February is over!! I’m so happy to see it go! In December, I was so cocky about winter. I was convinced it would be mild and fine and I’d make it through no big deal. Now, at the end of February, I’m barely scraping by. I’m having to force myself out of the house and into the cold that I hate just so that I still feel like a human being and not rot alone in my house. But now March is finally here and there’s no way to not feel like Spring will be here any day. At least, that’s the hope I’m desperately holding onto right now. I’ll just be happy when we’re done with the below zero temps. And there’s more to look forward to with March coming than the weather getting better. As if spring wasn’t awesome enough, it’s loaded with tons of great new books! But until they get here, here are the things that happened on the blog in February.
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand: I was so excited to get this because I won it from an EpicReads giveaway and had no idea until it showed up! I read it right away and do not regret that decision at all. I highly recommend it! It’s emotional but beautiful. Mr Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas: The second Veronica Mars book!! I won this, too, from Vintage and Anchor! And what’s really exciting is they sent books for me to giveaway too! That’s the best! I Was Here by Gayle Forman: My awesome #otspsecretsister sent this to me! I can’t wait to read it!
Favorite February Reads
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand * The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows * I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios * The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Coming Up in March
As I mentioned above, March will bring better weather (it just needs to, ok?!) and some great new books. On the blog, it will bring lots of new posts! I’m hoping to have reviews for The Winner’s Crime, The Orphan Queen, It Will Always Be You by Tina Ness, Prudence by Gail Carriger, The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand, The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord and hopefully a couple of others. I’ll also have a post about The DUFF, both the movie and the book, spring movie previews, and a giveaway for the new Veronica Mars book.
I also need to continue updating my old posts. I sort of stalled out on that early on in the month. I got distracted by books and tv shows. You know how it is. As long as I have them updated by the end of June, I’ll be really happy.
I hope you guys have had a great February. You’re probably dealing with winter much better than I am. Either way, I hope better weather comes to all of us soon! Unless you’re in a place that is already having beautiful, sunny, warm weather. Then I having nothing to offer you. Except this gif, which sums up what February felt like to me.
Guys, we did this thing. My husband actually came up with the idea and we decided to give it a try. We made a podcast. It’s a work in progress, as neither of us has done one before, but we had a lot of fun and we’ll continue to record them and upload them and have fun with them.
We called it Books & Banter. We talk about books but also movies and tv shows and pretty much whatever we feel like talking about it. It’s just fun. We talk a lot normally, considering we’re the only adults in the house and we kind of like each other, so we thought it might be fun to record conversations and see what you guys had to add to them.
In this episode, we talked about the movie What If that stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan. We both really liked this romantic comedy, so we talked about that, but because the movie is similar to When Harry Met Sally, we also talk about whether men and women can be friends without sex interfering.
We also discuss a couple of bookish news items and the books that we’re currently reading. I’m including links to things we mentioned in the podcast below, so you guys can check some of the stuff out if you want.
We hope you guys will enjoy this. We had a lot of fun making it. We’d also love to hear your thoughts about what we talked about in the comments below!
Also, just want to give a quick shout-out to my awesome brother who made the images of me and my husband up there! He’s a video game designer but stooped to making an image for me just because he’s awesome!
Windswept, isolated and ruggedly beautiful, Puffin Island is a haven for day-trippers and daydreamers alike. But this charming community has a way of bringing people together in the most unexpected ways…
It's been a summer of firsts for Emily Donovan. From becoming a stand-in mom to her niece Lizzie to arriving on Puffin Island, her life has become virtually unrecognizable. Between desperately safeguarding Lizzie and her overwhelming fear of the ocean—which surrounds her everywhere she goes!—Emily has lost count of the number of "just breathe" pep talks she's given herself. And that's before charismatic local yacht club owner Ryan Cooper kisses her…
Ryan knows all about secrets. And it's clear that newcomer Emily—with her haunted eyes and the little girl she won't let out of her sight—is hiding from something besides the crazy chemistry between them. So Ryan decides he's going to make it his personal mission to help her unwind and enjoy the sparks! But can Puffin Island work its magic on Emily and get her to take the biggest leap of trust of all—putting her heart in someone else's hands?
I can’t help but fall for Sarah Morgan’s romances. I seriously adore her storytelling and fun romances. And this new series does not disappoint. Besides the steamy romance in this book, I really love the friendship element that shows up. Family was a strong theme in her O’Neil brothers books and I saw that in this as well but with the idea that sometimes family isn’t made by blood but by choice. I can’t wait for more books in this series!
Like I mentioned above, one of my favorite things about this book is the friendship theme. While we only meet one of the two friends that Emily talks about, we get a very good picture of their friendship and how it has developed over the years. The three met in college and bonded one night over their emotional pasts and were best friends from then on. They went on to make a pact to be there for each other whenever they needed it. That’s how Emily ended up on Puffin Island. Brittany had a place where she could hide away from the media and paparazzi and let her keep it as long as she needed. And we see Skylar several times throughout the book because she comes to help Emily with Lizzie. Emily is not prepared to be a parent. She never wanted to be a mother, because of a tragedy in her past, and Skylar knew how difficult this new situation was for her. Both of her friends come through for Emily when she needed it and I loved that she never doubted that they would. I can’t wait to get to know her friends better with each of their own books!
Of course, like all of her other books, the other reason to read this one is for the romance. The male lead, Ryan, is independent, outdoorsy, and upfront about his desires to have no responsibilities towards other people. Because of his past, he’s ready to be on his own, enjoying life the way he wants, and having to answer to no one. Except that he owes Brittany, Emily’s friend, a favor. So when she asks him to look in on Emily while she’s gone, he doesn’t hesitate. As soon as they meet, there’s chemistry. Except both Emily and Ryan have reasons for wanting to keep their distance. Of course, this being a romance and everything, feelings and wants get in the way of staying apart and their lives become complicated. They spend some time trying to figure out what it is they want and trying to respect the wishes of the other one. There’s some back and forth, some indecision, and some I like him but can’t be with him drama. But in the end, they figure out what they want and work it all out. It’s a great romance with two characters who learn about love and forgiveness and friendship and family.
There are so many great things about this book but it all really just comes down to the fact that it’s everything you’d want in a romance. There’s chemistry between the two main characters, there’s strong female friendships, there’s a sense of community and family and strength and working together, the characters grow and change throughout the book, and there’s plenty of steamy scenes. I liked the friendship theme throughout the book and I loved the addition of Lizzie and the role she played in changing Emily and Ryan and bringing them together. I loved how much the characters learned about themselves and how they learned to forgive themselves for their pasts. They helped each other see what was real and what love really was. I was not disappointed with Sarah Morgan’s new romance and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more about Puffin Island and Emily’s closest friends!
He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.
He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.
Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.
And one more trait he hides from everyone but her: Sweet.
I have read and loved both books in the Contours of the Heart series by Tammara Webber and am so excited that there’s a new book coming out to go along with them! If you haven’t read Easy yet and are a fan of New Adult romances, I highly recommend it. There’s a lot of drama in these books but also a lot of chemistry and sexual tension and romance and female strength and friendship. Both Easy and Breakable focused on Jacqueline and Lucas so I’m excited to get to know some other characters better. Apparently it’s a standalone/companion novel so it can be read without reading the two other books. So if you haven’t read them yet and want to start here, you can do that. But again, I definitely recommend Easy!
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted each week by The Broke and The Bookish and allows us to combine our love of books with our love of lists. This week’s topic is: Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books.
There are few things I love more in a book than a strong heroine. For me, the main character can make or break a book. And one of my biggest pet peeves with heroines is when they are just too passive. I’m not going to get into any kind of debate about expectations we have for male vs female leads or what’s realistic vs judging heroines too harshly, I’m simply listing heroines here that have been some of my favorites. They tend to be strong, brave, smart, and loyal. They fight for what they believe in and are loyal to those that they love. Sometimes they lead rebellions, sometimes they’re just fighting to stay alive. Sometimes they’re snarky and sometimes they’re eloquent. Either way, I love these heroines and highly recommend their books!
Hermione Granger from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling Wil from The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows Aria from Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi Sophronia from Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger Celaena from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Cinder from Cinder by Marissa Meyer Meira from Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch Zita from Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke Scar from Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore