June TBR

Hello, summer!

As someone who loves the summertime and reading, June begins my favorite time of the year. Not only do I have more time to read, but it’s the perfect time to read my favorite genre: contemporary. Here’s what I plan to read in the first month of summer (books marked with an * were sent to me via NetGalley from the publisher):

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

Tools of Engagement doesn’t release until September, but I looked to read books that I’m approved for on NetGalley pretty quickly. Plus, Tools of Engagement is a fun, romance read which is perfect for the summer time. This is the third book in a companion series and I have not read the first two books. That being said, I have already started this book and not reading the first two books hasn’t negatively impacted my reading experience.

Tools of Engagement follows Bethany Castle who is typically responsible for staging the homes that her family’s real estate business flips. However, Bethany is determined to flip a house on her own, despite her brother’s protests. When a television crew catches wind of the family feud, Bethany’s insecurities of doing her own flip, and her complicated relationship with a former member of her brother’s crew, are put in the spotlight.

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

This book has been on my TBR since is released in May, I just haven’t gotten around to read it yet. However, June will be the month! I am a big fan of this author duo and I’m excited to read their latest release.

Time of Our Lives follows Juniper and Fitz, who are both touring colleges. While Juniper wants to go to college far away from her large family, Fitz wants to stay close to his mom who has early on-set Alzheimer’s.

  • A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

As a former Hunger Games super fan, it isn’t surprising that I am so excited to read this book. I actually started it in May, but put it down, so I could finish Aurora Burning last month. As a contemporary girl who loves fun, upbeat stories, I can only take so many life and death stakes at a time. That being said, I ended off May with several contemporary stories, so I’m ready to jump back into this one.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows President Snow before he was President Snow as he mentors a girl in the tenth annual Hunger Games.

What books do you plan to read in June?

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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: Books I Picked Up on a Whim

top ten

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the theme is the top ten books that I picked up on a whim. Here’s my list of books that I knew little about when I picked them up and how I felt about them afterward:

1.) Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

When I went to the bookstore the day that I bought The Hunger Games, I was actually looking for a different book. It was out of stock, but I still wanted to get a book to read. I didn’t know what The Hunger Games was about, but I heard it was good, so I bought it. I loved it so much that by the end of the week, I bought the other two books in the trilogy!

2.) Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han

I’d never heard of this book before, but my sister mentioned that Jenny Han wrote some young adult books that she really enjoyed. Since this was only $1 at the dollar store, I decided to pick it up. I’m glad I did because it was such a cute and charming story!

3.) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

When I was in high school, we had to choose a book and then write a paper about anything in the book. This was the only book that really stuck out to me on the list we were given (it also helped that it was one of the shortest). I really loved Frankenstein and was happy when I got the chance to reread it in one of my college classes.

4.) Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

I honestly don’t remember much about this book, but I remember checking it out of the library because the cover looked cute. This isn’t one of my favorite books of all time, but I remember enjoying it.

5.) Dream Factory by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler

I picked up this book at the library because the cover was pink and when I saw that the plot centered around Disney, I knew that I wanted to read it. In the end, however, I really didn’t like this book.

6.) Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

When I picked up this book at the store, I saw it had a plot similar to She’s the Man, so I was instantly hooked. I enjoyed reading this book, but it is very similar to many other books with the same plot, so the plot was pretty predictable.

7.) Somebody that Everybody Listens to by Suzanne Supplee

This looked like a cute, Taylor Swift kind of story, so I picked it up. I enjoyed this story, but it seemed like it was missing something to make it really memorable.

8.) Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

I knew Sophie Kinsella wrote the Confessions of a Shopaholic series, so I picked up this book at a thrift store for a fluffy read. I really like this book and can’t wait to read more of her books!

9.) Virals by Kathy Reichs

I picked up this book at a discount store because the plot seemed interesting, however, I never find myself drawn enough to actually read it.

10.) This is not a Drill by Beck McDowell

This is another book that I picked up that seemed interesting, but I haven’t read. I’m not sure if I will end up reading this book though because of how closely it relates to my future career.

What are some book that you’ve picked up on a whim?

Marry, Kiss, Cliff (YA Edition)

lipstick stain

Day 8 of Blogentine’s Day.

Today for Blogentine’s Day, I will round up some of my favorite love interests from YA books. I selected nine characters and used a randomizer to sort them into three separate rounds. For each round, I will choose a character to marry, kiss, or push off a cliff (and survive). After three rounds, the winners from each round will compete in one final round. Here are the results:

ROUND ONE: Finnick Odair (Catching Fire/Mockingjay), Cricket Bell (Lola and the Boy Next Door), and Tobias Eaton (Divergent series)

Ugh, this is so hard! I love all three of these characters so much.

Marry: Finnick Odair is absolute perfection. I didn’t care about any other character after he was introduced in Catching Fire. #teamfinnick

Kiss: I love Cricket and it was definitely hard choosing between him and Finnick. I’ll put Cricket at number two because he is more cute/adorable compared to Finnick.

Cliff: I’m going to have to choose Tobias! I love Four, but just not as much as Finnick or Cricket!

ROUND TWO:  Michael Moscovitz (Princess Diaries series), Andrius Arvydas (Between Shades of Gray), and Owen Armstrong (Just Listen)

Okay, this one is a little easier.

Marry: Owen Armstrong, for sure. I love the other two, but some reason, Owen is one of my favorite YA love interests. He’s nowhere near perfect, and usually someone who is slightly pretentious about music would annoy me, but I love Owen more every time I reread Just Listen.

Kiss: Sorry, Michael, but I have to choose Andrius! He showed his kindness throughout the novel and even in such a terrible situation, he made Lina feel safe.

Cliff:  I love the Princess Diaries, but out of these three, Michael isn’t my favorite. I liked Michael in the beginning of the series, but didn’t really feel a strong connection to him by the end.

ROUND THREE: Dexter (This Lullaby), Ryan Bauer (The Lonely Hearts Club), Etienne (Anna and the French Kiss)

Marry: Dexter, for sure! Dexter is so dorky, but has a heart of gold. He’s definitely husband material.

Kiss: I would have to kiss Etienne! Even though I think being in a relationship with him would be a little too dramatic for me, the accent is a definite plus!

Cliff:  I’m going to have to choose Ryan. I really like him, but I feel like he doesn’t have as much depth as the other two characters.

FINAL ROUND: THE WINNERS FROM ROUNDS 1-3

Finnick Odair (Catching Fire/Mockingjay), Owen Armstrong (Just Listen), and Dexter (This Lullaby) 

This. Is. So. Hard.

Marry: Finnick Odair forever ❤  Obviously, I love all three of these guys, but Finnick will always hold a special place in my heart.

Kiss: If I have to choose… Owen Armstrong. Just Listen was the first Sarah Dessen book that I read, so I’ve had a connection with him longer.

Cliff: My heart is breaking. I will put Dexter here, but it is very, very painful.

What would you choose in each round?