Tuesday Top Ten – Favorite Books Read in 2015

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had an absolutely FABULOUSLY nerdy 2015, see full of books and all kinds of awesome. I know I did. 2015 was a GREAT year to be me and I’m stoked to see what 2016 brings me.

For now, information pills let’s count down the top ten (technically 12) books that I read this year. Keep in mind…I read 126 books this year so this was HARD

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Both of the Honorable Mention books are actually being published in 2016. I read both of them in 2015 as ARCs and absolutely loved them both, page so they make my list of best books I read this year :)

Click the book title for its GoodReads page, the author name for their website and the book cover for my review!

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima 

I was so excited when I got this ARC both digitally and in the mail. I absolutely adore Cinda Chima and I honestly think she’s one of the best fantasy authors I’ve ever read. She’s just so damn good. She’s going to be visiting in April, about two hours away, but I’m going. Hands down. This is the first in a new series, a spin off of my favorite series by her, the Seven Realms. It was great to be back in that realm, though I miss Raisa and Han, and it was just…ugh, so damn good. I can’t wait to read more!

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Confession Time: I’ve never read an Alex Bracken book before. I’ve heard The Darkest Minds series is good but I just haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I got this book in the mail as an ARC and I loved the cover and concept and immediately dove in. I can’t even begin to explain how much I ADORE this book. I’m a huge fan of Alex’s now and I can’t wait to make The Darkest Minds a priority in 2016.

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Unchanged by Jessica Brody

Its hard to believe that I read this book nearly a year ago! How insane is that! So weird. But god, what an amazing end to the trilogy. I had all these theories and expectations and this literally blew my mind. It is just…its not at all what I expected at all. She surprised me and shocked me and its really hard to genuinely surprise me and I was like like OMG. Jessica Brody got progressively better and better with this series and I just absolutely loved this series ender.

The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen

In all truthfulness, I read the entirety of this series this year, and I loved every single minute of it. I was hooked from book one and devoured the entire series and anxiously awaited the new releases. But by far, easily, my favorite is The Shameless Hour. I love both of the main characters and I love the story. I love Bella so much, I love that she’s not your typical virgin, which we see most of the time in NA series. I love that she owns who she is until things happen and she questions herself, but still ultimately comes out as confident in the person she is. I don’t know if that sentence made sense AT all but that’s how I felt. SUCH a good book.

All Played Out by Cora Carmack

Even though Carson is my favorite and will always have the special spot in my heart, I just loved loved loved All Played Out. Like I said about with Jessica, Cora just got better and better with these books as the series continued and I devoured APO in a matter of hours. Just blew me away. I adore Nell, her personality, her directness, everything and Torres is just…the kind of guy that would drive me absolutely insane in real life but causes me to swoon when I read. I am INSANELY excited about the release of the fourth book :)

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I had been hearing about this book for ages and I had actually bought it when I met Victoria at YALLWest back in April. Everyone said it was SO good, but I just wasn’t feeling it for awhile. But when I finally sat down to read it…it just blew my mind. The world building is incredible, absolutely incredible…it flows so well and is so believable. And the twists and turns in this book…I was incredibly shocked at the ending of this book, jaw dropping, for sure. That cliffhanger…is it time for book two yet?!

Stand Off by Andrew Smith

I love Winger. Its one of my favorite books of all time and when I heard there was going to be a sequel, I nearly peed my pants with excitement. Because I was going to get my Ryan Dean back and the antics that follow him, always. And yes, that is what happened in Stand Off. I laughed so hard, because Ryan Dean is hilarious and Andrew is hilarious and the brand new character of Sam Abernathy is so freakin’ hilarious. But the book surprised me and became so much more, just like Winger. It had a lot to say about post traumatic stress disorder, and panic attacks and was written so beautifully. Always a win with an Andrew Smith book.

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

I had high anticipation for this book because I absolutely adore Aaron Hartzler. He’s a great writer and just an all around great person and I was so excited when I was able to get an ARC of this book. And my expectations were blown away. I loved his first book. I absolutely am obsessed with this one. Aaron Hartzler writes a compelling and incredibly emotional read and its beautiful and poignant and relevant and permanent. I read this months ago, and the story still is stuck with me, still sends chills through me. Its a must read for sure.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

The first book I ever read by Rainbow Rowell was her novel, Fangirl, which I’ve now read several times. One of my favorite books that I’ve ever read and one of the few characters that I’ve been able to identify with as much as I have with Cath…Cath is me. So when I heard Rainbow was putting out Carry On, a story of the fictional characters created in Fangirl…I had to. And its amazing how invested in these doubly fictional characters I was! I loved the story from beginning to end and I laughed so hard, so many times, and I will ship Simon and Baz until the end of time. One of the best Harry Potter fan fictions I’ve ever read in my life, and I’m so glad this became a real book.

Winter by Marissa Meyer

I honestly felt like this book was NEVER going to be released. It had been nearly TWO years since Cress and I was DYING to find out what happened next. I’ve been in a perpetual slump with reading the past few months but I knew I had to sit down and read this one and I’m so glad I made myself do it because I blew through it. Marissa Meyer has an EPIC end to the series, with so many throwbacks to the original fairytales but also keeping me hooked to the action and the surprise and the romance and all of it. I LOVED this book and this series, and I can’t get it out of my head.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I don’t think I’ve ever met an author as talented at writing this beautifully and creating these kind of worlds so intricately than Leigh Bardugo. Seriously. The kind of fantasy she creates, the characters, the worlds, the way they all weave together to create the story…it just completely hooks me. Its emotional and real and its gripping because you can feel everything in the story as if you stepped through the pages. Leigh takes the world she created in the Grisha trilogy and opens it up wider, further, and pulls us into a new story, and its not hard to fall into it. I loved each and every character, I loved the story and I feel like I’m never going to fail to be impressed by this lady.

Scorched by Jennifer L Armentrout

I didn’t expect for this book to be on this list. I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. I love Jennifer Armentrout and I’ve learned this year to love love love her new adult books. I loved Frigid but I took it as what it was and was excited for Scorched. I was so unprepared for what that book would do to me. Scorched’s main character, Andrea, suffers through mental illness, mental illness that is very very similar to my own and it felt…so real, so raw, so emotional to read the point of view of someone who felt so much like I do. I cried a lot because I felt like JLA had given me a voice, when it felt too hard to describe how I felt…especially when she described a panic attack. I kept thinking, YES, that’s how it feels. So yes, I loved the story and the romance and all of that but I also loved Andrea, and her struggle and JLA’s ability to put my feelings into words.

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What were some of YOUR favorite reads of 2015? Don’t forget to sound off in the comments!

Cover Reveal: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen

I am SO insanely excited to bring this cover reveal out into the open today. I am a HUGE fan of Sarina’s and this series so I’m excited for the new cover and I’m excited that this book is only weeks away from being released!

Before I reveal the cover though, viagra dosage I’m going to tell you a little bit about Sarina, there a little bit about the Ivy series, sick and then we’ll talk about The Fifteenth Minute. I know not all of you are familiar with this series but I’d love to tell you more so you can fall in love with these hockey guys and gals just like I did!

About Sarina Bowen 

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

You can Find Her At: 

Website / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr

About the Ivy Years Series

New Adult Sports Romance

In The Year We Fell Down, two injured ice hockey players are thrown together by their own bad luck. Adam Hartley will play again, but Corey Callahan will not. Over video games, tequila and physical therapy sessions, the two must figure out what really matters.

The Year We Hid Away is the tale of two lovers, Bridger and Scarlet, hoping to hide all the ugliness in their lives. But if they can’t learn to trust one another with the bad as well as good, everything they’ve built together will be lost.

The Understatement of the Year. With Bridger off the team, Coach brings in an unfamiliar replacement. But when the new guy reveals the reason for his transfer to Harkness, some of his new teammates aren’t so happy to have him in the locker room. And one is too devastated by past secrets to even look him in the eye.

The Shameless Hour. Things get a little crazy between Bella and her hot upstairs neighbor. And then they get awkward. But when something shocking happens to Bella, it’s Rafe who is there to pick up the pieces.

About Book Five: The Fifteenth Minute

Freshman Lianne Challice is known to millions of fans as Princess Vindi. But sometimes a silver screen sorceress just wants to hang up her wand, tell her manager to shove it, and become a normal college student. Too bad that’s harder than it looks.

She’s never lived a normal life. She hasn’t been to school since kindergarten. And getting close to anyone is just too risky — the last boy she kissed sold the story to a British tabloid.

But she can’t resist trying to get close to Daniel “DJ” Trevi, the hot, broody guy who spins tunes for hockey games in the arena. Something’s haunting his dark eyes, and she needs to know more.

DJ’s genius is for expressing the mood of the crowd with a ten second song snippet. With just a click and a fade, he can spread hope, pathos or elation among six thousand screaming fans.

Too bad his college career is about to experience the same quick fade-out as one of his songs. He can’t get close to Lianne, and he can’t tell her why. And the fact that she seems to like him at all? Incredible.

The Cover Reveal

The Fifteenth Minute

Preorder on Amazon now and make sure to add it to your GoodReads TBR list!

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April Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2015:

150

Am I On Track: 

3 books behind (That being said, unhealthy I’m really proud that I didn’t get further behind. I was 7 books behind at one point. April was the most INSANE month so I’m stoked that its only 3 books)

Books Read So Far: 

46

Total Books For April: 

13

The Understatement of the Year

Understatement of the Year

Three Day Summer (ARC)

23232396

The Deal 

24504048

Royal Wedding (ARC)

23215471-1

What We Saw (ARC)

20922826

The Shameless Hour 

23346876

All Played Out (ARC)

22249707

Sweet (ARC)

Sweet

How to Love

22693175

Alienated (Re-Read)

13574417

This One Summer

18465634

The Mistake

25031450

Every Last Word (ARC)

23341894

Book Review: The Ivy Years Series by Sarina Bowen

20896313Genre: 

New Adult, viagra 100mg Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 

A lot

Part of a Series?:

4 books + 1 Novella

The Year We Fell Down
The Year We Hid Away
Blonde Date
The Understatement of the Year
The Shameless Hour

Release Date: 

N/A

You Can Find the Book At:

Check your local bookstore!

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble (You can get the full series PLUS novella for 6.99 on Nook!)

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Life at the elite Harkness College is brought to you in four tales, each one sexier and more heartbreaking than the last. Contains: hockey hotties, snarky T-shirts, a slow-burn love affair, a liar (with reasons,) a virgin (with reasons,) and one adorkable basketball player.

 

Book 1: The Year We Fell Down
The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else.
Corey was supposed to start college as a member of the women’s ice hockey team. Instead, she’ll spend it in a wheelchair. The only upside? Her too-delicious-to-be-real neighbor across the hall.
Book 2: The Year We Hid Away
She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.
Dorm rooms are supposed to be for sleeping, studying, and partying. Not for hiding your eight-year-old sister.

Novella: Blonde Date
A blind date. A nervous sorority girl. A mean-spirited fraternity prank. What could go wrong?

Book 3: The Understatement of the Year
What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

Michael Graham will never tell anyone the truth about himself. Too bad his past walks right into the locker room on the first day of hockey practice.
Book 4: The Shameless Hour
For Bella, the sweet-talking, free-loving, hip-checking student manager of the Harkness men’s hockey team, sex is a second language. She’s used to being fluent where others stutter, and the things people say behind her back don’t (often) bother her. So she can’t understand why her smoking hot downstairs neighbor has so much trouble staying friends after their spontaneous night together. She knows better than to worry about it, but there’s something in those espresso eyes that makes her second guess herself.

Rafe is appalled with himself for losing his virginity in a drunken hookup. His strict Catholic upbringing always emphasized loving thy neighbor—but not with a bottle of wine and a box of condoms. The result is an Ivy League bout of awkwardness. But when Bella is leveled by a little bad luck and a downright sinister fraternity stunt, it’s Rafe who is there to pick up the pieces.

Bella doesn’t want Rafe’s help, and she’s through with men. Too bad the undeniable spark that crackles between the two of them just can’t be extinguished.

My Review:

I hadn’t planned on reviewing the entire series as once but I fell massively behind in reviews and need so desperately to catch up. Know this: I love every single book in this series, including the novella and these short reviews will not do this entire series justice like I had hoped to do!
The Year We Fell Down: I’m so glad, especially after reading the entire series, that this is the first one. Corey and Hartley have a beautiful friendship that expands into so much more and I enjoyed every single minute of it. But it’s more than that. I enjoyed this book because of Corey’s struggle. She cannot play the sport she loves the most in the world because of an injury she got while playing. And she falls for a boy who can’t play either…but only until he’s healed. And he’s taken too! It’s a lot of heartbreak for her, and it’s painful to watch her go through it and I want to hug her and be her best friend and cheer her on. I loved the first book because it was her story.
The Year We Hid Away: There are so many reasons that I loved this second book and it boils down to Bridger. I love Scarlet and her part in the story and what she does for Bridger and for the romance in the story but it’s Bridger that makes me care from beginning to end. He’s given up so much and taken on so much more in order to keep his sister taken care of and safe. It makes me fall in love with him, easily, because I know what it’s like to sacrifice your own cares and worries and life for the love of a sibling. I root for the two of them to end up together because of him, because from the beginning I want him to succeed and be happy.
The Understatement of the Year: I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this book. I have not had the chance to read a male to male romance novel like this before. Or really ever. And I loved every single bit of it and I need more. Now. Not only does Sarina tell a wonderful romantic story between the two main characters, it really captures the struggle to be gay, both as an out gay person and someone who is hiding. Rikker and Graham struggle but they have a great friendship and eventual relationship, and it’s incredibly sweet and over the top sexy as hell.
The Shameless Hour: I just read this recently because it just came out! And I can honestly say…it’s my favorite. I think it comes down to the fact that I just genuinely love Bella and Rafe so much. I feel a connection to both of them. I love Bella and everything she is. I love that she embraces who she is, but also she struggles with it when it’s blasted all over campus. It’s hard to deal with being a girl, open about her sexuality, when people tend to judge girls about their sex lives. It’s easy to feel familiar when reading Bella’s POV. And I love Rafe because he’s so genuine. He could come across in so many ways but he’s beautiful and charming and kind and I love every little bit of him. Their story is incredibly sweet and I love watching them fall in love.
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All in all, I think Sarina creates an incredible series with beautiful romances wrapped around the love of hockey. I’m not a huge hockey fan but I can totally get behind sexy hockey players, both girls and guys, and fun and deep and awesome romantic stories. Everything about it makes me so happy. I wish there were more in this series but I know that these are books that I will definitely revisit them in the future!

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars