December 2019 Reading Wrap Up

Happy New Year! I rounded out this year by reading 98 books. This December, I read a grand total of nine books. Many of them were the warm and fuzzy holiday rom com reads. But, I did have a few others in there.

Curious?

Well, check out my list, and find out:

  • Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella: Five stars
  • We Met in December by Rosie Curtis: Five stars
  • I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn: Three stars
  • Snow in Love by Various Authors: Three Stars
  • 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston: Five stars
  • 25 Days ‘Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander: Four Stars
  • The Hell With the Hustle by Jefferson Bethke: Five Stars
  • Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak: Four stars
  • Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins: Five stars

What did you read in the last month of 2019? Let me know in the comments below.

Books I Want to Read in 2020

There are so many books that I want to read this year. Some are books that have been on my TBR (to be read) list for a while. Others have been books I’ve been discovering lately. That said, this year I am going to read them.

Curious? Here’s the list:

  1. After series by Anna Todd
  2. Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
  3. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  4. China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
  5. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  6. I Owe You One by Sophia Kinsella
  7. Meg and Jo by Virginia Kantra
  8. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
  9. American Royals by Katherine McGee
  10. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abby Waxman

Have you read any of these? Please let me know in the comments below.

Top Books I Read in 2019

I still can not believe that this is the end of 2019. I also can’t believe that it’s the end of the decade.

2019 was an exceptional year in terms of reading. I’ve surpassed my Goodreads goal by over 20 books. As we close yet another year, here are some of my favorite reads. All of these books are those that I highly recommend to those who are looking for a great book to read in the new year:

  • The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
  • The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
  • Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
  • It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  • There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
  • The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
  • Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Things You Save in A Fire by Katherine Center
  • Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
  • Girl Wash Your Face and Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
  • After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
  • Say You Still Love Me by KA Tucker
  • Frankly in Love by David Yoon
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  • Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren
  • When Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis
  • 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
  • To Hell With the Hustle by Jefferson Bethke
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Blogmas Day 5: 13 Authors That Have Become An Auto Buy For Me

img_4721As you can tell, I love reading. I love reading on Kindle, I love reading physical books, and I love listening to them via audiobook.

Naturally, I’ve become obsessed with a few authors over the years that have become my favorites. So, here are some authors that I automatically buy without thinking about it whenever they come out with a new novel:

  • Christina Lauren: 

Christina Lauren has become an auto buy for me this past year. I discovered this from my bookstagram account, and I definitely don’t regret it. They definitely are the queens of new adult romance, and I love each and every one of them that I’ve read so far. As you can tell, I am a huge fan of romance novels.

I’ve read Love and Other Words, The Unhoneymooners, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, My Favorite Half Night Stand, and Twice in a Blue Moon. I have a few of them that I have yet to read, but I definitely want to read the rest of their books in the new year.

  • Colleen Hoover: 

Do you like crazy Lifetime movies? Well, Colleen Hoover is that. I’ve only read a few of her novels, but whenever I do read them, I am hooked. All of her novels have a twist in the end that you never see coming. She actually has a new book coming out next week that I have on preorder called Regretting You that I am so excited to read.

  • Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen is the queen of young adult literature. I have been reading her novels for several years now, and I’ve read each and every one of her bibliography. I actually even met her a few years ago when For Once and For All came out.

Even though I am no longer in high school, these novels are a sense of nostaglia for me. They always remind me of high school summers. They are so easy to read and well-written, which is why I will always buy a Sarah Dessen novel.

  • Emily Giffin:

Emily Giffin is the reigning queen of chic-lit. Her novels talk about relationships, and their complications. During my senior year of high school, I’ve read Something Borrowed for the first time and I couldn’t even put it down. Since then, I’ve read each and every one of her books — often the week that they come out. Yup, they are that good.

  • Taylor Jenkins Reid:

Taylor Jenkins Reid has such a huge variety of subjects in her bibliography — some romance, and some history. The first book I read was Daisy Jones and the Six, and I knew right then and there that I had to read everything that she ever wrote. There are a few that I still have yet to read, but I know that I will be reading them in the next year.

  • Liv Constantine

The sister duo has only written two books — The Last Mrs. Parrish and The Last Time I Saw You. Both novels are suspenseful thrillers full of twists — up until the very end.

Also, I was lucky enough to meet these two at my local Barnes and Noble, which was very awesome. These two have definitely become my favorites over the past year, and I am so excited to read more.

  • Angie Thomas

Like Liv Constantine, Angie Thomas wrote two books as well — On The Come Up and the Hate U Give, and I love both of them. They were authentic and real — and that’s what I love about them.

  • Becky Albertalli

I discovered Becky Albertalli last year when the movie Love, Simon came out. Since then, I read all of her books. I love the stories, because they are not only swoon worthy young adult romances — still my favorite reads at 25 — but they are authentic to how high school is today. It talks about the journey teens go on if they are trying to figure out their sexuality — and celebrates it. And, I think that’s awesome.

  • Morgan Matson

I discovered Morgan Matson while I worked at the library. Since then, I’ve read all of her novels as well. And, whenever she comes out with new novels, I instantly buy them. Like many of the young adult books I love, many of her novels are romances. But, they often have a deeper twist. For instance, in Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, it talks about Amy overcoming her fear of driving while she is riding cross country with one of her mother’s friends son. I like it, because it talks about the hard stuff that teens deal with. They are also just well written, which I love.

  • JoJo Moyes

I loved JoJo Moyes since Me Before You. I’ve read the sequel, and knew that I wanted to read the rest of her bibliography. I’ve red a few of them, and they have become some of my favorite books. My goal for the new year is to finish the Me Before You trilogy because I need to know what happens to Lou Clarke.

  • John Green

John Green was one of the most popular authors when I was a freshman in college. Everyone was talking about The Fault In Our Stars. Over the next year, I read all of his books, and then I got Turtles All of the Way Down when it came out.

If you like young adult literature, you love John Green. And there is a reason for that. His characters are quirky, but they are real. His novels are classics, and I will forever be a ran. Okay? Okay.

  • Sophie Kinsella:

Sophie Kinsella is one of the best romance writers that I’ve ever read. Her novels are the best to read when you’re in a bad mood, because they are fun, and they always have a happy ending. Kind of like a Hallmark Movie, but much better. She’s written the Shopaholic series, as well as several romance reads and a young adult novel. She’s also written novels under the name Madeline Wickham, which I’ve only read one of her novels under that name. However, I love her novels and they will continue to be favorites of mine.

  • Liane Moriarty 

I found Big Little Lies at TJ Maxx, and once I started to read the book, I couldn’t put it down. It wasn’t long before I’ve read all of her books.

There is always some sort of twist with Liane Moriarty books. Her characters have several layers to them, and as you go on, you learn more and more about them. Once you think the story is going one way, it goes another. It definitely makes you not want to stop reading until you’ve reached the last page.

Which authors are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Book of the Month YA: Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

In addition to getting a Book of the Month subscription, I also get a YA Book of the Month. Now, this month, I had a hard time picking out which book to get. It was a cross between Frankly In Love by David Yoon and Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi. The reason why I chose this novel was because I read Choi’s other novel, Emergency Contact, and wanted to check out her latest read. (And, side note: I have Frankly In Love on my Kindle to read next).

Summary:

Dating a pop star is every man’s dream. That dream becomes reality for Pablo Rind. When he runs into pop star Leanna Smart, he falls madly in love with her. And, the love becomes mutual.

However, Pablo isn’t exactly the greatest on paper. He is a college dropout and faces thousands and thousands of dollars of credit card debt. At the start of the novel, he is behind on rent and works nights at a deli.

Over the course of the novel, he of course falls madly in love with Leanna – to the point where he neglects all other responsibilities. Of course, that’s the stereotypical love story, isn’t it? Soon, Pablo begins to ignite change.

Review:

I loved this book, and almost cried at the end of it. No, I’m not going to give the ending away. But, I will give you one little hint – the novel doesn’t have the standard Hallmark ending. Which is something that I liked about it.

Social media is a huge part of this book. Pablo constantly posts photos of foods on his Instagram. Many of the characters often discuss it. And, it’s a priority to check it constantly. This shows how Instagram has become a huge priority of millennial culture. Which is true. How many of us – myself included – are checking Instagram throughout the day? How many of us constantly post photos on our stories and on our pages? I mean, I’m guilty of it too. Social media has changed us – our relationships, and how we communicate. It also is a huge time suck. This novel also demonstrates it. And, furthermore, it also shows how one can make a living just by posting.

Now, let’s talk about Pablo. I thought he was kind of an awful character. He was pretty lost at the beginning of the novel. That happens. However, it frustrated me that he didn’t want to do anything about it. It also bothered me how self-centered he was, especially while dating Leanna Smart. His brother was having crisis after crisis and really needed support. Instead of being there for him, Pablo took off to be with Leanna. He also neglected important meetings, and even his job. I almost wanted to jump into the novel and say “get your life together, for heaven’s sake!”

Furthermore, you also get an inside of fame, which isn’t surprising since Leanna was a celebrity. I liked her methodology of dodging paparazzi and the real moments she shared with her grandmother. She also craved privacy in her relationship with Pablo.

This leads me into my next point. I think that Choi did an outstanding job demonstrating the relationship between the two. Leanna often ditched Pablo because of work and left him hanging out in a hotel room. She couldn’t even follow him on Instagram without eyebrows being raised. She did what she could to hide Pablo. However, she treated him to expensive things that he couldn’t afford. All of these things are hallmarks of the celebrity relationship.

With that being said, I did enjoy the novel. What I like about Choi’s writing is that it’s real. It’s about real relationships, and the characters feel real. I mean, many millennials are having to face the issues that Pablo is facing – crippling debt, trying to figure out what to do with the future, etc. This novel feels relatable, which is something that I liked most about it.

Overall, if you see this novel lingering in your local bookstore and you love YA, be sure to pick it up. Trust me, you will love it.

11 Books I Loved Reading This Summer

Monday is Labor Day, so you know what that means. It’s the end of summer. Well, the unofficial one, anyways, as the summer extends until September 21st.

One of the best parts about summer is reading lazily on a beach with waves rustling in the background. This summer was no exception. So, as we head into the last true weekend of the summer, here’s some of my favorite books I read this summer:

  • Educated by Tara Westover

The critically acclaimed novel is worth 100 percent of the hype. This novel is a powerful and shocking read about Westover’s childhood as she grew up with survivalist parents.

  • Things You Save In A Fire by Katherine Center

Katherine Center’s latest read talks about starting over and forgiveness. Cassie is an award winning firefighter who is up for a promotion. One act of revenge sends her down a path to Massachusetts, where she becomes the only woman on the fire station — despite her abilities. Oh, and she’s enlisted to take care of her sick mother. Soon, Cassie learns to forgive and to move on.

  • City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

New York in the 1940s. An interesting time. Elizabeth Gilbert tells the story of Vassar dropout Vivian, who uses her seamstress skills as a costume maker to the play, City of Girls. However, one mistake unravels all of that.

  • How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Margaret has it all — a dream job, a wonderful condo and has just gotten engaged. However, right after the ring is slipped on her finger, they are in a tragic plane accident, where Margaret loses the ability to walk.

With that being said, Margaret’s life is changed forever — especially when her long lost sister comes back into the picture, and she loses that perfect life. As she begins to heal, she soon learns to adapt into her new normal.

  • Say You Still Love Me by KA Tucker

Ahh, nothing like a second chance at love, right? Piper Calloway was dragged to Camp WaWA by her mother. She never guessed that she would fall in love with Kyle. However, 13 years later, the two are forced apart — only to be bought together. KA Tucker tells an amazing Romeo-Juliet style story of two lovers who come from different worlds, who despite all odds, find their way back to each other.

  • After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

What happens after the wedding cake was eaten, and after the house was bought? Taylor Jenkins Reid tells the story of Lauren and Ryan, college lovers who decide to take a year off from the marriage to figure out if they still want to be with each other. Spoiler: you’ll need tissues.

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK by Mark Manson

I’ve been on a self help kick this summer. This book explores ways to live the life you live — and not feel guilty about it.

  • Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Annie Cassidy is obsessed with Tom Hanks. Not just any Tom Hanks — the Tom Hanks in Nora Ephron’s hit movies. However, she’s in a funk. It takes a movie set coming to town to realize that she’s the one who is holding herself back — professionally and romantically.

  • Girl Stop Apologizing, and Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

A must read for anyone unhappy or wanting to reach your goals. These two books were so inspiring and can send you down a rabbit-hole of learning how to change your behavior.

  • Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

Sarah falls in love with Eddie, and the two share a beautiful romance that lasted a week. Then, he disappears. Sarah becomes obssesed and looks for him. I loved this book, because it has so many twists and turns that you question what is going to happen next.

  • The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Emma Saylor has an entire family that she doesn’t know — her mother’s side. That same mom who passed away when she was in her pre-teens. However, one summer she is sent to the lake, where she is deemed the rich cousin. She becomes a maid at the family hotel, and soon learns more about her roots.

  • When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandha Menon

Dimple wants to be her own woman, but her parents want her to be tied to her Indian roots. Rishi is the perfect Indian son. Needless to say, Dimple is surprised that her parents let her go to a camp for young and aspiring technology hopefuls. However, she soon learns to meet Rishi — her Indian husband to be.

Both When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something About Sweetie tell the story of Indian tradition and first love. Definitely a great read to bring to the beach this weekend.

So, what did you read this summer? Let me know in the comments below.

15 Books That I Would Like To Read In 2019

2019 is already in full swing, and I’ve already completed five books of my Goodreads challenge. However, this year I really want to try to lower the books on my to-read shelf. Therefore, I hope that this year is the year that I read the following books. Some of these books are books that have been sitting in my house for a while, and I’m trying to get rid of. Others are books that I’ve been wanting to read for a while. And, of course, you have the books that are a part of series that I’ve wanted to finish forever.

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  1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  2. The Game of Thrones Series by George R. R. Martin
  3. The Last Star by Rick Yancey
  4. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  5. The Wife Between Us by Geer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
  6. Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kernman
  7. Me, Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
  8. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  9. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  10. Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner
  11. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
  12. The Lies We Told by Camilla Way
  13. China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
  14. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
  15. Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines

The Best Books I Read In 2018 . . . So Far!

It’s hard to believe that 2018 is drawing to a close. This year, I was blessed to be able to exceed my Goodreads reading challenge goals by reading over 60 books (my challenge was to read 52). Here are some of the highlights of this year — in no particular order:

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Leah On The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Chocolate Please by Lisa Lampenelli

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett

The Nerdy and The Dirty by B.T. Gotfried

Love and Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Save The Date by Morgan Matson

Dirty Rush by Taylor Bell

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

The Upside of the Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Famous In Love by Rebecca Serle

Get Ready To Get Spooky! Here’s My Spooky Book Bucket List For This Year

Now that it’s October, it’s officially spooky season. So, break out the candy corn, decorate the pumpkins, and watch all of the scary movies you can. Personally, October means that I can watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown as much as I want, but everyone has their own preferences.

With that being said, I also wanted to take this month to read a few of the horror books on my TBR list. Therefore, here are the spooky books I want to get to this month. Hopefully, I’ll be able to read them all, but let’s see how many I’ll be able to get to:

  1. Carrie by Stephen King
  2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  3. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson
  4. A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell
  5. IT by Stephen King

Book Review: Save The Date by Morgan Matson

Your wedding day is the one day where everything is supposed to go right. At least, you hope so.

However, that’s not the case with Charlie’s sister’s wedding in Morgan Matson’s Save the Date. Between a fallen wedding cake, a faulty alarm, and a wedding planner that hits the road the day before, it seems like the day can’t go right. With that being said, Charlie is excited because she gets a chance to hang out with all five of her siblings altogether — even estranged sibling Mike.

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My copy of Save the Date — it’s a signed edition! 

But the wedding isn’t the only craziness that is happening in Charlie’s life. In addition to preparing for her sister’s wedding, she’s getting ready for college and figuring out where she is going to go next year. Her parents are selling their childhood home, and the comic strip that her mother had worked on for the past 25 years is now drawing to a close as well.

With that being said, this novel isn’t about a wedding or a happy family. I mean it is, but it’s so much more than that. It is also a coming of age, watching a woman grow up kind of story. I mean, throughout the novel you watch Charlie mature, whether it may be coming to the light with her childhood crush, or seeing her siblings with their faults — not as superheroes.

Overall, I thought that this was a great book. Usually, whenever I read a book where everything seems to go wrong, I begin to get frustrated. This was not the case. Tucked between the mini disasters were those heartfelt family moments that only come with the wedding territory. For instance, the Grants played capture the flag the night before Linnie’s wedding.

In addition, I enjoyed how the different story lines flowed. There’s a lot going on in this novel. You have the wedding, you have Charlie figuring out where she stands with Jesse and where to go to college, and the house being sold. But, there’s so much more than that. For instance, you have the end of Charlie’s mom’s comic, Grant Central Station. You see an unexpected romance form. And, you see one end.

What was also cool — and something that Matson always does in her books — was that you get to see a character in a previous novel. This time, you see Andie Walker from the Unexpected Everything. In addition, you see her father, who is now the governor, make a few appearances. I always love it when authors do that — it’s kind of neat to see how your favorite characters in your novels are, without reading another book about them.

However, while I enjoyed the book, I still wondered if it was realistic. Having never really been in a wedding or have gotten married, I wouldn’t have experienced the trials of planning a wedding. But, for all of you who have, let me ask you this — it is realistic for everything to go wrong on your wedding day?

Other than that, it was definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. Furthermore, if you’re a fan of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, or Jennifer Smith, than Save the Date should also be on your summer reading list.