WWW Wednesday: August 5, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What did you recently finish reading?

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Tweet Cute by Emma Lord. This was cute, but I was expecting a little more from it. I thought it drug on a little too long.

What are you currently reading?

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Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer. I was super excited that my library hold was ready so fast. I even scheduled myself to work in the office instead of at home so I could pick it up (I work for the library). I’m only a couple chapters in so far (I have forgotten how long Meyer’s chapters are) and I am a little disappointed that so far it’s pretty much exactly like that leaked draft from all those years ago. I was kind of hoping there’d be some updates since then. I’m looking forward to getting to the parts I haven’t read before.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Once You Go This Far (Roxane Weary #5) by Kristen Lepionka. I finally got this one from the library and am looking forward to starting it next.

What are you reading?

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2020

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The Heir Affair (The Royal We #2) by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan and Beach Read by Emily Henry.

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020

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Since I already mentioned The Heir Affair, I’ll go with Wild at Heart (The Simple Wild #2) by K.A. Tucker.

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. I actually bought this just after it came out, but still haven’t read it.

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

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The Silent Wife (Will Trent #10) by Karin Slaughter

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

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Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier. I’m in the minority here, but it didn’t come close to living up to my expectations. It read a lot more like Women’s Fiction than Mystery/Thriller to me.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

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The F List by Alessandra Torree. I expected nothing from this, but LOVED it.

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR

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Karla Sorensen

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

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Dallas from Wait For It by Mariana Zapata.

NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER

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Caden from Anti-Stepbrother by Tijan.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

I don’t think I’ve cried at any books yet this year. My cold, black heart remains intact.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

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The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren.

FAVORITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATION

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So I haven’t actually read these books, but I did enjoy the Netflix show that’s based on the books by Sherryl Woods- The Sweet Magnolias

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

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I actually do not buy a lot of books. I did pick up The Simple Wild ebook when it was on sale, though.

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Midnight Sun (Twilight #5) by Stephenie Meyer

Outsider (Kate Burkholder #12) by Linda Castillo

Yours to Keep (Man of the Year #2) by Lauren Layne

Reviewing the Unreviewed: May 2020

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

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The Ex Effect (Washington Wolves #2) by Karla Sorensen. Read April 30-May 1. 3.5 Stars

This was cute, but not my favorite by this author. I thought Ava and Matthew got together a little too quickly, but I did ship them. I wish there was a little more resolution with Ava’s family, though.

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Wait For It by Mariana Zapata. Read April 27-May 2. 4 Stars.

It took me awhile to get into this (as much as I enjoy Zapata, I always think her books could be a good 200 pages shorter than they are), but once I did, I loved it. I loved the growing relationship between Diana and Dallas and I loved Josh and Louie. I put off reading this one for so long because I didn’t like Diana in The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and I don’t always like reading books when there’s kids involved. But I found Diana way more likable in this and the kids were two of the best things about the book. I think Dallas might be my new favorite Zapata man, too.

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The Bombshell Effect (Washington Wolves #1) by Karla Sorensen. Read May 3-5. 3 Stars. 

This was cute, but not my favorite book of the series. I liked Allie and Luke together and the big romantic gesture at the end had some “Never Been Kissed” vibes that I enjoyed.

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The Split by Sharon Bolton. Read May 5-8. 2.5 Stars.

I am so disappointed! I love Sharon Bolton, but I found this book so boring. It started off really interesting and the end was alright, but I just didn’t care about anything in the middle. I didn’t care about most of the characters and I guessed the twist long before it was revealed. I love so many of Bolton’s books, but this one just wasn’t for me.

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The Stranger by Harlan Coben. Read May 13-14. 3.5 Stars. 

The writing sucked me in and kept me reading, but this definitely wasn’t my favorite Coben book. I found myself super annoyed with Adam’s wife, Corrine. When he confronts her about the lie and asks for an explanation she basically says “I’m not ready to tell you right now. I’ll do it later.” And then she disappears. What annoyed me was the manipulative “I don’t feel like talking about this” response. And as the book goes on, you expect there to be some huge conspiracy she was caught up in and it would all make sense why she couldn’t tell him anything…but that’s not the case. It was just annoying. It made it kind of hard to care about what happened to her. I’m still interested in checking out the show on Netflix, though. I know they made some significant changes from the book, so maybe it will be a little better.

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Life and Death (Twilight #1.75) by Stephenie Meyer. Read May 10-20. 3 Stars. 

So with all the hype about Midnight Sun coming out soon, I decided it was time to revisit Twilight and realized I never read the gender swap book. It did take me quite a bit of time to get through, only reading a couple chapters at a time in between other books. I know that Meyer did the gender swap to show that if Bella was a guy, she still would’ve needed to be rescued because she’s human, but it didn’t really work for me. Maybe I’m part of the problem in society, but there were so many times where I just wanted Beau to “act like a man.” A couple things were changed here and there, but mostly it was just pronouns and it didn’t work. I often caught myself reading it as if was regular Twilight. One thing that did surprise me was the ending! I thought it was a straight re-telling, but it’s not and I did find that interesting.

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From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Read May 19-24. 2 Stars. 

*Sigh* This reminded me a lot of Armentrout’s Covenant series. Mixed in with a little Twilight and Shadow and Bone. And it was just ok for me. Actually, large parts of it were ridiculous. Poppy was so whiny, I found her really unlikable most of the time. Most of the book is her complaining about how unfair it is that she can’t sleep around like everyone else has the right to. Despite the whole cult-like religious system being pretty shady, she believes in it, which makes her choosing to ditch her Maiden status to have sex pretty selfish.

The romance between Poppy and Hawke played out very similarly to every other JLA couple, to the point where the names could’ve been switched out with any other JLA characters and you wouldn’t be able to tell which book you were reading. I though Hawke’s true identity was super obvious long before Poppy figures it out, too.

So, obviously this wasn’t my favorite JLA book, but all of her other fans seem to love it, so it’s probably just me.

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A Slice of Love (Slice #4) by Teagan Hunter. Read May 24. 3.5 Stars.

This was cute and I definitely shipped Frankie and Jonas. I thought there was a little too much focus on the physical relationship, though, and would’ve liked a little more emotional/romantic development.

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Eyes on Me by Rachel Harris. Read May 24-25. 3 Stars. 

This was pretty cute and was a lot less angsty than I anticipated, which was nice. I liked the dual POVs and shipped Lily and Stone.

*****Back on the TBR*****

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The Chase (Briar U #1) by Elle Kennedy and Love the One You Hate by R.S. Grey. I just couldn’t get into either one of these, but I think it was my mood, so I do plan to try them again in the future. 

*****DNF*****

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You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria. DNF @ 27%. I really wanted to like this one. I love the cover and the comparison to Jane the Virgin definitely intrigued me. There were just too many little things adding up that didn’t work for me. My biggest problem was how the scenes from the tv show were written. It starts out with just a bit of script direction to set the scene, but instead of staying in script format, it goes back to the normal narrative style. And instead of describing things from Jasmine’s POV as she acts the scene, it described them as if Carmen, the character she’s playing, was experiencing them. And we would get Carmen’s feelings and internal monologue, but then there would be some thoughts from Jasmine interspersed with those and it was just weird. I know I’m not explaining it well, but it just really threw me off. There were a few other little things, too, that just ended up making this book a chore for me to get through. While both the main characters and their families were likable enough, I just didn’t really connect with them and I don’t really care enough to keep reading this. That said, I have seen some really good reviews for this book, so I’m sure many others will love it.

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Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin. DNF @ 16%. I think it might be time to just admit that YA Fantasy just isn’t really for me anymore. I couldn’t really get into this and I set it down to read some other books. After more than a week, I still have no desire to pick this one back up and I don’t think I ever will.

*****Books with Future Reviews Scheduled*****

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Head Over Heels by Hannah Orensten – 2 Stars

Cheesy on the Eyes (Slice #5) by Teagan Hunter – 4 Stars

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – 2 Stars

Top 5 Tuesday: Summer Reads

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Bionic Book Worm. This week’s topic is: Top 5 Summer Reads. I’m going to take this as the top 5 reads I’m looking forward to reading this summer.

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Outsider (Kate Burkholder #12) by Linda Castillo

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Once You Go This Far (Roxane Weary #4) by Kristen Lepionka

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The Silent Wife (Will Trent #10) by Karin Slaughter

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Midnight Sun (The Twilight Saga #5) by Stephenie Meyer

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My Calamity Jane (The Lady Janies #3) by The Lady Janies.

What Books are you looking forward to reading this summer?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR List

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is: Books On My Fall TBR List.

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1. Yes, it’s on every list today, but I’m so excited for Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo! It’s out today, but I’m waiting until tomorrow to buy it when I go to a book signing!!

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2. Roseblood by A.G. Howard. I’ve had this on my TBR forever and I got approved for an ARC of it yesterday and I’m so excited! It’s a Phantom and the Opera re-telling and I don’t think I’ve ever read one of those before.

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3. Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle. This is going to be the show that will fill the Pretty Little Liars void this spring on Freeform, so I thought I’d read it before then to see if I want to watch the show.

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4. The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8) by Karin Slaughter. I have been waiting for a new Will Trent book for-ev-er! And I have to wait a little while longer until my library hold comes in.

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5. The Power (Titan #2) by Jennifer Armentrout. This book has FINALLY came to the library so hopefully my hold will come in soon.

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6. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This book is getting amazing reviews.

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7. The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer. No, I do not expect this to be great, but I’m really excited to read it.

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8. Twisted Palace (The Royals #3) by Erin Watt. This series is the definition of Guilty Pleasure Read.

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9. Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham. I love Lauren Graham (and Gilmore Girls).

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10. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Every friend I have on Good Reads that’s read this adores it. Yet another library wait list I’m crossing my fingers will come in soon.

WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO READING THIS FALL?

Top Ten Tuesday: Time Passes and so does my Love

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Welcome to my first Top Ten Tuesday of the year! This week’s topic, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is: Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed (less love, more love, complicated feelings, indifference, thought it was great in a genre until you became more well read in that genre etc.).  This is a topic that I’ve actually been thinking about writing a post about on my own, so it seemed like the perfect time to jump back in to TTT.

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1. The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

I think that a lot of people identify with this one. After hearing so much about this I decided to give it a try and I ended up reading the whole series in a week. It was also the first time in a very long time that I had read for pleasure. The series reminded me what it was like to have fun reading, to fall in love with characters, to HAVE TO KNOW what happens next. It also had a super romantic lead and cute romance. I loved it. Then…I started reading a lot more. When I went back much later to re-read Twilight, I found myself not being able to get through it. I realized that the super cute romance wasn’t exactly a healthy relationship and the plot and writing left a lot to be desired. This series will always hold a special place in my heart, but it’s one that I no longer love or highly recommend.

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2. The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater

Ok, this is probably the most controversial one on the list. I remember being a little confused by the story, but loving the characters so much that I didn’t care. I raved about this series all the time. Then I decided to re-read it before the last book came out and I was a little underwhelmed by it. While I still adore the characters, I’ve found the confusing plot makes it unbearable at times. And the further away from The Raven King I get, the more dissatisfied I am with it as a series ender.

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3. The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Another series I absolutely loved the first time around and didn’t quite enjoy as much the second time around. My biggest issue is on the last book. Adam’s complete change in personality was such an easy way out of the love triangle and I think it did a great injustice to the character. It bothered me a little when I first read it, but after going back later it really bothered me a lot.

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4. The Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout

Ok, probably another unpopular opinion. I recommend this series ALL. THE TIME. I’ve said again and again it’s one of the best YA series around. But the last time I re-read it…I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. I mean, I still like it and I’ll still recommend it, but with a little less fervor than before.

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5. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

This book really surprised me when I first read it by how much I loved it. However, when I went back to re-read it before the sequel came out, there were many parts of it that I wanted to skip through. It’s still a good book, but I think going from no expectations to really high expectations kind of ruined it for me. And I was pretty underwhelmed with The Rose and the Dagger which has soured me just a bit on the series as a whole.

Ok, so just 5 books this time. I need to work my way back into it. What books have you had a change in heart about over time? Do you agree with any of my choices?

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!

Reviewing the Unreviewed: June 2015

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I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads

Introductions (The Ghost Bird, #1)

Introductions (The Ghost Bird #1) by C. L. Stone. Read May 31-June 1. 3 stars.

This is probably more like 2.5 stars, but I’m rounding it up to 3 because I’m looking forward to the next book. I’ve read a lot of reviews that list this series as a “guilty pleasure” and I think it will be the same for me.

The book does just what it says, it introduces all the main characters – which include SEVEN guys. And one girl. The guys are super protective of Sang (yes, stupid name) right away – like Edward Cullen level protective. Like made me a little uncomfortable level protective/possessive. But still…I’m intrigued.

Sang kind of got on my nerves. She kind of fell for every single guy she met and goes on and on about the tingly feelings she gets whenever one of them touches her in any way – which is often. I feel bad for the abuse she faces at home (and her mother isn’t just agoraphobic as the synopsis states – she’s a pill addicted, paranoid, crazy person), but it almost feels like her relationship with the boys is a little abusive in that they tell her what to do, what not to do, insist on following her around, etc.

Overall, though, I’m interested to find out what exactly this Academy is about. While the writing wasn’t exactly great, it was still fast and kind of addictive.

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First Days (The Ghost Bird #2) by C. L. Stone. Read June 1-3. 2 stars.

Oh dear. This series is driving me crazy, but I still plan on reading the next book. It’s like a train wreck you can’t look away from.

Sang still drives me crazy. The majority of the book continued to focus on how she feels whenever one of the guys touches her. She’s also verrrry immature. There was a random student who “proposed” to her and she actually wondered whether or not he was serious.

The boys continue to be protective/possessive of her in an unhealthy way. She now asks them for permission to speak and apologizes for trivial things. Bella Swan looks like a feminist hero compared to Sang.

All this said, and I still want to know what happens next. That’s the only reason it’s getting 2 stars from me instead of 1. The final chapter finally gave some answers, though I’m still a little confused.

Maybe in Another Life

Maybe in  Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Read June 6-7. 3.5 stars.

A full review of this will be posted closer to it’s release date (July 7). For now I’ll just say that it’s an interesting twist on alternate universes that I found enjoyable.

Her Backup Boyfriend (Entangled Bliss)

Her Backup Boyfriend by Ashlee Mallory. Read June 7-8. 3.5 Stars.

I was looking for a good fake relationship story and this definitely fit the bill. It was cute and the characters were likable.

Magnolia

Magnolia by Kristi Cook. Read June 9-10. 3 stars.

Cute story with likable characters. At times it felt a little rushed and there was a lot of subjects that could have been more explored, but instead it only scratched the surface. Overall, though, a quick read that works for my contemporary kick.

Friends vs. Family (The Ghost Bird, #3)

Friends vs. Family (The Ghost Bird #3) by C. L. Stone. Read June 4-13. 2 stars.

So there was some good which is why it’s getting 2 stars instead of 1. Finally some stuff happened towards the end of this book. Some answers about Sang’s family are finally revealed. Her crazy mom is finally getting some help (for now). Sang finally realized that “normal friends” don’t act like how the boys act like her.

However, then there was the ridiculous. They play truth and dare and Sang’s dares are to sit on one boy’s lap and give another hug and get her teeth brushed by another…Then in the end they *SPOILER* vote on SHARING her.

This series is weird, guys. But it’s kind of an addicting read. I’m going to have to take a break for awhile, though to see if I still want to continue it.

Black-Eyed Susans

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin. Read June 13-15. 4 stars.

A full review of this will come out closer to it’s release date (August 11), but for now I’ll say, Heaberlin effortlessly weaves together past and present into one suspenseful tale of a woman trying to outrun her monster. Ignore the Gillian Flynn comparison. Julia Heaberlin’s Black-Eyed Susans is so good it doesn’t need it.

Discretion

Discretion (Anna Curtis #2) by Allison Leotta. Read June 20-21. 4 stars.

I am so loving this series! Discretion is everything a DC based crime/mystery should be. The city’s top escort is found murdered outside of a powerful Congressman’s office. Anna and her (secret) boyfriend Jack investigate, filled with surprising twists. Added to the team is FBI Agent Samantha.

I loved both the progression of the case and Anna and Jack’s relationship. I had a lot of issues with Jack being condescending to Anna and I’m glad some of those came to light. I’m really looking forward to the next book!

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RE-READS

A Good Killing (Anna Curtis, #4)

A Good Killing (Anna Curtis #4) by Allison Leotta. Since I read this book before reading the beginning of the series, I wanted to re-read it to see what I thought once I read books 1-3. I still love it and knowing the background added some more emotional depth for me.

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Do not ask me what possessed me to pick this book up again. I do credit it for getting me back into reading several years ago, but the last time I tried to re-read the series I just couldn’t make it through. I feel like enough time has gone by that I can look at it more objectively. I don’t think it deserves all the hate it gets. Sure it’s ridiculous and not brilliantly written and we can all talk about the damaging relationship Edward and Bella have, but this book is really no more ridiculous than most YA books out there today, it’s just been much more hyped and has terrible movies.

The Fill-In Boyfriend

The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West. I won this in a giveaway and it came right after I finished reading a series and seemed just the ticket to help me transition out of my book hangover. So cute.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan. No other books were sounding good to me, so I decided to start re-reading this series. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read the first two books in this series, but I only read the third book once and never reviewed it, so I think I’m going to try and review it after it’s re-read.

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BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

The Other Typist

The Other Typist by Susanne Rindell. This was recommended to me and I thought it looked interesting, but I just could not get into it. There’s supposed to be a good twisty ending, though, so I don’t want to write it off completely in case I feel like trying it again later.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Classic Books

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is Top Ten Favorite Classic Books (however you define classic) or Top Ten Classics I Want To Read (or spin it some other way…”classics” in a specific genre?)

I’ve decided to twist it a bit with FUTURE YA CLASSICS – YA books that will be referred to in the future for sparking the popularity of Young Adult literature today.

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Come on, you’ve all read it. Whether you loved it or hated it (or loved it until you hated it), it was the beginning of the YA revolution in pop culture. It was actually this book that got me back into reading several years ago, after years or not reading more than a book (or less) a year.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This series has taken the world by storm. My whole family (including my parents in their sixties and my brother in his twenties) has read and loved this series. (Fun fact: my sister also works on the Jabberjays.net fansite.) With themes of family, loyalty, courage, corruption, and justice it’s a timeless read.

The Fault in Our Stars

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This generation’s star-crossed lovers.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

4. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. A new twist on already classic fairytales.

Eleanor & Park

5. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. This beautifully written provocative story has already faced controversy and book banning. It’s tale of young love amidst the hardships of life is certain to live on for many generations.

That’s all I got for now! My Top Tens are Top fivess lately, but that’s ok. What books do you think should be added to this list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Best/Worst Series Enders

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is the Best/Worst Series Enders. I was going to split this in half, but all the series enders that stood out to me were bad ones, so I decided to go with all Worst Series Enders. And there’s only 9.

The Worst:

Requiem (Delirium, #3)
1. Requiem – the end to the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)

2. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – the end to the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson.

Monsters (Ashes Trilogy, #3)

3. Monsters – the end to the Ashes trilogy by Ilsa Bick

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6)

4. Last Sacrifice – the end to the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

The Savage Grace (The Dark Divine, #3)

5. The Savage Grace – the end to the Dark Divine series by Bree Despain

Rapture (Fallen, #4)

6. Rapture – the end of the Fallen series by Lauren Kate

Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4)

7. Breaking Dawn – the end to the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.

As Sure as the Dawn (Mark of the Lion, #3)

8. As Sure as the Dawn – the end to the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers

Reached (Matched, #3)

9. Reached – the end to the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie