TINA: I set my Goodreads goal at only 6 books this year (a huge departure from when I used to read 75 or more…) since children and reading aren’t generally something that goes hand in hand. And yet, I managed to go way over my goal, meaning I overshot by about 15 books. This was partially due to the required reading in my literacy class, but also due to me just needing to read. Books are my happy place, and it was just
necessary for me to get back there. And with that, here’s my list!
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
- A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz
- The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
- Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
- Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
- Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
ASHLEY: I am the opposite of Tina (in so many ways) but mostly the fact I set my Goodreads goal to be one more than the amount I read last year. I have little going in my life and am constantly reading (NO REGRETS!) As of writing this I have read 306 books out of my goal of 272. Out of those 306, I have chosen 13 books that were my top of the top. About 4% of what I’ve read, which is interesting because this means I’ve become a little more picky in my reading. Out of those 13, 11 are by women (YAY LADIES!). Out of those 12, 10 came out this year. One came out in a previous and one comes out next year! Here is my list in no particular order.
- If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
- The Fill in Boyfriend by Kasie West
- The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
- None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
- I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
- Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
- Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
- Kissing in America by Margo Robb
- Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
- George by Alex Gino
- Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
- Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
- What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
Posted by tina in Uncategorized Tags: author: benway, author: demetrios, author: fowley-doyle, author: gino, author: gregorio, author: hartzler, author: hawkins, author: lai, author: lord, author: mathieu, author: moskowitz, author: munoz ryan, author: murphy, author: robb, author: russo, author: rylant, author: west, author: yoon
When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.
The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.
Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship. – Goodreads
While I’ve never hidden the fact that I love and adore Kasie West’s writing, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book. The Fill-In Boyfriend is the story of Gia, a high school senior, who seems to rule the school. Gia has a group of friends, people see her as being a perfect person, but really her life is anything but that. Minutes before senior prom starts, her boyfriend, Bradley, breaks up with her. Because one of her friends was convinced Bradley was fake, Gia cannot walk into prom alone. It would be the end of her world, or her high school universe at least.
Gia ends up asking the guy she finds in the parking lot to be Fill-In-Bradley (or FIB). She knows nothing about him but the fact that he agrees and goes with her. They end up having a “break” up at the prom so that Gia could continue on with her life and everything will be okay! Except it’s not. The girl that sits in front of Gia in government class is FIB sister, and she cannot stop thinking about fake-Bradley. She’s actually thinking about fake Bradley more than she is real Bradley. She actually doesn’t miss real Bradley at all. As much as she tries to see FIB again, his sister won’t assist her and she doesn’t know what to do.
Until, the moment his sister looks at her in government class and goes “I need you” and because Gia owes him a favor, she agrees to be his date to his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party. What Gia doesn’t expect is the sparks to fly and the two of them to become really good friends. The reason I keep calling fake-Bradley, FIB, is the fact there is a really cute scene involving Gia finding out his name, and I wouldn’t want to ruin that.
There is a lot that occurs throughout this novel. There is a plot that involves Gia’s brother, and the fact he does something that is extremely rude. There is her group of friends and how Gia treats them. There is the fact that this is a quiet novel that is very reminiscent of high school.
What I enjoyed more than the relationships in The Fill-In Boyfriend, was the fact that Gia had a lot of growth throughout this novel. From her relationship with the school, to her relationship with her brother, to ultimately her relationship with herself, by the end of the book I was so proud of the person she had become.
Kasie West continues to shine for me and I will read whatever she writes. Mostly because she writes with my tears.
Everyone does best of the best lists on blogs. It is one of my highlights of blogs because I love seeing what hit books I missed during the year. Or what books someone loved and I loathed (because this happens). In no particular order here are my favorite 10 books of the year:
- Anything by Oliver Jeffers. I read everything and anything by him and enjoyed it. While not everything was five stars, most was and if anything I would give it more than five stars if possible. From The Hueys to Once Upon the Alphabet you can not go wrong with Jeffers.
- On The Fence and Split Second by Kasie West. Although I am friends with West, this does not effect my rating on her books. I love her books and the fact that On the Fence made me cry says something. Mostly that she’ll mock me about it. But really, West gets that part of being a teenager that no one talks about and isn’t always fair. But also the sweet moments, the little moments, the falling in love moments.
- Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. I’m about 99.9% sure that I have flailed about this book to everyone this year. It was sweet and it’s just a really nice love story. It’s heart breaking and real and I wanted to live in this novel. Even talking about it now, is making me want to re-read it.
- Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. This is one of the few books I truly devoured this year. I loved the emphasis on friendship and making people go outside of what makes them comfortable. And yes, this is coming from me. A very predictable person. But I love Matson’s writing and that was affirmed in this book.
- Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler. Do I really need to flail about this book? You all know how much I love it. Read it. Cry. Come talk to me so we can flail together.
- Landline by Rainbow Rowell While this was far more of an adult book and I didn’t relate to it on the level that I related to Fangirl I still loved and adored Landline. I get emotions reading Rowell’s writing that I don’t get from everyone else.
- Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. Flawed, real girls that you related to? Yes please. I adored this book. Hearts in my eyes.
- Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. We all waited so long for this book and it did not disappoint me. The way I related to Isla is just a tad embarrassing.
- The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand. I’m still crying right? The tears have they stopped? Oh this book. It was so. so. so. good.
What have you read and loved this year?
She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door…
Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she’s got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she’s falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.
Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect. – Goodreads
Funny fact. This was the IT book of ALAMW2014 at the Harper booth. Everyone and their mother wanted this book and they didn’t bring it because they did not expect it to be the hot item it was. The hot item that was stolen! So of course I was sad I couldn’t snag it, but then, one day, it went up on Edelweiss and I wept. Fine. I did not weep at that moment. BUT I did weep while reading this book. Then I thought I was good and would stop, only to start again.
I’ve stated before that I will read whatever West writes because I adore her writing that much, but I did not expect to be moved to tears. On the Fence is the story of Charlie, who is content in her life. Her mother died from a car accident when she was young, she has three brothers who treat her like one of the boys, and her best friend on the other side of the fence is one of the boys. One of her brothers. Then, finally, Charlie’s cop dad had enough of her acting out and forced her to get a job. The only job she can get is in a dress shop (A+ to West for including illusions to The Distance Between Us) and Charlie is pure tomboy so there is an adjustment period for her. Including part where she tells the shop owner that her mother is alive. Which is awkward, because we the reader know her mother is dead.
On the Fence also includes a love-triangle, which is hard for me, a hater of love triangles to even admit to. But West does it in such a way that your heart goes out to everyone in the best way possible. West manages to pack a good growth novel into a short amount of time (one summer, 320 pages.) Charlie learns about herself, the fact she can be a girl who is one of the boys while still having girlfriends, and even have a boyfriend. The most important thing Charlie learns, to me, was the truth. She learned more about herself by the end of summer than she could have ever saw coming and oh the tears it caused from this reader. Although this is easily a romance novel, it is more than that. It’s Charlie growing up and becoming her true self.
Life can change in a split second.
Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.
When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.
Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.
As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything– Goodreads
Review: Please Note. While West and the blogger are friends this has no relation on the review. Because West would not approve of that madness.
Last year I read, and reviewed, Pivot Point and later in the year I had the chance to meet West and fall in love with her as a person and a friend and not just as an author, and I’m not saying this because she’s my friend, but I will read anything she writes. And the likelihood is I will devour it. She’s one of the few authors that can make me cry. I’m an easy crier. I cry at the drop of a hat, but books generally don’t make me cry. That is the power that West can convey via the written word. That is a powerful tool, in my opinion.
I loved Split Second. I was shocked to find out I loved it as much as I did. While Pivot Point was amazing, I found it to be a standalone to the point I was shocked find out there would be a second book. Even with the shock, I was not disappointed. Split Second is everything I expect from a Kasie West novel, and more.
Told from dual point of views: Addie, who we know and love and her BFF Laila. Dual POV does not always work. To me, it rarely works. But it was fascinating to see Addie learn things that we already knew about her and those around her. But West never once info dumped us. She made it nice and refreshing while rehashing information that was in the first book. It was also fascinating to see Laila and learn more about her. In Pivot Point we only ever see Laila from Addie’s point of view and we know how skewed that can be. My BFF and I can go to an event and have two very different views on what happened. Her’s usually involves her having a blast and me having a panic attack because omg a lot of people.
Although I am a big, big, big Addie fan, I was super fascinated by Laila’s side. Her life wasn’t picture perfect or easy and a lot of aspects sucked. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind more from Laila. But let’s talk about the important part of this novel. Trevor.
Trevor. Hearts in my eyes. Trevor. He’s snarky and he doesn’t always know what’s going on but oh did I fall in love with him again. My heart died a bit when him and Addie fell in love with each other again, because it was heartbreaking and lovely and made me sigh multiple times. This book even did that thing where it I want more. I want to know more about the Compound and their abilities and I JUST WANT MORE.
Top Ten Tuesday is a new thing we are trying at yAdultReview, because, well why not? Plus, we know Ashley loves her some lists, and Tina just likes Ashley being happy, so ta-da! For our blog generally Ashley will be number 1-5, and Tina will be 6-10. This week was a rewind that allowed us to go back and pick a topic we weren’t able to touch on.
In the words of The Broke and the Bookish who host the feature:
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
- Kendare Blake. Hands down didn’t even need to think twice about this. Tina and I joke that she is one of the patron saints of this blog. Ignore the fact that Tina and I are lapsed Catholics. But Kendare and I talk a lot on twitter and livejournal and I actually feel like she’s a friend of mine. Mostly because we harass each other about baseball teams.
- Nora Roberts. Be still my romance heart. I would love to meet Nora Roberts.
- Michelle Gagnon, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
- Kasie West, who I told when she comes to Arizona I’m stalking her. But it’s cool, she’s okay with it because she’s awesome like that and jokes right back with me!
- Erin Bowman, who I bonded with on twitter with my brilliant use of amazeballs and bothering her on a daily basis. Thanks Erin!
- Lisa McMann. Yeah. Do I need to explain this one? Just look at her tag on this blog. Enough said. (Ashley note: The other patron saint of our blog. Yes, we have two.)
- Kendare Blake. As Ash mentioned above, Kendare is the patron saint of yAR. Even though she’s a Twins fan. She did write Cas Lowood, so she gets a break for her terrible taste in baseball teams.
- Robin LaFevers. She writes the most beautiful prose, and I would love to talk to her about medieval Brittany.
- Holly Black. HOLLY BLACK IS MY FAVORITE. I mean, one of them. I love her. Her Modern Faerie Tales novels were one of the first paranormal YA series I’ve ever read, which led me to Curse Workers, which I loved like crazy. Another male narrator! I actually think we’re meeting her at ALA this year, and I told Ash I will not be responsible for my actions.
- Sarah Rees Brennan. Sarah is hilarious on twitter, and she loves to make fun of us poor fans heartbroken over Unspoken. She claims she talks like her characters, which means she is witty and funny in real life, and I have a feeling she would be a lot of fun to drink wine with.
Top Ten Tuesday is a new thing we are trying at yAdultReview, because, well why not? Plus, we know Ashley loves her some lists, and Tina just likes Ashley being happy, so ta-da! For our blog generally Ashley will be number 1-5, and Tina will be 6-10.
In the words of The Broke and the Bookish who host the feature:
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists.
- Roarke. I can picture the face Tina will make when she reads that I listed the lead guy from the in Death series. But his fierce love of Eve (the woman who becomes his wife) and his willing to protect her no matter what makes it so easy to love him. Of course he gives Eve a hard time a lot, which also makes it easy to love him.
- Calvin Morrisey. When I was younger, I read massive amounts of romance paperbacks. Then I found out about Jennifer Cruise and inhaled all of her books at once. Not that I still don’t read massive amounts of romance novels, because I do. Cal, although he has his faults. He loves Min with all of his life and the two of them play such a game of cat and mouse that by the end you just want to smish them together. Yes. Smish.
- Trevor. From my review here, I made it quite clear I was team Trevor. There was a strong point in the novel that my heart turned and my love for Trevor only grew. While he is a sensitive soul he also has his moments of snark and slowly worked his way into my heart.
- Vane Weston. It is not remotely a secret for anyone that I love and adore Shannon Messenger’s Let the Sky Fall But Vane? Oh Vane is my YA dream boy. He’s snarky, he takes no shit, and he tries his hardest. Plus he loves and adores his parents, which is pretty awesome.
- James Compton. When you first meet James Compton you don’t love him. Hate comes to mind, but slowly he becomes more human and with him becoming more human he becomes someone that not only does Maisie fall in love with, but the reader, too. Plus he has a bit of snark. What can I say, I love snarky boys.
- Ethan Wate. I’ve loved Ethan since the very first chapter in the very first book of the Caster Chronicles. He is who all other male narrators are compared to, and usually found wanting. I don’t think it has so much to do with looks, but I love a boy who reads, first of all. And a boy who doesn’t believe everything he’s told (I specifically remember his mocking of being taught about the War of Northern Aggression). I also really loved how he stuck by Lena, how he described her powers, and how just devoted to her he was. He was my first male narrator. You never forget your first!
- Peeta Mellark. The Boy with the Bread. Steadfast, worthy, charismatic, horribly brainwashed and tortured. I loved Peeta from the beginning (even if I didn’t love him with Katniss right away), because he was never the showy bad boy, or the pretty one. He was just Peeta, the baker’s son with a good heart, the one who saved Katniss and Prim’s lives once. That he’d loved Katniss since she was a little girl only makes it better, really. And the movie has only made me love him more, because while I had my doubts at first, Josh Hutcherson is perfect for the role and is really good at looking vulnerable. I just want to hug him!
- Christian Prescott. I started the Unearthly series a Tucker fangirl, but Hallowed made me change my mind (plus I’m not exactly into the whole cowboy/rodeo thing). I don’t know any other Christian fans, but I really loved the connection he had with Clara, and how he knew when not to say anything and just be there. People don’t like him for what he did in the cemetery with Clara, but honestly, that was the turning point for me. He knew what she needed. He was there for her.
- Cricket Bell. I have a weird relationship with Stephanie Perkins’ novels. I’ll be the first to tell you that I really should not read contemporary romance; it only makes me rage. I raged during Anna and the French Kiss, and I raged even harder during Lola and the Boy Next Door. Just thinking about it makes me mad, remembering Lola and all her stupid moves. Cricket saved the book. He was so sweet and quiet, and he saved the day over and over. He does have an unfortunate name, yes, but when he tells Lola she looked incredible? I swooned. I maintain that he deserves better than what he got. *ducks*
- Adrian Ivashkov. I’ll just come right out and say it: I prefer Adrian to Dimitri. Dimitri always seemed like such a cardboard cutout. When I read the Vampire Academy series, it was for Rose, not Dimitri, though I admit I liked their romance. For awhile. Until Blood Promise. Which ruined everything. I haven’t read Last Sacrifice, but I started Bloodlines, because I care more about what happens to Adrian and Sydney than Dimitri and Rose. Adrian is a classic sarcastic bad boy who’s hurting on the inside, but he doesn’t seem like a cliche to me. His circumstances make him more interesting than that.
- Honorable Mention from Tina: Cas Lowood. Cas, who kept himself friends-less, who fell in love with a ghost, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean to help her, who in the end had to let her go. Watching his evolution in Anna Dressed in Blood from outsider to close friend, and watching his love grow over the course of the novel, was so lovely. And what happened at the end of Girl of Nightmares was heartbreaking, but Cas pulled through and was mature enough to do what had to be done. And besides, Kendare Blake basically endorsed my crush on Twitter the other day.
Posted by ashley in TTT Tags: author: blake, author: collins, author: crusie, author: garcia, author: hand, author: mead, author: messenger, author: perkins, author: robb, author: stohl, author: west, author: winspear, top ten tuesday