Books to Read in a Garden (or in a Garden Skirt)

I think I was born in the wrong era. I would love so much for my days to be filled with reading in a beautiful flower garden.

books to read in a garden or in a cute garden skirt

Instead I'm go go go with a bazillion things always fighting for my time and attention. And as much as I'd love to don a stuffy dress and lounge in the sun with my current read, a stretchy Cents of Style Floral Skirt is a little more realistic for me. The print is so vibrant it's almost as good as sitting right in a rose garden, almost.

cute comfy knit floral pencil skirt great for momlife

I thought it would be fun to pretend that I did have that garden reading life and share a bunch of books to read in a garden (or in a garden skirt) as the case might be! I've read a lot of great books recently and any of these would be perfect for a little garden escape. There's a little bit of everything here.

Cute floral skirt and great reading list

Click on the book titles to read the official description of of each!

  • A Study in Charlotte - YA Detective - You guys this follows Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson, descendants of THE Holmes and Watson. The college aged counter parts are hilarious, Charlotte has the same vices as her ancestors and the detective tale pulled me right in and was so entertaining. The second book just came out and I can't wait to read it although the first book totally stands on it's own. I hope there are many many of these.
  • Flawed - YA Dystopian - I LOVED this book. It took me back to the good old dystopian days with a feel of Delirium and Divergent (but without those awful endings). In this world you have to be perfect. If you make a lapse in moral judgement you're branded (yup with an iron branded) and labeled as flawed and you are subjected to different rules. That means there is no learning from mistakes, at least not publicly. Just read this it was GOOOD.
  • Frost Like Night (book 3 of the Snow Like Ashes series) - Fantasy - If you want to get wrapped up in a completely different world I adored Frost Like Night, the final book in the Snow Like Ashes trilogy. I did love the whole trilogy which takes place in a world that is divided up into seasons each season is a different realm. There is a crazy amount of action and fighting and magic tied into the different seasons.
  • The Problem With Forever - Contemporary - Confession I'm not quite done with this but it has already grabbed me so hard I didn't want to leave it off. Mallory hasn't seen Rider in years despite growing up together on the same bad side of the foster system. It's been 4 years since that awful night and so many things have changed. This has everything a teen book should, cute boys, great drama, mean girls, parental issues, awesome friends, and some real conflict. I can't wait to finish it.
  • The Diabolical - YA Sci-Fi - Nemesis was created to be a protector and now she finds herself having to pose as her charge in order to save her life. While undercover though nemesis finds herself in the middle of a twisted political scheme. This was a great dose of Sci-fi, great villains, and relationships. There's something about it that reminds me of Levana and the Lunars from Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles while being totally different and it's own story.
  • Anne of Green Gables  - Can you believe I haven't read this before? I was totally smitten this is a PERFECT book to escape into for a light entertaining read. I listened to the audiobook and it was fabulous. Full of spunk and character Anne isn't your typical girl but she tries her best to be good. Love her silly conundrums and sweet heart.
  • The Serpent King - YA Contemporary - While this book isn't all rainbows and sunbeams there's something about it that really grabbed me. The story follows a group of small town friends with some heavy struggles. Things from not fitting in to living in the shadow of some pretty awful parents the kids are great friends.
  • The Chemist - Ex- Spy Story - This is way more The Host Stephanie Meyer that Twilight Stephanie Meyer and it was good. It was full of adventure with some really fun characters who find themselves running from their former employers. It's full of fantastic actions, great characters and even some great romance. Plus it's a solid standalone so perfect for a weekend binge reading session or to take along on a trip!
  • A Torch Against the Night (book # 3 of Ember in the Ashes) - Dystopian/Light Fantasy - Fans of Hunger Games you'll love this finished series. Obviously start with book one, but these books have been my favorites that I have read over the last year. Such an interesting unique story about kids trained to become ruthless militia tied in with some crazy fantasy and lots of intense action. The characters are amazing and the story is so fun I loved these.

Great reading list. Lots of Young Adult Books

This weekend Cents of Style has a ton of gorgeous and comfy floral skirts like this one on sale. They are all so pretty Just use the code is FLORALSTORY and it will make each skirt $19.95 + FREE SHIPPING. The code is valid 2/17 through 2/19. I love this navy one the fabric is so pretty and comfy and the rose print on it is absolutely stunning in person. And then you too can pretend you're reading in a beautiful flower garden instead of in between stolen moments of the daily grind!   You also might like:

Totally agree the 9 books are fantastic and the 1 is SOOOOO awful I'm shocked it was published and marketed to teens!

9 Must Read Books and 1 You should skip even with it's cute cover

So many great books for Harry Potter fans. I've read a ton of these and totally agree with this reading list.

Lots of books for every type of Harry Potter Fan

Reversible Kids Book Bag Tutorial and Bookroo Review

sponsored-affiliate-disclosure No more juggling awkward sized kid books with this easy kids book bag tutorial and learn about my newest book mail favorite, Bookroo.

children's book bag tutorial with free pattern. Big enough tote for picture books. Easy sewing project.

We're book fanatics in my house. It's not just me and all my YA Lit either. My kiddo has just as many books as I do, maybe more. We have books shelves (or at least designated spots for books) in every single room.

How to find unique Children's books

I don't think I need to convince you guys about how valuable it is to read to our little ones but here are a few of my favorites perks. From problem solving to random facts about the world, to the beginnings of reading, when we read to our kids they learn. There is a special bonding that happens when you read together. There is almost always cuddling just since it's the natural position to sharing a book and the reading time is focused in a way that little other activities are in our hyper connected world. And with the mesh of those two reading somehow opens up amazing conversations. Books and kids are just a good mix.

Read to me please. Toddler sized library book bag and bookroo subscription review. Fun gift idea.

We love our time at the library and sometimes bring home books but when the kids are so little and let's face it germy I honestly prefer to own our own. So I'm thrilled to be partnering with Bookroo a monthly book subscription. Every month we will be getting some happy book mail. I know that I love my Owlcrate so I'm crazy excited that Teddy will have his own bookish box! I think this would make just the perfect gift for just about any kid. More info and how to get 20% off a Bookroo subscription below.

Unique Gift Idea for Toddlers and Older Children. Great birthday present or Christmas gift.

Have you ever noticed that picture books can be so large and not fit in your standard book bag? Umm yeah. So I thought it would be fun to make a book bag specifically to tote Teddy's reads in. My design is nice and wide, perfect for lugging those over-sized books around plus I've got a little slot for your library card. Fun right?

reversible toddler book bag sewing tutorial and free pattern

What You Need
  • 1/2 Yard Outer Fabric
  • 1/2 Yard Inner Fabric
  • Iron-On Vinyl (optional)
  • Reading Design (optional, just right click and save from this post)

 
What to do
  1. Cut Outer into two pieces each 16 inches wide x 17 tall. Make sure your fabric faces the right direction if it's a directional print.
  2. Repeat with the Inner Fabric.
  3. Cut two strips fabric 6 inches wide by 17 tall. If you're using quilting cottons that are 44 inches wide this should be the remaining fabric after you cut the outer and inner pieces. This can be out of either fabric this will be your strap fabric.
  4. With right sides together sew the sides and bottom edges of the outer fabric together. Repeat with the lining fabric.
  5. Turn the outer fabric right sides out.
  6. Sew the card holder on sewing down the sides and bottom edge. To keep the vinyl from sticking to the pressor foot place a piece of wrapping tissue paper in between the vinyl and the foot while you sew. When you are done just pull it off.
  7. Tuck the lining fabric into the outer fabric and iron down the top edge of both 1 inch. Set aside.
  8. Sew the two pieces of the strap together along the short edge making sure that your pattern will face the right direction when the strap is attached.
  9. Fold the strap in half lengthwise and sew down. Turn right sides out and iron.
  10. Tuck the ends into the side seams of the bag and sew all around the top edge making sure to catch the lining, outer fabric and the strap.
  11. If you want to add some vinyl do that now. See this iron-on vinyl tutorial if you've never tried that before.

Picture book bag sewing tutorial

So so cute right!?

children are made readers on the laps of their parents emilie huchwald quote and great book bag tutorial with kids book box review

And if you're curious about Bookroo they are letting me offer 20% for you to try it out! They have a board book and picture book option and so far I'm super impressed. Like I said we have A LOT of books and we don't have the ones from this month's box!

What's in a bookroo box. Fun gift idea for toddlers and kids. Monthly children's books.

Bookroo is all about finding the hidden gems to include in their boxes so there's less chance you'll have them already. They have a panel of 12 families (with a total of 22 kids) that rate the books for all kinds of things including re-readability. It's no wonder they find such fun titles! I'm so excited for Teddy to open the box every month. They are giving me a special deal to share, 20% off their 1 month or 3 months subscriptions!

get 20% off bookroo children's book monthly subscription box

Bookroo review. Monthly book subscription for kids. Great gift idea.

Do you have any favorite kiddo books? Or maybe a book that has received a lot of reading time in your home? I'd love you to tell me about it in the comments!

Picture book bag sewing tutorial

You also might like:

Great baby books that aren't the same old same old that people give at showers - Rae Gun Ramblings

Want some cute books to read to your little one now? These are all great.

Love this bookish shirt tutorial. Based on Eric Carle's Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me. Full directions for how to make this phases of the moon shirt.

This sweet little moon shirt is actually inspired by Eric Carle's Papa Please Get the Moon for Me book. An all time favorite read in our family!

great board books for baby showers or first birthday parties

These board books are still some of our most read books in our house!

Must Read Books You Might Have Missed

So many books so little time. But if you're looking for some really good ones I thought I would share my must read books you might have missed. And I thought it'd be fun if you shared yours too!

must read books you might have missed

Every year I love to look back on the books I have read and just see what I read and what stands out and I love to see what other people's favorites were. I normally fill Perpetual Page Turner's Year End Survey but I find it to be a little daunting in it's entirety and it's focused on book bloggers. So I thought I'd do a condensed kind of round up and invite you to share what your reading highlights were in the comments feel free to answer all or just a few of the questions. I'll be going live on Facebook tomorrow 11 AM MST to share my answers! I use Goodreads to keep track of my books although I tend to update it in batches (I'm way better at posting my reads on Instagram and my Currently Reading page). If you're on good reads this is my account we can be friends!

MUST Read books of 2016

I'll fill this out and update the post with my answers tomorrow but I'd love you to join Debra from Housewife Eclectic and me on Facebook tomorrow 11 AM MST as we discuss our book highlights from the year!

How many books did you read in 2016?

  • 79 books total
  • 27,297 pages total

What were the top 5 books you read?

Name an author you're glad you discovered in 2016.

What book(s) did you find yourself recommending the most this year?

  • pretty much the ones in my top 5 list

What book was recommended TO YOU the most this year? Did you read it?

Did any book make you angry or frustrated?

  • Edenbrook - so annoyed the whole time by the characters decisions and actions
  • Finding Audrey - I liked the book but I found the mom to be super stressful

What was the most surprising book (good or bad)?

What kid book was most read in your house if you live with kids?

Was there a book you can't believe you waited to long to finally read?

What books did you want to read but just didn't get to it?

  • I had Furthermore checked out forever but never got to it
  • I still haven't gotten to about half of my Owlcrate books but I'm excited to

Anything else notable?

  • I read quite a number of books with kids with disabilities and mental illnesses represented and I liked that. I think books really help you see the world from other peoples perspective so I applaud the authors for doing that and doing it in a way that is not trite or patronizing.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I loved it. Also loved the Fantastic Beast movie but haven't read the screenplay.
  • I went and saw Cassandra Clare one of my FAAAAAAVVVVVOOORIIITTTE authors when she was in town for her Lady Midnight tour which I loved (both the book and the signing)
So what are YOUR must read books from 2016. I love adding to my To Read list! And don't forget tomorrow at 11AM MST well be having virtual book club on Facebook to discuss reading highlights of last year!  

Ultimate List of Christmas Books

Whether you want to do a book advent calendar or just love collecting holiday reads I've got a huge list of great Christmas Picture books as well as a couple of reads perfect for Mama too!

Great Christmas reading list. Board books and picture books as well as novels. Religious and santa and snowmen stories for kids to adults

I've always love the idea of wrapping up a book and opening one  up each day to read with the kids as a book advent calendar, but the book hoarder in me wants all the books to be read the whole season so for now I've got a huge pile of picture books and flap books and pop up books in a little basket by the tree. I love reading about the true meaning of Christmas with the manger stories as well as the fun celebrations that have become a part of the holiday for our American culture like Santa and Snowmen and all that. So here is a good mix of both religious and secular books to read for Christmas. If you click on the title it will take you to my Amazon affiliate link and you can see pictures, reviews, and read more about each book.

Lots of great Christmas board books and picture books that teach the true meaning of Christmas. Fun and adorable nativity books and more for babies and kids.

Religious Picture and Board Books

Santa, Snowmen and other fun non-religious Christmas books for kids

Secular Picture and Board Books

Fabulous picture books for Christmas. Lots of religious and non-religious christmas books for babies and kids

Teen and Adult Fiction Great for Reading Around Christmas Also join me tomorrow live on Facebook at 11 AM MST as my friend Debra from Housewife Eclectic and I compare our Christmas book lists and share what we love about our favorites. See her list here. *I haven't read these yet but I have friends that ADORE them!

Lots of great Christmas books for the whole family. Both nativity books and santa and snowman. From Board books for kids to novels for teens and adults.

 

10+ YA Witch Reads and Ghostly Guides

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Witches, Casters, Magic Users. Ghosts, Spirits, Shades. I don't care what you call them, there is something so fun about a good witch or ghost read.

Over 10 awesome witch and ghosts books for teens and young adults. Great ghost and witch book list perfect for Halloween (or really any time of year)

To get in the mood for Halloween I thought I would round up 10 of my favorite witch and ghost reads. But don't be fooled these stories aren't just for Halloween because these aren't your typical witches and undead. Some of these ladies (and gents) are book nerds that hang out with vampires, others are warrior queens and most of them aren't even on the wicked end of the good/bad spectrum. These stories are so varied and fun you will soon find yourselves under their spells!

Great YA reading list full of witch and ghost books.

Debra from Housewife Eclectic and went live on the FAN GIRL CRAFTS Facebook page talking through these awesome books to get you in the mood for Halloween. Watch the replay below to hear exactly WHY I love each of these witch and ghost books . Also you can click on the each of the book titles to take you to Amazon and read the official descriptions and what others thought about these books!

Wonderful Witch Reads

  1. Trial By Fire by Josephine Angelini (Worldwalker series)
  2. Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures series)
  3. Spellcaster by Claudia Gray (Spellcaster series)
  4. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines series)
  5. Fairest by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles)
  6. The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
  7. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall series)
  8. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas (the witches don't come into the books until book 3 Heir of Fire but the whole series is great and you do need to start from the beginning)
  9. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Ghostly Books

  1. Die For Me by Amy Plumb (Revenant series)
  2. The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater (The Raven Cycle)
  3. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
  4. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  5. Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and Daven Levithan
And don't forget to check out Debra's creepy book list perfect for Halloween! You also might like:

SO many awesome Young Adult lit villains

15 Must Read Books with AWESOME Villains

Lots of really creative and unique Harry Potter crafts, tutorials, recipes, projects and even book lists. SO many awesome projects

60 Great Harry Potter Recipes, Crafts and

Must Read Middle Grade Books

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Whether you've got a voracious reader or more of a reluctant one I'm sharing a ton of Middle Grade books perfect for those kids that are just not quite ready for full blown Young Adult books or us older folk that just want a great book.

Great reading list full of must read middle grade books great for preteens.

But first what is Middle Grade? Typically the focus audience for middle grade is 8-12 but contrary to popular belief these books aren't necessarily just for the little kids. They can be complex and developed stories full of fabulous characters, story lines and settings. I mean the Harry Potter books are considered Middle Grade (although I think the later books might fall more in the YA category). In MG books the character's are getting their first taste of independence (think going to camp or a day totally without any adults). The relationships focus more on friendship and romantic relationships usually stay at the crush or very first kiss level. While there might be rough real life experiences you don't expect to get a graphic description, profanity, or in depth treatment of the evil and violence. They are aimed at a reader who isn't quite a teen yet but plenty of older readers like myself can definitely find them entertaining. These also make GREAT road trip books when you have a car with some younger kids in it!
To read a description of each book or series click on the title and you'll be able to see the official synopses. Or Debra from Housewife Eclectic and I will be chat books and share our favorite Middle Grade books in this video here (see her list here). You also might like:

So many great books for Harry Potter fans. I've read a ton of these and totally agree with this reading list.

The ones I read I loved. Must add the others to my books to read stack. Espionage novels, spy, detective, and assassin stories.

Over 30 Young Adult Books Set in School

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One of my favorite settings for books are schools. Boarding schools are doubly fun. Today my sister and I are sharing our favorite Young Adult Books set in SCHOOL!

Back to school books for fun! Over 30 young adult novels that take place in schools. Run reading list.

As we do every month we are coordinating our reading list with the theme for this month's Owlcrate (Fast Times at YA High) and we will be doing a live unboxing of our Owlcrates (a monthly bookish subscription box that BOTH my sister and I get, and pay for out of our own pockets because we love them so much and can't share). Along with the unboxing we'll be doing a book chat and talking about all the reasons why we loved reading these school themed books AND you should too! I hope you will join us this coming Monday evening 5PM MST on the Rae Gun Ramblings Facebook page and tell us what some of your favorite books set in school are! Young adult reading list with books set in schools. Perfect for back to school reading For more about each title click on the link to be taken to Amazon where you can read the official synopsis and other people's reviews. Contemporary (regular good old life as a school going teen) Something More (regular good old life as a school going teen with powers, or who's actually a spy, or some other fun twist)

Books with School settings. Fun back to school young adult reading list.

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Totally agree the 9 books are fantastic and the 1 is SOOOOO awful I'm shocked it was published and marketed to teens!

Adding these to my reading list. So many great adventure books good for any mood.

15+ Best YA Book Villains

We tend focus a lot on the heroes and heroines when describing great books but so often it's the villains that really make a story magical!

Great reading list full of awesome villains that keep you on your toes. Young Adult Books

In honor of the fact that two of most notoriously hated villains in Young Adult Literature can be found in the Harry Potter books and because the theme of this month's Owl Crate is Good vs. Evil, that my sister and I would share our most memorable villains. (Are you as excited about week two of the Happy Harry Potter series as I am?)

Awesome villains in Young Adult books. We all loved to hate Harry Potter's Umbridge. Great reading list.

We were guests on the We Heart Books facebook page to chat through the WHYS of our choices which you can watch the replay of below but I'm also linking my Amazon associates links for each book so you can get a description and learn more about each title. I've got to say I found it surprisingly hard to come up with a non-spoiler villains list. It seems the plot of A LOT of books with GREAT villains is pretty much "who done it?"
  • The King You know that saying about power corrupting? Well that plus magic! - Throne of Glass
  • Dolores Umbridge I must not tell lies and okay we'll say Voldy too ;) - Harry Potter
  • Queen Levana Why wouldn't you just mind force everyone to do your bidding even to say marry you if you could? - The Lunar Chronicles  (starts with Cinder)
  • The DarklingThe Grisha Trilogy (starts with Shadow and Bone)
  • The Dad Well he's a serial killer who raised his son as an accomplice no biggie - Jasper Dent Series (starts with I Hunt Killers)
  • Commandant Oh she's the worse kind of head mistress meets drill Sargent but there are lots of baddies - An Ember in the Ashes series
  • Defiance Bolton Ramsey - Song of Ice and Fire (not YA starts with A Game of Thrones)
  • The Duchess of the Lake I don't care how dangerous it is for you I'll use YOUR body for what I want when I want oh and if it doesn't work out I'll find someone else to give it go - The Lone City Series (starts with The Jewel)
  • Adelina Amouteru  We absolutely love that this is told from the villain's perspective which of course makes it hard to totally see her as a villain - The Young Elites series
  • The Uncle Yeah this guy gave me the major creeps. The lengths he'll go and the evil he'll do makes me really anxious about reading the sequel  - Gold Seer Trilogy (starts with Walk the Earth a Stranger)
  • The Seeker She totally stressed me out why won't she just give up already!? - The Host
  • Everyone - Penryn and the End of Days Series (starts with Angelfall)
  • Cole Big whoop that he's boss of the Underground he's awesome a super hot musician - Everneath series
  • Alexandra Miles  She's the ultimate High School mean girl. But the depths of her scheming oh my! - Winning series
  • General Holland He's awful from the beginnin but as the series go on you realize just how twisted this guys intentions are!  - Mila 2.0 series
  • Warner He's done SO many bad things but he was raised that way, is he bad, but he's cute too - Shatter Me series
Just remember that this is an unedited repost of the FB live video :)

So who are some of YOUR all time favorite villains?

And there's still time to enter the giant Harry Potter Giveaways if you haven't already! You also might like:

So many great books for Harry Potter fans. I've read a ton of these and totally agree with this reading list.

These books all look awesome. creative fairytale retellings mostly young adult

20+ Royal Reads

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I'm a sucker for books with royalty in them. If the story takes place in a castle, has a fabulous prince or princess (even in disguise) it's likely I'm gonna want to read it.

Great (most) YA reading list full of books with royalty and castle settings. SO fun!

When I heard that the theme for this month's Owl Crate (bookish subscription box I get) was Royalty I got SUPER excited. My box came in the mail last week but I have been patiently waiting to open it because I want to do an unboxing live on my FB with my sister. So in conjunction with all that we decided it would be a blast to share our favorite Royalty books. You can watch the full video below just remember it was originally a FB live vid.

The royalty in these books are varied, some are main characters, some are formal royals, some are side characters but somewhere in each of these is a prominent prince or princes or queen or king, well you get what I mean. Each title to an Amazon so if you're interested you can read the official synopses and of course see the title for each of them!
20+ Royalty reads. Lots of awesome YA books with royal characters, castle settings, etc. Some of my all time favs.
My sister and I pretty much agree that all of these books are awesome and have royalty aspects. We each picked our top 3 and I bolded them for you guys. But you'll have to watch the live or replay video to see who said which ;) There are only a handful I personally haven't read and I'm staring them (these are ones my sister loves though). Also all of these are YA except for the one's that I've added the + sign too and these are still fun just intended for more mature readers! And make sure to like Rae Gun Ramblings facebook page so you can catch our next live book chat!
20+ YA books full of princess, princesses, castle life and other fun. Great royal reads

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

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10 Books to Read for an Adventure

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  If there's one thing I love in books it's fighting, but really what I love is a good adventure tale. Whether it's sailing the seas of a fictitious time and place, hacking some futuristic internet, or giving into the wanderlust of Summer travel, all the books I'm sharing today are jam packed full of action and adventure. These all look good and I love how diverse a selection of adventure books this is. Something for every mood and reader. While there are many adventure books that hold my heart this time around I'm limiting them to books I've read this year so if you've missed my "what I read" posts this covers some of the highlights. As a bonus a lot of these are newer releases so there's a chance you haven't read them yet! To stay up to date with what I'm reading make sure to subscribe to my newsletter where I share my current read each week and follow me on Instagram to catch my weekly Reading Roll Call where I share the books I'm reading and LOVE reading comments with the books of what you guys are reading and loving and hating.

Love this quote about books and adventure. Plus a great list of must read adventure books for all tastes.

Before I get to the books I want to give a huge shout out to FontBundles.net who provided all the awesome Calligraphy fonts used in today's post. I had so fun playing with their Calligraphy bundle and just used 3 (Billow, Yurafima, and Delayota Script) of the 40 awesome fonts. If you love fonts you need to check out their site they sell bundles for an amazing deal (the Calligraphy one is only 29$ available through May 15th) but what is extra awesome is that they offer a bunch of free fonts and regularly send new ones fonts through their mailing list. And now to the books!

10 Awesome Adventure Books

Click on the title of each book to be taken to  amazon (affiliate links) where you can read the official synopsis, see the covers, and read more reviews for each adventure. 

1. The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Nix has grown up on her father's ship sailing between times and places both within real history and myth. As long as her father has a map he can navigate to that place and time and what he most desperately wants is a map to 1868 Honolulu so he can save Nix's mom. But things are a little more complicated than that. I loved Nix! She was a mix of spunk, kindness, and smarts as she navigated the waters of fighting and a disfuntional one track minded father. The crew which is a fun diverse bunch was always filled with delightful characters. But what I loved most was the unique story full of light fantasy and time travel. I listened to this book and really loved the performance.

2. The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

When Shahrzad's best friend becomes the victim of the Caliph's twisted tradition of killing his brides the morning after their wedding Shazi decides she has had enough. She decides she must kill the young Caliph and finally put an end to this madness. But what she finds in the Caliph is not the monster she was expecting and much to her own horror she finds herself falling in love with her best friend's murder. This was one of my favorite books I have read this year. I have not read many books set in the middle east and I loved the new cultural perspective. I love all the characters. Shazi is strong and smart and caring and a wiz with a bow and arrow. Khalid the Caliph is admirable and and doing his best in a terrible situation. The villians are hateable and there is sass and wit from so many characters. Oh and there is fighting I do love fighting in books. I loved just about everything about this book it was so unique to me (although was based on A Thousand and One Nights).

3. Front Lines by Michael Grant

It's 1942 and World War II is in full swing with all it's atrocities. But in this version women are eligible for the draft so girls fight too. Front Lines follows the story of three very different girls from before their military days to right in the thick of things. It is a super interesting read that was equal parts entertainment and mind exercise. I really loved thinking through how the addition of women (in this capacity) would have tweaked how things looked. This book was out of my comfort zone I don't read much historical fiction and almost no wartime work but I really enjoyed this. I listened to the audiobook and thought it was great. I cannot wait for the next book because the ending of this definitely is the the end of these girl's stories. It is probably to be expected with this kind of book but just in case if you are very sensitive to violence, racism, sexism, anti-jew redirect or other prejudices that were super common during the World War II era this might not be the book for you. But that said I thought it all fit and fed the story and was never used in a gratuitous way.

4. Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Despite being from very different backgrounds, Jenna and Ash both hate the king of Arden. They have both witnessed his infamous cruelty first hand. Ash a healer of royal blood is set on revenge. Jenna who possesses a magemark she herself does not know to use finds herself running for her life. I really enjoyed the Seven Realm series and while I did like Flamecaster and plan to read the next book in the series I didn't find myself sucked into the story in quite the same way as the other books set a generation earlier did. I liked the characters and the story well enough. There was nothing wrong exactly it just didn't push me to say wow although I did enjoy listening to the story which was full of fighting, magic, and adventure.

5. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

This book is a different kind of adventure. Collin a long ago peeked child prodigy finds himself newly single on a Summer road trip with his lazy sassy friend. There is no real destination they are just going. They find themselves in a small town with a Summer job that allows Collin to try theorize about his Katherine dilemma. After all he has been dumped by 19 of them. Such an easy fun read perfect for when you want something light. There is no end of the world or conquering even at large but there is normal live up and downs fantastic characters, and adventure of a different sort. If you want a great story full of friendships and witty dialogue this is a great one to pick up.

6. Court of Fives by Kate Elliot

Jessamy has been training in secret. While she tries to live the life of am upper-class lady despite her undesirable heritage, what she really wants is just one chance to run the Fives, a course of varying skill (think the historical gladiators meets American Ninja Warrior). I'm just going to call this my favorite book I have read this year. Yup. If you read just one book on this list I vote for this one. It is SO good. The Fives part of the story is so fun and clever but it is also full of forbidden romance and one truly evil character. I just loved the setting. It reads like a historical fiction with the struggle of classes and racism while at the same time being full of adventure and a really fun game. I cannot wait to read the next book due out later this year.

7. All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Grace has a bad wrap and now finds herself moving in with her ambassador grandfather. The moment she leaves the grounds of her home she's in another country. When she steps foot in her neighbors house it is yet another country. That all is a part of living on Embassy row. But Grace has been struggling. Everyone else wants to believe her mother's death was just an accident but she is certain it is not. But it's hard to know what to think when all the evidence and professionals say otherwise. Ally Carter has done it again. I have really enjoyed all her books so far. This is no exception. Great characters, fun adventure, swoony boys and nothing too serious. If you ever found yourself (or even wished to be) living in a foreign country as a kid you will appreciate this even more.  It's perfect for when you want something fun.

8. Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

This is the second book in the Red Queen series that starts with Red Queen which was one of my favorite books I read last year. It is a great mix of dystopian and kids with powers and fighting and royalty and romance. So many of my favorite things! It's hard to give a not spoiler-y review so I'll keep it short and say if you enjoyed the Red Queen you will definitely like this. It is different than the first book in that this book is really a war book. There is lots of fighting and strategy (kind of like Mocking Jay) but it's really good and has all the things you liked from book one. If you haven't read these books yet you really need to fix that. I listened to the audiobooks and really enjoyed them!

9. Bluescreen by Dan Wells

Marissa and her friends like most everyone in this not so distant future spend most of their time online. In fact almost everyone is has smart device implants right in their own brains. The cultural diverse cast of characters seem like typical albeit technological savvy teens. But they find themselves mixed up with a new and very dangerous virtual drug that functions in their smart implants. So I am including this because even though I personally didn't enjoy listening to it I suspect that a big part of that had to do with the reader of the audiobook who among other things really over pronounced all the various names (every single time). It seemed to say, look this is a name from a "different culture" kind of like when people say quesadilla with the intense flair of Rick Bayless (his food looks great and I know that's how it's pronounced but it's soooo weird and distracting when it's mixed with English). The reader's "accents" also seemed caricaturish  to a point that might be borderline offensive to some and I am NOT someone who is easily offended by that kind of stuff. My sister on the other hand RAVED about this book (she read the hard copy). I just had a hard time getting into the story and I found the characters kind of unlikable. But even with that, I liked the story line and the setting and the great representation of characters.

10. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Julian Blackthorn had to grow up fast. After the war his eldest siblings were ripped away from him and his parents were gone. He has raised his siblings with no real help from his guardian of an uncle. Not wanting to lose yet another person Julian has bonded himself to his best friend Emma Carstairs as parabati. But as bodies start appearing things become more complicated as Emma insists that they are related to her own parents' murders. The newest generation of shadow hunters! Lady Midnight is the first book of Cassandra Clare's Dark Artifices series. And while you don't NEED to read the previous series I think you'll get a lot more out of this book if you read the series in order. But if you like Clare's writing you must read this. It is full of the witty banter, the wonderful magic system, the diverse host of characters both human, shadow hunter and paranormal, and of course romance. You Might Also Like: So many great books for Harry Potter fans. I've read a ton of these and totally agree with this reading list.

Huge list of books to read after Divergent. Lots of good ones and ones I haven't read yet!

Totally agree the 9 books are fantastic and the 1 is SOOOOO awful I'm shocked it was published and marketed to teens!