Posts Categorized: Features

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite TV Shows

September 6, 2016 Features 10

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there’s a different theme that we make lists revolving around, and then we share it with each other. It’s an awesome feature that I love participating in whenever I get the time! This week, the theme is all about TV shows, since the fall season is just around the corner. I was beyond excited for this topic because I honestly watch so much TV. Though it was difficult to pick, I decided to make my topic about some of my favorite shows of all time. A few of these are shows that I’ve recently loved and watched, but I’m not sure if I would consider it to be an all time favorite, I’m just thinking about it’s still fresh in my mind. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my list and I look forward to reading yours as well.

1. One Tree Hill

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This is a guilty pleasure show that I can’t help but love. Though it definitely goes downhill in later seasons, this is still an incredible show filled with lots of romance, drama, and general teen angst all around!

2. Friday Night Lights

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Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. Friday Night Lights is just one of those shows that I’ll always love no matter what. If you’re not a fan of football, don’t worry, this show is about so much more than the sport. Honestly, football is pretty much in the background compared to everything else going on in the series. It’s about family, love, loss, communities, and growing up, which are all things that each of us are able to relate to.

3. Degrassi: The Next Generation

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This is yet another guilty pleasure of mine. I never watched the original Degrassi, but I’m a fan of most seasons of Degrassi: The Next Generation and also the new series on Netflix. The main reason why I love this show so much is how real it is. I remember how scandalous some of the episodes were to my fourth grade (and also middle school) self and it honestly ended up teaching me a lot of stuff that I probably wouldn’t have learned until much later otherwise.

4. Shameless

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So the Gallagher’s are the definition of a dysfunctional family. However, this show is still completely addicting to me. I don’t know if it’s because of all the family drama or because of something else entirely, all I know is that I can’t stop watching it. This is an amazing show and I highly recommend it!

5. Veep

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This is totally one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen honestly. It’s one of those shows that you just have to watch to fully understand the greatness of it. The sense of humor is also probably not everyone’s thing, it’s very dry and dark at times, but I personally love it.

6. Gilmore Girls

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This is one of those shows that I can just watch every single episode a million times and still love it just as much as I did the first time I watched it. I just love the characters, the plot, the writing, the acting, and just everything else about it. This is one fabulous show and I can’t wait for the new Netflix revival to come out!

7. Sex and the City

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Though it’s a little out dated now, I still love this show regardless. You just have to love each of these girls for completely different reasons. I’m not even sure which one is my favorite. I love the female friendship, the girls definitely make a wonderful girl gang.

8. Dance Academy

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I just watched this less than a month ago, but I had to put this on my list anyways. I watched this entire series in like less than a week, it was simply that addicting, plus the episodes were pretty short. I can’t explain how excited I am for the movie, which comes out in 2017!

9. Felicity

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I would probably consider this to be a guilty pleasure. I can’t really explain exactly what it is about this show that hooked me in, it just somehow did. I definitely wish that I could date Ben and be best friends with Noel.

10. Parenthood

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This is an incredibly underrated show about the Braverman family. This is one of those shows that makes you both cry and laugh in only one episode. It will certainly take you through a roller coaster of emotions, but it’s well worth it in the end!

11. House of Cards

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This show makes me so angry yet satisfied all at the same time. You want to hate Frank and Claire Underwood, but sometimes it feels impossible to do. I find myself wishing that they get caught during one episode, then wanting them to get away with everything the next. This is yet another ridiculously emotionally complicated show.

12. Orange is the New Black

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Speaking of emotionally complicated shows, Orange is the New Black is pretty much the very definition of it. That being said, this is a show that also makes me laugh and cry in just one episode. The characters all make me laugh with their pop culture references among other things, but then they make me cry when we get to see a flashback of one of the prisoners and receive more insight into their life before prison. It’s a unique and compelling show, that’s for sure!

So there were actually a few shows that I ended up leaving off my list, though my “cut” version still had more than ten. Anyway, my honorable mentions go to Entourage, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Stranger Things, and The O.C. What did you guys include on your lists this week? I look forward to seeing them!

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ARC August Wrap-Up

September 3, 2016 Features 1

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I can’t believe that ARC August is already over. If you don’t already know, ARC August is hosted by Octavia and Shelly over at Read.Sleep.Repeat. The month is supposed to help bloggers catch up on old and new ARC’s that they have on any format. As a whole, I really met my goals and read some ARC’s that I definitely needed to get around to. How did everyone else end up doing?

Goals: 10 books

Read: 12 books

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Finished: August 4th

Rating: 3.5/5

Thoughts: Though I preferred Karole Cozzo’s debut novel, this was still a decent read. I really enjoyed the love interest here. The romance was incredibly swoony and well written.

Full review

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Finished: August 6th

Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: I thought this was a cute and fluffy summer read. However, I was bothered by some of the slut shaming that happened just from the girl kissing. Even if she was having sex with these dudes, the slut shaming from the MC herself rubbed me the wrong way.

Full review

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Finished: August 10th

Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: Though I think it started out pretty slow, this turned out to be an amazing contemporary women’s fiction novel. I don’t read that much adult fiction in general, but I’m glad I gave this one a shot. I’m looking forward to more from Bethany Chase!

Full review

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Finished: August 13th

Rating: 1/5

Thoughts: This book just didn’t work for me for so many different reasons. I felt like it was extremely unrealistic in terms of the portrayal of high school journalism and high schoolers in general. This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, so it’s very disappointing that I disliked it as much as I did.

Full review

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Finished: August 13th

Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: This was a cute and steamy contemporary adult romance between a single mom and a veteran. I haven’t read any other books from this author, but I’m definitely going to check them out now! It wasn’t my favorite, but it was still a quick and enjoyable read as a whole.

Full review

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Finished: August 14th

Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: I’m such a huge fan of Julie Cross and she didn’t let me down, though this wasn’t my favorite. I enjoyed the dance and modeling sides of the story. But I’m not really sure how realistic some of it is. Like one of the main characters had no interest in modeling at all, yet somehow he managed to land some of the biggest jobs you can possibly get.

Full review

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Finished: August 16th

Rating: 1/5

Thoughts: I wanted to like this one because the description sounded interesting enough. Unfortunately, it fell totally flat. So the main character decides that she’s going to be a how to blogger and make money from answering everyone’s questions. I don’t understand how she can possibly make ANY money when she just started blogging. There’s also another issue of the fact that it happens to be popular at her school, but how could they just happen to stumble upon her blog when the internet is such a huge place? None of it made any sense to me.

Full review to come!

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Finished: August 25th

Rating: 2.5/5

Thoughts: This wasn’t a bad book, but this honestly isn’t a genre that I personally enjoy. I’m a huge contemporary fan, I thought I’d try this anyway because of the LGBT characters. I think other people will ultimately like this one a lot better than I did.

Full review to come!

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Finished: August 27th

Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: This wasn’t as great as Sweet Little Lies, but it was still a solid addition to the series. Some of the drama was just way too much for me. I hate it when the couple is only together for like a few pages before something major happens that causes them to breakup. Can we please just see them together and happy for awhile before the drama hits?

Full review to come!

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Finished: August 30th

Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: I’ve never read a book that tackles the subject of being queer and being a Christian. I think the author provided a lot of useful information for LGBT teens struggling with this, which I believe is such an important thing. It wasn’t my favorite because of the lack of communication, but I appreciate the subject matter.

Full review

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Finished: August 30th

Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: Wow, this book just blew me away! Megan Erickson is such a fabulous author, and she’s written yet another incredibly necessary m/m romance. The love interest here is actually asexual, which I’ve never seen in an NA book before. This was a fantastic book, check it out when it comes out later this month!

Full review to come!

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Finished: August 31st

Rating: 5/5

Thoughts: So this is the only middle grade book that I’ve read this month, and I’m so glad that I picked it up! The characters are all so adorable and well developed. If you read any children’s book, I highly recommend you choose this one. It’ll make you feel all the feels for sure.

Full review

So these are all the books that I was able to read this month for ARC August and what my thoughts are for each! I look forward to seeing everyone else’s wrap-up posts for this awesome reading challenge.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon

August 9, 2016 Features 11

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there’s a different theme that we make lists revolving around, and then we share it with each other. It’s an awesome feature that I love participating in whenever I get the time! This week, the theme is to rewind and go back and do a topic that you previously missed. I decided to do top ten books that will make you swoon. I’m a huge fan of romance books, so naturally this is my kind of topic. I based my picks mostly off of the book boyfriends and just how amazing the romance itself was in general. I look forward to seeing what topics everyone else picked since there was so many incredible options to choose from!

1. The Truth About Forever

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I just had to include a book by my favorite author on this list. I would normally go with This Lullaby since it’s my all time favorite and I love Dexter, but this is one I don’t talk about enough. Wes is also such a swoony guy and I’ll forever be obsessed with his relationship with Macy.

2. P.S. I Like You

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This book just came out a few weeks ago, but I love it so much and hope that you pick it up if you haven’t gotten around to it yet. Kasie West is such a popular contemporary author and this is definitely my favorite from her. I can’t recommend it enough! It’s guaranteed to make you swoon for sure.

3. Everything, Everything

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Maddy and Olly are such incredible individual characters, so naturally them as a couple is just as great. Seriously, all I can do is repeatedly gush over them, because there just isn’t that much else to say about it.

4. First & Then

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So the romance in this one is quite a bit slower than a lot of the others on here so far, but it’s ridiculously adorable. Ezra starts out being this popular football player that everyone is obsessed with. But once Devin starts getting to know him better, she learns that he’s a lot more complicated than just that.

5. My Life Next Door

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It doesn’t really get much swoonier than Jase and Sam. Jase is such a sweet and genuine guy. Not to mention the fact that he’s obviously good with kids. If you’ve never read this book before, you need to pick it up right away.

6. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

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Is there a book out there that’s more adorable? This is such a light and fluffy book that I love so much. This is definitely one of my all time favorites! It just portrays falling in love in such a real and beautiful way, how can you not love this story?

7. The Unexpected Everything

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I could have put any Morgan Matson book on this list, especially Since You’ve Been Gone. I decided to go with this one because I really enjoyed Clark in particular. He’s such an incredible book character, and he totally brought the swoon here.

8. The Start of Me and You

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This is such a swoony book with a nerdy book boyfriend who I instantly fell in love with. Max is such an amazing character who I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

9. Sloppy Firsts

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The relationship between Marcus and Jessica is such an epic one that I just to include it here. He starts off as being this loser pothead, but Jessica later starts seeing a different, more worthwhile side to him. They definitely bring the swoon throughout this entire series.

10. Jellicoe Road

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I couldn’t leave this one off my list since it has such an incredible and unique romance. Jonah isn’t your typical boyfriend, he’s certainly super rough around the edges and he seems like a douchebag on the surface, but he’s really a passionate guy when it comes to Taylor. Taylor and Jonah just make such a dynamic couple, and I will never stop loving their relationship.

So there’s my list for this weeks topic! Which previous Top Ten Tuesday topic did you decide to do? I can’t wait to see what everyone came up with! Hope everyone has a great rest of the week and I hope to see you guys back here next week.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Enjoyed With Less Than 2,000 Goodreads Ratings

July 5, 2016 Features 13

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there’s a different theme that we make lists revolving around, and then we share it with each other. It’s an awesome feature that I love participating in whenever I get the time! This week, the theme is books that I enjoyed that had less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads. I hope you like my list and I can’t wait to see what you guys came up with.

1. The Chapel Wars

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This was such a cute and light contemporary that I immediately loved. Lindsey Leavitt is an extremely witty writer, and this one is definitely my favorite of her books. It’s hard to believe that this fabulous book doesn’t have more ratings.

2. Play On

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Play On is a lovely sports contemporary that was extremely well written. I’ve already talked about how excited I am for the next book in this series, so I obviously really loved the first book as well. This was much more than just a light little read, it also dealt with serious subjects like mental illness. I highly recommend this one!

3. The Finn Factor

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This is an enjoyable New Adult read from Entangled Embrace. I love books that have a friends to lover type romance. I wouldn’t say that it was my all time favorite or anything, but it was still a great read anyway.

4. The Masked Truth

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The Masked Truth is easily one of my favorite books of all time. It’s very surprising to me that it doesn’t have more love, because it certainly deserves all the attention. Besides, Kelley Armstrong is a reasonably popular author. I haven’t read anything else from her, but I absolutely loved this intense thriller.

5. The Revenge Playbook

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I’ve made my feelings for The Revenge Playbook rather clear. It’s been out for nearly a year now, and I don’t believe that it’s gotten the attention that it truly deserves. I’ll keep singing my praise for this well written novel and hope that more people start to read it!

6. Just Visiting

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In my opinion, all of Dahlia Adler’s books deserve all of the love. This YA novel from her is my personal favorite. I just love the beautiful female friendship that’s portrayed here. The romance is pretty great too. You should totally read this one!

7. How to Say I Love You Out Loud

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I seriously enjoyed this debut novel from Karole Cozzo. The main character’s brother has autism, which is something personal to me since I was a peer tutor in the autism room when I was in high school. I feel like it was a very well written and well researched book.

8. Second Position

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This is another one of my favorite New Adult novels that hasn’t gotten nearly enough ratings. I haven’t read all that many dance romances, but this was an exception to that and it surprised me how much I liked it. Additionally, it also deals with the struggle of living with a disability and also an eating disorder.

9. The Lies About Truth

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Courtney C. Stevens’s debut novel Faking Normal received plenty of attention, but I feel like her sophomore novel didn’t receive the same amount of ratings and reviews. The Lies About Truth was yet another beautifully written novel from this author that dealt with a traumatizing accident that the characters are trying their best to move on from the terrible loss. I don’t know how to describe it really, it’s just a great book all around.

10. Truest

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Truest is yet another touching and heartbreaking novel. I’m not going to lie, this book made me cry seriously hard. This was a fabulous debut novel from Jackie Lea Sommers. It has a bit of a The Fault in Our Stars and All The Bright Places vibe to it, because of the two main characters bond over poetry, books, and other pop culture references.

So there’s my list for the week. I hope you enjoyed reading my picks, and maybe you discovered a book or two that you hadn’t previously heard about. I look forward to seeing what books you guys chose for your lists! I hope you guys have a great rest of the week.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far

June 21, 2016 Features 10

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there’s a different theme that we make lists revolving around, and then we share it with each other. It’s an awesome feature that I love participating in whenever I get the time! This week, the theme is favorite 2016 releases so far. I did my best to include some books that I haven’t talked about nearly enough, so this isn’t ALL of my favorites, just some that deserved more attention from me. I look forward to seeing your lists as well!

1. Some Kind of Perfect

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So this is one of those books where it’s absolutely essential to read the prior books before you read this one. There’s ten total, including this one. It’s important to read them all because you can’t help but fall in love with each of these incredible characters. Each book focuses on the importance of family, friendship, and most of all, love. Definitely one of my favorite series of all time!

2. The Problem with Forever

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This was definitely one of my favorites from Jennifer L. Armentrout, and she also happens to be one of my all time favorite authors. The story of Mallory and Rider is such a beautiful and important one. I just really loved every single word of this book for so many different reasons.

3. Walk the Edge

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This is easily my favorite Katie McGarry book to date, and she’s another one of those authors that I could read her grocery list and still be completely impressed by her flawless writing style. All I can say is: Razor is the man, I love him so much and there’s nothing more to say about that.

4. Firsts

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This was an extremely powerful novel. I could tell from the very first page that this was going to be something edgy and incredible. I basically want to be Mercedes when I grow up.

5. The Winner’s Kiss

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This was a stunning conclusion to a beautifully written series. In my opinion, it couldn’t have concluded any better than it did. I am totally hoping for more memorable stories from this awesome author!

6. Mister O

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So I hardly ever give New Adult or Adult romances five stars. I don’t know exactly what it is, I’m just really picky when it comes to a romance blowing me away. I can’t tell you exactly what it was that this book had, but somehow, it totally had it. Lauren Blakely is an incredible author, but she outdid herself with Mister O. I highly recommend this book if you like your romances full of steam and also some swoony/fluffy moments as well.

7. The Spiral Down

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This is a standalone M/M romance that truly impressed me. I’ve heard good things about Aly Martinez, but this is the first book that I’ve ever read from her. This one most definitely made a positive impression on me to say the least. I felt like the concept was super unique, and I loved both Henry and Evan from the start.

8. Lucky Few

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I loved this book! Stevie is just the coolest homeschooler ever, I love how she fights yet also somehow agrees with some of the stereotypes about homeschoolers at the same time. The new boy in town, Max, wants her and her best friend to help him complete his list of faking his own death without really dying. Yeah, that whole death part of the plot might sound weird and morbid at first, but it’ll make sense to you later on. Anyway, this was a fabulous book that I found refreshing.

9. Idol

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Kristen Callihan has never let me down when it comes to her super awesome plots and swoony book boys, and she didn’t start with this one. This is an incredible rockstar romance. I loved both Killian and Libby, and I loved seeing them make music and just be together as a couple. If you’re looking for a romance that isn’t filled with an excessive amount of drama and also has some hot scenes, this is the book for you.

10. Outrun the Moon

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I didn’t read Stacey Lee’s debut, but I was impressed by this one. I hate historical fiction books most of the time. Somehow, this one managed to keep my attention for the entire book. I just loved how feisty and selfless our girl Mercy Wong was. I can’t remember ever loving a character as much as I loved her!

Anyway, there’s my list for the week. Be sure to share your lists with me as well so I can go check it out. I hope you guys have a great rest of the week!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Most Anticipated Releases

June 14, 2016 Features 9

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there’s a different theme that we make lists revolving around, and then we share it with each other. It’s an awesome feature that I love being apart of whenever I get the time! This week, the theme is most anticipated releases for the second half of the year. The title was a little long so I had to shorten it. Anyway, there are so many books coming out this fall (specifically September and October) that I’m extremely excited for. I hope you enjoy my list, and possibly find some titles that you haven’t heard of yet.

1. Going Geek

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I thought that For the Record was a really solid debut, so I’m definitely looking forward to Going Geek, which comes out in September. This book takes place at a boarding school, which I think is a rad setting. Hopefully this one won’t disappoint!

2. Strange the Dreamer

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This seems to be one of those titles that everyone is anticipating. I’ll admit, I’ve never read Laini Taylor’s books before, but I need to try them out. I might try to read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy before this comes out. Regardless, I totally plan on picking this one up. I do my best not to judge a book by its cover, but this one is just ridiculously gorgeous.

3. Something in Between

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I’ve never read anything by Melissa de la Cruz, but I thought this plot sounded really intriguing. It has to do with immigration, which I think is a very relevant topic right now. I read an excerpt of it and it certainly managed to hook me in with just a few chapters.

4. Game On

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So I really enjoyed the first book in this series, which was Play On. Baseball is hands down my favorite sport, and I just felt like the author was able to capture small town life in general, and also how much importance is placed on sports in high school. Anyway, I can’t wait to get a chance to read Eric’s story!

5. Leave Me

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This is Gayle Forman’s first adult book, and the only book in the genre on my list. I had to include it because Gayle Forman writes such beautiful YA books that I’m assuming her other novels will be just as lovely and memorable.

6. A Shadow Bright and Burning

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This book wasn’t even on my radar until I read an excerpt of it. To say that it hooked me in is putting it mildly. I was left absolutely craving to read more of the novel. Anything outside of the contemporary genre typically isn’t my thing, but it looks like I’ll have to make an exception with this one.

7. Gemina

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Pretty much everyone is dying for this one and who can really blame them? Illuminae was such an incredibly addicting book, so I’m definitely dying for the sequel as well.

8. My Unscripted Life

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Lauren Morrill is just one of those authors that I can always count on to write a cute and remotely light contemporary book. Yeah, they all typically have tons of drama, some of them have a little too much for my personal taste. However, I still find them very entertaining and I can never stop reading them.

9. This Adventure Ends

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I loved Emma Mills debut novel First & Then so much that it really doesn’t matter what her next book is about. I know it sounds weird to already be this trusting of an author who has only written one novel, but I still believe that I can count on Mills for something just as charming and quirky as what we found in her last book.

10. Diplomatic Immunity

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I’ve never anything from Brodi Ashton (though I’m reading My Lady Jane right now) but I know her fantasy series seems pretty popular. I’m not really a huge fan of the genre, so I was excited to discover that she’s writing something more my taste. This one is a contemporary that is about an aspiring journalist in D.C. That’s totally something that I can get behind for sure!

So there’s my list for the week. I can’t wait to see what books you guys are most excited about for the second half of this year. Hope you guys have a great rest of the week! 🙂

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2016 Debut Authors Bash: Natalie Blitt Guest Post + Giveaway

June 8, 2016 Features, Giveaways 4

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I’m so excited that I have the chance to participate in the Debut Authors Bash for a second year in a row. Be sure to visit the rest of the sites here, so you can read more author posts and also have more chances to win a giveaway! This time around, I get to welcome an awesome author who wrote one of my first five star reads in 2016. Be sure to read my review here.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

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Seventeen-year old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to exclusively wear baseball caps and jerseys.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between the distance between who she is and who he is, is worth the risk.

For her guest post, Natalie chose to write a mood board about French things, since her character Abby becomes obsessed with the culture. Take it away, Natalie!

One of the hardest things about creating characters is remembering that they aren’t (technically) real people. I spend so much time with them, in their heads, that they feel not only like real people but real people who exist independently from me. Which is crazy. Especially when it takes a full minute or two that the friend that I think would LOVE stuff in a cute Paris-themed display at Anthropologie or Target is not a real person I can buy things for. I know, I just sound crazier. The good news is sometimes I just buy the stuff for myself.

What would Abby have if she could buy anything? Here’s a guide to Abby’s collection of wants, curated from Etsy:

PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA poster

Paris is Always a Good Idea Eiffel Tower France vacation 8x10 inch Poster Print

Eiffel tower? Pretty handwriting? What could be better? Especially since it’s a line from Audrey Hepburn.

And yes, she’d also buy this:

Because … of course.

Audrey Hepburn Quote Locket - Women's Locket - Paris is always a good idea

ADAM’S RIB Poster

Adam"s rib, 1949, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn - 12"x18" Movie Print Poster

While the Audrey Hepburn great, nothing beats Katharine Hepburn when you’re looking for a cool old-school movie star. The Katharine Hepburn/ Spencer Tracy banter probably inspires the way she banters with Zeke.

Je t’aime Mug Set

white coffee mugs/tea cups. je t'aime. je sais. i love you. i know.

As we know, Abby loves mugs with writing on them, and this complementary set? It would be perfect for her and Zeke.

(Note from Rachel: this specific set has sold but be sure to still check out this awesome Etsy shop!)

Chicago t-shirt

Dear Chicago, I love you. Unisex Track T shirt

Abby might “hate” the Cubs, but she has all the Chicago pride.

Coffee mug

Funny Coffee Mug, I Love you more than coffe just not always before coffee, Coffee addict, Gift under 20, Coffee Cup, MUG-243

Yes, I know she already has two mugs, but a mug that proclaims her issue with mornings without coffee is essential.

Funny t-shirt

Haters Gonna Hate!

As a fun bonus, this shirt actually appears in the book. OK, so I spend a lot of time looking through etsy when I’m procrastinating writing a book.

Cubs patch

Chicago Cubs Patch Bear Patch Chicago Patch Cubs Fan Iron on Patch Baseball Patch

And secretly, Abby carries this special patch. Because probably it’s never going to happen, but you can’t lose hope…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Natalie Blitt

Originally from Canada, Natalie Blitt grew up on a steady diet of loyalist adventure stories. It wasn’t until she moved to Chicago after graduating from McGill and receiving a journalism degree from the University of King’s College, that she learned that not everybody sees the loyalists as the heroes. Now living in the Chicago-area, she dreams up young adult novels of a different sort: more kissing, less guns, but always a lot of loyalty. Natalie works at an education think tank and lives with her husband and their three sons. She knows a lot about baseball. She has no choice.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons Why I Love Sarah Dessen

June 7, 2016 Features 17

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there’s a different theme that we make lists revolving around, and then we share it with each other. It’s an awesome feature that I love being apart of whenever I get the time! This week, the theme is top ten reasons why you love X. This could focus on reasons why you love a certain author, book, fandom, or whatever. I chose to make mine about Sarah Dessen, which is no surprise if you’ve ever talked to me or read any of my blog posts. This turned out to be rather fitting since yesterday was actually her birthday. So without further ado, here are my ten reasons!

1. Fabulous beach settings

All of Dessen’s books take place in North Carolina, specifically the fictional towns of Lakeview and Colby. They are all gorgeous places to read about and I always long to go there while reading it.

2. Swoony boys to the max

Some of my favorite book boyfriends come from Sarah Dessen books. Guys like Wes from The Truth About Forever, Dexter from This Lullaby, Owen from Just Listen, Mac from Saint Anything, Eli from Along for the Ride, & Nate from Lock & Key have made an impact on me as a reader.

3. The protagonists are always cool and have awesome names

I’m a big fan of Remy from This Lullaby, she’s easily one of the coolest fictional characters I’ve ever read about. She knows what she wants, she’s independent, confident, and a good friend as well. Have I mentioned that I love her name too? I’m a big fan of Auden from Along for the Ride’s name. The list of protagonists who’s names and personalities that I love goes on and on.

4. Deals with real life situations

Sarah Dessen has never shied away from portraying teen life in an honest way. She touches on subjects like: abuse, rape, death, abortion, and more. Has every teenager gone through all of these things? No, but I still think that these all topics that teenagers need to be educated about and have a good amount of knowledge on.

5. Awesome female friendships

I didn’t love her book Someone Like You, but I did love the powerful female friendship that it contained. Along for the Ride is another one of my favorite friendships that focuses on a group of girls who show the main character that having a core group of friends that she can count on is extremely important. A lot of her other books follow that similar pattern and it never gets old to me.

6. Memorable supporting characters

This one pretty much goes hand in hand with the last point, but there’s also some memorable supporting characters who were dudes. Like I loved Wes’s brother Bert in The Truth About Forever. A lot of the supporting characters are these older and super cool girls who teach the protagonist about herself and about friendship. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the girls from Keeping the Moon who show Colie that the world is a cruel place and she has to believe in herself before anyone else can believe in her.

7. She’s very quotable

I can’t tell you how many quotes from her books that I absolutely love. There’s basically a Sarah Dessen quote for every situation. Fall in love? She’s got you covered? Love music? There’s a quote for that. And the list goes on and on.

8. Her portrayal of parents is always spot on

So this is already implied since she gets everything right when it comes to talking about a teen’s life, but I love how she writes about parents. They aren’t always your typical parents, sometimes the dad isn’t around and the mom is a mess. However, it’s always a very real and honest portrayal.

9. Her books are always comforting

I mentioned that she doesn’t shy away from dark stuff, but her books are still mostly light. If I’m feeling low, I can turn to her books and I immediately feel better.

10. She’s actually a fangirl

She’s hilarious to follow on Twitter. She tweets everything from Good Morning America to Friday Night Lights. She’s such a down to earth person and I love keeping up with her! I’m so jealous of anyone that has ever had the opportunity to meet her. I hope that I’ll get the chance one day!

So there’s my list for the week, hope you enjoyed reading it. Be sure to share your list with me in the comments. Hope you guys have a great rest of the week and I’ll hopefully see you back here next week! 🙂

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Netflix and Books Tag

June 6, 2016 Features 0

netflix and books

Who doesn’t love Netflix and books? Lauren at Bookmark Lit and Erica from Novel Ink joined forces to make this awesome tag. The concept is to pair a show and a book that meets the prompt. Head over to their blogs if you want to know more about it!

Gilmore Girls | Unlikeable character(s)

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I didn’t like the characters in Thoughtless, especially Kiera. She was so wishy washy about who she wanted and it rubbed me the wrong way completely. As much as I love Gilmore Girls, both Lorelai and Rory pissed me off to the extreme at times. Sixth season Rory is still the absolute worst. I don’t know, Lorelai gave her a run for her money by that dumb decision she made in the seventh season.

Shameless | Your ship sank or didn’t happen

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I don’t know if any of you guys watch the Showtime show Shameless, but this is a popular ship among the fans. It broke my heart when this ship came to an end because Noel Fisher wanted to leave the show. Anyway, it just felt wrong to me. In Glass Sword, the entire romance wasn’t my thing at all. Honestly, I would have preferred for her to get with a different guy. The romance was cheesy and too much in my opinion.

Sex and the City | Best cast of characters/friendships

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So I know that Friends is the obvious choice here, but I went with Sex and the City because I love the girls so much. They have an unbreakable friendship with one another. Just Visiting has a fabulous female friendship. All of Dahlia Adler’s books have the best female friendship, but I have to say that this one is my all time favorite for sure.

 One Tree Hill | Hate that you love or guilty pleasure

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Abbi Glines books are my ultimate guilty pleasure. I honestly don’t want to like her books. I’ve given low ratings to a lot of them, including this one. However, I couldn’t stop reading this series or a lot of her other books. One Tree Hill is a guilty pleasure for me because so much over the top stuff happens every season. I love it, but shit gets crazy at times.

Grey’s Anatomy | Long series you loved

 

The Babysitter’s Club is actually the longest series I’ve ever read. There’s way over 100 books, not including a spin-off that they did or some of the ‘specials” that they had. This is such an epic series and it’ll always hold a special place in my heart. I’ve gotten a little sick of Grey’s Anatomy here recently, but I still watch it pretty frequently.

Parenthood | All the feels

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is just that one book that brings ALL the feels for me. There’s really no better way to describe it, it’s one of those books that makes you feel everything. Parenthood is one of those shows that had the ability to make me cry like a baby and make me laugh hysterically over the course of only one episode.

Nashville | Bad ending

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I HATED the ending of When We Collided. I still had so many unanswered questions at the end of it. I get why the author ended it when she did, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating. So the series finale of Nashville was just released over a week ago, but I’m still so angry about it. While there’s still a chance that the huge cliffhanger will be resolved if another network picks up the series, there’s also a chance no one will pick it up and we’ll never know what happens next.

Teen Wolf | Favorite paranormal/fantasy

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I haven’t finished The Raven Cycle series yet, but I did really enjoy the first book and I definitely need to get around to reading the rest of them. Teen Wolf is a show that I’ve given up on recently due to all the craziness, but I’ve never watched Supernatural so this is the closest thing to paranormal that I watch. I love Stiles forever though!

Freaks & Geeks | Left you wanting more

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The ending of Maybe in Another Life was not satisfying in the least. I just wanted like 100 more pages of answers, maybe less than that. I hated that Freaks & Geeks was canceled. It was such an incredible show and I will always be angry that there’s only one season of it when there should have been several more.

The OC | Series that should have ended earlier

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I don’t know why in the world Sara Shepard decided to write EIGHT more books after Wanted. In my opinion, the ending in that one was seriously the perfect note to end on. To my knowledge, it was supposed to be the last one in the series. The O.C. should have ended with the third season. I get that it would be on a major cliffhanger, but the show was just not as good without Marissa.

Hart of Dixie | Should have a spin-off

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I would love to read a spin-off about Arin’s awesome friend, who we get to know better and grow to like in this book. If you’ve read it, you probably know exactly who I’m talking about. I would love to watch a spin-off of Hart of Dixie involving Zoe’s friend Rose and Lemon’s sister Magnolia. They aren’t exactly friends, but it’d still be cool to follow the two of them since they go to the same school.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt | Couldn’t stop reading

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There’s a lot of books that I just haven’t been able to put down, but this is one of the standouts to me. Mostly because I meant to put it down so I could go to sleep, but it was so addicting that I kept reading and reading until I finished reading it and it was nearly 3 in the morning and I had to go to class in a few hours. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of those shows that I watched the whole season in like a day, it’s just that addicting.

Veep | Made you laugh out loud

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This is still the funniest book I’ve ever read. Some people may not have my sense of humor since it’s pretty dry, but wow, it was seriously funny. Veep is one of my favorite shows to date. All of the characters are so freaking mean at times, but you can overlook it most of the time since it’s ridiculously hilarious how they act.

Friday Night Lights | Favorite book boyfriend

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Asking me to choose a favorite book boyfriend is actually the most painful question ever for me to answer. I don’t like having to choose JUST one. However, I had to go with Jase Garrett because he’s got to be the most well rounded boyfriend of them all. He’s slightly awkward but also athletic, kind, and best of all, he’s amazing with kids. Tim Riggins is pretty much his opposite, but it’s impossible not to love him. I’m not one for bad boys, but Riggins is so much more complicated than that, and I love him for it.

Modern Family | Best family or parents

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So this is the tenth book in the Addicted Series/Calloway Sisters, but I chose it since it has all six POV’s of the main characters. They definitely don’t have the most functional parents themselves, but this epilogue novel shows them providing a stable family for their own children. Who doesn’t love Modern Family? Definitely one of my favorites!

 

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Wednesday by Kendall Ryan Promo Campaign

June 3, 2016 Features 0

hump day avail now (1)

 

 

ebook WedNo strings attached.

It’s not what I really want, but it’s all he has to offer. He’s filled with turmoil and heartache and regrets, but for two hours every Wednesday all he feels is me. How much I desire him, how desperate he makes me, how much I’d like things to be different between us. Real.

He used to be my best friend back before he got married. And now? Now, he’s a young widower. It’d be wrong on so many levels to expect something more from him. So I give him what he needs. Dark delicious fucking. But I know I can’t keep this up. I’ve already given him my body, my soul. I want him to have my heart. It might drive him away forever, but that’s a risk I’m forced to take.

Wednesday is an angsty romp told from dual points of view. If you’re in the mood for something quick and dirty, you’ve found it. Proceed at your own risk.

✦ Amazon ✦ Amazon UK

 

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Playlist:

“Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak

“Champagne Supernova” by Oasis

“Mountain at My Gates” by Foal

“Adventure of a Lifetime” by Coldplay

“Flake” by Jack Johnson

“Lovesong” by the Cure

“Big Girls Cry” by Sia

“Beast of Burden” by the Rolling Stones

“Burning Photographs” by Ryan Adams

About Why I Wrote this Book:

The concept for what would eventually become WEDNESDAY was one of those random ideas that popped into my head in February 2016. It was a Saturday morning—you know the kind where you’re still lounging in your pajamas, drinking coffee, and picking at breakfast several hours after waking? Yes, one of those. My kids were playing on the living room floor, my husband flipping through a magazine across from me. It was winter in Minnesota, which meant it was absolutely freezing out and we had no plans to go anywhere.

I grabbed my laptop and wrote out the blurb for a book I knew I had no time to write. I e-mailed it to my publicist and said, “What do you think about this idea?” Her response was enthusiastic, something along the lines of, “You need to write this book! Right now!” So I opened a blank document, and soon I had the beginning of a first chapter.

Because this project didn’t fit into my writing schedule (like, at all), I decided that I would continue writing the books I was supposed to in order to keep on track with my releases, but that I would write one thousand words a night on this book too, and just see where it took me. It was a hard couple of months, alternating between two projects—one I would write during the day in present tense, and this book in the evening after dinner, dishes, and bath time, in past tense. This book was basically written with the help of wine, my couch, and a good playlist, which I included for you at the end.

Chloe and Shaw didn’t even have names for the first several weeks. I didn’t outline or plot. I had no idea where the story was heading . . . I just had a haunted what if question in my head.

What if the man you’d grown up with, your lifelong best friend and secret crush, suddenly lost his wife? In what ways would his grief shape your new relationship? To what lengths would you go to be there for him?

Is it controversial? Inappropriate? Maybe. But love doesn’t have boundaries, and in telling this story, I let these heartsick, broken characters lead me. I knew they could find their happily-ever-after. And I also knew it would be a short story. Those were the only things I knew for sure.

I’m so glad that I stuck with it and spent all those evenings allowing their story to unfold. I hope you are too.

 

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A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

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