Tuesday Top Ten – Books I Want to Be Under My Christmas Tree!

It’s almost Christmas! It definitely feels like Christmas time. The red cups are out at Starbucks. The Christmas music is playing. There’s a slight breeze blowing in California. You know, more about typical Christmas time.

And the best part about Christmas – you know beside the whole spending time with your family thing, cialis 40mg I guess lol – is presents!

I’m kidding. Mostly.

But I thought it would be fun to make this week’s Tuesday Top Ten a sort of wish list. The one thing that I want the most under my Christmas tree every year is a huge stack of books. So here are the top ten that I wish would appear under my tree this year.

For the Record by Charlotte Huang

I honestly hadn’t even heard of this book until my dear friend Stephanie mentioned that she was friends with the author and that everyone should read it. I liked the title and the cover, case so I immediately looked it up. And it sounds absolutely amazing. The premise is great, I love the idea of mixing music and love and all of that. I honestly think its going to be a great read so I really want to get this book in my hands.

The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare – New Editions

Okay, so I already have these books. I already have multiple copies of a lot of these books. But I absolutely am in love with these covers and I really want these box sets in my life. I am so so in love with these covers. Don’t ask me what I would do with all these extra copies because I’m running out of room but I really do want them…

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

This book has been out for awhile and I had it for awhile, through the library, but I couldn’t make myself read it. Not because it isn’t good because its Libba Bray, so of course its good. But I’m in such a slump and I really feel like if I have my own, physical copy, it’ll help. I love Evie and I really want to continue to read her story into this book so hopefully I can get this gorgeous thing in my hands soon.

Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

I both super super want this and also super want to avoid it at the same time. I want to read it because its sports and its BASEBALL and its romance and all of that sounds so awesome and the love interest sounds fantastic. I also don’t want to read it because I’m writing my own baseball romances right now so I don’t want to be influenced by others. But it just sounds SO good, and it IS YA…I want it. I don’t know when I’ll read it but I definitely want to read it.

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Why do I want this book? Because its Huntley Fitzpatrick and she writes so well and her romances are so damn good. I’ve been wanting my hands on this baby for months and for some reason, I haven’t bought it yet so maybe this one will make its way under my Christmas tree. Plus its a companion to the first book I read by her so it makes it even better.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

All I’ve heard are amazing things about this book and I just want to make this happen already. I tried to get it from the library but I’m, like, 27th on the waiting list and I’m just not down for that. So I need this, physical copy, in my hands so I can finally read it. It sounds fun and exciting and awesome.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

This is the first of this series that I have not jumped on automatically. So obviously I need this in my life. Because I’m constantly reading YA books, I’m not quite used to buying adult books, which means when a book is 25 dollars, my wallet kind of wants to cry. But these Cormoran Strike novels are SO damn good and I’m sad that I haven’t had a chance to dive into this book yet!

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

I’ve seen this book. Haven’t read it yet but I flipped through it one day at Barnes and Noble and its just absolutely gorgeous. Nail Gaiman is an incredible writer and I really need this book in my life. Its just SO beautiful and I really need this. Plus its Neil! Ugh. Neil just makes me happy in whatever book he writes.

Stay With Me by Jennifer L Armentrout

Mostly because I don’t have it. I literally have every other book in this collection and I don’t have this one. Which makes no sense whatsoever…I feel like I bought these books completely out of order haha. So yeah, having this book under my tree would just make me happy because my Wait for You collection would be complete.

The Fidelity Files by Jessica Brody

I have read every single book by Jessica Brody. Except her adult series. And the drives me absolutely insane. One, because she’s an absolutely fantastic writer and two, she’s my friend and I feel like a fail. I’ve had such a hard time finding this book so I really wish I could wake up to find this underneath my Christmas tree. It just SOUNDS like it would be a great book too. One day, one day…

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What are some of the books you hope are under your Christmas tree this year? Share in the comments!

Top Anticipated August Releases!

There are SO many amazing books coming our way this August but I’d like to share with you, pill today, the ones that I’m highly anticipating! I have read some of them but there are a lot I haven’t and I’m ready to read them. Check them out, add them to your TBR list, and share what books you’re looking forward to this month!

Young Adult: 

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

The Diviners #2

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to “read” objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners’ abilities…

Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer?

Release Date: August 25th, 2015

My Thoughts: I cannot believe this book is finally coming out. The Diviners came out THREE years ago and I’ve been dying for a sequel since then and I’m so excited that I will finally have this book in my hands by the end of the month!

How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo

Words are strong. Love is stronger.

When Jordyn Michaelson’s autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she’s determined not to let anyone know they’re related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can’t shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again.

Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels—and the truth about her family—before he slips away forever?

Release Date: August 4th, 2015

My Thoughts: I have already read this book, and I’m so incredibly behind this book. Its a beautiful romance and a great story about having a brother with a disability and I just love it all.

Not After Everything by Michelle Levy

Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money). Tyler finds a job that crashes him into Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry-loner goth-girl. She brings Tyler an unexpected reprieve from the never-ending pity party his life has become. How could he not fall for her? But with his dad more brutally unpredictable than ever, Tyler knows he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into the chaos. So when violence rocks his world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find it in himself?

Release Date: August 4th 2015

My Thoughts: This is an absolutely amazing debut novel by a dear friend of mine. She was awesome enough to give me an ARC of it a few months ago and I devoured the hell out of it. You need this book in your life. You need it.

Jubilee Manor by Bethany Hagen 

Landry Park #2

In Landry Park, Madeline turned her back on her elite family, friends, and estate to help the Rootless. Now, in Jubilee Manor, she struggles to bring the Gentry and the Rootless together. But when Gentry heirs—Madeline’s old friends—are murdered, even she begins to think a Rootless is behind it, putting her at odds with the boy she loves and the very people she is trying to lead. If she can’t figure out who is killing her friends and bring them to justice, a violent war will erupt and even more will die—and Madeline’s name, her estate, and all the bonds she’s forged won’t make any difference.

Release Date: August 11th, 2015

My Thoughts: I have had this book in my pile since May and I haven’t had a chance to read it yet and that makes me incredibly sad because the first book, Landry Park is just incredible. Its hailed as a sort of Hunger Games meets Gone with the Wind and that is just a winning combination for me.

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go…

Release Date: August 25th, 2015

My Thoughts: Oh Abbi Glines. I adore her as a person so much but I haven’t been caught as a fan of hers yet. I’m excited about this one a lot though. Football and romance is a weakness for me so I’m not giving up on her. I am very excited for this one.

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To:
– find the liquor cabinet blindfolded
– need a liver transplant
– drive his car into a house

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To:
– well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Then the unexpected consequences of Tim’s wild days come back to shock him. He finds himself in a situation that isn’t all it appears to be, that he never could have predicted . . . but maybe should have.

And Alice is caught in the middle.

Release Date: August 18th, 2015

My Thoughts: I adore Huntley and I’ve loved everything she’s written so far so I’m excited to read more of her books. This is definitely one that will end up in my pile.

New Adult:

Better When He’s Brave by Jay Crownover 

Welcome to the Point #3

Titus King has always seen his world in black and white. There is a firm right and wrong in his mind, which is why as a teenager he left behind the only family he’d ever known to make a better life for himself. Now a police detective in one of the worst cities in the country, he can’t deny his life has turned into a million different shades of gray.

The new criminal element in The Point has brought vengeance and destruction right to Titus’s front door, and walking the straight and narrow seems far less important now. The difference between right and wrong is nothing compared to keeping those he loves alive. To add to his already strained moral compass, the beautiful and mysterious Reeve Black has made her way back to town. This girl might be as dangerous to Titus as the guy trying to destroy the Point but he can’t walk away because he needs her—in more ways than one.

Reeve knows all about the threat trying to destroy The Point. She knows how ruthless, how vicious, and how cruel this new danger can be… and instead of running away, she wants to help. Reeve knows that she has a lot to repent for and saving the city, plus the hot cop that she hasn’t been able to forget might just be the only way she can finally find some inner peace.

With an entire city poised on the brink of war, Titus and Reeve stand in the crossfire—and it will take two brave souls to fight for the ultimate love.

Release Date: August 11th, 2015

My Thoughts: Okay, lets be real. I haven’t even read this first two yet. But I’m planning on that in the next couple weeks and then hopefully I will get to read this one too. I finished the Marked men last month and it WOWed me so I’m excited for this series.

Childrens/Middle Grade: 

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan 

Who cut off Medusa’s head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, ( I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .) and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan’s legions of devoted fans–and for anyone who needs a hero. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.

Release Date: August 18th, 2015

My Thoughts: If its Percy Jackson, its in my mailbox, its in my arsenal. I loved the first one of these that was released last year so I’m definitely excited to having this come my way!

The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

I’m not sure what it is about this kid Duncan, but his crayons sure are a colorful bunch of characters! Having soothed the hurt feelings of one group who threatened to quit, Duncan now faces a whole new group of crayons asking to be rescued. From Maroon Crayon, who was lost beneath the sofa cushions and then broken in two after Dad sat on him; to poor Turquoise, whose head is now stuck to one of Duncan’s stinky socks after they both ended up in the dryer together; to Pea Green, who knows darn well that no kid likes peas and who ran away—each and every crayon has a woeful tale to tell and a plea to be brought home to the crayon box.

Release Date: August 18th, 2015

My Thoughts: If you haven’t read the first one, you are missing out. It is one of the cutest kids books I’ve ever read and Drew Daywalt was kind enough to do an interview for this blog, and was just awesome as hell. I can’t wait for the sequel ;)

General Fiction: 

X by Sue Grafton 

Kinsey Millhone #24

X:  The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss.

X:
 The shortest entry in Webster’s Unabridged. Derived from Greek and Latin and commonly found in science, medicine, and religion. The most graphically dramatic letter. Notoriously tricky to pronounce: thinkxylophone.


X: 
The twenty-fourth letter in the English alphabet.

Release Date: August 25th, 2015

My Thoughts: I’ve been reading these books since I was a kid, probably before I was actually mature enough to read these books haha. But I’m excited to read the next installment and I’m ready for this series to finally come to an end one day LOL.

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What are your most anticipated releases of August! Share in the comments below!

Tuesday Top Ten-Authors I Can’t Wait to See at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books!

Tomorrow will mark exactly one month until one of the biggest events for a book lover like me, sickness living in California: the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

I’ve been going since I was kid, order but really didn’t realize I could meet authors at the festival until I met Meg Cabot back in…2009? 2008? Something like that. Then I got even more addicted to the festival, story and have added more authors to my “Must Meet” list when I attend.

Last year, I had an absolute blast, meeting Cassandra Clare again, and meeting authors I had never met and was so excited to meet like Morgan Matson, Sarah Dessen and Veronica Roth.

But I also met some of the amazing friends that I have now. My best fangirl best friend Sylvia? Met her there. I met Jasmine and Paulina and so many others of my friends there.

So I’m really excited about this year. They just announced the list last week, and I’m so excited. Its hard to narrow it down to just ten authors because this year is going to be so totally epic, but here it is:

Honorable Mention: Andrew Smith

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I’ve met Andrew Smith SO many times already and I do want people to know that he is going to be there. I hope I will be stopping by to say hi to him during the Fest but I’ll be seeing him at Pasadena Teen Book Festival so I won’t be having him sign books and such. There’s a lot of authors I want to see so I have to make time for the ones who I will only see at FoB. But Andrew Smith is an awesome author and fun to meet, and fun to talk to so I hope I can at least say hi to him during the Fest.

10. Melissa de la Cruz 

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I’ve already met Melissa de la Cruz a couple times. But never as an author. I’ve met her at other author events and have taken pictures with her and talked to her, but I don’t have any books signed by her! That’s crazy face. I just received an ARC of her new book, The Ring and the Crown in the mail and it sounds absolutely amazing so I hope to finish it before the fest (I should) and get it signed by her. I have a feeling I’m really going to love this book.

9. Tamara Ireland Stone

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So I have her two books already signed because I won a giveaway over at The Adventures of a Book Junkie and I got a copy of Time Between Us and Time after Time (UK Editions..wooo) signed. But I do want to meet her. She has a fun little duo going on. I thought it was contemporary, which is why I read it, because I was trying to avoid science fiction and stuff like that, but it has a little twist to it and the books are so good. I love that they take place in 1995 and 2012. Its super fun, and suddenly reminds me of True Detective, even though the book came out first. But I want to get my copy of Time Between Us signed and I’d like to get the UK editions personalized. She’s really cool and she read my review of Time Between Us and I’d like to meet her.

8. Huntley Fitzpatrick

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I LOVE Huntley. I picked up her book My Life Next Door on a whim, because it was next to Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour on the shelves at Barnes and Noble and it just caught my eye, and again, was a contemporary novel, which is what I was looking for. I loved the story, but I loved Jase and his ginormous family the best because it felt so familiar to my large family. I really want to meet her and tell her she wrote a big family so perfectly, both the bad and the good. I felt like I was Jase, definitely. So I hope I can meet her. I wish that her next book came out before the Fest but it comes out the day AFTER. Of course.

7. Ann Brashares

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I actually got way excited when I learned Ann Brashares was going to be there. I know that she has a new book coming out in early April before the Festival that I’m probably going to pick up BUT she was HUGE to me in high school. I can’t have been the only girl who was absolutely obsessed with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I seriously LOVED those books so much and I remember having a serious book crush on Kostos. Hot, sensitive, passionate Greek boy? I’m down. So I’m really excited to meet her to tell her how much her books meant and influenced me when I was in high school.

6. Stephen Chbosky 

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I’ve already met this man, and he is absolutely amazing and I am so incredibly grateful that I was able to. Seriously. He gave me wonderful writing advice and I was able to talk to him about a part in his book that most people look over, but was incredibly important and emotional for me. He is fantastic. At the time I met him (Ontario TBF, god that event was amazing), I didn’t have the money to buy his book so while I have his writing advice on my poster, I don’t have a copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower signed by him. So I hope to track him down and get that signed because that would be absolutely awesome. He is a seriously fantastic writer and a funny and inspiring person.

5. Deb Caletti 

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I am so excited to meet her, I can barely contain it. I feel like I’m constantly checking her website to see if she’s coming near me and she never is. I definitely definitely want to meet her. I love her books, she’s a brilliant contemporary YA writer and I definitely think she’s had an influence in the way I write my contemporary YA. My friend Jade was like “WHAT? You haven’t met her, she was at the fest a couple years ago”….and I’m like, I know! The one year that I didn’t go! So figures. So yes, very excited to meet her. Its silly, but her book, The Nature of Jade, is the reason that I got obsessed with the penguin webcam at the Long Beach Aquarium. Jade watches the elephant webcam from the local zoo, and I thought, “Hmm, I wonder if there’s a penguin cam…” and totally found it. And I am so in love with it.

4. Marissa Meyer

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I really, really, really want to meet her. I just recently read her series but I became addicted right away. Thanks Erin. Her stories are so great, a mix of dystopian, science fiction and fairy tale. I love her books. She was in California for the release of Cress, but she was down in San Diego, the day after the Vampire Academy premiere and I was just too pooped to do anything about it. I just didn’t want to go. So now that she’s going to be here for Festival of Books, I’m just so excited. I need to get actual physical copies of Scarlet and Cress, and I need to be like “You’re brilliant! AGH!” Or something like that.

3. John Green 

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I am so excited that he is going to be there. I remember seeing his name, and almost shaking with excitement. John Green is one of those authors that I thought…there’s no way. I’ll probably never meet him. My friend/contributor Christina Marie met him recently and got me a signed copy of Looking for Alaska, signed to me, and I was pretty excited about that. And John Green sent me a personalized message on Facebook when I asked for writing advice and that was beautiful. So seeing his name on the list made my heart stop. I know his line is going to be insanity but I’m determined to meet him and have him sign my copy of An Abundance of Katherines…oh, and The Fault in Our Stars, of course.

2. Veronica Roth

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Okay, I’ve totally already met Veronica Roth but I absolutely love her and her books. I wouldn’t get a Divergent tattoo if I didn’t feel that way. I met her last year at the Festival of Books and got Divergent and Insurgent signed. Now that Allegiant was released in November, I need to have that signed so I have a complete collection. Plus, I want to tell Veronica how much I loved the ending of Allegiant because she’s gotten so much hate and I want to tell her that I loved it and thought it was incredibly fitting. Oh and I want to show her my Divergent tattoo too. I’ve gotten to show Cassandra Clare my TMI tattoo and I showed Billie Piper my DW tattoo so this would be excellent. Can’t wait.

1. Rainbow Rowell

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I nearly peed my pants and cried when I found out that Rainbow was going to be here in April…and then I found out she was going to be at the Festival and got even happier. She has easily become one of my absolute favorite authors. I loved Eleanor and Park and Attachments but Fangirl literally blew my mind because of how close it was to my life. I know a lot of people think this, and its true, but Cath was so me. I felt tears in my eyes for so much of the book and its NOT a sad book. It just felt so good to relate SO much to a character, to know exactly what she means when she is talking. It was incredible. That book is now one of my favorite books and my friend Cassandra got it signed for me at YALL Fest. But now I get to meet her, and tell her, and possibly give her a letter to tell her what that book meant to me. And that’s incredibly exciting to me!

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Are you attending the Festival of Books? What are some authors that you are excited to see?

And if you aren’t going (because you live somewhere else), are there any authors coming near you soon that you’re excited to meet?

Share in the comments!

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Authors Announced!

I can hardly contain my excitement and the list went up HOURS ago.

HOURS.

I love this event, clinic I have a blast every single year that I go and as I dive deeper into this world, the more I fall in love with this event, because of all the authors I get to meet!

And they’ve finally put up the list of authors that are going to be there. If your’e in the Los Angeles area, you HAVE to be there. Pssh, even if you’re not in the area, you should find a way to GET to the area because its going to be amazing.

Here’s the list of YA authors that will be at the fest. Plus some commentary by me, of course ;)

Katie Alender

She’s going to be at Ontario Teen Book Fest. Not sure of her yet, but I gotta try her books, of course!

Laurie Halse Anderson

I’ve only ever read Speak (I know, I know) but that book is amazing so I hope that I meet her soon. 

Carrie Arcos

She’ll be at Pasadena Teen Book Fest and I’m excited to see her because she’s awesome.

Kelley Armstrong

Leigh Bardugo

Always beautiful to meet. I’ll worry about her once Ruin and Rising comes out haha. 

Robin Benway

I’ll see her at Ontario TBF. And I just saw her at Disneyland in January. That was awesome. 

Francesca Lia Block

She is so sweet! I met her at Los Angeles TBF

Ann Brashares

I hope that I can meet her. The Traveling Pants books were huge to me in high school. 

Deb Caletti

Words cannot explain how excited I am about her coming. I can’t handle it. 

Cecil Castellucci

I’ve met her so many times, I’ve lost count haha. 

Stephen Chbosky 

Lovely lovely man. I’ve met him already but I don’t have a signed copy of Perks so that would be awesome. 

Heather Cocks

Eoin Colfer

Lovely man, and I’m so glad I was able to meet him and interview him. I know my sister will be happy to see him again. 

Andrea Cremer

Melissa de la Cruz

I hope to actually see her this year haha. I missed her last year because I hadn’t read any of her books. 

Ava Dellaira 

I will be seeing her at Ontario TBF

Huntley Fitzpatrick 

I LOVE her book, My Life Next Door, so I’m SO excited to meet her. This is a MUST. 

Maurene Goo

I met her at LA TBF and she was a doll, and she had an awesome dry sense of humor. 

John Green

I literally cannot handle this. I was shaking when I saw this. I need to tell him how amazing Abundance of Katherines is and I need to just love on him forever. Is that awkward? I don’t even care. Its like a fangirl’s dream come true to meet him. 

Daniel Handler

Bill Konigsberg

I met him at LA TBF but I have no books signed by him so hopefully I can do that here. 

E. Lockhart 

Sarah J. Maas

Always a blast to see her :) I’d love to see her again! 

DJ MacHale

I keep seeing his books all over the place so I gotta give him a try. If I can squeeze him, that’d be cool. 

Tahereh Mafi

Oh I’ve seen her so much haha. And I’m sure I can see her again, easily. 

Marissa Meyer

No words can describe. I MUST see her. I cannot go the weekend without meeting her. 

Jessica Morgan

Lauren Myracle

Lauren Oliver

If I can squeeze her in, that’d be great. I’ve met her before but getting Panic signed would be a full and complete collection. 

Ridley Pearson

Joanna Philbin 

Mimi Pond

Ransom Riggs

Have already met him, of course

Veronica Roth

YES! I was so hoping she would be back so I can get Allegiant signed! Which means I’ll have the WHOLE collection and I’ll be excited. 

Rainbow Rowell

Ohmygod I have to meet her. Even though Cassandra got me Fangirl signed, I need Eleanor and Park and Attachments and Landline if its out by then. And I need to write her a letter and tell her how amazing Fangirl was and how it changed my life, seriously. 

Rachel Shukert 

Neal Shusterman

I’ve met him! Yay!

Sarah Skilton

She’ll be at Ontario TBF

Holly Goldberg Sloan

Andrew Smith

He’ll be at Pasadena TBF so I’m going to try and get his books signed then. But I want to say hi to him at FoB because I adore him and I want to say hi, of course. 

Sonya Sones

Amy Spalding 

Ann Stampler

I think…Pasadena TBF? I think so. I’ve met her before though. Such a sweetheart. 

Margaret Stohl

I will meet her at Pasadena TBF. I am excited because I haven’t met her yet. 

Tamara Ireland Stone

I won both of her books signed, but it’d be cool to get them personalized, or even just to say hi because I like her books. 

Jonathan Stroud

Laini Taylor

I really need to read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And then I can meet her, without feeling like a fool. 

Maya Van Wagenen

John Corey Whaley

He’ll be at Ontario TBF. WOO! 

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For the complete list of authors, and for other information, visit their website here.

December Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2013: 200 Books

Did I Reach My Goal: Yes!

How Many Total Books Read: 203

Total Books For December: 20

Remember to click on the book title for the review. If there is no link, buy information pills there is no review. I got really lazy in reviewing toward the end of the month haha.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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Teen Idol by Meg Cabot (Re-Read)

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Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot (Re-Read)

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Something Blue by Emily Giffin (Re-Read)

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Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

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Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

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Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

9797582

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

13576132

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead 

8709527

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

8709523

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

8709526

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

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Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

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My Life Next Door by Huntley FItzpatrick

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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith 

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This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith 

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Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon

This totally counts. My boyfriend got this for me for Christmas, pills because I’m obsessed with penguins and we’re in love, pharm duh! And he also got me this behind-the-scenes experience with penguins, so it all makes sense. And it counts

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What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

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The Last Stand of the New York Institute by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson 

17334061

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia/Unbreakable

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So that was 2013 folks! Stick with me in the new year, as I delve into even more books!

How did you do on your own GoodReads challenge? Share in the comments!

My Life Next Door Book Review

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick   

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You Can Find the Books At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, order messy, buy more about affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

My Review:

Continuing my desire to read contemporary novels to keep from dystopian, sci-fi, fantasy, etc, themes from seeping into my own sci-fi novel, I decided to read this book. I saw it sandwiched next to Morgan Matson (which makes no sense. F? M? Huh?) at Barnes and Noble, and it caught my eye so I  bought it. Because I’m an impulse book buyer. I read this yesterday, with the goal of reading half, and instead, I read the entire novel. The entire one. I finished at about 2 am and then was so ready for bed haha.

First off, the characters. I loved the characters that Huntley creates for her novel. Both are incredibly real to me. I loved Samantha, and the sort of opening up she gets in getting to know Jase. Its weird to me, because that is not the life I had but you can see her transformation as time goes on, and her struggle with doing the “right” thing all the time, and meeting the impossible expectations of her mother. No matter what family you grew up in, every teen knows what its like to have expectations on them that they just can’t seem to meet. Samantha is under a lot of expectations and it makes you feel for her, and you want to wrap her up in a hug and give her the affection that she so obviously craves. I definitely loved Jase, mostly because I understood Jase a lot. I’m one of six kids, while Jase is one of eight and his outlooks on life and the way he loves his siblings, but also gets overwhelmed too, felt familiar to me. I also really liked Tim, and his struggle with his own demons and addictions and I can’t wait to see more of him in the sequel. The rest of the characters were all so genuine as well, from the parents (the Garretts, Sam’s mom, Nan’s parents), and the siblings, like Jase’s whole brood, and Sam’s sister, Tracy. No one felt cliche or unfamiliar and that is a huge issue with contemporary YA. All of the characters felt REAL and thats so important.

I also liked the story a lot too, of course. What I really liked the most about this story is that it started off seemingly predictable and then completely switched gears, and went in a direction that I didn’t see coming. I love a good summer romance novel (I mean, come on, Sarah Dessen, anyone?) and I was happy to enjoy a novel with that plot line going on, and the coming-of-age-ness (I’m going to keep using that ‘word’) of Samantha. When the novel’s plot takes a turn, and we end up going through this completely devastating and surprising scene…and the choice Sam has to make because of it…I was definitely surprised. I knew something was going to happen with her and her mom, of course, but what ultimately happens, never did I dream that would be it. I know that’s vague but I don’t want to spoil you guys. This book gives more than you would think. That twist adds for more drama, and gives a new depth to a summer romance novel.

I do wish that part would have slowed down a bit though. It felt like a ton of build up and then the book ended super quickly. Like I said, I thought it was going to be a traditional summer romance story and then that twist happened, but it seemed like an incredibly big twist, too close to the actual end of the novel and things seemed to wrap up really quickly. I think I wanted it to slow down a bit and it didn’t. I wanted maybe to see Sam and her mother struggle more, and maybe more action with Clay (her mother’s sleazy boyfriend), and the struggle of Sam and her choice between her mom and Jase. But I loved the story enough that this didn’t have me hung up.

I think my favorite part of the novel was Jase and his family. His family felt so familiar to me. I am one of six kids. I know the chaos that can occur, and the messes that are made, and the disasters that can happen, but I also understand that there’s a lot of love there. I also understand the kind of questions Mrs. Garrett gets from people about if she’s Catholic, or knows what birth control is and things like that. It fired me up a lot in the novel, because those kinds of things make me angry, especially when they are said to good parents. Mrs. Garrett is obviously an amazing mom, and loves each one of her children and she wants to keep spreading the love. But I also understand Jase…so much. He’s not the eldest child but he has a lot of responsibilities like one and I felt so connected to him. I understood how much responsibility was on his shoulders, and the pressure, as well. He feels the financial burden of his parents more than his siblings do, and even though he’s too young to worry about it, he does anyway (story of my life). He loves his siblings, and couldn’t imagine life without any of them, but he understands how much easier things might have been if his parents had decided to have less kids. It just felt SO familiar to me. Stepping into the Garretts’ house and into Jase’s life felt like walking into my own life.

Bottom line, this is a great novel. Its a perfect summer romance novel, and both Samantha and Jase are characters that you’ll love and that will stick with you. The ending happened a little too fast for me, but the twist at the end, so unexpected in a typical summer romance, that it will also stay with you. The emotions of each characters, their feelings and the ways they grow up, and the way they fall in love are the golden parts of My Life Next Door. Definitely read it.

My Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

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