Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters

Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters by Suzanne Weyn

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When the twin daughter’s of famed inventor Victor Frankenstein inherit his long abandoned castle, they have very different ideas of what to do with it.

Lavish Giselle plans to remodel the musty, cobweb filled castle. She’s going to restore its former beauty. Once restored it will be the castle of all castles – the ones where worldly parties will be thrown, where great minds will meet and mingle, and where Giselle herself will be the center of everyone’s attention.

And then there’s quiet, bookish Ingrid who rather explore  the cobweb filled corners rather than clean them up.  Exploring the cold castle has led her to her father, figuratively speaking. Stumbling upon his lab, Ingrid discovers Victor’s journals – pages and pages filled with ideas, inventions, and ramblings of a madman.

Spending hours and hours pouring over her long-lost father’s journal bring her one step closer to him …. and the evil monster that he created.

Will Giselle and Ingrid live to see the castle restored to its former glory, or will the monster be there waiting in the wings to tear it down?

Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters, written by author Suzanne Weyn, isn’t a retelling of a classic, instead it’s a re-imagined twist of a familiar tale. However twisted this story is supposed to be, Weyn’s story is more mystery than horror.

Weyn’s writing is solid. While not entirely captivating her words instill a sense of foreboding within readers. With each turn of the page readers will anticipate something terrible – possible Frankenstein’s monster – lurking around every corner. However, they will be let down.

While this book had many creepy elements, none were creepy enough to actually scare. As a horror fan, this disappointed me. But what this book lacks in creepiness, it makes up in atmosphere. Through author Weyn’s words she’s created a world where reader’s will be able to experience alongside Giselle and Ingrid.

Readng Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters I couldn’t help but feel that something just was not working for me. And that something was the pacing.  For such a store book – page wise – this book seemed to drag on and on. Ultimately, because of this, I felt that nothing really ever happened.

Though the pace dragged, I had high hopes for main characters Giselle and Ingrid.  I wish I could say that I loved them. But they too fell short. Unable to connect with them on a personal level, I found Giselle to be flighty and frivolous. While twin Ingrid was obsessed (and not in a good way) and one flat.

Going into Weyn’s Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters I had such high hopes. But by the end I was just happy that the short story had come to a (timely) end. Yes, I wanted more … more intrigue, more horror, and more plot. I was let down. But even though this book was not the book for me, it may be the book for you. Give it a chance, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

(Cover image from GoodReads)

Lists Galore (#15)

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Hello Readers!

Today I decided to switch things up a little. I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind, and creating my own themed list! That’s right, I’m not following the book on this one.

A long time ago I was a major concert goer. Seriously, almost every weekend my bestie and I were at a show – a local show at Bloomfield Ave. Cafe, a long weekend at the legendary Skate & Surf at equally legendary Convention Hall, or at punk rock summer camp, the Vans Warped tour! Seriously …. I went to A LOT of concerts.

But as time passed, and bands broke up I found my concert days were days of the past.  I still go to concerts when I can, but I’m a little more selective in choosing my shows nowadays.

Today’s post is dedicated to music, and to my love of going to a great concert. Today’s topic is ….

List of Concerts I’d Want to Go To (or Wish I Had the Chance to Go To)

  • Nirvana (Kurt Cobain passed away before my concert going days even started)
  • Pearl Jam (specifically when their album Ten came out)
  • Sir Paul McCartney
  • Beyonce
  • Garbage
  • David Bowie
  • Tom Petty
  • Eric Clapton
  • Lady Gaga

I’m sure that there are a ton of other great musicians/bands that I would love to see. But these I think are my top ones! Are there any concerts that you are wishing you got to go to, or would like to go to in the future?! Please share in the comments.

Sarah Dessen & B-Fest (+ Giveaway!)

Hello Readers!

Last weekend, Barnes and Noble bookstores did something they’ve never done before. They held a nation wide teen author book fest, or as they called it B-Fest. Stores across the U.S. would be participating – from writing workshops to author signings, this event had a little something for everyone.

When I first heard of this, I wasn’t sure my “local” Barnes and Noble would be hosting anything. After some digging around on their website (which admittedly doesn’t always make it easy for customers to search upcoming events, it’s a bit clunky) I found out that teen author Sarah Dessen would be in to chat and to sign some books.

This was great! Sarah Dessen, queen of YA romance, would be in my home state! And only about a half hour from where I live!

The event was super limited — seat wise. Only the first twenty (20) who purchased a book written by Sarah Dessen would receive a wrist band that would guarantee them a seat. But fear not, if you didn’t receive a wristband there would be plenty of standing room.

Even though I got to the store three hours early, I didn’t get a wristband.  The wristband didn’t matter. I would still get to hear Sarah talk, and have her sign my books.

Barnes and Noble were prompt. The event kicked off exactly at one, which a store employee letting everyone know of all the upcoming events that they would be hosting throughout B-Fest weekend. They explained how the event would work, and then finally introduced Sarah Dessen.

I’ve met Sarah Dessen before at previous BEA Conferences. From that I knew she’d be super nice, and that she’s a signing pro! But what I didn’t know was just how great a speaker she was. Granted, I did assume she was.

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Sarah talked about everything! She talked about what she was like as a teenager – a young girl who hung out in parking lots, not getting the best grades, and having a lot of friends that are reminiscent of St. Anything’s Payton.

She talked about writing  – St. Anything was her twelfth (12th) published novel, and since it’s publication she has started three manuscripts all of which are very much unfinished. But she’s been writing something steadily since January. I smell book number thirteen (13) in the works!

She talked about  her books – how Dexter and Remy (from This Lullaby) are her favorite characters. They are the characters that she always wants to revisit, and even though she prefers to write stand alone novels, if she were to ever write a sequel it would probably be a sequel to This Lullaby.

And she talked about what she hopes her books convey – that high school is short and life is long. And that you probably won’t have it all figured out – not in your teens, not in your twenties, and probably not even in your forties.

After chatting with us for a while, Sarah got down to business — the business of signing books. There was a bit of confusion, not on Sarah’s part, but on the store’s part. Going into the event it seemed like everyone was told something different. I was told that St. Anything HAD to be purchased and signed, but that she would sign any number of books (as long as it was a reasonable number)  from home. From the murmurs of the crowd, others were told that they just had to buy any Sarah Dessen book from the store and have it signed, and that one additional book from home could be signed. And still, employees at the event were saying that Sarah would only sign one book, and that it had to be the book that was purchased.

As it turned out, Sarah was willing to sign every book that her fans brought up to her (I only had three … which is nothing for me. Usually I’m that girl at the book signing with a stack of books). She not only signed my books, but I had the chance to chat with her. She offered a piece of advice that I can’t ignore – cause when the queen of YA romance author offers your advice, you take it.  And I even got to take a picture with her to document the day and the event.

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Even though there was a lot of confusion (on the store’s part) it was a great event. And one that made me look forward to other events at my local B&N.

Since I already had a hardcover copy of St. Anything, and had to buy a paperback copy in order to attend the event, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to host a giveaway!

I’m giving away a Sarah Dessen Prize Pack, which includes a signed paperback edition of Sarah’s latest, St. Anything. Plus samplers of: Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz, Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, and The Amateurs by Sara Shapard.

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This giveaway is open to U.S. residents ages 13 years and older, and will run from Thursday June 16th until Thursday June 23rd.  One winner will be selected via random number generator and will be notified by e-mail. Selected winner will have forty-eight (48) hours to reply to e-mail with shipping/mailing information.

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Books, Books, & More Books: BEA16 Recap Part II

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Hello Readers!

Book Expo America is kind of a tradition for in real life bff and fellow blogger Emma (Miss Print if you don’t already know her) and I. After all, we’ve been going to the conference for several years together … tag teaming massive signing lines, scooping up highly anticipated books, and most of all making some great memories.

Being that the conference was in Chicago this year, I was honestly thinking that we wouldn’t be going. But after much thought I announced to Emma that I wanted to go. As much as I wanted to go to BEA16, I really wanted to go to Chicago. It’s one of those cities that I’ve wanted to see/visit for some time. And BEA16 was a good excuse. I wasn’t sure if Miss Print was going to come on this journey with me,  so when she said that she also wanted to come along, I was even more excited!

Day One

Because we were going to this exotic land, we knew we wanted to squeeze in some sightseeing around the actual conference.  Because of that, we decided to book our flight for early Tuesday (May 10th) morning. Admittedly a bit too early. Leaving out of Laguardia Airport meant that I had to be awake at the ripe hour of four a.m. . But looking back it was worth it. I

f we didn’t leave as early as we did we may not have had the chance to take in some really great sights like the Art Institute of Chicago …. which is the first thing we did after checking out our hotel. The Art Institute of Chicago is filled with some truly magnificent works of all. One of the collections that Miss Print was excited to see, and that I really enjoyed was the Thorne Miniature Rooms (for more info, click here).  IMG_2760

Besides the Miniature Rooms we got the chance to see some very famous pieces – American Gothic, Nighthawks, and A Saturday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.  In all honesty, I don’t know a thing about art. And art museums are often difficult for me because of my lack of knowledge and understanding. But going with Miss Print is truly awesome – not only do I get to see great works of art, but she also tells me all about these great pieces.

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Besides the paintings, we got to see a paperweight exhibit. I know this doesn’t sound very exciting, but I really liked it. For some strange reason I really like paperweights (my uncle had one with a scorpion in it that I always played with).

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After the Art Institute and a bit of a rest at the hotel we ventured out once again to find dinner and to take in some more sights. I’m going to say this now, besides the pizza (which I’ll get to later), I would say that most of our meals were pretty tasty.

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After dinner (and dessert of course) we walked around a bit and checked out the neighborhood in which we were staying. There was a bright green (though you really couldn’t tell that what with all the rain and fog) park across from the hotel we stayed out. We stayed right my Columbia U, and a two short blocks from Miss Print and I’s fave breakfast spot – Yolk!

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With our first full day in Chicago coming to a close we headed back to the hotel and rested for the next three days that were ahead of us … BOOK EXPO!!!

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Day Two

May 11th was the first official day of BEA16. And because it was only a half day I think we all (meaning all those who attended) thought it was going to be the easiest and the breeziest of the three days. Well, we assumed wrong. It was actually busier than expected. Even though there weren’t many signings that day, there were a lot of drops and anticipated titles just calling to us from the exhibit hall floor.

But before the floor opened and before the books, Emma and I made our way the snaking line. While there we met up with our very lovely friend Cecelia (from The Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia).  It was great to catch up with her, chat, and just hang out with her! She’s awesome, and if you don’t already follow her blog, you should!

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We also met up with Sajda (from Across the Words) who we soon found out was a conference pro!  I also had the chance to meet a few fellow bloggers on the line – I met Christina (from My Life in Books), Octavia (from Read. Sleep. Repeat who was also my former #OTSPSecretSister)

There were a few signings that day, the biggest being Mike Curato I think. If you don’t already know he writes/illustrates the very charming Little Elliot books. I mean his books are about a tiny elephant, what more could you want in a book?!

Besides Mike Curato I also had the chance to meet Erica M. Chapman, who was very nice, and signed a copy of her upcoming Teach Me to Forget.  I also had the chance to meet Michael Di Martino – it was great to meet him, and even more exciting because I had the chance to get a highly anticipated book personalized and signed for my current #OTSPSecretSister. It’s always great to spread the bookish love!

Because it was only a half day, Emma and I were able to leave early, head back to the hotel, rest a bit, and get ready for Portillo’s – a restaurant that Emma had urged us to go after finding out that they had a chocolate cake milkshake. We were meeting up with Cecelia and her friend Liza. Portillo’s wasn’t only delicious (the chocolate cake milk shake is the epitome of decadence) , it was a total trip.

There was SO MUCH going on. Besides the food, and the employees calling out orders, there were over the top displays with mannequins, and did I mention the milk shake made from chocolate cake?!

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Dinner with Emma, Cecelia, and Liza was truly great! Admittedly I felt like the quite one of the group but it was nice to sit back and listen them talk about books that Iare so far our of my reading comfort zone.  And I learned a lot about water polo – a more violent sport than I had imagined.

To say the least it was a great end to a great first day of BEA16.

Day Three

Day three was the second day of BEA16, and the first full day of the conference. There were even more books, even more friends to meet (I met Shannon from It Starts At Midnight, and who was my #OTSPSecretSister my first round, Val from The Innocent Smiley ) and of course more lines!  Some of the authors I had the chance to meet were: Chelsea Sedoti, Sharon Cameron, Zoraida Cordova, and of course my favorite … OLIVER JEFFERS!

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After a long day of books, lines, and friends Emma and I knew it was time to check out Mellennium Park. IMG_2296(Another pic snapped by Emma!)

It’s a beautiful park with an amphitheater and is home to THE BEAN.  This was one of those things that I really wanted to see in Chicago. But honestly, as cool as I thought it was before actually going to see it, it didn’t prepare for just how EPIC it was.

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The Bean isn’t just a giant, kidney bean shaped, mirror work of art. It was so much more … Emma and I had such a great time taking silly pictures. Some of which you can see below.

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After Millennium Park Emma and I decided to go find some Chicago style deep dish pizza. Cause you know what they say  … when in Rome, do as the Romans do! I love pizza, and I had high hopes for deep dish pizza. A few blocks away from the park we found a Giordano’s that was relatively close. We decided to go there. I should have known upon arrival that things were going to be different … vastly different. The first thing they did was take our pizza order before we were actually seated at a table. Strange … I know! But they kindly explained that the pizza would take at least an hour to make.

Taking that long should have guaranteed us that it was going to be A-MAZING.  When an hour (and then some) passed, our pizza had finally arrived. It was a little daunting … and again strange having to eat it with a fork and a knife.  The pie itself wasn’t huge width wise, but in depth it was huge. Even if I could pick it up to eat it as one is supposed to eat pizza, I don’t think it would have fit in my mouth.

Taking the first bite was an interesting experience. I love cheese, but found it was just too much — even for me! The sauce, which tasted fine, was on top when it should have been below the cheese. And the crust (one of my favorite parts of the pizza) was just too doughy.

I managed to eat two pieces. I had to be sure how I felt about this thing Chicago residents call pizza. To be frank, I didn’t like it. It was cool to try it, and experience Chicago style pizza, but not something I’d willingly eat again. Sorry.

Day Four

By day four (or three of BEA16) I think it was safe to say that both Emma and I were starting to feel the burn. But we woke up early, heading to McCormick place early in the hopes of scoring tickets for both Marissa Meyer and Maggie Stiefvater’s signings later that day. The Marissa Meyer tickets went super fast. Seriously. It felt like I blinked and the tickets were gone. But Emma and I were able to score tickets to Maggie’s Stiefvater’s signing. Which was exciting in and of itself.

At the top of the day Delacorte/Random House was dropping Nicola Yoon’s upcoming The Sun is Also A Star. For some inexplicable reason, I needed this book! Besides the fact that, judging from the summary, it sounds like a “me” book.  The line was crazy long, but somehow I managed to get pick up a copy before they ran out!  Just see for yourself:

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But the best part of this story of scoring The Sun is Also a Star was this: while waiting on line for a drop, I met author Nicola Yoon! And she was so nice … seriously I asked if she would signing my ARC there, and she did!!

The last day of BEA16 was the day of lines. It started with the line pictured above. Then with Maggie’s line. And then Kendare Blake’s massive line. But I’m happy to report that we conquered them all. Though, Kendare Blake’s line was a bit touch and go there for a while.

Besides meeting these lovely authors I also met Kami Garcia (The Lovely Reckless) , and Sona Charaiporta and Dhonielle Clayton (Tiny Pretty Things)

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All of the authors were super nice, and it was so awesome to meet them. All the books have quickly became books that I am even more excited about reading (I read four so far!). And I’m happy to say that BEA16, Chicago style was success.

And just for fun, here are some extra pictures from BEA16:

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BEA16 was a great experience. And I am once again to have had that experience with bff Emma! Thank You to all the authors and publishers. To the many fellow bloggers and new friends, it was awesome to meet you all! We’ll have to do it again.  Chicago, it was real, but at the end of the trip I was happy to return home to good ol’ New Jersey!

If you want to check out what books I picked up, check out my post here.

Until next year ….

Books, Books, & More Books: BEA16 Recap Part I

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(The above photo was taken by me and edited via Picmonkey.com for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

At the beginning of May, real life BFF and fellow blogger Miss Print adventured to the exotic land of Chicago to attend this years Book Expo America (or BEA16 as I will be referring to it through this and my follow up posts).

Going into this years conference I said to myself “Nicole, you have to be selective!” Because of the traveling aspect, I knew I couldn’t weigh my suitcase down with books (it’s expensive enough to fly as is). And I didn’t want to end up with some astronomical shipping costs either.

Admittedly, looking back, I could have been even more selective that I was. But hindsight’s 50/50 right?!

Today, I’m going to be sharing with you the books I picked up at BEA16. Saturday I will share with you my full BEA16 recap (with pictures!).

Day One

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  • The Lying Tree by Frances Hardinge
  • Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West
  • 27 Magic Words by Sharelle Byars Moranville
  • The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch
  • The Graces by Laure Eve
  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeir
  • Teach Me to Forget by Erica Chapman
  • In Case You Missed It by Sarah Darer Littman
  • The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
  • The Gathering (Shadow House #1) by Dan Poblocki
  • Hollow City (Graphic Novel) by Ransom Riggs
  • The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee
  • The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen
  • A Shadow Bright & Burning by Jessica Cluess
  • The Call by Peadar O’Guilin
  • Little Elliot, Big Fun by Mike Curator
  • Unicorns Are Jerks by Theo Nicole Lorenz

Day Two

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  • Pushing Perfect by Michelle Falkoff
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer
  • The Hundred Lies of  Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti
  • The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
  • The Romantics by Leah Konen
  • The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
  • Naked ’76 by Kevin Brooks
  • Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee
  • Caraval  by Stephanie Garber
  • The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
  • The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics
  • The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North
  • Changlings by Christina Soontornvat
  • Once Upon An Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers
  • It’s Not Me, It’s You by Staphenie Kate Strohm
  • Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff
  • Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
  • Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
  • The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg
  • The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano
  • Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
  • The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas
  • Journey by Aaron Becker

Day Three

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  • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  • The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
  • Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley
  • Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly
  • The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • Seven Days of You by Cecelia Vinesse
  • And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
  • Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaiporta and Dhonielle Clayton
  • The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
  • Spindle by E.K. Johnston
  • Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature by Sashi Kaufman
  • Vassa In the Night by Sarah Porter
  • Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
  • Threads by Ami Polonsky
  • The Princess and the Warrior by Duncan Tonatiuh

Total # Of Books: 57

And yes, that was me being selective! To date, I’ve read three BEA16 books so far (and am currently reading BEA16 book number four). So far I’ve read:

  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
  • 27 Magic Words by Sharelle Byars Moranvill
  • The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
  • (Currently Reading) Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that you’ll stay tuned for my full recap which will be posting Saturday!!

Lists Galore (#14)

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(The above photo is from My Future Listography by Lisa Nola)

Hello Readers!

I’ve been flipping through my My Future Listography book trying to decide what list to do this week. I wanted some fun (aren’t they all?!) and I  wanted to write a list I’d love writing (some honestly, aren’t so fun).

Today’s list is all of that and more in my opinion! Why? Because it involves one of my favorite things: traveling!! The list I’m going to post about today is ….

List of Natural Wonders and Monuments to See

Aurora Borealis (there’s a trip in my future that involves me traveling to Iceland specifically to see the Northern Lights in all their glory)

The Grand Canyon (true story: I did see the famous Canyon, however I was only there for three hours, so I don’t feel like it truly counts).

The Great Wall of China (my desire to see the Great Wall of China is a recent development.)

The Eiffel Tower (I have no real desire, for whatever reason, to travel to Paris. If I were to go, I’d only want to see a few things, the Eiffel Tower being one of them.)

The Little Mermaid Statue in Denmark (my reason for wanting to see this: I’m kinda obsessed with mermaids! They’re real I tell you!!)

Mount Fuji (again, this is tied to my ever growing desire to travel throughout Asia)

Mount Rushmore (I like the idea of visiting my country’s own national parks and monuments).

Trevi Fountain (true story: I’ve already seen the famous fountain that lives in Rome. However, when I saw it, it was behind glass and being cleaned. I didn’t get to see it in all it’s glory. I want a do over)

Sea Turtle Watching in Trinidad (I’m not sure this if this counts, but I’m adding it anyway. My good friend recently witnessed this and she said it was so cool!)

I’m sure there are a TON more wonders and monuments that I’d like to see, but these are the ones I can think of.  What wonders and monuments would you want to see readers? Please share in the comments!

June Reading Tracker

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(Above image was created by me via Picmonkey.com for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

I know last month (May) I fell off the wagon with my reading tracker. Well, let’s not say fell off the wagon, let’s say I took a break. I knew I needed a break because May was going to be a busy month — what with life, work, and of course Book Expo America (BEA16).

Besides a TON of picture books that I read during May (mostly work related reading), I read Ghosts by Raina Telegemeir, 27 Magic Words by Sharelle Byars Moranville, and a good chunk of Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins.

But May has quickly come and gone, and with it were books read. And now it is June. And June brings a new reading list to conquer.

During the month of June, I’m hoping to read at minimum three books. I’m planning on reading an upcoming ARC that I picked up at BEA16, an already published book that since picking up at BEA16 I’ve been excited to read, and an e-ARC.

Upcoming ARC: The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia (truth be told, I started reading this at the very end of May and it’s carrying over to June’s reading list). Finished reading: June 2, 2016

Already Published Book I’m Excited About: Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

e-ARC: The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone

I have some other books on deck, but these are the top three that I am truly hoping to get to during the month of June. What books are on your June TBR list readers? Please share!