Waiting On Wednesday: Our Broken Pieces by Sarah White

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!

Jessica's Waiting on:

Title: Our Broken Pieces
Author: Sarah White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: August 8th, 2017 

Summary: The only thing worse than having your boyfriend dump you is having him dump you for your best friend. For Everly Morgan the betrayal came out of nowhere. One moment she had what seemed like the perfect high school relationship, and the next, she wanted to avoid the two most important people in her life. Every time she sees them kiss in the hallways her heart breaks a little more. The last thing on Everly’s mind is getting into another relationship, but when she meets Gabe in her therapist’s waiting room she can’t deny their immediate connection. Somehow he seems to understand Everly in a way that no one else in her life does, and maybe it’s because Gabe also has experience grappling with issues outside of his control. Just because they share so many of the same interests and there is an undeniable spark between them doesn’t mean Everly wants anything more than friendship. After all, when you only barely survived your last breakup, is it really worth risking your heart again?
I was first drawn to this book because of the summary itself -- a story where a girl loses her boyfriend to her best friend? It's not necessarily a new concept, but it's always a messy one. It looks like Everly then goes on to meet a new guy and learn to get over her heartbreak, which is an important story that I feel like a lot of teenage girls can relate to, so it's definitely a book I'm interested in reading. Learning to recover after you've been hurt by those who are closest to you seems like a premise that I'd like to explore more, and I think that this book will be the perfect place for that.

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so I can stop back! 

Top Ten Tuesday: My Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between!
This Week's Topic: My Most Anticipated Reads For The Second Half of 2017!
2017 is almost halfway over (already!!), and that means that there are tons of new books coming out in the next six months that I want to get my hands on, so I highlighted them here for you! (And if you're interested in any of them, click on the covers to be taken to their Goodreads pages!)

 10. Dress Codes For Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens


9. A Map For Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor


8. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart


7. You Don't Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow


6. These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips


5. I See London, I See France by Sarah MLynowski


4. Our Broken Pieces by Sarah White


I'm a huge fan of Samantha Chase's super sweet and heartwarming love stories, so if your mom is into romantic reads, I'd recommend this book in particular, but also anything by Samantha Chase is fair game!

3. Everything All At Once by Katrina Leno


2. If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout


1. Thirteen Rising by Romina Russell


You guys. This cover is just plain gorgeous and Romina is the sweetest and GAH I JUST LOVE THIS SERIES.

So those are the top ten books that that I'm looking forward to reading as soon as they're released later this year! Do you have other recommendations based on what you've seen? Comment down below and let me know your thoughts -- and check back next week for the next Top Ten Tuesday! :-)

Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Title: November 9
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: New Adult Romance 
Publisher: Atria Paperback
Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary: Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist. 

When I started this book, I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did. I don't really know why I thought I wasn't going to enjoy it, I just got this feeling. But after I was done with the first part, I was hooked. 

November 9 follows the love story between Ben and Fallon. Right as Fallon is ready to move to New York, she meets Ben the Writer and they're immediately attracted to each other. They spend Fallon's last day in LA together, promising to meet every year on the same day. Ben is able to use this as inspiration for his novel. Over the next few years, they're attraction grows stronger, but Ben is hiding one major secret that can jeopardize everything they've been through together.

This book was simply adorable. The immediate attraction between Ben and Fallon was truly the story book love Fallon hoped for. Ben is able to make Fallon feel more confident in the few hours they spent together that first November 9th, than she has felt in those two years since the fire that almost took her life. For one person to give someone that much confidence, is something I think every girl hopes for in a boy. I loved that every year they were able to pick up right where they started, as if a whole year hasn't gone by with absolutely no communication between the two. I give them props for being able to go an entire year without any communication (I totally wouldn't be able to do that).

As for Ben and his giant secret (I'll wont spoil it, I promise), I feel Fallon acted appropriately but should have let him explain sooner! Poor Ben has been through just as much heart ache as Fallon. Now, I'll let you read the book to find out if they get their happily ever after. 

This book left me wanting so much more after I was finished. It kept me turing every page wondering what plot twist was coming next. Like I said before, Colleen Hoover has done it yet again.

Review: Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin


Title: Secrets of a Reluctant Princess
Author: Casey Griffin
Publisher: Entangled Teen
My Rating: 2/5 Stars
Paperback, 320 Pages
Published March 2017

Summary: At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive… Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.  Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people. Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her. The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.

Amber gave me this book after she received it in the mail from Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review, and she didn't have time to get around to reading it. (And if you haven't been here often lately, this is her resignation post.) I wasn't sure what to think at first, and I hadn't heard anything about this book or this author beforehand, so I was totally going in blind here. After I just finished the book, I have to say that I certainly have some mixed thoughts about it, even though I don't think it was a terrible book. 

As my rating explains, the best way that I could describe this book would be as "it was okay." There were parts of it that I enjoyed and parts of it that I felt were somewhat unrealistic, and thus made it difficult to read. Overall, I'm left unsure how I feel about the book, but I definitely wouldn't say that I hated it, and I definitely wouldn't try to deter anybody from giving it a try.

This book is about a teenage girl whose parents get rich after her father invents a bunch of bathroom accessories that sell very well, and then she moves to Hollywood and has to settle into her skin as a rich girl in a new town, and to make things worse, she's being followed by reality T.V. cameras at every move. And she's in such a rush to erase her geeky past that all she wants is to reinvent herself into someone new...but it just so happens that not everyone is happy with the new Andy. (And at times, sometimes she isn't happy with herself.) It's a bit of a romance, a reality, and a coming-of-age story all rolled into one, with a lot of side plots and friendships and feuds and romances sprinkled in between. There is a lot going on in this book. Most importantly, there's live-action role playing, which Andy quickly finds a liking to even though she knows her Beverly Hills High friends would crucify her if they ever found out. So Andy is torn between being the geeky self that she's comfortable being and doing the things she enjoys, and being the perfect rich princess that her parents and the TV producers and her school friends want her to be. And as expected, Andy quickly learns that she can't have her cake and eat it, too.

As for what I enjoyed about the book, I really liked Kevin's character. He displayed a lot of the morals and spoke about a lot of the ideas that I personally stand for, which is probably why he appealed to me so much. I especially liked how he constantly stressed to Andy that it's what you do in private that matters more than what you do when you're in front of a crowd, and if you want to say that you're a kind and accepting person, you have to be one all the time, not only when it best suits you socially. That is an ideal that I stand in very strong agreement with, and I always have. Which is probably why Kevin was my favorite character in the whole thing.

I also enjoyed the revelations Andy seemed to have, when she began to realize that life isn't all about pleasing the people you hate to be respected and to (quite literally) get good ratings from others. The moments where she stood up for herself definitely made me cheer out loud and feel a sense of pride as a fellow geek who embraces my nerdiness and doens't give a damn what anybody else has to say about me. As I'm constantly telling those closest to me, "I like myself. I'm happy with myself. And that's all I need." And eventually, even Andy seems to catch onto that mentality.

As for the parts of the book that I wasn't that keen on, the book just felt overwhelmingly unrealistic to me: especially the bullying part. Maybe things were different for me because I went to a high school where this wasn't a big issue, but I still went to a public high school, and I can tell you that if anyone did things like fling ketchup in people's hair, or throw dead frogs at them, or dump pencil shavings over their head, there would be no way that there wouldn't be any repercussions. Especially because, at least in the context I was reading this book, all of these things seem to have been done in plain sight, with not only other students around as witnesses, but teachers as well. (And sometimes, even reality TV producers.) There is no way that these things would have happened without someone standing up for Andy -- if not an adult, at least another student. I remember taking several moments while reading this book to scoff at how ridiculous some of these situations sounded, because it's just something that -- from my high school experience, at least -- doesn't happen. I don't know much about the author or her age or anything, but it at least felt like this book was written by someone who was a little bit older and hasn't been on the high school scene for awhile now, and maybe thinks these outlandish things happen when they really don't. That part just made this book really difficult for me, because I couldn't get that thought out of my mind the entire time I was reading, and it definitely took away from the book for me.

I also couldn't get past the fact that these reality TV producers were getting away with so much, all with the excuse of a contract. Even some of the things that these people did definitely were contract-violating and it didn't feel really realistic that the kept getting away with it. It just made the whole thing feel off and weird to me.

Random thought: Maybe I'm finding stories like this more unrealistic because I'm older now, and therefore I see this sort of drama as juvenille? I doubt that's it, and I really hope that it isn't, because YA is my favorite genre and I definitely don't like this feeling. :/ However, I don't quite think that's why I had a hard time connecting with this book, because I haven't been feeling this way about every YA book that I read -- so maybe it's more of me just not connecting with the book well, rather than me not liking it because I'm *shudders* old. (But I'm totally not that old. I'm still technically a teenager.) 

Overall, I thought that Secrets of a Reluctant Princess was okay. It certainly wasn't a bad book by any means, but it definitely seemed a bit out of touch and unrealistic for a YA contemporary romance novel. I get that it was supposed to be set in Hollywood and that some pretty out-of-the-ordinary things definitely happen there, but there were some points where this book still felt like a bit too far of a reach. However, just because this book wasn't my cup of tea (or hot chocolate I suppose, since I don't drink tea) doesn't mean that it can't be yours! I still encourage you to give this book a try, because who knows -- maybe it'll be the best YA book about a teen heir to a bathroom industry empire that you've ever read. You never know!

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell


Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Paperback, 528 Pages
Published May 2017

Summary: Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen. That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right. Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up. 

I've been a huge fan of Rainbow Rowell since I read Eleanor & Park, and I eventually made my way to Fangirl and that became one of my favorite books of all time. So when I realized that Rowell was actually writing an entire novel based on the fanfiction story she references in her previous book, I was definitely a little bit curious, and totally excited. In Fangirl, Cath is famous for being so obsessed with the story of Simon Snow and his wizardry (similar to Harry Potter), to the point that she goes on to write fanfiction stories about the characters that helps her gain some fame in the geek world (which is, to be entirely honest, one of the best places to be). 

So yeah -- not only did Rainbow Rowell write that amazing book, but she went even further and actually wrote the fictional fanfiction that her other fictional character became known for. (Take a second to wrap your head around that one -- it took me a few minutes to explain this to my boyfriend in a way that made sense. Because contrary to popular belief, sometimes I am very, very bad with words.)

So I won this book in a giveaway, and I was excited to start it because I loved Fangirl. However, I was a bit uncertain if I was going to like it, being that I had seen/heard some mixed reviews of the book, and also being that unlike Fangirl, which was a YA contemporary novel, Carry On is entirely fantasy. (For those of you who have been around here for awhile, you'll come to learn that I am not the biggest fantasy fan around. The same goes for sci-fi books -- it's very rare that I find one that I'm 100% invested in and love. But I'm proud to report that this book captivated me from the beginning all the way to the epilogue -- all 500 pages of it! This was the first book I read since I've come back home for the summer, and let me just tell you, it was so nice to be able to sit and relax and focus on a story for hours on end with no interruptions. I couldn't tear myself away from this book and I think it was an excellent choice for the way to kick off summer vacation -- I'm so glad that it started with a book that I really enjoyed!

There were a lot of things that I really liked about this book. Since Carry On is supposed to be a fanfiction story that references previous events, I was worried that I was going to be confused or lost in the beginning, but Rowell does an excellent job of summing up previous events and the backstories of the characters without making everything drag on forever. In no time at all, I felt at home in the world of mages and I wasn't even the slightest bit lost. It was really easy to catch on to all of the backstories!

As for the characters, I really liked Simon and Baz's relationship, even though it was pretty rocky at first. (For those of you who don't know, there are some spoilers ahead if you haven't read Fangirl, so please skip to the next paragraph if you don't want the story ruined for you!) I went into this book knowing that Simon and Baz were both gay and would end up falling for each other, because that was one of Cath's biggest shockers when writing her story in Fangirl. So it was interesting to see how they both interacted with one another in the beginning of the story, when Simon didn't know he was gay, had a girlfriend, and was sworn enemies with Baz. Things certainly change by the end of the story, let me tell you. I recommend sticking around, because it's super adorable (especially the epilogue!) and you'll be glad that you did.

The story itself was really interesting, with a ton of plot twists, mysteries, and moments that made me gasp or laugh. I was particularly fond of one phrase in the book, in which Agatha admits that she spends all of the money that her parents give her on "tuition and tacos" -- AKA, my life story getting the spotlight in a Rainbow Rowell novel. You heard it here first, folks -- Agatha ends up living my life's dream.

However, there were just a couple of things with the story that I wasn't too keen on. One of them is Agatha herself, because (spoilers ahead, skip to the next paragraph!) I didn't like how she just tucked her tail and ran when Simon and Baz and Penny needed her help. Not only did she run away from the situation, but she ran away to America, an entirely different continent, and tried to start her life over. I didn't like her much at all, because I felt that throughout the book she had a tendency to act entitled and pompous and definitely wasn't a good enough friend to any of them, even when she tried to be. So she was a character that I didn't really enjoy that much. 

The only other thing I can think of that I wasn't crazy about in regards to this book was the ending itself -- not the epilogue, but the part before it! (Spoilers incoming -- skip to the next paragraph!) I felt that there was no indication of the Mage being behind everything until it all happened at once. I know that that's how cliffhangers work, and it's supposed to surprise you, but I sort of felt that there was no indication there at all, almost as if the author needed to pin the problems on somebody and just chose the Mage randomly. I can be totally missing the mark here and may have just not noticed some of the earlier clues, but that's just how I felt when I got to that end scene -- I was totally taken aback. I don't even know what ended up happening with Ebb's brother. Where the heck did he go?!

Overall, I really enjoyed Carry On. As someone who isn't a huge fantasy fan, I wasn't expecting to love this book as much as I did, but I ended up being happily proved wrong. Rainbow Rowell is an excellent author and she blew me away with another great story of hers -- so if you need me, I'll be waiting around for the next one! Even if you aren't a huge fantasy fan, and even if you didn't read Fangirl, I totally recommend giving this book a shot. You'll be glad you did, if you have a geeky little nerd heart like me. (And to be entirely honest, you're currently reading a post on a book blog -- like it or not, you have a geeky little nerd heart, too! <3)

Waiting on Wednesday: The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!

Emily's Waiting on:

Title: The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions #1)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: Nov. 7th, 2017

Summary: In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.
Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.
They’re wrong.
Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.
He shouldn’t.
And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.
They’re right.

The Mara Dyer series was one of my favorite series and I am so excited to hear about the spin off. I honestly never even thought of a spin off for this series so I was even more excited when I found out about it. I cant wait to dive into the mind of Noah Shaw. I'll definitely be doing a reread of Mara Dyer closer to the release of the spin off so look out for a review (as well as a review of the spin off)! 

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so we can stop back!

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Reads Edition!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between!
This Week's Topic: Summer Reads!
Summer is quickly approaching, which means tons of beach trips, which ultimately means tons of beach reads! To celebrate, I'm sharing my top ten favorite beach reads of all time with you guys. (And if you're interested in any of these books, simply click on the covers to be taken to their Goodreads pages!)

 10. Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle


Not only is this an adorable love story, but it's set on a beach in Maui, Hawaii, AKA one of my favorite places in the entire world. What are you waiting for?

9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


Geeks in love? Sign me up.

8. No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista


Another adorable love story (that doesn't necessarily start out as a love story!) that takes place during the summer. A perfect book to throw into your beach bag!

7. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick


Yet another love story for the ages.

6. Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen


It's basically a law that all Sarah Dessen books are designated beach reads. 

5. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen


I mean...this book is set in a beach town. Need I say more?

4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


A day by the beach without some foreign sparks flying? Get out of here.

3. Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid


Nothing says summer like the ultimate road trip.

2. Return to You by Samantha Chase


I'm a huge Samantha Chase fan, and even though this book is the fourth book in a series, it totally works as a standalone. It's a super adorable love story that will make you swoon and cry at all the right times -- AKA the perfect kind of book to bring to the beach!

1. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson


I actually did read this book last summer during our vacation to a beach house, so I can attest to the fact that this is a perfect beach read. It's set during the summer, which means it's basically the perfect fit. And it's Morgan Matson, guys. It's already guaranteed to be the perfect summer book.

So those are my top ten summer beach reads! Now that the weather is getting warmer, I recommend heading over to your nearest library or bookstore to get these books and head to the sand and surf ASAP. Think I left any out, agree with any of my recommendations, or have some of your own? Comment down below and let me know your thoughts -- and check back next week for the next Top Ten Tuesday! :-)

Review: Me You Us by Aaron Karo


Title: Me You Us
Author: Aaron Karo
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Paperback, 320 Pages
Published June 2016

Summary: What if the secrets of dating and love were revealed in one simple formula? That’s the tantalizing proposition high school senior Shane Chambliss offers the hopeless and hapless guys who come to him for relationship advice. After the girl of his dreams breaks his heart, Shane devises a mysterious formula called the Galgorithm and establishes himself as the resident dating guru at Kingsview High School. But his attempts to master the art of romance go outrageously awry. As Shane tries to navigate the ensuing drama, he must follow his heart, abandon all the rules, and ignore his own advice in a quest for true love. What he discovers, no formula could ever predict... 

Okay, guys. The story of how I got this book is really cute and sappy. For my birthday, my boyfriend took me on a surprise trip to the city, filled with tons of activities, food and destinations that he wouldn't tell me until we arrived at them. And a Housing Works bookstore happened to be one of them. (Be still, my little geeky heart.) And then as an additional present, he bought me some books, and this was one of them. I didn't know much about it before I  read it -- I'd just heard some praise here and there, and I was curious to see what it was all about. And I'm glad I did, because this book is equal parts adorable and hysterical.

Other reviewers aren't wrong when they say that this is the perfect book for John Green fans. Being that John is my favorite author of all time, this was a prospect that seemed sort of sketchy for me at first, because I felt like no book could ever remind me of a John Green book unless it was a John Green book itself. But boy, was I wrong. It's kind of difficult to put into words, but this book just had a general feeling that reminded me so much of Looking For Alaska -- which was a great sign, because that is my absolute favorite book of all time. The main character, Shane, just had a voice equal parts witty and sarcastic that you could've told me this book was written by John Green and I would've totally believed it without an ounce of hesitation. 

I really did like this book -- especially most of the characters. Shane himself was the perfect main character, being emotional and also sarcastic at all of the right times. I also really enjoyed Jak, because she was the type of girl that didn't conform to people's ideals or fads or standards, and she had the knack for messing up some of the most perfect moments. Shane's parents were also super adorable, and they were totally relationship goals, which definitely helped Shane with his love endeavors.

Speaking of those endeavors, one of the reasons that I enjoyed this book so much was the actual plot itself. The concept of a boy using his matchmaking services for the greater good to help the underdog get the girl was a totally new plot line to me, so it had me hooked from the get go. As a book blogger, I read a lot of books (duh). So a lot of the stories I read start to blend together and not stand out all that much in my mind, solely because I read so frequently and with as many books as there are in the world, sometimes it's hard to find an original idea. However, I didn't find that to be the case with this book, considering my lifelong reading experience. I thought that this idea was fresh and different, super interesting, and even really hysterical at times. I loved it. 

I won't spoil the ending for you, but I'll just say that I really liked how the book ended, even though I was a bit hesitant on that throughout the last few chapters. By the time the book ended, however, I was satisfied. I closed that book feeling sad that it was over, and realizing that I liked it a lot more than I had ever expected to. I certainly didn't think it could ever hold a candle to John Green's stories, but that it did, and here we are.

The only thing that I wasn't that crazy about in this book was Tristen, but that's more of my personal opinion than an actual problem with the plot or the writing. From the very beginning, I thought there was something off about her, but of course Shane was super into her because -- as stereotypical as it sounds here -- some guys will just be guys and the power of big boobs will keep them hooked even if the person said boobs are attached to is a little crazy. I thought something seemed weird about her from the start, and it got progressively worse as the book went on. By the end, she was practically creepy. Thank goodness some people eventually started catching on to that. I just thought she was a kind of weird character in general.

Overall, I really enjoyed Me You Us. It was a cute story about romance, heartbreak, and matchmaking, and the main character is just so witty and funny that this book will certainly have you laughing out loud at times. I'd definitely be open to reading more of Aaron Karo's work in the future, especially because he reminds me so much of John Green, who is -- as I have mentioned a million times in this post alone, and a million more times outside of the internet world -- my absolute idol as a writer and my favorite author of all time. So if you haven't read this book yet and you're looking for a quick, funny, cute romance read, this book is definitely the one for you to check out. I'm so glad I picked it up in the bookstore that day! (And of course, thank you to my absolutely amazing boyfriend for buying me it!! ♥)