Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2020

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is my most anticipated releases for the second half of 2020. For my list, I will include books that have released in June until the end of the year. Here are my picks:

  • Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer
Instant Karma

I love the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, so I was so excited to see her release another book, especially since this is a contemporary with some magical elements. I enjoy when authors branch out into different genres, so I am excited to see one of my favorite authors tackle my favorite genre.

Instant Karma follows Prudence, a judgmental overachiever, who gains the ability to cast instant karma on those around her. However, Prudence grows frustrated when her powers backfire against her lazy classmate, Quint.

  • Love and Olives by Jenna Evans Welch
Love & Olives (Love & Gelato, #3)

Jenna Evans Welch isn’t my favorite contemporary author, but I absolutely love she describes the settings in her books. Since I won’t be going on vacation this year, I’m going to enjoy living through the main character in this book as she explores Greece.

Love and Olives follows Evie, who receives a postcard from her estranged father to join him in Greece as a documentary is being filmed about his theories on Atlantic, which is a love that they shared before he left.

  • Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey
Tools of Engagement (Hot & Hammered, #3)

I received an ARC of this book, so I won’t have to wait until the September release date to read this one. I haven’t read a book by Tessa Bailey before, but I know that she is a well-loved romance author, so I’m excited to see how I like this one. The plot of this really reminds me of 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne, which I wanted to love, but didn’t really like at all, so hopefully, I have a better experience with this book.

Tools of Engagement follows Bethany Castle, who wants to step outside her design role in her family’s real estate business and flip a house completely on her own. However, her brother who controls the business is not so fond of Bethany’s idea. When a television show hears about their disagreements, they are recruited for a house flipping competition and the only person willing to help Bethany is Wes, a member of her brother’s construction team.

  • Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao
Rent a Boyfriend

I tried to read American Panda by Gloria Chao, but I just couldn’t get into the story. However, I always love going back to authors that didn’t work out for me personally the first time around. This book has the fake dating trope, which I do enjoy, so I hope I will have a better experience reading this book than my attempt at American Panda.

Rent a Boyfriend follows Chloe Wang, a college student who rents a fake boyfriend to impress her very traditional Asian parents.

  • 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon
10 Things I Hate About Pinky (Dimple and Rishi, #3)

I had actually already read this book a couple of months ago since I received an ARC. However, I am excited for this book to finally release so I can hear other people’s thoughts on the story. This wasn’t my favorite Sandhya Menon book, but it wasn’t my least favorite either, so I’m wondering how other people will feel about it.

10 Things I Hate About Pinky follows Pinky Kumar as she spends summer at her family’s house on the lake. Pinky’s parents disapprove of Pinky’s causes, but she is determined to save a butterfly sanctuary near the lake. To stay in her parents’ good graces, Pinky enlists the help Samir, a goody two shoes, to pretend to be her boyfriend.

  • In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

I haven’t had the best luck with Christina Lauren books, usually I love the ideas but not the execution, but I was intrigued when I saw their upcoming release on Goodreads. I’m a huge fan of books about Christmas, so this one sounds right up my alley.

In a Holidaze follows Maelyn Jones who is upset that this is the last year she will spend Christmas at her family’s cabin. Then, after an accident, Maelyn must repeat the same day over and over again.

  • Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston
Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con, #3)

I’m not typically a fan of books that follow bookish characters or books that center on books. However, I am someone that likes when a book proves me wrong and something about the description of this book compels me to read it.

Bookish and the Beast follows Rosie, who experiences a lot of grief after her mother’s death, especially since her mother’s prized Starfield novel collection was sold. Rosie’s world collides with Vaughn Reins, a rich actor, after he finds himself hiding out in Rosie’s small town following a scandal.

What are your most anticipated releases for the second half of the year?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday Turns 10! (Favorite Books that I Read from 2011-2020)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is a freebie to celebrate Top Ten Tuesday’s ten year anniversary! I’ve been doing Top Ten Tuesday since I started my own blog, so it is cool to celebrate something that I’ve been with for so long.

For my post, I decided to list some of my favorite books from the past ten years. These dates do not necessarily reflect when the book was published, but when I read that particular book. Here are my choices:

  • 2011: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)

I read Lola and the Boy Next Door multiple times a year whenever I was in high school. I loved this book so much that I was so upset when I misplaced it that I went out and bought another copy, which I’ve never done before. I think one of the reasons that I loved this book was because of Cricket, the love interest. At the time in YA, very moody and brooding bad boys were the most prominent love interests, and Cricket is the complete opposite of that type of character.

  • 2012: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Bittersweet

Bittersweet was a very timely book for me, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. At the time, I was really getting into hockey (Let’s go Pens!), so it was fun to read about a sport that I was growing to love from an author that I already loved. This book also featured cupcake baking which was huge at the time, and since I avidly watched DC Cupcakes, that aspect of the story was also right up my alley.

  • 2013: Re-Reads of Sarah Dessen
The Truth About Forever

When I can’t remember a particular book that stood out to me at the end of my high school career, I can remember a particular author. I started reading Sarah Dessen’s books in middle school, but every year, I checked out each one of her books again. This is the year when I graduated high school and headed off for college, which made The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (which was released in 2013) a very relevant read to me. In fact, many of Sarah Dessen’s books feature girls during the summer after high school.

  • 2014: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

When I read To All the Boys I Loved Before, I didn’t realize how big it would become. I loved Lara Jean’s character because, at the time, dystopian/fantasy books with the “strong female character trope” dominated the YA market, and while I liked those characters, I couldn’t necessarily relate to them. Meanwhile, Lara Jean was more girly and interested in the same activities as me. Little did I know back then, but I would eventually see this book turned to a movie and do a book merchandise haul for this series.

  • 2015: Re-Reads of Sarah Dessen
Along for the Ride

In 2015, I was in the middle of college and so focused on school that I did very little reading for fun. Little did I know at the end of this year, I would recommit to reading and make my book blog on WordPress, and at the beginning of 2016, I would start posting on it. During this time, when I was reading for fun, I was mostly re-reading some of my favorite books from high school.

  • 2016: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
The Unexpected Everything

This year was a great reading year for me. I only expected to read around 25 books, which I considered a stretch, but I ended up reading 66 books. One of my favorite books from this year was The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. I remember actually going to Target and buying this book, and then going straight home to read it. I hadn’t done this in a long time and it felt great to be reading books for fun more consistently again.

  • 2017: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

This year was a huge year for me. In 2017, I graduated college and I read the most books that I had ever read in a year (107 books!). This is the year I really hit blogging hard and discovered a lot of new books that I really enjoyed. I even branched out and tried some genres that I typically didn’t read, like fantasy, which led me to the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. A Court of Mist and Fury is a huge book, but I really enjoyed it from start to finish. If you asked Brittany in 2013 if she ever thought she would read a book like this, she would probably say, “No.” I’m glad that in the past ten years, I have expanded my reading outside of contemporary, even though that still is my favorite genre.

  • 2018: Love, List, and the List by Kasie West
Love, Life, and the List (Love, Life, and the List, #1)

I had read a few Kasie West books in years before this, but I absolutely loved Love, Life, and the List and it still remains one of my favorite books by this author. I don’t usually sit and finish a book in one sitting anymore, but I didn’t put this one down until I finished it.

  • 2019: The Wicked King by Holly Black
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

Another fantasy book! The Wicked King is one of the most solid sequels that I have ever read. I remember as I read this that I appreciated Holly Black’s writing style so much, which isn’t something that I’ve necessarily focused on in the past. I remember just clicking on words in my Kindle to read the definitions because she picked such strong, descriptive words and I just wanted to know everything about the way she phrased certain sentences.

  • 2020: The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
The Rest of the Story

This year isn’t over yet, but one of my five star reads of the year so far is The Rest of the Story. I bought this book when it was released, but I never got around to it. Recently, I decided to pick it up and I wasn’t disappointed. It has so many of the elements that I enjoyed from books I read by this author in high school, which I hadn’t really seen in Dessen’s last few books. I related to the main character Saylor and loved the characters in this book so much that I didn’t want it to end.

What are some of your favorite books that you’ve read over the past ten years?

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Summer Book Tag

Summer is now in full swing, so it is the perfect time to complete the summer book tag! I could not find the creator of this tag, but if you know who created it, please leave their blog in the comments so I can credit them. Here are my answers:

  • What book cover makes you think of summer?
Beach Read

How could this book cover not make me think of summer? The title has beach in all capital letters with two people reading books on beach towels. The cover is also bright yellow which makes me think of the sun. While this cover isn’t exactly accurate with what lies in the book, it is definitely reminiscent of the summertime.

  • What book brightened your day?
Starry Eyes

I read through Starry Eyes in one day. If you are looking for a summer book that isn’t beach, then this one will be perfect for you! This book takes place in state parks of California and made me want to go camping this summer.

  • Find a book with yellow on the cover.
The Unhoneymooners

This book takes place in the wintertime, but also in Hawaii, so it still seems very summery to me. It also has a very yellow background with a lot of different flowers on the front which remind me of the summertime.

  • What is your favorite summer beach read?
Along for the Ride

Sarah Dessen’s books have been a summer staple of mine since high school. Colby Beach is mentioned throughout her books, but this is one of the few that primarily takes place there. I feel like this prompt was leaning towards what books do you read at the beach, but for me, it makes me think of books that take place on a beach. Reading this book makes me want to go to the beach, even if most of the book doesn’t take place directly on the water.

  • What action book had you running for the ice cream man?
Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)

Aurora Rising was a slow-moving book for many people, but I was hooked the entire time. I don’t typically read books in this genre, but there were so many twists and turns that I couldn’t stop reading. The authors of this book definitely don’t do things just to please the audience and I was constantly surprised at what happened next.

  • Sunburn! What book has a bad/painful ending?
Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2)

This book has both a bad and painful ending. The characters in this book are in constant jeopardy and after the first book, you know these authors aren’t going to make it easy for them or the readers which I like. On the other hand, this book lands on a major cliff hanger which really annoyed me. Even though it is part of a series, this book didn’t really have much going on until the very end and it feels like I got cheated as a reader because I still think books in a series should have their own definite end.

  • What book gave you a happy feeling when it ended?
Tools of Engagement (Hot & Hammered, #3)

I think what made me happy about this book was the character growth in the main character, Bethany. She constantly felt pressure to be perfect and meet everyone else’s expectations, but in the end, she started to make choices based on what she wanted. I found myself very similar to Bethany in that regard, so relating to her story put a smile on m6 face.

  • What book cover reminds you of a sunset?
Four Days of You and Me

This book literally has every color of the perfect sunset. It also is about a relationship and how their high school years are winding down which makes me thinking of the sun setting on that chapter of their lives.

  • What book series do you hope to read this summer?
The Betrothed (The Betrothed, #1)

This is the first book in a new series by Kiera Cass. I bought this book when it was released, but haven’t read it yet. I am trying to get caught up on all the Kindle books that I have bought recently, so I hope to knock this one of the list this summer

What books do you hope to read by the end of the summer?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Summer 2020 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is books on my summer TBR. Here are my choices:

  • Beach Read by Emily Henry
Beach Read

Beach Read literally sounds like the perfect summer book, and after hearing some great reviews, I’m extremely interested in picking up this book ASAP. Since I probably won’t be going to the beach this summer, maybe I can vicariously live through the characters in this book.

Beach Read follows Augustus Everett, a literary author, and January Andrews, a romance author, after they meet at their neighboring beach houses. To get out of their writing slumps, Augustus decides to write a romance book and January decides to write a literary book, but they will need the other to show them the ropes.

  • Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Second Chance Summer

Second Chance Summer is a book that I’ve been meaning to read for years, but haven’t read yet. I’m crossing my fingers that this will be the summer that I actually read it. The only thing holding me back is that I know this book will be sad and I am not a huge fan of sad books.

Second Chance Summer follows Taylor who spends the summer at her family’s lake house after her father is diagnosed with cancer.

  • Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey
Tools of Engagement (Hot & Hammered, #3)

Tools of Engagement doesn’t release until September, but I received on ARC of this book on NetGalley, so I plan to read it in the summer before the release date. Almost everyone on my street is doing some sort of home improvement during this quarantine summer, so it seems very relevant to read now.

Tools of Engagement follows Bethany Castle who wants to step outside her design role in her family’s real estate business. However, her brother is reluctant to let Bethany flip her own house. When a television show hears about their feud, the siblings face off in a house flipping competition and the only person on Bethany’s side is Wes, a member of her brother’s construction crew.

  • Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Front Desk (Front Desk, #1)

I’ve been wanting to read more middle grade and I’ve been interested in this book since I saw the synopsis. Front Desk seems like a interesting story that will tackle difficult topics, which I’m always interested reading in a middle grade novel.

Front Desk follows Mia Tang, who manages the front desk at the hotel where she lives and her parents work. Mia’s parents also hide immigrants at the motel and will be in big trouble if they get caught. Meanwhile, Mia struggles with her dream of being a writer after her parents doubt her dream since English is not her first language.

  • Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberely and Austin Siegemund-Brocka
Time of Our Lives

I have become a huge fan of this author duo after reading their other two books this year. While the synopses of their books don’t usually grab my attention, I am always sucked into the story and I love the emotional impact that all of their stories have.

Time of Our Lives follows Juniper and Fitz who meet on a college tour, but have very different lives. Juniper wants to go far away from her huge family while Fitz wants to stay close to home to help his mother who has early on-set Alzheimer’s.

  • Jessica Darling’s It List #3 by Megan McCafferty
Jessica Darling's It List 3: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Stressing, Obsessing & Second-Guessing

I recently finished the second Jessica Darling’s It List book, which makes me want to read the third book in the series. Since this does take place during the school year, I can imagine reading this book closer to August.

In each Jessica Darling book, Jessica receives a list from her older sister Bethany to help her navigate the drama of middle school, however, the list doesn’t typically go according to plan. In this installment, Jessica stresses out over a crushability test at school and the upcoming dance.

  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Along for the Ride

I’ve actually already read Along for the Ride, but recently, I’ve been rereading my favorite Sarah Dessen books. Along for the Ride is such a fun summer book, so it would be perfect to read in the upcoming months.

Along for the Ride follows Auden after she visits her father who recently remarried and had Auden’s half-sister with his new wife. In the beach town where they live, Auden meets a group of longtime friends who introduce her to many activities she missed growing up since her mother treated her like a mini-adult.

  • Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Starry Eyes

I have loved the books by Jenn Bennett that I’ve read recently, but I still haven’t picked up Starry Eyes. This book sounds like a good summer read because it has to do with camping.

Starry Eyes follows Zorie and Lennon, who used to date, after they get lost together on a group camping trip.

  • Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Twenty Boy Summer

This is another book on my list that I have read before, but would like to read again this summer. My sister and I were talking about this book recently, which made me interested in reading it again.

Twenty Boy Summer follows Anna when she goes on vacation with her best friend Frankie after Frankie’s brother passed away unexpectedly. Frankie decides that both of the girls need to date a new guy every day for the best summer ever, but Anna is still dealing with the death of Frankie’s brother, who she secretly dated before he died.

What is on your summer TBR?

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

t’s that time of year again… time for the mid-year book freak out tag! I’m actually not freaking out that much this year since I have already completed my book goal for 2020. However, I love completing this tag every year, so here are my answers (any book with a review will have the review linked to the book’s title):

  • Best Book I’ve Read so far in 2020
Always Never Yours

One of my first five star reads of the year was Always Never Yours Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Brocka. I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did because I usually don’t enjoy books centered on acting or school plays. However, I was hooked on this book from start to finish. I liked how the main character was very outgoing, which I don’t see much of in YA contemporary and was surprised how emotional some moments in the book were.

  • Best Sequel that I Have Read So Far

I haven’t read too many sequels in 2020, and the ones that I have read were only average for me.

  • New Release I Haven’t Read Yet, but Want to
Time of Our Lives

I bought Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Brocka when it was released, but haven’t read it yet. I love this author duo so I am excited to finally read this one. Time of Our Lives follows two students who meet on a college tour, one who wants to escape her large family and the other who wants to stay close to home to help his mother with early on-set Alzheimer’s.

  • Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of 2020
Instant Karma

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer is one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I loved the Lunar Chronicles and I am excited to see this author branch out into a new genre. In this book, the overachieving main character gets the ability to cast instant karma on those around her. However, when she tries to use her newfound powers on a slacker in her class, it backfires.

  • Biggest Disappointment
Moment of Truth (Love, Life, and the List, #3)

My biggest disappointment hands down was Moment of Truth by Kasie West. I typically love the contemporary books by this author, but this book missed the mark quite a few times. Nothing in this book was fully developed and the pacing was completely off. As a result, nothing about this book was particularly satisfying to read. In fact, this book inspired me to tier rank books by Kasie West (see my post here) after two disappointing reads by this author in a row.

  • Biggest Surprise
The Rest of the Story

I was surprised how much I enjoyed The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen. I put this off for awhile because I haven’t been extremely impressed with some of Dessen’s recent works. However, I became quickly invested in Emma Saylor’s story and didn’t want this book to end. This book really reminded me of her all-time classic books, like The Truth About Forever, which I really enjoyed.

  • Favorite New Author
Chasing Lucky

This author isn’t new to me, but is a new favorite author. Over the years, I have occasionally picked up a book by Jenn Bennett. Initially, I didn’t get the hype over this author because my reading experience with Alex, Approximately was only average. Since then, and especially this year after reading Chasing Lucky, she is a new favorite contemporary author that I can’t wait to read more of in the future. I really enjoy her writing style, particularly her descriptions of different places.

  • Newest Fictional Crush
Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2)

I don’t really have a fictional crush, but one character that I appreciated more after seeing them in a relationship was Kal from Aurora Burning. A lot of people really shipped Kal and Aurora after the first book, but I didn’t really get the hype. After learning more about him in Aurora Burning, I have a greater appreciation for his character. Although I am still not crazy about “the pull,” in this book and others with similar concepts, I really appreciate how much he cared about Aurora and the person in general that he chose to be despite his upbringing,

  • Newest Favorite Character
Tools of Engagement (Hot & Hammered, #3)

One character that I really enjoyed was Bethany’s character in Tools of Engagement (to be released in September). Bethany’s character—pretty, put together, and “perfect”—is often villainized in other romance type books. However, I liked that the author explored this character a little bit deeper to find out why she acted that way. I really related to how Bethany felt like people expected her to be put together and perfect all the time and how hard it is to change your way of thinking from that, which made me enjoy this book for a separate reason from the romance (which was okay, but not my favorite).

  • Book that Made You Cry
The Rest of the Story

I don’t like to do repeats, but I definitely cried when I read The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen. I related a lot to the main character, Emma Saylor, in many different ways so it made her story that more emotional for me.

  • Book that Made You Happy
Four Days of You and Me

Four Days of You and Me by Miranda Kenneally made me happy. This was her first book outside of the Hundred Oaks series (see my ranking of the books in the Hundred Oaks series here), but like the books in that series, it was a fun, quick, and easy read.

  • Favorite Book to Movie Adaptation You Saw this Year

The only new book to movie adaptation that I watched was P.S. I Still Like You. I actually wasn’t a huge fan of this adaptation, especially compared to the first move. I didn’t like many of the changes from the book, thought the pacing was weird, and there wasn’t enough John Ambrose!

  • Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year
Moment of Truth (Love, Life, and the List, #3)

I liked my review of Moment of Truth because I felt like I was able to accurately articulate my frustrations towards this book. Plus, this review did spark a few conversations in the comments and I really enjoyed interacting with other people in the book community.

  • Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year
Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2)

I am going to use Aurora Burning again for this one. I absolutely love the artwork featured on the covers of this series and this book is no exception. I think the artwork always well reflects the characters, and as I mentioned earlier, Kal has really grown on me so I don’t mind seeing him on the cover.

  • Books I Need to Read by the End of This Year
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

I started A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, but I haven’t finished it yet. I definitely need to finish this book by the end of the year because I know if I drag out reading a book, then I typically won’t finish it.

What are your favorite books of the year so far? What are your most anticipated reads for the end of the year?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Added to My TBR… and Forgotten Why

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is books I’ve added to my TBR… and forgotten why.

  • How to Speak Boy by by Tiana Smith
How to Speak Boy

I remember seeing the cover for this book, but I can’t remember anything about the description that made me add it to my TBR. According to Goodreads, this book follows Quinn and Grayson, rivals on the debate team who somehow end up exchanging note anonymously. Looking at this description, I can now see why I added to my TBR in the first place: it contains a lot of tropes that I typically enjoy. Now that I remember why this book is on my TBR, I might have to check it out in the future!

  • No Judgements by Meg Cabot
No Judgements (Little Bridge Island #1)

I know that this is an adult book by Meg Cabot, but since I am not a huge fan of her adult books, I am surprised to see this one on my list. No Judgements takes place on a small island after a huge storm who tries to rescue pet on the island and somehow falls in love. Meg Cabot’s adult books tend to be extremely overdramatic which isn’t my favorite and I can just tell from the description that this character seems like many of the other characters that I didn’t enjoy from other adult novels that I’ve read by her.

  • Fan the Flame by Anna Priemaza
Fan the Fame

Once again, I remember the cover, but not what the book is about. Fan tells me this is probably about a fandom, which I don’t typically like to read in books, so I’m not sure why I would have added this to my TBR. After researching this book again, like I expected, it is about a fandom. This book follows Lainey who wants to expose someone’s hate rants that she caught on camera at a convention. This seems to have a lot of tropes that I probably wouldn’t enjoy, so I’m probably going to take it off of my TBR.

  • Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill
Within These Lines

With some of the titles above, at least the names sounded familiar. Nothing about this book sounds familiar to me, so I am unsure how it landed on my Goodreads TBR. This looks like it is a historical romance set in American after Pearl Harbor when a couple is split up after the boy, who is a Japanese immigrant, is forced into an internment camp. Reading the description, this book does sound a little bit familiar and a whole lot interesting. I rarely read historical fiction, but if I am in the mood to read historical fiction, then this sounds like a good one to pick up.

  • Comics Will Break You Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
Comics Will Break Your Heart

Just like with the fandom book above, books about comics aren’t particularly interesting to me, so I’m not sure why I added this one to my TBR. This book follows Miriam, a girl who is poor because her grandfather gave away the rights to a popular comic that he helped create. Tensions rise when the grandson of the man who took control of the comics comes to town and Miriam starts to like him. Even though I love a good enemies-to-lovers romance, I just get the vibes that this will be very overdramatic and and go towards younger YA, which tends not to be my favorite. While I am sure someone would enjoy this book if they picked it up, I can’t personally see myself picking it up in the future.

  • That’s Not What I Heard by Stephanie Kate Strohm
That's Not What I Heard

On this list, I can vaguely remember the plot of this book, which makes me question why I added it to my TBR. This book is all about rumors spiraling out of control after a couple allegedly breaks up. This definitely seems to lean towards younger YA with a lot of the ridiculous drama that goes on at that time combined with an overflow of misunderstandings. This is a book that I could see being appreciated by the target audience, but as someone who is much older, it might get really annoying. I just can’t see myself picking this book up in the future.

  • Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy
Now a Major Motion Picture

From the title, I can guess this has to do with a movie. Like with some other books on this list, I don’t typically like when something like this (in this case, movies) are the focus of a book, so it’s kind of on me to be confused why I put this on my TBR. This book follows a girl who goes to Ireland to see her grandmother’s books turn into a movie adaptation. Even though I’m not a fan of books about movies, I do really love books about Ireland and this does sound interesting to me. Maybe I will have to pick this up in the future!

  • Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre
Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1)

This sounds like it is in the fantasy or sci-fi realm, which I don’t typically read, so I’m excited to read the synopsis again to see what motivated me to add it to my TBR. This book follows Zara who joins a team created by aliens set to explore the universe. Out of all the books on this list, I literally have to no idea why I added this book to my TBR (at the time). This sounds nothing like I was reading when I added this to my TBR. Now that I’ve read Aurora Rising, which contains aliens and exploring the galaxy, and enjoyed it, this does sound a little more interesting. Still, I have no idea how this ended up on my TBR in the first place.

  • A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen
A Taxonomy of Love

I have read another book by this author, so that could be why I added this book to my TBR. However, I don’t remember anything about the synopsis. This book follows two friends who could potentially fall in love as they get older.

What books have you added to your TBR and forgotten why?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Summer Vibes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is books that give off summer vibes. Summer books are my favorite books because, more often than not, they are my favorite genre: contemporary. Here are some books that I love that are set during the summer:

  • The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
The Rest of the Story

I haven’t been the biggest fan of Sarah Dessen’s latest releases, however, I did enjoy her most recent release, The Rest of the Story. This book takes place on a lake during the summer which is divided into halves, one side where the locals live and the other side for the rich tourists who infiltrate the lake every year. I like how this book takes place on the lake, rather than the beach, like many other “summer” books.

The Rest of the Story follows Emma Saylor, who reconnects with the family connected to her mother, who died five years ago, at the lake where her mother grew up.

  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
The Unexpected Everything

This book is long, but if you are a fan of Morgan Matson, then you’ll like this book. This book has all the elements of summer fun: a job, friends, and a summer romance.

The Unexpected Everything follows Andi whose summer internship follows through after her politician father becomes involved in a scandal. As a result, Andi must walk dogs for the summer, but she just might meet a cute boy along the way.

  • Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West
Love, Life, and the List (Love, Life, and the List, #1)

Love, Life, and the List is one of my favorite Kasie West books. I wouldn’t say this book necessarily screams summer to me, but it does take place during the summer months. If you like art and motocross, then you might want to check out this one.

In Love, Life, and the List, Abby is denied for an art show after she is told that her art lacks experience and perspective. As a result, Abby makes a list of ten things to experience that will her improve her art along with her best friend, and long-time crush, Cooper.

  • Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
Stay Sweet

Stay Sweet was an unexpected favorite for me last summer. This book primarily takes place at an ice cream stand that has for generations been run by women, but the status quo is shaken up when a boy comes in and tries to run the show.

Stay Sweet follows Amelia, who works at the ice cream stand, and tries to keep it afloat after the owner dies unexpectedly. However, she butts heads with Grady, the owner’s nephew, who comes in and tries to take over the stand.

  • The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
The Truth About Forever

Sarah Dessen loves to write about summer and I love to read and reread her books that take place during this time. The Truth About Forever is from the time period when Sarah Dessen’s books were my absolute favorites, and in my opinion, during her best writing period so far.

The Truth About Forever follows Macy after her father passes away and her boyfriends goes to summer camp, leaving her alone at a boring library desk job. Then, Macy meets Wish catering, a company full of lively and kids new friends who help break her out of her shell.

  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Along for the Ride

Another Sarah Dessen book! Along for the Ride is another one of my favorite Sarah Dessen books that takes place during the summer. While this isn’t in my top three books by this author, it is definitely in my top five. If you love close and realistic friend groups, this is a book you might want to check out.

Along for the Ride follows Auden, who spends the summer with her father, his new wife, and their new baby. Since Auden was always treated like a little adult, she never had the typical high school experience. As a result, her new friends try to introduce her to everything that she missed.

  • Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Since You've Been Gone

Since You’ve Been Gone was the second book by Morgan Matson that I read and it still remains one of my favorites. If you like summer bucket lists, this would be a great book for you to read.

Since You’ve Been Gone follows Emily, a shy high school student, who is sent a list of tasks to complete by her best friend who disappeared unexpectedly.

  • Thrill Ride by Rachel Hawthorne
Thrill Ride

I read and reread this book many times throughout high school. I’ve read a few books that take place at amusement parks, but this remains one of my favorites. If you want a different setting for summer besides the beach, this could be a book to add to your reading list.

Thrill Ride follows Megan who takes a job at a Cedar Point-like amusement park, much to her boyfriend’s disappointment.

  • The Boyfriend League by Rachel Hawthorne
The Boyfriend League

Another summer book by Rachel Hawthorne that is a fun and easy book to read is The Boyfriend League by Rachel Hawthorne. This book is all about baseball and would the perfect book for someone looking for a summer sports-themed read.

The Boyfriend League follows Dani after she convinces her parents to house one of the baseball players for the local baseball league during the summer in order to get a boyfriend.

  • The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids has beautiful writing and descriptions of the summer time, which makes it perfect to include on this list. I have read a few books by Sarah Ockler, but this one is by far my favorite.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids follows Elyse, a former singer who lost her voice in a boating accident. To get some space from her musical sisters, she decides to spend the summer with a friend where she has the opportunity to compete in a sailing competition.

What are your favorite summer books?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons Why I Love The Hunger Games

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is why I love _____. Since it is the release day for the latest release in The Hunger Games series, A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, I thought that I would list all of the reasons that I love the original series. Here are my reasons:

  • It was one of the first dystopian/fantasy books that I enjoyed.

Before The Hunger Games, I strictly read contemporary, aside from The Magic Tree House when I was in elementary school. I picked up The Hunger Games on a whim after I saw it on the shelves of a bookstore and thought it sounded interesting. I read the first book as soon as I got home… and then went and bought the next two books in the series the next day because I needed to know how the story ended. I have never read a series as quickly as I read The Hunger Games.

  • It is one of the first times that I really bought into the “fandom” of a series.

I was never a Twilight girl or a Mortal Instruments girl. I loved books, but I was never swept up into buying merchandise for books or being so excited for a book-to-movie adaptation that I waited outside the theater for hours. With The Hunger Games, that all changed. It was so cool to see so many people who liked the same thing as I did.

  • It was the only midnight premiere that I ever attended.

I never attended a midnight premiere for a movie until The Hunger Games. I remember waiting until tickets appeared online and buying them for the first showing at my movie theater. Then, I remember seeing how people were lining up hours before the movie started and rushing to the movie theater to make sure I got the best seat with my sister. It was the first time that I saw people actually dress up as book characters!

  • Finnick Odair… that’s it.

Finnich Odair was and will always be one of my biggest book crushes. I absolutely loved Finnick from the moment he was introduced on the page. I recently saw a tweet that talked about how smart Suzanne Collins was when she introduced him by highlighting how Katniss would never see him as a romantic interest which completely goes against the typical character arc for a character like Finnick in YA fiction.

  • It was the first young adult series that I loved.

Before The Hunger Games, I didn’t really read series since my younger years with Magic Tree House or The Babysitter’s club. Instead, I usually opted for stand-alone books. However, The Hunger Games introduced me to other dystopian series, like Divergent.

  • It gave me a character to dress up for Halloween… several times.

I have dressed up as Katniss so many times for Halloween that I can’t even count. I remember the first time that I dressed up as Katniss, before the movie even came out, when I made my own Mockingjay pin since there was so merch available yet.

  • The book-to-movie adaptations were well done.

I love the movie adaptations of The Hunger Games, especially the casting. Sometimes, the movie helped me enjoy or understand aspects of the books that I didn’t like, for example, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Mockingjay books and actually preferred the movies.

  • It has some of the best pacing that I’ve ever read.

The Hunger Games is the embodiment of the phrase “page-turner.” Everything that happens motivates readers to keep reading. Suzanne Collins plotted The Hunger Games in such a smart way that I could only hope to aspire to in my own writing.

  • It had some of my favorite bookish merch.

Like I mentioned earlier, The Hunger Games was the first “fandom” that I actually participated in. As a result, I ended up with A LOT of Hunger Games merchandise that I either bought or was given as a gift. I had my own mockingjay pin, a shirt, a blanket, a board game, and nail polish to represent my favorite districts. While I was never a person with my walls covered in posters, this was a lot for me.

  • It helps me write my own books.

The Hunger Games is often used a model for writing a book because it perfectly follows three-act structure. Looking at how the plot of The Hunger Games is constructed has helped me and many other aspiring writers to organize our projects!

Will you be reading the newest Hunger Games book?

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Top Ten Tuesday: The Last 10 Books that I Abandoned

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is the last 10 books that I abandoned. A lot of readers struggled to DNF a book to remove a book from their TBR. In the past, I was one of those readers 🙋. After last year where I struggled through a MAJOR reading slump, I’ve become more inclined to drop a book if I’m not interested in favor of a book that I feel good about reading. Now, it is time to visit my Kindle graveyard of unfinished books. Here are the last 9 books that I abandoned:

  • American Panda by Gloria Chao
American Panda

If you have seen my Currently Reading on Goodreads for the past year, American Panda has probably been on it for that long. I got about 40% of the way through American Panda…. then I never picked it up again. Initially, I was excited for this book because few young adult novels venture into college territory. That being said, this book read like every other young adult novel that I’ve ever read and I didn’t feel motivated to continue the story. While I hope to finish this book one day, which is why I keep it on my currently reading on Goodreads, I’m not sure that I ever will.

American Panda follows Mei, who starts college early on the track to become a doctor as a result of pressure from her parents. However, on her own, Mei may choose a different path.

  • Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1)

There was so much hype for this book online that I decided to purchase it when it appeared as a Kindle deal. Like with American Panda, I made it about 40% through the book. Unlike American Panda where I didn’t necessarily like it or dislike it, I wasn’t not liking this book at all. I found the characters to be completely inconsistent, bouncing from loving each other one minute to completely despising each other the next without rhyme or reason. Like with American Panda, I want to finish this book because I’m about halfway done, but I really don’t think I can finish this one.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown follows Chloe who creates a “get a life” list after a near-death experience.

  • Out of Left Field by Kris Hui Lee
Out of Left Field

This is another book that I purchased as a Kindle deal. I didn’t know much about this book when I purchased it, but it seemed like a fun contemporary which is right up my alley. Additionally, before all sports were called off, I wanted to get more into baseball this year. Like with American Panda, this book just read like many other YA books. Nothing stood out to me which would convince me to keep reading.

Out of Left Field follows Marnie, who trains with her boy best friend to take his place on the baseball team after his season-ending injury.

  • The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
The Fountains of Silence

I read two books by this author back in high school and I enjoyed them. However, when I have tried to read her most recent releases, the stories haven’t grabbed me. With The Fountains of Silence, I have requested this book so many times from the library… just for two weeks to pass without picking it up. While I’ve heard great reviews for this book, historical fiction is one of my least read genres, so I have to be in a very specific mood to read it.

The Fountains of Silence follows Daniel, an aspiring photographer, who meets a girl and her family still grappling with the effects of the Spanish Civil War.

  • The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken
The Blacksmith Queen (The Scarred Earth Saga, #1)

I started to read this book through my local library’s online collection after I was craving more fantasy. I got about 14% through this book before I put it down. I was incredibly confused at the get go about what was going on in the story and whose point of view I was following. Since I didn’t buy this book, I don’t feel like I need to read this book even though I started it, so this is one book on my list that is definitely abandoned.

The Blacksmith Queen follows Keely, a blacksmith caught in the middle of a war.

  • I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
I Believe in a Thing Called Love

I’ve tried to read a few books by Maurene Goo, but I just can’t get into them. I know that a lot of people enjoy her books, and when I read the synopsis, I am really interested. In this particular book, which I almost made it halfway through, I remember that it really bothered me that this main character who readers are told is very smart and put-together completely loses all of her sensibilities when a guy shows her attention.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love follows Desi Lee who uses inspiration from Korean dramas to get her first boyfriend.

  • A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)

After reading Brigid Kemmerer’s contemporary books, I was excited to read a book in a different genre by her. Like with many of the books on this list, I got about halfway through before I abandoned it. This was a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, and for me, I have read many retellings of this story that I enjoyed much more.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely follows modern-day Harper who ends up in a fantasy world under a curse. There, she meets Prince Rhen who must reverse the curse by his eighteenth birthday in order to save his kingdom.

  • Stay with Me by Mila Gray
Stay With Me (Come Back to Me, #2)

This was another book that I picked up on a whim as a Kindle daily deal. I’m not a huge fan of books that strictly deal with difficult topics and I tend to gravitate towards more light-hearted contemporaries, which is probably why I abandoned this book.

Stay With Me follows Didi who interns at a military hospital and becomes drawn towards Noel, who was wounded during his service in an attack that left several of his fellow soldiers dead.

  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea is another book by Ruta Sepetys on this list. Unlike The Fountains of Silence, I did actually start to read this one, but put it down. In Salt to the Sea there are several points of view, which I struggled to keep track of due to the opening of the story. I understand why Ruta Sepetys shifted perspectives so frequently in the beginning because it shows the chaos and confusion that the characters face as they escape their dire situations. At the same time, I was so confused that I just couldn’t push forward.

Salt to the Sea follows several characters as they flee to the ill-fated Wilhelm Gustloff in order to escape the Soviet Army during World War II.

What books have you recently abandoned?

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Top Ten Tuesday: What I Would Have at my Bookish Party

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is things that I would have at my bookish party. I think you could take this prompt many ways: a party with your bookish friends? A party to celebrate your favorite book? For me, I took it as what things from books would I use if I was throwing a party. Here are my choices:

  • Mad Hatter’s Table from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #1)

Alice in Wonderland parties always look cool and Mad Hatter’s table would be a great addition to any party. Not only does it seat many people, but it is also an aesthetic. Mismatched chairs? Check. Everyone gets their own teapot? Check. We’re good.

  • Pizza from Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Saint Anything

I love pizza so obviously it needs to make an appearance at my bookish party. I would love pizza from the family-owned restaurant in Saint Anything because the descriptions in that book literally made my mouth water. Plus, everyone knows family-owned pizza shops are the best.

  • Nico’s from Four Days of You and Me by Miranda Kenneally
Four Days of You and Me

I’m also a huge fan of Italian food and family-owned restaurants as I previously mentioned. Plus, I could meet Alex’s adorable grandparents if they catered my party which would be a plus.

  • Big League Burgers from Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
Tweet Cute

Although I love family-owned restaurants, I still have a soft spot for fast food. Big League Burgers could bring some well-loved favorite to my party as well as some amazing milkshakes.

  • Girl Cheesing from Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
Tweet Cute

If Big League Burgers would be in attendance at my party, you know Girl Cheesing would have to be there too. Could a food fight between these two rivals spontaneously break out any minute? Maybe. But just like the Twitter accounts of these two businesses, I I could count on my party going viral.

  • Guests from 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
10 Blind Dates

A party isn’t a party unless you have people there. I would totally invite Sophie’s family from 10 Blind Dates. Not only are there so many of them, but they are also so much fun… just don’t set me up for any blind dates to this party.

  • Floral Arrangements and Outfits from Maybe This Time by Kasie West
Maybe This Time

Sophie has style and I need decorations and an outfit for my party. She definitely does well with inspiration from flowers, so I know that I could have a very colorful dress.

  • Performances from Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberely and Austin Siegemund-Brocka
Always Never Yours

What’s a party without some entertainment? The drama department from Always Never Yours knows how to put on a show. Maybe, I could even finally see the finished product of Owen’s play that he was working on in this story.

  • Music from On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
On the Come Up

If you’re having a party, you need music for people to dance. Bri from On the Come Up could provide some cool music that would get everybody out on the dance floor.

What would you have at a bookish party?

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