Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Friday Five

1. First off, tomorrow I won't be on the internet or watching TV.  This is my way to protest the election.  So for that reason I'm posting my 'Friday' five post a day early.

I won't get all politically here but feel strongly that I need to speak out against injustices and wrongs of this campaign.

I did get this yesterday, along with a quote from Hillary Clinton that I love:

"Please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it.  It is.  It is worth it."

2. Exciting news:  Younger sister who is a paid genealogist connected with a family member.  Found out that our real Italian name is Baccelli and is pronounced: Buh-chel-ee.  Our family originates from Tempagnano.  This is a small village close to Lucca, Tuscany, Italy.

How cool is that?

Check out this site:

3. Here's some books I've been reading this week:

Love this collection of stories on women heroes of WWII.  Each of these women showed courage against injustices and wrongs even though they knew by speaking out, they might be killed.


Was excited to get this graphic novel from Clarion books.  Donna Jo Napoli is one of my all-time favorite MG authors.

Here's my YABC review:

Teaser: Beautifully illustrated, this graphic novel shows a girl that is hidden away and the loneliness she encounters. Fish Girl's life is in a tank where it's her job to only let paying guests see a little of her. Her owner is a man who says he's Neptune. He warns her that she's not to interact with anyone as humans are dangerous and will harm her. She believes him until Livia, an ordinary girl finds her. This is where the story is laced with humor--Livia tells her about pizza and even gets her to do yoga.

5. Really excited to get this book:

Yes, this is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer coloring book!

**Guilty pleasure:

Since I won't be watching the inauguration, I plan to read, write, and visit a friend.  Oh, and grab a tasty drink:

I really love these peppermint mocha iced drinks!  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Five

1. Wow, this year has started off not that great as I had the dreaded stomach flu.  Teen and I both had it for five days!

Two weeks before we had a mild case of the flu bug.  And I had the flu shot!  All of us did!

I think it's because I've been battling with depression after the election.  I've been in a serious funk and it's been hard to bounce back from it.

It's like I've gone through most of the stages that are similar when you lose someone.

a. disbelief
b. numbness
c. depression

I love how the TV show BLACKISH shows EXACTLY how I've been feeling!

Right now I'm thinking of ways to channel how I've been feeling about the election results into something positive.  I also need to rise above it all.

Mostly I need to remember some wise words of advice from Pam at yoga who marched in the Civil Rights movement of the 60s in the South.

"Be active and vigilant."

2. I only started writing again this week with the goal of getting 500-1K in every day.  My story set in a small village in Tuscany, Italy is slowly coming to life.  I'm finding inspiration from the work my younger sister did in finding our roots there and connecting with distinct cousins!

Also Alana Morissette is on my Playlist along with Italian Popstar Carmen Consoli.

3. Even though I was sick, I was able to read!

This one reminded me what would happen if THE ORIGINALS collided with YA.  The biggest plus of this novel has to be the French Quarters setting in New Orleans.

My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Magically, Gothic trip through the streets of New Orleans where a horrible secret is unleashed after the hurricane of the century.


My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Suspenseful ride through the streets of Washington, DC where the ability to see the past through the objects of dead people might be the way to solve a personal mystery. Historical background on Abraham Lincoln add to this tale.


The protagonist of this YA just happens to be the niece of one of the most hated people of the world--Hitler. When she finds out that her father might in fact had been murdered by the very cause she once believed in, she searches for the truth.

**Guilty Pleasure:

Finally getting my hair cut and colored!  Thinking of having it be a little brighter this time around.

Also FINALLY enjoying one of my Starbucks gift cards!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Top 10 YA books of 2016

I usually do a post where I share my top YA picks of the year.  I'm a little behind as I was mega sick but now I'm feeling better.

So here's my list!

10. RUN

Loved this story of an unlikely friendship and where one character is openly bisexual but that's not the theme of this novel.  Mostly this is a story of the strength of friendship.  Totally loved!


This novel brought back memories of 9-11.  What's a huge plus of this novel is how readers glimpse into the lives of two very unlikely people on that fateful day and how what happened still impacts family and friends today.  The author doesn't hide the racism that is still felt today.  But this is also a story of hope and forgiveness.


Lush, beautifully written dark urban fantasy that doesn't disappoint! There's alliances, betrayals, secrets, monsters, and an omg worthy ending that gave me chills! My only disappointment is I have to wait another year for the sequel!


A teen's struggle and fear with the recent news of being undocumented told in a real, authentic voice. I highly recommend this book to be included in libraries and high schools as it shows the human side of immigration.


There’s so much to love about this novel which includes how powerful love and friendship are to those who feel abandoned and lost. Also it shows how you shouldn’t give up on someone if you think that friend might be in an abusive situation. It takes courage to stand up for someone in that kind of situation. But by standing up and being a true friend, you might save a life.

Powerful, courageous story with two characters that stand up to insurmountable odds and end up saving each other.


Highly addictive tale of what would have happened if women served in WWII. 


The Giver meets Divergent where memories of the long dead are given to others in order to never truly die. This novel also addresses some deep questions like the purpose of faith and where it belongs in a society based on science. The ending hints at a sequel. I hope so as I can't wait to see what else is in store for Jennza and her community.


Fortunati nails the topic of bipolar disorder and gives a realistic portrayal of the depression side without falling back on stereotypes.  An honest voice with a cast of memorable supportive characters make this story a stand-out, along with its overall message of hope.


There are other parts in this story that are equally heartbreaking like when he finds out the 'truth' in front of the school. I wanted to shout, "Dylan, don't do that!" I also loved Jaime something fierce. I loved her spunk, honesty, and even the times she opened up. She's someone that isn't the victim but rather a strong, positive character that I know readers are sure to connect with. This story isn't about her sexuality but rather how two unlikely characters can get over the stereotypes and hate out there and be together. If not as a couple, at least as good friends.

Beautifully written tale that brings two together against odds that are stacked against them. Mostly though it's a story that shows that love is love, no matter who it is.


Intense, gripping portrayal of not only a shooter but others around him. Kuddos for the author for peeling back what might otherwise be an one-dimensional killer. What leads up to the massacre is shown in haunting details. I thought I'd have a hard time reading this considering I lost my own sister to gun violence. I had a really hard time for the longest time coming to grips with her murderer. THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS shows not only the hatred but the misunderstandings, hurt, pain, and sadness of a shooting.

**Shout outs to 


once again McCall delivers on a turn of the century Latino Romeo and Juliet story.  This story goes over an forgotten part of our history.


Southern Freak and Geeks meets The Perks of being a Wallflower. Bittersweet coming of age story.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Friday Five

1. Didn't blog last week as the plague hit our house big time.

It seems everyone I know has been affected including my stepdad Elwood who is in the hospital and also my mother.

Sent positive, healthy vibes their way!

2. Since I've been ill with this annoying cough, I've been reading lots.

I'm a huge fan of the Tudors and this book gives readers a glimpse of the volatile court during Queen Katherine's reign.

My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Vivid glimpse into the volatile Tudor court where men held the power over everything, including the destiny of women. Readers see the courage of Elizabeth and how she takes destiny into her own hands


This book shows what happens when someone files sexual harassment charges in a college setting.  One of the problems I had with this novel was even through this was in fact Jenny's story of being raped, she felt disconnected and distant.  Instead readers see what happens through the POVs of her room-mate and a guy who comes across as a stalker and not very likable.


What would happen if the great-great-great grandkids of Sherlock Holmes and Watson meet up at the same boarding school in London?  Add to this them being framed for the murder of a classmate with clues from their ancestor's stories. A sure hit for fans of mysteries and Holmes stories.


In a future where disease, war, crime have been erased there is the need of scythe's, modern-day grim reapers.  When two teens are apprenticed against their will, they find a whole different world and intrigue where not everything is what it seems.  Totally enjoying!

**Guilty pleasure:

Hope to feel well enough to go see LaLa Land with Emma Stone.

Also plan on watching more of OUTLANDER season 2 which is set in Paris!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Friday Five

1. This last week before the holiday break has been:


Been making candy for son's friends; going to a high school holiday choral program; Progressive dinner; and wrapping gifts to send to family up North!

Been going to yoga as I need the mediation part big time:

2. Also been reading!

Here's a couple Cybils nominated books:

This one has an unique twist on the whole 'abduction' trend this year.  I love when I don't caught on what really happened!


This one is a love story between two unlikely people.  One is known as the 'Fattest Teen' and the other has a problem recognizing people.  


Think Groundhogs Day meets Death.  This is an addictive, page turning tale about Death giving a proposition to a teen to stop a fellow classmate from killing himself.


This is a fun non-fiction book which shows some famous failures and how the inventors turned a bad experience into something more!  

**Guilty Pleasure:

I've been BAD with my writing this week.  I did get in almost 1K .  Hope to go to Coffee House and grab a holiday drink to help with my motivation!

Did purchase this one bracelet to help me remember to believe in myself especially when those rejections come rolling around:


Friday, December 09, 2016

Friday Five

1. One more week of school and then it's Holiday break!

2. I didn't finish my NaNowrimo project but will use this month to do that.  My goal is to write at least 1K everyday so by the end of December I should have 50K.

3. This time of year is always hard for me but this year has felt even worse with the election.  So I've also been practicing more yoga and meditation.  Plus, read.  Reading always seems to help!

I really loved this Thelma and Louise meets YA story. This is mostly a story of an unlikely friendship and how each of them helps the other.



This one is about a homeless cutter and her journey to wellness.  There's some very dark things in this novel like her time in the institution after being found outside.  Also the relationship she has with a 27 year old guy.  It does address a sensitive topic-cutting-that I feel needs to be out there.


I admit, I've been craving lighter, fun tales and this one fits the bill.  YA romance about a girl who stays to herself and when she writes lyrics of her songs on a desk and someone responds back?  She's intrigued.  

* Reading this one as it's set in Italy!  Fun, light romance of a woman that decides to go back to the one place where she was happy-Rome.

**Guilty Pleasure:

I'm going to grab a holiday Dunkin' Donuts drink.  I really like the Peppermint Mocha one!

Photo courtesy of

Friday, December 02, 2016

Friday Five

1. Today is husband's birthday.

Happy birthday, Mike!!!

2. Didn't 'win' at NaNowrimo this year but I did finish 30K words!  I plan to finish this project by the end of this month.

Some more teasers on my project:

Photo courtesy of Pinterest
3.  Been reading Cybils nominated books.

Love this YA twist on Life of Pi meets The Mean Girls. Fab voice.


Omg, on the dialogue in KILL THE BOY BAND. Punchy, snarky, and hilarious. Dark humor at it's best!

This seems to be the year of the 'abducted child/teen only this book fascinates me as the one kidnapped child has autism.  So far I'm totally engaged as the book goes back and forth from the POV of the teen who was abducted when he was eleven years old and the sister of the autism boy.

**Added mention to former critique buddy Janet Simcic and her nonfiction book on traveling to Italy:

Janet has been to Italy a number of times and this book has helpful suggestions on what to do if you go over there.  Yes, I'm using as research for my NaNo project!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Need to do the monthly Costco shopping which is a mega pain.  Hope to grab an iced drink at Dunkin' Donuts afterwards.