Top 5 Wednesday: 2018 Wishlist

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday, hosted by the Good Reads group, is:  2018 Wishlist – Looking forward into the new year, this is a list of the types of books you’d like to see more of in 2018! Try to avoid actual titles, and discuss themes, genres, or tropes you’d like to see more of in the new year!

34064624  32195204

1. Books w/in books. What’s better than reading one book? Reading two! This year I’ve read a couple of books that did this really well (Lies She Told by Cate Holahan and The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter) and I would love to read more like them.

27237358

2. Realistic Christian characters. Most of the time if a mainstream book includes a “Christian” character it portrays them as some kind of hypocritical psycho. And sure there are lots of people who claim to be Christians who really are hypocritical psychos, but there are many genuine people out there, as well. In 2018 I’d like to see more of the genuine people. I thought Amy Harmon did this really well with Making Faces.

34189556  32571395   26210523

3. Well-written twists and surprises (that actually surprise me)I feel like I can almost always predict the twist in books these days and in 2017 I was pleasantly surprised by several books (such Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton,  One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus and The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – which actually publishes in 2018).

30731416

4. Fake Relationships. This is my favorite romance trope and I am always on the look out for a good fake relationship story. This year’s favorite was When It’s Real by Erin Watt.

23395680

5. Alternative FormattingSometimes this annoys me because I read e-books about 95% of the time and lots of alternative formatting makes things unreadable, but I do love them in physical format. Even though I wasn’t blown away by the actual story, I really loved the formatting for Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.

What type of books are on your 2018 Wishlist?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017. Here are mine, in no particular order (all links go to my review – Yes, I actually wrote proper reviews on all of these books!):

30653986

1. Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

26210523

2. Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

27237358

3. Making Faces by Amy Harmon

11979900

4. Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

9783200

5. Now You See Me by SJ Bolton (AKA: Sharon Bolton)

32620304

6. Dating You/Hating You by Christian Lauren

34064624

7. Lies She Told by Cate Holahan

29746315

8. The Secret by Katerina Diamond

32571395

9. One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

30731416

10. When It’s Real by Erin Watt

What are some of your favorite books you read this year?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: November 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. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

32920264

A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleaver. Read October 26-November 7. 3 Stars. 

I’m going to preface this by saying that I think if I had read this at a different time I would have enjoyed it much more and read it much faster. It just happened to be the book I started when a lot of life stuff happened and I didn’t really feel like reading. I can’t really tell if I just didn’t find this that interesting or if it was my mood. Maybe a little of both? I did like the general concept and the multiple perspectives. I liked Joshua. I liked the ending. I thought the writing was a little too wordy at times. I felt like it over-explained a lot of things. Overall, it was a decent book, but I didn’t love it. Again, it might have just been my reading mood.

31933359

Public Relations by Katie Heaney & Arianna Rebolini. Read November 8-11. 2 Stars. 

I wanted to read this because I thought it sounded a little bit reminiscent or Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren and When It’s Real by Erin Watt, both of which I loved. However, Public Relations fell far, far short of my expectations. The main character, Rose, was pretty awful. She was incredibly self-centered, completely unprofessional, and just so, SO unlikable. I did not find her to be a sympathetic character at all and I almost wished things would’ve blown up in her face by the end instead of following it’s obviously predictable path just because I would’ve liked her awful behavior to have some type of consequence. I also found the book way longer than it needed to be, filled with so much pointless detail that I had to skim some parts. So why am I giving this 2 stars instead of 1? Archie Fox! I often found myself smiling at scenes he was in and even though I did not understand at all why he was into Rose, I enjoyed their scenes together (though she often ruined it by the end of the scene). Sadly, though, even Archie Fox is not enough for me to recommend this book to anyone.

30962267

The Ghostwriter by Allesandra Torre. Read November 14-19. 3 Stars. 

So I thought this book was supposed to have twists? Did I misunderstand? Where were the twists?!?! I’m trying to not let the disappointment of my expectations effect my rating. The writing wasn’t bad. I really liked Mark. It was verrrrry slow going, though. And I was ok with that because I thought there would be a great pay off later…but there wasn’t really. A decent book, but another instance where my expectations/hype ruined it a little.

A big thanks to Suzanne @ https://thebookishlibra.com/ for a copy of the book which I won as the book of my choice from a giveaway on her blog.

36001035

Follow Me Back (Follow Me Back #1) by A.V. Geiger. Read November 19-22. 4 Stars. 

This is maybe more of a 3.5, but I’m bumping my rating up to 4 for a couple reasons. I thought this was really compulsively readable and I did not really see the end coming. I can’t wait for the next book to see if my predictions are right.

I also liked the psychological aspects of the story. I thought the role reversal of online obsession was well done.


33584818

The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham. Read November 22-25. 3.5 Stars.

I liked the writing. I read the first part of the book very quickly. I enjoyed both Meghan and Agatha’s POVs. There just wasn’t anything that surprising. Based on all the reviews I expected a few more shocks or twists, but it was all pretty straightforward. One thing that I did like, though, was that I forgot this was written by a man. I don’t always think 1st person POV female characters written by men are very believable, but I thought Robotham’s writing was solid. I’ll read more from him in the future.

I started this book while I was at my brother and sister-in-law’s for Thanksgiving. My sister-in-law is named Megan and is pregnant so I kind of felt like the story was a little more personal. I told her to stay away from any unknown pregnant women that try to befriend her lol.

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

33998316   30640834   27845924   19286628

Library books that expired before I started them:

If There’s No Tomorrow by JLA, Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George, Little Deaths by Emma Flint, Betrayedby Lisa Scottoline.

Library books I barely started before I immediately thought, “Nope! Not in the mood!”

30025336   31944679   33654421

All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater, In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan, Sister, Sister by Sue Fortin.

********Re-Read********

30731416

When It’s Real by Erin Watt. As you can probably tell by now, this was a very moody reading month for me where I spent more time figuring out what I didn’t want to read than actually reading. I decided a good re-read was in store and went for this one. I loved it just as much the second time around.

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag: 2017

I’ve seen this tag around a lot recently and was thinking about doing it and then I was tagged by Raven over at Dreamy Addictions (go check her out!). Thanks Raven! Feel free to tag yourself if you’d like.

Best Book You’ve Read Yet in 2017.

26210523  27237358  30653986

I can’t pick just one, but the 3 books I have rated the highest are: Daisy in ChainsMaking Faces, and Ragdoll

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2017.

29939230

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. I thought this was a good ending to the series and I liked it MUCH more than the previous book.

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

28449207

Strange the Dreamer. I got it once at the library, but wasn’t in the mood for it. I then won it in a giveaway so I definitely need to read it.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year.

33275690

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills.

Biggest Disappointment.

33154067   23308087

Final Girls by Riley Sager and Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh.

Biggest Surprise.

9783200

Now You See Me. I had never read anything by this author before and when I read this it pulled me out of a book slump and completely consumed me.

Favorite New Author.

Sharon Bolton

Sharon Bolton (aka: S. J. Bolton)

Newest Fictional Crush.

32620304

Carter Aaron from Dating You / Hating You

Newest Favorite Character.

9783200

Lacey Flint and Mark Joesbury.

Book That Made You Cry.

27237358

Making Faces by Amy Harmon.

Book That Made You Happy.

30731416

When It’s Real by Erin Watt

Favorite Book to Film Adaptation.

I am wracking my brain and I don’t think that I’ve watched any. I saw the first episode of the Big Little Lies tv series (and then my free HBO expired) and thought it was ok, but it did not live up to my expectations.

Favorite Post You Have Done This Year.

Convince me to Buy a Kindle because you all did, in fact, convince me to buy a Kindle.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year.

I’ve only actually bought three books this year and I am honestly not a fan of any of their covers.

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

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey

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

Top 5 Wednesday: Hate to Love Ships

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday (check out the Goodreads Group page) is : Hate to Love Ships.

1885

1. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

25883848

2. Lucy and Josh – The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

32620304

3. Evie and Carter – Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren.

26795352

4. Jane and G – My Lady Jane by The Lady Janies.

30731416

5. Vaugh and Oakley – When It’s Real by Erin Watt.

What are some of your favorite Hate to Love ships?

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read In 2017 So Far

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish , is: Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 So Far. Books 1-3 are the ones I’ve given 4.5 Stars to and all the rest have 4. It was hard to narrow down which 4 star reads would make the list, but I went for the ones that are the most likely to be re-reads in the future.

27418655

1. Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

30653986

2. Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

27237358

3. Making Faces by Amy Harmon

32713479

4. Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson

32830461

5. Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

9783200

6. Now You See Me by Sharon Bolton (aka SJ Bolton)

30753651

7. I Found You by Lisa Jewell

32620304

8. Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

31748890

9. The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond

30731416

10. When It’s Real by Erin Watt

What are your best books of 2017?

Review: When It’s Real by Erin Watt

30731416

Synopsis from Good Reads:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?

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

When It’s Real will be available May 30, 2017.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I started reading this book, but I don’t think I was expecting to love it as much as I did. But, I loved it! It was so cute and fun and was a well done Fake-Relationship story (which we all know are my favorite kind).

I thought both Vaughn and Oakley were likable characters. Oakley definitely had his egotistical jerk moments, but we see way more of him being sweet and funny and sometimes vulnerable. I liked Vaughn, but had to remind myself a few times when she did something or reacted to something in a way that annoyed me that she’s only 17. But, seriously, as far as YA heroines go, she was a pretty level headed one. I also really liked Vaughn’s family and Oak’s bodyguard.

This book had all the things I love in a good Fake-Relationship story. I loved the awkwardness of hammering out the terms of the contract and the initial antagonism between Vaugh and Oakley. I loved their fake date outings and how they slowly started to become friends and then more. I thought they were so sweet together (even though things did almost get a little too sappy at times) and I shipped them hard. After reading The Royals series, which I thought was far too explicit for YA, I was a little concerned about how graphic the sexual content would be in this one. And though there was still a little more than I prefer for YA, it wasn’t very graphic and I liked that the their feelings for each other were highlighted over the physicality. There was also some underage drinking and casual drug use, but it was also much less than The Royals series and more YA appropriate (if those things are ever appropriate for YA).

Overall, I really enjoyed When It’s Real. The writing was addictive and I never wanted to put it down. It was funny and sweet and I just had so much fun reading about Vaughn and Oakley. There was one thing, though, that kind of brought my reading experience down and it’s not the book’s fault. The e-ARC I received had some major issues on my Nook with missing text – often paragraphs at a time. I hate to even mention that because it obviously won’t be an issue with the finished copy (and I did find a solution by downloading a copy for the Kindle app for my phone so I could find the text missing from my Nook), but it kind of cast a shadow over the whole thing for me.  However, as you can tell, I still loved the story. I definitely recommend it to YA Contemporary fans.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars