Princess Diaries Fans of the World, Unite!

As we all know, in June, Meg Cabot is releasing Royal Wedding, the adult sequel to her wildly successful (and awesome) series, The Princess Diaries. Also, as we all know, I’m freaking out about this because:

1. More Michael Moscovitz

2. It’s Adult so there really could be more Michael Moscovitz.I don’t need too many details, but if there’s a tiny bit more steamy kissing than usual, I’m not going to complain.

3. There’s a wedding, hello

4. I’ve missed Mia. I really have (not that I don’t obsessively reread the series over and over again. But still).

Unfortunately, we still have to wait SIX MONTHS for the book, but today we’ve been given a special treat. We get a look at the cover:



Aaaaaaaand, drumroll, we get a very cute excerpt in which not only is Michael’s sexual prowess discussed (I am not making this up, I swear!), but we get to see our Mia doing one of the things she does best–freaking out.

Here’s the link. Enjoy.

Also, if you aren’t following Meg Cabot on Pinterest, she has a funny board related to the wedding (including Grandmere’s preferences vs. Mia’s). It’s pretty cute.

Hope that brightened your day!

OMG It’s Been a Month

Sooooo, it’s been a while. I’m sorry. I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet. I’m still reading, still writing, still love blogging, but I’ve definitely fallen behind.  One thing I didn’t spend this past month doing? NaNoWriMo. Nope. Didn’t happen. As I mentioned previously, I did do something kind of funny: I reread Twilight.



It had been about five years since the last time I’d picked it up. Before that, I’d read it about three times. Back then I was like most people: I was sucked in. I loved Edward, I was engrossed in the whole love triangle, and I hated Bella and Jacob in equal parts (Bella, you can’t be in love with two people. You can’t). So, imagine my surprise when I caught a showing of the film version of my least favorite book in the series, New Moon, over the Halloween season, and I said I’m going to read that series again! It was a strange desire, but hey, I went with it.

Twilight First Kiss

Here’s what I learned: I still hate Bella. Really, she’s so self-deprecating and such an Edward worshipper that I feel she and I could never truly be friends (it’s essential that I at least respect all of the heroines in my books). I don’t hate Jacob yet. In fact, I forgot that I…wait..liked him in the first book. He was sort of endearing and sweet. I still felt super-wrapped up in the whole who is this crazy hot Cullen dude who keeps staring at Bella like he simultaneously wants to kill her and make out with her? That was fun to read again. Not fun? Bella’s snore-inducing descriptions of her nightly dinner-making. Seriously, how did I get past that five years ago? How did no one see fit to cut that out of the books? I still really liked Alice (when she hugs Bella and comments that “she does smell good”, LOVE). But the rest fell short for me. It wasn’t because I knew what was going to happen (hello, I spend half of my time rereading books to the point that I can practically recite them. It’s about the build up sometimes and not solely the outcome), it was more or less because Bella really has no personality. And Edward–it hurts me to say this–he felt a little blah. A completely, stalkery, devoted blah, but blah just the same.

So that’s my reread take.

But then I reread a fabulous book I hadn’t picked up in about two or three years, Jellicoe Road. Now, hold up. I’m not comparing the two books. Even I know it’s unfair to compare a Melina Marchetta book to anything else because she is vastly superior to most writers…but I am comparing experiences. Like I said, I’ve read Jellicoe Road several times, but it had been a couple of years for me since the last time. I am happy to report that this one did not disappoint. In fact, I had the same love–if not a deeper love, a more profound connection–with it this time around. Of course, that is due in part to the ever spectacular


but it’s also because of the magnificent writing, because of the beauty of the story, the angst, the pain, and the humor. Taylor Markham is everything a protagonist should be: flawed and frightened, brave, smart, and equipped with a beautiful heart. She’s a total, crazy enigma at times. She feels so real. She’s broken and yet she embodies such strength and character. I love her connection with Jonah, not just the romantic one (le sigh), but their history, their intensity. And I love the friendships in this story, both the ones in Hannah’s manuscript and the ones Taylor forges. My copy has so many dog-eared pages, and in re-reading it I found that I cried in all the same parts, I swooned in all the same places (maybe more), and I sat on the edge of my seat still waiting and hoping for all to turn out well. I was, once again, truly sad when it was all over again. This is one of those rare books I wanted to climb inside and relive again and again.

Jellicoe Road

Now, I think books like Twilight and Jellicoe Road both need a place on my shelf. And I fully intend to reread the rest of Bella and Edward’s story, as well as all of Marchetta’s work. They’re different stories, different depths for different moods, but I found it interesting to read one after the other. In one case I was wondering why I ever loved it (I still like it, despite how much I make fun of it at times), but in the other, I wondered how I could go even two years without reading it. It left a little hole in my heart, as though that book belongs to me and me alone. It was a reminder of all I loved about it and more…all I love about reading.


Biggest Flirts

Biggest Flirts (The Superlatives #1) By Jennifer Echols


Biggest FlirtsTia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.

Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger.

As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…(Goodreads)


The Story:

Tia is the party girl with a bit of a rep. Will is the new guy everyone wants to know about (and, you know, he’s hot, so that never hurts). These two meet up at a party just before school starts, they have some steam, and then they form a bond later the next day during band. Because Tia is known as such a major flirt, and because she and Will spend pretty much every moment talking when they aren’t supposed to, smiling at each other, laughing, and ogling each other, they earn the honored class title “Biggest Flirts.” Truly, there could not be a more fitting description of them. Tia doesn’t want anything serious, so Will moves on and the whole flirty thing doesn’t sit well with his new lady. And of course, his new lady doesn’t really sit well with Tia. She really likes him but after watching her sisters make terrible, awful decisions pertaining to love, she’s afraid to make the same mistakes. She and Will’s friendship (or more) hangs in the balance because they both want something but they can’t seem to find common ground.

My Thoughts:

I have only read two other Echols books, both good, both with a slightly darker edge (slightly), but I’m not a huge Echols fan. I say this not to disparage her, but to let you, the reader, know in advance that I’m not a built-in fan destined to love anything she writes. But I really adored this book. It was absolutely, perfectly fun and it made me laugh out loud in many parts. In fact, I’m so thrilled it’s going to be a series.

The center of this story is Tia. I have to tell you, at first description, I had no idea I’d love her the way I ultimately did. Tia wants few ties or romantic entanglements. She’s okay with being a friend with benefits, making out with one of her best guy friends because they have an understanding, and she prefers to be with a guy for a fleeting moment rather than falling in love. Despite this, Tia is about as loyal as a friend can be. She goes to great lengths for the ones she loves, and she is honestly so sweet-natured, despite the reputation. And this girl is so funny. She has a habit of being very chatty and she says the funniest things. All of this just endeared her to me. I seriously adored this girl. If she were real I’d want her as my best friend.

Will is great because he isn’t perfect. He has a bit of a temper, he has that bit of mystery being that he is the new guy in school, and he is extraordinarily devoted to Tia, even when he’s dating someone else. Together their flaws are somewhat heightened, but it somehow makes them that much cuter. And the banter! I’m such a sucker for fun, witty banter and Echols nails it with Tia and Will.

There are still deeper emotions to this story, issues with Tia’s family, questions about who each of them are and where they want to be, but the book never feels heavy. It feels just right:perfectly fun and happy with a romance that’s sexy without being a cheesy. There’s some off the charts swoonworthiness here, but it all feels real.

Crush Intensity: 4.5 I just loved this book. It made me smile… and you can’t ask for more than that.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Simon Pulse for providing me with an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday- Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.


Well, it’s feels like forever since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday. I know, I’m sorry. I’ve been lacking in the list-making department.  But never fear. Today I’m ready to tackle this week’s subject: My Reading Wishlist. This can be regarding more from a particular author, certain issues tackled, etc.

So let’s get to it!

I Heart MM1. You know what’s coming, right? But I have to say it. Have. To.

Michael Moscovitz. I want more of Michael Moscovitz Fake Man of My Dreams. So this goes out specifically to Meg Cabot: I need more Princess Diaries. I know the series has wrapped, but I reread it a couple of times a year in its entirety, then I pick up individual books from the series at random (so pretty much, I’m always reading a PD book). I need more.

love to laugh2. Funny Books- I love books that make me laugh out loud. I respect the fact that most authors say it’s more difficult to make someone laugh than it is to make them cry. I believe that. But I want to laugh. I want to giggle. I want to read smart funny, witty funny, silly funny, goofy funny…just funny.

kissing books3. More kissing books- There really isn’t a shortage here, I just like them and will never tire of a sweet romance. NEV- EEEER. And can we take out that whole thing where Good Girl is paired in Bio labs with Bad Boy/Mysterious Hot New Guy in School? It’s been done. I’m open to anything else though.

boarding schools4. More Boarding School Settings- I probably never would have survived boarding school, but I like to think I would have been the Frankie Landau Banks of any school I attended. Humor me here (because it’s so NOT true. I am a rule follower all the way).

Hermione5. Speaking of Frankie, I’d like more girls who kick butt. I don’t just mean physically tough girls (those are great too), but girls who outsmart everyone. We need more girls like that.

Clueless6. Best Friend Stories- I love a good romance, but sometimes I just want to read a girl story about the ups and downs of friendship. Not boy/girl friendship (which I also love, hello adorable), but tried and true BFFs who share makeup and have sleepovers and who know everything about each other. I’d love to see more of that.

Paris7. Fish out of Water Stories- I love books about people adjusting to life in a new place (like Anna and the French Kiss). I can’t move to a new city. In fact, I’m a stay at home mom; I can’t fly to a new city. I want to visit a new place, get to know it like a local, all through the eyes pf my protagonist.

Harry P8. Wizards- I know there’s no one who can do it like JK Rowling, but I’d love more books about wizards. I’m not a huge genre Fantasy fan, but I could get behind a good wizard story again.

Boys in Books9. Boy’s POV- I really love a boy’s perspective. I especially love it if it’s a love story. Alternating perspectives, his and hers versions, work for me too. I just really enjoy getting into a boy’s head. If it’s done well it’s fascinating.

ryan_ya10. Contemporary YA- I love YA, obviously. I love everything about it. We’ve seen our vampire stages and fallen angels stages and plenty of mermaids, and dystopias. There has been good (and bad) in every facet of YA, but I can never get enough stories about normal girls, ones without superpowers or a wolf fetish (because really. I still don’t get it. It’s like falling in love with your dog) or who live in worlds that have survived some kind of apocalypse. These are all great, interesting things, but show me a girl who has a funny after school job and a crush on her co-worker, let me get to know a girl whose just lost her best friend or whose life has been rocked by tragedy, and I’ll get sucked in almost every time.

And what about you? Anything you’re wishing for?

Top Ten Tuesday- Character Names I Love

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

This week we are discussing awesome (or weird…but I’m going with awesome) character names.  I mean, there are sooo many bad ones. The Evers and Havens and Echos of the world can all nod in agreement because they know their names were selected from the Soap Opera Cast Off Book of Baby Names.

But some books have good names, ones that make up for all the others.

Luna1. Luna Lovegood, The Harry Potter series- Right?

2. Sirius Black, The Harry Potter series- Well, yes, we could go on for days listing characters from these books, true, but I’ve always particularly loved Sirius because it brought to mind a sort of dark, hot smart-ass (as wonderful as Gary Oldman is, no, that is not how I pictured him, even as an older guy).

Blue Bloods3. Jack Force, The Blue Bloods series- No question about it. Everyone wants to make out with a guy named Jack Force, even if there is definitely a creepy vibe with his twin sister.

Atticus4. Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird- Wow, I love this guy, love his name.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone5. Karou & Akiva, The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series- I couldn’t choose between the two and they so clearly go together.

Jellicoe Road6. Jonah Griggs, Jellicoe Road- Oh yes, you knew that was coming. No list would be complete without Jonah Effing Griggs. Also, another Melina Marchetta honorable mention: Finnikin. What a good, strong name.

Frankie cover7. Frankie Landau Banks, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks- Her real name is Frances, but I prefer Frankie, just the same.  She fared better than her sister, Zelda.

Sweethearts8. Cameron Quick, Sweethearts- Breaks my heart every time I see his name.

9. Augustus & Hazel, The Fault in Our Stars- I couldn’t choose because I love them both.

Sky Paperback10. Lennie Walker, The Sky is Everywhere- Named after John Lennon. How perfect is that? Also, her boyfriend, Joe Fontaine (bat bat) sounds like a fifties movie star to me. Love them both.

Forever Princess11. Michael Moscovitz, The Princess Diaries- Totally biased. Yep, that’s me. That name brings me such happy thoughts. And you know what else does? The ever loyal best friend to Mia, Tina Hakim Baba. Gotta love that name.

Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday- Best Sequels Evah!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.


ZOMG, I love this week’s topic, Top Ten Best Sequels Ever. I will try my hardest not to squeal.

Siege and Storm1. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha series)- Oh, Shadow and Bone was phenomenal and it was hard to imagine that any sequel could live up to that…but this was a pretty stellar book. I should probably review it. It’s just that I loved it so much I’ve actually had a difficult time putting into words. All I’m coming up with is OMG OMG OMG OMG, so you know, that’s cool but not really well crafted. I’ll get there though.


Forever Princess2. Any of The Princess Diaries sequels by Meg Cabot- I especially love Princess in Love (because you guys,  he made her a computer program) and Forever Princess (seriously a perfect ending to the series). Have you read this series because if not you are missing out on some awesomely funny, witty, Michael Moscovitz-y perfection.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince3. Any of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling- I love them all, but I especially adored The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Half Blood Price, But seriously, they’re all pretty freaking awesome and they all build upon each other.


Unravel Me4. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (The Shatter Me series)- Chapter 62. That’s all I’m sayin. Read it and have a ciggy.


Catching Fire5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy)- For all the griping there is about Mockingjay, WOW was Catching Fire amazing. It was my favorite in the series.

Monsters of Men6. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking Trilogy)- What an amazing ending to a stellar series. These books rocked me, made me fist pump and cry like a baby. Read them, read them, read them.

Where She Went7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman- I loved the first book, If I Stay, but I think I actually love book two even more. Hearing the story from Adam’s POV made me love him–and Mia– all the more. This is easily one of my all-time favorite books.

We'll Always Have Summer8. The Summer Books by Jenny Han- I loved both sequels to The Summer I Turned Pretty, but the last one, We’ll Always Have Summer, especially got to me. Again, reading portions from Conrad’s POV absolutely slayed me (but in the best way possible).

Insurgent9. Insurgent by Veronica Roth- By the time I read this I’d heard there were some people who felt let down here. Perhaps this lowered my expectations. Either way, I was so into this book. I really loved the opportunity to fully see Tris as Divergent–seeing her strengths in all areas, even when she seemed stupidly self sacrificial– and I loved watching the struggles she and Four faced as a couple. And okay, they had some super-hot kissing scenes.

The Elite10. The Elite by Kiera Cass- Maxon, America and Aspen all annoyed the crud out of me here, but man I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. And that’s all I need really, to love a book so much I can’t stand to close the cover.


ruby oliver11. The Ruby Oliver books- Love them because they make me laugh. End of story.


The Lightning Thief12. All of the Percy Jackson sequels- These are the cutest stinking books ever. The concepts, the problems, the mythology never got old to me. I loved Percy and I wanted him to be my son.

Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday- I Wish There’d Been a Sequel

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.


Whoa Nelly! It’s been a couple of weeks since I participated in a TTT (yeah, I’ll be honest. I’m lazy. And I’ve been falling behind on that whole thing wherein I finish a book and then actually take the time to review it). I love this week’s topic though, so I had to jump on it.

You know those books and characters you love so much you feel like you just can’t bear to say goodbye to them? You know those stories that leave you with such a terrible book hangover you feel you may never truly recover? Honey, I’ve been there. And this happens with series, it happens with trilogies and it happens with stand alones. For me, even if a book ends perfectly I’ll take any tid bit–a deleted scene, a reread, anything–to give me another taste of a book I love.

Here’s a list of the books I wish could have had sequels…or novellas…hell, I’d even take a deleted chapter or two:

Sky Paperback1. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson- Shocker, right? I know. This book is perfection, but I could live in those pages, drink up Lennie and her Grams and, um, yes, Joe “Bat Bat” Fontaine endlessly.

the truth about forever2. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen- At this point, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may be feeling psychic. I’m just very loyal to certain books and this is one I adore. Again, the ending was just right, but I would love to read more about Wes and Macy and the gang and hear how they grapple with their lives, with grieving and with love. Sa-woon!

Past Perfect3. Past Perfect by Leila Sales- It’s no secret that I love Sales’ quirky, funny style and this book just make me smile. It made me laugh out loud and snort in a very unladylike manner. I’d enjoy more antics of life at Essex Historical Colonial Village. I mean hello, how hilarious is that job?

How to Save a Life4. How To Save a Life by Sara Zarr- Oh, man. Something in this book touched a nerve in me. I loved, adored, practically wanted to have babies with the end of this book. It was so well-done. I’d be so content to be a fly on the wall and check up on Jill and Mandy and the baby.

sea of tranquility5. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay- Another book that burrowed itself deep in my heart. Oh, the love I feel for this one! The last line totally gave me chills and smiles and tears, so much so that I had to text my blogging besties about it. But I think there is a long, beautiful road ahead for those beloved characters, Nastya and Josh, and I’d gladly read more.

E&P6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell- Be still my heart, this book was perfection. But that ending. I know what will happen, I just want to see how it all unfolds, how these two amazing souls will go on their journey and circle back to each other.

Jellicoe Road7. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta- I almost, almost think a sequel would spoil this one but let’s be honest: I’m all about Jonah Effing Griggs. I think he has his hands full with Taylor and together they are a powerhouse–but there are issues there, things they’re both aware of, things that are no fault of either of them but that they need to individually work through and I would love to see where that leads them as people and as a couple. And Hannah and Jude. They deserve some happiness after everything.

Frankie cover8. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart- After everything Frankie pulled as a sophomore in high school, I’m pretty sure she can kick the crap out of college. That’s the story I’d like to see. Where is she now? No doubt she’s somewhere being AWESOME, but I want to know more about it.

Sweethearts9. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr- Cameron Quick, you freaking broke my heart! You better work out your family issues and get your butt back to Jenna.

I'll Be There10. I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan- I think originally there were rumors that Sloan may continue this story. I’m not sure if that’s still a possibility (and I’m too lazy to find out), but these are characters who are truly just beginning in life. They’ve all overcome this major hurdle and found love in all forms. I think there is so much more to tell as Sam and Riddle become a part of Emily’s family.

The swoon potential within these pages is overwhelming. Can't wait!11. Classics- I think it goes without saying (but here I am saying it) that I’d eat up any sequel to a classic, especially Pride and Prejudice or Emma. I’d prefer a sequel straight from the source but since this is physically impossible unless some crazy, previously unpublished Austen manuscripts are unearthed, I’ll take one of the modern retellings, or sequels so many people seem happy to write.

Happy Tuesday!

This Song Will Save Your Life

This Song Will Save our Life by Leila Sales

This SOng WIll Save

Can I tell you how much I LOVE this cover? Seriously.

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing. (Goodreads)

The Story:

Elise is a total outcast, branded a loser early in life.  The loneliness pushes her to the very brink and in an act born of confusion and desperation, she attempts–or sort of semi-attempts–suicide.  Now, months later, few people know what happened, but it’s left her family in a place where they feel they must treat her with kid gloves, everyone cautious, no one really sure how she’s truly doing.  At school though, since no one really knows, it’s still torture on a daily basis, as usual. Elise’s only reprieve is her love of music and the late night walks she takes when her family thinks she’s sleeping.

During one of these walks Elise wanders into an after-hours club. And something crazy happens. She befriends people. And these people like her. She even meets the DJ! The whole night is kind of like a dream. It opens up a whole new world to Elise–one where she’s liked, one where she feels happy and accepted just for being herself. And sure, her daily life at school is still total hell…but her nights are sort of amazing. Elise even learns to DJ (and she’s freaking awesome at it!). She loves her new night life, but the secrets pile up and the bullying during the day keeps happening and at some point these two roles she’s playing have to collide.

My Thoughts:

This Song Will Save Your Life was so refreshingly different from anything I’d read in quite a while. I’m a huge Leila Sales fan, charmed in every way by her cute, quirky humor.  And this book did not disappoint. At the same time, it felt different from her first two novels, Mostly Good Girls and Past Perfect.  The subject matter here is a little heavier (though not in any way dark) and there are some real melancholy moments. The bullying Elise experiences and the general lack of support she gets at school is pretty heartbreaking. She’s far from a whiny character and she’s not the type of girl to crawl in a hole and disappear, but watching her experiences is painful.  On the other hand, Elise’s night life is pretty much every kid’s dream. Not only does she manage to sneak out and carve out a whole new world for herself, in that world Elise is crazy cool. She’s loved. People want to know her. She’s the freaking DJ (sometimes)!

I found Elise to be enchanting. She grew on me more and more as I turned the pages and little by little I fell in love with all–or most–of her friends and her family. More than anything, I loved that Elise’s night life gives her perspective. She needs to be able to see herself and define herself outside of high school (doesn’t everyone need to do that at some point?) and when she truly does this she blossoms.

Crush Intensity: 4.25/5 Leila Sales, I’m pretty sure there’s nothing you could write that I wouldn’t love.

Thank you to Farrar, Straus and Giroux and to Netgalley for allowing me to read an e-galley of This Song Will Save Your Life.

Top Ten Tuesday- Top Ten Books I Recommend Most

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re discussing the books we recommend most. This requires very little research on my part. I mean, we can be honest. There are certain books I never shut up about. I hope you’ve read them all. If not, I’ll talk more.

Sky Paperback1. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson– Oh my goodness, it doesn’t get better than this book. I’ve never met a person who didn’t love it. This is the first book I chose for my book club to read (and we read a mix of adult fic, non-fiction and YA). Now I feel sort of like every book I pick afterward, no matter how good, will be a let down because this one is so, so beautiful. Also, hello, Joe Fontaine is reason enough to read it. Bat, bat.

If I StayWhere She Went2.  If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman– Sad books are tough and whoa mama, there are some difficult moments in book 1. But I loved it. I loved Mia’s relationship with her parents, with her little brother, with her grandparents, her best friend, and lordy, with Adam. There is such a beautiful honesty in their broken states and there is so much joy even in their pain. I have read these books so many times and they never fail to make an impact on me.

The Princess Diaries3. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot– I read this series in random order pretty much constantly (presently reading Party Princess for the eleventy billionth time). These books make me smile and take me back to my own really dorky, awkward high school days ( I’m not a dork now, right?). I love Mia and her best friends and I always sigh for my favorite literary boyfriend evah, Michael Moscovitz. You guys, he’s smart and super adorable.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban4. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- If you’ve not read these books, I get it. You’ve seen the movies a million times on ABC Family or you think they’re just kid books. As someone who didn’t read them until about five years ago, I can understand. I always thought there was no way the series could be as good as everyone says. But let me tell you, it’s better. Trust me. I’m so glad I gave in.

Knife of Never Letting Go5. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness– This is, hands down, my favorite dystopic book and one of my all-time favorite series (Princess Diaries, Harry Potter and this trilogy. No joke).  Just read it. It will break your heart in certain moments but you will not be able to let go of Todd and Viola.

the truth about forever6. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen– Because everyone needs a sweet, perfect book to make them smile. This is that book. Also, Dessen makes up words like sa-woon and bettaquit. How can I not have deep admiration for that fact alone?

Jellicoe Road7. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta– This was my introduction to Marchetta and will therefore always be my favorite. The writing is gorgeous, the story fantastic, the characters wonderfully flawed and strong. It has a tough start (lots of characters to keep track of), but hang in there. Take notes, do what you have to, just stick with it! You’ll be so glad you did.

Frankie cover8. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart– I’ve said this a million times: When age-appropriate, this will be required reading for my daughters. There is nothing better than a good, intelligent, butt-kicking female heroine who outsmarts the all boys around her. Also, E. Lockhart is incredibly talented and funny. I always love her books, but this is my favorite.

I'll Be There9. I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan Oh, this one’s good. It’s not on everyone’s radar for some reason, but it needs to be. It spoke to me on two levels: as a girl (sigh) and as a mom (sob). Read it!

Divergent10. Divergent by Veronica Roth– After the hype of The Hunger Games, I found myself recommending this series to those HG fans dying for more. Sometimes I forget how much I loved it until those same people come back to me wanting to discuss its awesomeness. Then I get all excited again.

ScorpioCover11. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater– I love to point out that I am not a fan of Shiver, Maggie’s big wolf series. I do this not because I want to be a jerk but because I want people to know that I wasn’t a built-in fan when I read TSR. I just fell in love with the story and the writing. This is another book with a slow start that builds beautifully. Stick with it; there is a great payoff in seeing it through.

Anna CoverLola12. Anna and The French Kiss/Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins– These are smart, witty love stories with strong heroines and adorable (I mean ADORABLE) love interests. These books will make you smile. Also, Perkins nails those sweet, awkward moments where something is bubbling under the surface, but nothing big and coupley has really happened yet. She’s a fun writer.

Top Ten Tuesday- Favorite Characters For the End of the World

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week we get to choose our favorite characters in our chosen genre. While I normally love more contemporary stories, especially the swoony ones, I’ve noticed that I feel a pretty fierce attachment to certain characters from dystopic settings. Maybe it’s because they all sort of rock in their own way. Maybe it’s because their dire circumstances tug at my heart. More than likely though, these are the people I’d want by my side when the world turns dark (I mean, I’d be hiding in a corner, but I’d feel better knowing they’re out there being all bad-ass).

1. Todd & Viola- The Chaos Walking trilogy– I love these two equally, but for some reason it just didn’t seem right to list them separately. Their story is intertwined. Their fates overlap. And they have the most beautiful, deep, otherworldly kind of bond that’s hard to describe. Seriously, if you’ve not read this series you should really consider it. It is hands down my favorite dystopia and one of my favorite series ever.

2. Katniss, The Hunger Games trilogy– Now we know Katniss bugs me because she is so dumb about the whole Gale/Peeta situation, but I love what she does to save her little sister in the first book. I love that despite her fear she rises up and fights. Plus, she’s really good with her bow and arrow. Have you ever tried this? Archery is not as easy as it looks.

3. Gale, The Hunger Games trilogy- Oh, he’s another one that bugs. He was so stupid, dropping hints to Katniss about his feelings for her when, hello, she was so obviously clueless.  But as much as it probably hurt Gale to watch Katniss in danger during the games, and worse in fake love with Peeta in that cave, Gale manned up and took care of her family just like he promised to.  He was a true friend, through and through. And later, he became quite a force to be reckoned with. Plus, I can’t lie. I was pretty enthralled by Suzanne Collin’s insistence on always talking about how attractive he is. Call me shallow.

4. Peeta, The Hunger Games trilogy– My little butterfly baker, Peeta,  wasn’t necessarily the toughest guy in the room, but he had all the heart in the world and a huge drive to protect the girl he’s always loved. I’ve always loved his softness. He compliments Katniss in every way, smoothing out all of her rough edges.

5. Prince Maxon, The Selection– How adorable is this poor guy? He’s basically being auctioned off by his family in some game show spectacle where he’s supposed to choose a wife– only he doesn’t know how to tell which girls are serious and which are playing the game. Of course he’s drawn to the one girl who tells him she’s not interested. But they develop this cute little banter and this warm friendship, and the whole while I was thinking, Prince Maxon, you had me at hello.

6. Juliette, Shatter Me– I love this girl. She would do anything or risk anything if you asked her to. She’s that selfless. And, having been treated like a disease most of her life, she has no clue how absolutely incredible and gifted she is. I haven’t read Unravel Me yet, but I’m so excited to see where her story goes next.

7. Warner, Shatter Me– What is it about that naughty, evil man? I simultaneously want Juliette to rip his face off and kiss him. I can’t even explain it.  I just feel like there is so much more brewing beneath the surface there and that maybe he isn’t quite as bad as he wants us to believe. Or maybe he is. Either way, he’s hot.

8. Day, Legend– I love the idea of the bad guy who’s actually a good guy. The one who is a criminal because of the way society is structured–not because he’s inherently evil. In fact, he’s quite the hero, doing the things he’s done first to protect his family and second to try to right some of the wrongs out there. Day has the potential to be huge in my book.

9. Lena and Alex, Delirium– I love both of these characters. I’m listing them together because it’s when they fall in love that the story truly begins. Every word, every moment is beautiful. Heartbreaking.

10. Tris/Tobias, The Divergent series– Each of these two are equally fantastic, but again, I love them paired up. The story of each individually became that much more magnified when they finally came together, especially in the second book. I love that they fight and have tension because they’re both completely pig-headed, and I love the fierce way they love each other.

11. Honorable Mention: I was pretty intrigued by Julian from Level 2. He was bad, he was good, he was a martyr. He had an accent. There was something about him. I’ll be watching him with interest when book 2 comes out.

Happy Tuesday!