Waiting on Wednesday: Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn

"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: Twelve Steps to Normal
Author: Farrah Penn
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: March 13th, 2018

Kira's Twelve Steps To A Normal Life
1. Accept Grams is gone. 2. Learn to forgive Dad. 3. Steal back ex-boyfriend from best friend...
And somewhere between 1 and 12, realize that when your parent's an alcoholic, there's no such thing as "normal." When Kira's father enters rehab, she's forced to leave everything behind--her home, her best friends, her boyfriend...everything she loves. Now her father's sober (again) and Kira is returning home, determined to get her life back to normal...exactly as it was before she was sent away. 
But is that what Kira really wants?

I'm really excited for this book to come out, because it seems like it's going to be a really interesting story about struggles and acceptance and trying to control situations that are just out of your control, and the feeling of helplessness that comes with that. This summary caught my eye right away because this seems like a book that's going to tackle a lot of really big and important questions/topics, and that's just the kind of read I love to lose myself in.

If this book isn't on your TBR yet, what on earth are you waiting for?

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

Book Blitz: The History of Hilary Hambrushina by Marnie Lamb

The History of Hilary Hambrushina
Marnie Lamb
Publication date: May 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Hilary has one goal for her first year in junior high: to become popular. But her plans are turned upside down when her best friend leaves for the summer and a quirky girl named Kallie moves in next door. Kallie paints constellations on her ceiling, sleeps in a hammock, and enacts fantastical plays in front of cute boys on the beach. Yet despite Kallie’s lack of interest in being -cool, – Hilary and Kallie find themselves becoming friends. That summer friendship, however, is put to the test when school begins, reigniting Hilary’s obsession with climbing the social ladder. As Hilary discovers the dark side to popularity, she must decide who she wants to be before she loses everything.
I put on a sweatband and sneakers and brought down a water bottle. My plan was to pedal non-stop for an hour. I figured I could do it, since I was used to riding my own bike, and how different could this bike be? I should lose at least one pound that way, I told myself. So if I use the bike every day, in fifteen days I’ll have lost the weight I want to lose.
I stepped over boxes and piles of books to reach the bike, which sat in a dark corner. This corner had a musty smell, like an old church that hadn’t been dusted since Queen Victoria was my age. A fake raccoon-fur hat someone had given my dad as a joke hung on the wall nearby.
The bike seat was too high for me, but I couldn’t move it because it was screwed in place. Gripping the handlebars for support, I tried to heave my leg over the seat several times without success. I was becoming angry and sweaty, so I started breathing deeply, like I was having a baby, to calm myself down. “Hoo hoo hoo.”
“Hilary!” shouted my mom. “Why are you making monkey noises?”
I froze. I knew that if I said, “It’s nothing,” she’d come down, and I didn’t want her to think I needed help getting on a stationary bicycle. So I called, “I’m just playing a game.”
I managed to lift myself on to the bike. I had to stretch to reach the pedals, but I finally did and started pumping. It was O.K. at first, but soon, my muscles felt like some psycho was using them as rubber bands. And some people actually do this for fun! What’s wrong with them, I thought. I reached for the water bottle and tried to squirt some water in my mouth. Nothing but air came out. I’d forgotten to fill the bottle! I threw it away and continued to pump furiously. Objects on the wall began rattling, and I was making so many strange noises my mother must have thought a whole pack of monkeys was performing a conga line in the basement. I began to have visions of monkeys in spangly pink bikinis
kicking up their heels (did monkeys have heels, I wondered) on stage at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

Suddenly my sweatband fell over my eyes. I didn’t stop to fix it, though. You’re going to pump for the full hour, not for fifty-nine minutes, I ordered myself. Instead, I tried nodding vigorously to get the sweatband to fall under my chin. It fell over my nose and I couldn’t breathe. Then something dark and furry leapt on my head, covering my eyes and tickling my face like a bunch of feathers. I screamed, batting at the thing with one hand and pumping frantically, as if I could escape that way. I soon realized it was only my dad’s hat, but I still couldn’t get it off. Finally I stumbled off the bike and yanked the hat’s tail away from my eyes.
I had no energy left to remove the hat, so I left it on and trudged upstairs. I passed my mom, who took one look at me and started to snicker. Ignoring her, I went into the kitchen to check the clock. I’d been on the bike five minutes.
So that was the end of my experiment with exercising.

Author Bio:
A Journey Prize nominee, Marnie Lamb earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Windsor. Her short stories have appeared in various Canadian literary journals. Her first novel, a YA book named The History of Hilary Hambrushina, is forthcoming from Iguana Books. When she is not writing fiction or running her freelance editing business, she can be found cooking recipes with eggplant or scouting out colourful fashions at the One of a Kind Show.

We'd like to once again thank the lovely team at Xpresso for allowing us to be a part of this blog tour and putting this book on our radar -- hopefully you'll find it on yours, too!


Guest Review: Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

Title: Here We Are Now 
Author: Jasmine Warga
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Hardcover, 304 Pages
Published November 2017

Summary: Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she'd ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense - kinda - because Julian Oliver is Taliah's father, even though her mother would never admit it to her. Julian asks if Taliah if she will drop everything and go with him to his hometown of Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his father - her grandfather - who is nearing the end of his life. Taliah, torn between betraying her mother's trust and meeting the family she has never known, goes. With her best friend Harlow by her side, Taliah embarks on a three-day journey to find out everything about her 'father' and her family. But Julian isn't the father Taliah always hoped for, and revelations about her mother's past are seriously shaking her foundation. Through all these new experiences, Taliah will have to find new ways to be true to herself, honoring her past and her future.

Today on the blog we have a guest review from Lauren over at Reading, Writing, and MeShe was kind enough to stop by and review Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga and share her thoughts on it, and we couldn't be more excited to have her here, especially since Jessica recently finished the book as well and is excited to see someone else's opinion on it! So without further ado, let's get into it!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to discover your dad was a rock star? A dad you have never met or heard your mother speak of. A dad you discovered through your own sleuthing and sent letters for three years with no reply. Then he shows up on your doorstep ready to take you on a road trip to meet an extended family you'd never even imagined. All while your mother is away in Paris. Whether you've imagined this scenario or not, Jasmine Warga has crafted it into a fun, YA contemporary to follow her emotionally wrenching debut, My Heart And Other Black Holes. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 I enjoyed the characters. They were all built well into sturdy pictures and interacted well with each other. I loved both Taliah, the main character, and her best friend Harlow. Their relationship really explores change and how hard that can be for some people. It really made me identify with Tal's character.
I also loved the family relationships this book was so centered on. Tal and her mother are very close, and I really enjoyed their mother-daughter relationship and friendship. I also loved the exploration of their own immigrant identities as Lena is originally from Jordan and Tal is the daughter of an immigrant from an Arabic speaking country. Lena's character in the story about her and Julian's relationship may be my favorite of the book.

It was very interesting to see Tal and Julian build a relationship. Parental bonds just seem to always exist, so building one at sixteen is uncharted territory for all involved. It is beautiful to watch as Tal becomes part of a whole new family, experiencing the kind of extended family she'd never had on her mom's side.
The only reason I detracted points was for Toby who is the love interest. I felt the story would have been stronger if his part had been removed.

Plot: 4 I really loved this story. Intersecting Tal's experiences in Oak Falls and her parent's love story made a beautiful and balanced story. The only thing I would have changed was to center on Harlow and Tal's relationship more throughout. It is very well developed at the beginning, but halfway through Harlow disappeared to bring Toby out of the shadows to give our character a love interest. The romance is never developed very well and is not compelling or believable, unlike the foundation that was established with her relationship with Harlow. It would have been stronger as simply a family and friendship novel which YA does not have enough of!

Writing: 4 Warga has a very clear voice across all of her novels, which I really appreciated. Much like when I pick up a John Green, I picked up this book and knew it was definitely written by Jasmine. While a touch understated and simple for my taste, I think that it does add a beautiful layer of storytelling letting sparse details build together slowly. Clear pictures came through my mind throughout. I also loved the focus on family, friendship, and music!

We'd like to once again thank Lauren for stopping by The Book Bratz today to post this guest review. You can read the original review over on her blog by clicking HERE!

** Psst! Interested in guest reviewing on The Book Bratz? Shoot us an email at thebookbratz@gmail.com or DM us on Twitter (@thebookbratz) and we'd love to have you!

Review: Snow Falling by Jane Gloriana Villanueva

Title: Snow Falling
Author: Jane Gloriana Villanueva
Publisher: Adams Media
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Paperback, 240 Pages
Published November 2017

Summary: It’s been a lifetime (and three seasons) in the making, but Jane Gloriana Villanueva is finally ready to make her much-anticipated literary debut! Jane the Virgin, the Golden Globe, AFI, and Peabody Award–winning The CW dramedy, has followed Jane’s telenovela-esque life—from her accidental artificial insemination and virgin birth to the infant kidnapping and murderous games of the villainous Sin Rostro to an enthralling who-will-she-choose love triangle. With these tumultuous events as inspiration, Jane’s breathtaking first novel adapts her story for a truly epic romance that captures the hope and the heartbreak that have made the television drama so beloved. Snow Falling is a sweeping historical romance set in 1902 Miami—a time of railroad tycoons, hotel booms, and exciting expansion for the Magic City. Working at the lavish Regal Sol hotel and newly engaged to Pinkerton Detective Martin Cadden, Josephine Galena Valencia has big dreams for her future. Then, a figure from her past reemerges to change her life forever: the hotel’s dapper owner, railroad tycoon Rake Solvino. The captivating robber baron sets her heart aflame once more, leading to a champagne-fueled night together. But when their indiscretion results in an unexpected complication, Josephine struggles to decide whether her heart truly belongs with heroic Martin or dashing Rake. Meanwhile, in an effort to capture an elusive crime lord terrorizing the city, Detective Cadden scours the back alleys of the Magic City, tracking the nefarious villain to the Regal Sol and discovering a surprising connection to the Solvino family. However, just when it looks like Josephine’s true heart’s desire is clear, danger strikes. Will her dreams for the future dissolve like so much falling snow or might Josephine finally get the happy ever after she’s been dreaming of for so long?

As soon as I found out that this book was going to be published, I immediately put it at the top of my Christmas list for so many reasons - I'm a huge Jane the Virgin fan, I'm a total romance junkie, and watching Jane follow her passion for writing on the show has been such a huge motivation when it came to my writing. So before I review the book, I think I have a little bit of explaining to do here, so let's start with that.

For those of you who don't know, Jane the Virgin is a television show that airs on the CW, and it's my favorite show of all time. It's about a young teenage virgin who finds herself accidentally artificially inseminated, and four seasons in, tons of drama, hilarity, romance, and thrills have ensued. It's meant to be followed like a telenovella, and the drama in it certainly is up to par! But there's so much drama going on that I can't even begin to explain it here, so I recommend starting the show to catch up on your own. (The first three seasons are on Netflix, and the fourth season is currently airing on the CW every Friday night at 9pm now!) 

Okay. So back to my explanation. In the show, as I mentioned, Jane is an aspiring writer. (Spoiler alerts coming!) She eventually gets her novel published and accomplishes her biggest goal of becoming an author. And that's where this book comes in! The actual Simon & Schuster hired a ghostwriter to write the actual book that Jane was supposed to write, and it became a real, live novel! So that's where we're at with that.

And now onto the summary of the actual book. It's the story of a strong, independent woman who works at a hotel and is engaged to the love of her life, and everything seems perfect for her until she finds her fiance flirting with his partner at the detective agency. In a flurry of betrayal and heartbreak, she finds herself with the mysterious and sexy owner of the hotel, and then...she's pregnant. And all of the plans she had for her life and her relationship with her fiance start to upend, and the story is her relationship with both men and her family, how she makes things work, and a lot of passion and drama and thrills ensue.

I really enjoyed this book. It had me laughing and swooning and gasping at all the right moments, and being such a big fan of the show just added so much to the experience because there were a lot of subtle references and parallel characters that matched the characters on the show, but you're not going to understand them unless you've seen the show. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the story if you haven't watched the show, so if a sexy, dramatic historical romance book is up your alley, then I'd definitely say give this book a try! It's also less than 240 pages, so it's very quick to breeze through and it will have you hooked from start to finish.

My favorite part of this book was definitely the ending. (Spoilers in this paragraph, so please skip to the next one if you haven't read the book yet!) It mirrors the wedding of Michael and Jane in the show, but then it also gives them a fairytale ending that they didn't necessarily have on their real wedding night in the show, so the last few chapters of the book are really romantic and it makes your heart flutter and I was totally swooning super hard. I couldn't put the book down in the last few pages! 

My only critique of this book is that it felt a bit rushed to me, even though I know it's because the show itself has a lot of drama of going on. So, I guess since I know the entirety of the show and all of the details of all of the events, I noticed the parts that were missing in the book. But maybe people that haven't watched the show won't notice -- so maybe it's just something that stood out to me but isn't really a big deal in the long run. So that's my own take on that, and that was the only thing about the book that I wasn't super crazy about. But the rest had me hooked from start to finish, and I fell in love from the first page. It reminded me why I loved the show so much.

Overall, I really loved Snow Falling. This book had me laughing and smiling and brought back all the feels from the beginning few seasons of the show that I loved so much. I think turning Jane's story into a real-life novel was a really creative and awesome idea, and I'm so excited that I got a copy of this book for Christmas and I have a chance to read it! Whether or not you watch Jane the Virgin, this book is filled with drama and heartache and a swoon-worthy romance that will have you hooked from beginning to end, so you definitely want this one on your radar! 

Waiting On Wednesday: The Prophecy (Titan #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

"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 Prophecy (Titan #4)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: New Adult Fantasy  
Publication Date: March 8th, 2018

Summary: History is on repeat…
Seth never thought he’d have a future. But now he’s on the brink of having it all with Josie: A tomorrow. A family. A forever. And all that's standing between him and that forever is the Titans. If he helps Josie entomb them -- without killing them, a nearly impossible task for him -- everything he could ever want will be in reach. But he soon realizes that as a god, every little choice he makes can reshape the world for the better… or worse. And in meddling with the Titans, Seth may have just set into motion catastrophic consequences that will force the Olympians to enter the mortal realm and reshape the delicate balance of power that keeps the world from total collapse.
A price must be paid…
Entombing the Titans is Josie’s top priority. After all, it was what she was born to do. But the plans her father put into play to help her are no longer an option, and the odds she and Seth face in forging their own path are grim. The escalating violence between halfs and pures only increases the danger closing in on them and their friends. Josie knows their chances of succeeding in their task are slim at best -- and if they fail, they might lose everything. But she also knows she's not fighting just for herself -- she's fighting for the man she loves, for their future, for the world. Together with the Army of Awesome, Josie and Seth will face the unthinkable. And to win this war, the ultimate sacrifice must be made.
For the end is here and the Prophecy will be fulfilled….

Ah, I am so not ready for this series to end. Seth was one of those characters you hate in the beginning but love dearly by the end of the series. I'm not ready to face the fact that this story is almost over! There still feels like there's so much left to tell and I'm so excited to see how they accomplish the entombing of the Titans. I'm sure were are really looking forward to a happy ending for Seth and Josie and the rest of the Army of Awesome. Let us know your thoughts about the completion of the Titan series in the comments below!

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've Decided I'm No Longer Interested In Reading

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between!
This Week's Topic: Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading
For this week, I dug deep into my TBR and looked at some of the old books sitting on there, and I realized two things: (1) I have an overwhelming amount of books on that list, and (2): I'm definitely still not interested in reading half of these. So, naturally, instead of cleaning out the list like I should be, I decided to make this post talking about why I'm removing some of these from my to-read shelf. Some of them have detailed explanations as to why I'm not interested anymore, and some are just books that I added to my list years ago and I simply don't feel interested in them anymore. So without further ado, here we go!

1. Seven Minutes in Heaven by Sara Shepard


This one has been on my TBR since 2013 and Amber already spoiled the ending for me, so I haven't really been in a rush to finish it!

2. A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier


Yeah, it's safe to say that my phase of reading totally dystopic books has passed now that one can argue that we're actually living in one.

3. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman


I told myself I was going to read this before I ever started the Netflix series, but it's been years and I'm already so invested in the series that I think I'm going to stick to watching my girls on TV!

4. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis


5. Made For You by Melissa Marr


6. The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout


As I got older, I've realized that I'm becoming less and less of a supernatural/fantasy fan. I have no idea why, but I'm all about cute contemporary romances now!

7. Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout 


I don't think I ever got over how ridiculously similar these books were to Vampire Academy and since I loved that series, I feel like my harbored anger about it has never gone away, LOL!

8. Fairest by Marissa Meyer


I absolutely loved this series, but now that it's finished and done with (and I'm happy with how it ended!), I think I'm going to let this series rest on a good note before getting all amped up about how terrible Levana was.

9. Drawing Amanda by Stephanie Feuer


10. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby


How many of these books did you guys read? Which ones do you think I should definitely try to read? Comment down below and let me know! (And now for the actual challenge: cleaning out my Goodreads TBR shelf....)

Guest Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Hardcover, 453 Pages
Published November 2016

Summary: Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen. Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Today on the blog we have a guest review from Raisa over at Wonderland NovelsShe was kind enough to stop by and review Heartless by Marissa and share her thoughts on it. We've also reviewed this book in the past, so don't forget to also check out our review here. So without further ado, let's get into the review!

"When please, I beat like a drum. When sad, I break like glass. Once stolen, I can never be taken back. What am I?"
She thought for a moment before venturing, "A heart?"
Hatta's eyes warmed. "Very acute, Lady Pinkerton."
"It's very good," she said, "although I wonder whether it wouldnt' be more accurate to say, 'Once given, I can never be taken back."
"That would imply we give our hearts away willingly, and I am not sure that is the case." 
Marissa Meyer is honestly really good at making me sympathize with villains. This introspection on the Queen of Hearts before she was the queen went from cutesy to dark so quickly. She did a fascinating job of making an authentic hearts - full of madness and the impossible, but also crafting into it the origin story of someone who appears to be heartless.

Catherine Pinkerton loves to bake and wants to spend the rest of her life in a bakery with her best friend and maid Mary Ann, but as a high class lady of Hearts, her parents have set sights on her becoming the betrothed of the King of Hearts. Although she's expected to follow her parents' wishes, this changes when she meets and becomes enamored with the King's new joker, Jest. 

I related to Catherine so much - follow your heart or follow your parents is definitely a complicated question to answer. I only wished Catherine had defied her parents more easily, more readily, but that itself is easier said than done. When everything went from happy to absolutely wrong for her, I couldn't help but cry. It was so sad, and so so dark and twisted the direction this story took. Her transformation in the end was evil and heartbreaking. 

Her love interest, Jest, was certainly swoon-worthy. Though their romance was very insta-love, I couldn't help but root for the two of them to have their happy ending. 

There's also a wonderful cast of supporting characters. Hatta, Raven, the sisters were all fun reads. Hatta's descent into madness made me pity the poor, mad hatter. 

That ending scene though... That was just the best. I enjoyed this dark and bloody little tale. 

Without much spoilers, I'll end it with my favorite line.

"She spoke without feeling, unburdened by love or dreams or the pain of a broken heart. It was a new day in Hearts, and she was the Queen.
"Off with his head." 

We'd like to once again thank Raina for stopping by The Book Bratz today to post this guest review. Don't forget to pop on over and subscribe to her blog!

** Psst! Interested in guest reviewing on The Book Bratz? Shoot us an email at thebookbratz@gmail.com or DM us on Twitter (@thebookbratz) and we'd love to have you!

Review: Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Title: Love, Hate & Other Filters
Author: Samira Ahmed
Publisher: Soho Teen
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 281 Pages
Published January 2018

Summary: American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school. There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book as a prize for a giveaway, and I'm so glad that I was awarded that chance, because it exposed me to an awesome story that I couldn't wait to read, and now I'm excited to share my thoughts with you guys!

As the summary explains, Maya is a senior in high school, and an aspiring filmmaker. The only problem? Her strict parents don't even know that she applied to NYU, let alone got in. They want to keep her close, keep her practical, and have a tight grip on her future and her relationships, whether or not that's what she really wants, even if they're doing it out of love. On top of that, Maya is struggling with her feelings for Phil, the high school football star that her parents definitely would not approve of. (And it certainly doesn't help that he has a girlfriend and they are madly in love with one another.)

And then something super tragic happens, and Maya finds her life spiraling out of control and into danger for things she has no relation to. 

I really, really loved this book. I think it covered a lot of important (as well as swoon-worthy!) topics that had be flipping the pages from start to finish. There's also a lot going on here -- the first half of the book is so swoony and adorable, and although I had read the summary of the book before reading it, I absolutely was not expecting what happened. This book quickly addresses some really serious things happening to Muslims across the world (especially in America, where this story takes place), and what ensues is heartbreaking and terrifying and absolutely unacceptable. 

There's a lot going on in this book, but everything that happens has an important moral weight that absolutely cannot be ignored. This book will make you laugh and cry with its adorable (and sometimes frustrating) romance, but it will also tear your heart in two and open your eyes in ways you may not have ever been expecting. 

I enjoyed this book so much to the point that I tore through it in just over two days because I kept wanting to find out what would happen next. Things started to escalate really quickly past the halfway point of the book, and I sort of blinked in surprise when I got to the end because I couldn't even believe that it was over -- I was so enveloped in the story that I hadn't even realized it had come to an end. And as I always say, a book that draws you in from the beginning to the end and makes you lose track of time in the process is definitely the mark of an excellent story!

As for what I didn't like about the story, there isn't much to talk about. I just felt like the second half of the book was a completely different story from the first -- while there were little inserts throughout the whole book about what was going to happen later on, the reader doesn't start to put together the pieces of what's happening until the midway point of the book (or at least that's what happened with me), and then all of a sudden things pick up really fast and take a grim turn and it doesn't really feel like it fits in with the previous half of the story that came before it. So that jarred me out of the story a little bit, just being shocked and feeling like I was reading a totally different story -- no matter how good that story was. I think if maybe this scary event happened earlier on in the book, or maybe some other instances of this racism/Islamophobia was made more prevalent in the first half of the book, it wouldn't have felt so jarring when reading it.

But just to be clear: it wasn't the event itself that was jarring. I think that was excellently done. I just feel that its place in the story was what threw me off a little bit. But that's the only thing that I can really say I wasn't pleased about in this book.

But other than that minor thing, I really enjoyed this book and I will absolutely be recommending it to everyone I know. There were lines that made me laugh so hard that I took pictures of them and sent them to my boyfriend and Emily and Amber, moments where I felt myself rolling my eyes in complete frustration with Maya's parents, moments where I was swooning due to the adorable love story, and moments where I was white-knuckling the pages with anticipation and fear. This book totally takes you on a ride, and it's definitely a ride that you'll remember in the best of ways. So don't miss out on it!

Overall, I really loved Love, Hate & Other Filters. If you aren't sure if you should be adding this book to your TBR, I'm here to confirm that you absolutely should. Samira Ahmed explores and discusses some really important, heavy, deep topics in this book that everyone needs to witness and understand. And there's also tons of romance to go around and have you swooning! As the title suggests, Love, Hate & Other Filters will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions that you absolutely won't be prepared for, but you will find yourself falling in love with nonetheless.

Hats off to Samira Ahmed -- I'm looking forward to reading more of her work in the future!

Top Ten Tuesday: Love Freebie!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between!
This Week's Topic: Love Freebie 
For this weeks Top Ten Tuesday, it's all about love: my favorite couples, romances, and swoons. I'm all for a good romance novel and now is the perfect time to read one with Valentine's Day tomorrow! (Beware! Minor Shatter Me spoiler at the end of this post!)

My favorite romance/swoons worthy reads:

1. Wait for You series by J. Lynn (New Adult)

2. The Selection series by Kiera Cass 

3. Velvet by Temple West

4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

5. Sweet Evil series by Wendy Higgins

6. Anything written by Colleen Hoover (She's my favorite romance writer)

My favorite couples:

 7. Tate and Miles from Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

8. Alex and Aiden from the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

9. Skylar and Josh from I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

10. Juliette and Warner from the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

I can honestly read any YA romance and probably love it. I always find myself invested in the characters and their growing relationships. Be sure to share your favorite swoon worthy reads and OTP's with us!