I felt like trying something a little different today… a book discussion! Rather than formally reviewing Crown of Midnight (which I just finished a couple days ago and it was way beyond amazing), I want to talk about my feels with all of you over the book and also discuss ships! Let me tell you… I HIGHLY recommend this series. I have only read the first two books so far, but I am already completely invested in the story and characters, and quite frankly, I am blown away! Be sure to leave if you have not read Crown of Midnight because there will be spoilers, and also please do not spoil me for Heir of Fire, because I haven’t read it yet!
WOW! I am so humbled and flattered that the lovely floralinkbooks nominated me for the Liebster Award. I just created my blog less than a month ago, so I was especially surprised and flattered to log in to my account and discover this nomination. Her blog is wonderful, so you all should definitely check it out! Thank you very much, Michaela.
1.) Thank the blogger that nominated you (as seen above).
2.) Answer the 11 questions the blogger designated for you to answer.
3.) Nominate 11 blogs who YOU think deserve this award.
4.) Give them 11 original questions to answer.
5.) Be sure to notify the blogs you have nominated.
Easy, right? Well, without further ado, let’s answer these questions!
Welcome to Top Five Friday! I wanted to begin a unique weekly post on my blog, so I decided that each Friday I would post my personal favorite “top five” books that relate to a specified theme. This week I will be recommending my top five favorite contemporary books to read in the summer!
Summer: school is out, sun is out, and, as most bookworms would agree, books are out. And there is no better book to read in the summer than a wonderfully written contemporary! Here are some of my favorite summer contemporary reads:
#5: Anna and the French Kiss
By: Stephanie Perkins
“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.”
Anna and the French Kiss follows a high school student named Anna who is unwillingly swept off to a boarding school in Paris by her wealthy father to complete her senior year. However, when Anna meets Étienne St. Clair, she realizes that Paris might not be all too terrible, and that giving new experiences a chance might be worth a shot after all.
I read this book last summer on a plane ride and I really enjoyed it. Although the book doesn’t take place during the summer (it takes place over the course of Anna’s senior year) there is something truly magical about the city of Paris that gives the entire book a fun, summery vibe. One of my favorite aspects of this book is how easy it is to relate to the characters, even if your own circumstances are not exactly the same as the characters in the novel. The book has a really sweet romance too, and in my opinion, is a perfect summer read!
#4: Better Off Friends
By: Elizabeth Eulberg
“When you’re comfortable with someone, you don’t always need to fill the void with noise. I liked it when we would just be.”
Better Off Friends follows best friend duo Macallan and Levi from seventh grade to junior year as they grow up and learn about themselves and their relationship with each other. Eulberg tackles and perfectly executes the timeless question: can girls and guys just be friends?
This book is quite honestly adorable. It’s definitely geared toward younger teens, but I love it all the same. There is something extremely touching about Macallan and Levi’s friendship that makes this such a “feel good” book. I also am a sucker for books with childhood friends that fall in love, so naturally I loved this one. Better Off Friends is a fantastic book and I would highly recommend it.
#3: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
By: Morgan Matson
“The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them.”
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is a riveting road trip novel that follows the detours of Amy and her unexpected friend Roger as they travel together from California to Connecticut to move Amy’s car. This book addresses the topics of overcoming fears, putting peace to the past, and mending damaged relationships.
Amy & Roger’s is certainly a cute summer romance, but definitely deals with some heavier topics than the aforementioned novels. Amy struggles with heavy emotional trauma after her dad passes away in a car accident, and a good portion of this novel is dedicated to her overcoming that. This book (if you haven’t already guessed) has a prominent road trip aspect to it that is perfect for the summer. The author, Morgan Matson, actually took a road trip previous to writing this book, so it is very authentic! I would highly recommend this book for the summer.
#2: We Were Liars
By: E. Lockhart
“Be a little kinder than you have to.”
We Were Liars is truly one of those novels that is better to go into not knowing anything at all. It is one of my all-time favorite books, and I honestly think reading it in the summer enhances the reading experience. The important things to know going into this book are: Don’t expect a prominent romance. Do expect mystery, privilege, and suspense. Don’t go into this book looking for a mindless read. Do expect to be provoked with thought and blown away.
Just read it, ladies and gentlemen. Read it.
#1: Since You’ve Been Gone
By: Morgan Matson
“I don’t think you have to do something so big to be brave. And it’s the little things that are harder anyway.”
Since You’ve Been Gone journeys through a summer of introvert Emily’s life as she attempts to find her best friend who mysteriously disappears, but most importantly, finds herself. Via a summer bucket list left by her friend, Sloane, Emily discovers so much more than what she ever bargained for. Since You’ve Been Gone is a book about friendship, bravery, and finding yourself that is brilliantly weaved throughout a stellar story. It has a gorgeous cover, too, so that’s a definite added bonus.
I could rave about this book forever, but I’ll save that for another day. However, I will tell you this book is definitely my favorite summer read (it’s my favorite contemporary ever) and I have never related to a book more than this one. It is truly amazing, and I highly recommend reading it this summer. You won’t regret it!
P.S. I Still Love You
By: Jenny Han
Genre: YA Contemporary
Personal Age Rating: 15+
Rating: 3.25/5 stars
Synopsis: Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?
In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.
“You’re not my best friend, You’re my sister, and that’s more.”
My very favorite thing about To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was the Song sisterhood, and that continued to be my favorite aspect of P.S. I Still Love You. I have also gained a persistent desire to bake, attend a 1940s party, and watch The Sound of Music. However, I found all the drama in this book highly frustrating. Everything in this book is everything I have and will always try to avoid in my high school experience. There will be spoilers ahead. Let me explain…
By: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: YA Dystopian Romance
Personal Age Rating: 15+
Rating: 5/5 stars
Synopsis: The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”
With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.
The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.
“Come back to life, love. I’ll be here when you wake up.” -Warner
Ignite Me embodies every aspect you could ever wish for in the final book of a series. It’s emotional, empowering, satisfying, and most importantly, the best book in the entire series. Young Adult Dystopian trilogies too often struggle with tying up the lose ends in the last book, leaving the reader with a dissatisfied feeling toward the series as a whole. The Shatter me series did NOT have this problem at all. Each book gets better and better, and the character development in each book is perfectly executed. If you haven’t read Shatter Me yet and need a bit of convincing, please check out my Shatter Me review. I did not review Unravel Me because I was too busy, but I gave it 4.75 stars in Goodreads. This review for Ignite Me will contain spoilers for the rest of the series, seeing as it is the last book, and I want you to be able to enjoy this masterpiece of a trilogy as much as I did!
By: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: YA Dystopian Romance
Personal Age Rating: 14+
Rating: 4/5 stars
I have a curse
I have a gift
I am a monster
I’m more than human
My touch is lethal
My touch is power
I am their weapon
I will fight back
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
“Laughter comes from living. I’ve never really been alive before.”
I know, I’m about the last person in the universe to hop on this bandwagon. I have constantly been told to read this book, and guess what, I finally did! Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is a refreshing change from what I have previously been reading and is exquisitely unique. Mafi is very much a visual writer, which is evident though the repetition, punctuation, strikethroughs, and use of numbers scattered throughout her prose. Not only is Mafi’s writing visual to the eye, but also visual to the mind, as it is drenched in flowery metaphors and vivid imagery. The beautiful writing is accompanied by a stellar story, filled with several interesting characters that provide potential for great character development as the series progresses. Here are some things that I loved about this book, and some things I didn’t particularly enjoy.
Well, May is coming to a close and I am proud to say that amidst finals and finishing school I was able to complete a total of five books! My favorite read of the month was Fill-In Boyfriend (not pictured above) and my least favorite read was Meant to Be, although I still enjoyed it. Here are my ratings and overall thoughts on the books I read this month:
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge: 3.75/5 stars
Cruel Beauty is a fairy-tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a spin on Greek mythology that is unlike anything I have ever read before. The writing is exquisite and the world is extremely imaginative and interesting. This book truly exudes individuality. However, I found the plot rather predictable due to extensive foreshadowing and I also found myself bored in particular parts of this novel, which is the primary reason I deducted stars. Overall, a very solid, creative read!
The Heir by Kiera Cass: 4/5 stars
The Heir is the fourth book in Kiera Cass’ series, The Selection, following a new lead character, Eadlyn, as she participates in her own Selection. I immensely enjoy The Selection series and have found each book highly addictive and consistently entertaining. This book is no exception, certainly delivering its fair share of romance and drama. I took off a star because the lead character, Eadlyn, is extremely egotistical and selfish, and I also felt as if a few of the plot points were rushed at the end of the novel. I reviewed this book, so be sure to check it out!
The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West: 5/5 stars
There is no question in my mind that Kasie West writes perfect contemporaries. She is able to get to the point of the story during the first few pages of each of her books in order to give the readers what they want… the relationships! There are never filler scenes and the dialogue in each of her books is funny, cute, and realistic. The Fill-In Boyfriend opens as high school senior and student body president Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom. Desperate not to go alone, she begins to look around the parking lot and finds, well, a Fill-In Boyfriend. Mystery, cuteness, and adventure ensues post-prom in a character driven plot. Pick up a Kasie West book, you won’t regret it!
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally: 3/5 stars
Although this was a fun read, the plot definitely felt unrealistic and cliche to me which made it difficult to connect with the characters. I was skeptical going into this book, I mean, a female quarterback on her high school’s male football team? Unlikely. But a female quarterback on her school’s all-boys football team who is respected and treated like one of the team who is also the best in the state and wanted by the best college football team in America? Yeah, right. This book was certainly predictable, but most cutesy contemporaries are. I loved the football element to the book, being a football fan myself, and I really appreciated that the author addressed the relevant topic of stereotypes throughout the book. Not my favorite of the month, but a fun read nonetheless.
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill: 3/5 stars
This book was an enjoyable read for me. A light contemporary about a school trip to London with a teeny bit of mystery and romance. Quite honestly, this book seemed to drag in several places and the true thing that kept me reading was my curiosity about Julia’s love triangle (square?). I thought that Julia’s character was rather contradictory and she frustrated me at times, and Jason was highly annoying and immature, but I ended up growing to at least like them by the end of the book. A predictable plot, but still a fun read if you are looking for something quick and easy to get through.