Fool Me Twice

Fool Me TwiceFool Me Twice ( If Only #1) by Mandy Hubbard

Mackenzie and Landon were the perfect couple . . . until he dumped her and broke her heart. Fast-forward a year and they’re back where they first met—Serenity Ranch and Spa, where they are once again working together for the summer. Talk about awkward.

Then, Landon takes a nasty fall and gets amnesia. Suddenly, he’s stuck in the past—literally. His most recent memory is of last summer, when he and Mack were still together, so now he’s calling her pet names and hanging all over her. It’s the perfect chance for revenge. The plan is simple: keep Landon at arm’s length, manipulate him so he’s the one falling love, and then BAM, dump him. There’s just one problem: Mack can’t fall for Landon all over again. (Goodreads)

 

The Story:

After a perfect summer working at Serenity Ranch and Spa, Mackenzie had her heart broken by Landon, who dumped her for his ex. This summer they’re working together again and it’s clearly not going to be a cakewalk. Mackenzie can’t stand to look at him.  But Landon falls, hits his head, and ends up with amnesia. In his mind it’s last summer and he and Mackenzie are still a cute, adorably sweet couple. This is Mackenzie’s chance for revenge.  She and her BFF plot to manipulate him, make him fall in love, string him along until Mackenzie can dump him in an epically awesome way. The problem is, as much as she hates what he did, as much as she wants to get him back, Mackenzie never fully got over Landon, and maybe, just maybe, she’s enjoying this whole revenge game too much.

 

My Thoughts:

There are some really cute elements to this book. It’s fun and light-hearted, the perfect tone for summer. But while Landon ends up being pretty adorable, and there are some really sweet moments he shares with Mack, I had trouble getting past two things:

1.  How he dumped her. He never officially breaks up with her. She sees him making out with his ex-gf in the hallway at school. Harsh! And his explanation for this is really, really flimsy, in my opinion.

2.  How evil Mack is to take advantage of someone with a head injury (or anyone, really). I mean, hello. This is crazy. This is reason enough for him to truly break up with her, you know, when he REMEMBERS WHAT YEAR IT IS.

Stripping it down to those basics, these two seem like terrible people, but I have to admit, they were likable and had good chemistry. Hubbard writes good dialogue and funny moments. Still, while the story is simple and enjoyable, I never fell fully head over heels.

Crush Intensity- 3/5

Special thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for giving me a digital e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday- Best Books So Far This Year

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

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This week we are discussing our favorite books we’ve read in 2014…so far. Big problem for me since I’ve probably spent more time re-reading books this year than I have reading new books. And honestly, there have been few that have blown me away. Here are a few that i really, really enjoyed:

 

We were Liars1. We Were Liars By e. Lockhart- I am a huge Lockhart fan. This is different for her, but I loved it. It stayed with me for days. And yeah, the big secret may not be a shocker, but the way she tells the story and conveys the pain is so good it doesn’t matter.

 

Better off friends2. Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg- Books don’t get cuter than this one.

 

Ignite Me3. Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi- Good lord, the steam. I love Warner. Love him. Though this is the end of the series, it feel like the beginning of so much more.

 

these broken stars4. These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman and Meagan Spooner- A sci-fi, a Titanic vibe, a rock-solid romance and a strange, spooky twist.

 

More Than This5. More Than This by Patrick Ness- Melancholy and odd, Ness never, ever fails to disappoint. His worlds are painful and strange, but the characters are so human, so much like ourselves, it’s impossible not to relate.

 

What I thought Was true6. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick- The epitome of a summer book. Good story, sweet romance, but substance as well.

 

Biggest flirts7. Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols- This one was cute and highly addictive. Is it life changing? No. But it’s not meant to be. It’s fun and I couldn’t put it down.

 

Scandal8. #scandal by Sarah Ockler- Different than her other books, but compelling and fun. I loved the cast of characters and how timely it is that they struggle with the weight of stupid decisions made in the spotlight of social media.

 

husbands secret9. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty- This was a book club pick, Adult fic at its finest. I really enjoyed it. The epilogue is the best part.

 

That’s all for now. Have a great Tuesday!

 

 

 

What To Wear to a Harry Potter Birthday Party

Soooooo, my birthday is this month and lordy, it’s a big one. Like, there’s a four and a zero in there, which is super-weird because I totally remember when my parents were that age and man, I thought they were OLD.

But that’s not my point, really.

My point is, my birthday is Harry Potter themed. This is really all I know because my husband and Vee (the the evil genuis of amazing birthday parties) have planned it for me and a few of my dear friends. And most of it, other than the details on the invite, is a secret. This is what I know:

 

1. There is Harry Potterness- Is this a word, you ask? Why yes, I believe it is. My invitation came via owl mail, y’all. I KNOW. I mean, it was a super-cute balloon delivered by Miss Vee, and yeah, I almost cried because it was a little Hedwig.

Owl Mail

2. There are teams. And our teams are divided into houses. I am Gryffindor, nerd friends. My husband is Ravenclaw. Know what that means? If this is a competition, he will not be able to benefit from the nerd awesomeness of his wife because IT IS ON.

Hogwarts

3. There will be drinking. The party, which begins at my house  (referred to as platform 9 3/4. EEEEEE), starts with a cocktail hour. Not that I’m Frank the Tank or anything. It’s a rager if I’m having two drinks. BUT STILL. Cocktails make it seem more like a grown up party.

Platform 9

In summary, this will be the party every ten year-old boy (and me) wants, but with booze.

 

But I have to wear my team colors. And we’ll be out by the beach, so it will be slightly chilly (for Southern California. Work with me).

So here’s what I’m thinking:

Fitted White Ribbed Tank

Fitted White Ribbed Tank

Snug Bootleg Jeans

Snug Bootleg Jeans

Black, light-weave, 3/4 length sleeve boyfriend cardigan

Black, light-weave, 3/4 length sleeve boyfriend cardigan

 

Basic black ballet flats

Basic black ballet flats

 

Gryffindor Scarf

Gryffindor Scarf. Because yes, I have one.

 

Owl necklace. My ode to Hedwig (I looked for a lion, the mascot of Gryffindor, to no avail).

Owl necklace. My ode to Hedwig (I looked for a lion, the mascot of Gryffindor, to no avail).

I shall give you a party update next week!

 

Have a great weekend!

My Best Friend, Maybe

My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter

My BEst Friend, MaybeColette has been bored and lonely ever since her best friend, Sadie, dumped her the summer before they stared high school. She tries to be perfect for everyone left in her life: her parents, her younger brothers, her church youth group, even her boyfriend, Mark. But Colette is restless. And she misses Sadie.

When Sadie tells Colette that she needs her old friend to join her on a family vacation to the Greek Islands, one that leaves in only a few days, Colette is shocked to hear their old magic word: need. And she finds herself agreeing.

Colette tries to relax and enjoy her Grecian surroundings but it’s not easy to go on vacation with the person who hurt you most in the world. When the reason for the trip finally surfaces, Colette finds out this is not only a fun vacation. Sadie has kept an enormous secret from Colette for years…forever. It’s a summer full of surprises, but that might be what Colette needs. (Goodreads)

The Story:

Three years ago, Colette was dumped by her best friend Sadie just as they started high school.  Sadie was everything to her and Colette felt happy and at home in Sadie’s beautifully quirky, non-conformist family.  But it seemed that Colette was no longer as interesting or grown up as Sadie’s new friends and she was slowly, without cause or words exchanged, replaced. Ignored. Friendship over. That is, until Sadie invokes an old promise Collette once made. She asks her old BFF to accompany her and her family to Greece, all expenses paid, to attend a cousin’s wedding. This is so shocking, so way out of left field, and yet Colette can’t bring herself to say no.

Against her mom, against Sadie’s own mom (who is still footing the bill), and against her VERY prim and proper dud of a boyfriend, Mark (with whom she was supposed to attend a missionary trip to Costa Rica), Collette goes to Greece. She can’t explain the need to go, or the courage that propels her. And as much as she fears it’s all part of some heinous plan on Sadie’s part, Collette desperately needs to break free; she has to find peace away from the strict demands of her parents, her youth group, and her boyfriend. She has no idea what to expect but she dives in, head first.

My Thoughts:

There were so many things I liked here. Carter does a beautiful job portraying Sadie and Collette’s friendship. You genuinely get the feeling that these girls have a true, unwavering love that was built in a way that can never truly be destroyed. Through flashbacks we watch the unraveling of the relationship, and as Carter slowly pieces the story together, Sadie’s BIG secret isn’t quite so big. Perhaps Colette is just oblivious, but I think she’s only human and has definitely only seen a small, sheltered sampling of the world

This book grapples with some very sticky, but timely issues. Without being too spoilery, I think Carter handles them delicately and with a great deal of heart. On the other hand, there is the portrayal of Colette’s Christian boyfriend and family. I found these depictions to be mildly distressing at times (trust me, I recognize that there are people of all religious affiliations who can be terribly obnoxious, but I hope in equal measure there are those who spend time practicing what they preach and who endeavor to be a light and a joy to this world. Ahem.  Stepping off the soapbox now). I could see the author’s desire to present two points of view while making a very clear statement, but as someone who professes to be a Christian, I personally felt that the writing was a little preachy a times (from both sides, believe it or not).

There was so much sweetness here and there were beautiful, lush, descriptions of Greece. I mean, wow, I really want to go there now. For the most part, I wanted to keep turning those pages and was truly invested in Sadie’s family. And while it wraps up a little too picture-perfect in the end, the journey itself is fun.

 

Crush Intensity: 3.5/5

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for sharing an e-galley with me in exchange for an honest review.

Selective Collective: We Were Liars Roundtable Discussion

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Welcome to The Selective Collective, the feature where my blogging pals and I choose a new book and discuss every element, from page to page, start to finish.

Our book this month is We Were Liars by the utterly awesome E. Lockhart.

We were Liars

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
 
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE. (Goodreads)

I LOVED this book. It’s very different for Lockhart, who normally makes me laugh and fist pump and want to give everyone around me a high five, but it was very good. Painfully so.

This month I have the distinct pleasure of hosting the roundtable discussion with my other SC friends.  In order to avoid any spoilers, we’re keeping it light and clear of any huge plot points.

 

1. We Were Liars is the story of Cadence “Cady” Sinclair and the summers she spends with her cousins, grandparents, and others, on the family’s private island. Her cousins, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat are her best friends, though they don’t spend real time together outside of the island. Have you ever had a relationship like that, someone who was close to you but who wasn’t truly a part of your everyday life?

As a blogger, I’m not physically close to most of my blogger friends, but we develop a close friendship and I have a really great friendship with so many of my blogger friends! That’s a bit different though, because they really ARE a part of my everyday life! 
Unfortunately, I’m at that point in my life where I have friends from my childhood and from high school that are still a big part of my past but I don’t really talk to them on a regular basis. It’s nice though, because every time we do get together, we can pick up right where we left off! Things may have changed, but our friendship is always still the same. (Brittany, The Book Addict’s Guide)
Well, obvs!  😛  First Daphne, my co-blogger.  Though we know each other from YEARS ago and still see each other from time to time we don’t really get together but chat constantly.  I text her more than anyone outside of my sister.  After her I’d say the rest of my SC gals – who I do text as well though not as often as Daph.  That is one of the great things about the blogging community, books may have brought us together but we truly care about each other and check in. (Kristina, Gone Pecan)
I have a friend from college who moved to NYC after graduation. We’ve seen each other maybe twice since then, which was about 7 years ago (for her… I graduated a year before she did). However, we talk daily. And not just for a few minutes, but pretty much all day long on gchat. While she’s not in my life physically, she’s one of the first people I go to with anything. I honestly believe we’ve gotten closer since we’ve been apart. (Candice, The Grown Up YA)

2. Summers on the island seemed to be spent going from house to house with the different cousins and aunts. Have you ever had a family vacation tradition, someplace you traveled to every summer, or something you did every summer like clockwork?

I always used to envy those kids who would go to a vacation house or camp every summer. I was never that kid. We’d make a trip to Palm Springs each year (which I loved, but just so you know, Palm Springs is a place you don’t want to be in July since it’s eleven thousand degrees on your average day). Now, as my kids grow, we try to create some summer traditions for them outside of the normal beach days and  movie outings. We take a camping trip every summer with our very dear friends and their young children. The spot varies, but hey, it’s real camping with tents and s’mores and campfires. No electronics or big luxuries in the great outdoors! On the home front we do dorky things like Christmas in July (Christmas movies and homemade cookie decorating all day around July 25) and Talk With An English Accent day.  We usually squeeze in a road trip each summer, too and our family looks forward to that.  (Tee @YA Crush)

3. So much of this novel is about the twisted, trouble life of an excessively wealthy family. Do you think the money itself was the problem, that life would have been simpler for them without it, or do you think the issue lies with the family itself and the way Grandfather led them?

I think the money contributed because they couldn’t have had the lifestyle without the money.  There relationships with each other would have been different because without the excessive wealth, they probably wouldn’t spend every summer together like they do.  I think the money had a great influence on the grandfather as well and his power over the money gave him power over the rest of the family, so yes, money was the problem in this case.  I was disgusted by the way the parents (adults) used the kids to try to ingratiate themselves with the grandparents.  ( Daphne, Gone Pecan)

 

I think it’s about 50/50. Money can very definitely often lead to problems, even in the best functioning families. You can definitely see a lot of typical money issues in the Sinclair family: greed, jealousy, pettiness, anger, hurt, revenge. Money can easily bring out the very worst in people. That being said, I think a lot of the Sinclairs’ problems stemmed from who they are. The grandfather might have started a lot of the issues with his own thirst for money and power, but I think each of the daughters formed their own issues separately from their upbringing. Each of their hurt and disappointments led to their own jealous behaviors and sparked quite a lot of animosity between the family. (Candice, The Grown Up YA)

4. If you inherited an insane amount of money what would you do?

If I inherited an insane amount of money, first of all, I would probably faint dead away because there’s no way it could be true. However, the next thing I would do is pack my bags and head to Italy to try to find myself a nice little casa in the Italian countryside, maybe with a vineyard, but definitely with a cook, someone’s grandmother.  Once that was accomplished, I would pay for my entire extended family to take a vacation at Disney World.  When that’s over, I’d take a nice relaxing vacation with my husband & kids in Fiji.  I just realized my dreams all include going places, not necessarily buying things.  Following that, I would probably buy things for my new Italian villa and buy all the Coach leather purses my new bedroom-sized closet could hold. (Daphne, Gone Pecan)

If I inherited money, I would do one thing first and foremost. TRAVEL. I would skive off work (is that a British word? I think I may only know it from Harry Potter) and just TRAVEL. Europe. Alaska. Hawaii. The rest of the US. Tropical vacations. That’s my dream! After wasting money on trips, I would definitely fix up my house a little bit more and do general home improvements… And you know… Help pay for the wedding! (Brittany, The Book Addict’s Guide)
Where do I start?  I’d start smart.  First, I’d buy myself a house.  Nothing massive but some cute, with a bit of land so I wouldn’t have neighbors too close.  Then I’d pay off any bills, car notes, credit cards, etc.  Next up, immediate family.  I’d help them out as best I could.  After that?  All bets are off!  I’d definitely do some traveling, maybe buy a vacation home somewhere? (Kristina, Gone Pecan)

5. Cady, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat refer to themselves as The Liars. This speaks volumes about what they observed within their own family. Without spoilers, what do you think they meant by that name?

While the four call themselves Liars, I think it’s funny how broad that title stretches. I think it mostly means that they were lying to themselves about who they are. Sure, the whole family puts on a front for society: wealthy, well-to-do, Democrat family who is hap hap happy. But I think they go a step further and put that front on for themselves, telling themselves that they are a happy family and that “they’re Sinclairs” as if that means something important. They are lying to themselves about who they are and who they aren’t. And that’s all I’m going to say because it’s about to get real spoilery up in here. (Candice, The Grown Up YA)

 

I think that on the outside the Sinclairs appear to have a life people dream about. They have summer homes–that’s plural–on a private island with servants and loads money, so much that they don’t event think about it. They’re so wealthy that each daughter has her own home on the island. This is in addition to the main house, where Grandpa lives. And it’s in addition to the lush lives they live in their gorgeous homes off the island. They NAMED their houses. Only exceedingly wealthy (or British) people do this. But Cady, Mirren, Johnny, and Gat aren’t blind. They see through the picture-perfect image. They see the crack in the family bond, the troubles with money and the inner turmoil of a family run by a slightly oppressive patriarch. So that beautiful life everyone thinks they live? It’s just like yours or mine. In fact, it’s not even as good as that. It’s filled with lies. It’s troubled, it’s complicated, and the money only makes it worse.  I have to say, I think their name, The Liars, suits them. (Tee, YA Crush)

 

Please be sure to visit my amazing blogging partners and check out their features today.

The Book Addict’s Guide- Author Q&A and Giveaway

Gone Pecan-Author-The Long Con

The Grown Up YA- Page to Screen

Teen Lit Rocks- Review

 

Many thanks to Random House, who sent us all copies of We Were Liars.

 

 

Well Hello…

 

It’s been a while, I know. Life has been busy, as I’m sure it has been for you. I’ve been book clubbing (we’ve read The Husband’s Secret, and most recently, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which I hadn’t read in a very long time). I’ve been doing all those end of the year activities with my children at their school. I’ve been re-reading books I’ve read 15,000 times (Princess Mia, The Summer I Turned Pretty, If I Stay, The Sky is Everywhere), I’ve been getting my children into some of my favorite books by reading with them at night (The Knife of Never Letting Go with the Big, and Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone with the Little). And I’ve been reading some fun books (more on that to come).

 

Also, I’ve been spazzing about this. YOU GUYS. It was announced a couple of weeks ago and I’m still freaking out.

I also recently realized that I won’t be able to go see The Fault In Our Stars movie on opening night. I won’t even be able to see it until that Tuesday, which would really bum be out if it weren’t for the fact that I have some fun birthday plans that weekend (but I don’t know what they are because Vee and my hubby–so really, Vee–planned it all and it’s a surprise).

Also, here is a great place to find clips from the TFIOS film. Sigh. I already want to bawl.

 

And I know this is late, but I’ve never posted about this. The If I Stay trailer. All the feelings. I can’t watch it without crying, but like the TFIOS trailer, I’ve watched it eleventy times.

 

So, there are multiple reviews on the way.  I ‘m super-behind. Some of the ones coming are: We Were Liars; My Best Friend, Maybe; Fool Me Twice; What I Thought Was True; The Chapel Wars; The Winner’s Curse; Ignite Me; Bright Before Sunrise; and Better Off Friends. Plus, I have a stack of awesome books I’m working my way through right now.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

 

 

 

The LA Times Festival of Books…a week later

screenshotSo, not last weekend, but the weekend before, some of my book club buddies and I drove out to the beautiful USC campus and attended the amazing event they host, The LA Times Festival of Books. It’s nerd heaven, you guys. In fact, as we waited in line for different events, we were noting that some of the people there were so odd and quirky that we felt  cooler than we once thought ourselves to be.

But only a little.

The funny thing is, I took this huge backpack that was killing me to carry around all day (because, people, there were books to get signed. This is serious business). I was feeling a little dorky about it (who am I kidding? I did the same thing last year, too), but then we noticed that there were people carrying two and three reusable grocery bags of books, and rolling suitcases full of books, so again, I felt a little less nerdy by comparison.

The festival itself is huge. There are tons of publishers, independent bookstores, book groups (Jane Austen Society of North America, rock on with your I Heart Mr. Darcy bags), author panels and book signings. Not to mention food trucks. And crepes, you guys, which made me think of St. Clair and Anna and that is never a bad thing.

The big event this year was John Green. I goofed up and was not able to get tickets for his Q&A, so we decided to attend his book signing afterward. Along with every other person at the festival.

JGCROWD1

Yeah. But that’s only part of the line. It wrapped around.

JGCROWD2

And around…

JGCROWD3

Aaaaaand around

JGCROWD5

So, as much as I LOVE John Green and was dying to meet him, we did this instead:

WINE

And then we all felt much better about the whole thing. Line? What line?

Along the way, we met Rainbow Rowell (finally!), who was so sweet. It was fun to chat with her a little about the Eleanor & Park movie and how exciting it is that she’s writing the screenplay. She also had the cutest manicure that was Fangirl themed. So you think I remembered to snap a picture? Nope, sorry.RR ME

 

Then I got to met E. Lockhart, where she finally signed my copy of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, as well as the copy of her forthcoming book, We Were Liars (which we’ll be reviewing next month with The Selective Collective). You can’t see it in the picture, but she was wearing green tights. So funky. I loved it.

ELOCKHART

We also attended a panel with Tahereh Mafi. She is so cute a tiny with the warmest, spunkiest personality. Her hubby, Ransom Riggs was there in the audience, and then sitting right beside her during her book signings. They are such a super-cute couple (sorry, I know I’m using that word a lot, but THEY ARE!).

STALKERS

Thanks to a mutual friend, our book club now refers to him as Handsome Ransom because, hello.

And, just so you know, this is what happens when you’re dying to meet an author FOREVER, and you finally get to take a picture with them:

MAFIIn fact, it was really funny because she made a comment just before the picture about how she always sees awkward shots of herself online. Nope, that would be me this time. Whatever! I’m still so psyched I got to meet her.

The day ended with a bang because we were literally the last people in line to meet Laini Taylor. Honestly, I think we were the last people at the entire festival, but it was worth it. Laini was so gracious, even though I’m sure she was exhausted. She had on bright pink tights to match her hair, and she couldn’t have been nicer.

LAINITAYLOR

There were so many authors there the next day: Elizabeth Eulberg, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Leigh Bardugo, and Tamara Ireland Stone (who was so sweet on Saturday and was e-mailing back and forth with me so we could meet up and get my books signed), but we didn’t make it out on Sunday because we were so wiped out from our big day.

Oh, well, there’s always next year!

 

Top Ten Tuesday- Unique Books

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

toptentuesday

Well helloooooooo there!  Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. My family was on Spring Break for two weeks which means lots of Disneyland, lots of junk food, too many play dates and sleepovers, and well, lots of hanging out in our pjs. There was little time to read, let alone blog.

But school is on and now it’s back to the business of spazzing over incredible books.

This week for TTT we are discussing books we found to be totally unique. Hello, fabulous topic! Let’s get to it.

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone1. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor- Maybe it’s on my mind because the third and final book in the series comes out TODAY (sniff sniff. I can’t say goodbye) but really it’s because this book is made of awesome. He’s an angel. She’s been raised by chimaera. There’s this beautiful back story. Karou is a wonderfully strong heroine and her forbidden love story with Akiva is breathtaking. Also, Taylor’s writing is so witty and poetic. If you haven’t picked up this book, do it soon.

 

these broken stars2. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner- It’s a sci-fi. It’s a love story. It’s got a creepy ghost vibe. I loved this book.

 

More Than This3. Anything by Patrick Ness- I love his Chaos Walking series. When I try to describe it to someone I totally stumble all over it because it’s sci-fi, it’s dystopic in a way, it’s a survival story.  It’s a story of friendship. It’s pretty much perfect. And now, after recently reading More Than This, I can honestly say that Ness is a stellar writer with a way of telling crazy, odd stories and making the characters who live them seem so very real, so much like you or me.

 

Pawn4. Pawn by Aimee Carter- In a time where we are being overrun with dystopian societies in our YA books, along comes a fun new series about a girl who is surgically enhanced to take the place of a dead royal and who, in doing so, becomes a part of a large rebellion.

 

The Raven Boys5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater- What a totally unique setting with a cast of interesting, strange characters. Pair that with Stiefvater’s beautiful writing and it’s pretty much unputdownable.

 

Shadow and Bone6. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo- Bardugo is a gifted storyteller, creating a brand-new world of magic and lore. The descriptions and characters are richly done and the main characters–good and bad–earned my loyalty early on.

 

Burn for Burn7.  Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian- This one has three girls who band together to plot revenge against the kids who make them miserable. It’s not your typical high school story though. This one takes an interesting twist.

 

Wither8. Wither by Lauren DeStefano- Here is another dystopic world and yet it manages to be different. There’s a disease killing of most people in their twenties (I can’t recall the exact age it occurs) so young women are kidnapped and used as the wives (plural) for young men in order to continue family lines and allow the older generations (who are unaffected by the disease) to work on a cure. One of the great things about this book is that DeStefano makes you sympathize with–even like–one of the “bad guys.” Sure, he ends up not being so, so bad in comparison to others in the book, but you end up liking him all the same despite the fact that he’s a guy whose wives are prisoners on his estate.

 

Bumped9. Bumped by Megan McCafferty- This is a dysoptic with a satirical side to it. It’s crass and funny and inspired by a world obsessed with shows like 16 and Pregnant. It’s definitely worth checking out, but it’s not necessarily for the faint of heart or those easily offended.

 

Across the Universe10. Across the Universe by Beth Revis-I loved this book. It’s a sci-fi and a love story with a heavy dose of WHAT THE WHAT thrown in. It’s sort of like an episode of The Twilight Zone (which I love).

 

That’s all for now.

 

Happy Tuesday!

 

LA Times Festival of Books 2014

Festival of Books

 

All right, who here is a Southern California person because OMG did you see the author list for The LA Times Festival of Books?  It’s freaking amazing. It’s even better than last year (which is huge because last year I got to meet Gayle Forman and Sarah Dessen. Hello, YA Heaven is a real place).

You have to check out the list. There are so many great authors. I mean John Green. And Elizabeth Eulberg, and Lauren Oliver, and Tahreh Mafi, and E Lockhart. And I’m freaking out because there are like 17 authors I want to become best friends with meet. And I’m beyond excited because, well, John Green.  And yeah, it’s pretty much guaranteed that Ill be embarrassing myself because:

a) I’m socially awkward

b) I’m a huge nerd

c) I’ll be with my books club and

d) There will be wine

But I still can’t wait!

Is anyone else planning on going? It’s at USC (which truly has a gorgeous campus, I must say) on the weekend of April 12 and 13th. Maybe I’ll see you there!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday- Authors I’ve Never Read Before

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

toptentuesday

This week the topic is authors I’ve never read before. Let’s just go ahead and skip the classics, because while there are many classics I ADORE, there are tons I haven’t so much as looked twice at. Good gravy, the reader guilt!

I’m going to focus more on authors whose books I’m sort of dying to read but for some reason I’ve never actually attempted to pick up. And the sad thing is, I know their books are good. Everyone says so. And often I read the synopsis on the covers and I think, man, I have GOT to read that. And then I walk away and read The Princess Diaries or The Sky Is Everywhere again (so, either way I’m good, right?).  Here are the authors I must get to, like, now.

1. Melissa Meyer– Okay, Cinder is on my desk right as we speak. I called it in from the library but I haven’t picked it up yet. It’s close; I can feel it. (Editor’s note: I just started it!)

2. Libba Bray– I know. The shame. And the thing is, I know I’ll love her books.

3. Veronica Rossi- Under The Never Sky. This sounds like a series I’ll read and regret how long I’ve waited to get into.

4. Kiersten White– Yep.

5. Holly Black– I’m not sure if I’m even cool enough to read her (ok, no, I’m totally not). Her books sound edgy and mysterious. Totally intimidates me and I don’t know why. This isn’t high school.

6. Elizabeth Scott– Her stories sound good to me. Why haven’t I read one? Not sure.

7. Rick Yancey– Because The Fifth Wave was supposed to be awesome when all my friends told me about it ten thousand years ago.

8. Ruta Sepetys– Her books sound incredible and beautiful, like they might break my heart and put me back together again. Must. Read. Soon.

That’s all for now. I couldn’t make it to 10. I’m sure there are more authors–too many, but I can’t think of them at the time!

Happy Tuesday!