Hello everyone, and happy Tuesday! Of course, it is tradition on this blog that we do Top Ten Tuesday’s. and honestly… I am really loving today’s prompt.
I will admit, I do repeat books a lot… *cough* Caraval *cough*. But today we are going to talk about the books I enjoyed, but don’t nearly talk about enough. Now, a lot of these books are actually pretty popular, but here on this blog, I don’t generally talk too much about them. So let’s just dive right in and give these books the spotlight they rightfully deserve, shall we?
This was an idea created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
The rules basically go a little like this:
Jana creates a new topic every Tuesday to make your list, and you create your own Top Ten (or three, or five, or twenty, however many you choose!)
Link back your posts to That Artsy Reader Girl so when others read your post, they’ll know where to go to get more info about future upcoming topics.
There is a linky widget on Jana’s Top Ten Tuesday post so other’s can see your post as well as you being able to check out everyone else’s! So definitely leave your links!
Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to it!
This week’s topic: Books I Enjoyed But Rarely Talk About
(1) The Perfect Son – Lauren North ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
I am not just shocked, but totally dumbfounded as to why this book didn’t get more hype than it did. I really don’t hear anyone talking about this book and I really wish that could change. It came out last year in August and I actually received it as an Arc from the publisher. I knew it was a mystery, and it sounded interesting. I mean come on, a mother who wakes up from the hospital and realizes her child is missing and she’s been stabbed? Good lord. The DRAMA. But this book was uhh… let’s just say completely surprising and blew me completely out of the water. I gave it a 4/5 stars, but I have been contemplating that decision for a long time.
(2) My Lovely Wife – Samantha Downing ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
What a book this was. My god, the writing… the plot… the characters! It was a genius book, and I have never heard of anything like this nor read anything like it. This was a debut (I believe) and I cannot wait to read what Downing puts out next. If she wants to start us off with a husband and wife killing team, her next book is going to be genius.
(3) Opposite of Always – Justin A. Reynolds ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
I think this is the only book I have read with time travel in it, and to my surprise I actually seriously enjoyed it. I won’t give the plot away because I feel like with this one you should go in a little blind, but it is a really cute story and would definitely recommend everyone should try reading.
(4) Eliza and Her Monsters – Francesca Zappia ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Eliza is easily one of the most relatable characters I have ever read a point of view from in my entire life. I thought this book was beautiful, unbelievably well written, and I don’t cry with many books, but this is definitely one of the rare ones that made me cry. It’s a pretty popular book with the YA community, but I don’t nearly talk as much about it as I should.
(5) An Unwanted Guest – Shari Lapena ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Being totally honest here, I know I talk about Shari Lapena’s book’s quite a bit, but this one doesn’t nearly get all the love it deserves on this blog in my opinion. It is easily on of the best Thrillers I have ever read in my entire life, and I am not sure if anything will be able to compare to it. It’s set up as a ‘And Then There Were None’ sort of storytelling, which I LOVE, and it is just done so well. UGH! Go read it!
(6) Romanov – Nadine Brandes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
I received this as an eArc the beginning of last year and yikes… another incredible story. I have never read Fawkes, which is basically what Nadine is known for (other than her adorable instagram), but I really had a hunch when requesting this book that it was going to be something truly magical. And boy, what a magical fun story this was. 100% recommend it.
(7) Love & Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
I read this book back in 2018 and really enjoyed it. I haven’t been able to get to the next books in the series, but I do plan on doing that in the near future.
(8) They Both Die At The End -Adam Silvera ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Another really good back that I read back in 2018 that was just so creative! I don’t think I would have ever been able to come up with a story line like this one had that was just so detailed! Such a cool, but yet soul-crushing concept.
(9) The Playbook Series – Alexa Martin ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Well, seeing as I love football and love a good adult romance book, these books are basically made for me lol. I love the writing, they are good books that have just the right amount of drama in them for me to love and both books I’ve given pretty good ratings. I know the third book is out, so I will have to pick that up soon.
(10) The Fault In Our Stars – John Green ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Yes, this last book is a very popular book, but on this blog, well it’s basically non-existent. It’s not my fault I read this book back in like 2014 okay? I need to re-read this because it really was an incredible story that unfortunately, I have no notes on.
Hi everyone! Happy Easter! I hope everyone has a lovely holiday during this otherwise very difficult time. Today I know is meant to be spent with family, but it’s best that we all stay home and just reach out by a phone call. Trust me, when this is all over I am so looking forward to visiting my grandparents and bbq’ing it up.
I know my mom and dad are struggling a little bit with Easter having to be at home and no Easter dinners, but this year I decided to hold an Easter egg hunt at home for my brother and mom and dad. My brother is 18, so we haven’t had an egg hunt at my house for a long time.. but I thought we needed a little bit of fun this year for Easter. I made them nice baskets, and they will be going around the house looking for their eggs.
How are you guys spending your Easter at home? Any dinner plans? Any fun stay at home activities you have planned? Let me know! Now, on to the book review!
Sabrina is a teen witch who’s struggling with balancing the double life of high school and her burgeoning powers. Newly relocated to Greendale with her aunts Hilda and Zelda (also witches), Sabrina is trying to make the best of being the new girl in town which so far includes two intriguing love interests, an instant rivalry, a couple of misfits that could turn into BFFs, and trying to save the high school (and maybe the world) from crazy supernatural events. NBD!
Sabrina’s Personality – I loved Sabrina’s personality throughout the story. She had a ton of sass and was very sarcastic, just like me which I enjoyed. She was very funny and I loved that she wasn’t afraid of using and showing off her magic! Every witch-y themed book I read, the witches are always scared to use their magic, which is what makes the book great! We saw a lot of magic in this story, and I hope with future stories we continue on with that.
Artwork – I really loved the artwork in this one, I also how the included all the different covers at the end that multiple artists has sent in. Just really refreshing artwork.
Lots of Action – There were a lot of monsters, magic action. I love seeing that in a book, less drama and more action!
Funny – I laughed throughout most of this book to be totally honest. Not laugh at the book obviously, but at Sabrina’s humor and SALEM! Ugh, I loved it.
Length – I thought their definitely could have been more, but the cliff hanger was a good starting place for the next book.
Love Triangle – I don’t like love triangles in general anyways, so this one definitely did not do it for me. We all know I love Sabrina and Harvey together, so that love triangle was NOT needed!
Absolutely! I thought this was such a refreshing graphic novel. I loved the artwork, the action, the sass. I can’t wait for the second volume/collection to come out!
Hey everyone! Happy Saturday! I hope everyone is having a lovely day so far. Today I wanted to give you guys a really good book review because….. ah this book. Honestly, where can I even begin with this book? Ummm… it f**king rocked okay?! It was amazing and thank god I just decided to pick it up on a whim. Let’s just get into the review shall we?
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Trigger Warnings: suicide, implied sexual assault, animal abuse, talks of blood/gross imagery, self-harm triggers
Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.
Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.
But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human.
Dark – This book is very dark. I don’t normally include trigger warning in book reviews, but this one I had to because there are a lot of dark elements to this book. I knew it had some creepy and deep elements to it, but I never expected it to turn as dark and terrifying as it did in some spots.
Unexpected Turns – There were a lot of twists and turns in this book that I did not see coming AT ALL. It kept me guessing constantly of what may happen and what may not happen. It was so crazy and out there.
Ana and Owen – What a nice relationship! It wasn’t one that was solely built on attraction to one another, but based on deep conversation the two shared, that us as the readers got to see in a really nice way thanks to Rothenberg. It made the whole fact that he’s a human and she’s this cyborg princess a little less creepy.
The Sisters – I loved all of the sisters. Some weren’t as present as others, but some like Eve, Nia, and KAIA! All of the sisters seem to have different programming, and Kaia’s character honestly broke me every time I heard from her. Even though what she said literally had no reference to the current conversation that was being handled in the book (if you’ve read this I think you know what I’m trying to get at here), her words still had a deep, dark and terribly sad meaning. I need more KAIA.
Description of Park/Writing – I thought Jess did a great job with the writing and the description of the park was amazing.
Back and Forth Timeline – I don’t usually care for timelines that go back and forth between past and present, but man did I enjoy the hell out of this. I feel like this review would be a lot different if those little chapters to the ‘present’ where Ana is going through her trial weren’t included. They kept the reader want to keep reading, and it wasn’t long before it has me totally sucked in.
Pictures of Evidence in Book – Liked that there were some pictures included, and even fake notes. Loved that.
Disney References – There were a few Disney references in this book, one is my favorite quote from the entire book which is ‘Like Wendy, John and Michael Darling on the night Peter Pan taught them how to fly – I think one happy thought. In my pocket, I have a knife.’ In that moment I immediately wrote it down because I had felt a sharp shiver go all the way up my spine. Good lord.
Will there be a sequel? Because that ending! – I need to know what happens to a certain character which will remain nameless…… but I really need to know and I need a book 2 ASAP.
Backstory – I needed a little more back story. That’s literally the only complaint I have. I just want to know more about how The Kingdom came to be before Ana showed up.
Of course I would! I’m thinking this may be my favorite book of the year if I have to be straight forward with you guys. I will scream it from the mountain tops that I love this book. Although, I will warn you guys, it is VERY DARK. Like possibly could upset you dark. Could possibly put you in a bad head space dark? So just be fair warned about that.
Ugh, it feels so good to finally write a WWW Wednesday post and announce I am actually reading again. I didn’t finish an entire book in the month of March, which is super sad but I am so glad I am now actually reading books and able to start planning/scheduling posts again.
Now, it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This book meme is hosted over at Sam’s Taking On A World of Words page! Just answer the 3 questions below every Wednesday, and feel free to post your answers in the comments and of course check out the other participants and see what else they are reading for the week. The questions are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?
So let’s get onto the post!
What are you currently reading?
These Witches Don’t Burn – Isabel Sterling
I am enjoying this so far, and I actually have hit the halfway mark already, so I should be finished with this by the end of this week.
What have you recently finished reading?
Well… nothing. But that will change next week and I am so looking forward to that.
What will you read next?
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird – Josie Silver
I picked this one up at Target this past weekend, so I am pretty excited to get to this as soon as I’m done with These Witches Don’t Burn.
Hello everyone! Hope everyone is enjoying their week so far! Unfortunately, this month I got very little reading done. And when I say very little, I mean extremely little. Like almost non-existent little. BUT, here we are doing a wrap-up anyways. Although I didn’t read much of anything this month, I still listened to a lot of music and watched a few movies. So let’s just get on to this very short list.
Hey everyone! How has everyone’s weekend been so far? My weekend was basically filled with a lot of sitting around in my house, doing nothing. Cleaning, still not reading. Ugh, yes… I am still not reading. I have not picked up a single book this month other than the one book from this past weekend.
I don’t know if this whole virus anxiety thing is just making me not want to pick up a book, but it is definitely effecting my ability to read. I want to read, but when it comes time to actually read, I just can’t. SO, this week I will be trying a challenge. From today, Sunday through Saturday of this week, I will be waking up at 6:30 am every morning, picking up a book and reading. First thing I do when I wake up I will be reading. Do I think this is going to go super well? No. But I think I can hopefully get through some books and maybe move away from some graphic novels.
Anyways, today’s blog post is clearly about all of the books coming out this month in April! There are A LOT of books coming out this month and I am super excited to talk about them with all of you! So let’s go ahead and jump right in!
The Lucky Ones – Liz Lawson
May is a survivor. But she doesn’t feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn’t know why she was the only one to walk out of the band room that day. No one gets what she went through–no one saw and heard what she did. No one can possibly understand how it feels to be her.
Zach lost his old life when his mother decided to defend the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends bailed, and now he spends his time hanging out with his little sister…and the one faithful friend who stuck around. His best friend is needy and demanding, but he won’t let Zach disappear into himself. Which is how Zach ends up at band practice that night. The same night May goes with her best friend to audition for a new band.
Which is how May meets Zach. And how Zach meets May. And how both might figure out that surviving could be an option after all.
So This Is Love – Elizabeth Lim
What if Cinderella never tried on the glass slipper? Unable to prove that she’s the missing princess, and unable to bear life under Lady Tremaine any longer, Cinderella attempts a fresh start, looking for work at the palace as a seamstress. But when the Grand Duke appoints her to serve under the king’s visiting sister, Cinderella becomes witness to a grand conspiracy to take the king-and the prince-out of power, as well as a longstanding prejudice against fairies, including Cinderella’s own Fairy Godmother. Faced with questions of love and loyalty to the kingdom, Cinderella must find a way to stop the villains of past and present . . . before it’s too late.
Goodbye from Nowhere – Sara Zarr
Kyle Baker thought his family was happy. Happy enough, anyway. That’s why, when Kyle learns that his mother has been having an affair and his father has been living with the secret, his reality is altered. He quits baseball, ghosts his girlfriend, and generally checks out of life as he’s known it. With his older sisters out of the house and friends who don’t get it, the only person he can talk to is his cousin Emily—who is always there on the other end of his texts but still has her own life, hours away.
Kyle’s parents want him to keep the secret of his mother’s affair from the rest of the family until after what might be their last big summer reunion. As Kyle watches the effects of his parents’ choices ripple out over friends, family, and strangers, and he feels the walls of his relationships closing in, he has to decide what his obligations are to everyone he cares for—including himself.
National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr returns with an intimate, exquisitely crafted novel of anxiety and identity, of the ways that secrets keep us together and pull us apart, and of the courage it takes to see those we love for who they are.
What I Like About You – Marisa Kanter
There are a million things that Halle Levitt likes about her online best friend, Nash.
He’s an incredibly talented graphic novelist. He loves books almost as much as she does. And she never has to deal with the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. They can talk about anything…
Except who she really is.
Because online, Halle isn’t Halle—she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. Kels has everything Halle doesn’t: friends, a growing platform, tons of confidence, and Nash.
That is, until Halle arrives to spend senior year in Gramps’s small town and finds herself face-to-face with real, human, not-behind-a-screen Nash. Nash, who is somehow everywhere she goes—in her classes, at the bakery, even at synagogue.
Nash who has no idea she’s actually Kels.
If Halle tells him who she is, it will ruin the non-awkward magic of their digital friendship. Not telling him though, means it can never be anything more. Because while she starts to fall for Nash as Halle…he’s in love with Kels.
Little Universes – Heather Demetrios
One wave: that’s all it takes for the rest of Mae and Hannah Winters’ lives to change.
When a tsunami strikes the island where their parents are vacationing, it soon becomes clear that their mom and dad are never coming home. Forced to move to Boston from sunny California for the rest of their senior year, each girl struggles with secrets their parents’ death has brought to light, and with their uncertainty about the future. Instead of bringing them closer, it feels like the wave has torn the sisters apart.
Hannah is a secret poet who wants to be seen, but only knows how to hide. The pain pills she stole from her dead father hurl her onto the shores of an addiction she can’t shake and a dealer who turns her heart upside down. When it’s clear Hannah’s drowning, Mae, a budding astronaut suddenly launched into an existential crisis—and unexpected love—must choose between herself and the only family she has left.
Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me – Gae Polisner
Fifteen-year-old JL Markham’s life used to be filled with carnival nights and hot summer days spent giggling with her forever best friend Aubrey about their families and boys. Together, they were unstoppable. But they aren’t the friends they once were.
With JL’s father gone on long term business, and her mother suffering from dissociative disorder, JL takes solace in the in the tropical butterflies she raises, and in her new, older boyfriend, Max Gordon. Max may be rough on the outside, but he has the soul of a poet (something Aubrey will never understand). Only, Max is about to graduate, and he’s going to hit the road – with or without JL.
JL can’t bear being left behind again. But what if devoting herself to Max not only means betraying her parents, but permanently losing the love of her best friend? What becomes of loyalty, when no one is loyal to you?
Meet Me At Midnight – Jessica Pennington
Sidney and Asher should have clicked. Two star swimmers forced to spend their summers on a lake together sounds like the perfect match. But it’s the same every year—in between cookouts and boat rides and family-imposed bonfires, Sidney and Asher spend the dog days of summer finding the ultimate ways to prank each other. And now, after their senior year, they’re determined to make it the most epic summer yet.
But their plans are thrown in sudden jeopardy when their feud causes their families to be kicked out of their beloved lake houses. Once in their new accommodations, Sidney expects the prank war to continue as usual. But then she gets a note—Meet me at midnight. And Asher has a proposition for her: join forces for one last summer of epic pranks, against a shared enemy—the woman who kicked them out.
Their truce should make things simpler, but six years of tormenting one another isn’t so easy to ignore. Kind of like the undeniable attraction growing between them.
Time Of Our Lives – Emily Wibberley
A boy desperate to hold on, a girl ready to let go.
Fitz Holton waits in fear for the day his single mother’s early-onset Alzheimer’s starts stealing her memory. He’s vowed to stay close to home to care for her in the years to come–never mind the ridiculous college tour she’s forcing him on to visit schools where he knows he’ll never go. Juniper Ramirez is counting down the days until she can leave home, a home crowded with five younger siblings and zero privacy. Against the wishes of her tight-knit family, Juniper plans her own college tour of the East Coast with one goal: get out.
When Fitz and Juniper cross paths on their first college tour in Boston, they’re at odds from the moment they meet– while Juniper’s dying to start a new life apart for her family, Fitz faces the sacrifices he must make for his. Their relationship sparks a deep connection–in each other’s eyes, they glimpse alternate possibilities regarding the first big decision of their adult lives.
Time of Our Lives is a story of home and away, of the wonder and weight of memory, of outgrowing fears and growing into the future.
The Easy Part of Impossible – Sarah Tomp
After an injury forces Ria off the diving team, an unexpected friendship with Cotton, a guy on the autism spectrum, helps her come to terms with the abusive relationship she’s been in with her former coach.
Ria Williams was an elite diver on track for the Olympics. As someone who struggled in school, largely due to her ADHD, diving was the one place Ria could shine. But while her parents were focused on the trophies, no one noticed how Coach Benny’s strict rules and punishments controlled every aspect of Ria’s life. The harder he was on her, the sharper her focus. The bigger the bruise, the better the dive. Until a freak accident at a meet changes everything. Just like that, Ria is handed back her life, free of Benny.
To fill her now-empty and aimless days, Ria rekindles a friendship with Cotton, a guy she used to know back in elementary school. With Cotton, she’s able to open up about what Benny would do to her, and through Cotton’s eyes, Ria is able to see it for what it was: abuse. Then Benny returns, offering Ria a second chance with a life-changing diving opportunity. But it’s not hers alone—Benny’s coaching comes with it. The thought of being back under his control seems impossible to bear, but so does walking away. How do you separate the impossible from the possible when the one thing you love is so tangled up in the thing you fear most?
Late to the Party – Kelly Quindlen
Seventeen is nothing like Codi Teller imagined.
She’s never crashed a party, never stayed out too late. She’s never even been kissed. And it’s not just because she’s gay. It’s because she and her two best friends, Maritza and JaKory, spend more time in her basement watching Netflix than engaging with the outside world.
So when Maritza and JaKory suggest crashing a party, Codi is highly skeptical. Those parties aren’t for kids like them. They’re for cool kids. Straight kids.
But then Codi stumbles upon one of those cool kids, Ricky, kissing another boy in the dark, and an unexpected friendship is formed. In return for never talking about that kiss, Ricky takes Codi under his wing and draws her into a wild summer filled with late nights, new experiences, and one really cute girl named Lydia.
The only problem? Codi never tells Maritza or JaKory about any of it.
From author Kelly Quindlen comes a poignant and deeply relatable story about friendship, self-acceptance, what it means to be a Real Teenager. Late to the Party is an ode to late bloomers and wallflowers everywhere.
Verona Comics – Jennifer Dugan
Jubilee has it all together. She’s an elite cellist, and when she’s not working in her stepmom’s indie comic shop, she’s prepping for the biggest audition of her life.
Ridley is barely holding it together. His parents own the biggest comic-store chain in the country, and Ridley can’t stop disappointing them—that is, when they’re even paying attention.
They meet one fateful night at a comic convention prom, and the two can’t help falling for each other. Too bad their parents are at each other’s throats every chance they get, making a relationship between them nearly impossible…unless they manage to keep it a secret.
Then again, the feud between their families may be the least of their problems. As Ridley’s anxiety spirals, Jubilee tries to help but finds her focus torn between her fast-approaching audition and their intensifying relationship. What if love can’t conquer all? What if each of them needs more than the other can give?
Unscripted – Nicole Kronzer
Seventeen-year-old Zelda Bailey-Cho has her future all planned out: improv camp, then Second City, and finally Saturday Night Live. She’s thrilled when she lands a spot on the coveted varsity team at a prestigious improv camp, which means she’ll get to perform for professional scouts—including her hero, Nina Knightley. But even though she’s hardworking and talented, Zelda’s also the only girl on Varsity, so she’s the target for humiliation from her teammates. And her 20-year-old coach, Ben, is cruel to her at practice and way too nice to her when they’re alone. Zelda wants to fight back, but is sacrificing her best shot at her dream too heavy a price to pay?
Equal parts funny and righteous, Unscripted is a moving debut novel that Printz Award winner Nina LaCour calls “a truly special book, written at exactly the right time.”
All Boys Aren’t Blue – George Johnson
Farrar, Straus and Giroux has bought world rights to journalist and LGBTQ+ activist George M. Johnson’s YA memoir, All Boys Aren’t Blue. The memoir takes stories from his life growing up as a queer black teen to show readers how they can fight for themselves or be allies in the struggle for equity and equality.
A Breath Too Late – Rocky Callen
Seventeen-year-old Ellie had no hope left. Yet the day after she dies by suicide, she finds herself in the midst of an out-of-body experience. She is a spectator, swaying between past and present, retracing the events that unfolded prior to her death.
But there are gaps in her memory, fractured pieces Ellie is desperate to re-assemble. There’s her mother, a songbird who wanted to break free from her oppressive cage. The boy made of brushstrokes and goofy smiles who brought color into a gray world. Her brooding father, with his sad puppy eyes and clenched fists. Told in epistolary-like style, this deeply moving novel sensitively examines the beautiful and terrible moments that make up a life and the possibilities that live in even the darkest of places. Perfect for fans of the critically-acclaimed Speak, I’ll Give You the Sun, and If I Stay