Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read By the Pool/At the Beach

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature over at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s topic is books we think would be perfect to bring along to the pool or the beach a.k.a perfect summer reads. For my list I decided to do a mix of books I have already read and books that I think would have that lovely summer vibe. Heads up, this list is going to be heavy on the contemporary side because I tend to turn to contemporary a lot during the spring/summer time.

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1. Save the Date by Morgan Matson | 2. The Fortunate Ones by R.S. Grey | 3. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (review here)

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4. Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering | 5. Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka | 6. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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7. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid | 8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (review here) | 9. Swear on This Life by Renée Carlino | 10. Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

 

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Backlist Blast #1: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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Backlist Blast is a weekly book meme hosted by Milana from A Couple Reads and Flavia from Flavia the Bibliophile. The purpose of this meme is to feature and discuss backlist books that we haven’t gotten to yet, but have the intention of doing.

When I first saw this meme a while back on Flavia’s blog, I thought it’d be something really awesome to participate in. Most posts are hyped around new releases and I think it’s always good to talk about books that are from a while back to keep them hyped up too! You never know who might discover a new favourite by reading an older book.

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Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass Series #2
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: August 23, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

The book I’ve decided to feature in my first ever Backlist Blast is Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, the second book in the Throne of Glass series. I’ve read the first book twice and absolutely adored it to the moon and back so I desperately need to get to this book. Unfortunately it’s been out long enough that I know the big thing that happens (which is my own fault for taking so dang long), but I’m still looking forward to picking this up. Also, I lent one of my friends the entire series and he won’t get off my back about reading it because it’s just so good so I really do need to pick it up asap.

Thanks for reading my first Backlist Blast post! Hopefully you guys liked it. Let me know what you think of my choice in the comments below. Is Crown of Midnight really worth getting to soon?

Down the TBR Hole #2

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Down the TBR Hole is a meme hosted by Lost in a Story that revolves around cleansing your TBR of all those books you’re never going to read and sort through it all to know what’s actually on there.

Here’s how it works:

– Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
– Order on ascending date added.
– Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
– Read the synopses of the books
– Decide: keep it or should it go?

1984 by George Orwell

3744438This is such a classic and a book I feel is really important to read at some point in one’s lifetime. I tried picking it up once last year, and just wasn’t in the mood, but I will get back to it one day. Verdict: staying on the list

 

 

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

485894I’m aware of how short this book is and that I could get through it quickly, but I remember reading the beginning of it in high school and probably added it to my TBR because I felt like I should read it. But life is way too short to read books you don’t care about. Verdict: leaving the list

 

 

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

7937462Maybe one day I’ll read this, but I think it’s safe to say my days of being that 15 year old obsessed with Twilight have passed. Verdict: leaving the list

 

 

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

6148028I really loved The Hunger Games and am a bit embarrassed with myself for not having finished the series. I should really get on that soon. Verdict: staying on the list

 

 

Rumors by Anna Godbersen

2218252I’m so ashamed I haven’t gotten past the first book in this series. When I read it, I loved it, and even now, I think I would seriously still enjoy the 1900s style and debauchery. It’s totally a book that’s right up my alley. Verdict: staying on the list

 

 

Staying on the list: 3
Leaving the list: 2

Are there any books you think I should have given a chance to? Any you think I should be ditching? Let me know what you think down in the comments below!

Review: The Allure of Julian Lefray by R.S. Grey

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Title: The Allure of Julian Lefray
Author: R.S. Grey
Series: The Allure #1
Publisher: Self Published by R.S. Grey
Publication Date: June 28, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Purchased

Goodreads
Amazon

Rating: 4.5 stars

From: JosephineKeller@LLDesigns.com
To: LilyNBlack@gmail.com
Subject: Justin Timberlake Nudes!

Lily, you predictable perv. I knew you’d open this email faster if I tempted you with a glimpse of JT’s “PP”. Well, put your pants back on and grab some bubbly because I have much better news to share.

I GOT A JOB!

As of tomorrow, I’ll be the new executive assistant at Lorena Lefray Designs. I am SO excited, but there’s one itty bitty problem: I won’t be Lorena’s assistant. I’ll be working for her older brother, Julian.

I know what you’re thinking- “But Jo, what’s the problem?”

Google him. Now. He’s the man in the fitted navy suit whose face reminds you that there’s hope yet for this cruel, ugly world. Keep scrolling…Do you see those dimples? Yup. That’s the Julian Lefray I will be reporting to tomorrow morning.

Lord, help us all…

XO,
Jo

Review:

“She’s not asking you to go down on her, Romeo. She’s asking you a simple question.”

Jospehine is a girl from a small town in Texas who has moved to New York City to follow her dreams of pursuing a career in fashion. She applies and gets the job to be the executive assisstant to Lorena Lefray, a New York fashion designer, whose pieces she has always adored. Except it just so happens that the job isn’t her working for Lorena, but for Lorena’s brother Julian. Tall, dark, handsome, and the guy every girl dreams of being with.

To start, they become pretty good friends as they both are set on doing everything that is best for the company. But of course, there is a massive attraction between the two because helloooooo! Julian sounds like he’s walked out of the pages of a Hugo Boss ad. Who wouldn’t want that?

Josephine is the cutest. She is absolutely hilarious and a blast to read about. She’s so real and relatable and I think most girls would enjoy reading about her. She has her flaws that make her just like everyone else and doesn’t become this obnoxious girl who is too full of herself. If we could be best friends, I wouldn’t complain.

Julian is great. He is everything you would want in a romance story character. Suit-model handsome, definitely smells good 247, has a jaw line that can cut marble, has the perfect toned body without being too muscular. Help I think I’m drooling now. Ok, totally kidding, but for real I loved him. And when he fell for Josephine, he really fell for her, which is extra swoon-worthy.

Any of the other characters in the book were basically there for really good one-liners or to either tell Josephine and Julian *um hello, can you two be a couple already because it’s obvious to everyone on the planet, and probably in space too.* Normally I’m not the biggest fan of side characters like that, but in the case of a rom-com like this, it fits perfectly. Lily, Dean, and Lorena all deliver whenever they appear in the book.

“I scanned over his outfit quickly, pushing away the swell of lust that accompanied the sight of him. Black slacks- not cute. White button-down- not cute. Fitted black jacket- ew. Who thinks defined arms and a borad chest are attractive? No one.”

R.S. Grey is the queen of romantic comedies. The Allure of Julian Defray was everything I could ever want in a rom-com. I can’t even remember the last time I laughed out loud while reading a book. The sexual tension throughout the novel was perfect. It was just the right amount of tension to keep you hooked. And the banter, oh my god. The way she writes the banter between the two of them had me smiling so hard.

I loved, loved, loved the plot. I loved the fact that Josephine was a fashion blogger and that her meeting Julian was because of her pursuing her dreams in terms of her career. It made the plot and her meeting Julian feel much more natural and organic. Also, the fact that Julian was working at the company to help out his sister while she was dealing with issues that are unfortunately prevalent in the fashion world. The plot had just the right amount of realism inserted into it.

Josephine and Julian clearly has a strong attraction to each other right off the bat, but it doesn’t turn into insta-love from the get go, which is what makes the pacing of the book perfect. Also, they don’t jump into bed right away. There’s so much tension and anticipation and it makes it that much more fun to read this rom-com.

Basically The Allure of Julian Defray is everything you’ll ever need in a romantic comedy. There’s sexual tension, amazing banter, a lovable main character, and of course, the perfect hot dude. I can’t wait to dive in to the rest of her books and see the other stories she has out there because I need them in my life.

Review: We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

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Title: We’ll Always Have Summer
Author: Jenny Han
Series: Summer #3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Purchased

Goodreads
Chapters | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 3 stars

It’s been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college– only, their relationship hasn’t exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It’s time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.

Disclaimer: because this is the third and final book of the summer trilogy, this review is going to be filled with spoilers of the first two books. There are also going to be spoilers about We’ll Always Have Summer because it’s the last one and I desperately need to talk about the ending.

Review:

“Just because you bury something, that doesn’t mean it stops existing.”

If you’ve read my pervious reviews, you’ll know that I enjoyed The Summer I Turned Pretty and couldn’t stand It’s Not Summer Without You. But I decided to finish the series because I’d already bought this book a while ago (for $3 – thank you Book Outlet) and it wouldn’t take long to get through. So I made myself push on and finish.

In all honesty, I knew how this series was going to end from the second I read the synopsis of the first book. To be fair, I think everyone knew. But I was still intrigued enough to want to get there and see how they ended up together.

Belly. Oh lord. This girl. She was so clearly never over Conrad and I’m forever going to annoyed at her for being with Jeremiah pretty much because she couldn’t have the Fisher boy she wanted. Even in college, she didn’t seem to grow up much. At least she got over her issues with Taylor and they were able to be friends again. It would have been so weird if they didn’t reconcile.

The boys felt like such an after thought throughout the book. The entire time I felt like both of them kept falling flat as characters. Conrad finally confessing to Belly how he felt, Jeremiah being the one not chosen. I never really felt much emotion when I should have been having all the feels. So much more could have been done for them, and neither of them got what felt like a satisfying ending.

Just like Conrad and Jeremiah, a lot of the other characters felt like after thoughts. Maybe it was because this series could have just been a standalone or maybe it was because Susannah had passed away, but no one seemed like they added much to the story anymore. They could have been there or on the other side of the world not existing in Belly’s life, and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

“There hadn’t been one specific moment. It was like gradually waking up. You go from being asleep to the space between dreaming and awake and then into consciousness. It’s a slow process, but when you’re awake, there’s no mistaking it. There was no mistaking that it had been love.”

Jenny Han is a great writer. As much as this wasn’t one of my favourite series to read, she can write the perfect summer contemporary setting. Every time I picked up one of the books in the summer series, I wanted to be the teenage girl with the awesome summer beach house where I can spend the summer laying on the sand and swimming in the ocean, eating ice cream and BBQ to my heart’s content. Just because of the setting, I would still recommend this as a summer read. Well, the first one anyway.

The plot wasn’t that shocking to be honest. Belly and Jeremiah doing something irresponsible like wanting to get married as late teens after he kind-of-but-not-really cheated on her seems exactly in character. She never seems to think through decisions that much and he’s so idealistic.

The pacing wasn’t great. It felt like a lot of chapters started with “and it was two weeks since Conrad and I had that encounter.” Her life seemed to be told on a timeline of when her and Conrad had some kind of interaction. Or she had a thought about Conrad that was an obvious red light in terms of her relationship with Jeremiah.

Overall, if you want to read this book, go for it. After reading the trilogy, I can without a doubt say that if you only read The Summer I Turned Pretty and stop there, you would be good. The ending of the trilogy is the same as the first book, except We’ll Always Have Summer feels like such a cop out. And the ending is infinitely more rushed and unsatisfying. Just stick to pretending it’s a standalone, and you’re good to go.