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: Books that surprised me

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s topic is ten books that surprised me (in a good or bad way) and I love this topic! Here’s a list of ten books that, for better or worse, were different than I was expecting.

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: I usually don’t re-read books, but I was surprised when this one not only retained all of its original magic, but I also loved it even more the second time around.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: I mean, when have I ever expected a book to be this good?!
The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane: I didn’t expect this book to get into the psychological aftermath of surviving a plane crash!

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Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman: I thought it would be about more than a boy cheating on his girlfriend. (I was wrong.)
You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner: I was surprised to find the least sympathetic heroine of 2017.
A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan: I was surprised that this book won a Pulitzer because it’s really not very good.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: To be perfectly honest, I was surprised that a book that actively blames the main character for her love interest’s suicide has been so revered by the bookish community.

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Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken: I was surprised at who the heroine ends up with.
I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin: I honestly expected it to be better!
Carry Me Home by Jessica Therrien: I didn’t expect this book to be so dark.  (Not that it was a bad thing.)

What have been some of your recent surprising reads?

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

ARC review: The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane

GoodreadsAmazon ⭐

An eighteen-year-old girl with bleached blonde hair wakes up in Ireland as the lone survivor of a plane crash.  She can’t remember anything, including her name.  Though the nurses tell her that she’s Clementine from Cleveland, she feels no connection to the name or to the town.  The idea of going home to a father she knows nothing about terrifies her, so she runs away with the first boy she meets.  Kieran is cute and harmless and lives in a cottage with his sister. As time goes on, Clementine begins to reinvent herself as Jane, who loves to bake and hates being alone.  Will Clementine’s memories ever come back, or has she really been reborn at the age of eighteen?

Back in 2016, I read Rebekah Crane’s The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland. It had mixed reviews, but I loved it. I was excited to see a new book of hers pop up on Netgalley, so I immediately requested it. That was in October, but since the book doesn’t come out until February, it sat on my shelf for a few months before I picked it up. I actually really liked it.

One thing that I really appreciated (and didn’t expect) is that Clementine is actually fairly traumatized by her accident.  So often, in books like this, the main character sort of pops up and gets on with their life.  But Clementine, though she tries, does struggle.  Loud noises make her jump.  She has nightmares.  Heights make her nervous.  The idea of getting on another airplane is terrifying.  Now, I’m not a psychologist or anything, but this seems a great deal more realistic to me than the “I just went through a traumatizing accident but I’m totally okay” books that I’ve read.

Another thing that I liked was how sometimes a saying would just pop out of Clementine’s mouth and she’d have no idea where it came from.  It was just a little tease at her past, enough to keep us on our toes but not giving too much away too soon.  After all, beer is cheaper than therapy in the midwest.  That much is true.

Now let’s get to Kieran.  I liked him from the start.  He was charming and wonderful, but… (there has to be a but) I kind of felt like he was a hypocrite.  I’m not going to get into spoilers, but the conflict and the ending felt a little off to me.  Still, he’s a great love interest and a great character all around.

As for the secondary characters, I thought that Siobhan and Clive were great. I liked how Clementine and Siobhan kept getting off on the wrong foot because nothing Clementine ever wanted to say to her came out the right way.  That’s happened to me before when trying to make friends, so I could definitely sympathize. I loved Clive and thought that he made a great friend to everyone in the book. I would love to shop at his store!

The only character that rubbed me the wrong way was Stephen. I know that I was supposed to love him, but as a medical professional myself, I couldn’t help but feel that he overstepped time and time again. I’ve said before how I’m sensitive to the portrayal of medical professionals, though, so this will likely not bother many people.

Overall, I really liked this cute, short romance. If slow burn romances, self-discovery, and Irish boys do it for you, you can’t go wrong with The Upside of Falling Down.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

I received a free advance copy of The Upside of Falling Down from the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for my honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my winter TBR

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is ten books on my winter TBR and honestly, what don’t I want to read this winter?  These are ten books that are at the top of the top because I already have all of them in my possession.  Some of these are books that I acquired through giveaways, some are ARCs, some have been given to me as gifts, and one is borrowed from the library. I feel guilty about not reading all of them, so here we go.

Saving Sara by Nicola Marsh
✖ Before I Knew by Jamie Beck
✖ Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

✖ Saint Anything  by Sarah Dessen
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
✖ Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Infraction by Rachel Van Dyken
✖ #Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid
✖ The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane

Meternity by Meghann Foye

What are you planning to read this winter?