Monday, January 8, 2018

NICE TRY, JANE SINNER by Lianne Oelke Review

HEY Y'ALL ITS BEEN SO LONG BUT HERE I AM WITH A REVIEW FROM ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS I READ LAST YEAR (one i wrote right after finishing the book back in July)....



Nice Try, Jane Sinner is absolutely unputdownable. It's one of the most addicting books that I've read in a long while, and I would definitely recommend this book to just about everyone. 

Jane Sinner is snarky, sassy, and frankly not a nice person at all. And I'm here for it. 

This book is hilarious and heartbreaking and simply put: special. One moment you'll be laughing your ass off, the next you will be contemplating the meaning of life. It's philosophical and psychological and just wonderful. 

I think the strength of this book lies in its hilarity and bluntly honest writing. Sinner's voice is incomparable to any other in YA today. It's something else, really. I loved seeing the world through her eyes, because she is cynical, and selfish, and truly terrible- but you can't help but root for her as she tackles the reality competition that is House of Orange. 

I absolutely loved House of Orange because it took all of my favorite reality game shows and merged them together in intense glory. I sort of feel this book was written for somebody who enjoys reality shows like I do. I'm competitive as all hell, and so is Jane and I loved her because of it. 

There is one plot point I wasn't a fan of- but it served it's purpose. I also didn't realize the different ages all these characters were- makes sense though as Jane goes to a Community College. (But if you like age gap relationships you might like it!)

I loved, loved, loved Robbie. Oh my god loved him so much. Throughout all of it, I loved him. That boy is a special gem and I will never forget him. 

I just loved all of these characters- especially Jane's sister Carol- I loved how their relationship was fleshed out. 

I loved the dynamics of religion and how it's important for some characters and not for others. The existentialism is superb- I loved the few of Sinner's assignments we got to read. 

Also: Jane's journal (Where this story is told) is so real- I loved reading her inner-turmoil and conversations with her doctor lmao.

 Ultimately, I really adored this book, and I cannot wait for more people to get the chance to read this. 

Another thing: I want t-shirts that say SINNERS ARE WINNERS

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Rocks by Cody Roecker

A flash fiction piece I wrote for my Creative Writing: Fiction Class. I hope y'all get something out of it, this means a lot to me.
Cody :)

The Rocks
At the birth of every child, there is a woman who bears gifts. She looks to be kind, her brown hair so dark that it seems black from far away. Her eyes are inviting, drawing you into a warm hug full of love. Her hands look frail, wrinkles covering their entirety. Her body is small, appearing to float, as if she is barely even there. She gives each child a basket forged from the hearts of the dead. The dead’s empty souls are given a purpose once again. Those baskets all hold a small pebble inside, or sometimes a rock, or occasionally even a small stone. And that is the beginning.
           As the children grow up, the woman visits them frequently. She meets some of them daily, and others she visits once a month. To some it feels like she’ll never leave, and others wonder if she ever actually existed in the first place. When she visits she presents more gifts, more pebbles, more rocks, more stones. Depending on the day, a child could expect two small pebbles and a stone, and on others just a rock.
           It started out as a game the children would go back and forth and play.
“I hope she visits me today. She hasn’t brought me a gift in months!” A young boy said once.
“I have too many gifts. I don’t know if I can carry anymore.” An even younger girl had replied.
“Way to brag. You’re so special because you have more rocks than me!”
She slammed her face into her hands, “That’s not what I was saying…”
“Doesn’t matter.” His expression was cold and serious, yet still there was a light in his eyes.
“I hope you get more gifts today. I think you deserve it.” And she was sincere.
“I do deserve it! I’ve been good at home, and I’m doing well in school and everything is good. But there’s always the gifts that are missing. Why would she give one gift if she didn’t want to continue showering me with gifts?”
“I don’t know, I really don’t know.”
“ Maybe it’s because I keep throwing my rocks. Maybe she doesn’t think I like her gifts… But I really do. It’s just, the rocks compel me to toss them across ponds, and into streets and over rainbows.” The boy paused for a second, eyeing the girls basket.
“Do you even throw your rocks?” The boy asked her.
“No, I can’t. They’re stuck.”
“Let me try.” And the boy tried. Unsuccessfully he tried taking one of her rocks, but the girl was right: it did not move, did not even budge. “No wonder it looks like you have so many rocks! You never throw any of them out!”
As the children are young, they can throw the rocks away without a care. The rocks don’t mean anything to most children. But some can’t get rid of the rocks even if they want to. The girl was one of the few that couldn’t. And that weighed on her. Weighed as much as many children’s baskets put together.
The boy’s basket was nearly empty, as devoid of rocks as his skin was devoid of color. His pale skin contrasted the girls black skin just as their baskets were opposites of one another. Her basket was filled to the brim with rocks and stones and pebbles that filled all the empty space in-between.
           “Why does she always get all the rocks?” The schoolchildren would say.
           “She isn’t better than any of us, and yet she has all these stones… I think the Woman takes pity on her. Because she isn’t good enough. And she’s trying to make her feel like she belongs.”
           “She is finding rocks and putting them in her by herself to make her look better than us.”
           “At least my rocks are better than hers. Quality over quantity, am I right?”
The words kept coming, again and again and again and again. She tried not to let it get to her, but it did. Her words were heavy, her basket making it impossible for her to move. The pebbles came with the words, just as fast, just as quick. They piled more, more, more. Until the day that they stopped.
On that fateful day, rocks stopped coming and something miraculous happened. The Woman appeared and started taking out her rocks, her stones and her pebbles. Took them all away. Made her capable of moving again.
           She played with the other children, throwing rocks without much care in the world. Rocks flew like bullets across the yards of the children she befriended. She felt free, like she was flying high on a kite, above the world, among the clouds.
           But that feeling of freedom wouldn’t last long. That light as a feather flight that took place when the rocks left, it wouldn’t stay. She wouldn’t be able to soar in the sky, instead she was banished to the ground, never to move again. This was because weeks after the emptying of the rocks… she lost her father. A boulder replaced all those stones the Woman had taken away. The basket fell on top of her and she couldn’t breathe.
She couldn’t move.
She couldn’t do anything.
All she wanted to do was to dance around and throw rocks with the other children, and she would never be able to again. She couldn’t. She would never be able to.
At least she never thought she would. It didn’t seem plausible at the time.
But at least her mother was still around. They talked about the rocks in their lives. She found out that her mother had just as many rocks as her at one point in her life. It was the curse of people like her, of that thing anyone like her had. They found a sense of warmth in the knowledge that they shared this hardship, in all its forms. Together they went to someone, to talk about the rocks in both of their lives. And even though the rocks stayed, they got a little lighter. They were able to be moved, a shared weight on the backs of a mother and daughter. And honestly, the talking made it easier, some of the rocks were replaced with feathers, memories of those stones that plagued their lives- but so much lighter.

And that’s why I’m here today, standing in front of you. Instead of hanging off the edge of a rooftop in the middle of Brooklyn. I’m here. I no longer want to know how it feels to fly in the air, and I no longer crave the crash at the end of it. Well sometimes, I do. I still have my rock filled days. In fact, most of them are rock filled. But no matter how full my basket gets, how many rocks I collect… at least I know I am not alone, and I will never be. No matter how lonely I feel, how empty my heart is, how terrible the rocks in my life make me feel, I know. I will never be alone. And sometimes that is enough.

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Coming Out Letter

Here we are, this is finally happening. And it feels so so good to do this.

I'd like to preface this with the fact that this isn't easy to write. But it's been weighing on me.

For years.
And years.
And years.

Point is, a very long time. Probably since middle school. Maybe late elementary if I'm being honest with y'all which is the point of this:

I want to be honest and transparent with you and me. With everyone I know. I want this to be there.

If this effects how you see me, so be it. But I'm the same Cody y'all know. Just... even more me. I cant take it any longer having to pretend to be something in not around the people I love.

So here we go:

I'm gay.

Well, technically... I'm not. But for ease of understanding I am. It's close enough, for the sake of y'all getting who I am. So, I'm gay. More specifically I identify as biromantic and gray-ace.

Don't understand what this means? That's okay. It differs based on the person but to make it easy to understand:

1.  I'm romantically attracted to more than one gender. I'm willing to have a romantic relationship with just about anyone, honestly. I don't know how to really explain it, it just fits me.
2. My sexual attraction [at least to me] is a little less than most people's. I could also identify as demisexual, because either one works for me. Gray-ace basically means [to me] that I sometimes experience sexual attraction. Sometimes it's the way a normal person would. Other times- It's really not. More often than not I'm not interested in sex. It just doesn't appeal to me.
3. When I do have that sexual attraction I am usually attracted to men. Usually those I have developed some sort of close relationship with in some other form [this is why demisexual also works for me, because it Is when you experience sexual attraction once you already have a connection with said person]

Sexuality is a very fluid thing and it changes. But I do know this: I find boys to be beautiful, and if that's something you find wrong- I apologize for your ignorance.

This is very important to me and a central part to who I am. I'm probably not going to marry a woman- it's just unlikely. But I want children. I am still the same me. I'm still Cody Roecker the boy who likes to read a lot. The boy who loves cinnamon rolls and is obsessed with owls and trees.

I'm a boy who loves to love and knows that a lot of people in his life might leave him after this. And that's why it's so hard to write this. So hard to post it. So hard to let you all see the real me.


When everyone you know always assumes straight to be the default, when everyone assumes because I am a man that I am going to fall in love with a woman?

I'm sorry to disappoint all of you- it's likely not going to happen.

I want to kiss boys. Okay?

If you can't accept that, I'm not sure I want you in my life more than you want me in yours. I am not going to put time into relationships that don't want me to be 100% me.

I hope y'all understand that.

I love you all. I love you dearly. And I hope this doesn't change a thing- it really shouldn't anyways.

Y'all know I'm a compassionate, empathetic person- so please try to be so too. Try to understand where I'm coming from- how I'm feeling.

I'm not straight.

I don't think I ever was.

Although I did believe myself bisexual for awhile.

Also: i prefer to use the word queer to self identify because it's the easiest umbrella term that doesn't force me to explain what my other identities mean. If you understand them, go ahead and use them. But when people ask me, I'll probably say I'm queer. It's just easier that way.

I hope y'all still love me.

I'm just trying to be me.

What could be wrong with that?

All the love,

Cody <3

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Poetry of sorts, I guess.

I think the hardest thing for me
is being vulnerable
when it's so much easier
to pretend
to create false realities
to act as if

Sometimes things are simple
they make sense and flow naturally.
But other times,
struggles pile up
difficulty upon difficulty
manifesting into a monster
of depression
and anxiety
and horrors
that burrow into your brain
planting their seeds of doubt
until they've grown a forest
of insecurities.


I wish it wasn't hard for me to smile,
to breathe without worry
to be happy.
But it is, most the time.
It doesn't matter how
privileged I was growing up
or all the opportunities I've received
that doesn't account for the
depression, anxiety, and molestation I've faced
Appearances don't equal reality
not always at least
And it's hard to tell the truth from impressions
because rarely do the two match up.

I feel bad for those that
judge before getting to know a person
that believe the worst
in everyone
And while I'm guilty of those things too
Humanity at it's heart
is good
a chaotic good
but good all the same.

And as much as I complain
I love humans
I love what they represent
And as hard as life is sometimes
Now is one of those moments
when I believe that
life is beautiful
and I love people
And think they're lovely
and way better than we often credit them for.

Love is love is love is love
why not spread a little more of it?


Today marks nine years since you were a part of my life
And I couldn't be happier to say that
I am free from the chains you put on me
I can breathe once again.

I don't think of you daily anymore
Instead fleeting moments of memories
that plague me, rotting the little happiness I possess

I'm glad you're out of my life.

I'm finally learning to trust again because of it.

- this is recovery

Monday, July 31, 2017

ARC August 2017

Okay, I learned that my laptop isn't supporting Blogger anymore, so I definitely need to get a new laptop asap! 

Anyways, this is my intro post for ARC August 2017! ARC August is hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat where the challenge is to read any and all ARCs. You can read them in any form. Whether it be ecopy or physical, old or new.... The challenge is to READ. Catch up on all these ARCs! Get your NetGalley percentage up! Clear your reviewing shelves and commitments!

2017 Novels

27 Hours
Mask of Shadows
The Bone Witch
Defy the Stars
A Crown of Wishes

As You Wish
The Belles

Before 2017
Devil and the Bluebird
The Lie Tree
The Dream Engine
The Trouble with Destiny
Drowning is Inevitable
Justice Buried
The Golden Braid

(I went crazy when I first joined netgalley and it was a problem…)

I bolded the options that I am more likely to read during this month, but probably won't be getting to more than four of these:

My top choices below:
27 Hours (The Nightside Saga, #1)
The Belles (The Belles #1)
Mask of Shadows (Untitled, #1)
As You Wish

Well, this it it for my intro post, I am hoping to post a few updates during ARC August as I had to rush this one! Love you all! Let me know what you plan to read during ARC August, whether participating or not, below! 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Street Team: Ships To Travel With (The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee)

Gentleman's Guide Banner.jpg

Welcome to my stop on Sunday Street Team where we are spotlighting THE GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE by Mackenzi Lee (a book that is absolutely as wonderful and swoonworthy as it sounds, trust me.)

So, I got to do a unique post for this, because I just loved this book so much- and I pondered this idea for quite a while.

Monty and Percy are one of the most shippable ships I have ever seen/had. And like Rachel Strolle said in her blurb for the novel: "Monty and Percy are insanely shippable from page one and quickly became one of my favorite YA couples of all time."

AGREED. Wholeheartedly agree.

So, for this post, I am taking Monty and Percy on a little trip of my own- to visit some other fantastic ships.

Are you ready?

Me too.

DISCLAIMERS: All of the pictures included in this post are from Pinterest and were chosen randomly- if you see something you did, tell me and I'll give you credit here! Also: If you haven't read Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, the aesthetic here will spoil who Blue is.

Here we go!!!

First off- We will be time-travelling and dimension travelling and world travelling and it's going to be great. Multi-dimensional travel for a wholesome travel experience! (Just as great as the road trip featured in Gentleman's Guide!)

Let's goooooo!

We are heading to a small town in Georgia first... one that we have come to love where the friend we are meeting has a dog named Bieber and some of the best friends ever- a lover of oreos and the best boyfriend ever. YES! You guessed it! We're in Creeksville with Simon and Blue! The ship of all ships. My favorite humans.

So I love this ship because there is so much salty shade and like they could eat up all the food in north and South America:  Simon and bram. IVE BEEN LOOKING FOR FAN ART FOR AGES !!!! Women's Books, Diet, Fitness, Fashion, Makeup, Relationships -

While with these two, we'll likely go to Waffle House, eat some Oreos, and maybe visit some few friends in D.C while we're at it. :)

After Creeksville we will travel to an alternate London. Specifically, Kell and Lila in Red London- picking pockets. I mean, like these two are the most lovable and badass character simultaneously. I love Lila's snark and blunt attitude and how Kell and Lila are such complements to one another.  lizziemoleart:  “One of the scenes that stuck out to me from A Gathering of Shadows! It’s not perfect but I’m still pretty pleased with it! Backgrounds are hard…  ”  GASP.:
littledigits: “ the incomparable Lila Bard ” Never stop.:

After the fun with Antari- we'll go on a little excursion with Inej and Nina in Ketterdam- eating waffles. What could be better than the best ship of Six of Crows? I love these two separately, together, with the boys- whatever. Point is, they're wonderful, and I'm imagining some wonderfully banter-filled conversations between them and the boys from Gentleman's Guide. Absolutely special.

Healthier Chocolate Banana Waffles - Domestic Gothess:
grl pwr:

Aaron and Thomas in the Bronx- playing Remember That Time or going on a Trade Date, except they actual trade dates lololololol. Mostly, I love Aaron and Thomas- and have seen myself in Aaron unlike almost any other character. I'd love to see the relationships they would all build. Aaron and Percy would vibe really well too.

When Thomas and Aaron meet:   :
aaron @ thomas:

Patroclus and Achilles in Ancient Greece - a day in the mountains with Chiron. I feel like these characters and Monty + Percy could possibly relate in some weird way. Pressure from authority figures, maybe? THE LOVE I HAVE FOR THEM.

"catch" tsoa credit goes to my friend skylar:        Patrochilles :  Cuties!<3 | Achilles | Patroclus | The song of Achilles:

Shazi and Khalid in Khorasan- Shazi tells some stories and kicks ass. This world in this is just wonderful, and I'd love to see Monty and Percy's reaction to the dynamic of Shazi and Khalid, honestly. Both love-stories worthy of constellations.

The Rose and the Dagger. book quotes. Shazi & Khalid. Shahrzad & Khalid. The Wrath and the Dawn.:
 The Wrath & The Dawn. By Renee Ahdieh. Caliph of Khorasan. Khalid and Shahrzad/Shazi. book quotes.:

Laia and Elias running from the Martial Empire - honestly just want to see Monty sass the Commandant. COULD YOU IMAGINE (I won't tell you the place I really want to take them to as it is a place in book two, but if you've read it- you probably know where I'm talking about. I'm being vague on purpose, friends.

Sabaa Tahir   An Ember in the Ashes:  Laia An Ember in the Ashes:

And then, after finishing then- we'd go back to the 1700s, to Monty and Percy's rightful homes- they'd have to probably visit the Leteo Institute back with Aaron and Thomas once more- because the effect of time travel on these two might make them go crazy otherwise.... but it would still be fun!

Hope you enjoyed this post, I had such a blast writing it and coming up with the various travels and adventures! Continue reading for a giveaway below! :)

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Goodreads Link:

Preorder Links:

Social Media:

Synopsis (GR):
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

About the Author:
Mackenzi Lee is a bookseller, history nerd, and the author of THE GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, THIS MONSTROUS THING (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins), and the forthcoming SEMPER AUGUSTUS (Flatiron Books, 2018). She holds an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently calls Boston home.

Tour host stop links:

6/4 Tour Blogs Stops
Character Profiles - Blame It On The Books
Review -  Bookishly Thinking
Review -  Charmingly Simple
Interview - The Hermit Librarian

6/11 Tour Blogs Stops
Interview - Sarcasm and Lemons
Unique Post (Ships to Travel With) - Roecker Reviews
Interview -  Books Buying Beauty

6/18 Tour Blogs Stops
Interview -  Book Stack Amber
Review -  YA and Wine
Unique Post (Characters in Social Media) - Live Love Read YA

6/25 Tour Blog Stops
Interview - Hopeful Reads
Unique Post (Mood Board) - A Book and A Cup of Coffee