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Romeo Redeemed
Stacey Jay
The Casual Vacancy
J.K. Rowling
Drop Everything Now  - Alessandra Thomas
Ryder Strong. Oh Ryder. Man, Ryder's incredible. 
 
Drop Everything Now is incredible. 
 
All of Alessandra's books are incredible. 
 
Alessandra Thomas creates - relatively - realistic situations, especially when compared to other NA novels. The characters are always well rounded; no stereotypical bad boys and sweet, good girls. Drop Everything Now is no different from her other books in that respect. Instead she tosses together two people in difficult situations that could happen to anyone.
 
Andi's story is heartbreaking to me. Maybe because I'm a college student who's put herself on a strict deadline for graduation and is always worrying about her family needing her. But reading about her worrying over her mom and really wanting to make sure she graduates on time, I could felt her anxiety and her indecision. She was desperate to help and be there, but she also had to try and put herself and her needs first. It's always a tough call and it was portrayed so well in this book.
 
Then there's Ryder and his super plausible back story. He was a nice guy who had a good job, and then with the economy going bad and all of the consequences of that, he lost his job. He still had responsibilities, so he found another job to make sure he could take care of those responsibilities...he just happened to decide to do that by being a stripper. One of the sweetest strippers I could imagine, really. He has a lot on his shoulders and a two sucky jobs, but he doesn't complain. If anything, he takes on more responsibility. 
 
The romance? Oh, the romance. Ryder and Andi had a natural chemistry from the start. They were both in tough situations that just seemed to keep getting tougher. They were able to help each other to an extent, but also recognized that some struggles have to be handled as individuals. The relationship wasn't really sugar coated. But there was still plenty of sexy times. It's the best distraction for tough times, really. 
 
The writing is classically Alessandra - addicting enough that I read it in two sittings when I should've been doing about five thousand other things. The book was fun, but still had a lot of depth. It was well paced and kept the action moving and never felt drawn out or like there was something missing. I worried a bit when I saw the pretty low estimated page count, but it was silly for me to even question it. Besides the fact there's no way for me to even know that it was accurate, Alessandra can always deliver.
 
Alessandra is truly a master of New Adult books. Depth, sexy times, good writing, character development, and relationship development, wrapped up in a neat little book. I highly recommend her books to all New Adult lovers, especially those looking for more than just a sexy romance.
Source: http://bloggers-heart-books.blogspot.com

Keeping Her

Keeping Her - Cora Carmack This was so insanely cute and fun and definitely a page turner as I meant to read just a bit before showering and instead read all of it. However, I really think it could have been fleshed out into its own book.

The 100

The 100 - Kass Morgan I wasn't totally sure about The 100 going in. It sounded interesting, but I'd heard little about it, and what I had heard wasn't great. I'm also rarely a fan of Little Brown books if they aren't out from Poppy. But I went in with an open mind and enjoyed the read a lot more than I thought I would.One thing I was really wary about as I started was the number of perspectives. But each point of view was valuable and entertaining and different. The voices of each character weren't as distinct as I would have preferred, but they definitely all had their place. And each character's story was interesting, so there was never one perspective I was rushing to get to, because I wanted to know all of the stories.The writing was nothing spectacular, but it did keep me hooked on the book. I read it in about two sittings, which is a rarity for me these days. It was well paced so there was something interesting on almost every page.The one thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the flashbacks. They definitely served a purpose, but when they popped up, somewhat randomly, things did slow down and I would get a bit bored. It was a good way to avoid a lot of info-dumping, but it was a slower pace and of less interest and some of them probably could have been cut all together, unless they're necessary for book two.But I thought the relationships between the characters were all very realistic and very interesting. None of them were rushed or pushed into things, there's a definite development going on and it's not going to get pushed along for the sake of timing or quick resolutions to some problems.I also really appreciated that this book, while part of a series, can pretty easily stand on its own. It had a good arc and you can see why it's part of a series arc as well. There were definitely some loose ends that were TOO loose, but not enough to feel cliffhanger-esque. Overall, I really enjoyed reading The 100 and I'm excited to see the TV show and see where this goes next. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes sci-fi, good relationships, and quality characters.

Wait for You

Wait for You  - J. Lynn This is the kind of New Adult book I'd been avoiding. Not because there was anything wrong with it, but Avery's back story, which is a major plot point, was the kind of plot point that just didn't seem interesting to me. Too angsty, I guess. But everybody raves about Jennifer Armentrout/J. Lynn and it was at BEA, so there wasn't really any harm in me grabbing this one (and her other NA title). There wasn't all that much NA to be had at BEA since it's fairly new, so I was happy to grab any I could find.And honestly, I was pleasantly surprised.I started reading because my reading has had a SERIOUS lack of sexy times lately, so why not? Plus, with SO many people loving Jennifer/J. Lynn, I figured this couldn't let me down as my stuck-in-a-car-for-three-hours read. It was lighter on the sexy times than I expected, but it was engaging. Engaging enough that I flipped through most of the 500 page ARC in the car and finished the last 40 or so pages within an hour of getting out of the car, despite everything I should have been doing. Like eating.Avery was the kind of character I could really sympathize with. I've never been in her situation, but the general distrust of people, the friendship problems, I totally understood it. I didn't always agree with her decisions, but I understood where they were all coming from. She was the kind of character that just made sense and it felt pretty real.Cameron, on the other hand, was not at all real. Don't get me wrong, he was sweet and smart and just a genuine good guy, and - of course- gorgeous. But he was way too good to be true. Just...too perfect. I was in the kind of mood reading it where I didn't really mind, but it's something to be aware of.I think the story was well paced. The book takes place over about a year, but it's a fast, page-turning read. I never got bored. A lot of care was definitely taken to make sure we skipped the boring parts and focused on the important scenes. Sometimes the time jumps weren't given enough real feeling, so I'd forget a few days had gone by, but it was largely done well. The side characters could've been given some more depth, but I really liked them. For the most part, they were well built. I did have problems with her one friend, Jacob, being a bit of a stereotype, but not enough to totally throw me off. I loved the banter the characters had. I definitely smothered a giggle a couple of times.This is not going to be a book for everyone. It definitely has its' issues and it's nothing that blows you out of the water. This might not have been the right book for me if I'd been in a different mood. But the story itself and the way I read it made me pretty much love this book, despair over the fact my copy of Frigid isn't here, and add all of the other books in the Wait for You series to my goodreads wishlist. Do with that what you will.

These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner So, it IS the first in a series. Couldn't remember and wasn't sure for the last 100-ish pages. This is excellent news.

Infinityglass: An Hourglass Novel

Infinityglass - Myra McEntire 'Scuse me, I'll be in a corner crying forever.Full Review: This...is a really hard review to write.If you've been following the blog for a while, then you know how big this series is for me. You know how much I utterly adore this series. It's kind of seeped into my life, really. In the past couple of years since I began this trilogy, I've wanted to wallpaper my room with the covers. I've named my Kindle after the main character in the first book. Hourglass is my go to recommendation for people who want books. I've connected with the characters in this book in such an intense way, that I think I'm kind of in denial that this series is over.To say the least, I absolutely loved this book. Myra's writing never fails me and it was, again, engaging and really drew me in. She still had that same, fantastic banter between the characters and the book was full of sarcastic one liners that made me grin. Their inner thoughts really enabled them to jump off the page. In Infinityglass, if you haven't heard, there are two narrators. Both of them were fantastic and very much their own person with their own voice.Then the characters themselves. Dune and Hallie were two very different characters. Dune was sweet and patient and came from this wonderful support system that was more of a family. Hallie was sharp and jaded and overprotected as she grew up. Both characters had these aspects that made me connect with them right from the get go. And as a couple, they were a team. I think that's the best way to describe it. It really felt like they were working together and improving each other and it was all incredibly sweet and swoony. And I can't not write about the nerdtastic references all throughout this book. Monty Python, a number of Doctor Who mentions, Sega Genesis...it was like a nerdy paradise. Each reference made me giggle a little bit because they're subtle or small but they're very much there and you know that it shows a little bit about Myra and a little bit about the characters and a little bit about the reader who catches them. Infinityglass also has this wonderful balance of older characters we already love to go with Hallie and Dune. There's a healthy dose of my beloved Michael, Emerson, Kaleb, and Lily. Poe and Ava and Nate and Clarissa rounded out the little crew that was so important to the book. I loved getting to see so much of characters I already loved and so much more of characters that we barely knew before. And while it sounds like this book must be incredibly full...it wasn't. It was a remarkable balance of old characters and new, the series arc and the individual story's arc, a new relationship and some reminders of old ones. It's one of the best examples of a final book in a series I can think of. The fact that I actually finished the series is enough to be amazed over, because it's incredibly rare that I finish a series. When I do, it's a pretty good sign of how lovely those books are.I love this series, I truly do, and if I haven't yet convinced you to read this series, I may not be cut out to be a reviewer. Or maybe it's just because I lack the words to do it justice. But this seriously is one of my absolutely favorite series. It got me fascinated by time travel and hooked on Doctor Who. It makes me smile and grin and squeal and nearly throw my phone as I was trying to finish this book at 3:30 in the morning. Myra's writing is always enthralling and magical and just oh so wonderful and I'm going to sit here in a ball and rock back and forth until I can get my hands on more of Myra's writing, even if it's just a grocery list to hold me over. Seriously. Please. If you haven't started this series, I hope you weren't spoiled (but why were you reading this???), and now is the time to fix that. And if you've been eagerly waiting for Infinityglass too, I promise it won't disappoint.

Subject to Change: 2 (Picturing Perfect)

Subject to Change: 2 (Picturing Perfect) - Alessandra Thomas I can't even, guys. SO excited to do my full review because this is what I've been wanting New Adult to be.

The Distance Between Us

The Distance Between Us - Kasie West The Distance Between Us was pitched as Pride and Prejudice meets Pretty in Pink and I've never seen Pretty in Pink but Pride and Prejudice so...whatevs. I obviously needed this. And then can we take a moment to look at that COVER? Like...her dress! Her shoes! His outfit! The car! The hand holding! The lighting! The font! It's so utterly gorgeous and very road trip-esque and it still stands out quite a bit. I'm so utterly in love and kind of want to buy a bajillion copies just so I can surround myself in that beauty.I loved Caymen. I really, really did. Kasie West created this heroine who was straight forward with their reader, if not with everyone else. She was wonderfully sarcastic, no holding back. It was very easy to relate to her situation and how she felt. And it was so understandable why she would be wary of Xander. But he was such a sweetheart and so good and just genuinely liked Xander. I loved his quirky family - especially his grandma.I really just loved the plot of the story. Was it a little on the cheesy side? Yeah. But it made me giggly and happy and I just wanted to cuddle the book. There's a lot of harp on how YA has so much romance and why must there be so much romance, but usually the romance is a subplot, even if it seems overwhelming. But The Distance Between Us is a romance. It wasn't desperately aching to be anything else. It was very Stephanie Perkins'-esque in that it was cute and fluffy but also had some heavy tones to it. And it was largely romance-centric. Truly romance-centric books aren't that common in YA...at least what I've seen. And they're perfect for summer time.Now that I've raved about...the cover and lack of true romances in YA, the take away from this review should really be you need The Distance Between Us. Go my friends. Go get the book. Or click over to your book-shopping website of choice and order it ASAP.

Fangirl

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell It's time for a little history about Julie. Because that's the only way I can explain to you why this book is my soul and I don't know that another book can ever touch me the same way. I was eleven when I first started reading fanfiction. To be totally honest, my first experience was a horribly dirty fanfic that was also horribly written about The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (I'm still slightly traumatized. Don't click fanfic links on IMDb boards without full explanation, kids). But from there, I moved on quickly. My next fandom was High School Musical (shut up, I was eleven). It...was not a super satisfying fanfic experience because...most of the fandom was eleven. Then I fell into the Twilight fandom. And, oh did I fall hard. I read the first book three times in one week because I had to wait a week to get the next two books. Eclipse had just come out and already the fandom was prepping for Breaking Dawn. I quickly found myself on the Twilight IMDb boards (where I met Lanna) and then fell into fanfic. It was the first fanfic community I wrote it and I was moderately successful, despite being 12/13. People didn't know my age and my vague mentions of school made it sound like I was in college. But I still met my first beta reader there (she was incredible) and I met some fantastic friends there (who I then stopped chatting with...until I started refinding some in the YA community). I started really chatting with a group of girls on the Robert Pattinson board and we formed a livejournal community (this was a BIG THING at the time) that was doing super well and it was all really lovely. My age was found out right before I turned 14, so a lot of the girls I was friends with, while they still liked me, weren't comfortable with my age. And I totally understood. It was fair and logical since so many of the fanfics were...not necessarily appropriate for a 13 year old. And frankly, I didn't really want to be involved anymore. It was just too much. Two months later, I was a blogger.Flash forward to this past May. I was still reading Twilight fanfiction, though not writing and not in the community and not nearly with as much frequency. And it was time for my first BEA. I had finished my first year of college the week before, gone to visit my parents' and to celebrate my brother's birthday for a few days, then started moving into my first apartment over the weekend. The apartment had no A.C. and no internet and there was a heatwave, so I stayed in my dorm for a couple more nights, but the night before BEA was my first in the apartment. I was tired from helping out at Teen Author Carnival and finishing moving (kind of) the day before, but BEA! I slept in longer than I wanted, but I made it to the buzz panel where they talked about Fangirl. The story of a girl who loved fanfiction and this one particular fandom and was trying to figure out how to deal with this and starting college and all of the other things going on with those two parts of her life. And I knew, oh how I knew, this was a book of my soul. I started reading Fangirl while in lines at BEA that day. Then I raved all night to my roommate about it. I brought my ARC back to BEA the next day for more line reading and to get it signed by Rainbow. One of my biggest regrets is still that I didn't actually get to see her and that my ARC got signed thanks to a friend instead. Then I finally got it back and went home for the day and my roommate agreed to go to BEA with me the next day for Power Reader's Day. We tried to get her an ARC, but they were totally out. So, I passed her my ARC when we got home and started on one of the other books I had because...it's not like I didn't have others.It didn't take long for her to run into my room, throw the book at me, and scream "READ IT, READ IT, READ IT."And I did. And I finished the next day. Late at night, I closed the last page and I hugged that book for like five minutes. Because it really was the book of my soul. And I had a hard time putting it back down on our shared shelf, so she had access to it too.Cath. Is. Me. Even though I was never her level of famous or even writing anymore by time I got to college and I didn't have a twin and my dad isn't bipolar and my mom is still very much in the picture, she is me. I spent more time at my desk, on my laptop, in my first year than I did with all of the people I knew in my dorm. My roommate was always the more social one, though neither of us were quite butterflies. I was always on my laptop, reading and clicking around and reading articles and working and thinking, desperately, about writing. And sometimes I was reading fanfic. I never quite got the handle on being social because, you know, staying at my desk or in bed and wearing sweatpants and watching Doctor Who or reading a book just sounded so much nicer than going up ONE WHOLE FLIGHT of stairs to see my friends. I didn't really do parties or talk to anyone who I wasn't introduced to. I worried a lot about my family and my brother because my brother was going to have to be left alone sometimes and my dad wasn't going to have me around to help with my brother who, to be honest, is sometimes a handful.And then there was Levi. Adorable, sweet, understanding Levi. He's one of the most realistic love interests I've ever seen. Everything about those two was slowly paced and awkward and he was so not perfect, but he was very much perfect for Cath. And that's the important part. And as much as I've talked about loving certain bookish guys and how they'd be so perfect, Levi's the kind of guy I could actually see myself with. Someone who'd get the family dynamic and the insecurity and the dislike of social interactions and who would walk me home from my night classes (though, a park in Harlem isn't exactly the same kind of walk that Levi and Cath had to make). Plus, Rainbow Rowell has this incredible ability to make even the most mundane actions seem hotter than sex scenes I've read.And this story itself is just so damned relatable. Cath's struggles in her personal life and as a writer are relatable to every person on the planet. She didn't know who she was. She was in a completely new environment without the two people she's relied on for years to support her, with one even changing completely. And she's being pushed to abandon a world that she knows and that has treated her well. And that's hard. No matter who you are or how old you are or what the circumstances are or what the environment is. It's hard. And Cath's path was one of the most realistic and relatable and well timed paths I've ever had the honor to read. Maybe it's because I'm taking a Jane Austen class this semester and therefore studying her a lot, but I also think Rainbow Rowell shares a good bit in common with Austen, which is probably one of the highest compliments I could ever give. They have very different voices and ways of writing, but they both tackle people, real people in real situations and they understand people in a way so many others can't grasp and in a way that it's hard to wrap your head around. Nobody in her stories is ever simple or evil or horribly wrong. They're all vast, complex people in complex relationships and normal situations that are complex by the nature that life is complex, not because there's evil or a mythological aspect or because something totally extraordinary is happening. It's just Cath's life, which has similarities to so many other lives.I love this book with every fiber of my being. I've been itching to reread since I put it down and I don't think I'll be able to hold off much longer, even if I'm already alternating between three books for classes and have other responsibilities. Fangirl is to College Julie as Harry Potter is to Middle School Julie. I will love in unconditionally and forever and I will never fully be able to explain why. But I desperately, desperately, want everyone to read this book, even if you don't all love it as I do.

Suddenly Royal

Suddenly Royal - Nichole Chase I don't know if I've ever disclosed this on the blog, but I'm a complete and total sucker for royalty in contemporary settings. It's probably do to growing up in the Princess Diaries generation and the fact that the books were some of the first I read when getting back into YA, but like...it's almost guaranteed I will love a contemporary book with royalty because that is my drug. And it's so hard to FIND that I pretty much have to take what I can get.So, if you didn't get the point, I loved this book.I loved how Sam was so independent and she knew what she wanted in life and was determined to stick with it. Like...this girl had a plan. She's kind of like," It's cute that you want me to wear a tiara and all, but...I got a life, k thanks." And Alex was willing to respect that and try to work with it. He wasn't a bad guy at all. He had a bad reputation, but he was honestly pretty sweet and considerate and swoony.I really loved Nicole's writing. It was super addicting and I was totally enthralled in the story. It was well researched and had its own unique twists to it. Like, Sam's field of study? Not exactly the usual kind of story you see in fiction. I do feel like the book could've used another editor because there were several occasions when an issue pulled me out for a moment or two. They're easy to notice, but when I'm in editor mode, these things stand out. But the book has been acquired by Avon, so that should help clean up all the little errors. And obviously it wasn't that distracting since I zipped through the book!Suddenly Royal is a super fun, addicting read. It's absolutely perfect for summer. It's also left me dying for more contemporary with royalty (if you have suggestions, preferably in YA/NA, please let me know!). And everyone should pick it up ASAP!
Losing It (Losing It, #1) - Cora Carmack Yeah, I know. Her name is Bliss. But guys. Oh, guys.I'm such a sucker for love stories that are organically complicated. Somebody's royal/famous/super rich and the other person is not royal/famous/rich. New love interest is the best friend of a former love interest or the new love interest is the sibling of a deceased former love interest. Pretty much any historical fiction in YA. And teacher/student relationships? TOTALLY UNDER THAT BLANKET. Except, they have an even more complicated line to walk because with a teacher/student relationship can fall into the creepy-side of things super easily, especially as I still am a student (though, I have yet to have a teacher that's attractive. WAY TO BUILD UP MY HOPES, BOOKS). So that Losing It manages to pull off a teacher/student relationship that is NOT creepy and actually pretty sexy gives it SO many points right off the bat. I mean, first, ya gotta love how they started. Bliss is trying to lose her virginity. She chickens out and leaves the beautiful, British, motorcycle-riding guy in her bed. Wakes up the next morning to find out the guy she left is her professor. How can this not be, at the very least, hilariously awkward to read about? Don't worry, Cora didn't fail.I loved Bliss. I got past her name and then I could relate to her. My major is considered one of the ridiculous majors, my friends are social butterflies and I'm...not, and I really could be that awkward. She also worries about the future and has some major doubts about what she's doing, even though she only has a semester until graduation. Bliss shows this underrepresented in media, but very realistic, college student.And Garrick? Oh Garrick. He wasn't really much older than his students, he was an actor, he was British. He seemed like a real guy, if maybe a little too good to be true. But his motorcycle didn't make him a badass, his teacher status didn't make him a creep, and his British-ness didn't make him an automatic gentleman or a snob. He was a character, not a stereotype.Back to the story - it did not fail to keep me entertained. Garrick and Bliss had this great banter and I was totally amused reading their interactions. They were sweet and awkward at times and funny and I adored it. It was very romance-centric, which is just what my poor, tired brain needed when I read this - a month before my semester ended and two weeks before I had to start looking at apartments. It was light and fun and enthralling, but also had a very real tone to it. Cora's writing kept me totally invested and in love with the story and the characters.In case you hadn't figured this out, I loved Losing It. It was the second New Adult book I had read and it completely won me over. I will read whatever Cora Carmack wants to write in the New Adult category, and probably in other categories too. I even waited for almost two hours to get a signed copy of Faking It at BEA and I'll be devouring that book in the very near future.

Picture Perfect (Picturing Perfect #1)

Picture Perfect (Picturing Perfect #1) - Alessandra Thomas I picked up Picture Perfect for a couple reasons. One being that I like the author on twitter. She's fun to talk to. Two being that I wanted to try New Adult ANYWAY, so why not start here? And three, it's just so easy to relate to. I can't say that most people have gone through a traumatic accident, but pretty much every person I know has or does suffer from body image issues, especially in the high school/college years.I've never been a model and I've never hurt my leg that badly (though I DO frequently injure my knee...someday I should stop that), but Cat was still somebody a lot of people can understand. She's insecure. She's gained weight. She's not happy with her body. She knows it CAN be better and has been better and that's a massive distraction for her and brings her down often. This happens to pretty much everyone. Even if it's not your weight, there's SOMETHING about pretty much every person that they think needs to change or thought it needed to be change at some point (unless you're super confident and always have been in which case, that's awesome for you, but you're also a rare unicorn *pets*). Basically, even though it's not likely most readers had Cat's exact experience, and they probably didn't use nude modeling as a way to cope with that and find a hot dude who was an even BETTER coping mechanism, there's still something very real to it. And then there's Nate. Oh dear, sweet Nate. He seems like totally perfect and eventually you learn that he's NOT totally perfect, which I think is important to make characters feel like real people. It also really showed how growth can happen off the pages too. A lot of the times massive character development happens within the book for various reasons, but people have their massive life changes at different times in their lives. So to see that at least one character in this book already had their realization of who they wanted to be and made that change before even appearing in the novel was nice. I feel like that doesn't happen as much as it could. I loved the writing in this book. I really did. I was just on this string of reading really good books when I started reading this one I was immediately totally hooked and ended up devouring the book in a couple of days which I don't really get to do all that often. Like, I'm reading 4 books right now and I have been reading most of these for at least a week, despite how much I'm enjoying them all.Were there issues with this book? Yes. I think that there could have been more focus on the nude modeling aspect as a coping mechanism. I also do think Nate could have used a few more flaws. But for a good look on body image and self esteem issues and how sometimes a relationship can help self image, this book worked. It was entertaining and it was fun and it was sexy and it was well written and I loved it. For a New Adult book that has some more substance to it, this is definitely a book to try.

This Is What Happy Looks Like

This is What Happy Looks Like - Jennifer E. Smith Long time, no review, I know. But guys, this is the kind of book I need to gush about. I NEED to talk to you guys about this book. Because it is so, so, so utterly perfect I can't NOT talk about it. This is the kind of book that breaks a review-slump.So, the premise is fairly basic. Misguided emails, one person in this email is secretly a celebrity, they meet and start a relationship. Except...not quite. This story is SO much more than that. Jennifer Smith, in the excellent way she does, gives both characters their own story lines beyond the romance. Ellie has this massive secret and some family issues. Graham has family issues of a different nature, as well as the natural issues that come with being a celebrity. And both have to deal with the complications these secrets and separate issues have on their relationship. Add to the fact that, you know, Ellie didn't KNOW he was famous. Things are complicated and intricate and beautiful and heartbreaking. Jennifer's the kind of writer who pulls you in and never lets go. I read the beginning while sitting next to a friend because she wanted to see my reaction. Then I let myself to take a small break from homework and ended up reading the next 150 pages. I DEVOURED this book and all of it's perfections and Jennifer's wonderful writing. I was enthralled in this story and these characters and their lives. They weren't just characters. They were people. Graham and Ellie and their friends and family were so well crafted and they all had this fantastic chemistry with intricate relationships that only an excellent writer can build.And can we talk about the setting? I've never been to Maine. The closest I've ever been is the suburbs of Boston. And you know, those mansions weren't exactly a small town on the coast of the Atlantic. But the setting was so well built, that I could picture everything. The beach and the town and the street Ellie would walk down and the set of Graham's movie. It was charming and really drew me in to this little Maine town, which can be kind of hard to do when I'm reading from my bed in the middle of a giant city.Seriously, and then there's Graham and Ellie as people. They were far from cookie cutter characters. I mean, Graham. He has a pet pig. Do you know how epic that sounds? And usually you would think a celebrity would shy away from strangers on the internet, even if that internet doesn't know they're talking to a celebrity. But no, he wanted to reach out. Because even in the emails, there was so much personality on both ends and this fantastic chemistry made it easy for them to connect. Ellie and Graham have this wonderful dialogue, via email and in real life. It's realistic - sometimes it's awkward, sometimes it's hard to talk, sometimes everything is easy and light and fun. Guys, Jennifer E. Smith is just a master. She's utterly brilliant. I'm going to declare her one of the Princesses of Contemporary with Stephanie Perkins, Gayle Forman, and Elizabeth Eulberg. I will read anything she puts out in the world for us to read and I definitely have to get my hands on You Are Here and The Comeback Season because, hello, Jennifer writing a ROAD TRIP and BASEBALL? Hell yes. I am ALL OVER THAT SHIZ.So, um. You should go buy This is What Happy Looks Like and rejoice in the wonder that is a Jennifer E. Smith book and then join me in reading ALL OF HER BOOKS EVER.

MILA 2.0: Origins: The Fire

MILA 2.0: Origins: The Fire - Definitely glad I have Mila 2.0 or I would be DYING right now.

The Dead and Buried

The Dead and Buried - Kim Harrington This is a quick, enticing read that I really enjoyed!I'll be honest - reading and I haven't gone great lately. I've only read 2 YA novels lately. Other than that, manuscripts and bits of manuscripts and one novella and...a lot of romance novels. YA just hasn't called to me. But I knew I needed to read The Dead and the Buried and I crossed my fingers and dived in, hoping it could hold me. I didn't expect that I'd be so held that I read almost all of it in one sitting. The part I didn't read in that one sitting, I read on the subway before I was able to sit down and read without interruption. It was really gripping and intense so even when I was exhausted and telling myself to just go to bed, it's 5 in the morning, you can read tomorrow! - I couldn't do it. I was up until like almost 6. It's insanely intense. It also goes really quick. I read like 2 chapters on the subway, but then I read the rest between like 4:30 and 6 while super exhausted.I found myself really worrying about Jade and her brother, Colby. I felt for her pain in some ways and I was able to sympathize with her. I've never been in her situation, but I definitely understood her and cared about her. She just wanted to live a normal life and protect her brother, no matter what it took. I think a lot of people who care about their siblings can get that.I was also definitely intrigued by the mystery. As always, I spent a long time skipping around, trying to figure out what was really going on, but never able to nail it down. I got it for a little while once or twice, but then I'd move on along with Jade to another suspect. You might be able to figure it out faster than I do (I think part of me has stopped trying though. I like having to consider everything and find out with the main characters), but it's still interesting to consider everyone. There were a lot of people with good motives.I also really liked the glimpses of Kayla we got through her diary pages that were scattered throughout the book. We were clearly seeing more of Kayla than most people did, but definitely not all of it. And it was fun to figure out exactly who and what she would be writing about. I wouldn't have minded more, deeper looks at Kayla though.I will say that it's not scary. Creepy at times, but I never got really scared. I also think I would've liked more character development. I felt like there might've been too many characters with so much potential that was never fully reached. Also, it would've made the book longer, so I would've gotten to read it longer and my addiction might've been better sated. (I rarely say no to longer books, but we've noticed this already, right?)

The Archived

The Archived - Victoria Schwab Victoria Schwab is a woman who knows how to write a book.First of all, I have to talk about how absolutely astounding the writing is. It's beautiful and almost lyrical, very haunting. Victoria Schwab has such an incredible way with words and using them to create perfect images in your head or pull on your heart strings as the occasion requires. She's definitely one of the most talented writers I've ever had the pleasure of reading.Then Mac? Mac is so awesome. She changes and develops so much from a pretty kick ass girl to a semi-ultimate bad ass (we have to leave room for her to become ULTIMATE bad ass in the sequels, yeah?). I loved that she was strong, physically and emotionally, and dedicated. She was loyal, but not necessarily blindly. She wasn't a model Keeper because she was too curious and man can I relate to that.And then there's the other characters, all of them crafted extraordinarily well. Mac's Da, her parents, the boys she meets, the Librarians. They have so much detail and so much life. Each one is incredibly important to the story and so very real and wonderful. These characters had depth to them, even if they weren't in the story often or didn't seem super important. And you can tell that Victoria knows so much more about them that we might get to learn in the sequels.The story itself is this immense mystery and I never saw it coming. I was so swept up in the prose and the characters that I couldn't even try to imagine how it was going to be told or how it would end. It was very intricately woven, little hints you don't really see until the very end. Thinking about it makes me want to go and reread and take notes on how to properly do a mystery like this.Guys, seriously. Not picking up this book would be a mistake. I'm so head over heels in love with this book, it's ridiculous. I think The Archived is enough to put Victoria on my insta-buy list forever and ever. I know the year's just started, but this is already on my Best of 2013 list, without a doubt (which, admittedly, is already a bit lengthy. But...we'll talk about that later). Run, drive, train, bus, hijack a jet, do something to get your hands on this book.