Contemporary Summer Reads

 

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Summer is a wonderful time to be a bookworm, in my opinion. It’s long days filled with reading under the sun without a care in the world (well, if you’re still a student and don’t have a job, otherwise I’m sure you have lots of other things to care about).

When I picture summer, the first image that pops into my head is reading a nice contemporary book on the beach – and that’s exactly how I’m hoping to spend some of my summer days!

Here are some books I’m hoping to read this summer:

 

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I’ve wanted to read this book ever since I heard about it earlier this year! Does it not sound like the ultimate bookworm love story haha?! I’m hoping to buy this one soon so I can read it over the summer.

If you’ve read it, what did you think?

Goodreads synopsis:

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 received this book last Christmas and I still haven’t read it! I feel like this contemporary is perfect for reading in the heat of summer, so I’m hoping I’ll get round to it soon! I read How To Love by Cotugno a few years back and remember feeling very conflicted over how I felt about it, but I have high hopes for this book!

Goodreads synopsis:

Molly Barlow is facing one long, hot summer–99 days–with the boy whose heart she broke and the boy she broke it for . . . his brother.

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything. She has every right to hate me, of course: I broke Patrick Donnelly’s heart the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe wouldn’t quit till he got me to come to this party, and I’m surprised to find I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me–and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

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I’ve been wanting to read this book for so long! It sounds like it’s going to be so emotional, and I can already imagine the many tears I’ll shed when I read it.

Goodreads synopsis:

At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

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One of my bookish besties (the awesome Sophie from Mind of A Book Dragon) told me how awesome (yet heartbreaking) this book is, so of course I went and bought it as soon as I could. I’m hoping to read this book soon, though I’m not sure if I’ll be able to cope with the feels!

Goodreads synopsis:

Samantha McCoy has it all mapped out. First she’s going to win the national debating championship, then she’s going to move to New York and become a human rights lawyer. But when Sammie discovers that a rare disease is going to take away her memory, the future she’d planned so perfectly is derailed before it’s started. What she needs is a new plan.

So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. Realising that her life won’t wait to be lived, she sets out on a summer of firsts: The first party; The first rebellion; The first friendship; The last love.

Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it’s not the life she planned.

And those are a few of the books I’m hoping to read this summer!

Are any of these books on your summer TBR?

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Bookish Quotes | June Edition

 

June has been a really good reading month for me, and I’ve come across some lovely quotes! I thought it might be quite nice to start a monthly post sharing my favourite quotes from the books I’ve read that month, so I figure I’d give it a go!

Here are some quotes that I liked this month!

 

 

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder is a beautiful, touching novel; I adore it, and I love this quote because it’s so true. There are so many quotes I could’ve picked from this novel, but I thought I’d share this one. I can’t recommend this book enough!

You can check out my review of this book here.

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I loved this novel! I originally picked it up because the trailer for the movie adaptation looked really good, but I completely wasn’t expecting the book to be as amazing as it was!

You can check out my review of Everything, Everything here!

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If Birds Fly Back is such a lovely novel! I enjoyed reading it so much, and I’m so appreciative that I got to read it before it comes out (which, dependent on where you are in the world, is from the 27th of this month!).

You can check out my review here!

Have you come across any quotes you like recently?

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Book Tag | Mid-Year Freak-Out

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I realised yesterday that my posts have pretty much been the same for the last couple of months – either a review, reading updates or monthly wrap-ups. I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write some original posts, but I’m hoping in a couple weeks when I finish college I’ll have more time to.

I also noticed that I haven’t done a tag in a while, and I saw this one over at Chelle’s Book Ramblings (you guys should go check out her blog!) and thought it looked like fun, so I’m going to give it a go!

Let’s begin!

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I’ve recently read some amazing books, so answering this one is a bit tricky for me! In terms of genre, the best fantasy novel I’ve read this year has to be Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (she is Queen haha!), but I don’t think I can pick my favourite contemporary.

Random fact: I went off contemporaries for a while, but my love for them seems to be coming back.

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Lord of Shadows without a doubt. It’s the second book in Cassie Clare’s The Dark Artifices series, and it was so good (you can check out my review here). However, I will mention I haven’t read A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas yet so this choice was a pretty easy for me (those two books were my most anticipated releases this year, and I know ACOWAR is going to be amazing).

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There are so many books that have been published this year that I want to read! One is Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall – this book sounds so good (and so emotional), and I can’t wait to read it.

Goodreads synopsis:

At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

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The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin may just be the most anticipated book for me right now. I only just (literally, while writing up this tag) found out about it, and I am on the verge of becoming a hysterical fangirl!

I loved Hodkin’s Mara Dyer trilogy, and I really liked the way it ended, so I’m a bit scared for what this book will hold. But I have to read it. Dear gods how am I going to be able to wait until November for this to be published?!

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If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might have picked up on the fact that I very rarely DNF a book – which isn’t to say I always finish books, but I mostly think that I’ll eventually pick it up again if I don’t. (I sort of feel if I’m not getting along with a book, it’s just not the right time to read it.)

A book that I gave up on this year was Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman. I just couldn’t get along with the writing style, but I’m determined one day I’ll pick it up – hopefully when I’m more in the mood for it.

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I was shocked by how much I enjoyed Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. It’s such a great novel, and so unique in terms of plot and layout. I initially picked it up because the trailer for the movie adaptation looks really good, but I wasn’t expecting the book to be as amazing as it was. You can check out my review here!

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I recently read and reviewed Carlie Sorosiak’s debut, If Birds Fly Back, and it was a lovely novel. This is definitely an author to keep an eye out for!

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I loved Olly from Everything, Everything – he was such a sweetheart to Maddy!

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I’ve come across some awesome characters this year! Namely Linny (from If Birds Fly Back), and Rhys & Steffi (from A Quiet Kind of Thunder).

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I won’t lie, it would be quicker to list the books that didn’t make me cry this year (I’m an emotional person, I can’t help it haha), so I’m just going to leave it at that!

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard made me happy – I said in my review that it makes me feel happy just thinking about the story and the characters. Sara Barnard did such a wonderful job with this novel!

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I’m going to let these covers talk for themselves:

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

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Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare

I also bought The Girl of Ink & Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, and it is possibly one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen. There are little illustrations on every page and it’s so lovely! Unfortunately I haven’t taken any photos of it yet, but I’ll definitely be posting them on my Instagram when I do!

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So many. I’ve fell behind on my Goodreads challenge (well, to fall behind surely you had to be on target in the first place, which I technically wasn’t…), but the one book I’d like to read before the end of the year is A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I loved the first two books, and I know this book is going to be amazing, too.

And that’s the end of the tag!

If you’d like to do this, feel free to say I tagged you! I’d love to hear your answers in the comments!

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Book Review | If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

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Genre: YA Contemporary

Publishers: Macmillan Children’s Books

Publication Date: June 29th 2017

My Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Goodreads synopsis:

Linny has been fascinated by disappearances, ever since her sister Grace ran away in the middle of the night without saying goodbye.

Sebastian can tell you how many galaxies there are, and knows how much plutonium weighs. But the one thing he can’t figure out is the identity of his birth father.

They’ve never met, but Linny and Sebastian have one thing in common: an obsession with famous novelist and filmmaker Alvaro Herrera, who went missing three years ago and has just reappeared. As they learn more about the mystery of Alvaro, Linny and Sebastian uncover the answers they’ve been searching for.

If Birds Fly Back was a lovely book! I really liked it, and was intrigued by the plot; I had no idea where this novel was going to take me, and that was possibly one of the best things about it.

I really enjoyed the writing style, but I will say that I wasn’t immediately drawn into the story-line. I felt like I really had to commit to sitting down with no distractions to get through the first few chapters. However, after those initial chapters, I found myself hooked and flying through the pages.

Our novel is told, in alternating POVs, by our two main characters Linny and Sebastian. I really liked how casually quotes (from Sebastian) intermingled with standard prose, and how sections of Linny’s script were included.

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I love this quote so much! (I must mention that this is a quote from the proof copy, and may be different in the finished publication.)

I’m delighted to say I’ve read another book that has diverse characters, including our main character herself (I’m on a roll with good YA books at the moment)! The representation in this novel isn’t just with race, but also sexuality and health – I can’t stress enough how important diversity is in YA books (well, in any book, actually).

Linny is our main character, and her life’s pretty confusing at the moment – she’s trying to deal with the fact that her sister left her behind to run away, whilst juggling over-bearing parents and their expectations at the same time. I sympaphised with her throughout the book, and I found her to be a pretty darn awesome main character (I liked that she took her camera everywhere with her!).

I came to like the sections of script that were shared with us in her chapters – it was an interesting addition to the story, and added another level of mystery – because while you were trying to figure out Grace and Alvaro, you also had to figure out what was going on in the fictitious script, too.

I liked Sebastian, as well (he was a nerd, and who doesn’t like nerds that are sweethearts?!), and together, him and Linny were such a cute couple. I enjoyed the quotes in his chapters – though I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan at first. When I finally understood how they related to what was going on within the novel I appreciated them a lot more, and by the end of the book I loved them.

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Alvaro was awesome. He was portrayed as this enigma of a man (which he was), and I love him. I’m not sure why I liked him so much, but I really did! Then there was Grace. Though I can’t say much about her as I don’t want to give the plot of the book away, I do want to mention that I can’t put my finger on what I think about her – was she selfish or brave? Stupid or strong? She, much like Alvaro, was an enigma herself.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Once I was a few chapters in, I was hooked. If you like mysterious, contemporary YA novels and cute romances, this one is for you!

You can pre-order this book on Amazon here!

Thanks to Macmillan for sending me an ARC of this book! This is no way affects my review or my thoughts on the book, as all of my reviews are honest.

Topic Awareness:

  • Death
  • Disappearances

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

Bookish Update | June

It’s nearly been a week since I last posted, and I actually have a good reason for why that is. I’m not going to drone on (because I’d much rather be talking about books, and I’m sure you’d rather be reading about them too), but my blog fell victim to the scam/virus pop-ups that seem to have plagued certain WordPress sites this week, and I didn’t feel comfortable posting and possibly putting readers at risk.

However, as you can probably tell from the fact that I’m posting again, the pop-ups are gone, and everything is back to normal!

Now, on with the book talk!

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Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

This is actually a re-read for me! I remember I enjoyed the series when I read it the first time round, which is so many years ago now! I was trying to decide which book to read to bring my physical TBR down, but I saw this book staring back at me and I was drawn in. Perhaps I’ll start my TBR mission another day haha!

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If Birds Fly Back

If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

This book was such a lovely read, and I’m so grateful I got to read it before it’s release (which is June 29th – if you like contemporary YA novels, pick it up!). My review will be up sometime this week!

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

A Quiet Kind of Thunder is the type of book that warms your heart! I adored it, and with it being the first book I’ve read by this author, I was very impressed. You can check out my review by clicking here, or clicking the title under the photo.

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these books?

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

 

Book Review | A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

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Genre: YA Contemporary

Publishers: Macmillan Children’s Books

Publication Date: January 12th 2017

My Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Goodreads Synopsis:

Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.

Our author has done such a great job with this one. A Quiet Kind of Thunder is one of those books that when you think about it, it warms your heart and you feel this glorious feeling that resembles something like pure happiness. I loved it, and I’m so glad I read it.

First off, I’d like to talk about the diversity of this book. We actually have a realistic bunch of characters – people of different races, abilities, and states of mental health. Representation like this in YA novels is becoming more and more frequented, but there’s still such a long way to go.

‘Here are three separate but similar things: shyness, introversion and social anxiety. You can have one, two or all three of these things simultaneously. A lot of the time people think they’re all the same thing, but that’s just not true. Extroverts can be shy, introverts can be bold, and a condition like anxiety can strike whatever kind of social animal you are.’

Something I’d like to delve into more is the anxiety aspect within this book. Our main character Steffi was a selective mute, which was caused by anxiety. I was so impressed by the accuracy of the struggles Steffi had gone through and was still going through. I could relate to Steffi, and it was reassuring to see her confidence grow and watch her overcome certain things (or at least have a go at tackling them).

I’m not sure if Sara Barnard has experienced anxiety herself or did in-depth research for this novel, but how she’s expressed anxiety through words was very truthful and skillful. The prose was beautiful – it flowed nicely, and I found myself speeding through page after page.

Our characters were a joy to read about, and the reading experience was really rather unique from anything else I’ve read. Due to Rhys, one of our MC’s and the love interest, being deaf, they speak in sign language quite a lot through-out the book. It was really cool how it was set out when they were signing, and also with the inclusion of text messages between characters, too.

‘Little victories are everything in a world where worst-case scenarios are on an endless loop in your head.’

Steffi and Rhys’ relationship was so sweet (have I mentioned yet that I love Rhys?)! And the friendship between Steffi and her best friend Tem was great (and hilarious) to read.

Overall, this was a nice contemporary read – it discussed some hard hitting subjects, and there was some slight drama, but it wasn’t over the top and fit in with importance to the story line and our MC. I recommend reading this book on a sunny day outside whilst some of your favourite tunes are quietly playing beside you.

Topic Awareness:

  • Mentions of death
  • Injuries
  • Anxiety

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!

June Wish List

This months wish list is going to be short because of this very sad reason: I own too many books. Well, that’s not quite true – let me rephrase that: I own too many unread books.

It’s true. I’ve fallen a victim to addiction of the book variety, and I need some help. Or rather, I need to stay ignorant to all the new shiny releases that look amazing and try to draw me in with temptation.

So, I’m going on a mini-book buying ban: I’m limiting myself to buying only one book a month until I can get my physical TBR down to a more reasonable number.

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However, it wouldn’t be a wish list if it was made up of just one book. Here’s a few books I’m wishing for this month:

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

I’ve been anticipating this book for a few months now, and I’m so ready for it to be published later this month!

An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Be True to Me

Be True To Me by Adele Griffin

I only recently came across this book, and I’m intrigued by the synopsis! This book releases today, and you can get it from Amazon here!

It’s the summer of 1976 on Fire Island, where feathered hair and the Bicentennial celebration reign. Jean, a sometimes cruel, often insecure, and always envious rich girl, is accustomed to living in her glamorous older sister’s shadow. So when Gil Burke, a handsome newcomer with uncertain ties to one of the most powerful families in the exclusive enclave of Sunken Haven, notices Jean—not her sister—Jean is smitten. Then Fritz, a girl from outside the gilded gates who humiliated Jean in the Island’s tennis championship last year, falls for Gil herself. Soon the girls are competing for much more than a tennis trophy, with higher stakes than either of them can imagine.

We Are Okay

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

This book sounds so emotional, and after seeing all of the great reviews of it, I had to add it to my wish list!

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

These are some of the books I’m wishing for this month! What books are you wanting to read this June?

Thanks!

– Emma

Read On!