Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Books in my Beach Bag

May 23: Summer Reads Freebie: In preparation for Memorial Day (which is always the unofficial summer kickoff for me), let's rec some summer/beach reads: books to go in your beach bag, best books set in summer, books with summer-y covers, best beach reads for people who don't enjoy contemporary/realistic reads, best beach reads for fans of X genre, etc. etc.

Today I'm sharing a couple of summer books that will be in my beach bag this year!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11071466-second-chance-summer https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7664334-amy-roger-s-epic-detour

1. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - I've been meaning to read this book for a while now, and now that it's almost summer time, it's the perfect time to finally do so!!

2. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - Same as above!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31706478-forever-in-love https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16101126-the-moon-and-more

3. Forever in Love by Susane Colasanti - For the past few summers I've read the first and second books in the City Love series, and I'm excited to read Forever in Love this summer!

4. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen - I've actually already read this book before, but I plan to read it again for my Sarah Dessen Readathon!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25063781-summer-days-and-summer-nights https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5454.The_Second_Summer_of_the_Sisterhood

5. Summer Days and Summer Nights by Stephanie Perkins - This is yet another book that's been on my TBR for too long, and I'm going to try my best to read it this summer!

6. The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares - I read the first book in this series a few years ago, and I keep meaning to finish the rest of them, and haven't done so yet. I'm hoping to get to them ALL this summer!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31931767-same-beach-next-year https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27064378-all-summer-long

7. Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank - Ok, does this cover scream summer, or what?? I've not read anything by this author before, but I've seen this one a lot lately, and I'm curious!!

8. All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank - Same as above! I think I had this on my TBR last summer, but I'm hoping to read it this summer!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32027278-secrets-in-summer https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31423198-the-forever-summer

9. Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer - This is another book that drew me in by it's awesome cover! I've not read anything by this author before either, but I can't wait to do so!

10. The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner -Same as above! I have this on hold at the library and I can't wait for it to come in.

There you have it, friends! Just a few of the books in my beach bag this summer.
What's in your bag? Leave a link so I can check out your list!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sarah Dessen Readathon: Along for the Ride

Along for the Ride
by Sarah Dessen
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: first published June 16th 2009
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 399
ISBN: 9780142415566
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Own

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Up all night.

Nights have always been Auden's time, her chance to escape everything that's going on around her.

Then she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac, and he becomes her nocturnal tour guide.

Now, with an endless supply of summer nights between them, almost anything can happen... (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Along for the Ride is the next book on my list for my Sarah Dessen Readathon, and I was excited to read it again! I originally read the book a while back, way back in 2009 actually, so most of the details were blurry in my mind. I was really looking forward to rereading the book though, as I remember really enjoying it the first time I read it. And, of course, I did once again.

There are so many characters to like in this book, including the main character, Auden. I was definitely able to relate to her in more ways than one. Her parents were both kind of flakey in their own ways, but she had really cool step-mom. I completely forgot how selfish and annoying the dad was in this book. He was definitely my least favorite person. I really loved the friends she met in Colby. They were all awesome, including Eli!

I love that this book, like most of Sarah's books, was set during the summer. I'm not usually a big fan of summer, or of the heat, at least, but I've read a LOT of summer themed books lately, and they have me super excited for summer to finally arrive. The book was also set at the beach, and I definitely feel the beach calling me now.  The storyline was really light-hearted, and made for a really fun read.

Overall; now that I've reread Along for the Ride, I totally remember why I loved it so much. I'm so glad that I took the time to reread it again, and I definitely plan to reread it again in the future! The next book on my readathon list is What Happened to Goodbye, which I have NOT yet read before, and I'm really looking forward to finally doing so!

My Thoughts: It Started With Goodbye by Christina June

It Started with Goodbye
by Christina June
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: May 9th 2017
Publisher: Blink/HarperCollins
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780310758662
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Netgalley

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Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

The first thing that drew me to It Started with Goodbye was the super adorable cover. (I can't help it; I absolutely can't resist a cute cover!) Then I read the summary for the book and discovered that it was a modern day Cinderella retelling, and I knew I would totally have to check this book out!

When we first meet the main character in the story, Tatum, she's being punished for a crime that she didn't commit, thanks to her best friend's criminal boyfriend. Now Tatum is stuck spending her summer doing community service by day and is under house arrest with her strict stepmother by night, left behind by her father who is away on business and her best friend who was shipped off to boarding school. But just when she thinks things can't get any worse, they actually start to get better, which is not at all what Tatum expected.

There were some really interesting characters in the book. I especially loved Tatum's abuela, who really was like a fairy godmother. There's also Tatum's stepsister, who was not at all what I expected, and Tatum's parents as well. And, of course, there is SK, the love interest in the story. (There is a bit of romance in the book, but it doesn't overpower the story at all, and it's super adorable.) I also really liked the storyline for the book, which, as I mentioned above, is a modern day Cinderella retelling. It's also set in the summer time, and I'm really enjoying all the summer themed books in my TBR at the moment.

Overall; It Started with Goodbye was a really quick, fun summer read! It's a perfect book to have on your Summer TBR. I'm super curious to read the companion novel to this story, Everywhere You Want To Be, which is about Tatum's stepsister, Matilda, and is due to release next May!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Week in Review • Week 20

Hey guys!!

This week has been a really long week!
The end of school stuff for the kids is really time consuming,
and we're all ready to be done with it already.

I actually had a pretty productive week despite the madness, surprisingly.
Here's what I've been up to this week!
http://www.thereaderbee.com/2017/05/my-thoughts-names-they-gave-us-by-emery-lord.html https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27830287-it-started-with-goodbye

This week I read two review books. I have to say, I absolutely LOVED The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord, which was SO good, as I knew it would be. I also read It Started With Goodbye by Christina June, and I'm hoping to have my thoughts up on the blog for it this coming week. :)

http://www.thereaderbee.com/2017/05/sarah-dessen-readathon-lock-and-key.html https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15394916-along-for-the-ride

I also finished two books for my Sarah Dessen Readathon this week as well, the first being Lock and Key, and the second Along for the Ride. My thoughts for Along for the Ride will be up on the blog tomorrow! I can't believe I'm almost finished reading ALL of her books!!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114814/ http://www.nbc.com/timeless?nbc=1

Believe it or not, I actually had time to watch a movie AND some tv this week! I watched The Usual Suspects with my book club girls, and it was a really interesting movie! I've also been watching Timeless while I'm on the treadmill during the day, and I'm thrilled to be catching up on it, finally.

 You guys!! By this time next week, we will officially be on SUMMER BREAK!!
I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about this, even though the kids already
have a summer packed with activities. I'm hoping we can enjoy some of it though.

My May TBR is still kicking my butt, but I'm trying to keep up with it.
I'm actually looking forward to being done with it, as I have a plan to spend the next
few months actually reading books and series that I'm behind on.
I've bought so many that I haven't even read yet!
That really bums me out.

That's all for me this week, so...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sarah Dessen Readathon: Lock and Key

Lock and Key
by Sarah Dessen
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: first published April 22nd 2008
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9780142414729
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Own

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Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Unlock your heart and the rest will follow.

Ruby is used to taking care of herself.

But now that she's living with her sister, she's got her own room, she's going to a good school, and her future looks bright.

Plus there's an adorable boy next door.

Can Ruby learn to open her heart and let him in? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

Lock and Key is the next book on my list for my Sarah Dessen Readathon, and I couldn't wait to read this book again!! This book was actually the second book I ever read by Sarah Dessen, and I remember reading it way back in 2009. I only remembered bits and pieces from the story, but reading it again was like reading it for the first time. This was yet another really great book by Sarah!

One thing I've notice as I read these books for my readathon is that Sarah Dessen makes really awesome main characters. I've yet to 'meet' one that I didn't like, and I'm always able to relate to them in some way or another. Ruby in Lock and Key was no exception. I related to her in so many ways, so I totally knew where she was coming from and how she was feeling throughout the story. I love her family members; well, her sister and her husband, anyway, who were both really cool, and only wanted the best for Ruby. Her mom, on the other hand, was a real flake. The friends she meets at her new school were pretty awesome as well.

The storyline for the book was, like most of Sarah's books, lighthearted, yet full of emotion. I love that there are issues in the stories that people will be able to relate to, as I know I sure do a lot of the time. And, of course, there are the Easter eggs hidden in the story; be it in the description of a character we've met before, or a place from another story. I LOVE that these are included, and I definitely appreciate them so much more now that I'm actually reading the books in order.

Overall; Lock and Key is another great read from Sarah Dessen! I really enjoyed re-reading the story, especially since I didn't really remember much from when I read it way back when. My brain was happy for the refresher! Now I'm moving on to the next book on my list, Along for the Ride, which is another re-read for me, but I'm excited to get back into the story again!

Monday, May 15, 2017

My Thoughts: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

The Names They Gave Us
by Emery Lord
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Publication Date: May 16th 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781619639584
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Review Copy / Own

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Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

As soon as I heard about The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord, I knew it was a book I would HAVE to read. Not only because Emery is one of my most favorite authors, but also because the story just sounded really awesome, and I’ve loved ALL of the books I’ve read by Emery so far. This book definitely did not disappoint!!

There are SO many characters in this story to love, including the main character, Lucy. So much is going wrong for Lucy when we first meet her in the story, but she has an amazingly supportive family, and I LOVE that for her. When she becomes a counselor at a camp for troubled teens over the summer, she meets friends that she never expected to have, and they were all pretty awesome as well, and I enjoyed watching the relationships between them all grow over the course of the book. Seriously, there are so many great characters in this story.

The storyline for the book is both lighthearted and very emotional. It’s about cancer, and grief, and support, and finding faith and so, so much more. I love that the book touches on so many issues that are relevant to young adults today as well, and I know that so many people are going to be able to relate to parts of the story as they turn the pages. This book – it made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel ALL the emotions, and I loved every minute of it.

Overall; The Names They Gave Us was a really great read, and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to read it. As I said, I’m never disappointed by Emery’s books, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Add The Names They Gave Us to you reading list today, and if you love it, I know you’ll love the rest of Emery’s books as well!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

My Thoughts: The Traitors Kiss by Erin Beaty

The Traitor's Kiss
(Traitor's Trilogy #1)
by Erin Beaty
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: May 9th 2017
Publisher: Imprint
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781250117946
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Review Copy

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Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

An obstinate girl who will not be married.
A soldier desperate to prove himself.
A kingdom on the brink of war.

With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.

As the girls' military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I was definitely curious to start The Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beaty. I had heard many good things about the book, and I was really excited to check it out for myself. Especially when the book was described as Jane Austen with an espionage twist. I love anything Jane Austen, so I was really excited to read this!

There were a LOT of characters to keep up with in The Traitor's Kiss, and the story is told from many different perspectives. It was a bit confusing at first, as some characters were posing as other characters, but I did manage to figure out who everyone was as the story went along, and it was easier to keep up with after a while. I did like that the main character was a matchmakers apprentice. I don't think I've read anything like that before!

The first half of the book started off a bit slow, and as I mentioned, was a little confusing at times. I do get into it more as the story went along, and became much easier to read. The second half of the book had a lot more action and suspense, and was at times both brutal and extremely dangerous. The book doesn't really end with a cliffhanger, but ends with just enough information to make you wonder what's going to happen in the next book in this trilogy. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for info on the next book.

Overall; The Traitor's Kiss was an interesting start to what should be a very unique series. I'll definitely be checking out the next two books in this trilogy, and I'm hoping that we will find out some information on the next book soon!

Week in Review • Week 19

Hey, Bookworms!!

I've hope you've all had a great week!!
Mine has been a little crazy; filled with end of the year school events,
and, of course, trying to keep up with my May TBR, 
which is successfully kicking my butt.

Here's what I've been up to this week:

http://www.thereaderbee.com/2017/05/my-thoughts-ramona-blue-by-julie-murphy.html https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31145102-the-traitor-s-kiss

This week I read two review books, including Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy, which was SO very good, as well as The Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beaty, which I'm hoping to have my thoughts for up on the blog this week.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26074185-ruined https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22456292-the-last-olympian

I also read Ruined by Amy Tintera, which has me SUPER excited to read it's sequel, Avenged, which I'm hoping to get in soon. I also finished The Last Olympian for my Percy Jackson ReReadathon, and I'm thrilled that I finished the series, and can hopefully move on to the Heroes of Olympus series soon.

I have not yet read this weeks pick for my Sarah Dessen Readathon, but I'm hoping to work on that today. Fingers crossed!

I did not have a chance to watch anything this week, but... OH! I'm so thrilled that Timeless was renewed, after initially being canceled, so I'm planning to do a binge watch of this series soon!
(I hope!)


As I mentioned above, my TBR this month is totally kicking my butt. Is it possible ahead, yet SO behind at the same time? I'm defintiely doing better than usual, and I'm trying not to stress over it. I am one person, and can only do so much, right?

Summer Break is so close I can almost touch it! I can't wait for the kiddos to be home.
(I say this now, but in two weeks when they are complaining that they are bored, I will totally regret it.) *grin*

That's about all for me this week, so...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

My Thoughts: Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

Ramona Blue
by Julie Murphy
Website | Twitter | Tumblr

Publication Date:
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780062418357
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | LGBT
Source: Edelweiss

Add to Goodreads

Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever.

Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever.

The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

I was really looking forward to reading Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy, as I had read her two previous books, Side Effects May Vary and Dumplin', and really enjoyed them both. I knew I would end up loving Ramona Blue as well, and I totally did.

This book is full of wonderful characters. The main character, Ramona, is pretty great. She's definitely not had the easiest childhoods, and has lost more than any person should have to, but she makes the most of what little she has. I love how fiercely she loves her family, and is willing to do just about anything for them, including give up her own future to help her sister. Her mom is a flake, but she has a really great dad, who is loving and supportive and works hard to take care of his family. Ramona also has some pretty great friends as well, including Freddie, who reappears back in her life after years of being away.

The storyline for this book has so much to it. Not only is it about life and family, it's also about losing everything you have, and managing to survive. Hurricane Katrina took everything from Ramona and her family, and while life is far from perfect for them, they are getting by together. Of course she wants more from her life, but she will always put her family first. The story is also about discovering things about yourself, even when you thought you already knew exactly who you were. Ramona likes girls, but when her girlfriend breaks her heart, it's Freddie, also fresh from a breakup, who helps her through it. Ramona doesn't know what to think when she starts having feelings for Freddie. She knows that she still likes girls, but could she like Freddie as well?  Ramona also discovers a love for swimming along the way, and how it could possibly be a start to a new future for her, a future she never thought that she'd have. As I said, there is SO much in this book, and I don't feel like I'm doing the book justice at all. Check it out and see for yourself!

Overall; Ramona Blue was a really great read, and I'm so glad that I had it on my TBR this month! Julie Murphy's books just get better and better, and she's definitely on my list of authors to keep my eye on. I'm super excited to check out ALL the new books that she has coming out in the future, (and if you haven't checked, there are a LOT of them!).

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sarah Dessen Readathon: Just Listen

Just Listen
by Sarah Dessen
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: first published April 6th 2006
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780142410974
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Own

Add to Goodreads

Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

To find the truth, you've got to be willing to hear it.

When she's modeling, Annabel is the picture of perfection.

But her real life is far from perfect.

Fortunately, she's got Owen. He's intense, music-obsessed, and dedicated to always telling the truth.

And most of all, he's determined to make Annabel happy... (Goodreads)

My Thoughts...

The next book on my list for my Sarah Dessen Readathon is Just Listen, which happens to be one of my most favorite Sarah Dessen books! I first read Just Listen back in 2015, and unlike some of the other books I've re-read where I couldn't really remember much, I remembered almost everything from Just Listen. Seriously, this book is a favorite of mine for a reason. It has a great storyline, which is both lighthearted and extremely emotional as well, and it some pretty awesome, very memorable characters.

As I mentioned above, there's really so much to love about this book, including the characters. I love Annabel, the main character. She's often looked at as 'the girl who has it all', but in reality she's so far from that. And she's been through something that no person should ever have to go through. She has a pretty great family as well, even if they do, like most families, have issues of their own to work through. I especially love the relationship that she has with her sisters. I also love Owen, and his love for music, and his great family as well! I meant it, so many great characters in this story.

The storyline for the book is lighthearted for the most part, but also deals with some really serious issues as well. Along with great characters, this is another trend I see in Sarah's books. And I love that while the book is a fun read, it also deals with the tough stuff. I find myself relating to so much throughout Sarah's stories, and I know other people will as well, and I'm so glad that these books around in our world.

Another thing I really like about Sarah's books from reading them in order is the little Easter eggs that she leaves in each story. It may just be a location, (school, mall, etc) that we know from one of her previous books, or even people that we've met from the previous books! I didn't really notice this the first time I read the books, as I read them out of order, or haven't yet read a particular book to know the characters, but it's so interesting to see. In this book we get to see a few people we met from a previous book, and I loved seeing them again!

Overall; I really, really loved re-reading Just Listen. It's definitely a book that is worth the re-read, and I actually plan to re-read it again soon! It's so good. Next on my list for this readathon is Lock and Key, which I read in 2009, but don't remember much about, so I'm really excited to dive back into it!

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