On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)

I am on a staycation this week so I hope to get a lot of reading done. Will that be the case? Time will tell since I have some cards to make (thanks for the order Kelsey!) and a hockey game to attend (I’m going today) and some other things to do. But I do like to get some morning reading in and with some caffeine some late night reading too.

When I plan to spend some time reading I like to have some idea as to what I want to spend time on. Here are about 4 books that are currently in my head to start and one that I need to finish (I took a break to read a crack book).

On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Published by Philomel Books
Amazon, Goodreads

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.
Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.


On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)The Long Game (The Fixer, #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Amazon, Goodreads

The Kendricks help make the problems of the Washington elite disappear…but some secrets won’t stay buried.

For Tess Kendrick, a junior at the elite Hardwicke School in Washington, D.C., fixing runs in the family. But Tess has another legacy, too, one that involves power and the making of political dynasties. When Tess is asked to run a classmate’s campaign for student council, she agrees. But when the candidates are children of politicians, even a high school election can involve life-shattering secrets.

Meanwhile, Tess’s guardian has also taken on an impossible case, as a terrorist attack calls into doubt who can—and cannot—be trusted on Capitol Hill. Tess knows better than most that power is currency in D.C., but she's about to discover firsthand that power always comes with a price.


On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Published by Simon Pulse
Amazon, Goodreads

“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.


On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Published by Simon Pulse
Amazon, Goodreads

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.


On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)Coming Up for Air (Hundred Oaks, #8) by Miranda Kenneally
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Amazon, Goodreads

Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?


On My Radar: Staycation Reads (5)The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Amazon, Goodreads

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake and spending quality time with her parents. But when her mom's cancer reappears, Lucy falters-in her faith and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend "pauses" their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp-one for troubled kids-Lucy isn't sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

Emotionally-charged and unforgettable, Emery Lord's storytelling shines with the promise of new love and true friendship, even in the face of life's biggest challenges.

I know I won’t read them all and finishing Salt to the Sea will be accomplishment enough, but a girl can dream.

What’s on your book radar?

Review: How to Break a Boy – Laurie Devore

Review: How to Break a Boy – Laurie DevoreHow to Break a Boy by Laurie Devore
Published by Imprint
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon, Goodreads

Keep your enemies close, but your friends closer.

Olivia Clayton has mastered the art of tearing others down to stay on top. She and her best friend, Adrienne, rule their small southern town like all good mean girls do--through intimidation and manipulation.

After Olivia suffers a family tragedy and catches Adrienne sleeping with her boyfriend, Olivia is over it. She decides to make a change--but it's impossible to resist taking Adrienne down one last time. Up to her old tricks, Olivia convinces golden boy Whit DuRant to be her SAT tutor and her fake boyfriend. But when it starts to feel real, Whit gets caught up in Olivia and Adrienne's war.

Olivia may ruin everything she touches, but this time she won't go down without a fight--not if it means losing Whit.

And definitely not if it means losing what's left of herself.

Holy anxious batman! How to Break a Boy made me so anxious while I was reading it. I was completely fascinated and enthralled by everything that happened, but Olivia and Adrienne terrified me and maybe me a nervous wreck. This was one of those experiences where you hate the main characters yet you enjoy the book and think people should read it. Because make no mistakes, Olivia and Adrienne are horrible, terrible people and yet I really enjoyed this book.

How to Break a Boy was seriously a roller coaster of emotions. I wanted to like Olivia. I wanted to feel bad for her and I did. But as soon as I did she would do something and I just wanted to smack her. Sure she had a tough home life, but that wasn’t an excuse for what she did to people. It wasn’t a reason to be a mean girl. And I wanted to blame Adrienne too, but I couldn’t do that either. The thing with Olivia is she is a follower and always was. She needed to be liked by Adrienne so she did whatever she had to for the validation. And don’t even get me started on her. That girl had no redeeming qualities at all. She was the absolute world’s worst and there was nothing I liked about her. She was miserable so everyone needed to be miserable.

One character I did like was Whit. He was so adorable and endearing (until one part that I chose to ignore). He made Olivia seem like she was better than she was. He gave her a conscious and she wanted to be better for him.

In the end How to Break a Boy was a book that showed what can happen when you look at yourself and what you have become. How it is possible to turn things around if you are ready to make the effort and how not everything has to be about making someone miserable to make yourself feel better. It will give you massive anxiety but it’s definitely a book to check out.

The ABCs with Dana


Welcome to The ABCs where you can see what accessory, book and clothing item others are lusting after! If you would like more information or would like to sign-up you can click HERE. I’ve also created a place for authors to sign-up and do the ABCs for one of their main characters. Check that out HERE.

Today on The ABCS we have Dana showing off her accessory, book and clothing item of choice.

Let’s give Dana a warm ABCs welcome!


Accessories: Get the Keyhole Story Suede Heel in Black
The Get the Keyhole Story Suede Heel in black is right up my alley. I work at a 4 star inn/hotel and have to dress up to a certain standard and one department I’m lacking in is shoes. These look relatively comfortable and I love that they have a thicker heel. If I had the money, these would be mine!

Books: Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake
There isn’t a cover yet for One Dark Throne, so I chose my favorite of the Elemental covers for Three Dark Crowns. Words cannot describe how much I am looking forward to this book. Anytime I try to talk about it, all that comes out are shrieks. If I lived near Kendare Blake and had more expendable income, I would totally rent a billboard to declare my love for the books.

Clothes: Rebel Leia Bowie Star Wars White T-shirt
This shirt sums up the losses of 2016 for me. The year started and ended on a heartbreaking note and this shirt pays homage to just 2 of the legends we lost!


Thanks Dana for sharing your ABCs with us!

If you would like to play like Dana did, sign-ups are open HERE.


Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To (But TOTALLY plan to…eventually)

Like all readers there is no way to read every book you are super excited for. I had probably 100s that I wanted to read that were coming out in 2016 a lone. There are just that many books that spark our interest. But there are always those books that make you sad you didn’t read as soon as they came out, those books that you are ashamed of yourself when you do read them and fall in love. Here are 10 I hope fall in that catagory:

The Sun is Also a Star

Royally Screwed

This Adventure Ends

You Know Me Well

The Long Game

My Lady Jane

Summer Days and Summer Nights

The Rose and the Dagger

The Darkest Corners

The Serpent King

Best part about this list? I know 9 out of the 10 and could have truly read them at just about any time.

What books did you miss in 2016? Any on my list?

*Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish

The Art of the Reread: A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas

I have a “rule”, I don’t write reviews for books I’m reading again if I have already reviewed it. I have never re-reviewed Anna and the French Kiss or Parallel or Twenty Boy Summer. I leave my original reviews as they were and hold on to my love. But since I am trying to show the beauty of the reread I figured I could point out some of the things

Last week I mentioned I was rereading A Court of Mist and Fury. I finished it this weekend and it was just as amazing as it was the first time. The thing about rereads is you always learn something new or have a new way of appreciating the book and the characters and the author. That is part of the magic of rereading and what made my ACOMAF reading experience so much better.

  1. I devoured it this time: When I read ACOMAF in May of 2016 It took me two weeks. Granted I was in Mexico for one of those weeks, but I felt like I read it super slow so I could take it all in. This time I was done in a week. Actually it would have been sooner but life interrupted some reading time.
  2. The more you know: Like a movie that you have already seen, you find all new things when you know how it is going to play out. While I was reading ACOMAF I noticed a lot more than I did the first time. I noticed things characters said and things that seemed to be mentioned in passing but really meant something else.
  3. Focus on the characters: This time I was able to really focus on the characters and the stories attached to them. The first read I basically focused on the story trying to see where it was going to go and how it effected what I thought I knew from book 1. This time I was actually able to look at each character and feel for them and understand them.
  4. Places: Another thing I really got to have a better understanding for was the settings. In a first read they are kind of just there, in the foreground. But this time I actually realized that the settings and places are characters in the book. They mean just as much as Feyre, Rhysand, Tamlin and the others. They are essential to feeling a sense of security and I didn’t realize that last may.

Honestly I walked away from ACOMAF feeling better about it than I did the first time I read it and I truly loved it then. It just became more powerful and epic after a reread and got me excited for book 3.

What do you learn when you read a book for the second time?