I’m excited to share the highlights from my last month of reading. If you’ve been following along on Instagram you know what I’ve been reading since I do a weekly reading roll call. It’s so fun sharing my current books and seeing what you guys are reading. But these are my thoughts on some of my favorites that I’ve read and listened to over the last month. To see the full lists check out my Goodreads.
Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.
On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.
Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.
This book is technically a sequel but you don’t bump into familiar characters until 300 pages in and even then you don’t NEED book one. It’s a similar word but even then not really. There are so many great things about this fabulous characters, fun fashion, adventures, more than strong females, smart and cute boys, great messages that aren’t preachy at all. And a really fun story. The first book For the Darkness Shows the Stars is excellent too so I say go read that one and then read this one knowing that while it’s down as a sequel it’s more of a companion book and you’ll be meeting a whole new lot of characters that are just as great. My only reservation about both these books in this “series” is that they are slow starters for me. It just takes me a while to get sucked in but when I do I’m in love.
On the Fence by Kasie West
For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she’s spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.
To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can’t solve Charlie’s biggest problem: she’s falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.
Kasie West has not written a book that I haven’t liked yet. Thankfully she seems to be cranking them out. On the Fence is a very cute contemporary story about a real tomboy jock girl who comes from a family of all boys. I love how sporty she is. I love how she is one of the guys. And I love how she starts to figure out who she is as a girl. There’s sweet romance and good characters that you expect from Kasie. I read this book in one day which I don’t do often. I’m not a particularly fast reader but I was just sucked in and didn’t want to stop).
A Mad, Wicked, Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?
An artist and a revolution and a little romance. I really should read more historical fiction. I need you guys who read that kind of stuff to suggest some good ones! I really liked A Mad, Wicked Folly. The story is so rich and the characters are fantastic. My only complaint is that I wanted to know what happened faster and since I was listening to the audiobook I couldn’t just push forward.
The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)
A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.
Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.
You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.
And if you thought historical fiction was out of my comfort zone then surely an adult murder mystery detective story is way on a different planet but you know I HAD to read JK Rowling’s (under a pen name) book, The Cuckoo’s Calling. I enjoyed it, it kept my attention the whole stinking time and it was long. Am I aching to read the next, no but I do want to get to it eventually. Am I wishing I had read it sooner, no but I’m happy I read it. I’d say if you’ve been curious do yourself a favor and check it out. I listened to the audiobook which I really enjoyed. And for those of you who are expecting Harry Potter Rowling just know this is an adult book with adult themes and lots of swears just in case you’re uncomfortable with that sort of thing.
The Queen by Kiera Cass
<em>Before America Singer’s story began, another girl came to the palace to compete for the hand of a different prince….
Don’t miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series. This prequel story takes place before the events of The Selection and is told from the point of view of Prince Maxon’s mother, Amberly. Discover a whole new Selection with this inside look at how Maxon’s parents met—and how an ordinary girl named Amberly became a beloved queen.
I don’t often read novellas but I really liked listening to the story of The Queen from The Selection series. While I liked getting her back story I was a bit disappointed in how she was portrayed. We know she gets the guy in the end (I mean the title and ahem she’s the Queen) but it seems like she got him by blindly and mindlessly doing what he wanted and that rubbed me the wrong way. Not exactly the kind of character I want my nieces reading about. I get that not all characters need to be great but it’s such a short tale it had the feel of “she gets the guy but being a doormat”. Maybe I’m being harsh or hypersensitive but that was my impression. That being said I did enjoy listening to it. You should go listen to the audiobook and come back and tell me what you think.
Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.
Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.
When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.
Another sports book this time hockey and figure skating. If you need a book for when you want to run away from your life or swap lives with someone else this is for you. It’s got some serious themes but reads in a lighthearted manner making it really kind of great. Cute boys and Summer sports camp complete with some cool friends makes Being Sloane Jacobs a great book to take on your next weekend trip.
Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.
JOIN THE COOL KIDS
Get quick and easy recipes + crafts straight to your inbox!
I just finished the Vampire academy books (all five) on your recommendation. I have three other books lined up, but after that, I will read one of the five you showed above.
Also, if you haven’t read A Clockwork Orange yet, I highly recommend it. Its not an easy read but it is terrifyingly amazing.