Things I Thought I Hated in Romance Novels (And the Books That Proved Me Wrong)

I’ve seen these questions asked many times in the book blogging community:

What do you hate in romance novels?
What tropes can’t you stand?
What are your romance novel pet peeves?

I used to have several definitive answers to this question, but slowly, as I’ve read more and more romance novels, I’ve come across so many books that have proven me so very, very wrong.

Now, whenever this question comes up, I struggle.

I struggle because even though there are many books that get these things wrong, there are still those few who get them right and part of me feels like I’d be betraying those great books if I listed those pet peeves. I know, it’s silly, but for those of you who view reading books as time spent with close friends will understand where I’m coming from.

And even if I haven’t come across a book that defies me yet, I know that one may exist – I just haven’t read it yet.

Honestly, I think this mindset could go for any genre of books. I mean, if the story is good enough? The things you think you hate can easily turn into the things you love … if done right.

 

Here is a list of my romance novel pet peeves… and the books that proved me wrong:

Continue reading “Things I Thought I Hated in Romance Novels (And the Books That Proved Me Wrong)”

Favorite YA Series {Part One}

This week has been the perfect week to curl up with a book by the window and read all day. It’s been raining nonstop and it doesn’t look like it’ll subside any time soon.

Unfortunately, I have to work all week, but luckily I have a gorgeous view of the lake in my office, so at least I can enjoy that much.

Today I’m recommending my favorite young adult series. These recommendations are those that I’ve read at least two of the books in the series. There are several series in which I’ve only read one book that I love so far, but I’ll wait to recommend those series once I’ve read at least one more book.

I’m more of a new adult/contemporary romance reader, so my YA favorites aren’t vast, however, I do love a great YA series every now and then.

My reason for this post is two-fold: First, I’m recommending every series listed here and second, I’d love it if you could recommend YA series that you’d think I’d like based on these.

 
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Favorite Romance Novels of 2017

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Oh. My. Goodness.

This year has been such an epic reading year for me. Not necessarily in the amount of books I’ve read, but more in that I discovered so freaking many amazing books and authors all in one year!

My Goodreads goal this year was 100 books and I completed that goal just in time this month. Now, I’m off re-reading all the books I’ve become obsessed with thanks to this goal.

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2017 was the year I discovered auto-buy authors like Mariana Zapata, Rainbow Rowell, Laura Kaye, Jay Crownover, Helena Hunting, Sierra Simone, Sally Thorne, Lauren Rowe, and Penny Reid. I know, RIGHT?!

I also discovered a few series that I burned through in a matter of days, characters and stories that have stuck with me, oh, and I wrote and published a novel that I love, too!

These are my absolute favorite romance reads of 2017

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Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

book review

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

5-stars

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Synopsis from Goodreads

Review

I finished this book so quickly that I surprised myself! I read a few chapters the first day and then the second day I finished it. I spent most of my day reading this, and I really enjoyed it!

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Top 5 Wednesday: Book Covers I’d Like to Live In

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August is the first month (hopefully of many) that I will be participating in Top 5 Wednesdays, a theme/tag developed by GingerReadsLainey and moderated by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. I discovered T5W thanks to Amanda over at A Court of Books and Love. Check out the GoodReads group here if you’d like to participate, too!

Today’s Top 5 is “Book Covers You’d Live In: We all love a good cover but what are some covers you’d like to be transported into?

To help narrow the pickings down significantly, I’m only going to choose from books that I’ve read. I’m going strictly by the cover and not the story inside for this Top 5.

You ready to jump into some book covers with me?

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Favorite Books of the Month (July 2017)

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Favorite-Books-July-2017

This month was a good freaking month of books for me. So much so that I fear August won’t be able to live up to all the tremendous reads I devoured this month.

There are a few reasons why I think I had so many more hits than misses this month. First, I had that giant Audible Book Haul in which I utilized gift cards and extra credits on my account. Second, the novels I chose came highly recommended by friends who love the same type of books that I do. And, third, I discovered Mariana Zapata. Three of her novels made my favorites list this month and I haven’t even read the last two yet.

Anyway, of the 15 great books I read this month, 7 of them received 5 stars and made my favorites list. (I cheated and added two entire series to this list, even though I didn’t read all the books in the series this month.To my credit, I read ⅔ of the books in both series in July, the other ones I read in the end of June.)

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Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

book review

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

5-stars

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (Purchased from Audible)

Isla and the Happily Ever After

Synopsis from Goodreads. Full book details here.

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

 

Review

This book was adorable from start to finish. It kicked off with what is one of the cutest scenes and the cuteness just did not end throughout the entire book. What a great ending to the series!

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Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

book review

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Purchased from Audible)

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Full book details here.

Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

 

Review

In short…

Much like this entire series, Lola and the Boy Next Door is an easy, cute read with likable characters and a sweet storyline without any real lulls. It’s the kind of book you can accidentally read in a day and wonder where the heck the time went.

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Audiobook Binge: 13 Audiobooks in 7 Days

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So, I think I’m single-handedly keeping Audible in business this month.

Don’t tell my husband, but I downloaded 13… that’s right… THIRTEEN audiobooks this month alone.

Guys. I got 1 audiobook a month with the membership I had. Obviously, I’ve updated my account to 2 books a month, but seriously. I bought 13 audiobooks this month.

Do you know how many I’ve read/listened to out of those 13? 4.

I’ve listened to 4 audiobooks in 7 days.

I blame Mariana Zapata.

Trying to figure out what audiobook to download with that one measly credit is always a struggle. I use my TBR ASAP list on Goodreads and add those books to my Audible Wishlist, then from there, I narrow down which books are the most expensive and put them in order by how badly I want to read them. It’s definitely a long process.

Anyway, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me won that battle for my monthly credit and when I blew through that incredibly long book, I craved more. I needed more. So, I downloaded two more MZ books.

And I blew through those.

“WTF?” You might say. “Did you do nothing with your life aside from listen to audiobooks?” My answer, “Yeah, maybe.”

Mostly, like I said, it is MZ’s fault. Not just because the books are addictive, but because the books I read first, Kulti and The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, had very athletically driven characters and they really motivated me to work out. And I listen to audiobooks while I workout. (And when I clean, drive, and do other mindless tasks.)

I also had a couple very late nights. One even ending at 3:30am. I wanted to die the next day, but it was so worth finding out what happened with Kulti.

Anyway, this was just a long-winded introduction to the main event: my July audiobook haul!

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