Friday, July 3, 2015

What I Read: June 2015 - HOW TO GET A FREE BOOK, plus an AUTHOR INTERVIEW!

Very excited to tell you all about what I read in June! I was contacted by cool geek girl author Paige Lavoie who just had a new book published called "Confidence: The Diary of an Invisible Girl". She asked me to read it and post my thoughts on here, so here goes:

~ Admit it: if you were given the chance to take a peek inside someone's diary, wouldn't you take it?! Paige Lavoie's book sort of gives you that chance. This adorable novel is written entirely in a 'diary entry' format by self-proclaimed "invisible" teenage girl Barbara Jenkins. She confides in her journal so much that she even takes it to school, and jots down her innermost thoughts and feelings every chance she gets. She is sometimes silly, other times serious, but always so honest. Because of that, it gives you the feeling that you know this girl in real life, and when things get crazy, (as they so often do in a high schooler's life), you almost want to scream "OH MY GOD! WHAT'S HAPPENING?!"

Now, it's been a while since I graduated high school, (and I *so* didn't have access to the kind of tech that Barbara and her friends have - seriously teens these days have everything! I'm kind of jealous!), but I was still able to transport myself back to my memories of teenage-dom because Barbara was just SO relatable.. In a lot of ways, I feel like I *was* Barbara! I was that invisible girl with zero confidence, (braces didn't much help matters, either). I was into 'geeky' stuff. I would sometimes spend my lunch time alone in the library, (huddled on the floor in the section with all the Neil Gaiman books. True story!), and one of the greatest days of my life was when I discovered Hot Topic, haha. But at the same time, I knew what I was into, and what I didn't like. And I for sure didn't want to follow in anybody else's footsteps.

Barbara discovers this herself throughout this novel. In fact, that's where the whole "confidence" aspect comes in. What is confidence..? Well, to me it certainly means taking pride in the things you're into, and telling the world about them without fear of what they'll think or say. It's being true to yourself, courageously and without apologies, and not changing for anybody else. That's confidence. When Barbara and her friends start opening up about their true likes/dislikes, stop hiding behind a mask of 'normalcy', and accept themselves as they are is when they begin to blossom as individuals, and grow closer as friends.

But the drama.. OH, the drama! There's plenty of it in this book. It'll make you bite your nails in nervousness! The teens in this story get to deal with so many issues, but it was nice to see how they each dealt with their own respective problems, as well as how they helped each other through them. Simply put: their personal stories (that Barbara goes into so much detail about!) will suck you into their worlds and keep you turning the pages.

Overall, I truly did enjoy this book! It was different from most of the stories I've been reading, lately, but it was unexpectedly heartwarming, and laugh-out-loud funny at times. (Seriously - this Barbara girl. She's hilarious without even realizing it!) I recommend this novel to ALL girls out there with even a slight inclination towards 'geekdom', (Geekery? Geekiness?), and to all the proud IGGLES, both young and eternally-young-at-heart.

I hope this makes you want to check out the book for yourself! *Enter cool promotion time!*  For TODAY ONLY, you can nab an electronic copy of this novel for FREE by clicking through this photo: (no special codes or anything, literally just click the photo to get taken to the Amazon page and download it to your Kindle or smartphone app!)

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Still need convincing? Well, maybe you should learn a bit more about the super cool and talented girl behind the book? Miss Paige Lavoie was gracious enough to answer a few questions for Whimsy and Noir: (She is seriously SO awesome!!)


1. You mentioned on your Goodreads page that "Confidence" was a result of NaNoWriMo - is that an event you take part in every year? Did you feel that it helped you?

2013 was my first year, and I can honestly say had I not been apart of NaNoWriMo I don't know that I would have finished "Confidence" NaNoWriMo gives you the push you need to write every day, and to (try) not to overthink things too much. I jumped in last year, but didn't end up finishing my story. I plan on taking part again in 2015, and hitting 50,000 words! :D 

2. Your 'geek girl' characters in "Confidence" are all so different, with their varied tastes. What kind of geek girl are you? Or, what kind were you in your teen years? Were you more like Betty or Barbara or Cassie?

Ooo what a good question! I think I relate most to Barbara, A lot of times I'm unsure of myself and overthink things! Unlike Barbara,  I actually don't read too many superhero comics myself though. I lean more towards cutesy slice of life series. 

3. (keeping in line with question 2) List your top 5 geeky loves:

 Right now I am loving Dragon Age, I'm getting close to the end of the main quest which is crazy! (I want more!!) Steven Universe because the story, songs and characters amaze me every single time. Food Wars, which is this really fun/silly anime my husband and I have been watching on Crunchyroll, Star Vs. The Forces of Evil on Disney Channel & Sailor moon. lol I guess I just really really really like cartoons. :p 


4. What books and/or comics are you currently reading?

I'm reading The Selection series by Kiera Cass which is a YA Novel. That kind of reminds me of a cross between The Bachelor and The Hunger Games and for comics I love Seasons of Su on Tapastic. It's currently on break and I can't wait for season 3 to start up.


5. Who are some of your favorite authors?

For non-fiction I really like Gala Darling, her book "Radical Self Love" has been a great read. And for fiction my friend Kiri Callaghan is amazingly talented, her modern take on Alice in Wonderland in her novel "Alys" was so neat! I can't wait to read the sequel 


6. I'm so intrigued by your "Pumpkin Spiced" graphic novels as well. Do you plan on continuing/developing the series any more? Will there be more art/graphic novels from you in the future?

 I do! I actually update Pumpkin Spiced online every Wednesday, (It's on a mini-break right now while I prepare to print the next book) The next printed book should be out before the end of the year. As of now Pumpkin Spiced is my only comic in the works, but I'd love to start something new in the future! 


7. Besides writing and drawing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I recently jumped in on the Hula-Hooping craze. (though, I'm not very good at it) 


8. If "Confidence" were turned into a movie, who would you like to see cast? What songs/artists would be on the soundtrack? 

Starting with the soundtrack, I feel like upbeat indie-pop... I listened to a lot of Marina and The Diamonds while I was writing. :p As for the cast...Gosh, I haven't actually given it a lot of thought. Maybe we could get "Snoopy the cat" could play Cinnamonbunz. :p It would bring a lot of star power to the film. :p 


9. I can tell you're kind of a fashionable lady, from your IG photos: describe your personal style and tastes for us. Can you recommend any brands or seasonal essentials?

I love shopping or etsy, or local vintage stores. Sometimes you can find the best/most unexpected things. It feels like treasure hunting when you find something great in your size. I also really like Unique Vintage, I feel like they're constantly running crazy sales. But I'm honestly such a sucker for Target when it comes to shoes and cute socks. ^.^ 


10. What's next for Paige Lavoie, the authoress? Is there anything you'd like to tell us?

I'm working on a small collection of short stories in the paranormal genre that I hope to release on kindle this fall! I'm so excited! Each story is only about 1000 words long, so it was cool to get to explore everything from ghosts to werewolves in a fast/slightly rapid pace! And also, through the process of releasing "Confidence" I became so re-inspired by the story and characters, that I'm planning on releasing a second novel in the series (maybe even two!) It might be my project for this years NaNoWriMo...That is, if I can wait till November to start :p 

Thank you so much for having me! 
 ~ Thank YOU, Paige! Can't wait to see more from you! (Seriously looking forward to the paranormal stories too!)

Now, for the rest of what I read in June:


"Amelia Cole and the Unknown World" (Volume 1) - Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride, art by Nick Brokenshire, Rachel Deering, and Ruiz Moreno

I randomly discovered this at the library and thought it seemed interesting, so I gave it a shot! It's not a big name/mainstream superhero comic, (which is part of the reason it appealed to me), but it's just as fun and should get more attention! It tells the story of how a girl with "magic" abilities, and who can bounce back and forth between different worlds/dimensions, gets stuck in a strange place, with no way of going back to the world she grew up in. There are fun quirky characters (including a Golem! He kind of reminds me of Baymax from Big Hero 6!), and so much mystery that draws you in. OH, and MAGIC! Can you imagine living in a world where magic is seen as a normal part of daily life? It'd be weird, but cool at the same time. The lead character, Amelia Cole, is one seriously cool and tough chick who deals with her problems in a very mature and admirable way. She dives in head first, no questions asked!

I will be checking out the second volume: "Amelia Cole and the Hidden War" for July, so stay tuned!

"Ms. Marvel - No Normal (Volume 1)" - G. Willow Wilson, art by Adrian Alphona and others

This particular comic was the 'assigned reading' for June for the new Comic Book Alliance on the IGGPPC website. I'm glad I was able to get a copy and join in! This had been on my 'to read' list for a while, so I finally checked it out and was not disappointed! It felt like a fresh take on the (overdone) superhero story because it focused on an otherwise normal sixteen year old girl. I fell in love with the character of Kamala Khan for many reasons, but especially because she is an unabashed FANGIRL, like I am! I also loved the fact that she genuinely wanted to help people out, just because.

I really want to check out the rest of the volumes in the series, to see how it develops.  OH, and you should totally join in on the Comic Book Alliance from IGGPPC! click here for July's selection: IGGLES Comic Book Alliance - July selection.

And that's enough talking from me! I hope you enjoyed today's post! Share it with your friends, please!

Stay tuned for July's "What I Read" post!


  1. I totally agree with you on your review on Confidence. I've read the book too and I loved it. Thank you for stopping by my blog and yay another Supernatural fangirl!


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