What’s On My Summer 2020 TBR

Hello again!

It has been quite some time since I last sat down to write a blog post (see my Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes review from freakin’ MAY!). I figured if any kind of post could jumpstart my blogging slump a Top Ten Tuesday would be the one. My TBR has been all kinds of an organized mess so far this summer, so I am glad to prioritize ten books I want to read this season.

Let’s jump right in…

you say it first by katie cotugno

You Say It First cover

Katie Cotugno is an auto-buy author for me now. I won an ARC of 99 DAYS forever ago, and I have been hooked since. I absolutely love everything Katie writes, so when I saw a new book by her I immediately bought it. This book seems like a perfect mix of romance, humor, and politics. I can’t wait to read an opposites attract trope!

love and gelato by jenna evans welch

Love and Gelato cover

I have eyed up Jenna Evans Welch’s books for more than a few years now. Barnes and Noble had a deal starting this past week, so I finally bought the first book in this series. From the synopsis, I got Mamma Mia vibes. I am LIVING for it! I know this will be the perfect summer read.

six of crows by leigh bardugo

six of crows cover

I know, you’re probably thinking, “YOU HAVEN’T READ THESE BOOKS YET?” Well, I tried reading her Grisha trilogy and could not get into it. When quarantine hit, however, I decided to jump aboard this series train and order SIX OF CROWS. I’ve been told this series is what gets people interested in the Grishaverse. With the Netflix show in production, I was getting a serious case of FOMO.

with the fire on high by elizabeth acevedo

With the Fire On High cover

I adored Elizabeth’s THE POET X along with the rest of the world. WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH comes highly recommended by Shealea (an amazing member of the book community!!) but has sat on my shelf for a year. I have decided this summer will be the summer of WTFH.

you don’t live here by robyn schneider

You Don't Live Here cover

Robyn Schneider is another one of my auto-buy authors. She released a new book this summer that tackles being bisexual, society’s expectations, and probably so much more. I cannot wait to dive into this book which will be sure to make me cry. If you haven’t read any of her other books yet, please do!

peter and the starcatchers by dave barry and ridley pearson

Peter and the Starcatchers cover

PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS is part of my ‘12 Book Recs From 12 Friends‘ challenge as recommended by Evie. Evie is an absolute angel, and she always has the best book recommendations. I have known her for just over a year now from book club. I cannot wait to read one of her favorite books this year!

the beautiful by renee ahdieh

The Beautiful cover

When this book came out, I heard so much hype about vampires returning to YA. One of my best friends recommended this book to me last year, and I never got around to it. After another one of my friends, Hannah Marie, watched THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, I knew I needed to get a vampire fix from somewhere. I am pumped to jump into a vampire world again.

unfiltered by lily collins

Unfiltered cover

UNFILTERED is definitely a shift from all of the above books. I fell in love with Lily Collins in THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS movie, though, and I got this book from a thrift shop a while ago. I am trying to incorporate non-fiction books into my TBR for the rest of 2020 (and beyond!). When I saw this one sitting on my shelf, I knew this would be my next NF read.

queen move by kennedy ryan

Queen Move cover

In the past year, I keep adding romance books to my TBR in order to expand my comfort zone. Through Instagram, I found The Romancetheque Book Club which always strives to bring in a variety of romance. I can’t wait to dive into this book since it’s a childhood friend to lovers trope. Nothing is truly more wholesome.

becoming by michelle obama

Becoming cover

BECOMING was also a book rec for my ‘12 Book Recs from 12 Friends’ challenge. This turned into a buddy read from Amber who recommended the book. I absolutely have been failing at the buddy read, but I hope to fall into a routine with my busier work schedule soon to allow me to read more. The chapters I have read, though, blow me away. Michelle is an amazing writer, and I can’t wait to fall into its rhythm.

stamped by jason reynolds and ibram x. kendi

Stamped cover

I added this book to my TBR when it first released, but I didn’t realize it was a YA version of Ibram’s STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING. When I saw C. Forte’s read-along starting on Juneteenth, I knew now was the time! I am still waiting on my order for STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING, but I’m hoping to supplement the two titles together.

What’s on your summer TBR? Have any bucket list items for summer? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

Ten Fantasy Books for Contemporary Lovers

Welcome!

For anyone that knows me, contemporary is my favorite genre to read. Something about finding the magic within my own world makes me warm inside. Reading to me is all about exploring. When I read outside of my genre, however, stories pleasantly surprise me. My favorite genre to dive into is fantasy! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a genre freebie, so I thought I would share a few of my favorite fantasy books as a contemporary lover!

serpent and dove by shelby mahurin

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin cover

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

this savage song by victoria schwab

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab cover

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwaba young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

falling kingdoms by morgan rhodes

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes cover

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….

daughter of smoke and bone by laini taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor cover

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

house of salt and sorrows by erin a. craig

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A Craig cover

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

the cruel prince by holly black

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black cover

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

four dead queens by astrid scholte

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte cover

Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but in fact, she’s one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. Varin runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead.

With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens.

An enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences, Four Dead Queens heralds the arrival of an exciting new YA talent.

clockwork angel by cassandra clare

clockwork angel by cassandra clare cover

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

enchantee by gita trelease

Enchantee by Gita Trelease cover

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns… 

the hazel wood by melissa albert

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert cover

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away-by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Which genre makes you step outside your comfort zone? Do you have a favorite fantasy book to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

What’s On My Spring 2020 Reading List

Welcome!

With all the craziness of school getting cancelled and daily work changes due to COVID-19, I didn’t particularly have the energy to write a post. But then, I reminded myself how much of an escape reading and books can be for me when I’m stressing. I know Tuesday is technically already past us, but I wanted to jump aboard Top Ten Tuesday’s topic for this week: Spring 2020 TBR.

throw like a girl by sarah henning

Throw Like a Girl Cover by sarah Henning

Throw Like a Girl was recommended by @booklovinjean as part of my ‘Twelve Book Recs from Twelve Friends’ challenge for this year. Technically, it’s a book for May, but I might just get around to it before then.

the betrothed by kiera cass

The Betrothed Kiera Cass cover

Y’all, I am so excited to get my hands on this book. I pre-ordered through Barnes and Noble, and I can’t wait until May begins to dive into a new royal world from Kiera Cass. This world is sure to be full of glamor and politics and everything I loved from The Selection series… AND MORE.

they went left by monica hesse

They Went Left Monica Hesse cover

They Went Left is the May Barnes and Noble YA Book Club pick, and I cannot wait to dive in to a historical fiction again. I haven’t read anything by Monica Hesse yet. Her book ‘Girl In the Blue Coat’ has been on my list for a while now. I am intrigued to see a WWII era book from after the war ends and the effects the Holocaust had on the Jews.

most likely by sarah watson

Most Likely cover by Sarah Watson

I am such a huge fan of ‘The Bold Type’, so when I heard Sarah Watson wrote a book along the same feminine-power ideas, I knew I had to pick it up. As Barnes and Noble’s April YA book club pick, I am even more excited to talk with other people about what happens in this book!

live by sadie robertson

LIve cover by Sadie Robertson

I grew up watching Sadie Robertson on Duck Dynasty, but I recently rediscovered her with her podcast. I picked up this book to buddy-read with one of my friends, and I can’t wait to read it with her. Sadie’s podcast is always full of so much wisdom and purpose which I’m sure will carry over into this book. I flipped through it quickly before buying it, and I love the mixture of pictures, short chapters, and color!

clean getaway by nic stone

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‘Clean Getaway’ by Nic Stone is another ‘Twelve Book Recs from Twelve Friends’ choice for April which @gryffindorbooksofficial recommended. I read ‘Dear Martin’ by Nic Stone earlier last year for a class, and I enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see how her writing style differs with a middle-grade book compared to a young-adult book.

a thousand perfect notes by c.g. drews

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Technically, ‘A Thousand Perfect Notes’ was recommended by @hanneasinhannah for my January read. The book came super late, though, so I was not able to get my hands on the book until early February. Hopefully, I will find time to read it before the end of the semester for sure.

Which books are you hoping to read this season? Do you have any ways you destress? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

Swoonworthy OTPs: Valentine’s Week 2020 Edition

Welcome!

For this week’s ‘Top Ten Tuesday‘ hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, I decided to do a list of books with my favorite couples to celebrate the love theme. I have fallen in love with so many romances lately in books, and I can barely contain my excitement for any of them! Let’s jump right in to the love.

Lou and Reid (Serpent & Dove)

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin flatlay with pumpkin candle

I have definitely raved about Lou and Reid for months now, but the recent cover release for Blood & Honey amped my love for them back up! Lou and Reid complement each other so well with their banter and how they allow the other person to open up different ways. I absolutely adore their chemistry developing into a love throughout Serpent & Dove, and I can’t wait to see them grow stronger together in Blood & Honey.

Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky (To All the Boys)

Alright, I know Lara Jean and Peter have been everyone’s OTPs for a while now, but with all the hype for the P.S. I Still Love You movie, I have found myself defending this OTP against all the movie fans who love John Ambrose. If nothing else can convince you, just think of all the little things Peter does for Lara Jean without a second question.

Penny and Sam (Emergency Contact)

Emergency Contact flatlay with latte in a mug

Full honesty moment: I didn’t love Penny and Sam together until the end of Emergency Contact. This book fully develops Penny and Sam as friends first before delving into a romance with them, which I love to a point. I didn’t realize how invested I was with this OTP until the last 50 pages of the book when Penny and Sam acted on their feelings. A squeal may have escaped me in the final chapter.

Ana and Daniel (Fountains of Silence)

Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys Instagram post

I love this OTP, I do. Ana and Daniel have such a tense romantic energy through the entire book until the time jump where they’re in their thirties when they finally get together. Reading about these powerful characters growing together in such a dark and curious era brought me got me invested in their stories separately as well as together. The dual POVs helped me see how the couple thought and cared for each other. 10/10 recommend!

Camille and Lazare (Enchantée)

Enchantee by Gita Trelease Instagram post

You may be a bit surprised by this OTP since I haven’t raved about this book in quite some time. I fell in love with Enchantée after reading it in one sitting during a sick day. I literally could not set it down. And then Gita Trelease plops in this amazing romance between a scientist-royal-man and enchantress-esque woman which sealed the deal for me. I couldn’t resist Lazare as a balloonist, but put him in as a royal… boy, oh, boy.

Puck and Sean (Scorpio Races)

Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater Instagram post

This past November, I listened to the Scorpio Races for the first time (I read it physically before.) and fell in love with Puck and Sean all over again. I literally would sit in my car on campus just to listen to this beautiful work. And just hearing about how Sean and Puck fall in love with each other in such a high-stakes environment hits me deep in my heart.

Deja and Josiah (Pumpkinheads)

Pumpkinheads graphic novel by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

From the moment I started this story, I shouted from the rooftops about how badly I wanted Deja and Josiah to be together. While Josiah may have ran around the pumpkin patch searching for a different girl, I could not be happier about the entire journey. I love how supportive they are for each other in their own adventures for love and food. Also, if anyone knows of a pumpkin patch that’s like this one, please send me the address ASAP.

Annaleigh and Cassius (House of Salt and Sorrows)

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

This book definitely messed with my mind. The atmosphere and plot twists played with whether or not I actually liked Cassius, but I couldn’t let him go. Cassius and Annaleigh, together, were my favorite couple. I couldn’t get behind any other potential romance with Annaleigh.

Tessa and Weston (100 Days of Sunlight)

Abbie Emmons' Instagram post for 100 Days of Sunlight
Instagram: @makeyourstorymatter

If you haven’t read Abbie’s book yet, what are you waiting for? I was lucky enough to write for her blog tour, but I don’t think I properly raved about Tessa and Weston. First of all, Weston is literally a dream. He pushes a stubborn Tessa to look (pun not intended) at the world in a new light. I fell in love with Weston and Tessa’s adventures and them together. I don’t think I could find a more wholesome OTP on this list.

Sweetie and Ashish (There’s Something About Sweetie)

Okay, I was definitely pushing for Sweetie and Ashish this entire time. Ashish loves on Sweetie so much and literally thrives at being able to show the rest of the world how amazing she is. Sweetie works through so much in this book and overcomes her insecurities with Ashish by her side. I loved being able to see a different side of Ashish than we see in When Dimple Met Rishi.

Who is your favorite OTP on this list? Do you have any OTPs that didn’t happen? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

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my ten favorite 2020 book covers

Welcome!

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I decided I would share my favorite 2020 book covers for the ‘cover freebie’ seeing as how I will be staring at the gorgeous shelves with these books on them for the entire year. I’m going to keep this post short and sweet, so we can all spend our time admiring the beauty of these covers. 2019 brought the year of snakes onto covers, and I could barely look at any books for an entire year. 2020 is bringing wonderful covers full of illustrations and people! I literally cannot stop staring at these gorgeous covers.

Note: Whenever I could credit the cover designers/artists, I did as well as linked to where I found the information. If you know of the cover artist, comment below, and I will edit as required to provide full credit. These cover designers are often overlooked despite our praise on their gorgeous designs!

chain of gold by cassandra clare

i’ll be the one by lyla lee

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Epic Reads wins at crediting their cover designers and creating full articles on the design process. The designer is Molly Fehr, art director is Amy Ryan, photographer is Michael Frost, and the cover model is K-Pop dancer Isabel Jones.

the henna wars by adiba jaigirdar

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The artist, as credited on the author’s own site (!!!) is NABIGAL-NAYAGAM HAIDER ALI. I absolutely adore the detail in this illustrated cover. The henna is gorgeous as well as the placement with the lettering! I can’t wait to dive into this book just from the cover representation.

clap when you land by elizabeth acevedo

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It is so cool that I was able to find credits to the artist and designer under every image in articles, but I wish they would have been talked about in the actual articles. The artist is Bijou Karman and designer is Erin Fitzsimmons. The impeccable collaboration skills used to create this masterpiece… oh my, I love it!

of curses and kisses by sandhya menon

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I will definitely be keeping an eye out for me gorgeous covers by Sarah Creech, who is part of the Simon Pulse imprint.

tweet cute by emma lord

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woven in moonlight by isabel ibañez 

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Isabel actually designed her own cover for Woven in Moonlight, which astounds me! Imagine being able to actually create the cover and have a say in what represents your story. I applaud you, Isabel!

the night country by melissa albert

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Melissa thanked her cover designer Jim Tierney on Twitter, which I thought was so sweet! His designs are impeccable.

loveboat, taipei by abigail hing wen

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Note: I found this article on EpicReads about the creation of this cover, including credits. Artist: Janice Sung; handlettering: Jennet Liaw.

dark and deepest red by anna-marie mclemore

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Do you have a favorite cover for this year? Which cover trend is your favorite: people, illustrations, lettering, etc? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

Welcome to My Bookshelf, New Books! (January 2020)

Welcome!

I have been on a buying spree when it comes to books recently. If you follow me on Instagram (@themisscharley), then you have definitely seen which books I’ve purchased in the past few weeks. I also want to include a few books that publishers have sent to work that I picked up. In the new year, I bought a few new magazines, too, so I will show those as *bonuses* to this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post!

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson

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Peter and the Starcatchers is a thrift store find for me! Evie (IG: @eviethebookdragon) has been raving about this book for months now. When I saw it as a hardcover in fantastic condition, I knew I had to grab it! Plus, it had the sticker color for 50% off. This was literally me in the thrift store:

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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I have now gone to see two movie adaptations of Little Women with my friend Emilee (IG: @primroseandclover), and I have no recollection of reading this book when I was younger. While I don’t have this gorgeous cover, I did buy the BN Classics paperback edition for relatively cheap. I can’t wait to fall in love with this story.

Emma by Jane Austen

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Again, I bought the Barnes and Noble Classics paperback edition of Emma for relatively cheap. My friend Emilee is a huge classics fan, and she has gotten me to read outside of my comfort zone because of it. With a movie adaptation of Emma coming out in February, we are both hoping to read Emma before going to see the movie.

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Despite recently adding this book to my shelf, I actually already finished it! If you couldn’t tell from the photo, Wisconsin recently had a snowstorm, so I stayed inside all day to read this book. I was so excited for this book, but I ended up not loving it. Maybe I’ll write a full review here or on Goodreads before the end of February.

If I Never Met You by Mhaini McFarlane

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I have never heard of Mhairi McFarlane since I am relatively new to the romance genre, but I saw that there was a fake dating trope which caught me. I always love a good fake dating romance, so I will definitely try my hardest to read this one before the end of February. Romance books tend to be a quick read for me, and I don’t think I’ll be able to set this one down!

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadow

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Evie is the ultimate persuader for me with buying books, and she once again convinced me to buy a book. While she hasn’t read My Lady Jane, either, we are both hoping to read it this year. Really Evie and I just need to start a buddy-reading system to tackle our TBRs together.

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

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I saw so many bookstagrammers rave about this book, so I couldn’t resist buying The Bone Houses when it was on sale at Barnes and Noble. The cover alone is gorgeous, but I can’t wait to dive into a YA fantasy for fun!

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

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I originally bought this book in a crazy plot to somehow read it in a day before the Barnes and Noble book club. News flash: I didn’t read the book or even the first page. I find the concept intriguing, however, so I know I will be reading this book at some point before the end of 2020. I can’t wait to read my first Lisa Jewell!

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

I just finished reading Emergency Contact last week, and I loved it! The beginning was a tad bit slow, but I continued since so many people raved about this book. Let me tell you: I am LIVING for the end. Once Sam and Penny start texting back and forth, I flew through the book! Their connection is so authentic, and they complement each other perfectly. I will recommend this book for years to come!

Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

I found this book at a thrift store, and I may have screamed a bit. In middle school I read the entire Vampire Kisses series by Ellen Schreiber, and I even convinced my sister to read it (she hates reading)! I found the collection of the first three books for only a few dollars. Luckily, I got to use my rewards card to get the book for free since I thrift shop so much!

As promised, here are a few magazines I have picked up from the newstand in January!

Bella Grace

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Holly (IG: @hollyslittlebookreviews) raves about this magazine. I browsed their December/Winter edition in December, but I decided to jump in and buy it. The magazine is filled with gorgeous poetry, journal prompts, images, and interactive writing pieces. I can’t wait to sit down this month and get my creative brain working again.

Life:Beautiful

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I picked up Life:Beautiful on a whim, and, oh my goodness, I am so glad I did! The magazine itself is super cheap for all the amazing goodies inside. It has a monthly Bible reading plan, cooking, health, finances, etc. Literally anything you could want in a magazine, Life:Beautiful has a taste of inside! I will definitely be buying this magazine in the future.

Which books have you recently added to your shelf? Any good thrift store finds? Do you read any magazines? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

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Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated 2020 Releases (Part One)

Welcome!

I know this is supposed to be a ‘Top Ten Tuesday‘, but 2020 is truly releasing phenomenal books right off the bat.I will be featuring my top two releases for each month from January through June. If you want to know all of my to-read for 2020, make sure to check out my Goodreads ‘2020 New Releases’ shelf.

January

One of Us Is Next by Karen McManus

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I read One of Us Is Lying a few years ago now, but I still rave about it to anyone who will listen. I can’t wait to see all of my favorite characters cameo in the sequel. Karen has such a way with telling her stories that I know I will be on the edge of my seat with this read.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

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This is the modern social media romance everyone needs in their life… i.e. me. I always love seeing how fast food chains have snarky Twitter accounts, and this book gives me that. It also gives me a sort of hate-to-love trope. I just… everything about this has great potential. I can’t wait to see what this debut holds.

February

The Language of Cherries by Jen Marie Hawkins

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I’m not quite sure what this book is going to hold, but I love the idea of a romance set in Iceland. And cherry blossoms? That is my true love.

Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

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When I heard Sandhya Menon was releasing a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I was a little skeptical. But after reading There’s Something About Sweetie, I know she is going to do a phenomenal job with this story. Plus, it’s just the first in a series of retold fairytales set at Rosetta Academy. If you pre-order this book, make sure to submit your receipt to her preorder campaign in order to receive two custom postcards of the characters! (Click the image below)

from sandhyamenon.com

March

Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte

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I absolutely loved Astrid’s first book, Four Dead Queens, and I can only imagine The Vanishing Deep will be better. The idea of a dead family member with secrets gives me chills. I know I won’t be able to set this book down.

When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk

I was honored to be able to be part of the cover reveal for When You Were Everything. Ashley is truly such a wonderful and sweet author. I can’t wait to read this book about friendship breakups which is such a taboo topic.

April

The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm

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No lie: the illustrated yellow cover drew me in with this one. I know I’m going to be crying after the first few chapters, though, and I will be until the end. I have never read a book by Melissa Storm, but I’m excited to dive in with this yellow beauty!

What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

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I think 2020 is going to be the year of social media romance books for me, because here’s another one to accompany Tweet Cute. The synopsis talks about how love triangles don’t have to be between just three people because in this book it’s technically only two people with online personalities! I also know I’ll listen to the title’s song on repeat while reading, so it is a guaranteed good time.

May

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

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May is going to be the month of my teen years. I am ecstatic that Kiera Cass officially has another novel coming out years after she finished up The Selection series. I will be buying and reading this book ASAP. ASAP, you hear me?

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

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Like I said, May I will be time traveling back to middle school. The Hunger Games was the foundation of my reading in middle school and far into my high school movie-watching days. I think May will be the month that breaks the book community online. Suzanne is just low-key coming out with a Hunger Games prequel.

June

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

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Speaking of bringing back favorites: Lori M. Lee is coming back with a book that is going to keep me up at night. I can’t wait to dive back into a LML world, though, because her first series was phenomenal. She is also a local Wisconsin author, so I can’t wait to see if she has any book events set up anywhere nearby.

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon

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Look, I didn’t particularly enjoy Sandhya’s first book, When Dimple Met Rishi, but her writing skills have DEVELOPED, y’all. I fell in love with There’s Something About Sweetie. I know I am going to love 10 Things I Hate About Pinky. Can we, also, please applaud the work ethic Sandhya has to release two books in the first half of 2020? That takes skill and a bit of sweat.

What are some books on your radar for the first half of 2020? Do you have an author you hope to see this year on book tour? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

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my warm winter tbr: 2019 edition

Welcome!

I am officially done with all my tests which leaves the rest of December open for me to read books and relax whenever I’m not working. These final two weeks is going to be pure bliss for me. Well, I will also be getting ready for 2020 and all that comes with that, but otherwise… pure. creative. bliss.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday post comes at the perfect time since I haven’t put much thought into what I’ll be reading. I wanted to compile a quick list of the books I have on my TBR shelf, so here are just a few!

We Met in December by Rosie Curtis

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I may have gotten this one from the library simply because I wanted a cute holiday romance book to read while I was in a holiday mood. I don’t even have an idea of what this book is about, but I will definitely be reading it before Christmas! #notashamed

One Day in December by Josie Silver

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I’ve had this book on my list since last winter. I believe Reese Witherspoon had this book as her book club’s pick last year, so it blew up in popularity. I have heard some good reviews about this title. I’m excited to finally have time to jump into reading it.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki

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I added this book simply because I wanted to read a graphic novel, AND the cover is gorgeous. Other than that, I have no idea what the story is about. I love the fact that it has a long title, and I am excited to have this jumpstart my reading.

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

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I listened to the audiobook of Truly Devious earlier this year, so I’m excited to listen to the audio of this book, too. I legitimately sat in my car listening to the end of Truly Devious and being left hanging, so I hope The Vanishing Stair picks back up where we left off. I know the third book is coming out next year, and I am excited for the mystery to continue.

planting gardens in graves, vol. one by R.H. Sin

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I picked up this book from the bargain section of Barnes and Noble this past week. I have seen this poet around for a while, and I decided to pick up his book to give him a try. Poetry really helps me relax and feel productive while reading, but I also want to develop more as a poet this winter. Hopefully by reading more poetry I will be able to write more, too.

DROPKICKromance by Cyrus Parker

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I also picked up this book from the bargain section of Barnes and Noble, courtesy of a recommendation from Holly (@hollyslittlebookreviews). I love the simple cover, and I can’t wait to dive into this new poet.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

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I read Scythe last September, so it’s been a hot second since I was in this world. After recapping all the events of Scythe at the last Barnes and Noble book club, though, I feel ready to jump back into this world. Hopefully, the library will have a copy of The Toll available to read ASAP because I know I’ll need it.

Reverie by Ryan La Sala

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Can we take a moment just to admire this gorgeous cover? I absolutely fell in love with the cover before I ever knew Barnes and Noble chose it for their January YA book club pick. I am ecstatic to read this debut author and explore all the worlds within these pages. I have a feeling they will be just as gorgeous as the cover promises.

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

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Okay, okay, if you follow me on Goodreads then you will know just how long I have been trying to read this book for. I think I was supposed to have this book read for a book club in either October or November. But life and school got the best of me. I am bound and determined, though, to finish this book by the end of the year. I have only heard rave reviews about this book, and the small part I have read promised an amazing experience.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

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When I thought I had a short break to read, I thought I would pick up this book. I didn’t have time, though, so I set it back on my shelf. I haven’t read anything by Margaret Rogerson, but I have heard phenomenal reviews for this book. I know pretty much nothing else besides the amount of hype it had in 2019. Here’s to the hype!

Which books are you finishing 2019 with? Any good winter season books I should add?

xo,

Charley

ten books to get you ready for the holiday season

Welcome back to another Top Ten Tuesday (aka the way I will conquer posting weekly during Blogmas)!

I absolutely love the holiday season. While working retail can be draining, I often find myself cuddled up with a cup of tea or hot chocolate after a long shift and watching another holiday rom-com on Netflix. The joy of the season as well as the freshly fallen snow always gets me excited to give presents and spend time with my friends.

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I wanted to share a quick list of books to get everyone ready for the holiday season! The books may not all take place during the holidays though, but they are books that I typically read during the winter that make me feel cozy.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

This may be my most cliche answer since everyone says Harry Potter is a holiday read, but I’m adding it to the list anyways. I have such a need to re-read the Harry Potter series, and maybe it will happen this holiday season. Who knows? Whenever I think of Harry Potter and the holidays I always think of Mrs. Weasley sending those holiday sweaters which I obviously need in my life.

Folk of Air series by Holly Black

This is where you may find me crazy. You may be thinking: How in the world does killing and deception make you feel cozy inside? Well, I like to read a lot of fantasy books in the winter because that’s the atmosphere most of them give off. I also just read The Cruel Prince in January 2019 and plan on reading Queen of Nothing this December before the year ends. Winter will forever be the season of Jude and Cardan from beginning to end.

Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater

Not only does this series tell the story of werewolves (#TeamJacob4Ever) but also takes such a unique twist with having the werewolves change with the seasons. In the winter (*hint hint*), the werewolves change to wolves. In the summer, the wolves change back into humans. I read this series after reading The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and this series is how I knew she would be an author to return to for years to come.

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Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson

Not only have I been a fan of this book since I read it in the summer of 2011, but this was the first book I explicitly re-read for fun. I have recently begun re-reading books, and I love diving into this book during the holidays. I had misplaced my copy, so I recently bought a new copy in order to keep returning to these iconic three stories. Plus (!) this year, I watched the movie and adored it. I definitely recommend having a December book club with your besties and then a movie night to watch this on Netflix.

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Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Here’s where I have to come back to the idea of fantasy books being the perfect genre for winter. Serpent & Dove does have a holiday setting for a good chunk of the story, however, when Lou and Reid are just beginning to understand one another. (not a spoiler) I loved the scenes where they went to buy each other presents. Maybe I need to re-read this book already. I can’t wait for the sequel!

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

I would like to preface that while this book does have a lot of death, the story hits my winter requirements: 1) fantasy and 2) has snow in it. The House of Salt and Sorrows talks about the importance of family, love, and has magic thrown in. I am 90% sure this book is going to make my top favorites list for 2019. I could not set this book down while reading it. If you are looking for a phenomenal Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling, I definitely recommend this book.

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

Four Dead Queens is the perfect read for anyone. The story has mystery, romance, dystopia, and fantasy-feels. I did not want to set this book down earlier this year. Astrid Scholte brilliantly structured the plot to show inside the castle (where the queens are getting murdered) and outside the castle (where a heist is occurring) before weaving them together at the end. I loved how Astrid alternated between the parallel stories to build the suspense of all of the twists and turns. Astrid has a second book coming out in 2020, and I can’t wait to see how her next book turns out!

The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare

I have not read The Infernal Devices since middle school, but coming back to a classic Cassandra Clare series is the perfect way to spend the holidays. This series focuses so much on friendship and love and community, overall, that I could not imagine a better time to read these books. Even if you aren’t a fan of The Mortal Instruments, I recommend checking out The Infernal Devices. In my opinion, The Infernal Devices are more enjoyable than The Mortal Instruments due to its shorter length (a better story arc) and the best love triangle I have ever seen done in YA.

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

Check, Please! is one of the cutest graphic novels I have read, and I can’t wait for the second volume to come out in 2020. This graphic novel talks about hockey (a winter sport!) and baking (always fun for the holidays!) and tells the most wholesome romance story. I’m just going to let this story speak for itself.

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Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

While I still need to finish this series, I read the first four books all within one winter break in high school. This series brilliantly brings together multiple POVs to tell a story from different sides of the conflict in this fantasy story. If you’re a fan of slow-burn romances or forbidden romances, I HIGHLY recommend reading this story this year. I will definitely be needing to finish this series because it only gets better and better with each book.

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Which books do you read during the holiday season? Do you have a favorite genre to read while cuddled up under a blanket? Tell me in the comments!

xo,

Charley

ten authors I’m thankful I read

Welcome!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a “Thankful Freebie”, so I wanted to take the time to share ten authors who have impacted me through their books. Reading has become a way for me to expand my worldview and discover parts of myself (which I discuss more in this post).

Let’s jump right in:

Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen was one of the first YA authors I read in middle school, and I couldn’t stop reading her books. I have followed her for years. She has impacted how I see the world through all of her stories. They have focused on so many different situations, and I could never tire of reading her books. I know these books will be ones I introduce into my classroom (if I teach older students) and my future children. Her stories are timeless, and they just keep getting better.

This past summer, I was able to finally meet her down in Chicago for the launch of her newest book, The Rest of the Story. I legitimately just sat there in shock that I actually got to meet her. She is one of the nicest people I have met. A few summers ago now, I also re-read all of her books during my “Sarah Dessen Summer“.

Julie Murphy

How do I even begin with Julie? While I have only read Dumplin‘ by her, she will always be an auto-buy author for me. Her books were the first time I saw my body representation with my thoughts in the mainstream media. She put onto paper the thoughts I have in my head when I look in the mirror. When I saw the Netflix adaption of Dumplin’, I bawled in the first scene I saw Danielle Macdonald. So thank you, Julie, for allowing me (and others) to be acknowledged.

Angie Thomas

I didn’t read The Hate U Give until this year for my YA Literature course, but I absolutely fell in love with the power Angie has in her words. Getting a glimpse into the mind of an African-American teenager allowed me to check my white privilege. No one else I have read so far compares to the power Angie Thomas has to portray this reality.

Amy Reichert

Amy Reichert allowed me to fall in love with Wisconsin (my home state) in a different way. I have read a few other books and seen tons of movies that portrays Wisconsin as a never-ending farmland state obsessed with dairy. In reality, though, Wisconsin has so much more to offer. I fell in love with Amy’s storytelling with The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, but I fell even more in love with her characters through The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go. No matter where you live, Amy’s books are the ones to read if you love food and a good story.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie’s books have stuck with me through the years. I first read The Scorpio Races back in 2013, and I have been obsessed with her way to transport me to different worlds ever since. I read her Wolves of Mercy Falls series and fell in love with a unique adaptation on werewolves. I recently started listening to her Raven Cycle series since I never finished it years ago. Right now, I’m taking a break and listening to The Scorpio Races again. I have fallen in love with Maggie’s words all over again. I know I will keep returning to her stories for years to come.

The Scorpio Races

Francine Rivers

If you read last week’s Top Ten Tuesday I posted, then you saw that Francine Rivers started my love for reading Christian fiction books. I don’t think I would have picked up another Christian fiction book if Francine Rivers’ books weren’t as fantastic as they are. Her books not only talk about the Christian faith with all the doubts and struggles, but she writes them despite the historical setting they are in.

A Voice in the Wind

Jordan Lee Dooley

I raved about Jordan Lee Dooley’s book, Own Your Everyday, when it first came out in May. Her book, though, still resonates in my mind today. I will forever be rereading this book for years to come. The book is full of advice for any stage of life. Most importantly, I follow Jordan on Instagram, too, so I keep getting inspirational messages from her. I can’t wait to see what Jordan comes up with next!

Maureen Johnson

When I first started reading contemporary YA books, I read just about every Maureen Johnson book I could get my hands on. Just last year, I finally read the first book in her Truly Devious trilogy as an audiobook. Her book has reignited my love for mystery novels. I legitimately sat in my driveway during the cold Wisconsin winter just to keep reading. The ending to the first book left me on such a cliffhanger, but the wait list for the second audiobook has been taking FOREVER! Much like Sarah Dessen, Maureen’s books just keep getting better and better.

Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)

Beth Revis

Beth Revis made me fall in love with a science fiction story. This is a difficult task since I don’t particularly enjoy science fiction. When I first attempted to read Across the Universe, I DNF’d it. Same thing happened when I tried a second time. But the third time was the charm, because I devoured the story and wanted more. Naturally, I’m terrible at continuing series, so I still need to read the rest of the trilogy. For right now, though, I just smile at the thought of the science fiction novel I love.

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell is the human I want to become when I’m older. My first Rainbow Rowell book was Eleanor and Park. I quickly read the rest of her books (including her adult books) simply because I loved the writing style. Rainbow, as a person, makes me light up inside. When I heard she was writing a graphic novel this year, I knew I wanted to preorder it. The story absolutely makes me smile anytime I think of the characters and setting. I can’t wait to see where else Rainbow’s writings take her and me.

Which authors are you most thankful for? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley