Favorite Audible Escape Novels {Part Two: YA}

Check out Part One: Adult Romance Novels here.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han

New York Times bestselling author Jenny Han’s beloved novels are now available together for the first time in this delightful hardcover boxed set!

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

This enchanting collection includes hardcover editions of To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeP.S. I Still Love You; and Always and Forever, Lara Jean.

 


Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

 


The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father.

But sometimes, unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to question her sheltered life.

 


The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


Maybe This Time by Kasie West

One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.


Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.


First and Then by Emma Mills

Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.


Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.


I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.


Never Never Series by Colleen Hoover

#1 New York Times bestselling author of Hopeless joins forces with the New York Times bestselling author of Mud Vein. Together, they have created a gripping, romantic tale unlike any other. “How odd to be made of flesh, balanced on bone, and filled with a soul you’ve never met.”
Charlize Wynwood and Silas Nash have been best friends since they could walk. They’ve been in love since the age of fourteen. But as of this morning…they are complete strangers. Their first kiss, their first fight, the moment they fell in love…every memory has vanished. “I don’t care what our real first kiss was,” he says. “That’s the one I want to remember.”
Charlize and Silas must work together to uncover the truth about what happened to them and why. But the more they learn about the couple they used to be…the more they question why they were ever together to begin with.
“I want to remember what it feels like to love someone like that. And not just anyone. I want to know what it feels like to love Charlie.”

Lies by Kylie Scott

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Lies
Author: Kylie Scott
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Betty Dawsey knows that breaking things off with Thom Lange is for the best. He’s nice, but boring, and their relationship has lost its spark. But steady and predictable Thom, suddenly doesn’t seem so steady and predictable when their condo explodes and she’s kidnapped by a couple of crazies claiming that Thom isn’t who he says he is.

Thom is having a hellish week. Not only is he hunting a double agent, but his fiancé dumped him, and thanks to his undercover life, she’s been kidnapped.

Turns out Thom is Operative Thom and he’s got more than a few secrets to share with Betty if he’s going to keep her alive. With both their lives on the line, their lackluster connection is suddenly replaced by an intense one. But in his line of work, feelings aren’t wanted or desired. Because feelings can be a lethal distraction.

GOODREADS

Review

I was so pleasantly surprised by how fun and different this romance was!

Read More

Decluttering my TBR #2

Lately, I’ve been adding the books I want to read to my Amazon Wishlist instead of my Goodreads TBR. This is mostly because I can see right away if it is available on Audible Escape or Kindle Unlimited, which is nice.

Anytime I’m shopping for books, I just refer to that list more often than my Goodreads TBR (and my shelves there anyway).

I want to rethink how I use my Goodreads TBR, but for now, I’ll just focus on decluttering it.

It works like this

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 or 10 books (I’m doing 20 because I have way too many on my list)
  • Read the synopsis of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

 

The Moon and More
by Sarah Dessen

CLICK FOR SYNOPSIS

Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo’s sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline’s mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he’s convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she’s going?

Sarah Dessen’s devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.

Date added to TBR: 12/29/16
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: I’m planning to read all of Sarah Dessen’s backlist.

 

Gardenia
by Kelsey Sutton

CLICK FOR SYNOPSIS

Seventeen-year-old Ivy Erickson has one month, twenty-seven days, four hours, fifty-nine minutes, and two seconds to live.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been able to see countdown clocks over everyone’s heads indicating how long before they will die. She can’t do anything about anyone else’s, nor can she do anything about her own, which will hit the zero hour before she even graduates high school.

A life cut short is tragic, but Ivy does her best to make the most of it. She struggles emotionally with her deep love for on-again, off-again boyfriend Myers Patripski. She struggles financially, working outside of school to help her mom and her sister. And she struggles to cope with the murder of her best friend, another life she couldn’t save. Vanessa Donovan was killed in the woods, and everyone in town believes Ivy had something to do with it.

Then more girls start disappearing. Ivy tries to put her own life in order as she pieces together the truth of who ended Vanessa’s. To save lives and for her own sanity.

The clock is always ticking. And Ivy’s only hope is to expose the truth before it runs out completely.

Date added to TBR: 12/30/16
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: I actually can’t believe I haven’t read this one yet. I love Kelsey Sutton!

 

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between
by Lauren Graham

CLICK FOR SYNOPSIS

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

Date added to TBR: 12/31/16
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: I love Gilmore Girls and Lauren Graham!

 

The Throne of Glass Coloring Book
(Throne of Glass)
by Sarah J. Maas

CLICK FOR SYNOPSIS

Enter the world of Throne of Glass

Experience the vivid imagery of Sarah J. Maas’s expansive world in her breathtaking New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass saga. Celaena on the rooftops of Rifthold, Chaol in the gardens of the glass castle, Manon riding her wyvern through the Crossing, and many other favorite moments, characters, and objects from the vibrantly detailed realm of Throne of Glass come to life. With stunning original black-and-white drawings, The Throne of Glass Coloring Book is a must-have companion for any reader looking to be swept up in the adventure of a lifetime.

Date added to TBR: 12/31/16
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: I have the Court of Thorns and Roses version of this, I just need this one, now.

 

Off Sides
(Off #1)
by Sawyer Bennett

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“I’m not sure what possessed me to do it. Maybe it was the impossible expectations I faced, maybe it was my own self-loathing. But I just knew I needed something different to happen. I needed someone… something… to derail me from my current path. Otherwise, I would become lost… a hollowed out shell of a man. So I did it. I approached her, then I pursued her, then I made her mine. And my life was saved…”

Ryan Burnham is the privileged son of a U.S. Congressman and captain of his university’s hockey team. While he is on the verge of fulfilling his dreams to play in the NHL, his parents want him on a different course. One he is expected to accept for the sake of his family’s public image.

Forced her to abandon her music career after the heart breaking death of her parents, Danny Cross exists on the opposite side of the tracks from Ryan. She is struggling to make her own way, working two jobs, attending college part time and volunteering in a homeless shelter. She is on a mission to build her own success.

With a chance meeting, their vastly different worlds collide, causing each to evaluate whether they are truly on the correct path to self-fulfillment and happiness. Can their relationship survive? Particularly when others are against them every step of the way. A lot can happen in just ten short days…

Date added to TBR: 1/4/17
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: I have this on audio and started it, but never finished. I think if the timing is right, I’ll enjoy it.

 

Of Beast and Beauty
by Stacey Jay

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In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret…

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

Date added to TBR: 1/11/17
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: I love Beauty and the Beast retellings!

 

A Shadow Bright and Burning
(Kingdom on Fire #1)
by Jessica Cluess

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I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city–and the one she loves?

Date added to TBR: 1/11/17
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: This one is on my bookshelf.

 

The Lonely Ones
by Kelsey Sutton

CLICK FOR SYNOPSIS

When your only friend is your own endless imagination, how do you escape your mind and connect to the world around you?

With parents too busy to pay her attention, an older brother and sister who would rather spend their time with friends, and peers who oscillate between picking on her and simply ignoring her, it’s no wonder that Fain spends most of her time in a world of her own making. During the day, Fain takes solace in crafting her own fantastical adventures in writing, but in the darkness of night, these adventures come to life as Fain lives and breathes alongside a legion of imaginary creatures. Whether floating through space or under the sea, climbing mountains or traipsing through forests, Fain becomes queen beyond – and in spite of – the walls of her bedroom.

In time, Fain begins to see possibilities and friendships emerge in her day-to-day reality. . . yet when she is let down by the one relationship she thought she could trust, Fain must decide: remain queen of the imaginary creatures, or risk the pain that comes with opening herself up to the fragile connections that exist only in the real world?

Told in breathless and visual verse, THE LONELY ONES takes readers through the intricate inner workings of a girl who struggles to navigate isolation and finds friendship where she least expects it.

Date added to TBR: 1/12/17
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: Again, I love this author and want to read everything she writes.

 

Radiance
(Wraith Kings #1)
by Grace Draven

CLICK FOR SYNOPSIS

THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE

Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.

THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

Date added to TBR: 1/12/17
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: This book has such high ratings, and I vaguely remember really wanting to read it!

 

Passenger
(Passenger #1)
by Alexandra Bracken

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Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

Date added to TBR: 1/12/17
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: I am determined to read this.

 

Friend Me
(Mates, Dates #1-3)
by Cathy Hopkins

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Lucy, Izzy, and Nesta are sassy, sparkling…and utterly smitten.

In Mates, Dates, and Inflatable Bras, Lucy is at a turning point. She doesn’t feel like she fits in with her friends Izzie and Nesta. Then Lucy sees the most wonderful boy, and things start to change — in all areas of her life.

Izzie is smitten with Mark in Mates, Dates, and Cosmic Kisses. When Izzie cancels plans just so she’s available if Mark should call, Lucy and Nesta know they need to intervene. But how can they help when Izzie is convinced that she and Mark are destined to be together?

Nesta meets a boy of her own in Mates, Dates, and Designer Divas. Simon is rich and his lifestyle is totally glamorous. So is his friend Cressida. But competing for Simon’s affections could cost Nesta more than she anticipated.

Date added to TBR: 1/12/17
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: This is on my bookshelf

 

The One Memory of Flora Banks
by Emily Barr

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HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO TO TRUST WHEN YOU CAN’T EVEN TRUST YOURSELF?

I look at my hands. One of them says FLORA BE BRAVE.
Flora has anterograde amnesia. She can’t remember anything day-to-day: the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is.
Then she kisses someone she shouldn’t, and the next day she remembers it. It’s the first time she’s remembered anything since she was ten.
But the boy is gone. She thinks he’s moved to the Arctic.
Will following him be the key to unlocking her memory? Who can she trust?

Date added to TBR: 1/12/17
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: This is on my bookshelf

 

The Book of Luke
by Jenny O’Connell

CLICK FOR SYNOPSIS

Emily Abbott has always been considered the Girl Most Likely to Be Nice — but lately being nice hasn’t done her any good. Her parents have decided to move the family from Chicago back to their hometown of Boston in the middle of Emily’s senior year. Only Emily’s first real boyfriend, Sean, is in Chicago, and so is her shot at class valedictorian and early admission to the Ivy League. What’s a nice girl to do?
Then Sean dumps Emily on moving day and her father announces he’s staying behind in Chicago “to tie up loose ends,” and Emily decides that what a nice girl needs to do is to stop being nice.

She reconnects with her best friends in Boston, Josie and Lucy, only to discover that they too have been on the receiving end of some glaring Guy Don’ts. So when the girls have to come up with something to put in the senior class time capsule, they know exactly what to do. They’ll create a not-so-nice reference guide for future generations of guys — an instruction book that teaches them the right way to treat girls.

But when her friends draft Emily to test out their tips on Luke Preston — the hottest, most popular guy in school, who just broke up with Josie by email — Emily soon finds that Luke is the trickiest of test subjects . . . and that even a nice girl like Emily has a few things to learn about love.

Date added to TBR: 1/16/17
Keep or Ditch? Ditch
Comments: Not super interested in this one anymore.

 

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
(Fire and Thorns #1)
by Rae Carson

CLICK FOR SYNOPSIS

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

Date added to TBR: 1/16/17
Keep or Ditch? Ditch
Comments: Eh.

 

Spindle Fire
(Spindle Fire #1)
by Lexa Hillyer

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A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.

No.

It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.

Date added to TBR: 1/20/17
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: This one is on my bookshelf.

 

Rise
(Rock Solid #1)
by Karina Bliss

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Rise – The redemption story of a rock star going straight(er) through the love of a good(ish) woman.

Acclaimed literary biographer Elizabeth Winston writes about long-dead heroes. So bad-boy rock icon Zander Freedman couldn’t possibly tempt her to write his memoir. Except the man is a mass of fascinating contradictions–manipulative, honest, gifted, charismatic and morally ambiguous. In short, everything she seeks in a biography subject. When in her life will she get another chance to work with a living legend? But saying yes to one temptation soon leads to another. Suddenly she’s having heated fantasies about her subject, fantasies this blue-eyed devil is only too willing to stoke. She thought self-control was in her DNA; after all, she grew up a minister’s daughter. She thought wrong.

Rock star Zander Freedman has been an outlier–many would say an outcast–for most of his life. But there’s no disaster he can’t overcome, from the breakup of his band to the inevitable damage to his reputation. His Resurrection Tour is shaping up to be his greatest triumph–if his golden voice holds out. Contracting a respected biographer is simply about creating more buzz. Elizabeth’s integrity is the key to consolidating his legacy as one of rock’s greats. All the damn woman has to do is write down what he tells her. Not force him to think. Or encourage the good guy struggling to get out. And certainly not make him fall in love for the first time in his life. Turns out he is scared of something: being known.

Date added to TBR: 1/22/17
Keep or Ditch? Ditch
Comments: Nah.

 

Swear on This Life
by Renee Carlino

CLICK FOR SYNOPSIS

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

Date added to TBR: 1/22/17
Keep or Ditch? Ditch
Comments: Nah.

 

Three Dark Crowns
(Three Dark Crowns #1)
by Kendare Blake

CLICK FOR SYNOPSIS

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

Date added to TBR: 1/22/17
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: This is on my bookshelf.

 

Song of the Current
(Song of the Current #1)
by Sarah Tolcser

CLICK FOR SYNOPSIS

Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.

Date added to TBR: 1/22/17
Keep or Ditch? Keep
Comments: This is on my bookshelf.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I have hauled far more than 10 books in the last few months, but we’ll narrow that list down a bit for the sake of Top 10 Tuesday.

10 Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf”

How I Organize My Bookshelves

During the summer of 2019 my husband and I went through the process of replacing all the flooring in our house.

Long before that I’d been contemplating rearranging the books on my bookshelves in some way that would allow me to find books a bit easier. Originally, my bookshelves were organized only by READ and TBR – otherwise I just put books together that I felt looked good together.

Needless to say it was really difficult to find books!

I knew I needed more organization, but I didn’t was the sacrifice aesthetics.

So, knowing that I would have to remove all the books and furniture from my library anyway, I came up with a reorganization plan.

Because similar genres tend to have similar cover styles and sizes, I decided to organize my shelves in this way:
1. Two categories: YA and Adult
2. Within those categories: Contemporary and Everything else (fantasy, sci-fi, historical, etc.)
3. Within those genres: alphabetical by author last name

Want to see the entire process, before photos, and after? Check out my video:

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2) by Brigid Kemmerer

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: A Heart So Fierce and Broken
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Cursebreakers #2
Format: Hardcover purchased from Barnes and Noble

Synopsis:
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.

Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

GOODREADS

{ Read my review for A Curse So Dark & Lonely here. }

Review

::Spoilers for A Curse So Dark and Lonely ahead::

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How I Met My Book: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

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This book will always have a special place in my heart, and not just because it is a hard-hitting, super intense, romantic read… but because it was the first Colleen Hoover book I ever read.

And I was not prepared.

PS – Justin Baldoni is planning on making this book into a movie, and I was obsessed with his first movie, Five Feet Apart, which shed light on Cystic Fibrosis – and I loved it SO much.

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Let’s talk a little bit about how It Ends With Us and I met, shall we?

I was browsing the Goodreads Choice Awards and decided that I would read any book that won the Romance award, no matter what. I wouldn’t read the synopsis or reviews. And it didn’t matter if I didn’t know anything about the author or the book.

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I love romance and popular books enough to take the chance.

So, off I went, to Audible and I downloaded the audiobook and I went in blind.

I. Went. In. Blind.

Completely.

I knew nothing about Colleen Hoover and how she tends to throw gut-punch curveballs into her books.

I was all in with Lily and Ryle. I thought he was so charming and the way he pleaded with her in that tongue-in-cheek kind of way was so adorable and cute, I shipped them hard from the beginning.

I thought this was a typical romance. I was wrong.

::SPOILERS AHEAD::

All the minor “signs” that Ryle gave about his true nature didn’t even register to me. Heroes are aggressive and assertive in novels all the time – this was no different.

And then he hit her the first time.

And suddenly, I was Lily.

I’ve never been in her situation before, thank goodness. But instead of being the judgmental person I probably would have been if I wasn’t so invested in their relationship, I would’ve immediately thought, “GET THE EFF OUT.”

But I didn’t.

Because Ryle was the romance hero. I fell in love with him right alongside Lily. He’s charming. He’s sweet. I ran through all the adorable things he did previously and it didn’t compute that this was the same person.

And I did what Lily did. A horrifying thing: I started trying to justify it.

He had a really important surgery coming up. He was probably a little drunk. He was in pain. It was a reflex. He didn’t mean it.

All toxic self-talk.

And I realized what Colleen Hoover had done. She put someone who otherwise never had to deal with this type of abuse directly in Lily’s shoes.

As the book went on, as things got worse, I was just as scared as Lily. I saw no way out of the situation… how could I?

But Colleen did something else amazing… she lit a glimmer of hope. In Atlas.

I loved Atlas from the beginning, too. And as the book went on, I feel deeper for him. And I hurt for him, too. How hard it is to be on the outside of an abusive relationship. How hard it is to try to save someone you love from such a toxic, scary, life-threatening situation.

This is how I met my book. This is how I met one of my all-time favorite, auto-buy authors.

Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Frostbite
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #2

Synopsis:
Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…

GOODREADS

 

Review

I’m crying, dying, and living all at the very same time with this book.

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50 Bookish Questions

I saw this over on Sahi’s blog, My World of Books, and I thought it looked super fun!

1. What was the last book you read?
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I misread this and thought it said, “what was the BEST book you read” and I almost immediately gave up on answering, because that’s impossible to answer. However, the actual question is much easier.

I reread A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer since it is FINALLY released on audio and I just finished A Heart So Fierce and Broken.

2. Was it a good one?

I loved it just as much the second time as the first.

3. What made it good?

You can read my full review here, but honestly? The characters. The subtleties, the humor, the perfect depiction of The Beast and his sorrows/guilt/regrets.

4. Would you recommend it to other people?

As always, I would recommend this to people who I think would enjoy it. For example, I forced my niece to read it because I knew she’d love it. And she did.

5. How often do you read?

Every day 🙂

6. Do you like to read?

I mean… obvi.

7. What was the last bad book you read?
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Hot Doctor by Hope Ford. I read it for the KU Weekend Readathon and it was kind of the worst.

8. What made you dislike it?

All things that made romance short stories bad. No character development, no plot, no point.

9. Do you wish to be a writer?

I’d love to be a full time writer.

10. Has any book ever influenced you greatly?
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As far as writing style, I love Jandy Nelson’s writing in The Sky is Everywhere. Mariana Zapata has some sports romances in which some of the characters are so badass and dedicated to their sport, it inspires me to be more active.

11. Do you read fan-fiction?

I’m not a big fan of it.

12. Do you write fan-fiction?

Nope.

13. What is your favourite book?
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I think I have to go with A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. Sorry. Gotta be that b*tch.

14. What is your least favourite book?
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That I’ve actually finished? Recently? The Kiss Thief by LJ Shen. It just solidified that this author is absolutely not for me. It has the one and only one-star rating I’ve ever given. Usually I will DNF books that I dislike this much, however, I kept waiting for it to redeem itself since so many people like it. And it never did.

15. Do you prefer physical books or reading on a device (like Kindle)?

I love the look and feel of real books, but man, the convenience of a Kindle is so glorious.

16. When did you learn to read?

I have no idea. Probably around 4 or 5 I would assume.

17. What is your favourite book you had to read in school?


As a little kid, I remember I was absolutely taken with The BFG – my teacher read it to us in class. When I was older (in high school), I was so surprised by how much I loved The Great Gatsby.

18. What is your favourite book series?
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Right now it is The Caraval series by Stephanie Garber, but it’s likely the Cursebreakers series by Brigid Kemmerer could become my favorite. However, it’s unfinished. But from book one to the last book in the series, Caraval was perfect.

19. Who is your favourite author?

I think I have to look at this as, who consistently writes books that I love, and that would be Mariana Zapata. I’ve read every single one of her books and have loved them all and reread them all multiple times.

20. What is your favourite genre?
Adult contemporary romance.

21. Who is your favourite character from a series?
Rhen. He is, by far, the best beast in any Beauty and the Beast retelling. Also, I just adore his character so much. I want to give him a big hug and tell him that everything is going to be ok.

22. Has a book ever transported you somewhere else?
I’m absolutely got swept away in Caraval. (Just as the book warns you not to do!)

23. Which book do you wish had a sequel?
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Mother effer I’m still made about My Name is Memory not having a sequel!

24. Which book do you wish DIDN’T have a sequel?
Honestly? I think the Black Dagger Brotherhood series can stop now, thanks.

25. How long does it take you to read a book?
That depends on so many thing. I’ve finished books in a matter of hours, in a matter of days, or in a matter of weeks.

26. Do you like when books become movies?
I’d much rather books become TV shows because they tend to have more time to develop and include everything.

27. Which book was ruined by its movie adaptation?
(Twilight)

28. Which movie has done the book justice?
The Hunger Games was done pretty well!

29. Do you read newspapers?
Nope.

30. Do you read magazines?
Nope.

31. Do you prefer newspapers or magazines?
None.

32. Do you read while in bed?
Every night!

33. Do you read while on the toilet?
Occasionally.

34. Do you read while in the car?
Only audiobooks. Reading in a car makes me nauseated.

35. Do you read while in the bath?
Yes!

36. Are you a fast reader?
I’m fairly fast.

37. Are you a slow reader?
No.

38. Where is your favourite place to read?
My reading chair.

39. Is it hard for you to concentrate when you read?
Nope, I can pretty much zone everything out when I read.

40. Do you need a room to be silent when you read?
I actually prefer some noise.

41. Who gave you your love for reading?
My mom is just as obsessed with books as I am. I grew up seeing her with a book anytime she had a moment to sit and relax. She’d never deny me books. She always encouraged my love of reading.

42. What book is next on your list to read?
Eek! I’m not sure. I just started my latest book. It’ll depend on what I’m up for reading when I’m finished.

43. When did you start to read chapter books?
I was pretty young. I think around 6 or 7 I started reading The Babysitter’s Little Sister series and the Goosebump series. Then I graduated to The Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High and Fear Street.

44. Who is your favourite children’s author?
RL Stine

45. Which author would you most want to interview?
Brigid Kemmerer just because her book is so fresh in my mind. I want to pick her brain.

46. Which author do you think you would be friends with?
Mariana Zapata seems like so much fun!

47. What book have you reread the most?
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OMG. Probably The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

48. Which books do you consider ‘classics’?
Probably the same as everyone else?

49. Which books do you think should be taught in every school?
I think there are a ton of more modern books that would be worth reading in school.

50. Which books should be banned from all schools?
I mean… it depends on the age of the kids in the school. I wouldn’t put a Sierra Simone book in an elementary school. LOL!

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible {Audible Escape}

Synopsis:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a poignant novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters.

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

GOODREADS

Review

Though this wasn’t my favorite Colleen Hoover novel (that award goes to Maybe Someday), I still really enjoyed this one.

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