Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Featured Blogger (27): Jen from Makeshift Bookmark!

One of the most wonderful new voices in blogging in my opinion is Jen of Makeshift Bookmark. I love reading her blog posts and chatting with her because she is just so very enthusiastic about things she's passionate about. I dare you to read her blog and not be convinced to buy a book, even if you think it's totally not your type! Welcome, Jen, to Steph Su Reads!

1. Tell us about yourself in a few short sentences.

I'm Jen. I'm a full-time nursing student and I work full-time, second shift in a call center. I basically get paid to read because from 8pm - 11pm, it's dead slow...score. I live with my husband and two cats, Bella and Bo Schembechler, in rural Kentucky. I make extreme facial expressions, talk with my hands, and shamelessly sing the soundtrack to The Phantom of the Opera when no one is listening. Or even if they are. And I'm seriously long-winded. I apologize in advance.

2. Tell us about your blog. When did you start it and why? Where did the name come from? What interesting things can visitors expect?

I started my blog in mid-September 2010. I'm not gonna lie, I was a blog stalker. I stalked your blog, too, Steph. The concept was fascinating to me, but I never thought I could ever write anything worth reading. I started reviewing on Goodreads. I decided I needed a little corner of the interwebs for myself. The most appealing aspect of blogging was the comraderie amongst bloggers. I wanted to be a part of that. Because I have like, one bookish friend who lives 300 miles away. I needed a community with which I could squee about YA books without feeling like a complete nerd.

The name Makeshift Bookmark came from my uncanny ability of misplace any and all bookmarks. I need SOMETHING, so I grab what's available, be it a fruit snack wrapper, a nail file, dental floss (unused! give me a LITTLE credit) or a Splenda packet. Readers shouldn't expect much other than a whole bunch of excitement. Perhaps a little humor here and there with an unpredictable amount of CAPS LOCK ENTHUSIASM. If I love a book, you'll know about it. Nothing deep or thought-provoking here, guys. 100% fangirlism, at your service.

3. What is your earliest memory of you reading YA lit?

The Babysitters' Club. I guess that's not YA. I did read Forever by Judy Blume in 8th grade. OH! And Fear Street. Seriously, the phrase "long, lingering kiss" was in every single book at least once. (Is it weird that I remember that?) Unfortunately, in high school, I stopped reading for a long, long time. Worst decision ever.

4. Describe to us a memorable encounter/exchange you had with another blogger or author since you started blogging.

You'll probably be familiar with this, Steph, since you were there. Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner had mentioned on Twitter a few weeks ago that she was going to a Laurie Halse Anderson signing. Apparently this stuck in my subconscious, because I dreamt later that night that I went, too! Only...LHA was a robot. Jamie apparently found this so hilarious that she actually relayed my ridiculous dream to Laurie at the signing! Luckily, my subconscious manifestation was proved to be false when she recorded THIS. I laughed so, so hard and I could've hugged Jamie for what she did. Authors are like celebrities to readers, so I was starstruck for days. Definitely the most memorable exchange thus far. Hopefully the first of many!

5. Name 3 favorite books and why you think everyone should read them.

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, because I've never felt such a vast array of emotions during a reading experience.

The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray, because it makes me want to believe in magic (and Kartik) and I forgot about EVERYTHING else when I read this series.

Everybody Poops by Taro Gomi, because I think lots of people are still in denial.

6. Have you got any special collections of objects?

Hmmm...BOOKS. I guess lip balm, though that's more hoarding than collecting. Medicated Blistex. I buy them like 10 at a time, because I will lose each and every one of them prior to using all of them. I also have a pretty ridiculous collection of photos of my cats on my iPhone. I don't have children, so I excessively photograph my cats.

7. What are some upcoming YA books that you can't wait to get your hands on?

Darkest Mercy, Darkest Mercy, Darkest Mercy. I am absolutely crazy about Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series (IRIAL!!) and I get kind of dizzy when I think of the fact that this is the last book in one of my most beloved series. I throw an internal tantrum everytime I think about the fact that it's not February yet.

A close second would be Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready. I love her writing. She makes you feel the pain. I love an author who can do that. I really need to read her adult series.

Other must-haves: Wither by Lauren DeStefano, A Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves, and The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa.

8. What are some places you'd like to visit before you die?

Hawaii! I'd really like to do what Cory Matthews did on Boy Meets World and run a business with my husband on the beach, carving celebrity faces out of coconuts. I think it's a GREAT plan. I'd also love to visit England in hopes of perfecting my accent. It's seriously inadequate and I'd like to change that. And BEA, but that goes without saying.

9. What are some things you just LOVE to receive for presents? :)

I'm going to go with the obligatory "books," because it's true. And also, clothes, because I don't shop for myself. I'm a horrible dresser and honestly, I spend all my money on books, so there's nothing left for things like clothing or hair dye. My roots are looking pretty bad, so if anyone would like to donate to the "Make Jen's Hair More Aesthetically Pleasing" fund, please let me know.

10. And finally, tell us two interesting things about yourself that can spark conversation.

a. I have to shake out my shoes before putting them on. Even if they're just slip-ons. I had an unfortunate experience a couple years ago where I put on a pair of flats (no socks, mind you) and felt a little something in them. I ignored this, thinking it's probably a rock or something. My husband and I walked around the mall and went out to eat, spanning a little over a few hours. When we got back in the car, I said to him "I have to take my shoe off, there's something rolling around in it. I hope it's not a spider! HA! HA! HA!" I kid you not, as soon as I took off that shoe, a medium-sized brown spider came crawling out onto my hand. It had been alive the entire time I had my shoe on. Hyperventilation and blood-curdling screams occured. Surprisngly, it didn't bite me. I didn't take this into consideration when I killed it.

b. I'm a hypochondriac. Every headache equals a brain tumor. Every heart palpitation is an impending heartattack. I've been told on several occasions that I'm completely healthy, but I'm still convinced there's something wrong with me. I don't think nursing school is going to help me get over that. Whoops?


Come on. You can't read that interview and NOT want to immediate hop on over to Jen's blog and be her best friend, can you? Thank you so much, Jen! Be sure to stop by Makeshift Bookmark and maybe even put it on your blogroll, because she is one lady whom I think is here to stay. :)


  1. Agreed---Jen is absurd and fabulous and I dare you to not like her. Wonderful choice, Steph!

  2. I LOVE JEN! I also dare everyone not to love her. She is one of my bffs and she is AWESOME! And really likes TALKING IN ALL CAPS ON TWITTER. Which I LOVE!

    Good call on featuring her, Steph!

  3. This is awesome. Jen is awesome. And this blog is awesome. :-)

  4. I absolutely ADORE Jen like you would not believe so to see her on this blog makes me all kinds of HAPPY!!!! And I agree that she needs to perfect her British accent because that means she has to come to the UK.

  5. If I could hug each of you crazy ladies, I would :)

    Thanks so much for having me, Steph! YOU ARE AWESOME.

  6. lovely interview :) jen sounds so awesome, time to stalk her blog!

  7. I loved this interview- I must check out Jen's blog. Thanks for featuring her, Steph!

  8. I just discovered Jen's blog recently and it's quickly becoming a new favorite. I love that Gemma Doyle is one of your favorites, since it's the one that got me *obsessive* into YA.

  9. Makeshift Bookmark is pretty much one of my favorite blogs ever. And Jen is awesome. Quite honestly, my taste in books is COMPLETELY different, but I love reading all of her reviews and posts for their entertainment value anyway. If you're not already checking out this blog, you should. It will make your life happier.

  10. Oh this girl is one of my absolute FAVORITES! Great interview, Steph!

  11. I enjoy chatting with Jen on twitter! Glad she decided to take up book blogging :)

  12. I can't wait for Darkest Mercy either. Great interview questions.

  13. OMG, I think Jen and I are soulmates. I have to shake my shoes out before I put them on too! What happened to her with the spider is one of my *biggest* fears!


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