Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Underrated Books

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is: Favorite Underrated Books–Give some love to those books that aren’t as widely talked about. Those hidden gems. Those books that maybe used to be popular but people have forgotten about and they still deserve some love.     

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1. My newest obsession is the Lacey Flint series by S.J. Bolton (aka Sharon Bolton) and I never even heard of it until very recently. More people need to read this – especially if you’re a fan of the mystery/suspense genre.

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2. The Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan. If you like YA, great banter, cute (yet sometimes frustrating) romance, and a little bit of magic – this book series is for you! Definitely one of my favorite series I wish more people would read.

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3. The Anna Curtis series by Allison Leotta. Another great mystery/suspense series that I don’t see enough people reading.

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4. The Curse Workers series by Holly Black. Another great magical YA series. If for no other reason, read this series for the treasure that is charming, sarcastic Cassel.

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5. The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock. It’s been so long since I read this (and it was before the blog and before I started writing any type of review on Good Reads) that I don’t remember a lot of details, but I remember being obsessed with this book. Great character development, some great (and not so great) romances, and the heartbreak of war.

What underrated books do you wish more people read? Have you read any of mine? And if you haven’t – You should!

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Pokémon Go Book Tag

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I was tagged by Deanna over at A Novel Glimpse (check her out, she’s awesome!). I’ve never played Pokémon or Pokémon Go (I don’t really get it, to be honest), but I love book tags!


Pokemon-Tag-01Starters

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I’m going to go with The Baby-Sitters Club books by Ann M. Martin.

Pokemon-Tag02Pikachu

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Persuasion by Jane Austen. Every time I re-read this I love it just as much. The Letter!.

Pokemon-Tag-03-Zubat

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. While I did see this everywhere, it’s not why I lost interest. I just didn’t find it to be an interesting book. Even though I was so excited to get an eArc of it, I DNF-ed it.

Pokemon-Tag-04-Ditto

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Wife for the Weekend by Ophelia London. I absolutely love fake relationship stories and this is my favorite one I’ve read this year.

Pokemon-Tag-05-Snorlax

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The Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin. I was just talking to someone at work about them and how she’s re-reading them and loves them, but the size of it just intimidates me so much!

Pokemon-Tag06-Gengar

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Golden Son by Pierce Brown. What is a book tag without a Red Rising mention? I could not stop thinking about this book when I was reading it (or after I finished).

Pokemon-Tag07-NidokingQueen

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I’m going to go with Kami and Jared from The Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan. I love them soooo much!

Pokemon-Tag08-Rapidash

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I read Paper Princess by Erin Watt in a day…and thought it was a little too “fire-hot” for YA…

Pokemon-Tag09-Eevee

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We are getting a Red Rising spin-off series AND a pre-quell comic book!!!

Pokemon-Tag14-Magikarp

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The Curse Workers series by Holly Black. Even though the first book in the series didn’t quite live up to the hype, I fell in love with the series in the second book.

Pokemon-Tag12-Legendary

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The Dreamland series by E.J. Mellow. I’ve seen soooo many glowing reviews on it. I want to go to there.

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I would love to have a first edition of a Jane Austen book!

Pokemon-Tag10-Egg

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The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee is getting a lot of hype lately.

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Pierce Brown. I will read anything he ever writes. This Adventure Ends also convinced me to make Emma Mills an auto-buy.

Pokemon-Tag13-Server-Down

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo!!! This month!!!

Bookish Book Lover Tag

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I saw this over on A Novel Glimpse (you should check out her blog, btw) awhile back and thought it looked like a fun tag, so I’m stealing it 🙂

What book are you currently reading?

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I’m currently not reading anything, but my next read will either be This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills, which I just got approved from NetGalley for (I’m so excited!) or The Problem with Forever by JLA, which I just got from the library (finally!)

What’s the last book you finished?

Paper Princess by Erin Watt. This is definitely not the type of book I usually like, but it was a super addicting read. I’m kind of eager to read the next book (out later this month). Though this is a YA book, I WOULD NOT recommend it for YA readers. It reads way more adult.

Favourite book you read this year?

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Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown. The whole Red Rising trilogy is amazing, but this one is my favorite of the three.

What genre have you read most this year?

Contemporary

What genre have you read least this year?

Historical Fiction

What genre do you want to read more of?

Mystery/Suspense. It’s one of my favorite genres, but I haven’t read a ton of it this year yet.

How many books have you read this year, and what’s your goal?

My goal is 75 and I’ve read 69. I should probably up my goal.

What’s the last book you bought?

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Imposter by Susanne Winnacker and Messy by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. I was having a bad day at work and walked down to the Dollar Tree that’s in my work plaza for a break and picked these books up on a total whim. Imposter was pretty decent (though I later found out the author decided not to finish the series, so that kind of pissed me off). I haven’t read Messy yet, but I after I bought it I realized it’s by the same authors as The Royal We, so I have high hopes for it.

What book are you saving up to buy next?

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Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder #8) by Linda Castillo. I’m planning on seeing her in a couple weeks at one of my local libraries and usually buy the book there so I can get it signed.

How many books did you check out last library visit?

I use the e-library, so I usually just get one at time – whenever my hold on a book comes in

What’s a book you can’t wait to read?

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I am dying for Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

What’s a series you’d recommend to everyone?

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I think that The Hunger Games, though kind of old news these days, has mass appeal to all ages – every single person in my family has read this series and enjoyed it (that includes a brother in his 20s and dad in his 60s). For YA/Fantasy/Paranormal enthusiasts, I think everyone needs to read The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan. Great characters and witty writing.

Who’s an author you’re hoping writes more?

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Can Erin Morgenstern PLEASE write another book? The Night Circus is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read and I just need more from her!

A few books your heart adores?

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Unspoken by Sarah Reese Brennan

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

What series’ coming conclusion makes you sad?

I’m sad that Six of Crows is only a duology.

What books are on your wish-list?

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

Broken Prince by Erin Watt

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Reviewing the Unreviewed: March 2016

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 Crown and the Arrow (The Wrath and the Dawn 0.5) by Renee Ahdieh. Read March 3. 3 Stars.

This works as a nice deleted scene to The Wrath and the Dawn. I wish it was a little longer, though.

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Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik. Read March 6. 3.5 Stars

A pretty decent Pride and Prejudice re-telling with likable main characters. Super cute and a quick read.

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Chasing Jane by Noelle Adams. Read March 5-6. 3 Stars.

A cute, fast, romantic read. I liked the premise of the Jane Austen/Jane Eyre tour of England and wish the book would’ve been long enough to really explore that, though.

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Hidden Bodies (You #2) by Caroline Kepnes. Read March 3-6. 4 stars.

It’s probably wrong how much I love Joe. He is one crazy, messed up, scary guy. But I couldn’t stop rooting for him. Kepnes writes him in such a way that I am SO in his head that his craziness almost makes sense. I thought the book was a little too drawn out and the ending was left a little too open to be completely satisfying, but it was overall a compulsively readable, enjoyable book.

Last First Kiss (Brightwater, #1)

Last First Kiss (Brightwater #1) by Lila Riley. Read March 9-11. 3 Stars.

This was a pretty average romance, but mostly enjoyable. I liked Sawyer. He was very sweet. Occasionally I thought he was a little TOO into Annie too fast (a couple times I almost found him creepy), but overall he was likable.

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The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright. Read March 17-19. 3 Stars.

A solid mix of adorable and cheesy. It’s a shame the synopsis basically gives everything away, though (not the author’s fault, though). We know Edmund is a prince so it’s not as fun as it should’ve been waiting for Evie to figure it out. We know who Evie’s mother was well before the 100+ pages it took for Evie to confirm it.

It’s also a bit of a mix of Princess Diaries and Anna and the French Kiss, but doesn’t quite live up to either. (Evie even says once, “I’d felt like I was in a bad remake of The Princess Diaries.”) The “quest” letters from her mother didn’t play as big a role as I thought it would.

Overall, though, it was pretty cute. I liked Evie, though she did have some moments where she “stuck up for herself” which just made her sound bratty and immature. And Edmund was SO SWEET. I just loved him. He did a few dumb things, of course, but he’s definitely book boyfriend material.

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Married ’til Monday (Chapel Springs #4) by Denise Hunter. Read March 20-21. 4 Stars.

I really enjoyed this book. My hold came in at the library and I wasn’t sure if I was in the mood to read it, but decided to give it a try and couldn’t put it down. I really liked the characters, Ryan especially. I liked that it involved two of my favorite romance tropes: The Fake Relationship and The Second-Chance Romance. I liked that Abby finally realized she had some issues and worked on them instead of just jumping back into a relationship and let a guy “fix” her. I thought it did run just a tad long, though. Overall, I really liked it and I’ll be going back to read the first books in the series.

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Barefoot Summer (Chapel Springs #1) by Denise Hunter. Read March 26-27. 3 stars.

This book brought me out of a book slump, but it ended up being just ok for me. I liked it to start with, but I thought it just dragged on a little too long. A lot of repetition. And this is the first book in a series and I’ve already read the last book in the series and there are some continuity issues with the character who the last book focuses on which annoyed me a little.
Overall, though, it was a sweet romance with likable characters and a good message woven in.

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RE-READS

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The Lynburn Legacy: Unspoken, Untold, and Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan. I completely adore this series and I love it just as much every time I read it. I really thought I was finally going to get a review written for Unmade, but it still didn’t happen. Maybe next time.

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh. I wanted to re-read this before the next book comes out. I enjoyed it, but I found myself skimming parts of it, too.

OTP Book Tag

I saw this over on Books for Thought  (go check her out!) and thought it looked fun. OTP, for those that don’t know = One True Pair.

1. An a unpopular OTP that you ship

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Clary & Simon from The Mortal Instruments series. I felt bad for Simon that Clary led him on for so long. At the end of the day, though, I think Simon is too good for Clary, so I guess I don’t ship it all that much. But I couldn’t think of anything else.

2. An OTP that you didn’t ship but now you do

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Warner and Juliette from the Shatter Me series. The first book was obviously Adam Forever, but book two totally changed that.

3. Your most hated OTP

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Hayley and Bryce from Blackmail Boyfriend. Hayley is a complete psycho and needs therapy, not a boyfriend.

4. An OTP that took way too long to get together

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Jennifer and Anthony from The Last Letter from your Lover. It took decades.

5. Your favourite non-canon OTP

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Cricket and Anna from the Anna and the French Kiss series. Cricket is my favorite and he deserves much better than Lola. And while I do like Anna and St. Claire together (once he finally dumped his girlfriend), I always thought she and Cricket would work.

6. Your favourite BROTP

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The Raven Boys, hands down.

7. An OTP you adored in the books but not as much in the movies or tv adaptation

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Sookie and Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse Series/True Blood. They were a major thing for many of the books, but barely a thing in the show (though I never saw the last two or three seasons of the show).

8. A popular OTP that no matter how hard you tried you just can’t ship it

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Cole and Ali from The White Rabbit Chronicles. I just can’t even. I’m on the third book right now and every part I read that’s about their relationship makes me want to throw my Nook. I don’t think I’m going to be able to finish this series (so if anyone wants to give me a spoiler on how it all ends, I’m all ears!)

9. Your favourite LGBT + OTP

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Simon and Baz from Carry On.

10. Your all time favourite OTP

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Kami and Jared from The Lynbun Legacy series

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Cinder and Kai from The Lunar Chronicles

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!

Reviewing the Unreviewed: July 2015

Stephanies Book Reviews Header

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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After the Storm (Kate Burkholder #7) by Linda Castillo. Read July 14-17. 3.5 stars.

I enjoy this series and did enjoy this book, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite of the group. The main mystery felt pretty predictable and didn’t really contain any surprises (except for *SPOILER* a guy who we’ve only seen in a wheelchair, doesn’t actually need it. I still don’t understand what the purpose of that was. Why would he need to fake a stroke or whatever? For thirty years no one suspected him of anything *END OF SPOILER*). There were some exciting scenes with Kate and an unknown shooter that kept the book interesting, though.

On the personal relationship front, I was kind of annoyed at the new development. Tomasetti and Kate both learn something about themselves that bode well for the future, though, so I guess it’s ok. Tomasetti had a few moments where he got to be part of the investigation(s), but mostly his role was just Kate’s boyfriend – which isn’t a bad role, but I miss seeing him be more front and center.

Overall, After the Storm, is a good installment to the Kate Burkholder series and I look forward to the next one.

The First Wife

The First Wife by Erica Spindler. Read July 18-19. 3 stars.

So this is basically a Lifetime movie. And like most Lifetime movies, I felt oddly compelled to finish it, no matter how corny things are along the way. The writing left a lot to be desired, the characters weren’t really ones I connected with or rooted for. The resolution of the mystery seemed so blatantly obvious that I knew it couldn’t be right and I wanted to find out the twist. Though a lot of the book was drawn out and repetitive, it did do a good job of keeping me guessing. I suspected nearly everybody at one point or another and there was a couple of twists that surprised me.

I generally enjoyed the book, though I won’t be running out to read anything else by this author in the near future. I think fans of Lifetime mysteries would enjoy it.

Ink (Paper Gods, #1)

Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun. Read July 25-26. 3 stars.

I’m not sure if this would have been a book I tried if I hadn’t won it in a giveaway, so I’m glad that I did!

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book set in Japan before, so the setting was definitely interesting. I enjoyed learning a little bit about the culture. One thing that always bugs me about multi-cultural books is when they say things in a different language and they don’t explain what it is. I was looking up a bunch of terms as I was reading and it wasn’t until I was almost done (I was actually counting the remaining pages last night so I could decide between going to bed or finishing the book)when I discovered there was a glossary in the back of the book! While I would rather terms be explained in context (and to be fair, some of them were), I definitely appreciate having a glossary.

I’m also really glad that I got to have an actual hard copy of this book. There’s illustrations throughout (and it’s always iffy how they turn out in my simple e-reader) and even a couple of instances where there were some doodles on the side of several pages that end up being like a flip book animation, which was cool.

The story itself was enjoyable. I thought that the explanation of the Kami could have been a little better done, as I was left a little confused through most of the book. The characters were likable and the two main characters, Katie and Tomohiro, were well developed. I knew Jun was going to play a bigger part in the story and thought it was fairly obvious what that would be, but I was ok with that.

I’m interested to see what will happen next and am looking forward to the next book!

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Audio Book/Re-read

I've Got Your Number

A few weeks ago I went to Canada for the first time to visit my sister and brother-in-law and my meet my new baby niece! The drive is about ten hours and I get really bad motion sickness if I try to read in the car, so I browsed the library for available audio books and downloaded I’ve Got Your Number, which is one of my favorite chick lit books. This was the first audio book I’ve ever listened to the whole way through and I really enjoyed it. I liked the narrator, too. The real kicker, though, was that I talked my parents into listening to it during the drive and they both really enjoyed it!

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RE-READS

The first half of July was the month of the Re-read. I’m not going to go into great detail, but I enjoyed all these just as much as the first time.

Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)  Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3)  Just One of the Guys  Definitely, Maybe in Love (Definitely Maybe, #1)  Someday Maybe (Definitely Maybe, #2)

Untold (The Lynburn Legacy #2) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Just one of the Guys by Kristan Higgns
Definitely, Maybe in Love (Definitely Maybe #1) by Ophelia London
Someday Maybe (Definitely Maybe #2) by Ophelia London