Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

#DAReadathon Wrap Up

Posted January 20, 2017 by Emily in Special Feature / 0 Comments

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Kendice and I totally kicked ass on this challenge! I read all seven books and my mini-reviews are all below. Thank you so much to  Aentee from Read at Midnight for hosting the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon (#DAReadathon) to promote and celebrate diverse books. I really enjoyed the seven different prompts that encouraged me to read a variety of diverse books. I’d like to think I would have read all of these books eventually. They were all on my TBR when this challenge started. However, thanks to the #DAReadathon they moved up to the top.

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpBeast by Brie Spangler
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 11th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, romance
Pages: 305
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four-stars

Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg—and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.
Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy—until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been—an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?

This book was really hard to read. It was about two people who are hurting and the connection they find in each other. The writing was top notch. I really felt for the characters. The writing was touching and I found myself aching for for both Dylan and Jamie. Still I read to get away and this book was a little too real.

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Published by Knopf on January 6th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, romance
Pages: 378
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The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning! Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death. When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Oh, this book! I loved Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven and this was the perfect opportunity to push her YA debut up on my TBR. I’m SO glad I did. I adore Niven’s writing and I’m easily sucked right into her stories. I’ve heard before View Spoiler »I was glad I had a heads up. It didn’t take away from the story for me, but potentially saved me from an emotional breakdown. I can’t tell you enough how much I loved the characters. Finch and Violet were both lovely, unique, and powerful when it comes to what they had to offer the readers. This is another book focused on mental health, death, grief, love, and friendship-with a little bit of high school struggles thrown in. This is a must read for everyone, but especially for someone who has someone close to them who struggles with depression, bipolar disorder, or thoughts of suicide.

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpGeorgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
Published by HarperTeen on August 30th 2016
Genres: LGBT
Pages: 432
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four-stars

Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.
Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?

This is such an adorable romance!! Joanna and Mary Carlson are perfect for each other. I loved how religion and LGBT issues are covered in this book. I don’t believe they are or should be mutually exclusive and this book featured it beautifully. Joanna is the daughter of a radio evangelist and they move to a small conservative town in Georgia. The only tiny problem I had was every conflict in this book could have been easily solved with Joanna being honest. I know that lying is sometimes easier but there were times I wanted to wring her neck.

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpWhen the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
Published by Thomas Dunne on October 4th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT
Pages: 288
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To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

i just didn’t get to this one. 🙁

 

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpWritten in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
Published by Nancy Paulsen Books on March 24th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 277
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five-stars

This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny? Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.

I absolutely loved this book but it made me SO ANGRY. I spent the entire book in shock, thinking, “They can’t really do that, can they???” It had a huge impact on me and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished it.

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpAs I Descended by Robin Talley
Published by HarperTeen on September 6th 2016
Pages: 384
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Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.
Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.
Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.
But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.
Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.
But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.
From acclaimed author Robin Talley comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair.

Unfortunately, I did not love this book. I really felt like it had a lot of potential to be an amazing, creepy, intense story…but the writing just didn’t do it for me. I have a hard time DNFing books once I’m past the 50 page mark, but I skipped probably 50 pages at the end of the book and read the last two chapters. I rated this one 2 out of 5 stars.

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpThe Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Published by Delacorte Press on November 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, romance
Pages: 384
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four-stars

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

I went into this book knowing nothing except it’s #ownvoices and by Nicola Yoon. I enjoyed Everything Everything last year (until the very end) and I was excited to read her second novel. I was surprised to see that it’s told in short, seemingly unconnected bites. Each chapter might only be a page long and might be about a stranger. At first, I really didn’t like it. The format struck me as very choppy with every section short and seemingly disconnected. However, after I got into the book I began to see the threads. The chapters were still very short but they began to merge together and I began to truly enjoy the book. If you get bogged down, hang in there!

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpWhen We Collided by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on April 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
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We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…
Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.
Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.
Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.
In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.

My first book of 2017 and my first book read for the Dumbledore’s Army readathon. What a good book to start with! I loved this story about a whirlwind, all-in summer love. Vivi’s free-spirited attitude throughout much of the book was a breath of fresh air and her meltdown showed that even when we’re happy and seemingly perfect on the outside there is more to people underneath it all. Lord didn’t sugar coat Vivi’s bipolar disorder and I saw several similarities between how she was acting during her manic episode and how my mother functions at times. On the other hand, I personally identified with Jonah and his parental tendencies. I’ve always been the “mother hen” in every group of friends I’ve belonged to. And on a much more serious note, we share the fact that we have a mother who battles depression and feel responsible for the siblings younger than us. I highly recommend this book!

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpHistory Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Published by Soho Teen on January 17th 2017
Genres: LGBT, Contemporary
Pages: 320
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four-stars

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.
To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.
If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

History is All You Left Me is the kind of book that stays with you forever. It wasn’t a nice read, an easy read or even a fun read but it was a worthwhile read. This book is about grief. Grief looks different for everyone and it’s difficult to read about. It’s also about love and forgiveness but everything about this book was sad. It’s beautiful but very sad.

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpHistory Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Published by Soho Teen on January 17th 2017
Genres: LGBT, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.
To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.
If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

An excerpt from my full review! 🙂

This was my first Adam Silvera book and I have to say, I think his writing is beautiful. It’s easy to get lost within his words and the story he created. His characters are well developed and a lot like people you may know in reality. I remember thinking that I wished this book could be forced into the hands of people who don’t understand that love is love, even when it’s not a heterosexual relationship. If what Griffin felt for Theo wasn’t love, then what the hell is?

This is not a happy story. It is very depressing at times and it’s hard to catch a glimpse of happiness until you’re done and can reflect on everything that you can learn from Griffin’s trials. One may want to be in a good state of mind before reading it. That being said, there is a lot to this book. There’s love, loss, grief, and OCD.

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpCarry On by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on October 6th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, romance, LGBT
Pages: 522
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four-half-stars

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

Reading Carry On was like eating a giant bowl of ice cream. It was indulgent. I loved that it is supposed to be the last book in a fictional series and it seemed like it. Yet, Rainbow Rowell did a masterful job making me feel like I had read the other six books. She weaves reminders and recaps about what happened in those other books without making it clunky. I also loved Simon and Baz. They are perfect together.

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Published by Balzer + Bray on April 7th 2015
Genres: LGBT, Contemporary, romance
Pages: 320
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Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

I didn’t have a chance to read this during the readathon.

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpHolding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 4th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 391
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

I instantly connected with this book. I loved both Libby and Jack and I saw myself in them. I might not be America’s Fattest Teen but I am a plus sized woman. I definitely identified with a lot of Libby’s thoughts but I think Libby is a lot braver than I am. I wish I could do some of the things she did in this book. I also saw myself a lot in Jack. While I don’t think I have face-blindness to the degree that he does in this book, I do wonder if I don’t have it to some degree. I saw a lot of the struggles I have with social situations in his struggles. I would recommend this book to anyone and I probably will.

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#DAReadathon Wrap UpCourt of Fives by Kate Elliott
Series: Court of Fives #1
on August 18th 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 448
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On the Fives court, everyone is equal.
And everyone is dangerous.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.
Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.
In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

I wish I had the chance to read this one.

four-stars

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Top Ten Tuesday #4

Posted December 27, 2016 by Emily in Top 10 / 2 Comments

Top Ten Best Books of 2016!

I know, I know- basic. BUT this book was so amazing and there was no way I was leaving this off the list. I pre-ordered and then procrastinated because I knew it was going to mess with my emotions, but it’s so worth it in the end. I can sum up my greatest love for this series in one word: RHYSAND. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday #4A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 3rd 2016
Genres: romance, Fantasy
Pages: 640
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Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven I can’t say enough about all the good things about this book. I wrote a full review-but the highlights are body positivity, diversity, and the sweet romance.

Top Ten Tuesday #4Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 4th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 391
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon Another book with a full review, but this definitely makes my top 2016 reads. I loved the interracial relationship, the own voices representation, and the mix up in traditional gender roles. If you haven’t read this one, you must!

Top Ten Tuesday #4The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Published by Delacorte Press on November 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, romance
Pages: 348
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover I’ve heard differing opinions on this book, but I absolutely loved it. It was heartbreaking and felt real to me. I also think it could give strength to women in similar situations.

Top Ten Tuesday #4It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
Published by Atria Books on August 2nd, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 367
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SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST
Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.
This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin Definitely not a 2016 release, but still one that sucked me into the entire trilogy this year. I loved the mystery and, of course, Noah.

Top Ten Tuesday #4The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on September 27th 2011
Genres: paranormal, romance, Young Adult
Pages: 456
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Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.

This one is probably going to be on every list. I can’t help it though. It was perfection. Nina and Matthias’s deep and abiding love will always be one of my favorite romances. Leigh Bardugo made me feel more between them in just a few pages than most authors can in an entire book.

Top Ten Tuesday #4Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Orion Children's Books on September 27th 2016
Pages: 536
Goodreads

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

Speaking of romances, while I may never recover from Nina and Matthais, meeting Mattie and Asa sure helped a lot. This book had the most interesting magic system of any book I read this year. I loved how it was dark and gritty. This is not the romance to read if you want hearts and rainbows. It’s the beginning of a series and it’s one I just couldn’t put down. This one has been a real success story with recommendations too. Every single person I’ve recommended it to has loved it.

Top Ten Tuesday #4Reliquary by Sarah Fine
Series: Reliquary #1
on June 14, 2016
Genres: romance, Fantasy
Pages: 331
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Mattie Carver’s engagement party should have marked the start of her own personal fairy tale. But when her fiancé, Ben, is violently abducted the next morning, her desperate quest to find him rips her away from small-town life and reveals a shattering truth: magic is real—and Ben is hooked. It’s not the stuff of storybooks. It’s wildly addictive, capable of producing everything from hellish anguish to sensual ecstasy almost beyond human endurance.

Determined to find out who took Ben and why, Mattie immerses herself in a shadowy underworld and comes face-to-face with the darkly alluring Asa Ward, a rogue magic dealer, infamous hustler…and her missing fiancé’s estranged brother. Asa has the power to sense magic, and he realizes Mattie is a reliquary, someone with the rare ability to carry magic within her own body, undetected. Asa agrees to help find Ben on one condition: Mattie must use her uncommon talent to assist his smuggling operations. Now, from magic-laced Vegas casinos to the netherworld clubs of Bangkok, Mattie is on a rescue mission. With Asa by her side, she’ll face not only the supernatural forces arrayed against her but the all-too-human temptation that she fears she can’t resist.

I don’t struggle with mental illness but  I have loved ones who do. This book was so eye opening for me. It was heartbreaking to learn about all the tragedy’s in Charlie’s life. I loved seeing her survive and heal.

Top Ten Tuesday #4Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Published by Delacorte Press on August 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 416
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Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

This audio book is hands down one of the best I’ve ever read. To take an epistolary novel like Illuminae, which is told in chat logs and drawings and turn it into an audio book is an achievement in itself, but this one goes above and beyond. My favorite character is not any of the main ones but VidTech 7213! Reading the books, I didn’t notice what a distinct voice and personality he has but the audio book allows every character to shine.

Top Ten Tuesday #4Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: Illuminae Files #1
Published by Listening Library (Audio) on October 20th 2015
Genres: Sci Fi, Young Adult
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This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

This book totally screwed me up in a really good way. It was creepy and unsettling and terrifying at points. I loved how the author made being a stalker and a serial killer almost normal at points because it really made me think about things. Being in the mind of a crazy person and reading the story from his point of view really emphasized how screwed up Joe is.

Top Ten Tuesday #4You by Caroline Kepnes
Series: You #1
Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on September 30th 2014
Genres: horror, Thriller
Pages: 422
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When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.
There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

What were your Top Ten reads of 2016?

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#DAReadathon Sign up

#DAReadathon Sign up

I’m really excited about this. Kendice and I will be participating in our first joint reading challenge! Aentee from Read at Midnight is hosting the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon (#DAReadathon) to promote and celebrate diverse books. There are seven different prompts that encourage reading a variety of diverse books. All of them are listed below with Kendice and my picks for those prompts. I will be reading for Hufflepuff. This is new for me. I’ve always thought of myself as a Ravenclaw, but I’ve been sorted into Hufflepuff by Pottermore twice now. I’m going to try on this new identity and see how it fits. I actually have always thought of myself as a Slytherclaw. Still, if Pottermore is so sure, maybe it’s worth exploring. The Sorting Hat is always right, right?     One of my best friends is Trans and I chose Beast in honor of her. We live in different states and I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like. I want her to know how much I love her and miss her all the time. When I consider an issue close to my heart I think of mental health. My mother has struggled with depression since the early 90s and it’s had a huge impact on my family dynamic. On top of that, I’ve heard the greatness that is this book and I absolutely adored […]

Posted December 22, 2016 by Emily in Special Feature / 1 Comment
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WoW: The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

WoW: The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

What I Love So this one is a little bit of a cheat. I admit, I’ve already read this but it doesn’t come out for months and I haven’t been hearing much about it. I will post my review in December but I wanted to start talking about it now. This book is really special. If you haven’t thought about it up until now, I’m urging you to take another look. It has bounty hunters and love and grief and truth. It’s one of the truest books I’ve read this year. I can’t wait to buy my finished copy. If this one isn’t on your radar, it needs to be!

Posted November 16, 2016 by Emily in WoW / 2 Comments
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ARC Review: Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe

ARC Review: Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe

Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on January 19th 2016 Genres: Boys & Men, Dystopian Pages: 256 Format: hardcover Source: Free for Review Buy on Amazon In a future London, Concentr8 is a prescription drug intended to help kids with ADD. Soon every troubled teen is on it. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Keep the undesirable elements in line. Keep people like us safe from people like them. What’s good for society is good for everyone. Troy, Femi, Lee, Karen and Blaze have been taking Concentr8 as long as they can remember. They’re not exactly a gang, but Blaze is their leader, and Troy has always been his quiet, watchful sidekick – the only one Blaze really trusts. They’re not looking for trouble, but one hot summer day, when riots break out across the city, they find it. What makes five kids pick a man seemingly at random – a nobody, he works in the housing department, doesn’t even have a good phone – hold a knife to his side, take him to a warehouse and chain him to a radiator? They’ve got a hostage, but don’t really know what they want, or why they’ve done it. And across the course of five tense days, with a journalist, a floppy-haired mayor, a police negotiator, and the sinister face of the pharmaceutical industry, they – and we […]

Posted February 23, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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IB Tour: Q&A with Concentr8 author

IB Tour: Q&A with Concentr8 author

Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on January 19th 2016 Genres: Social Issues, Dystopian Pages: 256 Buy on Amazon In a future London, Concentr8 is a prescription drug intended to help kids with ADD. Soon every troubled teen is on it. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Keep the undesirable elements in line. Keep people like us safe from people like them. What’s good for society is good for everyone. Troy, Femi, Lee, Karen and Blaze have been taking Concentr8 as long as they can remember. They’re not exactly a gang, but Blaze is their leader, and Troy has always been his quiet, watchful sidekick – the only one Blaze really trusts. They’re not looking for trouble, but one hot summer day, when riots break out across the city, they find it. What makes five kids pick a man seemingly at random – a nobody, he works in the housing department, doesn’t even have a good phone – hold a knife to his side, take him to a warehouse and chain him to a radiator? They’ve got a hostage, but don’t really know what they want, or why they’ve done it. And across the course of five tense days, with a journalist, a floppy-haired mayor, a police negotiator, and the sinister face of the pharmaceutical industry, they – and we – begin to understand why …This is […]

Posted January 28, 2016 by Emily in Blog Tour / 1 Comment
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Queen of Shadows is finally here!

Queen of Shadows is finally here!

I am one of three people on twitter who isn’t caught up enough to read Queen of Shadows today. I know. I know. I’m really hurting right now. PLEASE DON’T SPOIL ME! Despite that, I have read Throne of Glass and Assassin’s Blade and I’m reading Crown of Midnight right now. I am loving this series and I’m so glad that I don’t have to wait to read the next one when I finish Heir of Fire! There are some perks to discovering a series late! If you have no idea what series I’m talking about you are in luck! Today I’m part of a release blitz that is giving away the first 3 books  in the series (in paperback format). US only. So if youÂ’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. This is your chance to celebrate the hugely anticipated release of the fifth volume of this series by winning the first three! Plus, if you are caught up but your pre-order hasn’t arrived yet, you can read the first 5 chapters here for free!! Scroll down and check that out!  Title: QUEEN OF SHADOWS Author: Sarah J. Maas Pub. Date: September 1, 2015 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens Pages: 656 Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Goodreads   Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.   Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been […]

Posted September 1, 2015 by Emily in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Special Feature / 4 Comments
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Guest Review: Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Guest Review: Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on June 2nd 2015 Pages: 344 Format: Paperback Source: library Buy on Amazon Goodreads In a stunning literary debut, two boys on opposite ends of the world begin an unlikely friendship that will change their lives forever.Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. MoritzÂ’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine. This entire review is based on one very minor book spoiler that is not in the description. **Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for an exciting update from Audible.com** I was very excited to read Because YouÂ’ll Never Meet Me. It was highly […]

Posted August 5, 2015 by Emily in Review / 8 Comments
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