Top Ten Tuesday- Major Feels Ahead

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

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Maybe random TV commercials make you cry. Or maybe it’s the sight of ET saying “I’ll be riiiight heeeere ” ( sniff).  Everyone needs a good cry.  There are the cries that are simply just watery eyes threatening to overflow. There are the cries that come with laughter because you can’t believe something so incredibly silly is making you blubber. And then there are the big ones, the ugly cries with sobs and snot and Kleenex. Everyone has those sometimes.

Well, my friends, if you’re in a need of a good cry, I have some books for you.

If I Stay1. If I Stay by Gayle Forman— Ugh. The beautiful pain. The scene with Grandpa telling Mia it’s okay to let go and die…they’ll be all right? KILLS ME. Or the memory of reading Harry Potter to little Teddy? SOB. Make it stop.

The Fault in Our Stars2. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green–Oh, the freaking heartbreak that you knew, you knew was coming all along, but you read it anyway. It was so worth it you’d read it again and again. At least, I would (and do).

Book of Broken Hearts3. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler– This is a smaller cry, little tears throughout, as you slowly watch Jude witness her father disappearing day by day as his Early Onset Alzheimer’s steals him away. (There is much sweetness and happiness in this book too though).

The Book Thief4.  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak– The pain. There are a million moments in this book, some are small tears and some are big ones, but they have a profound impact either way.

When You Were Mine5. When you Were Mine by Rebecca Serle- This is a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, so it’s not like the ending was a big secret, right? But I cried. I mean, like bawled. I don’t know why really, I just couldn’t stop the waterworks (I mean, it’s just so tragic!). I woke my husband up with my tears. I contemplated e-mailing Serle at 12:30 at night when I finished reading (I ended up waiting until the next day so as to appear less crazy. Probably didn’t work). It was a good, painful cry though, complete with aches over that sad ending and satisfaction that the book was so well-done.

Knife of Never Letting Go6. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness– One word: Manchee. It makes me want to cry right now.

Sky Paperback7. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson– The grief in this book is beautifully done because yes, it’s painful, and you see the way it affects the family, but there’s wonderful humor here that gets you through the rough times too. It’s a perfect balance.

Deathly Hallows8. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling–Maybe part of me cried because it was all over, but the resolution, finding out the truth about why it happened the way that it did, seeing Harry at the very end when we thought we’d lost him, realizing all those lives we really had lost…it was perfect. It was a cry of satisfaction, I think.

Jellicoe Road9. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta– Sigh. It’s just so good. I can’t even put it into words.

Saving Francesca10. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta– This one got me in the very end. I vividly remember reading it in the middle of the night, sprawled out on the sofa in our playroom, as the rest of the family slept in the bedrooms. I read a certain part, put my hand over my mouth and cried. And cried some more–but in a very good way.  It was excellent and so worth the wait.

I'll Be There11. I’ll Be There By Holly Goldberg Sloan– Oh, this one. I love it. It gets to your heart in so many places–romantic love, familial love, sibling bonds, tragedy…it’s all there.

Night12. Night by Elie Wiesel– A true account of the author’s time as a boy in a concentration camp with his father. It’s so stark and brutally honest. Wiesel is so brave to let us see his imperfection and pain. This is a must-read.

Happy Tuesday! Go on now. Have a good cry!

More Than This

More Than This by Patrick Ness

More Than ThisA boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighborhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . .(Goodreads)

The Story:

From the first pages of this story we know one thing for certain: Seth, our protagonist, dies alone in the freezing ocean, his skull crushing with a final blow against the rocks.

But he wakes.  He remembers dying. He can vividly recall that final moment when he knew it was over–yet here he is, wrapped in some strange gauze and bandages, lying face-down in the dirt of his childhood home in England. It’s not the place he was living when he died, but it’s a place he remembers well, a home he shared with his mom and dad and his little brother before tragedy stuck and they packed up to begin a new life in America. Seth doesn’t know why he’s here, but he seems to be very much alone. His days are now empty and his dreams are full of the life he once lived, the pain and guilt he suffered all too vivid. He wonders if this is truly the end for him or if it’s some kind of personal hell and he grapples with the reality of his life before versus his life now, seeking answers and searching for the truth.

My Thoughts:

Patrick Ness is an incredible writer because his stories build so slowly, patiently giving us each detail, letting us in further until–before you even realize it–you’re in love. You’re invested all the way, clinging to those last shreds of hope with the characters you now love so completely. That’s how I felt when I read The Chaos Walking trilogy (easily one of my favorite books series of all time) and that’s exactly how I felt when I read Seth’s story.

There’s a definite melancholy tone to this book. Seth’s life hasn’t been easy; his trials have not been simple. And while he lives in a family that certainly loves him in the most general sense of the word, you see an overwhelming grief in his parents that translates into an overall apathy toward their eldest son. It’s incredible that when comparing Seth’s life after death to his dreams about his actual life, the loneliness on both sides is palpable, and in that it’s heartbreaking.

There is little I can tell you about the actual story but this: stick with it. There are several twists, there are moments when you think you have it all figured out only to realize…no, you’re wrong again. I think the point here isn’t where Seth has ended up after his death (though that is a big mystery and an interesting part of the story), it’s how he became who he is, what makes him feel and do the things he does, what drives him. As with everyone, the answer is love, and pain, and curiosity, and that journey is what I found to be so intense and sad and beautiful. I definitely cried and I ached for these characters and in the end I loved this book.

Crush Intensity: 5/5 Of course, it’s Patrick Ness

Where I Got It: The library

Howdy Stranger!

I’ve been pretty much MIA lately because of the holidays. With that comes Christmas vacation for my husband and children and everyone is home together watching White Christmas, wrapping presents, building things out of Legos and visiting tons of family.  This week, my husband went back to work but my children are still home with me for another week. I love this time with my girls, but it leaves little time to blog.

Also, I have to admit, while I’ve been burning the midnight oil lately, I haven’t been reading. And I haven’t been writing. I’ve been fine tuning my couch potato skills. Normally, I watch 1-2 hours of TV a week. Maybe. I’m just not a television person and so other than an episode of Downton Abbey or The Vampire Diaries, I don’t watch a lot. Until now.

Last week I fell in love, albeit it quite late, with Once Upon a Time. And it gave me all the feels I could ever dream of having.

RAPHAEL SBARGE, LANA PARRILLA, JARED GILMORE, JENNIFER MORRISON, JAMIE DORNAN, ROBERT CARLYLE, GINNIFER GOODWIN, JOSH DALLAS

Fairy tales, romance, KISSING? Where has this show been all my life?

I watched an episode or two when I was under the weather. And then it was like crack. I was cramming in two episodes every night while my family slept soundly. I watched twenty-two episodes last week. The entire first season. That’s like more TV than I’ve watched in ages. Or ever.

But because of my new Netflix addiction, I didn’t read anything other than a chapter or two of a book I’d already been reading for two weeks. TWO WEEKS! So I promised myself I’d cool it on season two for a while, maybe pick up something new, finish the things sitting on my night stand. But then my oldest daughter, who recently became a huge Jane Eyre fan (Chloe, you’re welcome) asked me to watch one of the Jane film versions with her. So I spent yet another night watching TV.

Jane and Rochester

When Michael Fassbender asks you to marry him you say YES. No doubt about it.

And you know what? It was so worth it. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books and though none of the films truly do it justice, I still always enjoy them. Plus it made my heart swell to see my daughter so in love with these characters, so excited to see them come to life on the screen.

Yep. I’ve been a total couch potato lately, but it’s been a beautiful thing. So, I’m backlogged on reviews and I have ten thousand books to finish. I’ll get there soon, I promise.

I hope thus far you’ve had a very happy new year!

Favorite Books of 2013

Well hellooooo there. Long time, no chat. Sorry. Things have been crazy here what with the holidays, and the whole family being on Christmas vacation, and the one awesome day I spent with the stomach flu (which sucked, but led me to discover my new favorite TV show, Once Upon a Time. Thank you Netflix). Whew. Crazy times.

We are long overdue for a list, and of course, I felt it was appropriate to tell you my favorite books I’ve read this year. Now, I have to be honest, this was a tough reading year for me. I fell in love with fewer books, but never fear, the ones I did like I fell quite hard for. Hopefully, you find some books here you loved too or, even better, hopefully you find some titles to add to your TBR list for 2014.

 

The Stand Alones (or first book in a series)

E&PEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell- You’re seeing it on lists everywhere for a reason. Read it. Fall in love with it.

 

My Life Next DoorMy Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick- I love a good love story. There. Said it. Done.

 

If You Find MeIf You Find Me by Emily Murdoch- Beautifully written, stark and heartbreaking at times, but so worth the read.

 

GiverThe Giver by Lois Lowry- I waited far too long to read this. Thank goodness my daughter convinced me to go for it.

 

sea of tranquilityThe Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay- Beautiful. Just absolutely beautiful.

 

Book of Broken HeartsThe Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler- Get out your tissues. This book is near-perfect.

 

The Raven BoysThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater- I was late to the game here, but this book was phenomenal.

 

The Sequels

Unravel MeUnravel Me ( Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi- Do I have to keep saying it? Chapter 62.

 

Siege and StormSiege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo- Fantatstic sequel. Totally excellent.

 

AllegiantAllegiant ( Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth- Broke. My. Heart.

 

Quintana of CharynQuintana of Charyn  (The Lumatere Chronicles #3) by Melina Marchetta- Saying goodbye to Finnikin, Isaboe, and Froi and their beloved story was hard indeed.

 

Honorable Mentions

Going VintageGoing Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

 

 

Happy New Year!

Quintana of Charyn

Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles #3)

Quintana of CharynThere’s a babe in my belly that whispers the valley, Froi. I follow the whispers and come to the road . . .

Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi must travel through Charyn to search for Quintana, the mother of Charyn’s unborn king, and protect her against those who will do anything to gain power. But what happens when loyalty to family and country conflict? When the forces marshalled in Charyn’s war gather and threaten to involve the whole of the land, including Lumatere, only Froi can set things right, with the help of those he loves.

 

Okay, if you’re reading this I’m going to assume you’ve read the first two books, Finnikin of the Rock ( I loved this book so much I wanted to have babies with it) and Froi of the Exiles (I struggled with this one and though ultimately I liked it, we did not fall in love. It’s sad because I LOVE Froi and I love Marchetta, but alas, I only really, really liked it instead of falling head over heels. It happens). In any case this is an epic series and if you read any further without having read the first two books. there may be spoilers ahead. Just a warning.

When we pick up, Froi is basically just waking from being beaten within an inch of his life and being separated from Quintana (otherwise known as Crazypants, or CP for short). CP is pregnant with his child, the future king of Charyn, but Quintana’s life is still in danger, as is the fate of that child. Finnikin and Isaboe continue life in Lumatere. As Isaboe’s consort, Finnikin tries to help his wife in her duties as the Queen. Although Isaboe is pregnant, she still “walks the sleep” and she often seems to have a strange connection with Froi. The two miss their friend tremendously and fear for his safety. When Finnikin goes to finally seek vengeance on the man who killed Isaboe’s family (eeeks! Froi’s dad!), he finds Froi (and almost kills him, OMG, the stress) and begins to question his loyalty.

There’s so much more going on here, it’s practically impossible to summarize. That’s the thing with Marchetta books. They’re amazing. But there are about fifty characters and ten stories going at once. We have Lucien and his wife, and Froi’s parents, and we have the people who want to kill Quintana, and we have life in Lumatere, and tons and tons of small stories. It sounds overwhelming, but it’s not because they all overlap a bit. There were moments when I had to stop and try to recall what had occurred in the previous book, or where I got confused as to who was who (notice I’m using very few names in this review. I can’t remember half of them!), but the story really comes together in this final book in the series.

Originally, the big thing for me was this: CP never grew on me in the previous book because she was, well, crazy. Not legitimately crazy, but she wanted most people to think she was and she liked to scare people off. Froi seemed to totally get this about her, but I never bought into it—until this book. In this book CP grew on me a little more. I understood the way she loved that unborn baby, and the hope she saw in him. I loved the lengths she’d go to to protect him. BUT STILL. There was no way Quintana was ever going to dethrone Isaboe—darling, feisty Isaboe— in my book. And I worried about how this would end. I love Froi. I love Finnikin.  And poor Froi was  sort of stuck. CP was pregnant and he loves her, but he’s also loyal to Lumatere. I seriously stressed about how this would all turn out happily since  Charyn and Lumatere were not on friendly terms. Everyone I loved hated CP, except Froi, who decided to make a baby with her. Oh, the drama.

But of course, Marchetta ties it all up so beautifully, so magnificently. I adored this book. She is a breathtaking writer who has given us such rich stories and unbelievably real characters. I was very sorry to say goodbye to these people (even Crazypants, who I grew to respect).  It was such a good ending, but oh so bittersweet.

Sigh.

Crush Intensity: 5/5 If you have not read this series, do it. Do it now.

Where’s I Get It: The library!

 

Top Ten Tuesday- Things to Be Thankful For

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

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This week, as we approach Thanksgiving, we are discussing what we’re thankful for. This is a great topic because even though we can so easily say we’re thankful for our many blessings, we rarely think of them in detail. I like to try to remember this awesome quote:

…I discover that slapping a sloppy brush of thanksgiving over everything in my life leaves me thankful for very few things in my life.

-Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

I think that’s such a simple, wonderful idea, to name the things and people and gifts and opportunities that make us feel blessed, and to try to do this on a daily, not only yearly, basis. I actually started a journal (along with my wonderful book club, as we read through the aforementioned book) and, while I don’t write in it every day, it is amazing the joy it brings, in good days and bad, to reflect on things, big and small, and to reread the lists from days past.

Here are some of the things I’m especially grateful for today.

1. For the powerful, unending, constant flow of grace from God, without whom I would be desperately lost.

2. For my husband, who sees my good and bad and loves me–adores me–still. To me, he is better than any boy in any book ever written (Whew! Thank goodness, since I married him!).

3. For my daughter, Chloe, who is an inspiration to me in her drive, in her hard-work and in her fierce devotion to being her true self. She is unashamed of who she is, of what she likes, of what she believes. I wish I’d been even a tiny bit like that at her age.

4. For my daughter, Carissa, who embodies everything sweet and thoughtful in this world to me. She is a joy, day in and day out, and keeps the laughter going in our house from sun up to sun down.

5. For my friends, old and new. This includes my blogging besties: Sandie, Candice, Kristina, Brittany and Daphne, I love these girls as if I’ve known them my entire life. And I’ve never even met them face to face. But I speak to them on a daily basis and those moments mean so much to me. And where would I be without my awesomely kooky text sessions with Vee? I’ll tell you. I’d be laughing a lot less.

6. For my mom and dad. Seriously, they’re amazing. I’m an only child and they gave me a beautiful life filled with love and laughter, and they continue to do that, to encourage me, to lavish my husband and children (and me) with the same devotion I received growing up.

7. For the incredible blessing of being a stay at home mom. I realize it’s not for everyone, but for me, it’s my dream life (with less money and more laundry. Ha ha! Just kidding. I wouldn’t change a thing.).

8. For my church. It took us years to find one, but what a wonderful, perfect fit for our family.

9. For the amazing men and women who have been teachers to my children. My husband is a teacher. I know how hard they work and I appreciate the education and the love they’ve shown my girls.

10. For blessings like food, clothing and shelter. I know not everyone has these things and I don’t know why they are so easily bestowed upon me, but I’m grateful.

11. For this country. Whatever political beliefs you come from, as a mother of daughters especially, I am incredibly grateful we live in a place where girls are treated as humans, where they are valued, where they are educated, where they have opportunity and worth. No, we’re not perfect, but there is hope for them here, hope that women in many other countries can never dream of.

12. For books! I mean this with all sincerity. Books take me to wonderful, happy places on my best days as well as on my darkest ones. To the authors who write them, the publishers who make them happen, and everyone in between–including the amazing blogging community who promotes them–thank you.

See how amazing it is to list your blessings? One more quote before I wrap up, again, from the same book (which I’ve been revisiting lately):

God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy.

                                                                Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

Happy Tuesday!

NaNoWriMo- Week Three…Let the Apathy Begin

nanowrimo2-660x963So it’s week three. We’re almost there. I mean, not almost there as far as actual real, live word counts being anywhere near the Nazi-esque 50,000 word goal we are supposed to work toward (do I sound bitter?). These are the days I wish I were young enough to participate in YWP NaNoWriMo, where kids actually set the goal they feel they can achieve. It’s not like I’d choose 800 words or anything just so I can say “I Won!”  Sure, maybe there are people who’d do that, but I wouldn’t. I’d set a realistic goal that didn’t leave me feeling like a big, fat failure, and maybe some years I’d make it, some years I wouldn’t. But I wouldn’t begin the adventure thinking This is never going to happen.

But whatever. That is not the case.

This week was a little better than last week (not saying much since last week was abysmal). I clocked about 4500 words. Not great, but an improvement on last week. But I like some of the scenes I’ve written. I may even keep them (after obsessing over them more than any human should). And it’s still more than I had last week. And more than I had when this venture started.

Still, I definitely didn’t make enough time to write this week. I was busy looking like this over Allegiant:

crying

And then I got all distracted by this.

Because I love it when TV shows and stars sort of collide. And I love that I didn’t know they were dating. And I love even more that Adam Brody was Seth Cohen, the cutest, most adorkable nerd around. And he grew up to be this:

1367588467_adam-brody-leighton-meester-article

Yep.

We’ll discuss that more next week, I think.

Anyway, what were we talking about? NaNoWriMo?

Write on!

Allegiant

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

AllegiantThe faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. (Goodreads)

 

All right, so this is the third and final book in the Divergent series. If you haven’t read the first two, climb out from under that rock and get on it!

If you’ve read Insurgent, you know we were left with this awesomely crazypants ending with Evelyn (Four’s mom) acting as the despot leader of the factionless and, with the help of Marcus (yeah, Four’s other wacko parent, the one who used to beat him and his mother up), Tris unveiled a video made by a woman named Beatrice Prior. This video told of life outside the city gates–remember how in the first book we learned that those gates were locked from the outside?–and asked for the Divergent to come to their aid.

So that’s where we begin. Tris and Four and the rest of those crazy kids have to get out of the city. There’s a new uprising called Allegiant. These are people who, for some bizarro reason want to reinstate the factions (perhaps because it’s the only life they’ve known) and they battle the factionless. Without giving too much away, I will say this: Tris and Four and some others get out of the city and they find what’s beyond those gates. The situation isn’t quite what Beatrice described. Nor is it anything like they’d imagined. Those outside the city know everything that has gone on in the factions, they know Tris, they know Four. And worse, they once knew Natalie, Tris’s mom. WHAT?  Now Tris and Four have to decide who to align with (because, of course, even outside of the city, people are fighting and rising up against each other). Tris has to find out more about her mother’s connection to this place and she needs to figure out where her heart lies in terms of Caleb, whose life was placed in their hands. He’s still her brother, but all she sees when she looks at him is a traitor.

And that’s really all I can say.

You should read this book. It is an excellent end to the series. But let me warn you: it’s painful. Books like these can’t realistically have perfectly painted happy endings all tied up in a pretty bow. They have to be grittier and more heart wrenching. There has to be great loss.  Roth does that in Allegiant. She sets up a story and characters you want to fight for, people you’d be proud to walk alongside. She makes you feel as if you live in their world and understand their struggles, and when she makes the difficult choice to pull the rug out from under you, you feel their pain at being left behind because, in a way, you’ve been left behind too.

I did a fair share of grieving when this book ended, both for the end of the series and for the turn of events. But I loved it. It was faithful to everything I’d ever known about these characters and this dark world they lived in, and while the finality was hard, there was still a small (like, tiny) glimmer of hope in the end.

My only complaint, other than the fact that it tore my heart into tiny pieces and effectively ruined my day, was that as excited as I was to read the dual perspectives of Tris and Four, I actually didn’t feel there was a great distinction between their voices. Their stories are different, obviously, and Four’s pain is deeper and more visceral than I’d anticipated. He’s a darker guy than I first thought (all of this made me love him more), but unless he was speaking directly about his childhood or his fears, I often found it difficult to tell the difference between him and Tris.

Last gripe: Natalie’s story. I loved hearing it. But it raised some questions for me about how she ultimately handled things, considering the knowledge she had.

Major Bonus Factor: Four. It doesn’t get any hotter than him. And the kissing? Swoon to the max.

Crush Intensity: 4.5/5 I’m upset with Veronica Roth for giving me a burden of sad, and I want to high-five her for what I think was a fantastically well-done end to a series I love.*

* It took me some time to get there. I had some fabulous counseling from my girls Sandie, Daphne, and Candice. They always talk me through these things.

Please, no spoilers in the comments. If you want to discuss this book in greater detail, e-mail me. I have much more to say!

Compulsive Rereader: It’s Not Summer Without You

As we all know, despite the stacks of books teetering on my night stand, despite the oodles waiting patiently in my Nook and on Net Galley, I have a tendency to reread books over and over again. It’s a thing for me, like an illness.  This week it’s a book I love from a series I love:

It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

It's not summer without you

I’ve probably read this book at least five times. I recently read the entire series at the end of summer, getting annoyed with Belly, with Conrad, sighing and smiling and swooning in all the same parts. Last week though, I let my twelve-year-old daughter read the first book, which I was confident she could read without there being anything too risqué for her sweet little eyes. She, of course, loved it (even though she’s not super-duper into swoon yet) and wanted to read book 2. I had to do a quick re-read (yes, that’s re-read number two since August or September) to make sure. I definitely think it’s a little mature for my daughter at this point, but holy moley, I love this series!

I love Belly. I love Conrad (even though I also hate him at times, especially in the first two books) and I love Jeremiah. You know who else I sometimes hate? Taylor. Taylor the BFF who just doesn’t get it. And I am absolutely in love with Laurel (Belly’s mom) and, obviously, with Susannah and this beautiful, life-long friendship those two have. There is something so magical about the summers Belly spends a the beach house with the Fisher family, so innocent and heartbreaking about her love for them, about the sense of belonging she gets from Susannah’s love. I could seriously dive into this book again and again. And I will continue to do so.

Best line:

Kissing him, being with him like that…it was cool lemonade with a long straw, sweet and measured and pleasurable in a way that felt infinite. The thought crossed my mind that I never wanted him to stop kissing me. I could do this forever, I thought.

images

I will never forget the first time I read that line. I had to call Vee immediately and read it to her because I thought it was THAT GOOD. She, thankfully, gets my crazy.

Bonus:

We get to read chapters from Jeremiah’s perspective. You gotta love Jere.

Extra Bonus:

Summery beachiness (I love books that take place during summer and/or at the beach. I can’t explain it. It must be the California Girl in me).

So have you read this series? If not, you should jump on it. Han is a beautiful writer with characters so flawed and human and richly vivid. Her prose is sweet, but no too flowery, and most importantly, the story is good. It feel authentic, like these could be people you actually know (or they could be you!). Check it out!

Rereads

I’m just curious what your thoughts are on rereads. Lately, I’ve had tons and tons of books to read (not exactly a problem, I realize), but I spent a good portion of this summer reading books I’ve probably read a million times. Why, you ask? Because they make me happy. Sometimes nothing comforts me like stepping into a world I know as well as my own. It’s like coming home, like seeing my closest friends (wow, I sound like a loser. I have real live actual friends, I swear).

Forever PrincessThis summer I went through the entire Princess Diaries series. Shocker, right? You’re bowled over by that statement, I’m sure. I read those books all of the time in random order (and have read the whole series all the way through about 4 times), on a pretty much ongoing basis. But still, I laughed in all the best parts. I giggled at all the inside jokes and I cried during the breakup and Dr. Knutz scenes. And in the end, when I finished the last book I was so, so happy.

Summer I Turned PrettyI also went through Jenny Han’s summer series again. I’ve read the first one a few times but had only read the last two once each. Oh, (clutches heart) I love those books. I can’t even explain it. They just feel so real. I love Conrad. I hate him. I love him again. And again. And I want Jeremiah to be my buddy and teach me to drive like he did Belly (in addition to having real, live friends, I also know how to drive).

the truth about foreverNow, I’m rereading The Truth About Forever. Again, I’ve read this book approximately eleventy times. But is has a hold of my heart. Again. Gotcha!

Where She WentThe Sky is EverywhereI think next up will be Where She Went (le sighs all around) and The Sky is Everywhere (bat bat). Forget the fact that there are at least ten books I have to read and that I still have signed copies of Prodigy and Just One Day sitting on my shelf lonely and unread. These other books are calling me.

Do you have any books like that? Ones you never tire of or are you someone who read a book once and lets it go?