August 2014 Most Wanted Books

I know I always highlight upcoming releases in my Catalog Creepin’ posts but typically those are far off when the catalog just comes out. I wanted to highlight the books I’m excited about/intrigued about that I think you should be looking at, too! I change my categories at random! You can find old Most Wanted posts here.

 

Man, it’s been a couple months since I’ve showed you all what I was excited about for each month and think should be on YOUR radar as well! May through July was CRAZY and something had to give…this post ended up being one of those things haha.

 

A YA Retelling

Of Metal and Wishes Sarah Fine

Of Metal & Wishes by Sarah Fine
Factors for wanting it: It showed up in the mail and I had never heard of it. I’ve been on a little fantasy binge with the Sarah J. Maas so I’m excited — a gothic re-imagining of The Phantom of the Opera!! UM YEAH.
Amazon | Goodreads

 

 

2 Contemporary YA Picks

contemporary-YA-august-2014

Magnolia by Kristi Cook
Factors for wanting it: Set in the South! Southern royalty! Romance! But not just a romance…a romance where they start out hating each other!
Amazon | Goodreads

Random by Tom Leveen Factors for wanting it: I love interactions with strangers that change your life and in this case it’s a stranger saying he won’t kill himself if she gives one good reason for him not to kill himself! I also really want to know what Tori did before this call happens! Very excited this one was sent for review because I had been eying it!!
Amazon | Goodreads

A Companion to A Novel I’ve Previously Read

Just Call My Name

Just Call My Name by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Factors for wanting it: I loved I’ll Be There and this is a companion novel to that. I think it was sooo underrated and I’m excited to dive into my copy soon!
Amazon | Goodreads

 


2 Adult Fiction Picks

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Shelter Me by Catherine Mann
Factors for Wanting It: DOG ON THE COVER! Romance (not with the dog)! Main character works at an animal shelter!
Amazon | Goodreads

Driving With The Top Down by Beth Harbison
Factors for Wanting It: Road trip of unlikely characters! Friendship! Secrets!
Amazon | Goodreads

A Horror Pick

The Girl From The Well

 Factors For Wanting It: It sounds mega creepy!! SERIOUSLY.
Amazon | Goodreads

 

August Releases I Have Read:

Isla and the Happily Ever After

!!!!!! FINALLY !!!!!
Did you know I’m hosting a readalong for Anna, Lola and Isla with some friends ps??

 

 

So guys, which ones have you read? Which ones are you excited for? What are some other August releases you are looking forward to or have read that I don’t have on here? And for the love of puppies, please tell me which ones I should read FIRST out of these?

 

You may also enjoy:

There are affiliate links in this post wherein if you purchase through them I receive a small commission which helps me do giveaways and keep this blog up. So, if I compelled you to buy a book and you’d like to purchase through my affiliate link I’d be super grateful!

Book Talk: Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

Book Talk: Little Mercies by Heather GudenkaufLittle Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf
Publisher/Year: Harlequin- June 2014
Genres: Adult Contemporary
Format: ARC
Source: For Review
Other Books From Author: The Weight of Silence, These Things Hidden, One Breath Away,

 
AmazonGoodreadsTwitter

I received this from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

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Ellen is a social worker and an advocate for children who has seen some PRETTY awful things — neglect, abuse and just pure evil. She finds herself fulfilled in protecting these children and tries to balance her career with her husband and children. On a day where her attention is elsewhere she finds herself on the other side of her job as her daughter’s life is in jeopardy and her role as a mother could be shaken up. At the same time, a little girl named Jenny finds her way into Ellen’s life. Jenny’s on her own because of some decisions her father made and she isn’t sure she wants to go home…at least not without finding out what she came for.

a2This would make a great book club book! (It even prompted this post!)

a41. I love how this took a issue that has been in the news and humanized it: I don’t want to say what the THING is because I want you to be as surprised as I was with how the events unfolded. I’ll just say it’s something that has been in the news and I’ve seen heated debates over. It’s easy to say these statements about the situation but as you read the story you find yourself sympathetic (at least I did) to the main character because I know it’s something that could happen to me easily. It’s those split second moments that change things and I felt the gravity of her situation. I found it was good to read this one because I am SO quick to judge when I see things.  Would be SUCH a good book for book club!

2. I couldn’t put it down at all: I had to know how it was going to turn out for both storylines. I was reading it furiously at the pool. There’s enough drama and tense situation that it’s easy to get caught up in. Ellen is being looked at like the very parents SHE has to investigate in her job as a social worker and I honestly loved seeing her perception of her clients change in some ways as she navigates the same system they have.

3. It was SUCH an emotional book: You know those books where you can just FEEL that punched in the gut feeling the character does? That was me with Ellen. I really felt for her and it was AGONIZING emotionally to see how everything played out for her. And then, the other story with Jenny, really got me too. I loved the interactions between Jenny and Ellen’s mom and I just felt those warm and fuzzies. There’s just a lot of emotional family related things going on in this book and they struck a chord with me. I think also it was emotional to me because you watch Ellen have to endure all this and it’s the biggest wakeup call of her life…and sometimes it’s sad that we don’t get that wakeup call until something serious happens.

4. While I enjoyed it, I found it to be pretty predictable and some things were of the “isn’t THAT convenient” variety: I wouldn’t say the fact that it was pretty predictable put a damper on how much I enjoyed the novel but I didn’t feel like it surprised me at all. It was more the heavy coincidences that put a little bit of a damper on it — the stories tied together a little TOO neatly and full circle for my personal taste. A little contrived in a sense?

 

a6RATING-LIKED

factors+ plot, enjoyability, emotional connection, well written, how absorbed I was
- little predictable, some situations feeling contrived/too convenient

Re-readability: Probably not!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? No, sadly because it wasn’t a favorite or one I’d reread, but I’d recommend it as a book club read?

a5people looking for a good book club book, people who like fiction that take relevant topics from the media and humanize it, people who generally like women’s fiction,

a8I found myself absorbed with this one at the pool! It takes a story that always breaks my heart from the news and really adds this human element to it where things aren’t always so black and white. You’ll feel yourself conflicted and challenged to shift your snap judgments or at least that’s what happened to me. This book was a read that gripped me from the moment the LIFE CHANGING MOMENT happened and didn’t let go until I knew the conclusion.

 

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a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
* If you haven’t read it, is it something on your radar or that you think you will read?
*Have you read any other Heather Gudenkauf books? I have another one of hers that I’m excited to start!
* How did you feel about Ellen and what happened? Do you think it was the right call in the end?
* On a personal note, did you relate to her with how easy it is to get caught up in life and not pay attention? I’ve never had something like that but I’m a person who is very much like Ellen in the beginning of this book.


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

Reading WOE.

heiroffire

 

I have a reading woe.

It’s DAMN hard to read big books!!

As a mostly contemporary reader, I’m not used to reading super big books! And I know 565 pages is NOT that long but reading Heir of Fire makes me feel like I’m lifting weights. I’m telling you, this book is heavy! Most of my contemporary books are not this heavy. I will tell you that.

Am I the only one who has a hard time physically reading thick books?? Heir of Fire particularly is tricky because it’s heavy AND oversized in length so I’m all awkward with my hands try to hold it. I feel like I should have trained or worked out in preparation. I just don’t know what to do. Figuring out how to hold this book has been a VERRRYY SERIOUS PROBLEM.

I will change my position like seventy billion times because my chicken arms start shaking. Will laughed at me over the weekend when I was trying to read this because I tried everything — propping it, doing some weird sort of pretzel-y leg thing, laying on my stomach, holding it over my face which resulted in dropping it on my poor little mug and many more positions that I can’t even begin to tell you. Move over Kama Sutra, I’m going to write the most important guide ever — the guide to reading positions.

HIbKQVjexcept add a book in my hands…

The worst part of this is that I just want to read Heir of Fire for long periods of time because it’s so interesting and good but MY BODY IS FAILING ME and I physically cannot. I have to let my arms chill out for a bit. And now I’m looking at my shelf and I have a few books that are bigger than Heir of Fire. This scares me. I’m either going to have to start lifting weights to build up arm strength or boycott enormous books because MY ARMS ARE TIRED.

weak_arms-M0ctRf
Silly reading woe aside, I’m loving Heir of Fire and I have to say that it’s a nice experience to be immersed in a HUGE book. I’m used to being able to easily knock out a lot of contemporary books in a day or two if I have time but it’s a fun experience to be in this world for a few days and really FEEL the world and the story. I can’t read it quickly so I’m enjoying and savoring it and I think, at least for me, fantasy kind of works better that way….that all consuming immersion into the world and characters. I thought my attention span wouldn’t let me enjoy it (this is why I tend not to binge read series) but I’m totally into it even coming off Crown of Midnight right before!
And, really, at the end of the day at least I know I will have super sculpted arms? Who said working out couldn’t be fun?

lets-talk
Do you have a hard time reading heavy/large/abnormally shaped books? If you are a pro, I NEED TIPS! What’s the thickest book you’ve ever read?? Do you LIKE reading long books or do you prefer to read shorter ones?

Top Ten Authors I Own The Most Books Of

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Authors I Own The Most Books Of

Okay so this topic was probably not suited to me for TWO reasons:

1) You know how I am about what stays on my shelves  (I might have owned more books by more authors at some point but they might have left my shelf)
2) I read like I’m at a buffet…meaning I read A LOT from different authors. Always sampling from different authors rather than reading from the same authors…unless they are favorites.

I also had a LOT of authors that I had like 2 or 3 books from! Especially because a lot of the authors I read just got published in the last couple years so that’s all they have out. Plus I have some trilogies (Cynthia Hand, Tahereh Mafi, etc). Also, I wanted to take a real live picture of these books but I realized A LOT of them are out on loan haha.

THE COUNT

TTTuesday

The Observations/Some Thoughts

Megan McCafferty: I own the whole Jessica Darling series and her Bumped and Thumped books. Also I have arcs of the Jessica Darling prequel but I didn’t count those or my number would be 9.

Jodi Picoult: This is hilarious because I have not read a single Jodi Picoult novel in my life (she’s among 9 other super popular authors I’ve NEVER read) but I bought 1 at a used book sale and then like 5 years ago some women I used to work with knew I liked to read and was like HERE IS A BAG OF BOOKS FOR YOU…they were all Jodi books.

Gayle Forman: No surprise to anyone here? I own If I Stay and Where She Went. Plus 2 copies of Just One Day (which you know is a big deal because I RARELY own two copies of one book) and a copy of Just One Year. OH CRAP technically I realize I also own Just One Night on my Kindle so SIX. Dammit I already made the graphic.

E. Lockhart: I own the whole whole Ruby Oliver series which I have NOT YET READ. Major fail. I still don’t own a copy of We Were Liars and I listened to Frankie Landau-Banks on audio but I feel like I might buy a copy soon.

David Levithan: In doing this I realized I don’t own a copy of Every Day which WUT WHY NOT? But then I realized I read that as a library book. And then I panicked because I remember someone has my copy of The Lover’s Dictionary and I can’t remember who so making this list actually caused great distress. WHERE IS MY COPY?? I know I own it but WHERE IS IT? And why do I not own Will Grayson, Will Grayson?? I audiobooked it but I think I need to own it.

Jane Austen: This didn’t actually surprise me at all! The next classic author I owned the most of was Hemingway with 3 books.

Rainbow Rowell: You know an author is a favorite if I own all their books. Rainbow is that kind of author for me. It would be 5 if you could my arc of Fangirl that I just can’t seem to part with…it’s signed but I never really keep arcs. BUT RAINBOW.

Lauren Oliver: The Delirium series and Before I Fall — that one I still haven’t read. I also have an ARC of Rooms but I didn’t count that.

John Green: I own Looking For Alaska (signed and my favorite out of all his books), The Fault In Our Stars, Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines (signed).

Morgan Matson: I had a BUNCH of authors I had 3 books for but I could only add one to the list so I decided to say Morgan Matson because she’s a favorite and any time I can mention Morgan is a good day. LOVE HER BOOKS!

 

 

So tell me…what authors do you own the most of?? Are there any authors you own A LOT of books from but haven’t read them (Like me with Jodi!!)

Monday Mini-Reviews…AKA Summer Time Makes Jamie LAAAAZY.

I’ve got quite a backlog of books to talk about so I figured I’d do mini-reviews for 3 books I’ve read this summer! It’s hard to get my act together in the summer so this seemed like a good idea to me!

 

A Really Awesome Mess Trish Cook

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook & Brendan Halpin
July 23, 2013 – Egmont USA
I received this for review consideration — this in no way influenced my opinion.

I LIKED this one in but I expected to love it MORE than I did. I tend to love books that feature unlikely friendships/rag-tag group of people who are kind of forced to come together. I loved the circumstances in which these teens had to come together — being sent to this boarding school that deal with “issues” like suicide, anger, eating disorders, etc. I enjoyed getting to know the main characters and seeing them work through their issues while learning to lean on each other. It was SUPER funny and I loved some of the banter in this group that was thrown together because of a class in which they needed to learn to work together/depend on each other to get something they wanted. There were some emotional moments in their journey but it didn’t quite come altogether for me where I really felt super invested. I liked what it was but it needed more to be GREAT for me and really leave its mark. (Goodreads // Amazon)

 
RATING-LIKED

 

 

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Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
June 24, 2014 — St. Martin’s Griffin
I received this for review consideration — this in no way impacted my opinions.

This is one where I must have completely missed something because everyone told me how amazing it was and how SHOCKING it was. And not a thing shocked me. I guessed everything. And I just wasn’t feeling it. Despite my mixed feelings, I was really impressed with the writing and how Stephanie was able to really reel you in with this sense of mystery about what Jamie’s sister did and the truth about their past. It was very controlled and precise and I loved how truly she was able to slowly make you feel like something sinister or not right was going on….all the way to the very last page. However, despite all that, it all seemed obvious to me and I could have lived with that had I not been kind of bored in a way. So in the end I kept thinking MAN I was hoping to be blown away but I sadly wasn’t. I’m definitely going to give Charm & Strange a try but this one sadly didn’t do much for me. I wanted to be SHOCKED but I was sadly not and altogether kind of bored despite her writing and the impressive way she could spin this mystery and make this an interesting psychological thriller-ish novel. (Goodreads // Amazon)

 

RATING-mixed

 

 

A Girl Called Fearless Catherine Lanka

A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka
May 6, 2014 — St. Martin’s Griffin
I received this for review consideration — this in no way influenced my opinions.

MAN, I’m conflicted with this one. I had a WHOLE review written about it trying to explain my crazy feelings but in the end I scrapped it because it was just too confusing. About a week after I wrote it I came across THIS review that seriously took the jumble that was my brain and SO ACCURATELY described all that I was mixed on which kind of prompted me to scrap my own rambling thoughts so go read that if you are curious. I LOVED the premise of this one (scary because it was so plausible in a way) and that it was a standalone dystopian. I was hooked from the start because the society was so fascinating and unique plus it really brought a lot to the table in terms of talking about gender and power.  There was SO MUCH GOOD in this one but then it fell apart in ways as it went on and I wanted MORE from it — in how I felt towards it and some pivotal areas when it came to building this world that had all the makings to make this an AMAZING book. I read it very quickly and kept turning the pages especially as the danger heightened but I finished being like, “Sigh I wish I could have known this” or “I don’t get quite get this or “I wish this part would have given more explanation to build a stronger world for me.”  (Goodreads // Amazon)

RATING-OKAY

 

 

Have you read any of these? Interested in any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read them!!

Books I Would Want To Read If I Had A Book Club That Read Adult Fiction

I LOVE my book club — we are a bunch of YA loving adult ladies and we always have a great time and, when the book is right, some excellent discussion! Sometimes there are GROWNUP books I wish I could read with a book club but I don’t have a book club that READS adult fiction. So, here’s my list of grownup books that I would want to read with my imaginary adult book club. I chose 5 books I’ve READ that I think would make great book club picks and 5 books I WANT TO READ that I’d pick for book club to read.

There are a lot of GOOD books to read with other people but I always think a good book club pick is one that has some really thought-provoking themes and issues within them. Things that everyone’s life experience will make them see different, things we can relate to, etc. I think of some of my book club’s best conversations and they were definitely were these kinds of books that had something maybe controversial or relevant in it.

 

Books I’ve Read That I Would Want To Read Together

 

 

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf
Published: June 24, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon

Why I’d Pick It: This book just came out last month and would bring SO MUCH conversation to the table for a book club — I couldn’t stop talking about the premise is to Will and all my thoughts. A book like that always makes for a great book club book! It takes a hot button issue that’s been in the news recently and just humanizes it leaving much room to debate and have strong opinions. There is SO much to talk about, not just one thing, so I think conversation would be SO interesting!  I love that there is even a book club kit which could be so useful to get the discussion started! Also, check out the book trailer for it!

What It’s About: Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity; the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children’s advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for. Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends’ couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen’s and Jenny’s lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.

 

Landline Rainbow Rowell

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Published July 8, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

Why I’d Pick It: I think this would be SUCH a good book club pick especially for married ladies but even if you aren’t there’s a lot to talk about with ANY kind of relationships. It was such a good and thought-provoking book that I even wrote a whole discussion surrounding some of my thoughts about something the book brought up.

What It’s About: Georgie + Neal’s marriage has been off for some time and she knows it has been. It’s not an issue of not loving each other but between jobs and kids and all somehow it just has gotten a little lost. When they are a few days out from leaving for Omaha for Christmas, Georgie has a huge work opportunity arise and she has to stay in LA for it. She assumes they’ll all just stay home but is surprised when Neal decides he and the kids are still going. Scared of what this implies, Georgie wonders if it has all fallen apart for good and if/how she can fix it….until she’s given an opportunity to talk to Neal in the past.

 

Tell The Wolves I'm Home cover

Tell The Wolves I’m Home Carol Rifka Brunt
Published June 2012
Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

Why I’d Pick It: I loved this one and I think this would make a really great book club book for many reasons — it’s well written, there’s definitely a lot to talk about and I think people will have EMOTIONS about it. Plus there’s a lot of really interesting relationships and dynamics that would be great to talk about and how society has changed in regards to certain things that are brought up in this book since the 80′s.

What It’s About: 1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life—someone who will help her to heal, and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart. At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment, and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

 

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Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Published January 2007
Goodreads | Amazon

Why I’d Pick It: So I know a lot of people HATE this book but I read it as an early 20 something, liked it and I would love to read it with a book club — especially now as I approach 29! I’m in a totally different stage in my life and would benefit from another read I think. I think there is A LOT in here to discuss and debate about life, choices and love with some of the things that Elizabeth brings up and also just discussion about her journey itself. I think it brings up strong feelings either way you feel about it and I would love to get into some good conversation with some lady friends.

What It’s About: In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want–husband, country home, successful career–but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and of what she found in their place. Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.

 

Books I Haven’t Read That I Would Pick:

 

Friendship by Emily Gould

Friendship by Emily Gould
Published July 1st 2014
Goodreads | Amazon

Why I’d Pick It: I think it would be so fun to have a group of ladies together to talk about friendship and adulthood! I think we’ve all found the ups and downs of friendship in our lives and this looks like it could be a good discussion starter! I’d love some real talk about the interactions that we women have with each other!

What It’s About: Bev Tunney and Amy Schein have been best friends for years; now, at thirty, they’re at a crossroads. Bev is a Midwestern striver still mourning a years-old romantic catastrophe. Amy is an East Coast princess whose luck and charm have too long allowed her to cruise through life. Bev is stuck in circumstances that would have barely passed for bohemian in her mid-twenties: temping, living with roommates, drowning in student-loan debt. Amy is still riding the tailwinds of her early success, but her habit of burning bridges is finally catching up to her. And now Bev is pregnant. As Bev and Amy are dragged, kicking and screaming, into real adulthood, they have to face the possibility that growing up might mean growing apart. Friendship, Emily Gould’s debut novel, traces the evolution of a friendship with humor and wry sympathy. Gould examines the relationship between two women who want to help each other but sometimes can’t help themselves; who want to make good decisions but sometimes fall prey to their own worst impulses; whose generous intentions are sometimes overwhelmed by petty concerns.

 

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Published December 31, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon

Why I’d Pick It: I’ve heard SUCH good things about this and it seems like a very evocative novel. From what I hear there are some pretty interesting themes and issues in this book that would make for good discussion! Apparently it’s very thought-provoking from what I hear!

What It’s About: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

 

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After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published July 1st 2014
Goodreads | Amazon

Why I’d Pick It: Well, Estelle and Hannah raved about it and told me I MUST read it (requested it ASAP from my library) and said it was just such an honest look at marriage and relationships. I LOVE those kinds of books where I can really discuss and even open up a bit personally (provided I trusted my imaginary adult book club…which I TOTALLY DO).

What It’s About: When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes. Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for? This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.

 

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Now I See You by Nicole C. Kear
Published June 24, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon

Why I’d Pick It: I would want to read a memoir every now and again and this is a new one that just came on my radar and looks like it could be interesting to read with a book club because it takes a look at major life kinds of things — things that change your world and make you really take stock of what is important.

What It’s About: At nineteen years old, Nicole C. Kear’s biggest concern is choosing a major–until she walks into a doctor’s office in midtown Manhattan and gets a life-changing diagnosis. She is going blind, courtesy of an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, and has only a decade or so before Lights Out. Instead of making preparations as the doctor suggests, Kear decides to carpe diem and make the most of the vision she has left. She joins circus school, tears through boyfriends, travels the world, and through all these hi-jinks, she keeps her vision loss a secret. When Kear becomes a mother, just a few years shy of her vision’s expiration date, she amends her carpe diem strategy, giving up recklessness in order to relish every moment with her kids. Her secret, though, is harder to surrender – and as her vision deteriorates, harder to keep hidden. As her world grows blurred, one thing becomes clear: no matter how hard she fights, she won’t win the battle against blindness. But if she comes clean with her secret, and comes to terms with the loss, she can still win her happy ending.

lets-talk

Have you read any of these? Decided they would make a good book club pick for YOUR book club? And while we are at it, do you have a book club? If so, what do you read/how do you pick/what do you think makes a good book club pick? Also I’d LOVE to know a book you think would be a great book club pick/generate a lot of discussion (or if you have a book club..one that DID that).

Book Talk: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Book Talk: Let’s Get Lost by Adi AlsaidLet's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Publisher/Year: Harlequin Teen- July 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
Other Books From Author: None -- debut novel!

 
AmazonGoodreadsTwitter

I received this from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

A1
Let’s Get Lost is told from the perspective of four teens who all encounter Leila, a girl on her own journey, in places along her road trip. They all have their separate life happenings and hurts and somehow Leila winds up in their life at the right moment as she’s driving across the United States. She’s kind, is one of those people who shines brighter than the rest, isn’t afraid to get involved in their lives and yet she’s such a mystery. In the process of changing their lives as she’s passing through, the trip she has embarked on just might help her find the answers she’s looking for but in ways she’d never expect.

a2ROAD TRIP NOW PLEASE?

a4Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid was one of my most anticipated 2014 debuts and I’m happy to report that Let’s Get Lost and I were a good match! I look forward to what Adi Alsaid will write next to be honest.

1. This was one of the most exhilarating road trip I’ve been on in a book: It was the type of book where I could feel the wind in my hair, the bass from the road trip tunes buzzing through my body and the open road before me. Lots of adventures, exploring and the adventure of meeting people on the road. Sometimes you had to suspend disbelief but there were lots of crazy shenanigans that happened on this trip and it was EPIC.  It’s the best part of travel — those stories that are of the “totally doesn’t sound true but it really happened” variety and you seriously could relay those stories to the best of your abilities but you’d never be able to convey how you felt when it happened.

2. The way the story was told was just magical: Not only was the prose just delectable but the way it was written was perfect. So we get the POVs of Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia and the main thread is that Leila has met them on her journey and she just jumps into their lives and changes it in her own way. We get about 60 pages or so of their encounter and then the new encounter happens on the road. So we see Leila through their eyes and learn about her through their encounters. But really she’s still an enigma…like we don’t quite have the whole picture. We get bits of pieces of what kind of person she is but we don’t really know anything about her past and what her reason for traveling to see The Northern Lights is especially when she isn’t consistent in her answers. You get to know the other characters, not SUPER well but in the glimpse one would have with someone you might meet on the road, but you know enough to be invested in their story and then we get to HER story. And OHMYGOD. The momentum of the trip and then we learn about her just took my breath away. In my mind I thought I knew something about her story but NOPE. Wrong.

3. This book was thought-provoking as hell: I love books that really make me think about my own life and the world. This one definitely was that kind of book. I have a new mantra to come out of this book (Seize the Tuesday) and I’ve thought a lot about living life actively and what that means vs. what we think it should look like sometimes.

4. My only downfall was the romance and the character attached to the romance: There was a romance and it initially made me go “EH” because it was kind of insta-lovey and I just didn’t GET the attraction so fast — like I could get why he was attracted to her because she shines BRIGHT but I don’t get her interest at all from what we saw. But I’m glad the romance wasn’t the bulk of the story! I will say that this character’s story grabbed my attention the least while the other ones I was SO invested in. (My favorite was a toss up between Sonia and Bree’s stories).

 

a6RATING-loved-it

factors+ beautiful writing, the storytelling, the ability to create this beautiful enigma around Leila and it pays off, FEELINGS, thought-provoking
- the romance aspect just didn’t work for me

Re-readability: I would actually…despite knowing Leila’s story. There’s just some really great thoughts in here I want to revisit. Great moments. And I especially want to reread after KNOWING Leila’s story to pick up on things I missed.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? YES!! I need this!

a5people who like road trip novels, people who like thought-provoking and soul searching types of books, fans of contemporary YA,

a8

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid was a journey that left me yearning for my own crazy road trip and doing some major soul searching about Big Life Things all that the same time. Told through snapshots of four people’s encounter with Leila while she passes through town, I found myself desperate to know why Leila’s journey was so important and loved watching how Leila would get entangled in each person’s individual affairs. Like the characters felt the mark of Leila in their life, I found her story to linger well after I finished and I felt so deeply how we are all tethered together in this life and have the ability to make a mark on the people who we encounter — no matter how brief the encounter.

review-on-post-itLet's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

 

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
* If you haven’t read it, is it something on your radar or that you think you will read?
* What are some of your favorite road trip books?
* Did you figure out Leila’s story before it was revealed?
* Which was your favorite story out of Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia?


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

How Do YOU Define A Spoiler?

You all know that spoiling a book is one of the ways you can piss me off as a reader but I don’t want to talk about that today. I want to talk about WHAT CONSTITUTES A SPOILER.

There are obvious spoilers. We all know them. We all have experienced them (probably). Hopefully we’ve all tried really hard not to drop them on unsuspecting people. Accidents happen though….says the girl who accidentally spoiled something for a friend. Careless spoilers or intentional ones to be a jerk though…just stop.

But let’s talk about some areas where I feel like people are divided…mmmkay?

Is it a spoiler if the book has been out for YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS or is so super popular and a part of pop culture?

Harry Potter. Twilight. Pride & Prejudice. Game of Thrones. I know, as someone who has never read Harry Potter (okay I read the first one), that spoilers abound like CRAZY and I have to be really careful to avoid them. On one hand I’m like WELL self…it’s been so long and it’s like only the most popular piece of literature EVER so kind of my fault? But on the other hand I’m still a little sad that I have to shield my eyes always. I haven’t been spoiled TOO much but I’ve been REALLY careful. And really, there are always new readers for every book so it kind of stinks if you discover it late or if you are younger and are discovering it for the first time.

Is it a spoiler if it alludes to a plot twist or some sort of mind-blowing reveal that might happen?

Okay, this one is a sensitive topic for me because it happens so often but I really do kind of count it as a spoiler. So, I read a book like way before it came out. There was a HUGE twist. I did not know this because LITERALLY nobody had read it except like authors and publicists. My mind was blown. When it came to talking about the book, I was really careful not to say OMG THERE WAS A HUGE TWIST but, as the book got in the hands of more people, others DID point this out. And then a lot of people went into it looking for that — knowing that something that completely changes the game happens. I don’t know if it’s a “spoiler” per se but I kind of see it as spoiling the reading experience in a way. I know many people were looking for something huge and explosive and that tainted their reading experience as opposed to mine which was one where I was completely blind to anything.

Can shelving the genre on Goodreads/talking about genre be a spoiler in some cases?

Okay I have two example of what I mean.

1. Once, before I started a book, I accidentally glanced at the shelving when I was on its page and saw it labelled as LGBT. That wasn’t something that was in the summary and as I read I realized that it was kind of supposed to be something that was gradually revealed about two characters relationships and it didn’t SPOIL it but it kind of did? I knew their friendship had another element as things were revealed.

2. I was reading a book that I thought was contemporary and I saw that it was marked “paranormal” on Goodreads and at first I thought, “Dummies!” but then I was like, “Oh…maybe it changes and there is a twist.” And sure enough the big twist was a paranormal one that I wouldn’t have even have HAD in my mind if I hadn’t seen the shelving for it.

 

 

lets-talkI’m all over the place. On one hand, I do see these things as spoiler-y in nature but I don’t know. Things like shelving the books are things maybe I can just not look at?  I’d love to know what you think about each “grey area” that I brought up! Do you see any of them as spoilers or no? What are some other “grey areas” when it comes to spoilers? Do you have any “spoiler” rules (ie. what constitutes a spoiler for you when you talk about books)? How do YOU avoid spoilers? Have you ever been spoiled but the person didn’t think it was a spoiler?

Top Ten Book Characters I’d Want On A Deserted Island With Me

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Characters I’d Want On A Deserted Island With Me

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1. Katniss from The Hunger Games: Dude she can hunt..so YAY food. And you know she’d always have that bow and arrow with her. Plus she’s cunning and always thinking on her feet!

2. Roar from the Under the Never Sky series: If you haven’t read the Under the Never Sky series (you SHOULD..it’s on of my favorites), you don’t know about Roar! Roar is an Aud meaning he has like RIDICULOUSLY GOOD HEARING. I think this would be helpful because he could hear danger coming. Also, I’d totally make my move on Roar.

3. Willem from Just One Day/Just One Year: SORRY ALLYSON. We are the OTP. He could regale us with stories of his travels.

4. Adam from If I Stay/Where She Went: We’d need some entertainment and I’m sure he would have had his guitar with him. He could write new songs about me….or probably  about how much he misses Mia but WHATEVER. EYE CANDY.

5. Celaena from Throne of Glass: She’s badass and fearless. You need someone truly badass with you on a deserted island. She’d protect us all and I pity the animal/human/whatever that would try to hurt us on this island. I mean, IS THIS A MAGICAL ISLAND? I don’t know! Either way, I know she’s got our back no matter what comes at us.

6. Four from Divergent: Listen though. Only if he truly is Theo James. I could die happy staring at him but also he’s Dauntless and he’d be badass in exploring the island and protecting us. He really has a two in one purpose!

7.  Lynn from Not A Drop To Drink: Lynn knows how to survive in both the practical nature of gathering food and water but also how to protect herself. She’d be a GREAT person to have on an island considering how she survived in her book!

8. Jessica Darling from the Jessica Darling series: Look, I’m going to need a bff on this deserted island — someone who could make me laugh. I’m sure I’d get along with all the ladies but I need one who would probably be almost as useless as me in protecting the group with our lack of skills. We would be the SUNSHINE of the group and keep morale up! Plus drool over the males of our group and keep a record of our adventure here.

9. Chaol from Throne of Glass: We’d need someone who is able to be a leader and his position of captain of the guard would provide him with good leadership skills. He’s smart, good under pressure and would be able to keep everyone in line.

10. Addie from Pivot Point: Well considering that Addie could access the future this might be helpful. I don’t know that I’d want to know if we are going to live or die or end up in cannibalism or something crazy but it would be nice to have her there to see the outcomes of some of our decision. Should we drink this water or is it contaminated? Would this work as our shelter or is it going to fall down on us? Should we go in this cave or is there danger?

And my ultimate character from tv that I’d need with me:

DARYL DIXON from The Walking Dead

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I think my chances of survival — both physically and mentally- would be good with this group. I’ve got a good mix of practical and for my own REASONS. The only problems I see is that I’d have way to many fictional crushes here who would no longer be fictional crushes and I’d not be able to keep my hands off them. Also, lots of strong dudes so maybe some butting heads? But Chaol is our leader so the rest can fall into place.

 

So tell me…which characters would you want with YOU on a deserted island?? Do you think my choices are good?? What are my chances for survival??

Book Talk: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Book Talk: The Rosie Project by Graeme SimsionThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Publisher/Year: Simon and SchusterGenres: Adult Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Other Books From Author: It's his debut!

 
AmazonGoodreadsTwitter

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

A1Don Tillman has never really considered marriage. He’s got his whole routine/life down to the minute and he enjoys his life as a genetics professor. He keeps his socializing to a few friends and doesn’t really date. Until somebody he cares about makes a comment about him being a good husband one day. Considering this as a possibility for his life, he goes about trying to decide if finding a wife is possible…in the most scientific way of course. He comes up with The Wife Project in which he creates very specific questions based on the qualities for a wife that would be most compatible for him which his no easy task considering how particular he is. And then Rosie shows up in his life….Rosie who fails this quiz with flying colors. Rosie who needs his help to find her biological father.

a2I LOVE YOU, DON TILLMAN!

a4Firstly, thank you SO much to the thoughtful and lovely Jen for sending this to me! I had been wanting to buy this one for a while especially because the cover is so beauteous.

1. Don Tillman is an AWESOME and memorable main character and reminded me of Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory: I was reading it and found myself snickering a lot — he’s really scientific and smart, very literal and just…very Sheldon Cooper like. I read a few lines to Will and said, “who does this sound like?” and he agreed…Sheldon Cooper. (Seriously, couldn’t you see Sheldon coming up with a scientific quiz for a potential wife?). He’s got his routine and his preciseness and he comes together to be this dynamically quirky, loveable character even in his most frustrating moments. It’s quite clear that he has Asperger’s or something similar (he reminded me so much of a boy I used to nanny who had Asperger’s) and it was fascinating to be in his brain especially because he wasn’t really aware that he had Asperger’s..just that some things came differently to him than others. Definitely not your usual character and I loved it! (Someone  on Twitter said he reminds them of Sherlock and I agree too!)

2. The Rosie Project managed to pull off hilarious and heartfelt really well: I laughed quite a bit during this book. It’s FUNNY. Like really funny. But it’s also really worms its way into your heart. It’s heartbreaking to watch Don struggle with things that come second nature to me — things like love. He doesn’t think with his heart and so he sees things very black or white — until Rosie comes around and stirs things up. It was so heartwarming, in addition to how heartbreaking some moments were to read as he struggles, because Don Tillman simultaneously wants to change and yet doesn’t at the same time. He just wants to be capable of love but isn’t sure he is.

3. The Rosie Project isn’t your typical love story and I love that: I read A LOT of love stories and I love ones that aren’t typically. Don hasn’t really dated and, to be honest, he isn’t sure he is capable of loving. He’s so stuck in his ways and he knows  that social interactions are much more difficult for him that he’s pretty much written off romance. With some prodding and a statement from someone he cares about, he suddenly begins to wonder if he is in fact capable of love and being a husband one day. I loved how his own love story unfolded — with all its messiness and unconventional bits. It was so wonderful and it became one of my favorite romances ever without being super romantic or in the obvious way. Love is not easy for him and it doesn’t come naturally so watching him navigate it just gives me the warm and fuzzies because you cannot HELP but root for him! Plus the Rosie/Don banter is A+!!

4. I loved watching Don see himself in new ways because of The Wife Project: He thinks he isn’t capable of change really and I loved watching him decide if he SHOULD change just so he could be a suitable husband or someone worthy of Rosie. As the book progresses you really watch Don start to see himself and the world in new ways and I LOVED THAT. His observations and his reflections were just great in regards to himself as a person and as someone with love to give.

 

a6RATING-loved-it

factors+ characters, enjoyability, great writing, plot
- Honestly nothing.

Re-readability: Possibly in a few years I may want to!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? I have one! It’s beauteous. Definitely a keeper on the shelf!

a5People who love a good love story that isn’t typical, adult fiction readers who like literary but not pretentious literary sorts of books, people who like charming and funny books, people who like Sheldon Cooper/Sherlock-esque characters (if that makes sense..but a little less annoying than Sheldon can be..AND I SAY THIS AS SOMEONE WHO LOVES SHELDON).

a8The Rosie Project was a book that made me laugh, warmed my heart and just completely swept me up in Don’s unique love story. I can see why the masses have fallen in love with Don and Rosie and all the great characters in this novel. What a fantastic, character-driven book and I can’t WAIT for The Rosie Effect!

 

review-on-post-it

the-rosie-project

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
* If you haven’t read it, is it something on your radar or that you think you will read?
* Did you find a similarity at all to Sheldon Cooper or was that just me?? I kept reading everything in his voice and had to stop so I wouldn’t just picture Sheldon haha
* If you’ve read it, how would you feel about it becoming a movie/who would you cast?? And how excited are you for book 2?? Any hopes or predictions for The Rosie Effect?


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

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