Monthly Archives:: December 2015

ARC Review: This Song Is (Not) for You

December 31, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 2 ★★★★

ARC Review: This Song Is (Not) for YouThis Song Is (Not) for You by Laura Nowlin
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on January 5th 2016
Pages: 240
Source: Netgalley
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ramona and Sam are best friends. She fell for him the moment they met, but their friendship is just too important for her to mess up. Sam loves April, but he would never expect her to feel the same way-she's too quirky and cool for someone like him. Together, they have a band, and put all of their feelings for each other into music.
Then Ramona and Sam meet Tom. He's their band's missing piece, and before Ramona knows it, she's falling for him. But she hasn't fallen out of love with Sam either. How can she be true to her feelings without breaking up the band?
"Educators and librarians looking for fast-moving, interesting plots, in-depth characters, and meaningful themes need to add this one to their shelves."-VOYA praise for If He Had Been with Me

This Song Is (Not) for You takes the love triangle and gives it an unexpected twist. Another bonus is that I have never read a book that explored asexuality and that was a pleasant surprise. I feel like this is a topic that does need to be more discussed in YA literature. I feel like the author did a good job at capturing the confusion and also shame that comes from not having any sexual feelings and being a teenager. I won’t reveal which character it is that identifies as being asexual, but it isn’t really anything that the author keeps a secret for long. I think we learn it pretty early on. This book is definitely unique, I’ve never read anything exactly like it. I recommend it for sure!

As a lover of music, this book was right up my alley. Some of the narration was a little confusing since it went back and forth between the three main characters, but it was still nice to get to see what all of the characters were thinking. I feel like Ramona’s voice was the strongest, it was easy to like her. She’s passionate about what she does, and I loved that about her. Sam and Tom also had that passion, and I’m not sure which character I liked better out of those two. Nowlin did a good job at making you like and cheer for both of them.

In the end, this book may not be for everybody. However, I found it to be charming and also well done. If you despise love triangles, I can see why you might shy away from this book. I won’t say much about it, but I will say that the direction the book goes in isn’t what I expected and it’s not what you discover in your typical YA book. I’ve said too much already, but all that’s left to say is that I rec this book.

four-stars

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ARC Review: This is Where It Ends

December 30, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

ARC Review: This is Where It EndsThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on January 5th 2016
Pages: 292
Source: Netgalley
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

10:00 a.m.The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
10:02 a.m.The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03The auditorium doors won't open.
10:05Someone starts shooting.
Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

So to start this off, this is obviously a very emotionally charged novel. It’s also extremely fast paced to the point where it’s a little difficult to keep up at times. I also felt like it was hard to feel truly connected to all of the characters. Having four different altering perspectives is tough because it allows for less and less time to actually become emotionally involved in the characters. As a whole, this was a novel that kept you engaged in every single page, my attention never once wavered while reading this book. I also believe that this is one of those topics where some people are going to be intrigued and others are still kind of shying away from it because it hits too close to home or is just straight up uncomfortable for them. I get that, but I also believe that this is an important story and people should definitely read this novel!

This is Where It Ends was a hard hitting debut. Another reason why I rated it what I did was because I felt a complete disconnect to the shooter Tyler. I wanted to understand more about why he did what he did. Yes, we get an insight into his past, but I feel like we never go as in depth into what makes him tick. Instead, the author chose to portray him as just a completely cruel and sick human when I feel like it should have been more exploration into his exact mindset. Truthfully, I found myself simply flipping through some pages because I wanted to get to the end. I hated not knowing who was going to live and who was going to die, so the book definitely had the suspenseful thing down to a science. I just wish I was able to really CARE about all the characters.

When I first read it, I felt like it was really intense and an amazing but difficult read. Now that I’ve been able to sit back and reflect on what I’ve read, I question some of the characters and the lack of depth even more. That being said, this is one of those books that’s either going to be your thing or it’s just not, I landed somewhere in the middle of the two. I liked the author’s writing and I liked the message that she was sending, I just feel like we needed about 100 more pages to explore more of the characters and their motives.

three-stars
Rating Report
Plot
three-stars
Characters
two-half-stars
Writing
three-half-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: three-stars

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Anticipated Releases for Early 2016

December 29, 2015 Features 11

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This is where we share our lists based on a weekly theme. The theme for this week is most anticipated releases for the first half of 2016. I feel like I’m sounding like a broken record with a lot of my 2016 most anticipated releases posts, but I’ll give this one a try anyway!

1. Passenger

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So I actually just started reading this one, but I’m looking forward to devouring this one. It’s really great so far and I’m excited for everyone else to get the chance to read it as well!

2. Loud is How I Love You

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This one sounds amazing, an NA music book that is also set in the 1990’s. Please sign me up now!

3. Bookishly Ever After

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Any book with that title has to be a great one, am I right? I sure hope so! I’m definitely looking forward to reading this one in January.

4. Arrows

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I’m not exactly a huge fan of anything related to Greek Mythology, but this is a modern day book so I’m looking forward to reading this one. It looks like something I might really enjoy!

5. Up to This Pointe

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This book looks amazing and I can’t wait to read it! I’ve never read any book that takes place in the South Pole so I’m excited to read it since it seems completely original and awesome.

6. Not Okay, Cupid

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I really loved Heidi R. Kling’s book Paint My Body Red, so I’m definitely looking forward to this contemporary romance book from one of my favorite Entangled imprints which is Entangled Crush. This is sure to be a cute one!

7. The Score

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I already pre-ordered this book so I’m obviously super pumped for this one! I actually just read the first two books in the series pretty recently, less than a week ago in fact. However, I’m seriously on board with it now, and so I can’t wait to read our favorite manwhore’s love story now.

8. Blackhearts

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I’m not sure if the plot for this one exactly fits in with what I normally read, but I’m willing to go out of my comfort zone a bit for this one. It looks really great so I’m pumped for February!

9. Firsts

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So I KNOW I’ve already included this one on my 2016 releases I’m excited about lists, but I just couldn’t leave it out since I’m beyond excited for this one. This is another one that I’ve already pre-ordered and am not so patiently waiting for. Just another week until I finally get to read it!

10. This is Where it Ends

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So I’ve had this one on my Kindle for awhile and am nervous to read it because I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews for it. However, I know I’m going to give this a try and I recommend that you do too! It looks like a great read and I’m excited to support the author and the publisher by reading it. I’d say that it’s going to be really powerful.

There is my list of the ten books that I’m most anticipating for the first half of 2016. I didn’t go past January and February because I really wanted to focus on those two months since there are PLENTY of great releases coming out then. There are tons more that I deliberately left out since I’ve already talked them to death on here, but I’m excited for those as well. What books made your list? Share your lists with me! Hope to see you back here for another awesome TTT! 🙂

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12 Days of Christmas Swap Reveal

December 28, 2015 Features 6

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So for the CG Swaps 12 Days of Christmas Swap, I was partnered with Lauren from Shooting Stars Mag. I was so excited to be paired up with her because we are both book blogger. Though I will admit that I failed at getting tons of book appropriate gifts, I focused more on food related items because I love food a lot! Like Lauren, I also think that it was a good thing that we talked about what we liked before we bought our gifts. It definitely made shopping a lot easier when you knew exactly what she wanted. Though I did go off my list some, I hope that Lauren enjoyed her gifts because I know that I sure loved mine! Here is a picture of everything that she got me! However, one book that she bought was left out of the big group picture but it will be making an appearance in other pictures.

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The envelopes in the bottom left are 12 letters that Lauren wrote to describe why she picked each of these gifts. These were all perfect gifts, there’s not one that I didn’t like!

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These are some book related items. The one on the far left is a 2016 planner which I really needed. These bookmarks are actually the cutest and most useful bookmarks I think I’ve ever seen! You can’t see them very well, but the first one is for the left side of the book, and you can put it right on the sentence that you stop on, and the other one is for the right side. The third item is yet another ridiculously cool bookish related thing! This is playing cards for book lovers. The cards are all about classic authors and book that you know and love.

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This is what I like to call my school/classroom related items. I was so excited about the lanyard that I already put my university badge that I use to get into elementary schools to student teach. The book is Holes, which Lauren gave me because I mentioned that I wanted to build my classroom library. I plan on teaching seventh grade English so I needed it, it’s a classic for sure! I also love the two things with my name on it: the pen and the cute pencil accessory for my door.

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Love this cute snowman magnet! 🙂

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The wrapped presents are hard to see, but the one on the left is the snowman listed above. The one on the right is an adorable penguin ornament, I’m sorry I don’t have a close up of it. I also love that Snowman Soup, I find it to be adorable. It’s actually hot chocolate but it’s still a really cute mix. The last present is Reeses, which you can never go wrong with.

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Here is the Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett book! I mentioned to Lauren that I loved Neil Gaiman so I’m really happy that it was this book. I’ve been wanting to read it for awhile now.

So here is all of the 12 Days of Christmas Swap haul! I’m really lucky that I had Lauren as my partner and this was a great experience.

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2015 End of the Year Book Survey

December 27, 2015 Features 2

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Here is my answers for the end of the year survey created by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner. This was a lot of fun to make, I love little surveys like this that help you track all of your reading progress for the year! All credit goes to Jamie for the survey questions and also the graphics that she made.

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Number Of Books You Read: 247
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: YA Contemporary

 

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1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

Best book not released in 2015: Jellicoe Road

Best contemporary 2015 book: Everything, Everything

Best fantasy: A Court of Thorn and Roses

 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I actually can’t think of any right now!

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

The Star Thief because I’ve never read any New Adult Fantasy books before this one.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Though it’s just the first book in the series, I have to go with Red Queen.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Huntley Fitzpatrick!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

The one I mentioned earlier, The Star Thief and A Court of Thorn and Roses as well.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Illuminae!

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

First & Then by Emma Mills, Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, & The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

Made You Up

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Maddy from Everything, Everything.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

I’ll Meet You There.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

Finding Audrey put a lot of things into perspective for me.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

There’s a ton of books that belong here. My Life Next Door, Jellicoe Road, Something Real, Meant to Be, What Happens Next, Whatever Life Throws at You, The Chapel Wars, The Sea of Tranquility, Divergent, Fangirl, Anna and the French Kiss, Sloppy Firsts aka the first book in the Jessica Darling series, Flat-Out Love, and the Wait for You series.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

“To really be a nerd, she’d decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one.” — Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

“I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren’t all that different.” — Divergent by Veronica Roth.

“Break my heart. Break it a thousand times if you like. It was only ever yours to break anyway.” — The One by Kiera Cass.

“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” — Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

“The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.” — The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.

“You don’t share me. You own me.” — Where She Went by Gayle Foreman

“What do you want from me?” he asks.

What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.” — Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.

Now from a book or two actually released this year:

“Spoiler alert: love is worth everything. Everything.” — Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.

“I think what I’ve realized is, life is all about climbing up, slipping down, and picking yourself up again. And it doesn’t matter if you slip down. As long as you’re kind of heading more or less upwards. That’s all you can hope for. More or less upwards.”  — Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest: The Agony of Alice

Longest: Illuminae

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Again with Illuminae but I can’t help it, it’s just so good!

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Olly and Maddy from Everything, Everything

 

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Audrey from Finding Audrey’s family (minus her crazy mother) and The Garretts from My Life Next Door and The Boy Most Likely To

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Saint Anything by my main girl Sarah Dessen!

21. Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

I’ll Meet You There

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

Ezra from First & Then.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

First & Then or Everything, Everything.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

A Court of Thorn & Roses.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Surprisingly, Finding Audrey, even though it was about a serious topic. Plus The Boy Most Likely To.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

I don’t often get emotional over books but DEFINITELY Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers. It crushed my soul as well.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Truest!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

And yet again, I gotta go with Truest or Everything, Everything.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

Illuminae.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines. It was just so freaking sexist and I absolutely couldn’t deal with how every single male character treated every female except for the perfect virginal heroine. It was obnoxious and made me ridiculously angry.

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1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?

Well, I just started blogging this year so pretty much every blog is new to me so here are just a few of my personal favorites:

Love at First Page

The Perpetual Page-Turner (obviously) 😀

Bookmark Lit

Paper Fury

Alexa Loves Books

The Hardcover Lover

Stuck in Books

Sorry if I left you off!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?

Probably Me and Earl and the Dying Girl because I got to ramble about how much I love the book.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I got to interview Jenn Bennett which I was really excited about. I also interviewed Jackie Lea Sommers and was beyond excited to fangirl with her over some of our favorite books and book boyfriends.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I’ve loved participating in The Broke and the Bookish’s weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

Just getting to participate in fun blog tours and interview cool authors.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Posting reviews for every book that I read, I still have the bad habit of not even tracking the books that I read on Goodreads because I went so long without using it regularly.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Probably a Top Ten Tuesday post and also a blog tour that I participated in.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I’m not sure, I guess any of my reviews!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

So I’d never heard of Book Outlet until this year. Well, actually a couple of days ago to be exact. I have no clue how I’ve gone so long without it!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Yes, I went over and beyond my Goodreads goal.

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

All The Bright Places.

 

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

Glass Sword!!

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Firsts or The Love That Split The World.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?

The Selection Series and also the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?

Be more on top of posting in general, possibly scheduling more posts in advance! I’m really bad at doing that for some reason.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

I really liked Love & Gelato.

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Mini Reviews: What’s Broken Between Us & This Raging Light

December 26, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★

Mini Reviews: What’s Broken Between Us & This Raging LightWhat's Broken Between Us by Alexis Bass
Published by HarperCollins on December 29th 2015
Pages: 241
Source: Edelweiss, Netgalley
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Alexis Bass’s heartbreakingly beautiful second novel is a tale of love, loss, and learning to forgive, perfect for fans of Gayle Forman and of Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything.
A year and a half ago, Amanda Tart's brother got behind the wheel drunk and killed his best friend. Today, he's coming home from prison.
Amanda's been the one living with the fallout, made worse by her brother's recent unapologetic TV interview. People think he's a monster. Still, she loves him. It's her dark secret, until she starts getting close to Henry again--whose sister is paralyzed from the accident.
A year and a half ago, her brother destroyed his life. Now Amanda has to decide if she'll let his choice destroy hers.

This book hit a little bit close to home for me since I also have an older brother. While it did have some flaws, I liked that it was a book about finding forgiveness and moving on. It also tackles the topic of holding onto the past instead of letting go. These were extremely real and touching themes that I found enjoyable to read about. However, I didn’t like some aspects to the relationship between Amanda and Henry. I also wished the ending would have turned out differently, but I suppose it was the only realistic way to resolve everything. In the end, I did like it, it just wasn’t all that memorable for me.

I didn’t read Alexis Bass’s first novel because I heard that the ending was depressing. But the summary for this one intrigued me and it was really fast paced and easy to read in just one sitting. Even though books that have to do with the MC’s big brother screwing up always make me extremely nervous, I still genuinely liked reading it and am glad that I did! I will be looking out for more books from this author in the future, who knows I might even bite the bullet and read her debut just because she is such a decent writer.

Mini Reviews: What’s Broken Between Us & This Raging LightThis Raging Light by Estelle Laure
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on December 22nd 2015
Pages: 288
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Can the best thing happen at the worst time?
Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she's about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend's brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure's soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

This Raging Light was one of those books that I thoroughly enjoyed while reading it, but didn’t like it as much once I really looked back on it and was able to reflect on it. Basically, I felt like the story was creative but I also feel like there wasn’t enough closure on some important parts the way that there should have been. It seemed as if they never gave enough information and depth behind the main characters parents not being around. Yes, we knew why, but I felt like it should have been brought up and had closure to it in the end. Instead, the whole book consisted of the high school MC stepping up into the role of parent to her younger sister. I won’t lie, I’m a big fan of little kids in YA, I think they always make for adorable and entertaining supporting characters and Wren definitely didn’t disappoint. This was an emotional read and I cried several times throughout the story, but it was a decent book as a whole, it just felt like it was missing some important details.

Would I recommend this debut? Well, it depends on what kind of books you like. If you’re a reader who embraces YA books that deal with crappy home issues and result in a teenager taking charge, this one might be for you. Warning: if you aren’t a fan of love triangles/cheating, you might want to stay clear of this one. The LI just so happens to have a long term girlfriend for quite a bit of the novel. So if you despise those, I wouldn’t recommend this because it will likely infuriate you. However, I did like this book, I just didn’t completely love it.

three-stars

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Top 10 of 2015: 2016 Books I’m Looking Forward To

December 25, 2015 Challenges, Features 0

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Merry Christmas everyone! I’m posting this late because I was so busy all day spending time with my family that I didn’t have time to post anything and I didn’t schedule it in advanced either. So this really cool end of the year challenge is being hosted by Tales of a Ravenous Reader, Fiktshun, Two Chicks On Books, and Magical Urban Fantasy. The topic for today is the ten books that you are most looking forward to in 2016. I was seriously pumped about making this list since there are tons and tons of books I’m looking forward to. I’ve also already done one list for Top Ten Tuesday about my most anticipated releases, so I tried to add some new books to the mix here.

1. It’s All Your Fault

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This books look exactly like something that I’m sure to love. So I’m definitely looking forward to this book!

2. Every Exquisite Thing

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I’m thrilled about absolutely anything that Matthew Quick writes, so this book obviously made it to my TBR list on Goodreads for sure.

3. Glass Sword

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February just seems so freaking far away. I’m beyond excited about the sequel to “Red Queen,” which was definitely one of my favorite books of 2015. Hopefully February is here before we know it because I’m not sure how much longer I can wait!

4. Wild Swans

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I don’t know much about this one since it won’t be out until May, but I was initially drawn to the cover. I’m also really looking forward to this because I’ve typically loved anything that Sourcebooks Fire releases.

5. A Court of Mist and Fury

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Yet another May release that I’m super pumped for. I loved the first book in the series, and I’m beyond anxious to see what’s going to come next for some of my absolute favorite characters.

6. Tell Me Three Things

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So I’ve already seen a ton of hype for this book even though it doesn’t come out until April. Anyway, it looks like it’s going to be really good so I’m anxious for it to finally come out.

7. Wanderlost

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I really liked Jen Malone’s first book, which was technically an ebook only but you know what I mean. This one will be coming out right at the start of summer, so I’m pumped to see what’s going to happen in it.

8. How to Keep Rolling After a Fall

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I seriously enjoyed Karole’s debut novel, so I can’t wait to see what possibilities her sophomore novel holds. I can already tell you that I’m going to like this one!

9. When We Collided

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So apparently the protagonist in this one is bipolar and that makes me really anxious to read this, since I feel like bipolar isn’t represented enough in YA novels. I’ve loved Emery Lord’s previous works, so I have no doubts that I’ll love this one just as much.

10. To The Stars

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I had to include at least one NA title on here, and of course it had to be a book from my girl Molly McAdams. I enjoyed the first book in the Thatch books, so I have no doubt that I’ll love this one as well.

So that’s my list for today! Again, I hope you guys all had a nice holiday and got to spend a lot of time with your family. I also hope that you got plenty of books as well! 🙂

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Top 10 of 2015: Top Book Boyfriends

December 24, 2015 Challenges, Features 2

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So this really cool end of the year challenge is being hosted by Tales of a Ravenous Reader, Fiktshun, Two Chicks On Books, and Magical Urban Fantasy. The topic for today is the best book boyfriends of the year. All of the boys have to be from books that were released in 2015, and that you’ve read this year as well. I’ve done a lot of similar lists already this year since I’m obsessed with book boyfriends, but I’ve tried to include guys from books that were released more towards the end of this year. Without further ado, here is my list.

1. Jack from The Anatomical Shape of a Heart

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Jack has definitely appeared on my previous best boyfriends list but I couldn’t leave him off because he’s one of my all time favorites for sure! I love how just how selfless and giving this boy is. You honestly don’t see that too much in YA LI, so I dig it.

2. Max from The Masked Truth

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This book was one of the best books that I’ve read this year and Max is a rare love interest. I’ve never seen any YA boys that are quite as unique and refreshing as his character was. I can’t explain it, you just have to read it I suppose!

3. Nick from Forever with You

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I had a tough time choosing between Reece and Nick but in the end I had to go with Nick. He has a reputation for having one night stands with girls and not even seeing their faces ever again. Stephanie is the girl who changes that all for him and I loved their relationship. Most of all, I loved getting to see Nick’s gradual but obvious transformation and growth throughout the story.

4. Oliver from Emmy & Oliver

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Throughout this story, I just desperately wanted to give poor Oliver the biggest hug known to man. He’s been through so much, and I really feel for him. I also absolutely love how swoony he is with Emmy.

5. Austin from Play On

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Austin is an all around NICE guy and I loved how romantic he was. He was just really an incredible character and I totally wish more high school boys were as charming and incredibly supportive in the way that he is.

6. Ezra from First & Then

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Why is Ezra so perfect?? I don’t know. I can’t even talk much about him without experiencing an overwhelming amount of feels. I’ll just leave it at he’s different from any other athlete in a YA novel that I’ve read before.

7. Mac from Saint Anything

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While I don’t consider Mac to be my favorite Sarah Dessen boy of all time, I still totally adored him. He was protective of the people that he loved and I think it was that sweet, gentle, but very caring nature that won me over.

8. Olly from Everything, Everything

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Perfection is really the only word I can think of to describe this guy. He just instantly wins you over, I swear. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend that you do, if only for the fact that you are very likely to fall in love with him.

9. Roman from My Heart and Other Black Holes

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Roman’s story totally BROKE my heart. However, I can’t say that I was able to resist his charm. He was just such an easy guy to like and I love how the two characters were able to bring out the best in each other and overcome their demons together.

10. Tim from The Boy Most Likely To

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How in the world could I pick anyone else?? Tim is the man! Is he screwed up? Absolutely, but I love how he never stops trying to get better. He doesn’t want to be seen as some loser who does nothing with his life, though he may feel like that’s who he is at times. I fell in love with Tim in My Life Next Door, but I fell even harder for him here!

So that was a ridiculously tough list to make for me! But I can’t deny that I had a lot of fun making it. Hope you’ll come back here tomorrow for my final post of the week! 🙂

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Holiday Buddy Read Review: Decked With Holly

December 23, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 2 ★★★

Holiday Buddy Read Review: Decked With HollyDecked with Holly by Marni Bates
Published by K-Teen on September 25th 2012
Pages: 244
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Goodreads
three-stars
Smartly blending of-the-moment pop culture references and timeless themes, Bates follows her YA debut, "Awkward", with a hilarious, over-the-top adventure about a teen girl who becomes the fake girlfriend of a cute rock star.
Taking a Christmas cruise with her two cousins from hell isn't Holly's idea of a good time. And when seasickness forces her into an open suite, she's pepper-sprayed by a gorgeous guy called Nick. But when Holly makes her exit, she's greeted by a horde of screaming teenage fans. Because Nick happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for one of the hottest bands in America. Suddenly rumours are swirling and Holly's face is plastered all over the Internet. The band can't risk a scandal destroying their family-friendly image, so Dominic convinces Holly to be his fake girlfriend - just for two weeks. How bad could it be to be "fauxmantically" involved with a cute rock star? She's about to find out...

So I’ve been wanting to read more holiday centered books this month, so I was excited to see that Lauren from Bookmark Lit was doing this. I asked her to buddy read the book Decked With Holly with me and I’m glad that she was onboard for that. I was a bit harsh and gave the book 3 stars, while Lauren was nicer and gave it a 3.5. We both agreed that it was a cute read overall!

We began our conversation about the book by saying that we liked Dominic (Holly’s love interest who also happens to be famous) but weren’t sure about how well the hate-to-love trope worked in this instant. We’re both pretty huge fans of this trope when it’s done right, but we felt like this one didn’t completely work. Dominic was seriously judgmental about Holly’s appearance when they first met. The girl had a seriously DIFFICULT night, and Dom just saw her as being a mess and said a lot of really mean things about her looks.

Lauren: It kind of bothered me how he didn’t seem to like Holly and judged her appearance for a long time. I’m a fan of the hate-to-love romance trope, but I don’t like that he was kind of mean about her. It took adding makeup and having a full makeover for him to really like her in some ways!
Rachel: I thought it was pretty messed up how rude he was about talking about how dirty and messy her face was when he first met her. I think that part of his judgmental attitude was the world that he came from, but it still wasn’t an excuse.
We then continued our talk about hate-to-love romances and how this one felt way too sudden. For the majority of the book, Dominic doesn’t show any signs of having real feelings for Holly. He constantly pushes her away and never expresses how he feels about her. So because of this, the love didn’t feel all that natural considering how rude he was to Holly.
Our discussion continued by talking about some of the things we disliked about the supporting characters:
Lauren: On another note, it really bothered me how she basically idolized her grandpa (I understand why because he basically took her in when no one else did) but he never stuck up for her to the rest of her family! How was it was okay to just let them berade her all the time like that? She kept saying that if her parents were alive they would probably help her in those situations, but I really don’t see how old her grandpa should be held to a different standard. They were blatantly being mean to her and commenting on her weight and he just sat there. If I were her, I would not appreciate that at all.
Rachel: She always said that he was the only one on her side, but I did agree that he seemed to just let them be mean to her. I thought she said that they mostly did it whenever the Grandpa wasn’t around or when he couldn’t hear, but it still seemed like he should be aware of it. I know the cousins threatened her that if she told her Grandpa, they’d show him the pictures of her from the mall thing.
Lauren: True! There was the one instance where they were out to dinner and somebody made a rude comment to her and he just winked at her. That part seemed kind of weird to me because it was obvious that he heard them but didn’t do anything.
I feel like our thoughts have focused enough on the negative things about the story, so here are some of the things that we liked:
Rachel: I liked Holly, she was very sassy and witty. I think she was a good MC.
Lauren: I agree! Her bluntness was weird at times, but it made her a strong character!
Rachel: Her sense of humor was unconventional, but it was still interesting. What else did you like?
Lauren: I think Dominic was pretty down to earth, considering that he was a celebrity!
Rachel: Yeah, I liked his band members too. I also liked how Dominic was pretty open minded and a good friend to his best friend/band mate who just so happened to be gay.
So that’s about it for this buddy read review. I enjoyed talking to Lauren about the book and I think we had a lot of things to talk about. Thanks again to Lauren for reading this with me, and make sure to check out her post over on Bookmark Lit!
three-stars

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Top 10 of 2015: Top 10 New Adult Books of 2015

December 23, 2015 Challenges, Features 3

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So this really cool end of the year challenge is being hosted by Tales of a Ravenous Reader, Fiktshun, Two Chicks On Books, and Magical Urban Fantasy. The topic for today is bloggers choice and I chose top 10 New Adult books of 2015. Some of these books weren’t released this year, but I read all of these books in 2015!

1. Easy

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This one wasn’t released in 2015, but I love this book regardless. Truthfully. it’s one of the few NA books that I’ve given a five star rating too. I just really really love the story and the characters. I will always love my boy Lucas.

2. Wait for You

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Alright, I’ve given this whole series a four star rating. Except I think I’m going to go back and give a few of them a five. These books just completely stuck with me, and it all started with this first book.

3. Stacked

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I’ve included this one on like every single best of list that I’ve made. It’s one of my all time favorite NA books for a number of reasons. I can’t wait for the next book in this series to come out already!

4. Last Will and Testament

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I’m a huge fan of Dahlia Adler’s books. I feel like this had such a refreshing and awesome plot. I can’t wait for the next two Radleigh University books to come out in 2016!

5. The Deal

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Garrett and Hannah are an amazing couple and I loved this book a lot more than I was expecting that I would. Btw, it’s only 99 cents on Amazon right now, so I think you should definitely buy this one!

6. Flat-Out Love

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I had heard really rave reviews about this one but I still had some doubts going into it. I have to admit that it completely lived up to the hype and I fell in love with it. I’m always a fan of geeks so Matt definitely did it for me.

7. Slammed

Slammed (Slammed, #1)

So this one could be considered either NA or YA since the main character is actually still in high school. However, she is 18 throughout the book and is obviously older in the second and third books in the series so I consider it to be more NA. I loved this one because of Colleen Hoover’s writing but also because I’m a huge fan of both slam poetry and the Avett Brothers. This book somehow managed to work both of my loves into the plot in such a smooth and natural manner that I instantly loved.

8. Fall Guy

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You guys, I’m actually a little obsessed with this book. Winch is just complete and total perfection. There are so many swoony scenes in this book that I continue to think about to this day. It’s also only 99 cents on Amazon so I think you should totally purchase it if you somehow missed this one. It’s a beautiful story and one of my favorites for sure.

10. The Game Plan

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The majority of this list has been older books that I’ve read this year, so I thought I’d include one more that was actually published this year. I loved this series and I have to say that this is my personal favorite out of the three books.

Here is my list for today’s topic. I hope you enjoyed reading this and I hope that you come back for yet another one of my lists tomorrow! 🙂

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