Apologies – and a Semi-Haitus

Okay,

So you may or may not have noticed that I haven’t been very active on this blog recently – every post that has gone up this summer was previously scheduled, and while I responded to comments, I haven’t really been reading blogs or writing posts, or reading.

You may have noticed that there haven’t really been any recent book reviews – because I haven’t been reading. Part of this is I got entirely overwhelmed by Netgalley and it put me in a reading slump, and a majority of it is I’m been working of things this summer – volunteering, college and fly in and scholarship applications, babysitting my sister, etc. And as much as I love this blog, all those things must come first.

So, I have posts scheduled for a while, and I’ll try to write more when I can, I’ll try to respond to comments etc. But I won’t be as active as I like to be on here for a while, and I won’t be reading much for fun, because school stuff has to come first. I feel guilty, because I do have arcs pending etc. but my schoolwork and my future (i.e. college applications and things) have to come first.

I hope you all understand.

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Book Blitz: Last Semester by Corine Mekaouche

Book & Author Details:

Last Semester
by Corine Mekaouche
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance
LastSemester


Synopsis:

When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn’t always easy and it’s up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?

AUTHOR BIO:

Corine

The geek and a dreamer, Corine Mekaouche has always had the vision of becoming a writer. While growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, Corine spent her childhood immersed in music, novels, and writing. To her, the arts was the best escape ever. For college, she attended Rutgers University majoring in English and minoring in Theatre Arts. Somehow, Corine survived the college experience and became somewhat of a grown-up yet still kept the vision of being a writer alive because it may be all she’s qualified for. So, she wrote and wrote until Last Semester, a new adult novel about college life and growing up, was born. Currently, she is writing other novels and plays for future release. When she’s not writing, loudly singing to songs in her car or dancing in random places for no apparent reason, Corine is being an awesome wife and a mom residing outside of the wonderfully flawed New York City..
Author links:

This tour was Organized by 

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GIVEAWAY

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
$15 Amazon gift card

LastSemesterBlitzBanner

Excerpt:

“Breathe, Rob! Just breathe!” I demand in a panicky voice from the back seat as we swiftly pull up to the entrance of the hospital. Clutching his chest in pain next to me, he heaves out a few spouts of air, but it’s not enough to help him.

Shit! 

I watch my roommate Rob’s cheeks turn from a shade of deep pink to a dark crimson red. “A.J.! He’s getting worse!” I yell to my other roommate in the driver’s seat. He rolls his eyes then turns around.

“Calm down, Jo!” he exclaims. “I can’t think when you’re yelling like this!”

Drew, our other roommate, and usually the voice of reason, says nothing as he quickly jumps out of the Range Rover and runs into the hospital entrance.

“Can’t. Breathe,” Rob manages to force out of his mouth, then before I know it, his body falls limp and his head somehow ends up on my lap. His eyes roll to the back of his head.

“I think he’s dying!” I whine and suddenly I’m losing my breath.

Releasing a loud groan, A.J. climbs out of the SUV and casually walks into the hospital as if nothing is wrong.

Why is he so calm and I’m flipping the hell out? 

I begin to shake Rob’s shoulders but he doesn’t respond and I’m almost positive that he’s not breathing at all now.

It’s official.

I killed my roommate.

Okay, maybe he’s not dead yet, but if death was a road, he just made a left turn for the worse then ran over a few annoying potholes and some week old roadkill…and probably drove off a cliff or something…

Ugh! I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore! I feel guilty for doing this to him and I feel even more guilty because I kinda hate his arrogant, smug ass, but just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean that they deserve to die, does it?

The back door opens and I see A.J. and Drew standing outside with a wheelchair. A.J. roughly wraps his arms around Rob’s body and begins to pull him out of the car. “Fuck! He’s like the size of an ogre,” he complains as he struggles to get Rob into the wheelchair. The fact that Rob is as useless as a wet noodle right now makes it difficult for A.J. to adjust Rob’s body in the chair. I cringe just watching it.

“I knew this was going to happen one day,” Drew says shaking his head. “The inevitable always happens.”

Shooting Drew a snarling glare, A.J. grits his teeth. “Just roll the goddamn chair into the hospital,” he instructs. Drew turns the chair around and begins to jog into the emergency room with Rob’s body leaning to one side. A.J. looks at me in the SUV, annoyed. “Well, are you coming?” he asks and I just freeze.

Do I stay? Do I go? I don’t know what to do with myself!

Taking a quick yet deep breath, I climb out of the SUV, shut the door and join A.J. on the other side of the vehicle.

“I’m horrible,” I blurt out and I can feel wetness welling in my eyes. “I’m a horrible person.”

“Dammit, Jo! I hate it when girls cry,” he complains as he shuts the other back door and begins to walk into the hospital. He pauses in his tracks when he notices that I’m not following him.

I’m frozen.

Waiting on Wednesday #1 – Last Semester

new2bwow

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming book releases you’re dying for!


LastSemester


Summary:

When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn’t always easy and it’s up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?

Paperback, 360 pages
Expected publication: April 21st 2017 by Corine Mekaouche

Okay. So, generally, I am not the biggest fan of New Adult novels – I prefer sticking to YA, and generally romance NA is immediately in my “not that into it” mental list when I hear someone raving.
But I’m hosting a book blitz for this book on release day (2 days from now!) and I’m getting serious New Girl vibes – and since I love it, I kind of want to read this.
Also, as someone anxious about college, I kind of want to read more college set novels.

So what do you think?
Do you want to read this book?
Have you heard of it?
Let me know!

Study Guide: SAT / ACT / Subject Tests

As a Junior in high school in America, I am firmly entrenched in the terrifying world of standardized testing.

The SAT (and usually ACT as well) is literally inescapable if you want to go to college (I want to be a doctor, I have to do LOTS of education past high school).

There are also about 4 billion services and study guides for these tests. It is a very lucrative business.

The issue is, if you anything like me, when you don’t have the time or money for a rigorous prep course, and finding information on your own makes you want to throw up from nerves (hi, that would be me).

So here is everything that helped me. I didn’t do a formal prep course (unless you count practice in AP classes). Maybe it’ll help you too.

And remember, whatever you study for one test, helps with the other. Math and English don’t exactly change from test to test.


On Standardized Tests / ACT v. SAT – A good overview on the  reason for the tests, and on picking which one to take. Though if you can, taking both is always best.

Free Practice Tests – For all the exams

Full SAT v. ACT Comparison


ACT Test Day Guide

What To Bring To The ACT

ACT Calculator Policy

Grammar Rules for ACT

31 Must Know ACT Math Formulas

What You Need For ACT Science

General Things You Should Know (1)

General Things You Should Know (2)

Types of Passages on Reading Test

About the ACT Essay


SAT Test Day Checklist

SAT Calculator Policy

SAT Grammar Rules

Complete Guide To SAT Grammar

Breakdown of SAT Math

On The SAT Essay


On Subject Tests

Subject Test Requirements


 

I got a 1430 on my January SAT (I’m retaking it in May), haven’t taken the ACT (taking it in April), got a 790 on subject test Bio E, and I’m taking the Chem and Math II subject tests in May.

If you want a reference for how well I did, before taking my advice.

 

General Study Tips and Tools

Okay, studying is never fun, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Studying is particularly important for the AP test(s). I’ve gotten a 3 and two 5’s on my past tests, and I’m taking 4 more the year; so I think my study methods can help others.

I’m going to try and make specialized guides for each test I’ve taken so far / am taking this year, but this is a more generalized list of my study habits/tools.


General Tips:

 -Actually learn the material the first time.
You can’t put it off and catch up a week later, it’ll just make you cry.

-Review your test and homework mistakes. It helps more than you think.

-Get a review book. Barron’s and 5 steps to a 5 are both good. Barron’s is my favorite, the sections are short and good for basic review and their are lots of review questions and explanations of the answers.

-Start studying more than a week before, especially if you have more than 1 test coming up.

General Tools / Most Subjects:

AP Study Notes –

Basically a site full of outlines and bullet point notes for pretty much every AP subject. Its really helpful for reviewing.

One Month AP Study Guides –

30 day study and practice guides for each AP test, if you have the time/patience for it, it helps a lot, especially if you’re bad at sticking to your own schedules for studying.

Easy Note Cards –

Basically notecards of test questions and vocabulary words, more helpful for class tests than the AP test, as its textbook specific.

Crash Course Videos –

Crash Course is my number one study tool for the AP test, I have more patience for videos than extra reading, and its entertaining too. Pretty much every subject you need is here.

Science Tools:

 

Bozeman Science –

Science videos, more in depth on the math-ier concepts than other sites/videos. Step by step with explanations for the math in chemistry, physics and biology.

 

 

Hell Yes!!! (AP Scores Are Here!)

As you all may know, back in May I took two AP tests (AP Psychology and AP Biology) and an SAT II Subject Test (Biology E(cology) ).

Well, in my haze from getting my wisdom teeth out on Friday, I COMPLETELY forgot that scores were being released.

So I checked.

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5 out of 5 on both: This would be why I didn’t post for 2 months in April/May, this is what I was studying for!

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790 out of 800: I obviously made the right choice going for E instead of M

 

Hell Yes!!!

I am so proud of myself! Especially since I walked out of both biology tests confused and 99.9% sure I had failed because I second-guessed all my answers (and my handwriting is the worst ever, which is a bit of a disadvantage on the AP essay portion).

But apparently, I had no reason to be worried.

Honestly, this is a big weight off my shoulders. I’m so happy!

(Sorry if this sounds like bragging, I was just proud of myself… and sorry for terrible picture quality, it is literally a picture of my computer screen taken with my Iphone and zoomed in)

So, did anyone else take AP tests? What did you get? Let me know!

(And honestly, two AP tests almost killed me so this year, with four of them, I may very well die from stress. Like a sponge. A sponge should be my spirit animal not a moose.)

An Academic Book Haul + Camp Merch

As you all know, I got back from camp last Friday, this is very late because I have been busy (seeing family, cleaning, wisdom teeth…) and the full account of my time away will be later still, but until then, I wanted to show off my souvenirs, most notably my books, this is a book blog after all.

The camp I go to is called Duke TIP. This year, I was actually on the Duke university campus. It is an academic summer camp and I took the “Neuroscience” program. We got three text books.

 

The Human Brain Book, though having the most uninspired title of all time, is actually really cool, its in full color and highly detailed and it comes with a CD of animations and narrations of pretty much every topic and figure in the book. I’ve only flipped through it. But its very cool.

The Brain That Changes Itself is a nonfiction book about plasticity, different neurologists, and some case studies. Its a fascinating read, though a slow one. I read these science book much slower than I read novels, but the writing isn’t dry, you can feel the author’s excitement, and since neurology is what I want to go into, I’m digging this book, though I’m only 200 pages in.

Neurobiology: A Functional Approach is a bit different than the other two. For one thing, it is an actual textbook used in actual college classes. It was written by the professor of MY professor. You know its legit. But it is also crazy expensive. So, for a class of 15 kids, they only bought three copies. And we weren’t strictly meant to keep it. But I was so excited my teacher let me keep it. Score! And its up-to-date too!(Yes I am the nerd who will read a college textbook for fun).

 

We went to the Nasher Museum that isn’t far from campus. They had a Neuroscience exhibit, and we got little booklets explaining each art piece and how it relates to the brain. We all saw the historical and photography sections of the museum. I loved it. Museums are my favorite part of vacation and I’m glad I got to go to one.

That first picture is of laptop stickers I got from the camp store. I’m getting a laptop soon, and I figured I’d get the stickers now since this was my last year at camp and I love it so much.

That second picture is a Mr.Bubble stuffed toy. You know, the mascot from the bubble bath pretty much everyone used as a kid? Or, at least I did. We went to Palace Central (think Dave and Buster’s) one day as a camp wide field-trip. A classmate of my roommate won it in a claw machine game but it scared them both, so it was passed to me! Isn’t he cute? He is currently chilling on my bookshelf.

The third picture is my lanyard. My camp requires us to wear them every waking moment, I kid you not I tried to wear it for about three days after camp ended out of habit. The orange signifies that I was a fourth year, and had the accompanying privileges. I’m writing a whole blog post about camp. I’ll explain more there. But look at all the pins!

That last picture is proof that neither me nor my roommate were good at photo booths.

First two pictures are the front and back of my RAG (Residential Advisory Group) shirt. The dad thing is a long story.

Second two pictures are the front and back of my class shirt. The woodpecker is our mascot because they don’t get concussions.

(Feel free to ask me in comments for the full story behind any of this, really)

Top two pictures are the front and back of my shirt from the fourth year paint war. Trust me, the damage was worse than it looks. I washed paint out of my hair for two days.

The bottom three in order are: An 3XL Duke University sweatshirt, a Duke TIP pajama T-shirt, and Duke University sweatpants.

Essentially, I love my camp, have little self control, and am fond of overly large, warm clothing despite living in a state where it is unnecessary.

 

So, what do you think? Has anyone else been to Duke TIP? Anyone going to Duke for college? Read any of the books I mentioned? Any stories from camp you’d like to hear? Let me know!