Must Read Mondays: August 14th

must-read-mondays

Must Read Monday is a weekly thing I do here to recommend books I’ve read and enjoyed. I might sometimes throw in something I gave 3 stars to, but for the most part they’re books I gave a 4-5 star rating to. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily amazing literature, but it does mean I liked them enough to recommend them to other people.


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cover; links to goodreads

When I read it: July 2014 and June 2016

Genres: YA; contemporary; romance

Recommended for: This is probably  the only contemporary I’ve liked enough to recommend to lots of people. I’d suggest it for older high school/early college students, especially if you have anxiety and/or are into things like fan fiction.

Trigger warnings: alcoholism/alcohol abuse (I think); mental illness. Let me know if I should add to this, please!

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


What it’s about:

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?


Eeeek, I’m so late posting this!

I’m not a great lover of contemporaries, so finding one that I actually adored was kind of a surprise for me. I got the Kindle edition of this back in ’14 because it was on sale and I’d never read any of Rainbow Rowell’s books before, and ended up loving it so much I bought the special edition hardcover.

Even though I don’t have a twin and I didn’t have the typical college experience, I related to this book (especially Cath) so much, and I wish this book had been out when I was younger.

Now, I recommend this a lot to people, even people who–like me–don’t really get into contemporary novels ever/very often.

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First Lines Friday

first-lines-fridays

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

The Rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

 


“There’s a big difference between death threats and love letters–even if the person writing the death threats still claims to actually love you. Of course, considering I once tried to kill someone I loved, maybe I had no right to judge.


 

Interested? Keep reading to find out which book this is from.

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Spirit Bound (book 5 in the Vampire Academy series) by Richelle Mead

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Ok, I’m not actually going to give the synopsis for this book, because spoilers! But, here’s what the Vampire Academy books are basically about:

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess (Moroi are basically vampires that are alive, can use elemental magic, and aren’t evil), and her best friend Rose Hathaway is a hot headed, short tempered Dhampir (basically half human, half vampire). Dhampir’s are trained to be guardians of Moroi, and Lissa and Rose are set on Rose being Lissa’s guardian when they graduate. Why do the Moroi need protection? Well, the Strigoi (like the undead vamps we all know about) seem particularly keen on killing off (or turning) the Moroi royals, and Lissa is one they’re really fixated on getting their fangs on. There’s plenty of drama, action, forbidden romance, heartbreak, betrayal, and more in this series, so don’t let the cringe-worthy original covers fool you like they did me. The books are way better than the covers make them seem 😉

Check out the series on goodreads


Have you read the Vampire Academy series? What did you think of them?

First Lines Fridays: March 3rd

first-lines-fridays

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

The Rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

 

I’m so late in posting this, aaah! I totally missed last week because I was busy, and then almost missed this week. I need to get better about scheduling these things.


“It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.”


Interested? Keep reading to find out which book this is from.

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Delirium by Lauren Oliver

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What it’s about:

In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn’t about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the “Wilds” who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


I actually listened to the audiobook of this about two years ago because my library didn’t have a physical copy, but I liked it so much I started  buying the trilogy. I really didn’t expect to enjoy it very much, but it wasn’t really what I expected. I think the concept of love as a disease being the basis for a dystopian trilogy was unique, which was a nice change from the usual YA dystopians I read. I love those, too, but sometimes I need something different.

(Also, Sara Drew as the narrator was pretty great. I think she was the reason I started listening to more audiobooks, because the few I’d tried before this one had narration I didn’t like.)

 

Have you read Delirium? What did you think of it?

Must Read Monday

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ari-and-dante
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

by Benjamin Alire Sáenz


When I read it:
February 2015

Genres: LGBTQ, Contemporary (sort of), YA, Romance (sort of)

Recommended for: Everyone!!!

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

 

Description from goodreads:

Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.

But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.

This book has been everywhere online for a long time. It’s taken over tumblr, goodreads, twitter, youtube, etc., and for good reason. The writing is beautiful, the cast is diverse, and the story is well told. Ari & Dante are precious babies I want to wrap in a happy bubble, and I know I cried at least once while reading this. It was a little painful at times, but I was happy to suffer.There were large and complex issues and feelings in this book, but the language was simple and had a nice flow to it. Have I mentioned how beautiful it is?

I wish I’d had this book to read when I was a teenager. I related a lot to a few things, and back then, there weren’t a ton of easily found YA books. There really weren’t many that dealt with real issues.

Basically, I cried a lot and gained a couple of book-children when I read this, and now I try to make almost everyone else read it.

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Genres: YA; Contemporary; Romance

Pages: 320

Published: September 1st, 2015

My Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Description:

Madeline can’t leave her house because she’s allergic to, or potentially allergic to, everything. She has SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency), so she spends her days in her sterile home with filtered air, reading books and being cared for by her mother and her nurse, Carla. Madeline knows what her life is, has always been, and will always be. That is, until a new family moves in next door and Madeline sees Olly from her window, and he sees her.

I’m so, so, so late in reviewing this because I got an ARC from Net Galley last year. But, life happened and I didn’t do much reading for several months, which is a shame because I loved this book.

I’m going to try to keep this spoiler free, so it’s going to be a short review.

Olly and Madeline (”Maddy”) were great and so realistic. Actually, all the characters were so well written (and there was some diversity, yay!), it was easy to forget they weren’t actual people while I was reading this. Maddy had lived such a sheltered life, but she was definitely not boring. She was creative, smart, brave, and I really liked her. I loved seeing close relationships between her and her mother, as well as the relationship she had with Carla.

I loved Olly from the beginning. He was funny, intelligent, and charming. I was rooting for them to get together from the beginning, despite the challenges of Maddy’s need for isolation and a sterile environment.

I saw a twist coming, or at least I suspected it, but I still ended up being a little shocked by it. This was a quick read (well, it took me over a week to read it, but that was because I was busy) because there were bits of IMs, drawings, etc., and I thought the pace was perfect.

Overall, I enjoyed this a lot and I’m looking forward to more books by Nicola Yoon in the future. In fact, I might even buy a physical copy of this so I can re-read it later.

4.5 stars and I highly recommend it.