Formal Exit + What I Have Been Up To + I MISS YOU ALL

Hi guys 🙂 So….

You may be wondering why I’ve decided to write an entry on this blog a year after I last showed up on your newsfeeds. I know that I just disappeared without a trace, disappointingly so especially after I had resolved to post more often for the New Year (well, the old new year!) I guess for a year now I’ve been denying the fact that I left so ungracefully, and so unceremoniously, and probably in a very annoying “poof and I’m gone” manner, which is why it had to take me this long to formally tell you guys that I’m no longer a part of the book blogosphere.

Well, technically, I haven’t been for as long as I’ve been AWOL, and I know that. I guess I just wanted to apologize for leaving without a trace, and not bothering to contact all of the friends I’ve made from here whom I have promised to stay in contact with. I’m not even sure anymore if anyone will get to read this, as I have considered the fact that most of you may have erased my blog from your feeds and subscriptions altogether because it’s been defunct for the longest time, but I just HAD to say this formally, or else it would’ve felt like unfinished business (and you and I both know how nasty that feels in every sense!).

Come to think of it, I may have gotten a few hopes up that I’d be making a grand return, but no such thing will happen, I’m afraid. Don’t get me wrong, though– I love books just as much as I did before, and I still do keep up with all of the series you guys are into now, but lately, I just haven’t had the time to keep up a blog like this. For one thing, I’m in college now, and it’s way more stressful than I had imagined it would be. I’m majoring in an honors course and am trying to keep up a full scholarship at the moment, so I can’t afford to let anything get in the way of my academics. I wonder if I’m offending any of you guys by making it sound like I think of book blogs as a distraction. Of course not. Once upon a time, I ran a little something something called Flip That Page myself, and let me tell you, it was the most fun I’ve ever had in this lifetime. Of course, I still have lots of fun now, and really, it feels like I’ve found my calling, but I will always miss having amazing conversations with you guys, getting to fangirl with you over fictional characters, and of course having an opportunity to hold the occasional debate (my brother misses all of you guys too!)

It’s been tough having to leave, especially after working so hard on my blog and making sure I posted premium content. I always took this blog seriously, and it’s always been a shame that I couldn’t manage to keep it up. But truthfully, I’m the busiest person I know right now, what with all these org works, and projects, and meetings, and long exams, and research papers, and gatherings, and parties (it’s not the college life without one of these!), and me trying to maintain a steady social life, and everything else that I have on my plate at the moment, and what a ginormous plate it is.

So yeah. I guess I just wanted you guys to know that no, I’m not dead yet, that no, I don’t hate all of you, that no, I have not lost interest in books, that yes, I am sorry for going MIA, and that yes I miss all of you and all of the things we used to share. Of course, if you guys want to strike up a conversation or two, I won’t be a snob! So feel free to mail me anything, or leave a comment or tell me what you’ve been meaning to tell me for the past year, if anything.

Of course, special mention goes to Chiara, my bloggy best friend, whose blog is now the prettiest damn thing I have ever seen in my life. Chiara, I know we don’t get to talk anymore, but I’m still up for that trip to Paris and to Disneyland and to anywhere else around the world and I promise to visit you in Australia one day. I know you may think that I’ve forgotten, but I haven’t, especially since I’m still updated with whatever you’re up to on other forms of social media. I love you, I still do, and I will forever. SOUL SISTER! So proud of what you’ve achieved while I was away!

And to all of the other friends I’ve made on this blog, thank you for being a part of my life. I think I’ll decide to keep Flip That Page on the internet forever, because this is definitely an experience and and a journey that I will want to look back on fondly in the future. (DAMN I’M CRYING THE NOSTALGIA IS REAL).

Thank you guys for listening to what I have to say. I guess as a book blogger, it’s a (formal) goodbye for now, but I’ll always be around somehow, in other ways. And that’s a promise 🙂

xoxo, Jasmine

 

 

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Some Exciting 2014 Debuts

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I’m sure you may have observed (or at least I hope you did), that I’ve gone astray for two weeks this month, more or less, which is about as prolonged as my erstwhile hiatus, notwithstanding the cold fact that this time around, I couldn’t even be bothered to come up with the proper goodbye, no matter how temporary (believe you me, this was thoroughly unprecedented). And while I am feeling a little morose and dejected, as I did technically flake out on the blog, I can’t say that I did of my own discretion, because as is normally the case, I’m simply pressed for time. I just never really foresaw that my senior year could get this frenzied and chaotic, though I’m genuinely having the time of my life (high school was never really this lively before, though that’s likely by virtue of the fact that I’ve been single for an extended period of time, and that was by no means the case subsequent to my Freshman year. But I’m not that kind of girl, no worries. I embrace this status. And forgive the untimely revelation HAHA). But the thing is, I’m still quite the busybody, which of course, is a heavy understatement, as in all cases involving my persona.

So I guess I just wanted to lay foundation for this post with a succinct apology, which goes a little something like, I’m sorry for bailing out on you guys without meaning to, because there aren’t enough hours in a day for me to squeeze blogging in the between my obligations to school, but as always, I will try to make up for it (although this time I refuse to make promises I might potentially break).

So of course, my apologies for starting on a somewhat disconsolate note (SORRY D:) and because I missed the last TTT, I decided to make my return post one about the 2014 debuts I am most looking forward to, and I do apologize profusely if any of these books were mistakenly classified if they aren’t debuting this year. But I hope you find something to your liking, that we may fangirl together one of these days. I’ll leave you guys with a short synopsis too, in case you’re too lazy to click on the link to look it up (I know I usually am. HA!)

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Side  Effects May Vary (Julie Murphy)

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What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

I wasn’t exactly a standpat, intransigent fan of The Fault In Our Stars (don’t get me wrong, I adore that book with all of my being). Yet somehow, this book is partially reminiscent of the aforementioned, and I am psyched for its release. Despite the fact that the only concrete similarity is the protagonist’s struggle against a life-threatening disease, the snippets are as smooth-spoken and grandiloquent as the classic John Green novel, and though the story itself may induce a tearjerk reflex, the plot itself does seem to revolve around a primarily optimistic vibe, as the heroine lives what is like to be the last of days to the fullest, and without reservation. And because I’m all for the emotional impact, this book is right up my alley.

Alienated (Melissa Landers)

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Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.  Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking. But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

If truth be told, I found it a little disparaging at first that anyone could think another being so ravishing and splendiferous despite the glaring difference in species (though of course he still has to have the six-pack surfboard abs. He just can’t exist without them buns, can he? Nope. Nuh-uh.) But the thing is, Alienated seems like a quirky take on the complex relationship between two strangers who have lived most of their lives virtually worlds apart, and various reviews by renowned authors attest to this observation (JLA included!) In addition, I am hoping to relate to Cara Sweeney, as we do happen to share the same taste for managing active blogs and hosting exchange students, especially when they’re good-looking enough to melt me into a puddle of sludge. So who knows? Maybe a lighter version of an otherwise horrific tale will widely appeal to my fancies.

Open Road Summer (Emery Lord)

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After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

DAT COVER. Envisage its beauty and bask in its glory and tell me that doesn’t just coerce you into grabbing a copy. Haha, okay for the record, I’m not into this for that sole reason—as I’m sure you’ve heard, I am embracing the Contemporary genre this year, and Open Road Summer seems like the perfect motivation. I’ve always been into books that intertwine with music (because I do like to sing and play guitar!) and because I am in that phase of life during which one undergoes an identity crisis  and is after an inspiration to live life and move forward. I’m hoping that a book on friendship, healing and love will prove the perfect rock star debut to usher in a year of exciting releases.

The Falconer (Elizabeth May)

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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?

To be honest, I’m not digging the cover to this one, because it looks reprehensibly artificial especially at the neckline, but that’s a measly detail I can overlook. But since I am probably the biggest fan of historical fiction (with a crossover appeal to YA of course), I am deeply enticed by the plot to this novel. I’ve always embraced the blow-by-blow approach to mystery books, and because I’m looking forward to electrifying plot twists and conspiratorial political disturbances (What? It’s a weakness), The Falconer definitely deserves a spot on this list.

Pointe (Brandy Colbert)

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Theo is better now. She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.

Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.

Confession bear: I’m a terrible dancer. So what exactly would dragoon me into reading a book that revolves around one of the most complex forms of dance known to man? Pointe is a book by an author I’ve never heard of before, so reading it would basically mean stepping into completely uncharted territory. But then again, I guess that’s part of what makes the book so animated and intriguing, because I have only the synopsis to tell me that it would impassion me to say the least. I do think that the plotline piques my interest and is quite frankly, pretty original (as most crimes don’t feature return appearances by their victims), and the mystery behind the seemingly unsolved abduction is definitely one to look forward to. So here’s to hoping for a suspenseful page-turner!

A Mad, Wicked Folly (Sharon Biggs Waller)

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Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.

After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

I’m taking a massive leap of faith here because the protagonist sounds nothing like the sort of person I am, or at least the sort of person I make myself out to be. But of course, I do try to espouse empathy for characters who think outside of my comfort zone, though the fact that the heroine Victoria Darling is filthy stinking rich may make it a challenge for me to feel her pain, if any. But of course, it’s always nice to take things from an alien perspective, and I’m quite glad that the author decided to take risks and turn the tables with this daring debut.

Where You’ll Find Me (Erin Fletcher)

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When Hanley Helton discovers a boy living in her garage, she knows she should kick him out. But Nate is too charming to be dangerous. He just needs a place to get away, which Hanley understands. Her own escape methods (vodka, black hair dye, and pretending the past didn’t happen) are more traditional, but who is she to judge?

Nate doesn’t tell her why he’s in her garage, and she doesn’t tell him what she’s running from. Soon, Hanley’s trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate’s recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn’t sure which is worse: that she’s harboring a fugitive, or that she’s in love with one.

Now THIS is a plot practically unheard of! I mean, it’s obviously not everyday that some gorgeous young bachelor accidentally winds up at your garage and asks for temporary shelter, which is totally fine by me even if it means giving up half of my room I honestly prefer that haha but despite the fact that the story sounds lame on the surface, I completely understand how hard it must be to harbour a fugitive who is meant to return somewhere far from home. I’m predicting a massive emotional roller coaster here, and since I’m all up for a bawl session, this book is definitely one to watch out for.

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So what do you think of my picks? Are you interested in reading any of them? And do tell me about the additions to your TBR piles this year! Happy reading, everyone 🙂

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The Standalone-Contemporary Challenge + Other 2014 Challenges

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As you may have already known, I am receptive to the fact that it’s the first month of the year (because it says so on my calendar, and I just celebrated the New Year like, 4 days ago and because I’m not stupid, why did I even have to tell you that), so I guess now is the time for me to share with you the various Reading Challenges I endure to partake in, also in the hopes that I may prevail upon you to join me!

Nonetheless, the thing is  that I’m incredibly lackadaisical in terms of facing up to challenges. I don’t have a contingency plan at hand for every obstruction and vicissitude, and honestly, reading challenges frighten me. For one thing, it’s ancillary pressure, and for another, it’s ostensible failure. So I’ve asked myself this question one too many times: ‘Why even bother?’ And that persistent doubt is one of the reasons why I’ve never deigned until this year to try.

Be that as it may, I’m determined to transmogrify 2014 into a year of firsts, and by happy chance, that mindset agrees with my activity for the past three days– I hosted my first set of giveaways, I cooked my first full meal, I watched my first local movie (without protest), and I read my first Adult book (by J.K. Rowling though, so I’m probably cheating with the crossover appeal). And I guess that somewhere along the lines, I must have thought to myself, now would be the perfect time to add to that list of firsts by participating in my first set of Reading Challenges!

But then you inquire, what about pressure? What about failure? The answer to that is (jocosely enough): why even bother? Because you shouldn’t. That is to say, you shouldn’t let the possibility of defeat bother you, because a good challenge pressures you into favorable things, such as the drive and the motivation to keep blogging on, and more importantly, reading on. Additionally, a challenge is healthy once in a while, because life is never as breathtaking without a bumpy ride, and these challenges, as per what I am hoping for, may prove the perfect opportunity for dent in the road, or two.

So what’s it gonna be for me this year?

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The Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge

Pretty much everyone is into this, and I want to be a part of that. I know that I may be setting myself up for downthrow, because I’m aiming towards a three-digit count, but I did get to a hundred last year, so why shouldn’t I this time around? It’s shipshape to give myself  a solid desideratum, because at least now I know how many books I should be reading each week (which is around two, so that’s pretty realistic).

2014 Series Challenge

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This is Octavia‘s second ingenious idea for the new year, so kudos to her for being such a creative thinker! The best part is that she’s given us a goal in stages, so to speak, which come in the form of badges, and for this year I’m aiming for the most prominent in  selection, the Platinum badge, which merits me the right to claim having finished a minimum of 12 series (at least until the latest title, if the series ends during a later year). In addition, people may sign up for the challenge and become eligible for entry into a badge-specific giveaway. The main objective, however, is to have fun, and I do give credence to Octavia for an awesomazing job in terms of setting us afoot and giving us incentive. So thank you, Octavia!  In case you were curious, these are the series I hope to finish:

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If you have other series to suggest, please don’t hesitate to tell me!

The Debut Author Challenge

If you’ve seen my previous post (and have read it, which of course I am wont to assume if you’ve seen it, haha), you must know that I am, as  a matter of fact, planning on the discovery of at least 50 new authors this year. And though I’m not reservedly informed of the mechanics, once the posts (over on Hobbitsies, if I’m not mistaken) are up, you can be sure to see me somewhere on there, and lurking!

The Standalone Contemporary Challenge

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This is in truth, a challenge I’ve had in mind for about approximately 42 hours,  and one I have resolved to reach fruition. I’ve always been a loyal supporter to fantasy fiction, but because I have decided to open up to genres outside of my usual comfort zone, I’ve decided to make it a point to create my own challenge and share it with you: hence the Standalone Contemporary Challenge! Here are the mechanics:

1. The definition speaks for itself, but if you remain caught unawares, the books read for this challenge must be Contemporary YA/NA and must not be in series.

2. Anyone interested may sign up for this challenge, simply by commenting on this post (or on the challenge page once it is up!) and informing me that you are. Sign-ups are open until June 30th.

3. Sometime by the end of the year, I will host a giveaway for the participants. The winner will receive a set of books from my list of reads for this challenge, and the number of entries you earn will depend on the number of books read. The main goal for this challenge is 30 books (though you will earn entries for reading much less).

5. Entries will be verified with your link to a Goodreads shelf entitled ‘2014-Standalone-Contemporary-Challenge’ (or anything similar, for that matter). The books in this shelf must be given a rating and some feedback, even just in one sentence.

6. Participants are NOT required to enter into the giveaway. You may, of course, join in for the simple fun of it, because that’s what counts, after all!

7. This challenge is not meant to pressure you into reading more than you want to, so please read at your own pace and at your own discretion (because this genre just might not be for you). Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

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