I was the only one to raise a hand.

The above questions were easy and breezy, but I found that most of the kids in my class didn't like English. They also hadn't learned much about the subject at hand. It originally surprised me to hear that; it surprised me until I saw the results from my professors questions. I was one of maybe three students that found the English 101 curriculum to be "basic" because apparently, English was to my peers what Math is to me. Something in my mind clicked. I realized that I am extremely lucky to have received the education I did before attending college, and that I'm thankfully "lightning on my feet" when it comes to English.

At the end of it all, I earned a 4.0 in English 101. I learned that not everyone excels at the same subjects nor at the same pace. Also, I came to understand that English was only going to get more difficult. Unfortunately for me, I was right. English 201 sucks. I think my problems stem from the fact that: 1) my professor seems disconnected from her students, 
2) there are discussions in class but nothing to discuss, and 3) our research paper is the only thing we work on in terms of writing.

Hopefully you can see the issue I have with this class. It feels unproductive and when we're told to work on important assignments such as our research paper, we receive unhelpful and inconsistent feedback. It feels like a waste of time.

Now, making a complete 180, there is this wonderful class called Intro to Fiction. It's a pre-major requirement, but let me tell you, for a pre-major requirement, I am having the best time. It is by far my favorite class this quarter as well as my favorite English course I have taken. I enjoy the company of my classmates, the environment for a 2 hour 20 minute class is impeccable, and my professor is a riot. Today, with a grin slapped across her face, she yelled, "I don't care what you say unless you have something to support it!" It shocked me. It was raw, useful even. And I appreciate that.

The material we go over is every bit as awesome. Most of the stories we read and discuss are from The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. I don't necessarily recommend picking it up because it is rather chunky, but I do have some author and short story suggestions for anyone interested in literary fiction/classics/contemporary:
  • "Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe
  • "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner
  • "Babylon Revisited" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • "Sonny's Blues" by James Baldwin
  • "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway
  • "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson 
At the end of the day, I hope sharing my personal experiences helps calm those going off to college next year, or encourages someone to continuously try to do what they love, whether it involves writing/reading/whatever it may be that you like. I may not love all of my English classes, but I'm glad I have the opportunity to learn something from each and every one of them.

Have you ever favored one English class over another? Do you have a teacher that encourages learning through their teaching style and attitude? Do you have any helpful tips or tricks you use in English classes? Please, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Book Review | Angelfall & World After by Susan Ee

If you have been around booktube lately, or walked through a bookstore, you have most likely seen a little book called Angelfall by Susan Ee. Don't get me wrong, this book has been out for quite some time, but it took me a very long while to find and purchase. Once I had a physical copy in my hands, I devoured every word until the last page.

Writing about angels is a delicate task. Some authors can write a solid story about angels. Other authors cannot. Susan Ee has proven to me that she falls under the first category. Going into Angelfall, I was skeptical. This book has been hyped up by everyone and those are the books that I usually try to remain wary of. Before I even reached the halfway point, I had become completely engrossed with the plot, characters, and writing style.

To give those who haven't read this yet a mini overview, the story essentially follows our main protagonist, Penryn Young. Her little sister Paige is in a wheelchair and her mother is mentally ill, leaving Penryn to take care of them both. Plot twist: they are also currently living in an apocalyptic world where angels have taken over and the rest of humanity has basically gone to hell. One night, Penryn's sister is taken by some of these bad angels. She doesn't even have to think about what to do; she knows she must set out and find Paige.

The story basically progresses from there based off of that goal. I was thoroughly impressed with the writing and character development. Considering all of my reservations before I started reading, the first page was a clear indicator that I made the right decision in picking this up. Then the next page and the page after that. I was hooked.

Every individual I know has said that they were drawn to Penryn. I now understand why. Immensely. She is one kick ass heroine determined to do everything in her power to keep what's left of her family together. Then there is Raffe. Let us all pause to smack that stupid grin from our faces and continue on. I think everyone who read the first book, or second, basically fell in love with him. Although I don't love him the way I've loved other fictional characters, I do have a soft spot for Raffe. That's about all I can say without spoiling his part in the storyline. Aside from the main characters, I loved the secondary ones just as much, if not more. Penryn's mother. Obi. The twins. All of them.

The weird thing about Angelfall was that I enjoyed the beginning and middle much more than the end. I couldn't stay as interested in the last sixty or seventy pages but nevertheless, it was a good denouement with a minor (okay, slightly major) cliffhanger. However you want to interpret it. 

Then there was World After. I read this almost a month ago. It did not meet my expectations, but it wasn't bad by any means. Part of my problem was that my friends and fellow book lovers gushed about the second book, saying that it was better than the first. I disagree.

I thought the first half of the second book was super slow, with a few exciting scenes introduced sporadically. The last half upped the ante. I could not get enough of Beliel. His role became one million times more interesting, you know, ten seconds before the craziness occurred. Finally, the entire plot turned into a whirlwind of twists and turns I didn't see coming. World After ended on a strong note but there was too much build up for the finale. Or at least I hope that's what Susan intended. 

When it comes down to it, I enjoyed both books more than I ever thought I would. Susan Ee crafted a spectacular angel centered world. She also left me unbearably anxious with all this waiting around for the third and final book! 

Angelfall: 5 out of 5 stars

World After: 4 out of 5 stars