29 January 2016

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

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E Smith
Series: No
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: September 1st 2015
Source: Bought

One night. A life-changing decision. And a list...

Of course Clare made a list. She creates lists for everything. That's just how she is.

But tonight is Clare and Aidan's last night before college and this list will decide their future, together or apart.

It takes them on a rollercoaster ride through their past - from the first hello in science class to the first conversation at a pizza joint, their first kiss at the beach and their first dance in a darkened gymnasium - all the way up to tonight.

A night of laughs, fresh hurts, last-minute kisses and an inevitable goodbye.

But will it be goodbye forever or goodbye for now?

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between follows Clare and Aiden during their last 12 hours together before setting off for University on the opposite side of the country from one another. It follows their journey through their past and trying to figure out whether they should break up or stay together.

Clare and Aiden have been together for the past two years and are now heading off to Universities on the opposite side of the country from one another. Clare is a realist and is trying to be practical about their relationship and thinks they should end it. She's trying to be strong, but Clare doesn't really want to end their relationship, but she also doesn't want to be pining after Aiden. Aiden is more of a romantic and he's determined to convince Clare to give long distance a chance and prove that it'll work for them.

Being introduced to a couple who have been together for years and are thinking about ending it was pretty odd. I don't think I've ever read a book that begins with a couple talking about breaking up, but even though we didn't get to see exactly how they ended up together, we still got a pretty good idea from Clare's trip down memory lane. It was clear how much Clare and Aiden cared about each other, and I was honestly thinking Clare was crazy for thinking about breaking up, but I also kind of got her point too. Everything in their town is wrapped up with memories of the two of them, so they revisit their high school, a pizza place, a bowling alley, and everywhere else with memories of their relationship to try to figure out what to do. But the whole book doesn't just surround Clare and Aiden. There's also Stella - Clare's best friend - who Clare feels has been growing distant from her, but it isn't just Stella's fault. Scotty - Aiden's best friend - is staying behind in their town to go to community college instead of heading of to California with Aiden. Also, Aiden's dad hasn't been speaking to him since he decided he didn't want to go to Harvard. So, other than decided whether or not to break up, Clare and Aiden have a lot to sort out on their last night.

I completely adored Clare and Aiden's trip down memory lane. It was super sweet hearing some anecdotes of what happened before they got together, hearing about their first kiss and everything else. It was also pretty sad because I had no idea what they were going to do in the in - would they break up or stay together? The last chapter before the Prologue at the end had me sobbing. 

And then we had the Prologue at the end. Everything was kind of unresolved in the prologue, and I wasn't sure whether Clare and Aiden would have a chance in the future. It was kind of an open ending, but also, you kind of know how everything is going to turn out for Clare and Aiden, which I really liked.

Overall, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between was a super cute and adorable read that had me tearing up quite a bit. It's extremely relatable because the main focus of the story - long distance relationship - is something that loads of people have to deal with, and I loved the way Jennifer portrayed it. It was an amazing read, and definitely one I'd recommend!

27 January 2016

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

The Deal by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus #1
Publisher: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: February 24th 2015
Source: Bought

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy...

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

...and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

Brittany recommended The Deal to me basically the second after she finished it, and I was scrolling through amazon and saw that it was only 99p and I couldn't resist grabbing it. The Deal was an enjoyable read, not my favourite NA, but I liked it.

The Deal follows Hannah and Garrett. Hannah is shy and hasn't been out on a date since her ex-boyfriend broke up with her a year ago. A new guy in her class has caught her eye, but Hannah can't work up the courage to talk to him. Enter Garrett. Garrett and Hannah literally run into each other and he convinces Hannah to tutor him to stop his GPA from dropping and getting kicked off the hockey team. Playing professional hockey after school is what he's always wanted to do, so he'll do anything to convince Hannah to tutor him. They make a deal: Hannah will help Garrett up his grade and in return, Garrett will help Hannah get the attention of the guy she likes. But the longer they spend time together, their relationship begins to develop into something more. 

Hannah is a very shy character. Something happened to her when she was younger that drove her out of her home town and has left her unable to return without the memories haunting her and the whole town treating her like a pariah. But, Hannah has dealt with what happened and has come out the other end a stronger person. She doesn't let what happened rule her life, and I admired her for that.  

Garrett is a charming asshole - sometimes - but he's also really sweet. Garrett has problems with his family life and he tries not to let them interfere with his life, but he can't escape. He's a cocky, charming and sweet character with a very dirty mouth. The one thing that did annoy me about Garrett's character was how blunt he was when it came to exactly what he wanted from Hannah. He didn't need to be so crude.

I really liked Hannah and Garrett's relationship. Garrett is persistent and finally convinces Hannah to tutor him, and their relationship goes from there. The begin their relationship as friends, and I really enjoyed seeing that develop. And then when the chemistry started to spark between them, it just got even better. They were just so perfect together, and they both helped each other. Garrett helped Hannah overcome something she wasn't able to do in years, and Hannah helped Garrett deal with his father. They came into each others lives at the perfect moment, and they changed each others lives for the better.

Overall, The Deal was an enjoyable read. It followed the usual NA storyline which made it predictable, but I still enjoyed and I'll definitely be continuing with the rest of the series.

20 January 2016

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

First by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Series: No
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 5th 2016
Source: Bought

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process.

First only made it onto my radar towards the end of last year, but as soon as I read the synopsis I knew I HAD to read it. A YA book that doesn't shy away from sex? Sign me up, please! Firsts follows seventeen year old Mercedes who helps virgins give their girlfriends the perfect first time - because it was something she was denied. Only the people Mercedes has helped know about her secret. She's managed to keep it from her absentee mother and her best friend Angela. But what Mercedes didn't expect was Angela's boyfriend to find out about her secret and demand a turn. She also didn't expect her "Wednesday friend" Zach to fall for her for who she is, and not what she can do.

To begin with, I wasn't a fan of Mercedes. I didn't agree with what she was doing as technically, it's still cheating. But, as the book went on, I began to understand why Mercedes does what she does for guys, and honestly, she believes what she's doing is right. Because of what happened to her during her first time, she wants to make sure that no one experiences sex for the first time like she did, and she wants to make sure that the guys give their girlfriends an amazing experience to remember. The other reason I ended up really liking Mercedes is because of how flawed she is. Her flaws made her seem like a real person I could relate to. Mercedes has made a lot of bad decisions, but that's what makes her human and that's what made me really like her character.

A YA storyline that doesn't shy away from sex was refreshing. Sex is a big part of growing up, so I don't understand why it's so taboo and hush hush when it comes to YA. So I really did find this storyline refreshing. Mercedes is sexually active, big deal! It was actually really nice to read about a character who is sexually active. The one thing that kind of ruined that for me was the fact that she hid behind her friends religion so that no one would find out what she was doing. She was promoting herself as a nun basically so that people wouldn't judge her. That's the only major thing I had to pick with this book.

Mercedes best friend Angela is a super religious character, but the one thing I loved was that she never came across super preachy. Generally, every time I've read a book with a religious character all they've done is shove their religion down everyone else's throats, so I loved that Angela wasn't a judgmental character. She was a really good friend and Mercedes was lucky to have her.

Faye was probably my favourite part of the book. Faye moved to Mercedes school during the year, and instantly thought of herself as Mercedes friend. Faye is funny, outgoing and mouthy. She's not afraid to say what she thinks and do what she has to do to protect her friends. She's actually a pretty inspiring character, even if she does make some bad decision. But again, she's human.

I felt so bad for Zach. He really, truly cares about Mercedes, but Mercedes is too wrapped up in helping other guys that she doesn't want anything serious and she risks losing out on such an amazing guy. He put up with so much from Mercedes, but he still stuck by her no matter what.

Flynn did an amazing job with the story. She managed to make me empathize with a girl who sleeps with other girls boyfriends and actually made me understand why she did it. It's still not something I can totally agree with, but by the end of the book, it didn't seem as bad as it did at the beginning. I also liked seeing the fallout due to Mercedes secret. It helped her to grow as a character, and begin to see what was staring her in the face all along.

Overall, Firsts was a very enjoyable read that's extremely controversial and definitely pushes the YA boundaries. It's a book that not everyone is going to enjoy, but in this case, it's one I really enjoyed and one I'd definitely recommend.

15 January 2016

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Series: No
Publisher: Audible Studios for Bloomsbury
Publication Date: June 2nd 2015
Source: Bought
Narrator: Susannah Jones

Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventureLiving in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.

Audio books have become my savior since I started my new job. I've got an hour on the bus to work and on the way back, and since physically reading on a bus makes me ill, I've taken to listening to audio books. Honestly, I doubt I'd even manage to finish more than 5 books a month right now if it weren't for audio books. 

The Devil You Know was a book I'd had my eye on for a while, and when I listened to the preview on audible, it definitely peaked my interest and I had to get it. I then decided to read it during bout of books since it's a relatively short audio book (5 hours 33 minutes). The Devil You Know follows 18 year old Arcadia who is dying to get out of her home town. Ever since her mother died she's been taking care of her little brother while her dad is off working or "fixing things" with her uncle. She's fed up and wants a break, so when she meets two mysterious guys at a campfire party, she decides to join them on a road trip along with one of her friends. But one of the guys isn't telling the truth and is playing a very cruel game. 

I actually really liked Arcadia, despite her naivety and her willingness to go on road trips with complete strangers just because she thinks they're hot. Arcadia has basically been forced to grow up far too soon. She works at her fathers store, and then comes home to look after her brother and do whatever chores need done in the house. She basically does everything. She's stressed and feeling the pressure of not having any freedom, which leads her to act out and run away with two strange guys. Generally, she does have her head screwed on straight, but she was extremely naive and very trusting, which got her in quite a bit of trouble.

Matt and Noah are cousins, and they decided to go on a road-trip for their last summer together. Arcadia invited Matt to the party after passing by his car on the road, and it's Matt she meets first at the party. Despite Matt being good-looking and funny, it's Noah that Arcadia really hits it off with. Within about 10 minutes of them meeting they're making out and practically ripping each others clothes off. Noah is hot-headed, but he's also extremely sweet and caring. He could come across as a complete dick sometimes, but generally, he was a sweetheart. Matt is the funny one of the two. He was also cracking jokes and trying to lighten the mood whenever something happened that threw them off course.

Despite the book being slightly predictable, I really enjoyed it. I could totally picture this as a horror movie and I was actually getting a little bit anxious towards the end because there was going to be a big showdown and I had no idea how it was all going to play out. I constantly wanted to scream at Arcadia about how stupid and naive she was being (like I do during horror movies) and to get her ass the hell out of there! 

Other than the thriller/horror aspect of the book, there was also a family aspect. After Arcadia ran off, her father had to fill in the role that Arcadia usually played, and he began to realise how much was on Arcadia's shoulders. It was nice to see that he finally started to understand why she wanted out, and I enjoyed seeing how their relationship had changed at the end. 

The Devil You Know was definitely a brilliant thriller that kept you guessing and there were a lot of red herrings that had me constantly questioning whether I really knew who the dangerous guy was. I'd definitely recommend The Devil You Know because it kept me on my toes until the very end and it was just a superb thriller. 

13 January 2016

Built by Jay Crownover

Built by Jay Crownover
Series: Saints of Denver #1
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: January 28th 2016
Source: Received from Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Sometimes you have to tear everything down to build something new…

Sayer Cole is frozen inside. At least, that’s what it’s felt like for as long as she can remember. She’s yet to let anyone past her icy exterior – and the one guy she thinks might melt her heart couldn’t possibly be interested in someone so uptight. 

Rough, hard and hot-as-hell, Zeb Fuller has rebuilt his life and his construction business since protecting his family sent him to jail all those years ago. His elegant client, Sayer, makes him feel like a Neanderthal in denim, but despite the many hints that he’s been dropping to get to know her better, she seems oblivious to his charms.

Just as things finally start to heat up, Zeb’s past comes back to haunt him and he needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. As these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, fire and ice collide in an unstoppable explosion of steam…

Built has just completely knocked every single new adult book I read in 2015 out of the park. I was lucky enough to receive an email with a copy of Built attached and I just couldn't wait to read it! 

Built follows Zeb - who we met in the Marked Men series - and Sayer - Rowdy's (Marked Men) sister. Sayer has grown up with walls around herself. Her father was never very supportive and always made her feel worthless, so Sayer has grown up trying to blend in and never doing anything to attract attention. Zeb has rebuilt his life after being sent to jail for protecting his family. He's rough around the edges, but has a heart of gold when it comes to his family and friends. Zeb and Sayer are complete opposites, but they both feel the chemistry between them. Just as things start to take a step forwards, Zeb gets a visitor who gives him some heart-wrenching news. Zeb and Sayer are thrown together as Sayer tries to help Zeb fight to prove himself. The more they work together, the more their chemistry grows. But can Sayer embrace herself, or will she lose Zeb and everything she's been working towards?

Sayer is probably my favourite of Jay Crownover's female characters. She's the one with the toughest journey, and I enjoyed seeing every single change. Sayer is cool, calm and collected. She likes everything neutral and bland, and tries to make herself blend in. But that all comes from issues Sayer had with her father. Her father never thought she was good enough and berated her for not being perfect. So Sayer did everything she could to hide herself. But she's beginning to realise that that isn't who she is. Sayer had a very long and emotional journey to discover who she really was, and I love every single moment of her self discovery.

Zeb has a very rough exterior, but a heart of gold. He found himself in jail a few years ago after protecting his family and he's been rebuilding his life ever since. He's also been helping other people who have been in jail for minor crimes try to make something of themselves. He's been working really hard and his life is back on track again, but then he gets some life-changing news that completely throws him upside down. Zeb had a massive journey to go on as well. He had to prove himself and show that he'd changed his life around.

The storyline of Built also made it my fvaourite. The characters also helped, but the storyline was so deep and emotional that I just got completely invested and couldn't put the book down. I couldn't wait to see how Zeb and Sayer's lives were going to progress and to see whether they'd ever be in the right places to be together.

Zeb and Sayer made a hufe impact on each other's lives and I adored reading their story. I can't wait to read Charged now, but I'm pretty sure nothing has the capacity to top Built for me. It was just that damn amazing.

12 January 2016

Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn't

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This weeks topic is:

Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn't

I read a lot of 2015 releases last year, but there were still quite a few that I didn't get around to reading and will definitely be making time for this year!

1. Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
3. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
4. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan
5. End of Days by Susan Ee
6. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead
7. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
8. All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
9. The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
10. The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What 2015 did you mean to get around to last year but didn't get the chance?

8 January 2016

The Distance From A to Z by Natalie Blitt

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
Series: No
Publisher: Epic Reads Impulse
Publication Date: January 12th 2016
Source: Received from publisher (Edelweiss)

Seventeen-year old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to exclusively wear baseball caps and jerseys.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between the distance between who she is and who he is, is worth the risk.

My first read of 2016 and it was a super cute and adorable read. The Distance from A to Z follows seventeen year old Abby who has to decided to spend her summer at school learning to be fluent in French so she doesn't have to be around her baseball obsessed family. And then Zeke meets Abby who is everything she's been trying to avoid. It turns out Zeke is also at school to take French and he and Abby end up partners. Abby and Zeke hit it off, but Abby soon notices that French Zeke is completely different to English Zeke. Abby finds herself falling for Zeke, but she's convinced he's keeping something from her and she has to decide whether his secret is worth the risk, or does she throw everything away?

Like I said, The Distance from A to Z is a super adorable read. It's light and fluffy and exactly what I needed to kick off my year. The characters aren't anything special, but I did really like them. Abby is really funny and she's constantly translating everything into French. Zeke is charming and funny, but he's also hiding something that causes him to close himself off from Abby. Abby's room-mate Alice was a brilliant character. She's anxious and has panic attacks when she's around large groups of people, and while she wasn't the main character, I think Blitt did a pretty good job with Alice. 

The storyline was light and fluffy and also slightly predictable. Abby and Zeke are thrown together for 8 weeks and the can't deny the chemistry between them for long. They were super adorable together and I loved their conversations in French. The one thing I didn't enjoy was the premature mention of 'the L word'. They'd know each other for 8 weeks and 'the L word' comes into play? Really? No thanks. The other thing with their relationship was Zeke's secret which was very predictable. I saw it coming a mile off and I actually can't believe Abby didn't put two and two together.

However, The Distance from A to Z was still a really enjoyable and light book that I managed to read in a few hours and it did leave me with a smile on my face. It's definitely something I'd recommend if you're in the mood for an adorable and cutesy contemporary.

6 January 2016

Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger

Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
Series: The DUFF #2
Publication Date
Source: Bought
Narrator: Suzy Jackson

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with - secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand - a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually 'like' him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

Lying Out Loud is the companion novel to The DUFF which I read earlier this year and completely loved! So obviously I had to grab Lying Out Loud as soon as it came out. I decided to grab it on audio since Suzy Jackson was narrating it - and she's one of my favourite audio narrators - and it was hilarious! Suzy did such a fantastic job of making every single character sound different, and she really makes the characters come to life.

So, Lying Out Loud follows Sonny Ardmore who is an exquisite liar. She lies all the time, but the only person who really knows her is her best friend Amy Rush. And then a new kid starts at Hamilton High - Ryder Cross - and he has a massive crush on Amy. So, when Ryder asks Amy out over email, Sonny decides to prank him and write him a horrible response. And when Ryder messages her that night, Sonny accidentally spends all night talking to Ryder and begins to realises that he isn't as bad as she thought. In fact, she might actually like him. But, to Sonny's horror, Ryder thinks he's been chatting to Amy all night and Sonny has accidentally made him like her best friend instead of her. Sonny comes up with a crazy plan to get Ryder to fall in love with her, but this leads to more lies that could cost her Ryder and her best friend.

The characters in Lying Out Loud are extremely flawed which made me love them even more. Sonny was my favourite of all the characters. She was funny, sarcastic and snark, but she could also be sweet sometimes - when she wanted to be. She's living with Amy right now because her home situation isn't ideal, but she isn't ready to come clean about it just yet. But Sonny also has a radical side that doesn't really think things through before she acts. She tends to strong arm Amy into things she doesn't want to do, but that just showed that Sonny was human. She makes a lot of mistakes, but that's what made her so real to me. Amy is sweet, kind, adorable and extremely trusting. It doesn't seem like Amy has a bad bone in her body. She always goes along with what Sonny wants to do - even when she isn't comfortable - because she loves her best friend. Amy grows a lot throughout the book and begins to realise that she needs to toughen up a bit. Ryder came across as a bit of a dick to begin with. He was always slating Hamilton and saying DC was "so much better." But Ryder has his own shit to deal with that influences his attitude, and throughout the book he grows and learns to adapt the way he looks at things. He was kind, adorable and funny, and I loved him so much at the end.

So most of the book focuses on the relationship building between Sonny and Ryder (even though he thinks it's Amy), and Sonny begins to realise that she's actually falling for Ryder. But Ryder isn't interested in real life Sonny, because he basically thinks she a bitch. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate plan to make Ryder fall out of love with Amy, and in love with her. And obviously this doesn't go according to plan. There were times I wanted to shake some sense into Sonny; times I was mortified by the things she'd done; and times I felt so bad for her because she'd dug herself a massive hole and had no way to escape. There's also a huge family element to Lying Out Loud. Sonny's home situation doesn't sound very great and she's been living with the Rush family for a while, and they treat her like their own child. I loved that about the Rush's. They welcomes Sonny into their home with open arms and really helped her. There are a lot more family aspects to the book that I don't want to go into too much detail about, but the family relationships were my favourite thing about the book. 

There were a few cameo's from Keplinger's other characters. Wesley and Bianca popped up a few times - Wesley is still one of my favourite male characters ever, and he's even more so now - and we also had an appearance from Nathan and Whitley who are in A Midsummer's Nightmare, which was actually really nice. I loved getting to see these characters again. There were probably appearances of the characters from Shut Out too, but I haven't read that one yet so I couldn't tell you. But I think I do remember a Lissa being mentioned at one point.

Lying Out Loud would definitely have been a 5 star read for me if it hadn't been for the ending. It was too much of an open ending after everything that had happened that I just couldn't believe that it was over! Even just a tiny bit more would have satisfied me, but after everything that Sonny had gone through to leave it like that? I was really, really disappointed. I'd gotten so invested in the characters that I just wanted more from the ending.

Overall, Lying Out Loud was a fantastic read that just missed being a 5 star for me because of the ending. It was a hilarious read - that constantly had me biting my lip on the bus to stop myself from laughing out loud - that focused on a few serious issues like abandonment, and I adored every single second of the book. 

2 January 2016

2015 End of Year Book Survey

created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner

Number Of  Books You Read: 130
Number of Re-Reads: 16
Genre You Read The Most From: Ooh, probably either YA Contemporary or New Adult

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Fill in Boyfriend by Kasie West. That was a major let down for me. 

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand. I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to read it or not, but Cynthia Hand did such an amazing job with the subject and it actually helped me a lot.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Again, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I LOOOOOVED that book so much and EVERYONE should read it.

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

Best Series Started: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Best Sequel: All Played Out by Cora Carmack
Best Series Ender: Winter by Marissa Meyer

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

Nicole Williams. I got completely hooked on her books this year and I totally fell in love with her Lost & Found series.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don't actually think I read anything out of my comfort zone this year.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Hands down, Winter by Marissa Meyer.

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I want to re-read them all!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

Ignite by Sara B. Larson. The cover is beautiful!

11. Most memorable character of 2015?

Simon and Blue! (Simon vs...)

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas! It was amazing!

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

“Je t'aime. Aujourd'hui. Ce soir. Demain. Pour toujours. Si je vivais mille ans, je t'appartiendrais pour tous. Si je vivais mille vies, je te ferais mienne dans chacune d'elles.

I love you. Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever. If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If I were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.” 
- The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Shortest Book: Just One Night by Gayle Forman - 40 pages
Longest: Winter by Marissa Meyer - 823 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. I didn't not see that ending coming!

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Well, my biggest OTP was DESTROYED this year, so I'll have to go with Cress and Thorne.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

The Song sisters (To All the Boys by Jenny Han)

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Built by Jay Crownover! Sayer and Zeb's story was amazing.

21. Best Book You Read In 2015 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven. Brittany recommended this one to me and then she sent me a copy, so I had to read it and I ended up loving it!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?

Zeb! (Built by Jay Crownover)

23. Best 2015 debut you read?

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

All That Glitters by Holly Smale. Harriet is just so damn funny.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Lost & Found series by Nicole Williams. I binged this in like 2 days and then had the crushing wait for book 5. 

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Queen of Shadows. It crushed my soul, ripped out my hearts and jumped up and down on it. Totally destroyed me.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?

The Wanderers by Kate Ormand. A very strange and unique story idea that I loved.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2015?   
Well, I haven't really been on my blog that much this year so I don't think I came across any new bloggers.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2015?   
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I loved writing this review because everyone needs to read this book!

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?   
I don't think I had any non-review posts.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?   
I met Victoria Aveyard this year! And also Morgan Matson, Jenny Han and Jennifer E. Smith. I did prefer the smaller signing with Matson, Han and Smith. It was a lot more intimate and gave you the chance to get to know them better. Morgan Matson was my favourite though. She's so funny.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015? 
Meeting some amazing authors! (see above)

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? 
Trying to balance reading/blogging with a full time job. I'm hoping to get back in to the swing of things at the beginning of next year. 

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?   
My most view post was my review for 99 Days by Katie Cotugno

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?   

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? 
I discovered Magicbookmarks etsy page this year. They have adorable bookmarks and I sent Brittany a few for Christmas. They had Katy and Daemon!!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
The only reading goal/challenge I managed to complete was my goodreads one. I failed at everything else.
1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?   
Ooh, there are a few, but I think Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner will be a very high priority!
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?   
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas! I NEEEEEEEEED THIS BOOK!

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?    
Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?   
Most anticipated sequel: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard!
Most anticipated series ending: Let the Wind Rise by Shannon Messenger (I'VE BEEN WAITING TOO LONG FOR THIS) or The Crown by Kiera Cass

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?   
I'm hoping to be able to keep up with blogging this year since I completely neglected it towards the end of last year.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I've already read Built by Jay Crownover and it made it onto my favourites of 2015! It was so damn amazing. If you love New Adult, YOU HAVE TO READ IT!

1 January 2016

Top 10 Books of 2015

Hello everyone! I know 2015 has been a super quiet year on my blog, but that's mostly due to the fact that I had to find a new job - which I did - and I also moved out at the end of October which was extremely stressful, but I'm finally beginning to feel settled now. 2015 has actually been a pretty good year for me, despite the fact that I didn't read as many books as I usually do. I went to Rome, starting working for Thomas Cook, moved out and saw some pretty amazing movies. So all in all, 2015 was a great year.

So, let's get down to my favourite books of 2015!
10. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Peter K and Lara Jean <3
9. Chasing River by K. A. Tucker
I completely adored this full series, but Amber and River's story was by far my favourite
8. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
This was such a heartbreaking book and hit close to home for me
7. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
I'm still undecided about how I feel about QoS, but there's no denying that it was magnificent

6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
SIMON AND BAZ! I feel like I need more
5. Winter by Marissa Meyer
IT'S OVER! I'm still in mourning
4. Built by Jay Crownover
My favourite Jay Crownover novel yet! Zeb makes me want to sob
3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Tamlin and Feyre! And oh my god the HEAT in this book *fans self*
2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen was an AMAZING start to what I'm pretty sure is going to be one of my all time favourite series! Also, I had the pleasure of meeting Victoria Aveyard this year and she's super sweet and funny.
1. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Simon and Blue ruled my year. Their relationship was adorable and made my heart melt. I can't stop gushing about this book!

So those were the top 10 books I read this year. Let me know in the comments whether you read and loved and of the books on my list, and also let me know what your favourite book of 2015 was! I'm definitely going to be trying to work more on my blog in 2016, so although I probably won't be posting regularly to begin with, I'll definitely be back!