The ABC Book Challenge- It’s a B-utiful Day

It’s time to move forward with this book challenge with the letter B. We shall have to see what books I can come up with for this one!

Memorable Books that Start with “B”:

Blindsided

In many ways, Natalie O’Reilly is a typical fourteen-year-old girl. But a routine visit to the eye doctor produces devastating news: Natalie will lose her sight within a few short months.

Suddenly her world is turned upside down. Natalie is sent to a school for the blind to learn skills such as Braille and how to use a cane. Outwardly, she does as she’s told; inwardly, she hopes for a miracle that will free her from a dreaded life of blindness.

But the miracle does not come, and Natalie ultimately must confront every blind person’s dilemma. Will she go home to live scared? Or will she embrace the skills she needs to make it in a world without sight?

I really enjoyed this book when I read it. It feels like forever ago, but it features a perspective that I was intrigued by at the time and I am happy to have it on my shelves.

Blind

When Emma Sasha Silver loses her eyesight in a nightmare accident, she must relearn everything from walking across the street to recognizing her own sisters to imagining colors. One of seven children, Emma used to be the invisible kid, but now it seems everyone is watching her. And just as she’s about to start high school and try to recover her friendships and former life, one of her classmates is found dead in an apparent suicide. Fifteen and blind, Emma has to untangle what happened and why – in order to see for herself what makes life worth living.

Unflinching in its portrayal of Emma’s darkest days, yet full of hope and humor, Rachel DeWoskin’s brilliant Blind is one of those rare books that utterly absorbs the listener into the life and experience of another.

Of the two books about the blind this one was my favorite. I really enjoyed the experience of reading it and I think that this book is highly underrated. It was a great read!

Side note- I got through this and wanted so badly to mention Bitterblue and The Belles, but as both of these books about the blind aren’t very talked about I wanted to share them both with you.

Books Beginning with “B” that I Wish to Read:

Between Shades of Grey

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

I have never heard a bad word uttered against this novel. I know a lot of people love this book and I want to see for myself the reason why.

Bright Smoke Cold Fire

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting.

This book simply looks like a really cool fantasy! It might not be the best in the world or anything, but an enjoyable read for sure!

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below. I’m slowly making my way through this challenge and I can’t wait to see it through. Let me know if you will be taking this challenge on yourself.

-Till next time!

Advertisements

Dark Tide: A Review

Dark Tide by Jennifer Donnelly

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 10 out of 10! These covers always look beautifully illustrated, but i know for a fact that they are not, well not completely. I think that it is so evocative and beautiful. Plus, it’s a beautiful look of diversity on this cover. I love it!

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Publish Date: October 13th, 2015

Number of Pages: 392 pages

Received: Christmas of 2016

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Please note this is a book 3

Once a lost and confused princess, Serafina is now a confident leader of the Black Fin Resistance (BFR). While she works on sabotaging her enemy and enlisting allies for battle, her friends face challenges of their own. Ling is in the hold of Rafe Mfeme’s giant trawler, on her way to a prison camp. Becca meets up with Astrid and learns why the Ondalinian mermaid is always so angry: she is hiding a shameful secret. Ava can’t return home, because death riders await her arrival. And it is getting more and more difficult for Mahdi, Serafina’s betrothed, to keep up the ruse that he is in love with Lucia Volerno. If Lucia’s parents become suspicious, his life–and all of Sera’s hopes–will be extinguished. Political intrigue, dangerous liaisons, and spine-tingling suspense swirl like a maelstrom in this penultimate book in the WaterFire saga.

Opening Sentence: “The mermaids sword glinted in the watery twilight of Tanner’s Deeps.”

Musings:

I read this book last moth pretty much a year after I had completed. the first two books and it felt like fitting into the perfect fit of shoes. My memory of what had past came quickly and the world, characters, and development felt better then ever. If that isn’t proof of some fabulous storytelling I don’t know what is.

What I Loved:

It felt brand new. Despite my familiarity with these characters and how they think and act I experienced them as new people, all had been transformed by their previous experience and they each took on new identities in my mind. I loved seeing that every character had grown from there unique fears and personal flaws. They all still remained flawed, but they all made the decision at different points to change and I found that admirable.

The world description. Every single one of thee novels has such lush writing and description. You feel immersed in the novel like it is a place you could go to if only you could swim well enough.

The adventure. I am so attracted to these novels because they always take me on a journey like no other. It makes me feel like a kid dreaming of lost land and hoping for a grand and beautiful destiny for my future. It is a glorious adventure this story tells indeed.

The love. Family, friendship, and romance, you get all kinds of love in this series. The best of all is that it grows and evolves over the course of the novels. It always reads as wholly authentic and genuinely felt.

I always want to know more. I always want to live in this world and see where it takes me. There is one more book in this series and as sad as it is I think I’m ready to take it on.

Final Thought:

Jennifer Donnelly shows that she is brilliant in every book she writes and this book is no exception. I adore Dark Tide and I feel sorry I didn’t read it sooner.

About the Author:

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of eleven novels – Lost in a Book, These Shallow Graves, Sea Spell, Dark Tide, Rogue Wave, Deep Blue, Revolution, A Northern Light, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose – and Humble Pie, a picture book for children. She grew up in New York State, in Lewis and Westchester counties, and attended the University of Rochester where she majored in English Literature and European History.

Thanks for reading! Let me now your thoughts down in the comments.

_Till next time!

Writing Update!

So as many of you know I participated in Camp Nano last month. What many of you don’t know however, is that I completely failed it. Which I am honestly not surprised by. You see writing and I have a relationship that has been more tooth and nail then harmony and while I always push myself to start off really strong it never lasts long.

However, recently I have had a breakthrough. The WIP that I was writing for Camp Nano will be written and for now I have given myself the deadline to be finished by August 28th, 2018. Of which is as of now a fixed date. As of right now, due to reworking how I want the story to go and revamping the world and the magical system and changing up the beginning I have scrapped about 10,000 words leaving me with 5,000 to start building my first draft from. The deadline is three months, but I hope to prove to myself that I can finish it a bit before that time and if I do I will let you all know.

The other part of my update is that I have two other projects that I am working on alongside my fantasy WIP. Both are very personal works that deal with telling the story of my life so far in two different mediums. The first is the long abandoned Confessions of a Teenage Writer that deals with writing and writerly struggles, but is turning into a self-help book where I share my experiences, rejecting and refunding my passion, and the crazy happenings that have me washed ashore on my life as it is now. You can read the beginnings of this novel that I began out of joy and hope on wattpad here. I thought about removing it, but I am thinking that as I rewrite it pieces of this beginning will be there, but it will be far different then it was before. Plus its a wonderful memory to keep it on there as is to look back on in the future,

The second is a poetry collection of works that tell fragments of my memory and my past, my relationship with my family who shares no blood relation, my inner demons, and dealing with the emotions that I have carried on my back for far too long. It is inspired by a part of All of This is True where the author character in the novel writes a novel which weight becomes the defining weight of her grief. I want to see the weight of my past in physical form if only I can move from it graciously.

I hope that announcing these three projects keeps me accountable for them. I have a habit of rejecting my own voice. I hope that starting out my writing career with such personal works (balanced on the pendulum of the fantasy) I can better accept myself and move forward in my writing without fear.

Thank you so much for reading! I am so grateful to share this part of my journey with you all. I am committing myself to a restart in this life of mine. I hope that what is created from it will be something that I am proud to share with all of you in the months and years to come.

-Till next time!

Joint Review: Milk and Honey + The Sun and Her Flowers

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Cover Rating: 8 out of 10! I love the minimalist design of this cover. It matches perfectly the sort of illustrations found inside the book. It’s beautifully made

Publisher: Create Space

Publish Date: November 4th, 2014

Number of Pages: 204

Received: ebook purchase

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Rupi Kaur’s milk and honey, is a New York Times bestselling collection of poetry and prose about survival, the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.

The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes listeners through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them—because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

Favorite Poem:

I love this poem so much not truly because of what it says, but for the image it’s paired with. Something about it makes me feel at peace. It makes me feel like I just need to keep going and one day all will be ok.

Musings:

Milk and Honey was about losing someone and being hurt by the world and what it means to be a woman. The expectations we place for women’s bodies and how we are meant to use them. It makes me to think that a book like this exists. The reason that this was a 4 Star and not a 5 Star was because there were various parts that I couldn’t quite connect to and felt a bit general instead of something that was more unique as a sentiment.

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 8 out of 10! The cover is very fitting for the title. I like the artistic expression this cover shows. I really like it!

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Publish Date: October 3rd, 2017

Number of Pages: 256

Received: ebook purchase

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself. Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms. this is the recipe of life said my mother as she held me in her arms as i wept think of those flowers you plant in the garden each year they will teach you that people too must wilt fall root rise in order to bloom

Favorite Poems:

This poem brought tears to my eyes. It is beautiful because it gives ode to all who have come before. It is beautiful to imagine that your life is to live with all your might carrying the pride of the women that have lived and endured carrying you through everything. To make them happy so that they live through you.

This is another poem that saddened me. The best and worst of our lives seem to be terribly mirrored. In life and in death we gather together and in grief how are we able to always tell the difference?

Musings:

The Sun and Her Flowers is a much more mature collection then Milk and Honey. The Sun and Her Flowers is healing and thoughtful and written with culture and hope in mind. This collection is a celebration of living where milk and Honey lived with despair.

Both collections are written with the power, beauty, and strength of women in mind. They are the building up of women and the rejection of old thoughts that still cross societies mind to this day. It is the new generations version of progress without bringing anyone down, but solely picking people up.

These are feminist and righteous and beautiful. I greatly enjoyed these poetry collections.

Thanks for reading! If you haven’t already I would definitely recommend you read these two poetry collections. They are very insightful and wonderful. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

Tags and Why I Don’t Always Like Them

Tags are wonderful ways that us bloggers connect with one another and share common posts that are fun and interesting to do. However, sometimes they can get repetitive and that’s why I don’t always enjoy doing them.

When I first started blogging I adored tags. I did them all the time and had fun doing them, but very quickly I found a trend. There were different tags carrying different names but the questions seemed to be all the same. Favorite book (in any genre), favorite author, favorite character, favorite and least favorite of everything under the sun. I found myself time and time again using the same books over and over to do different tags and after a while I had had enough.

For me, variety is important. I hate doing the same sorts of things with the same sorts of questions all the time and so I had starting dwindling with my tags and it wasn’t long before they completely stopped being featured on my blog. However, I do miss doing tags and every once in a while I do find one to be unique and I do my best to participate.

The other thing I did to combat this boredom I had gained from tags was to create my own. The Dreamy Book Covers Tag. It was a lot of fun to create my own tag that I felt showcased a love for something that we don’t always appreciate enough, beautiful covers! However, I think I got to the point were I was so exhausted with doing tags that any tag was no longer fun to do.

Even though this post is about why I sometimes don’t like tags it is also here to say how I will approach them in the future. I will try and participate in tags as much as I can, but I am going to be a bit more choosy in the tags I do. I like tags that engage me and force me to really think about what answers I am putting out there. I also really want to start creating more tags. I’ve always been told to “be the change you wish to see in the world” and I think that helping to create a new variety of tags can help keep things fresh.

Thanks for reading! Have you ever gotten tired of doing tags? What are your thoughts on this topic?

-Till next time!

Made for You: A Review

Made for You by Melissa Marr

My Rating: 3/5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 5/10 starts it’s alright, but it’s not my style. This cover is the better of the two I know of. This one fits and it’s not the worst but I mostly feel meh about it.

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publish Date: September 16th, 2014

Number of Pages: 356 pages

Received: Got it for Christmas 2016

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

Opening Sentence:

“”Did you see her?” Piper whispers, lifting the same plastic cup of wine she’s been holding the past two hours as if it hides her.

Musings:

Made for You is a book that’s all fun and games until things start happening and people start dying. At first we get the madman’s perspective and we find out the why of his madness, but we don’t know who and that is the great mystery.

What I Liked:

Having the killer’s perspective. Having the delusions of a madman laid bare for all to see was the most interesting part of this novel. You can see how sick minded the man is and fear starts to increase as you try to figure out who he could be.

The supernatural element. I enjoyed that with her injury Eva gets an ability to see others deaths. This becomes the main tool used to discover who the killer is and to try and protect the people she loves around her.

The romance was chill. The romance wasn’t some grand ordeal or anything particularly special. It unraveled pretty naturally and I respect a book that does that.

What I Didn’t Like:

The story in all was simply fun. The story was enjoyable, but that was all it was. Stories don’t really have to have anything special about them and this story proves it. It’s a fun story and there isn’t anything more to it.

All in All:

Made for You is a fun ya thriller to read to pass some time and not think too hard for a while. It’s a great book that I enjoyed and I hope others enjoy as well.

About the Author:

Melissa grew up believing in faeries, ghosts, and other creatures. After teaching college literature and writing for a decade, she applied her fascination with folklore to writing her own books.

Melissa writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. Her books have been translated into 28 languages to date and been bestsellers in the US (NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal) as well as various countries overseas. She is best known for the Wicked Lovely series for teens and Graveminder for adults.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

The ABC Book Challenge: It Starts With A

I first saw this challenge on Ashley’s book blog Thrifty Bibliophile and I had to try it out for myself. This challenge is a long haul kind of challenge and I’ll be sticking it out from A to Z so I hope you enjoy it!

Memorable titles that start with the letter “A”:

And I Darken

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

I ADORE And I Darken. It’s such a fun read. No one in this book is wholly good or bad and I love the rich storytelling. It is one of the best books I read last year for sure!

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

I LOVE ACOTAR! Sara J. Maas really knows how to write a great fantasy. I loved all the characters in this book and even though it all changes later I will forever hold on to the feelings I had when I first read ACOTAR.

Books Starting with “A” that I wish to read:

Anna Dressed in Blood

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

I’m in love with horror and Anna seems like an awesome horror novel that I would love. I don’t have enough horror stories on my shelves and I hope to someday add many more.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

I have heard amazing things about this novel. It is well loved and I want to one day see why for myself. It seems like it would be a beautiful story and I hope the day will come to read it very soon.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! I hope you enjoy this series as it slowly progresses.

-Till next time!

Reign the Earth: A Review

Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 8/10 I love the illustrated style and all the colors are really fitting for this book. My only critique would be that the border is a little bit overwhelming and distracting to me. Either way it’s a gorgeous cover.

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Publish Date: January 30th, 2018

Number of Pages: 438 pages

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“Another fantasy romance in the vein of books by Sabaa Tahir, Renee Ahdieh. . . . Shalia matures from a frightened girl in a foreign land to a woman unwilling to allow her destiny or desires to be controlled by the men around her.” – School Library Journal

“I will be thinking about Shalia’s strength and fearlessness (and swooning over the slow-burn romance) as I anxiously await book two!” – Erin Bowman, author of Vengeance Road

Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for an end to the violence that has claimed so many of their loved ones. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bone Lands, a country where magic is outlawed and the Elementae–those that can control earth, air, fire and water–are traitors, subject to torture . . . or worse.

Before she is even crowned, Shalia discovers that she can bend the earth to her will. Trapped between her husband’s irrational hatred of the Elementae and a dangerous rebellion led by her own brother, Shalia must harness her power and make an impossible choice: save her family, save the Elementae, or save herself.

Opening Sentence:

“There was a scorpion in my tent.”

*trigger warning* emotional and physical abuse, marital physical relations without consent, torture, and relationship violence.

Musings:

I picked up this book for a fun fantasy and opened up a much darker story that I didn’t fully appreciate until I really thought about it as it ended. Reign the Earth is an incredible novel beautifully told that tells the story of a strength of a different kind.

What I Liked:

The friendship. Shalia and her best friend had such a special bond. I loved that as a part of the deception in the story Shalia never once mentioned to her husband anything about the friend she loves. Keeping the secret while necessary was also a true show of their friendship.

Shalia’s strength. Shalia is not your conventional heroine. She is not truly physically strong, but she has a loyalty and an emotional strength that I almost never see in ya. She is a woman who endured. She endured pain and suffering to save the people she so loved. She never made excuses. She never complained and that is a whole new kind of strength. At first it made me angry. She never really fought back, but in the end I realized that she was much wiser, fighting for peace by being the sacrifice and that was the hardest for me to understand. For a while, I basically thought she was a pushover, but I was so very wrong. She did more then I ever could by enduring everything and trying to make the best out of a horrid situation and I have come to love Shalia for that.

The magic. The magic in this novel is really cool. I love the idea behind having whole cities being built by earth magic. I also like that it was removed and is now back in the world again and people gaining abilities in a seemingly random fashion. It is really interesting.

The world building. The world itself is much bigger then it is just on page and the fact that I felt like this was taking place in a much larger world was really cool. It made me want to explore in the universe the author created and that’s a lot of fun!

What I Didn’t Like:

The man I hated. From the moment Shalia married her husband I hated him. I hated him as he slowly warped into being the a-hole that he is. I hated him as he said he was one of the faces incarnate of their God. He was arrogant, cruel, nasty, and he caused so many people a whole lot of pain. I wanted to strangle him the whole book. He almost made me mistake Shalia for being week (totally not my own fault) so I hate him for that too.

About the Author:

A. C. GAUGHEN is the author of the Scarlet Trilogy (Scarlet, Lady Thief and Lion Heart) and the Elementae, which starts with REIGN THE EARTH in January 2018. She serves on the board for the non-profit Boston GLOW, creating opportunities to encourage and engage teen girls in the Greater Boston area. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from St. Andrews University in Scotland and a Masters in Education from Harvard University.

Thanks for reading! I highly recommend you read Reign the Earth if you haven’t already. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Most Anticipated Ya Releases: June 2018

June is approaching and that means a whole new batch of wonderful ya releases to be excited about. Like every month, there are many books being released in June that I can’t wait to one day read. I hope you are as excited for them as I am!

Here are my most anticipated ya releases for the month of June:

June 5th

Always Forever Maybe by Anica Mrose Rissi

“When Betts meets Aiden at the candy store where she works, their connection is like a sugar rush to the heart. Betts already knows the two of them are infinite. Inevitable. Destined to become an us.

Betts has only ever kept one secret from her best friend, Jo, but suddenly there’s a long list of things she won’t tell her, things Jo wouldn’t understand. Because Jo doesn’t see how good Aiden is for Betts. She finds him needy. Possessive. Controlling.

She’s wrong. With a love like this, nothing else matters.”

I hope that this is the story I think it is. I hope that this book handles this kind of relationship without idealizing it, because if it does as I hope it does I would love to read this story. It would be so refreshing next to the many stories that handle this concept problematically.

Blood Will Out by Jo Treggiari

“Ari Sullivan is alive—for now.

She wakes at the bottom of a cistern, confused, injured and alone, with only the shadowy recollection of a low-pitched voice and a gloved hand. No one can hear her screams. And the person who put her there is coming back. The killer is planning a gruesome masterpiece, a fairytale tableau of innocence and blood, meticulously designed.

Until now, Ari was happy to spend her days pining for handsome, recent-arrival Stroud Bellows, fantasizing about their two-point-four-kids-future together. Safe in her small hometown of Dempsey Hollow. But now her community has turned very dangerous—and Ari may not be the only intended victim.”

I have an e-arc of this book that I have yet to read. So, I know one day for sure this will be read. However, I am taking a moment to share my excitement for this dark and thrilling tale. I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

“Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a Prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum; if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy her heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him – every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him – until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The Prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.”

This just sounds like all kinds of fun. From the synopsis I feel how cliche a story like this sounds, but honestly, there are times where I just want to enjoy myself and the books I am reading without care. I could see myself loving this book without even thinking about it.

Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly DeVos

“Don’t miss this unforgettable debut novel, told in two timelines, about smart fashion, pursuing your dreams, and loving yourself!

FAT.

High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother—and named after a dessert.

Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship, but her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat too fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultrathin and superrich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush, and put her life on track.

SKINNY.

Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing

about her new life is turning out like she planned. When the fashion designer of the moment offers her what she’s always wanted—an opportunity to live and study in New York—she finds herself in a world full of people more interested in putting women down than dressing them up. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day.

Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true?”

This is another book that I hope does not turn problematic because I think it could make for a really fun story. It’s great to see this sort of representation being portrayed in a novel so I hope it turns out great.

How We Roll by Natasha Friend

“Quinn is a teen who loves her family, skateboarding, basketball, and her friends, but after she’s diagnosed with a condition called alopecia which causes her to lose all of her hair, her friends abandon her. Jake was I once a star football player, but a freak accident—caused by his brother—he loses both of his legs. Quinn and Jake meet and find the confidence to believe in themselves again, and maybe even love.”

This sounds adorable and heartbreaking. There is so much about this story that sounds amazing and I hope it creates an authentic love story that I gush about for ages to come.

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

“Next-door neighbors and ex-best friends Hannah and Emory haven’t spoken in months. Not since the fight—the one where they said things they couldn’t take back.

Now, Emory is fine-tuning her UCLA performing arts application and trying to make the most of the months she has left with her boyfriend, Luke, before they head off to separate colleges. Meanwhile, Hannah’s strong faith is shaken when her family’s financial problems come to light, and she finds herself turning to unexpected places—and people—for answers to the difficult questions she’s suddenly facing.

No matter how much Hannah and Emory desperately want to bridge the thirty-six steps between their bedroom windows, they can’t. Not anymore.

Until their paths cross unexpectedly when, one night, Hannah finds Luke doubled over in his car outside her house. In the aftermath of the accident, all three struggle to understand what happened in their own ways. But when a devastating secret about Hannah and Emory’s argument ultimately comes to light, they must all reexamine the things they hold true.

In alternating chapters, a skeptic and a believer piece together the story of their complex relationship and the boy caught somewhere in the middle. New York Times best-selling author Tamara Ireland Stone deftly crafts a moving portrait of faith, love, and friendship.”

This ya novel sounds like it is going to be very powerful and moving. I don’t normally see to many novels pursue faith and I’m happy to see that this book exists. I have a feeling it is going to be fantastic.

Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim

“The summer after her freshman year in college, Mariam is looking forward to working and hanging out with her best friends: irrepressible and beautiful Ghazala and religious but closeted Umar. But when a scandalous photo of Ghaz appears on a billboard in Times Square, Mariam and Umar come up with a plan to rescue her from her furious parents. And what better escape than New Orleans?

The friends pile into Umar’s car and start driving south, making all kinds of pit stops along the way–from a college drag party to a Muslim convention, from alarming encounters at roadside diners to honky-tonks and barbeque joints.

Along with the adventures, the fun banter, and the gas station junk food, the friends have some hard questions to answer on the road. With her uncle’s address in her pocket, Mariam hopes to learn the truth about her father (and to make sure she didn’t inherit his talent for disappearing). But as each mile of the road trip brings them closer to their own truths, they know they can rely on each other, and laughter, to get them through.”

I want to read this novel because I have never read a novel featuring Muslim teens and this sounds like a fun book to add to my list. I also haven’t read a book about friends going on adventures in a really long time and this one sounds like a perfect fit.

Pregnant at 17 by Christine Conradt

“In this action-packed and romantic thriller based on the “can’t pull your eyes away” series on Lifetime, one girl discovers that your life can change in an instant.

Seventeen-year-old Chelsea doesn’t go looking for trouble, but somehow it always manages to find her. Not only is her father taking off to work on a dangerous crab boat, the man she testified against is getting out of prison, and she’s just discovered she’s pregnant.

So when help comes in the most unlikely of forms—Sonia, an odd but generous woman who comes into the shop where she works—Chelsea isn’t sure how to react. As the two women begin to form a friendship, though, Chelsea begins to believe she’s finally found someone she can trust.

But Chelsea should know better than anyone that people aren’t always what they seem, and when she discovers Sonia’s true identity she’s left reeling.

Faced with a difficult decision at the same time her past comes back to haunt her, Chelsea must do what she’s never had the courage to do before—fight for herself. And now, fight for her baby as well.”

Lifetime drama has always caught my interest. Even though I shouldn’t feel so attracted to it I am and to have a book based on a lifetime series sounds like a ton of fun.

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

“Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.”

Of all genres I’ve read in recent times the one genre I have avoided the most with little reason is romantic and fluffy contemporary. I have no real reason for this and I have previously enjoyed the genre, but I don’t know, I just haven’t been into it recently. However, I know Morgan Matson is known for being an amazing contemporary writer and I want to give her books as well as this one a shot.

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

“A magic passed down through generations . . .

Georgina Fernweh waits with growing impatience for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has been passed down through every woman in her family. Her twin sister, Mary, already shows an ability to defy gravity. But with their eighteenth birthday looming at the end of this summer, Georgina fears her gift will never come.

An island where strange things happen . . .

No one on the island of By-the-Sea would ever call the Fernwehs what they really are, but if you need the odd bit of help—say, a sleeping aid concocted by moonlight—they are the ones to ask.

No one questions the weather, as moody and erratic as a summer storm.

No one questions the (allegedly) three-hundred-year-old bird who comes to roost on the island every year.

A summer that will become legend . . .

When tragedy strikes, what made the Fernweh women special suddenly casts them in suspicion. Over the course of her last summer on the island—a summer of storms, of love, of salt—Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms.”

I have a strong affinity for this novel. I say this because I first heard about this book when the author was sharing the title on twitter and talking about how someone told her book two should be called winter of pepper. Other then that I knew nothing about this novel until reading the synopsis to write this post and realizing now that it’s seems like magical realism/fantasy of some sort makes me all the more excited for it! I can’t wait to one day read this book!

Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez

“Not you without me, not me without you.

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what’s right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved.

Inspired by the star-crossed tale of Tristan and Eseult, this is the story of the legend’s true heroine: Branwen. For fans of Graceling and The Mists of Avalon, this is the first book of a lush fantasy trilogy about warring countries, family secrets, and forbidden romance.”

It says it’s for fans of Graceling and I am a HUGE fan of Graceling so I’m sold on this already. However, on its own it sounds like the start of an amazing fantasy trilogy that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into.

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

“As a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, Jinghua has lost everything: her home, her family, her freedom … until she finds herself an unlikely conspirator in the escape of Prince Khalaf and his irascible father as they flee from their enemies across the vast Mongol Empire. On the run, with adversaries on all sides and an endless journey ahead, Jinghua hatches a scheme to use the Kipchaks’ exile to return home, a plan that becomes increasingly fraught as her feelings for Khalaf evolve into a hopeless love.

Jinghua’s already dicey prospects take a downward turn when Khalaf seeks to restore his kingdom by forging a marriage alliance with Turandokht, the daughter of the Great Khan. As beautiful as she is cunning, Turandokht requires all potential suitors to solve three impossible riddles to win her hand—and if they fail, they die.

Jinghua has kept her own counsel well, but with Khalaf’s kingdom—and his very life—on the line, she must reconcile the hard truth of her past with her love for a boy who has no idea what she’s capable of … even if it means losing him to the girl who’d sooner take his life than his heart.

THE BIRD AND THE BLADE is a lush, powerful story of life and death, battles and riddles, lies and secrets from debut author Megan Bannen.”

I am always excited for the latest fantasy and I am so ready for The Bird and the Blade. All I need to know is the last words of the synopsis to be incredibly intrigued by this new fantasy novel.

The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger

“A poignant, deeply funny coming-of-age story about first love, first loss, and the power of history to give life meaning.

History buff Ray knows everything about the peculiar legends and lore of his rural Connecticut hometown. Burgerville’s past is riddled with green cow sightings and witches’ curses, but the most interesting thing about the present is the new girl–we’ll call her Jane Doe.

Inscrutable, cool, and above all mysterious, Jane seems as determined to hide her past as Ray is to uncover it. As fascination turns to friendship and then to something more, Ray is certain he knows Jane’s darkest, most painful secrets and Jane herself–from past to present. But when the unthinkable happens, Ray is forced to acknowledge that perhaps history can only tell us so much.

Mixing humor with heartache, this is an unmissable coming-of-age story from an exciting new voice in YA.”

This novel sounds curious, a bit eccentric, and wholly unique. I hope that this novel comes into my life one day to enjoy because there is something about it that makes me undeniably curious.

The Opposite of Here by Tara Altebrando

“”A taut, evocative thriller that’s surprising to the last page.”

–Karen M. McManus, New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying

There’s no hiding on a cruise ship-not even from yourself.

Natalie’s parents are taking her and her three best friends on a cruise for her seventeenth birthday. A sail-a-bration, they call it. But it’s only been a few short months since Natalie’s boyfriend died in a tragic accident, and she wants to be anywhere but here.

Then she meets a guy on the first night and sparks fly. After a moonlit conversation on a secluded deck of the ship, Natalie pops down to her cabin to get her swimsuit so they can go for a dip. But when she returns, he’s gone. Something he said makes her think he might have . . . jumped? No, he couldn’t have.

But why do her friends think she’s crazy for wanting to make sure he’s okay? Also, why do they seem to be hiding something from her? And how can she find him when she doesn’t even know his name? Most importantly, why is the captain on the intercom announcing the urgent need for a headcount?

With her signature thrilling storytelling, the author of The Leaving and The Possible explores our vulnerability to the power of suggestion-and the lies we tell others and ourselves-in a twisting, Hitchcock-inspired mystery with high stakes and dark secrets.”

The opposite of here is a thriller that takes place on a boat and I can just imagine all the terrifying situations that can create. This book is too evocative to ignore.

What You Left Me by Bridget Morrissey

“Martin and Petra meet for the first time at graduation, and though they’ve shared the halls of their high school for four years without crossing paths, there’s an instant connection the moment they’re seated next to each other at the commencement ceremony.

Then a car accident puts Martin into a coma, and Petra is somehow left picking up the pieces, using friends, family, and shared dreams to keep their surprise connection going.

Together they must unlock the truth of his situation, and with time running out, their bond becomes Martin’s best shot at waking back up to the life he’s left behind.”

I really love contemporaries that deal with emotional situations and this book sounds like a very emotional situation that would make for an awesome read.

Whisper of the Tide by Sarah Tolcser

*skip over synopsis if you haven’t read Song of the Current*

“Caro Oresteia spent her life waiting to be called by the river god, as those in her family had been for generations. But when she’s swept away on an adventure to save the Akhaian royal prince, Markos, her destiny is sealed by the sea god instead.

For now, Caro is landlocked, helping Markos reclaim his throne after nearly his entire family was assassinated in a political coup. Without any financial or military support, Markos is desperate for allies, and Caro has fought off more than one attempt on his life. When a powerful Archon offers his army in exchange for Markos’s marriage to his daughter, Caro must choose: Her love for Markos, or the fate of Akhaia? And more importantly: How much is she willing to risk to defy the sea god’s wishes and chart her own course?

With shipwrecks, lost treasure, old and new enemies, dark magic, and breathtaking romance, Sarah Tolcser weaves another epic story about chasing your fate.”

I ADORE song of the current! So I’m so excited to finally see the release of book 2! I can’t wait to sink into this world once more.

June 12th

A Flicker in the Clarity by Amy McNamara

“For as long as Evie can remember, she and Emma have been best friends. They’ve gone through everything together—only Evie understood what it was like for Emma to lose her older brother in a car accident. And though they couldn’t be more different—Emma is the life of the party while Evie is shy—the dynamic has always worked for them.

But then Evie makes a careless mistake that ends up having serious consequences for Emma. They’ve had their squabbles before, but this is different. When Evie tries to apologize, Emma ignores her texts, gets a new best friend, and completely freezes her out. Evie didn’t mean to betray Emma in the way that she did, and she’s desperate to get back in Emma’s good graces. Who is Evie without Emma?

Then Evie meets Theo, a kindred spirit unlike any boy she’s ever encountered. With him, she can at least pretend like her life is normal. But just as she’s about to let go and fully fall into whatever is happening with him, Emma resurfaces, miraculously letting Evie back in—though it’s not without consequence. Erratic behavior, drunken incidents, and panicked late-night calls are only some of the hoops Emma makes Evie jump through. All Evie has wanted is to get her best friend back—but Emma seems hell-bent on self-destruction. Evie is used to swooping in to pull Emma out of her troubles, but how do you help someone who doesn’t want to be saved?”

This book is here for my love for its cover. Also, because the story sounds interesting, but mostly because I can’t help my love for the cover!

Final Draft by Riley Redgate

“The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.

At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.”

As someone who is currently striving to be a novelist, I know this book will be right up my alley. Who knows maybe it will be inspirational for me in some way as well!

Freshmen by Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen

“A laugh-out-loud, realistic portrayal of a freshman year in college for fans of Girls and Broad City.

Getting in is just the beginning.

Phoebe can’t wait to get to college. On her own, discovering new things, no curfew . . . she’ll be free. And she’ll be totally different: cooler, prettier, smarter . . . the perfect potential girlfriend. Convenient: the only person from her high school also going to York is her longtime crush, Luke.

Luke didn’t set out to redefine himself, but as soon as he arrives on campus, he finds himself dumping his long-term long-distance girlfriend. And the changes don’t stop there. In fact, being on a soccer team is the only thing that stays the same.

Just when things start looking up (and Phoebe and Luke start hooking up), drama looms on the horizon. Rumors swirl about the Wall of Shame, a secret text chain run by Luke’s soccer team, filled with compromising photos of girls. As the women on campus determine to expose the team and shut down the account, Luke and Phoebe find themselves grappling with confusing feelings and wondering how they’ll ever make it through freshman year.”

Another book I have an e-arc for. There are so many high school books out there, but I think being a college Freshman is even crazier. Reading about living the college life for the first time sounds like a blast! I look forward to reading this novel.

Super Moon by H. A. Swain

“Sol is the month between June and July on the thirteen-month Moon calendar. It’s the only time teenagers have to themselves between rigorous scientific training and their ultimate lab assignments in their colony on the Moon. Their families emigrated from Earth to build better lives; but life on the Moon is far from perfect, as Uma learns on the eve of Sol.

Uma meets an Earthen girl who becomes a fast friend, and much more. What Uma doesn’t know is that the girl is assigned to infect Uma with a plague that a rogue faction of Earthen scientists hope will wipe out Moon soldiers. Will Uma be the cause of a pandemic? Whom can she trust, and moreover, whom does she love?”

There isn’t really any sci-fi being released this month and this seems to be one of the only ones. I love a good sci-fi so count me in for SuperMoon!

The Fall of Innocence by Jenny Torres Sanchez

“For the past eight years, sixteen-year-old Emilia DeJesus has done her best to move on from the traumatic attack she suffered in the woods behind her elementary school. She’s forced down the memories–the feeling of the twigs cracking beneath her, choking on her own blood, unable to scream. Most of all, she’s tried to forget about Jeremy Lance, the boy responsible, the boy who caused her such pain. Emilia believes that the crows who watched over her that day, who helped her survive, are still on her side, encouraging her to live fully. And with the love and support of her mother, brother, and her caring boyfriend, Emilia is doing just that.

But when a startling discovery about her attacker’s identity comes to light, and the memories of that day break through the mental box in which she’d shut them away, Emilia is forced to confront her new reality and make sense of shifting truths about her past, her family, and herself.”

The cover of this book looks terrifying and it has an equally terrifying title. I’m happy about all the ya thrillers that have been popping up recently and I am so excited for this new edition!

June 19th

Almost Impossible by Nicole Williams

“Fans of Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, and Jenny Han will delight as the fireworks spark and the secrets fly in this delicious summer romance from a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

When Jade decided to spend the summer with her aunt in California, she thought she knew what she was getting into. But nothing could have prepared her for Quentin. Jade hasn’t been in suburbia long and even she knows her annoying (and annoyingly cute) next-door neighbor spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

And when Quentin learns Jade plans to spend her first American summer hiding out reading books, he refuses to be ignored. Sneaking out, staying up, and even a midnight swim, Quentin is determined to give Jade days–and nights–worth remembering.

But despite their storybook-perfect romance, every time Jade moves closer, Quentin pulls away. And when rumors of a jilted ex-girlfriend come to light, Jade knows Quentin is hiding a secret–and she’s determined to find out what it is.”

Do you ever look at a contemporary cover and just think “Now that looks like it’s going to be a good contemporary.”? No.. well that’s how I’m feeling about this book. The cover just makes me feel like what’s inside has to be good.

Dive Smack by Demetra Brodsky

“Theo Mackey only remembers one thing for certain about the fire that destroyed his home: he lit the match.

Sure, it was an accident. But the blaze killed his mom and set his dad on a path to self-destruction. Everything else about that fateful night is full of gaping holes in Theo’s mind, for good reason. Maybe it’s better that way. As captain of the Ellis Hollow Diving Team, with straight A’s and solid friends, he’s only one semester away from securing a scholarship, and leaving his past behind.

But when a family history project gets assigned at school, new memories come rushing to the surface, memories that make him question what he really knows about his family, the night of the fire, and if he can trust anyone—including himself.”

I don’t know if I’m going to like the main character of this book, but that doesn’t matter, because his story intrigues me. I’m curious to see what direction this story takes.

Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi

“Lulu Saad doesn’t need your advice, thank you very much. She’s got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It’s all under control. Ish.

Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can’t find her way out of this mess soon, she’ll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She’ll have to go looking for herself.”

This a diverse novel I’m excited about. Just from the cover the story looks like it’s going to bright and a whole lot of fun. The synopsis sounds like Lulu is a MC with sass and sometimes you need a bit of that in your life.

June 26th

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Various Authors

“Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries.

Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.

Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.

A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.”

Short stories of all sorts stemming from East and South Asia written by some of my favorite authors and authors I’ve always wanted to read from come together to create this awesome collection that I have to have someday! I will be reading this book there is no doubt about it.

Learning to Breathe by Janice Lynn Mather

“Sixteen-year-old Indy struggles to conceal her pregnancy while searching for a place to belong in this stunning debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Amber Smith and Sara Zarr.

Indira Ferguson has done her best to live by her Grammy’s rules—to study hard in school, be respectful, and to never let a boy take advantage of her. But it hasn’t always been easy, especially while living in her mother’s shadow.

When Indy is sent to live with distant relatives in Nassau, trouble follows her. Now she must hide an unwanted pregnancy from her aunt, who would rather throw Indy out onto the street than see the truth.

Completely broke with only a hand-me-down pregnancy book as a resource, Indy desperately looks for a safe space to call home. After stumbling upon a yoga retreat, she wonders if perhaps she’s found the place. But Indy is about to discover that home is much bigger than just four walls and a roof—it’s about the people she chooses to share it with.”

Everything about this book screams powerful. From the cover to the synopsis… I have to read this book. I simply have to.

Now You See Her by Laura Stropki and Lisa Leighton

“AMELIA has always felt like a happy life is just out of reach. Having moved every few years with her mom and sister, she’s always had a hard time making and keeping friends; there’s never enough time, and never enough money to stay in one place. And now, in her senior year, right before tennis season, Mom wants to move again.

SOPHIE has a perfectly curated, Instagram-ready life, from her first singles wins to her cute, long-term boyfriend to the beautiful, landscaped home where she lives with her parents. Though they’re tennis teammates, the two girls almost never speak.

But then one night changes everything. When Amelia’s car breaks down on the side of the road in a rainstorm, a man she thinks is a Good Samaritan pulls over to help her. When he tries to abduct her instead, she escapes into oncoming traffic.

In one inexplicable moment, Amelia and Sophie switch bodies. Amelia wakes up in Sophie’s body. Amelia’s body is in a coma. Now Amelia needs to find a way to switch back into her own life—but before that, she must retrace her steps to unravel the mystery of the accident, her attempted abduction, and how it’s all tied to her mother’s secret past.”

This books is a mindbender. I would love to see this as a movie because it reads like a really cool action thriller that everyone would enjoy. I can’t wait to read this!

One Small Thing by Erin Watt

“Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.”

I don’t know what to think about this book other then the fact that it looks super interesting. I don’t really want to know all that much about it, I simply want to dive in and read it!

The Fragile Ordinary by Samantha Young

“I am Comet Caldwell.

And I sort of, kind of, absolutely hate my name.

People expect extraordinary things from a girl named Comet. That she’ll be effortlessly cool and light up a room the way a comet blazes across the sky.

But from the shyness that makes her book-character friends more appealing than real people to the parents whose indifference hurts more than an open wound, Comet has never wanted to be the center of attention. She can’t wait to graduate from her high school in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the only place she ever feels truly herself is on her anonymous poetry blog. But surely that will change once she leaves to attend university somewhere far, far away.

When new student Tobias King blazes in from America and shakes up the school, Comet thinks she’s got the bad boy figured out. Until they’re thrown together for a class assignment and begin to form an unlikely connection. Everything shifts in Comet’s ordinary world. Tobias has a dark past and runs with a tough crowd—and none of them are happy about his interest in Comet. Targeted by bullies and thrown into the spotlight, Comet and Tobias can go their separate ways…or take a risk on something extraordinary.”

Bad boy meets awkward/nerdy girl is a story we all know, but somehow that doesn’t stop me from wanting to read that kind of story once more. It’s been told again and again for a reason, and this book sounds fun!

The Game of Hope by Sandra Gulland

“For Napoleon’s stepdaughter, nothing is simple — especially love.

Paris, 1798. Hortense de Beauharnais is engrossed in her studies at a boarding school for aristocratic girls, most of whom suffered tragic losses during the tumultuous days of the French Revolution. She loves to play and compose music, read and paint, and daydream about Christophe, her brother’s dashing fellow officer. But Hortense is not an ordinary girl. Her beautiful, charming mother, Josephine, has married Napoleon Bonaparte, soon to become the most powerful man in France, but viewed by Hortense as a coarse, unworthy successor to her elegant father, who was guillotined during the Terror.

Where will Hortense’s future lie?

Inspired by Hortense’s real-life autobiography with charming glimpses of teen life long ago, this is the story of a girl chosen by fate to play a role she didn’t choose.”

This sounds like such a unique and interesting look into a person who loved her life long long ago. I don’t know what it would be like to be Napoleons step-daughter.. but I’m curious to see how that affects her life.

The Life and Death Parade by Eliza Wass

“One year ago, Kitty’s boyfriend Nikki Bramley visited a psychic who told him he had no future. Now, he’s dead.

With the Bramley family grieving in separate corners of their home, Kitty sets out to find the psychic who read Nikki his fate. Instead she finds Roan, an enigmatic boy posing as a medium who belongs to the Life and Death Parade–a group of supposed charlatans that explore, and exploit, the thin veil between this world and the next. A group whose members include the psychic… and Kitty’s late mother.

Desperate to learn more about the group and their connection to Nikki, Kitty convinces Roan to return to the Bramley house with her and secures a position for him within the household. Roan quickly ingratiates himself with the Bramleys, and soon enough it seems like everyone is ready to move on. Kitty, however, increasingly suspects Roan knows more about Nikki than he’s letting on. And when they finally locate the Life and Death Parade, and the psychic who made that fateful prophecy to Nikki, Kitty uncovers a secret about Roan that changes everything.

From rising star Eliza Wass comes a sophisticated, mesmerizing meditation on the depths of grief and the magic of faith. After all, it only works if you believe it.”

This story sounds so magical and interesting in the occult kind of way. I love story dealing with witchcraft and mystic so this book seems right up my alley.

The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd

“Secrets are con artists: they trick you into letting them out.

Sadie loves her rocker boyfriend Henry and her running partner and best friend Lucie, but no one can measure up to her truest love and hero, the dazzling and passionate George. George, her secret.

When something goes wrong and Sadie is taken to the hospital calling out for George, her hidden life may be exposed. Now she must confront the truth of the past, and protect a world she is terrified to lose.”

This book is here because I have an arc I need to read of this and because of that breathtaking cover. I am curious about this book and I can’t wait to see the story it holds inside.

The Ruinous Sweep by Tim Wynne-Jones

“A rainy night. An empty highway. And no memory. From award-winning author Tim Wynne-Jones comes a riveting murder mystery that will keep readers enthralled until the last page.

On the night Donovan Turner is thrown out of a car on a highway in the middle of nowhere, he can barely remember his own name, let alone the past twenty-four hours. Where is he? Where is his girlfriend, Bee? In an attempt to flag down the next passing car, he startles the driver, causing a fatal accident. With sirens in the distance and the lingering feeling that he’s running from something — or someone — Donovan grabs the dead driver’s briefcase and flees. Meanwhile, Bee is fighting for Dono’s life every bit as much as he is. But when the police show up and hint that he is the prime suspect in a murder, Bee is determined to put together the pieces of what happened and clear his name. With echoes of Dante’s Divine Comedy, this harrowing journey through hell and back is a page-turning tale of guilt, retribution, love, and redemption.”

I need more murder mystery in my life. So why not have it be this brand new novel with a sick murder mystery to rattle my bones. Hopefully I can read it someday soon!

Your Destination is on the Left by Lauren Spieller

“Dessa Rhodes is a modern day nomad. Her family travels in an RV, their lives defined by state lines, exit signs, and the small communal caravan they call home. Among them is Cyrus, her best friend and long-time crush, whom she knows she can never be with. When your families are perpetually linked, it’s too dangerous to take a risk on romance.

Instead, Dessa looks to the future. She wants to be a real artist and going to art school is her ticket to success and a new life. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t been accepted…anywhere. Suddenly her future is wide open, and it looks like she’s going to be stuck traveling forever.

Then an unexpected opportunity presents itself: an internship working with a local artist in Santa Fe. Dessa struggles to prove to her boss—and herself—that she belongs there, but just as she finally hits her stride, her family suffers an unexpected blow. Faced with losing everything that she has worked for, Dessa has a difficult decision to make. Will she say goodbye to her nomadic lifestyle and the boy she loves? Or will she choose to never stop moving?”

This book sounds emotional and moving. Plus, it is a completely unique situation. I have a feeling that I would love this book if I read it.

That is all for June’s releases. There were a lot of them I would love to read so I hope you enjoyed.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what books your excited to read in June!

-Till next time!

The Listicle Tag

The Listicle Tag was a Tag that had its hayday over a year ago. I was fortunate enough to have gotten tagged twice once by Amy @amysbookcorner and once by Kate @meltingpotsandothercalamities . I thank both of them for tagging me and I apologize for not having participated in this tag in the year since they tagged me.

The definition of Listicle is:

Rules

• Create your own listicle tag, using the prompt from the person who tagged you.

• Tag the creator of the post (not-so-modern-girl!) so that I can read all your brilliant posts and see how the joy of listicles is being spread.

• Nominate as many people as you want!

• Set those 5 people the subject/prompt of their listicle post!

Amy’s Theme: The Top 5 Most Anticipated Reads/Releases of 2017

So 2017 has gone, but there are still some 2017 releases that I anticipate reading. Here they are

1. The Hate You Give

An absolute must read that I just haven’t gotten to purchase yet. This book is a necessary read I can’t wait to get to!

2. Strange the Dreamer

I can’t wait to to finally own and read Strange the Dreamer. I love Laini’s writing and I know that this is a book I would love!

3. Warcross

Any book about being in a video game is a book I want to read. I love it when books do things like this that and I also am excited to read something from Marie Lu finally.

4. Given to the Sea

I remember hearing about this book and wanting to read it so badly! I don’t remember what it was about, but honestly from that cover I would open up that book no matter what.

5. Wicked Like a Wildfire

This book is magical realism and that is a genre that does not have enough books, but I really want to read a lot of.

Kate’s Theme: Top 5 Psychological Thrillers/Mysteries

I haven’t read many Thrillers yet, but I hadn’t read any in the time that I got tagged for this so, maybe it is a blessing I took so long to get to this.

1. Sharp Objects

This was the first psychological thrillers I ever read and it was also the best I’ve read so far. It was dark and gross and really suspenseful. I really enjoyed it.

2. S.T.A.G.S.

S.T.A.G.S. is one of the books I read recently and it was an awesome ya thriller. It turned my stomach and filled me with excitement. I loved it!

3. And Then There Were None

This was one book I loved that I read for my freshman year of high school. It led me to want to read more Agatha Christie and introduced me to Mystery as a genre.

4. Bad Call

This was a slower paced thriller that was more atmospheric and strange then anything else. It was filled with its tension and suspense.

5. 13 Minutes

Everything about this book including the cover is misleading. It is a wonderful ya thriller and I enjoyed the many twists and turns it had.

Your it… I tag anyone reading right now who is interested in doing this tag to participate.

Your Theme (challenge) if you choose to take it: 5 of your greatest fears in novel form

For example if your afraid of the ocean you can pick The Life of Pi or Fear of bugs you can pick The Bees or Charlottes web. For my fear I’m afraid of losing a family member so I might choose The Hunger Games or Mocking Jay because of the sisters death or ru’s death. I wanted to be a little different and insightful so I hope some of you are up for the challenge.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

-Till next time!