My Favorite Series

I have always preferred standalone novels over series, and I don’t think that will ever change. But, of course, that doesn’t mean that every so often I won’t pick up a series and fall in love with it. Even when looking at my favorite series, they are only 3-4 books long! Anything longer than that really intimidates me, if I’m being honest!

Today, I’m going to share my five favorite series with you all!

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

This is one of a couple of books that got me back into reading in middle school. I was always a reader growing up, but around 6th and 7th grade, I got swept up in what was considered “cool” or not, so I wasn’t reading as much.

In 8th grade, I picked up this book because I knew the movie was going to be coming out soon, and I fell in love! I recently did a re-read of the entire series as well, and it is still a favorite of mine. Actually, the day this blog post goes up is the day of the release of A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. I probably won’t be getting to it for a while, but I am excited to read it!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Han

This series came to me my freshman year of high school. I remember asking for it for Christmas, probably after seeing it in a magazine or online somewhere. I fell in love immediately, and I was soon able to read the second book!

This series followed me all the way up until now (with the movies coming out), but it really was the series I needed to read in my early teen years. I have such fond memories of it, and it will always have a place in my heart.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

This is a series I actually just read recently, but I love all of the characters in it so much. This is the only series on this list that I haven’t completed yet, but I feel like that’s okay because the final book just came out a few months ago and I’m still waiting for my hold to come in from the library.

I really fell in love with these characters and the setting that Libba Bray put this story in. It was such a delight to read about, and I can not wait to finally get to the last book! I just honestly can’t believe I put off this series for so long.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

This series surprised me in many ways. I really wasn’t expecting to love it, as I don’t tend to enjoy YA mysteries as much as Adult ones. BUT, I really, really ended up loving it! The main character, Stevie, was so interesting, and the murder we learn about was fascinating.

I honestly did not know where the story was headed for the majority of it. It completely pulled me in and left me surprised! I think it was very well thought out, and I hope I’ll be able to find another mystery like it one day.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

When I first read book one of this trilogy, I fell in love. I wasn’t a big fantasy reader then (nor am I now, but I’m definitely more versed in it), so I was shocked to find a book that I enjoyed so much in this genre.

I will admit, the last book in the series was my least favorite, but I still really enjoyed the overall atmosphere of all of the stories. They were all just so magical and fun! I didn’t want my time in the world to ever end!

let's chat

There are plenty of other series that will probably make this list one day, but I tried to limit this to series that I’ve completed (or basically completed).

So, tell me what some of your favorite series are so that I can add some more to my TBR :)

Jessica

Top 7 Books With Mental Health Representation

May is mental health awareness month, and this is a topic that is so important to me. In the past, I have helped run (and participated in) a mental health book bingo, I have done many posts dedicated to this topic, and I constantly look for new books to read with MI rep. I am someone who has dealt with anxiety and OCD my entire life, so it is definitely something I relate to, and I think good representation in books is extremely necessary.

Today, I wanted to share with you my top 7 favorite books with good* mental health representation (sorry, I couldn’t narrow it down to 5).

*Everyone experiences MI differently, so what may be an accurate representation for me might not be the same experience you’ve had. Please be kind and keep an open mind.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

First off, I highly recommend listening to the audiobook of this one because it is incredible! This book has the BEST anxiety/OCD rep I have ever seen. I truly mean that. When I first read it, I was in so much awe of how well crafted the main character, Aza’s, thought spirals were. They so accurately depicted what I was feeling. I will say this one doesn’t have the best plot ever, but if you are looking for good representation, that is exactly what you’ll get.

It is very difficult to read, though, so please keep that in mind!

TW: anxiety, OCD, thought spirals/panic attacks

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

I just recently finished reading this entire series, and let me just say- it is SO GOOD. What I love about the representation in this one is that the main character, Stevie, has anxiety and takes medication for it. We don’t often get books where MI is normalized, let alone have medication be normalized. I really appreciate that this book did that, and I think this is so important to see in YA novels.

TW: panic attacks, murder

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

This book is so beautiful. I adore Akemi Dawn Bowman’s writing, and Starfish was such a  great novel. This one does such a great job of representing anxiety. Kiko, our main character, is so well-written and throughout the novel, her character really develops. I love seeing how Kiko progresses and overcomes her anxiety (obviously it never fully goes away, but she learns how to live with it).

TW: rape, sexual assault, abusive parent

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman

I think oftentimes, books don’t really show just how much school affects teenager’s mental health. We all know that school can really cause stress and anxiety, but this never get represented. When I read this book, I felt so seen. I think it’s so important to acknowledge just how much pressure there is on students because adults often neglect it.

Four Weeks, Five People by Jennifer Yu

This book was actually recommended to me by Emma from Emmmabooks, and I had never heard of it prior to her suggestion. I’m so glad I picked it up, though, because it was incredible! I talked about it more in-depth in a post I did where I read 5 books with OCD/Anxiety Rep!

TW: depression, OCD, anorexia, suicide/self harm, narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, panic attacks

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

This one is one I’ve talked about many times, but it was the first book I read with OCD representation, and it was the first time I felt seen in a book. I related to the main character so much, and this book has stuck in my mind for years. I definitely give this book credit for bringing me out of a bad place, so it means so much to me. It also has a really good twist at the end, so if you want a shocking book, I recommend it a lot!

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

This book is very dark and it deals with very difficult themes. It made me cry. A lot. But I think it is so important. This book follows a main character who was in a treatment facility after struggling with depression and PTSD, I believe (I may be wrong about this, I can’t really remember so please let me know). It was really well-written, and I think it is worth reading!

TW: suicide, self-harm, alcohol abuse, sexual assault, rape, PTSD

let's chat

If you are looking for even more recommendations, Marie recently shared her top 5, so I highly recommend checking her post out!

Also, if you have any recommendations of your own, please share them with me- I want to find more novels to add to my list!

Jessica

Let’s Talk Underrated Books

I’ve read a lot of books throughout my twenty years. While many of those books are considered “popular,” there are about just as many underrated ones that I haven’t seen many people talk about.

I am someone who will definitely succumb to the hype, but I want to get better at picking books up just because they interest me, not because everyone is talking about them.

Today, I thought I would talk to you all about my favorite underrated books, so maybe you can add some to your TBR!

Tweet Cute_Cover

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

This is the only book on the list that has over 3,000 ratings on Goodreads (but not by much), and it did receive a bit of hype, but not to the extent that it deserves. This was such an adorable read. It was quirky, it was cute, it was fun. It was one of the best YA romances I’ve read in a while.

On top of its fluffy-ness, it also tackles many serious topics as well. I think that more people should pick this one up; it is definitely worth it!

100 days of sunlight

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons

This a self-published book that came out last year that I had the chance to read and review an ARC of. Most people are hesitant when it comes to picking up indie books, but there are so many great ones out there that you can be missing out on!

Abbie Emmons is also a Youtuber, and I have been watching her videos for a couple of years now. She has such a great, bubbly personality, and she really does understand the craft of writing. Plus, the cover of this book is stunning.

you asked for perfect

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman

This book spoke to me in so many ways. It deals with the stress of senior year, of keeping up your grades, of applying to colleges, etc. It was so relatable, and I truly did connect with it.

I have not seen many people talking about this one, though. I do wish that more people would read it because I think it’s such an important read, especially for those who are in their senior year of high school or are about to be.

the lady rogue

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

Hi, my name is Jess and I am part of the Jenn Bennett fan club. I know I talk about Jenn Bennet in like 98% of my posts, but it’s because her books are just. that. good. Look, I would not be recommending them so often if I didn’t wholeheartedly believe that everyone should read them.

The Lady Rogue is her latest release, and it is actually a historical fiction book (with a bit of a paranormal twist). I am not usually a fan of this genre, but Jenn Bennett did it so well. Her characters were so fun and well-developed, the romance was adorable, and the story did not drag on in any way. No one on my timeline has talked about this book, so I am bringing it to you!

let's chat

What are some books you think deserve more love and attention? I want to add them to my TBR, so please leave a comment :)

Jessica

My Favorite Audiobooks

In 2016, I discovered audiobooks, and ever since then, they have been a big part of my reading life.

the hate u give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This was one of the very first audiobooks I ever listened to, and the experience was just so wonderful. I have such great memories of driving to school in the mornings in high school and listening to this story.

This was so great on audiobook because I feel like listening to the story made it so much more powerful. I could feel all of Starr’s emotions when she spoke. The narrator did an amazing job, and I’m happy that I chose the audiobook for my first read of this.

Overall, if you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend it, no matter what form you read it in!

turtles all the way down

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

This was also one of the first audiobooks I ever listened to. I believe I got both this one and The Hate U Give with my first two audible credits that I got for free! I really, really loved this audiobook. It gave me chills to listen to it. The story is about a girl named Aza who suffers from OCD.

Throughout the story, she has these thought spirals, and listening to it made it feel like her thoughts were my own. I felt so much closer to the story because of it.

How to Make Friends with the Dark

How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow

This is actually the audiobook I just recently finished listening to. The story was so good, and the audiobook was great. Once again, I felt like I was in the story with the characters. I think that darker, harder-to-read stories are great as audiobooks because you can better feel the emotions of the characters- the voice actors really do an amazing job at that.

 

Becoming

Becoming by Michelle Obama

This is Michelle Obama’s memoir, and she actually narrates it herself. Hearing her tell her story through her own words and voice made it so much more important to me. She just has such a great voice, and it was almost soothing to listen to it. I have always loved Michelle, but this book really solidified my love for her.

 

daisy jones and the six

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Of course, Daisy Jones has to be on this list. First of all, it’s a full-cast audiobook, so each character gets their own voice actor. Plus, they all play their parts so well. I really felt like I was listening to a real band share their experiences.

This was one of my favorite books of the year in 2019, and I even listened to the audiobook twice because it was so good. I definitely think it earns a spot as my favorite audiobook of all time.

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers

let's chat

What are some audiobooks you like? Let me know so I can add them to my TBR (multiple narrators are a plus!).

Jessica

If You Like This TV Show, You’ll Like This Book / Blogtober Day 24

Hello! I’ve had this blog post idea for a long time because it was a popular Booktube trend. I think it’s so fun to watch, so I’m putting it in blog form!

A lot of these pairings were chosen not because the plot lines are similar, or the entire story is the same. I chose them because they either have a similar vibe or both involve the same kind of trope/element, so keep that in mind!

Truly Devious

Gilmore Girls – Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Ok, hear me out on this one. The atmosphere of both the book and the tv show just seem like a perfect fit for me. When I think of Gilmore Girls, I think of cozy, fall, and school. Rory reminds me a lot of Truly Devious’ main character, Stevie. Ellingham Academy is a school for only the brightest students, much like Chilton is a school for the elite in Gilmore Girls. Obviously, there is no murder mystery involved in Gilmore Girls, but I do think Truly Devious is a cozy book to read in the fall time, and in between chapters, you can watch some reruns of Gilmore Girls!

gilmore girls

Bonus- If you love Gilmore Girls, I HIGHLY recommend reading Lauren Graham’s (who plays Lorelai) memoir Talking As Fast As I Can. The audiobook is narrated by her, and it made me feel like I was back in Stars Hollow. She tells a lot of stories about the show, too. Very enjoyable.

the unexpected everything

Scandal – The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

I always try to stay informed on the latest news and political drama. I absolutely LOVE the show Scandal. It can be a bit too dramatic at times, but it was entertaining and interesting. The Unexpected Everything is about a girl whose dad is a governor (or mayor? something like that), so we’re not exactly at the same playing field here (Scandal is about the President of the US). But, both still involve a SCANDAL–haha, get it?–so I think they’re comparable. There is also romance in both, and plenty of drama.

I feel like The Unexpected Everything is the PG-13 version of scandal.

With the Fire on High

Switched at Birth- With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

I feel like Daphne from Switched at Birth has a similar personality (and interests) to Emoni in With the Fire on High. Both are super fierce, intelligent, and love to cook! Daphne was raised by a Puerto Rican mother, but her biological parents are white. Emoni is afro-latinx, so they also have that in common. I just loved both of these characters so much, and I can totally see them being friends because of how close they are in personality.

sanctuary bay

House of Anubis- Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns

I love stories about creepy boarding schools. That’s what you get in both of these. I know, I’m really bringing it back with House of Anubis, but I feel like there aren’t that many shows about creepy boarding schools. Luckily, there are plenty of books to fill that void in my life! If you like that creepy school-vibe, both of these will give that to you!

Sanctuary Bay is also super underrated, and I think more people should pick it up! I got it off of BookOutlet on a whim one time, but I was so surprised by it. I need to do a re-read.

and then there were none

How To Get Away With Murder – And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

This one might seem like a bit of a stretch, but both involve murder (and getting away with it). If you are into murder mysteries, you will love And Then There Were None. I honestly wasn’t able to guess the murderer, so it was definitely a great plot twist for me! How to Get Away With Murder is exactly as the title suggests- it’s about a group of law students who try to get away with murder!

let's chat

If you’ve seen any of these tv shows and read the books, let me know what you thought of my pairings! I know they are not super straightforward, but I personally can see the connections between them! They make sense in my mind at least.

Thanks for reading. Bye!

Jessica

I Read 5 Books With Anxiety and OCD Rep / Blogtober Day 8

I’m always looking for books that I feel represent my anxiety and OCD in the most authentic, realistic way possible. Some of my favorite books are Turtles All the Way Down by John Green and Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone because I could truly see myself in the characters they portrayed. It’s so hard to find books that make me feel this way, though.

This summer, I set myself a challenge of reading books with these two representations to potentially find a new favorite read. I asked for recommendations on Twitter, and I chose five books that I was the most interested in. I documented my thoughts along the way, and I was pleasantly surprised as well (mostly).

Here are my thoughts on those five books:

the rest of us just live here

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness:

This was the first book that I read, and unfortunately, I started off at a not-so-great point. I gave this book 3 stars. It was just extremely average to me. I was actually even a bit confused during some points of the story, especially in the beginning, which also hindered my enjoyment.

Nothing stuck out, and the OCD representation was lacking for me. It just didn’t feel like the best representation, but I can only speak from my experience with the MI. One thing that I really appreciated was its diversity in the characters.

Rating: 3 stars

final draft

Final Draft by Riley Redgate:

Things definitely went up after that first read, though. I was initially really scared to read this book. I have wanted to read it ever since it came out because, duh, it’s a book about writing. I’m a reader, but I’m also a writer, so getting to combine those two? Incredible. But, my expectations were set really high, so I was worried that I would be disappointed.

Luckily, I wasn’t. I loved the writing style of this book. It was done really well, and I found myself underlining so many quotes that I enjoyed. The cast of characters is also so diverse. The main character, Laila, is pansexual, biracial, and plus-size, and she also deals with anxiety. I loved the representation of MI in this one. It hit very close to home, and I related to Laila in so many other ways, too.

What I really loved is that Laila has many flaws. She is not a perfect character by any means. She goes through many changes from beginning to end of the book as she struggles with her writing. I appreciate the way her character was done. It didn’t sugarcoat anything. But, this is definitely not a book for everyone, especially if you don’t like character-driven books.

TW: death, depression, anxiety

Rating: 5 stars

you asked for perfect

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman:

The next book I read was another really incredible one. I have never related to a book more in my life. I have been an ambitious person my entire life. I have always dreamed of my future college & career over boys & cool experiences like most of my friends.

But the pressure students face is insane. It can be extremely draining and stressful. I cried during this book because it got me thinking about my own high school experience & how much I hated it because of the expectations my school placed on its students. I was so unhappy for 4 years because I felt like I was suffocating the entire time.

The anxiety that Ariel struggles with as a student is SO RELATABLE. That feeling where “you think you constantly need to be doing work and if you’re not then you’re a failure” is very true.

I do wish this book had been a little longer so that some of the scenes could have been a bit more fleshed out. But it was so beautiful & very true to my competitive high school experience.

Rating: 5 stars

eliza and her monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia:

This book I’m still a little torn on. The anxiety representation was amazing. Again, it felt super realistic, and that is the main factor I look for in MI representation. However, it took me a really long time to get into. I have never been as big into fandoms as Eliza is, so the entire time I found myself struggling to connect to that aspect. And it’s the entire plot of the story.

But, I did really like the characters and I think this was a super unique story. Also, it has illustrations inside which just added so much life to story for me.

Rating: 4 stars

four weeks, five people

Four Weeks, Five People by Jennifer Yu:

The final book was actually suggested to me by EmmmaBooks. I’m sure you all know Emma on Youtube. She is one of my favorite booktubers ever. I trust her opinions and recommendations for books with MI representation, so when I saw this book, I knew I wanted to read it.

I had actually never heard of it prior to this, so I went in completely blind.

There was so much representation in this one. It follows five different characters who suffer from different MI and are all taken to a camp for a “wilderness treatment experience” over the summer. This book gave me representation for OCD and anxiety, as well as depression, narcissistic personality disorder, anorexia, and dissociation.

While I can only speak to the OCD and anxiety, the rep was so realistic. I could truly feel the pain and emotions that all 5 of these teens were going through. It doesn’t sugar coat mental illness; it tells it how it is.

It also doesn’t have an unrealistic “everything gets better and they all live happily ever after” ending. I really appreciate the way this book handles the subject matter, and I’m so happy I got to experience it and these characters.

TW: the above mentioned MIs, panic attacks, suicide/self harm, and possibly more.

Rating: 4 stars

I’d say in order from my favorite book to least favorite, this is how it’d go:

  1. You asked for Perfect
  2. Final Draft
  3. Four Weeks, Five People
  4. Eliza and Her Monsters
  5. The Rest of Us Just Live Here

let's chat

That is all for today! I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe found some new books to add to your TBR. If you have any recommendations for other books with mental illness representation, please leave them in the comments below.

See you tomorrow!

Jessica

Perfect Fall Reads / Blogtober Day 6

As promised, today I want to share with you some creepy, spooky, books that are perfect to read in the Autumn season!

Recommendation

The Night Circus
This is now one of my all-time favorite books so of course I had to include it on the list. The atmosphere of this book is like this slightly-haunted-but-also-kind-of-homey vibe. It’s all about a circus and it just perfectly sets you up for the fall.

To Drink Coffee With a Ghost
This is the only poetry collection on the list, but I think it is so fitting. The title says it all- coffee, ghosts. What else is Autumn for? But seriously, this collection is beautiful, and I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t. Even if you’re not a fan of poetry, I think Amanda’s work makes it really easy to get into because it tells a story. It’s so well done.

The New Neighbors
I’ve talked about this book before, but it is seriously one of my favorite adult thrillers. It was actually one of the first adult thrillers I’ve read, and it still haunts me. It was so good

Wilder Girls
This is a newer novel that everyone has been talking about. It is AMAZING. I know it has some mixed reviews and it’s definitely not for everyone, but if you’re into horror but don’t want like Stephen King level scary, I think this is such a good option. The ending broke me, but it was definitely a worthwhile read.

Sanctuary Bay
This is a really underrated read, but I think everyone needs to read it. It’s a boarding school mystery that was super atmospheric and full of twists. It’s YA, so it’s not too scary and has just the perfect amount of thrill.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
Whenever I think of this book I automatically think of Halloween. It’s a creepy book filled with even creepier photographs in between the chapters. There’s a girl who floats and has to wear lead shoes!?

The Lady Rogue
I just talked all about this book in a review, so you can check that one out if you want. This is a historical fantasy/paranormal novel which, again, is perfect for fall!

The Book Thief
This book is narrated by death. How spooky is that? It’s actually also a book I’ve read like three times (all for school) and didn’t enjoy the first time. But it’s definitely grown on me.

Books I Haven’t Read:

I thought I’d also include some books that I think would be perfect for the fall, but that I myself haven’t read yet in case you want some more ideas!

Emma in the Night
This book follows a girl who went missing with her sister three years ago. Now she has returned. What happened that night they disappeared?

Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft
This is a short story collection where all of the stories are about witches, both good and bad. Lots of cool authors wrote a story, and I’ve been meaning to read it for ages.

Sawkill Girls
Three girls are on an island where girls have been disappearing from for decades. They need to come together and save the island because they’re the only ones who have the power to.

If We Were Villains
All I know about this one is that it’s about a group of students who studied Shakespeare and one of them is arrested for murder. It’s literary fiction, which is a genre I’ve been really into recently.

City of Ghosts
This is a middle grade by V.E. Schwab that I think would be perfect if you’re not really a big horror fan. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it, too.

The Turn of the Key
Okay, if I’m being honest, I have no idea what this one’s about. BUT, I know that Ruth Ware writes thrillers that a ton of people love. This one has been getting a ton of hype, so I am definitely intrigued.

There Will Come a Darkness
I want to own this book more than anything. The cover is stunning. It’s a recent release that I’ve seen a lot of people talking about, but I actually haven’t seen any full reviews of yet. I did hear that if you like Game of Thrones, you’ll like this one!

His Hideous Heart
I’ve got one last book for you, and it’s another anthology. It’s actually a collection of stories inspired by Edgar Allan Poe (and it includes his original stories, too). Poe is the peak of fall reading. I am very interested in this one, and I almost broke my book buying ban for it.

let's chat

I hope you found a new book for your Autumn TBR in this post! If you’ve read any of these, or have any more to add to the list, feel free to let me know in the comments!

See you tomorrow :)

Jessica

Books About Writing That I Want To Read

Hello everyone! Hope your January is going well so far. I can’t believe it’s almost over already!

Today I want to talk about books about writing that I want to read! I haven’t mentioned this here yet, but I am actually starting a new WIP! I am so so excited about it, and I will give more details about it soon. But for now, I want to give you a list of some books I want to read that are about writing. As a writer, I think it is so important to learn about the craft, and what better way to learn than from the experts??

These are all books that I have NOT yet read, but I’ve heard amazing things about them. I won’t describe them in too much detail since I haven’t actually read them, but also because there are a lot on this list! I hope you find at least one to add to your TBR :)

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On Writing by Stephen King

This is one that’s a staple to all writers. I have heard nothing by good things about this one, and I am actually in the process of reading it right now. It is funny and entertaining, but sprinkles writing tips all throughout. Stephen King is a legend in the writing world, so learning from him is huge to me.

 

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

This is another that I’ve heard such amazing things about. I want to read it ASAP! I will probably get it from my library right after I finish the previous one. From what I’ve heard, this book discusses so many different aspects of writing- not only does she give advice and tips on writing itself, but also on being a writer and what it is like.

A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf

This is basically all of Virginia Woolf’s thoughts about writing put into one book- why wouldn’t you want to read this? Woolf is such an important and prominent writer, and her works are said to be art. I have only read one of her books, Mrs. Dalloway, and loved it! I definitely want to read more by her in the future, and eventually get my hands on this diary!

Why I Write by George Orwell

This is another diary-like book by a famous author. You may know him for 1984 and Animal Farm. His books were pretty revolutionary for how they described the future, and I would definitely love to read his reasons for writing. I am sure that this one will be amazing.

The Anatomy of Story by John Truby

I heard this recommended by Kat from Katytastic on Youtube, and she absolutely loves this. This is a book about screenwriting, but the methods can be used for novel writing as well. After I heard Kat talk about it, I was sold. She said it definitely helped her with her writing and outlining, so I need it!

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

I saw this book recommended in a Pinterest post, and I added it to my TBR immediately. As a writer, I believe it is VITAL to read as much as possible. But knowing how to read like a writer is something even more valuable. I think this book will definitely teach me a lot, so I want to pick it up in the very near future.

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Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer

I remember seeing someone tweet about finding this book at a used bookstore, and I was intrigued by it. Naturally, I looked it up. It is an illustrated book that looks so beautiful. Among the pictures, there are tons of tips for writing, and it just seems so interesting. It’s pretty different from the rest of them, but it’s still something I want to read.

 

Why Poetry by Matthew Zapruder

These next two are about poetry actually, and not novel writing. BUT, this is something that I am also very passionate about. I heard about this one from Ariel Bissett, another Youtuber, and I trust all of her recommendations. This one isn’t necessarily teaching the craft, but it talks about why people read poetry and also poetry in a modern age. It definitely piqued my interest.

A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver was a beloved and very famous poet, who unfortunately passed away a few days ago. She was a huge inspiration to so many people, and I definitely want to read her handbook. This is a quick book that I think will be very useful. If I can write even 1/8 as good as she does, I would be happy.

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That is all for this post! If you have any recommendations for books about writing, please leave them down below :)

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Favorite Books of 2018 // Blogmas Day 22

Yesterday I accidentally titled my blog post Day 22 because I obviously can’t count, but I fixed that, and today is the true Day 22!

Today’s post is an exciting one- I am finally going to be sharing my top 10 favorite books of the year! I read 65 books this year, and I am currently in the middle of 2 others (but I don’t think they will make this list).

Out of those books, I found some of my absolute favorites, and I am so so excited to share them with you all! I put them in an order, but take it with a grain of salt. It was so hard to even narrow down my list, let alone rank these 10. I changed the order so many times because I was indecisive, so just remember that!

 

10. Looking for Alaska by John Green

I know that this is a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I loved this book. It was hard to get into at first, but I was hooked completely by the middle. It just gave me such a nostalgic feeling because this is a book that middle school me would have obsessed over. I can’t even really describe why I loved it so much, I just did.

9.Bird Box by Josh Malerman

I’m going to be honest, I really didn’t think I would like this one, but I decided I should just give it a chance. I ended up LOVING it. The movie is also amazing, so make sure you check it out!

8. To Make Monsters Out of Girls by Amanda Lovelace

This probably became my favorite poetry collection ever. It was so, so good. Amanda never fails to make me fall in love with her writing, but this one especially just spoke to me so much. I absolutely loved it, and I think everyone should give it a try.

7. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

After reading Simon, I didn’t have high hopes for this one. I loved the Simon movie, but the book fell flat to me in so many ways. It was just so hyped, so I expected a lot more from it. But this one was amazing. I loved and related to the characters so so much, and I really enjoyed the story. It was definitely a surprise for me.

6. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

I love Jenn Bennett so so much, and 2018 is actually the year I discovered her books. This is one that doesn’t come out until 2019, but I was lucky enough to get an ARC and I am so grateful. The way she writes romance is unlike anyone else. She makes you fall in love with the characters and I was mesmerized by this one.

5. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

This book melted my heart. I have been dying to read anything by Alice Oseman for so long, and this did not disappoint. It was so relatable and I love reading about podcasts, so this one was such a hit for me. The story was a bit sad at times, but it made you FEEL something, which I love.

4. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

This is the first year that I got into thriller/mysteries. I’ve always read a couple here and there, but I definitely read way more this year. This one was by far my favorite. I listened to the audiobook and it just had me so hooked. I could not get enough of it, and I highly recommend it if you like this genre.

3. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

This is a story told through poetry, and I absolutely loved it. It was just such an incredible story, and I love poetry, so the two put together was just so amazing. I also just related to it so much (not as much now, but definitely a few years ago). I just saw myself in the story, and it made me so happy.

2. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Wow, would you look at that? Another Jenn Bennett. At the beginning of 2018, I couldn’t decide if I liked this one more, or Starry Eyes (also by Jenn Bennett). But the more I thought about it, the more this one was on my mind. Alex is my favorite YA love interest ever. He was just so smooth and knows how to make you fall for him. I was obsessed (and still am, let’s be honest). Wow, I just really loved this one.

1. Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

I don’t even know what else to say about this one. It just spoke to me on so many levels, and I couldn’t get enough. I posted a review on it, so I’ll just direct you there because it sums up my feelings pretty well.

Honorable Mentions:

Sea of Strangers by Lang Leav

What Happened by Hillary Clinton

The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic

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If there are any on this list that you haven’t read, I highly recommend picking them up! I love all of these wholeheartedly, and 2018 was an incredible reading year for me. Please check these out :)

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Winter Reads Recs! // Blogmas Day 10

I feel like Christmas cozy time is perfect for cute, fluffy contemporaries. I know many people like to read fantasy at this time, but I’m more of a Hallmark movie type of girl.

Today I’m going to give you guys five contemporary recommendations (they’re not related to Christmas) that I feel would be great for this time of year!

 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

This is the PERFECT winter read. It involves baking, love triangles, and super cute family relationships. What more could you want in a book? I’m sure almost all of you have already read this, or at least watched the movie, but I still feel like it’s a great re-read at this time of year.

Looking For Alaska by John Green

This next one just screams winter time to me. I just read this book a few months ago, but it was the first one that came to mind for me when writing out this list. If you haven’t read it- you should. It’s not the most life-changing or best written story ever, but for some reason I just felt so connected to it, and I really liked it. Also, I just love John Green (unpopular opinion, I know).

 

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

This book is all about friendship, and I think it’s so important. Tamara Ireland Stone is such an incredible author. I just love all of the work she puts out. This one just made me feel so warm and happy- I highly recommend it.

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Another fluffy, cozy read that I fell in love with when I read it. I didn’t like We Are Okay by Nina which was a little disappointing for me because of how much I loved this one. Just pick it up, okay?

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Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Jenn Bennett has become one of my favorite authors of the year. In 2018 I read 3 of her 5 books (two of which were ARCs), and I fell in love every single time. I can not recommend her enough. This book is about camping and being outdoors, and the winter/fall time is when I relate to nature the most for some reason. If you don’t pick up any other books on this list, at least check this one out!

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I hope you guys end up picking one of these up this holiday season! They really are great reads :)

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