Top Ten Tuesday: Winter 2018 TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is your Winter 2018 TBR. During the winter, I usually ask for some books or Amazon gift cards for Christmas. As a result, I gain a lot of new books to my TBR! Plus, there are so many winter releases that I need to read as soon as they are released. Here are ten books that I plan to read during the winter:

  • Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Archenemies (Renegades, #2)

This is one book that I know I will be getting for Christmas. Marissa Meyer is one of my favorite authors and I am excited to continue her newest series. The first book in this series garnered mixed reviews, however, I really enjoyed it. I’m excited to learn more about the characters and see what direction the plot takes. I haven’t read any reviews for this book in the series, so I’m not exactly sure what to expect.

  • Wild Card by Marie Lu

Wildcard (Warcross, #2)

I read War Cross last year and I did enjoy it, even if it’s not one of my favorites of all time. This is the first Marie Lu series that I’ve read. I really enjoy her writing style and I’m interested to see what direction this story goes. I saw a lot of hype surrounding people initially getting ARCs, but I haven’t read any reviews following that so I’m not sure what to expect with this book.

  • Snow in Love by Melissa De La Cruz, Nic Stone, Aimee Friendman, and Kasie West

Snow in Love

I wanted this book the moment I saw it on Goodreads. This book I want to read before Christmas since many of the stories take place around different winter holidays. Kasie West is one of my favorite contemporary authors, so I’m most excited for her story. I haven’t had the best reading experiences with Melissa De La Cruz’s books, so I’m excited to read something new by her to see if I enjoy this one. I haven’t read anything by Aimee Friendman or Nic Stone, so it will be cool to check out two new to me authors as well.

  • The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

I saw a post on Twitter about how it seems like everyone has already read an ARC of this book. I am not one of those lucky people, so I will be excited to pick this up when it’s released in January. While I had mixed feelings towards the first book, the ending really drew me in which makes me want to see what happens next.

  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys 

Salt to the Sea

I’ve had this book on my TBR since it was released in 2016. I tend to read heavier topic books in winter months, so I definitely want to finish this before the spring and summer otherwise I will probably put it of again. I have loved every book that I’ve read by Ruta Sepetys and I have heard amazing things about this one, so I just need to finally sit down and read it.

  • 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

99 Percent Mine

I read The Hating Game this past year and really enjoyed it. It was one of my first treads into the new adult genre and it made me want to pick up more by the author. While the plot of this book doesn’t necessarily interest me as much as The Hating Game, I’m hoping it will have the same fun and fast-paced style which will want to keep me reading.

  • China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians, #2)

I read Crazy Rich Asians this past year. While I enjoyed it, it was difficult for me to initially get into the writing style. However, after watching the movie, it reinforced that I really do enjoy the characters in this series and I want to see what happens to them. I’ve heard Astrid is a major character in this book. She was my favorite character in Crazy Rich Asians, so I definitely want to pick up this book in the near future to see how her story continues.

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

I’ve read two contemporary books by Brigid Kemmerer, Letters to the Lost and More Than We Can Tell, and absolutely loved both of them. She does a great job of making deep and complex main characters as well as an impactful story. When I saw A Curse so Dark and Lonely on Goodreads, it was a no brainer to add it to my TBR. I’m excited to see this author’s work in fantasy. If her world-building is as superb as her characterization, I know I won’t be disappointed. I love fairytale retellings, so I definitely will be reading this soon after its release.

  • Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss

Like I mentioned earlier, Kasie West is one of my favorite contemporary authors. There are very few authors who I automatically buy their books after they are released. I trust Kasie West to provide a fun book that I can read in one sitting and this one seems like no exception. Although I’m generally unimpressed with books involving acting or people trying to be famous, I’m hoping this Kasie West book can help change my mind.

  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sarah Bernard

A Quiet Kind of Thunder

I actually received a copy of A Quiet Kind of Thunder from my sister for my birthday back in September. However, I haven’t had the chance to read it yet. This book sounds right up my alley. One of the main characters is selectively mute and the other main character is deaf and they develop a romantic relationship. As a special education teacher, I love reading books that feature characters with disabilities and represent them accurately. I’ve head nothing but positive reviews for this book, so it’s close to the top of my TBR even if it is the final book on this list.

What books are on your winter TBR?

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The Brittany Awards: New Adult/Adult

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Welcome to The Brittany Awards!

The Brittany Awards are my annual end-of-the-year lists to celebrate my favorite books of this year. For 2017, I have divided my list into three preliminary categories (new adult/adult, YA contemporary, and YA fantasy) and one overall favorites category. For each category, I will select my top five favorite books as well as two honorable mentions.

Today, I will be selecting my top new adult or adult books that I read in 2018. Every year, I try to branch out into a new genre or age range that I don’t typically read. Last year, I found myself picking up a lot of graphic novels (see my top favorite graphic novels from last year here). This year, I found myself branching out into the new adult or adult genre.

When it comes to finding books where I relate to main characters, it has been a struggle. I can identify somewhat with young adult characters because I have experienced situations that occur in books about them. On the other hand, I am sometimes not really into reading the drama in young adult books, especially books that lean to the younger YA side.

As for new adult books, while the characters are my age, most of these books are primarily romance novels. For me, I’m not typically the biggest fans of books with romance as the driving force. However, moving into the more “adult” scene, it’s difficult for me as someone in my mid-20s to relate to older characters who are living very different experiences than my own (for example, being married and having kids).

That being said, I did pick up some new adult and adult books this year, based on different recommendations that I’ve seen from out YA readers. I found several books that do fill in the gap between young adult and adult for me. While there were a couple books that fell a little flat for me, I overall enjoyed many of the new adult or adult books that I read this year and look forward to reading more in 2019.

Now, time for the good part! For the new adult/adult category, I have three favorites and two honorable mentions. First, here are the honorable mentions:

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I actually decided to read this after seeing the trailer for it. From the trailer, it looked like a cute historical romance. Since I was a fan of Lily James, who plays the main character in the Netflix adaptation, I immediately picked this one up. While the romance aspect really isn’t played up as much in the book as I expected from the trailer, I really loved the history embedded into this book. This book is definitely out of my comfort zone, it is adult and historical, and I ended up overall enjoying it.

  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1)

I picked up Crazy Rich Asians for a similar reason to the book above. I saw the movie and it looked absolutely hysterical with a cute romance, which seemed right up my alley. This book wasn’t necessarily what I expected, similar to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. It took me awhile to get into the writing style and the bouncing around between different characters isn’t something that I find in books that I typically read. Even though I didn’t find myself laughing out loud as I expected, I couldn’t stop turning the pages because I needed to see how all the drama was solved!

 

Here are the three favorites:

  • The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game

This book is a huge new adult recommendation to people who typically read young adult books. Now that I’ve read this book, I completely understand! These characters definitely have the banter of some YA couples, but on a more mature level. This book is like a classic romantic comedy. Since that is my favorite kind of movie, I absolutely loved this book.

  • The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

When I saw the description of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, I knew I had to read it! This book follows a steamy romance writer after she decides to become a Christian. I’ve read quite a few Christian books, but they tend to follow the same format and they typically don’t feature a character like Sarah. This book was definitely a fun read and I hope to pick up more books from this author in the future.

  • Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

Dating You / Hating You

Dating You/Hating You is a big recommendation for fans of The Hating Game. Both follow two coworkers competing for the same job. Like with The Hating Game, I really liked the dynamic between these two characters and think it could be a good transition for people who want to branch out of young adult. This book was seemed really knowledgeable of the jobs that the character had, which I really appreciated. That being said, there is a lot of romance in this book which was a little off-putting to me personally at times.

 

What were your favorite new adult or adult books of the year?

Roomies by Christina Lauren Book Review

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Roomies by Christina Lauren follows Holland Bakker, a twenty-something year-old fascinated by a subway musician. When a man attempts to attack Holland at the subway, her crush Calvin Mcloughlin comes to the rescue. To show her appreciation, Holland introduces Calvin to her theater director uncle who is looking for a new star for his production. Calvin is a perfect fit, but there’s only one problem… his visa expired. To save her uncle’s production and help out Calvin, she decides to marry him.

I’ve seen Roomies recommended a lot for fans of The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, which was a new adult novel that I also read this year and really enjoyed. Plus, I’ve heard positive reviews for books by Christina Lauren, the duo of Christina Hobbs, and Lauren Billings. When this appeared as a Kindle Deal, I couldn’t pass it up especially since I’ve been trying to read more new adult and adult books this year. While this was an easy and light read, there’s just a few aspects of this book that held me back from completely loving it.

One aspect that I enjoyed about this book, as well as another book by Christina Lauren this year, it the knowledge surrounding the industry where the book takes place. Looking at their biographies, it seems their working experiences outside from writing are different from what they write, so I appreciate all the research that they put into the theater industry. While there are a few unbelievable moments, like how Calvin secures his job and how easily Holland’s choices are accepted, this “escape” read also has a little more substance.

Holland and Calvin are two characters you’ve probably seen in romantic comedies before, however, they are generally likable. I think a lot of twenty-somethings will relate to Holland. She isn’t is exactly where she would like to be in her career, is still relying on family to provide for her, and doesn’t have a solid romantic relationship. Calvin was a decent male character, although I didn’t really care for some of his actions especially towards the end of the novel, specifically involving Holland and his family.

While Holland and Calvin are both decent main characters, I never found myself extremely invested in their relationship. It seemed like Holland put a lot more into the relationship than Calvin, especially at first, which personally wasn’t as fun for me. Additionally, I never really felt the chemistry between them. I don’t typically enjoy the average girl/star performer story line, so this definitely could be hindered by my personal preference as I know many people do enjoy their relationship. As I hinted at earlier, I also didn’t care for Calvin’s actions towards Holland near the end of the novel due to his lack of transparency with his mother and sister.

Overall, Roomies is a decent young adult novel although some aspects of the novel didn’t particularly suit my tastes. For me, I would most likely recommend Dating You/Hating You also by Christina Lauren to fans of The Hating Game which I enjoyed a little bit more. That being said, I would not rule out reading another Christina Lauren book in the future, although it may not be at the top of my to be read list. I give Roomies three out of five stars.

E-Book Haul (December 2018)

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Over the past few months, I’ve accumulated a TON of new reads through Kindle Daily Deals and Kindle Monthly Deals. If you have read any of my haul posts before, you know I am a huge fan of finding books that I’ve been wanting to read for only a few dollars on my Kindle since I don’t have any shelf space at the moment. Here are some of my most recent finds through Kindle Daily and Kindle Monthly Deals:

  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

I own all of the other books in this series on my Kindle, so it was awesome to fidn this one as a Kindle deal!

  • Roomies by Christina Lauren

Roomies

This was my first book by Christina Lauren. I heard a lot of hype surrounding this book. Plus, many people recommended this book if you enjoyed The Hating Game. This book was only okay for me and I much prefer the Christina Lauren book that I read after this one (Dating You/Hating You).

  • The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin

The Big F

I haven’t heard anything about this book, but it features a character who is starting college. I found this book particularly interesting because the main character’s college plans fell through, so now she is enrolled at a local community college. This sounds different than other books that feature a character starting college, so I’m interested to see if I end up enjoying this story.

  • The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

The Names They Gave Us

This was one of my favorite books of the year, so I was so excited to find it as a Kindle Deal so I could have it in my collection since I read it as a library book initially. This book is recommended for fans of Sarah Dessen and I agree wholeheartedly!

  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

I haven’t read this story and I’m not a huge superhero person, but I really like the books that I’ve read by Leigh Bardugo so I can’t wait to read this one!

  • Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons, #2)

Like with Wonder Woman, I’m not too into superheroes but really liked War Cross by Marie Lu so I wanted to check this one out!

  • Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose by Sadie Robertson

Live Fearless: A Call to Power, Passion, and Purpose

I’ve been wanting to read more Christian books out of the fiction realm, so I downloaded this when it appeared as a deal. I think this is targeted towards someone younger than I am. However, I’m about halfway through this book and I think it has some great messages for people of all ages.

  • The Francis Chan Collection (Crazy Love, Forgotten God, Erasing Hell, and Multiply) by Francis Chan

The Francis Chan Collection: Crazy Love, Forgotten God, Erasing Hell, and Multiply

If you ever went to youth group, you probably watched a video by Francis Chan at some point. I already have a copy of Crazy Love, but decided to pick up this whole collection when it appeared as a Kindle Daily Deal. This is a great book if you’re looking to incorporate some media as well because there are links to videos online. I recommend reading this book on a phone to more easily access the interactive elements.

  • Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Stay Sweet

I read Stay Sweet at the beginning of summer and absolutely loved it. I was so excited when it appeared as a Kindle Deal so I could add it to my collection and hopefully convince my sister to read it in the future.

  • My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff

My New Crush Gave to Me

This was a more recent purchase from last month in November. I was looking for a Christmas read, so it was perfect when this popped up as a monthly deal. This book is like a Christmas Netflix movie. If you’re looking for something fun to read before Christmas, I definitely recommend checking this one out.

What Kindle deals have you scored recently?

Top Ten Tuesday: Cozy/Wintry Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is cozy/wintry reads. I love books that involve winter in its setting or take place at Christmas since it is one of my favorite times of the year. I’m always on the lookout for new holiday releases to get myself excited for Christmas. Here are ten books that I think make the perfect cozy/wintry reads:

  • Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Bittersweet

Bittersweet has all the elements of a perfect winter read: holidays, hockey, and homemade pastries! Bittersweet follows Hudson Avery, a former ice skater who wants to take the ice again in order to earn a scholarship and leave her hometown. However, to get the ice time she needs, Hudson must help her town’s struggling ice hockey team with their skills.

  • My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff 

My New Crush Gave to Me

My New Crush Gave to me is my most recent winter read. This book reads like a cute Netflix movie. While extremely predictable, it is a fun book to read during the Christmas season. In this book, type-A student Charlotte “Charlie” Donovan teams up with slacker J.D. Ortiz to pick out the perfect Secret Santa gift for J.D.’s popular cousin.

  • Secret Santa by Sabrina James

Secret Santa (Holiday and Party Romantic Comedies Book 1)

Secret Santa follows the point of views of several students at a high school during their school’s Secret Santa gift exchange. This book was written in the early 2000s… and it definitely sounds like it with the fashion and pop culture references. However, I read this book around Christmas every year because it so much fun to read!

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

This is such a winter classic, it has to be on the list! How the Grinch Stole Christmas follows the Grinch who dislikes Christmas and decides to “steal” it from the citizens of Whoville. In the process, he learns an important message.

  • It’s a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison

It's a Mall World After All

This book doesn’t scream winter, but it does take place around Christmas time and involves the characters setting up a holiday toy drive for students in need. In this story, Charlotte suspects her best friend’s boyfriend is cheating on her. When she attempts to catch him, his best friend keeps getting in her way. This is another book that I’ve read countless times, especially around Christmas, so it always reminds me of this time of the year.

  • Midnights by Rainbow Rowell

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Midnights is one of the short stories in the My True Love Gave to Me short story collection. Although that collection wasn’t my favorite, I did love Rainbow Rowell’s story about two people who keep meeting at the same New Year’s party every year. This story was so cute and is perfect to read as the clock approaches midnight.

  • Love on the Lifts by Rachel Hawthorne

Love on the Lifts

Love on the Lifts follows Kate, who has a major crush on her brother’s college roommate. Kate tries to turn her crush into a reality when her brother and his friends show up at the same house as them during winter break. However, she may find someone else who is a better match. This story is a short, quick read and it’s so much fun! It takes place at a ski resort, so there’s plenty of snow and winter activities included in this story as well.

  • Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle 

Let it Snow

Let It Snow is one of the first books I reviewed on my book blog when I was on winter break during college, so this was definitely a memorable winter read for me. Out of the three stories included in this collection, my favorite by far in Maureen Johnson’s. However, I do like how all the winter stories in this book all connect together.

  • It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Out of My True Love Gave to Me, I also loved the story written by Stephanie Perkins. I really enjoyed the two characters in her story and wanted to read more about them after their story ended.

  • All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

All I Want for Christmas Is You

This book is so cute! All of the words in this book as from Mariah Carey’s hit Christmas song. Plus, the illustrations feature beautiful winter scenes. I recommend this book for anyone looking to find a special Christmas read for their child.

 

What are your favorite cozy/wintry reads?

Most Read Authors in 2018

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Last year, I reflected on the end of the year by seeing which authors I read the most in a year. Typically, If I read more than one book by the same author in one year, I really like their work. Other times, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book I read, but still wanted to check out more from the author. When I did this list last year, there were some authors that had six books listed next to them (see my list from last year here). While this isn’t the case this year, it was still interesting to see which authors I gravitated towards this year while reading.  For each author, I will discuss what books I read, my thoughts about the books, and a list of titles read with links to  my reviews. Here are some of my most read authors this year:

  • Jennifer Echols: Biggest Flirts, Perfect Couple, and Most Likely to Succeed

Biggest Flirts (Superlatives, #1)

I’ve always wanted to read the Superlatives series since it came out because of the cute covers. However, they didn’t have them at my local library and I never got around to purchasing them. One day this year, I discovered all three books in one large set for such a cheap price that I couldn’t pass it up!

After reading this series, I come out with mixed feelings. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first two books in this series, although I did enjoy the last book. I think I would have enjoyed these books more when I was younger. A lot of the characters are one-dimensional and over dramatic. Additionally, there are a lot of characters within this series and problematic elements, particularly in the first two books, that I didn’t enjoy reading.

  • Kasie West (3 books): Love, Life, and the List, P.S. I Like You, and Listen to Your Heart

Love, Life, and the List

Kasie West quickly became one of my favorite young adult contemporary authors last year and I continued to love her books throughout 2018 as well. Love, Life, and the List has become my favorite of all of her books and I can see myself rereading it next year. P.S. I Like You was one of my few rereads this year and I loved it just as much as the first time I read it. Kasie West’s books are like your favorite high school movie and perfect for any time you need a little cheering up. Additionally, I read one of her new book’s this year, Listen to Your Heart. Overall, that book falls into the middle of the pack for me in terms of her books. However, I still really enjoyed it and it was perfect to read at the beginning of summer even though it takes place at the beginning of the school year.

  • Sarah J. Maas (2 books): Throne of Glass and A Court of Frost and Starlight

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

I read the first three books in The Court of Thorns and Roses series last year and the books mostly rated average for me with the exception of A Court of Mist and Fury. That being said, I was still excited for A Court of Frost and Starlight because I really enjoyed the characters and wanted to see where the story line was headed. Like with most of the books in this series, the overall story was fairly average but it was still a very enjoyable reading experience due to my love of the characters.

For A Throne of Glass, it was also an average reading experience for me. I felt that it was a fairly typical opener for a YA fantasy. I’ve seen some plot points from later in the series. Although it sounds like there are aspects and future characters in this series that are interesting, the first book just wasn’t for me and I can’t really see myself continuing on with the series especially since it is a large one.

  • Miranda Kenneally (2 books): Racing Savannah, Breathe, Annie, Breathe

Racing Savannah

This year, I finished Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series. For me, the series was average for contemporaries with one or two stand-outs with one or two misses as well. I read Racing Savannah first, and while I found it more enjoyable than some others in the series, it still ranks in the upper average range for me. I liked the couple in this book, the sport is focused on, and the main character’s background story. Still, it missed something for me to really love it.

On the other hand, Breathe, Annie, Breathe quickly became my favorite of the series. The writing in this particular book seems a little more cohesive than some of the others and Annie was a character that really grew throughout the course of the novel. While most of Kenneally’s books are easy and quick reads for me, this definitely garnered more emotion out of me than her books generally do.

  • Sandhya Menon (2 books): When Dimple Met Rishi and From Twinkle, With Love

When Dimple Met Rishi

I wanted to read When Dimple Met Rishi as soon as I saw the description. However, I’ve been tying to limit my book buying and I wanted until it was shelved in my local library. While I liked When Dimple Met Rishi, there was something missing from this book that really grabbed my attention. I liked both Dimple and Rishi, I didn’t mind the small amount of the coding camp in the book, and I wasn’t fazed by the drama or angst.

When I went in From Twinkle, With Love, I hoped to see that spark I missed from When Dimple Met Rishi. However, I enjoyed the first book I read by this author more than the second. Twinkle is very immature which made it a little more difficult for me to relate to her experiences and drama. Additionally, a lot of the characters felt like watered down characters from the first book which didn’t make this story stand out for me.

  • Katie Cotugno (2 books): How to Love and 99 Days

99 Days

Before reading books by Katie Cotugno, I heard a lot of mixed reviews. However, I’m a huge fan of contemporary and I am always looking for new authors to read within that genre. First, I read 99 Days. This book doesn’t have the most positive reviews, but I still really enjoyed this book. The relationship isn’t anything new or different for YA and neither is the drama, but it was a fun book to read over the summer. That being said, I haven’t felt compelled to pick up the other book in this duology because I feel like it will just be the same story rehashed again just set in a different place.

  • Taherah Mafi (2 books): Shatter Me and Unravel Me

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

I wanted to read this series after the fourth book came out. I remember the first book in the Shatter Me series being released when a wave of YA dystopian/fantasy was released several years ago. I believe that I decided to pass on it because I read negative reviews on Goodreads about the book’s writing style and the plot. This summer, I made it a goal to read all the books in the series. However, I have only read the first two books in the series so far.

I have mixed feelings towards the Shatter Me series. I actually didn’t mind the writing style to much. Since I read so much, I’m able to filter out any flowery writing to get the most important details. That being said, I didn’t find myself invested in the story and characters, who seemed to be a little all over the place. I can see why many people enjoy these books. They are quick to read and have lots of drama to keep the pages turning. For me, they were just a little repetitive and I didn’t feel compelled to pick up the other two books currently in the series.

  • Karole Cozzo (2 books): How to Keep Rolling After a Fall and How to Say I Love You Out Loud

How To Keep Rolling After a Fall

I remember seeing How to Keep Rolling After a Fall on Goodreads or some book list somewhere, but didn’t know the plot behind it. At first, I was a little skeptical with the title of this book and the cutesy cover. I wasn’t sure if this book would really portray what it’s like to have a character who uses a wheelchair. Then, I saw How to Say I Love You Out Loud by the same author as a deal as well. Upon reading the description, I saw this book also included a character with a disability, but instead this book featured a character with autism.

As a special education teacher, I’m always looking to read new books that feature characters with disabilities and represent them accurately. I especially appreciate books that also include an academic element and accurately portray special education and the special education process as a whole. Although I was initially hesitant about these books accurately portraying disabilities, the author Karole Cozzo did an amazing job! I read in the author’s biography that she is a school psychologist. Since school psychologists are responsible for evaluating students in special education, she has a lot of knowledge about young people with disabilities and how those around them react. I definitely recommend her books, especially How to Say I Love You Out Loud!

  • Christina Lauren (2 books): Roomies and Dating You/Hating You

Roomies

I picked up Roomies as a Kindle deal after seeing many people in the book community recommending it as a new adult book for people who typically read YA. Roomies was only an average read for me because the driving force is the relationship. Since I wasn’t totally invested in the relationship, it was a quick and easy read for me that was enjoyable, but nothing spectacular.

Despite my experience with Roomies, I picked up Dating You/Hating You since it sounded very similar to The Hating Game, another new adult book I read this past year and enjoyed. While there were some off-putting elements of this book, I overall enjoyed the second book I read by Christina Lauren than the first. I also really appreciated the research into the character’s careers and the huge role it ended up actually playing in the story.

  • Rachel Van Dyken (2 books): Fraternize and Infraction

Fraternize (Players Game, #1)

I picked up Fraternize as a Kindle deal because I was looking into branch out into more new adult fiction. Since I’m familiar with cheerleading and football, this seemed like a cute and fun book to check out. Both Fraternize and Infraction, which followed side characters from the first novel, were just okay. It didn’t emphasize the cheerleading aspect enough for me in the first book. Additionally, the ends of these books felt extremely rushed, especially in the second book which tried cramming two relationships into one. Overall, these were only okay reads for me.

 

What are your most read authors of 2018?

My New Crush Gave to Me Book Review

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On the first day of Blogmas, my true love gave to me… a review of a cute Christmas read!

My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff follows Charlotte “Charlie” Donovan, a type-A student on the mission to find a date to a classmate’s after Christmas party. Charlie sets her sights on Teo Ortiz, a star quarterback and a star student. As a result, Charlie formulates the perfect plan: host a secret Santa gift exchange, pick Teo’s name, and wow him with spectacular gifts! However, Charlie struggles to find gifts for her crush and seeks help from Teo’s laid back and constantly late cousin, J.D.

I absolutely love finding new Christmas books to read in December. Lucky for me, this book popped up as a Kindle Monthly Deal back in November. The premise of this book sounded like a cute holiday movie… and it delivered! While this book isn’t the most new, inventive, or memorable, it is the perfect fun and easy book to read around Christmas.

As for the characters in this book, they are fairly standard for a young adult read. Charlie is an overachiever, whose very Type-A personality slightly annoyed me from time to time. Charlie is presented as a very intelligent and bold person, however many of her actions do not come across that way. However, many of her actions are very real and relatable for a high school girl. Therefore, younger readers may find more in common with her character than I would.

As for the love interest and romance in this book, they are once again very typical young adult. Teo Ortiz seems pretty much perfect, but his treatment of Charlie isn’t very great. That being said, I appreciated how the author had several characters call out his behavior immediately after it occurred. J.D. is a sweet love interest that the author gives many layers to as the novel unfolds. The best way to describe his character is that I could see Noah Centineo playing him in the film adaptation.

Moving onto the plot, it was overall a quick and easy read. There were cute scenes between Charlie and her love interest and the ending to the story put a smile on my face. That being said, there were was one part of the plot that I wish had more resolution. Charlie is very bossy towards her best friend who does literally anything she asks, which is pointed out to Charlie throughout the novel. I wish Charlie would have recognized this and made an effort to stop controlling her friend, but unfortunately this never happened.

Overall, this is a cute Christmas read that I could see being made into a Netflix movie. While somewhat cheesy and very predictable, this was a fun Christmas read that I finished in one sitting. I give My New Crush Gave to Me three out of five stars.

 

What are your favorite Christmas reads?

Merry Blogmas!

blogmas

Merry Blogmas!

Every year on my blog, I host a “Blogmas” where I celebrate the end of my reading year with Christmas themed book tag, book reviews, and my end-of-the-year book awards (The Brittany Awards). The first year I started this on my website, I only did 12 Days of Blogmas. However, last year, I pushed myself to write a post for every day of December until Christmas… and I ended up writing a post for every day of the month!

This year, I hope to do the same: publish a new post every day until Christmas starting tomorrow. I hope you can stop by!

-Brittany

The Nope Book Tag

Book Tag

Thank you to Karen Jo at Sincerely Karen Jo for tagging me! I completed this tag last year (see my past Nope Book Tag here), so I’m excited to see what new answers I have from my reading list this year. Here are my answers to The Nope Book Tag (any book with a review will be linked to the book’s title):

  • Nope Ending: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage or simply because the ending was crappy.

The Hating Game

I actually enjoyed The Hating Game, but one aspect of the ending of this book really irked me (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD). Basically, the two main characters of this novel are competing for a higher position in their company. However, at the end of this book, the male character backs out to take a job at a new company, so we never see who actually earned the job. It irritated me that it was basically like, “Oh, you get the job now since I’m not in the running.” I would have much preferred to see who actually got the job in the end and see the other character respect that their love interest earned the position.

  • Nope Protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

Biggest Flirts (Superlatives, #1)

I really disliked both the main character and love interest in this story, Tia and Will. Tia is the girl every guy wants and is super intelligent, even though all of her actions make her seem lazy and irresponsible. Will angered me even more. He is presented as charming, flirty, and a golden child. However, he blames Tia for all the negative attention he receives for getting Biggest Flirts with her… even though he continues to flirt with her even when he has a girlfriend! It was really hard to get through this story when I couldn’t get behind either character.

  • Nope Series: A series that turned out to be a huge pile of nope after you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it.

Gone Rogue (Wires and Nerve, #2)

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series, unfortunately the graphic novel series Wires & Nerve which follows Iko was a bit of a flop for me. I felt like it didn’t add anything to the story and kept using the same situations over and over in each book. Additionally, some of the characters seemed a little off to me in their characterization within these two graphic novels.

  • Nope Pairing: A ship you don’t support.

From Twinkle, with Love

From Twinkle, With Love definitely does not have one of my favorite ships of the year because I felt like the characters were just put together because they were the two main leads. Twinkle rubbed me the wrong way a few times and I felt like Sahil was a carbon copy of Rishi, but with less vibrancy. I didn’t believe their romantic connection and the book was overall too dramatic for me to invest in their relationship.

  • Nope Plot Twist: A twist you didn’t see coming and didn’t like.

Genuine Fraud

I saw this plot twist coming, but I didn’t like it. I felt like I’ve seen this story so many times, so there really wasn’t an element of surprise.

  • Nope Genre: A genre you never read.

I don’t really read autobiographies, possibly because I’m not really into long non-fiction books. I feel like many autobiographies revolve around celebrities or political figures which I’m not interested in reading about outside of news articles.

  • Nope Book Format: A book format you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

I haven’t experienced an audio book, so I would say that would be my least preferred format. I’m somehow who likes to drift off into thought when I’m listening to anything, so I don’t think I’d be very successful following along to this format.

  • Nope Trope: A trope that makes you go nope.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

It’s not necessarily a trope I hate, but I’ve seen it so much recently that I’m kind of over it. The bad boy trope has been played up a lot recently and I think it’s because “the boy with a troubled past” character is easier to create depth and a more twisted backstory. At the same time, I feel like this isn’t really revealed into later books in a series. As a result, the bad boy character does a lot of questionable and often harmful things to the main character. Cardan does a lot of messed up things to Jude in The Cruel Prince. I understand that he has a rough past, but some of his actions towards her made me feel extremely uncomfortable and I don’t know if I continue the series how I could see him as a potential love interest. You can have a “bad boy” who isn’t abusive (for example, Owen in Just Listen by Sarah Dessen).

  • Nope Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly pushed at you, that you simply refuse to read.

Wuthering Heights

I actually read a little bit of this book before my sister constantly recommended it to me. However, I don’t think I will ever pick this up. I know a little bit about this story and it just doesn’t seem like something I could power through when there are so many other books out there than I am interested in reading.

  • Nope Cliché: A cliché or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

Perfect Couple (Superlatives, #2)

Cheating! I dislike how cheating is often used to cause drama in a book and I especially dislike when there’s an attempt to justify it which is exactly what happened in Perfect Couple. Often times, I find the main character or her potential love interest have one-dimensional and shallow significant others to justify their secret relationship. Um, no. I don’t care if Harper’s boyfriend was an annoying hipster or Brody’s girlfriend was the popular mean girl. They still should have broken up with them before starting their own relationship.

  • Nope love interest: A love interest that’s not worthy of being one.

Textrovert

I actually didn’t mind Textrovert… until the ending. The love interest in this book, Talon, is a popular high school football player who has issues with his father. Typical, but something I could tolerate. Then, (SPOILERS AHEAD) it is revealed that he sent sexual pictures of his ex-girlfriend to other guys as revenge. The bullying this girl faced literally forced her to move TOWNS away. Readers even have to listen to multiple people give speeches on how “he’s changed” and “he’s a good guy now” despite everything in the story suggesting otherwise based on how he presents his relationship with Keely to others. Sorry, but that’s not a character that I can get behind.

  • Nope Book: A book that should not have existed. 

The Summers

I wouldn’t say The Summers shouldn’t exist, but it just wasn’t a book that I really enjoyed. It’s very similar to other books on the market that I enjoyed more, so it’s just another book to me.

  • Nope Villian: A villian you would hate to cross. 

Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game, #1)

In Ace of Shades, there’s something called The Shadow Game. Basically, you play with cards and pretty much everyone dies. Sounds like a place that I don’t want to visit!

  • Nope Death: A character death that still haunts you. 

Lady Renegades (Rebel Belle, #3)

SPOILERS AHEAD. I actually didn’t mind this book until the ending. Then, it didn’t one of my LEAST FAVORITE TROPES… EVER! One of the main characters in this series dies… but comes back without memory of any of the events in this series. UGH, THIS MAKES ME SO MAD! I call it the Cinderella III “plot twist” where it makes like the original story never happened (I literally was yelling at the screen when I watched Cinderella III when this happened) which makes me SO ANGRY.

 

I nominate…

Grace @ Nocturnal Book-a-holic

Amy @ Bookish Heights

Rose @ Dreams That Are Answered

 

What books/tropes make you go NOPE?

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne Review

book review

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is a contemporary new adult novel which follows two rival employees at a publishing company. Lucy Hutton, a spunky executive assistant (and slight push-over) to one of the company’s CEOs, despises Joshua Templeton, the company’s other executive assistant who appears cold-hearted and ruthless approach to other employees. When a promotion opens up, both Lucy and Joshua want the new prestigious position. However, through their competition, Lucy and Joshua find that they may not hate each other as much as they once thought.

This year, I wanted to branch out and read about more characters who are my age. While I love young adult books, I’ve found more and more that I can’t always relate to their experiences. However, it’s been difficult finding new adult books or adult books that aren’t hardcore romance books or about characters significantly older than me and dealing with parts of life that I haven’t experienced. I think The Hating Game was a great read because it is like a contemporary young adult read, but for an older audience  which is what I hope to see more of in new adult books.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I couldn’t put it down! This book is an easy to read book that reads like a romantic comedy. I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw this book turn into a movie in the near future. The characters, who although change their hearts a little too quickly for me, are likeable and have funny back-and-forth comments throughout the novel. Though is book contains tropes typical in similar books, I still found myself smiling throughout the story and not thinking about reading similar books to this a few times before.

That being said, there were a few minor changes that I think could have made this book better. While most of Lucy and Joshua’s banter was cute and funny, there were a few instances that were really uncomfortable to read for me. Additionally, I was really put off by the ending. I felt like there was really no resolution to the competition between them so the ending was a little bit of a cop-out.

The Hating Game is a great stepping stone for people looking to branch out of young adult books, but not dive into the adult world yet. I would recommend this book to people who enjoyed I’ve Got Your Number or My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella, since both feature young professionals and focuses their life experiences as well as romance. I give The Hating Game four out of five stars.