Ten Of The Best Books I’ve Read Recently


 Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

It’s been so long since I’ve participated in TTT.

It isn’t often that I rate a book 5 stars.  5 Stars are reserved for my all time favorite books or books that make me cry hysterically without even really trying.  So there aren’t that many of those.  But I have read some really great books recently.

The first 3 books of The Raven Cycle.  If I was one to give out 5 stars, these would definitely get them.  All 3 books got 4.5 stars, so it’s basically the highest honor a book can get (Unless it’s Harry Potter).

This is a series I’m currently reading, and I’ve really, really enjoyed the first 2 books.   Through the Ever Night was a rare instance where I think the sequel was better than the original.


I only recently started reading Historical Romance so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I really enjoyed this one.


This one was actually on my “nope” shelf on Goodreads and I am so glad I gave it a chance.  One of the better vampire books I’ve read in a long time.

What can I say?  I’m a sucker for time travel.


Another shockingly wonderful book.  This was hilarious and scary and I never expected to like it as much as I did.

Top Ten Historical Settings I Love (and need to read more of)

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.52.33 AM

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I really love historical fiction, but I don’t read enough of it.  These are a few of my favorite time periods to read about.  For this TTT, I only focused on YA.

Ancient History

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 7.39.01 AM.png

Really any type of ancient history, although I would love to learn more about Ancient China, Japan India and Egypt.  I used to really love Ancient Egypt back when I was young, but I haven’t really read any books set there.

Tudor England

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 8.13.48 AM

I, like so many others before me, was once obsessed with the Tudors.  Damn you Philippa Gregory! No, but seriously. I need to read more books set in Tudor England.  Actually just England In general.  Give me all books about England from the days the Anglo Saxons arrived.  English history makes my head spin.

Colonial America

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 8.12.35 AM

When I first went into college I thought I wanted to focus on Colonial America. But I ended up writing my thesis on a bunch of Jewish women in the 1950s, so as you can see I changed my mind.  But The Witch of Blackbird Pond has stuck with me for years, so I would love to read more books like that.

Regency England

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 8.18.32 AM.png

I recently started reading Regency Romances, so I’m in a Regency type of mood.

Victorian England

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 8.23.32 AM.png

Wow it seems I am just super obsessed with British history. I think this might have been the only YA Victorian I found that took place in England and wasn’t supernatural.  Any suggestions?

Turn of the Century America

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 7.40.35 AM.png

Specifically life in the cities during this period.  I don’t know what it is, but there is just something so glamorous, and you know that it’s hiding such an ugly truth and I’m so interested in reading more.

Edwardian England

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 8.01.51 AM.png

I blame Downton Abbey.

1920s America

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 8.03.47 AM

Flappers. Jazz. Gangsters. Prohibition.  This decade has it all.

1960s/1970s America

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 7.48.38 AM

Vietnam is my favorite War (Is it weird to have a favorite war? Especially one as controversial as Vietnam?  Whatever I majored in history.) My dad was in the Marines during Vietnam, and then became a hippie who was at Woodstock.  Whenever we go to concerts at Bethel Woods, the new performing arts center they set up at the site of Woodstock, in Bethel NY, my dad points out exactly where he sat on the hill and how smart he was by making camp  near a medical tent.  Plus there are so many different cultural/social aspects of these two decades that you can focus on in historical novels!


Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 7.58.31 AM

It’s actually really hard to find a YA set in the 1990s that I really want to read.

Ok, I actually refuse to consider the 1990s historical at any point in my lifetime because I was alive for the entire decade.  I was born in 1989.  I grew up in the 90s and “came of age” in the early 2000s.  But sometimes I really wish I had been born just a few years earlier so that I could have been a teenager in the 1990s.  I would have rocked the grunge. And while I am entirely thankful that I was raised on computers, I just have so much nostalgia for a “simple” life.

These books are just examples of books I would like to read. 

Ten Books I Recently Removed From My TBR

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.52.33 AM

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

It’s a Freebie week on TTT so I had to come up with my own theme.  And since I am so uncreative I had to cheat.  Last week’s theme was Top Ten Books You’ve Recently Added to Your TBR and I didn’t participate.

But I was going through my virtual TBR on Goodreads and damn! I have 787 books on my TBR and quite a few of those books have been on there for 2+ year. So I decided to go through and weed the list. So this week’s theme is:

Top Ten Books I Recently Removed From My TBR


All of these have been on my TBR since either 2013 or 2014. If it has been sitting there for that long and I haven’t even thought about reading it, I think it’s safe to say that I probably won’t ever get around to it.

Also, I went through and reread the blurbs and a lot of them I just have no interest in reading.  A few I don’t even know why were on my TBR because they are about topics that I generally try to avoid.

It was so nice going through and weeding the TBR. I feel so much better even having only ten less books staring at me waiting to be read.  I think I’m going to start doing it every month. Maybe I should try and weed 5 books off the virtual TBR.  (I’ll probably forget about my plan to do this tomorrow.)

Do you guys weed your virtual TBR lists?

What did you recently remove?

Have you read any of these books above?

2016 Bookish and Lifestyle Goals

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.52.33 AM

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s theme is Top Ten Resolutions for 2016

Bookish Goals:

  • Read 150 books
    1. I should be able to do this pretty easily, as I almost made it in 2014 and surpassed it in 2015.
  • Complete at least half of the challenges I’ve signed up for
    • I joined a lot of challenges this year, basically just as a way to get myself to read more books, so I’d like to finish at least half of them, or make it halfway in all of them
  • Try to read more classics/non-fiction/adult
    • Boring and Depressing are the words that come to mind when I think about these genres/age groups.  But I probably am missing out on some great books by ignoring them.
  • Weed my book collection every few months and organize my shelves
    • I have way too many books that are basically just thrown on my shelf because I get too overwhelmed when I try to organize them.  I’d like to fix this.
  • Continue blogging and make more bookish friends
    • I’m terrible at making friends, both IRL and online so COME SAY HI!  I’ve loved the last few months of blogging and I really hope I sticj with it

Lifestyle Goals

  • Develop a yoga practice that I can stick to and continue to go to the gym
    1. I was going to say “lose weight” but really I’d rather just try and stay active and healthy.
  • Be more confident in my body/self
    • It’s been a struggle since I was 12, and even more so as I’ve gotten older (which you think would be the opposite) but it’s something I really want to work on.
  • Cook dinner at home more often
    • We eat out way too much mainly because I’m lazy and don’t want to cook and I never buy more than one night’s meal at the grocery store.  It’s wasting a lot of money and probably making it harder for me to lose weight, so I’m going to try and be better about this.
  • Maybe start a shopping ban in general
    • I’m thinking of a book buying ban and just a general shopping ban for the future.  I need to really write some rules down and then see if I can really do it.  I’ll probably take it month by month.
  • Clean/organize my apartment
    • I’ve always been messy (My 5th grade teacher told my mom he’s never seen someone so disorganized be so smart, which doesn’t really make that much sense now that I think about it 16 years later) and I’ve always had a lot of stuff.  I’d LOVE to go minimalist, but I’m too attached to stupid things and I’d probably freak out like those sad people on Hoarders.  I really just need to start small.

So those are my goals/resolutions! What about you guys?? Have any advice for me?

Dear Santa: Top Ten Books to Leave Under the Tree

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.52.33 AM

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s theme is Top Ten Books I  wouldn’t mind if Santa left under the tree.

This week was really hard for me because I actually own most of the books I want to own (and a lot more that I don’t).  So here are 10 books that are on  my Christmas list for Secret Santa.

I only want this cover of Uprooted, because the American one is disgusting in my opinion.  I hate it.

That’s only 7, so I’ll use my last 3 books to get a box set!

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 7.54.29 AM

2015 New To Me Authors

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.52.33 AM

Top Ten Tuesday is a hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

I love finding new authors.  If I like an author it’s almost guaranteed that I will automatically read their book. If I don’t like the first book I read by an author, it’s pretty much a toss up whether I will give one of their books another try.

I didn’t actually read that many more than 10 new authors this year, but I’m happy to say that I think I really like the majority of them and will definitely be checking out their other work.

This list does not include an author’s debut novel if it was published in 2015.


Kasie West

I started 2015 off by reading Pivot Point and I LOVED it.  Anything Kasie West writes I will read.  I won’t always love it (as was the case with The Fill in Boyfriend) but I will always give it a chance.

Ally Carter

I made the mistake of reading Ally Carter’s All Fall Down from her new series, Embassy Row, first.  I almost wrote her off because I had heard such amazing things about her and I just wasn’t that impressed.  And then I binged on The Gallagher Girls series and I fell in love.

Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken was just so much fun.  Brennan writes such wonderful characters and beautiful friendships I can’t wait to re-read the first 2 books and then finally finish the series.

Dahlia Adler

Such cute contemporaries, which is often a genre that I stay away from.  If it isn’t written by Sarah Dessen I don’t really go near it, and even Dessen has been letting me down these past few books.  So I was so happy to find Dahlia, especially since she is adding to the F/F romances that are pretty lacking in YA.

Will Read Again

 Jay Kristoff

Ok, so this is kind of cheating since this was a combined effort of both Kristoff and Kaufman, but whatever.  I’m totally interested in checking out whatever else Kristoff as written.  I think one more of his books will help me decide whether he becomes an auto-read author.

Carrie Ryan

I actually really enjoyed the Daughter of Deep Silence, which is good because I have been meaning to read Ryan’s Forest of Hands and Teeth for years.

Neal Shusterman

I didn’t enjoy Challenger Deep as much as I wanted to.  I felt extremely manipulated to rate the book higher than I wanted to for a variety of factors, but mainly because, mental illness is extremely serious and should be viewed as such.  But, even though this book wasn’t for me, I still totally plan on checking out his Unwind series.

Might Read Again

Susan Ee

I really enjoyed the first 2 books of the Penryn and the End of Days series.  I never finished the 3rd, but I plan on reading it in 2016.  The thing is, I’m not sure if I would read anything else by Ee.  The writing wasn’t that great and I think it was just the angel apocalypse that really had me enjoying it.

Julie Murphy

I thought Dumplin‘ was ok, but it definitely didn’t live up to my expectations.  I’ll probably give Murphy another shot with her debut book.

Jodi Lynn Anderson

Honestly, the only reason Anderson isn’t under the Never Again Will I Read, is because I’m terrified of what will happen if I admit that I just don’t think I’m that big of a fan of her writing style.  Yeah it’s beautiful, but it’s just so slow and boring. I actually started reading Tiger Lily but gave up on it I was so bored.   And I HATED The Vanishing Season. We’ll see.

2016 Debuts

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.52.33 AM

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish*

Top Ten 2016 Debuts Novels I Am Looking Forward To


Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 5.17.19 PM


by Nicole Castroman

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything. This is their story.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 5.34.28 PM

After the Woods

By Kim Savage

Would you risk your life to save your best friend?
Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 5.33.53 PM


by Ilana Manaster

 A contemporary YA take on The Picture of Dorian Gray. The social hierarchy of New England boarding school Chandler Academy is thrown into upheaval after roommates Heidi and Biz take in new arrival Doreen Gray and Photoshop her profile pic.


Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 5.35.45 PM

The Star Touched Queen

by Roshani Chokshi

Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds friendship and warmth.
But Akaran has its own secrets – thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran’s magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar’s plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk – it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.
Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 5.33.34 PM

The Girl Who Fell

by S.M. Parker

A YA debut in which a high school senior mistakes her boyfriend’s physical and mental manipulations for devotion, only to discover the truth when it may be too late.” -original blurb


Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 5.36.03 PM

Please Don’t Tell

by Laura Tims

Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.

What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.

In this darkly compelling narrative, debut author Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for the other.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 5.36.19 PM

The Girl From Everywhere

by Heidi Heilig

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.


South of Sunshine

by Dana Elmendorf

In Sunshine, Tennessee, the main event in town is Friday night football, the biggest party of the year is held in a field filled with pickup trucks, and church attendance is mandatory. For Kaycee Jean McCoy, life in Sunshine means dating guys she has no interest in, saying only “yes, ma’am” when the local bigots gossip at her mom’s cosmetics salon, and avoiding certain girls at all costs. Girls like Bren Dawson.
Unlike Kaycee, Bren doesn’t really conceal who she is. But as the cool, worldly new girl, nobody at school seems to give her any trouble. Maybe there’s no harm if Kaycee gets closer to her too, as long as she can keep that part of her life a secret, especially from her family and her best friend. But the more serious things get with Bren, the harder it is to hide from everyone else. Kaycee knows Sunshine has a darker side for people like her, and she’s risking everything for the chance to truly be herself.

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 4.01.16 PM

Never Ever

by Sara Saedi

Inspired by PETER PAN, it tells the story of a girl and her two brothers; when a handsome stranger invites the three of them to a secret island where no one grows old they think they’ve won the lottery, but they soon discover that something sinister is going on.

ETA: Cover added after posting

No Cover Yet:

After the Fall

by Kate Hart

The story of a girl who refuses to play the damsel in distress, even in the face of sexual assault, and the boy who has always hoped to rescue her, until she seeks comfort in his brother’s arms and a terrible accident changes everything.

ETA: apparently After the Fall won’t be released until 2017 now.  But I swear Goodreads had it as 2016 when I made this list.  And now I’m really sad because I was really looking forward to this one.

Ten Books I’m Thankful For

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.52.33 AM

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Books I’m Thankful For

(2 books, 6 series  and 2 authors)

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 6.53.41 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-22 at 6.53.33 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-22 at 6.54.22 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-22 at 6.54.15 PM

The Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain (and my dad) for instilling a love of reading before I could read by myself

Harry Potter & JK Rowling for reigniting that love and changing my entire life.  And Ron Weasley

*There’s 5 more books, but they didn’t have the covers I wanted

Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison for introducing me to British humor and always keeping me laughing, no matter how many rereads

Jessica Darling by Megan McCafferty (but only books 1 & 2) For being  my go to books all throughout high school. and creating my first OTP, Jessica and Marcus, before I even knew what an OTP was

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 6.46.04 PM

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee for reminding me that not all “classic” literature and required reading is bad

A Song of Ice and Fire & George RR Martin for creating a love of epic fantasy and morally grey characters (but not for making me wait so long between books)

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 6.45.42 PM

Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins for producing my favorite ever quote about love

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins for awakening a love of Young Adult Literatue and leading me on a wild adventure that has landed me here

What books are you thankful for this year?