Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

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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’ve Read So Far This Year. I’ve had an incredible string of FANTASTIC reads, so I’ll try to keep it to just ten. No promises though! I’ve listed them in order, starting from January up until now.

1. Avalon by Mindee Arnett. This was the beginning of my two month romance with deep-space sci-fi. I CRAVED anything space ship related for weeks after finishing this book. The friendships are my absolute favorite; Jeth is one of my favorite characters I’ve read in a while.

2. Me Since You by Laura Wiess. I’m honestly not sure I can talk about this book any more than I already have. Seriously, you all need to read it. It changed my life ❤

3. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Cress is a close runner up for this slot, but Scarlet still has my heart. I loved both MCs: Scarlet and Wolf. And their relationship is SO perfect!

4. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi. Another one that really, I’ve talked way too much about. But the character development in this conclusion was just flawless, and honestly I need a reread. If only for Kenji! But Juliette is great incentive as well, as is Warner 😉

5. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. This is one that made my heart hurt so much, but also filled it with happiness. I adored the road trip setting, the romance was perfect, and the friendship was even better!

6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Another that completely, utterly changed my life. I felt like the book was speaking directly to me!

7. Allegiant by Veronica Roth. Okay, I know I put it off for like five months after I bought it. And I know I wailed for days about my feels and creys. But I’m so glad I pushed through it, because Allegiant was one of the best series enders I’ve read, right up there with Ignite Me.

8. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas. The entire series is my favorite, but TAB really sold me on the whole thing, and novellas actually. I never thought I’d be so hooked on novellas before this book! And to have them all in print, in my hand – it was beautiful.

9. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. Matt. Finch. That is all. Plus, road trips.

10. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider. Still a bit miffed that the title was changed from Severed Heads, Broken Hearts, but whatever. I still love this book with all my heart ❤

11. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. Two Matson books on this list! That should tell you something about how awesome this lady’s writing is. Really, there’s no way for me to express how much I love this book.

12. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I feel like this whole post is just me gushing way too much but ALL THE FEELS from this book! It’s so lighthearted and it makes me so happy ^_^

13. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. This is proof that you should always listen to book pushers: I almost didn’t read it, but I’m BEYOND glad that I did! Another that made my heart so happy ❤

So, I only did 13. Not too horrible! I can restrain myself after all. Also, a fun note: you can tell how my reading mood has changed over the last five months. Darker, more sci-fi and fantasy books, gradually moving towards light and summery contemporaries.

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

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Top Ten Books to Read If You Like…

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

Today’s TTT topic is: Top Ten Books If You Like X tv show/movie/comic/play etc. (basically any sort of other entertainment). I’ve chosen “If you like teen movies about finding yourself and your place in life and discovering romance and friendship.”  Uber long title, I know, and basically this is a list of all my contemporary favorites. So sit down and enjoy the ride!

1. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. Now, granted most teens will not spend one of their summers on a tour bus. HOWEVER, this book is actually very down to earth, despite the glitz and glamor parts.

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. This one, as I’ve said before, is near and dear to my heart because of how well I connect with Cath. 

3. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. ROAD TRIP WITH ROMANCE. How much better could it get?? Plus, Amy has a lot of emotional stuff to work through, and her character development is superb.

4. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Where do I even start with Lola? I love that girl, wacky outfits and all ❤

5. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. This one isn’t as light as the others; there’s some heavier subjects in here, but it’s still a story of self-discovery and growth.

6. Me Since You by Laura Wiess. I STILL don’t have a physical copy of this book. Shameful. This book changed my life, plain and simple.

7. The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder. This one is a bit darker than the others, more on the same level as Me Since You as far as heavy subjects, but it still deals with a lot of the “finding yourself” aspect.

8. The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry. This is a sweet romance with a touch of heavy, dealing with young wounded veterans and life changing diagnoses. I love how the author focuses on the need to take reasonability for your health and wellbeing!

9. Flat Out Love by Jessica Park. So much love and so much growth but yet so much PAIN! This is a bittersweet book, in the best possible way. I think Celeste’s journey is so amazing, and who could say no to Matt Watkins??

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. You thought I wasn’t going to add this one, didn’t you? WRONG! Of course I couldn’t miss this book; it totally changed my life when I was in high school. Maybe not so much now if I read it again, but I’ll never forget the lessons it taught me when I was facing graduation.

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

Top Ten Characters Who Influence Me

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

Today’s TTT topic is: Top Ten Characters Who X (you fill in the blank — examples: piss me off, are the popular kids, are bookish, would be my bff, that stole my heart, etc. etc.). I’ve chosen “Top Ten Characters Who Influence Me.” A lot of my role models actually come from literature – whether it’s their morals or personality, or anything else. I would probably not be able to handle a lot of the stuff going on in my life if I hadn’t read so many books and learned so much from these characters!

Note: some of these characters I don’t admire totally, but there are certain aspects that I love and try to embody in my life. So if there’s a character that’s like, “wait, HER/HIM??”, then that’s why.

1. Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games. I know he’s always on my lists… but he’s just so good. He sees the brighter side of things, finds the good in incorrigible people, and always perseveres.

2. June Iparis from The Legend Series (mainly Champion). Because she’s both intelligent and a fantastic soldier – brains and brawn. Not to mention that she’s a strong female role model, and forces people to take her seriously despite her gender and age. 

3. Juliette Ferrars from The Shatter Me trilogy (99% Ignite Me). Because she FINALLY discovers who she is, and doesn’t bend for the sake of others. She doesn’t choose her final match because of convenience, she chooses him because it’s her choice, and no one else’s.

4. Cath from Fangirl. It’s very, very, very scary how similar I am to Cath. Just ask Veronica (who happens to be my personal Reagan) – she’ll back me up all the way! Cath’s journey to recovery from her anxiety was perhaps the most inspiring thing I’ve ever read, and it really struck a chord with me personally. Also, she helped me realize that I was dating an Abel.

5. Tris from The Divergent trilogy (mainly Allegiant). The entire series, really, completely changed my perspective on courage and bravery and selflessness. Honestly, I’d like to reread Allegiant soon, if I can handle the feels.

Not Tris, but I just love Shailene ❤

6. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. I’ve saved the best for last! Hermione has been a huge part of my life, for even longer than I originally counted (apparently I’ve been reading HP since I was about 7, not 10 or 11 like I had thought!). She’s shamelessly intelligent, and won’t apologize about enjoying school or reading, and yet at the same time she freaking helped save the entire wizarding world! So “nerd” became something that was okay, and not something to be ashamed of.

Books that have influenced me

Because there’s whole books that have either changed me, or just stuck with me for whatever reason (sometimes not even profoundly – they’re just special!)

7. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. This is one of those special books. I can’t really pinpoint why, but it squirreled into my heart and settled there as one of my favorite books. Maybe because Amy has to deal with loss of her dad, and I can really relate to that.

8. Me Since You by Laura Wiess. Another book that deals with losing your dad. I’m starting to see a pattern here… Anyway, this book took my heart and ripped it all open, forced me to face all the issues I had buried away, and then stitched me back together to be more whole than ever before. (I still want a physical copy… I can’t find it at Barnes and Noble D: )

9. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. This was the only book I read for pleasure while I was in college, and I think I read it about five times in those two years. I connected with Ender so well, and the writing style and complexity was something I’d never seen before. It really changed how I look at my own writing!

10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling. Really, there are no words for how much this series, and this book in particular, has influenced my life. SO. SPECIAL.

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

ARC Review: Me Since You by Laura Wiess

Title: Me Since You
Author: Laura Wiess
Pages: 368
Genre: YA, contemporary fiction
Series? No
Publisher: MTV Books
Publication Date: February 8, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads: Laura Wiess captures the visceral emotion of a girl’s journey from innocence to devastating loss and, ultimately, to a strange and unexpected kind of understanding—in this beautiful and painfully honest new novel.

Are there any answers when someone you love makes a tragic choice?

Before and After. That’s how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she was a normal sixteen-year-old—a little too sheltered by her police officer father and her mother. After: everything she once believed has been destroyed in the wake of a shattering tragedy, and every day is there to be survived.

If she had known, on that Friday in March when she cut school, that a random stranger’s shocking crime would have traumatic consequences, she never would have left campus. If the crime video never went viral, maybe she could have saved her mother, grandmother — and herself — from the endless replay of heartache and grief.

Finding a soul mate in Eli, a witness to the crime who is haunted by losses of his own, Rowan begins to see there is no simple, straightforward path to healing wounded hearts. Can she learn to trust, hope, and believe in happiness again.

Amazon |  Barnes and NobleBook DepositoryGoodreads

Dwarf Version

While this book packed an emotional punch that I wasn’t expecting, it was a well written story that really spoke to me. The romance, while not even close to being a main aspect of the story, was one of the best I’ve read, because the characters really respected each other, and understood boundaries and what was healthy for both of them. And the book gods must have noticed my rant about YA families a few weeks ago, because the relationship between Rowan and her mom was healthy and realistic. Me Since You might not be for everyone, since there is so much emotion in it and Rowan’s pendulum moods might put some off, but I felt as though Wiess had written this story for me.

Supernova Version

When I requested Me Since You, I knew that it had a reputation for being a bit of a tearjerker. But honestly, I didn’t expect to be so emotional over this book. To give you a point of reference: I have only ever cried so much over one other book (TFiOS). Basically, I was a leaking faucet the entire time, and at the very end the dam burst and I spent a good five minutes crying it out.

Long story short: pack some tissues.

In a word, I would say that Me Since You is raw. It’s an uncensored look at grief and the stages of healing after death, and especially suicide. Rowan is a brutally blunt narrator, and I related to her so easily that it was kind of scary. Have you ever read a book where you see so much of yourself or your personal struggles in a character that you feel as if the author wrote the book for you? I definitely had that with MSY, for more than one reason.

Other than how much this book meant to me (and really was a catharsis of sorts), it shines in a million other areas as well. First, a nod to the romance. I don’t even think this book falls in the romance genre, because it was such a minor aspect. But I need to applaud Weiss, because for once the two characters didn’t fall into each other and search for healing through their relationship. They both realized that they needed to work through their grief before they could truly be there for each other. And in the end, it made their love so much sweeter.

Second, THANK YOU for an amazing mother/daughter relationship. It felt very real to me; Rowan and her mother fought at times, had some screaming matches, but ultimately they loved each other. Queue another round of tears for me when Rowan and her mom confronted each other about how differently they were dealing with moving on, and realizing that they needed to work together in order to heal.

If I had to say there was one part that could have used improvement, it was maybe the plot/pacing. It meandered a bit at times, but it didn’t bug me at all, because it left more time to pick over Rowan’s thoughts and emotions. And the little plot twist at the end was something I didn’t foresee at all, but it was so perfect. I wish I could put that last line here, just to show how beautiful it was, but… spoilers. But those last four words – someday I hope I’ll reach that same place as Rowan.

I don’t often read an ARC that says “BUY A FINISHED COPY OF ME”, but you can add Me Since You to that list now. It’s going to stay in a very special place in my heart for many years to come.

My Final Rating:

Four Stars