Top Ten…New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

You guys…only SIXTEEN days until Christmas and only ONE WEEK until Hanukkah! After that it’s like a minute until New Year’s Eve. Where has the time gone? I’m hoping that you’re all enjoying your holiday season and that where ever you may be, that you’re staying safe, happy and warm! My husband and I are currently preparing for a big storm to hit our area which always seems to happen this time of year! When the weather gets like this, all I want to do is get my wood stove roaring and curl up with a good book by an amazing author, like the ones in my top ten list today.

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

As some of you may know, I’m new to Young Adult books as of this year, so pretty much every author is a new author to me. I’ve read so many fantastic books in 2014 by so many fantastic authors, so it was pretty difficult for me to narrow it down to just ten! I buckled down though and managed to come up with a list of ten ridiculously talented women who are also suppppper kind to their readers! Needless to say, they’re all the perfect package…beauty, brains and sass for days!

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Sarah J. MaasAC GaughenEmery LordHeather DemetriosLeigh Bardugo
Cora CarmackHuntley Fitzpatrick / Stephanie PerkinsLaini TaylorRae Carson

Pretty epic list of female authors right? This is just a small list of authors I fell in love with this year. If given free rein I could have easily come up with ten more! Did I list one of your faves?

Series Review: Anna, Lola and Isla by Stephanie Perkins

Happy Isla Release Day!

I know for many of you this has been a LONG time coming and I can only imagine how excited everyone is. I read Anna and then Lola in February of this year, and they were some of the first Young Adult books I read. I immediately fell in love and decided to explore this world of YA literature a little bit more and before I knew it I was on Twitter following ALL the book bloggers! Needless to say, these books hold a very special place in my heart because they helped bring me to all of you, and I will be forever grateful for that.

Anna Lola Isla

Since I’m new to book blogging and haven’t posted a formal review of Anna and the French Kiss or Lola and the Boy Next Door yet, I thought it would be fun to write-up a series review of all three books. So, today I’ll be sharing my (not so) mini-reviews for Anna, Lola AND Isla all in one convenient post! How’s that for simplicity!?

Anna and the French Kiss

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source: goodreads

Published August 4th 2011
Pages: 372 | Format: Paperback | Source: Purchased
Purchase this book

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?
Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

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Oh Anna and Etienne (or St. Clair if you prefer), the couple that started it all. This book is everything you want in a swoony, fun read. First of all, it’s set in Paris, so it doesn’t get much better than that! The entire book is an open love letter to the city from Stephanie Perkins, as she paints it in all of its loveliness and allure. As I read each page I felt like I was back walking paths along the Seine River or sitting at a café in the Latin Quarter. I wish I had read this book BEFORE I went to Paris last August because there were so many places that I recognized from my travels as I was reading. So fun!

Another part of this book that I really enjoyed was all of the secondary characters. They are so vividly written and provide so much more depth to not only the story but to the main characters as a whole. These friends allow us to see different aspects to Anna and Etienne’s personalities and I appreciated the variety and nuance it brought to the books. Perkin’s gave us some fantastic friends for Anna and Etienne, and I was just as invested in their stories as I was the main characters. Obviously now I know there was a reason for that since these people make appearances in the other books. It’s SO fun to see the thread from one story carried on in the next.

Finally, I can’t write this review without mentioning the stars (and namesake) of the book…Anna and Etienne. Their love story is anything but easy and it takes a lot of pain and confusion for them to get to each other. I have to be honest and say that I was initially was not a fan of the fact that Etienne was dating someone else while falling in love with Anna, but it somehow worked in the end.  They meet each other during a time in their life when they need someone to be an emotional balance, and they end up serving such an important purpose to one another. Ultimately, you just can’t help but believe they were destined to be together. Their moments are filled with such tenderness and mutual affection that by the end of the story I was sooo anxious to see what would happen. One of my favorite parts of this whole book was the email exchange they have over Christmas break; so fun and sweet!

I absolutely adored this book in all of its Parisian glory, filled with swoony moments and hysterical laughs. If you’re looking for a book that will give you warm fuzzies and a silly grin then Anna and the French Kiss is for you!

Favorite Quote
“Girl scouts didn’t teach me what to do with emotionally unstable drunk boys.”

rating 5

Lola and the Boy Next Door

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Published July 9th 2013
Pages: 338 | Format: Paperback | Source: Purchased
Purchase this book

Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

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Oh Lola…Lola, Lola, Lola. I adored this girl and her crazy sense of fashion and creativity, but also her kindness and how genuine she is. Lola is the definition of don’t judge a book by its cover. For all of the wild fashions she designs and her costumed exterior, Lola is a girl who just wants to be loved. She’s been through some tough stuff early in her life, but is lucky enough to have such an amazing relationship with her parents and a true BEST friend, that she ends up being pretty grounded and well-adjusted. That’s not to say this girl isn’t flawed, but she recognizes those flaws and decides to work through them. I totally admired Lola for being vulnerable and brave, all at the same time. Because of this, I felt so connected to her as a character.

Then we have Cricket! My dear, sweet Cricket Bell. Lola’s childhood neighbor, friend and perhaps more? I won’t tell. He comes back into town after some time away and completely turns Lola’s life upside down. In this case, I actually liked the fact that he threw a wrench into Lola’s relationship with her older (and slimier) boyfriend Max. Cricket is the total opposite of Max, sweet, thoughtful and so genuine in his feelings for Lola. Watching them rediscover a long-lost friendship was so touching and wonderful. And the sexual tension…wooo hoooo…was there plenty of it!

I also appreciated that this story, although in the same world as Anna and the French Kiss (and with some pretty fun cameos), had a totally different feel from the first book. It was a story of two people finding their way BACK to each other rather than discovering each other. I really loved the shared history of Lola and Cricket, and also discovering it through both of their eyes. You’ll see that they both have a different interpretation of what happened, but that they both want so desperately to get back to the way things used to be.

In Lola and the Boy Next Door, Stephanie Perkins gives us a new story of two young people still figuring life out but deciding that they’d rather figure it out together than on their own.

Favorite Quote
“I know you aren’t perfect. But it’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.”

rating 5

Isla and the Happily Ever After

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

Published August 14th 2014
Pages: 339 | Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Purchase this book

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

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Sigh…what wonderful way to end this series! Isla and the Happily Ever After is like hot apple pie, a cup of hot chocolate or a warm buttery croissant…cozy and satisfying. This novel was such a fun read and filled with so many “awww” moments that I couldn’t help but grin most of the time. Isla and Josh are just so freaking cute together that you almost can’t stand it. But you can…cause it’s Stephanie Perkins…and it’s awesome.

Isla and Josh are not strangers to us, we’ve met them before in Anna and the French Kiss (Josh more so than Isla) so there’s already a little bit of history and back story for these two. It was cool to make the connection and realize that we’re talking about THAT Isla…the one we got a glimpse of in Anna and Etienne’s story. Especially when you go back and re-read Anna after finishing Isla. Which I did do, thanks to the Happily Ever After read along…such a great idea! No question about it…this book is all about falling in love. There’s no drama, no messy relationships and no doubt about the fact that these two are crazy for each other. Of course, there is some drama as you get deeper into the book and you’re left wondering what will happen to this couple, but regardless of how the story ends, it’s such a fun ride to see Isla and Josh’s love story from the beginning.

There is so much epic goodness in the last few scenes of this book that bring such a satisfying conclusion to the entire series! I literally squealed out loud in one scene and almost broke into (happy) tears in another. This book manages to wrap up all three installments into one perfect little package and that made me incredibly happy. The reason I am such a fan of this series is that they make me feel great when I am done reading and Isla and the Happily Ever After was no exception.

Favorite Quote
“I wish the world would swallow us whole, in this moment. And that’s when it hits me that this – this – is falling in love.”

rating 5

 

Yeah…that’s right…FIVE STARS (or should I say hearts) for all three books. I simply adored this series! They were fun, swoony, feel good stories that managed to put a smile on my face. Stephanie Perkins will always have my love and admiration for managing to craft these beautiful love stories set amongst wonderfully vivid backdrops of some of the world’s finest cities. The only complaint I have is that they had to come to an end. I’d give anything to be able to go back and discover these characters all over again.
PS…I’m also quite thrilled because now I will have all three gorgeous books gracing my bookshelf and making this world a better place. I mean look at how lovely this is…

Fangirl Friday: The Happy Edition

Is it me or did this week just fly by? I for one am thrilled that it’s Friday so I’m just going to go ahead and make that reason #1 why I’m so happy. I was wracking my brain for a Fangirl Friday topic for today and then it dawned on me that I should just write about all the things that are putting a smile on my face lately.

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Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before (wink-wink) but I’m a total Disney fangirl! I love everything about it…the rides, the atmosphere, the restaurants. I’m totally sucked in by the Disney magic. So, I’m super psyched that my husband and I just booked a trip for next month to visit “the world” with my sister and her kids. Last time I went with my niece and nephews they were itty-bitty but now they’re all grown up (ages 9, 12 and 14) and so pumped to go on ALL the rides with Auntie and Uncle! My husband and I are hard-core when it comes to touring Disney, so we’re already working on itineraries for each day and planning out our best strategy. Hope my sis and her kids are ready for this! As you can see from the photo below…we take our Disney pretty seriously. Enough so that we memorize where all the on-ride cameras are. Yeah…we don’t mess around!

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source: sneaky iPhone pic of Disney ride camera

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You guys…I live in the boonies! Like, the middle of nowhere! So it’s very rare that I’m able to go to book signings or author meet and greets since they normally fall on week nights. It takes me about 3 hours to make the drive down to Boston from where I live, so getting down after work for a 6pm or 7pm event is literally impossible. But, in an apparent twist of fate, I will be in the very town on the very same night that Sarah J. Maas will be there for her Heir of Fire book tour! It’s like it was meant to be! This will be my very first time meeting the author of a book that I am such a huge fan of, and I’m so psyched it’s my very favorite author! The icing on the cake is that A.C. Gaughen (author of the amazing Scarlet and Lady Thief) will be there as a special guest and I’ll get to meet her as well! It’s basically going to be the greatest night ever!

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Source: Bloomsbury | Click for dates & locations

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So much love to Gail over at Ticket to Anywhere for generously loaning me her ARC of Isla and the Happily Ever After, and to Andi and Sarah for taking good care of it and passing it along to me! Isla is one of my most highly anticipated titles of the year, and I feel so fortunate to have such wonderful blogging buddies who are willing to share the love! I cannot wait to get this beauty in my hot little hands today and I know what I’m reading this weekend. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for the Happily Ever After readalong starting next Thursday. Just click on the gorgeous image below for more info.

source: Meg @ Cuddlebuggery

source: Meg @ Cuddlebuggery

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I’m a little over two months into my blogging career and I cannot tell you how excited I am over how far I’ve come already! I’m close to hitting 400 followers on Twitter, over 125 friends on Goodreads and two people shy of 100 followers on Instagram!! It’s just THE.BEST feeling to know I have so many supporters out there. I’ve met some fantastic people and made some pretty amazing friends through this experience, and I just want you ALL to know how much I love you guys! I cannot wait to see where this experience continues to take me!

Thank You

So, there you have it! Four incredible things that are making me HAPPY this Friday! What are you happy or thankful for today? Please feel free to share in comments…I’d love to hear all about it! 

 

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Isla & the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Can you believe we only have THREE WEEKS (and one day) until the release date of Isla and the Happily Ever After?! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book forever but in reality it’s only been about five months since I finished Anna and Lola, so I know my wait has been quite a bit shorter than a lot of you out there. But…it’s almost over! I’m so excited and looking forward to catching up with some of the characters we met in Perkins’ previous two books, especially Josh. I always felt like his story deserved to be told and have a feeling that as we get to know him better, Josh will join the book boyfriend ranks of Etienne and Cricket.

As if a third Stephanie Perkins book was’t amazing enough, Penguin Teen has an absolutely amazing offer for anyone who pre-orders their copy of Isla from a list of participating stores.  On top of all the amazing swag, 25 lucky pre-orders from each store will also get THE TOTE!!!

click for source

click for source

OH…and if you haven’t already, you should definitely sign up for the Happily Ever After Readalong! Starting on July 31st, Andi, Jamie, Judith, Meg and Lindsey will be hosting a readalong of Anna and Lola leading up to the release of Isla. It promises to be a fantastic three weeks filled with blog posts and giveaways as well as the actual readalong of all three books. I’ve already signed up and you can too by clicking on any of the hosts names above or that pretty little badge created by Meg up there on the right!

How about you? Have you been eagerly anticipating this book? Ony 22 days to go!! In the meantime, head on over to my Pinterest board for some Anna, Lola, Isla goodness!

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isla

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Expected publication: August 14th 2014 by Dutton
Pages: 339
Pre-order this book

Publisher Summary

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

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

Fangirl Friday: Book Boyfriend Edition

Waaa-hoooo it’s Friday ya’ll!! There’s nothing better than the end of the week and a whole two days of freedom ahead of you. I had a ton of fun with today’s Fangirl post. I’m thinking I was a little inspired by how much fun I had with my first ever Top 10 Tuesday post, so I decided to put together another Top 10 list for you today. THIS list is filled with pretty boys so hopefully it will put a smile on your face.

I couldn’t call myself a YA book blogger if I didn’t have a list of my favorite book boyfriends, and I certainly couldn’t call myself a fangirl if I didn’t imagine what these guys would look like. The list below reflects MY vision of my all-time favorite book boyfriends. Now, I know we all have our ideas of what these guys may look like, so I’m sure you might disagree with some of my picks but I hope you have as much fun reading as I did writing!

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original photo source

I think by now, we all know how much I adore Levi from Fangirl. I actually casted him as Ryan Gosling for YA Prom, but when I saw this photo of Hunter Parish I immediately saw Levi. I’m thinking Ryan is too old anyways, so I’m officially declaring Hunter as my Levi! Can’t you just see him snuggling up and reading with you in bed? Orrr….is that just me? Wishful thinking?

“I like your glasses,” he said. “I like your Simon Snow T-shirts. I like that you don’t smile at everyone, because then, when you smile at me.… Cather.” He kissed her mouth. “Look at me.” She did. “I choose you over everyone.” 
― Rainbow RowellFangirl

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original photo source

Ohhhh Mal….I loved you from the very beginning. You’re quite and brooding, but still waters run deep and when you let yourself open up it made me love you even more. I’d never heard of Gaspard Ulliel before but when I saw this photo it felt like I was seeing the Mal I envisioned in my mind come to life!

“I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me why we don’t belong together,” he said fiercely.”
Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone

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original photo source

From the moment I met Chaol in the opening pages of Throne of Glass, I immediately pictured Tom Mison from Sleepy Hollow. Choal is a natural leader who focuses intensely on his duties, but we also find out that he is a sensitive man, fiercely protective of Celaena. Tom Minson captures this dual personality perfectly; a dude who looks like he means business but behind those eyes is a big old softie.

“I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So I willalways tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.” 
― Sarah J. MaasCrown of Midnight

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original photo source

OK….so I TOTALLY cheated on this one. As I was doing my research for this post, I came across a blog post in which Emery Lord mentioned that she would cast Matt Lauria as Matt Finch. I don’t watch Parenthood so I had to go ahead and Google him, and when I did I was SOLD! Why have I never heard of this hottie before? Thank you Emery for introducing me to this fine specimen of a man.

“When his eyes land on me, something about his expression changes—like he recognizes me from somewhere, too. I look back, appraising him quickly. He’s kind of beautiful, in an understated, comfortable-looking way—the kind of guy who doesn’t mind seeing a rom-com with you and gives you his hoodie when you’re cold.” 
― Emery LordOpen Road Summer

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original photo source

Ohhhh Jase Garrett, how you make me swoon! You’re a family man, you take care of those you love and you know exactly what to say and do to make everything better. Seriously, your sexy one-liners (as seen below) are made of awesome! Jake Abel totally fits the bill for me, tall, brownish-blonde hair and always with sexy little smirk on his face.

“Um. So … Are we going to study?” Jase slides his thumbs behind my ears, rubbing the hollow at their base. He’s only inches from my face, still looking into my eyes. “You bet. I’m studying you.” 

― Huntley FitzpatrickMy Life Next Door

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original photo source

OK, this one made me a little sad because I was so devastated when he passed, but the moment I saw this picture all I could think of was Patrick Sheldon. As Heather Demetrios would say, “He looks like the kind of boy who would jump trains, strum a guitar, and pass a joint.”  Ummmm yup, River is the perfect not so bad boy….looks like he could get you in a lot of trouble but he’s really just a sweet and thoughtful guy underneath it all.

“That boy has forever written all over his face when he looks at you.”
― Heather Demetrios, Something Real

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original photo source

For some reason, this pick makes me the most nervous. I know Etienne fangirls are HARD CORE and I don’t want to piss anyone off. But looking at this photo of Aaron Johnson, I totally see Etienne. He’s got that messy hair, the big brown eyes and all I want to do is stroll the banks of The Seine at night with him.

“Because I was right. For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It’s a person.
And we’re finally home.” 
― Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss

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original photo source

This is another one I can’t really explain why but when we first meet Willem in Just One Day, I pictured Dave Franco right away. I know he doesn’t have the blonde hair of Willem, but he definitely has the look of a guy who’s been around the world and seen a lot of things. He’s got those intense eyes that tells me he’s got a few good stories to tell.

“He looks at one of the pictures for a long time. Then he looks at me. “I’ll keep you up here.” He taps his temple. “Where you can’t get lost.”
― Gayle FormanJust One Day

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original photo source

This one is pretty cool, so I had to sneak it in here! The photo above is the real life Almanzo Wilder from the Little House series. Kind of easy to see why Laura Ingalls fell madly in love with him! Dude is smoking hot right?!

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original photo source

Last but not least we have the ultimate book boyfriend, Gilbert Blythe. He was the one that started it all for me! From the book to the movies…I couldn’t get enough of Gil. I would like to commend whoever cast Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe because that person KILLED it! He’s absolutely perfect in the role! Gil is everything you want in a book boyfriend, confident but quiet, patient, romantic and selfless. I mean, the guy gave up his teaching job in Avonlea so Anne could stay close to home with Marilla. What a stud!

Anne, I’ve loved you as long as I can remember. I need you. 
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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Now it’s your turn! Who’s your ultimate book boyfriend? What do you think of my picks? Is there one I got totally right or totally wrong. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Fangirl Friday: YALit Fan Art

I had a few fun ideas rattling around in my head for this installment of Fangirl Friday, but when I came up with the idea of featuring fan art based on some of my favorite books I knew I had a winner! It was so much fun pulling this post together…there are some seriously talented people out there. For someone who can barely draw a straight line I was freaking amazed at how gorgeous some of the fan art that’s out there is. For each book I’m featuring my four favorite pieces of fan art but I could have chosen soooo many more. If you’re looking to kill some time and want to be blown away just google your favorite book(s) along with “fan art” and prepare to be amazed! Fair warning: there’s some pretty bad (and weird) fan art out there too. Very amusing!

I’m kicking off with Grisha Trilogy fan art to celebrate the release of the final book in  Leigh Bardugo’s epic adventure! Enjoy…oh and be sure to click on the source link to see the original full-size image.

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Grisha Collage

Clockwise from top left: FrozenAntlers / Fictograph / Bottom two images: The Fandom’s GeekGirl

Publisher Summary

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance

Visit Goodreads for more information

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl Collage

 Clockwise from top left: Esquisse / Simini Blocker Illustration / Yasminwithane / Andiree

Publisher Summary

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Visit Goodreads for more information

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

DoSaB Collage

  Clockwise from top left:  leahbharlann / Calivel / Simini Blocker Illustration / Lelu’s Garden

Publisher Summary

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Visit Goodreads for more information

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna Collage

All images but bottom left: leabharlann /  Bottom left: Simini Blocker Illustration

Publisher Summary

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Visit Goodreads for more information

 Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

TOG Collage

Clockwise from top left: Fan art by Susan Dennard / 143believeme / walkingnorth / leafette

Publisher Summary

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. 

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

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Armchair BEA 2014 – Author Interaction

Happy Tuesday friends…I don’t know about you but getting into the swing of things today has been a chore! Long weekends are THE.BEST, up until you have to drag your butt out of bed on Tuesday morning! Thankfully I had another day of Armchair BEA to look forward to and today’s topic is about author interaction! What a timely topic as I was JUST reading a new post by Ginger over at GReads! where she talked about her dream YA panel of authors. I was so inspired by her post and by the topic for today’s Armchair BEA posting that I thought I would create my own list of authors I would love to meet!

Design by Nina of Nina Reads

Design by Nina of Nina Reads

I want to start off this list by saying that although I have never been to an author signing or panel, I’ve still been lucky enough to have some fabulous author interactions on Twitter with many of the people I list below. I’ve found that Twitter is a great way to reach out to your favorite authors, as most of the time they are super responsive and SO friendly. As a matter of fact, the interactions I have had with authors via Twitter is one of the things that inspired me to start this blog. What they bring to the book blogging community with their interactions and friendships with readers is so heart warming and I totally wanted to join in the fun! If you haven’t done so already, I highly encourage you to reach out to your favorite author on their Twitter account. I guarantee it will be a great experience.

OK….now on to the authors I simply MUST meet someday. In no particular order…

fangirl

Sarah J. Maas
Do I really need to say anything besides the fact that this woman is responsible for Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight? I’d love to meet Sarah simply to thank her for writing such a strong female character who is brave and strong, but also naturally flawed. I sped through these books and could not put them down. Her next book, Heir of Fire, is the third book in this story and I’m not the only one eagerly anticipating its release this September. I have a feeling her appearance at BEA will be one of its most popular events of the expo.

Rainbow Rowell
I’ve only read Eleanor & Park and Fangirl but Rainbow is definitely an author I would love to meet someday. Both books were told with such real voices that really made me identify with each of the female leads. I mean, who hasn’t gone through a little bit of self-exploration and discovery. Rainbow manages to take some really heavy life moments and write them with such wit and humor that you can’t help but immediately relate. Plus – her Twitter feed is hilarious so I know she has a great sense of humor and would be a blast to have a quick chat with! Look for her newest release, Landline, releasing on July 8th.

Stephanie Perkins
When I first started getting in to the book blogging community I met a fantastic blogger named Andi of Andi’s ABCs! She’s what I like to call my book guru and one of the first books she recommended to me was Anna and the French Kiss. I immediately picked up a copy because I ALWAYS listen to Andi’s suggestions, and I fell in love. Right after finishing Anna, I started Lola and the Boy Next Door and my love for all things Stephanie Perkins continued! She really knows how to right swoony love stories that involve the swooniest of book boyfriends. I’d love to sit with Stephanie and talk to her about her inspiration for each book and how she manages to write such amazing characters. She has an upcoming release this summer, Isla and the Happily Ever After, that fans are rabidly waiting on! Myself included.

Emery Lord
I don’t even know where to start when it comes to this fabulously talented debut author! Her novel, Open Road Summer took the book community by storm this spring and SOOO many people are absolutely head over heels in love with this story about forever friendships and new love. Out of all the authors I interact with on Twitter I would say that Emery is the most engaging and always takes time out to respond to my fangirl tweets…even if they get borderline obsessive sometimes! All kidding aside, Emery has such a raw talent and I am so excited to see where her writing takes her. I’d love to meet up with her, give her a BIG hug and then ask her if she wants to take a road trip to Cali this summer.

A.C. Gaughen
Ohhhh…A.C. Gaughen….do I have a bone to pick with you! I’m hoping we get to meet someday so I can scold you for breaking my heart into a billion little pieces! Just kidding….sort of! Her first two books Scarlet and Lady Thief are an exquisite re-telling of Robin Hood that left me crying my eyes out by the end of book two. My heart was broken…but in the best possible way. A.C. was actually sweet enough to sign her two books for me at a Boston-area author event that I wasn’t able to attend and for that I will be forever grateful. If I were ever to meet her I’d want to give her a big hug for being the sweetest and also bribe her for details on book three of her series so I can sleep at night!

Rae Carson
You guys…if you haven’t read the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, I don’t think we can be friends! OK, not really but I’m seriously urging you to pick up these books and binge read them as soon as possible! The world building that Rae is capable of is nothing short of amazing and I MUST get inside that ridiculously talented head of hers to find out how she can write such fantastic stories. OH…and the rooooomance in this series is one of my most favorite in all of the swoon-worthy love stories out there (say it with me now…HECTOOOORRR!!) and I would personally like to thank her for giving me ALL the feels! Seriously…all of them!

Veronica Rossi
Another author who knows how to build some seriously amazing worlds in her Under the Never Sky series! You’ve got Dwellers vs Outsiders, Aether storms, Perry and Aria, and Roar…oh my sweet little Roar (heart-broken)! What I wouldn’t give to pick Veronica’s brain to find out how she came up with this epic journey of a story and also thank her for writing one of the best male/female friendships I’ve ever read in a book. The supportive and protective relationship between Aria and Roar was such a refreshing change of pace from the love triangle scenario we see in so many books. So, Veronica, if you ever come to Boston you know I’ll be there!

Gayle Forman
Speaking of swoon-worthy romances!!! Sigh…where do I begin? Willem and Allyson of Just One Day/Just One Year? Adam and Mia of If I Stay/Where She Went? PLEASE…don’t make me choose! Gayle’s stories make me weak in the knees! The drama, the passion…it all weaves together into these beautifully told love stories that will make your heart just ache! Gayle is another author who is so engaged with her readers on Twitter and I don’t know how she finds the time to respond to all of the love/questions/comments that she must get on a daily basis. When I do meet her (because I will) I definitely want to just let her know how much I appreciate the kindness she shows towards her fans.

Last but most certainly not least…

Laini Taylor
Just give me a minute while I hyper-ventilate into a bag! AHHHHHH…Laini Taylor!!! To quote an upcoming review I will be posting in June of Daughter of Smoke and Bone (sneak peek ya’ll!!)

“There are passages in this book, like the one above, that I would gladly crawl into and live there forever. Laini Taylor has a way of weaving her words and painting a picture on each page that makes you feel as though you are there…Just a few pages into this book and you’ll find yourself completely engulfed in the world that Taylor has built & you won’t want to leave any time soon.”

Or in other words….girlfriend can WRITE! I found myself reading and then immediately re-reading entire passages from the books because they were so freaking beautiful! I could not get over how intense her world building was and how she manages to write soooo beautifully about some really horrible things! The final installment of the series, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, was released in early April and I STILL haven’t managed to read my pre-ordered copy because I’m just not ready for the story to end. When the day finally comes for me to meet Laini Taylor I’ll probably lose my ability to speak and just stand their to bask in her glory!

There you have it..the authors that I fangirl over the most and really, really (fingers crossed) hope to meet one day! How about you? What authors are out there that you simply MUST meet! Do you have any favorite author interaction stories? Tips you can give me for not being completely star-struck when I finally do meet my favorite authors?