Waiting on Wednesday (July 30)

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that are eagerly anticipated.

This week, I’m waiting on Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis, which has an expected publication date of October 14, 2014.

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

I’m always so curious to see how authors can reinvent incredibly well-known stories, especially ones of Snow White’s caliber. Stitching Snow reminds me a bit of Cinder in terms of the missing princess storyline, the mechanic MC, and the sci-fi/interplanetary setting… but since I loved that book, I’m excited to give Stitching Snow a read.

Which books are you waiting on? Leave me a link or a list to your Waiting on Wednesday post below. 3

Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, she posts an idea relating to books and encourages other book bloggers to respond with their own top ten lists.

This week’s topic is “top ten authors I own the most books from.” Thanks to Goodreads, this was actually quite easy to compile! It’s also interesting how my most-read authors according to Goodreads stats are authors whose books I don’t actually own (but are on my wishlist!); I suppose I should remedy that at some point!

1. Dr. Seuss –> practically ALL of his books (20+)

2. J.K. Rowling –> Harry Potter series + all the companion novels (10)

3. Harlan Coben –> a good portion of his Myron Bolitar series + The Woods (8)

4. C.S. Lewis –> Chronicles of Narnia (7)

5. John Green –> Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, The Fault in Our Stars (x2) + Will Grayson, Will Grayson (6)

6. Cornelia Funke –> Inkheart series + The Thief Lord + Dragon Rider (5)

7. Stephanie Meyer –> Twilight series (4)

8. Meg Cabot –> The Princess Diaries series (4)

9. J.R.R. Tolkien –> Lord of the Rings trilogy + The Hobbit (4)

10. Madeleine L’Engle –> the Time Quartet (4)

Who are some of your most-owned authors? Leave me a list or a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post in the comments below. 3

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

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As the title suggests, Anna and the French Kiss is filled to the brim with adorable romance of the best possible kind: from friends to best friends to something more than that. It’s slow to build and, while that gradual pace may be a bit frustrating at times, it’s true to life and genuinely easy to become invested in.

Our protagonist, Anna, is the perfect balance of optimistic and critically sarcastic, and I loved how entertaining and introspective her thoughts could be. She’s very much an authentic teenage girl: she’s emotional, insecure, critical, and her preoccupation with certain boys causes her to make some silly choices. Despite this, Anna is a very loveable character: she’s passionate about film, and has so many positive, loving relationships with both friends and her family. Anna grows so much over the course of the story, and her journey of self-discovery was just as important as the romantic portion of the plot.

It’s quite easy to understand why everyone (myself included) is absolutely in love with Étienne St. Clair: he’s incredibly caring and sweet, and his swoonworthy words and actions are made even better by the fact that he has an English accent. While he has his flaws and moments of poor decision making, he definitely seemed too good to be true the first time I read this book; by the second time, though, I was struck by an uncanny resemblance to one of my best friends, so I can honestly say that boys like Étienne do actually exist — and they’re certainly no less confusing in real life.

Overall, Anna and the French Kiss is an adorable, fluffy read that certainly lives up to all of the hype surrounding it. Not only is it one of my favourite stories, but it also holds a very special place in my heart since it describes the current portion of my life perfectly (aside from the Paris part, of course). I absolutely cannot wait to read Isla and the Happily Ever After!

Saturday Showcase (July 26)

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Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer.

Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren’t the most popular girls in school, they aren’t too worried. They know their real lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents)! But when an unexpected event shows them they’re missing out on the full high school experience, it’s time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge—and they will totally rock it.

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she’ll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes—until now.

These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want—but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . .

Smart Girls Get What They Want is a fluffy, fun read filled with positive female friendships and discussions on identity and stepping outside of your comfort zone. It’s realistic, cute, and oh so relatable.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.
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Friday Finds (July 25)

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Friday Finds is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading, where you discuss books that you’ve discovered and added to your to-read list over the course of the week. These books don’t have to be ones that you’ve purchased – they can be books that you’ve borrowed, found online, heard about from a friend, etc.

As always, if you’re interested in learning more about one of these books, click on the picture and you’ll be taken to its Goodreads page.

What books did you find this Friday? Leave me a list or a link to your Friday Finds post in the comments below.

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Mini Book Review: Born of Deception by Teri Brown

Budding illusionist Anna Van Housen is on top of the world: after scoring a spot on a prestigious European vaudeville tour, she has moved to London to chase her dream and to join an underground society for people like her with psychic abilities. Along with her handsome beau, Cole Archer, Anna is prepared to take the city by storm.

But when Anna arrives in London, she finds the group in turmoil. Sensitives are disappearing and, without a suspect, the group’s members are turning on one another. Could the kidnapper be someone within the society itself—or has the nefarious Dr. Boyle followed them to London?

As Cole and Anna begin to unravel the case and secrets about the society are revealed, they find themselves at odds, their plans for romance in London having vanished. Her life in danger and her relationship fizzling, can Anna find a way to track down the killer before he makes her his next victim—or will she have to pay the ultimate price for her powers?

Set in Jazz-Age London, this alluring sequel to Born of Illusion comes alive with sparkling romance, deadly intrigue, and daring magic.

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As with Born of Illusion, Teri Brown once again excels at creating an enchantingly atmospheric setting: through her vividly beautiful descriptions, I felt as though I had been transported to historic London alongside Anna. Between black magic, murder, and the Sensitives, the plot was fairly well-paced and kept my interest, even if it was quite easy to predict the outcome.

Unfortunately, the main focus of the story was neither magic nor mystery; instead, the romance between Cole and Anna takes the forefront, and it’s rife with petty conflicts and a love triangle. This not only caused the plot to drag in a few places, but also caused Anna to go from being a strong, competent young lady to a jealous girl who is constantly doubting herself. By the end, I no longer cared about Anna and Cole’s relationship; if more time had been spent developing Cole’s character, as opposed to introducing a new love interest, it likely would have worked out a bit better.

Overall, while the magical aspects of the plot and the atmospheric setting were excellently crafted, the romantic subplot caused Born of Deception to fall flat.

I received a copy of this book from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

where I read: the lake

DSCN3000I recently just came back from a camping trip, so I thought I would talk about where I read while I was away!

The campground my family always goes to is on a lake, which I absolutely love. The water is clear and not too choppy, and there are mountains looming in the distance that you can see if there aren’t clouds in the way. The sight is beautiful, and I often find myself just staring out at the lake and taking it all in.

When I’m not soaking up the nature around me, you can be sure that I’ll have my nose in a book. My favorite place to read at the lake is at a picnic table, which I claim early in the morning by putting my towel on it. I always aim to get one a little to the left of the lifeguard tower, simply because it’s what I do every time. From that spot you have a great view of the majority of the lake without anything being in the way. It’s far enough away from the lake to not get splashed, but close enough to feel the breeze coming off it and to smell its mineral scent. If the sun is out, you’re in the perfect place to feel its rays. You can feel the sand between your toes when you take off your shoes, but you don’t have to worry about getting it in your clothes. And if you really need a break from reading or staring at mountains, you’re in a great position from which to do some people-watching.

I get so much reading done at this picnic table- it’s sort of scary. I was gone for five days and I read a total of three books, which is quite a lot more than I would normally read in that amount of time. There’s nothing like fresh air and a bit of sun to get you into the reading mood!

Where do you like to read? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

P.S. For those of you wondering, the book on the picnic table that I was reading at the time I took this picture is The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han.