Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon

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

Alright, folks, guess I got the Valentines themed one. This is amusing, because one blogger on this site is bitter about Valentines this year and one is not and GUESS WHO’S DOING THIS LIST! But no, actually, this list is still going to be really hard to put together. Gosh. Uh. Well, here’s some in no particular order!

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Top Ten Beach Reads

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

So here is my definition of a beach read: mind candy. I don’t want anything in the way of emotional upheaval, and I just want to laugh a little. My brain doesn’t want to have to work hard to process anything. So here are my top ten beach reads, in no particular order.

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Top Ten Books Featuring Travel In Some Way

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

This is going to be the loosest top ten list I EVER make. It is also a top ten list made up of my most current reads. I’m sure there are others, but I found ten of them and I decided not to push it. 😛

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ARC Review: “Meant To Be” by Lauren Morrill

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Goodreads | Amazon

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It’s one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she’s queen of following rules and being prepared. That’s why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that’s also why she’s chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB (“meant to be”).

But this spring break, Julia’s rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she’s partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

4 stars

Thank you to Random House/Delacorte Press and NetGalley for this eARC! This title will be released November 13th, 2012.

Sometimes I read YA contemporary romance and I wonder if maybe I’ll a little too jaded for my own good. I mean, is there nothing left in this realm that I can stand?

Turns out, there is. And it’s this book.

I’ll admit I had my reservations going into it. I mean, the premise is nothing new. The main character, Julia, has the nickname of “Book Licker” for good reason. She’s a straight up nerd with a kooky best friend, a secret crush on a childhood friend and then she gets stuck with a guy she abhors for nine days in London. Quite frankly, I’ve seen this a million times with the variables tweaked.

But there’s a saying, and that’s that everything that is being written has always been written, and it’s how you write it that makes a difference. If you’ve followed any of my reviews on romance in any kind of book, you’ll know I’m very hard to please. That gives more weight to be saying that I fell head over heels for this book.

It wasn’t perfect, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but the point is that I found it amazingly cute. Julia’s devotion to her parents and the concept of finding the one “meant to be” was absolutely touching. I was reading and giggling all the way through. Julia and Jason are the standard rom-com couple that can’t stand each other, but the way they handle it and the things they say are just far too cute. They actually do end up getting rather nasty with each other too, which makes it more real—it’s not just surface tension. I don’t want to give away anything about the rest of the plot, but the twists thrown that complicate everything were actually interesting for the most part.

I do think that things fell apart a little bit on the characterization side. For one, there was an attempt to include way more characters then the story had real room for, and then to try to make those characters more than flat. I appreciate the attempt, but frankly it wasn’t relevant, it got in the way and it bogged down the story. I really wish more of an attempt had been made to flesh out Jason’s character as well. Throughout the story, he switches back and forth between sweet and immature way too easily. I understand that that’s what Julia was seeing and everything, but honestly I never believed that there was another level to Jason beyond what we were seeing because it was never addressed in great detail. There is also the character of Mark, who I can’t address without giving things away, but the way he was handled really annoyed me.

I think the greatest connection I made in this book was with Julia. She made the book for me. Sure, the nerd who’s a secret romantic isn’t a fresh story line by any means, but she managed to wrap her hands around my heart even so. She was funny, she was awkward, and—most importantly—she was real. Her reactions to all situations were genuine.

Top Ten Books On My Fall T-B-Reviewed List

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

It’s a TTT Rewind week! For this one, I’m fudging the criteria a little. I thought it was really cool to show what reviews are coming up on the blog when I did this on September 4, so I’m going to do it again! And tell me if you’d rather see it never ever again.

1. Katya’s World by Jonathan L. Howard

I actually haven’t read a dystopian in ever, so I’m really excited to take another dip back into it. This one just strikes me as different for some reason, and I hope it lives up to it’s expectations. Look for this one October 12th.

2. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

I have had this since JUNE and it’s KILLING me that I haven’t read it yet. But the release date still isn’t til November, so here we are a crapton of months later. Luckly, this review is finally coming October 19th!

3. Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to their Teen Selves edited by E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally

This one has a really long title for not such a big book. But anyways. I have a physical copy of this sucker and I’m so happy because there are some high flying names in this one! I can’t wait to share it with you, even if I have no idea how to review it. This review will appear in some fashion on October 22nd.

4. The Messenger by Pamela DuMond

This book has, for some reason, switched titles and covers since I signed up for the blog tour, but I digress. This is the stuff Goodreads is using now, so don’t shoot me if it’s wrong. But, anyways, this is a blog tour and there will be a review and all will be discovered on October 25th.

5. Undeadly by Michele Vail

I consider myself to be lucky to have an ARC of this, considering I never realized the release date had been pushed back to November and it just happened to show up amid the chaos that is the new NetGalley. Look for a review October 29th – just in time for Halloween!

6. Endlessly by Kiersten White

This is the one and only book on this list that I have actually already read. Read a while ago, too. But I kept pushing it back for other scheduled blog tours and author interviews. I REFUSE to bump it ANOTHER month, so November 1st it is!

7. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

This is another one I keep pushing back, half because it was published ages ago and so I had to make room for newer releases and half because the reviews that came out all frightened me half to death. This should be interesting. Mark your calenders for November 2nd.

8. Velvet by Mary Hooper

This is a new acquisition that I’m VERY excited about. It’s fantasy, but it’s also historical and I LOVE IT when those two things mix. Hopefully it’ll live up to my expectations. You’ll see November 5th!

9. Secrets by Tim Mettey

This one actually doesn’t have a cover or a Goodreads page yet, but I JUST got my ARC in the mail and that’s very exciting. This one is scheduled for November 12th.

10. Renegade by J. A. Souders

Now I don’t actually have this one yet, but it does come out November 13th so Tor/Forge should be sending it to me some time before that. I have no idea when the review will go live, but it’s possible it’ll throw at least half these dates out of whack. 😛

Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR List!

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

(Yes, I am aware that this is last week’s topic. I had this post done up but then things happened and I never got to posting it, and as you will see down below I am WAY behind on reviews SO– Here’s a feature on just how behind I am. :P)

So, I talk a LOT about my “have-but-need-to-read” shelf on Goodreads. It’s … long. And I’m behind on reviewing, so I have a LOT of books to get through. Here’s what’s coming at you this fall! …at least, the first ten of them.

1. Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Blog tour time! 😀 This post is coming at you this week, actually, on September 13. No, I don’t actually have it read yet – that’s what I’m going to go do RIGHT NOW, when this post is done. I’m that behind. >.>

2. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Being contacted to do this by the publisher was possibly the happiest day of my life. This hits the blog Sept 17 and I literally couldn’t be more excited. I’ve heard nothing but good things, and it just SOUNDS like the best thing.

3. Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

Another blog tour! This one coming at you Sept 20, and it promises to be awesome as well. Don’t know if you’ve checked it out yet, but it sounds rather Hunger Games-esque–which can either be a good thing or a bad thing, really, but you know. I’m excited, at least!

4. Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

I’ve been sitting on this one fore a while and it’s KILLING me. The review is finally coming out Sept 21 and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve sort of outgrown my dystopian fad for now, but this one still has so much potential I can’t pass it up. (Besides, I’ve been told it’s dystopian but it doesn’t SOUND dystopian.)

5. Crewel by Gennifer Albin

GUYS. GUYS. HAVE YOU NOT HEARD ABOUT THIS BOOK YET? Because now would be a FANTASTIC time to start. Not only am I reviewing this book on Sept 24, but I’m ALSO a part of the Crewel Street Team which is FANTASTIC. I’m so in love with this book that I’m not actually participating for the points thing; I’m just doing it for idea love and worship. I cannot WAIT to read this.

6. The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski

I have high, high hopes for this one. It sounds really interesting. Of course, I could do without the “complusive love” bit in the synopsis on Goodreads, but you should all know how I feel about those. And, if you don’t, if you check out my review on Sept 27, you’ll hear about it, I’m sure. I can never NOT comment on insta-love.

7. My Boyfriend Merlin by Priya Ardis

BLOG TOUR AGAIN! I’m reviewing book one of this series on Oct 1, but a whole bunch of other blogs are reviewing and otherwise featuring the two other books in the series as well. Sadly, I couldn’t get a handle on all three of them like I wanted. 😛

8. The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges

Do you know how awesome it is to have Random House email you and ask you to review an ARC? I know a whole bunch of people will tell you that happens to them all the time, but this is the FIRST time it’s happened to me and EEK! So happy. PLUS, not only am I reviewing this one on Oct 4, on Oct 5 I’ll have an interview with Robin Bridges AND a giveaway of The Unfailing Light coming at you and it will be THE BEST. 😀

9. Katya’s World by Jonathon L. Howard

This sounds darker than my average fare and I LIKE IT. I’ve been looking for something a little different, and I think this could be just the ticket. Review goes live Oct 8!

10. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

I have been sitting on this one for FAR TOO LONG. I cannot wait to read it because it sounds SO SWEET. (Er, that’s a switch from Katya’s World… XD) I’ve heard good things, and I hope to add my own on Oct 12!

Top Ten Books I Have But Need To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

So, this week’s TTT is a freebie, so I chose a topic very close to my heart. We bloggers are used to our TBR lists being out of control – that’s normal! However, it is our CHOICE to make the list of books we need to review get out of control as well, and I have so definitely done so. So, I figure, I can tell you guys all about the books I need to get around to and maybe y’all can provide some encouragement or sympathy. Or, you know, laugh at me. (All title links go to Goodreads.)

1. Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

I don’t want to tell you how long I’ve had this one from NetGalley. However, since it isn’t published til November, I keep pushing it back in favor of reviews I have to get done first! Still, can’t wait to read this one. Sounds so good!

2. Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

This one isn’t so bad, because I did just get this from Edelweiss like yesterday. But still, I never should have requested it in the first place. Yet, I did. And I’m not sad about it at all. I’m way too intrigued by this.

3. Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch

Scholastics bombarded me on NetGalley the other day with THREE different review acceptances, when I’d requested the books all at different times. Oh how I’m not a fan of that. I already finished one of them, but I’ve still got this one and…

4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVE THIS. Just … eeeek! I’m dying to get started on this one, since it’s next in my que to go! 😀

5. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente

This one begins the books that isn’t from NetGalley or Edelweiss, but it’s still really important I read this one soon. Why? I’M GOING TO MEET THE AUTHOR. (Don’t worry, I’ll tell you guys all about it.) Speaking of which…

6. Fudoki by Kij Johnson

This is another author I’m going to be meeting, at the same event as Catherynne Valente. I’m going, by the way, to the Alpha Fantasy, Scifi and Horror Writing Workshop for Young Writers. It takes place in Pennsylvania and is SPECTACULARLY AWESOME. I will also be meeting John Joseph Adams and Tamora Pierce there.

7. Tithe by Holly Black

I got this in a book swap a few weeks ago for good reason: Holly Black, Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan are doing a book signing in my area! I’ve read her stuff before, but I don’t own any of it, so I had to make sure I get on that. Oh, and actually reading this would be nice. Not to mention…

8. Valiant by Holly Black

This one as well! Thank you Vivien (@deadtossedwaves on Twitter) for making this possible! 😀

9. Morning Star by Desiree Finkbeiner

You guys may or may not remember that I interviewed Desiree a few months ago! Well, she also gave me an ecopy of her book the read and review at my leisure, and I’d like to make my leisure NOW because I’ve been dying to read this since she sent me the blurb! Still just haven’t gotten there, though.

10. Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

Got this for my birthday because I’ve been dying to read it for FOREVER. I’m still taking my sweet time getting around to it, though! I wish I read so much faster.

BONUS ROUND! (Otherwise known as where I show you how insane I really am.)

Rounding out my have-but-need-to-read-list on Goodreads are:

Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson ~ Chime by Franny Billingsley ~ Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce ~ Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray ~ The Iron King by Julie Kagawa ~ Crescent Dawn by Clive Cussler ~ Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick ~ Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce