Stacking the Shelves (1): January 1-17

I’ve always been a big fan of book haul photos and posts shared by fellow bloggers, so I’m pretty excited to be taking part in my very first Stacking the Shelves post today featuring books I’ve received so far this month.

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

Many thanks to Book Outlet for their amazing Boxing Day sale! I managed to snag all of the books pictured for less than $35 and that included shipping!

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Anne of AvonleaThe Luxe Series / Through the Ever Night / Reboot / Sapphire Blue
Emerald Green / Of Beast and Beauty / The Well of Ascension / The Hero of Ages

Next, we have a whollllle bunch of ARCs!! Look at all of these beauties! Some are borrowed, some are gifted from generous friends and one is from a fabulous publicist and her team that I’ve gotten to know over the past few months! Many thanks to Bloomsbury for the AMAZING Lion Heart ARC, Heather for the HarperCollins ARCs,  and also to Kristina at Gone Pecan, Jaime at Fic Fare and Nikki at There Were Books Involved for your fabulous generosity!

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Lion Heart / A Wicked Thing / No Parking at the End Times / Twisted Fate
Emmy & Oliver / The Sin Eater’s Daughter / I’ll Meet You There
The Boy Next Door / The Darkest Part of the Forest

I put myself on a six month book buying ban a few days ago (more on that below), but thankfully I squeezed this purchase in at the last minute! I can’t wait to read these two and have my entire world shattered.

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Red Rising / Golden Son

So…about that book-buying ban! I know, six months may as well be SIX YEARS when it comes to not being able to buy books. Here’s the thing, I reallllllly wanted a new blog design so I struck a bargain with my husband and told him that I would put myself on a self-imposed buying ban in order to hire a designer for a custom blog.

In my mind the trade-off is totally worth it because I have the most gorgeously new blog to debut to all of you on Monday! Anna at Anna Marie Moore Web Designs, is not only a seriously talented designer, but she’s also super kind and provides amazing service. She gave me a little snippet of my new blog to share with you all! Take a look…

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Make sure you come back MONDAY to see my brand new
blog design in all of its glory!

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Top Ten…Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015

Happy New Year friends! Here we are at the beginning of a fresh new year with so many amazing things on the horizon. I, for one, am super excited for this year and all of the possibilities it has in store for me. So today I’m wishing all of you all the best in 2015 and that it’s filled with lots of wonderful bookish things!

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

Speaking of books and new possibilities, this is an exciting year for so many debut authors. There are a ton of books coming out this year that sound absolutely fantastic, and today I’m sharing some of them with you here.

So, for my first Top Ten Tuesday of the year, I give you my most anticipated debut novels of 2015!

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Anne and Henry / Becoming Jinn / An Ember in the Ashes
When Reason BreaksRed Queen / Tiny Pretty Things
The Night We Said YesMagonia / Dead To Me / The Witch Hunter

Fangirl Friday: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I’m SO excited about today’s Fangirl Friday post!! Pretty much the most excited ever! Why am I so excited you ask? Well, I’ll tell you! Not only do I have three mini-reviews for some perfect holiday reads, but I also have a very special announcement that I think you’re all going to be very excited about. Make sure you read to the end…you won’t want to miss a thing!

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Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been reading some holiday-themed books to get me in the spirit of the season! It all started when Bloomsbury Spark kindly sent me an eGalley of Mistletoe and Mr. Right, and after that I wanted to read all of the holiday romances! They’re just so warm and fuzzy and filled with festive, swoony moments. If you’re looking for some holiday cheer in book form, I highly recommend these three winners!

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Many thanks to Bloomsbury Spark for gifting me with an eGalley of Mistletoe and Mr. Right a few weeks ago! It was just the book I needed to put me in the holiday spirit! It’s the story of Jessica, a college Junior, as she follows her sexy Irish boyfriend home for Christmas, bound and determined to finally figure out if they have a future together. When she arrives in Ireland she quickly realizes that things don’t always work out the way we plan, and she’s faced with the prospect of an uncertain future.

I really enjoyed this holiday novella for its humor and romance but had a hard time at first getting on board with Jessica’s obsession with securing a future with her less than attentive boyfriend. I just wanted her to drop the zero and carve out a path for herself. Luckily she makes a new friend while in Ireland who helps her to discover the true meaning of love while also discovering herself. Mistletoe and Mr. Right is a quick and fun holiday read, and for that reason I’m giving it three holiday happy elves!

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Yours for Christmas was another novella that filled me with all sort of feels and holiday cheer! Bailey is a single mom looking for a fresh start and doing everything she can to avoid falling for the super dreamy Kenny, a former NFL player. Eventually, the two end up working together on a holiday toy drive and their chemistry is unavoidable. They both have some pretty heavy issues they’re trying to work through individually, but will that prevent them from being together?

Yours for Christmas is a perfect holiday romance that delves into some deeper issues but still manages to stay light and easy to read. I loved the chemistry between Bailey and Kenny, and I just wanted them to get over their stuff and realize they were perfect for each other! I’m giving this novella four holiday elves because the story was compelling and the sizzle factor was super high!

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Snow Angel Cove is a full-length holiday romance that started off a little slow for me but once the story got going it really sucked me in. Single mom Eliza Howard has had some tough luck lately and just when she’s about to give up on her fresh start, a handsome stranger comes crashing into her life…literally! Aidan Cane has had some bad luck of his own recently, but when he meets Eliza he finds the opportunity to turn things around for the both of them. It was such a perfect set-up and I loved how they meet in a less than glamorous way.

The story of these two lonely hearts it super sweet and I really became invested in seeing these two end up with their very own happily-ever-after. They were extremely sympathetic characters and you can’t help but root for them. Again, the chemistry between Eliza and Aidan is crazy and it’s a fun ride to watch them fight their attraction for eachother…only to fail miserably! Because of its endearing story line and a romance that’s the perfect slow burn, I’m giving Snow Angel Cove four holiday elves!

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I would definitely recommend these books to anyone who is looking to get into the spirit of the season. The swoons, the holiday cheer and the feel-good factor are high in all three, and they’re the perfect way to kick of your holiday season.

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As you may know, this is my first year of blogging! It’s been such an amazing year and I’m so thrilled to be part of such a wonderful community. I’ve come to see my little corner of the internet as my home-base for all things amazing! It’s the place where I come to share with all of you my love for YA and other random things I tend to fangirl about! Basically, when you come to my place you’re going to a get a whole lot of flailing and excitement!

So as my way of wrapping up an amazing year, I decided it would be fun to invite fellow bloggers to my (virtual) house this holiday season to share some of their favorite things about this time of year. I was overwhelmed by all of the positive responses to my call for entries and am excited to host this “Open House” on my blog for the holidays. Myself as well as 12 other fantastic bloggers have come up with an exciting feature on What Sarah Read! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…

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Home for the Holidays starts this coming Monday and runs every week day until December 24th. Each blogger has written up a fun post about the holidays, whether it be their favorite recipe, book, holiday song, decorating ideas, traditions and much, much more. Trust me…you don’t want to miss the epic goodness headed your way! Here’s a schedule so you all can mark your calendars accordingly! Just come back to What Sarah Read each morning and you’ll be treated to a new post to put you in the perfect holiday mood!

December 8: GingerGReads!

December 9: Lindsey @ Bring My Books

December 10: Sajda @ Across the Words

December 11: Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

December 12: Morgan @ Gone with the Words

December 15: Andi @ Andi’s ABCs

December 16: Katie @ Spirit of Children’s Literature

December 17: Daphne @ Gone Pecan

December 18: Emma @ Miss Print

December 19: Lindsey @ A Bookish Sinister Kid

December 22: Jess @ Gone with the Words

December 23: Amanda & Holly @ Gun in Act One

December 24: Blogger Holiday Wishes

Sounds pretty fantastic right?! Trust me, you do not want to miss this feature! All of the guest posts are fun, informative and perfect for the holiday season. I hope to see you all here on Monday to help me kick off all of the fun!
Seasons Greetings!

Waiting on….A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I mean…really? Did you expect something other than this for my WoW pick this week? Last Friday, we were blessed with the cover reveal for A Court of Thorns and Roses (affectionately known as ACOTAR going forward), and I swear I heard the simultaneous flailing as my Twitter feed exploded! I personally feel like I took a more subdued approach…

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Who am I kidding? I was more like…

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and then I was like…

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I’m sure I’ve made it quite evident that I am a Sarah J. Maas fangirl and it thrills me to no end that I get not only one, but TWO books from her in 2015! I mean…how am I supposed to contain myself when I get ACOTAR, the first book in a BRAND NEW series, annnnnd the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series. Until then I’ll spend my time trying to figure out how I can be blessed with review copies of each so I can achieve my goal of recruiting even more Maas fangirls to the growing legion!

TMYK

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Publication: May 5, 2015 by Bloomsbury
Pre-order this book

When 19-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it … or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

Top Ten…Character-Driven YA Contemporaries

Not gonna lie, I had to Google the term “character-driven novels” before I started in on this post! I mean, I had an idea of what character-driven means, but I just wanted to make sure I was on-track with my choices. I found that character-driven novels tend to focus on the internal development of a character or characters such as changing of attitudes or some sort of personal discovery. Turns out my choices this week are PERFECT and that I should never have doubted myself. See…that experience right there would make a perfect character-driven novel…orrrrr short story…maybe? Maybe not?

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

The books and authors listed below basically read as a master class of YA contemporary novels. They are why I fell in love with YA and, wouldn’t ya know, they all fall into the category of character-driven novels! Pretty great how that worked out huh?

cover source: goodreads

cover source: goodreads

Eleanor & Park and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
My Life Next Door and What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

The two authors I’ve featured below released their debut novels in 2014 and, thankfully for us, they have novels releasing in 2o15! I’ve been fortunate enough to read both of their 2015 releases (THANK YOU ANDI!!) and I can say with 100% confidence that they are even better than the debut novels that came before them. I honestly didn’t think that was possible!

cover source: goodreads

cover source: goodreads

Something Real and I’ll Meet You There (releases February 2015) by Heather Demetrios
cover source: goodreads

cover source: goodreads

Open Road Summer and The Start of Me and You (releases March 2105) by Emery Lord

Have you read any of the books listed above? Would you agree that they are character-driven novels? Let me know what you think in the comments section below!

Waiting on…The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

Ohhh…you guys! This one sounds super intriguing! I actually love it when book summaries don’t give a ton of detail because then I can go into the book without any preconceived ideas or expectations. Regardless of what the synopsis of this book is or isn’t telling us, the last line is super creepy right?? I’m all…”YAY ROAD TRIP BOOK!”, but then I see that last line and I’m like “Ewww road…trip…book!” I normally don’t read suspense novels but I loved Doller’s contemporary YA that was released last fall, “Where The Stars Still Shine”, so I am absolutely going to get my hands on this one ASAP! Whyyyy does it have to be eight lonnnng months away!?

Take a good look at that cover too! At first glance it looks all mysterious, moody and totally gorgeous, but upon closer inspection…ZOMG WHAT??! Do you see what I’m talking about?

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source: goodreads

source: goodreads

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Expected publication: 6/2/15 by Bloomsbury
Pre-order this book

Arcadia “Cadie” Wells has one primary goal in life –– to escape the sleepy Florida town where she was born and raised. Since her mother’s death, she’s sacrificed her boyfriend, her spot on the soccer team, and even her plans for the future to raise her little brother and help her still-grieving father. On a rare night out at a party at the local state park, Cadie meets a couple of good-looking tourists and impulsively agrees to join them on their road trip from one end of Florida to the other. But when their adventure goes tragically wrong, Cadie’s new goal is to make it home alive.

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

Waiting on….Lion Heart by A.C. Guaghen

I realllllly wish I could remember who recommended the Scarlet series to me. Because then I could shower them with my undying affection and constant gratitude! Seriously, I will be forever grateful to the person who first told me to read these books, so if you’re out there please come forward. I feel like a fool for not remembering the person who changed my life forever! 😉

I was immediately sucked into the world and characters A.C. created, and absolutely devoured the first two books.  This re-telling of the Robin Hood legend is fresh, intriguing and SO  gooooood! Scarlet is smart, stubborn, strong and fierce…basically a bad ass! There were times when it was hard for me to like her, but I knew her darker qualities come from her haunted past and the realities she’s facing. Scarlet is one of the most complex characters I have read and for that alone she will always be one of my very favorite female MCs.

Lion Heart is the third installment in the Scarlet series by A.C. Gaughen, and its anticipated release date is (are you ready for this, cause I’m not) MAY 19, 2015!! WHYYYY!!!

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

At the time of this positing a synopsis for Lion Heart was not available, but gahhhh, that cover is seriously gorgeous! You can learn more about the series at A.C.’s blog! Honestly, all you really need to know is that the series is phenomenal and, if you haven’t already, you MUST read the first two books immediately! Fans of Sarah J. Maas, Rae Carson and Robin LaFevers will adore this series as well!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.