The Book Addict’s “GUIDE”… to Queens of Contemporary!

My reading tastes have changed a lot over the past few years, especially since I started blogging, but I still have a big place in my heart for contemporary romance and realistic fiction in my heart! I’ve been picking up a lot more light & fluffy contemporary stories lately, more so than the serious realistic fiction, but this compilation of Contemporary Queens includes a little of both!

This isn’t a comprehensive list of all of my favorites but it includes many of my favorite authors who currently have multiple books out, and I left a few off the list who I loved but I hadn’t read the majority of their current contemporary releases (like Elizabeth Eulberg and Robin Benway)! It also doesn’t include books of different genres from the authors listed below (like Kasie West’s paranormal duology and Rainbow Rowell’s dip into fantasy) to keep the list strictly contemporary!

The guide is mainly geared toward young adult authors and novels but also includes any “crossover” books by the same authors including Rainbow Rowell’s adult novels and Liz Czukas’s novels as Ellie Cahill for her new adult releases! Lastly, it also only includes full-length novels so any novellas or extras have not been included here (but you should totally check those out too)!


young adult contemporary

BOOKS MENTIONED

  1. Sisters In Sanity by Gayle Forman | Amazon // Goodreads
  2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman Amazon // Goodreads
  3. Where She Went by Gayle Forman Amazon // Goodreads
  4. Just One Day by Gayle Forman Amazon // Goodreads
  5. Just One Year by Gayle Forman Amazon // Goodreads
  6. I Was Here by Gayle Forman | Amazon // Goodreads
  7. Leave Me by Gayle Forman | Amazon // Goodreads
  8. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  9. On The Fence by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  10. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  11. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  12. By Your Side by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  13. Lucky In Love by Kasie West | Amazon // Goodreads
  14. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell | Amazon // Goodreads
  15. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell | Amazon // Goodreads
  16. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | Amazon // Goodreads
  17. Landline by Rainbow Rowell | Amazon // Goodreads
  18. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | Amazon // Goodreads
  19. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord | Amazon // Goodreads
  20. When We Collided by Emery Lord | Amazon // Goodreads
  21. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord | Amazon // Goodreads
  22. Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas | Amazon // Goodreads
  23. Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas | Amazon // Goodreads
  24. Throwing My Life Away by Liz Czukas | Amazon // Goodreads
  25. When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill | Amazon // Goodreads
  26. Call Me Maybe by Ellie Cahill | Amazon // Goodreads
  27. Just A Girl by Ellie Cahill | Amazon // Goodreads
  28. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins | Amazon // Goodreads
  29. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins | Amazon // Goodreads
  30. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins | Amazon // Goodreads
  31. My True Love Gave to Me curated by Stephanie Perkins | Amazon // Goodreads
  32. Summer Days and Summer Nights curated by Stephanie Perkins | Amazon // Goodreads
  33. Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt | Amazon // Goodreads
  34. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt | Amazon // Goodreads
  35. The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt | Amazon // Goodreads
  36. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland Amazon // Goodreads
  37. Nantucket Red by Leila Howland Amazon // Goodreads
  38. Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland Amazon // Goodreads

Who are your queens of contemporary? I also love Elizabeth Eulberg, Robin Benway, and Lauren Morrill but I need to catch up on some of their earlier books or latest releases!


Looking for more reading recommendations?
Here are some more posts to check out!

Caraval (Caraval #1) – Stephanie Garber

Caraval (Caraval #1) – Stephanie GarberTitle: Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber
Publishing Info: January 31, 2017 by Macmillan, Flatiron Books
Source: ALAMW16, BEA 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: November 14, 2016

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

bookreview1

Welllllll it’s another black sheep moment. CARAVAL didn’t really work for me and I know a lot of that was a personal preference. It had a Wonderland sort of feel in the sense that everything was so whimsical and Caraval itself kind of didn’t have any rules. Well, I should say that there definitely was a rule set but it was one of those fantasy situations where the characters find them out whenever something happens, so it really seems like there aren’t any rules until something happens. Really it’s just a matter of personal preference — when I’m in a fantasy setting, I really do need rules so I feel like I understand the structure of a setting and that was a bit much to really reach and understand how the magic worked.

I love books with a strong sibling aspect but I was actually disappointed with the sister relationship. They did care for each other more than anything and yet it still felt very surface level for me and that the reader was told how much the sisters loved each other and aside from the grand gesture, I didn’t really feel it. I felt like it could have gone much deeper with things like details, history, and special moments instead of them immediately being separated and the readers being told they have a special bond instead of really witnessing it.

This is maybe a mild spoiler but also happens very early on in the book so really not… But I also had a very hard time with their father’s abusive actions. I felt like there could have been so many reasons these sisters wanted to escape their father and their island and I didn’t feel the physical abuse was necessary. It was mean and nasty and the reasoning for everything really didn’t sit right with me. Surprisingly, this was a really big turn off for me, especially since it was the entire motivation of the book. It just felt a little too super-villain for me and I had a hard time seeing the father as a legitimate character. He seemed more like a caricature and not a realistic character.

I did love Julian and his interactions with Scarlett (the nickname thing was actually very cute, which sometimes doesn’t go well) and he was very suave. The romance was complicated and interesting and I loved the chemistry between Scarlett and Julian. That was something that was really great and consistent throughout the book for me!

CARAVAL was a quick and entertaining read but I’m not really sure if I want continue the series as of right now. I really wasn’t a huge fan of the writing because it definitely did feel young to me. I may see if others who had similar feelings ended up enjoying the sequel once the time comes. Really when it came down to it, I felt like CARAVAL had several places to really shine and it all kind of fell flat for me. The setting was very vivid, but didn’t feel structured. The ending was very lacking and could have happened so differently, felt like an “easy” way out of the conflict, and left me rather disappointed. Most of the characters felt underdeveloped. Most of it just didn’t quite click for me and the vivid descriptions just weren’t enough to dazzle me to make me overlook the things that I was missing.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Bad boy romances. Julian was a little rough, snarky, and kind of a bad boy and I really enjoyed his character a lot!
Left Me Wanting More: Structure. I have trouble with fantasy worlds like this where characters figure the world out as they go along. It really ends up feeling like the author kind of figured it out as they went along too, even if they had everything plotted out from the beginning.

Addiction Rating
Get a second opinion

People LOVED this one but I just didn’t click with it. It was a quick read for me but I just didn’t totally love it.

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE CARAVAL

(Click the cover to see my review!)

HEARTLESS    CRUEL BEAUTY

Book and a Beverage [169] – Kristie from Lost in Ever After

Book and a Beverage

Welcome back to BOOK AND A BEVERAGE!

In case you don’t know the deal about Book and a Beverage, it’s a very simple yet fun feature: We read books, we drink beverages, we take pictures of them and then I share your photos and a little about you to the blogging world!

Give a big welcome to Kristie from Lost in Ever After!

** Kristie chose to answer this this in a bit different of a format so this Book and a Beverage post is in paragraph form instead of Q&A! **

1

Name & Blog Name
Tell us a little about your blog!
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far?
Got anything special coming up we should know about?

Hello,

My name is Kristie and I am the owner of the blog Lost in Ever After. Here I talk about books, music and other life craziness that goes on. The blog has given me purpose through times when I’ve been down or playing the waiting game while things fell into place.

Over the years I’ve written many posts, but my favourite ones been more of a personal post.  Saying Yes is a post about coming out and talking about my girlfriend. The blog felt like a safe place and since I’ve come out, I felt happier and more myself. I hope to write more posts where I feel the same happiness.

I’m not sure what the future of my blog has in store. Definitely more badass posts, going to talk about other things than books more. As for specific specialty posts? You’ll just have to wait and see.

book

Whatcha reading?
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc)

Any special reason you chose to feature this book?
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it?

I never have one book on the go, and my friends can attest to this. I always have one ebook on the go, and one or two physical books too. Before writing this post, I had just finished The School of Good and Evil. It was a great middle grade adventure encompassing fairy tales. In the corner of my eye, I can see The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye. I sense a judgement from it, as if it’s upset that it’s being ignored. But the truth is that I have to focus on school work a bit before I can read any of it. I actually won this book in the blog tour, and I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember what blog it was from. I have a bad habit of acquiring a book and then ignoring it for a year. One of my reading goals this year is to read more of what is on my shelf. It’s going well so far, not that we’re too far into the year for it go badly.

The Crown’s Game is a masterpiece of a book. The magic, the historical setting and the characters make it a rich and invigorating book. I’d happily skip a day of classes to fully emerge myself in it. But I’m a good student and I don’t suggest anyone does the same. I’m only 12 chapters in, so I can’t say too much. But I’ve already discovered a plot twist. What I also enjoy is how there are multiple points of view. But I can’t wait to see how the game pans out.

With just finishing The School of Good and Evil, I’ve already chosen the book I’m going to read. Author Erica Cameron has a new book coming out on February 7, called Island of Exiles. It’s an intense survival fantasy novel, that I feel is going to have me on edge at every page I turn. I’m excited to read it because since I read Erica’s debut novel, I’ve since fallen in love with her beautiful novels.

beverage

Whatcha drinking? 
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? 
Favorite beverage of all time. Go!

I live in Winnipeg, we have winter days in the -40 degrees on a regular basis. The wind here can gust up to 40km/hr making it vital to always have something warm nearby. Coffee, tea or hot chocolate is consumed on a regular basis. Also these drinks all happily go with any book I read. Now if it’s summertime, you can safely assume I’ll be having a cold drink with me. Chances of there being some alcohol involved are high. Who doesn’t love books and booze especially when at the lake.

bonus

What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? 
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment? 
Anything else you’d like to share? 

One thing that I’m hoping you’ll see in the near future is a piece or snippet of my writing. I have half a dozen notebooks, and each has a story I’m planning on finishing. Each book idea is its own story, a few I’ve been at for years. Definitely keep an eye out for that. 

One thing I’m proud of, and partly has to do with my writing, but I’ve decided to write a story involving a character with a disability. The book community needs more diversity and hearing stories from our own voices, but to be honest, it can be a daunting task. Because it’s fiction, you don’t want to sound like what the character experiences in the story is what me as an author went through or that there’s only one way to experience what it’s like to live with a disability. I’m happy to have the support system that I have when it comes to writing, and it’s what is helping me write this story that I feel needs to be told.

I want to thanks Brittany for hosting this amazing post. I apologize for not following the format that I was given, but rules are meant to be broken.


Thanks, Kristie! Ahh, a rule breaker. It was an interesting change of pace! Thanks for taking us though a whole different format! I’m so glad you’re enjoying The Crown’s Game! I loved it! 

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Kristie! Connect with her at the links below!
Blog // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads // Instagram

This is Our Story – Ashley Elston

This is Our Story – Ashley ElstonTitle: This is Our Story by Ashley Elston
Publishing Info: November 15, 2016 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher, Netgalley
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: November 15, 2016
Related Posts: The Rules for Disappearing (The Rules for Disappearing #1), The Rules for Breaking (The Rules for Disappearing #2)

Five went in. Four came out.
No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.
Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the district attorney’s office isn’t exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.
Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has her own reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As investigates with Stone, the aging prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot, she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.

bookreview1

I was so excited for a new book by Ashley Elston because I loved her debut duology THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING and THE RULES FOR BREAKING! I’m always looking for more YA mysteries and thrillers because there weren’t a lot for a very long time and the insurgence of them now is so exciting! When I heard about THIS IS OUR STORY, it immediately went on my list of books I added to get my hands on!

One thing I really loved about this book is how well it was set from a teenager’s perspective. I think the hardest thing about YA mysteries is making a believable reason for why a teen is involved in the case and why they wouldn’t go to an adult or the police. In the case of THIS IS OUR STORY, main character Kate works for the district attorney’s office (as does her mother) and she assists her boss by dictating and spotting details for him, as he has failing eyesight and isn’t ready to step down from his job yet. Kate acts as an extra pair of eyes for him throughout his investigation of the River Point Boys, a group of kids involved in the murder of one of their best friends. I really loved how well this concept worked because it allowed Kate to have access to the case and obtain more details than a normal kid or outsider.

The book was interesting from start to finish but I didn’t get quite as into the story as I had hoped. I’ve gotten sucked in to quite a few mystery/thrillers and I did enjoy the whole book but it wasn’t as gripping as some other books I’ve read. The story was still very well put-together and carefully crafted. Ashley Elston did a great job with the character relationships, keeping identities secret, and weaving in doubt and suspicion.

I would say her first books/series were my favorite so far but THIS IS OUR STORY was also a very solid read! I wished I had been able to get into it a bit more, but I’ve had such limited reading time lately and a lot going on that it could always be situational and not the book. It was a very good mystery still and I really did enjoy it! It didn’t stand out as much as I had hoped but a wonderfully solid book and one I’d recommend!

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: YA detectives. I always love mystery/thrillers but it’s hard to get teens on the scene in a realistic way. This was done really well and I loved how Kate got involved in the case!
Left Me Wanting More: Thrills. The book was great but I think I was missing just a few more thrills to really suck me in.

Addiction Rating
Read it

If you’re looking for more YA mysteries, THIS IS OUR STORY is a great one to pick up! It was pretty realistic and incorporated the story line well for the age and setting.

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE THIS IS OUR STORY

(Click the cover to see my review!)

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW    DANGEROUS BOYS

End of Year Book Survey | 2016

One of my favorite bloggers (and people. She’s a gem!), Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner, hosts a wonderful thing called the End of Year Book Survey. I had an absolute blast completing the survey for 20122013, 2014, and 2015 so I was excited to hop on board for the 2015 END OF YEAR BOOK SURVEY!

As usual, all links will take you to my reviews for these books so if you see something you’re curious about, check out my reviews!

Number Of Books You Read: 102
Number of Re-Reads: 2 — ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS (on my birthday every year now) and THE SCORPIO RACES (every October/November)
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2016? 
Contemporary: PS I LIKE YOU by Kasie West
Sequel: THE BANDS OF MOURNING by Brandon Sanderson
Series Finale: CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo
Debut: THE CROWN’S GAME by Evelyn Skye, THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD by Emily Henry, REBEL OF THE SANDS by Alwyn Hamilton

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? EMPIRE OF STORMS by Sarah J. Maas

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read? Good: KILL THE BOY BAND by Goldy Moldavsky | Bad: WHERE FUTURES END by Parker Peevyhouse

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? Probably 26 KISSES, SUMMER OF SLOANE, or HOW TO HANG A WITCH

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016? 
Series started: (I will say that isn’t already completed and wasn’t a debut this year) THE CONSPIRACY OF US by Maggie Hall
Sequel: THE BANDS OF MOURNING by Brandon Sanderson
Series Ender: CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo, THE WINNER’S KISS by Marie Rutkoski, THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016? 
Debut: Kerri Maniscalco (STALKING JACK THE RIPPER). Loved her book, love her as a person too!
Not Debut: Sherry Thomas (THE ELEMENTAL TRILOGY)

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? AS YOU WISH (INCONCEIVABLE TAKES FROM THE MAKING OF THE PRINCESS BRIDE) by Cary Elwes (non-fiction)

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? YOU by Caroline Kepnes. It wasn’t super action-packed but I just couldn’t put it down!

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? Aside from my yearly re-reads… Probably THE CROWN’S GAME on audio before the sequel comes out because Steve West <333

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016? The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas

11. Most memorable character of 2016? Joe (from YOU by Caroline Kepnes)

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016? THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD by Emily Henry

13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2016? THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES by Mindy McGinnis

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? UNCOMMON CRIMINALS by Ally Carter. I read HEIST SOCIETY in 2012!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016? I don’t keep track of quotes while I read but I remember commenting on this one because adorable cinnamon roll Richard offers up his library cards as his first form of ID hahaha [from NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman]

“Look,” said Richard, his back against the wall, with the glass dagger pressed against his Adam’s apple. “I think you’re making a bit of a mistake here. My name is Richard Mayhew. I can prove who I am. I’ve got my library cards. Credit cards. Things,” he added, desperately.

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?
Shortest (actual book and not novella): THE SIGN OF FOUR by Arthur Conan Doyle (129 pgs) | Longest: EMPIRE OF STORMS (693 pgs)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most:
Most shocking in general: YOU by Caroline Kepnes
Most shocking moment: CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!): Vika & Nikolai (THE CROWN’S GAME), Avery & Stellan (THE CONSPIRACY OF US and MAP OF FATES by Maggie Hall), Iolanthe & Titus (The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas), Blue & Gansey (The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater), Audrey Rose & Thomas (STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by Kerri Maniscalco)

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year: Arin & Roshar (THE WINNER’S KISS), Door & The Marquis (NEVERWHERE)

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: Any Sanderson (THE RITHMATIST, more Mistborn, ELANTRIS, WARBREAKER…)

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: MY LADY JANE is a good pick for this one. I wouldn’t have picked it up without the comparisons to The Princess Bride!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016? Thomas from The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas

23. Best 2016 debut you read? THE CROWN’S GAME, REBEL OF THE SANDS, THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? The Elemental Trilogy, THE CROWN’S GAME

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? PS I LIKE YOU by Kasie West

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016? CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? THE GEEK’S GUIDE TO UNREQUITED LOVE by Sarvenaz Tash

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? Ummm I have been trying not to read sad books recently so let’s be dramatic and say HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, because I just had fundamental issues with it.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016? Well, THE SMALLER EVIL was very unique compared to everything else I’ve read this year, even though it wasn’t in a good way for me.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? EMPIRE OF STORMS, in that it made me mad and then killed a fandom for me.

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016? Oh gosh, I don’t even know. I haven’t really been able to keep up with blogs this year, unfortunately.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016? I actually usually like my more critical reviews best because I’m actually writing and not just gushing so probably A COURT OF MIST AND FURY because I ended up sharing both sides — what I liked and what I was upset with.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? 
Discussion: Blogging Statistics: More Than Just Followers: I’m a person who loves stats! I think they’re interesting and help you grow, and numbers aren’t always about the reach for more followers.
Other non-review post: If You Liked… Gilmore Girls and If You Liked… The Winner’s Curse

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? Attending ALAMW in January and BEA in May

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016? Really growing my candle company, Novelly Yours and blurbing an ARC! Eep! One check off my bookish bucket list with that one

The Edge of Everything Jeff Giles The Book Addict's Guide

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? Finding time to read and blog! Candle business + new position at work + life changes = less time

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Not posted in 2016: If You Liked… Divergent
Posted in 2016: Six Bingeable Series You Won’t Want to Put Down

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? The Statistics Survey from this year

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? All of the new bookish merch shops I’ve found through Etsy!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? Just the Goodreads challenge. That’s all I had signed up for!

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017? Oh, just so many series I still haven’t finished!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)? THE CROWN’S FATE by Evelyn Skye

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? ROYAL BASTARDS by Andrew Shvarts

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017? THE CROWN’S FATE by Evelyn Skye

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017? Just get back on track!

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: I actually haven’t read any yet! Some 2017 releases but nothing that I’ve been recommending.

 

Another big thanks to Jamie for organizing this survey! I always have so much fun with it every year and I am SO excited for what 2017 has in store for me!

Subscription Box Review: Uppercase Box | December 2016

Bookish subscription boxes are an exploding market nowadays and it’s hard to decide which ones to subscribe to! I’m not a huge subscriber because I usually don’t hit a lot of the major fandoms that get incorporated into a lot of these boxes but I surely do grab onto my favorite boxes when they have an awesome theme or item that I know I’ll love!

One of my favorite subscription boxes is Uppercase, run and curated by the lovely Lisa Parkin and she reached out to me to see if I wanted to receive December’s box to review and share some details about Uppercase. Naturally I said yes because I just love the work that Lisa puts into this box and the excellent items that she chooses for it! If you don’t know Uppercase Box yet, it’s YA-specific and there are two different plans to choose from depending on your cash flow and/or bookish-extra preferences! Both plans include a new YA release (within the past month) plus a signed book plate, personalized note, and guide that includes directions to access exclusive content as you read the book (it guides you based on page number). The Expert Plan includes all of this plus 1-2 bookish merch items. The Book Exclusive plan just includes the book goodies and not the extra 1-2 bookish merch items. Check out below for even more info on Uppercase Box!

Uppercase_Logo_01aWhat is Uppercase Box? UPPERCASE BOX is one of the subscription boxes for bookworms, specifically for YA readers (like me)! It was founded in August 2014 by Lisa Parkin who blogs for Read. Breathe. Relax. and on The Huffington Post. If you’re not familiar with subscription boxes, they’re essentially hand-cultivated boxes (or in Uppercase Box’s case, a gorgeous bag imprinted with the company’s logo) including a variety of goodies for a bookworm like you and in most cases when they’re book-related subscriptions, a copy of that month’s designated book.

How does it work? Visit Uppercase Box to check out their subscription plans. You can join Uppercase Box and subscribe, purchase a gift for someone else, or sign up for just one month (essentially gifting to yourself is the easiest way). There are also three different subscription plans to choose from based on how much you’d like to spend and what sort of goodies you want to receive in your Uppercase Box each month ranging from $17 to $23 (shipping not included).
In each Uppercase Box the subscriber receives: a hardcover copy of a YA book (published within the last month or so) that is either signed by the author or comes with a signed bookplate, some book related-swag, and other bookish items usually from gorgeous shops around the community. (If you’re interested in checking out more and examples of these extras, you can see all of the past boxes on Uppercase Box’s website.)
Each book in the Uppercase Box also comes with a “reading experience”! The subscription includes notes for Uppercase Box readers to enter a code on the website and view exclusive content related to the book and/or author. I personally think this is such an incredible personal touch to this subscription box and I personally can’t wait to read the hand-selected book with notes leading to all sorts of exciting extras!

The Uppercase Box package that I received for review was for the month of December and the selected book was EVER THE HUNTED by Erin Summerill, which I have been dying to read! This month’s package also included:

  • Signed copy of EVER THE HUNTED by Erin Summerill
  • 2017 planner designed by the amazing Simini Blocker
  • Bookish planner clip by @willowfields_
  • Planner stickers by @sticknplanshop
  • Ever the Hunted temporary tattoo

I love the planner and accessories for the new year! It’s a great idea since so many bloggers use planners or if they don’t, they can easily use this for blogging or other regular life items! I LOVE Simini Blocker’s artwork and this planner is so gorgeous. Each page has a beautiful design, it’s spectacularly bookish, and utterly inspiring. The planner accessories are so lovely too and with the planner community booming, I think it appeals to so many readers and bloggers as well as the bookish community in general, even if you’re not a planner person. The beautiful artwork alone will be encouragement enough to get you into your new planner! I’ve been eyeing EVER THE HUNTED ever since I first saw it, cover and all, and it’s been on my must-read list for months now! I was excited to see it in this box because, well, I wanted to read it and I also love that it’s not the same book that’s included in every other box since so many boxes seem to get the same books.

Uppercase Box does a great job at selecting things that aren’t just fillers — they’re items you’ll want to collect or show off or use. I have a hard time with a lot of subscription boxes sometimes because they’re so fandom-specific and a lot of times it doesn’t hit my fandom, so I love how Uppercase includes items that appeal to all kinds of bookworms and not just those interested in certain fandoms. I really thought that everything included was high quality and exciting and I love that Uppercase Box is about quality not quantity. I know I’d much rather receive something with higher treasured items than a bunch of things just to fill out a box that I won’t end up using.

I think Uppercase Box is always a great selection if you’re looking to sign up for a subscription box! I’ve looked at the past selections and so many of these books are ones I’ve loved or have wanted to own. I really like that Uppercase has some more general bookish items because I end up swapping or getting rid of a lot of my fandom-related items from other boxes because they just don’t fit my tastes, so it’s great to spend the money on Uppercase and really get things that I truly want to use and keep! I think the price is also totally affordable and you really get some enjoyable things for your money!

** As stated above, December’s Uppercase Box was sent to me by the owner so that I could review it on my blog and share some info about its awesome contents! All opinions in this post are my own and were in no way swayed by the fact that I received this for review. **

Want to learn more about Uppercase Box? Check out any of the links below!

If you’re interested in Uppercase Box, there’s still time to sign up for the February box! And check out all of the links about to get the scoop on past boxes, current plans, and everything else in between!

On the Same Page: Secret Sister Project | Round 6 Sign-Ups!

secret sister project

I cannot believe that it is already time for round SIX of #OTSPSECRETSISTER!!

Let’s first get some housekeeping things out of the way…

The two most important things to do when signing up to be a part of this project are:

  1. Head over to the google form which coincides with your monetary tier and fill it out in full. NOTE: IF YOU FORGET TO DO THIS THEN YOU WILL NOT BE PAIRED. THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT WE ARE USING TO PAIR YOU UP, IF YOU AREN’T ON THE FORM, WE CAN NOT PAIR YOU.
  2. BEFORE scrolling down to the questions, and BEFORE signing up to be a part of this project please THOROUGHLY read our FAQ and Rules post. Memorize the rules and refers back to it throughout the project. We have had to put more strict standards in place due to prior issues and therefore there is little leeway for tolerance of people not abiding the “rules.”

Just to cover all of our bases let me reiterate a few things, but please keep in mind that this is just a basic glossing over of these rules, we go more in detail and clarify everything in the main post that we are asking you to reference.

First, please remember that this is a commitment. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” for which you sign up. Only those in the pen pal tier are not expected to send gifts, that is strictly letters/cards. IN ADDITION to packages, you are also asked to send letters and or/postcards to foster positive communication. Many people asked for their to be an emphasis on the pen pal aspects of this project and we have been working hard to remind everyone that it’s not about the gifts, and this seems like the perfect way to do so. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receive anything themselves!

This round runs from February 1st, 2017 – July 31st, 2017. 

Last thing, sign-ups run from January 13th to midnight on January 27th!

The Rules:

  • You must “know” one of the hosts in order to join!
  • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project
  • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project.
  • If we have to reach out to you more than once to ask if you why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US.
  • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately.
  • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (email addresses, please) of a “buddy” who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact.*Don’t stress out about this. This person will be available to ask you questions from your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Additionally, do not bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!
  • Below, you will be asked to provide a Goodreads or Amazon wish list with 20 or more books including newer and older titles that is specific to The Secret Sister Project. *Do not share this list with anyone else!
  • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough. We will absolutely be sending emails back to you that we deem “incomplete”.
  • Keep in mind that there is strong emphasis on the pen pal aspect. Meaning that if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letters to your sister.
  • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
  • Do not tweet negativity while using the hashtag
  • Do not send swag
  • Pay attention to your sister’s likes/dislikes and wishilists
  • ARCs and shipping do not count toward your monetary limit
  • Do not send packages directly from Amazon

I cannot say this enough times, read and re-read our FAQ and Rules post. If you do not abide by the rules, you will no longer be allowed to participate.

Okay, now we can move on to the fun stuff!

So how do I sign up?
It’s easy! Just answer every question in the questionnaire below and email it over to onthesamepagesecretsister@gmail.com by midnight on January 27! ALSO In addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions for a Google form. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fill out BOTH of these things in full, then you will NOT be paired. This is what we will be using to pair, so DO NOT FORGET. Please remember to thoroughly answer each and every question, and keep in mind that there is no such thing as saying “too much!” We will send back any unfinished questionnaires, so be as thorough and detailed as you can! If you need some help filling this out, head back over to a previous round’s FAQ and Rules post and check out the example we provided!

For those of you wishing to join the Pen Pal Tier ONLY: please still fill out the questionnaire in full with the exception of your wish lists. The questions will be a good way for us to pair you up with someone, and for your pen pal to get to know you.

International participants: Please use this Google form to sign up instead of one coinciding with the tiers. There will be a place for you to fill out your preference of which tier you would like to belong but we can not guarantee this. Due to international participation being low, we may have to put you all into the same tier, which will most likely be chosen by the majority vote, in order to ensure that you all get a match!

Here we go!

Name:

Mailing Address:

Is the above address a residence/PO Box/Condo/place of employment: (*As in, will your mail get to you when the tracking says delivered, or will you need to wait to get to the mailbox/mailroom?)

Email Address:

Blog:

Twitter Name:

Did you participate in one of the prior rounds of the Secret Sister Project? If yes, which round?

If yes, please provide us with the names of your former sisters (those you gave to, and received from – it is okay if you don’t yet know who is sending to you this round):

How much are you willing to contribute to the project monthly? Choose one (NOTE: this is just a range, you can of course go over the limit but please keep the pen pal aspect in mind, and please remember that is about cheer and not just gifts.) REMINDER: International participants are to fill out THIS google form only, do not fill out one provided below.

  • Pen pals: That’s right, this is strictly letters and cards. No trinkets, no extras, nothing besides letters. If you want to send ANYTHING more than a letter or a card every month then we ask that you sign up for one of the higher monetary tiers. *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE PEN PAL TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $5-$10: (Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $5-$10 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM.
  • $15-$20 (Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a newer hardcover from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $15-$20 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $25+ (The sky’s the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $25+ TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM

Your OTSPSecretSister “buddy’s” Twitter or email: (*We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact. This person will be available to ask you questions put forth by your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Do NOT bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!)

Goodreads Profile (*so that they can access your wishlists! Make sure to turn off the privacy setting & try and keep it updated!):

Goodreads/Amazon bookish wishlist: (*must have at least 20 titles of older and newer titles, please try not to purchase any books off of this wishlist and if you do please let your sister know via your buddy or one of us. Do not give anyone else access to this list. Not parents, husbands, friends, co-workers, secret santas…NO ONE. If you do not want to share a wishlist by making it public, you may list the books here instead.)

“Other” wishlist: (*Keep these within reason for prices, etc! Please do not include pricey things, this is more for places like Etsy or for cheap DVDs on Amazon, and so on!)

Important Dates to Remember (*This can be anything and everything! Your birthday, the day you are expecting your baby, the day you are leaving for your next vacation, your anniversary with your partner, a big test you have coming up, the first day at your new job, the anniversary of the day you quit smoking, even a sad anniversary that you would like to be cheered up on!):

Your favorite items under $5: (things like stationary, nail polish, fav candy etc.)

Food Allergies:

Fandoms:

Your Likes (*Give us an array of things here! Types of snacks, TV shows, movies, bands/types of music, art):

Your Dislikes (*Example: chocolate covered cherries, anything cinnamon flavored, the color brown):

Do you have a favorite store?:

Are you okay receiving a gift card? If so, to where?

Would you be comfortable receiving baked goods of some kind?

What Do You Splurge On?:

Favorite Flowers:

Favorite Color?:

Favorite (or least favorite) smells: (*for things such as candles, soaps, bath bombs/bubbles, perfumes)

Do You Collect Anything?:

Do You Drink Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate?:

Do You Have an E-reader?:

Would you be okay being gifted an ebook? If so, please provide the email associated with your e-reader:

List some of your favorite genres or authors:

Are there any authors or genres that you won’t read?

T-shirt size:

Hogwarts House:

Favorite Disney movie and/or princess:

Any magazine that you wish you had a subscription to?

Anything else we should know about you? (*Be thorough here! There is no such thing as “saying too much,” the more your “secret sister” knows, the easier it is to spoil you!)


Third and final reminder that you MUST also fill out a google spreadsheet which coincides with your monetary tier. Links can be found above, do not forget, or you WILL NOT be paired!!

As always, please remember that you can always reach out to us with any inquiries or issues, that is what we are here for! Use the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag to talk with us and your fellow sisters! Thank you for helping us continue to spread positivity and cheer throughout our little community!