Top Ten Tuesday: Popular books that live up to the hype

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today we’re talking about books that actually live up to the hype, and we all know that I tend to dislike overhyped books. That said, here are ten books that are (or were) frequently hyped in the book blogosphere that I actually really enjoyed.

   

Are there any super-popular books that you would recommend? Did you participate in Top Ten Tuesday today? Feel free to drop your link in the comments and I’ll check it out!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite quotes

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s topic is top ten favorite book quotes. I am actually really bad at keeping track of quotes that I love, so what I ended up doing was going through my Kindle highlights on Goodreads.  (Sorry to all the paper books I’ve forgotten about!)

Some of these quotes are funny, some are serious, and some I just really related to. Some are from books I loved and some are from books I didn’t, so this selection of ten quotes really runs the gamut.

Books were, and always would be, something a little magic and something to respect.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

There’s a lump in my throat. That’s another thing about me. If someone says I’m sad, or asks me what’s wrong, or tells me not to cry, it’s like my body hears: NOW CRY. Like a command, even if I’m not actually sad. But maybe there are always tiny sad pieces inside me, waiting to be recognized and named. Maybe it’s like that for everyone.

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I didn’t plan to be this dysfunctional at 27, but dysfunctionality has a way of creeping up on you. One second, you’re 22, wrapping up your undergraduate degree from a top business school, and then suddenly, you’re sitting alone in your car at 27, wondering how five years slipped through your fingers without so much as a blink.

The Foxe and the Hound by R.S. Grey

As a side note, don’t you think everyone should have to come out? Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it should be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Oh god, a winky face. The most provocative of all emoticons.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

I get angry when women disavow feminism and shun the feminist label but say they support all the advances born of feminism because I see a disconnect that does not need to be there. I get angry but I understand and hope someday we will live in a culture where we don’t need to distance ourselves from the feminist label, where the label doesn’t make us afraid of being alone, of being too different, of wanting too much.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

You don’t need to fit yourself into what society tells us a girl should be. Girls can be whoever they want. Whether that’s an ass-kicking, sarcastic, crime-solving FBI agent or a funny, gorgeous, witty beauty queen—or both at the same time.

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Cheat on me once, shame on him. Cheat on me twice…what the actual fuck is going on? How in the world have I managed to find my last two boyfriends cheating on me? No, not together. Although, that would have been much more poetic, and at least they could have included me or something.

Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey

We speak of moving mountains, but sometimes people can completely rotate the world, just so someone else can land upright on their feet.

Some Kind of Perfect by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Let’s talk about: Romantic novels!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re celebrating or not, here are thirty books that will give you serious 😍.

romantic comedy:

💞 The Foxe & the Hound by R.S. Grey
💞 The Virgin Romance Novelist by Meghan Quinn
💞 Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame
💞 Slightly Stalky by Amy Vansant

lgbt:

💞 Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
💞 If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
💞 Damaged Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie
💞 Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
💞 The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
💞 Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

young adult:

💞 Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
💞 Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
💞 Operation Prom Date by Cindi Madsen
💞 The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin
💞 The Summer Before Forever by Melissa Chambers
💞 The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

new adult:

💞 The Deal by Elle Kennedy
💞 Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie
💞 Remember When by T. Torrest
💞 Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G.

on the steamier side + some erotica:

💞 Lust is the Thorn by Jen McLaughlin
💞 Frenched by Melanie Harlow
💞 Personal Escort by Ainsley Booth

enemies to lovers:

💞 Anything You Can Do by R.S. Grey
💞 Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne
💞 The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

contemporary romance:

💞 Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
💞 Arm Candy by Jessica Lemmon
💞 Break of Day by Andie J. Christopher
💞 Roomies by Christina Lauren

What are your favorite romantic reads? Do you have any Valentine’s plans? (I don’t since it’s a Wednesday and I work.)

Book review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Source: Purchased
Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman serve as executive assistants to the co-CEOs of a publishing house. The two are mortal enemies, dedicating time each day to throwing each other off their game, getting under each other’s skin, and trying to get each other to crack.  Their conversations are sometimes outright rude and other times layered under several levels of false sincerity.  Messing with each other is the best part of their day… but what does that mean?

I finally did it.  I gave in and bought this book.  I said to myself, “I want to end 2017 on a good note. This has to be my last book of the year,” and so it was.  I get the hype.  I enjoyed The Hating Game a lot.  There are a lot of things to love in this book, but my favorite was definitely the banter.  I love banter, and Sally Thorne, in her debut novel, has absolutely mastered it.

“So painting your nails tonight, desperately alone?”
Lucky guess on his part?
“Yes. Masturbating and crying into your pillow, Doctor Joshua?” He looks at the top button of my shirt.
“Yes. And don’t call me that.”

Josh is so obviously in love with Lucy and she is blissfully oblivious.  Everybody knows it – their coworkers, their bosses, everybody.  This is one of my absolute favorite tropes.  I love the pining from afar.  I love it when someone misinterprets eyes darkening in lust for eyes darkening in anger. The best part is that Josh isn’t even subtle. He flat-out tells her several times, as part of their daily banter, that he’s attracted to her.  Lucy just assumes that he’s messing with her because that’s what they do.

“You guys have a weird dynamic going on.”
“There’s no dynamic. No dynamic.” I begin swigging at my coffee. It’s too hot and a terrible idea.
“But you know he’s in love with you, right?”
I inhale my huge mouthful and being to drown on dry land.

This book was just so much fun. It’s funny and swoony and the sexual tension gets so extreme that these characters just brushing against each other is enough to raise your heart rate.  I had the biggest smile on my face while I read this book and I cannot wait to see what Sally Thorne comes up with next.

Book tag: 2017 in review

This book tag was created by A Booktube Book.  I found it over at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Recently, I’ve been getting more into book tags. I have a whole ton of them bookmarked that I want to do at some point, but this one felt timely and appropriate for the first half of January.

1. First Ever Female Doctor Who: Favorite Female Protagonist

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I loved both Dani from The Big F and Jane from My Lady Jane.  There were so many great female protagonists in 2017, though! It was hard to choose!

2. GCC Cuts Ties with Qatar: An Author You Cut Ties With

I don’t want to name names, but I cut ties with an author that I really loved who had the audacity to go on Twitter and complain about a (positive) review that I wrote for her latest book. She claimed that I gave away “the whole plot” when I didn’t even write about anything that wasn’t in the plot summary. I’ve loved her books, but I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. I won’t be reading anything else that she writes.

3. La La Land Oscar Mix-Up: A Book That Surprised You

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Turtles All the Way Down by John Green surprised me in a good way. It had been while since he released a new book and I was really hoping that I’d still love his writing – and I did.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven surprised me in a bad way. Honestly, I think I’ve talked this to death, but I thought that the way she handled the mental health issues in her book was incredibly irresponsible.

4. Hurricanes and Earthquakes: A Book That Rocked Your World

 

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A lot of books rocked my world in 2017! I had more four- and five-star reads than ever before. The Hating Game, The Hate U Give, and Anything You Can Do top the list of my favorites.

5. Louvre Abu Dhabi: Favorite Book Cover Art

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2017 had some great cover art. I mean, just check out my all reviews page! Three favorites, though, would have to be A Million Junes by Emily Henry, Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde, and Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie.

6. Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi Sells for $450M: A Take-My-Money Book

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Every year, the answer is the same. I should probably just set up a direct transfer from my bank account to Krista & Becca Ritchie’s. I tried not to repeat books here, but I adored Infini’s cover and I preordered it, so… Anyway. Damaged Like Us and Lovers Like Us are obviously also on this list.

7. Total Eclipse: A Sequel That Overshadows the First Book

I don’t think any of my 2017 reads really qualify! I found most sequels kind of disappointing if I’m perfectly honest.

8. Muslim Ban: Favorite Diverse Book

 

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27 Hours features an almost entirely LGBT+ cast of varying ethnicities (I think I gave it four stars) and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is about a young, bisexual British man and his biracial best friend/crush traveling around Europe (I gave it four stars as well).

9. Italy Doesn’t Qualify for World Cup: Most Disappointing Book

 

I saw a lot of people raving about Next August by Kelly Moore, but I couldn’t even make it through the first half. It was my one true DNF of the year (I don’t count Norwegian Wood since I just got bored and put it down).

10. Prince Harry Engaged: Favorite Ship

I loved Joshua and Lucy from The Hating Game!  (Sorry for repeating books again, but they stand out in my mind as the best couple of the year.)

11. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Most Anticipated Book

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I’m not really sure what this question is getting at, so I have multiple answers for you.

  • My most anticipated of 2017 that I actually read in 2017 was A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab.
  • The book I most anticipated in 2017 that doesn’t come out until 2018 is My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows.
  • And as a bonus, the book I was most anticipating for 2017 that I didn’t actually read is One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus.

What do you think? Would your answers be different? Did you do this book tag? Let me know!

Monthly Favorites: December 2017

As far as reading months go, December was pretty good!  I had seven four- or five-star reads, which is not a bad way to end the year.  The following books are in no particular order.

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🌟 Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy
🌟 The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
🌟 The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane

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🌟 Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (re-read)
🌟 Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
🌟 The Sweetheart Sham by Danielle Ellison

🌟 The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Happy New Year! My top 10 books of 2017!

Happy 2018!  In honor of the new year, I thought I’d talk about the best of the best of last year. Here are my top ten reads from 2017. I know I always say “in no particular order,” but this time, they are in descending order. This was such a hard decision because, for the first time in quite a while, I had way more than ten five-star books to choose from!

Coming in at #10 on my list is Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie. Has a book ever ripped my heart out quite so much as this one?  Luka Kotova is still in my head all these months later. I’m honestly tearing up just thinking about him.

At #9 is The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman. Hoffman is an amazing storyteller and, here, she perfectly captured the ambiance of New York with a little magic. The book is at times heartbreaking, at times funny, and always enjoyable.

I’m happy to put Operation Prom Date by Cindi Madsen at #8 on this list. This book was cute and fluffy and left me wondering why I’d never found a boy like that when I was in high school. I’m eagerly anticipating Cindi’s next YA release.

Next up, at #7, is Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.  I’m sure this book is on literally everybody’s “Best of 2017″ lists, but it certainly deserves its spot.  This book was about anxiety more than anything else, and I have to applaud it for portraying the nitty-gritty details and not just the cute, quirky bits that often make their way into YA novels.

Book #6 is Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.  I flat-out devoured this book.  It’s such an interesting concept for a YA book and was so well-executed.

Rounding out the top five is Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. This was my only re-read of the year and I absolutely adored it. Like, even more, the second time around.

It’s getting hard to rank these books, but #4 would have to be Anything You Can Do by R.S. Grey. This was the first book of hers that I ever read and it still stands as my favorite.

We’re getting close to the end, and heading off the top three is The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. This just barely got the edge over #4 on the list because of the resolution at the end.

#2 on my list is My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. This book was just so much fun, so engaging, and never once felt like it was nearly 500 pages. I cannot wait to read their next Jane book.

Finally, at #1, is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.  I am still in utter shock that this was a debut novel. Angie Thomas masterfully described race relations in America without ever once sounding pushy.  This book should be required reading.