Top 10 Books to Take to the Pool

Great list of books to take to the pool Perfect for Summer reading.

So last week I shared my ah-mazing Pool Bag tutorial (used the bag today and I seriously loooooove it). So today I thought I’d share something related to the most important thing that goes into that bag…your reading material. Okay sunscreen, water and snacks rank up there too but there’s just something about the pool and a good book am I right?

I will refrain from adding any duplicates from last Summer’s 7 Books to Read this Summer list, although it’s kinda killing me to keep some off but if you guys promise to go over and peruse that list too I’ll have to live with that ;) So here without any more delay are 10 great books to take to the pool with you.

To read more about each just click on the title or book cover and you can check out the synopses.

aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe book reviewAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Two boys who meet at the pool (that’s right the pool) which an amazing friendship. Cute and honest coming of age book with lots of Summer-y moments and good stuff to think about.

across a star swept-sea by diana peterfreud great ya bookAcross a Star-Swept Sea – Umm a Sea is pretty much like a very big pool. But there’s water action in this book. And technically it’s a series or a companion book or what have you but you can totally read it without or before For the Darkness Shows the Stars. But FTDSTS is so good I just say read ’em both. But really Across a Sea Swept Sky SO good, lots fun socialite party action as well as rebel political kick butt girls changing the world. LOOVED this one.

Defy by Sarah B. Larson book reviewDefy – No overt pool or water that I remember in this one but it’s good. It’s a fun action read. Full of palace life, a girl guard, magic, and fantasy it’s one of my new favorite series. So good and when you’re done and wishing it wasn’t over you’ll be so happy to read Ignite :)

the jewel by amy ewing book reviewThe Jewel – In the mood for a good solid dystopian tale? Don’t worry it’s got everything you like about dystopian but with it’s own spin that makes it new and fresh and fun. Here’s a themes to spark your interest, surrogates, cute boys, a fashionable mentor, a secret rebellion.

the jewel by amy ewing book reviewMeant to Be – To me the pool is an escape and what’s even better than a pool escape? A real escape, like to another country. This is a super cute school trip to England book complete with romance and travel juice.

this is what happy looks like book reviewThis is What Happy Looks Like – It takes place in a beach town which is totally pool-ish but better! Plus the boy is so cute and lovable. The story is fun and easy to read. This is to me the epitome of a perfect Summer book. Trust me you want to read this.

atlantia book reviewAtlantia – It’s a whole land under the sea. Lots of water = very poolish if I do say so. This is a fun easy read and it’s not a part of a series for those of you wimps who are afraid of being sucked into another series and can’t just wait for the next books to come out ;). But really I enjoyed this a lot. Self identity and development, all kinds of relationships, and cute boys. A good pool book should have cute boys.

heist society book reviewHeist Society – Want some pure reading candy? I present to you Heist Society. It’s adorable. A boarding school for spy girls in training. Some of which who’s parents just think it’s a high end prep school. They are fun, easy fluff but through out the series I found myself more and more attached to the characters. And yes I’m quite a fan of the boy in this one too ;)

burn for burn book reviewBurn For Burn – Another beach town book but there’s more going on here than simple relationships. You get the story of three girls who are all out for revenge. It reads like an easy contemporary novel (i.e. chick lit in a good way) but with something below the surface making it super good. I read this book on vacation in just a few days and it was a fun read.

transparent by natalie whipple book reviewTransparent – I think Fiona and her crew are great for any time but there’s something nice and light about this book and it’s sequel that I think is perfect for the pool. Also this friends group is so awesome you’ll be happy to escape to their world where everyone has powers and it’s just as normal as wearing flip flops.

What do you think good ones? I would love to hear what some of your favorite poolside reads are too share them in the comments!

Top 10 Books to Take to the Pool. Great Summer reading list.

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


Summer Reading List: Must Read Books

Summer reading list. These books all sound so good in different ways.

There is just something about Summer and reading. Maybe it’s leftover from school days when we’d trek to the library and sign up for the Summer reading program and come home with a bag full of books. Who am I kidding I did that last Wednesday (yes I signed both Teddy and Me up for Summer reading programs I need that fee waiver!)

So with Summer in full swing, I know this to be true because I’ve thought it’s hot at least 20 times in the last hour, I present to you my Summer Reading list well my list thus far and only the good ones so you don’t have to waste your time on ones that I didn’t enjoy ;) Want to know what I’m reading as I go? Make sure to sign up for my newsletter where every week I  share what I’m currently week!

Click the titles or pictures to go read the descriptions of each book.

things we know by heartThings We Know By Heart

Need a fun Summer read that’s not your same old same old? This is the one. This is what I call “no more sick lit” you know where one of the main characters has spent most of their life fighting off a deadly disease but now needs to figure out how to be normal? While it does touch on some serious topics it’s a fast and easy read with good likable characters. This would be a great vacation or beach read. Cute book and I loved the audio bersion

french kids eat everything book reviewFrench Kids Eat Everything

What’s this a non-fiction book? Indeed but I had to include it because I kind of LOVED this book. I’m sure I’ll get grief about this but I’m really disturbed by how most American kids eat or rather don’t eat and the fact that parents and our society thinks it’s unavoidable. What I loved about this book was that she made applying the French perspective doable for a normal North American family in America. (Bringing Up Bebe which I also read and I thought was good in other ways was more this is how they do it and I was left wondering how we get to that point).

I loved how she shared the steps her family took and the steps SHE took as the mom to get her family where she wanted to be. It’s one thing to have ideals for the kids but really it starts with mom both changing her attitude towards food and how she prepares, offers, and talks about food with the family.

There is so much that I loved but one of the things that really stuck to me was that French kids eat well and there aren’t power struggles, threats, or bribes. It’s not about being a tyrant when it comes to food it really is about teaching your kids to appreciate food and giving them many many many opportunities to develop tastes for various foods. I will no longer entertain talk about what kids do or do not like eating when they have only tried a food item a handful of times. Until they’ve tried the food 20+ times cooked many different ways I’ll just figure they weren’t in the mood for it that day or haven’t given it a good enough chance.

I really loved this if you are even the slightest bit interested I recommend picking it up. The audiobook was great. It’s VERY interesting and informative.

99 days book review99 Days

This is an interesting contemporary. A girl comes back to the town where she was the center of some serious drama. After cheating on her boyfriend with his brother and having everyone shun her she’s back or the Summer before college. It’s got some serious things but more than that it’s a really cute Summer story with some romance and interesting relationship dynamics. While it’s not a “message-y” book I did love how it exploited the fact that so many times in cheating situations the girl gets all the grief when it takes two to tango. I flew through the audiobook. This would be a fun one to take to the beach or on a weekend getaway.

mark of the thiefMark of the Thief

I absolutely adored the Ascendance trilogy (starts with The False Prince), so I was super excited when I learned that Jennifer Nielsen had written another book. But this didn’t wow me. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, I’m glad I read it, I do recommend it. But it’s not one you need to rush to read. In fact it took me almost a month to get through and I tend to read books like this in under a week. It just didn’t grab me and keep me going. Still fun, still good though.

theodosia and the staff of osirisTheodosia and the Staff of Osiris

I’ve decided I am quite fond of Theodosia. I’ve read three of the books in the series now. This is book 2. And they are just quick easy fun. Don’t expect the depth and insight from LaFever’s other AH-mazing series His Fair Assassins, but these are good in their own right. Quirky, fun, midgrade full of adventure and bright kids fighting evil. Good for boys and girls. The audiobook is a must.

the girl on the train book reviewThe Girl on the Train

Not my normal kind of book. This is probably the most popular book club book right now so of course for our first month my book club read it ;) It had so many things I didn’t like – unlikable characters, everything happens in the narrators’ mind’s (very little dialogue), and I didn’t really like it that much until the ending and I just am not sure a book should hinge THAT drastically on the ending, shouldn’t I like it along the way too? But even with all of that I still liked it so that’s definitely something. I’ve definitely an interesting read that will keep you entertained. The audiobook was good! It is adult and deals with cheating, I know that some people can’t read about that stuff.

magonia ya bookMagonia

This has been marketed as a sci-fi fantasy take on The Fault in Our Stars. And I honestly think that’s a good description. When I heard that it also incorporates alternative realities I was giddy. It was good but I wanted to like it more. The story was so interesting with many twists and turns yet it’s a pretty short book. I think it could have been longer and developed/explained a few things more. But the biggest barrier for me was that it was kind of creature-y. I’m all about sci-fi technology and fantasy powers but when it comes to animals talking and characters being more beast-like than human I loose interest. I enjoyed it but it just wasn’t my favorite. That being said if you do like the creature-y tales I think you should check Magonia out because it’s a super creative very interesting book. Also the audio version was great. Two perspectives with two readers. I LOOOOVE when they don’t force once reader to do both genders!

ignite defy book reviewIgnite

This is book 2 of the Defy series you might remember my gushing about book 1. Well this sequel is just as good. Seriously if you like action, royalty, strong interesting brave girls that can kick but, and romance you need to pick up this series it is one of my new favorites. I don’t want to give any spoilers for book one but I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to give it a shout out!

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





7 Fun Board Books For Baby

great board books for baby showers or first birthday parties

We have lots of books. And by lots I mean piles and piles everywhere. You might think they are all my books but the biggest culprit of the book hoarding in this family has to be Teddy. He’s got a giant stash upstairs and another downstairs.

Darling board books perfect for baby gifts for showers or first birthdays

We’re blessed to have friends and family that support our book addiction. My one friend commented after Teddy’s birthday that she’s never seen so many books given as gifts at a birthday.

Great list of board books for babies. Perfect for baby shower gifts or 1st birthday parties

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Seriously I think a book is the perfect gift for any kid. So today I’m sharing some of our favorite board baby board books.

7 Fun Board Books for Baby

Great unique board books that every baby needs. Perfect gift idea for showers or 1st birthday parties

These are some of our favorites. Ones that both Teddy and we can happily read over and over. I think the Very First Words book gets read Every.Single.Day because Teddy just adores it! If you’re heading to a first birthday party any time soon or even a baby shower these are some gems.

fun board books for baby

What are some of your favorite books for the little ones?

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


25+ Must Read Audiobooks

great list of audiobooks. Great books for Summer reading or road trips

June is Audiobook month and even if you think they are not for you I beg you to hear me out. I wrote a whole big long posts for why you should give audio books a try but in short audiobooks are awesome. Audiobooks and Summer are the perfect match since they are great for road trips, keeping yourself distracted while you tend to house or yard work or even while working out. But really if you like reading I encourage you this June to try an audiobook. I have to this day only met ONE person who after actually trying to listen to audiobooks said they weren’t for her and even since that she’s enjoyed listening to audiobooks of books she’s already read! Lots of people won’t even try but I think if you give them a chance you just might fall in love. After all I too was an extreme naysayer.

If you’re an audiobook newbie I encourage you to try two things this June: listen to the audio version of a book that you have already read and loved. Listen to an audiobook that’s completely new to you.

I’ve listened to A LOT of audiobooks but just for you I’m narrowing it down to my top 25ish. You can click on the title of each to read the synopsis of each of these book. I have personally listened to all of these and loved both the stories and performances for each of these titles. Also a lot of these are series so if you like them you can continue the stories!

Tons of great books to listen too. Audiobooks are great for yard work and road trips

Books for the Whole Family

This first group of books are great for young and old so they would be good candidates for family road trips. They have varying degrees of maturity but if you’re wondering about something specific just ask me and I’ll do my best to give you my opinion. But I would think most Middle Schoolers should be fine with the content.

YA Dystopian, Sci-Fi and Fantasy

All of these have some magical or fantastical element. They are still all Young Adult appropriate but if listening to them with kids I’d use discretion.

Contemporary and Historical Fiction

These are all books with stories and characters that could actually happen. No magic or powers. Some of these have historical settings. Some have characters in odd situations but they are all more realistic than the two groups of books so far.

great list of audiobooks to listen too. perfect books to read for family road trips


Unfortunately years of grad school burned me out on non-fiction so I don’t read a ton but here are a few that I really enjoyed. Sorry if you are into entrepreneurial life and getting kids to eat well haha.

It’s true that some books don’t translate the best to the audio format (like those that flip through time or that you find yourself having to flip back and forth while reading to remember who is who or what is going on) but in my experience there are only a handful of books that I thought were good but just didn’t work listening.

Awesome audiobooks to check out. Great reading list for road trips.

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


Books for When You Need an Escape

haagen dazs disclosureGreat list of books! Perfect reading list when you need an escape

Sometimes you just need to grab a tub of ice cream, a good book, and escape. Today I’m sharing a list of book for when you need to get away from the stress and demands of real life. Some of these are good for when you just want a vacation but can’t get away, others when you need a break from regular life, and other when you just want to jump into another world all together. All of these are perfect for curling up under a tree with Haagen Dazs new #ArtisanFlavors Ice Creams (the Tres Leches Brigadeiro is my favorite) and getting in some me time! And make sure to check out the giveaway below! #CollectiveBias

Haagen Dazs Artisan Collection

Life is hard and sometimes we just need a little break. So, grab your some ice cream because here are 10 books for when you need to escape. For each I’m including why I think it makes a great escape read! You can click each of the titles to take you to amazon where you’ll be able to read the full description of the book.

Books for When You Need an Escape
atlantia great ya book about family and being who you were meant to beAtlantia
– For when you want to escape the expectations everyone (maybe even you yourself) has for you. A fun standalone book about sisters who live in a community underwater and their individual paths.

meant to be great book for when you feel like travelingMeant to Be – For when you want to literally escape and go on vacation. Run away into a school trip to London with this easy read full of Summer travel and even a little romance.

the night circus one of the best books everThe Night Circus – For when you want to escape the dullness of everyday’s responsibilities and fall into something mysterious and magical. You want want to leave the gorgeous world of the Night Circus. Watching the circus be built the magic all around and drama within will give you a break from your own drama in the most entertaining and magical way.

the summer i turned prettyThe Summer I Turned Pretty – For when you want to escape grown up life and go live by the beach with cute boys. This is the perfect “I wish I could just go to the beach” book. It’s light, it’s cute, it’s not completely shallow and there are two more books in the series so when you’re done you don’t have to be done.

dash and lilyDash & Lily’s Book of Dares – For when you want to escape your own insecurities and just let loose in an adorable good clean PG-13 way ;) The characters in this book will steal your heart along with your worries. They are so quirky and loveable this easy light read is perfect for getting lost in whenever you need a brake.

girl of fire and thorns fabulous YA fantasyThe Girl of Fire and Thorns – For when you want to escape the shadows and be something more. Oh this book I can’t even describe how great it is. It’s light fantasy, no talking creatures, but plenty of magic and a heroine who is brutally honest with her doubts, who isn’t perfect but who tries to do the right thing. This series is one of my all time favorites

the sea of tranquilityThe Sea of Tranquility – For when you want to escape your past and the crappy things life has thrown in your path. Everyone is broken to some degree and these characters have had it bad. A boy that avoids getting close to anyone and a girl who doesn’t talk but dresses like trouble. The way they help each other will win you over and make you believe that as bad as things might be you can get through it.

amy and roger's epic detourAmy & Roger’s Epic Detour – Also for when you want to escape the junk that life hands you but in a lighter and more literal way than The Sea of Tranquility. This is a road trip book! Jump into the car with Amy and Roger as they try to avoid the crap but find a way to work through it and have an adventure.

throne of glass super awesome heroine fantasyThrone of Glass – For when you want to escape the mistakes you’ve made and become someone really amazing. Join  Celaena, teen assasin as she tries to earn her freedom from a heinous work camp. Its a competition of brutality but not without romance and plenty of cute boys. This book is so hard to describe but it’s great. It’s light fantasy with the books later in the series even more so but they are all excellent and a great distraction from this world!

I'lll give you the sun great YA bookI’ll Give You the Sun – For when you want to escape the burden of carrying other people’s secrets. Two very different siblings at two different times. They’ve been through a lot and find themselves dealing with it in different ways. The story alternates from his perspective when they are younger to hers a few years later. It’s such a unique book I found it hard to get into at first but I’m glad I stuck with it because it’s quite brilliant.

!0 great books for when you need an escape. These all look great

Which ever book you pick make sure to grab a container of the luxurious Haagen Dazs Artisan Collection for the ultimate escape. I found mine at Walmart.
Häagen Dazs #ArtisanFlavors Contest

Books and ice cream. Great reading list for when you need me time

If you follow me on Instagram you know my husband and I are crazy foodies and we cannot resist new fancy ice cream flavors. I had to limit us to just 3 this time bwahaha. I can’t wait to try all of the Artisan Collection flavors. My favorite of this bunch was the Tres Leches Brigadeiro which is a chocolaty caramely yumminess. My husband is super obsessed with the Banana rum jam Ice Cream and I think the Ginger Molasses tastes just like Christmas in a carton, great for ginger fans. Thanks to Haagen Dazs for sponsoring this book list, this is a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while and we are already long time fans of Haagen Dazs so win win right? To learn more visit Haagen Dazs on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Haagen Dazs Artisan Collection at Walmart

I shared some of my favorite treats and reads for when I just need some me time, what are some of your favorites?

Mommy me time reading list. Books for when you need an escape

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


What I Read: 6 Very Different but Good Reads

Need to read all of these books

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 peterfreud great ya bookAcross 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 great YA read for SummerOn 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 WallerA 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. RowlingThe 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 the selection seriesThe 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 great contemporary young adult bookBeing 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.

These books look good. Need to check them out.

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


Top Ten Authors of All Time, that’s right ALL TIME!!!

9 Authors you need to read ASAP

I get anxiety when someone asks who my favorite author is. I mean goodness I need context, are you looking for a book suggestion, is it just small talk (no that can’t book books are never SMALL talk), how could I possibly pick? There are just so many good books and I know so many great books I haven’t read yet or haven’t even heard about!

But even still, I thought it would be fun torture to try and force myself to play along with the Broke and the Bookish gals and share my Top Ten Authors of All Time. These are authors that I adore what I’ve read from them, wish they would write more and more and more, and have recommended their stories over and over. And most of all they are authors that have written stories and characters that I just clicked with!

In no particular order my Top Ten Authors of All Time:

J.K. Rowling

She makes the list purely based on the Harry Potter books. I haven’t read the other ones but come on Harry Potter is ENOUGH! I will get to her non-potter books. In fact let me go add them to my library holds right now. Okay I’m back. But really the world building, the magic, the friendships, the adventure, it doesn’t get much better!

Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game was probably my first ever favorite book. And I’ve read the Shadow books that continue the series over and over. I am not a re-reader but these books are the wonderful exception. I’ve read a few other of card’s series and he’s a magician with the people and emotions and relationships. I’m more into the light Sci-fi, political strategic side of his works. But really it’s the characters for me but don’t get me wrong I adore his stories too!

Kirstin Cashore

Goodness the Graceling books have so many things I love about books without being predictable and formulaic. Romance, kids with powers, fighting, amazing strong female characters and more. The relationships are so great and the stories are so so so unique and full of adventure. Goodness I just want more and more and more.

Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorn books blew me away. Carson did many things in these books that usually would make me SO mad but amazingly enough they fit the story so well and she TOLD the story so well I didn’t mind. I let them impact me as they were meant to but didn’t ache to rewrite the story. Uniquely strong and real female characters that are so admirable, realistic romance, and just enough fantasy and adventure were some of the highlights but what I really loved was her honest depiction of a person of faith. Amazing how accurately she captured the struggle and commitment for the religious life even while not embracing it herself. These books are SO good and I can’t wait until her next book Walk on Earth a Stranger which is due out in September.

Richelle Mead

Richelle Mead writes like candy crack and that’s the truth. But the thing is it’s not shallow foofy stuff. Granted her work is lighter and not quite as deep as some of the other authors on this list but there’s still substance to them while being freakishly fun. She has sass and humor down, she knows how to suck you in and her boys are dreamy and her girls can kick butt most of the time literally! I’ve read both her YA and Adult books and while I think that the first books of her series are always a bit slow (something about the way she introduces the characters and sets up the worlds) once you get that preliminary stuff out of the way you can’t turn back. Even if you are a Vampire hater like I was ignore the title and pick up Vampire Academy the series and spin off are SO good. If you’re like me you’ll be driving from library to library to get the next one before they close on Sunday (true story).

Must read authors. Great for young adults and young at heart.

Robin La Fevers

For the love of steaming HEALTHY, noteworthy romances that are things to admire plus crazy adventure and gorgeous writing. The His Fair Assassins books are full of depth and meaning and all kinds of admirable stuff without being preachy in any way shape or form. They are the epitome of good entertainment where I’m concerned. Historical fiction, assassin teen nuns, royalty and castle life, tough situations, these books are so unique but at the same time so good. I hope she keeps writing YA because these are good. I’ve been meaning to check out her middle grade books but I have a hold for the first book of the Theodosia series.

Erin Mortenson

Yes I know she only has one book, The Night Circus but it was so ah-mazing. It put a spell on me and I want more. This book is so unique and the story is told jumping back and forth between different years. The imagery is incredible I want to make so many things from this story. I only wish I could get lost in more stories from her!

Cassandra Clare

Her books are SO fun. These are more on the lighter side but I adore the adventure and the awesome Shadowhunter world that she has built. Plus she is a master of humor and happy endings. I believe that the phrase So Many Feels was created just to be able to describe her books. The non-romantic friendships are so great, the romance is awesome, but the banter and adventure make me come back for more and more and more. Thankfully she seems happy to crank out books.

Marissa Meyer

And to think I thought Cinder sounded so dumb when I first heard about it. I’ve had to eat my words on that one SO many times because Marissa Meyer is a story telling genius. Really I swear her books just keep getting better and better. She dives in to focusing on a new character and you think you’ll be sad not to still be focused on the first batch but she ties it all in and the new characters are so awesome it’s like a happy land of awesomeness. Okay that probably didn’t make much sense but you should just read it as gush gush gush because it’s hard to write how great I think her books are. She’s landed squarely in the buy without question list for me. Sci-fi (but not annoying creatures, more technology and powers), fairy-tales, swoon worthy boys, strong and capable girls, lots of action, and crazy interwoven story lines!

To Be Determined

I’ve had this post written up for almost two weeks now trying to figure out who would grab the last place and while there were a few I tossed around like Marie Lu and Jandy Nelson both amazing story tellers, in the end I couldn’t pick. And I think it’s because I know there’s someone who I haven’t meet yet. There’s an author who’s stories I have yet to fall in love with, maybe who has yet to publish their book. Whatever the case. The rest of the writers on this list all grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I believe that the owner of spot #10 will do the same when it’s his or her time.

What about you? Who would you say are some of your all time favorite authors?

Great list of awesome looking authors to check out.  Must read.

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


What I Read AKA 8 awesome books to add your list of books to read

All of these books sound so good. Lots of good variety on this book list.

The weather has been GORGEOUS so I’ve been walking every day for Teddy’s nap. And where there is walking there is audiobook listening. I have listened and read so many great books lately I’m really excited to share them with you. It’s a good mix of books that I just hadn’t gotten around to and new releases. Here are the most notable of the bunch! You can see a complete list of the books I’ve read on my goodreads.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

If you like warrior girls, light fantasy, and lots of adventure you will really enjoy this! I loved the audiobook and found myself actually exercising longer and doing household tasks I had put off just so I could listen longer. Fans of Graceling and Girl of Fire and Thorns should check this out.

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

This book is jammed packed full of things that I love: dystopian (albeit light fantasy) setting, kids with powers, classic rags to riches/fairy tales, fighting and training, political intrigue, and of course romance. It makes it on one hand a bit predictable but hey I know what I like and when you put all the things I like together I’m happy. I listened to the audiobook which was great. Liked the Hunger Games, Super Heroes, and castle life stories? Then this is the book for you. 

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

This is not my standard genre although I do enjoy most historical fiction when I read it. I picked this up not knowing a single thing about it. Like nothing nothing. I just knew SO many people said it was amazing. And it was but it is also a Stalin era book (so like Holocaust but Stalin). You spend a lot of time in prison/labor camps. There is some rough stuff but this book is in no way a downer. People do die (as MANY did in the real thing) but it’s a beautiful story and the characters are great. Plus I believe it’s a part of history that we should be better educated about. Push yourself and pick this up!

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkowski

There was a lot of hype about this book and I can see why. It’s a very interesting and unique story. I found it to be unpredictable which is not very common in most YA books I read. If you like a good cross socioeconomic friendships with interesting political maneuvering this is a good one. Lots of twists and turns. I listened to the audiobook which features a number of “accents” I’m still not 100% what I thought about that but I’m leaning towards kind of liking it. If you liked For the Darkness Shows the Stars or The Seven Realms books I can see you really enjoying this.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Oh I go back and forth on this. I mean I liked it for sure but there is something to say about a book that I find just okay until the very end. Yes it all comes together, yes I enjoyed the whole book but I found myself thinking “what’s the hype” until the end. So this is more like a 3.5 maybe 3.7 but good. I’m glad I read it. Very memorable characters, friendships, coming of age sorts of things, and some good life lessons that would be awesome to learn in a book and not 1st hand. I’ve never read The Perks of Being a Wallflower but based on my watching of the movie I can see people who liked that loving this.

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

The following are sequels so I won’t include the synopses since I don’t want to spoil anything thing for those of you who haven’t started these series yet!

Waistcoats and Weaponry (Finishing School #3) by Gail Carriger

All the feels you guys all the feels! But really if you’ve read the first two books and liked them drop everything and grab yourself a copy because this is SOOOOO good. If you haven’t started this series it’s WAY cute. It’s about a group of girls that are in a finishing school that’s really a front for spy training. And it’s all stem punked out. The characters are so charming and loveable. But weirdly enough I could not get through Etiquette and Espionage when I tried reading it (twice) luckily I decided to give the audiobooks a try and loved it. These books are a must listen. Think of it as a combo of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Infernal Devices series.

The Opal Crown (The Opal Mask #2) by Jenny Lundquist

LOVE THIS BOOK. LOVE THIS SERIES. I hope deep in my heart that she does a spin off series within this world because I loved them so so so so so much. If you haven’t read The Princess in the Opal Mask it’s so original and unique I can’t gush enough you just need to read it. This is the perfect sequel. If you liked The False Prince books, The Books of Bayern, or His Fair Assassin series (although this is very different) I think you will adore The Opal Mask books.

The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines #6) by Richelle Mead

Let me just say that Mead KNOWS how to do endings right!!! This is the perfect end to an amazing series. It all started in the Vampire Academy books and continued in these Bloodline books and I adore them. Love the characters and the adventure and the world and the sass! If you haven’t started Vampire Academy you’re just being plain silly. These books are some of my favorites and I really don’t like vampires. The name of the series is atrocious but trust me the books are really great. If you liked Harry Potter (those this is probably for older kids) and The Mortal Instruments you need to read these.

Great list of books to read. Good variety and perfect for young adults or adults.

So what have you been reading? I honestly want to know! Feel free to tell me in the comments.

If you’ve blogged about it feel free to leave a link to a recent book review or reading recap. And don’t forget that every week on Instagram and Facebook I do a a reading roll call. I’d love you to follow and join in!

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


100+ Books for Divergent Fans

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

Insurgent hits the theaters later this month so to celebrate I thought I’d make a massive gigantor list of books for Divergent fans. I know that Divergent struck a chord with so many of us and whether you have been reading ever since or you just keep meaning to find another book I’ve got some great suggestions for your reading list. Between all the books in all of these series there are well over 100 books in this list so plenty for you to pick from.

Since there are so many I’m breaking them down into different groups. I’m not putting any descriptions just because that would make the post crrrrraaaaazy long. But I’m linking all the books so feel free to click on the titles to read the synopses on amazon. I’ll make sure to update this list as I read other great books and if I have missed any of your favorites please leave them in the comments and I’ll make sure to add them too!

My Top Fifteen Books for Divergent Lovers

What to read after Divergent. Huge list of awesome YA reads.

These books are some of my favorites. Most of them are series. Actually all of them except Atlantia. So there are a lot of books in that bunch. Some are finished some are new and still have books coming out. All of them I adored. When I think of Divergent I think of Tris and her strong personality, action and fighting, romance and friendship, sassy banter, a political/social setting that is off or dystopian. Each of these share many of these features. Some are more realistic like Divergent and some have magical elements. All of them are great! And some I’ve grown to love even more than Divergent (gasp, I know don’t tell okay).

  1. Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
  2. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (starts with Cinder)
  3. The Lone City Trilogy by Amy Ewing (starts with The Jewel)
  4. Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch
  5. The Program by Suzanne Young
  6. Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
  7. Pivot Point by Kasie West
  8. Fire and Thorn Series by Rae Carson (starts with Girl of Fire and Thorns)
  9. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  10. Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  11. The Selection by Kiera Cass
  12. Atlantia by Ally Condie
  13. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
  14. Blackout by Robison Wells
  15. The Ward by Jordana Frankel

Classics of Sorts, If You Haven’t Read Them You Should I Love These!

These are books I loved very very much many in their own right or before Divergent. But I do think those who loved Divergent will appreciate these. I’m giving them their own category since many of you have probably read them :)

  1. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  2. Ender’s Game and then The Shadow Series by Orson Scott Card
  3. The Harry Potter Books by J.K. Rowling
  4. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  5. Vampire Academy and then Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

I Liked These Too But I’d Recommend Them After The First Two Groups

  1. Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver
  2. Partials Sequence by Dan Wells
  3. Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie
  4. Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien
  5. Reboot by Amy Tintera
  6. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
  7. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
  8. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
  9. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
  10. Legend of Tril by Heather Brewer (starts with Soulbound)

Divergent read a likes. If you liked Divergent you'll love these.

I Read These and I Know Lots of People Who Liked Divergent Liked These But They Weren’t My Favs

So here’s the deal with these books, I read them but for one reason or another they were not my favorites. Most of these series I didn’t like enough to finish. Whether I couldn’t jive with the characters, the writing style irritated me, or some other personal reason I didn’t love these. But that being said you might. I can see why other people liked that (and many many people do) so you might want to check them out.

  1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  3. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  4. Dustlands by Moira Young (starts with Blood Red Road)
  5. The Razorland Trilogy by Ann Aguirre (starts with Enclave)
  6. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I Have Not Read These Personally But I’ve Heard People Love These

  1. Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning (not YA starts with Darkfever)
  2. Uglies by Scott Westerfield
  3. White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter (starts with Alice in Zombieland)
  4. Hourglass by Myra McEntire
  5. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
  6. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
  7. Slated by Teri Terry
  8. Variant by Robison Wells
  9. Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness (starts with The Knife of Never Letting Go)
  10. Gone by Michael Grant
  11. Fallen World by Megan Crewe (starts with The Way We Fall)
  12. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  13. Unwind by Neal Schustman
  14. Chemical Garden by Lauren DeStefano (starts with Wither)
  15. Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

Great list of Divergent DIY's, recipes, crafts, products and more at Rae Gun Ramblings

Feeling festive? You also might like my Divergent crafts, recipes and DIY projects article. Want even more Divergent awesomeness? I have a whole category on my blog of Divergent related book posts, reviews, craft ideas, recipes, and more see all my Divergent posts!

28 tutorials, recipes, party ideas and more for Harry Potter fans - Rae Gun Ramblings

Do you love Harry Potter too? I have tons of great Harry Potter related posts for you to check out! This one includes a link to all the posts that were a part of my 2014 Happy Harry Potter series that I hold every July.

And for more book suggestions you can see all my book reviews here!

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What I’ve Been Reading AKA Great Books for You to Add to Your Reading List

 Great books that you probably have never heard of - Rae GUn Ramblings

I’m really excited about the last few books I’ve read. They just kinda sparked something in me. If you need to take one book from my list I vote for The Jewel. I finished it earlier this week and I realllllly liked it. But the others are super good to so just add them all to your list reading list okay ;) And I always love to hear what good books you’ve been reading so please let me know in the comments!

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

You guys I totally adored this book! I wasn’t expecting to like The Jewel this much but I did. It seems like we’ve been bombarded by dystopian in the last few years and if you’re like me you’ve developed a more picky pallet for the genre. But let me just say this one does it right. The Jewel wasn’t really on my radar. I listened to the audiobook and was hooked. The story, the characters, it was my kind of book. It’s got thoughtful girls, some nasty villains, good friendships, secret romance, powers, and a new world that is so fun to peer into. If you’ve read The Handmaiden’s Tale or Birthmarked it has familiar elements of the surrogates as slaves (but better than those). There is a competition aspect as well as fine accommodations that you find in The Selection. There was also a Hunger Games vibe for me in the preparation before the surrogate auction and behind the scenes shenanigans. Pick it up you won’t be sorry.

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question. 

It’s one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she’s queen of following rules and being prepared. That’s why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that’s also why she’s chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB (“meant to be”).

But this spring break, Julia’s rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she’s partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

I loved Meant to Be. I’ve been in the mood for light fluff contemporary. This fit the bill perfectly. And I say that not as a bad thing it’s just fun and easy to read with out having to think to hard to follow or enjoy it you know. I had this sitting on my ipod forever. Why hadn’t I read it before? If you want some light travel contemporary romance this is so fun. I really enjoyed it and there are some unexpected twists at the end. If you’re a fan of Anna and the French Kiss and love traveling to other places in books this is a good one.

 fairest marissa meyer

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now. 

I was able to sneak away to attend a signing for Fairest and Marissa Meyer was just as lovely and charming as every. But the book…oh the back story was so good. As good as the other books? No but I loved having the history and new perspective. If you’re a fan of The Lunar Chronicles reading this is an absolute no brainer. Really it’s a good read and so many pieces fall into place (I know some times it’s hard for me to keep everyone straight in the books holey moley there are so many characters). And a bonus the first 3 chapters of Winter are in the back of this puppy!

Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process.

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

Get Even is LOTS of fun. A great mystery. Unlike so many ya books lately you don’t have to worry about any “horror” while the story does include murder there’s nothing graphic. It’s more of a good solid mystery with lots of high school politics and drama. Very entertaining I cannot wait to read the next one. If you have a chance to listen to the audiobook I highly recommend that!

The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead (Age of X #2)

Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.

Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.

Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret.  REALLY liked this. Although this isnt being marketed as YA this book very comparable content-wise with many more mature YA books. The main differences I see are that the story flows a bit slower than mores YA books and hits some more mature topics. 

Unlike most of the books I read this is marketed to adults and for this series it just means a bit more mature themes and topics for this series that mostly means a bit more detailed and slower pacing and some sexual stuff (although not tons and not graphic it ranges from rape to prostitution to romantic stuff). But I really liked this book. I feel like most of Mead’s first books are all about world building and introducing characters and now that that’s out of the way she can get to what she’s good at developing awesome characters and crazy story lines. I love the complex characters and different plot lines are as well as the the strange magic system. Lots off goodness here. If you like girls that can kick butt, complicated love interests, and a good mystery check this out.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen’s relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and — finally — a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel shows that the center of the world isn’t necessarily a place. It can be a person, too

I’ve been reading through Jennifer E. Smith’s books like a crazy girl, they are just so fast and fun. I really liked The Geography of You and Me but it is different than her other books I’ve read. The pacing for this book is much slower and at first I thought that was an annoying thing. But after finishing it I’ve decided it fits perfectly with the story. This tale takes place during a much longer time period in many different places. It is so fun to travel all over the US and world with these different characters. It wasn’t a page turner but it was really enjoyable and a sweet story.

Great books to add to your reading list - Rae Gun Ramblings

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