The Thousand Lives has moved!

Hello all! I’m super excited to say that I’ve gone self-hosted with Ashley and BookHost! You can now find me at my new URL here.

I’ve migrated all of my followers over already, so most of you shouldn’t have a problem! However, if you follow through Bloglovin’, you can click the new button below so you can follow that feed.

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Thank you all for sticking with me, and I’m super excited to see what the next few months bring!

Sidenote: I’m in the middle of having a new theme designed and coded for me (super excited!), so bear with me and my basic setup for the next few weeks as that’s all set up!

 

Top Ten Contemporary Books for Newbies

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their blog here!

Today’s TTT topic is: Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read X. I’ve decided to make it Top Ten Books I’d give to readers who have never read the contemporary genre. (Can you hear Veronica and Andi clinking champagne glasses as they toast their conversion skills?) I’ve made it no secret that I used to be a huge hater on the contemp genre entirely – citing that it was only cheesy romances and overused tropes. BUT NAY – I HAVE BEEN SAVED FROM MY UNLAWFUL WAYS. So now that I’ve learned my lesson, here are ten contemporary books that I recommend to anyone who is scared or new to the genre.

Now that I’ve sorted through my GR shelves, I actually have 15! This is in no means a comprehensive list, but it’s some good starters, and ones that really stood out for me.

If you need something sweet: 

1. Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour. You can check out my review for several paragraphs of gushing, but I can sum it up by saying that ELTY feels like magic. It was like I was floating on fluffy pink clouds and totally removed from the world – pure bliss.

2. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Another fluffy read; some find that Lara Jean is too naive, but I think it’s just a younger section of YA. I’d say ages 14-16 for this one is perfect. The romance is swoon-worthy, and the overall plot was cute. 

3. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. ALL THE SWOONS AND FEELS. The romance, the friendship, the road trip – it’s a perfect summer book for when you’re feeling a little country and a little wanderlust-y. 

4. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I’m trying to find the right words to describe MLND without repeating the above, but ALL THE CUTES should just about satisfy.

5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I had a hard time categorizing this one, since it also tackled some tough issues (for me), and made me cry. But overall the book left me feeling like I’ve just downed the perfect amount of Dove chocolate (those little one-inch squares with the peppy sayings in the wrapper that you’re supposed to be satisfied with after one but you eat like eight) and like everything was right in the world.

If you want to tackle tough issues: 

6. There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos. Grief, specifically the loss of a twin. It’s painful, raw, and also can be categorized in the “made me cry” section.

7. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider. Disabilities in teens and having preconceptions of someone that turn out to be romanticizations and not truth. Plus – uber geek references abound.

8. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. Grief again, this time loss of a parent. This one really resonated with me, as I identified with Amy in ways that I hadn’t anticipated. (I’m sure you can guess that this was also in the “sobbing like a baby” category)

9. Faking Normal by Courtney Stevens. Eee I don’t want to say what this one deals with, because spoilers, but it tackles quite a few issues, including self harm. It’s a quiet story, and didn’t really resonate with me until several days after I finished it. But it’s so powerful, and very well written.

10. OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu. I almost put this in the “sweet” section, but it’s (as you can guess) on the subject of mental illness, specifically OCD. And it’s REALLY well done and accurately represented, so no worries about inaccuracies.

11. Looking for Alaska by John Green. So I’m really not sure how to categorize this one, again, since it goes a few different ways. It’s powerful, and quiet, and really thought provoking. My favorite out of Green’s novels, by the way!

If you need a good cry: 

12. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. No surprise that this one is here, I’m sure. But it deserves its reputation for pain. Sometimes it’s a bit over-hyped, but it really is a good story if you can look past that. Okay? Okay. (Fyi, I actually dislike that quote. I think it’s highly overrated. A better one is “we can’t choose if we get hurt in this life, but we do have some say in who hurts us.” Also: “it’s a good life, Hazel Grace.”)

13. If I Stay by Gayle Forman. So I didn’t actually shed tears, but they pooled. This book is SO powerful, and I can’t wait to see the adaptation later this month. I’ve seen the trailer like 10 times, and cried about 8.

If you want some drama: 

14. Sway by Kat Spears. I’m so excited about this book that I keep forgetting it actually isn’t released yet (can someone else PLEASE read their ARC so we can talk about it??), but it’s such a good book. The MC’s character development is phenomenal, and I was so attached to the entire story. Plus, uber drama. But not in the Lifetime movie sort of way – don’t worry! BTW: it’s released September 16th.

15. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. Actually, all four books in this series. Heck, all books that McGarry writes – period! I will admit that this is probably the book I’d call a guilty pleasure if someone forced me to pick one. BUT I DON’T CARE BECAUSE I LOVE THE CHARACTERS AND THEIR PAIN MAKES ME WEEP AND THEN I CRY HAPPY TEARS BECAUSE WHO DOESN’T LOVE AN HEA.

I’m sure most of these books are on other lists, and you see them all the time in the blogosphere. Most of them are pretty popular (I think?), but there’s a reason everyone’s reading them. I’m sure there are hidden treasures that I’ve yet to discover, but these gems made me more confident in delving deeper into the genre.

 That’s my list for this week – link me yours below!

Weekly Recap 38 (August 3) – MOAR BOOKS (And a giveaway winner!)

Well hello Sunday my old friend. I hope today sees you all well! I had another awesome week; still busy at work, but really what’s new about that? I’m in the prep stages for the new school year; I’ve got four classes to create syllabuses for and prepare all my lesson plans, so that’s keeping me very busy. At least it’s fun, and I get to binge watch new TV shows while I plan!

Stacking the Shelves

photo.PNGOooo aren’t they just so pretty?! I think I have an issue. But as I always tell my mom: at least it’s not crack. I had an unexpected tutoring job, so with the little bit of cash I earned from that I bought Volumes 1 and 2 of Attack on Titan (SO EXCITED) and Silver Shadows. What’s actually kind of hilarious is that I still haven’t finished the Vampire Academy series, but at least now I can binge all the Bloodlines books whenever I’m ready. I also preordered The Young World, since BN had it for 50% off and after I read the little sampler from the POP Culture event I knew I wanted to read the rest. While I was perusing the BN shelves on Thursday, I found this tiny little book called One + One = Blue. It’s about synesthesia. I just knew I had to get it, and ended up reading it that night! While it focused less on synesthesia than I had hoped, it was still a good book.

The other two books were a total surprise: my package from the Summer Box Swap came in, from my secret partner Kristen @ The Book Monsters!  I was just over the moon when I saw Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – I’ve been wanting to read that book ever since I got into blogging more than a year ago! I also received All These Things I’ve Done (can’t get that Killers song out of my head every time I read the title); I’ve read one Zevin book before, so I’m excited to see if I like her other books.

A wee bit of bad news (in the bookish sense)… I had originally bought Let’s Get Lost instead of Silver Shadows, but ended up DNFing it. I only made it through the first story (Hudson’s), at about 75 pages, and then went back to BN to exchange the books. I’ll put up a post later on in the month explaining all my reasons why, but suffice it to say that I was SO disappointed, especially since I’d been beyond excited for that release. It was my most anticipated from the summer, and to see it bomb like that was kind of depressing!

In other news…

Want to know my absolute favorite tweet of the week? Possibly the year? Check it out:

Need I say more?

It’s now officially ONE MONTH of going Paleo! I’ve lost a total of 9.2 pounds (Saturday weigh-in), and I’m still totally in awe of everything that’s been happening. The weight is a great side effect, but the best part is how I’m feeling: more energetic, and no more fogginess every day. Not to mention the fact that my acne is clearing up; I’ve never passed that puberty-acne stage, apparently, but this is a nice change to have clear skin. Another fantastic moment: my Harry Potter tshirt that used to be TIGHT (at a size L, or XL – can’t remember), is now way loose! It fits great in the shoulders (since I inherited my dad’s broadness), but billows out around my tummy. Excuse me while I dance for seven hours in happiness ^_^

I’m also seriously on another book ban. For the month of August. I can do this. Yes? Yes. The only allowance is Isla and the Happily Ever After, and possibly volume 3 of Attack on Titan – but only if BN sends out more coupons. The rest of my budget will first and foremost go to self-hosting! I’m actually really hoping that whole process will happen this week – I might be writing my next update as the brand new TTL!

And in more good news, my blogoversary giveaway ended Thursday night! I swear, that was the most stress-filled moment ever when I clicked the “randomize a winner” button. WHO WAS GOING TO BE THE ONE?? I was grinning so much when I saw the name: Marga @ Deadly Darlings! I haven’t known her long, but in the last few weeks I’ve had a great time getting to know her and chatting over books! And let me tell you – she has some fabulous taste in books. I highly approve of her choices in spending the giveaway money 😉 Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway and left comments on my blog; I’ve never felt so loved in my life!

In case you missed it, last week I…

What’s coming up this week?

  • Monday – Review of OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
  • Tuesday – Top Ten Books for Readers who have never read contemporary
  • Wednesday – Saturated Reads: Everything Leads to You
  • Thursday – The 5 Stages of Book Hangover
  • Friday – Review of There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos

Hope you all have a good week!

Cover Reveal: Twelve (More #3) by T.M. Franklin

Twelve reveal

Hey hey! You know what time it is?? Cover reveal time!!! Last year I reviewed and raved over the first two books in TM Franklin’s More Trilogy, and now I’m beyond excited to have been invited to participate in the blog events for all the reveals and tours. So without further adieu… check out the very fitting-to-the-story and beautifully simplistic cover for Twelve, the third and final book in the trilogy:

Twelve-3D-PaperbackExcuse me while I Will Smith over here (yes I just used that as a verb). Isn’t it gorgeous? The covers have always grabbed me with the tiny details and the whiteness of it all.

Summary

It’s only been a few months since Ava Michaels discovered she has ties to an ancient people living in the shadows of the human world, despite their superior gifts and abilities. A select few don’t like hiding, however, and think it’s time to take control.

Now Ava’s caught up in a conspiracy in the works before she was even born. In fact, her birth was an integral part of the plan. She’s one of the Twelve, the most powerful Race ever created, and they were created for a purpose.

Ava, however, doesn’t like being told what to do.

All she wants is to start a new life with Caleb Foster, the Protector who once put his own life at risk to save hers. Before they can even think about that, however, they need to figure out exactly what the Twelve and their power-hungry leader are up to—and find a way to stop them.

Along the way, they’ll have to forge alliances with former enemies, seek out powerful new friends, and infiltrate the heavily fortified enemy stronghold in an attempt to get some answers. In the end, Ava must decide if her destiny lies in her DNA or in her conscience. If she can turn her back on what she was born to do and do what is right. If she will save the ones she loves or save the world.

Or if her ties to the Twelve mean she has no choice at all.

Excerpt

She sat up suddenly and grabbed Caleb’s hand. “Do you feel that?”

“What?” He instinctively checked the mirrors, but there was nobody behind them.

“Someone . . .” Ava’s eyes glazed over. “Someone’s coming. Fast.”

Caleb stepped on the gas, searching the horizon. “Who? Anyone familiar?”

“What’s happening?” Sophie asked.

Ava shook her head. “I can’t tell. Not yet anyway. You think it’s Protectors?”

Caleb’s jaw tightened. “Or Rogues.”

“You think they know?” Ava glanced at Sophie.

“We don’t know. Not for sure.”

“Would somebody please tell me what’s going on?” Sophie shouted from the backseat.

The temperature in the car dipped as frost formed along the edges of the windows.

“You’ve got to calm her down,” Caleb muttered, taking a turn too fast and swerving to correct.

“Now.”

Ava didn’t argue, instead scrambling over the seat to take the girl’s hand. “Sophie, listen to me. You need to stay calm, okay? Try to breathe with me.”

“But—”

“I’ll explain everything, but first you need to calm down. You see what’s happening?”

Through the mirror, Caleb saw her glance up at the roof of the car as snowflakes began to drift through the interior.

“I . . . I don’t understand,” Sophie murmured. “What’s—why is it snowing?”

“It’s you,” Ava said quietly. “You’re upset, and your gift is reacting.”

“I don’t understand what’s happening to me.” Sophie choked on a sob, and Caleb felt the telltale prickle of another Race signature along the edges of his consciousness.

“I feel them now,” he said, sitting taller in the seat and leaning forward as if willing the car to go faster.

Ava didn’t respond but remained focused on Sophie.

Caleb felt Ava’s gift and knew she was letting it flow into the girl a little, helping calm her.

“We’ll help you.” Ava sounded so calm and soothing. “We’ll help you learn to control it, but for right now, you need to calm down. Breathe with me, okay?”

Sophie nodded and swallowed tears as she tried to match Ava’s inhale and exhale.

The snow stopped.

“That’s good.” Ava nodded encouragingly. “Keep breathing. I need you to stay calm. Someone’s coming, and I’m guessing they’re after you.”

Sophie’s breath caught, and the ice gathering on the dashboard cracked.

“It’s okay,” Ava hurried to say. “Keep breathing. Stay calm. We’re going to keep you safe.”

Sophie gripped Ava’s hand, but she kept breathing slowly in and out. “How?”

Ava smiled. “You asked what I could do? Well, I’m about to show you.”

Find Twelve on Goodreads and add it to your TBR!

Meet The Author

TM_Franklin

TM. Franklin started out her career writing nonfiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a BA in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. Her first published novel, MORE, was born out of a challenge to write a novel in thirty days issued during National Novel Writing month. MORE was well received, selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards, and won the Suspense/Thriller division of the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards.

In addition to MORE and its sequels, The Guardians and TWELVE, Franklin has penned the Amazon best-selling short stories, Window and A Piece of Cake. Her new YA romance How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You is Franklin’s first love story without traditionally recognized paranormal or fantasy elements. Although . . . T. M. is the first to argue that love is the best kind of magic.

Find TM on: Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+ | LinkedIn

And now, a giveaway!

Click on the link below to be taken to a giveaway for a few prizes, including ARCs of Twelve and other goodies!

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