Top Ten Tuesday: Books that awaken the travel bug in me

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is ten books that awaken the travel bug in me, which was a little difficult since I’m one of the (seemingly) very few people in the world that does not like to travel.

I get so stressed out!
I worry about everything!
I’ll probably embarrass myself trying to communicate in a foreign language!
I feel like I have to do something every minute or otherwise what was the point in getting myself there!

But, that said, I did come up with ten books that kind of, sort of made me feel like I might want to pack a bag and go somewhere.

🤩 Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett: First of all, Jenn Bennett could make me want to do anything. But this story of two former friends-turned-enemies-turned-lovers made me, a person who hates the very idea of camping, want to go spend a week in the wilderness.
💋 The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde: I don’t really like the ocean. I like sitting on a beach next to the ocean (not in New Jersey, though) but not actually being in the ocean. That said, the yacht trip in The Brightsiders sounded like so much fun and is something I would’ve loved to do with my friends back in the day. Or even now.
⛩️ Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse: I loved the setting in this book! It takes place in Japan and it’s so vivid — the karaoke clubs, the trains, the hustle and bustle of daily life. It would be so fun to visit.

🌳 The Green Unknown by Patrick Rogers: I mentioned in my review that this book made me want to pack up and explore an unknown country. A couple months later, I stand by that statement.
🌀 Break of Day by Andie J. Christopher: Yeah, I know, they get stranded in Cuba during a tropical storm. But the whole thing is so romantic and it just really made me want to go to Cuba. Maybe not during hurricane season.
✈️ The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane: Okay, here’s another one that’s a little weird. The whole premise of the book is that the main character is stranded in Ireland after her plane crashes. But the people she meets are so nice! The scenery is so vivid! I would love to visit Ireland under better circumstances.
💔 Frenched by Melanie Harlow: I might be in a relationship that’s going on ten years… but I might still also be a little tempted to take a trip to France to see if I can meet anybody like Lucas.

🤸 Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie: Basically, I just want to meet the love of my life, Luka Kotova. Going to Vegas is secondary.
💍 Roomies by Christina Lauren: I basically live down the street from NYC. (Okay, it’s a short train ride, but still.) Is it really considered a “travel bug” when a book makes me want to hop on the train and go to a bunch of musicals and meet a cute subway musician? I’m going to say yes.
⚜️ The Beau & The Belle by R.S. Grey: I think that of all of R.S. Grey’s books, this one has the most vivid scenery. It’s set in New Orleans and I really just want to go eat a bunch of food down there.

Did you participate in this week’s theme? What books make you want to pack a bag and explore the world? Let me know in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: 2017 favorites

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!  Today’s theme is top ten favorite books of 2017 and honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about this theme!  There are still almost three weeks of the year left!  But still, I’ll call it my top ten favorite books so far in 2017.  There.  That sounds better.

These are in no particular order, by the way.

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💕 The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
💕 Roomies by Christina Lauren
💕 Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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💕 Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie
💕 Damaged Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

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💕 Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
💕 My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
💕 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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💕 Anything You Can Do by R.S. Grey
💕 The Allure of Julian Lefray by R.S. Grey

What are the best books that you read in 2017?

ARC review: Roomies by Christina Lauren

Goodreads ⭐ Amazon

Theatre archivist Holland Bakker has crushed on subway musician Calvin McLoughlin for months.  One night, after a few cups of liquid courage, Holland approaches Calvin to confess her undying love… for his music.  When a subway attack leaves her unconscious on the rails, Calvin steps in to contact the MTA and the police, but he doesn’t stick around for small talk.

Determined to pay him back, Holland lands Calvin the Broadway audition of his life with her Uncle Robert, a famous director.  Robert is blown away and immediately wants to hire Calvin for his musical’s orchestra, but Calvin reveals that he’s in the country illegally on an expired student visa.  When Holland proposes marriage, the arrangement is just crazy enough that it might actually work.

There are a lot of romance tropes that I like, friends-to-lovers and fake relationships being somewhere near the top of the list.  There are also a lot of romance tropes that I’m iffy about, and a marriage of convenience is one of them.  That said, I thought that Roomies was an adorable and (quite nearly) perfect romance about two people who are thrown together and have to work to make it work.

So often in the romance genre, the heroine takes a backseat to the hero.  And while, yes, Calvin was certainly something else (and I wouldn’t mind picking up my own Calvin on my next subway ride), Holland was a breath of fresh air.  She’s neither a doormat nor a brat.  She knows that she wants to make her own way in the world, but she doesn’t know how to start.  She’s head-over-heels in lust with Calvin, but she marries him solely to give him the opportunity to realize his dream.

This plot could have gone in a lot of less-satisfying directions, but this author duo did a great job of making it feel realistic while still keeping it entertaining.  I saw the first big conflict coming and it didn’t bother me.  The second big conflict, though, seemed like a lot of drama for no real reason and felt a bit out of character.  BUT, that’s the only real criticism I have of this entire book.  Overall, it was cute, it was funny, it was swoony, and it was hard to put down.  This was my first Christina Lauren book, but it won’t be my last.

Final rating: 4.5 stars, rounded up to ★★★★★

I received a free copy of Roomies from the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.