Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten Reads of 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Reads of 2015

There are a handful of Top Ten Tuesdays that I look forward to every year, and this is one of them. As I read during the year, I mentally catalog which books might wind up on this list. Usually, I have a harder time narrowing things down, but this year’s Top Ten Reads of 2015 was a pretty easy list to compile. I’m not sure if that means I read fewer good books or a greater quantity of really amazing books than I usually do, but these ten books were LEGIT. Some of them I’ve already reread. 2015 was a good year for favorites, friends.

Top Ten Tuesday

When I first ZOOMED through THE WRATH AND THE DAWN with my girls, we all basically died from love. Shazi and Khalid…my brain sometimes can’t process how much I loved reading their story and experiencing their world.

TTT_2015 9 I have to admit: the dragon in UPROOTED wasn’t what I thought it would be. But thankfully, it was BETTER. This was such an engrossing tale, and it’s one of those worlds that I just want to experience the full width and breadth of. TTT_2015 8 Maybe a little bit of a cheat with this one because EVERY MOVE isn’t out in the US yet. I loved the first two books in this amazing series so much that I ordered them all from the Australian publisher so that I could read them. This is an excellent conclusion to legitimately my favorite Sherlock retelling. TTT_2015 7A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES is the first of two Sarah J. Maas books on this list–talk about someone having an epic year, guys! Her books and her writing just always ensnare me in the best possible way. Her characters are passionate and tough and the drama is always intense. Can’t wait for more about Feyre and Tamlin. TTT_2015 6 For me, every Sarah Dessen book I read is better than the last. SAINT ANYTHING was really enjoyable to me because the characters are so endearing and complex. I particularly loved the relationship between Sydney and Mac. It’s so sweet and supportive.TTT_2015 4 I COULD NOT PUT ILLUMINAE DOWN WHICH WAS HELL ON MY WRISTS BUT I DON’T EVEN CARE. I’m not usually down with science fiction. It sometimes feels too much like…well, science. But the intense drama and action in this book was perfection. PERFECTION. Adored it. You’ll find out why when I review it (hopefully SO SOON; I’ve been such a review slacker lately.)TTT_2015 3 I’m going to be straight with you guys: I liked SIX OF CROWS a little better than the Grisha trilogy, I think. Actually I’m pretty sure. There’s just something about Kaz and Inej and all of the characters that make up this gang! I could read about them forever. Also, I’m a huge sucker for heists, and this is a great one. I’m also so horrifically behind on my reviews that I haven’t reviewed this one yet. Bad blogger award goes to me. TTT_2015 2 God, isn’t Willowdean just THE BEST?! I adored DUMPLIN’, another casualty of my Bad Blogger Award. (I’m getting to them, I swear.) The sass and the heart…it’s just what basically everyone needs always. TTT_2015 1 THIS BOOK. There is no order to this list, but if I had to pick my absolute, for real favorites of 2015, QUEEN OF SHADOWS would be one. I am 100% in it to win it with this series. The more I can read about Aelin, the better off I’ll be. Ditto for Rowan. Ditto for this world. Ditto for Manon and Abraxos and everything. TTT_2015

I’LL MEET YOU THERE is the only book on this list that I’ve read twice. Because I am always a little weaker in the knees for stories about veterans. Because Josh and Sky are one of my all-time OTPs. Because I legit pretend they are real because I love them so much. Because of THAT LETTER. So many feels. Like actual, physical feels while I was reading. So much love.

Top Ten Tuesday | Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015

I don’t know about you all, but I’ve read some pretty great books so far this year. I have really fond memories of reading all of these books–and I’m actually rereading one of them already. #sorrynotsorry. This Top Ten Tuesday makes me pretty excited about the rest of the year, too, because if these ten books are any indication of what’s on tap, I’m in for a world of awesome. In no particular order, here are my top ten books that I’ve read so far this year!
Book cover The Start of Me and You Emery LordTHE START OF ME AND YOU • Emery Lord | Guys, this book was just so adorable. I loved Paige and Max so much, and I loved their very slowly growing relationship. One of my favorite things, though? Ryan. Because he might be the early focus of Paige’s romantic attention, but he’s clueless about it, and a complete doll on top of that.

Book cover Saint Anything Sarah DessenSAINT ANYTHING • Sarah Dessen | The more I read of Sarah Dessen’s catalog, the more I fall for her stories and her writing. I felt such strong connections with Sydney and Mac and the Chathams, and that’s because of how amazingly real Sarah Dessen made them. I have a big chunk of Sarah’s back catalog to get to, and I AM READY.

Book Cover I'll Meet You There Heather DemetriosI’LL MEET YOU THERE • Heather Demetrios | GUYSSS THIS BOOK. No question, this is one of my favorite books of the year. Josh and Sky are two of my most favorite people, and the story of their “I used to hate you but now you’re kind of my best friend slash I wanna make out with you” relationship is amazing.

Book cover A Court of Thorns and Roses Sarah J. MaasA COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES • Sarah J. Maas | This is the book that I’m rereading right now so that I can remember all of the awesomeness better before I write my (sure to be glowing) review. There’s basically nothing about this book that I didn’t love.

Book cover All the Bright Places Jennifer NivenALL THE BRIGHT PLACES • Jennifer Niven | Talk about SOBFEST. I cried so hard reading this book. It’s so sad and beautiful and made an indelible mark on me. I can’t think of Finch and Violet now without some of that intensity bubbling up to the surface.

Book cover A Darker Shade of Magic V.E. SchwabA DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC • V.E. Schwab | I haven’t gotten around to reviewing this one yet, but it’s my favorite book of Victoria’s. I sometimes struggle with her books, but this one…the world-building was excellent and I loved Kell and Lila.

Book cover Every Move Ellie MarneyEVERY MOVE • Ellie Marney | I’ve been trying to hold off reviewing the second and third books in this amazing series because they aren’t out in the US yet, but I bought them all from the Aussie publisher and devoured them and adored them. Mycroft and Watts are a forever OTP.

Book cover Midwinterblood Marcus SedgwickMIDWINTERBLOOD • Marcus Sedgwick | I read this book with my girls for our On the Same Page feature, and it kind of blew my mind. There’s really no way to categorize it, but the slowly unravelling tale was bewitching. There were excellent passages, too, about souls and fate and connections that span lifetimes.

Book cover The Wrath and the Dawn Renee AhdiehTHE WRATH AND THE DAWN • Renée Ahdieh | Another book in my review pipeline, and another On the Same Page read. I loved this story. I loved Shazi and Khalid and their powerful relationship. I loved the vibrant culture so much that my OTSP post was a Pinterest board full of images that reminded me of this world and these characters. There’s a lot up in the air for book 2, and I really can’t wait for it.

Top Ten Tuesday | All-Time Favorite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten All-Time Favorite Authors

Would you guys believe me when I tell you that this list was actually really hard? ALL-TIME FAVORITE? That’s a huge deal. How do I determine this? Author’s I read and loved when I was a wee thing whose work has stuck with me? Authors I love who are still writing books? Author’s who’ve written my favorite books, but maybe not necessarily authors whose entire catalog I’ve read? THE DECISIONS! So I kind of just threw a list together. I still think it’s a pretty accurate list, though. BUT AHH THE PRESSURE!


TTT_grrmIt’s only been about four years since I started reading A Song of Ice and Fire, but it’s already assumed a huge role in my fandom life. When I first read these books, I hadn’t started blogging yet and I read nothing else–literally–for almost a year. I completely immersed myself in the world of Westeros and House Stark and dragons and The Wall. Any time the world-building in a book is this good and this consuming, I’ll be that author’s biggest fan for always.

TTT_dianaLike there’s any way the author who created James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser wasn’t going to be on this list. You guys know me better than that, I hope. On a serious note, I can pinpoint my love for all things Scottish to the Outlander series. For real. And I love the relationship that Diana has crafted between Jamie and Claire.

TTT_maggieI’ve read all of Maggie’s currently released work, and her books are some of my all-time favorites. If you guys can tell me the last time I went more than a week or two without mentioning THE SCORPIO RACES, I’ll be shocked. I feel like I talk about it all the time. Understandable, though, once you’ve read it and met Puck Connolly and Sean Kendrick. I LOVE Maggie Stiefvater. There’s nothing she could write that I wouldn’t want to read.

TTT_jk rowlingWhat do you guys think the odds are of basically every Top Ten Tuesday including J.K. Rowling on it? I think those odds are high. Although she’s on my list of all-time favorite authors, I basically only mean Harry Potter. I don’t really have any desire to read her adult books. Soooo, take from that what you will, but I can’t have this list without J.K. Rowling on it.

TTT_jandy nelsonJandy Nelson has written only two books, but they’ve both been so lovely and so heartbreaking and have stayed with me so long that I can’t NOT have her on my list of all-time favorite authors. She cemented her place on this list after just one book!

TTT_rothfussI’m getting the feeling that a lot of authors on this list are here because their characters are some of the most amazing I’ve ever read, and Patrick Rothfuss is no exception. Kvothe is in a league all his own, but I also love Wil and Simmon and Fela (let’s just pretend that Denna doesn’t really exist, mmkay?). Like GRRM, Patrick Rothfuss is on this list as much for Kvothe as he is for his stellar world-building. If I could live in the world where Kvothe lives, I’d be a happy camper.

TTT_kristin cashoreI’m getting ants in my pants for something new from Kristin Cashore. GRACELING was one of the first YA books I ever read, and it essentially hooked me. I loved all three books in that series for different reasons, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the announcement of her next book ever since.

TTT_morgan matsonWhen I try and think of an author who’s a sure thing, Morgan Matson is one that usually comes to mind pretty quickly. I just LOVE her stories and her characters and her everything. I’ve been moved by all of her books, and I just can’t gobble her books up fast enough. GIMME ALL OF THEM.

TTT_tolkienWhen I was younger, I didn’t really read a lot of fantasy, which seems crazy because I love it so much now. It’s probably a cliche that Tolkien is on this list but he really deserves a spot. I read The Lord of the Rings in college (*piles on more cliche*) and would, like, stay home on the weekends while my friends went out drinking so that I could read these books in peace. This was also right around the time when the movies were coming out, so I was totally invested. If I’d never read these books, I’m not sure how my love of the genre would exist.

TTT_rainbowTalk about an author whose work is super poignant and lovely. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Rainbow Rowell book and not been moved by it. I’ve laughed and swooned and cried–basically I run the gamut of feels when I read her stuff. I have just one book from her catalog left to read (THE ATTACHMENTS), and I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about CARRY ON. But one thing that all of the authors on this list share is their instant readability for me: I’ll never not read a book they write. Rainbow is a “no duh” author for me.


Book Review | I’ll Meet You There | Heather Demetrios

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | I’ll Meet You There | Heather DemetriosI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on February 3, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary YA, Disabilities, Military, Relationships, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

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Top Ten Tuesday | NEW All-Time Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten NEW All-Time Favorites

Super fun list this week! I’m always changing up my list of favorite books in my head. Every time I read a book that I know is going to stay with me, I’m always marveled by the fact that I could pick up a book tomorrow and it might be one that I cherish and reread and love the crap out of forever. ISN’T THAT AMAZINGGG?! These 11 books are some of my new all-time favorites. In cases when the book is one in a series, it’s basically a placeholder for all the books.

all-time favorites

The Lunar Chronicles series | Marissa Meyer

all-time favorites

I’ll Meet You There | Heather Demetrios

all-time favorites

Throne of Glass series | Sarah J. Maas

all-time favorites

Anna and the French Kiss series | Stephanie Perkins

all-time favorites

Fangirl | Rainbow Rowell

all-time favorites

Every series | Ellie Marney

all-time favorites

Tiger Lily | Jodi Lynn Anderson

all-time favorites

His Fair Assassin series | Robin LaFevers

all-time favorites

Daughter of Smoke and Bone series | Laini Taylor

all-time favorites

Eleanor & Park | Rainbow Rowell

all-time favorites

The Scorpio Races | Maggie Stiefvater

What books are your new all-time favorites?

Book Review | Isla and the Happily Ever After | Stephanie Perkins

Book Review | Isla and the Happily Ever After | Stephanie PerkinsIsla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Published by Dutton Juvenile on August 14, 2014
Genres: Contemporary YA, Relationships, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought it
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Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

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Book Review | Since You’ve Been Gone | Morgan Matson

Book Review | Since You’ve Been Gone | Morgan MatsonSince You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 6, 2014
Genres: Contemporary YA, Friendship
Pages: 449
Format: Hardcover
Also by this author: Second Chance Summer
Source: Bought it
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The Pre-Sloane Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just… disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try… unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait… what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um…

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Top Ten Tuesday (119) | Favorite Reads of 2014…So Far

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Favorite Reads of 2014…So Far

I’ve read some pretty great books so far this year, friends. Some of these books aren’t just favorite reads of the year, but books that I’m going to love for always. I’m also really excited that a few of my favorite reads so far are books that I’ve had lingering on my TBR for a while. To say that I’m glad that I finally read them is an understatement. A big one.

Favorite readsI used to read a TON of historical fiction, you guys, and I’ve always loved revolutionary history. The French Revolution is fascinating to me, and the way Jennifer Donnelly mixes a contemporary story with a historical one taking place during the French Revolution was excellently done. This was much darker than I thought it would be going in, but it’s one of the oldies but goodies that I’m so incredibly glad I got to.

Favorite readsDUH because I love this series, and CRESS was all the things I love about this world and these characters. I’m so completely invested. I’m just DYING to see what happens in WINTER. No contest, one of my favorite reads so far this year.

favorite readsThis is another book that I’ve had hanging around for a while and finally managed to read. I can’t say that this book will be for everyone because it’s very mellow with the action and the tone is dark. But I thought the writing was lovely, and the relationships between the characters were understated but strong.

favorite readsEven though I read this one some time ago, I haven’t had  chance to review it yet. (Don’t worry. I will.) But trust me: This book was incredibly fun and the mystery was not quite what I thought it would be. Renaissance Venice is such a great setting for books because it’s so opulent and seedy at the sametime. I’ll be reading the rest of this series for sure.

favorite readsI have a sometimes weird relationship with faerie stories. But this one had lots of other things going on, namely Scotland. I REALLY enjoyed this book, and I’m REALLY looking forward to more.

favorite readsJust finished this one and it totally reminded me of Tamora Pierce’s books. Such a great thing. There’s magic and thieves and spies and a little bit of romance. Very much interested in where this one will lead.

favorite readsGIVE ME MORE TATTOOED GUYS, PLEASE. God, I love these books. Just for the sheer entertainment value. I plowed through the first three in barely two days, I’m not even kidding. Incredible steamy times, but also really intense relationships. New favorite series around.

favorite readsI can’t believe this series is over. I’m in major denial, I think. Karou and Akiva are amazingly tortured, as always, but the other characters and the worlds colliding really shine here too. It wasn’t the most perfect book, but I loved it all the same for the place it holds in this series I love so fiercely.

favorite readsI’ve been reading lots of fantasies so far this year, guys! YAY! But THIS ONE. If there was ever a book that lived up to all the extraordinarily positive hype I’ve heard, it would be this one. It’s FANTASTIC. Not just one of my favorite reads so far this year, but one of my favorite reads EVER.

favorite readsIt’s not very often that I read and really enjoy an epistolary novel, guys. There’s always something about the inherent gaps in the storytelling that bugs me. The story here was so touching and sad and the writing really was gorgeous. A very promising debut, guys.

favorite readsI’m cooking up my review for this one now, but I’m trying to control the GUSHFEST. I’ll probably fail. I have not read a book of Morgan Matson’s that I didn’t love. LOVE. This one was no exception. Such a great story about friendship, and the romance was top notch as well.

Book Review | Dreams of Gods and Monsters | Laini Taylor

Book cover Dreams of Gods and Monsters Laini TaylorTitle: Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor (web | twitter)
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3
Genre: Fantasy YA, angels
Amazon | Goodreads | B&N
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release date: April 8, 2014
Source: Bought it

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

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Book Review | Sorrow’s Knot | Erin Bow

book cover Sorrow's Knot Erin BowTitle: Sorrow’s Knot
Author: Erin Bow (web | twitter)
Genre: Fantasy YA, Native American, Horror YA
Amazon | Goodreads | B&N
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Release date: October 29, 2013
Source: ARC from the publisher via NetGalley

From the acclaimed author of PLAIN KATE, a new novel about what lurks in the shadows, and how to put it to rest…

In the world of SORROW’S KNOT, the dead do not rest easy. Every patch of shadow might be home to something hungry, something deadly. Most of the people of this world live on the sunlit, treeless prairies. But a few carve out an uneasy living in the forest towns, keeping the dead at bay with wards made from magically knotted cords. The women who tie these knots are called binders. And Otter’s mother, Willow, is one of the greatest binders her people have ever known.

But Willow does not wish for her daughter to lead the lonely, heavy life of a binder, so she chooses another as her apprentice. Otter is devastated by this choice, and what’s more, it leaves her untrained when the village falls under attack. In a moment of desperation, Otter casts her first ward, and the results are disastrous. But now Otter may be her people’s only hope against the shadows that threaten them. Will the challenge be too great for her? Or will she find a way to put the dead to rest once and for all?

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