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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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

Image result for life beautiful magazine

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

Find me elsewhere!

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

how my reading habits changed in college

Welcome!

I have not done a Top Ten Tuesday post in the longest time. If you’re new here, TTT is a weekly feature hosted on That Artsy Reader with a weekly prompt for a post. This week’s topic is discussing changes in my reading life.

Throughout my life, I have always been reading just to devour the stories and to read as much as I can. As I have gotten older, however, my reading life has slowed down a bit, and I started reading for savoring the stories.

Let’s jump right in:

1. Audiobooks

This has been the most major change for me. For the longest time, I hated the idea of audiobooks since I often created characters’ voices in my mind while reading. When my dad started listening to audiobooks, I often repeated to him that I never would listen to audiobooks for this reason alone.

Then I started commuting to college. Since I don’t have an aux input, I was listening to CDs and radio on repeat. Listening to the same things on repeat gets tiring, let me tell you. So I decided to jump into an audiobook (Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi), and I never looked back. I have definitely listened to a few audiobooks where I couldn’t stand the narrator, but, overall, the narrators have been great.

I just started a Goodreads shelf to keep track of all the audiobooks I listen to, so feel free to check it out here.

2. Middle grade books

I used to be such a book snob, believe it or not. After I graduated from middle school, I refused to read a single middle grade book. Even towards the end of middle school, I looked down upon anyone who read middle grade books. When I started working at a bookstore, though, I found myself wanting to pick up multiple middle grade books simply because of their covers or the synopsis I read on the dust jacket.

I picked up Holly Black and Cassandra Clare’s Magisterium series last year, and I loved it. Middle grade books are SO MUCH better than when I was in middle school (about a decade ago). Reading a middle grade book allows my brain to relax from super complex world-building or vocabulary, and I can just focus on loving the characters and plot.

3. Searching for diverse books

Diversity in books has grown since I was younger, and I could not be more happy. Growing up in the Midwest, I never encountered much diversity within my classroom or community besides maybe one or two families. By reading diverse books, I have been able to glimpse the world through a different perspective and learn about their realities. I have been able to find racially and religiously diverse books that I love, but I also discovered books with body representation like me.

4. Graphic novels

Y’all, graphic novels are the perfect way for me to keep reading while busy with school and work. I started reading graphic novels this year, and I could not be happier. Legitimately, 19 of the 59 books I read this year have been graphic novels. They are the only reason I met my Goodreads reading challenge this year. I have discovered so many great artists and stories through graphic novels. If you ever find yourself in a reading slump, I definitely recommend picking up a graphic novel to get you through!

5. Reading romance books

Much like I did with middle grade books, I never thought I would dive into reading romance books. Then I read Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. While the book does contain sex scenes, I fell in love with the banter and more of the plot line. I don’t see myself reading Harlequin romances any time soon, but I have picked up a few other romance books that I also enjoyed. The books tackle tough topics but also have such fun banter between the characters. I will definitely be adding a few more to my TBR throughout next year.

6. Reading Christian fiction

I was introduced to Christian fiction by my friend Abby (@abby.m.a.r.t.i.n) with Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion trilogy. My perception of Christian fiction was more closely related to Amish fiction. When I read Francine Rivers, though, I knew I discovered a new favorite author and a genre to explore. While it has been years since first reading the Mark of the Lion trilogy, I have not stopped reading Christian fiction books. Just this past year, I read Karen Kingsbury. I can’t wait to read more of her books. Christian fiction is much more than preaching the gospel; it’s all about showing the reality of faith and life.

I know it’s called Top Ten Tuesday, but I can only think of six major ways my reading habits have changed. I have always been a reader and will always be a reader, but changing the kind of reader I am is okay, too! I can’t wait to see how much my reading changes in the next year!

How have your reading habits changed? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

TTT: Favorite OTP Scenes (AKA Just How Unstable I Am About Fandoms)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Welcome to the romantic freebie of Top Ten Tuesday. I definitely have almost too many OTPs which may disqualify them from being a true OTP (one true pairing). But I’m still going to call them my OTP because I can break all the rules. To go with breaking the rules, I threw in some TV show ships as well just to keep things fresh and interesting. Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope it will be better than mine:

Image result for Valentine's Day sarcastic gif

(Actual image of me last year)

Anyways… onto my official OTPs!

1. Bellamy and Clarke

WE ALL KNEW THIS WOULD BE THE TOP OF MY LIST BECAUSE I HAVE WAITED TOO LONG FOR THIS SHIP TO BECOME CANON… and this will be my year. It is officially the fifth season of the show this year, and it is needed. These two have so many scenes and looks… everyone needs this to happen for the agony to stop. Plus, I still need to read the next two books in the series where I actually get my Bellarke action.

2. Magnus and Cleo

It’s Magneo at a balcony in Limeros and I love it :)

Balconies are their weakness… and that cabin in the woods. Slow-burns are my weakness and this one took FOUR. FREAKING. BOOKS. (SPOILER) It wasn’t until the very end of the fourth book when it finally happened, which is why I still hold out hope for Bellarke. I haven’t had the heart (or time) to read Crystal Storm even though Immortal Reign is coming out soon. I AM SUCH A SLACKER, AND I AM SO SAD RIGHT NOW. (And we all know that I have a terrible time with sequels.)

3. Austin and Ally

Y’all ready for this guilty pleasure admittance? Austin and Ally is a beautiful Disney channel show that every needs to watch for a tug at the heart strings and corners of your mouth to lift upward. Austin and Ally will forever be on my OTP list because I slowly fell in love with their friendship and then romantic relationship. It was slow, semi-steady, and fully beautiful.

4. Maxon and America Schreave

Did that count as a spoiler? Honestly, if you haven’t read The Selection by Kiera Cass yet, then you seriously need to jump aboard this train and then this ship. I thought I loved Aspen and America until the end… and the end was the moment Maxon appeared on the pages. I never looked back.

5. Aaron Warner and Juliette

 

 

Warner and juliette

Photo taken off of Tumblr and not an original aesthetic of mine.

I am absolutely in love with this development and suddenly feel the urge to re-read this trilogy before it becomes a series. Aaron Warner is one of my favorite villains (right next to the one below here) and will hold a special place in my heart as my first ship switch. It takes a lot for me to switch my opinions of characters once I made my mind up about them.

6. Morpheus and Alyssa

Like a dream #Morpheus #Alyssa

I’m not quite sure you can completely call Morpheus a villain, but he is definitely part of the darker and crazier side of Wonderland. Also, bravo to A.G. Howard for creating such a marvelous duo despite the ending of the series being a bit of a cop-out for the love triangle. But it’s fine… it’s cool.

7. Yousef and Sana

Skam focuses on a different person each season but Sana’s season definitely wins as my favorite as far as favorite couple (almost parallel with Noora and William) for the show’s entirety. Sana and Yousef just make the best couple and they go through so much together. They have in-depth, real conversations as friends and develop an intimacy throughout the season.

8. Betty and Jughead

Okay… I know all the controversy surrounding Jughead’s relationship with Betty, but I’m taking the show as it is. AND BETTY AND JUGHEAD BETTER FREAKING BE HOW IT IS! Their relationship kept me steady during the first season but this second season has been excruciating. These edits have been keeping me (and I’m sure the rest of the ship) afloat until the season comes back.

9. Jess and Rory

I dedicated so much of my time to watching Gilmore Girls before the revival premiered on Netflix. At first, I was determined to love Dean, but then he started acting like a jerk. Jess came along and swept my heart along so quickly not even Logan (who is also a jerk) could sweep me away. Plus, they share a love of books and music and all the necessary points for having a relationship.

10. Victoria and Albert

Can this even count as an OTP since it actually happened in real life? OTP shipping in real life is a thing (apparently) but in history? I know they have a treacherous marriage, but I am so excited to see these two grow apart and together stronger than ever. I adore these two and this show.


What are some of your OTPs in books, shows, and real life (apparently)? Do we share any OTPs? Give me some links to your favorite edits if you have them! Share in the comments. 

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TTT: Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest… and Still Are

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

176754621. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater 

I have read the first book, but I didn’t immediately pick up the following books. The series quickly fell to the back burner of my reading list, sadly. I absolutely adore Stiefvater’s writing style and have read most of her other books besides this series. And I definitely feel like I should pick this series up again (and re-read the first book).

 

 


132532762. Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Here’s the thing, it took me until my second try to enjoy Under the Never Sky. The second time I absolutely fell in love with the story and breezed through it. Just like The Raven Cycle, though, I never picked up the sequel for some reason. Man, I need to be better at continuing and finishing series.

 

 

 


114086503. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I added this book to my list in middle school and never picked it up. It had a lot of hype and excitement, but it fell to the bottom of my list (once again) as more books got added. I went through a short, month-long phase of reading books with amnesia plots which included this book. But honestly… this book still intrigues me especially with the latest book release in this series.

 

 


131386354. Starbound Series by Amie Kaufman

I sincerely thought I already read these books, but I mixed it up with a different series, For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund. Honestly, I think it was the stars in the title with the sequel. I have no idea… I am an actual mess. And the covers are a little similar if you squint… and look up at the ceiling.

 

 


113663975. The Program by Suzanne Young

The idea of this story reminds me of a more intense form of Delirium (Lauren Oliver) with not being able to show emotions. I added this book without realizing the synopsis, however, and I honestly did not know the plot until five minutes ago when Goodreads told me. But I kept this book on my list because of the cover. (I am, indeed, one of those book lovers.)

 

 


6. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray16060716

And here we are, once again, reminded of my inability to read sequels. I wasn’t 100% excited about The Diviners at first, but I finished the book by loving it. Then the second book wasn’t out yet (that I was/am aware of) so I didn’t read it.

 

 

 


173318287. Talon by Julie Kagawa

I’m still determined for this to be my gateway to loving books with dragons. I really want to like dragon books, but I just haven’t found one yet. My entire childhood consisted of me reading books with dragons where I just wanted to love them. And no… I have not read Eragon yet. (Sorry, Abby!) Julie Kagawa’s books have always been lovable for me, but, for some odd reason, I haven’t picked up Talon yet.

 

 


8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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I have no idea where or when this book came onto my list, but I remember picking it up in middle school from the library, and then a few weeks ago, and never reading it. Someone please give me an intervention. When I read Caraval by Stephanie Garber, the memory of wanting to read this book came bubbling up again. And now I need to read it this year.

 

 

 


235734189. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I am slightly upset this book fell behind in a lot of people’s lists, because I absolutely adore the idea of this book. The cover drew me in, and I cannot believe this book is still on my list. I am appalled at my behavior with this book. If I wasn’t already currently reading two books, I would be at the library door’s in the morning to check this book out tomorrow.

 

 


10. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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Just reading the synopsis makes me want to cry. I really need to get back on top of my TBR, especially with this list. But also, I have a soft spot in my heart for characters with the name of Finch ever since The Hazel Wood. *silently cries*

 

 

 

 


What are some books that are on your TBR list? Who is up for holding an intervention for me? Let me know in the comments!

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TTT: Ten Books On My 2018 Radar

Sunset chaser (3)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s no secret that a book lover’s to-read pile never ends. Mine constantly towers over me, falls off the bookshelf, and creates an obstacle course in my room. But each year more and more books get added when authors write amazing novels just in time for the new year. Here are just a few that are on my radar for 2018.

1. Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

34992929Juliette Ferrars thought she’d won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander, and now has Warner by her side. But she’s still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch—and now she’s got the whole world in the palm of her hand. When tragedy hits, who will she become? Will she be able to control the power she wields and use it for good?

When I heard the announcement of the new books, I was a little weary because of the time gap between publications. Then I saw that we would have WARNER’S POV and I died. And came back to life to add it on my TBR. 

2. Legendary by Stephanie Garber

33645809Stephanie Garber’s limitless imagination takes flight once more in the colorful, mesmerizing, and immersive sequel to the bestselling and breakout debut Caraval, following Scarlett’s younger sister, Tella, on a journey to the empire’s capital to fulfill a mysterious bargain.

When I read Caraval, I did not realize it wasn’t a stand-alone book. And then I reached the ending… I am still unsure how I feel about a sequel, but the world and characters will be as amazing as ever. 

 

3. Save the Date by Morgan Matson

32333338Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

Morgan Matson’s books can be hit-and-miss with me sometimes, but this one seems interesting. I have a thing for wedding books… and stories where they have the same name as me. I’m crossing my fingers for this one. 

4. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

34275232Seventeen-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.

This story reminds me of a dark and twisted Red Riding Hood, and I am in love. I can’t wait to read this book as soon as it lands in my hands. Just the way Melissa Albert twisted this story into a completely unique and original way. #excited

5. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

23197837Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

What caught my eye originally with this book was the title. Pretty sure I was watching Hart of Dixie (great show, by the way) when I heard about this story and fell in love with it. I am pumped to read this diverse book… and HAVE YOU SEEN THAT COVER??? #inlove

6. Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

31207017A searing #OwnVoices coming-of-age debut in which an Indian-American Muslim teen confronts Islamophobia and a reality she can neither explain nor escape–perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, and Adam Silvera.

Maya Aziz is torn between futures: the one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter (i.e.; staying nearby in Chicago and being matched with a “suitable” Muslim boy), and the one where she goes to film school in New York City–and maybe, just maybe, kisses a guy she’s only known from afar. There’s the also the fun stuff, like laughing with her best friend Violet, making on-the-spot documentaries, sneaking away for private swimming lessons at a secret pond in the woods. But her world is shattered when a suicide bomber strikes in the American heartland; by chance, he shares Maya’s last name. What happens to the one Muslim family in town when their community is suddenly consumed with hatred and fear?

Honestly, I thought this book was already out because of all the hype I had seen on Twitter. It comes out in 2018, though. I am pumped for reading some more diverse books next year, and I am 100% certain I will love it. This book is at the top of my list. 

7. Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes

23367265As two lethal elemental gods set out to destroy Mytica, sworn enemies must become allies in the final fight to save the kingdoms.

Jonas continues to willfully defy his destiny, but the consequences of plotting his own course are drastic. As the fight for Mytica rages on, he must decide just how much more he’s willing to sacrifice.

Lucia knows there’s something special about her daughter and she’ll do anything to protect her, even if that means facing Kyan alone.

Amara is called back home to Kraeshia. Grandma Cortas has her own plans for Mytica’s future. She promises Amara power, revenge, and dominance if she agrees to be part of her scheme.

Magnus and Cleo‘s love will be put to the ultimate test. Dark magic is causing widespread destruction throughout the kingdom. Enemies across the sea are advancing. And unrest is stirring throughout the land. Is their love strong enough to withstand the outside forces tearing them apart?

Don’t tell anyone, but I still haven’t read the fifth book yet. Mainly because the friend I borrowed all these books from just finished it. I need to snatch the fifth book, so I can actually read this book when it comes out!

8. Meet Cute: Some People are Destined to Meet

33503607Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

I have a soft spot in my heart for short story anthologies, especially the ones that have come out recently. There is always a diversity of stories that make me fall in love. And what’s not to love about love? I am SO EXCITED to get a new anthology to read!!

9. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

34728667Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

The cover drew me in on this one. Especially with all of the fan-freaking-tastic bookstagram pictures being taken with its publicity tour. MAN OH MAN… my heart just about stops every time. And I am excited to see a powerful female protagonist taking down a patriarchy. 

10. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

26032825Of 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 years old 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.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war 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.

I haven’t read a good fae story in quite some time, so this book obviously jumped onto my TBR. 


These are just a few of the books on my TBR for 2018, because let’s be honest… there’s always at least 50 new books a year added to my TBR.

Do you see any books you’re looking forward to reading? Any recommendations to add more to my reading list? Let me know in the comments!

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