Top Ten Tuesday: Recent Additions to My ‘To Be Read’ List

toptentuesdayToday I am thankful for slow work days because that’s why I was able to get this post up today ;) I’ve missed making my weekly Top Ten Tuesday lists! With Christmas coming up lately, I’ve been updating my wish lists and most of those lists include books. Here are some of the recent additions to my To Be Read list, and if you’ve read any of them, please let me know what you thought!

Top Ten Recent Additions to My TBR List

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Time Trial: The Graphic Novel by Rysa Walker I still need to post my review for Time’s Divide, the final book in Rysa Walker’s Chronos Files series, but Time Trial is a graphic novel spin-off of sorts. I already think this series would be beautiful to see visually, so I’m excited to get my hands on this collection of comic books sometime soon!

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith The newest book from one of my favorite YA authors comes out next summer! I honestly don’t even know what this book is about, but Jennifer E. Smith is an auto-read for me.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman My OTSP Secret Sister sent me this book last month after I asked for some fantasy recommendations. All I know is this book is about dragons, and I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve read that feature dragons. I’m excited to read it later this month.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss Clearly I’m trying to branch out in the fantasy genre. I’ve never read anything by Patrick Rothfuss, either.

Everyone We’ve Been by Sarah Everett – I’ve been straying away from YA Contemporary lately, but this one has a mystery aspect to it that sounds really interesting.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson – I found a “like new” used hardcover copy of this book a couple of months ago, and although I’ve never read anything by Brandon Sanderson, I know he’s a favorite author among fantasy-lovers.

Saga #1 by Bryan Vaughan – This graphic novel was also recommended by my Secret Sister. It sounds like Game of Thrones meets outer space.

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – Another Secret Sister recommendation :) They have this series at my local library, so I’ll try to read it before the end of the year!

Ruined by Amy Tintera – I haven’t read any reviews of this book, or seen it in bookstores or libraries, but something about it sounds super intriguing to me. Has anyone read it? I’d love to know your thoughts!

The Delphi Effect by Rysa Walker – The first installment in Rysa Walker’s new series just came out last month! I devoured her previous series, and I’m sure I’ll do the same with this one. It’s also been a long time since I’ve started a current series, so it’ll be interesting having to wait for the sequels :)

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

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Published January 2, 2012 by Poppy
Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Format: Hardcover; library checkout; 236 pages
Also By This Author: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between, This is What Happy Looks Like, The Geography of You and Me
Goodreads Amazon Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts:

So I’m officially a fan of Jennifer E. Smith now. This is the second book of hers I’ve read in two months that I really, really enjoyed. I guess I should probably give The Geography of You and Me another chance. Maybe I’ll like it better now ;)

About the book…
Yes, it’s a contemporary romance, but surprisingly that wasn’t the deepest part about this novel, and I wouldn’t say it was my favorite part, either. Hadley, our main character is going through a difficult period with her dad after her parents’ divorce. In fact, the only reason Hadley meets Oliver is because she’s flying over to London for her father’s wedding, something she’s dreading.

I totally understand why Hadley’s mad at and hurt by her father, too. He kind of skipped out on Hadley and her mom by moving to England and then having an affair with his now-fiancé. But each chapter Hadley confronts a memory or fear about her father that causes her to reflect on the deterioration of their relationship and what she wishes it would be like, and meeting Oliver at the airport on the way to London is what forces her to do that. Along the way she develops feelings for Oliver, but in my opinion this novel is less about falling in love and more about restoring relationships. There’s one heartwarming chapter in particular that really tugged at my feelings, but I don’t want to say anything more about it to avoid spoilers!

Read This Book If…

…you love stories about reconciliations.
…you enjoy novels that touch on darker emotions, such as grief, hate, heartbreak, and unforgiveness.
…you like characters who make you laugh (Oliver is an adorable dork).
…you like reading books about parent-child relationships.

“In the end, it’s not the changes that will break your heart; it’s that tug of familiarity.”

Final Musings

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is definitely a re-readable book for me! I loved Hadley and Oliver and the journey they take together. They reminded me that being a teenager is tough and that everyone has complicated relationships with their parents, but that’s not a reason to give up on them because of a falling-out. And on a lighter note, Oliver and Hadley were adorable together! There were several moments in this book that gave me “heart eyes” :)

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Hello Goodbye

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Published September 1, 2015 by Poppy
Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Format: Library Checkout; Hardcover; 246 pages
Also By This Author: The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThis is What Happy Looks LikeThe Geography of You and Me
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Thoughts:

I loved this book! Before reading it I was a little skeptical because Jennifer E. Smith’s books tend to be hits or misses for me (I enjoyed This is What Happy Looks Like but I didn’t really care for The Geography of You and Me).

The premise of this book also seemed a little far-fetched: two high school sweethearts spending the last night of summer debating if they should break up or stay together when they head off to different colleges. At first it felt like the author added drama just for the sake of adding drama. But, as I continued reading, I started to see how logical Aidan and Clare’s arguments were at the same time they saw it. I loved growing along with the characters.

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between was a really entertaining read. Each chapter took place at a different location that held some type of significance to Clare and Aidan. It was almost like following along on someone else’s scavenger hunt.

The characters were very likable and they also felt real. They were awkward, indecisive, and they sometimes said the wrong things and got into bitter arguments. One argument in particular felt like a typical teenage fight: it was heated, a little petty, and both sides refused to back down. I actually really enjoyed seeing that fight play out because it reminded me of my silly fights with friends and boyfriends when I was in high school (but I’m definitely glad to have grown past that stage!).

I think the reason I enjoyed Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between so much was because the characters reminded me of my own experiences and relationships when I was transitioning from high school to college. I had a not so amicable break up with my long-distance boyfriend, I got into arguments with friends over not including them in my life enough, and I definitely went through periods of doubt when it came to my future. I really felt for Clare since she reminded me of myself as a high school senior.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but the ending was perfect! I reread it several times because I loved it that much. Up until the last few chapters I was only going to give this book a 4-star rating, but when I got closer to the end I cried and laughed and completely fell in love with Jennifer E. Smith’s ability to weave all the loose ends together. 5-stars all the way!

Read This Book If…

…you enjoy coming of age stories.
…you’re in the mood to read a book that will make you feel all sorts of emotions: joy, sadness (I cried three times!), suspense (I stayed up until the early hours of the morning to finish this book because I had to know how it ended. That means a lot considering I have a newborn who won’t let me make up for lost sleep during the day!).
…you want to swoon! Aidan and Clare are adorably romantic :)
…you like contemporary romances that are fun but deep-feeling at the same time.

“Maybe the world isn’t full of signs so much as it’s full of people trying to use whatever evidence they can find to convince themselves of what they hope to be true.”

Final Musings

Even though I was hesitant to read this book at first, I’m so glad I gave it a chance because it ended up being one of my favorite reads from 2015. Jennifer E. Smith’s writing style is fun and unique and her characters are very relatable and entertaining. This is definitely the type of book I plan on rereading!

End of the Year Bookish Survey

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Number Of Books You Read: 48
Number of Re-Reads: 6
Genre You Read The Most From: Young Adult (26)best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2015? Not including rereads (which rules out Harry Potter and Persuasion), I’d have to say The Martian.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Legend by Marie Lu. I really didn’t connect with this book at all.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2015? I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I liked Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith since her books tend to be hits or misses for me.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2015? Either The Martian or The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

5. Best series you started in 2015? I finally started The Lunar Chronicles (still waiting to read Winter)!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015? Emery Lord!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I don’t typically read those types of supernatural novels, so I was surprised at how quickly I got into this one.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? It’s not action-packed, but the book I had the hardest time putting down was Me Before You.

9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? Persuasion or Open Road Summer.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015? I really love this new edition of Anne of Avonlea.

11. Most memorable character of 2015? Mark Watney from The Martian.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015? Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015? Again, Me Before You.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? Cinder by Marissa Meyer or The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015? “You’re stronger than you believe. Don’t let your fear own you. Own yourself.” – The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. I read this book early in the year and this quote stuck with me for a few months. I would recite it to myself whenever I was going through a scary or challenging situation.

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015? Shortest: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde; Longest: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most: Me Before You.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR: Aidan and Clare from Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between ALTHOUGH Matt and Reagan from Open Road Summer are also up there!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year: John Worthing and Algernon Montcrieff’s brotherly jests and rivalry in The Importance of Being Earnest was really fun to read.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (previously read North and South).

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: The Martian! I read so many good reviews last year and in 2014 that this quickly became a Must-Read for me.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015? Probably Thorne from Cress. He’s like a cross between Flynn Rider and Han Solo <3

23. Best 2015 debut you read? I didn’t read any 2015 debuts (I don’t usually read debuts until at least a year later, like Open Road Summer for example).

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? Probably the futuristic sci-fi world in The Lunar Chronicles.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? Open Road Summer by Emery Lord.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014? I cried about three times during the last few chapters of Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014? The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman was pretty unique.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I didn’t like this book, even though I know it’s a classic sci-fi novel that a lot of readers enjoy. I enjoyed the world building and some of the more action-packed chapters, but I felt like this book would never end and maybe it was the narrator (I listened to the audiobook version), but by the end I was so annoyed and ready to be done with Ender’s Game.

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014? I made a new online friend this year whom I was actually able to meet a few months ago! I really enjoy reading Alise’s reviews on Read.Write.Repeat and I’m so happy to be friends with another NC blogger :)

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014? Probably my review for Wives and Daughters because it includes a clip of the ending to the miniseries :)

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? Where I’ve Been, where I discussed depression and pregnancy. It was a post that took me months to contemplate and write, but it meant so much to receive support and encouragement from my friends and readers.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? The Broke and the Bookish’s Annual Secret Santa event is one of my favorite bookish events!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014? Getting over my months-long reading slump. I went THREE MONTHS without reading a book or writing a review. It was one of the most depressing times of my life, and it’s mostly attributed to early pregnancy hormones.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I’d Want With Me On a Desert Island

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? This post about Classic Alice, a literary-inspired web series.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? Fandom bookmarks and jewelry! This year I’m also contemplating signing up for an OwlCrate or Fandom of the Month Club subscription.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? I didn’t set any reading challenges for 2015, but I was able to read almost 50 books, which is impressive considering I went through a 3-month reading drought.

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016? I just started reading Winter by Marissa Meyer so I can finally finish The Lunar Chronicles series.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)? The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? I think Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira. It’s been on my To-Read list for a couple of months now.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016? Hearts, Fingers, and Other Things to Cross by Katie Finn.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016? Read and review all the ARCs that have been piling up on my Kindle. It’s a weight on my shoulders and I feel like I can’t enjoy books that I’ve purchased until I review the ones I needed to last year.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: I haven’t read any 2016 releases yet! Any recommendations for me?

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Reads of 2015

toptentuesday

2015 is almost over and that means it’s time for me to reflect on all the wonderful books I’ve read this year! I’ll probably have another post up in a couple of weeks highlighting all my bookish thoughts from the year, but for now let me leave you with the best books I read over the past 12 months! These are all 5-star reads for me :)

Top Ten Reads of 2015

earnest

“A trivial comedy for serious people.” The Importance of Being Earnest is an absolute joy to watch/listen to/read (it’s a play though, so the best way to experience it is out loud). The characters are charming, witty, and hilarious. I chuckled and smiled to myself so many times while listening to a performance of this Oscar Wilde play.

mara dyer

This is one of those novels that kept me up at night because I HAD to know what happened next. Parts of Mara Dyer’s story are creepy, other parts are really suspenseful, and the characters are funny and interesting and blushingly romantic (Hello, Noah!). I loved The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer so much I bought a copy for myself right after returning the library version I had checked out.

Jurassic Park

Do-do-do-do-dooo. I’m a 90s kid so of course I love Jurassic Park (the film). I wanted to be Alan Grant when I grew up. I finally read the book this past summer and wow! Despite the heavy scientific and theoretical language, I flew through it. The story was altered a bit for the screen, but the underlying themes remain and the characters are relatively the same (except for John Hammond, who is not a lovable grandfather figure in the book).

Wives and Daughters

The only disappointing thing about Wives and Daughters is that Elizabeth Gaskell passed away before she could finish writing it! There were probably only a few chapters missing, so most of the story is there and it’s very enjoyable. We just have to imagine for ourself how the happy ending would have played out.

Cress

I finally read The Lunar Chronicles series this year (except for the final book, Winter, because I’m still on the hold list at the library) and Cress, although not my favorite character, is my favorite of the series so far. I loved following all of the characters, especially Thorne because he’s like Han Solo meets Flynn Rider so of course I loved him. There was also a lot of action and things happening in the novel that made it really fun for me to read right after having my son.

Me Before You

So many tears! But also, lots of smiles and happy feelings. Me Before You kind of wrecked me. It deals with sensitive subject matter that I won’t talk about here because of spoilers, but I wouldn’t recommend it to all readers. I decided to read it after finding out a movie is being made with Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke. Now I don’t know if I want to even see the movie because I’m not sure if I can handle all those heart wrenching feelings again.

Persuasion

This is the only reread on this list. I also reread Sense and Sensibility and the first three Harry Potter novels (all of which are 5-star reads for me), but Persuasion is rather dear to my heart. It’s not my favorite Austen novel (Pride and Prejudice is hard to beat, although Persuasion comes very close), but Anne Elliot is my favorite Austen heroine and who doesn’t love Captain Wentworth?

The Martian

I can’t rave enough about The Martian. The movie was great and the actors were all perfectly casted, but it’s still not as phenomenal as the book. Andy Weir’s writing style just blew me away. Anyone who can write 3/4 of a book in journal format and still make it a laugh-out-loud page turner definitely deserves all the praise. This novel is Macgyver meets Castaway on Mars and it’s hilarious.

openroadsummer

Swooooon. This is without doubt the most romantic book I read this year, but it will also make you want to hug your BFF and forgive the last person you had a fight with. I loved how real all the characters seemed; they all had issues, especially Reagan, and it was easy to find something to relate to. I only wish I had read Open Road Summer sooner!

Hello Goodbye

just finished Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between a couple of days ago and I am still dying to write a review. I was incredibly surprised by how much I loved this book. It started out cute but the premise of Aidan and Clare thinking about breaking up just because they were going to different colleges didn’t quite make sense to me until the end, and by that point I had already cried a few times (and anytime a book makes me feel something that much, I always give it 5-stars!).

What were your favorite reads from this year?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite New-To-Me Authors

toptentuesdayToday’s Top Ten Tuesday meme, created by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish, is all about authors we read for the first time in 2014! This was actually a fun and easy post for me since I read a whole bunch of “new to me” authors this year, and I got to meet some of them too! :)

Top Ten “New To Me” Authors in 2014

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Meeting Rainbow Rowell at YALL Fest was DEFINITELY one of my highlights from 2014!!

Rainbow Rowell – By far my favorite author of the year. I read Attachments back in January after seeing so many recommendations from fellow bloggers. I LOVED IT. I know it came out a few years ago, but I talked about that book to all of my friends because it was so wonderful. Since then I’ve read Fangirl and Landline, and I’ve decided that I prefer Rainbow Rowell’s adult fiction to her YA fiction, but I’m still waiting to read Eleanor & Park :)
Veronica Roth – This year I also read the Divergent series. It wasn’t my favorite series, but I did like the world Veronica Roth created (and I really liked the first movie!).
Lauren Morrill – My second favorite author I discovered this year! She wrote Meant to Be and Being Sloane Jacobs and if I could give her an award it would be for prettiest book covers one & two.
Ann Brashares – This year I read the entire Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, and I especially loved the most recent 5th book. When I met Ann Brashares at YALL Fest (and totally fangirled), I got to chat with her a bit about it and she was really happy to know that I enjoyed the last book since so many people don’t want to read it because it’s sad. I had her sign a copy of her new book, The Here and Now (which also has a gorgeous cover), and I’m excited to read it soon!
Louisa May Alcott – I still don’t know why I waited so long to read Little Women, but I’m so glad I finally did this year! I’m looking forward to reading Alcott’s other novels as well.
Morgan Matson – After hearing so many good things about Since You’ve Been Gone, my book club voted to read this earlier this summer and we all fell in love! Since then I’ve read all of Matson’s other novels, I’ve laughed & cried, and now I can’t wait for her to publish more!
Jennifer E. Smith – It is very rare for me to read a book by an author, not really like it, and then decide to give out a second chance and read another of his/her novels. I’m glad I did this with Jennifer E. Smith. I read The Geography of You and Me a few months ago and felt “Ehh” about it. But then I checked out This Is What Happy Looks Like on audiobook and I actually rather enjoyed it. I think I’ll give The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight a chance next.
Cindi Madsen – I won a copy of Madsen’s Falling For Her Fiancé a couple of months ago and adored it! I speed read it and then bought the two sequels and finished them in roughly two days. If you like clean, funny, romances, Cindi Madsen writes some pretty great ones :)
Harper Lee – I was never assigned to read To Kill A Mockingbird, but maybe that’s a good thing, because when I finally felt like reading it this year, I loved it. I wrote all about my feelings on the novel here.
Huntley Fitzpatrick – I had been eyeing My Life Next Door for months and maybe it was delayed gratification, but I loved that book so much more than I thought I would. It’s definitely not all that it seems; it’s better :)

What are some authors you read for the first time this year? I’d love some recommendations!