Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

This week I’m recommending the newest release from on of my favorite authors.

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By Your Side by Kasie West

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

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I’m a massive fan of Kasie West’s books so I had no doubts that I wouldn’t love this book. I have yet to read one of Kasie’s contemporaries and not fall in love with it. And By Your Side was extra special to me.
I loved the writing, the plot was super cute and fun, I really liked the characters (Jeff was so dumb though), but what I loved most about this book was the representation of anxiety disorder in the main character. I wasn’t expecting that aspect of diversity in this book and I was really thrilled to see such a common mental illness being represented in a main stream YA novel. I really related to Autumn because of that. I really loved how the plot didn’t focus on her anxiety but it was definitely part of Autumn’s life. It showed how she managed her anxiety and how it affected her life. It felt really authentic. I felt like Kasie normalized anxiety disorder in By Your Side. I also loved how supportive Autumn’s family was (her mom even encouraged her to take time off from school) and how Dax always tried to help instead of freaking out about it.

Overall, I loved By Your Side. It was a cute, fluffy YA with a great representation of anxiety disorder. I definitely recommend this book.

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

This week I’m recommending one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year, a book that completely blew me away.

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Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.

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I haven’t read a book this amazing in a long time.
I wasn’t sure how I would like this book when I started it. I was sent an unsolicited copy from the publisher and it didn’t really sound like a book I would pick up for myself. But let me tell you, I owe KT Books big time for sending me this book. It’s so outstanding. It blew my mind. I couldn’t put this book down.
Allegedly is so incredibly well written and has such diverse and complex characters. I couldn’t relate to Mary but I felt like I could connect to her in a weird way. I’ve never been through any of the things that she has but I felt connected to her. I think it was the fantastic writing that made an unrelatable character seem like she could be the reader’s best friend.
This book had me in tears one chapter and screeching at the top of my lungs the next. It was such a roller coaster of emotions the entire book and I loved every second of it.
Overall, this book is well worth the read and I highly recommend it. I loved every second of this book and Tiffany D. Jackson has quickly become one of my favorite authors.

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

Today I’m recommending one of my favorite books of 2016. I really loved this book and I’m currently reading it sequel and I’m loving it just as much.

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.

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Everything about this book was perfect to me.
The writing was so amazing. I read Alex’s other book, The Darkest Minds, last year so I had a pretty good idea of her writing style but I felt like Passenger was a million times better than The Darkest Minds. I thought the main characters, Etta and Nicholas, were so well written and beautiful. I absolutely fell in love with Nicholas. He such an amazing character and I thought him and Etta made such a great team.
I’m so insanely excited to see the growth and development of these two in the next book.
I loved the concept of Passenger. I don’t read a lot of books with time travel but Passenger is easily the best time travel book I’ve read.

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

 

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

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Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for… again.

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The Immortal Rules is the best vampire book I’ve ever read. It’s dark, twisted, and incredibly well written. The characters are diverse and fantastic. With a well thought out plot and outstanding world building, Julie creates an amazing reading experience. The Immortal Rules is everything I could want in a book and more.

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

 

A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes

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How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside.

In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence.

What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.

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I loved everything about this book. The writing was really great, the characters were awesome, and the concept was so incredible. I thought the idea of having a little clock that counted down to the exact second you would die was so incredibly imaginative. This book is just so interesting and entertaining. I read it in just a couple of days because I didn’t want to put it down. I actually read this book while brushing my teeth. That’s how intense the plot had become. I definitely recommend A Time to Die if you’re looking for an original, well written read.

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

This week I’ll be recommending one of the most unique and delightfully strange books that I’ve ever read.

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Gabriel and the Swallows by Esther Dalseno

Orvieto, 1957: Gabriel, a peasant boy with a disabled mother, constructs elaborate fantasy worlds to comfort when life becomes unbearable. The monotonous days of poverty and merciless bullying are interrupted when Gabriel unintentionally attracts the attention of a mysterious creature, a girl with swallow’s wings.

Navigating life with fellow outsider, the foreigner
Orlando Khan, Gabriel abandons his small town for the grandeurs of Rome.

But Gabriel is now a man and must choose where he
belongs: the imperfect reality, or the dream world that grows stronger and more seductive with each day…

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I had no idea what to expect from this book but holy crap.
Esther Dalseno’s writing style is incredible. It’s poetic and beautiful and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I loved the concept and the characters so much. Honestly, I couldn’t put this book down. The first chapter was so strange and weird, I had to know what was going to happen. This whole book was just a bunch of beautifully written strangeness but I loved every second of it.

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

This week I’ll be recommending my favorite dystopia book.

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New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson

Since witnessing her parents’ murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix’s only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother’s dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, “Join or die.”

Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.

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New World: Rising is definitely the best dystopia reads that I’ve come across in a long time. It was fast paced and interesting. I loved the writing and the characters were awesome. The world building was pretty great. There was some info dumping in the beginning but that didn’t really matter because the world that Jennifer Wilson created was so interesting. Phoenix is a really cool main character. She’s independent, self aware, and really smart. I read this book in just a couple of sittings because it was so fact paced and I really enjoyed it. If you love dystopian books, please pick this book up because it’s one of the best out there.

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

This week I’ll be recommending one of my favorite books of 2016. Even though I read this book in May, I still think about it a lot more often than I probably should.

Fortune by Tia Giacalone

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A painter, a poet, a publicist, and a punk-rock princess… the boys of High Road Divide have no idea that this tour will change everything.

Tommy Fortune hadn’t realized he was looking for something different until he meets Cassandra Ryan. Soon their connection blurs the line between fame and reality, and it doesn’t take long for Cassandra to follow her inspiration into his world, where paint-stained hands and guitar strings become the basis of their future. But nothing is as perfect as it looks from the outside, and even the most exposed still have secrets to keep. When tour life gets complicated, loyalties will be tested on the road, and they’ll both learn that some harsh realities can’t be painted over.

What happens when an artist stuck in black and white falls for a musician who only lives in color?

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I read this book during a really busy couple of days and I had barely any time to read. But every spare second I had, I was reading Fortune. Whenever I had to put this book down, I was so upset because I just wanted to keep reading.

This book was so amazing. I knew that I would love it and I was super excited to read it but somehow this book was even better than I was expecting. This book blew me away.
I loved the characters so much. They’re so well written and developed. I loved how Tommy didn’t droned on and on about Cassandra’s looks. He cared about her as a person and he always put more value on her personality. He appreciated Cassandra no matter how she looked. And the same was for Cassandra. She didn’t go on about how hot Tommy was. Their relationship was so healthy and realistic. The banter and dialogue between the characters was perfect and I normally don’t really notice those things but I did with Fortune and I think that really shows how well written this book is.
I’m so picky with New Adult books because the plots usually suck and the characters and relationships are so problematic. But Fortune, and Tia’s other two books, are perfect examples of the New Adult genre. They showcase everything that this genre is supposed to be about. Every NA author, every author who wants to create incredible characters, should look to Tia’s books as examples because she has done everything right with her characters. I don’t think it gets any better than Tia’s books.

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

This week I’ll be recommending one of my favorite nonfiction books and one of my favorites of 2016.

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Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History
by Sam Maggs 

Ever heard of Allied spy Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim woman whom the Nazis considered “highly dangerous”? Or German painter and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian, who planned and embarked on the world’s first scientific expedition? How about Huang Daopo, the inventor who fled an abusive child marriage only to revolutionize textile production in China?

Women have always been able to change the world, even when they didn’t get the credit. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs introduces you to pioneering female scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors—each profile a study in passion, smarts, and stickto-itiveness, complete with portraits by Google doodler Sophia Foster-Dimino, an extensive
bibliography, and a guide to present-day women-centric STEM organizations.

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Prior to reading this book, I’d only heard of a couple of the women mentioned (Marie Curie and Amelia Earhart). I might not have paid attention to lot of my history classes in school but I would have remembered these women if I had been taught about what they’ve done for the world.
The fact that so many of women’s impact on history has been throw aside and disregarded upsets me so much. But thanks to Sam Maggs, we can educate ourselves on some of the women that changed the world. Sam clearly did a ton of research for this book and it shows. It’s extremely well written and fun to read. I’ve learned so much about history because of this book and I can’t recommend it enough.

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Recommendation Friday

RecommendationFriday

This week I’ll be recommending a new favorite of mine that I read a month or so ago.

 

 

The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

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Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?

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I seen The Bird and the Sword randomly on Amazon and the Kindle copy was less than $5 so I bought it not knowing what it was about or seeing any reviews. I went in completely blind and not really expecting much. But this book blew. Me. Away.
I loved it from the first page and I could barely put this book down. I read it in less than 24 hours and I wanted to reread it the second I finished it.
I loved everything about this book. The plot, the writing, the characters were all incredible. The characters were beautifully flawed and had some amazing and realistic development.
I’m rarely as emotionally invested in books as I was with The Bird and The Sword but I was basically shrieking the entire time I was reading this book.
Overall, The Bird and The Sword is one of the best books that I’ve ever read and is one of my all time favorites. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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