Tuesday Top Ten – Favorite Books Read in 2015

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had an absolutely FABULOUSLY nerdy 2015, see full of books and all kinds of awesome. I know I did. 2015 was a GREAT year to be me and I’m stoked to see what 2016 brings me.

For now, information pills let’s count down the top ten (technically 12) books that I read this year. Keep in mind…I read 126 books this year so this was HARD

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Both of the Honorable Mention books are actually being published in 2016. I read both of them in 2015 as ARCs and absolutely loved them both, page so they make my list of best books I read this year :)

Click the book title for its GoodReads page, the author name for their website and the book cover for my review!

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima 

I was so excited when I got this ARC both digitally and in the mail. I absolutely adore Cinda Chima and I honestly think she’s one of the best fantasy authors I’ve ever read. She’s just so damn good. She’s going to be visiting in April, about two hours away, but I’m going. Hands down. This is the first in a new series, a spin off of my favorite series by her, the Seven Realms. It was great to be back in that realm, though I miss Raisa and Han, and it was just…ugh, so damn good. I can’t wait to read more!

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Confession Time: I’ve never read an Alex Bracken book before. I’ve heard The Darkest Minds series is good but I just haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I got this book in the mail as an ARC and I loved the cover and concept and immediately dove in. I can’t even begin to explain how much I ADORE this book. I’m a huge fan of Alex’s now and I can’t wait to make The Darkest Minds a priority in 2016.

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Unchanged by Jessica Brody

Its hard to believe that I read this book nearly a year ago! How insane is that! So weird. But god, what an amazing end to the trilogy. I had all these theories and expectations and this literally blew my mind. It is just…its not at all what I expected at all. She surprised me and shocked me and its really hard to genuinely surprise me and I was like like OMG. Jessica Brody got progressively better and better with this series and I just absolutely loved this series ender.

The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen

In all truthfulness, I read the entirety of this series this year, and I loved every single minute of it. I was hooked from book one and devoured the entire series and anxiously awaited the new releases. But by far, easily, my favorite is The Shameless Hour. I love both of the main characters and I love the story. I love Bella so much, I love that she’s not your typical virgin, which we see most of the time in NA series. I love that she owns who she is until things happen and she questions herself, but still ultimately comes out as confident in the person she is. I don’t know if that sentence made sense AT all but that’s how I felt. SUCH a good book.

All Played Out by Cora Carmack

Even though Carson is my favorite and will always have the special spot in my heart, I just loved loved loved All Played Out. Like I said about with Jessica, Cora just got better and better with these books as the series continued and I devoured APO in a matter of hours. Just blew me away. I adore Nell, her personality, her directness, everything and Torres is just…the kind of guy that would drive me absolutely insane in real life but causes me to swoon when I read. I am INSANELY excited about the release of the fourth book :)

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I had been hearing about this book for ages and I had actually bought it when I met Victoria at YALLWest back in April. Everyone said it was SO good, but I just wasn’t feeling it for awhile. But when I finally sat down to read it…it just blew my mind. The world building is incredible, absolutely incredible…it flows so well and is so believable. And the twists and turns in this book…I was incredibly shocked at the ending of this book, jaw dropping, for sure. That cliffhanger…is it time for book two yet?!

Stand Off by Andrew Smith

I love Winger. Its one of my favorite books of all time and when I heard there was going to be a sequel, I nearly peed my pants with excitement. Because I was going to get my Ryan Dean back and the antics that follow him, always. And yes, that is what happened in Stand Off. I laughed so hard, because Ryan Dean is hilarious and Andrew is hilarious and the brand new character of Sam Abernathy is so freakin’ hilarious. But the book surprised me and became so much more, just like Winger. It had a lot to say about post traumatic stress disorder, and panic attacks and was written so beautifully. Always a win with an Andrew Smith book.

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

I had high anticipation for this book because I absolutely adore Aaron Hartzler. He’s a great writer and just an all around great person and I was so excited when I was able to get an ARC of this book. And my expectations were blown away. I loved his first book. I absolutely am obsessed with this one. Aaron Hartzler writes a compelling and incredibly emotional read and its beautiful and poignant and relevant and permanent. I read this months ago, and the story still is stuck with me, still sends chills through me. Its a must read for sure.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

The first book I ever read by Rainbow Rowell was her novel, Fangirl, which I’ve now read several times. One of my favorite books that I’ve ever read and one of the few characters that I’ve been able to identify with as much as I have with Cath…Cath is me. So when I heard Rainbow was putting out Carry On, a story of the fictional characters created in Fangirl…I had to. And its amazing how invested in these doubly fictional characters I was! I loved the story from beginning to end and I laughed so hard, so many times, and I will ship Simon and Baz until the end of time. One of the best Harry Potter fan fictions I’ve ever read in my life, and I’m so glad this became a real book.

Winter by Marissa Meyer

I honestly felt like this book was NEVER going to be released. It had been nearly TWO years since Cress and I was DYING to find out what happened next. I’ve been in a perpetual slump with reading the past few months but I knew I had to sit down and read this one and I’m so glad I made myself do it because I blew through it. Marissa Meyer has an EPIC end to the series, with so many throwbacks to the original fairytales but also keeping me hooked to the action and the surprise and the romance and all of it. I LOVED this book and this series, and I can’t get it out of my head.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I don’t think I’ve ever met an author as talented at writing this beautifully and creating these kind of worlds so intricately than Leigh Bardugo. Seriously. The kind of fantasy she creates, the characters, the worlds, the way they all weave together to create the story…it just completely hooks me. Its emotional and real and its gripping because you can feel everything in the story as if you stepped through the pages. Leigh takes the world she created in the Grisha trilogy and opens it up wider, further, and pulls us into a new story, and its not hard to fall into it. I loved each and every character, I loved the story and I feel like I’m never going to fail to be impressed by this lady.

Scorched by Jennifer L Armentrout

I didn’t expect for this book to be on this list. I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. I love Jennifer Armentrout and I’ve learned this year to love love love her new adult books. I loved Frigid but I took it as what it was and was excited for Scorched. I was so unprepared for what that book would do to me. Scorched’s main character, Andrea, suffers through mental illness, mental illness that is very very similar to my own and it felt…so real, so raw, so emotional to read the point of view of someone who felt so much like I do. I cried a lot because I felt like JLA had given me a voice, when it felt too hard to describe how I felt…especially when she described a panic attack. I kept thinking, YES, that’s how it feels. So yes, I loved the story and the romance and all of that but I also loved Andrea, and her struggle and JLA’s ability to put my feelings into words.

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What were some of YOUR favorite reads of 2015? Don’t forget to sound off in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten – Authors I’m Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I know, buy I know, buy not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving but I’m feeling particularly festive this week! I have a Magnus Chase giveaway going on right now, website I’m about to eat LOTS of food very soon, and my book releases in exactly a week! There’s plenty to be excited about and plenty to be thankful for.

I’m excited to hopefully get more involved with blogging, seeing as I’ve been very bad at it lately. I’ve been SO SO insanely busy but I’m glad to be back. I thought returning to the Tuesday Top Ten with a post about authors that I’m thankful for!

They are in no particular order :)

JK Rowling 

It should come as no surprise that Queen Rowling ended up on this list. She is easily my favorite author and she has been an influence on me since I was a child. She is an incredible writer, one of the best world builders I’ve ever encountered and full of so much magic and love. I feel a connection to her books and to her struggle through poverty and welfare and depression, and how she’s conquered so much of that. She’s a beautiful human being and I’m so glad that I’ve been lucky enough to read her the past 17 years. Her books saved me from a ton of heartbreak as a child, she gave me an escape when I had none and I would not be here as the person I am without her.

Tamora Pierce 

I’m grateful for Tamora Pierce for so many reasons. For being a great writer. For being insanely sweet when I met her and cried my eyes out. For creating strong female characters long before most of the YA authors we know did. For writing amazing fantasy. But I think mostly I am grateful to her for giving me my love for fantasy. Besides Harry Potter and LoTR, I wasn’t much into fantasy until I discovered her Tortall books. That’s when I learned how familiar fantasy can be, how you can get lost in this world that is completely made up but still feels as familiar as the one you know. Tammy gave me my love for fantasy…easily.

Cassandra Clare

I honestly have to thank Cassandra Clare for a lot of things. She gave me two incredible series that are easily my favorites. She gave me worlds that gave me a ton of bravery. But mostly? Her books came into my life at a time when I was falling apart and I didn’t know if I could get back out of it. I was depressed, more so than I had ever been in my life, when I found myself wandering the bookstore and stumbled upon City of Bones and that book saved me from myself. The whole series did. I’m so thankful for Cassandra and her books.

Jessica Brody

I can’t even begin to describe the gratitude I have for Jessica Brody. As an author and as a friend. She is a great author and has been an incredible inspiration for me. I love knowing that she writes contemporary and science fiction, adult and YA and she gives me the motivation to be all over the place too in my writing. But she also is the reason I’m the blogger than I am and the writer than I am, the person I am. She taught me so many amazing tricks. She has given me the best advice. She has lead me on the right path so many times. I can’t even begin to describe how much she means to me.

Leigh Bardugo 

The fact that I can call this amazing, talented, fantastic, hilarious author friend blows my mind every single time. She’s fabulous. She’s a great writer, one that blows my mind with each and every book that I read by her. She is so inspiring with her world building; it makes me work harder and harder. She’s a great friend, and she’s given me great advice over the years. She’s made me feel important and she’s made me believe that I can do this. I’m so grateful for that. And I’m so grateful for these amazing books that she’s given us.

Andrew Smith

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I am so thankful for Andrew Smith…because he is one of the best authors I’ve ever read, in my entire life, for so many reasons. He is able to write so many things in one, humor and fantasy and science fiction and romance and all of this in one big thing. He’s incredibly talented and very humble about it. And he connects with his fans so well. He treats them all with such respect and I admire it so much. I admire his love for literature, his love for his family, for travel, for his job, and his passion for just being himself and writing the books he wants to write. I wish very much that I could be more like him, as a writer and a person. And through all of this…he calls me friend. That is just the most surreal thing ever.

Jennifer L Armentrout 

I adore JLA. I love her so much and its because I hope to be an author like her. She writes with humor and she writes everything. She writes paranormal and fantasy and romance and science fiction and so many of her books are so good. I’ve been rereading the Covenant series recently and I’m remembering why I love it so much and I’m reminded of how much that series was a huge influence on The Awakened. She’s so incredible. I love that she writes with humor, like the way she would talk, because I do the same thing. She’s a huge influence for me. I also love her because she wrote Scorched, which tackled mental illness and really hit home for me. I love that when I told her what that book meant to me, she hugged me and told me she was proud of me for getting help. She’s an amazing author and person.

Rainbow Rowell 

I think Rainbow Rowell is one of the best YA authors to exist right now. She writes stories that just grab you and make you feel like yelling, yes, exactly, this is exactly right. She writes the human soul so well…all of her books bring tears to my eyes because of how well she captures human emotion. But I am so grateful and thankful for her because she wrote Fangirl. That book’s main character, Cath, is one of the only characters I can say with 100% certainty is much much like me. I kept reading through the book, thinking, yes, this is exactly how I feel. This is exactly what I mean. This is exactly the person I am. She just…its like she took my personality and put it on paper. I am so thankful for her creating a character that I can connect with so much.

Richelle Mead

Its funny that Richelle Mead came to mean so insanely much to me when I avoided reading the Vampire Academy series for SO SO long. But eventually I did it and I am so glad I did because Richelle writes beautiful fantasy which fantastically sassy main characters. Her Rose Hathaway is one of my favorite characters ever and was a huge influence on my Zoey Valentine for sure. She’s an incredible influence…and she showed me that you can take something that has been done a million times, like vampires, like zombies, and turn it into your own story, something new and unique and compelling. The Awakened exists a lot because of her and her series.

Melissa Landers

I cheated and put eleven authors on this list. I know, I said ten but whatever. Eleven works well. I had to put Melissa on here because I am so thankful for her as an author. She has always been a sweetheart to me and has always treated me with the utmost respect. And I just love her books. Her books showed me that you can have science fiction and romance in one and make it work so well. Alienated was a massive influence on The Awakened in the romance sense. Aelyx and Cara’s relationship influences Zoey and Ash’s so much and I’m so incredibly grateful for her fabulous blend of science fiction and romance. May she continue to write awesome books again and again.

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Who are some of the authors YOU are grateful for? Share in the comments!

Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Genre: 

Young Adult, order Fantasy

Pages: 

465 pages

Part of a Series?:

1st in the Six of Crows series

Release Date: 

September 29th, price 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

 

My Review:

Leigh Bardugo has created yet another masterpiece that completely blows my mind. Its not just a great YA novel and its not just a great fantasy novel…its just a great book period. She created this incredible world in the Grisha trilogy, and made it so that it was one of my favorite series, period.

Then she goes and continues in this world, and she opens it up even more. She’s already created this beautifully complicated but addicting world, and she opens it up and it is so easy to just fall into it. This new place is so different than Ravka and what we were used to with Alina but it also feels familiar, like you’re stepping out of Ravka and traveling the rest of the world. That’s how great Leigh is at writing, that’s how fantastic she is at world building. World building is the one thing that I struggle with the most and its a HUGE part of why I admire Leigh so much.

But I also love how much more she opens up her world, and its more than just it taking place in another country. We get so close to Alina in the Grisha trilogy but in this book, there are six characters, so different from each other and yet they all have to work together in order to make this incredibly impossible thing work. Leigh’s ability to create such rich and interesting characters in the same book and make them all insanely likable and yet you kind of want to wring their necks too…I love it.

I never know what to say about Leigh’s books because I always just feel sort of socked in the stomach after I read her books. In a good way, of course. She’s just such an incredible writer. She tells amazing stories with these compelling characters and sometimes you feel like you could get lost in what’s going on, but it also is so easy to be a part of. Give it a few pages, you get yourself centered in the story and then bam! You’re there, you’re involved and literally can’t stop reading. She blows my mind. I throw myself at her feet. I could only hope to write as well as she does.

And she’s my friend. That part blows my mind too. I’m friends with someone who writes incredibly amazing books, YA or not, fantasy or not, just straight up these books ARE so good and I’m already addicted to this characters (Inej = life) and I can’t wait to read more!

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Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

Book Events, Book Events, Book Events! Recap with Andrew Smith, Aaron Hartzler, Nicole Yoon, Cecil Castellucci, Leigh Bardugo and Stephenie Meyer!

I throw myself at your mercy, prostate my friends! I have attended so many events lately and I’ve sadly been so terrible at recapping them!

So I’ve decided to do a quick update of who I’ve met the past few months, and share some photos and some quick things about it!

September 8th – Andrew Smith at The Grove

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It’s always an awesome time seeing Andrew. I had been dying to get my hands on Stand-Off and I knew I had to get to this signing, no matter what happened. He read a bit of the book, which was absolutely hilarious, and signed books. He was such a sweetheart, and made sure to give me a big hug, which was awesome. I loved the way he signed my book…to be counted as his friend is honestly a huge honor. Aaron Hartzler was also there, and I figured it would be an awesome picture to get one of the two of them, because they’re just both so so awesome!

September 13th – Cecil Castellucci at the Long Beach Comic Con

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It is always awesome to see Miss Cecil! Sadly, I had missed her release party as well, which had made me so insanely sad since it was a new Princess Leia book! I got it on release date though, and when I heard she was going to be at LBCC, I knew I had to swing by her table and get her autograph, of course. I adore Cecil and if you haven’t read her Princess Leia book, you definitely should!

I also was able to meet Amy Mebberson, the fan artist who is AWESOME, and does one of my favorite series, Pocket Princesses. I also met Lindsey McKeon, who played Tessa the Reaper in Supernatural.

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September 24th – Aaron Hartzler at the Grove

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Then a few weeks later, I made my way back to the Grove to celebrate the release of Aaron Hartzler’s What We Saw. I read this book back in April as an ARC and just fell madly in love with it. I knew I had to get my hands on a copy, especially since Aaron is such a great friend. He gave me the BIGGEST hug when he found out my news about being published and it was just fabulous seeing him again. He read such a great part from the book too.

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It was fabulous too! Aaron pointed out the awesome Nicola Yoon during his event, and I was so sad that I had missed her own release party the week before that I practically sprinted to the YA section to grab a copy of her book to get it signed. She was SO sweet about it and signed it, and was just so so awesome.

October 7th – Leigh Bardugo at The Grove

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Leigh always is SUCH a fun time. She’s so funny and articulate and she always has the best events because she’s just such an awesome person. She makes me laugh like no other, and she’s so passionate about what she does. I LOVE going to see her and her new book is just fabulous! She had just found out that day that Six of Crows had debuted at #1 on the NYT best seller list too, so it was a great celebration!

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Me and Leigh’s mom! We’ve taken a picture together the last three years at Leigh’s release parties so it felt like tradition to do it once more! She’s just so awesome :)

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Its always so so great to see Leigh, but this time was even more awesome. She congratulated me on being published and wrote just the best thing in the world in my book, that made me smile so big and nearly drove me to tears. I’m so lucky to have such a great author as a friend, and that we were able to celebrate the awesomeness of being published (and soon to be published) together!

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My dad even went to the event with me! He’s been reading Six of Crows, which is awesome because he’s not a reader at all, and he decided to come with me, and meet Leigh!

October 12th – Stephenie Meyer at The Grove with Jake Abel

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I was actually really excited when I heard that Stephenie Meyer would be signing at The Grove for the tenth anniversary of Twilight. I’ve been reading it for ten years haha and its my biggest guilty pleasure for sure. I’ve also never met her, which is pretty crazy so I was excited to finally meet her! My dear friend, Lita, helped me get a good spot for the event and I was second row and perfectly set for the Q and A and the signing.

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It was also REALLY cool to see that she had brought along Jake Abel for the signing, to help with the Q and A. It was super simple, everyone wrote down questions on index cards, they selected a few backstage and then answered some during the event. They picked mine too, which was awesome and I made sure to record it too! If you don’t know Jake Abel, he played Ian in Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, and he also was Luke in Percy Jackson and Adam in Supernatural.

It was a SUPER great event. It was organized perfectly, it went smoothly and they even had a professional photographer to take your picture with Stephenie so that you got a picture but didn’t hold up the line with your phone or camera. It was absolutely seamless.

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This picture came out SO good. I love this professional photographer thing. It worked out so well and I truly love my picture so much.

Afterwards, Jake Abel had sort of disappeared, and I was kind of sad because I wanted to get a picture with him. I saw a friend of mine, who looked all happy, and asked if she knew where he was, so I totally tracked him down. He was with his wife, shopping for books, but he was insanely sweet about posing for a picture with me!

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And then I finally had a signed Twilight book in my collection!

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I hope you enjoyed this random recap of events! Hopefully from now on, I’ll be MUCH MUCH better at recapping!

Top Anticipated September Releases!

Young Adult 

Stand Off by Andrew Smith

Winger #2

It’s his last year at Pine Mountain, this web and Ryan Dean should be focused on his future, but instead, he’s haunted by his past. His rugby coach expects him to fill the roles once played by his lost friend, Joey, as the rugby team’s stand-off and new captain. And somehow he’s stuck rooming with twelve-year-old freshman Sam Abernathy, a cooking whiz with extreme claustrophobia and a serious crush on Annie Altman—aka Ryan Dean’s girlfriend, for now, anyway.

Equally distressing, Ryan Dean’s doodles and drawings don’t offer the relief they used to. He’s convinced N.A.T.E. (the Next Accidental Terrible Experience) is lurking around every corner—and then he runs into Joey’s younger brother Nico, who makes Ryan Dean feel paranoid that he’s avoiding him. Will Ryan Dean ever regain his sanity?

Release Date: September 8th, 2015

My Thoughts: I am dying for this book. Ever since Andrew announced it, I’ve been dying to get my hands on it. I tried again and again to get an ARC but it seems fate was not in my hands. But that’s okay. Only a week more to go. AGH.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows #1

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Release Date: September 29th, 2015

My Thoughts: Anything by Leigh is bound to be a good book. Easily. She writes fantasy so well and her world building skills just absolutely blow my mind. Plus its the same universe as the Grisha trilogy so I’m already dying to read this.

Firewalker by Josephine Angelini

The Worldwalker Trilogy #2

Lily is back in her own universe, and she’s ready to start a new life with Rowan by her side. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape from New Salem, and must hide her magic for the safety of everyone she cares about, but compared to fighting the Woven, the monstrous creatures inhabiting the alternate Salem, life is looking pretty good.

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can’t persuade Lily to return to her world, she will force her to come back by doing away with the ones she loves.

Release Date: September 1st, 2015

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved the first book of this series. It was dark and sexy and beautiful. Josie is one of the most beautiful writers I’ve ever read and she left off on such a cliffhanger so I can’t wait to read this book. That will probably leave off on a terrible cliffhanger…

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass #4

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Release Date: September 1st, 2015

My Thoughts: I’ll admit it: I haven’t even read Heir of Fire yet. *Hangs head in shame* I even got an arc of that book too! I just wasn’t feeling fantasy too much and so I kept putting it off. Now that I’m back into that, I’m ready to dive into that book, which means I’m excited to get my hands on this book ASAP!

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

Release Date: September 15th, 2015

My Thoughts: I’ve already read this book. I was lucky enough to read the ARC and I absolutely loved it. It was unique and fun and emotional and it kept me addicted until the very end. A totally awesome release that you should get your hands on this month!

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

The Gold Seer #1

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety?

Release Date: September 22nd, 2015

My Thoughts: I’m convinced that everything Rae Carson does is absolute gold and I’m sure I’ll think so with this novel. Its been awhile since The Bitter Kingdom released so I’m so excited to have a brand new Rae release in my hands. She’s amazing, and writes such beautiful characters. I’m sure this book will be the same.

I Crawl Through It by AS King

Four talented teenagers are traumatized-coping with grief, surviving trauma, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults—and they’ll do anything to escape the pressure. They’ll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them… until they learn the only way to escape reality is to fly right into it.

Release Date: September 22nd, 2015

My Thoughts: AGH. A.S. King writes some of the weirdest stuff that I’ve ever read. Seriously. Her books make my brain go haywire trying to figure out what is going on. But seriously, that’s what I love about her books. They make me think. They’re absolutely incredible and even when they’re wacky as hell, they tell such human stories. UGH. I have the ARC of this and I NEED to make time to read it! Eek!

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3

Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They’ll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever. . . . Will Jacob come into his own as the hero his fellow Peculiars know him to be? This action-packed adventure features more than 50 all-new Peculiar photographs

Release Date: September 22nd, 2015

My Thoughts: This is another book where I need to read the second one as well. But this is the conclusion! So I’m hoping to power through the second book soon and then make my way through the third. Plus Ransom is just such a cool person and there’s going to be a movie and its all good stuff.

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

Release Date: September 22nd, 2015

My Thoughts: I’ve already read this book, months ago actually. And it both broke my heart and gave me an immense amount of hope. Aaron Hartzler completely nails it in his first fiction release. I can’t even handle how much I absolutely loved this book. Ugh. I can still remember all the emotions. Get your hands on this book. Now.

New Adult 

Forever With You by Jennifer L Armentrout

Wait for You #5

Some things you just believe in, even if you’ve never experienced them. For Stephanie, that list includes love. It’s out there. Somewhere. Eventually. Meanwhile she’s got her job at the mixed martial arts training center and hot flings with gorgeous, temporary guys like Nick. Then a secret brings them closer, opening Steph’s eyes to a future she never knew she wanted—until tragedy rips it away.

Nick’s self-assured surface shields a past no one needs to know about. His mind-blowing connection with Steph changes all that. As fast as he’s knocking down the walls that have kept him commitment-free, she’s building them up again, determined to keep the hurt—and Nick—out. But he can’t walk away. Not when she’s the only one who’s ever made him wish for forever . . .

Release Date: September 29th, 2015

My Thoughts: So I was discussing this with my friends, since we got our hands on the ARC and apparently I’m the only one that loved it. But I loved it. I can’t even begin to express how much I connected with the main character, Stephanie. I loved it. I can’t wait to get that ARC back so I can hug it to my chest :) I think JLA continues to put out great books in this series and I can’t wait for book six.

Middle Grade

The Cooper Gauntlet by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

The Magisterium #2

Callum Hunt’s summer break isn’t like other kids’. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren’t heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.

It’s not easy for Call . . . and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.

Call escapes to the Magisterium — but things only intensify there. The Alkahest — a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic — has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes — and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.

Release Date: September 1st, 2015

My Thoughts: I absolutely ADORED the first book in this series and I’m so sad I won’t be able to pick this up tomorrow. It was SUCH a great start to the series and Holly and Cassie have such a great writing dynamic. I can’t wait to see what else happens to Callum.

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What September releases are you looking forward to? Share in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten – Underrated YA Book Series

So I was  browsing around Facebook yesterday when I came across a Buzzfeed article about the 29 Underrated YA Book Series. Of course I had to click on it.

And while I love several of the choices on that list, no rx I thought, try I should do my own list. There are GREAT series on there, but a lot of them aren’t what I would call underrated or unnoticed. Percy Jackson? Huge. HUGE. And they got two movies. Infernal Devices? Again. HUGE. All Souls? Incredibly popular and not YA right? I don’t know to be honest, I haven’t read them. I know they aren’t shelved with YA. The Chicken Soup series? Didn’t everyone have those when I was in middle school/high school? And so on.

So that brings us to today’s Tuesday Top Ten…my favorite YA series that just don’t get enough attention. Which is why I’m talking about them. So they get more attention. Because I’m just awesome that way.

Let’s do this.

Oh, I’ll add one more thing. All of these get GREAT reviews, and have received an abundance of praise and accolades and all the huge reviewers and all that love them. By “underrated” I mean, by the masses that tend to enjoy YA. The people that don’t much more than Hunger Games and Divergent and that sort of thing.

Moving on…

10. The Across the Universe Trilogy by Beth Revis

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I love love love this series. Beth Revis takes humanity, sticks them on a space ship and gets them lost for centuries. Humanity has basically all but disappeared on this ship until one of the humans who was supposed to be frozen until they arrive at this “new” earth awakes…and chaos and romance and all sorts of things erupt. Its fantastic. There is just SO much about this series that is so good. I have a hard time finding people who have read it and I get so excited when I do!

9. The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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So JLA was on this BuzzFeed list, but with the Lux series. That series, the Wait for You series and the Dark Elements series…they’re all fairly popular. They are the ones that I feel like people talk about when it comes to JLA. But my absolute favorite of her series is hands down The Covenant series. SO freakin good! Alex and Aidan are hot as hell, they have a steamy and intense and fun romance, and their world is chaotic and full of action and drama and …more intensity. And its Greek mythology with a new twist and I love every single bit of it.

8. The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot

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Meg Cabot is not exactly underrated but she has so many series that often times some of them get lost underneath the ones she’s really known for like The Princess Diaries. This is one of my absolute favorites by her. It has ghosts! And a girl who likes to beat them up when they don’t want to cooperate. And a super hot Spanish ghost that’s a really great kisser. Its just awesome. The entire series is just SO flippin good. Meg manages to write this amazing paranormal romance that also makes you laugh again and again and again.

7. The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

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This series was actually on the list and it was one of the few that I really agreed should be on this list. I first picked up this list when my ex told me to pick out a book and I thought the cover was beautiful and then I proceeded to consume the entire series in a matter of days. Its so beautifully written and it has everything you could want in a book. It has romance and action and politics and action and humor and discovery and uncertainty and god…everything. I can’t speak highly enough of this series. Its legitimately one of my favorites ever.

6. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray

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UGH. God. This series. I’m meeting Libba for the first time this weekend at YALL West, and I legit can’t handle that kind of pressure. I’m going to cry or something. I actually accidentally picked up the second book first (whoops) but rectified and continued on to enjoy this beautiful trilogy. It takes place in Victorian English countryside at a boarding school that is hiding all sorts of secrets. Its so dark but funny at the same time and its full of a new kind of magic and I love every bit of it. I need a re-read of this soon actually…

5. The Girl of Fire and Thorns Series by Rae Carson

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Let’s put it this way: I would not drive all the way to Vegas (about a 4 to 5 hour drive) just to meet her for one day if I didn’t think this series was that amazing. What makes this great is that its this sort of Chosen One story but the Chosen One is the last person you’d expect. Elisa is fat and uncertain and unsure and you kind sit there and think, her? Really? But its just so great. And the world building and the magic and the evolution of the main character throughout the three books…my little book loving heart just can’t handle the beauty of this trilogy.

4. The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

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There WAS a series by Tammy on the list but I chose this one for a huge reason: its the first series of the epicness of the Tortall world. The one they chose is the third one and kind of…spoils the first two series for sure. haha. Plus let’s face it…Tammy has a handle on this YA fantasy since the early 80s and just not enough people are reading her. She’s amazing. Her writing, the characters she creates, the way she manages to keep the world of Tortall alive after so many decades…its impossible not to absolutely love her. This series is about a girl who disguises her gender for YEARS in order to become a knight, and then basically does whatever the hell she wants once everyone finds out. YES. I want to shove all of her books down all of your throats. Sorry. Not really.

3. The Airhead Trilogy by Meg Cabot

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Why, yes, I did pick two Meg Cabot series. This is another one that kind of disappears when it comes to Meg. But its legitimately my favorite. Besides Princess Diaries. Because its just SO weird and bizarre and I love it. Em Watts dies…but not really. At the same time as her body dies, supermodel Nikki Howard as a brain aneurysm. Doctors save her life by implanting her brain into Nikki’s body, but she has to live her life as Nikki and no one can know that she was once Em. Its seriously the most bizarre thing ever, especially once you realize there’s so much more to it than meets the eye. And its just straight up hilarious.

2. The Unremembered Trilogy by Jessica Brody

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The finale of this trilogy just released less than two months ago and I’m still reeling from it. I can barely express my emotions about it. Sigh. Anyway. This is a series that’s absolutely incredible and seriously does NOT get enough credit. I want to see more of those purple books in people’s hands. Seriously. I can’t even explain how great this trilogy is. Its like…Bourne Identity but with a super badass girl instead of Matt Damon and it has superhumans called Ex-Gens and time travel and cool technology and romance and action and its just amazing. There are not nearly enough people reading it and you guys need to be reading it. Now. Go.

1. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

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I love Leigh from the bottom of my heart to the tip top of my head all the way to my little toes. She’s AMAZING and her series just proves that. She has had SUCH success with it, but its nothing to the extend that a ton of people know about it and I want to change that. Her trilogy is perfection and its such a great example of how AMAZING YA fantasy…and YA in general…can be. She’s a terrific writer and a fabulous storyteller. This is another series that needs a re-read soon because now all I can think about is how much I love these books!

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Tuesday Top Ten – Favorite New Releases of 2014!

I seriously hate writing these lists. Seriously. Because the segment is called the Tuesday Top Ten. I’ve read 120-something books this year and, sale yeah, sick sure, a good number of them were either re-reads or books that were released previous to the year 2014. But I would say a majority of those books were brand new releases.

And I’m just supposed to narrow them down to the ones that I liked the most. I mean, come on. That’s just mean. And hard. I’ve read so MANY great and fantastic books this year. It just blows my mind how authors can just continue to write amazing stories over and over and over again.

And yes, I’m the brains of this operation which means, technically, I could make a whole huge list of books that came out this year that I loved but they legit would all make the list and the point of this is to highlight the ones that really stood out to me this year.

So that’s just what I’m going to do! Check it out :)

10. All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

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I was looking forward to this book because it has three of my favorite things in the world: romance, hot boys with abs and football. I hadn’t been massively impressed with Cora so far but this book completely changed my mind and I loved the second one as well. I definitely could use more Rusk boys in my life.

9. Cress by Marissa Meyer

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I was DYING for this book and when I finally got my hands on it, I was in the worst slump ever. Took me about a week and a half to read this book, but when I finally did, I was just blown away. Cress is an incredible character and I absolutely love this book. I couldn’t believe how long I had to wait (and am still waiting) for the final book.

8. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

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Oh Morgan  Matson. Please never stop writing. The closeness I felt to this book, the inability to remember how to do things, live life, make friends, have fun without your best friend…I totally understand that. Plus she’s just such a fun writer. Reading her books is easy, you just get sucked in and suddenly you realized hours have passed and you haven’t even moved.

7. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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This book completely blew my mind. I needed a really good fantasy book in my life and this one completely and totally delivered. I was just blown away by the incredible world building that Sara created in this novel and I loved every character that we meet, even the villains because I can appreciate a really well written villain. And I loved the surprises. I love when I’m reading and I feel like I have a handle on the story and something completely throws me off. Its beautiful and I absolutely love it. Get this book.

6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

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I LOVE Anna and the French Kiss. I LOVE Lola and the Boy Next Door. I literally ADORE and am OBSESSED with Isla and Josh and this story. I read this just a week before I broke up with my boyfriend and when I knew things weren’t good, and that’s kind of why I like this novel. This book is about romance, about how we get caught up in it and we forget that it can be hard work and that things aren’t always easy and they aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. That hit me hard, and the beautiful reality of love in this story just broke my heart. I love love love this book. It has a happy ending, which is fantastic, but I loved seeing the struggle to get there.

5. Alienated by Melissa Landers

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I am sure you are all so tired of me putting this in your face but guess what? Nope. Not at all. Because I truly love this book. I seriously seriously love this book. I am so glad I ran into Melissa at ALA and brought this book into my life! Its so beautiful. Great science fiction, awesome humor and the romance is just…ugh, I’m fangirling.

4. Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

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Dear Richelle Mead, Can I be your daughter? Love, Sara. I really liked The Fiery Heart but The Indigo Spell is my favorite so it was hard to follow that. Silver Shadows is now just below The Indigo Spell, because it just blew my mind. I loved the dual point of view and I loved the build up to the incredible climax and omg that cliffhanger broke my heart. A month until the end of it all!

3. The One by Kiera Cass

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I am so glad I got into Kiera Cass this year. I read The Selection at the very beginning of the year, at the urging of…someone. I can’t remember who. But I hadn’t really had a desire to. And now, I’m just stoked that I did because its such a good book. The Elite is a bit of a struggle to get through BUT The One was just a beautiful book. I was so emotional and I cried and when I met Kiera, I fangirled way too hard.

2. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

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Dear Leigh Bardugo, please teach everyone in the world how to end a series. Seriously. So many series enders have been so disappointing, so lacking but this book just blew my mind. I sat down and just consumed it. It was absolutely fantastic. Everything came to an end, and it was heartbreaking, utterly heartbreaking and surprising and just…ugh. It made me so happy. I wish I could have even just a fraction of the talent that Leigh has.

1. Grasshopper Jungle and 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith

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I cheated ;) I put two books for my number one but that’s just because I legit could not choose between these two. They are both so different but so unique and just brilliant. Andrew Smith is such a one of a kind author that just blows my mind. 100 Sideways Miles was incredible and Grasshopper Jungle was unlike anything I’ve ever read in my life. I literally have never read a book like GJ and it just was….it was about everything and it was bizarre and funny and all of that. He’s truly brilliant. He might just end up on my top ten at the end of every year haha!

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What were some of your favorite new releases of 2014? Share in the comments