Summer Book Haul

In August I will be traveling to Portugal to see my family, thus, I have been stockpiling books for the trip! Just yesterday, my library was having a huge book sale, so I naturally went and spent all of my money on books. Although I’m now broke, the sale was so worth spending my money on! (As a side note, since I don’t know very much information about these books, I am using the summaries from Goodreads.)

Perfect Chemistry

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created ‘perfect’ life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for: her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect.

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

I am so excited to start this book! I honestly have no idea what the plot line is, but I have seen so many book-tubers rave about this novel.

races

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.  

Although I personally did not enjoy Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver trilogy, one of my friends read The Scorpio Races and LOVED it, so I decided to pick it up.

the summer

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer–they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

I just started reading this book, and I already love it!  Jenny Han’s writing style is very quick and addicting!

confess

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…   

I just finished  Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (review coming) and I LOVED it!  Colleen Hoover’s writing style sucks you in, therefore, I can’t wait to read Confess.

this is all

Using a pillow book as her form, nineteen-year-old Cordelia Kenn sets out to write out her life for her unborn daughter. What emerges is a portrait of an extraordinary girl, who writes frankly of love, sex, poetry, nature, faith, and of herself in the world. Her thoughts range widely: on Shakespeare and breasts, periods and piano playing, friendship and trees, consciousness and sleep, and much more besides. As she writes of William Blacklin, the boy she chooses as her first lover, or Julie, the teacher who encourages her spiritual life, Cordelia maddens, fascinates, and ultimately seduces the reader. This is a character never to be forgotten from a writer at the height of his powers.

I haven’t really heard anything about this novel, thus I’m hoping I found a hidden jem!

borders of time

Leslie Maitland is an award-winning former New York Times investigative reporter whose mother and grandparents fled Germany in 1938 for France, where, as Jews, they spent four years as refugees, the last two under risk of Nazi deportation. In 1942 they made it onto the last boat to escape France before the Germans sealed its harbors. Then, barred from entering the United States, they lived in Cuba for almost two years before emigrating to New York. This sweeping account of one family’s escape from the turmoil of war-torn Europe hangs upon the intimate and deeply personal story of Maitland’s mother’s passionate romance with a Catholic Frenchman. Separated by war and her family’s disapproval, the young lovers—Janine and Roland—lose each other for fifty years. It is a testimony to both Maitland’s investigative skills and her devotion to her mother that she successfully traced the lost Roland and was able to reunite him with Janine. Unlike so many stories of love during wartime, theirs has a happy ending.

I’m one of those dorks who loves anything history, and since this novel takes place during World War II (one of my favorite time periods), I’m super excited to start reading it.

second+chance+summer

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love. 

I read Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone and I adored the characters, plot line, and writing style.  Thus, I am ready to dive into another one of her summer themed books!

what I thought was true

From the acclaimed author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.

Gwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say good-bye to her island home till now: the summer her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, takes a job there as the local yard boy. He’s a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island’s summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she’ll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen’s dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

A magnetic, push-you-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.  

Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door was adorable, yet still had a tragic spin, thus, I’m hoping What I Thought was True has that same layer of depth to it.

hunted

HUNTED is the electrifying sequel to the bestselling debut BRANDED, A Sinners Series, by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki.

It’s been three months since the revolt against the Commander’s fifty-year-old regime failed.

Under a new ruler, things were supposed to change. Get better.

But can anyone really be trusted?

Lexi and Cole soon find out, as life takes an unexpected turn for the worse.

In this ever-changing world, you must hunt or be hunted.

Lives will be lost.

Dreams will be crushed.

Fears will be realized.

Secrets will be exposed.

When Cole is once again faced with losing Lexi at the hands of a monster, one encounter will change everything.

Forever.

I did a review of Branded on this blog, so you might remember that I really enjoyed it!  The only downside to starting Hunted is that I really don’t remember the details of Branded, so I might have to re-read Branded before I start Hunted.

So, these are all the books I got from the sale! If any of you have read these books, let me know in the comments what you thought of them.

Update: What happened to me?!!

Hey everyone, its Ashley.  It has been much too long since I have uploaded a review on my blog! School has been hectic these last few months with AP tests, SATs, ACTs, and doing a bunch of college visits.  Therefore, I haven’t had much time to read, and reading no books = having no reviews. But, summer is coming, and I have actually had time to read, gasp, I never thought this day would come again.  Today I just finished the Longest Ride, so look out for a review on it!! Also, in order to prevent this whole debacle (making SAT vocab words count, hell yes) from occurring again, I plan on doing more book TAGs, so that even if I do not necessarily have time to read, I will still be able to put content out for you guys!

My Top 5 Favorite Books of 2014

1.  Ignite Me by: Tahereh Mafi

ignite me

Ignite Me is the third book in the marvelous Shatter Me trilogy, which follows Juliette, a girl with a lethal touch.  Since Ignite Me is the last  book in the series I am hesitant to give away much information about it because I don’t want to spoil anyone, but it was AMAZING! I loved it so much that I read it three or four times this year! I could always count on it to get me out of my reading slumps, therefore, it is no surprise that it was my favorite book of the year! Ignite Me is a neglect all your responsibilities and put down whatever you are doing right now kind of book! First, it not only is action packed, but it has hands down the most beautiful prose I have read in young adult literature.  Also, we spend a lot of time with WERNER in this novel, need I say anything else?  (As a side note, if you are reading the Shatter Me series, you must read the novella Destroy Me that comes between Shatter Me and Unravel Me because it is ESSENTIAL if you want to truly understand Werner’s character)

2.   Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

opposition

Opposition was the last book I read in 2014, and what a FANTASTIC book to end the year reading!  Opposition is the last book in the Lux series, which follows Katy, a book blogger who moves across the street from a family of uber attractive aliens. Of course a relationship with a hot alien, Daemon, ensues! Their relationship had me hooked! I feel like I could read about these characters forever, and its so sad that this is the last book ever to be written about them.  But don’t you worry if you don’t like romance ruling the plot, because Opposition is also extremely action packed and has twists I never saw coming!

3.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe By Benjamin Alire Saenz

aristotle and dante

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a moving story about friendship, family, culture, and coming to terms with who you are.  This novel essentially does not have a plot, but rather it simply follows Aristotle as he lives out his life.  There were so many aspects of this book which I adored.  First, in YA literature, the parents of the main character are often horrible people or absent from their kid’s life, so I found it refreshing that a main character had supportive parents who deeply cared for him.  Also, both Aristotle and Dante are Mexican, so this novel explores Mexican culture, which I loved!  Lastly, the ending was perfect.  Absolutely magical! (I did a review on his book in August so you can go see the review if you want to learn more information on it)

4. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

retribution of mara dyer

The Retribution of Mara Dyer is the third novel in the Mara Dyer series, and what a conclusion it is! The Mara Dyer series follows a haunted girl, Mara Dyer, who wakes up one morning in a hospital and cannot remember the accident which killed all of her friends, but left her mysteriously unharmed. Mara suffers from severe post traumatic stress disorder after this accident, so you are left constantly guessing if what she is observing is actually happening or if she is just hallucinating.  I waited years for this last book to come out and it did not disappoint me!  A lot of people have problems with this novel and say that there were numerous plot holes in it, and while I can understand that, I typically rate books on how much I enjoyed them as I was reading it, and this one had me hooked! It may not be a perfect book, but it was action packed, kept me on the edge of my seat, and had a killer romance!

5.  All the Light We Cannot See By Anthony Doerr

all the light we cannot see

All The Light We Cannot See is an adult historical fiction novel set during World War II.  It follows two characters, Maurie Laurie, a blind French girl, and Werner, a young German boy preparing to become a Nazi soldier.  Through riveting flash-forwards and flashbacks, the novel follows the course of the two characters’ as they struggle trying to live their own lives without the interference of their bleak setting.  This story is almost written in threads, and it is not until the very end that you can see how Maruie and Werner’s stories thread together.  All the Light We Cannot See is a touching, well-crafted, and gorgeously written story, that I can’t wait to go back to and re read.

Christmas Book Haul and quick update!

Merry Christmas everybody! I know I have been away for a really long time, but I have just been so busy with school. From now on, I am going to try and post every Friday.  However, my blog has been comprised of reviews, but since I don’t have as much time to read I am going to start doing tags, book hauls, and other fun bookish things!

Alright so now on to the books.

1. Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

opposition

Since this is the fifth book in the Lux series, I am not going to give a brief synopsis because I don’t want to spoil anyone!  But, if you have not started reading the Lux series, I highly recommend it!  There is romance, action, and hot aliens… what could be better?!

2.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

perks of being a wallflower

To be honest, the only thing I know about this book is that it is a moving coming of age story, so I’m just going to go into it blind!  Especially since it is a short contemporary I feel like it is the best way to go into this book!

3.  It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

its kind of a funny story

I have been interested in this book for a very long time.  From what I can gather, it follows Craig Gilner, a boy who tries to commit suicide because of the pressures in his high school.  Craig is admitted into a mental hospital after his attempt to take his life and there he meets a variety of individuals who help him on his journey.

4.  A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

a great and terrible beauty

In the summer I volunteered at my local library, and I always had my eye on this book’s beautiful cover, but I never got a chance to pick it up! It follows a sixteen year old girl, Gemma, and is set in Victorian England.  After her mother dies Gemma is sent to a haunting boarding school in England where she joins a clique of girls.  This is supposed to be a dark and complex fantasy with elements of mystery and twists you never see coming!

5. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

speak

I read Speak a few years ago so it seemed fitting that I finally own it! Speak follows Melinda Sordino who busts an end of the summer party.  After this party, people at school despise her, and she refuses to speak.  She internalizes her pain and agony because something happened that night at the party.  Something too traumatizing to say out loud. If you have not read Speak I highly recommend it, its a haunting story that you will not be able to put down.

6.  Paper Towns by John Green

paper towns

I hear that Paper Towns has characters similar to Looking for Alaska, which is totally fine with me because I loved Looking for Alaska!  Besides that information that is all I really know about this book so I’m going to go into this book blind!

7.  An Abundance of Katharines by John Green

abundance of katharines

I love John Green, what can I say! I hear that this is many peoples’ least favorite of John Green’s books, but it sounds cute and quirky, so I’m ready to jump into it.  It centers around a boy named Colin Singleton who loves girls by the name of Katharine- in fact has dated 19 Katharines and has been dumped by all 19 of them. He who goes on a road trip with his best friend, but no Katharines in his attempt to finally win the love of a girl.

Introduction: Welcome to my Blog!

Ever since I was a young girl I have escaped into fantasy worlds where I could live alongside paper characters. At recess, instead of joining the other children on the swing set, I could always be found curled under a tree with a book just under my nose. Even as I aged, I often chose books over dances and social events because there is something so beautiful about becoming lost in a world so entirely different from our own. Whenever I open a book I feel a flood of warmth humming beneath my skin because it allows me, even if only for a moment, to transcend our world and join someone else’s journey. Every single living, breathing individual has their own story to tell, however, I have always enjoyed the tales authors create in their fictitious novels the most. I love everything about books; the musty smell of the yellowing pages growing old, the worn page-corners which hint at beloved moments, and even the bent, broken spines which come along with any well-loved book. But, most importantly, I love that books harbor a sea of knowledge waiting to be unleashed, and so, I decided to create this blog not only to share my passion with the stories I hold near my heart, but also to share the knowledge I have learned from these stories, even if it only may be a drop.