Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best Books I Have Read in 2015

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish, and I decided to share my list with all of you also!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is…Top Ten Best Books I Have Read in 2015. Shall we?

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1. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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2. Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

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3. Stand Off by Andrew Smith

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4. Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

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5. Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

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6. Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

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7. Hold Me Like A Breath by Tiffany Schmidt

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8. I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

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9. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

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10. Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius

I have read some amazing books so far this year! As you can see, I tend to lean more towards contemporary so I’m going to try to read more fantasy and more mystery/thrillers for the reminder of the year! I can’t believe I have already read over fifty books this year and I can’t wait to read TONS more!

And to all the authors on this list…please keep writing! I need more of your beautiful words!

Review: Weightless by Sarah Bannan

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Title: Weightless

Author: Sarah Bannan

Publication Date: June 30, 2015

Excerpt from Goodreads:

When 15-year-old Carolyn moves from New Jersey to Alabama with her mother, she rattles the status quo of the junior class at Adams High School. A good student and natural athlete, she’s immediately welcomed by the school’s cliques. She’s even nominated to the homecoming court and begins dating a senior, Shane, whose on again/off again girlfriend Brooke becomes Carolyn’s bitter romantic rival. When a video of Carolyn and Shane making out is sent to everyone, Carolyn goes from golden girl to slut, as Brooke and her best friend Gemma try to restore their popularity. Gossip and bullying hound Carolyn, who becomes increasingly private and isolated. When Shane and Brooke—now back together—confront Carolyn in the student parking lot, injuring her, it’s the last attack she can take.

Sarah Bannan’s deft use of the first person plural gives Weightless an emotional intensity and remarkable power that will send you flying through the pages and leave you reeling.

I was provided a free copy via Edelweiss in exchange for a honest and unbiased review. Big thanks to the publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin.

Carolyn is new in town and becomes popular very quickly. She is soon dating one of popular senior boys, Shane. Things are really good at first. She makes new friends with some of the popular girls and even the not so popular girls. She is nice to everyone. Things start to go south when Brooke, Shane’s jealous ex-girlfriend, starts to antagonize Carolyn and spread rumors about her.

I can’t say much without giving away spoilers, but the things that these girls (and guys) would do to Carolyn were truly horrific. I was disgusted. While I know this book is a work of fiction, I know that this type of bullying happens every single day. Although I haven’t been a victim or witness to this level of bullying, when I was in high school, a girl from a neighboring high school committed suicide because she was being bullied. It is very scary how badly someone words and actions can affect a person.

This book is told through the point of view “we.” The reader never identifies “we” as a person, but more as a group observing. At first this point of view bothered me, but then it begins to make sense. Especially in high school, the less you stand out, the better. “We” gives the reader a feeling that is lacking individuality. “We” is afraid to stand up for something in fear of being judged and ridiculed like Carolyn. “We” stays silent.

I had so much trouble reviewing this book. Have you ever read a story that needed to be told, but hated the characters at the same time? That’s how I feel about this book. This is a book everyone needs to read, especially those in high school. While dark and disturbing, this book opens your eyes on a very big issue. Definitely a book you need to pick up now.

4 out of 5 stars


Meet The Author

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Sarah Bannan was born in 1978 in upstate New York. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2000 and then moved to Ireland, where she has lived ever since. She is the Head of Literature at the Irish Arts Council and lives in Dublin with her husband and daughter.

You can find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and her website.

Mini Reviews: Black Ice, Mosquitoland, and Her Dark Curiosity

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Title: Black Ice

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Publication Date: October 7, 2014

Excerpt from Goodreads:

Brit Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants;but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

Britt and Korbie just wanted to backpack through the Teton Range. When they become stranded in Britt’s car, they decide to walk for help. They then come across a cabin where two men are living. Mason and Shaun. Before she realizes it, Britt and forced to lead both Mason and Shaun out of the mountains and Shaun threatens to kill her if she doesn’t comply.

Almost the entire novel is set in the mountains. Britt is trying to simultaneously escape/lead her captors in the wrong direction. I feel like I can’t say much about this book without giving major spoilers away, but I will say this, Britt is dumb. In practically one day, the man that is holding her captive no longer feels like a threat to her. Before the reader realizes it, she is hooking up with Mason. Not only that, she justifies his actions of violence and crime because he is just trying to avenge his sister’s murder. That makes it ok, right? No.

Her relationship with Korbie is even worse. Korbie is supposed to be Britt’s best friend, but Britt finds a list that Korbie wrote comparing herself to Britt. Why would you compare yourself to someone who is “supposed” to be your best friend? There friendship was disgusting and fake. Just NO.

The ending was extremely disappointing and only furthers my statement of how stupid and immature Britt is. As much as I hate to say it, I really don’t see myself reading other books by this author.

2 out of 5 stars

Meet The Author

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Becca Fitzpatrick grew up reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden with a flashlight under the covers. She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she’s most likely prowling sale racks for reject shoes, running, or watching crime dramas on TV. She is the author of the bestselling Hush, Hush Saga. Her new book Black Ice arrives in bookstores everywhere October 7, 2014.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, and her website.


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Title: Mosquitoland

Author: David Arnold

Publication Date: March 3, 2015

Excerpt from Goodreads:

After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.
So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, “Mosquitoland” is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

In an attempt to be with her mother in a time of sickness, Mim embarks upon her lovely steed, a Greyhound bus. Throughout her journey, she meets some wonder people and some people who aren’t so wonderful.

Mim is so quirky and offbeat, the reader can’t help but love her. Every word and sentence Mim speaks is fresh and authentic. She is her own person in every way possible. We get to meet some truly remarkable and very lovable characters that can give the readers a more positive outlook on life. Want to know why Mary Iris Malone goes by the name Mim? When she was younger she thought that the word acronym meant acroname. See what I mean by fresh and authentic?

Mosquitoland is book you have been waiting to read, even if you didn’t know it yet.

4 out of 5 stars

Meet The Author

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Hi. I’m David.

I write stories and songs. I live in Lexington, Kentucky, with my (lovely) wife and our (boisterous) son. Previous “jobs” include freelance musician/producer, preschool teacher, barista, and stay-at-home dad. I’m a fierce believer in the power of kindness and community. I like pesto, Arcade Fire, indie bookstores, Middle-earth, GARP, Elliott Smith, Christmastime, and all things Sorkin. I don’t like olives, liars, or wet socks.

My debut novel, Mosquitoland, is out now from Viking/Penguin, and is available wherever books are sold. My second book is tentatively set for a fall 2016 release.

You can find him on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and his website.


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Title: Her Dark Curiosity

Author: Megan Shephed

Publication Date: January 28, 2014

Excerpt from Goodreads:

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father’s island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.

In the second installment of The Madman’s Daughter, Juliet is now living with one of her father’s former colleagues. Between trying to create a cure for her sickness and attempting to live a somewhat normal life, Juliet begins to hear rumors about murders happening throughout the city. Each victim is left with three slashes across their bodies…just like the slashes The Beast left on the victims on the island.

While I didn’t love this installment as much as the first, the story continues to be just as intriguing and thrilling. Much to Juliet’s horror, we learn some dark secrets that are connected with Juliet’s father’s work. Juliet is running a race against time to help a friend in need and saving many innocent people from a truly horrific death.

Her Dark Curiosity is a strong second installment to a wonderfully dark series.

4 out of 5 stars

Meet The Author

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Megan Shepherd was “born” into the book world, growing up in her parents’ independent bookstore in Western North Carolina. She is the author of The Madman’s Daughter trilogy (Balzer+Bray/2013), and The Cage trilogy (Balzer+Bray/2015). When Megan is not writing, she can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. She is represented by Josh Adams at Adams Literary.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

Waiting on Wednesday

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.  “Waiting on Wednesday” spotlights upcoming releases that I’m eagerly anticipating.

Title: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Publication Date: September 1, 2015

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Excerpt from Goodreads:

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they’ll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

This new must-read novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that must be made when life and love lead in different directions.

I’ll admit, I have never read anything by Jennifer Smith. Seem like just about everyone has but me! That’s ok because I plan to starting reading Ms. Smith with this book! Not only is that cover gorgeous, but that blurb is lovely! I can’t wait to read this one!

Top Ten Tuesday: My Ten Favorite Top Ten Topics I Have Ever Done

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish, and I decided to share my list with all of you also!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is a freebie, so I decided to do…My Ten Favorite Top Ten Topics I Have Ever Done. Since I have only been blogging for about six months, I won’t have as many posts to choose from as other bloggers, but I still think I can choose ten!  Shall we?

1. Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR

I really enjoyed this TTT because it got me even more excited for summer and all the lovely books I will be reading soon!

2. Top Ten Quotes From Books

This was a super neat TTT because I’m such a huge fan of quotes and there is nothing better than reading a quote that basically changes your perspective of life.

3. Top Ten Books I Recently Added To My TBR List

This TTT was so much fun because it really got my excited about some books I recently had added to my TBR! It just so happened I had recently came across some very interesting books so I had tons of fun with this post!

4. Top Ten Books From My Childhood/Teen Years I Would Like To Revisit

Soooo much nostalgia in this post! This was such an awesome TTT because it reminded me off all the books that curated my love of reading!

5. Top Ten All Time Favorite Books From The Past Three Years

This TTT also reminded me of all the wonderful books I have read and why I love to read!

6. Top Ten Bookish Problems

I loved, loved, loved this TTT! My post basically consisted of nothing but gifs and I had so much fun matching them up with my “bookish problems!”

7. Top Ten Books I Would Love To Read If I Had A Book Club

This was a pretty neat TTT because I tend to stay in the YA genre, but this TTT had me searching for books to read outside of my genre zone and it was quite eye opening!

8. Top Ten Swoon Worthy Covers of 2015

This one was a freebie, so I decided to choose the above topic. Even though we don’t always admit, we are always attracted to pretty covers, we know we can’t help it when those covers catch our eye! I know I can’t help but stare at all the pretty colors…

9. Top Ten Books For Readers Who Like Standalones

I can have a love-hate relationship with standalones, because sometimes you just need more, more, MORE!! But I do love the fact that you never have to die with anticipation for the sequel to be released.

10. This TTT Post

This was quite the unique TTT post and it was really fun going back to see all the TTT posts that I enjoyed the most!