This Week in Books: My first five-star read of 2017

I never intended for this blog to be solely about books, but reading is pretty much all I’ve been doing outside of work and mommying. Cold, wet weather and time changes will do that.

Then: Have you ever read a book that you liked soooo much you simultaneously wanted to see how it ends but you never want it to end? Yeah, that’s how I felt reading Jennifer L. Armentrout’s The Problem with Forever. I finished the book late one night; as soon as I woke up the next morning, I reread the ending – not because I didn’t remember it, but because it was Just. That. Good. I thought about the main characters, Mallory and Rider, throughout the day and was reluctant to start a new book that night because I wasn’t done relishing Armentrout’s perfectly angsty love story.

Now: When I went to update my rating for The Problem with Forever on Goodreads, I discovered that Armentrout released another Lux novel, this time from Daemon’s point-of-view. Needless to say, I downloaded Oblivion (Lux 1.5) five seconds later and am enjoying my return to the world of Luxen and Arum.

Next? I’m in the middle of two other books (The Chemist and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years) that I’ve been ignoring during this latest YA bender, so perhaps I’ll pick one of them back up. Or maybe I’ll just stay off the wagon.

What does your Week in Books look like?

 

Mama’s Losin’ ItWriting Prompt: 2. Book Review!

This post is also linked to #TWIB.

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14 of 2014: the book edition

The silver lining to the cloud that is my child’s aversion to sleep is the amount of reading I’ve done this year. Hoping to read two books a month, I surpassed that goal, reading an average of three books a month for a total of 37 books at the time this was written (a 38th may appear depending upon the next few nights of sleep).

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My favorite 14 books read in 2014 are as follows (ordered by date read):

1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Whereas I felt Suzanne Collins’ ending to The Hunger Games trilogy was a copout, I thought Roth ended the Divergent series bravely and perfectly.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I was surprised to find this touted tear-jerker rather uplifting.

3. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

A fun read, this had a Buffy, the Vampire Slayer type of campiness to it.

4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Romance is not my favorite genre; however, Stephanie Perkins does it right. She made me want to grab my passport and book the next flight to France.

5. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

While not her best in the series, I enjoyed how Clare ended her epic tale.

6. Run to You by Clara Kensie

Told in six installments, this paranormal thriller was full of unexpected twists. It kept me on my toes, as well as the edge of my seat.

7. Lux: Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

A page-turning end to a creative sci-fi series, Lux, Armentrout makes me want to have a close encounter.

8. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

This was an eye-opening read about our justice system. Though the TV version has been greatly dramatized, I found the tamer real-life account to be more harrowing.

9. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Having a great fascination with Zelda Fitzgerald since high school, it was fun to read this (admittedly fictional) interpretation of her unusual life.

10. The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Two of my favorite genres, dystopian YA & vampire YA, are a beautiful marriage in the hands of Kagawa.

11. The Future of Us by Jay Asher

A thought-provoking coming-of-age story about how the present affects the future & how our dreams for the future can affect the present and what it means to be happy. Having been a HS junior in 1996 like the female protagonist, I also loved the nostalgia of this great read.

12. Looking for Alaska by John Green

This book stayed with me. For weeks.

13. Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Forman does a brilliant job showing how just one day can affect a greater expanse of time in one’s life – in this case, one year.

14. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines

This moving story, reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird and Shawshank Redemption, is so well told, I now want to read everything Gaines has written.

What are your favorite reads from 2014?

RIPPER launch & giveaway (updated with winner)

My friend, Amy Carol Reeves, is having an extra special Easter Sunday as today is also the official release day for her debut young adult novel, Ripper. (Congratulations, Amy!)

A Jack-the-Ripper mystery with a paranormal twist that I never saw coming, Ripper is the beautifully written story of Arabella Sharp, a strong, independent young woman who is well ahead of her Victorian time. As Abbie tries to figure out who the Ripper is while also trying to protect herself and those she cares about, she discovers the truth about her mother and herself (oh, and also falls in love with two hotties along the way). Amy strikes a perfect balance between fast-paced action that kept me turning the page and detailed, imagery-filled settings that made me feel as though I were seeing the world through Abbie’s eyes. My only complaint about the book is that it ended… good thing Amy has been hard at work on the sequel!

One lucky reader will receive a SIGNED copy of Ripper (shipped after the signing on April 21; U.S. residents only). Each of the following will enter you into the giveaway, for a total of seven entries. To complete your entry(s), leave me a comment on this post letting me know which of the following you have done; please include your handles/usernames as appropriate.

Entries must be received by noon EST on Sunday, April 15. The winner will be chosen and announced later that day. Good luck!

Entries are now closed. The winner is the sixth entry, belonging to Sarabeth – congratulations!