Sunday, 30 July 2017

Review: Checkmate: This is Love (Travis & Viola, #2) by Kennedy Fox

Checkmate: This is Love (Travis & Viola, #2 of the Checkmate Duet Series) by Kennedy Fox 

Publishing Date: November 30, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 432
Contemporary Romance

The Premise from the Author: "Viola Fisher is the epitome of perfection. She despises my one-night stands and mocks my less-than-classy habits. She’s smart, beautiful, and too good to be true. And I want her. If she were anyone else, I’d have made my move years ago, but considering she’s my best friend’s little sister, she’s always been off-limits. Not to mention how much she loathes my very existence. Hating me is her religion, but needing her is mine. Her sexy curves and filthy smart mouth make me want her even more, and I’m more determined than ever to change her mind. I’ll prove I’m done playing games. But until then, we’ll continue to play by her rules. Viola Fisher may have won the battle, but the war isn’t over yet. Checkmate, princess" (Fox).

*Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.* **This is Love is book #2 in the Checkmate Duet series. You must read This is War first.**

My overall thoughts and review: So I'm starting to learn that KF likes to end books on cliffhangers which leave you wanting the next book immediately. This is Love takes place right after This is War, so after Travis' accident with Mia. Gosh, if you didn't hate Mia before, you will really hate her in this book. She just loves stirring up trouble for the sake of it. Viola tries her very best to trust Travis and it was incredibly frustrating when he didn't just say what happened and what didn't right from the beginning. You also see more of how Drew is being treated by Mia which is incredibly frustrating, but it's a nice set-up for the next duet of books. In terms of Travis and Viola... you can see they still had their banter this book but the strong all-consuming-rage they had before definitely simmered down, so it was nice to see them just be them. There was still some really intense sexy moments because it is team #Traviola of course, but you also got to see some really sweet moments too. You got to see a lot more of their past again and things do get complicated when Mia finally ~tells~ Drew her messed up version of what happened. Drew also learns about Viola & Travis in the process which doesn't really end well. A big thing happens that separates them and instead of having them just sit and wallow over not being together, you really see both Travis and Viola step up in this moment. Travis finally stands up for himself at work and refuses to take anymore crap that he's had to, and Viola really shines at her new internship job. The best thing about this moment in the book was that they stood as their own individual characters that as a reader you come to love and admire for their strength, and when they worked out their differences and came together, it was really quite sweet. I'm glad things wrapped up nicely for the both of them. Once again, Kennedy Fox includes all the amazing Harry Potter references which makes my heart so, so, happy. It was equal parts sexy and sweet and I definitely can't wait to read the next few books in this series. I love Fox's writing already! They bring together strong and sassy female leads with sweet counterparts, a good dose of drama (MIA EFFIN MONTGOMERY), and a well-rounded aspect of family and friendship. KF are quickly becoming my favorite romance writing duo! ;)

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
KennedyFoxBooksKobo BooksAmazonKindle, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Review: Checkmate: This is War (Travis & Viola, #1) by Kennedy Fox

Checkmate: This is War (Travis & Viola, #1 of the Checkmate Duet Series) by Kennedy Fox 

Publishing Date: September 18, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 414
Contemporary Romance

The Premise from the Author: "*An enemies to lovers romance* Travis King is the worst kind of asshole. He taunts me for being a good girl and mocks my high standards. He’s cruel, crass, and has enough confidence to last two lifetimes. And I hate him. It wouldn’t matter so much if he were avoidable. But considering he’s my older brother’s best friend and roommate, I see him more than I’d ever want to. His sculpted abs and gorgeous eyes are a waste on such an egotistical man, which makes me hate him even more. Even though I’ve had a crush on him since I was ten, the feelings weren’t mutual and he’s always made that very clear. He’s always loved getting under my skin and one night against my better judgment, I let him in my bed.  I’ve succumbed to his manwhore ways, but that doesn’t change a thing. Because the King is about to get played at his own game—and lose. Checkmate" (Fox).

*Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.*

My overall thoughts and review: I kept seeing Kennedy Fox books all over my instagram feed and fellow blogger Amanda at Brains, Books, and Brawn is a big fan of the books so I decided to check them out. Kennedy Fox is a writing duo and this is their debut series. I love how close they are in terms of publication date so you don't have to wait incredibly long for the next book in the series. And similar to Christina Lauren, the characters have a group of friends and that is explored in the other books in the series. This duet of Travis & Viola has the premise of a enemies to lover romance, so hate to love trope. I'm sometimes into that and I'm sometimes not. If they can convince me by the end of the book that the guy is redeemable, I'm all for it. So that's what happened in this case ;) When you first meet Travis, he is hooking up with the daughter of the CEO of his company, so immediately, he feels like a player and just the way he spoke about women in general was a bit of a turn off. We learn that Travis & Viola have a history, and Travis is Drew's (Viola's older brother) bestfriend. So obviously them getting together would be problematic. They hate each other and they are known to spew hate at one another, but there's clearly some underlying sexual tension between the two of them. In flashbacks, we learn that Travis befriended Viola when they were younger until something happens that makes Viola hate him. They are forced to spend a week together at Travis & Drew's home and things start to heat up. Of course a hookup isn't simply a hookup and there's years of pent-up emotions and feelings. Things get complicated when they don't properly communicate with one another, and Drew's girlfriend, Mia, is an absolutely train-wreck that complicates things even further. The first book ends on a major cliffhanger but what I really enjoyed was how much I grew to really like Travis towards the end of the book. I loved both characters. Viola is a strong and independent character who puts her career first, and can definitely hold her own against Travis, but we also see Travis be more than the persona he gives off, as he comes to terms with his feelings for Viola, and seeing him handle his work life. Travis King truly treats Viola like his queen, and you can really see how much he loves her. This book has some pretty sexy and swoony moments and there were so many Harry Potter references that made my heart happy. I immediately jumped into the next book after this (review to come shortly). If you are a fan of swoony and steamy romance with strong and sassy female leads, this is definitely the series for you!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
KennedyFoxBooksKobo Books, Amazon, Kindle, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Review: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Publishing Date: January 17, 2017
Publisher: Soho Press
Pages: 304
Young Adult Contemporary

The Premise from the Publisher: "When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course. To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart. If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life" (Soho Press).

My overall thoughts and review: This was my first Adam Silvera book, and I decided to go with the Audible version. Well done, Tom Picasso, for bringing the characters of Griffin, Theo, Jackson, and Wade to life for me. I just knew from the premise that I was getting into a book that did not have a happy ending, since it begins with Theo's death. I definitely got emotional a few moments listening to this book, so prepare yourself for the feels. Griffin, Theo, and Wade, were a trio of friends, and things got a bit complicated when Theo and Griffin confessed their love to each other and started dating. They were each other's first loves, and things got complicated when Theo was accepted early into university. They broke up, and thinking they both would be endgame, things didn't seem that bad, until Theo met Jackson. The story is told from two perspectives: present time & history. We slowly learn about Griffin and his relationships, while simultaneously seeing him deal with grief and mourning the death of Theo. Things get complicated when Griffin decides to befriend Jackson, because he wants to learn the truth of what really happened that day that Theo drowned. He also feels like he can ~be~ with Theo by learning about their experiences. At the same time, Griffin is also dealing with the fact that he has compulsions which lead to dangerous and destructive choices. His family is so incredibly supportive. I especially loved his father's loyalty to him. Even though Griffin does agree to get help and go to therapy towards the end of the book and work through his compulsions, I felt like this component could've been explored a bit further in the book. I would've liked to learn more about Griffin's recovery. His destructive choices were questionable and I found it really difficult at times to feel empathy for him, but it just shows that everyone deals with grief in their own way. I also really liked the friendship dynamic with Wade and just how there was a lot of friendship themes going on (Jackson also had his own problems with his friends). It really stresses the importance of friendship during dark times. The book did take a few twists that I did not expect, so kudos to Silvera for surprising me there! I really enjoyed the book and I felt genuine concern for these characters. I got to see them at their best moments and worst moments and I loved how authentic the entire story felt when it comes to death and mourning. I also really liked all the nerdy references throughout the book like Harry Potter & Star Wars. Overall, this is a lovely story about falling in love for the first time, coming out, and dealing with the loss of a loved one. I am already anticipating Silvera's next book They Both Die At End and I can just sense from the title of that one that it will once again bring all the feels!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/IndigoAudibleKobo BooksAmazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Blog Tour: Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn - Review and Author Q&A

Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn

Publishing Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Pages: 256
Young Adult Contemporary

The Premise from the Publisher: "Quinn is having a rough summer. Her beloved grandmother has been put into a nursing home, her dad's gambling addiction has flared back up, and now her worst enemy is back in town: Wesley James, former childhood friend and life ruiner. So when Wesley is hired to work with her at Tudor Tymes, a medieval England-themed restaurant, the last thing Quinn's going to do is forgive and forget. She's determined to remove him from her life and even the score for once and for all-by getting him fired. But getting rid of Wesley isn't as easy as she'd hoped. When Quinn finds herself falling for him, she has to decide what she wants more: to get even, or to get the boy" (Swoon Reads).

My overall thoughts and review: I first heard about this book at the Raincoast Preview and we got to hear Jennifer talk about her book a bit. I was immediately interested because I loved the idea of working at a medieval English-themed restaurant, and I love ~enemies~ to lovers narratives. I will say that you don't learn how Wesley ruined her life (according to her) immediately, so the pacing of that was a bit interesting. I liked how there was build up for it and it was revealed at a good moment in the text. Also back to the setting: Tudor Tymes is basically Medieval Times and I'm not going to lie, I had a desire to go to Medieval Times the entire time I was reading this. Quinn's big obsession with all things England and her desire to work hard and save up for a trip to England stems from her relationship with her Gran. I really appreciated learning about the moments they shared together. For example, when Quinn spoke about them staying up to watch the royal wedding together, it definitely reminded me of my relationship with my mom and aunt. Wesley also had a relationship with Quinn's grandma and they kept in touch, so it was nice learning how big of a role Gran had in both their lives. Other family members included, Quinn's father and he has a gambling problem. I know that it was more about Quinn & Wesley, but I would've liked to see that addressed a bit more. Especially how to handle that since it just seemed like he was ~getting better~ but then not. I also didn't really enjoy the introduction of Wesley's girlfriend, Jolie,  which was definitely strange and came out of no where. I feel like the book could've worked fine without that added drama. Quinn was definitely frustrating at moments putting so much emphasis on what Wesley did, but I'm glad that Wesley persevered through for the sake of their friendship. He's such a dorky character and I have to say he is definitely my favorite from the book. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I'm glad the cover choice of the food truck finally made sense towards the end of the book. I was so confused from the get-go going how does food trucks fit with Tudor Tymes (LOL). I would highly recommend this adorable, summer read to anyone who is a fan of Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell. Honeybourn writes similarly to them with strong female protagonists, a swoony romantic interest, with the perfect amount of family and friendship themes included. I can't wait to see what she writes next!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Author Question and Answer
1. Which character are you most like? Quinn or Wesley?
I am definitely more like Quinn. She and I share some similar personality traits, although I’d like to think that I don’t hold a grudge as long as she does. And I wouldn’t plot to actually get someone fired. I did give her my love of London and I was also close with my grandmother.

I wish I was more like Wesley, however — laid back, lets things roll off his shoulders, doesn’t really stress about much. I aspire to be more like him. 
Links for Jennifer: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for taking the time to answer my question. I definitely feel more like Quinn as well! Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour to check out more awesome reviews of this book and to see what other questions other bloggers have asked Jennifer. 

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own. 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Review: Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

Publishing Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Gallery
Pages: 368
Adult Contemporary Romance

The Premise from the Publisher: "Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire. But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it? Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love-hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, readers will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest" (SS).

My overall thoughts and review: So if you follow me on goodreads or twitter, you will know that I've been on such a romance kick lately. I devoured the Beautiful series by Christina Lauren and I have one more book left in the Wild Seasons series by Christina Lauren as well. Christina Lauren is the combined pen-name of two awesome writers: Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. I have to say that are my favorite romance writing-duo because they write such strong and empowering female protagonists with male interests that are just swoon-worthy. I love that they have just the right amount of sexy and romantic scenes but also bigger themes like friendship, family, and work. When I learned that they were coming out with a stand-alone romance book, I knew I instantly had to read it. The premise of this story follows Carter and Evie, who hit it off at a Halloween party (they both dressed up as Harry and Hermione! HP references FTW!) but soon realize that they are competing for the same job which complicates their blossoming relationship. They pull some hilarious pranks on one another. The coffee keurig cups being swapped as one of my favorite moments. I laughed so much at the scenarios of Carter without coffee. There were a few sexy moments which Christina Lauren really know how to write, but Carter simply didn't make me swoon as much as the other CL male leads (he is no Will or Ansel unfortunately). That being said, I really enjoyed that CL gave us an inside look into the ugly business of Hollywood drama and the competitiveness that took place in firms of agents. The character of Brad was so horrible, and I wouldn't be surprised of people like him actually existed in real life. I loved that other characters stood up to his misogynistic ways! I also really loved how the characters engaged in text message chats and emails and the reader got to see those. Overall, I just loved seeing Carter and Evie find their path together, but also alone. They found what worked for them relationship wise, but also career wise. You can have both, and you shouldn't have to choose one or the other. I love that CL made this point clear in this book. I really enjoyed this summer read and it had me laughing out loud in many moments. I also want to take a moment to swoon over the adorable couple of Steph and Mike, they are #couplegoals. If you are a fan of other CL books, you will definitely enjoy this one!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. All opinions of the book are my own.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Review: I Found You by Lisa Jewell

I Found You by Lisa Jewell 

Publishing Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 352
Family Life & Suspense

The Premise from the Publisher: "A young bride, a lonely single mother, and an amnesiac man of dubious origin lie at the heart of New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell’s next suspenseful drama. In a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside. Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed. Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just that he’s playing the role of protective older brother. Two decades of secrets, a missing husband, and a man with no memory are at the heart of this brilliant new novel" (Atria Books).

My overall thoughts and review: I love a good thrilling read especially with a family dynamic. So many of the books today are focused on a love relationship, and while that's nice, I like seeing family dynamics at work as well. When I first read the premise of this book, I knew I wanted to read it since it had similar elements to Broadchurch (one of my favorite shows ever) with a mystery to be solved and of course, a seaside town setting. I was also really intrigued by three story-lines happening at once, and like I said, there seemed to be a focus on family with the story-line of Kirsty and Gray. I must admit that in the beginning, it was a bit hard to follow all the different narratives (I think that's why it took me so long to finish, since I read it super slowly to catch all the details), but soon it became evident that somehow each story had a mystery: who was the man sitting outside her house, for Alice - Lily was missing her husband, and the siblings, Gray and Kirsty, were trying to figure out what this mystery character, Mark, really wanted. I really liked that the story of the two siblings took place 23 years earlier, so whatever had happened to them is linked to the present time. Even though it comes down to two possible outcomes for the ending, I really did enjoy it and I have to admit, I thought the ~other~ outcome was going to happen for the most part. I was genuinely surprised but also sad to learn of the truth of everything since it's absolutely heartbreaking what happened. I will say that the story resolves itself quite nicely and it's a nice departure from the regular open endings of thriller novels. It was also paced nicely, but unfortunately the reason why this book only gets 4 stars from me is simply because I wasn't too invested in the story-line of Lily. I just was not interested and did not really care much for the character, and I think because in contrast to Alice, she was in a way, too dependent on another character (she begins to rely on her husbands friend and it just becomes too much imo). My favorite character was definitely Alice and seeing her dynamics with her kids. She is genuinely a good person and I really liked that she owned her flaws in a really empowering way. I really enjoyed this book and it is in the same vein as Clare Mackintosh's I Let You Go; so if you loved that, you will love this one! It's my first time reading something by Lisa Jewell, but it surely won't be the last :)

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Simon and Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. All opinions of the book are my own.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Aberfoyle Antique Market - #Canada150 Long Weekend

So this is definitely a departure from my regular posts. I mentioned a while back about wanting to add more personal posts on my blog to go along with bookish things. I also really love seeing blogs that format photos and very minimal text, and posts that highlight travel adventures. So here is my first one: during the Canada150 long weekend, Jeremy and I headed up to Guelph with his parents and we stopped by the Aberfoyle Antique Market. I haven't visited an antique market in what feels like forever, but I felt like I was back to being little and exploring the St. Lawrence Market stalls looking for skeleton keys. I didn't end up purchasing anything but a lemonade, but it was a beautiful day and we saw a lot (including some adorable pooches in strollers). I highly recommend giving this place a look if you want to find some old vintage finds and be sure to bring good shoes (because you will be walking a lot) and pack on that sunscreen if you go on a sunny day! 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Review: The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo

The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo

Publishing Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 320
Young Adult Fiction/Romance

The Premise from the Publisher: "Everything was supposed to be perfect. Alyssa has a job she loves, working as Cinderella at her favorite theme park; a fantastic group of friends; and a boyfriend who will no longer be long distance. But as the summer progresses, her prince becomes less charming and more distant, and Alyssa's perfect summer falls apart. Forced to acknowledge that life is not always a fairy tale, Alyssa starts working to pull her herself back together. Fortunately, she doesn't have to do it alone. With her friend Miller's support, she's determined to prove that she's more than just a pretty princess. And with his help, maybe she's finally ready for something better than dreams. Maybe she's ready for something real" (FF).

My overall thoughts and review: When I first read the premise of the book, I was all for it, since I love the idea of the theme park as the setting. The theme park is of course a nod to Disneyworld and instead of Disney, you get the Dominion/Enchanted, but the same characters seem to make an appearance. The main protagonist, Alyssa, plays Cinderella at the theme park. Cozzo speaks about "look-overs" which I'm not sure actually happens irl, but how each employee has to have a look-over to make sure they are in perfect condition for their role (i.e. weight), really made me cringe and the fact that Alyssa took it so incredibly to heart made me sad. I understand that Alyssa loved her job and at the end of the day, she found something she is passionate about and pursued which is great, but it's just so messed up, the entire concept of "look-overs." I also felt that Alyssa's calorie counting and constant need to work-out were red flags, despite her saying time and time again, that she did not have an eating disorder. I did like that a character named Miller, did intervene at one point and brought it up and offered his support (there should be more people like Miller in the world), but still, I felt it was handled really poorly in terms of how body image issues and the possibility of an eating disorder was woven into the plot. Towards the end of the book, Alyssa finds her footing, so to speak, where she works out because she wants to, not because she has to, and actually eats full, hearty meals without feeling the guilt. But a part of me wishes that her body image issues were addressed more fully and weren't simply: she met Miller and her brought out the best in her, so now she is all good. I know this is a Swoons Read title, so obviously, even when her original prince charming, Jake, becomes awful, another love interest does step in. I appreciate when characters grow not because of a love interest, but rather are able to pick up the pieces on their own. But goodness, what Jake did was completely awful and he really did owe Alyssa a proper apology. I did like that Harper gave her the truth and attempted to make amends with her. But Harper kept saying 'it was like fate' was bringing her and Jake together really made me cringe. Sorry, but that's just an excuse to make herself feel better for the entire situation. I don't usually take this long to read YA novels, but I think the reason why it took me forever was I just really disliked Jake and how he handled things and I would get so frustrated reading anything with him.

Despite what I've said earlier, there are parts that I really did enjoy about the book. I really did like Alyssa as a character despite all her faults, and it was nice seeing her come into herself in a way. She demonstrates a ton of strength throughout the book and I just really appreciated her resilience. I also really loved how friendship was a strong component of the book. Miller had Yael, and Alyssa had her princess girls and sorority girls. She had an amazing support system, even from people that are 'prickly' at times. One character, named Camilla, although harsh, tried to go out of her comfort zone at times and was the voice of reason in some scenarios. I really liked her and wish that there were more scenes for her. Also back to the love interest: Miller. He is such a sweet character and an all around good guy. He is just a lovely character and how he seems to lighten up a room definitely made me swoon. I enjoyed the book at the end of the day. I think the parts that got me excited before reading, ended up disappointing me, but other things that I was not expecting, genuinely surprised me (in a good way). Overall, if you are a fan of Disney and want something fuzzy in the romance department, this read is definitely for you!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮.5 (3.5 stars) 

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions of the book are my own.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Book Bloggers Recommend Summer Reads | 2017 Edition

Hi everyone! I hope that you are all enjoying the beautiful warm weather we are having in Toronto right now. I felt like it was time for another Book Bloggers Recommend post, since the last one was really fun to collaborate on! If you haven't seen the other post, I asked a few of my bookish friends to recommend some good Valentines Read here! This time around we are recommending summer reads/books you'd read by the beach/lake, or simply something you'd read outside (or inside) during the sunshine!

Michele at Just A Lil' Lost recommends...
"When Christine asked me to be part of another blogger collab, this time about beach/summer books, I immediately thought of On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves. It's been 5 years since I first read this novel but the story had stayed with me. On the Island is about Anna, a 30-year-old teacher who gets stranded on an island with T.J., her teenage student. When rescue seems less and less likely as the days, months and years go by, Anna realizes that the boy she first washed ashore with is becoming a man. The pairing may seem a bit shocking or taboo but the way their circumstances form their companionship is a compelling story."

 Michelle at Musing Wallflower recommends.. 
"When I think about summer reading, I think about picking up a book and sitting under my favourite tree at the park and enjoying the fresh air. And the book I'm recommending you bring to the park with you is Lost & Found by Brooke Davis.Very reminiscent of Pixar's Up, Lost & Found follows three protagonists - Millie, Agatha and Karl - who are all coping with a serious loss in their lives. Agatha and Karl, both having lost their spouses, accompany seven-year-old Millie on her adventure to find the mother who abandoned her at a department store, but the three of them end up finding companionship with one another. Despite the dark themes, the book is very funny and quite sweet. A light, uplifting read to bring along on a quiet, breezy day!"
(Michelle has also written a full-review on her blog here!)

Amanda at Brains, Books and Brawn recommends... 
"The honour of my being named my favourite beach/pool/park side summer read is a toss up between Morgan Matson's The Unexpected Everything and Laura Silverman's Girl Out of Water. They're both set in the summer (easy points won here) and capture the vibe of the season so well it almost hurts. I loved the stories and main characters in both as well. Of course there are also adorable summer romances to make you swoon and ship and fail. What's summer without cute stories?! Not to mention that the covers are so beautiful for outdoor bookstagram...if you can stop reading long enough to take a picture!"

Ambur at Burning Impossibly Bright recommends...
"I have a few books summery books that I absolutely adore, but the one that I always turn to is Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. Prior to reading it, I mostly read paranormal and fantasy YA, but Amy and Roger opened me up to the wonderful world of contemporary, and I haven’t looked back since! I also just love that it’s the perfect catch-all summer book. You’ve got a road trip, a summer romance, great playlists, camping, and some crazy shenanigans! What’s not to love?! Other honourable mentions include: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt, and because I can’t talk about books lately without bringing up romance, I’d also recommend Sweet Cheeks by K. Bromberg!"

Sarena & Sasha at The Writing Duo recommends...
"Our summer pick is a new YA by a great Canadian author, SK Ali. Saints and Misfits is both light-hearted and deals with heavy subject matter; but like the author says, it shows the humanity in Muslims, and also shows the woes of romance and being a 15-year-old, something most people can relate to. I loved reading Janna's journey to finding her own kind of empowerment among her family and friends. Seriously, this cover SCREAMS summer--and you want to read this book with a cone of ice cream, enjoying the summer breeze!" 

Jessica at The Paper Trail Diary recommends..
"I am not really a re-reader – my TBR pile is too big, watching over me, and I feel like it would judge me if I went back and spent more time on books. I know this is absolutely silly, but at least the books that I would re-read keep a special shelf of love in my heart. So when I think of a book that I would read outdoors in the summer, I think of The Museum of Heartbreak. It’s an adorable YA novel about a girl who has some growing up to do, and I think back on it fondly. When I think of it, I think of walking around Central Park and taking a moment to lie down in the grass in the shade. And because it is so sweet, it feels like sunshine. I also do like it when I read books in the summer that take place in the summer, for some reason that feels like a tall glass of lemonade (even when YA books that take place in the summer mean the MC is about to go through some life changes). In the past, I’ve recommended it as a great palette-cleanser read, especially after a string of darker books. It’s light, airy, and fun, and sweet like a ginormous ice cream cone. This kind of book is exactly the kind of thing I like to read in the summer."

Tiff at Mostly YA Lit recommends...
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"For me, the perfect beach or summer read has to have that sense of slow, hot days and nights, but also be captivating and sweet enough to hold my interest against the gorgeous outdoors. The two books that always put me in a summer mood are Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (actually read in a cabin by the lake in British Columbia), and Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. While both these authors have written other summery books, the road trippy, swoony feelings that these books embody - along with just the right amount of healing, friendship, and transformation - make them perfect to whip through in a summer afternoon by the beach or lake."


I want to take a moment and thank all these fantastic bloggers for participating in this collaboration. They've recommended some amazing titles that I haven't read yet and that I'm already adding to my ever-growing TBR pile. I hope that you will find something enjoyable from their recs to pick up during this sunny and warm weather! Please be sure to show them some love on their blogs and check out their other social media links. 

Do you have any summer reads that you simply love and are perfect for a read in the sun?
Let me know in the comments below!