July 27, 2015

Band Geek Book Recommendations

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Music is a big part of my life. I started playing clarinet when I was ten years old all the way until my second year of college. You can’t spend nearly a decade of your life doing something without it affecting you, especially when six of those years were dedicated to marching band, the most nerdy and intense activity on the planet.

Music is also what led me to meet my best friends in the entire world. This can be said for any group/organization, of course, whether it be drama or lacrosse or what have you, but with music you are connected by something so unbelievably powerful.

Like all band geeks who are/were ever deeply involved within their band program, whether it be marching or concert only, I used to get very excited about all things band related. Even now I sometimes still do. Old habits are hard to break :)

The biggest thing I got excited for was when I stumbled across several marching band themed novels and poetry books targeted for young adults. As band camp is kicking off around this time, I thought today I would share with you a few of the books that I enjoyed back in my high school marching days.

 

Band Geek Love – Josie Bloss

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This is the very first YA marching book I ever saw. The title reached off the shelf and dragged me in.

Band Geek Love follows Ellie Snow, a senior who is the section leader of her band’s trumpet section. She is also a soloist for the upcoming season. Band is Ellie’s whole life; nothing can distract her from it. That is until a sophomore named Connor transfers to their school and joins Ellie’s section. Ellie fights her growing feelings for Connor to avoid any bad breakups and awkwardness in the section, but is it worth it if the price is denying herself a shot at love?

The sequel, Band Geeked Out, continues Ellie’s story and shows her struggles with deciding if she should go to the university close to home and study music, or go off and explore new things.

 

Notes from an Accidental Band Geek – Erin Dionne

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Elsie Wyatt was born to be a French horn player, just like her father and her grandfather. Wanting to one day be as great a player as her father, Elsie wants to attend a prestigious summer music camp, but in order to qualify she must broadened her musical repitore and join her school’s marching band. Elsie’s journey is not easy; she struggles with making friends, learning to play a mellophone, and not tripping over her feet, but as the season goes on she learns to have a bit of fun, and begins to wonder she should focus on being another family legacy or simply be Elise.

 

 

 

 

majorcrushMajor Crush – Jennifer Echols
Ex-majorette and pageant princess Virginia Sauter gets rid of the glitter and auditions to be drum major of her high school marching band. She wins the slot, but has to share with Drew, a boy whose family has held the drum major position for generations. The two do not see eye-to-eye about anything, but as they start to spend more and more time together, they realize that maybe they share more than just the title of drum major.

A friend lent this to me a few years ago. I planned to read it as a joke because it sounded super cheesy and hilarious, but it turned out to actually be pretty good once you get past the description.

*This particular book is no longer in print, but you can get it as an eBook.

 

The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren – Wendy Toliver
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Roxy desperately wishes she could get the cute guys in school to notice her, but being a band geek isn’t exactly the most alluring thing in high school. On her sixteenth birthday, Roxy’s grandmother reveals a secret: she is a siren. With a few notes on her flute, Roxy is able to snag dates with any guy she sets her sights on. But there are two rules if she wants to remain a siren: don’t tell anyone the secret and don’t fall in love. Keeping the secret is simple, but can Roxy really stop herself from falling in love?

 

 

 

Band Nerd series – DJ Corchin and Dan Dougherty

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Get ready for 152 pages of marching band stereotypes and general geeky goodness summed up in rhyme. DJ Corchin paints a great portrait of what it’s like to be in the band, whether you are in it now or were a member twenty years ago. Any band nerd will love it.

A third book was released in October 2014 entitled Band Nerds Confessions and Confusion, which no doubt contains even more silly anecdotes and quotes of general geekiness.

 

Three more band related books that I personally have not read, but do have on my eReader are Major Pain, Confessions of a Teenage Band Geek, and The Line series, all by Courtney Brandt. I don’t know too much about them apart from Confessions and The Line being about a girl on the drum line. I really want to start these soon as they appear to be quite quick reads that I could knock out in a day or two.

I hope my fellow band geeks enjoy this little list! Even if you were never in band, you should think about picking up one of these, if only to give you a look into what exactly makes band kids so amazing and wonderfully geeky ;)

July 25, 2015

Book Review | The Beast Within

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Hey there Literature Lovers! Today I’m reviewing The Beast Within.

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The Beast Within by Serena Valentino is a re-imagining of the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. It focuses on the Beast when he gets cursed and his transformation. In this particular story, the Prince doesn’t turn into his beastly form right away after the curse is placed upon him. Instead we see how he slowly evolves into the character we all know. We also get more of an opportunity to see him interact with the servants in the castle, as well as the people from the village.

This re-imagining touches on one of the plot holes from the 1991 animated movie: why the heck does no one in Belle’s village know about the castle? It’s not that far away, and surely they would have remembered that they used to have a prince, or at least the king and queen who had lived there? Why don’t they remember? Due to the curse and the prince’s slow transformation, we see the effects of the curse gradually take hold of the villagers, including Gaston, who was the Beast’s best friend when they were younger. We also have a moment where Beast sees Belle at a ball, but only the back of her head and only really notices her when she arrives at the palace to save her father because he was teasing Gaston for having a crush on her.

I don’t know how canon this particular story is in the Disney universe, but Disney Hyperion published it so it has to mean something, right? Or it could be a cash grab. The world may never know.

Overall I really enjoyed this story and I am looking forward to seeing what other “villians” will get their backstory told next.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 Stars.

Have you read The Beast Within? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

July 17, 2015

Classic Corner | Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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Hey everyone! Sorry that this month’s classic came a little later, but I was busy with finishing up summer classes so unfortunately reading had to be set to the side.

However I did manage to get a three week break so I now have more time to knock out my TBR pile, and sitting at the top was this beauty.

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote is very similar to the film (although obviously the book came first). The 80-page short story is told from the POV of a man who used to live in the apartment above Holly Golightly’s apartment, and of all the interactions the two had together. There were a few differences here and there in the story, like the ending, but it was every bit as magicial

Capote originally wrote this with Marilyn Monroe in mind, but it’s really hard to picture her as Holly. The way she speaks, the way she acts, everything about Holly is so Audrey. Of course that could be my opinion because I saw the movie first, but I stand by it.

The 50th anniversary edition is currently out and includes three short stories by Capote: House of Flowers, A Diamond Guitar, and A Christmas Memory, which is a memoir of Capote’s youth.

This was easily one of my top books of 2015, and I would highly recommend this to anyone, especially fans of the movie.

Happy reading!