Book and a Beverage [165] – Chelsea from Books for Thought

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 Chelsea from Books for Thought!

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Name & Blog Name: Chelsea from Books for Thought
Tell us a little about your blog! I started my blog over 3 years ago after finding people on YouTube that talked about books. I figured “hey, I could do that!” but I’m not a camera person so blogging seemed like the next best thing! I’ve been going through old posts recently and there’s been such an improvement!
What’s been your favorite post you’ve written so far? This question is like being asked to pick your favourite book. There’s too many to chose from! I’ll link you a few that I enjoyed. The titles pretty much explain themselves.
Friday Recommends: If You Liked Gilmore Girls
Wanderlust Wednesday: Canada Edition
Tips and Tricks for Personalizing Your Blog Theme
Ten Bookish Things I’m Incredibly Thankful For
Got anything special coming up we should know about? Starting in October and going until the end of December, me and Alice from Alice’s Book Vault are holding our Travelling the Pages feature where we feature books that don’t take place in the U.S.. It’s been exciting finding all these cool books!
I’ve also been sharing my knowledge of programming and design this year. I’ve been slowing putting out posts but starting in the new year I’d like to make it a regular thing.

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Whatcha reading? I just started The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee!
Where did it come from? (Library, purchased, publisher, etc) I won it in a giveaway about a month ago!
Any special reason you chose to feature this book? I’m not crazy far into it yet but so far it’s really interesting. I’m liking the different perspectives and right now it kind of has a Gossip Girl vibe going on. I’m hoping it’s a book that will push me out of my current reading slump! So far it seems to be an interesting dystopia book which I love. So many dystopias are becoming the same things over and over again. Right now this one is a lot different plus the whole living in a giant tower is pretty cool.
What’s important that we should know about this book? Would you recommend it? I would! Especially for those, like me, who love dystopia books. It has the dystopian feel without being too similar to the popular ones like The Hunger Games or Divergent. This book is doing something different with the dystopia genre!

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Whatcha drinking? My favourite fall/winter drink…apple cider! Some people are all about that pumpkin this time of year but I’d easily pick apples any day.
What’s your favorite thing to drink while reading? I love to drink warm things when I read. (Who doesn’t really?) Sometimes apple cider and hot chocolate can bee too sweet so I usually go for some warm tea. Herbals are my favourite and I love anything really fruity.
Favorite beverage of all time. Go! I’m really loving the passion tango tea lemonade from Starbucks but also their salted caramel hot chocolate. I’m allergic to milk and Starbucks give me the option to use soy milk which I’m very grateful for!

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What are your top three books you would recommend to other people? Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, and Moon Called by Patricia Briggs! All three are adult/new adult and I adore them all.
What’s your proudest blogging/reading/writing moment? I’m pretty proud just being a part of this community. I know a lot of intense things have been happening lately but I try to stay positive and I really do love all the bloggers and bookish people I’ve met. That aside, I’m pretty excited that I just upgraded my blog to a self hosted website which means I have a lot more control over it. As a programmer I knew I was capable of doing more things with my blog I just never had enough time or money to actually go ahead and do what I wanted. It’s done now though and I’m glad! I was also asked to run a street team this year and I’m loving it! It’s a little smaller for right now but I have high hopes that it will keep growing!
Anything else you’d like to share? Extra book rec: I just finished The Madion War Trilogy by S. Usher Evans and I highly recommend for fantasy lovers! Check that one out for sure!
Thanks for having me!

 

chelsea

Hello lovelies! I’m Chelsea, a twenty-something year old blogger who loves all things books and design. My blog is a combination of my two loves. When my time isn’t spent reading, I also draw, play guitar, play videos games, and laugh at silly animal pictures. Feel free to add me on any of my social media platforms!

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads


 Thanks, Chelsea! It was so much fun having you on Book and a Beverage today! I love your favorite posts!!

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

Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary | Series Appreciation

Hi, friends! Today I’m sharing a little series appreciation for the Vampire Academy books in conjunction with its 10th anniversary and special edition release! When I got an email from Penguin asking to share some favorite things about the series, I knew this would be a perfect post for me to write.

See, I got into Vampire Academy after the Twilight/vampire craze. My friend Lisa introduced me to the books and I was like, “Ehhh, I don’t know. Vampires? Aren’t we done with this?” I had no desire to read a vampire novel after my Twilight frenzy wore off but Lisa’s a pretty good judge of books and had just gotten me hooked on The Hunger Games (which I devoured) so I trusted her recommendation and became hooked!

Although the Vampire Academy series is about vampires, it has a whole lot more going on than just that. There are best friendships, steamy romances, wonderful bonds, society politics, and a whole lot of “omg” moments! The series is really special to me because it was one of the series that brought me onto the YA scene and into a whole new set of books that I didn’t even know existed because I wasn’t looking at “teen” books. While the series deals with many typical young adult moments like first loves, friendships, mean girls, and high school, it also has so many different levels of politics, plenty of action, a whole lot of adventure, and some pretty wild moments that always left my jaw on the floor! Richelle Mead put quite a few good shocking moments in this series, especially in the first few books, and I was constantly flipping pages to see what she’d surprise me with next!

I can say that it’s “so much more than a vampire series” for those who are hesitant about vampire books but it was also really awesome to see vampires in a little different light. There are different types of vampires within the realm of the supernatural in this series ranging from mortal but with supernatural powers to the “typical” undead vampire. I really loved how the range of the average vampire was expanded and really explored!

Then there’s the romance. There are SO many good romances throughout this series but the relationship between Rose and Dimitri is just so swoony! I don’t know why but it totally got me, despite the age difference which I’m usually not on board with. I just love the tension, how it’s sort of forbidden, and the push and pull that happens throughout the series.

If you haven’t yet, hopefully you’ll give the Vampire Academy series a shot! It was one of my favorites, especially when I first started reading YA, and I think it really appeals to a wide range of readers on a few different levels! Ready to jump into the series? Check out a little bit more on the special anniversary edition of the first book!

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Richelle Mead celebrates 10 years of Vampire Academy with an exclusive, never-before-seen collection of stories that sheds new light on the world and its players:

  • The Turn and the Flame takes a deeper look into the dark stain on the Ozera dynasty…
  • Hello My Name is Rose Hathaway tracks the shenanigans that ensue when Rose and Dimitri become unlikely teammates in a high-stakes scavenger hunt…
  • The Meeting gives us a glimpse of Rose Hathaway through Dimitri’s eyes…
  • From the Journal of Vasilisa Dragomir unearths the princess’s private thoughts from a transformative period of her life…

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school–it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s–the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi–the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires–make Lissa one of them forever.

GIVEAWAY!

You can enter to win one of five copies of this beautiful anniversary edition that are up for grabs from Penguin Random House! Check out the Rafflecopter form below as well as legal and rules that follow. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter Legal:

Enter for a chance to win one of five (5) paperback copies of Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead (ARV = $11.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 9:00 AM Eastern Time on November 29, 2016 and 11:59 PM Eastern Time on December 5, 2016. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about December 12, 2016. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Friendsgiving 2016 | Salem, MA

For the past few years, I’ve been doing a lovely tradition of Friendsgiving with my best friends who you may also know by their blogs or as co-hosts of Secret Sister, Alyssa (from Books Take You Places) and Amy (from Tripping Over Books). We started the Friendsgiving sort of unofficially when they came into town to stand up to my wedding back in 2014. Basically, almost the entire wedding party got along so swimmingly and we had such a good time together that we wanted to have that magical wedding week continue. We decided to do a Friendsgiving in the years to come to get together with our friends, old and new, and celebrate the friendships that we’ve built despite the distance between all of us. Although this trip wasn’t exclusively bookish, I wanted to share this fun experience and special adventure because we experienced so many new and fun things in Salem!

This year instead of coming to Illinois, Alyssa, Amy, and I got together out in Salem, MA! Why Salem, you ask? Alyssa and Amy were already set to attend the Juliet Marillier event at a teashop in Salem and with so much going on in our lives this year, the trip for the two of them all the way out to Illinois was a bit too much, especially having just come out to IL for BEA back in May. It was much easier for me to meet up with them, so I headed out to the east coast for a reunion with my two best friends!

We headed out to Salem on a Friday morning and it was shaping up to be a chilly but gorgeous weekend! The leaves were falling, the sun was shining, and I was ridiculously basic with my big sweater, boots, flannel shirt, and Starbucks drink. We drove from Alyssa’s place in CT out to our Airbnb in Salem, which was so lovely! We ended up renting a house right off of the water instead of staying in a hotel and the experience was just perfect. We got our own little space (the house was a multi-residence but each residence with a separate entrance aside from the entry hall) and it was great to have the amenities that came with an Airbnb instead of the limited options when staying in a hotel. The house was a little ways away from downtown Salem so we did have to drive back and forth but it was a quick drive and the parking garage in the downtown area wasn’t too expensive if we wanted to jet back and forth between the house and the town.

Friday night, we headed into town for the Marillier event and it was hosted by Jolie Tea Company off of Essex St. It was a very small and intimate gathering which was a very cool experience compared to other book events. The tea shop even had a special tea blend specifically for the event and it was quite delicious too! But the best part of the experience was being able to see Alyssa meeting one of her all-time favorite authors and getting books signed that were so special to her. The tea shop was so lovely, very cute, and the staff was so helpful and kind, even to tea newbies like me! We even went back later on in our trip to warm up with a few cups of tea after a chilly trip around the shops. I also couldn’t leave without sampling some of their macaron selection! I ate them on later in my trip but the creme brûlée one was probably my favorite!

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Saturday was our day to be tourists about town! It was so much fun to be able to do because whenever we get together, it’s always for events like BEA or ALA and we never have time to go walk around, visit shops, and just be a little touristy. Alyssa has visited Salem many times and Amy has been at least once, but it was a first time for me so I was excited to see anything and everything new! I just loved the feel of Salem in general and it was so neat to be somewhere with so much history. We headed out to the Salem Witch Museum as one of our first stops and the attraction itself (which you’re not allowed to photograph inside) is a little outdated but I had a fun time! I actually kind of liked the cheesiness and oldness of the figures of the production because let’s be honest — I’m a huge scaredy cat so I need a little levity in places that are trying to be a little spooky! It was a neat attraction and also educational! I actually didn’t know nearly as much about the Salem Witch Trials as I had thought so it was a great place to get all of that information. And naturally, I picked up some souvenirs!

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After the museum, we visited a few more places around town including Wicked Good Books (naturally), Wynott’s Wands (where Amy bought her own wand and I was seriously tempted), and had an absolutely delicious lunch at Howling Wolf Taqueria! The book store was small and cozy, but any bookstore is a good bookstore! I was tempted to buy some bookstore merch but managed to stick to a bit of a budget! I also really wanted my own wand from Wynott’s (made to have a look and feel like Olivander’s) but they were a bit on the pricy side and I couldn’t quite part with the money for one.

We also stopped by Old Buying Point Cemetery which was just so neat. History like that always amazes me and it’s so neat think of things and places that people had interacted with hundreds of years ago. I’m from Illinois so it’s not like it’s that new but we don’t have a lot of historical attractions in Illinois and if they do exist, it’s a single house that’s still standing or in the middle of a giant tourist attraction. Granted Salem is kind of one big tourist attraction too but it’s much more authentic-feeling and the history is truly everywhere.

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To close out the night, we went on a ghost tour, or as the flyer advertised it, Salem Night Tour. Let’s remember here that I’m a huge scaredy cat and I was convinced to go on a ghost tour. What. Happened. No, but really, I’m kidding. I wouldn’t have normally agreed to go on a ghost tour but it was one that Alyssa had been on before and she promised it wasn’t scary — and it wasn’t. A little creepy at times since we were learning about ghosts but it wasn’t made to be a scary tour — it was educational, historical, and interesting (and no ghosts followed me home). Our tour guide was also a lot of fun! It was pretty freezing out but I had my new Ravenclaw hat on and bundled up as best as I could for not bringing a jacket with me. I had a really fun time and it was so neat to learn about the different spots around Salem and some more of its history! And we also got to pass by one of the locations from Hocus Pocus (the “I Put a Spell on You” scene) which was really fun!

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Sunday allowed us a few more touristy stops, but first we had to grab some coffee. We had plans to go on a tour of the House of Seven Gables so we were in search of coffee and breakfast before we did so. We were heading down the street when we came upon a coffeeshop called Derby Joe and decided to stop in and I’m so glad we did! The coffee was strong, the breakfast sandwiches were delicious, and the staff was so much fun! We instantly felt welcomed and ended chatting for quite a while as we ate and drank our coffee. I just love experences like that where you really make a human connection at an establishment because long after we left, we kept talking about how much fun we had at Derby Joe, which wasn’t even supposed to be a highlight of our trip and yet it was one of those places that we really connected with.

The House of Seven Gables was a really neat tour! I actually had no idea what to expect and I had such a great time on the tour. It was another place where I got to see some really interesting history and another place where we had a great tour guide. Parts of the house had been updated in order to be a better tourist attraction so they weren’t really historically accurate anymore but really the whole experience was historical in its own right and just really so interesting to experience. I don’t often get to take historical trips anymore (we used to take all kinds of family vacations as a kid) so this was really just a wonderful experience.

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After our tour, we headed back home to make Friendsgiving dinner! It was a great night of good food but even better, full of great friendship talks. As much as we talk all the time, it’s so different and so special to be able to talk and hang out with person and it was amazing to have that time with my friends. We had a really nice night just hanging out and talking — and taking photos of the super moon!

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First thing Monday morning, it was time to pack up and head home but I think we all had a really amazing time. I absolutely loved staying in that Airbnb and it became our little home for the weekend. We had such a great time in Salem and I’m so glad we made a weekend out of it so we could all get together again!

Have you been to Salem before? What were your favorite attractions/shops/restaurants? Did we do any of the same things?

 

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) – Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) – Sarah J. MaasTitle: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas
Publishing Info: September 6, 2016 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Source: Amazon
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 25, 2016
Related Posts: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5), Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1), Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2), Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1), Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4), A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't.
As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

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I’m actually fairly disappointed with this book which makes me very sad because QUEEN OF SHADOWS was literally one of my favorite books of 2015 and I’ve fallen so in love with Sarah J. Maas’ books. Admittedly I did have a harder time finding time to sit and read this one but I did read 400 pages more or less in a weekend to finish and still wasn’t captivated. This surprisingly felt like that “second in a series slump” that I so often hit with trilogies, possibly because it’s the second book in the second half of the series.

I didn’t feel as engaged with this book at all. I had met all of these characters in QUEEN OF SHADOWS but so many were secondary characters there and I didn’t quite feel that solid transition from supporting to main character. The stories felt disjointed and not as detailed and alive as in QUEEN OF SHADOWS. I did love Elide and Lorcan the most because there was a lot to discover there and their personalities really started to shine. I felt less drawn to Aelin, which was so incredibly disappointing. She should have grown more, as she had been in previous books, and really started to come into her own as the rightful Queen of Terrasen, and I just felt like her character became very tired and less important with all of these other new main characters to follow. I also somehow lost that magic with her and Rowan and I just didn’t even feel that connection anymore.
I really didn’t feel as connected to Manon in this book either, which is a shame because I loved in her QUEEN OF SHADOWS and I was so excited to see where her story was going. I mean, I’m hoping it connects back to the main story line in the last book because otherwise, Manon should have just had her own series, to be honest. I enjoyed what was happening with her and her Thirteen (and others) in EMPIRE OF STORMS but I’m still not 100% sure why it’s so relevant to Aelin and her story. I can only assume the pieces all fall into place in the last book but I’ve been waiting for three books now, really, to see how this ties in and why it’s so important to have Manon’s whole point of view, so hopefully we’ll see that in the last book.
I also felt like Chaol was completely thrown away and that was incredibly frustrating, and I wasn’t even a Celaena/Chaol shipper. I don’t understand why he was such a main character only to switch a romance (which I was fine with, actually) to Rowan and then totally cut him out of ALL of book five. I understood quieting his role down, as he may not be playing as major of a role, but I don’t really understand what his purpose was then if he’s just getting totally pushed to the side. I guess Sarah J. Maas can write whatever she want, of course, but it just seemed like a big injustice to his character.

I feel like Sarah J. Maas incorporated some tired tactics to keep this story going and not a lot of new stuff happened here. The things that did carry the story over, which are the things I’ve loved from her in the past, weren’t really refreshed enough for me and I had a hard time remembering some of those things from other books, especially references to the novellas. I read those a long time ago and I didn’t have the time to reread an entire series for this book so it would have been nice to have some more details and updates on the events in the novellas that appeared in EMPIRE OF STORMS. I also think more details would have been very beneficial to those who haven’t read the novellas. I spoke to friends who haven’t read the novellas and they actually felt less lost than I did since they didn’t know it was a reference back to the novellas but I also think the characters, the history, and the plot could have been so much richer with those little updates.

I’m mostly disappointed in the elements that were used in both the Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series. When writing two Fae series at the same time I think it’s super important to keep them very different and I don’t think these two are, which is especially disappointing because that was something I noted on the positive side after reading A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES. I had actually really liked that Feyre and Celaena/Aelin were so strong and yet two very different personalities. The more I read of both series, the more they really blended in concept and plot direction.  I felt like A COURT OF MIST AND FURY had too many elements from QUEEN OF SHADOWS and now reading EMPIRE OF STORMS, I noticed some twists that were already used in ACOMAF, and that was really disappointing. The ending became totally anticlimactic because it borrowed an exact same situation from ACOMAF and I was just so let down that it didn’t seem like an original idea.

EMPIRE OF STORMS was still enjoyable and I am still interested in the Throne of Glass series, but admittedly, I’ve lost a lot of faith in Sarah J. Maas at this point. I feel like this just didn’t have as much substance and character as previous books in this series. I loved QUEEN OF SHADOWS and to feel like this after EMPIRE OF STORMS is a major let down. I’m just very upset after finishing this book and even more so after reviewing it because I feel like I’ve really started to fall out of love with this series after EMPIRE OF STORMS and I’m losing faith in Sarah J. Maas.

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Aelin // Character obsessions: Terrasen, Rowan, freedom, power.
I actually lost so much interest in Aelin this book and I don’t know how this happened. She just felt like she actually lost so much depth and really, she lost all her spunk. I get that she’s more serious now that she’s fighting for control of Terrasen but I kept missing all the sass and banter and FUN that we saw from Aelin in previous books. She felt so flat in EoS.

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Kept Me Hooked On: New characters late in a series. I’m not an author so I can’t tell you what is good/bad/iffy to introduce late in a series but I really enjoyed new characters Elide (who was previously in the series but a small role) and Lorcan. When they’re done well, they bring a new and exciting element to a series and help fit even more pieces together. I actually did love a few (well really, I loved all of the new characters) but I also had a hard time with why they were really important to have MAIN character roles. I did like Elide and Lorcan because of their connection and romance but others I really wonder if they needed to be lead roles and what they brought to the book, even though I enjoyed getting to know them.
Left Me Wanting More: Terrasen. I thought this book was going to be all about Terrasen considering where QUEEN OF SHADOWS left off and we barely even saw it. I was really missing that because the whole quest for QoS was leading there and that was not where we left off in EoS.

Addiction Rating
Read it

I mean, I still recommend reading the book. I fell so in love with the series in the first four books but this one felt like it was too much filler and not enough happened. Lots did HAPPEN but it didn’t all feel really relevant and I felt like there was a lot of time spent building up romances that didn’t need to happen too.

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BOOKS LIKE EMPIRE OF STORMS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

TRUTHWITCH    THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN

Book Title Buzzwords | HEART

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! 

HEARTLESS is here and it had me thinking of all of the books that have similar themes. “Heart” is a pretty common word for a book title and I love how each of these books features it in a little different way! Here are some of the “heart” titles that I’ve noticed recently!

FROM THE HEART…

heartless marissa meyerHEARTLESS | Macmillan| November 8, 2016

Naturally one of the first “heart” books I thought of was HEARTLESS! I just came out (on my wedding anniversary!) even though I read the ARC almost as soon as I got it! I absolutely love Marissa Meyer and The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series ever so I was very excited for HEARTLESS! I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped but I’m also not a big Alice in Wonderland fan so that had a lot to do with it! The book is much closer to the original story than The Lunar Chronicles — more of a retelling in truth (or prequel, rather) than an adaptation based on a story, so that was neat! I was expecting more of an adaption so I was a bit surprised but the book was still very enjoyable. I think those who are more into whimsy and the original Alice tale will love it!
Find it on Goodreads | Review

Steelheart
STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson | Book one in the Reckoners trilogy | Random House | September 24, 2013

Brandon Sanderson became a favorite of mine after I read MISTBORN (the first book of his that I read) and I quickly inhaled anything I could find that he’s written. I had forgotten I received an ARC of STEELHEART from the publisher for the longest time since I didn’t know who Sanderson was at the time and eventually actually grabbed it on audiobook. Macleod Andrews, who is one of my favorite audiobook narrators, does this series and both books and narration are absolutely fantastic. If you haven’t read any Sanderson books, these are a lot of fun and a great YA option if you’re still iffy about starting an adult fantasy.
Find it on Goodreads | Review

The Book of Broken Hearts - Sarah OcklerTHE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS | Simon & Schuster | May 21, 2013

It’s been a while since I read this book but I was just oh so in love with it! I still hate the cover (what a stock photo! And so not relevant to the book) but the contents are much, much better. Sarah Ockler does an amazing job with every single relationship in this book, from parents to siblings to friends to romance. I just loved how much each character really cared and the personalities just leaped off the pages. The romance was also so swoony, with a little bad boy with a heart of gold. Plus the addition of the location (Colorado) and subject matter (motorcycles) were near and dear to my heart from my own experience with my husband. This was such a beautiful novel and one I still recommend years later!
Find it on Goodreads | Review

LOOKING FOR A HEARTBEAT…

THE ANATOMICAL SHAPE OF A HEART by Jenn Bennett
I was excited for this book before its release but still haven’t read it. It’s still on my TBR! Anyone read and loved it?
Find it on Goodreads

BLACKHEARTS by Nicole Castroman
I feel like so many people have loved this book! It definitely caught my interest and it’s a PIRATE story. We all need more pirate stories, right?
Find it on Goodreads

THE SECRET OF A HEART NOTE by Stacey Lee
This book has a December release date and it’s on my radar because the main character is an aroma expert. Perfect book for a candle-maker, right!?
Find it on Goodreads

THE LONELY HEARTS HOTEL by Heather O’Neill
This book has a Night Circus feel to it, according to its blurb! It doesn’t sound exactly like it in premise but if it has the same feel, I’m totally in.
Find it on Goodreads


Which of these books got to your “heart”? Looking forward to any of the same new releases?

If You Liked… Gilmore Girls

One of my favorite parts about being a book blogger is sharing the books that I love with others. I absolutely love sharing my favorite reads and recommending them to others who are looking to fall in love with a new book!

12 YA BOOKS FOR GILMORE GIRLS FANS

It’s almost time for new Gilmore Girls!!! Are you so excited!? I usually do these book recommendation guides for other books but with new episodes of Gilmore Girls coming out, I thought this would be a fun opportunity to make some book recommendations based off of the show! I decided to stick to strictly young adult book recommendations since I don’t read a lot of adult outside of fantasy and I came up with some unexpected recommendations but for good reasons! Check out what I picked below!


books for gilmore girls fans


IF YOU LIKED GILMORE GIRLS

The Distance Between UsTry… THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

I love all of Kasie West’s books but I think this is a great one for fans of Gilmore Girls! Main character Cayman lives with her mom and together they run a doll shop. I love the mother-daughter relationship in this book! I think Gilmore Girls-fans would appreciate the relationship that Cayman has with her mom and really the overall story is a lot of fun too. The book explore family, friendships, first loves, and more, PLUS this book was the whip-smart sass that I think Lorelai and Rory possess. What more could you ask for in a reading recommendation?

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill cover
Try… MEANT TO BE by Lauren Morrill.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

I like MEANT TO BE as a recommendation because it’s just plain fun on so many levels and I think main character Julia has a lot in common with younger Rory. Julia loves her pocket Shakespeare and Rory has an appreciation of all books but also the classics. I think Julia appeals to the nerdier side of Rory and holds some of the same naive ideals that season one Rory had. Julia may be a little bit more naive than Rory but I still like that little nerdy bookish side to her! I also love the hate-to-love romance in MEANT TO BE which is something that Rory also sees in a couple love interests throughout the show!

the start of me and you emery lord
Try… THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
This is another intellectual-type comparison and I actually think Paige and Rory are a lot alike in many ways. I can see them sharing a lot of the same interests and even participating in things like Quiz Bowl. I also really like the friendships that Paige makes and maintains throughout the book. She has some amazing friends with her core friend group (like Lane), meets a new love interest that she wasn’t expecting, and also finds unexpected friends with her Quiz Bowl team, including a girl that she finds hard to understand and get along with at first who kind of reminds me of Rory’s frenemy relationship with Paris in a way!

my life next doorTry… MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
Want a book in another Connecticut town? MY LIFE NEXT DOOR takes place in the Connecticut suburbs! It’s not as small town as Gilmore Girls but it does feature many local businesses and a variety of families. While the Garretts are a much bigger family than the twosome of Lorelai and Rory, they have an amazing family dynamic that totally makes the book. I don’t usually like books with so many younger kids but even the youngest characters came alive here. I also love the budding relationship between Jase and Samantha and how it not only affected them but also their families. Rory is so close with her mom that her relationships are also important to the family dynamic and the same goes for Jase and his family!

since you've been goneTry… SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE by Morgan Matson.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE isn’t so much of a direct comparison to the TV show but I think it’s a fun read for Gilmore Girls fans! I love the little missions that Sloane leaves for Emily and I think it feels like the same fun and fierce atmosphere that Gilmore Gils has. You see Emily learning about herself through her family and friends, pushing outside of her comfort zone, and really putting herself out there. I just think this book has the same sort of vibe and Gilmore Girls fans could appreciate it!

THE CONSPIRACY OF US
Try… THE CONSPIRACY OF US by Maggie Hall.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
THE CONSPIRACY OF US isn’t a book one might normally pick as a Gilmore Girls comparison but it has a lot of the same elements that I love about the show! Avery has such a tight relationship with her mom and I really love their relationship. Although you might not think that an international, jet-setting, multiple country thriller fits with the show and it doesn’t exactly in feel… But there’s also no shortness of sass, sarcasm, and wit that I always enjoy from Lorelai and Rory! I love the team of strong and intelligent people in this book and I think that’s something to be appreciated. There’s also a bit of some head-butting between the boys and I can relate with the guys having some fights over Rory! Plus, I can’t recommend ALL contemporary books. We want to get a little variety to our reading, right?

Try… NANTUCKET BLUE by Leila Howland.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
This is a book I recommend quite a bit. Cricket is a character who I feel such a connection to in the sense that she’s like the girl next door. She has a good relationship with her family, even if she does get a little pressure about school sometimes, and a best friend who becomes extended family. She’s a very hard-working and loyal person which I think are qualities always appreciated in the Gilmore realm and I actually think she’s a lot like Lorelai in her determination to work and really earn her way for what she wants. I think the overall vibe is there as well, although NANTUCKET BLUE may be a bit more on the serious side with a little less witty banter!

Confessions of an Angry Girl Try… CONFESSIONS OF AN ANGRY GIRL by Louise Rozett.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

This is another book I recommend quite a bit because there’s a whole lot of important things going on here. There’s the loss of a father and how the family handles this loss. There’s a mother-daughter relationship which may not always be as tight as Lorelai and Rory but I really appreciated seeing them work on it. And there’s, of course, Jamie Forta (swooooooon). Jamie is a little bit of a bad boy and just from his description, he REALLY reminds me of Jess Mariano. He may not have an uncle Luke but just his overall vibe and the way he interacts with Rose somehow really reminds me of Jess!

The Raven Boys - Maggie SteifvaterTry… THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

If you’re up for a bit of magical realism and borderline paranormal, THE RAVEN BOYS has some really, really, really amazing relationships and that awesome small-town feel. Main character Blue (yes, that’s her real name) has an amazing relationship with her mother Maura and becomes friends with some local Raven Boys (the boys that attend the private school in town) despite how much she had previously tried to avoid them in the past. The town of Henrietta is small and has such personality — not in the same way that Stars Hollow does but in its own special right. I also love the addition of the other secondary characters of the series who add such vibrance to these books. Blue and Maura live with friends and fellow psychics who are like family to Blue and I love the camaraderie of all of the Raven Boys as well. I think they bring the same feel to the series that characters like Sookie, Miss Patty, Babette, and Kirk bring to the Gilmore Girls atmosphere. It’s a wonderful mix of personalities that really bring the book to life much like the fun cast of characters adds that extra layer to Gilmore Girls!

26 kisses anna michelsTry… 26 KISSES by Anna Michels.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
This another cutesy sort of book but I really enjoyed so many things here. Veda’s split from her serious boyfriend kind of reminded me of Rory’s relationship with Dean and although they may not have taken the same approaches post-relationship, I liked how they both got a little surer of themselves and ended up discovering a new piece of their life independently from their relationships. I also liked the lighter feel of this book and how it was just a feel-good sort of story!

my lady janeTry… MY LADY JANE by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon

MY LADY JANE is really nothing like Gilmore Girls in content but it’s the same sort of humor that I think GG fans would love! It’s a historical fiction account of Lady Jane Grey but think of The Princess Bride meets Monty Python. The book is clever through and through and there are so many witty moments, anachronisms, and pop culture jabs that really make the book laugh-out-loud funny. Although I wouldn’t say it’s normally a book I’d recommend as a “read alike”, I think the humor would really appeal to fans of Gilmore Girls!

The Scorpio Races paperback cover
Try… THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater.
Review // Goodreads // Amazon
I accidentally ended up with two Maggie Stiefvater books on this list (what can I say? They’re amazing). This one is quite different than THE RAVEN BOYS but actually the reasons I selected it are similar, the first being the small-town sense of community. THE SCORPIO RACES takes place on the island of Thisby which is a fictional island of unknown origins but seems to be somewhere off the coast of the UK. Everyone knows everyone on the island. The families are very tight and the townspeople really bring a lot to the story. I love how the main characters interact with the town and how the small-town feel really affects every person as well. It may not be another Gilmore Girls feel but this is one book that I really love for its sense of community, even if the community is not always on the side of the main characters.


I always have a blast picking out recommendations and I hope Gilmore fans agree with these! There are some recommendations that are a little outside of the box but I like the elements that connect to some fundamental Gilmore themes!

Looking for more recommendations? Check out my previous list of recs below!

 

 

Thieving Weasels – Billy Taylor

Thieving Weasels – Billy TaylorTitle: Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor
Publishing Info: August 23, 2016 by Penguin
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller, Heists/Spies/Espionage
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: September 29, 2016

Cameron Smith attends an elite boarding school and has just been accepted to Princeton University alongside his beautiful girlfriend, Claire. Life for Cameron would be perfect, except that Cameron Smith is actually Skip O’Rourke, and Skip O’Rourke ran away from his grifter family four years ago…along with $100,000 of their “earnings” (because starting a new life is not cheap). But when his uncle Wonderful tracks him down, Skip’s given an ultimatum: come back to the family for one last con, or say good-bye to life as Cameron.
“One last con” is easier said than done when Skip’s family is just as merciless (and just as manipulative) as they’ve always been, and everyone around him is lying. Skip may have given up on crime, but there’s one lesson he hasn’t forgotten: always know your mark. And if you don’t know who your mark is . . . it’s probably you.
Witty and irresistibly readable, this standout debut will always keep you guessing.

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THIEVING WEASELS was a bit different than I anticipated but really in a good way. From the cover, I thought it was going to be a lot goofier and really slapstick but it was actually a lot more serious and realistic than I thought! The book was pretty entertaining, even though it wasn’t what I expected and I really appreciated that it was a bit more on the serious side.

It really became quite the complicated thing with the book being more realistic than I thought because I ended up not being able to write off some things for the sake of comedy. For example, I was left wanting just a bit more character development for the tone of the book. Some of the family members kind of blended together (could also have been the narration too since they all had the same accent) but even from main character Skip, I wanted just a bit more emotion or connection. I think if it had been more of a slapstick style, I wouldn’t have minded as much because it would have been a “fluffier” read but just from the overall tone of how everything went, I think I needed just a bit more backstory or a few more anecdotes or digging a little deeper into the main characters.

I really liked the that the story had some twists! It kept me on my feet and it was really interesting to see where the story went. I wasn’t even sure how it would end when it was so close to being over so that was fun! I always really appreciate when I’m not able to guess the ending of a book because as an avid reader, you tend to be able to guess certain things just from reading all the time, so I really appreciated the direction the book took towards the end.

Overall though, it just really didn’t knock me off my feet. I love the surprises and overall feel of a con/heist story. The book was really fun but it just really wasn’t a stick-with-you kind of book. It did keep my attention and was a very quick read (or listen, if you do the audio like I did) but it was kind of middle of the road for me.

AUDIOBOOK IMPRESSIONS

Source: Digital review copy from Listening Library
Narrator: Robbie Daymond
Performance: Decent

The audio for this book was decent but not stellar. This was the first I had heard from Robbie Daymond and while I did like his voice in general, I didn’t feel like he did a very good job with differentiating of the different characters. There were a lot of other male characters and they all had the same type of accent and same tone of voice so that got kind of confusing at times. I probably won’t search out more from him but if he happens to narrate another book I’m interested in, I also wouldn’t say no.

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Skip // Character obsessions: Honesty, school, his girlfriend.
Skip is the honest one in a family of cons and this was a really fun concept! I wish I did get to know him a little bit more and have him feel like a more rounded character but I did enjoy what I got to know of him. The poor kid gets put in some really tight spots, especially by family members, and I really appreciated how he handled them.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Con stories. Skip’s family is entirely con artists and I just love stories about cons/heists, etc. I felt so bad for him since they put him in a lot of tight places but it was also really fun to see different cons and how that shaped the story!
Left Me Wanting More: Personality. I thought the characters could have really had more personality.

Addiction Rating
Consider it

If you’re a fan of cons, this is an easy and quick read! It was fun and kept me on my toes but it also wasn’t a book that stuck with me. Depends on what kind of read you’re in the mood for!

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BOOKS LIKE THIEVING WEASELS

(Click the cover to see my review!)

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