Online Safety Tips for New/Young BookTubers

I’ve been asked by young folk on several occasions how to go about asking parents about getting into BookTube. Although BookTube is a very fun place and is very fun to do, my main concern is safety. That’s why you can’t keep this a secret.

The following tips aren’t just for underaged folk. If you’re an adult, think about these things, too. I know that your internet presence is up to you and I know that with this week’s discussion about Kathleen Hale stalking a blogger, I at least wanted to scratch the surface of talking about some basics for online safety. I know we’ve been presented with extenuating circumstances in both the YouTube community and the book blogging community. It’s been rough.

Anyway, here are some tips with some help of my Twitter friends:

Tip #1: Tell your parents (or someone). Have at least one person who is a responsible adult know that you have an online presence, no matter big or small. It keeps you accountable for your actions and it gives you something to talk about with the ‘rents at the dinner table. Talk to them about what you should and shouldn’t do online.

Tip #2: Don’t give out your home address unless you are 100% certain that you’re talking to a representative from a publishing house that you trust. If you’re underage, let your parents see the messages you get for review requests. [libraryofsarah] On that same note, it would be a good idea to get a PO Box. I personally don’t have one because I only accept review requests from major publishers and publicists. Very rarely do I give my address to an author.

Tip #2.5: Don’t tell people the city/town you live in. I’ll tell people when I’m going to signings in Atlanta, but I never tell people what side of town I live in. If you film somewhere other than your house, don’t give out addresses or names of business. [katiegilmour13]
Make sure your background and clothes are free from school mascots, year books, and such.

Tip #3: Create a pseudonym or don’t use your last name.

More Resources:
http://www.nationalcac.org/prevention/internet-safety-kids.html
http://www.safekids.com/kids-rules-for-online-safety/
http://www.safekids.com/contract.htm
http://www.fbi.gov/fun-games/kids/kids-safety

Read More

Sabrina: The Teenage Witch (1996 TV Movie)

Yeah, that’s right! I bet you didn’t know Sabrina: The Teenage Witch was a tv movie. I mean, I didn’t until the other day when I had finished binge watching Melissa & Joey on Netflix and I was still in the mood for some Melissa Joan Hart humor. I was curious as to what all was one ABC’s TGIF line up back in the 90s, which I so fondly remember… When I stumbled on the Wikipedia pages of not one, but TWO Sabrina: The Teenage Witch things. One is the tv show that ran 1996-2000. The other is the tv movie, which I’m just finding out now served as a sort of pilot for the tv series. That being said, the tv film has the same premise of a girl going to live with her aunts so they can train her to be a witch in the real world.

tumblr ndo0xkvnLV1qg49w0o6 250 Sabrina: The Teenage Witch (1996 TV Movie)

Okay, that was a bit dorky, but Sabrina was basically the girl I wish was my best friend from age 8 to 12. She didn’t always fit in, but she did her best. Hijinks ensue. She has a talking cat and two fun aunts. There was also a midget who had a crush on her. I mean, who wouldn’t want that? JK I was definitely Team Harvey through and through.

tumblr mdk2g6cnzQ1r4v34qo1 250 Sabrina: The Teenage Witch (1996 TV Movie)

The TV film is so quintessential 90s. The hair styles, the clothing choice, the music… The Ryan Reynolds. Okay, nowadays, he’s the dude who’s makin’ babies with Blake Lively (cute couple, btw), but in Sabrina: The Teenage Witch, he’s the Wrong Guy for Sabrina. Heck, she doesn’t even really like him. In this movie, all boys are good for are dates to the dance and throwing parties. I mean, Harvey’s– the nerd, bless him– a bit different, but he is the one to be nice enough to throw a particular party.

tumblr ndo0xkvnLV1qg49w0o8 250 Sabrina: The Teenage Witch (1996 TV Movie)

Even her best friend Jenny says that she doesn’t like her own date, but he has a car. That’s where the bar is set. I guess if you have to set it somewhere, that’s a decent place.

The fun 90s vibe continues throughout tv film with the kooky sound effects and the music that lends itself to a tv movie about a teenage witch. There are also these really cheesy page turn transition effects between scenes. Priceless.

Oh, I almost forgot: Salem. Although he does have a few lines, he’s not the hysterically creepy animatronic cat we see in the show. Which is totally fine. It works. I definitely had a love/hate relationship with Salem in the show. Just. Yeah.

tumblr mdjfq8ORXm1r4v34qo10 r1 250 Sabrina: The Teenage Witch (1996 TV Movie)

Read More

The Young Elites by Marie Lu Review

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

20821111 198x300 The Young Elites by Marie Lu ReviewThe Young Elites by Marie Lu
Book DepositorySeries: The Young Elites #1
Published by Penguin, Putnam Juvenile on October 7, 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 355
Format: Hardcover
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

Marie Lu does it again in The Young Elites! Fascinating story, characters, and more wrapped up in 355 glorious pages.

Now, Fantasy isn’t always my jam. Well, I like Urban Fantasy, but sometimes the more Fantasy-set-in-another-world is confusing to me. I got confused to who the Daggers were. I know it’s supposed to be questionable as to if they have Adelina’s best interest at heart, but I wasn’t sure if they were Elites or a part of the Inquisitor’s army-of-sorts. I mean, I learned closer to the end.

Speaking of questioning who is good and who is bad, I loved that Adelina had this Elsa vibe to her. I know her dad tried coaxing her powers out of her when she was younger, but when she actually is allowed to use her powers without manipulation, it’s the big KABOOM. Or something. Sometimes it was confusing as to what she was illusion-ing and what was actually happening, but it gives the story more complexity than just “Oh here’s this girl fighting the mean inquisitor! Sigh.” And speaking of the inquisitor, he was pretty complex with his malfetto-ness while fighting other malfettos.

Violetta is my favorite character. You’ll have to read to find out why! I mean, yes, THINGS. But THIIIINGS. Also Enzo. I think Enzo was the best. I mean, not that characters need to be upstanding citizens to be well-written. Do they? What do you think?

Oh and the epilogue was one to end all epilogues. It introduces us to a character that I am super excited about.

Read More

#HaleNo: A Discussion

This weekend, my Twitter feed exploded in reaction to Kathleen Hale’s essay in which she recounts how she stalked a blogger who gave her a negative review or negative status updates on Goodreads and allegedly threw shade at the author on Twitter.

The book, No One Else Can Have You, was released earlier this year and what I’ve seen from Goodreads, it has received reviews all across the board. Why hone in on this one blogger?

Hale claims that she’s been “catfished” by the blogger by way of this review. This isn’t true when you see that the blogger didn’t write the review with the intent deceive the author or any other readers of the review. The author took it upon herself to find out where the blogger lives, works, and checks out her social media profiles in detail.

The mere posting of a negative or critical review does not merit being stalked. It does not merit payback. A negative or critical review from a blogger has yet to destroy an author’s career. I have yet to see one blogger jump in front of a book case, video camera, or instagram photo exclaiming that no other reader is allowed to read a certain book. And I bet no blogger reviews a book negatively thinking they’re either putting themselves in risk or being edgy by any stretch. I know some people can be mean and rude, BUT it does not turn the author into Literary Batman.

The Guardian essay: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/oct/18/am-i-being-catfished-an-author-confronts-her-number-one-online-critic
That time she threw peroxide at a child her mother allegedly molested: http://thoughtcatalog.com/kathleen-hale/2013/02/169836/

Justine L’s tweet: https://twitter.com/JustineLavaworm/status/523471229085155330

Resources:
http://www.nationalcac.org/prevention/internet-safety-kids.html
http://www.safekids.com/kids-rules-for-online-safety/
http://www.safekids.com/contract.htm
http://www.fbi.gov/fun-games/kids/kids-safety

Read More

The Body Electric by Beth Revis Review

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

22642971 197x300 The Body Electric by Beth Revis ReviewThe Body Electric by Beth Revis
IndieboundPublished by Scripturient Books on October 6, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 482
Format: Paperback
Source: the author
Goodreads
four stars The Body Electric by Beth Revis Review
The future world is at peace.

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

So who can she trust?

Androids and bees and dead scientist dad, oh my! The Body Electric by Beth Revis had me on the edge of my seat within the first few chapters and kept me going until the very end.

Characters
I liked ‘em. I liked that I didn’t feel pressured to like them. Like, Revis doesn’t lay out these amazing qualities like, “OMG Like Me!!!” I know that every character in every book is different, but it was nice to read a character’s perspective that didn’t involve Ella doing things because someone else wanted her to. She looked after her mom and worked in the spa because that’s what she wanted to do.

I also liked that her relationship with Jack didn’t appear out of thin air. He isn’t this super mystery waiting to be found out. I wouldn’t go as far as saying he’s this normal guy who is just a guy. He’s got depth. He has drive.

The World
The world was so interesting! That’s the thing I love about Revis’s novels. Of course, this one is set on Earth, but it’s a new version of Earth. Some things have been recreated. The government is a big part of it. There are androids and an emphasis on science, whether it’s gone too far or if it’s still moving in the right direction.

The Story
So, this Dystopian Sci-Fi Thriller is quite a lot, but it’s knit together well. We learn about the world, characters, what’s going on, and –as we go along– what is actually happening. Questions like: What really happened to Ella’s dad? How does Ella know Jack? Why can’t she remember him? Who is good and evil in this world? Who can Ella really trust? and more are answered.

four stars The Body Electric by Beth Revis Review

Read More