Books To Read Before The Movie Comes Out (Rest of 2016/Early 2017)

As a book lover I do tend to like to read a book first before I watch the movie. “We can’t see this movie because I haven’t gotten to the book yet” being one of a few annoying bookworm things my husband is probably sick of hearing me say. I don’t ALWAYS get to the books and sometimes give up and watch the movie depending on how interested I am but for the most part, if I’m super interested in the book, I’ve GOT to get it read before the movie. A lot of it is because it takes me more time to read a book than it does to watch a movie so I’d rather do that and THEN see how it’s translated on the big screen…even if I already know the plot twists and what happens. I’d be way less likely to watch a movie and then go back and read a book knowing what happens — except maybe in extreme cases where I know the book has WAY more detail and is markedly different.

Guide to books to movie adaptations 2016/2017

Your Guide To Book-to-Movie Adaptations for 2016/2017


(I’m curious about your book to movie habits!! Let me know in the comments.)

ANYWAYS, here’s a list of book to movies coming out during the rest of 2016 and early 2017!

[Keep Reading]

17 Summer Must-Reads

books to read this summer

books to read this summer


Every time we hit mid-August, I panic. It means summer is almost over and I’m just….not okay with that as a person who LIVES for summer and spends most of the other seasons huddled under blankets. Even at 30 years old, I very distinctly see the end of summer as when it’s back to school time (hand raise if you actually miss going back to school. Me!). But HONESTLY…we still have until mid-September before summer is officially over. I feel like by THAT point it’s always FUHREEEZING here (okay full disclosure anything below like 75 is freezing to me) in Pennsylvania but I’ve been trying to remind myself that I have at least a month left of summer to soak in.

This time in August is ALSO that time in which I find myself trying to CRAM in all that summer reading while my pool is still open and the weather is still pleasant enough to sit outside in the sun. So, if you are like me and are trying to squeeeeze every last bit out of Summer that you can…I can help you with the books you absolutely should try to squeeze in before the official end of summer (you know, as if you couldn’t read them any other time).  I mean, suuuure this might be aiming high to think we can get all this summer reading done before the end of summer BUT I’ve never met a reading challenge I didn’t like.

I’ve made of mix of books I’ve already read and think are the absolutes to get to this summer and some that are on MY list of summer reads to finish before the worst day of my life the end of summer. So, don your bikini and a floppy hat (don’t forget that sunscreen!)….we’ve got some summer reading to do, friends!

[Keep Reading]

YA Beach Reads For Those Who Don’t Really Read Contemporary YA

YA fantasy beach reads

Typically when you think ~beach read~ and what you’ll find on most lists are contemporary books (like the beach reads list I made last week)…which I love! But what about when contemporary isn’t your jam or you aren’t really in the mood for contemporary?? I gotchuuuu!

Here are some books that I think make excellent beach reads and in some way kind of capture the same spirit of a ~beach read~ except it’s not contemporary! I tend to really like addictive and page-turning beach reads and all of these pretty much have that element. With fantasy, my beach reads tend to be not like super high fantasy or with super intricate world-building because I’m too easily distracted on a beach for that!

Next week I’ll be back with my adult fiction recs!

[Keep Reading]

UKYA Books On My Radar

I thought it would be fun, since I’m leaving for London this week, to let you know which UK young adult books are on my radar and that are on my list of potential books to pick up while I’m perusing some bookstores in London because really that’s always the plan when traveling — to which Will is like “but why? We have bookstores at home?” Oh sweet husband. To which I’m like, “well why do we have to go to a sporting event that we can watch here?” To which he said…touche. SEE…it’s so easy for me to reason with him to see my bookworm tendencies when I explain them in sports terms — basic marriage to a non-book worm negotiating.

Anyways, here are some of the UKYA books on my TBR list that I’ll be looking out for on my trip that are either hard to find here in the US or not published here yet! You’ll have to let me know which ones you think I should get — especially if you’ve read any! I’m always too cheap to pay international shipping so I’m hoping to at least snag one or two of them!



Lobsters / My Totally Awkward Love story


1. Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison: This one actually is going to be published as A Totally Awkward Love Story here in the US this May! Looks like a cute summer read about “finding the one”. The synopsis details that the main characters “ must navigate social misunderstandings, the plotting of well-meaning friends, and their own fears of being virgins for ever to find happiness.”

[Keep Reading]

Seven 2014 Debuts That Shouldn’t Be Missed

Over the course of the coming weeks I’m going to lay my favorites out for you! Yesterday I talked about my favorite new-to-me authors I discovered this year! In the coming weeks I will talk about my favorite 2014 releases (non-debuts), books that should have been talked about more and my favorite backlist books I read this year. And, like the past couples years, I’ll do a favorite of everything music/tv/movies/etc — all things not books!

I still have a couple weeks left and some debuts I’m sure I’ll sneak in before the year ends but today I want to talk about my favorite debut novels of 2014! There were some incredibly strong debuts that got high marks from me!!

Best YA debuts 2014


Far From You by Tess Sharpe

This emotional mystery just completely wrecked me as Sophie searches for who murdered her best friend Mina when everybody, because of Sophie’s past, chalks it up to a drug deal gone wrong but Sophie knows the truth that she’s been clean and it wasn’t random.  (My review of Far From You)

Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

I’m telling you, the summary doesn’t do this book justice at all. This book was enchanting, heart-smashing, beautiful and bittersweet. Plus it was well written to boot. I found myself so mesmerized, like the main character Charlotte does, with the enigmatic new friend Julia and her well-to-do family with secrets of their own. (My review of Even In Paradise)

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Adi’s debut was so impressive and beautiful. It’s about a girl on a road trip and we see her from the 4 teens that meet her in different places along the way in different circumstances.  Then we get the perspective of the girl we’ve gotten to know through the eyes of others and her viewpoint…well I didn’t see that coming. I will say I had a slow start with the beginning bc of some insta-love but then WOW. (My review of Let’s Get Lost)

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

THIS BOOK HAD ME UP UNTIL 1AM SOBBING — a wrecking ball to the heart it was.  And I’m an old lady so you know it’s serious if I’m up that late. Quiet and unassuming and then an onslaught of emotional chaos for me by the end. I loved the beautiful prose and the unique narration and how it added to my mounting “pit-in-the-stomach” feeling while reading this one. (My review of Falling Into Place)

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

I knew I was probably going to LIKE this one but the amount of which I FREAKING LOVED IT..I could not have predicted that. It was an all-consuming reading experience..just ask Will. I was screaming at the book and talking to it and flailing. (My review of Rites of Passage)

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Ahhh this book was a very popular debut and RIGHTLY SO. Like so totally deserving. Music, bffs, romance, road tripping it. I’m telling you…watch out for Emery Lord. She’s going to be a staple in the YA contemporary scene. (My review Open Road Summer)

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

This one was so fun but also it had serious bits in it that I didn’t expect. Kristin Rae just absolutely transported me to Italy and I did NOT want this book to be over! (My review of Wish You Were Italian)


Tell me YOUR favorite debut of 2014!!

So If I Stay Broke Your Emotions And You Don’t Know What To Read Next?

So I have this friend I’ve gotten into YA (hi KELS!!). It started with The Hunger Games and her wanting a list of books to read after finishing. Then she went on a dystopian bender because of that list. Then this year she was looking for more books to read while at my apartment so I pulled out If I Stay by Gayle Forman out (my review of If I Stay). If you don’t know me, I am a HUGE Gayle Forman fan. Her books are just MY KIND OF BOOKS. So, I told her the movie was going to come out this year so she took If I Stay for that reason and I get a text a day later about how she devoured it. And then passed it on to her sister-in-law. So then she was like WHAT DO I READ NEXT??? This made me contemporary YA loving heart happy so naturally, like I do anybody who asks me for book recommendations, I gave her some books to read now that she’s read If I Stay. They aren’t total readalikes because Gayle books are one of a kind but they are what I think make me feel things like Gayle’s books do and are among my favorites.

for fans of If I Stay


So in honor of IF I STAY hitting theaters Friday (with some showings Thursday which I AM TOTALLY GOING TO OBVIOUSLY), I’m sharing the list that I gave her so that perhaps other recent If I Stay fans can find some new books to read! Buy some tissues for some of these…just saying!!


books to read if you liked If I Stay

 A list if you can’t read my awful handwriting + want to see book covers:

books for fans of If i stay

Where She Went, Just One Day, Just One Year


Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
ROAD TRIP BOOK! Also check out her books Second Chance Summer and Since You’ve Been Gone because they are fantastic!!(my review of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour)

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
OH MY HEART. Plus Jandy’s prose is beautiful and poetic. Her newest book I’ll Give You The Sun is equally as brilliant! (my review of The Sky is Everywhere)

Something Like Normal AND Where Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Her books are some of my favorites and I feel like she deserves to be WAY more popular than she is!! These books were just great! (My review of Something Like Normal, my review of Where The Stars Still Shine)

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
This was one of my FAVORITE books of last year and I can’t recommend it enough. (My review of This Song Will Save Your Life)

Jessi Kirby’s books: Golden, Moonglass and In Honor
I put them in the order that I prefer them but all her books are just really solid and I can’t wait for more from her!! (My review of Golden, review of Moonglass, review of In Honor)

Twenty Boy Summer AND The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
If I had to pick out of the two The Book of Broken Hearts might win out by a smidge but both of these books made me cry SO THERE’S THAT. (My review of Twenty Boy Summer, review of The Book of Broken Hearts)

Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira
This book OH MAN. Told in letter form. SO GOOD.

Not as emotional as If I Stay and the above books but good if you loved the romance aspect of the book/movie:

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
MATT FINCH FOREVER. If you liked that Adam was musical in If I Stay…welcome Matt Finch into your life. And so sweet! (My review of Open Road Summer)

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
TRAVEL. South America. SO GOOD & I loved Bria. (my review of Wanderlove)

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
SO SWEET. PARIS. LOVE. ST. CLAIR. (Although there are some people who don’t like this one because of something in it but I don’t want to say whaaaat bc SPOILERS but let me know if you want to know what their dealbreaker was) (my review of Anna and the French Kiss)

Do you have any recommendations you would add, dear readers? Because I know I personally would take any and all books you think fans of If I Stay would like because OBVIOUSLY I LOVE THAT BOOK!!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 that DID that).

Books That Will Potentially Be In MY Beach Bag This Summer (with YOUR HELP)

I’ve been doing some major outside reading already.


First it was at the park when it just started to get nice & the pool at our apartment obviously wasn’t open.


Then when the pool opened (HEAVENLY).

AND this coming weekend we will be making our first beach day trip of 2013 to the Jersey Shore and I’m already eyeing up my bookshelves (and Kindle) looking for some prospective beach reads! This weekend is one of many beach days/vacations of the summer and I MUST BE PREPARED.

Yesterday I gave you some books I’ve already read that I think would make good beach reads for YA readers.  Today, however, I want to share with you the books– YA and adult— that will be in MY beach bag this summer because I think they look like worthy beach reads. Would LOVE your input to help me prioritize!

adult chick lit beach reads


good summer beach readsteen beach reads




The Books Mentioned:

Spin by Catherine McKenzie: When Kate shows up drunk for her dream job at a magazine she obviously doesn’t get it. However, they think she would be perfect as an undercover assignment for their gossip portion and the assignment is to follow the an “It Girl” into rehab and get the scoop during the 30 day program. If she can get the scoop she’ll have a second chance at the job she wanted.


Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler: This one sounds so great. An unlikely pair, a 30-something hairdresser and her elderly client, take a journey to a funeral in Cincinnati — a funeral that was so important the old woman attended that would ask this huge favor. Along the way the old woman tells of her forbidden love that happened in Kentucky back in the 30’s and why this is so important for her.

Why Can’t I Be You? by Allie Larkin: Jenny has always bore an uncanny resemblance to another woman, Jessie, and when she hears somebody call her name in a hotel lobby she decides on a whim to pretend to be her. Jessie’s friends have not seen her in 13 years and have been looking for her and instantly Jenny, as Jessie, is reunited and warmly welcomed into her old group of friends where she finds great friendships, romance and also a big secret about Jessie’s past.

Chose The Wrong Guy, Gave Him The Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison: The main character was about to be married when the best man, who happened to be the groom’s brother, told her not to get married because he had been cheating on her for a long time. She chose to bail on the wedding and ran off with the Best Man whom it didn’t end up working out with in the end. Ten years later, the brothers are back in town for a wedding and all the feelings of that even come surging back.

Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham: Um it’s Lauren Graham who has been a constant presence in my life between Gilmore Girls and Parenthood and I know she’s a smart lady who studied lit so I have faith that she has written an awesome book! Plus it sounds awesome!

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand: I was immediately hooked by this summary because, as a daughter who wasn’t able to have her mother at her wedding, I am so intrigued by the idea of the mother leaving a notebook with how her daughter’s wedding should go. Aside from that this sounds like drama-filled beach read with betrayal and scandal and probably pretty touching. Get in my beach bag already!

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick: I’ve heard the romance in this one is TO DIE FOR. I had my own next door crush as a teen but it definitely didn’t sound as cute as this!

The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise: The MC enters a competition to win money for college and the app she creates for it is “The Boyfriend Apps” which helps girls find boyfriends. I have a feeling this will be adorable and there HAS to be all sorts of fun with that premise.

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West: I love the premise of this one. The MC is not well off and she and her mom almost have a distrust of the wealthy. A boy,who is clearly rich, walks into her mom’s shop and they hit it off but she knows it will never work out because he is rich — even though he really understands her like nobody else. I love stories where these sorts of things are explored & opposites attract stories are always fun!

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland: I’ve only heard great things about this one so far! Cricket is supposed to spend the perfect summer with her best friend on the beach and getting together with her crush until a tragedy strikes and the two girls are thrust apart and now Cricket is stuck cleaning houses all summer. There is a hint of some off limits romance and I’m just loving the prospect!

Rules of  Summer by Joanna Philbin: The MC, Rory, is working for a very wealthy family and has been warned about not socializing with them or getting involved with them which she learns is not so easy when she befriends their younger daughter who is having a secret summer romance with someone who her parents wouldn’t approve of.

The Moon & More by Sarah Dessen: Well, it’s Sarah Dessen so it makes sense it would be in my beach bag!

Losing It by Cora Carmack: Ok, well technically I guess this is considered New Adult rather than YA. It’s set in college and the MC is so sick of being the only virgin so she makes a plan to just have a quick one night stand to lose it but ends up leaving the guy in bed and not going through with it. She waltzes into class late the next day only to find that her new professor was the one night stand she bailed on.

Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski: I love that this one focuses on a summer job! The MC is spending her summer as an intern at her local newspaper writing obituaries where she meets a cute boy and gets a dose of the real world.

Starstruck by Rachel Shukert: There is nothing more fun than a historical book with glitz and glamour and this one has it with its Old Hollywood setting and an aspiring actresses looking to make it big! Sounds like one of those juicy, dramatic reads.

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen: I LOVE FLAPPERS! I read Vixen by Jillian Larkin on the beach a few years ago and I just can’t wait to read another series about flappers, speakeasies and glamour in the 1920’s NYC.

Reboot by Amy Tintera: When the MC died she came back to life as a Reboot and has super strength and intelligence & the longer you’ve been dead the less human you are. The MC is one of the strongest Reboot soldiers and is in charge of training the Reboots. She gets stuck on her latest Reboot who isn’t catching on as quick, has slow reflexes and is always asking questions but there is something Wren can’t ignore about him.

Parallel by Lauren Miller: At different points in her life Abby wakes up in a completely different version of her life — a parallel life that she switches in and out of at points whenever her parallel self makes new choices. I feel like I can’t even explain it fully so go read the description!

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan: I love David Levithan SO MUCH so any collab he is doing I will read! It’s about a boy who has literally always been invisible because of a curse until one day when the new girl in town actually sees him. They get involved romantically and start to look for a way to break his curse.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows: I honestly have no idea what this book is about but I’ve heard such good things about it that I bought it. I know there are dragons, that there are souls that reincarnate or something and a romance. But it sounds fantastical and awesome haha.

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza: This one is a sci fi book about a girl who finds out that she was born out of an experiment involving artificial intelligence. She knows too much and is on the run from a group who wants to kill her and those who want to study her and unlock the mystery behind her — which is more than they even know.


Help me prioritize!! Which ones have you read and you think I should add to the top of my beach read list? Did you discover any off my list to add to your beach bag??

My Bookish Christmas Shopping List # 4 — For My Picky Friend

Once a week, from now until Christmas, I’m going to be sharing my own shopping lists for family members or friends that I have on my list. I’ll be letting you know what they read, the challenges I face in choosing a book for them and some ideas I came up with. I’d love for you to also interject and recommend some that you think would fit as well! So check out my lists if you are also looking to find some books to give as Christmas gifts for the bookish people in your life.

Buying Books For

My friend that prefers literary fiction & just recently read & LOVED The Perks Of Being A Wallflower but still kind of doubts that YA can be “smart”, “deep” or poetic.  (Mwahaha I can now convert her!)

The “Challenges”


1) She just is skeptical of YA lit — she just sees it as all Twilight. This is where I see an opportunity!

2) She doesn’t really like “cutesy” love stories or anything like that!

My Strategy

I could go with safe & get her adult literary fiction titles that are popular OR I could challenge myself with mostly YA books I really, really do think she’d like if she gave a chance! YAngelism FTW!

Books I’ve Recommended To Her & She’s Enjoyed

All things John Green — Paper Towns, Looking For Alaska, The Fault In Our Stars, An Abundance Of Katherine
Marcelo in the Real World
It’s Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Please Ignore Vera Dietz, Ask The Passengers by AS King
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan (not YA)
Every Day & Realm of Possibilities by David Levithan
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
The Book Thief by Markus Zusack

So these are my prospective picks to buy for Christmas for my friend who is skeptical of YA! I hope this is useful for any of you looking for good book recommendations for family/friends this season…or for yourself :P. Let me know if you have any suggestions for me to look into as I try to shop for her and find the best choices for more “literary” (I hate that term but have no idea what else to say) YA.

Check out previous shopping lists:
Christmas shopping list for my sister who is a Twilight fan!
Christmas shopping list for my teen sister who loves realistic teen fiction
Christmas shopping list for my teen nephews who like to read

YA’s Got Talent!

I’ve always been super envious of all those people who were so talented — mostly people in the performing arts realm but also other things (sports, writing, etc). Probably because I am the opposite of talented in these areas.

I can’t sing — seriously it’s a whole hot mess of screeching and off key madness that is reserved for my shower and my car when I’m alone. And unfortunately sometimes when Will’s around and I swear he must be deaf by now. I took tap and jazz class when I was little and I was GOOD but not good enough long term to get on all the super competitive dance teams. I hated practicing. I can’t play an instrument unless you count the clarinet that I terribly squeaked Ode To Joy out of over and over again in the 5th grade. I had one drum lesson and got frustrated. I”m just not very talented except in my dreams or maybe in the shower when I pretend that when I sing Someone Like You that I actually sound like Adele.

I think that’s maybe why I love watching shows like The Voice and America’s Got Talent — I love watching that talent. I’ve noticed I’m also really drawn to stories about characters who are really super talented when it comes to the performing arts! There’s SO many great novels out there and I love learning about all the work that it takes to MAKE it at that level of talent and all the sacrifices they have to make to pursue their passions.

So if you also enjoy this type of story, I wanted to share some of MY favorite books that deal with talented performers or ones that are on my TBR LIST! This is not by any means a complete list; just ones that I’ve read or that are on my radar.

PLEASE RECOMMEND ME MORE! I need to live vicariously through talented characters in books! Click on the book covers to learn more about each book!


Virtuosity by Jessica MartinezTake A bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

Amplified by Tara Kelly


Pop Princess by Rachel Cohn

Rival by Sara Bennet WealerBunheads by Sophie FlackAudition by Stasia Ward KehoeA Company of Swans by Eva IbbotsonIf I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Books Listed:

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg
Amplified by Tara Kelly
Pop Princess by Rachel Cohn
Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer
Bunheads by Sophie Flack
Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe
A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson
If I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Have you read any of these? Any on your TBR list? ALSO, please recommend anymore books in this vein!

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