Reading Queue is a monthly meme hosted by Books: A True Story and Book Tasty where we can get together and talk about the books we hope to read in the coming month and the books we read last month. So write up your own Reading Queue post and then go check them out!
So I did pretty well on my July list! There were two books I just didn’t get to at all but they will definitely be first up for August! I ended up reading a lot that wasn’t on my list because I went on vacation and just wasn’t sure what I’d want to read. Turns out, it was just a bunch of romances! Not actually that surprising. So here’s what I read in July…
Chasing Impossible by Katie McGarry and Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson: I was so excited for Chasing Impossible and I enjoyed it but it wasn’t quite everything I had hoped it would be. I did love Rebel Mechanics and found it fun and very interesting!
The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson and A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery: AMMA was okay. I liked some parts of it, didn’t like others. It was an interesting combination. THoB was one of my most anticipated books of this year and probably because of that, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. I just didn’t love it as much as I did the first and that made me sad.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown and Shadows of Sherwood by Kekla Magoon: Guys, I’m not going to lie about this one. It was pretty up and down for me. The beginning was so good! And then it slowed almost to a stop in the middle. And then the end picked up again and was so good! I hate books like these because rating them is so hard. I almost didn’t make it through but I’m so glad I did! SoS is fun so far, I’m about halfway through, and kind of intense in a middle-grade way but I’m loving the Robin Hood retelling, the things I recognize and the new twists!
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot and Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland: I think I’m just a huge grump this month because I haven’t loved much of what I’ve read, and that includes these two. I thought Mia was a pretty big brat for most of this book, though it did have it’s fun moments. And Nantucket Blue was good, I enjoyed it, I just didn’t love it. What is wrong with me?
Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham and Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover: VERONICA MARS FOREVER!! That’s all. Love these books. MS was my first CH book and again, I liked it but didn’t love it. I found it a little annoying but definitely addictive. I’ll try another of her books soon.
Rat Queens: Vol 2 by Kurtis Wiebe and Bounce by Noelle August: Okay, here are two books that I definitely loved and highly recommend (if you’re old enough!)! They were great sequels, not quite as good as the first ones but still great! Read them!
I’m trying to get caught up on some fall review books this month by joining in ARC August. The only non-review book I have planned this month is a book that my son has been begging me to read for ages and I finally promised him I would read it. His favorite series ever is the Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland so I told him I would read the first one because how awesome is it that he wants to share that with me?! But I’m so nervous because what if I don’t love it? I’ll have to lie and make something up. Here are the rest of the books I hope to read this month. Also, there’s a Bout of Books Read-a-Thon this month! That’ll definitely help me get through some of these…
Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood and Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid: Yes, both of these were on my list last month. They’re first up after I finished Shadows of Sherwood!
How Lunchbox Jones Saved me from Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel by Jennifer Brown and The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire#1) by Tui T. Sutherland: Lunchbox Jones has a really long name but it’s very cute so far. The kids and I are reading it out loud and we’re all enjoying it! I hope it continues that way. Wings of Fire is the book I’m reading for my son. It’s his favorite book and I really really really really hope I enjoy it as well. He’s dying to talk about it when I’m done!
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman and Everything, Everything by Nichole Yoon: I’m so excited for Legacy of Kings and I’m almost not even sure why except that it sounds completely epic! I’ve heard great things about Everything, Everything and was really excited to get a coy at ALAMW. My mom has already read it and loved it too, so I’m looking forward to this one.
A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano and Stand-Off by Andrew Smith: This is almost like middle grade month for me! But I’m really excited to see what this book is about. The cover is amazing! Also, SO is one of my most anticipated sequels ever. I loved Winger and I just hope that SO is important and moving and all the things the first one was. My expectations are a bit high.
A few other options I have available are: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson, A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis, Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch, Illuminae, and Mistletoe and Mr. Right: Two Stories of Holiday Romance by Lyla Payne. Since I’m doing both ARC August and Bout of Books, I’m hoping to get through at least ten ARCs/eARCs this month. And once I get through the August ARCs I still have to read, I’ll just go along as I feel from there
What are you looking forward to reading this month?
We were gone for two weeks this month and that made it seem like July barely even happened! We left for California and came back and July was basically over. It was crazy and long but totally awesome! We saw so many things I’d never seen before and had so much fun. Plus, the kids were great! I was nervous about having them away for so long but now that they’re older, they’re totally awesome. I love traveling with them and I hope these trips are things they’ll remember for a very long time.
As far as reading went, I actually got a lot more done than I had even planned. Though I still veered a bit from my list. Still, sharing a hotel room with kids who go to bed at 8pm means lights out for everyone. All I had left to do was read on my ereader. I enjoyed it though, definitely not complaining!
Blogging, however, didn’t quite get kept up with the same way. I had planned on scheduling a bunch of posts before I left but you know how that goes. Planning is great but doesn’t get things done. And when it came right down to it, after days of packing for four for 15 days and getting the house ready to be left and everything else done, I just wasn’t in a place where I wanted to think about anything. So I’m sorry. I hope to pick it back up in August!
I hope July was awesome for all of you guys too! I can’t believe school starts again next month! In case you guys don’t know, which you probably don’t because I don’t talk much about it here, but we’ll be homeschooling this year. And I’m terrified. And excited. So we’ve got a lot to do before the school year officially starts!
Most Exciting Book Mail
Birthday books!! Rat Queens: Vol 2 by Kurtis J. Wiebe * Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis!!
Favorite July Reads
Rat Queens: Vol 2 by Kurtis J. Wiebe * Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham * Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson * Bounce by Noelle August
Coming Up in August
August is going to be so great! And crazy. Not only does school start but so many other things are happening as well! On the blog, we’ll be part of the Bounce by Noelle August tour, which I’m SOOOO excited for! We’ll also have a couple of other tours and the regular monthly giveaway. And perhaps the most fun? It’s Bout of Books time again! Starting August 17 and lasting all week, it’ll be full of fun times and lots of reading! Put it on your calendar now!
Also happening will be the regular monthly posts and lots of great books! I’m really excited for the books I have set aside to read and hope I can get more posts up in August than I did this month. School is starting, which will set things back a bit since we’re homeschooling this year. But I’m hoping it won’t be too long until we’re settled into a schedule that works for all of us. Also, even though our local schools start August 19, I think I’m going to put off starting until after the Bout of Books week. Welcome to the awesomeness of homeschooling!
I hope August will be great for all of you and I hope your Julys were full of fun!
I did a little bit of reading recently that was completely off of my TBR lists but I don’t regret it at all! Since I’m still trying to get back on track from vacation, I’ve decided to do a quick mini review round up of a few of those books. They’re all contemporary fiction, mostly romances, and all very quick reads. I recommend them all but in more of a “they were enjoyable and I’m glad I read them” way rather than an “OMG I LOVED THEM” way. Unfortunately none of them knocked my socks off but I liked them enough. If you give them a try, I hope you guys do love them.
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
Published March 18, 2014 by Atria Books on
I’ve heard so many outstanding things about Colleen Hoover books that I was a little nervous to read one myself. But when I saw this one on the shelf, I couldn’t pass it up. I bought it a while back and finally read it this summer. I had no idea what to expect but I was really hoping to fall in love. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I liked this book, I liked the story and the unexpected twist but the characters are really what kept me from loving this book. This is going to sound weird probably, especially considering the book is in dual first person, but they thought and talked so freaking much. I just got tired of their ramblings on and on. Usually because it was about the same things over and over again. They liked each other, were attracted to each other but Ridge was in a relationship he wasn’t going to get out of so they can’t be together. The same thing over and over again. And I didn’t like that Ridge kept putting Sydney is situations that were bad for her. Sydney wasn’t the one in a relationship but Ridge kept asking her to be close and help with his music because he needed her and didn’t consider at all how hard it was for her. This over and over again. And then I was slightly frustrated by the end as well because part of the solution to their problem just seemed so easy. It wasn’t a decision that was made but one that was made for them. I didn’t quite like that. But I did like the very end when they finally seemed to both grow up a bit and take some time. I think I’ll give another Colleen Hoover book a try at some point (probably Hopeless since I already own that one too) but I do hope that I’ll love it more than I did this one. 3 stars
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Published May 7th 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Nantucket Blue was another book I’ve been holding onto for a while and for whatever reason just never got around to reading. I’m glad I finally did. I enjoyed this book. It was a good, light, summery romance. But I didn’t love it. I did like the relationship between Cricket and Zach and how naturally it developed and how real it felt. I did not like Jules at all. Cricket’s best friend was a total bitch. I know I’m suppose to excuse the behavior because her mom died suddenly and it was difficult for her to process and Cricket did overstep a bit in their grieving and made it a bit more about her than it should have been (even though, yes, she was grieving too) but her behavior was so much more cruel than can be excused away with that. Especially for someone who is suppose to be your best friend. I almost couldn’t even believe Cricket continued to care about what Jules thought about her developing relationship with Zach and even still wanted to be her friend. It was crazy. And hard to get past. I didn’t particularly love the way either girl dealt with the situation. But, like I said, I did like her relationship with Zach and I did like her growth throughout the book and the way she talked with her own mom and worked on her own. I would recommend this book as a quick summer beach read. 3.5 stars
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Published June 26th 2001 by HarperTeen
Okay, I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record but this was another book that I enjoyed but just didn’t love. And I know exactly why I didn’t love this one. Mia. She was such a brat! I really wasn’t expecting that. Especially with how many people LOVE these books! She complained about everything. I know she’s a teenager and teens have attitude and sass and she comes from a very unique situation but seriously, I had a hard time getting past all of the complaining she was doing. Also, her complete inability to do math grated on me and just how naive and young she sounded all the time. But it was still a fun book. Regardless of how likable any of the characters were (Michael and Mr. Gianini were) it was still fun and funny and a really fast read. Pretty young on the young adult scale but not so much that fans of YA should immediately write it off. I’m glad I finally gave in and read this classic. I’m not entirely sure that I’ll continue with the series, but if I’m ever looking for a fun, quick read, I know where I can go! 3 stars
When We Collided by Emery Lord
Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine
and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released. This week I’ve chosen:
Published by Bloomsbury USA on 2016-04-05
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Goodreads • Amazon • The Book Depository •
Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.
Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.
Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.
I’m seriously so excited for this book. After reading Open Road Summer, Emery Lord quickly became a favorite author of mine. That was cemented again when I read The Start of Me and You. And now I know it’ll happen when I finally get the chance to read When We Collided. If you haven’t read any of her books yet, I highly recommend them. I know this one will be emotional and intense and honest and realistic. I can’t wait to read it!
What are you waiting on this week?
A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on 2015-07-07
Genres: Death & Dying, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble • The Book Depository •
When high school senior Kelsey's identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn't know about the tragedy is Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can't bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.
As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want.
Lara Avery delivers a breathtaking story of love and loss that is guaranteed to sweep you off your feet.
This book really surprised me. Going into it, I was a little worried knowing what it was about and thinking it would be impossible to feel any sympathy towards Kelsey. But while I was reading, I actually did. I was really surprised by the emotions I felt even while not agreeing with what she was doing. This story took me by surprise and I really think you should give this book a chance as well.
There have been several books recently that deal with the death of a sibling or very close friend and I thought this would just get lumped in with those as I was reading. But it stood out to me for several reasons. One, we know from the beginning what happens to Kelsey’s sister. There are no big secrets along the way or reveals, this is not a thriller and there is no mystery surrounding her sister’s death. It’s just a car crash and then Kelsey dealing with the aftermath. Two, Kelsey isn’t a very likable character. She’s shallow and kind of mean. This changes over time while she deals with the loss of Michelle and getting to know Peter, but in the beginning, she was not someone I thought I could ever feel for. Three, the small glimpses of Kelsey and Michelle together don’t paint a picture of extremely close sisters. A lot of times we see books with super close and almost unrealistic sibling relationships. Instead we see the way siblings often feel for each other. They get annoyed by each other, they don’t understand each other, and they judge each other. These two didn’t seem like they’ve been close for a while and it was an interesting look at a sister relationship. All of these things added up to a book that maybe seems similar to other books in its genre but was actually quite different. I loved getting to watch Kelsey grow as a character and change over time, learning what’s important and what she really wants to do with her life. I enjoyed getting to learn more about Michelle through people Kelsey meets along the way and see more of their relationship through Kelsey’s memories. It was interesting to learn about Michelle with Kelsey instead of being told about Michelle by Kelsey. If that makes sense. I also liked that we know from the beginning that this is an internal struggle that we’re dealing with, not some crazy twist ending. As far as storyline goes, it’s pretty predictable. But we get to focus on Kelsey and how she’s learning to deal with the loss of her sister and everything that that means.
This is an emotional book but it’s also told in third person. I think that that, along with the fact that Kelsey isn’t all that likable in the beginning, kept me from getting too close or emotionally attached to her. I didn’t hate her or anything, I just didn’t really like her. But I did want to find out what was going to happen between her and Peter. I wanted to see how she would tell him and how she would get through that. I wanted to know that she could move on to a place where she wasn’t hurting and hiding everything and had accepted what happened and could maybe be happy someday. I was surprised in the end that I felt so many emotions toward Kelsey and her situation when I started off being so unattached. That just shows how great the writing in this book is that it could lead me to where I ended up when I started so far away from any of it.
I also need to mention Peter briefly. He was such a difficult character because on the one hand he says he loves Michelle, but then he can’t tell the difference between her and Kelsey. But I let that go because most of their interactions in the beginning are on the computer or phone. But what was really interesting about Peter was his time in Afghanistan and how he reacted to being a soldier and in combat and how he changed and leaned on Kelsey. What made the biggest impression on me with Peter was just how honest he was about war and all the ways it really changed him. It was very emotional. Also, I have to admit, I really liked his interactions with Kelsey. I really felt like they had chemistry together, whether he thought it was Michelle or she was acting a certain way, whatever it was, they had chemistry. I really liked Peter and the military aspect of this book.
This next point is pretty obvious but I have to say it anyway. If the lying and deceiving will bother you, this book isn’t for you. The way it starts between Kelsey and Peter is very simple, one reply on the computer and Kelsey just couldn’t bring herself to share the news about Michelle. Then it just goes from there, getting bigger and bigger. I had a hard time with it about halfway through wondering why Peter couldn’t tell the difference between Michelle and Kelsey, wondering how Kelsey continued to lie to him. But I was so sucked into the story and the characters, that I just let it go and continued on. But if you can’t let the little things go, you won’t get through this book. And if cheating is a problem for you, you might have issues with this book.
Overall, I really liked this book. I was surprised by the amount of emotions I felt by the end. I was able to like Kelsey in the end and was happy to see her grow throughout the book. I liked that it felt different from other grief books and showed a different way of grieving. Because not everyone deals with death the same way. Kelsey continued on with many of her activities and covered up her emotions until the end when she was finally ready to deal with them. I appreciated and understood that. I liked seeing the relationships over time between Kelsey and Michelle, Kelsey and Peter, and Kelsey and her parents. If you want books on loss and grief, if you liked Vanishing Girls or The Last Time We Say Goodbye or Falling Into Place, I think this is a book you’ll want to read.