Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far In 2013

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

This is a fairly tough list for me, but I think I managed to cull it down to 10 books I’m happy with. These books are in no particular order, except that the last 3 or so didn’t get a full 5 star rating on Goodreads.

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ARC Review: “Going Vintage” by Lindsey Leavitt

Going VintageGoing Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Goodreads | Amazon

When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

4 stars

Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing for this eARC! This title is now available.

Sometimes there are moments when a book turns out to be exactly what you need. This was one of those times.

The book begins with Mallory and Jeremy “studying” in his room. When they finally separate from their lip lock, they attempt to keep working on their school project together–or rather, Mallory keeps working on it. Jeremy is letting her do the whole thing. She logs onto this computer to find some sources, and instead finds that Jeremy has not only married a different girl on a Sims-like computer game, but has also been conversing with this girl on a far more personal level than he ever talked to her. Filled with hurt and betrayal, Mallory goes home and holes up in her basement, packing up her grandmother’s things to bring to her at her new retirement complex. In a box, she finds a notebook with a list of things her grandmother hoped to accomplish her junior year, and it seems absolutely perfect. If she’d lived in the 60s, there wouldn’t have been internet and Jeremy never could have cyber-cheated. Viva la Dark Ages!

This book has a super cute premise. I loved it from the second I heard it. It works really well for the book, too, with Mallory exploring both the pros and the cons of the whole thing. It causes self discovery, but it also causes conflict, which is nice. At the same time, though, there were times when I thought the characters were acting a little bit crazy. At times, multiple characters had overblown reactions that made me dislike them. This is especially true of Mallory’s sister, Ginnie, and sometimes of Mallory herself.

The plot seems pretty low key for most of the book. Mallory’s issue stem deeper than just her break up. Her mother isn’t being supportive and is too prying, her father isn’t making much money and her grandmother is trying to reinvent herself after the death of her husband. This interweave pretty well for most of the book. However, at the end they seem to blow up catastrophically into mountainous revelations in their own right, and each one is fighting for prominence rather than being given the space it deserves. Even Mallory can’t seem to find the time to explain them all, and she tells her sister so. In the end, I was a little unsure how her grandmother and then her mother’s revelations had to do with the plot at all.

The character of Oliver (Jeremey’s cousin) deserves his own paragraph, of course. I was a little affronted when he popped onto the scene so soon after Jeremy and Mallory’s breakup. I didn’t want this to be one of those books where the problem is instantly solved by another guy. I don’t want to spoil anything, but that isn’t what happens, and that made me extremely happy. Besides my worry that he was going to turn into Mallory’s knight in shining armor, he was a likable character who was a great friend and believable.

As always, the endings of these stories are always the make-it-or-break-it point for me. It’s important to me what the final message is. In the end, I was pleased and proud. Mallory becomes her own person in a believable way. She doesn’t need a man to save her. Jeremy, too, becomes a more fleshed out person throughout the story, so by the end you understand him, even if you still don’t like him. After too many books where we’re left just knowing the ex is a “bad guy,” this was refreshing.

If you’re looking for a good contemporary romance that’s really about the inner struggle with finding yourself after a break up, but don’t want the answer to be yet another guy, READ THIS BOOK!

Top Ten Books on My Have-But-Need-To-Read List

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week’s topic is a TTT Freebie, so I decided to give you guys a taste of what’s coming up on the blog! These are the next ten books I’ll be reviewing – roughly. I’m trying to make it through the pile of ARCs I’m behind on, but there’s no telling when a book I have on my actual shelf will call me and then I’ll derail and read that one. But this should give you a general idea!

The Boyfriend App1. The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

I’m not sure why I requested this contemporary romance, but it sounds interesting so what the heck? If my calendar goes as expected, this review will be up May 30.

2. Going Vintage by Lindsey LeavittGoing Vintage

I’m excited about this book for multiple reasons. I’ve been tracking it ever since I found it, and Bloomsbury was nice enough to give me and eARC. This review should be up May 31st.

Criminal3. Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy

This book seems darker than the stuff I usually read, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It’ll be interesting to see how my stomach takes this. 😛 This review should be up June 3rd.

4. City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam ForsterCity of a Thousand Dolls

This actually isn’t an ARC, but rather the next book my book club is doing – it’s my pick, if you couldn’t tell by the ya-ness of it all. I’m really excited for this one. Hopefully it’s going to be good! This review should be up, with the hangout video, on June 5th.

Reboot5. Reboot by Amy Tintera

I don’t know if the people who did the covers for Criminal and Reboot know each other, but I’m loving the minimalist colors on black that’s going on. Can’t wait to read this one, with the review going up June 6th.

6. Born of Illusion by Teri BrownBorn of Illusion

A book set in 1920s  New York, all about magicians and mediums? This book promises to be interesting if nothing else! Look for this review about June 7th.

Gameboard of the Gods7. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Alright, technically this isn’t a young adult, but it’s RICHELLE MEAD. When it popped up I HAD to request an ARC and then I got it and I’m so happy. Look for this review about June 10th.

8. Transparent by Natalie WhippleTransparent

This is a story about an invisible girl. I was sold before I had to read any more of the blurb. This review should be up about June 13th.

Dare to u9. Dare to You by Katie McGarry

If you read my review of Pushing the Limits, then you know that I have a shameless LOVELOVELOVE for that book. I got an ARC of this one, and I’m crossing my fingers its as good as the first! Look for this review June 14th.

10. Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran FoerTree of Codes

This is likely to be the craziest book I have ever read. It’s for book club, and it’s one of those post modernist texts that are just cuckoo for cocoa puffs. The pages are all cut funny and … man, this is going to be one hangout you won’t want to miss. See the review and video  June 19th.