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 girlby 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
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 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
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
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
‘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
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!
I wanted to take a moment to focus on my favorite sub-genre in fiction: retold fairytales. I am always a fan of a fresh take on a classic fairytale. If you check out my Goodreads, you can check out my ‘Retellings’ shelf for a variety of stories being retold.
With the release of one of my most anticipated 2020 books being published this week, I wanted to showcase some of my favorite YA retellings. And in case you were wondering which retelling was released this week, check out this first one:
of curses and kisses by sandhya menon
beauty and the beast
From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.
Will the princess save the beast?
For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?
His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…
As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.
princess at the midnight ball by jessica day george
twelve dancing princesses
A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…
Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.
Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew.
house of salt and sorrows by erin a craig
twelve dancing princesses
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.
tiger lily by jodi lynn anderson
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair…
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn’t grow up.
the goddess test series by aimee carter
persephone and hades
Every girl who had taken the test has died.
Now it’s Kate’s turn.
It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won’t live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride and a goddess.
nevermore by kelly creagh
edgar allan poe
Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.
a study in charlotte by brittany cavallaro
The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.
From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.
cruel beauty by rosamund hodge
beauty and the beast
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.
With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
hunted by meagan spooner
beauty and the beast
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.
So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?
a curse so dark and lonely by brigid kemmerer
beauty and the beast
Fall in love, break the curse.
It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.
Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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!
In the spirit of Groundhog’s Day, I thought it would be fun to talk about which books I would love to experience for the first time again! If you have been around for a while, then you may know that I don’t tend to re-read books. At least, I didn’t use to re-read them. Now? I’m much more open to the idea since I’ve read literal hundreds of books at this point in my life. I definitely fell in love with returning to my favorites since I spent an entire summer reading Sarah Dessen’s books. Speaking of which…
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
I would give everything to be able to read this book for the first time all over again. I read Sarah Dessen when I was in middle school. If I was able to read Dreamland for the first time today, I would love this book even more if possible. The impact of the story on my first time reading it would be 1000 times more than it was when I was younger. The reality of the story is disturbing, but this book made me look at all of Sarah’s books in a different light.
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
This book escaped me for years, literally. I hadn’t recorded the title or author of this book, so when I wanted to find it again, I couldn’t. I vaguely remembered which shelf at the library I had found it on and what the cover looked like. I couldn’t remember any of the character’s names. All I could tell you was the cover had a blue heart of sea glass with one red piece in it. And it made me cry after the third chapter. If I could read this book for the first time, I would still cry but actually remember the book’s title to find it again.
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
I would love to be able to fall in love with this series again. I read this series during spring break when I was sick, and I couldn’t move from the couch. If I could read this series again, I would savor each chapter, romance, and character. I will say that I changed which characters I cheered for so many times originally. I just remember falling in love with Adrian and never wanting to look back.
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
As I’m reading Chain of Gold right now, I have been reminiscing on the first (and only) time I read Clockwork Angel in middle school. My parents gave me the book for Christmas one year since it looked like something I would read. No one in my house knew Cassandra Clare or anything about the Shadowhunter world. I devoured this series and read The Mortal Instruments, too. I even got my mom hooked on this world. While I haven’t been its biggest supporter through the years, I will always recommend The Infernal Devices trilogy to anyone looking for a good historical fantasy.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
This book will forever be on my recommendation list. I haven’t read this book for a while, but the power of the story still sits in me. I remember being so upset by the ending because it wasn’t the typical ‘happy’ ending I was used to reading with contemporaries. This book is quite literally an emotional wrecking ball. But reading about someone experiencing the same day again just to try to figure out how to become the best versions of themselves for those around them really hits a teenager HARD. When I watched the movie last year? I still bawled my eyes out as an adult.
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
I believe this book may have been one of the first historical fantasy books I ever read. When I was younger, I loved reading historical fiction books to learn about different time periods (mainly World War Two). I never thought that magic and history could be mixed together. While I haven’t enjoyed much of Libba’s other books, I hold A Great and Terrible Beauty close to my heart. The entire series really showed me the power of a good story.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Laini Taylor quickly became one of my favorite authors after reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Her ability to create worlds from simple words amazes me. The chemistry between her characters and the complex histories just make me smile and warm my heart. For years, I thought she was an under-appreciated author until I found Holly (@hollyslittlebookreviews) who literally has Laini’s words tattooed on herself.
A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
If I read this for the first time again, I would read the second book immediately after finishing the first book. The day of torture I put myself through between finishing the first book and picking up An Echo in the Darkness literally killed me. I may have spent it calling both my best friends to cry about this book. This book made me realize that not all Christian fiction is cheesy and overdone. Francine Rivers is my favorite Christian author.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
If I could tell myself one thing before reading this book, it would be to give myself some time before finishing it and going to see the movie. Five hours of sleep and barely anything for breakfast does not cut it as time either. I was a legit mess going to see this movie after reading this book in one sitting into the early morning hours. I love this book, believe me, but I needed more time to process all my emotions after the ending. I’m just glad my friends also ugly cried in the theatre.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
Now that I’m looking back at reading this book, I realize how much I desired a group of friends like in this book. I think I found them, too. But at the time I read this book in such a lonely place. I was with people that I didn’t really connect with and far away from my best friends and family. If I could tell myself one thing before reading this for the first time, it would be to take notes on how to be a good friend because, in a few years, I would be in this group of friends.
Which book do you wish you could read for the first time again? Do you have a favorite book to re-read? Let me know in the comments!
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!
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
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
I will definitely be keeping an eye out for me gorgeous covers by Sarah Creech, who is part of the Simon Pulse imprint.
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 Cuteby Emma Lord
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.
The Language of Cherriesby Jen Marie Hawkins
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 Kissesby Sandhya Menon
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)
Vanishing Deepby Astrid Scholte
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 Everythingby 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.
The Sunday Potluck Clubby Melissa Storm
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 Youby Marisa Kanter
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.
The Betrothedby Kiera Cass
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 Snakesby Suzanne Collins
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.
Forest of Soulsby Lori M. Lee
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
I saw this challenge over on emmmabooks YouTube channel and decided to try it over here on the blog! Emma created this challenge herself, so make sure to go check out her original video, too.
I thought I could give this a shot as a blog post. I know in the original challenge, Emma timed herself and didn’t use Goodreads to help her, but I heavily relied on Goodreads to be able to scan which books I actually own and reading dates.
I had so much fun putting this post together and taking all the holiday-themed pictures. If you do this challenge, let me know!
the oldest book on your shelf
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stoneby J.K. Rowling
I have had this copy of Harry Potter since before I can remember. Some of my favorite childhood memories come from when my mom read Harry Potter to my sister and I before bed. The copy is pretty battered, but I absolutely love all the memories this book holds within its pages.
book I read in 2013
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
I honestly can’t believe it has been six years since I read this book (and even earlier since I read the first two books)! Tessa, Will, and Jem will always be in my heart. I can’t wait to dive back into the Shadowhunter world with Chain of Gold coming out in 2020 about Will and Tessa’s children.
book I read in 2014
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I talked about how thankful I am for Rainbow Rowell’s stories here, but Fangirl specifically changed how I viewed myself. I hadn’t really read a positive view of someone in the fandom until I read this book. I had already read Rainbow’s other books, but Fangirl will forever and always be my favorite. (Sorry, Pumpkinheads!)
book I read in 2015
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee
I picked up this book from my local Barnes and Noble because they had a signed copy hidden on the bottom shelf in the YA section. When I picked it up, I fell in love with the world. While the series never got finished, I am excited to read her new Forest of Souls that comes out in 2020. Lori was the first local author I read (and met!), and I learned the power of supporting local authors.
book I read in 2016
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Y’all, I read this book in the matter of a few hours late into the night right before going to see the movie in theaters. I ugly-cried when I finished this book and then ugly-cried again in the theater with the opening scene due to an Ed Sheeran song being played. I’m pretty sure 40% of my crying came from being sleep-deprived, but the story is also beautiful.
book I read in 2017
Roseblood by A.G. Howard
I fell in love with A.G. Howard’s writing before this book ever came out, but I was ecstatic to be able to read Roseblood early. Phantom of the Opera is one of my favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, and I have always loved the darkness in the story. Roseblood definitely held up next to A.G. Howard’s amazing Alice in Wonderland stories, too.
book I read in 2018
Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy
I’m pretty sure all of 2018 was me slowly sneaking this book into my Instagram periodically. Cori McCarthy has been one of my top authors ever since I read Breaking Sky and fell in love with pilots. Getting to read an advanced copy of Now A Major Motion Picture was a dream come true. Plus, this book is perfect for anyone who is a Tolkien nerd or just a book nerd in general.
book I read in 2019
Own Your Everyday by Jordan Lee Dooley
I will forever rave about Own Your Everyday because Jordan Lee Dooley is the person I wish I could sit down with in a coffeeshop just to hear her stories. She literally speaks to women at every age and stage of life in this book.
a book I’ve read more than once
Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson
Fun fact: this was the first book I re-read voluntarily. I used to be a vehement one-time reader. I have loosened up more as I’ve read more books with re-reading books to refresh my memory of books I read in middle and high school, but I still struggle with reading a book I just read again. I read Let It Snow the second time, though, in order to write a review for my high school newspaper which I later submitted to a state newspaper contest.
a book I waited over a year to be published
Two Can Keep a Secret byKaren McManus
I can’t remember if I was waiting for this exact book, but I know that I waited for over a year for a second Karen McManus book after reading One of Us Is Lying. I legit went to work early on my day off (I work at a bookstore) in order to pick up a copy of this book. With all my excitement, however, I haven’t had time to actually read it yet. And now her sequel to One of Us Is Lying is coming out January 2020.
a book I read on vacation/away from home
One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus
I read One of Us Is Lying in one-sitting in a hammock while camping. I legitimately could not set this book down. This book is the perfect mix of The Breakfast Club and murder and a tiny bit of romance. Plus, Karen McManus has shown the book getting turned into a potential TV show.
a book I got from someplace special
Again, But Better by Christine Riccio
I got Again, But Better when I road-tripped out to Red Balloon Bookshop for Christine’s book tour with my best friend. I absolutely fell in love with the independent bookshop and the city while I was out there. Plus, I got to spend eight hours in a car with my best friend.
a book that made me cry
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
While I haven’t read this book since 2013, I do remember bawling my eyes out after reading the third chapter. I got this book from the library, and I never wrote down the title or author or anything at first. I spent YEARS trying to find this book at the library again solely based off the cover. Anyone else feel my pain?
a book I read in one sitting
The One by Kiera Cass
This was the first book I “buddy read” with my friend. We texted each other back and forth the entire day just to see if we were ahead of the other or not. We legit both called each other after we finished and screamed about it to each other for probably at least an hour. This series holds such fond memories for me.
a book that was a gift
Unhinged by A.G. Howard
I don’t know if this counts as a gift if I won a signed copy in a giveaway, but I’m going to count it as such. I don’t tend to get books as gifts since I buy so many myself. Usually, I will get classics or books I would never read as gifts from my relatives.
a book I read before owning
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Going to be honest: the majority of the books I buy I have already read. When I first started buying books, I only bought books I had read before. I need to get back into the mentality, but I have found many authors who I love to read anything they write. Buying books only after I’ve read them tends to help me spend less on books overall while supporting my library.
a book I lent to someone else
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
I lend many of my books to my friends because I need to be able to discuss books with them. I shared this advanced copy with one of my coworkers, so we could both sell it at work. I also read it so early that I needed to be able to rave about it with someone.
a book that has been damaged
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
I was going to use my Harry Potter book (pictured above), but I decided to feature my copy of Shiver instead. Surprisingly, my books are in great condition since I bought the majority of them secondhand. Unlike some people, the conditions of my books don’t tend to matter to me as long as there aren’t any pages falling out of them. I think a book which is well-loved says a lot more than a book that is in pristine condition.
a book that got you on sale/discounted
Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey
Again: I buy my books from thrift stores, library sales, or garage/yard sales. If not, I buy from work or with coupons, so every book I buy is discounted in some way. I am extremely privileged in that way. I have found that my library has an amazing selection of books for their annual sale, and I immediately check the book section at my local thrift stores any time I walk inside. I could not recommend buying secondhand more.
a book I read with someone else (buddy read/read with a book club)
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin
I read this book for the Barnes and Noble YA book club they host every month. I have read incredible books with this book club, but Serpent and Dove just hit differently. I can’t wait to see what else Shelby Mahurin has in store for this series and her future books. If you haven’t picked up Serpent and Dove yet, I definitely recommend reading it for the holiday season.
a book I associate with a song
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
I have absolutely no idea how or why I started associating this song with this trilogy, but I automatically think of Ellie Goulding’s “The Writer” when I think of this book. I think I just listened to it on repeat while reading the book, and I started imagining the characters acting out this song. If you haven’t read Wither, you definitely need to. I need more people to fangirl over this book with and I can’t find anyone anywhere.
a book I associate with food
With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo
I feel like it’s pretty obvious as to why I associate this book with food. It’s literally covered in food. I haven’t had time to pick up this masterpiece, but I have been admiring it on my shelf since Barnes and Noble had it on sale during their Book Haul sale. The book with and without the dust jacket just takes my breath away. Plus, Shealea from Shut Up, Shealea raves about this title, so I know it’s going to be perfection once I pick it up.
a book I got years ago that I probably wouldn’t buy now
Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson
I don’t want to offend anyone, so let me explain this a bit more. I loved this series when I was younger and simply fell in love with just about every contemporary YA I could get my hands on. I would compare this series to that of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I don’t typically pick up these types of books anymore, but I still love the story inside. I need to desperately re-read this book, but I know I would still love it. I just probably wouldn’t pick it up from a bookstore shelf again due to my reading tastes now.
a book I associate with a specific time in my life
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
As does 90 percent of young millennials/Generation Z’ers, The Hunger Games defined my middle school life. I read the book based on one of my classmates’ recommendations. Slowly our entire class read the classroom set of the books solely based on the one person’s recommendation. (I miss those simple days.) Then a group of the girls got together for the movie premieres to watch during opening weekend on the big screen which was always followed by a sleepover. I got close to one of my best friends from today during one of these sleepovers. Middle school was my jam, y’all. So thanks to The Hunger Games for giving me my best friend for life.
a book I used to like, but don’t anymore
Looking for Alaska by John Green
I’ve discovered in the past few years that John Green was for my angsty high school self. I read his latest Turtles All the Way Down, but I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I enjoyed his books in high school. As I’ve looked back at his other works, too, I find it harder to convince myself that I thoroughly enjoyed his books for their content instead of their hype. Maybe I just need to re-read Looking For Alaska, but I also don’t see myself getting rid of this gorgeous book any time soon.
the newest book on my shelf
The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
I literally just bought this book during Black Friday weekend, and I can’t wait until I have time to sit down and read the return of vampires to YA. I just… vampires were my thing before I even read The Hunger Games. I read Twilight at much too young an age, but, boy, did it impact me. I will forever have a place in my heart for vampires and werewolves.
Which books do you associate with certain songs or foods? Do you have any other fun book tags you want to see me do? Let me know in the comments!
I cannot believe The Folk of the Air trilogy is officially over. I just read The Cruel Prince in January of 2019 (check out my review here), and I instantly fell in love with the world of Faerie. When I was younger, I read a lot of fae YA books, but they seemed to disappear when I got older. Once I picked up The Cruel Prince, I just knew I would devour the rest of the series as they released.
I never got around to writing a review for The Wicked King, but I think I liked it even better than the first book. And then The Queen of Nothing comes along and becomes my favorite of the entire trilogy. Maybe it’s because Holly already built the world and conflicts, so she could focus more on the characters and relationships. Maybe I was just more invested in the series, but The Queen of Nothing felt like it had the most impact out of all the books.
Initially, I didn’t understand the hype of Jude and Cardan’s relationship. Once I saw them interact more in The Wicked King, I finally began to understand. By The Queen of Nothing, I was squealing with joy anytime Cardan referred to Jude as his wife and made others listen to her. Seeing their relationship flourish from The Cruel Prince into what it is in The Queen of Nothing is like seeing a ten-year relationship happen in the span of (I think) two or three years. In The Wicked King, Cardan and Jude started working together and seeing how powerful they could be together. Cardan began to show just how much Jude actually meant to him when she gets kidnapped. I fell in love with their relationship at this point.
In The Queen of Nothing when Jude comes back disguised as Taryn, CARDAN LITERALLY KNOWS ITS JUDE when not even her (adoptive) parents figured it out right away. If that’s not true love, then I don’t know what is. I legitimately got so excited when Jude and Cardan were in the same room. All the times Cardan goes to save Jude or Jude saves Cardan in The Queen of Nothing was all I needed in my life. But even better was seeing how they supported each other with whatever decisions they made.
I could talk about Cardan and Jude all day, but I also want to talk about how quickly I fell in love with Grima Mog. As soon as we met her in the mortal world, I fell in love with her sass and fight. And then she came back to help Jude and her sisters, and I KNEW she would be the next General. I loved how Holly brought so many women to power in this book and focused on women working together. If I could have an entire novella about Grima Mog when she was younger, I would read it a hundred times at least.
The plot, overall, felt a little quick. The Queen of Nothing was only about 30 pages shorter than the first two books, but I feel like those pages could have added more to the story. Holly could have delved more into Jude and Cardan reconnecting. While I love their story, I didn’t fall in love with them as early as I think was intended, so I need a little more with their relationship. Some of the plot twists could have been explained more or made more unpredictable.
I didn’t understand the significance of the snake on the cover, and I genuinely disliked the cover due to my fear of snakes. When I read that Cardan turned into a snake however, I understood. I still feel like the scenes after Cardan turned into a snake could have been developed more. Overall, I am surprised that Jude didn’t figure out how to break the curse earlier. I didn’t think Cardan would step right out of the snake at the end, because I thought Holly would explain how Jude could draw power from the land by bringing Cardan back from death. Perhaps in a certain way she did this.
Overall, I found the ending to the series to be well-done and perfect for the entire story in the trilogy. I loved the epilogue with Jude and Cardan being in the mortal world. If I could get them at a Christmas season short story, I would be the happiest person in the world. I definitely will be checking out more of Holly’s books in the next year, and I will even probably re-read this series again.
Have you read the Folk of Air trilogy yet? Have a favorite faerie book I need to read? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. If you want to see what I’m reading right now, add me on Goodreads!
I have started writing this tag so many times. I have not been feeling the blogging mojo lately, but I decided to attempt this book tag. This tag was originally created back in 2016 by EarlGreyBooks on YouTube.
I have only read two sequels this year: The Wicked King and There’s Something About Sweetie. Technically, There’s Something About Sweetie is more of in the same universe as When Dimple Met Rishi, so I’m not counting it. Therefore my choice is made for me: The Wicked King. And to think that I’m going to be able to read the entire trilogy in the matter of a year makes me so happy.
new release you haven’t read yet, but want to
I am SO behind with literally all the new releases which I definitely feel on an everyday basis at work (I’m a bookseller!), but I’ll try to highlight some of my top ones.
most anticipated release for the second half of the year
I looked at my Goodreads TBR shelf, and I absolutely cannot believe how many amazing books still need to come out this year. Now I may be slightly overwhelmed by how many books I need to read before the books of 2020 start coming out. Who’s with me? Here’s a quick glance of some of the ones I will surely scream at when I see them come into the bookstore.
Oh my goodness, y’all… if you don’t follow me on Goodreads, I posted a review over there for Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner. I was so pumped for this book simply because the synopsis and cover drew me in. I have not had a terrible experience with Christian fiction books until this book. I am getting so heated right now just thinking about this book. Basically, I just pumped up this book in my head and then I read it.
I always struggle with deeming an author a “favorite” until I have read a few of their books, so I’m going to cheat this one a bit. An author whom I have deemed a favorite this year is Maurene Goo. I read Somewhere Only We Know by her this year and last year I read The Way You Make Me Feel. Both were hilarious and heart-felt and beautifully written. I can’t wait to read more of her books.
newest fictional crush/newest favorite character
I’m combining these two simply because it’s one and the same for me: Weston Ludovico. I had the pleasure of reading an eARC for Abbie Emmons’ debut novel, 100 Days of Sunlight. I fell in love with Weston through the flashbacks and all the efforts he goes through to help Tessa accept being blind while he struggles to accept himself fully. This book wrecked me in the best possible way.
book that made you cry
The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed made me bawl. At the end of the semester, I read so many heavy topic books, and The Nowhere Girls broke me. Reed’s words hit hard with the topic of the dark web, toxic masculinity, and sexual assault. The simple power behind each person’s story made the pages come alive.
book that made you happy
There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon and 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons brought me pure happiness. Both books make me happy thinking about the characters and stories with very little amounts of pain. Minimal pain with these books.
most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
I’m not sure if this means words or cover, but I’m going to give some cover love with this question. The most beautiful book I’ve added to my shelves this year would have to be We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. Although I haven’t read this book yet, I absolutely adore all the cover designs I have seen for this book including the design under the dust jacket. Books that have designs under their jackets get automatic brownie points from me. And maps… which WHTF also has inside. Look at that… a beautiful book inside and out!
what books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Quite literally all of them. I have no idea which books I will need to read for work before the end of the year or for college since I’m an English minor, but I know they will be endless. Plus all of the books I’ve already missed that released this year as well as the ones coming out before the end of the year.
favorite book community member
My two faves that keep me reading and loving what I do every day are Amber from Books and Cats and Coffee (IG: @bookncatncoffee) and Holly (@hollyslittlebookreviews). Individually these women are phenomenal, but get them together? Unstoppable. My TBR is the way it is because of them. I have no idea how they use magic to read so much or post each day, but yet there they are rocking bookstagram with their posts.
I know we are over halfway through the year, but I hope you enjoyed my mid-year book freak out tag. I fell back into the writing groove while creating this post, so I’m excited to finally have something to post. If you see a tag or weekly post you want me to recreate here, let me know! Also, if you want me to post an updated version of a tag or post I have previously done, comment and tell me! I am always looking for new ideas.