Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’ve Read (So Far) In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

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(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The above photo was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

I’ve been busy reading all the books! And even though 2015 isn’t complete, I have to say I’ve read some pretty great books so far. And I’m excited to share my top ten with you today!

1

  • Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
  • When I Was The Greatest by Jason Reynolds
  • Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby
  • The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
  • Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

2

  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  • Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy
  • Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
  • VIP: I’m With the Band by Jen Calonita

The Boys of Summer With Katrina From Bookish Things & More

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Hello Readers!

It’s getting hot in here! Or at least it will be after reading todays Boys of Summer post! Today, I’m very pleased to be hosting Katrina! Katrina is one of the fabulous bloggers over at Bookish Things & More! 

Today, Katrina will be talking about some great New Adult (NA) titles, and some hot, swoon-worthy characters!

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Summer is finally here!  I know most of us have had a rainy or cold year so far.  It’s time for us to pull out those swimsuits, grab a towel, and head down to the beach with our favorite read.  Well, I don’t live near a beach, so it will be poolside for me.

I’m excited to be a part of these feature, and today I’ll be introducing you, if you don’t already know, to the swoony guys from Rosemary Beach.  The Rosemary Beach series is written by Abbi Glines and takes place in Florida.  Here you will find some of the swooniest men that want nothing more than to treat their ladies like a queen.

Rush

First up on this list is Rush Finlay.  He is the son of a Rock god, and a little rough around the edges when you first meet him.  By the end of the book he’ll have you wrapped around his finger.  He’s compassionate, gives when he can, and completely devoted to those he loves.  You can follow his story with Blaire in Fallen Too FarNever Too FarForever Too Far, and Rush Too Far.  

Woods

Woods Kerrington is the next in line to take over the town’s country club.  He’s adorable, and finds himself fascinated with Della.  He meets her by chance and can’t get her out of his head.  He’s willing to do whatever he has to help Della, and he has a great group of friends surrounding him.  He may not always go about things in a way that you hope, but he more than makes up for it with his selflessness.  And he definitely knows how to get hot in the bedroom.  You can read more about Woods in Twisted Perfection and Simple Perfection.

Grant

Grant is Rush’s step-brother removed.  He is close to Rush, and depends on him for guidance at times.  He makes some ridiculous choices, and you’ll see about those when you read the book.  He’s willing to move mountains in order to show the woman he loves his feelings.  He’s rugged, and ridiculously handsome.  His story begins with Take a Chance and ends with One More Chance.

Tripp

What can I say about Tripp Newark.  He’s an absolute rebel.  He doesn’t conform to the role his family wants for him.  He’s a nomad, and never stays in one place for long.  We get a tiny glimpse of him in Woods and Della’s story, but he definitely needed his own story.  He’s trying to make up for past mistakes, and looks good doing it.  Check out more about Tripp in You Were Mine.

Mason

Last but not least, we have have Mason Colt-Manning.  He is Harlow’s brother and a Texas Cowboy.  He adores his sister, and will do anything for her.  He also is just a nice guy in general.  He helps people without wanting anything in return.  Naturally he does everything big, including love.  There’s not much he wouldn’t do for the woman who captures his heart.  His sweet demeanor is definitely a great addition to the Rosemary Beach group.  His story begins with When I’m Gone.

These guys definitely know how to turn up the heat on those cool summer nights!

***
Katrina, THANK YOU so much for participating in this Boys of Summer feature. And Thank You for introducing, not just The BookBadnit Blog reader to Abbi Glines, but also for introducing her and her books to me!
Readers, be sure to check out Katrina and her blog Bookish Things & More! You will not be disappointed!

 

The Boys of Summer With Me, Nicole from The BookBandit Blog

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Hello Readers!

When I started thinking up this Boys of Summer feature, I started thinking about the kind of posts that I wanted to feature. I knew by reaching out to a few of my blogging buddies that they’d come up with some fantastic ideas. With them setting the bar so I high, I really had to come though.

Today, I’m spearheading the Boys of Summer feature. Being that I’m from New Jersey, I thought it would be fun to come up with a top four books set New Jersey and/or the  NJ Shore. Honestly, when I think of summer, I think of the Jersey Shore – the beaches, the boardwalk, the summer flings!

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Summary from Goodreads: “Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it’s not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?”

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Summary from Goodreads: “It’s the summer before senior year and the alluring Angel is ready to have fun. She’s not like her best friend, Inggy, who has a steady boyfriend, good grades, and college plans. Angel isn’t sure what she wants to do yet, but she has confidence and experience beyond her years. Still, her summer doesn’t start out as planned. Her good friend Joey doesn’t want to fool around anymore, he wants to be her boyfriend, while Angel doesn’t want to be tied down. As Joey pulls away, and Inggy tours colleges, Angel finds herself spending more time with Inggy’s boyfriend, Cork. With its cast of vivid and memorable characters, this tale from the Jersey shore is sure to make some waves.

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Summary from Goodreads: “Sixteen-year-old Amy Rush doesn’t expect much from her summer at the Jersey shore, until she stumbles on Mermaid Park, an old tourist spot where girls dress in fabulous costumes and put on underwater shows. Working at the park changes Amy’s life in more ways than she could have imagined. She finds romance, a newfound self-confidence, and discovers breathtaking revelations about long-buried family secrets.

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Summary from Goodreads: “One group on the Jersey Shore, another in Laguna Beach. Both have the same summer-tastic setup: total strangers sharing a house. No one sleeps, no one cleans, and everybody parties. And to pay their ways, each housemate slags through crappy summer jobs while recuperating from the night before. Ah, summer shares!

In the Jersey house, cheating and misleading are the name of the game as roommates hook up and hash it out. And at Laguna Beach, surfing is just one of several popular, uh, pastimes. But some of the people in this share are keeping secrets—dangerous ones that could blow the roof off their massive house on the beach. How will these clashing personalities survive two months together? With plenty of drama to share! ”

So, readers if you a taste of summer with a side of NJ, check out these books! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

The Boys of Summer with Andi from Just a Broke Bookworm

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Hello Readers!

Today is a very special day here on The BookBandit Blog. It’s the first official post in my The Boys of Summer feature! And I’m super excited because today’s post is from Andi from Just A Broke Bookworm.

Andi and I became friends via Twitter, and not only is her blog a must read, but she, herself is awesome! Make sure you check her out!

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Oliver: The Boy Who Made Me Swoon Too Hard
From Robin Benway’s Emmy and Oliver.

I am not the type of girl to swoon. In fact, it’s very rare that I feel so strongly connected to a book boy to swoon. So when Nicole offered me a spot on this feature, it took me a long time to think of a boy I thought swoon-worth enough. I wracked my brain to think of a boy who made me feel any feels other than, meh. He was an okay character … I had just finished reading Emmy and Oliver  by Robin Benway. Recently, I’ve been getting into more and more contemporary and it still scares me. (If you want to see my review itself, go ahead and click the link). This was my first experience with Benway, so her humor and heart really caught me off guard. I really adored this book. However the character who stole the show for me is Oliver.

13132816 Oliver was taken when he was in 3rd grade. He was kidnapped by his father. Then, after years of searching he is found in a fingerprinting database. When he comes back, his whole life is different. His mother has remarried and has twin girls. She never gave up looking for her son. However, Oliver struggles with readjusting to his life. There to help him is his next door neighbor and childhood best friend, Emmy. Emmy is there for Oliver through everything, and of course, romance blooms.  (This was my first attempt at a book summary, I hope I did okay!)

Oliver seems so well-adjusted. But, what drew me to him was that he isn’t. He isn’t perfect. He has all of this attention heaped on him, being a returned kidnapped child. He doesn’t enjoy the attention or relish in the fact that he’s this media circus basically everywhere he goes. He doesn’t remember much of his life before he was taken, but he has Emmy, Caro, and Drew to help him acclimate to his new/old life.

Oliver struggles. I mean, imagine thinking your life is one way, then absolutely everything you’ve ever known shifts into something unknown and alien. He struggles a lot with where he fits in with his family, his over protective mother (I mean, can you blame her? He got taken from her and now she has him back), and with people who claim to know him who he can’t remember. This book is the perfect summer book. It takes place in Southern California and Emmy is an avid surfer. Emmy takes Oliver surfing in one scene and shows him how freeing and wonderful it is to be out in the water with nothing but waves for company. This is the first big breakthrough for Oliver.

With all of the crazy stuff he’s going through, Oliver still maintains his sense of humor. There are parts that are raw and emotional. I am not one to cry  because of a book, but this one definitely made me have tears in my face. What Oliver goes through is so heartbreaking, but it’s also very empowering. Watching him grow and find his place was one of my favorite things about this book.

Why is Oliver swoon-worthy? Well, on the most basic level, he’s super hot. On a deeper level, there’s something to be said about a dude who is 1, adjusting to a life he can’t even remember while 2, being the sweetest person on the planet. I’m convinced Oliver doesn’t have a bad bone in his body. He made me laugh, he made me cry, and yes … he made me swoon. I hope you fall in love with Oliver, too.

***

Andi, to answer your question, you did better than okay with that summary! I know I can’t wait to read Emmy & Oliver, and I’m sure that all of you readers can’t wait after reading why Andi loves Oliver so!

A big THANK YOU to Andi for participating and for taking part in the Boys of Summer feature! Readers, make sure to check out Just a Broke Bookworm!

#booksfortrade

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Hello Readers!

I’m hoping on the #booksfortrade bandwagon, and am looking for new homes for some books that have taken up residence with me for quite some time.

To be quite honest with you, I’m not looking for any trades. The point of this exercise to get rid of books NOT acquire more.

A few things before we get to the books: I will only ship within the United States. The books are completely free, all I ask is that you cover shipping costs. If you can’t, please send me a message or post a comment and maybe we could work something out!

ARCs (Advanced Readers Copies):

  • Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick
  • Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitfield Thomsom (claimed)
  • Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
  • I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier (this ARC is signed by the author)
  • Followers by Anna Davies
  • Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten
  • Tease by Amanda Maciel
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Hardcover:

  • Tales From My Closet by Jennifer Anne Moses
  • The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby
  • Threatened by Eliot Schrefer (Signed by the author)

Paperback:

  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (I have two copies up for grabs!)

 

If you are interested in any of the titles above, they are available on a first come first serve basis. You can tweet me @book_bandit, you can e-mail me at BookBanditBlog@gmail.com, or you can simply leave a comment on THIS post. Once your message is received I will reach out to you as soon as I possibly can.

Remember, I will continually update this list, so please stay tuned!

Introducing The Boys of Summer!

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Hello Readers!

It’s June 21st, and even though it may not seem like it outside (here in NJ it is currently muggy, grey, and awefully drab) it’s is officially SUMMER!

To celebrate, I’ve put together a month long feature that is dedicated to summer, summer reads and romances, and of course the swoon worthy characters that have stolen our hearts!

This month I will be featuring friends, fellow bloggers, and even some authors will be participating  in this feature I’m calling The Boys of Summer!

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During the course of a month  I will be posting special Boys of Summer features from all who helped me put this together — there will be top ten lists, character studies, mini reviews, author interviews, and so much more!  And to top it all off, I’ll be hosting some awesome summer-esque giveaways through the month!

So readers, I hope you stayed tuned for all the summer-lovin, swoon worthy posts that are coming your way!

 

BEA Recap: Part III

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Friday:

You would think at this point in the BEA experience that I would have been exhausted. On the inside I was …. totally exhausted. But on the outside I was excited!

Friday wasn’t only the last day of Book Expo America, it was quite possibly the busiest day in my BEA15 schedule. Friday was the day that ALL the signings were taking place. Or so it seemed.

The moment the Exhibit Hall opened, Emma and I were off! The first signing of the day was an in booth signing of The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff at Lerner.

I’m going to be honest with you – I thought this line was going to be overwhelmingly crazy, and extremely long. I mean Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff were signing! They’re rockstars! And it was extremely long! But the fine people at Lerner were so nice and so organized that the line didn’t seem long. I think it also helped that we had a plan, we stuck to it, and we got there early.

Armed with what I was going to say to each of the authors, I made my way up to the booth and completely … BLANKED! I was a little in awe of their awesomeness! I never got to say how big a fan I am, how their first collection of short stories has inspired me and Emma to write our own short stories. I barely croaked out a ‘hello’. But still they were lovely and awesome, and I did get to snap a picture or two.

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Sadly I missed my chance to snap a pic of Tessa Gratton 😦

Armed with The Anatomy of Curiosity, it was time to make my way over the autographing area. The first author up was MarcyKate Connolly, and she was signing copies of her book Monstrous. Monstrous was one of those books that I was instantly drawn to. The cover is gorgeous and the premise is intriguing. What more could I ask for.

MarcyKate Connolly was super sweet. It was a pleasure getting to meet her, to tell her how excited I am about her book, and chat for a minute or so.

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(Picture courtesy of Emma, Miss Print)

After meeting MarcyKate Emma and I headed over to Sarah Beth Durst’s line. She was signing arcs of her upcoming middle grade The Girl Who Could Not Dream. I’ve met Sarah before … several times. And every time it is a true pleasure. Sarah seriously is the nicest person I have ever met! She so down to Earth, and her books are just great. So obviously I was excited for this one. Not just because of the book, but because I always look forward to meeting her!

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After seeing and chatting with Sarah, it was time! The time had come to meet OLIVER JEFFERS! Or line up to meet him. And yes, as I suspected the line was EPIC! It was CRAZY! And at times it felt as if it was never moving.

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Oliver Jeffers wasn’t signing books, instead he was signing prints for The Day The Crayons Came Home. It was a long wait, but totally worth it in my book!

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After Oliver Jeffers Emma and I were both in need of food and a break. The afternoon was going to be a busy one.

Lunch at the Javits Center isn’t always the greatest, or the cheapest for that matter but it’s always good to take a break and sit for a while. Lunch was swiftly followed by Emma and I hurrying off to the autographing area. But not without making a pit stop at HarperCollin’s booth to meet Kevin Henkes. Honestly, I was super surprised that his line wasn’t out of the Javits Center’s front door. But it wasn’t.

Kevin Henkes is so talented, looking back I’m glad that Emma made it a point to stop by this signing!

After meeting the very nice and very talented Kevin Henkes, we made our way to the autographing area where the first (of many) author was Maggie Lehrman where she was signing The Cost of All Things. This book is being compared to We Were Liars – need I say more? Well, this is a must read for me!

IMG_0189Maggie Lehrman was super nice!  And the cover of The Cost of All Things is super pretty! Isn’t it?!

While Emma went to on line to meet Jennifer Walkup, I bounced over to Rachel Shane’s line. Rachel was signing her book Alice in Wonderland High – a must read for me! I’m an Alice fan through and through. Seriously, when I was little, after seeing the movie, I said I wanted to Alice when I grew up. And that I couldn’t wait to be 7 1/2!

Rachel Shane was super nice, and not surprising an Alice in Wonderland fan too! So I like to think we’re homegirls now ha ha ha .

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Because Rachel Shane’s line was moving quickly I was able to meet up with Emma and join the Jennifer Walkup line! This is one of those books that I hadn’t heard much about before BEA15, but after reading up about it, I knew this was a book I would want to read.

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Friday afternoon seemed as if there was author signing after author signing. Thankfully, Emma was armed and ready with our schedule so from Jennifer Walkup’s line we bounced over to Leila Sales’ line. Now, both of us had copies of Tonight the Streets Are Ours, but both of us didn’t have SIGNED copies! (Don’t worry, we are not greedy folk – we have already homed our extra copies!). We had met Leila the night before at the Macmillan/Fierce Reads party, so it was nice getting to see her again! And she was lovely, as always!

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Wednesday and Thursday I missed my chance to get this book at the drops that HarperCollins had schedule. And at this point I had given up on it. I resigned myself to simply waiting until it hit bookshelves.

But then I remember that the author would be signing copies of it on Friday. This book was important to me, mainly because I’m a new fan of this author, and I’m determined to read ALL OF HER BOOKS!

After reading Life by Committee I’m a Corey Ann Haydu fan through and through. So getting the chance to meet her, and have her sign a copy of Rules for Stealing Stars was AWESOME!

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That morning I even took my own Life By Committee inspired picture:

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After Corey Ann Haydu’s line we had some time to kill. It was the perfect time to chat with new friends and fellow bloggers. I got to see and chat with Andi from Andi’s ABCs – who can I say had a cool personalized lanyard for her BEA badge!  Emma and I had also met  up with Cecelia at this point and we decided to form a line for Erin Bow. Now, admittedly I haven’t heard much about this book. But because Emma was so excited (and she even thinks that it is a Nicole kind of book) I decided to add it to my to read list!

While we formed the line and waited, I spotted a book that my good friend’s son – who is like my little cousin – has been begging for. I couldn’t believe my eyes! Tui T. Sutherland’s upcoming book was just feet away from me. I knew I couldn’t NOT get this book for him. So after calling my friend and telling her about this, I marched up to the line, met Tui T. Sutherland, and had her sign a book from him.

Knowing him well, I knew he would be over the moon happy about this. Also knowing him I knew he would show it off to his friend who also happens to be a big fan of the series. After telling Emma about this, and asking if she would do me a BIG favor, she agreed to help the cause and get a signed copy from the friend.

Emma — seriously I can’t thank you enough for doing this! You are a hero! And yes, they were both in shock, awe, and over the moon excited to have the book a whole month early! They were like the coolest kids in school!

After the excitement of Tui T. Sutherland it was time to head back to the Erin Bow line we had formed and it was time to wait. As we waited we noticed that Richelle Mead’s line was three isles deep and then some. As I waited for Erin Bow I silently hoped that everyone on that line would meet Richelle Mead and get a copy of her highly anticipated book, Soundless.

At last it was 2:30 and Erin Bow was waiting with quite possible the biggest smile on her face to meet everyone! She was so excited — it was contagious! And meeting her was a highlight for me because she was so kind, so friendly, and so excited to chat about books!

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Since we were at the front of the line we were in and out within mere minutes. We decided that maybe we should try to see if we could get on Richelle Mead’s line. It was moving, and her time for signing wasn’t up. We figured, why not? Worst case scenario, we wouldn’t get the book. And since we honestly didn’t think it was even a possibility we didn’t have much to lose.

Well guess what? Luck was on our side, and we met Richelle Mead who was lovely. I haven’t read her books before, mainly because I’m terrible with series. But Soundless is a standalone with a beautiful cover and a plot that simply intrigues me. So I was in!

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The afternoon was dwindling. My feet were starting to throb with pain. And exhaustion was taking over. We only had two more signings to go — would I make it? Or would I fall over from the sheer exhaustion and excitement of it all?

I made it, through not two signings but three!

After Richelle Mead’s line, I wanted to hit Lexa Hillyer’s line. Emma and I parted ways briefly. She went to wait on Lynn Weingarten’s line while I went to Lexa Hillyer’s. Proof of Forever is a book I’ve been hearing a lot about. And the more I hear the more I want to read. It was nice getting the chance to meet her. She was so sweet and so excited to meet everyone and have them read her book!

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After meeting Lexa and having her sign a copy of Proof of Forever, I made it over to Lynn Weingarten’s line. With Emma at the front and me at the back, I happily looked on at my friend. Emma and Lynn are Twitter friends, and Emma is seriously a BIG fan so it was awesome that they got to meet, and chat, and whatnot. After Emma was finished, she met me at the back and waited patiently for me to make my way through.

Like Emma promised, Lynn Weingarten was AWESOME! And can I just say – I love her hair!!!

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At this point I for real though BEA15 was coming to a close for Emma and I. But through the grapevine she had found out the Moira Fowley-Doyle was doing an in booth signing at Penguin. The Accident Season was a book that we had our eyes peeled for the entire BEA, but it gave us the slip. So when she heard about this signing, we had to go. Just had to.

With some confusion, and some flailing about we finally found the right line and planted ourselves. Once the line started to move, it moved! Since this book seemed to escape us every chance it had, being able to meet Moira Fowley-Doyle and have her sign a copy of it was a BEA15 bonus!

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It was officially time to go home. BEA15 was coming to a close. Even though I was exhausted, I was a happy girl! BEA15 was a smashing success!

I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who put BEA together and to all who made it a smashing success. To the publishers and publishers, you guys are awesome! To the volunteers who had the signing lines down to a science, you rock! To new friends and fellow bloggers – it was great meeting everyone! To all the authors – I can’t wait to read and love all of your books!

And last but not least – to Emma and her mom: THANK YOU for being great hosts – for taking me in and putting up with me for the entire week! I hope I wasn’t too much of a pain.

BEA15 was great! I’m hoping to go next year, but quite frankly I’m just not sure! We will see.

Until then …

BEA15 Recap: Part II

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Thursday:

Day two of BEA15 held a lot of promise. It was going to be an extra long day, but one I knew would be a memorable one.

Day two started off earlier than anticipated. Emma and I found ourselves awake, dressed, and at the Javits center before 7:30 AM. We were there because we were fortunate enough to both be invited to the Harliquin Teen Author Breakfast.

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The breakfast was a lot of fun. Not only did we get to see and even meet the authors on hand – Katie McGarry, Adi Alsaid, Jennifer Armentrout, and Eleanor Herman – but we also got to meet other bloggers, members of the Harlequin team, and we had the chance to chat – talk books (what we were excited about and what they were excited about). And there was food! Food in my opinion always makes everything better!

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This was a particularly special event for me. Why? Because it was the first time I was invited to something like this. So a big THANK YOU to the Harlequin Team, for not just inviting me, but hosting such a fantastic event!

From the Harlequin Teen Author Breakfast Emma and I made a mad dash for the line into the Exhibit Hall. Even though Wednesdsay’s line seemed long, Thursday’s line seemed longer for some reason. Maybe because it was the first full day. But honestly, I think it was all the excitement of the possibility of getting a copy of Passenger by Alexandra Bracken.

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BEA wouldn’t be BEA without her, so Emma and I were both very happy to see her there. And obviously her line was a high priority!

As soon as the Exhibit Hall floor opened, I dashed over to the Disyney-Hyperion booth and planted myself in the already long, snaking line. From the point where I was standing, it seemed that we were easily 100 + people deep. And yes, this worried me. There were only “200-ish” copies on hand.  Seriously, the line was so deep I couldn’t even see the booth in which she was going to be signing at.

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The worst part of this line was the waiting. I was so, so excited about Passenger and getting to me Alexandra Bracken that it was almost torturous. But we chatted with the folks around us, took a line selfie:

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(Picture courtesy of Emma, Miss Print)

And I even had the chance to meet one of the YouTubers I frequently watch! Yes! I met Jesse the Reader!

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After chatting and picture snapping I was finally at the front of the line. I could see Passenger and Alexandra Bracken! And my excitement level was at an all time high. I didn’t think I could be any more excited, but I found out later on that day that it was possible.

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(Picture courtesy of Emma, Miss Print)

As always Alexandra Bracken was awesome! She was so sweet, and so thankful for everyone who was there for her. She’s a true rock star!

After the Bracken excitement, Emma and I headed to Little Brown for the drop of Jennifer E. Smith’s upcoming Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between. As much as I wanted to make it to her signing, realistically I knew it was impossible. You see, she was signing the same time Libba Bray was. And for me personally, Libba Bray will ALWAYS be top priority! We walked about the floor for a few minutes, taking our time over to the Autographing area.

Both Emma and I had a list of priority authors we wanted to meet. Most of our lists reflected each others, but at this point in the day, they did not. Emma was heading to Susane Colasanti’s line to meet Susane and have her sign a copy of her series opener, City Love. I had already read City Love, and really wanted to meet Kate Scelsa. So we parted ways for the time being – but we weren’t that far apart! Seriously we were a line or two apart.

I was able to meet Kate, and she was AWESOME! It’s always nice to meet a fellow Jersey girl! Her book, Fans of the Impossible Life, is a total “Nicole” book, so I was over the moon happy to get the chance to not only get a signed arc, but to chat for a moment or two with this new author!

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Oh, and did I mention she has cool hair?! Cause, she does!

After Kate’s line, I bounced over to the line for Sarah Mlynowski and E. Lockhart. They were signing copies of their upcoming co-written (Lauren Myracle is also a writer on this one too!) middle grade Upside Down Magic. I normally don’t read a lot of middle grade, but because I love these authors so I knew it was a must for me! And to my surprise the line wasn’t incredibly long!

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(I’m so sad Sarah’s eyes were closed)

Emma and I met up and made our way to Carolyn Mackler’s line. She was signing copies of her upcoming YA title Infinite In Between.  I haven’t read any of Carolyn Mackler’s books before, but after reading up about this one, I am definitely intrigued to read more. And knowing Emma is a fan, I’m sure I’ll love her book!

Carolyn Mackler was so sweet, and down to Earth. It’s hard to believe that she said she thought no one would come to her signing! I mean, even me a person who hasn’t read her work knew that there would be a long line just teeming with excitement to meet her.

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After meeting Carolyn, Emma and I were able to squeeze in a quick lunch break. And boy was it needed. It was nice to just sit, chat a bit, and prepare for the afternoon ahead of us. And for me, that lunch break was needed! I woke up with a terrible migraine that morning, and had continued to battle it though out the morning.

After eating, and taking some Advil it was time to head over to Little Brown’s booth for Libba Bray’s signing. She was signing Lair of Dreams, the follow up to one of my most favorite books The Diviners. We knew, going into this, that this line was going to be massive. And it was! So massive that it wrapped outside of the exhibit hall. But honestly, it was worth it!

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While on line, still suffering from that nasty migraine, I decided that it would be best if I were to just sit, wait, and pass up any drops or other signings that were going on. But I didn’t want to hold Emma back, after all it was her BEA too! So I was our official place holder while she bounced around hitting all the signings she wanted to get to. While on line, holding my own and Emma’s place I started chatting with the very friendly girl behind me. Melissa, it was so nice to meet you, and chat with you! It turned out Melissa and I would find ourselves on several lines together.

And then this is where things get CRAZY! Libba’s line didn’t more for an hour.  At the hour mark it inched very … slowly along.  By the the one hour and twenty minute mark things started to speed up. And Emma was at the complete opposite side of the Javits Center! I told her that I think she should come back. As as I moved along I started frantically texting her “GET BACK NOW!!!!”

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Emma made it back just in time! And yes, Lair of Dreams is a real thing! It’s out there in the world and I am so happy to have it in my possession! Libba is fabulous! She was so sweet, and so upbeat it’s hard not to be excited around her!

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With Lair of Dreams secured, nothing else Thursday was a priority for me. Emma and I made an executive decision to say so long to Book Expo for the day and head back to her place where we would relax and spend some time with her mom!

And we needed to relax because only in a few short hours Emma and I would be going to Strand’s Rare Book Room for the Macmillan/Fierce Reads Blogger Happy Hour!

Getting to the Strand was easy peasy, or so we thought it would be. Seems that a man hole exploded and the main entrance to the store was blocked us, forcing us to go in through the side entrance.

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We strolled the Strand for a few moments, mainly trying to figure out exactly how to get to the Rare book Room since it was closed to the public, and how to get around the police caution/do not block tape outside.  But a store manager saved the day, and led us dutifully up to the Rare Books Room which, by the way is BEAUTIFUL! It’s seriously every book lovers dream!

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This was such a GREAT event! Now, I’m not normally a social person. I tend to keep to myself or my group of friends. But I found myself being quite the social butterfly. I’m sure it was because of all the excitement, how genuinely nice and inviting everyone there was, and because we had the chance to talk with some awesome authors.

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Lelia Sales, Josephine Angelini, Leigh Bardugo, Sandy Hall, and Marissa Meyer were all there, mingling, mixing, and chatting with us bloggers!

The MacMillan team that I met that night were all awesome! It was so nice getting to know what books they love, getting book recs from them, and chatting about BEA and life in general.  The night started with chatting with Sandy Hall. Guys! She’s so cool! And super nice! I really have to read her book!

After chatting with one of the many publicists there, we were chatting about if there was anyone who we were excited to me. And big mouth over here didn’t hesitate to blurt out Leila Sales. Emma, after reading This Song Will Save Your Life, urged me to read this book. I did. And you know what … I LOVED it! I haven’t found a book like it since, and I doubt I ever will.

It was awesome getting to talk to Lelia, sharing stories and even stepping into the Fierce Reads photo booth with her!

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Not only did I get the chance to meet some great publicists and authors, but I got to meet and chat with some great bloggers as well! I met Hannah from The Irish Banana, Alexa from Alexa Loves Books, Nicole from YA Interrobang , Hannah from IndieWriterGirl , Sajda from Across The Words, Meg & Kassiah from Swoony Boys Podcast , and probably many, many more that I’m forgetting because I have a terrible memory.

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We also got to hang out with Cecelia! Which is always a BEA highlight!

And that’s a wrap for Day 2 of BEA15!

In case you missed it, check out Part I of this recap!

And the books! Check out my books recap as well!

BEA15: Recap Part I

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Hello Readers!

It’s that time again …. time I post my BEA recap! Instead of writing up one extremely long, picture overloaded post I decided to break my recap down into three parts for your reading pleasure! This year was exceptionally fun! I had the chance to meet so many bloggers, publicists, and authors. This was my fifth year attending Book Expo, and I can say that this year, honestly was the best!

And what made it so great wasn’t just the books – it was the people, the vibe, and oddly enough the organization!

So, here’s how it all went down ….

BEA15 kicked off with Jenny Han’s launch of P.S. I Still Love You at the Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn. It may not have been the wisest idea to be out so late before the big BEA day, but it was totally worth it. As luck would have it I was able to get Tuesday off, so that mean that A) I would in fact be able to attend the launch and B) I would get to go into NYC a whole day earlier!

This year I decided to take Emma (fellow blogger, real life BFF, and BEA partner in crime) and her mom up on their very generous offer to spend the week at their place. This made my life, and BEA a little easier – no more earlier commutes, or expensive hotels!

So …

Tuesday:

I arrived at Emma’s place just around lunch time, we chatted, ate, and before we knew it we were headed towards Brooklyn! I was super excited about this launch – not just because it was my chance to meet Jenny, not just because P.S. I Still Love You would be mine, but because I was planning on meeting Nicole (from Nicole’s Novel Reads). Nicole is who I’ve been giving to for this round of the OTSPSecretSister Swap.  I had her May gift in hand and I was ready for the night ahead of me.

I had been to Powerhouse Arena one time before, when I went for Ransom Riggs’ launch of Hollow City, so I was a bit familiar of the store’s layout. But let me tell you: the store was transform and buzzing electric with all the excitement!

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(Photo courtesy of Emma, Miss Print)

Before we knew it, Jenny was taking to the podium! She looked radiant (as she normally does)! She read a bit from P.S. I Still Love You (boy, I was glad to have read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before just a few weeks prior to this, so nothing would be spoiled!), and answered all of our burning questions.

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Because Emma and I arrived ridiculously early (as is our way) we were in the first group to get our books signed. Even though I already had a signed ARC of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, I decided that I needed a hardcover copy in my life!

Jenny was super sweet! She signed both of my books, we chatted about my love of Peter, and she even took a picture with me!

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After the signing it was time to mingle and check out all the things that Jenny had planned for the launch. On the upper level of Powerhouse Arena there was a fabulous nail artist doing P.S. I Still Love You inspired nails, there was an amazing makeup artist offering mini-makeovers, and there was even a replica of Lara Jean’s room for guests to take pictures in.

The line for the nail artist was by far the longest. So Emma and I decided to hop on the line for the mini-makeovers. I’m a makeup girl – I love buying it and wearing it. So getting the chance to get some tips from a real life makeup artist was great! And, not to sound vein, Emma and I looked great!

IMG_2432(Photos courtesy of Emma, Miss Print)
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After our makeovers, we also were able to take two pictures inside of Lara Jean’s room. Sadly one of those pictures was so terrible, it will never see the light of day. Seriously, I think Emma destroyed it! But here’s the good picture for your viewing pleasure!

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The launch for P.S. I Still Love You was so incredibly worth it! And it was the perfect way to kick off BEA week. Not only did I get to meet Jenny Han, but I had the chance to meet some fellow bloggers at the launch. I met Allison from Good Books and Good Wine , Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner, and Melissa from Novelty Podcast. It was so awesome to meet you ladies!

Now that the launch was over, it was time to leave Brooklyn, leave the festivities behind, and get a good night’s rest because the following day was the first official day of Book Expo America!

Wednesday (Official BEA15 Day One): 

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The first day of BEA15 wasn’t a full day – and Emma and I were glad for it. With the hall opening at 1:00 PM that day, it meant that we could sleep in a few extra minutes, we could take our time getting ready and getting to the Javits Center. Even though we technically didn’t need to be there until one, we decided it would be best to get there a bit early. And I’m sure glad we did! The press office, where we were to pick up our badges, was hopping!

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After picking up our badges we found ourselves on an already long, snaking line! I (almost) couldn’t believe it! Seriously, it was noon! But rumor had it that people were lining up as early as 6:30 AM in hopes of running into the Exhibit Hall the moment it opened and scoring a ticket for the Truthwitch signing happening later that day. But the good thing about getting in line early is getting the chance to meet up with Cecelia from The Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia. True story, Miss Print and I both met Cecelia at BEA and ever since then we’ve been thick as thieves! BEA is always great mainly because we get to hang out with her in real life!

I get the hype, and the excitement! And I’m so, so happy for all those who were able to get one of the one hundred coveted tickets. But I was also happier not to be frantic first thing in the day! Yes, crazy as it sounds Emma and I both agreed that this was one line we could skip. With most rushing towards McMillan’s booth, Emma and I were able to leisurely stroll into the hall, pick up some of our highly anticipated reads, and explore the floor in its entirety.

Wednesday was by far the quietest BEA day I have ever experienced in my BEA history.

After milling about, we made our way to the autographing area which was clear on the opposite side of the Javits Center. With all the walking back and forth, I knew I’d be getting my exercise that week! I was really excited about Emily Franklin’s signing. When the BEA lineup was officially released, I did some research and read up on all the authors/books that were going to be there. Emily’s book Last Night at Circle Cinema quickly became a book I was super excited about. I knew it needed to make a point to get this book.

And I did! Not only did I get the chance to get a copy of the book, but I also got to meet author Emily Franklin who was so sweet! It was a real pleasure meeting and chatting with her!

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After meeting Emily, I made my way over to Courtney Sheinmel’s in booth signing. I’ve been curious about Edgewater since hearing about it. And the more I hear about it, the more excited I get. I was surprised to see that – after arriving a bit late to the signing – that Courtney was still there, and still signing! She was awesome, and meeting her made me even more excited to read Edgewater!

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After our first two signings we met up with Cecelia who was busy with panels and signings of her own, we stopped by the Abrams books because they had a Photo Booth. But not just any photo booth a WIMPY KID photo booth! You know how much I love Wimpy Kid, right?

Abrams easily had the funnest booth of ANY BEA I’ve attended! Just see for yourself:

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And this is the part of the day where things got a bit crazy. In a mere matter of hours HarperCollins was dropping Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, a book that both Emma and I was over the moon excited about! Jennifer Donnelly’s in booth signing for These Shallow Graves, and Macmillan’s in booth signing for Mike Curato, and Little Elliot, Big Family. All of which were top priorities for both of us.

Scoring a copy of Dumplin’ was easy peasy! The people at HarperCollins were on point, and as always were super nice! But getting to both Jennifer Donnelly and Mike Curato’s signing was proving to be a difficult task.

There was some confusion about when and where we could get tickets for Little Elliot, Big Family so originally we decided that we’d simply make our way to Jennifer Donnelly’s signing instead. We were handed tickets and made our way onto the long line.

It was while on line that we learned from Emma’s friend and fellow blogger Britt (from Please Feed the Bookworm) that there were a ton of tickets left for Mike’s signing. So, without hesitation Emma ran over and grabbed a ticket. In the meantime, I stayed behind holding our place and patiently waiting for her return. When I saw Emma come back into the line, I can only say she was SO happy to have that ticket in hand! Seriously, she’s probably Mike Curato’s biggest fan! Now it was my turn to run and get my ticket.

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Picking up the ticket for Mike Curato’s signing a whole half hour early meant that we were able to make both in booth signings!

Now with ticket secured I had my chance to meet author Jennifer Donnelly. I read Revolution some years ago after Emma’s insistence (thanks for urging me to read this book!), and I loved every minute of it. Revolution is a book that has stuck with me since reading it. It made me smile as much as it made me cry. It was simply beautiful. So because of that, that’s why I’ve been so excited about These Shallow Graves!

Jennifer Donnelly was super nice! (I feel like I’m going to be saying that a lot so get used to it, readers!). We chatted for a quick minute, I confessed my love of Revolution, and I was able to snap this quick pic of her and These Shallow Graves:

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Now it was time to head over to Macmillan and onto to line for Mike Curato’s singing. It was super long, but to alleviate it the lovely people Macmillan had something fun up their sleeves. They had a Little Elliot frame where they urged fans to take a picture within and share all over the inter webs! It was such an adorable cutout, so how could we NOT take a picture (or two … or four):

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Before we knew it we were at the head of the line. I was so happy that we got the chance to meet Mike. Not for my sake, but for Emma’s! She’s such a super fan, and as her friend I wanted her to meet one of her most fave authors … ever! And I know she’d do the same for me —- and she did on Friday when I dragged her to Oliver Jeffers line. But, that’s a story for my day three recap! (Stay tuned!)

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After meeting Mike, and getting a signed copy of Little Elliot, Big Family it was time to say good night to the Javits Center and to BEA15 Day One!

Even though BEA15 Day One was over, the night was still young!

After scouring the streets for a way back home (the bus was VERY late and the Javits Center is in the middle of nowhere which is strange for NYC) we finally boarded a bus and heading back to Emma’s for a quick dinner with her mom. After a delicious pesto pasta dinner that Emma whipped up, we found ourselves heading into the heart of NYC – Times Square. Emma was invited to a preview for Brian Selznick’s upcoming book, The Marvels. And she was so nice to invite me along with her.

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The Hudson Theater was packed wall to wall with Selznick’s fans! And I was both fortunate and happy to be among them. After hearing him talk about the book, share stories and pictures of his time in London (which you guys know I’m obsessed with), it was time to receive our arcs and meet the man behind this beautiful work of art.

Meeting Brian Selznick may have been the ultimate highlight of my day – of my whole BEA15 experience as a whole! He was so  kind, and personable. And he really took the time to talk with each person he met, even though time was going by quickly and it was extremely hot!

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And with that, Day One came to a close! It was a whirlwind day and the perfect kickoff to a perfect BEA experience.

If you want to know what books I picked up, check out my books recap!

And while you are at it, you should check out the giveaway I’m currently running. I’m giving away a paperback copy of Me, Earl, & The Dying Girl!

Stacking the Shelves – BEA15 Edition!

Stacking The Shelves

Stacking The Shelves

(Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. The above picture was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

It’s been a loooong time since I posted one of these Stacking the Shelves post. But with Book Expo America (BEA15) over and done with, I thought it was the perfect time to bring it back!

Every year I go into Book Expo I go in saying the same thing: I’m going to be selective. I’m not going to get overexcited and grab all the books. And every single year I don’t listen to myself, and I go the wrong way.

And this year was no different.

To kick off my BEA15 recap, I thought it would be fitting and fun to start with the books. While thinking about this recap, I thought about the ways I wanted to highlight and keep track of the BEA books I’m reading. At first I wasn’t sure how to do this. But then I saw, read, and loved Miss Print’s BEA Books recap. I loved it so much so, I told her I was stealing it. And because she’s awesome, and because she’s my BFF she said it was okay. THANKS Emma! You’re awesome, but you already know that!

I also decided to go back to my monthly challenge posts. Honestly, I have no real reason why I fell off.  I think going back to those posts will help keep track of all these BEA15 books. And readers, it’s you’re job to hold me too it!

  • Books in pink are books that I have read and will keep
  • Books in green are books that I have read and will giveaway
  • Books in red are books I didn’t finish or decided not to read

Okay, onward! To the books!

DayOne

  • Dumplin by Julie Murphy
  • The Marvels by Brian Selznick
  • The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
  • The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau
  • Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith
  • Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
  • Little Elliot, Big Family by Mike Curato
  • Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
  • What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
  • Finding Forever by Ken Baker
  • After the Red Rain by Barry Lyga
  • Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
  • These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnell
  • Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel
  • Last Night at Circle Cinema by Emily Franklin
  • A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGover
  • Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix
  • Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver
  • Those Girls by Lauren Saft
  • VIP I’m With the Band by Jen Calonita
  • A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman
  • A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher
  • Girls Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart
  • A Thousand Splendid Nights by E.K. Johnston
  • Me, Earl, & The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Total Books: 27

DayTwo

  • Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky
  • Upside Down Magic by Emily Jenkins, Lauren Myracle, and Sarah Mlynowski
  • Hello, Goodbye, & Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
  • Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
  • History of Blood and Glitter by Hannah Moskowitz
  • Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
  • Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall
  • Firewalker by Josephine Angelini
  • Infinite In Between by Carolyn Mackler
  • Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
  • Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
  • White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout
  • Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  • Land In A Long Line of Rebels by Lisa Lewis Tyre
  • One of Us by Jeannie Waudby
  • Nightfall by Jake Halpern & Peter Kujawinski

Total Books: 20

DayThree

  • Undertow by Michael Buckley
  • This Raging Light by Estelle Laure
  • Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly
  • The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, & Tessa Gratton
  • Soundless by Richelle Meade
  • The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
  • Alice in Wonderland High by Rachel Shane
  • The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst
  • This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup
  • Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer
  • The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
  • The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman
  • The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
  • Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
  • Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu
  • Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles
  • Becoming Maria by Sonia Manzano
  • George by Alex Gino
  • We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean
  • Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
  • Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson
  • Upside Down Magic by Emily Jenkins, Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle

Total Books: 22

BEABooks