Top 5 Wednesday: Non-Horror Books that Scared Me

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday, hosted by the Good Reads group, is: Non-Horror Books that Scared YouThis can be entire books you found frightening or just specific scenes from those books, but discuss books that weren’t technically supposed to scare you, but did. I’m going to go with a different kind of scared and choose books with: Scary Teenage Behavior. It’s no secret that I’m not really a kid person and these are the books that featured some kids that kind of scared the crap out of me and made me glad I don’t have any of my own.

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1. Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell. 

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2. I Found You by Lisa Jewell. 

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3. 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

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4. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

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5. The Fever by Megan Abbott

What are some non-horror books that scare you?

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I want to Re-Read

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This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is: Books I want to Re-Read. I have always been a big re-reader of books I love. I’ve decided to list some of my favorite books that I have only read once and am in desperate need to revisit.

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1. The Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown (Red Rising, Golden Son, Morning Star). I started this series shortly before the last book came out and could not believe that I waited so long! It’s beautifully written, brutal, thought-provoking, suspenseful, action-packed, twisty, surprising…I could go on and on.

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2. Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin. A very different kind of serial killer story. Very character-driven and suspenseful. Every time I see someone new reading/reviewing it I want to re-read it.

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3. Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I have great love for Rainbow Rowell books and I gave this one a really high rating, but I have only ever read it once. I think I definitely need to remedy that.

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4. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. I’ve heard from people that this isn’t as good the second time around since you know the ending, but I still want to give it a try and see if there are clues I missed the first time around. Plus, it was just really good and I want to read it again.

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5. Defending Jacob by William Landay. I read this long before I started blogging, when I was just getting back into reading again, and gave it 5 stars on Good Reads (if you follow me now, you know that never happens anymore). I’d like to see if it’s as good as I thought it was back then.

What books do you want to re-read?

The Olympic Book Tag: Take 2

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I love the Olympics and I love Olympic Book Tags! Yes, I have already done one, but there are 2 Olympic Book Tags floating around the blogosphere and Deanna from A Novel Glimpse, tagged me for this one.

The Opening Ceremony — What book did you think had an incredible opening?

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Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. I was hooked on this book from the start


The Games — What is your favorite fictional competition?

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The Hunger Games is literally the only book I can think of with a competition. I feel kind of bad for saying it’s my favorite competition, though, haha.


The Original — The modern games are based on the original Greek competition – what is your favorite book based on a classic?

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Definitely, Maybe in Love by Ophelia London. A cute re-telling of Pride and Prejudice


The Eternal Flame  — What is one ship that you won’t let die, even after the books made it clear it was never going to happen?

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I usually end up shipping the ship we’re supposed to ship, so the only one I can really think of is *Ruin and Rising Spoilers* Nikolai and Alina. While I was ok with her ending up with Mal, Nikolai was always my favorite.


Gymnastics — What’s a book that had so many twists and turns it left your head spinning? (in a good way)

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Golden Son. I was trying really hard not to repeat books, but what is a tag without a Red Rising mention?!


The Controversial Judge  — What’s a book that you have a totally different opinion about than most other people?

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I just don’t get it. I really did not like this book at all, but the blogosphere loves it.


Beach Volleyball  — What is your favorite fictional duo?

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I’m going to go with Shazi and Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn series. I thought they were a great example of a romantic pairing also working together for the greater good.


Weightlifting — What is the most massive book on your shelf?

A collection of Jane Austen’s novels. I love it.


Track & Field — What is a book that you just tore through with world record speed?

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I read P.S. I Like You by Kasie West in a day.


Synchronized Swimming — What is a book series that you kept reading, even though you didn’t have any idea why?

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Pretty Little Liars. I made it to book 10 before I couldn’t take anymore.


The Tortured Fan — What fictional family, group, nation, or organization do you irrationally root for no matter how many times they break your heart?

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Joe from the You series. He is a sociopath, but I always root for him.


Closing Ceremony — What book had an ending that just blew your mind?

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Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

My Life in Books Tag

I was quite determined to get up early today and get some shopping and errands done. I was even considering driving down to my hometown for their annual festival for some Swiss Cheese on a Stick and fry pies. But when I woke up it was in the 40s and raining, so I went back to sleep and now I’m in pajamas, drinking coffee, and watching Notting Hill on tv. What better time to do a tag? I was tagged for My Life in Books Tag by #LoveBooks (go check out her blog!).

1) Find A Book For Each Of Your Initials:

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2) Count Your Age Along Your Book Shelf: What Book Is It?

31 (*sigh*) = …

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3) Pick a book that represents a destination you would like to travel to?

The Greek island of Corfu. Yes please.

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4) Pick A Book That Is Your Favourite Color

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5) Which book do you have the fondest memory of?

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I absolutely loved the Wayside School books as a kid. They were a very particular kind of humor and it just so happened to be my sense of humor. I’ve looked and looked for these books, but I think they got tossed in one of our many moves. I’m going to have to buy them some day.

6) Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

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I really thought I was going to love this book and I just ended up hating it. I read it before I could DNF books so I powered through it and just hated it.

7) Which book in your TBR pile will you give you the biggest sense of achievement?

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It’s the longest book on my TBR and I find it very intimidating. I generally don’t read books over 400 pages (Nook length. The paging is always really different on my Nook than the hard copy), and usually they’re around 300 or less.

Feel free to consider yourself tagged if you would like

Find Me Book Tag

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So I was tagged for this forever ago by BookLoversBlog. Basically this tag involved finding books from my bookshelves which fit the prompts offered. I did as many as I could in hard copies so you can see the pretty colors, but most of my books are on my Nook, so some of them are less than stellar graphics. Enjoy!

1. A Book With A Sunset: Get to Me by Lara Van Hulzen

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2. A Book With Water: Truly Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggot

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3. A Book With A Flower: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

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4. A Book With A Heart: Solitaire by Alice Oseman

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5. A Book With Gone in the title: Gone Missing by Linda Castillo

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6. A Book With a Moon: New Moon by Stephanie Meyer (Yes I cheated on this one!)

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7. A Book With A Weapon: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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8. A Book With a Girl in a White Dress: Soul Screamers: Volume One by Rachel Vincent

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9. A Book with a Couple Kissing: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

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10. A Book with Headphones: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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So that was fun! I tag anyone who would like to participate!

The 1989 Book Tag

I’ve seen this on a few blogs, including Brandie is a Book Junkie, and since I am all about the tags lately, I decided to join the fun.

Welcome to New York
You can want who you want, boys and boys and girls and girls.

1. A book with LGBT themes.

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It’s not one of those specialized “diverse” books, but The Lynburn Legacy series has a romance side plot involving gay and bisexual characters.

 

Blank Space
You can tell me when it’s over, if the high was worth the pain.

2. A book that hit you right in the feels, but was totally worth it.

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

First off, I totally thought the line was “…if I was worth the pain.” I’m going to go with Mockingjay because I refer to it as the book to read “if you never want to be happy again”, but I still love the series so, so much!

I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.

3. A book that you hated but you loved the cover.

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

I loooove the cover for Red Queen, but the story that goes with it was pretty Blah.

 

I’ve got a blank space baby and I’ll write your name.

4. Your latest book boyfriend/girlfriend.

The Fill-In Boyfriend

Haydn from The Fill-In Boyfriend

 

Style
We never go out of style.

5. A timeless classic you love.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice – obviously.

 

Out of the Woods
The rest of the world is black and white, but we were screaming color.

6. A book that had vivid world building.

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)

A Darker Shade of Magic

 

The monsters turned out to be just trees.

7. A book where things weren’t exactly how they seemed.

Unbecoming

Unbecoming. This was one of my early favorites of the year. I think I need a re-read.

 

All You Had To Do Was Stay
You were all I wanted… but not like this.

8. A book you were eagerly anticipating, but ended up being disappointed by.

 

The Wrong Side of Right

The Wrong Side of Right. I was so looking forward to this and really, really wanted to like it. It was just ok.

Shake It Off
The haters gonna hate…

9. A book/series that everyone seems to love but you can’t help but hate.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Throne of Glass. I Just. Don’t. Get. It.

 

10. A book/series you love but everyone else seems to hate.

I honestly can’t think of one. I tend to be the one to hate series that other people love (see above), but I don’t think there’s a lot of hate out there for any series that I really enjoy. I guess I just have wonderful taste 😛

 

I Wish You Would
I wish you knew I’ll never forget you as long as I live.

11. A book/series you know you will always love.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

 

The Raven Cycle. I love these characters more than I like most people I know in real life.

 

I wish you were right here, right now.

12. An upcoming release you wish you could have right now!

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

Winter – the Lunar Chronicles finale!

 

Bad Blood
Now we’ve got bad blood, you know it used to be mad love.

13. A character you once loved but grew to hate.

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Adam Kent from the Shatter Me series. I adored him in the first book and slowly grew to really despise him through the rest of the series.

 

14. An author you haven’t forgiven for the things they did to your favorite characters/books.

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

I think we all know who the answer to this is for me by now – Veronica Roth for Allegiant – the whole book, not just what she did to one of the main characters

Wildest Dreams
I can see the end as it begins.

15. A book that was far too predictable.

The Magician's Lie

The Magician’s Lie.

 

Nothing lasts forever but this is getting good now.

16. A book/series that you wish could have gone on forever.

Sacrifice (Elemental, #5)

I don’t know about forever, but the ending to the Elemental series was not good enough for me and I need more!

 

How You Get The Girl
That’s how it works, that’s how you get the girl.

17. One of your favorite books where they ‘got the girl’.

Someday Maybe (Definitely Maybe, #2)

Someday Maybe

 

This Love
In darkest screams, in wildest dreams, I never dreamed on this.

18. A book that completely shocked you.

Dangerous Girls

Dangerous Girls

 

I Know Places
Loves a fragile little flame it could burn out.

19. A book you thought you loved but quickly came to hate.

I can’t think of anything for this one either. I usually hate books pretty early into them if I’m going to hate them. I guess I could say Allegiant again since I had decided to love it before I even started it, but then, it turned out to be garbage.

 

Something happens when everybody finds out. See the vultures circling dark clouds.

20. A book you didn’t want to be seen reading.

Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars, #1)

The Pretty Little Liars series was a guilty pleasure (as is the tv show) – though I stopped reading them somewhere in the middle of the series.

 

Clean
The drought was the very worst, when the flowers that we’d grown together died off first.

21. Does the wait between books made you forget everything that happened?

Often times, yes. Unless it was a book I completely LOVED, but even then I might need a bit of a refresher.

 

By morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean.

22. A book/series you wiped from your memory.

Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but I like to pretend that Allegiant doesn’t exist.

FEEL FREE TO TAG YOURSELF IF YOU’D LIKE TO PARTICIPATE. LEAVE A LINK IN THE COMMENTS SO I CAN SEE YOUR ANSWERS!

The Courtship Book Tag

So when all else fails for a post, it’s book tag time! I saw this over on Thoughts and Afterthoughts and decided to give it a go.  The Courtship Tag plays on the phases of relationships.

Phase 1 – Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover

Alienated (Alienated, #1)

Alienated by Melissa Landers. I do admit to reading a lot of books because of their covers, but this is one I actually bought because of it. I was so intrigued by the cover of this book and I decided to buy it before I even really know what it was about. It was a good enough read, but wasn’t as good as I wanted it to  be. I still haven’t read the second book yet. I’m actually REALLY stingy when it comes to buying books these days and this book helped me learn my lesson.

Phase 2 – First Impressions: A book that you read because of the summary

The Fill-In Boyfriend

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West. I’m a sucker for the fake relationship trope and I will read almost any book with it that I come across.

Phase 3 – Sweet Talk: A book with great writing

The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This book is just beautiful.

Phase 4 – First Date: A first book of a series which made you want to pursue the rest of the series

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I read this book in one day and went out the next day to buy the second book.

Phase 5 – Late night phone calls: A book that kept you up all night long

Dangerous Girls

Nothing really keeps me up all night long these days – not intentionally anyways – but I was up quite late reading Dangerous Girls.

Phase 6 – Always on my mind: A book that you could not stop thinking about

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. This book was horribly depressing and it really stuck with me for awhile.

Phase 7 – Getting Physical: A book in which you love the way it feels

I know this probably doesn’t make me a proper book nerd, but I don’t get weird about feeling or smelling books. I love a good hard copy, but I can read a book on my Nook and not feel like I’m missing out on anything.

Phase 8 – Meeting the Parents: A book in which you would recommend to your friends and family

Attachments

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. It’s not a list of books without Rainbow Rowell being mentioned! This is one of my all time favorites and within the last year I finally convinced both my sister and my mom to read it.

Phase 9 – Thinking about the future: A book or series that you know you’ll re-read many times in the future

The Best Man (Blue Heron, #1)

The Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins. I recently just finished my second full series re-read and I often re-read individual books in the series as well.

Phase 10 – Share the love!!! Who would you like to tag?

I find that I don’t often do tags I’m actually tagged in, but ones I see randomly. So if you want to do the tag, consider yourself tagged! Feel free to leave a link so I can see your answers!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Love To See As Movies/TV Shows

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies/TV Shows. I’ve already done this topic twice (here and here) so I’ll try to come up with new answers.

BOOKS AS MOVIES

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Dangerous Girls by Abigal Haas

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Eeny Meeny (Helen Grace, #1)

Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

The Great Zoo of China

The Great Zoo of China by MatthewReilly

Illusions of Fate

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

BOOKS AS TV SHOWS

Garden Spells (Waverley Family, #1)   First Frost (Waverley Family, #2)

Garden Spells and First Frost (Waverly Family series) by Sarah Addison Allen

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)  Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)   Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3)

Unspoken, Untold, Unmade (Lynburn Legacy) by Sarah Rees Brennan

WHAT BOOKS WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MADE INTO A MOVIE OR TV SHOW? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MY CHOICES?

Stephanie's Book Reviews

Review: The Beautiful Daughters by Nicole Baart

The Beautiful Daughters

Synopsis from Good Reads:

From the author of Sleeping in Eden, described as “intense and absorbing from the very first page” (Heather Gudenkauf, author of The Weight of Silence), comes a gripping new novel about two former best friends and the secrets they can’t escape.

Adrienne Vogt and Harper Penny were closer than sisters, until the day a tragedy blew their seemingly idyllic world apart. Afraid that they got away with murder and unable to accept who they had lost—and what they had done—Harper and Adri exiled themselves from small-town Blackhawk, Iowa, and from each other. Adri ran thousands of miles away to Africa while Harper ventured down a more destructive path closer to home.

Now, five years later, both are convinced that nothing could ever coax them out of the worlds in which they’ve been living. But unexpected news from home soon pulls Adri and Harper back together, and the two cannot avoid facing their memories and guilt head-on. As they are pulled back into the tangle of their fractured relationships and the mystery of Piperhall, the sprawling estate where their lives first began to unravel, secrets and lies behind the tragic accident are laid bare. The former best friends are forced to come to terms with their shared past and search for the beauty in each other while mending the brokenness in themselves.

Nicole Baart’s lush and lyrical writing has been called “sparkling” (Publishers Weekly), “taut and engrossing” (Booklist), and “evocative and beautiful” (Romantic Times). The Beautiful Daughters is another exquisitely rendered, haunting story that will stay with readers long after the last page.

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

The Beautiful Daughters will be available April 28, 2015.

I’ve never read anything by Nicole Baart before, but I think I’ll definitely be giving her other books a try after reading The Beautiful Daughters. Her writing was beautiful, even when it was heartbreaking. I was drawn in, straight from the Prologue.

“She felt sometimes that she had loved him before she even knew him…Heart and soul, up until the moment her loathing matched her love and she found herself trading places with a woman she didn’t recognize…He was the beginning. And his death was what felt like the end.”

Adri Vogt grew up on a small farm in nowhere Iowa with her twin brother, Will, and father, Sam. She dreamed from afar of the neighboring Piperhall estate and especially of it’s heir, David Galloway. When she enrolls into college and is almost instantly befriended by the beautiful, alluring, and vibrant Harper, Adri counts herself as lucky. She’s even luckier when Harper tracks down David and brings her into their inner circle with Will and his best friend Jackson, naming themselves The Five. They spent all their time together, often at David’s home in Piperhall, where they relaxed with just The Five of them or throwing large parties, either way always, always orchestrated by Harper.

It’s a surprise to Adri when David picks her over Harper, and they become engaged. But not all the relationships that make up The Five are what they seem and when their last hurrah after graduation ends in David’s death, Adri and Harper both vow to leave and never return. The Beautiful Daughters tells the stories of their unexpected return home, the guilt they’ve lived with in the intervening years, and the journey and relationships that brought them to their escape in the first place.

I really enjoyed Baart’s writing style. She weaves present and past together into one cohesive story very well. She employs a lot of imagery, though at times it was a little too much description for me. I found myself skimming at parts, but quickly found out that I couldn’t do that because in the midst of the descriptions of the present were brief clues to the past that slowly built up to the truth.

The characters were very well-developed. I loved Adri’s dad and brother. Jackson and Caleb, Adri’s partner in Africa, weren’t quite as developed as the rest, but I still loved them, too. But the real story is Adri and Harper and their relationship. I hated Harper almost instantly and while she ended up being a pretty sympathetic and often tragic character, I still disliked her, even as I rooted for her to have a happy ending. The relationship between the two women reminded me a lot of the two main characters in Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas – though a more adult, less psychotic version.  They were two people that loved each other more than anyone else, but their relationship was often dangerously co-dependent and toxic. Ultimately, the story of their friendship and estrangement comes to a satisfying conclusion.

Overall, I really enjoyed Beautiful Daughters. It’s a story of family, love, abuse, regret, guilt, and forgiveness that I think anyone could relate to. I would definitely recommend it to fans of character-driven novels.

Overall rating (out of 5):

4 stars

*Please note the quotes used are from an ARC and may not match the final copy*

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*Win a copy of any book I’ve reviewed in my Tax Refund Share The Wealth (Ha ha) Giveaway (open though May 9, 2015*