August TBR

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Looking back on my July TBR, I’m not surprised that I only read one of the books that I initially planned. After my library brought in a slew of new releases, I found myself checking out six books at time. Even though I did have a great reading month (see my July Wrap-Up here), I didn’t end up tackling my TBR pile. Last month I planned to read the following books:

  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
  • Burn by Burn by Jenny Han and Siobahn Vivian
  • Surviving High School by Lele Pons and Melissa De La Cruz
  • Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale
  • L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad

Looking back at my choices, I can see why I didn’t pick up most of these books. Most of the books on my July TBR were school-centered and in the midst of summer, I leaned more towards beachy reads. I’ll probably save a lot of books on this list for September and October! The only book that I read on this list was L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad, which I rated three stars.

Looking towards August, I’m going to try to fit in as many summer books as I can before back to school rolls around. Here are my picks for the last month of summer:

  • Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

I’m trying to branch out and read different types of books, so this short story collection will be the perfect way to venture out of my comfort zone! I read the winter short story collection but Stephanie Perkins and loved reading it around Christmas time. Hopefully, I love reading this one during the summer!

  • It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

It's Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2)

I read the first book in this series in July, so I definitely want to finish this series before the summer ends! Even though the first book in this series wasn’t my favorite summer read, I feel like I will never finish this series if I wait an entire year to pick up the next book.

  • We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)

Similar to the second book in the series above, I want to finish this series before I forget the details. This series is perfect to read during summer, so hopefully I can finish it before the end of August.

  • Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer

I planned on reading this book last summer, but never got around to it. Hopefully, I can get to it before this summer comes to a close! Morgan Matson is one of my favorite contemporary authors, so I know that I won’t be disappointed by this one.

  • Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Windfall

This isn’t necessarily a summer read, but it is a book that I recently checked out of the library. I want to finish this book before the due date!

 

What books do you plan to read in August?

Battle of the Books: How My Summer Went Up in Flames vs. The Summer After Me and You

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After reading a lot of books with similar characters, plots, and ideas, I thought it would be a great idea to determine the best of the best. In my book battles, I would choose two books with the same author or similar plot to see which book comes out on top. To prevent any ties, I will judge each book based on five categories which will vary by the battling books.

This book I will be putting two books by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, How My Summer Went Up in Flames and The Summer After Me and You. Both of these books are fun summer books about girls from the Jersey Shore. Let’s see who wins this book battle!

Plot

How My Summer Went Up in Flames: After Rosie’s ex-boyfriend cheats on her, she accidentally sets his car on fire, stalks him, and receives a temporary restraining order. To prevent any further legal complications, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road tip with three dorky guys.

The Summer After You and Me: After months of rebuilding due to Hurricane Sandy, Lucy finally returns home to finish her junior year of high school. Connor Malloy, Lucy’s tourist neighbor and former love interest, returns and refuses to acknowledge their secret relationship last summer. Even though Lucy started dating someone new, she can’t forget about last summer.

WINNER: How My Summer Went Up in Flames

When I read the backs of these two books, How My Summer Went Up in Flames definitely sounds more interesting to me. The main character, Rosie, sounds like she could be an interesting and funny main character. Also, her road trip spans from New Jersey to Arizona, so I know there will be a lot of cool places that Rosie and the guys visit throughout the novel. The Summer After You and Me, on the other hand, has the Hurricane Sandy aspect which sounds like a very interesting perspective. On the other hand, the plot seems a little more unoriginal.  Even though the plots in both books were a tad inconsistent for me, I found that many of my initial thoughts on these books turned out to be true. As a result, How My Summer Went Up in Flames takes the first round.

 

Main Character

Rosie from How My Summer Went Up in Flames: I have mixed feelings towards Rosie. I really enjoyed how Rosie’s character grew throughout the book. Rosie slowly found the errors in her ways and focused more on what she wanted for her future than her love life. On the other hand, Rosie was sometimes difficult to follow. I never clearly knew which guy she liked, why she kept texting her ex despite a restraining order, the reasoning behind any of her actions. Not being completely in her head definitely made it more difficult to relate to her or understand her character.

Lucy from The Summer After You and Me: Like with Rosie, I have mixed feelings toward Lucy. Much like with Rosie, the reasoning behind any of Lucy’s actions were never clear, which made it difficult to relate to her. Often times, Lucy knew the right decision to make, but then chose completely different actions. After her decisions, Lucy whined and complained a lot which did get on my nerves. However, I did appreciate the little blurbs from Lucy’s senior thesis which related one of her passions, marine wildlife, to the rest of the novel.

WINNER: How My Summer Went Up in Flames

 

Setting

Rosie’s Road Trip: I liked Lucy’s road trip, but didn’t absolutely love it. I appreciated that the group stopped at many different places across the United States, but I never felt the atmosphere of each location as I read about it in the novel. I also wasn’t a fan of the group stopping in Texas to meet one of the guy’s future college classmates. Even though Lucy befriends the girl and gets advice from her, I don’t think it’s a necessary part of the novel.

Lucy’s Beach Town: Reading about Lucy’s town on the Jersey Shore before and after Hurricane Sandy was definitely the highlight of the novel for me and I wished the author would have explored this more throughout the novel. Even though I watched the news and saw the devastation from the storm on television, it’s very different to read about it, especially from an author from the area. I especially liked reading about the clean-up efforts after the storm which sometimes aren’t recognized as much as the storm itself.

WINNER: How My Summer Went Up in Flames

 

Romance:

Rosie’s Love Interest: While reading this book, it’s very hard to determine who Lucy’s love interest actually is. It seems like every guy within ten feet of Rosie falls in love with her, and since Lucy is very impulsive and unsure of her feelings, I think many readers will feel unsure of who to root for in this book. I think Logan, the college guy in the road trip, is pushed as the biggest love interest. As for Logan, he’s not a terrible love interest, but not great either. At first, Logan shows nothing but hate for Rosie, but is described as very hot, so Lucy finds herself attracted to him. Then, Logan wants to visit a girl he met at college orientation in Texas, but his feelings for the girls are never truly defined. While Logan shows some interest in Rosie towards the end of the novel and gets jealous when other guys show her attention, I never saw a deep connection between them and never felt invested in their relationship.

Lucy’s Love Interest: Even though I found some of the same problems with The Summer After You and Me that I did in How My Summer Went Up in Flames, I appreciated how Lucy had one solid love interest that I could invest in. However, there were still a few annoyances that I had with this book. Lucy’s love interest, Connor, doesn’t really have many redeeming qualities except for his appearance. Even though Lucy is with Connor, she isn’t afraid to show her emotional attachment to Connor. The novel seems to justify her actions by her boyfriend exhibiting similar action at prom which makes it okay for Lucy to immediately flee with Connor. I don’t agree with Lucy or her boyfriend’s actions within this novel, but it annoyed me when Lucy preached to her boyfriend about his actions when she did the same thing. Even though I didn’t love the romance in this book, I will give The Summer After You and Me for providing a clear love interest.

WINNER: The Summer After You and Me

 

Side Characters:

How My Summer Went Up in Flames: I really liked a lot of the side characters in How My Summer Went Up in Flames. Even though some characters were very one dimensional, such as her best friend, the girl from Texas, and her ex-boyfriend, I really liked Lucy’s guy best friend, Matty, and the dorky member of the road trip, Spencer. In the novel, Rosie’s relationship really grows and changes with these two guys, which I really appreciated. I actually found myself rooting for Rosie and Spencer to get together instead of Rosie and Logan.

The Summer After Me and You: I really despised most of the side characters in The Summer After Me and You. Lucy and her boyfriend are in the same friend group and after their similar actions end the relationship, all of Lucy’s friends ditch her and remain friends with her ex. I felt like her “friends” were extremely cruel to Lucy during the story for completely ridiculous reasons and it made me want Lucy to find completely different friends, but that never happened. I thought her twin brother and best friends were the worst out of the group and I really disliked that they only supported Lucy again after a traumatic accident.

WINNER: How My Summer Went Up in Flames

 

OVERALL WINNER: How My Summer Went Up in Flames

On Goodreads, I rated How My Summer Went Up in Flames as three stars and The Summer After You and Me as two stars. Looking at these two books, I think both are quick and easy summer reads. However, I also think that both of these book struggle with relatable characters and a cohesive plot. For me, How My Summer Went Up in Flames wins because I had a more enjoyable experience while reading it and liked more of the characters. In this book battle, How My Summer Went Up in Flames beat The Summer After You and Me 4:1.

 

Which two books would you battle?

July Reading Wrap-Up

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July always seems to be a great reading month for me and this July was no exception! This July I read eighteen books and finally pushed ahead to be ahead of schedule for my yearly reading goal. Here are the books that I read during July (any books with reviews will be linked to the title):

  • Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin (★ ★ ★ ★)

Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me

Milk and Honey

  • By Your Side by Kasie West (★ ★ ★ ★)

By Your Side

Wanderlost

  • L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad (★ ★ ★)

L.A. Candy (L.A. Candy, #1)

  • The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski (★ ★)

The Summer After You and Me

  • Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)

  • Geekerella by Ashley Poston (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Geekerella

  • Stars Above by Marissa Meyer (★ ★ ★ ★)

Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5)

  • Wires and Nerve, Volume One by Marissa Meyer (★ ★ ★ ★)

Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerves, #1)

  • The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (★ ★ ★)

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)

  • Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (★ ★ ★)

Eliza and Her Monsters

  • The Heir by Kiera Cass (★ ★ ★ ★)

The Heir (The Selection, #4)

  • The Crown by Kiera Cass (★ ★)

The Crown by Kiera Cass

  • My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak (★ ★)

My Life with the Walter Boys

Re-reads:

The Truth About Forever

  • How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski (★ ★ ★)

How My Summer Went Up in Flames

  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Fangirl

Library Book Sale Haul 2017 Part Eight: My Library Book Sale Experience

Library Book Sale

We’ve finally reached the end of my eight part series on my largest book haul ever from my library’s annual book sale. This was definitely a crazy sale for me… my sister and I walked away with 223 books for only $65! Like I mentioned in my first post, this does seem a little excessive. However, my sister and I use this sale to mostly stock up on books for our future classrooms.

Last year, I found the original price of every book we purchased to see how much we actually saved. This year, that process was a little too difficult. With so many books, many with old editions or prices not easily located online, it wasn’t possible to find an accurate percent savings or even the original price of every book. Instead, I calculated how much we paid per book and compared it to the average price for a children’s book, a middle grade book, a young adult book, and an adult book.

Since we paid $65 dollars for 223 books, we paid about 30 cents for book. To determine the prices of a standard book, I use the prices created by the School Library Journal. Let’s get into the savings!

For a hardcover children’s book the average price is $17.77 and the average price for a paperback is $7.29. That means we saved about 98% on each hardcover children’s book and about 95% on each paperback children’s book. Each hardcover young adult book averages at $19.12 and each paperback young adult book averages at $12.09. For each hardcover young adult book, we saved 98.4% and for each paperback young adult book we saved 97.5%. Each hardcover adult book averages at $26.98 and each paperback averages at $16.06. We saved 98.8% on each hardcover adult book and 98.1% on each paperback book. Overall, we saved an average of 97.6% off of regular retail price on the books we purchased at the sale.

Compared to last year’s sale, I found that I picked up more picture books, early chapter books, and middle grade books. I think this year’s selection of young adult books was smaller than last year and the books available were ones that I already had in my book collection. This year I really scored with picture books by finding several books on my wishlist, including Pinkalicious and Aqualicious.

During last year’s sale, my percent savings was a little higher at 98%, but due to possibly inaccurate book pricing, the savings may actually be slightly different. Either way, those savings are pretty high of the regular retail price. I think I paid slightly more for books this year due to finding more hardcover books on the first day of sale and inconsistent pricing across the book sale employees.

Consistent with previous years, the $5 bag sale was the craziest day of the sale. If you are looking for DVDs or books in a series, I suggest scoping out the location of these items the day before. The line outside of the library is extremely long before the sale opens and these tend to be the first items of the sale to go. I’ve seen people not even look at the DVDs before sweeping a whole pile into their bag.

Since the library most likely will give you a bag to ensure consistency, you might want to bring your own tote bag to stash items as your walk around the sale. The flimsy plastic bags won’t be able to hold everything that you will end up stuffing in them and it is difficult to maneuver around the sale with a stack of books in your arms. After you secure your most desired items and scope out the sale again for any books you missed, it’s a good idea to find a less crowded area away from the sale too review the books you picked up, take back any that you accidentally grabbed and don’t want, and to carefully organize the books into as few bags as possible. For more information on how my library sale worked and what to expect on different days of your library book sale, check out my experience post from last year here.

Overall, I really enjoyed this year’s sale and can’t wait until next year! I walked away with a lot of books that I’ve been wanting to read and supported my local library at the same time. I recommend library book sales to any book lover looking to add quality books to their collection for a fraction of the cost while supporting their local reading community!

 

Tell Me Three Things Review

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If I told you three things about this book, I would say this book is (1) cute, (2) fun, and (3) has a lot of heart.

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum follows Jessie, a high school junior who moves to California when her father remarries after her mother's death. Jessie's new prep school is Los Angeles is drastically different than her school in Chicago and Jessie feels extremely lost. One day, she receives a mysterious message on an anonymous students who promises to help Jessie navigate her new school. Soon, Jessie finds herself falling for the person behind the messages.

One day, I saw Tell Me Three Things as a deal for my Kindle, but I passed it up because the plot sounded like a lot of other books that I've read. I really regret my decision now because I really enjoyed this book after checking it out from my library! Even though Tell Me Three Things does play into some tropes, I thought it was a cute and fun read with a nice writing style.

I think the strongest aspect of this book was how Jessie dealt with her life after her mother's death. From the counting the day since she passed, how she characterized her stepmother, and her relationship with her father were extremely authentic and realistic. In the author's note, Julie Buxbaum noted how, much like Jessie, her mother passed away when she was a teenager and many of Jessie's actions throughout the book reflected her own life. Even though it must have been extremely difficult, as Buxbaum remarked in her author's note, I think drawing on her own experience made this part of the book even more impactful and stand out among other young adult books on the same topic.

Another strong aspect of the book was Jessie's relationship with her friends. All of Jessie's friends were extremely realistic and many of their conversations and jokes reminded me of when I was in high school. I think a lot of readers the same age of Jessie will connect with her voice and her relationships to her friends. *MINOR SPOILER AHEAD.* The only complaint that I would have for this part of the book was Jessie's blow-up with her friend back home from Chicago. Even though her friend is known for being outspoken, it seemed out of character for her to freak out on Jessie without a warning. The drama seemed unnecessary, especially when the girls quickly made up a few pages later.

While I enjoyed many aspects of this book, there were several areas that could be improved. This book takes place in Los Angeles and utilizes many stereotypes for the location and characters. The mean girl is blonde, looks like the super model, and for some reason targets the narrator even though she poses no threat. Jessie's crush completely defies the Los Angeles stereotype but is constantly surrounded by a flock of girls. While Jessie's brother possessed the potential to have a great story line and more complex relationship with Jessie, he became more a caricature than a character who dressed in costume for every occasion. These characters and their involvement in the plot was a little too typical and made the book drag in places.

Another part of the book that frustrated me were the different possibilities of SN. It's pretty obvious who is behind SN, but it's understandable to have multiple characters to increase suspense. However, I never fully believed it was any of the other possibilities and I didn't care for how they were resolved. *WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD* It seemed like Liam only existed to create drama with the blonde mean girl and to emphasize how great Jessie was without really showing it through her actions. His ending is probably the least satisfying out of the two other options. I can't even remember the name of the other options because he was loosely tied to SN that you wondered why he was constantly brought up.

Despite the issues I had with Tell Me Three Things, I enjoyed reading most of the book and I know it is something that would connect with a lot of high school readers. For the author's personal connection and the realistic relationships, I give Tell Me Three Things three stars.

The Siren Review

the siren

 

A siren’s voice may bring men to their death, but The Siren book unfortunately bored me to death.

The Siren by Kiera Cass follows Kahlen who became a siren after a boat her family was on sank into the ocean. Kahlen is sick of watching people die because of her voice and isolates herself from the outside world. Then, she meets Akinli, a kind boy who could make her dreams come true. With twenty years left of her siren sentence, falling in love could prove deadly for both Kahlen and Akinli.

Even though The Selection wasn’t the best book I had ever read, the story hooked me and I couldn’t stop reading. The Siren falls into many of the same traps of The Selection, however, it never hooked me so I found myself struggling to finish the book. Overall, I felt that The Siren was filled with tropes, bland, and a little boring.

I think the most challenging aspect of this book was the relationship. Since this entire book hinges on the love story, the relationship between Kahlen and Akinli needed to be strong and convincing. Unfortunately, it was neither. Both Kahlen and Akinli are run-of-the-mill YA characters that lack the depth and connection to make an outstanding love story. Kahlen is the “different,” but beautiful girl, who can literally wash up on the shore outside of Akinli’s house without batting an eye lash. Akinli literally possesses no flaws and will do anything for Kahlen. Their relationship felt more melodramatic than real, and since it is the basis of the entire book, it made the whole book fall flat for me.

Like with Kahlen and Akinli, many of the side characters felt too one-dimensional and barely impacted the plot. Kahlen’s siren sisters were simply defined by one characteristic, such as the party girl or the one who isolated herself. Even though Cass gave us glimpses at their pasts and how they coped with their job as a Siren, it never was enough to fully understand their motivations. It seemed many of the characters only existed to make it possible for Kahlen and Akinli to stay together.

Another disappointing aspect of this book would be Kahlen’s relationship with the ocean. This is a personal preference, but it really irritated me to read long paragraphs in italics when Kahlen had discussions with the ocean. I think Cass did a great job of trying to develop the ocean as a character and her flawed relationship with the girls. However, it never completely fleshed out, and like the romance, fell flat. Overall, the whole siren story line came across as too cheesy and surface-level for me to fully believe it.

While I like the premise of The Siren, I think many of the characters and backstory could be better executed to connect readers to the story. Overall, I was disappointed with The Siren. As a result, I give The Siren two out of five stars.

Mid-Summer Mini Review

milk and honey

Unfortunately, Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur wasn’t a sweet read for me.

Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry divided into four sections from pain to finding the sweet moments in life. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about Milk and Honey and when I saw it become available digitally through my local library, I decided to download it. Let me start of by saying I’m not a huge poetry reader, so it takes a lot for me to actually enjoy a poetry book. I feel like readers who are more into poetry will definitely enjoy this book, but it just wasn’t for me.

One positive aspect of this book is that there are a lot of themes that readers will relate to and enjoy. However, I found myself just flipping through the pages to get done with this book. I’ve seen a lot of people post different quotes and pages from this book on social media. I found that while reading this book, these were the only lines that really stuck out to me.

Another aspect that I think hindered my experience was the means that I read this book, which obviously, is a bad decision on my part and not the book. I’m not sure how the print version is, the version on my Kindle reader seemed to be a little off. I think the spacing of the words and the pictures didn’t translate well which hindered my reading experience.

While I think many readers will enjoy this book, it just was not my cup of tea. I really had to push through to finish this book and didn’t really have a good time while reading it. While I’m only giving this book two stars, I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of poetry or books that deals with themes of abuse, love, loss, and femininity.

Five Beach Reads

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Over the past few weeks on my blog, I’ve been sharing some of my favorite books that relate to summer. First, I discussed five summer wedding books. Then, I talked about books relating to summer jobs. In my last post in this series, I chose books that reminded me of five summer destinations. This week, I’ll discuss five summer beach reads.

When I go to the beach, one of my favorite things is to pull out a book and read. Whenever I’m not at the beach, I like to live vicariously through characters in my books. Here are five books perfect to read if you are vacationing at the beach or want to feel like you are:

  • The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

The Summer After You and Me

The Summer After You and Me is the perfect read for anyone who lives at the beach year round. In The Summer After You and Me, Lucy is a Jersey Shore native returning to her home for the summer after Hurricane Sandy. Lucy must face more than the destruction of a hurricane when an old love interest comes back into town.

  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride

Along for the Ride is one of Sarah Dessen’s books that primarily takes place on Colby Beach. This is the perfect beach read for anyone looking for a fun summer read that also contains a lot of depth. In Along for the Ride, Auden spends summer with her father, his new wife, and their baby. There, Auden meets a new group of friends determined to give Auden a normal teenage experience.

  • Picture Perfect by Catherine Clark

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect is the perfect beach read for anyone looking for a book that is quick, light, and fluffy. Picture Perfect takes place in the Outer Banks and follows a teenage girl who is vacationing with her parents and their college friends’ families. Not many young adult beach reads take place on the Outer Banks, so this is a great book to read if you’re planning a trip there!

  • Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Twenty Boy Summer

Twenty Boy Summer is the perfect summer read for anyone who doesn’t mind shedding a few tears. Every year, Anna joins her best friend Frankie and her family to a trip to Zanzibar Bay. This year, however, Frankie’s brother won’t be joining them after he passed away in a car accident. When Frankie devises a plan to meet one boy every day, Anna remains hesitant since she is still grieving over the death of Frankie’s brother who she secretly dated.

Alex, Approximately

Alex, Approximately is the perfect beach read if you’re looking for a cute book set on the West Coast. Alex, Approximately is a spin on You’ve Got Mail and also contains a lot of depth. Even though this book primarily takes place on the boardwalk or in a museum, there are definitely a few surfing scenes that will delight any beach fan.

 

What are your favorite beach reads?

Library Book Sale Haul Part 7: Bre’s Books

Library Book Sale

Over the past six weeks, I’ve talked about all the books I scored at my library’s annual sale. This week, I’m going to switch it up and talk about the books that my sister found. During the library book sale, my sister primarily searches for young adult and adults books. Usually, she finds great deals on new releases and pricey hardcover books. Here’s what she found:

  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I’ve seen The Maze Runner movie and definitely have a lot of questions after watching it. I’m hoping that I’ll understand it better once I read the book, but I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about this series.

  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I feel like Cassandra Clare is one of the bigger YA authors out there right now and I’ve never read a book by her! Now that my sister owns a copy of the first book in The Mortal Instruments series, hopefully I can enjoy her books like so many other people!

  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

I’ve always wanted to read Number the Stars,  but I’ve never picked it up so I’m glad that my sister found a copy at the library book sale. I know so many people love this book, so I’m very excited to read it.

  • Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

This is another book that I feel everyone reads when they’re younger, but I never got around to reading! Luckily, it’s always easy to find these types of books at library sales!

  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Bounce by Natasha Friend
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This was definitely the #1 book people were looking for at the library book sale… and my sister found it! Not only is this book in perfect condition, but it’s a newer release and a great find at the book sale.

  • Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
  • The Sweet Far Thing Libba Bray

I read Beauty Queen by Libba Bray, but wasn’t a huge fan. However, I’ve heard a lot of positive reviews from close friends of this series, so I definitely plan on giving it a try.

  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

My sister and I love these books by Barbara Robinson, so I’m happy that she finally found one of her books to add to her own book collection!

  • Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Debs by Susan Bride
  • Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steigg Larsson
  • The Girl who Played with Fire by Steigg Larsson
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I remember seeing the trailers for the Memoirs of a Geisha movie when I was younger. Since I’ve never seen the movie, it will be cool to read the book before I watch it!

  • The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker 

 

What book deals have you scored recently? Stay tuned for next week to see my final post for this year’s annual book sale!

The Truth About Forever Book Review

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You want the truth? I think that I’ll love this book for ever.

The Truth About Forever follows Macy West after her father dies and her boyfriend leaves from Brain Camp for the summer. To maintain her perfect appearance, Macy takes over her boyfriend’s job at the library despite his rude coworkers and spends her night studying for the SATs to please her mother. When Macy meets the crew of Wish Catering and an extraordinary boy named Wes, her summer starts to look up.

I’ve read all of Sarah Dessen’s books and The Truth About Forever is in my top three. I remember in high school my sister recommended this book to me and I’m glad that I listened to her! The Truth About Forever is one of my all-time favorite books and I recommend to anyone, even people who aren’t typically fans of contemporary. Like all of Sarah Dessen’s books, The Truth About Forever hits you right in the heart with its underlying universal themes.

I think one of the main reasons The Truth About Forever stands as one of the most beloved Sarah Dessen novels is the characters. Every character in this book is realistic and complex. Macy is a likable character whose struggle to be perfect will be relatable to many readers. Furthermore, Macy’s relationships with her family and other characters are accurate to every day life. Additionally, the supporting character in this novel all stand out, no matter how little they appear in the book. Kristy’s bold and dramatic personality stands out as one of Sarah Dessen’s most well-developed and favored best friends. Monica’s one-liners and Bert’s quirky personality also provide quality comic relief throughout the novel.

Another one of the reasons this book stands out is the romance. Both Macy and Wes are flawed characters which makes their relationship all the more perfect when they get together. Like Kristy says, Wes definitely has a sa-woon factor and stands out from other ordinary guys in young adult literature. One quality about Sarah Dessen’s love interests that I appreciate is that their caring, funny, and kind without being cookie-cutter or too perfect. Wes is the perfect example: he’s exactly the kind of guy Macy needs, but not in an obvious way.

Sarah Dessen’s books will always hold a special place in my heart, but The Truth About Forever is one of her books that stands out from the rest. The Truth About Forver contains everything that I want from a contemporary book: relatable characters, realistic relationships, and a deeper underlying message. I give The Truth About Forever five out of five stars.