If We Were Having Coffee… April 25, 2017

Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner has been doing a series called “If We Were Having Coffee” that’s a nice blog series started by many bloggers out there to catch people up on the odds and ends of life that doesn’t fit into a pretty blogging box. Since I apparently missed my five year blogoversary the other week (which is kind of a big one, especially to miss, no?), I thought I’d do a “If We Were Having Coffee” post of my own to catch you up a bit with what’s been going on! 

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If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that it’s been hard to keep up with the blog lately, though I’m sure you’ve noticed that. I haven’t been posting as often and it’s hard to stay as excited as I once was with blogging.

If we were having coffee… I’d let you know that I still love my blog but life has been BUSY. I switched over to a new position at work and where I used to have a lot of free time before to read and blog and chat and hang out on Twitter, I’m working very hard all day, every day now. (Although I guess isn’t that what you’re supposed to be doing at work??) I don’t have those little moments where nothing is happening to catch up on my blog because there’s always something happening and I’m constantly trying to catch up.

If we were having coffee… I’d let you know that part of the reason why I’m behind is partially because I was off of work for two months. (I mean, I’d still be “behind”  because of the way the job was left to me when I took over, but this is also part of why I haven’t caught up yet.) My husband was inpatient in a hospital out of state being seen by a specialist and going through high-dose chemotherapy. I stayed with him the entire two months and fortunately my employer was gracious enough to let me stay with him throughout the whole treatment because I don’t know how we could have gone through that if they didn’t.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you yes, I didn’t end up telling Twitter/Instagram/the blogging community know what we were going through during this time. It was a hard time for us both and it’s been and on/off battle with cancer for two years. It’s hard to tell a very large group of people about something so personal because it changed our lives in so many ways and it’s also very hard for me as an introverted person to share that piece of my life. It’s hard to update so many people and keep them constantly updated, reply to comments, reply to questions, and stay “on” while going through a hard time. It may be a surprise but it’s okay to talk about now that it’s all over. You can read a bit more about our story on this Instagram post (click on the link to access the full photo + caption).

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If we were having coffee… I’d say yes, thanks for asking! He’s doing much better now. Ever since my husband left the hospital, his tumor markers have normalized and he’s starting to recover and feel back to normal.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I meant to do sooooo much blogging and reading and catch up in the hospital but I ended up doing a LOT of work on my new website for my candle business, Novelly Yours. I built the website from a template, designed the store, added all of the listings, and set up all of the extras while in the hospital. It was a really, really long process (it literally took me months of working on it to get it all set up) but I’m so happy with how everything looks now! It’s still a lot of work maintaining my own website and store so that’s still taking up a lot of time too.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that Novelly Yours is going great! It’s busier than ever, which a great thing, but also quite exhausting while I’m still working a full-time job. The hours are long but at least I love my candle business!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I had a candle in April’s Owlcrate box! It’s been so amazing working with Owlcrate and I’m just honored to have been a part of their box. I can’t even tell you how it feels to see that many people receive your candle!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I’ve been in a horrible, horrible reading slump. I think it’s just that I’m SO busy all the time and don’t have any time to take a break and just sit down and read. Things are constantly going which is good and keeps me busy but I don’t know how to relax anymore. Even the books that I’m loving I’m only able to read 20 minutes at a time so they’re just all broken up.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that I went to go see Laini Taylor in the beginning of April! I’ve always wanted to meet her and only met her VERY briefly at BEA last year so it was great to hear her speak and get all of my books signed!

If we were having coffee… I’d let you know that I missed my five year blogoversary!!! I realized about ten days too late that I missed my blogoversary, and a big one at that. It’s kind of crazy that I’ve been doing this for five years and I’ve known some of you amazing people for five years! I definitely still love blogging but I miss the time I used to have for it. Before I made candles, I had so much free time and now I have none so I’m looking to find time to write posts and come up with unique topics like I used to. I want it to still be fun and I don’t want to do it because I feel like I have to keep up.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you that sadly, I’m not going to BEA this year. I usually go with my best friends, Alyssa and Amy, and we kind of all have had a lot going on this year. I don’t have any more vacation time left since I used it all staying at the hospital so I can’t take the time off to go to BEA mid-week and I can’t afford to stay in New York City just for BookCon. Truly, I won’t really miss the ARCs. I’ve been having a very hard time keeping up with ARCs in the first place and I’ll kind of be happy not to have the temptation to grab things I won’t be able to read right away. But I will absolutely miss seeing my blogger friends that I only get to see once or twice a year and publishing friends that I only get to see at BEA!

If we were having coffee… I’d let you know that instead of BEA, I’ll probably go to ALA Annual because it’s in Chicago this year! That should be an easy one to do and who knows where I’ll be by mid-summer. I could have a lot more free time by then!


Thanks for sharing this coffee date with me! I’m glad I got to catch everyone on up on everything that’s been going on. Life has been non-stop, with so many things to do, and I really am trying to keep up with my blog because I’m still so proud of it and so happy with this little corner of the internet. I’m okay with slowing down and things being a little bit different but I definitely don’t want to lose it!

Book Title Buzzwords | DARK

Book Title Buzzwords

I love noticing title trends in the YA world (and in adult books too!) and I can also tell that there are certain words I latch onto. Book Title Buzzwords features books that I’ve read (or want to read) that follow some recent trends! 

There’s something about our nature that’s drawn to darkness. Especailly when reading, sometimes it’s fun and interesting to take a peek into the darker side of life without having to actually experience it ourselves. “Dark” is a work that’s tended to poke its way into book titles recently so here are a few dark titles for you to enjoy!

INTO THE DARKNESS

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab | Book one in the Shades of Magic Trilogy| Tor | February 24th, 2015

Sometimes there are books you try even when you’re not a fan of the author. I ended up finally reading the Shades of Magic trilogy despite my feelings for the author and I’m really glad that I did because this really was a set of books that appealed to my favorite kind of fantasy. I’m such a sucker for anything that involves parallel or alternate worlds and I enjoyed this take on different Londons. I was worried it would be too similar to Neil Gaiman’s NEVERWHERE since I know V.E. Schwab is a huge Gaiman fan and that’s the primary premise of NEVERWHERE but the series really did stand on its own aside from that large-scale concept. I really enjoyed the whole series, although the first book, A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, remainds my favorite of the three.
Find it on Goodreads

THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken | Book one in the Darkest Minds trilogy | Disney Books | December 18, 2012

I really, really enjoyed THE DARKEST MINDS when I read it a few years ago! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and it turned out to be such a wonderful book. I sadly haven’t finished the series yet and I really, really need to. I was intimidated by the size of the second book and then decided to maybe listen to the rest on audio so I had been waiting for a sale to come around. Hopefully this can be something I finish this year or sometime soon because I remember how much I loved THE DARKEST MINDS, although at this point, I totally need a refresher on what happened!
Find it on Goodreads | Review


THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake | Book one of Three Dark Crowns series | HarperCollins | September 20, 2016

I started reading this book not knowing it was a series and boy. It REALLY threw me off. I was definitely interested in the concept and story but I also felt like a lot more could have happened in this first book. Once I found out it was a series (AFTER it ended), things made a bit more sense but even still, I wanted just a little bit more development from this one. Lots of people REALLY enjoyed it though which is why I’m including in my “dark” list today. I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the series but it was a big hit with a lot of people and I actually really enjoyed the way it wrapped up!
Find it on Goodreads | Review

DARKER STILL…

Dark Triumph - Robin LaFevers kara thomas 

DARK TRIUMPH by Robin LaFevers
Don’t try to put off this series by saying it’s historical fiction. Yes, it is, but I loved this series from start to finish and it is historical but the politics are amazingly worked out, the characters are wonderful, and the romances are soooooo swoony.
Find it on Goodreads | Review

THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST by Holly Black
I still haven’t read this book but I also think it’s a book I’ll appreciate more now than when I first picked it up at BEA a couple years back! I’m glad to still have it on my TBR. I wonder if the audio is good…
Find it on Goodreads

THE DARKEST CORNERS by Kara Thomas
There was soooo much hype surrounding this book before its release. I’m a big fan of mysteries and thrillers so I definitely picked it up! It was a good read from start to finish but it wasn’t as amazing as the hype built it up to be. Still very solid and I’d still recommend it!
Find it on Goodreads | Review

AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White
I’ve actually never had success with Kiersten White’s books but I thought I would give AND I DARKEN a try since it was something totally different. It really just wasn’t the kind of book for me and it was another book that took a lot of time to develop things. Combined with historical fiction (though a reimagined version), it was just not really my sort of read. I actually made it pretty far in the audiobook but ended up deciding not to finish. Others loved it but I could tell it just wasn’t a “me” book! 
Find it on Goodreads | Review


Do you like “dark” books? Are any of these books some of your favorites? Which dark reads would you recommend?

False Start [2] – The Traitor’s Kiss, The Impostor Queen, Nevernight

false_start

I’m not sure if it’s me or if it’s time or if it’s the books I’m picking up, but I’ve found that lately, not a lot of books are sticking. I’m trying to figure out whether I want to finish the books that don’t grab me right away or just put them down and find something that I’m passionate about. On FALSE START today, I’m talking about some recent books that are currently in limbo for me!


THE TRAITOR’S KISS by Erin Beaty

I received a copy of THE TRAITOR’S KISS from Macmillan for review and I was so excited to read this book! Then once I started, I kind of felt like it wasn’t like how I remembered the synopsis when I first added it to my TBR. The beginning of this book felt a little too cookie-cutter, following popular YA tropes and Sage was a little too typical “rebellious/not-a-proper” girl and it just didn’t feel unique. I had a hard time starting this one and from the tone, I’m not sure I want to continue. I really tried to push forward but I kept getting stuck.

FINISH OR DITCH IT? I’m not sure yet. I think I’ll wait for more reviews to come out but this might be one of those that I put down and don’t make it back to because I’m not feeling it.


THE CURSED QUEEN by Sarah Fine

I actually really loved the first book in this series, THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN, but I just hit a wall starting this book. It’s a companion so I was left wanting more of the main characters from the first book (although it does feature those characters from a different view point early on) and the characters just felt so forced. I just really wasn’t into it and had a hard time continuing, no matter how much free time I had.

FINISH OR DITCH IT? I might ditch it. Once I hit that wall, it’s hard to recover. I know there’s a third book but I don’t know if I want to push myself to finsih this.


NEVERNIGHT by Jay Kristoff

This was just a case of poor format! I started this via egalley months ago but it didn’t have the footnotes that everyone was talking about so I decided to wait for my print copy to arrive. By then I had other books lined up that I had to read and I just didn’t have the time to come back to this. I enjoyed the little bit that I read but this has been hanging out there ever since the summer.

FINISH OR DITCH IT? Definitely finish! I just need to find the time to get back to my print books. This is definitely high up on my list of things to read.


Have you read any of these books? What have you thought? Did you love them or leave them?

Blog Tour: The Traitor’s Kiss | Book Scents + Giveaway!

Blog Tour: The Traitor’s Kiss | Book Scents + Giveaway!

Welcome to the blog tour for
The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

I’m so excited to share today’s blog post which is my blog tour stop for THE TRAITOR’S KISS by Erin Beaty! Thanks to the amazing team at Macmillan for having me be a part of the tour and share some of my favorite parts of any book… the scents! Being a candle-maker, I’m obsessed with the different scents described in books and there were a few lovely aromas in THE TRAITOR’S KISS that caught my eye. On today’s stop, I’m sharing some of those and have a special candle giveaway too!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: The Traitor’s Kiss | Book Scents + Giveaway!Title: The Traitor's Kiss (Traitor's Trilogy #1) by Erin Beaty
Publishing Info: May 9, 2017 by Macmillan
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: April 18, 2017

An obstinate girl who will not be married.
A soldier desperate to prove himself.
A kingdom on the brink of war.
With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.
As the girls' military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.


BOOK SCENTS: THE TRAITOR’S KISS

Ever since I started making candles, I’ve been so much more in tune with the sensory notes in the books that I read. I feel like aromas in a book are easily skipped over and forgotten once a reader has finished because noticing and committing a smell to memory is such a unique experience that it’s harder hang onto if you haven’t experienced it first hand. I know at least for me, when a book draws on a familiar smell, I’m instantly hit with memories and nostalgia that have the potential to tie me to a book more than any other scenic description so I feel like those smells that add to the atmosphere are not to be overlooked!

Drawing upon my newly heightened awareness, I’ve started keeping tracking of specific scents described in book and how they really paint an even more vivid picture for a reader! Today on Book Scents, I’m sharing some of my favorite aromas from THE TRAITOR’S KISS! They immediately had me thinking back on what fragrances I would use to mimic each experience and I’ve included each one below. (Now how do we make these posts scratch and sniff?)

It still smelled like him. Like the pine pitch and tallow salve Father made for cuts and scrapes.

Inspiration: Sage’s father’s salve
Fragrances: Pine, outdoors, oakmoss

There were honey-colored freckles he’d noticed last night scattered across her nose and cheeks. This close, he could also smell the lavender and sage scents in her dress, which he much preferred to the floral perfumes the other women were drenched in.

Inspiration: The scents of Sage
Fragrances: Lavender, sage, honey

He smelled indefinitely better — like soap with essence of evergreen… clean linen… leather… and something indefinable that left her only wanting to breathe more deeply. 


The scent of his leather jacket mingled with the evergreen shaving lather he used.


This close, she couldn’t help breathing in the scents of leather, evergreen soap, and linen — a mix that was distinctly his.

Inspiration: The scents of Ash
Fragrances: Clean soap, pine, clean cotton, leather, musk

The scent of spearmint with a hint of orange drew Sage to her side.

Inspiration: Sage’s roommate Clare and her tea
Fragrances: spearmint, orange, earl grey tea

The Great Hall was decorated with garlands of spring flowers imported from somewhere much warmer than Tegann, and rushes on the floor released sweet scents as they were trod upon by the multitude of guests.

Inspiration: The Great Hall
Fragrances: Tulips, jasmine, tropical flowers

So what do you think?! Which scents do you think are the strongest sensory inspirations? Which are your favorites?


SECRET MESSAGE & BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

“Well-schooled, high and mighty about it”

Each blog on the blog tour also has a SECRET MESSAGE! Check out each stop on the blog tour to collect all of the messages for one final passage!!

BLOGGER BLOG DATE CONTENT
Brittany Smith http://www.bookaddictsguide.com 20-Apr Scented Candle
Flo Kizza http://www.booknerdsacrossamerica.com/ 22-Apr List of Favorite Literary Female Spies
Becky Vosburg http://www.storiesandsweeties.com/ 23-Apr Guest Post: Intro to main characters with pics
Katie Bartow http://mundiemoms.blogspot.com/ 24-Apr Guest Post: Top 10 Things All Spies Need
Crystal Leach http://bookiemoji.com/ 25-Apr Top 5 Reasons to read The Traitor’s Kiss
Rachel Clarke http://www.fiktshun.com/fiktshun/ 26-Apr Guest Post: Favorite & Most Challenging Scene to Write (and Why)
Mandy Curtis http://foreveryoungadult.com/ 27-Apr Guest Post: YA “matchmaker”
Beth Edwards http://www.yabookscentral.com/ 28-Apr Guest Post: What gave you the inspiration for this book?
Michelle Adams bookbriefs.net 29-Apr Guest Post: Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know about Sage & Quinn
Amy Thau http://www.trippingoverbooks.com/ 30-Apr Mood Board
Michelle Bucud http://darkfaerietales.com/ 1-May Guest Post: What’s the most daring thing you would do for a mission?
Sarah Fletcher https://whatsarahread.com/ 2-May Mood Board
Jennie Cresswell https://booklovingnut.com/ 3-May Playlist
Liza Rodriguez http://quitethenovelidea.com/ 5-May Alternate Cover
Kelly Gunderman http://www.herestohappyendings.com/ 6-May Q&A
Brooke Goldetsky http://brooke-reports.blogspot.com/ 7-May Sage Character Interview
Michelle Santiago http://booksandmakeup.blogspot.com/ 9-May Fancast

GIVEAWAY

Because of the scent inspiration of today’s post, I’ve actually taken one of these concepts and turned it into a candle! The candle giveaway is for one 8oz tin called “Forest of Ash”, inspired by male lead in THE TRAITOR’S KISS with a play on the evergreen scents that are constant throughout his scent. This candle smells like clean pine, cotton, and leather with hints of masculine musk. Open to US entries only. Must be 13 years of age or older to win. Candle giveaway open from 4/20/17 – 4/27/17. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) – Alwyn Hamilton

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) – Alwyn HamiltonTitle: Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by Alwyn Hamilton
Publishing Info: March 7, 2017 by Penguin
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: March 17, 2017
Related Posts: Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1)

Rebel by chance. Traitor by choice.
Gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.
When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.
Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about Djinn and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.

bookreview1

TRAITOR TO THE THRONE was one of my most-anticipated reads of 2017. I absolutely loved REBEL OF THE SANDS when I read it last year and it wasn’t just an enjoyable book for me — it was one of my favorites from the entire year. I was so incredibly excited to read and ended up being quite intimidated by its size. Before I get into the actual review, let’s talk about some THINGS. The book is over 500 pages long and REBEL was only about 300 (320? Something like that) so 200 extra pages right off the bat was a LOT. Don’t get me wrong — I love long books. They’re amazing when you get lost in them and there’s so much an author can do with so many pages… but I didn’t think TRAITOR needed that many pages. There was a lot of pressure to read this for many reasons (anticipated read, long book, reading for a blog tour, reading on a time crunch, not having finished a lot of books recently and then starting a long book) and that did affect my read a little bit BUT I know that if I’m really enjoying a book, I’ll save something that is lengthy and not dread how much more I have to finish.

TRAITOR ended up being more intimidating than enjoyable and I reached a point where I didn’t feel like things were moving forward. The book is over 500 pages and it spent a lot of time in the same places with not a whole lot of plot moving forward. Some of it I really felt like could have been handled in a few chapters and then we could move forward with really anything. As I’ve said in many reviews before, I don’t “need” action to enjoy a book but this felt like the plot was stagnant. I didn’t feel like the story was moving forward and I really think it could have progressed in far fewer pages. I enjoyed REBEL in part because it was concise and didn’t add extra pages for the sake of drawing out a fantasy novel. Sadly, TRAITOR fell victim to the extra pages and I wonder if that’s because of the success of REBEL. If it was moving, I don’t doubt that I’d want to read all 500+ of those pages but it just didn’t seem to go anywhere.

This is where it will get minorly spoilery. Still just plot points, nothing like reveals or deaths or anything, but WARNING WARNING if you want to avoid any potential spoilers, skip to the next paragraph! 
Soooo I did not like where this book went. At all. Amani ends up being captured and taken prisoner in a harem which felt like such an easy direction to take this book and something I’ve already read so many times. I’m tired of girls being trapped by men, especially when sexually persecuted (although not particularly Amani, but that’s the general idea of being trapped in a harem) and just no, no, no. Amani was FIERCE. She was one of the guys! She was strong! She was independent! She was getting stuff done and JUST discovering her abilities in the first book! All of that got taken away for at least 50% of TRAITOR and I was just so disappointed. Why build up a power to have it taken away in the next book? Why create an awesome, strong female to have her become helpless and trapped? Literally, could not help herself. I guess in the end, she makes some stuff work, but that took for-ev-er to happen. The harem was literally half of the book so I definitely struggled for a long time.

Really when it comes down to it, I just didn’t feel like this was the same tone as the first book at all. The squad is all over the place so there’s a serious lack of squad goals. The author chose to do that book two thing where the couple is split up for half the book, even though the swoons and banter were such a big reason why I loved the first book. There are so many characters on top of the ones that were in the last book so I started to get lost with everyone. As with any series, I kind of got lost with some of the secondary characters since it had been a year since I read the first book and the addition of even more characters started to really lose me. The book also started six months after REBEL so those six months were just kind of summed up and I didn’t get to experience them. Things happened and I had to hear it secondhand… and a lot of stuff had happened. I can deal with time after the first book but it really felt like it was picking up in a whole different place and didn’t quite continue the first adventure.

I’m not sure if I’ll read the third book in this series which is such a shame. Once I hit this point, it’s kind of hard to go back to the point where I had loved this experience. So much of the middle could have been cut out or condensed and TRAITOR could have stayed as action-packed as the first, minimized time apart from Jin, and kept me way more interested. I just don’t even know what to feel about this series now so I guess I’ll wait until the third book comes around and reassess then. As of right now, I just don’t see it happening though.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Not much. You know, it’s sad when I don’t even know what the highlights of this book were for me. I just keep remembering my disappointment and struggle.
Left Me Wanting More: Plot movement. This just need to be far fewer pages and keep the characters more together.

Addiction Rating
Try it

I can’t tell if I’m the black sheep on this one or it really did suffer from second in a series syndrome.

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BOOKS LIKE TRAITOR TO THE THRONE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    THE WRATH AND THE DAWN

Cover Love | Ombré

I’m a sucker for ombré anything but give me an ombré book cover and it’s something I will stare at for hours on end. It’s an instant way to attract me with some cover love and a fun trend I’ve noticed on some recent releases! Sometimes it’s fun to have a blog post that’s just here for your viewing pleasure and you don’t need to read or think about the contents so here are just a few of my favorites for no other reason than for you to view them all in one place!

IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE by Christina June | Goodreads


GEEKERELLA by Ashley Poston | Goodreads | Review


WE ARE THE ANTS by Shaun David Hutchinson | Goodreads | Review


ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins | Goodreads | Review


THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD by Emily Henry | Goodreads | Review


LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD by Ava Dellaira | Goodreads | Review


THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US by Lauren Myracle | Goodreads | Review


Which ombre covers are some of your favorites? What cover love am I missing?! I tried to pick more straightforward ombre instead of cloudy effects because there are soooo many of those (which apparently I should make a separate post for)! I could just stare at these all day.

Top Ten Tuesday: April 11, 2017 – Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic: 
Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read

This is actually a really fun concept because I ended up checking out my same post with this topic from three years ago. Here are the books I listed in 2014:

    

    


I’ve read a LOT of different book since 2014. It’s hard to imagine that that was three years ago! I’ll actually still have some of the same selections but there are also a lot of reads that I’ve chosen since then that I really went outside of my comfort zone to read. Here are my selections, three years later: 

The Raven Boys - Maggie Steifvater

THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater | The Raven Cycle is still one of the most unique series I’ve ever read. Is it magical realism? Fantasy? Paranormal? None? All? It’s a little bit of everything with adventure, danger, magic, and love. I still can’t quite describe what transpires in this series but it’s best if you read it yourself anyway!


BONE GAP by Laura Ruby | BONE GAP was another very cool book that blurred a lot of genre lines and there was a VERY interesting concept/twist that I thought was so well done!


A GOOD IDEA by Cristina Moracho | This book was unique in a way that I wouldn’t normally pick out as unique, but it really did grab me with its differences. I liked the placement set back to the 1990s so everything isn’t always in the present-day. I also liked that this wasn’t a typical murder-mystery or thriller. Essentially the “killer” was already revealed and the characters and readers had to decide what they believed and what was true.


YOU by Caroline Kepnes | This book was… messed up. But it was also really interesting! The book is sort of told TO the character who is the love interest (hence, “you”) and the narrator is Joe, who is 100% messed up and yet you almost really start to understand and sympathize.


KILL THE BOY BAND by Goldy Moldavsky | So this isn’t 100% unique, no one’s ever done this concept before but I feel like satire and dark comedy isn’t done a lot in YA. It’s unique in the sense that I think not a lot of authors are doing it right now and I really had so much fun with it!


MY LADY JANE by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows | Speaking of satire, this book is more Monty Python meets The Princess Bride and it was HILARIOUS.  Magic meets history meets comedy, and it all just worked.


ILLUMINAE by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | I mean, have you SEEN these books? They’re the first books I’ve seen to really incorporate so many different forms of “files” (hence the series title) including allllll kinds of artwork. Schematics, doodles, chats, letters, pictures, you name it — it’s in here.


trial by fire book cover

TRIAL BY FIRE by Josephine Angelini | I still need to finish this series (maybe the audiobooks are good? Anyone?) but I enjoyed the first book! It actually starts out a little cookie-cutter but I really enjoyed the fanta-sci aspect once I wrapped my brain around it. It was kind of hard to do but also very cool.


MIDWINTERBLOOD by Marcus Sedgwick | This book was beautiful and so incredibly unique. I literally don’t know any other book like it and it’s just one you really have to read to appreciate from start to finish.


WALK TWO MOONS by Sharon Creech | You know what… I’m going to go with an oldie but a goodie. This was one of my FAVORITE books as a kid/pre-teen and I haven’t read anything else that’s given me the feelings that this book has. I re-read as an adult and just SOBBED at the end.


So there are my ten! I actually could keep going but I’ll stop here for now. It’s interesting to see how many different kinds of books I’ve been reading and how my tastes have evolved throughout the years! What are some of your favorite unique reads?