Top 10 Tuesday: Summer Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is: Summer Reads Freebie.

There is almost nothing better than sit in the sun with a good book, getting lost in stories as you work on your tan. One of the benefits of summer is a lot of free time, which I always fill with reading as many books as I can. Here are some of my favorite summer reads:

31145148Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty


New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all. Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

22840421We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


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

30233110Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

18189606Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas


Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle’s most intriguing—and persistent—admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition . . . but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction.

27883214The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen


Sometimes, unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to question her sheltered life. Is it really always better to be safe than sorry?

23299512Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too.

24485589Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson


Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains. Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere.

23592235Slammed by Colleen Hoover


Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope. Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

30095464Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park


Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman and newest resident of this house, is determined to get to the bottom of it.  The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side… and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.

25733660The Deal by Elle Kennedy


Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.


What are your favorite summer reads? Any recommendations for me?
Let me know in the comments!


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Review: A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V.E. Schwab


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A GATHERING OF SHADOWS
V.E. Schwab

Series: Shades of Magic #2
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 512
Release date: February 23rd 2016

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.


“Everyone’s immortal until they’re not.”


A Gathering of Shadows is a good second installment to the Shades of Magic series. It introduces new POV characters (yay!), expands on the great world-building, gives us more information on the whole magic thing, and delivers more twists and turns that mess you up. Sadly, the story drags because of the slow pace, there’s very little character development, and the magical tournament is just… meh.

V. E. Schwab is a great writer. She has a gift when it comes to words, and her writing shines through in this novel. The book continues to introduce some pretty cool and unique concepts, as well as present us with diverse characters. A book isn’t made of only good ideas, though, and that’s where AGOS falls a little flat for me.

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Arc Review: ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen M. McManus


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TRIGGER WARNINGS (HIGHLIGHT BELOW):
Bullying. Depression. Suicide. Alcohol abuse. Outing of a gay character. Mentions of school shootings.


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ONE OF US IS LYING
Karen M. McManus

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 368
Release date: May 30th 2017

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?


“Everybody’s got secrets.”


One of Us Is Lying is a pretty engrossing YA Mystery novel. Told in multiple POVs, it has great writing, a fantastic set of characters, and a beginning that will hook readers right away. The mystery is executed very well, with twists and turns that catch you by surprise.

Karen M. McManus is a new author worth keeping an eye on. Her debut novel is refreshing and well-written, breathing new life into Contemporary YA novels. The plot is compelling, but the characters are what makes this story great.

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Review: AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION by K.J. Charles


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AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION
K.J Charles

SeriesSins of the Cities #1
Genre: LGBTQ+, Historical, Mystery
Publisher: Loveswept
Pages: 247
Release date: February 21st 2017

Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship…

Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding… it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.

Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.


“I’d like to make you happy. However that might be done.”


An Unseen Attraction is a rather sweet historical mystery, and a great start to a new series. The plot is engaging, the characters are complex and interesting (also, yay for Indian MC!), and the historical setting is done very well. There is also a little bit of romance, providing great contrast with… well, the murder.

K.J. Charles is a wonderful writer. This is another novel to love, with a fast-paced story that captures your attention right from the beginning. It is mystery-focused, in a way most of her books aren’t, and very well executed.

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Top 10 Tuesday: Buddy Reads with Mom

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is: Mother’s Day Freebie.

I need to give credit where credit is due. I never would have fallen in love with books if my mom didn’t love them so much.

She raised me with bed time stories and picture books. She’d lie down next to me on my bed, a book propped on her lap, and she’d slowly sound out words and teach me how to read. She’d patiently listen to me stumble my way through words, sentences, and paragraphs as I read aloud, always smiling when I got a difficult word just right.

During my teenage years, I fall head first into Fantasy and Historical novels. My mom’s favorite genres. With that, we developed a new habit: buddy reads. We’d pick the same book to read at the same time, wasting a few hours on the weekends discussing our favorite parts. That is a tradition we keep to this day, and hopefully for many years to come.

I will always be thankful for mom, my favorite reading partner, who gave me the world and her love for books. Momster, this is for you. ❤

31145148Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling


The first ever book, longer than 100 pages, that I read all by myself. My mom read the Philosopher’s Stone to me as a bedtime story,
but I insisted I could read this one on my own. I’d read a little bit of it each day after lunch, while she picked it up after putting me to bed. The next morning at breakfast, we’d talk about what happened and if we were liking the story.

22840421The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


I remember the day I bought this book. I picked it up solely for the Brazilian cover, pictured here, and because I saw Death was the narrator. I actually didn’t even read the summary, so it was a bit of a shock when I found out this was about WWII. As soon as I did, though, I asked my mom to read it with me. She loves books set in WWII, so she jumped at the chance. We cried a lot together while reading this, scaring the daylights out of my dad.

30233110The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien


Despite reading The Hobbit to me when I was little, my mother only picked up LOTR after the movies came out. I was 10 when the first movie premiered and fell head over heels in love with it. So, when I saw my mom had bought them for herself, I asked if we could read it together. It was a struggle for my 10-year-old self to get through this book, and I admit to skipping a lot of pages, but I had such a great time telling my mom I wanted to be an elf.

18189606A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin


Another book we only started reading because of an adaptation. The Game of Thrones premier on HBO was more of a family, as we all sat down in front of the TV to see what was up. But my mom and I are the ones who couldn’t wait a week to find out what happened in the next episode, so we promptly bought ourselves the first four books. We loved the series so much we even brought it with us during our annual Easter trip, just so we could read together.

27883214All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


One more war book to add to our list. This was actually a recommendation from my aunt, who loves sad stories, and mom and I were quick to buy one copy for ourselves. We actually read this one in two different languages – English and Brazilian Portuguese, and it was a cool experience seeing what changed in the translation. This book was amazing and heartbreaking to read, and we also shed quite a few tears along the way.

23299512Blood Song by Anthony Ryan


I actually started reading this on my own. It took me only a few chapters to go running to my mom, though, telling her she had to read this with me. I just knew she would love the world-building and characters, which she totally did, haha. She ended up loving this entire series way more than I do, constantly bugging me to see when the next installment was released. We had so many talks about Vaelin and his life, and I enjoyed every single moment of it.

24485589The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley


I caught my mom reading this some time ago. Since this is one of the books I have in my ‘Read Before I Expire’ list, I asked her if we could read it together. It was an interesting book, although a little bit too long and drawn out for both of us. My mom actually mentioned Cornwell’s The Winter King after we were finished, saying we should pick that up next time. So I guess I know what our next buddy read will be. 😛

23592235Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe


Robinson Crusoe was very much an adventure for both of us. It was one of the first books we read together, after I felt comfortable with lengthy novels. It was a bit of a roller-coaster, as my mom didn’t really like this book as much as I did. She still powered through, though, right until the very end. Our talks about this were a little bit more heated, since she pretty much thought this was the most boring book ever.

30095464The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah


Yes, another war book. And another miss for my mom, hahaha. I loved The Nightingale, but my mom just thought it was an ‘okay’ book. She thought the book focused on the wrong things, while I pretty much stayed glued to every word. I also cried a bit, while my mom remained stone-faced and gave me a few good and really tight hugs.

25733660The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas


Arguably the longest book we have ever read together! Also probably in our entire lives, ha! Despite having so many pages, we loved every single moment of The Count of Monte Cristo. We even managed to convince my dad to watch the movie with us during Movie Night. It took us a really long time to finish this, but it was lovely to be able to share this experience with my mom.


What are some debuts you want to read this year? Any recommendations for me?
Let me know in the comments!


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Musing Mondays – Different Editions & Book Reviews

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Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by The Purple Booker, that asks you to choose a prompt to answer + reply to a random question.

Choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

I bought the following book(s) in the past week…

So I’m actually in a book-buying ban, but I was super incredibly lucky to find the last two books in the Red Rising trilogy for sale. The thing is… I forgot to check if the editions matched. 😛

rst

As you can obviously see pictured above, they did match at all! So this is another series added to my ‘Different Editions’ list. But at least this means I can finally finish reading it!


This week’s random question…

How do you review your books? Do you review them right away as soon as you finish reading them? Or do you let them wait a bit and do you ever fall behind?

I try to review all books as soon as I finish them. I write down notes as I read, jotting down things I liked and didn’t like about it. When it’s time to write my review, that helps me get my thoughts together.

Sometimes I do take a week to post my review, though. This happens a lot with ARCs, as I usually have a set date/deadline I need to post them. So I try to read them as soon as I can, and then schedule my review for the preferred posting date. 😀


Do you buy different editions of books in the same series? And how do you write your reviews?
Tell me in the comments!


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Review: GEMINA by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff


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GEMINA
Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

SeriesThe Illuminae Files #2
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 659
Release date: October 18th 2016

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.


“The universe itself depends on you.”


Gemina is an incredible addition to my favorite Sci-Fi series! Its unique formatting is back, better than ever, delivering a story that is powerful and utterly captivating. The files take you on a journey through space filled with pain, love, and surprising twists.

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have done it again! This novel is just as engrossing as its predecessor, maybe even more so. It is also a little bit darker and more intense, as the authors take things to the next level. And what a wonderful story it is, oh my god.

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