Ten books I hope Santa leaves under my tree

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The year is closing out quickly. Only 11 more days. Sadly, I doubt there will be much, if any reading happening over the next 1.5 weeks. My family comes for Christmas in 2 days, and will be heare for a week. Then, it is time for my son's birthday. So, yes.. I'm going ot be ridiculously busy for the rest of the year.. which means I am geatly looking forward to the new year so that I can dive into all of the new books I'm hoping Santa will bring me! Here are the ten I'm hoping for the most!

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1. Illustrated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - I already know I have this book waiting under the tree. But, I'm so excited to read it next year during my annual reread.
2. Gemina - Another book I might have bought myself. I even bought a signed copy for myself.
3. Crystal Storm - I am so excited to  get my hands on the next book in this series. It's one of my favorite high fantasy series.
4. You're Never Weird on the Internet (almost) - I have been putting off buying this book all year. But I'm really hoping to get it very soon.
5. These Broken Stars - This is a series I have been wanting to dive into for a long while. I'm not sure why I haven't bought them, but I'm hoping for them.

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6. Nevernight - I have been so excited to get my hands on this book. But, I want the UK cover, so I haven't gotten it yet.
7. Wanderlost - This was one of my most anticipated books of 2016. I still haven't read it or bought it. I hope to get it this year!
8. Heartless - So, I don't allow myself to purchase books for myself in November or December. I am really hoping this one is under my tree this year.
9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenplay - I love the movie, and I need the script to go with my Harry Potter shelf!
10. Talking as Fast as I Can - This is a year for autobiographies I tell you. I'm not a nonfiction reader and I actually had 4 on my Christmas list this year. I'm a HUGE Gilmore Girls fan.. and Parenthood fan. So, I'm really hoping to get my hands on this book.

Ten Books I'm Looking Forward to releasing in the first half of 2017

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The theme is pretty self-explanatory today. Although, I will say that I stuck to books that already have covers released. I have a few coming out in May/June that would have made this list.. but sadly there isn't a cover yet. Also, I haven't been keeping up with upcoming releases as much lately.. so I cannot wait to look through everyone's lists and add more books to my own!

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1. Windwitch by Susan Dennard: Release Date January 3, 2017
2. Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken: Release Date January 3, 2017
3. Caraval by Stephanie Garber: Release Date January 31, 2017
4. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer: Release Date January 31, 2017
5. Starfall by Melissa Landers: Release Date February 7, 2017

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6. The Dragon's Price by Bethany Wiggins: Release Date February 21, 2017
7. Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Release Date Februay 28, 2017
8. Hunted by Megan Spooner: Release Date March 14, 2017
9. The Thing About Love by Julie James: Release Date April 18, 2017
10. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh: Release Date: May 2, 2017

Review: My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows

Friday, December 9, 2016

22840421My Lady Jane
Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows
Series: None, but there have been 2 spinoffs announced!
Published: June 7, 2016
Published by HarperTeen
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.

My Thoughts:
I wasn't expecting to love this book half as much as I did. I don't know why. The book community was going crazy for it over the Summer, but I kept putting it off. But, once I finally picked this one up, I couldn't put it down. It was so much fun.

In this book, we get a not so true retelling of the life of Lady Jane Grey. By not so true, I mean it was very very very loosely based on her life, but our authors gave her a happy ending.. and added a bit of magic, and basically just took the very general story and wrote their own around it. They did this was such a fun tongue-in-cheek bit of hilarious humor. I mean, lets face it. This story is supposed to be tragic. It is, but they made it not tragic in the least bit. I absolutely loved the humor and the nod at Monty Python and Princess Bride and so many other cultrual references that were tossed in throughout the book. It was hilarious. I also love their fun take on the lack of feminism during that time. This book was just hilarious.

Now, this book has 3 authors, but you really don't notice at all. You can tell they worked had to make sure the book flowed and it did. I really don't know which author wrote what. I'm guessing they each wrote a seperate point of view, but like I said it all flowed perfectly from one to the other. I loved all 3 of the characters and their thoughts... although I would be lying if I didn't admit I became quite partial to Gifford.

I will warn you though.. this is not a 'deep' book by any means. Really it is more about the comedic value than the deep story. Sure, there is a plot... but it is full of silly hijinks. This book is meant to be lighthearted and I think the authors hit the mark on the dot. If you are expected a deep, complex, historical fiction... this one is not for you. If you want a light fantasy story that has some historical aspects, come on over. But, really... no matter who you are I thinkyou will enjoy this book if you go in expecting the correct thing. Especially if you love cultural references. Seriously, I squealed everytime.

So, yes I loved this book... and I truly think you will too. It is something unique that we haven't seen much of, and I want more. I'm so excited for the announced sequels. My Plain Jane (Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte) and My Calamity Jane (Wild Wild West! So excited!). You will have a blast!

Review: The Trouble With Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

28446375The Trouble With Mistletoe
Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #2
Published: September 27, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary: (Taken from Goodreads)
If she has her way ...

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her ...

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him ...

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice ...

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work ...

My Thoughts:
There is just something about Jill Shalvis and her books that always feels comfy cozy, like I'm coming home. She has been one of my favorite authors for years now. But, sadly, I feel as if her current Heartbreaker Bay series just isn't capturing my attention the same way her other books have. I don't even know what it is... but I'm just not obsessively in love with it. Don't getme wrong. I still enjoy the book plenty... it just seems to be lacking her Shalvis magic.

But, enough of the sad stuff. This book centers around Willa, whom we met in the first book in the series, and new swoon-worthy boy Keane. Willa has had a very hard life... but she has come out stronger on the other side. She owns a pet shop / pet sitting service / Pet grooming store. She keeps her friends close, and collects other young girls with hard lives to help out. She knows the secret to winning every pet's heart, and is perfectly content. However, she cannot for the life of her make a good decision when it comes to men. The men she lets in, always end up screwing her over.

Enter Keane, he was one of the first guys to hurt her... and sadly he doesn't even remember what he did. I liked the added 'they kind of knew each other in high school' component... or I started too. But, then it disappeared almost as quickly as it came. It was nice that Shalvis didn't let their childhood issues carry their connection, but I just didn't feel like it ended up adding much to the story at all. Anways, Keane is great. He has lived his life as the black sheep of his family, and tends to keep himself removed because of it. However, he has the sweetest most loving heart. When his ailing aunt shows up with her cat, he doesn't hesitate to help her. Or anyone else that he sees in need. I just adored him.

Obviously Willa and Keane hit it off, but will they be able to find true love before Christmas? You will have to read and find out. If you are looking for a Christmasy romance... this is a great one to read. The characters are great, there is kitty love, and it's just sweet. You don't have to have read the first book in order to enjoy this book. Although, it will help you get to know the side characters a little better. But this is a cute Christmas book all on its own as well.

Top Ten New To Me Authors in 2016

This week we are featuring authors that we read for the first time in 2016. I have a ton! I had a wonderful reading year this year, so it was hard to pull this list down to just 10, but here are the authors I chose. This year has been a rediscover YA fantasy... as I'm sure you will notice. I'm glad I'm finally getting caught up on these fabulous authors. I was years behind.

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1. Renee Ahdieh - She has become a must read author for me. Her words  are perfectly poetic and beautiful.
2. Morgan Rhodes - I binged through what is out of the Falling Kingdoms series... and I cannot wait for the new book coming out next week I think.
3. Cinda Williams Chima - I got to meet her, and she is just wonderful. Her books are wonderful well-spun fantasies. A must read if you like YA fantasy.
4. Rick Riordan - Yes, I just read him for the first time this year. His books began to be published when I was in high school. I was too cool for middle grade books then. I call those the dark years... I might have spent a couple years thinking I was too cool for Harry Potter. Scary times people, scary times.
5. Mary E. Pearson - I couldn't put down the first two books in this series. It drew me in and held me.. I've been putting off the final book because I don't want it to end.

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6. Elle Kennedy - I have been recommended this series more times than I can count. Now I know why! These are hilarious NA romance books.
7. Mariana Zapata - Probably my newest obsession. I loved this book so much. I have been stalking Mariana Zapata's facebook... and website. I want to read all of her books.
8. Alexandra Bracken - This is an author that a lot of people have a hard time getting into. I enjoyed Passenger, but what took it to a new level was meeting Bracken. The amount of research and soul she pours into her books is just amazing. Guys, she loves what she is doing, and tries to stay true to it. I'm highly anticipating the sequal next year.
9. Both Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - I've only read Illuminae so far, but it is one of my top reads this year. It is so unique and wonderfully written. my husband bought me Gemina for Christmas. I was with him when he bought it... Okay, I put it in the cart and paid for it.. but he is taking his sweet time wrapping it... and it is taunting me. Teasingly to come read it now. No need to wait 3 more weeks. He needs to get wrapping or it might sneak out of the closet and onto my bookshelf.
10. Brandon Sanderson - I'd never even heard of Sanderson until this year. That tells you how behind on Fantasy I am. His books are big... really big. But, they are wonderful. Any fantasy reader should read his books.

Top Ten Book Gifts for the Adult YA Reader

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sadly, I have reached the point in my life, where I have no choice but to admit that I'm an adult. I mean Im now in my upper 20s and I have kids running around that depend on me to keep them alive. I haven't borrowed money from my arents in years, and my husband and I actually take our 401k into account. So, yeah.. I'm officially all grown up. I'm not sure when it happened, but it did. However, I still love YA. However, I have found that some YA books can get on my nerves because they are just a little bit too immature. I get it, they are meant for teenagers.. not me. However, a growing number of adults are falling in love with YA every year... or maybe all of of original YA lovers are just growing up. Who knows. But, I have compiled a list of books that, although they have the YA genre, I think any adult could greatly enjoy. Here they are.

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1. The Wrath and The Dawn - This duology is a fabulous retelling of 1,001 Nights and the writing is truly poetic. This is just a truly beautiful book.
2. Half-Blood - Even though her books are labeled YA, Armentrout reads like grown up paranormal romance... only without indepth fun stuff going on. Plus, her books are so addicting. It's like chocolate. You just can't get enough.
3. Six of Crows - This is a well written, very detailed duology. I liked her first series, but this one just blew my mind. Very much worth the read.
4. Just Listen - Admittedly, I stay away from Contemporary YA... The characters just always feel so immature that they annoy me. But, I had to include my favorite Sarah Dessen. I read this one way backw when it first published and I was in high school. It is still on my bookshelf. I just adore this one.
5. Angelfall - As far as dystopian YA goes, this one has a great creepy, spooky feel. I devoured the entire trilogy in a weekend. This is just wonderful.

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6. Slammed - I think this is the only Hoover bok actually considered YA. Most of her books are NA. And, it is her first book... so not as strong as her later books.. but it is Colleen Hoover and as far as I am concerned she can do no wrong.
7. Illuminae - I'm not a Sci-fi person. I don't even like Star Wars *ducks head from thrown rocks.* I just can't seem to get into it. But, I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I loved everything about it. It is definitely a book you need to read an actual hard copy of, not ereader friendly. I bought myself Gemina for Christmas a couple of weeks ago. It was signed at Target. I cannot wait to unwrap it and dive into it after Christmas!
8. Throne of Glass - This series. Oh this series. Some people hae issues with it. I understand their problems, but I love these books. This series made me fall back in love with YA again. I'd pretty much gone straight to adult books, then picked this book up on a whim and loved it.
9. Cinder - Another wonderful series, no matter what age and gender you are. These books perfectly mix humor, action, friendship, and just a taste of romance without being overpowering to the actual plot. I'm actually planning to lend these books to my 50 year old father when he flies out for Christmas... I know he will really enjoy them.
10. The Sea of Tranquility - Wow, 3 contemporaries made this list... maybe I read it more than I think. This book is deep, and sweet, and unforgettable. This is on my favorites list, for well forever. I keep waiting for Katja Millay to release another book.. I want a million books by her. But, it has been so long, I'm wondering if I will ever get even one more book.

Top Ten Favorite Fictional Families

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks theme is Thanksgiving freebie

For me, Thanksgiving is all about family. Spending time with my family, enjoying a special meal with my family, and being thankful for the lovely little family I have. So, I decided to do my top ten favorite book families. All too often, I feel as if book characters aren't lucky enough to have a good family. But, here are some of my favorites.

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1. The Bridgerton Family - This series is a regency romance series based on the Brdigerton family. There are 8 children and they are all so close and loving and fun. It is really a family I'd love to spend time with.
2. Lara Jean's Family - It is so rare to get a close knit family in contemporary YA, but Jenny Han did it beautifully. This is such a cute book with a cute loving family. I adore them.
3. The Weasley Family - Guys, the Weasley's are my dream family. I LOVE them. They are probably my absolute favorite. I chose the 4th book because I feel like it is the book where Harry really feels adopted into this loud, large, loving family.
4. The O'Malley Family - The O'Malley family consists of 7 kids. All orphans that adopted eachother during their teen years. They love each other unequivably. They truly are a family in all the most important ways. And, I think the fact that they chose each other makes it even more special.
5. The Ingalls Family - I adored these books when I was a little girl. I wanted to be a part of this family. The fact that this was a real family is just beautiful to me.
6. The Murry Family - This was the first fantasy book I loved. The Murry family is just wonderful and quirky and they love each other and science just so much. They are so comfortable with themselves.
7. The Everdeen Family - Katniss quite literally offers her own life for the safety of her little sister. This family has problems, they are broken, but they are also so willing to drop their own lives for eachother.
8. The Sargent Family - Another quirky and unique family. Blue's family is made up of her mom, her aunts and cousins and family friends. They are all seers and quirky and loving, and just so much fun.
9. The O'Brien Family - I think what I love about this family is that they are so so so broken at the beginning of the series. Completely broken. But, as the series progresses, you get to see them slowly knit themselves back together at a realistic pace. The family doesn't come together overnight. It takes time, but they all do love each other so much.
10. The March Family - Can you make a list of fictional families without including the March family. Another family I dreamed of being a part of. Four sisters all completely unique, but they are all best friends... and such supportive parents. I don't think you can create a better family.

What are you thankful for this year? I'd love to hear for you, and I hope everyone has a fun, safe and happy Thanksgiving week!