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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Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Publisher/Publication Date: Dial Books for Young Readers / June 14, 2012
How Did I Get It? Bought it
Format? Hardback

Synopsis from Goodreads: “One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

Amazon | Barnes and NobleBook DepositoryGoodreads

I read Fitzpatrick’s What I Thought Was True a few weeks ago, but was pushed by – you guessed it – ANDI to read Fitzpatrick’s first book, My Life Next Door. And I am SO glad I bought the hardback rather than the paperback, because I’m going to treasure this copy for a very very long time. I completely agree with Andi (and Nara holds this opinion as well, I believe) that MLND is better than WITWT. Even though it dealt with some heavier subjects than I was expecting, it has a more light-hearted and summery feel, and I had a huge smile on my face the whole time. Actually, at one point, I was laughing like a madwoman over this one particular scene that was just GOLD.

I just have to stop and make note that this book contains one of the healthiest, most adorable, and organic romances I’ve read in a very long time. I mean, WOW can it get any more perfect?? Samantha melts into the Garrett family so gradually and realistically that I never even questioned it at all. Her problems at home were well portrayed, and my heart hurt so much for her, despite how much she tried to pass it off as nothing. And Jase… well, new book boyfriend right there. He’s caring, loyal, and very mature – really the whole boy next door thing that I always fall for. And the two of them together??? FLAWLESS. And extraordinarily mature for a YA romance as well; when they had issues, they dealt with them (except for one part, but that was explainable by the circumstances). And when their relationship progressed *highlight for spoilers*: they went and bought condoms together. And it wasn’t awkward or creepy; it was actually the most hilarious thing I’ve read in a while. I really wish more YA books showed a healthy sexual relationship like this – both of them decided that they were ready, and they wanted to take that step together, including what protection to use. Okay, spoiler over. But really, can we sign a petition for more YA authors to write something like that?

Like with What I Thought Was True, My Life Next Door was slightly darker than I expected. There were a lot of struggles that Samantha was experiencing with her Senator mom, and that douchebag Clay. I’d like to smack his head against a wall. And what people were saying to the Garrett’s about having so many children? Oh my god I was getting so angry that anyone would have the gall to say something like that. Like WOW keep your nose in your own business. I thought Fitzpatrick wove all of these issues in very well, balancing out the summery sweetness of the romance with the harsh realities of life.

Okay, and I can’t forget Tim. Yet another example of when Kayla-falls-in-love-with-secondary-characters. At first glance, he’s just a strung-out drunk who really does need to be sent off to that military camp. But after just a few chapters, there’s so much more to him. Honestly, his journey to sobriety and health is second only to the romance for me. I was rooting for him so much, and when a secret is revealed at the end, I just about cheered because YES HE’S NOT A HOPELESS IDIOT.

If I had to complain about one tiny thing, it’d be that the end wrapped up too quickly for me. I WANTED MORE. But I think this is more of a personal thing, since I really could have read another 300 pages and been totally okay.

Anyhoo, if you haven’t gotten the message yet, read the book! I recommend this one first, and then What I Thought Was True. But both are incredible, with MLND being just slightly better!

WAIT OH MY GOD I JUST FOUND THAT THIS IS A SERIES AND BOOK TWO IS CALLED THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO WHAT IS LIFE OH MY GOD HOLY SHENANIGANS THIS IS TIM’S STORY I NEED IT I NEED IT NOW PLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE AND IT’S WITH ALICE PRAISE THE LORD IN HEAVEN ABOVE *DIES*

I am so sorry for that but this is just… oh my god. Best news I’ve heard all day.

My Final Rating:

Six stars

Top Ten Books In My Beach Bag

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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 In Your Beach Bag. Well, I’m not a beach sort of girl. Or a pool person. I’d love to be, but I have no access to a pool, and the beach is at least an hour away. And with gas so expensive, beach trips are far and few between! Not to mention the fact that me and bathing suits are mortal enemies. BUT! I do love it when the weather’s about 70-80 degrees, and I can wear some capris and a sweater and sit under an umbrella enjoying the breeze. Ahh… now I’m so in the mood for the beach. GAS PRICES BE DAMNED I’M GETTING THERE WITHIN A MONTH.

Anyhoo, here’s my list of books that should definitely be in beach bags this summer. Keeping in mind that my entire goal is to get the books that lift my heart and make me happy – so don’t expect any TFiOS types in here!

Books I’d Read Again

1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I know I just read it, but I need a re-read already! The cover looks like exactly how the book makes me feel – fluffy and pink (yes, pink is an emotion) and whimsical.

2. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider. It deals with some slightly harder topics, but in such a wry, sarcastic way that I was laughing the entire time. Plus, it’s insanely geeky, and I love every bit of it. 

3. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. I mean, how can you skip this book? This is the quintessential summertime book. You’ll finish reading it and want ice cream, fireworks, and sunny morning runs.

4. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. Hello, it has summer in the title. Case closed. Besides that: Matt Finch. Oh dear Lord in Heaven Above give me strength to accept the fact that the boy is merely fictional.

5. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. Yep, another Matson book. What can I say – the girl has summertime in her veins! This one does have some sad bits; I’d say it’s the heaviest one on this list. But it’s so worth it in the end!

Books I Want to Read

6. Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid. It’s not released until the end of July (forever crying about that fact), but it’s a ROAD TRIP book. And ya’ll know how much I love my road trippers. So OF COURSE I’ll be running out and getting my copy, and maybe it’ll be my excuse to drive down to the beach.

7. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I just bought my copy, after the urging of many of my friends (Andi you’re such book pusher, you deserve a trophy). I’ve read What I Thought Was True, and it was a wee bit heavier than I expected. So I’m wondering if MLND will be the same way. But, heavy or not, it still looks so adorable that I can’t wait to read it!

So I kind of ran out of books that I would read at the beach. I mean, I have a million TO read, but I have this thing where contemporary and beach just go together – I’d have a really hard time getting into anything sci-fi or fantasy while my toes are in the sand. When I’m out in the sun, I need a bright book.

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

Weekly Recap 28 (May 25)

Well hello Sunday my old friend. I can’t believe another week has passed again! School is out, and while I loved my students and truly enjoy teaching, I’m ready for a summer break. We’ve got a lot going on in our family right now, and it’s all bubbling up again, so the extra hours in the week will give me time to help them and make sure I can help in any way without worrying about having to work both jobs. This was a hard week, Friday in particular, but now I have four days off work and I’m looking forward to sleeping and recharging.

Stacking the Shelves

So I kind of broke my book ban again, but FOR GOOD REASON! I’m only allowed these two, plus Take Me On this week, and then I’m on a hard, zero-books entirely, ban until the end of June. Because my my mom would murder me if I buy more books when its my birthday month because I always end up ruining her plans and buy stuff she wanted to get me. But for this month, I couldn’t resist!

photo 2I finished Huntley Fitzpatrick’s What I Thought Was True last week, and I’ve heard that My Life Next Door is even better. I had a 25% off coupon, and I’d had a very long and hard day at work (RUDE patients – seriously, how hard is it to have common courtesy and be on time for appointments??), so I went off to BN and picked it up! My debate was between hardback and paperback, and in the end I went hardback because it was about $5 more and that means that both my books from Fitzpatrick are hardback 😀

The next day I was out with my sister and mom, and we ended up at BN again, where I couldn’t help but get To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I had another 25% off coupon, so really I was saving money. Shhh, that’s what I tell myself. But it was so pretty – the title looks like sharpie!

In other news…

  • Take Me On is released this week! I can’t wait to run off and get my copy! I’ll probably read it that night, and most likely stay up way past when I should have been asleep 😀
  • I’m binge movie watching this weekend: Gimme Shelter, The Hobbit (2), and 12 Years a Slave. I’m watching Gimme Shelter right now, and it’s alternately making me so angry at how the world works but it’s also incredibly touching and I love it, and I’m not even halfway through. So I highly recommend it for sure! I’m not a fan of Vanessa Hudgens, but I can’t even see HER, it’s the character she’s playing. So A+ to that girl for acting!
  • Something very very special happened on the last day of my World Literature class. I tend to have a more… exuberant… teaching style: constantly moving and using my hands to talk and using a lot of examples from popular movies and books and generally getting too excited about the books we’re studying because BOOKS. We’ve actually had some moments where I blatantly ask them: doesn’t this make you excited?? Most of the time the answer is no, but there’s one girl who always gets my references and jokes and generally makes teaching 10x better because I see her eyes light up in the back of the room and it makes everything worth it. She missed the last day of class, but that night she sent me this email:

photo 1.PNG

 

  • Honestly it was the most touching thing I’ve ever heard in the last two years of working at the school. Like, WOW, I’ve actually impacted someone. It honestly blew my mind and I was totally speechless!

What’s coming up this week?

  • Monday – Review of The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
  • Tuesday – Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Birthday Wishlist
  • Wednesday – WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday – Wild card! Who knows what I’ll end up doing!
  • Friday – Review of… something 😛 Possibly Take Me On by Katie McGarry!

Hope you all have a good week!