That time Nicola Yoon became an insta-buy for me…

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My Thoughts:

For anyone who doesn’t know, an insta-buy is just what it seems like. For me, it’s an author that I’ve decided I love and will buy any book without needing to wait to hear how it is or even needing to know what the book is about.

I absolutely loved Everything, Everything last year. I’m excited for the movie next year and I’m hoping that they capture the magic of the book.

That said, I was greatly anticipating The Sun is Also a Star. I vaguely knew what it was about, but I didn’t search for much in the way of summaries and went into it quite blind.

I was not disappointed and I think it’s safe to say that Nicola Yoon is now an insta-buy author for me after knocking it out of the park with these first two books. Even further, I hope that this one also gets on the way to becoming a movie because I can  just imagine how perfect it will be.

It was interesting to see so many different aspects of the one day in the book- even from people who at the time didn’t seem to be that major. Another highlight was that I always enjoy alternating points of view in books. It seems to give books more depth and is just right to hold my attention span.

In closing, I can’t recommend either of Nicola’s books enough. Both blew me away and so important for showing DIVERSITY in YA literature. All readers need to be able to find themselves in some way and Nicola’s books have been an excellent example of holding diverse characters.

Go pick up one or both books today!

-Melanie

 

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2015 recap and suggestions

First things first…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!

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Yep, I’m a NYE baby, so I’m kind of partially biased to New Year’s Eve being the best holiday. It’s neat having a birthday on NYE since the next year of life starts with a brand new year completely.

In 2015 I plan to make more time for reading. I did a LOT of slacking this year- especially on my blog- but I’m hoping to be a lot more consistent this year.

But on to the books…I want to talk about my favorite reads from 2015!

Top Reads from 2015:

These aren’t necessarily in any particular order…I tried and it was too hard to do.

So…

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve recommended Wrath and the Dawn. I got it at work and have several kids hooked on it. We’re all anxiously awaiting Rose and the Dagger.

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This. Book.

It is hard to explain how I feel about this book. It made me happy, furious, confused, shocked…pretty much every emotion. I’m SO excited for the next installment and can’t wait for the movie to get started.

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2015 is the year that I fully embraced how much I adore contemporary romance in YA. I’ve always been a sci-fi/fantasy fan, and still am, but this year I read so many contemporary and romance books that I decided it must be my thing too.

I loved Every Last Word. LOVED. I bragged on it so much that a friend was dying to read it and in turn was ecstatic to get an ARC from Tamara at RT back in May. (FYI, Tamara is the sweetest ever. If you get the chance to meet her then don’t miss out!)

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I know that I just recently reviewed this, but here’s your reminder….Everything Everything is EVERYTHING. Wrath and the Dawn was my favorite book of the year from June all the way to last week and then this book happened. SO GOOD. Get it.

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MY FAVORITE SUPERHERO FINALLY GETS RECOGNITION!

That’s my thoughts on this one. Actually it’s more like “alsdkjfioea yasssss, Natasha!!” LOVE. HER. Marvel still won’t make a Black Widow movie, but this book would make a perfect movie. Get on it, Marvel.

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This was my first Emery Lord book and I’m now hooked. Plus, the guy in the book is a nerd who is obsessed with Firefly? Yes, please!

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A review is coming on this soon since it doesn’t release until March, but…MAN. So fun. I can’t wait for this to come out so that I can shout it’s praises even more!

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I’m a major Colleen Hoover fan. I don’t try to hide it. I read November 9 in one day and got completely sucked in. This might be my favorite book from her, but it definitely was among my favorite reads of the year.

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A western. I never thought I’d love a Western, but I was hooked. Plus, this definitely wins my vote for best book cover of 2015- hands down- it is GORGEOUS.


I feel like I should add one more just for the sake of having a top 10, but I can’t necessarily keep this in the same league.

HOWEVER….

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You can’t read it without having read the rest of the series, but WINTER was one of my favorite reads of the year and a perfect finale to the Lunar Chronicles!


So there you have it…my top 10 favorite books I read in 2015. There were several more that were close to being added that just barely missed out, but these were my favorites by far.

Here’s to 2016 being just as strong of a year for book releases!

Monday Musings: Surprisingly good!

Have you ever read a book outside of your normal style and ended up like this:

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That’s me getting sucked in by awesome.

…or maybe it got you like this?

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My point here is that I absolutely LOVE when I go into a book that is outside of something that I would typically read and, yet, I end up completely addicted to the story.

In fact, my favorite thing is when I go into a book blindly (shout out to Wrath and the Dawn back in June!) and then end up shouting the book’s praises even though “I wouldn’t normally read something like this.”

At one point in my life, I would have been all in when it came to Fantasy, but that’s not necessarily the case these days, so I’m always surprised when a story pulls me in and won’t let me go. Those tend to be my favorite reads because I can’t even explain what my addiction is. (in the case of Fantasy- I’m a sucker for a well structured world. If your world building is on point then you’ve GOT ME!)

Either way, this is me when I finish some books outside of my normal style or just one that completely blew away my expectations.

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What’s the last book that you read that completely took you by surprise?

-Melanie

Review: Everything Everything

Spoilers: This book is EVERYTHING.

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Summary:

The Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller


If you love Eleanor and Park, Hazel and Augustus, and Mia and Adam, you’ll love the story of Maddy, a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly, the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken. This innovative and heartfelt debut novel unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, illustrations, and more.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.


 

My Thoughts:

I’ve had the same favorite book of the year since June. That book is still way up there or probably at least tied with this one, but…man.

First of all, I struggle to just SIT and READ. I don’t have an attention span even though I love to read. However, I couldn’t put this down.

I loved the format. It swaps between normal writing, IM/Email, and pictures/diagrams. Somehow that seem to turn it into a fast read.

But the main thing?  I adored this story.

The characters were amazing and I was intrigued by the plot. I was constantly waiting to see what would happen next and how Maddy’s illness would influence the plot in a big way–and it does, of course.

So, here I am at the end of December having a new favorite book of the year. Again, it is probably tied with the previous contender just because I loved the other so much too, but still.

I even find it hard to believe that this is the author’s first novel. This is an AMAZING debut and I can’t wait to see what she does next!

Please please PLEASE do yourself a favor and read Everything Everything if you haven’t done so already. If you have read it then what did you think?

 

Monday Musings: Debuts!

Debut Authors

With the year drawing to a close, I looked back at the books I’ve read this year. First- I should note that I set a small goal of 45 books and I lack 2 making that goal. I’m going to make it after all! Next year I’m thinking of bumping it up to 50. I try to keep it reasonable, but yet still something that I have to stretch to reach, but that’s not the point of my post.

My point is…DEBUT AUTHORS!

When looking at the list of what I read (and LOVED!) this year, I noticed that I read several books from debut authors. These books also ended up being in my favorites of the year. So without further delay…here’s my top books that were from debut authors:

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Until this weekend I was saying that this was my favorite book of the year, and it IS a close call, but I’m obsessed with this Wrath and the Dawn. I can’t believe this is Renee’s first book and can’t wait for Rose and the Dagger to release in May.

How To Be Brave

The cover to this is simple. SO SIMPLE. In fact, I almost overlooked it when it was offered up from the publisher. I’m so glad that I gave it a chance because it was such a good story!

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Contemporary with Jane Austen elements—need I say more? ❤

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THIS. BOOK. If anything beats Wrath and the Dawn as my favorite book of 2015 then this MIGHT be it. CRAZY GOOD. I had a hard time putting it down! An actual review is coming Wednesday, but I just can’t believe this is Nicola’s first book. I can’t wait to see what she does next!


 

Obviously 2015 was a great year for strong debut authors. I’m so excited to see what each of these ladies put out next and anticipate it being even better than these amazing books!

-Melanie

Thanksgiving break TBR!

Contrary to popular belief, librarians DON’T have time to sit around and read all day.

It’s true. We’re surrounded by books all day, but we don’t get to actually read while we’re in such a lovely place all day!

But now….it’s almost time for….THANKSGIVING BREAK!!!

I’m ecstatic! I love my job, but I’m excited to have some downtime and get to chill out. Sure, I’ll be out exploring Nashville, but I’ll also get to set aside some major reading time, so without further delay…he’s my Thanksgiving break TBR!

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands

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I’m SO excited to finally get to read this! I bought it at a signing at my favorite bookstore, Lemuria, in Jackson, MS, back in September. In fact, I even went ahead and ordered it for my library a week after the signing and it should *hopefully* be in within the next week or two. It’s a middle grade, but check out how fun it sounds:

Following a series of murders, an apothecary’s apprentice must solve puzzles and decipher codes in pursuit of a secret that could destroy the world in this suspenseful debut novel.

“Tell no one what I’ve given you.”

Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.

But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.

In his stunning debut novel, Kevin Sands brings readers on a heart-stopping adventure rich with suspense, mystery, and unforgettable characters.

This sounds so fun and I’m glad to finally get a chance to read a book that has been waiting on me to get around to it for a couple months.

Also…I’ll know what this means:

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A Cannon?? Beats me!


The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

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This has been waiting on me to read since MAY! I went to the Teen Day at RT Convention and got a copy of this at the evening party. The friend who went with me had been excited to meet Kasie West and loves her books, so she was happy FOR me to get this in my bag at the party because then I could get on board with knowing how adorable these books are.

Again-that was in May….oops.

This may be my first read for the week off this weekend, so check it out:

Money can’t buy a good first impression.

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers learned early that the rich are not to be trusted. And after years of studying them from behind the cash register of her mom’s porcelain-doll shop, she has seen nothing to prove otherwise. Enter Xander Spence—he’s tall, handsome, and oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and the fact that he seems to be one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But just when Xander’s loyalty and attentiveness are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. With so many obstacles standing in their way, can she close the distance between them?

This sounds so great!


And finally…

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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SO ready for this one. I hate that I even took as long as I did to read it because I’ve heard amazing things about it! I’m ready to be pulled in to it and not let go.

If for some reason you don’t know about this one then see what’s up:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

It. Sounds. AMAZING.

I’m ready!


Obviously, I HOPE to read more than just three books, but I also anticipate having a huge book hangover from Winter when I finish it this week, so it might be rough getting back into the swing of reading after that.

Either way, these three are my first stops next week when I have time to do more reading!

I hope everyone gets to read something great over the holiday!

-Melanie