Monthly recommendations – Standalones

This topic was created by Kayla from Kayla Rayne and Trina from Between Chapters and the topic for each month can be found in this Goodreads Group.

The topic for this month is Standalones

I’ve picked mostly YA books for this, but a few adult novels so I’ll start with those.

  
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This book follows a white girl in the early 60’s who interviews a group of black maids to get their point of view on the work they do. It’s heartbreaking, hilarious, informative, and just a well rounded story. I loved the movie and then picked up the book, which was of course better, but I think it’s a must read.

  

White Oleander by Janet Fitch
A young girl has to go into foster care when her mother commits a major crime, this book follows her into several different homes and situations in the aftermath of that situation. I thought it was a facinating story and was another one that I loved the movie first and the book was even better. Such a wonderful author.

  

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
This book follows a young girl who is murdered, watching her family from heaven while they move on with life and deal with her death. I thought the story was beautiful, I loved the way the author described things and it’s one of my favorites… The movie, however, was awful.

Now on to my YA Recommendations


  

 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This story is set during World War 2 and is told by the perspective of Death, following a girl named Liesl and the things that happen to her during the war. I think the perspective being told by Death makes this book so unique and it’s a beautiful story. If you haven’t read this, you really should.

  

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
This is about a little girl who moves into a new house and isn’t happy with her life until she finds a secret entrance to an alternative world where everything she doesn’t like about her life is the way she wants it. However, she soon learns the grass isn’t greener on the other side. I think Neil Gaiman is a fabulous storyteller, he has such a fantastic imagination and this is my favorite book of his.

  

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
I love this author, she writes such interesting historical fiction with a touch of paranormal. This is her debut book, it follows a girl in 1918 during the worst of the Spanish Flu epidemic. She also loses someone she cares a lot for which isn’t a spoiler, I promise, because the synopsis of the story is about him coming back to haunt her. It was such an interesting read and one of my favorites.

  

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
This is about 2 girls in 1959 on opposite sides of the civil war movement, it follows each of their perspectives and the struggles they have with all that is changing in their lives as well as their struggles with being attracted to girls. It’s such a facinating story and I think it was done beautifully. I think this is a must read for sure.

 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
This is one that most people either love or hate, it follows a boy in high school who’s makes stupid videos with his one true friend and his mother forces him to spend time with a girl he was friends with in elementary school because she has cancer. It’s sarcastic and ridiculous and pretty much tears itself apart throughout the whole story. I loved it, so I would really only recommend it to people who have a dryer sense of humor and enjoy more sarcastic type characters. You can’t really take it too seriously, because it doesn’t even take itself seriously lol

  

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Last but not least, I chose this one because I felt it was really unique. This follows three main characters in The Walled City in China, all there for different reasons, but all three trying to escape. It’s a brutal, facinating world and the author has created characters that you really connect to and I would highly recommend it if you have thought about picking it up.

That’s it for my Monthly Recommendations. Let me know your thoughts if you’ve read any of these or are planning too. Also, if you’ve done this months recommendations, link it below or just tell me if you think you know one I would love!
Thanks for reading!

Until next time, bye πŸ˜€

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Lies We Tell Ourselves -Review

  
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5/5 stars

Historical fiction, LGBTQ, YA contemporary 
Synopsis: 2 girls in 1959 on opposite sides of the civil war movement, their school becomes integrated and they are forced to confront the issues of the time up close and personal and decide how they both really feel about their world and the people in it. 

My thoughts: (No spoilers)

This book follows 2 girls, an African American named Sarah who is in the first group of kids integrated into the white school in their town, and Linda who is one of the white kids who go to the school already.

The first thing I noticed was how hard it was for me to read, because the white people during this time were so completely awful to anyone of color that it makes me sick… I realize that even during our time there are racial issues, but the way they treated people before and during the Civil Rights movement is appalling… 

Linda is a white girl who’s father is high up in the community and often writes articles about negros needing to stay in their places, give them rights but keep them separate sort of stuff. So she believes strongly that her school should not be integrated. 

Sarah is such a strong character, I felt very attached to her through out the book. Not just because I felt so awful for the things she was going through but also because of the way she handled it… She held her head high and she dealt with the issues in a very mature manner. She had plenty of doubts, but she was adamant that what she was doing was for the greater good and I believe she handled it all very gracefully.

The 2 girls are forced to work together on a project, and they go through a lot of issues in conversation, learning much from each other throughout the book. Also, early on in the story we find that both girls are attracted to girls instead of boys and we go through their struggles with this and how they feel about it, and it obviously being 1959 and that being something that people just didn’t talk about at that time.

I thought the story was beautiful, heartbreaking, and hopeful. I felt like I was there in this time with them, experiencing their feelings and their hardships. I absolutely loved it, and if I could give it 10 stars or more, I would.

I would recommend this to everyone, I think it’s an important read.

Thank you for reading, and if you want to check out the review that had me wanting to read this, check out the lovely Kayla Rayne. She’s fabulous and I love this one and all her videos 😍 

Also my friend Michelle at MichEllisLife read this right after me and reviewed it on her channel 😍

Until next time, bye! πŸ˜€

Top 5 Wednesday – December 2

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey and the topics for each week can be found at the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads group.

This week is Favorite Audiobooks πŸ˜€
  
1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
I listened to this series instead of reading it and I contribute that to me loving it as much as I do. I think that if I had read it, the language would have bugged me like it did most of the girls in my book club who I read this with lol

  
2. Blood Red Road by Moria Young

This is another book that is better, in my opinion, to listen to. They don’t speak proper English and there is a lot of words that just sound better than they read so if you ever pick this up, I recommend the audiobook. I didn’t absolutely love this book, but I still found it super interesting and I find that it actually has stuck with me for a while.
  
 
3. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

This is an Alice in Wonderland retelling, I really loved this! I really liked the narrator and he brought the story to life because I read the second one in book form and didn’t love it as much… And I still haven’t picked up the third one because I can’t find it on audiobook to borrow anywhere… And I don’t want to pay 30 dollars for it πŸ˜”
  
4. In the After by Demitria Lunetta

I don’t normally like zombie books, but this one was really good and I really loved the main character a lot. I felt like she just stepped up and took care of stuff when she needed to, she refused to be a victim and I really loved it. I really would like to finish this duo soon, but I definitely want to finish it in audio form also.

  
5. Identical by Ellen Hopkins

I actually prefer to listen to all of Ellen Hopkins books… I know it kind of defeats the purpose because one of the reasons she is so popular is because of the way she writes her books… But I just think the story flows better when it’s read out loud.  This one is just my favorite of all her books 😊

This was such a good topic because I don’t get to talk about these ones a lot for some reason and I think they’re all really good!

Have you read (or listened) any of these, if yes, what did you think of them?

Thanks for reading! 

Laters ✌🏻️

Top 5 Wednesday – November 25

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey and the topics for each month can be found at the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads group.

The topic for today is Books I’m Thankful For.

For this I chose 5 books that inspire me as a reader and made me fall in love with reading again for each one I picked up.

  
1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

This one is special to me, I never have any issues reading it, I can be in the middle of a slump and not want to read anything else but I will always be able to pick these up. I re-read them this year and it’s always such a fun world to be immersed in.

2. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

This is such a beautiful heartbreaking story. It follows a 12 year old girl who is murdered (in the first few pages so not a spoiler but it’s pretty graphic, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who has trouble reading anything to do with rape and murder) and it is from her point of view in heaven, watching her family move on and dealing with her death and the case of her disappearance. I thought it was beautifully written, and I have such a special place for this story… I plan to re-read this one soon since its been a few years now.

3. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I’ve mentioned this before, and it is special to me because I received an ARC for this one during a trying time in my life. So I wasn’t reading much then and when I picked this up, it reignited my love for reading which helped get me though the trials I was facing that year. This is about a boy who finds out about secret places in the world called loops, and the peculiar children who live in them… And the adventure they share trying to save themselves from the the evil wights and hollows 😱

4. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

I picked this one because I was not expecting to love this it, in fact, I hadn’t even planned to ever read it. This story follows a girl who’s parents create a device that can take you to different dimensions, with the idea that there is a different one for every decision that could have ever been made in your life. After her fathers death, she decides to follow the man who killed him into the dimensions he’s escaped to and bring him back to be punished. The description of this book doesn’t really convey that interestingly enough that I wanted to read it. It was chosen for a book club I was part of and I ended up loving it so much, it was one of my favorites of the year… Go figure lol

5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater 

If you plan to follow my blog, probably might want to go ahead and plan to see this series more than the times I’ve already mentioned it… I chose this because never have I wanted to marathon a series so bad, never have I wanted the final book to be in my hands so bad it drives me crazy. This series and and it’s amazingly diverse characters and it’s awesome plot line and just all of it, all of it… I love everything about it and I am sad it will end next year but I still need it, like now… So if it gets pushed back again past April… I may literally rip some hair out πŸ˜’

So that is my top 5 for this week, thanks for reading! If you’ve read any of these, I’d love to hear your thoughts 😊

Bye for now 😘

Made in the A.M. Book Tag

  So, I’m a pretty big One Direction fan, if you didn’t know… Not super “passionate” but I just love them 😍 So I kind of looked around and couldn’t find any kind of tags to do with their new album, just some general 1D tags… So I decided to create one for their newest album, Made in the A.M. If you or someone you know did already create this and I missed it, please let me know and of course I will give credit 😊 but hopefully this is the first and if you want to do it after me, I’d love that!

  
#1dmadeintheambooktag

1. Hey Angel/If I Could Fly: A book featuring angels or superheros or a character who could had wings

2. Drag Me Down: A book that lifted your spirits, a happy story

3. Perfect: A book that was the perfect read for you at the time that you read it.

4. Infinity/Never Enough: A book or series you wish would go on forever

5. Olivia : A book or series with a character named Olivia/Olive or even Oliver… Or one with a kick butt female character.

6. What a Feeling: A book or series that gave you the feels.

7. Love You Goodbye: A book or series that you didn’t like or love enough to keep or buy.

8. I Want to Write You a Song: A book featuring music prominently in the story

9. History: A book that you have re-read or that you have a long standing connection with.

10. Temporary Fix: A book or series you first loved after reading but changed your mind about later

11. Wolves: A book where a character turned out to not be who you thought they were.

12. End of the Day/A.M. A book that you stayed up way too late to read/finish
  
1: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld (Superheroes… Sort of lol)

2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Happy book, makes me laugh every time I read it or watch the movie)

3. The D.U.F.F. By Kody Keplinger (Book I needed at the time, something light and cute… Perfect 😊)

4. Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs (I wish I could have more adventures with this group of misfits, I just love them)

5. Books of Elsewhere series by Jacqueline West (Olive and her crazy adventures… And she’s pretty kick butt too πŸ˜‰)

6. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (So many feels!!!)

7. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins (I had planned to read the sequel until I realized that I forgot everything in this book… So I decided to unhaul it instead πŸ˜”… Plus mine doesn’t have the pretty pink cover ☹)

8. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales (I mean the title says it all, I love this cute little book)

9. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (I’ve read this a couple times, and I love it more every time I read it)

10. The Ruby Red series by Kerstin Gier (I originally really liked this… Until I finished it and as time went on I realized how annoying the characters were and the insta love really did kill it for me)

11. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (I can’t say much without spoiling it, but if you have read it, you know exactly why I picked it for the wolf in sheeps clothing)

12. The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters (Definitely stayed up late while I read this one, it’s one of my faves)

Thanks for reading and I’d love for you to do this tag, I don’t know if any of my readers are 1D fans but if you are, please take this as a tag!

Bye for now 😘

Monthly Recommendations: Trilogies

This is my post for the Goodreads group for Monthly Recommendations and the topic for November is trilogies… 

This topic has made me realize how many trilogies I don’t actually finish… I should probably get on that πŸ€”

However, I was able to find 3 that I very much enjoyed to recommend πŸ˜€

  

1. The Royal Circle by Katherine Longshore

Now, these aren’t considered a true trilogy, I know. However, they all focus on 3 different woman in the court of King Henry the VIII. I felt the author really did her research and I’m a huge fan of the Tudor era of English history so it really intrigued me to read what the thoughts of the people living it might have been. 

The first one is Gilt, this follows the point of view of the best friend of Katherine Howard, the 5th wife of King Henry VIII. (Spoiler Alert: She is beheaded) If you know this era of history, you already know this… But it kind of gives you an insider look how how Katherine might have felt about everything going on, through the eyes of her friend, Kitty.

Second is Tarnish, this follows Anne Boleyn while she is being courted by King Henry VIII and how she felt about the situation. I really feel like she got a raw deal, and this offers a view on how she just wanted to be an independent woman, and the struggles she felt on how to achieve that dream while still being true to herself.

Third is Brazen, and it follows Mary Howard who was married to the only illegitimate child that King Henry VIII claimed as his own, Henry Fitzroy. It is kind of a love story, and it follows the struggles Mary had with being married at such a young age, wanting to fall in true love with her husband and the frustration the couple felt with King Henry refusing to allow them to consummate their marriage… This all happens at the same time as the downfall of Anne Boleyn as well. 

They don’t have to be read in order, obviously because they start with the 5th wife before the 2nd. But I really enjoyed them 😍
  

 

2. The WondLa series by Tony DiTerlizzi

This is a lovely middle grade series that I really enjoyed! It follows Eva Nine who grows up in this pod underground, with a robot for a caretaker. Then one day, they are attacked and Eva finds that there is a whole other world outside! She goes on an adventure to find other humans, and a whole bunch of other crazy stuff happens! It’s a fabulous story with lots of fun alien characters. The author also illustrated it and he is an awesome artist, it helps make the story unique 😍
  

3. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

This is her second Shadowhunters series that is set in the late Victorian period, another of my favorite eras of history. This story is also set in England and follows Tessa, a girl who has some pretty interesting powers… It also has a steampunk vibe going for it. I liked the characters better in this than The Mortal Instruments, and I always recommend this one first lol… Also, it technically happens first so 😏

Those are my trilogy recommendations, if you’ve read these I’d love to hear your thoughts, or if you have a series you think I need to read based on these, let me know!

Thanks for reading ❀️

Top 5 Wednesday: Halloween RecommendationsΒ 

The Top 5 Wednesday tag was created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey and the weekly topics are found in this Goodreads Group.

The topic for today is Favorite Halloween Recommendations 😍

I’ve done a lot of posts on Instagram regarding spooky and creepy books… Honestly, I don’t feel there are enough in the genre that I normally read. I may need to branch out a bit later on to find some more for future October reads.

These are 5 on my shelf that I have read, and aren’t necessarily scary but all have a sinister vibe going for them.

  

1. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

This book definitely had a creepy element. I mean, ghosts who murder people, that’s freaky… But the main character, Cas, has a special knife that sends them on their way. However, he finds his match with Anna and ends up trying to find out more about her instead of sending her on. I’ve talked about this one before, it’s definitely one I would recommend to someone who likes ghostly things and doesn’t mind a little blood.

2. The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

I’ve talked about this one recently too, it’s inspired by the classic book by H.G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau. It also has that creepy element, but no ghosts… It’s set just after the turn of the century, and it’s about a girl who finds her father living on an island. She discovers some pretty gruesome secrets he’s been keeping, and there’s some minor romance also ❀️

3. The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

I loved this one, a perfectly YA ghost story. It is about a girl who moves into a haunted house, meets a boy at school and together they try to solve the mystery. It’s just a cool story and I loved the characters and the unique storyline.

4. The Diviners by Libba Bray

This one is definitely creepy, it hooks you from the first chapter… I actually had to read this one during the day because the main villain scared me, and I love horror stuff. This follows a bunch of different characters who all have a different angle on the story but it all ends up bringing them to same place. I love stories like that too, lots of suspense ☺️

5. Lockwood and Co. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

This is a Sherlock Holmes inspired middle grade series, but the twist of the story is that only children have the ability to see ghosts. Lockwood and Co. are a small independent agency who are hired for the mystery of The Screaming Staircase. It’s just a cute little spooky story, I really enjoyed it.

So that is my T5W this week, if you know of any spooky stories that you think would have me hiding under my covers, let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!