Top 5 Tuesday: Popular Books I Haven’t Read

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Bionic Book Worm. This week’s topic is: Top 5 Popular Books I Haven’t Read.

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Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I know everyone in the world loves this, but I really don’t think I’ll ever read it. There is honestly nothing about it that looks interesting to me. Plus, I DNF-ed that Evelyn Hugo book that everyone loved, so I feel like this would be a similar situation.

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The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Another series that really just didn’t sound interesting to me. I might still try it some day, but if I haven’t read it yet, I doubt I ever will.

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It by Stephen King. Actually, I have never read a Stephen King book. I’m not really into Horror and all of his books look far too long.

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The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I’ve seen nothing but wonderful reviews on this, but I tried it once and couldn’t get into it at all.

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. I know everyone loves this, too, but I strongly reject the romanticism of prostitution.

What popular books have you not read?

Blogger Stats Book Tag

I saw this tag awhile back over at Cover to Cover (go check her out!) and thought it looked fun. Feel free to tag yourself if you’d like.

The last three books you read?

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The Party by Robyn Harding, Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, Always My Girl by Samantha Chase

Spoilers or spoiler free?

I usually try to write my reviews spoiler free, but sometimes I can’t help myself and need to talk about something specific and spoilery. I always put up a spoiler warning, though. When it comes to reading other people’s reviews I’m fine with spoilers as long as there’s a warning. There are some books I go looking for spoilers for and others that I don’t want to know anything about.

How long have you been book blogging?

Almost 4 years. Crazy!

A book you read in one sitting?

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This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

Your favorite genre?

This year has been mostly mysteries and suspense. I’m finally getting back into contemporaries, though, too.

Preferred book size? (novella, tome, etc)

I read most books on my Nook and the page count is always way off from what Good Reads says. But in Nook world, I would say I like around 250-350 pages.

Amount of books on your TBR?

473.

A book you have DNF’d?

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I hated the main character and just couldn’t get into the story at all.

Recent awards or milestones?

Nothing I can really think of.

Best interaction with an author you enjoy?

Meeting Leigh Bardugo was pretty cool.

Average number of books you read per month?

Around 10 or so

Top three publishers?

I don’t really have favorite publishers. I just read what looks interesting.

Social media sites your blog uses?

Twitter.

Average amount of time you spend on networking?

Um, about zero. I know, I suck.

Most comfortable blogging position?

I do all my blogging while sitting on my couch.

Music or quiet when writing reviews?

Tv on in background, but if I’m having trouble writing one I need quiet.

Can you sum up your blogging style in 5 words?

When I Feel Like It.

A blog you looked up to starting out?

There isn’t really one in particular. I didn’t really look at blogs before I started mine. But probably all the ones I followed in the beginning helped shape mine.

The best book you have reviewed so far?

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So far this year the best ones have been Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton and Making Faces by Amy Harmon.

Best piece of blogging advice?

Don’t force content. I know everyone says you should post every day, but if you’re not feeling it or just throwing something together so you have a post, it shows. Some people can come up with great stuff and post every day and that’s great for them. But I started having much more fun with my blog when I stopped trying to keep up.

Reviewing the Unreviewed: April 2017

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.

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The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond. Read April 1-2. 4 Stars.

I really enjoyed The Marriage Pact. Though it started out a little slow for me and did get bogged down in the details a bit, for the most part it was well-paced and seriously creepy. I had fallen into a book slump before I started this and it definitely pulled me out. This is my first Michelle Richmond book and I’ll definitely be reading more from her. Full review to come.

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I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh.  Read April 8-10. 3 Stars.

After all the glowing reviews and everyone saying this book was better than Mackintosh’s I See You (which I read first and really enjoyed), I had very high expectations going into this. Unfortunately, they weren’t quite met. Part One of this book was sooooo slow. If it wasn’t for all the good reviews, I may have given up on it. I didn’t really care for Jenna’s POV until closer to the end of Part One and while I liked Ray’s POV, he started to really make me angry. However, it definitely got more interesting in Part Two. I liked the reveal right before Part Two. I knew a twist was coming and I had a few guesses and one of my them was about half right. I knew there was another twist coming and I did figure it out before the reveal, but that’s ok. Overall this was a good book, but it did not live up to my expectations.

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Marrying His Best Friend (The McKinnon Brothers #3) by Jennifer Gracen. Read April 9-11. 3 Stars.

A very cute Friends-to-More/Marriage of Convenience story. I loved, loved Aiden. He was so sweet. This was well on it’s way to being a 4 star read for me, but then Maura started acting like an idiot and I couldn’t stand her for awhile so it definitely brought my overall feelings about the book down. It was still, cute, though. This was a free Nookbook (and is probably on Kindle too?) and I’m glad I actually read it instead of letting it sit for years untouched on my Nook, like most other free downloads do.

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The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski. Read April 13-14. 3 Stars.

I reject the premise of this book. Emma basically decides to catfish Eli with the end goal being Eli asking her out. Ummm, ok. There was also a kind of random love triangle thrown in towards the end of the book that was kind of pointless. All of Eli and Emma’s friends existed for the sole purpose of advancing the Eli/Emma relationship. Despite all those problems, though, there were still several cute moments and I did like Emma and Eli together once they stopped being stupid. I liked their friendship, as well. I appreciated that this was a pretty clean YA Contemporary. Overall, this was a quick, easy read that provided the distraction I was looking for.

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Driven to Date (Better Date than Never #7) by Susan Hatler. Read April 15. 3 Stars.

I’ve had this book on my Nook forever and finally decided to read it today when nothing else was working for me. It was a workplace romance with a bit of a mix of fake-relationship, insta-love, and enemies-to-lovers. It was short and sweet with likable characters and I’ll be reading some of the other books from this series that have also been sitting on my Nook for awhile.

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Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. Read April 16-17. 3.5 Stars.

It took me a little while to get into this. I didn’t really care for either Juliet or Declan in the beginning. I’m an avoidant people pleaser, so I can’t really relate to angry, confrontational characters. However, as the story went on I became more invested in the characters and the story. The chapters alternate between Declan and Juliet’s POVs and I have to say that I enjoyed Declan’s chapters a lot more. While I liked the relationship between Declan and Juliet, it was the friendship between Declan and Rev that really made this book for me. I loved their interactions and how supportive of each other they were. I also really liked Frank, Declan’s “supervisor”, and a couple of the teachers. This was not as emotional as I was expecting it to be (that isn’t really a bad thing, though). Overall, a good book, but not my favorite of Kemmerer’s.

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The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham. Listened to April 19-24. 4 Stars.

I listened to this on audio and even though the book would be good on it’s own, Kristen Bell’s narration just made it amazing. I loved the show and listening to this book was almost like watching an episode. I thought the mystery was well done and it definitely kept me guessing. A must-read (or listen) for all Veronica Mars fans.

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Arrowood by Laura McHugh. Read April 25-27. 2.5 Stars.

I feel a little bad for rating this under 3 stars because the writing wasn’t bad (though much too descriptive for me), but when I finished the book my first thought was, “That was a waste of time.” The chapters were long and the pace was slow and it took well over half way through for me to really get interested in the story. The solution to the mystery wasn’t really a surprise at all and I thought the reveal wasn’t very well done. The characters could have used a little more development, but I didn’t mind Arden and I liked Josh. If you’re really into description and some light history you would probably enjoy this more than I did, but if you’re looking for a good mystery or suspense I would say to look somewhere else.

****************RE-READ****************

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Breaking Silence (Kate Burkholder #3) by Linda Castillo. I listened to most of this on audio on the drive home from vacation and I couldn’t remember all the details of the conclusion, so I had to read the rest as soon as I could. This was a good mystery. I really like this series.

****************BACK ON THE TBR****************

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Nemesis by Brendan Reichs. I got almost half way through this and just don’t care about it. It might just be my mood, though, so I’m putting it back on the TBR to read another day.

****************DNF****************

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. DNF at 38%. When I first saw this book I didn’t think it looked like my cup of tea. But then I saw it was Taylor Jenkins Reid and I thought, “yes, please.” Sadly, I should’ve gone with my first instinct. I pretty much hated Evelyn – both in the present and the past. I felt a little sorry for her as a young girl, but then she grew up into an awful person who did awful things and was not the least bit sorry about it. Now, I can read and enjoy books that have unlikable characters. But I either have to love to hate them or they have to have some type of redeeming quality and I felt like both of those aspects were missing here. I also didn’t really find Monique developed enough to care about one way or the other, but by the time I stopped reading I was growing to dislike her a bit. I’m sure there will be many people who like this book, but unfortunately I’m not one of them.

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The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts. DNF at 12%. I have absolutely no patience whatsoever for Vivian.

Birthstone as Books Book Tag

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I saw this tag over at Bookish Things and Tea and thought it looked like a fun one. Feel free to tag yourself if you’d like.

GARNET (JANUARY)- Associated with warding off negative forces and dark energies, name a book with the darkest/evilest character you can think of.

Most of the books I think of are YA fantasy/paranormal books, but the villains almost always have some type of redeeming quality/tragic backstory that makes us feel sorry for them. I can’t think of one that’s just straight up evil. So instead I’m going to go with adult mystery and go with about any killer/bad guy in a Karin Slaughter book. Her books usually have some really dark material and the things the bad guy does often makes me sick to my stomach.

AMETHYST (FEBRUARY)- Purple is associated with royalty, name a book with regal qualities…You can base your choice on characters or choose the king (or queen) of all books.

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I think I’ll take this one literally and go with The Royal We.

AQUAMARINE (MARCH)- Washed out, name a ‘wishy washy’ character, a character who is not strong or is a follower.

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Shay from An Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter. When it came to the relationship with Travis she is always one step forward, three steps back. It drove me crazy.

DIAMOND (APRIL)- A diamond in the rough, name a book that you loved but is not well known.

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I’m going to go with the whole Anna Curtis series by Allison Leotta. I do not see nearly enough of her and she is amazing!

EMERALD (MAY)- Said to balance energy, name two characters who balance each other well.

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I’m going to go with McKenzie’s answer and go with Shazi and Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn series. The strongest thing for me in the series was their relationship and I felt like they’re one of the few YA couples that really are a pretty evenly matched team.

PEARL (JUNE)- Associated with loyalty, name a character who is loyal to the end.

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Kai from The Lunar Chronicles. Even when things looked really bad for Cinder, he was always trying to look out for her.

RUBY (JULY)- Blood red, name a book that made your blood boil, one that made you angry.

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The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter. Lucy was selfish and hypocritical and it took until the very end of the book for her to admit to any blame whatsoever.

PERIDOT (AUGUST)- It pales in comparison to other gems, name a supporting character who you like better than the main character.

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Bianca and Leo from The Art of Lainey. I would have much rather read a book about them than about Lainey and Micah.

SAPPHIRE (SEPTEMBER)- Blue like the ocean which is calming, name a book that had a calming affect on you.

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P.S. I Like You by Kasie West. Her books just make me so happy,

OPAL (OCTOBER)- Iridescent, name an iridescent book; this can be with a beautiful cover (shiny, colorful) or you can base it off a character (quirky? unique?).

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This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills. I will never stop hyping this book.

TOPAZ (NOVEMBER)- Associated with resilience, name a book with a character who rises to the top in a time of adversity.

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Emma from One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid. She has so much to deal with and she works her way through it.

BLUE ZIRCON (DECEMBER)- Associated with friendship, name a book with a friendship you want to be a part of.

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The crew from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I want to pull off a heist with these guys.

Olympic Book Tag

Olympic Book Tag

I saw this tag over on Brandie is a Book Junkie and since I am a little obsessed with the Olympics, I knew I had to do it.

01 - Olympics

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This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills. I read this book in one sitting.

02 - Olympics

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My One and Only by Kristan Higgins.

03 - Olympics

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One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid. There are not many books that can pull off a good love triangle, but this one definitely does.

04- Olympics

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Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan. This is a re-telling and I think maybe I should’ve read the source material to really appreciate it.

05 - Olympics

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Truly Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggot. I don’t actually remember if this takes place in the summer, but it’s definitely a beach read, so I’m counting it.

06 - Olympics

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Golden Son by Pierce Brown. And I loved every second of it!

07 - Olympics

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown.

08 - Olympics

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The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

09 - Olympics

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The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen. Not a lot of plot, but loads of character development.

10 - Olympics

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The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin. I read so, so many of these books as a kid.

11 - Olympics

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White Cat by Holly Black. This isn’t necessarily about animals, but the white “cat” plays an important role.

12 - Olympics

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The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter. While I liked many other books by this author, this one just drove me completely insane.

13 - Olympics

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I just loved the group of friends in this series.

14 - Olympics

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Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Ok, this one isn’t actually about the Olympics, but it does have a side character that’s an ice skater trying to get into the Olympics.

Review: One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick and a “Best Book of the Summer” by Glamour and USA TODAY—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

I have really been looking forward to this book and I am so happy that I ended up enjoying it as much as I did.

While most stories that involve love triangles make me annoyed and disappointed, this was definitely a different twist on the concept and it worked really well. Emma married her high school sweetheart, Jesse, and they were living an amazing life together when he went missing and is presumed dead. A couple years later she begins dating someone new, Sam (also an old high school friend), and they become engaged. Then Jesse comes back. Emma finds herself torn between the two loves of her life.

Though who Emma ends up with is the focus of the plot, it is about more than just that, which is why this book worked for me. It’s about Emma and how she’s changed. We see her from being a freshman in high school all the way into her thirties. Who she was when she was young, with Jesse, is a lot different than who she has grown up to be, with Sam. It’s not as simple as choosing between men, but choosing what she wants her life to be – living in California and traveling the world with few responsibilities or being near family and working in the very store she always wanted to escape, but now loves.

While I did like both Sam and Jesse, I found myself being a little more Team Sam. But then we spent more time with Jesse and I thought maybe that would be ok. Although I often got frustrated with Emma for being loving and romantic with both of them at pretty much the same time, I understood her turmoil. I felt her confusion and her heartbreak and her love and that’s what made this such a great read.

I really like Reid’s writing style and how the timeline played out. The characters were really well-developed and I felt a connection to all of them, even the minor characters. The one thing I didn’t really like was that the flow of the story was often disrupted with Emma having some kind of deep or profound thought about love. Instead of just letting the story stand on it’s own, it felt like she tried a little too hard to make sure the reader was getting The Message. Sometimes it was fine, but more often than not I found it a little out of place and it took my attention away from the story.

Overall, I did really like One True Loves. It was emotional and funny and had some wonderfully well-developed characters. This is definitely one of the very few books that can make a love triangle work (and I was happy with the conclusion of it). I definitely recommend it to Contemporary/Romance/Women’s Fiction fans.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

4 stars

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

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I saw Deanna over at A Novel Glimpse do this tag and thought it seemed better than the mid-year post I was thinking about doing, so I decided to tag myself for it.

Best Book You’ve Read Yet in 2016.

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Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown.

I think the 2nd book in this series is my favorite because it’s here that it separates itself from The Hunger Games comparisons, it’s action-packed (which I normally am not a huge fan of, but LOVED it here), had a billion surprises and twists throughout, and also really brought the emotion. This book is probably the closest I’ve ever gotten to rating a book 5 stars on my blog.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2016.

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Red Glove (Curse Workers #2) by Holly Black.

Ok, so obviously Golden Son would be this answer, too, since it’s a sequel and it’s my favorite…but Red Glove was also an exceptional sequel. I thought it was much better than the first book and I really enjoyed it.

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To.

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The Power (Titan #2) by Jennifer L Armentrout (published 2/23/16)

Seth is one of my favorite JLA characters and I was really looking forward to this…but I just haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ve been waiting for it to come to the library, but it hasn’t yet.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year.

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Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows was one of my top three books of 2015 and I’m soooo excited fort the sequel. I love the characters so much and can’t wait to see what happens. You can read a sneak peak of it here!

Biggest Disappointment.

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Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

After completely falling in love with Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy series, I was so looking forward to reading more from her, but I found myself pretty disappointed with this book. The quick-witted humor and banter that I had come to expect from Brennan was missing. Perhaps I would have liked this better if I had read A Tale of Two Cities?

Biggest Surprise.

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The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Despite having this on my TBR for a long time, I wasn’t really expecting anything from it, but I really, really enjoyed it! While it does have some cheesy moments, it had excellent character development and a whole lot more emotional depth than I was expecting.

Favorite New Author.

Pierce Brown

I am completely blown away by Pierce Brown’s writing. Despite not really being a fan of sci-fi or action, his Red Rising series has become one of my favorite series of all time. I will read anything this man ever writes. And you should, too.

Newest Fictional Crush.

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Somebody Nobody (and his real life self) in Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

I won’t tell you the character’s actual name because it’s a spoiler (even though you can probably guess who it is within the first couple chapters), but I love his quick wit and his vulnerability, and that he’s always there for Jessie (even if he’s not physically there for much of it)

Newest Favorite Character.

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Cassel from the Curse Workers series.

He’s smart, funny, and so sarcastic. He’s just a fun, cool character to read about.

Book That Made You Cry.

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Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

I don’t think the average person will cry at this, but I identified SO MUCH with the main character and so many of her struggles. I honestly think I have some undiagnosed OCD, which just makes so much more sense of my life.

Book That Made You Happy.

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Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

This is a super cute Pride and Prejudice re-telling. Nothing spectacular, but it was fun to read.

Favorite Book to Film Adaptation.

The only ones I can think of that I’ve watched this year are Mockingjay Part 2, which was my least favorite one in the series, unfortunately, and The Convenient Groom (on Hallmark) which was so different than the book that I had a hard time enjoying it.

Favorite Post You Have Done This Year.

This year has not been a great blogging year for me so far, but I have managed a couple of original posts

Love Stinks: Toxic and Unbearable Relationships in Fiction

This Book is Making me Nervous – Novels that Feature Characters with Anxiety Disorder

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year.

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Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown

Because I’m using the purchase of books as weight loss rewards, I’ve only bought a handful so far this year and this has been the best (both the cover and what’s on the inside)

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder #8) by Linda Castillo

The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8) by Karin Slaughter

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Feel free to tag yourself if you’d like to participate

Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Favorite Authors

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015.

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1) Emma Mills – First & Then

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2) Renee Ahdieh – The Wrath & The Dawn

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3) Julia Heaberlin – Black-Eyed Susans

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4) Allison Leotta – The Anna Curtis series

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5) Rebecca Sherm – Unbecoming

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6) Nicole Baart – The Beautiful Daughters

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7) M.J. Alridge – Eeny Meeny

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8) Taylor Jenkins Reid – Maybe in Another Life

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9) Barry Lyga – I Hunt Killers

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10) Ashlee Mallory – Her Backup Boyfriend

What new authors have you discovered this year?

Review: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

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

Maybe in Another Life will be available July 7, 2015

I’ve read a couple of multiple universe stories before and I feel like this one was unique. While the other books I’ve read always had the “real” universe and the “other” universe I didn’t feel like this book had that. Maybe in Another Life focuses more on the possible journeys than on which path is “right”.

Hannah Martin’s life is a bit of a wreck. She is moving (again), has no job, no car, barely any money, and has just broken up with her boyfriend – who she found out was married. She moves back to Los Angeles to stay with her best friend, Gabby, and her husband. On her first night out she sees her high school boyfriend, Ethan, who she’s never really gotten over. As the night progresses she’s given the choice of taking things slow with Ethan and going home with Gabby or staying out and letting Ethan take her home. From there the chapters alternate between what would happen next in each possible “universe”.

It’s hard to discuss what happens in each scenario without revealing some major spoilers. I will say that I thought the synopsis indicated that Ethan was her soul mate no matter the universe, but the majority of one scenario includes another possible “soul mate”, Henry (I’m TOTALLY Team Henry!) There are a lot of good and bad things that happen in each scenario and each leads to similar conclusions, though some of the major players are different.

While reading, it seemed to me that one scenario was the right choice and the other was the wrong choice. Even though some big, horrible things happened in the right one, it just always felt like the best one to me. I liked the development with her family, her friends, and her love interest in one much more than the other one. Except for the last couple of chapters when I started to warm up to the other universe, as well.

I liked that there were similar things that happened in each universe. Like in one chapter there was an example of a pain scale of 1-10 and Hannah’s answer was 6. In the next chapter there was a scale of embarrassment where she answered 6. There were a couple things like that peppered throughout the story, though they were more prevalent at the beginning and the end.

While I didn’t really like Hannah very much at first, she grew on me as the story went on. I felt like her character really developed and grew throughout and finally started making smarter choices. I also really liked her best friend, Gabby. I almost felt like the idea of soul mates wasn’t necessarily about a guy, but about friendship. In each universe Hannah and Gabby are absolutely there for each other and I loved it.

Overall, I did enjoy Maybe in Another Life. I like the idea of multiple universes and I think this book handled it better than others have. One big thing that bothered me, though, is that it was not a definitive ending. I didn’t feel like there was a point where we find out which decision Hannah picked and how she ended up (though after reading some other reviews, others people felt like one ending was suggested as THE ending, but I didn’t get that). Since there was so much discussed about fate and how things happen how they’re supposed to happen, I felt that not having an obvious ending, but two possible different scenarios wasn’t very impactful and is the reason I’m giving this less than 4 stars. Still, if you enjoy multiple storylines/universes and cotemporaries, you would probably enjoy this.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

3.5 stars

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.