Tag Archives: Becky Albertalli

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed That Weren’t My Typical Read

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books I Enjoyed That Weren’t My Typical Genre

This week’s theme was really hard for me, and if I weren’t already making an effort to read more broadly, this would be a serious kick in the pants for me! I had to cheat a lot with this list, and most of my “atypical” genres aren’t really all that atypical – most of them are just romance sub-genres I tend to avoid. That being said, most of the ways I want to expand my reading focus on exploring different cultures and perspectives rather than genres, and I’m okay with that, at least for now. So with that out of the way, here are my top ten!

Young Adult

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)  Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – Science Fiction is one genre that I feel like I should love, but I can rarely get into. I definitely did not have that problem with Illuminae. The fascinating format and action-packed plot kept me racing through the story and I finished it in a couple sittings!

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron – I’ve reviewed both this book and it’s sequel, so you may have seen them on here before. It’s genre-nonconformity makes this series hard to describe to others, and I was initially hesitant to pick it up, but I’m so glad I did!

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – I can be a little wary of YA Contemporary, but more than that, I almost never read books from the perspective of one male main character. This is definitely something I’d like to change!

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – I adored this book, and retellings/YA romance aren’t exactly a stretch for me. I’m including this one because it’s also a more diverse YA novel, taking place in historical Persia and having been written by a woman with a mixed-race heritage. We absolutely need more diverse perspectives!

Adult

Venetia  Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1)  Hard to Be Good (Hard Ink, #3.5)  A Spear of Summer Grass  Silver Lining

Venetia by Georgette Heyer – I usually shy away from purely historical romances, despite being a lover of Jane Austen. This is largely because I often run into historically accurate context (like discrimination and xenophobia) that detract from my enjoyment of the romance. I didn’t encounter that in Venetia, though it does crop up occasionally in other Heyer novels.

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach – Here’s another Sci Fi! Just like I mentioned with Illuminae, this one was seriously action-packed, and it sucked me into the story.

Hard To Be Good by Laura Kaye – This novella was my first M/M romance, and I loved it 🙂 I was already a big fan of Kaye’s work, so I was more than willing to step out of my box for this one. It’s a good thing, too, because I discovered a new sub-genre to enjoy!

A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn – Here’s another Historical Romance. This one did have a couple cringe-worthy historical scenarios, but the African setting was vibrant and engaging, and the story was fascinating.

Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne – I have to admit, I only picked this American western historical romance up because it was a book club pick. I won’t be reaching out for the genre again any time soon, but I can say that Silver Lining made me laugh, and I’m really glad I gave it a shot.

Top of my TBR

Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor – For my tenth pick, I’m going with another diverse book that’s on the top of my TBR pile! This is a YA Fantasy taking place in Nigeria, and the blerb sounds fantastic 😀

***

Which books shook things up for you? Link your own Top Ten Tuesday in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: A Valentine’s Day Rainbow

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to the book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books in a Valentine’s Day Rainbow

This week’s TTT is a Valentine’s Day freebie, so I decided to go with a color theme 🙂 As a result, this mini collection includes a pretty wide variety of romantic stories, including Adult and Young Adult, Contemporary and Fantasy, Series and Standalone. There’s even a novella thrown in.

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)  Fated (Servants of Fate, #3)  First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)  Fangirl  A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – (YA, Retelling/Fantasy, Duology Book 1) – This is my favorite book of those I’ve read this year so far. The setting is absolutely stunning, and it’s perfect for being whisked away for a few hours.

Fated by Sarah Fine – (Adult, Mythology/Fantasy/Apocalyptic, Trilogy Book 3) – I love Sarah Fine’s work because it never fails to draw me into the story 100%. This is the third book in her adult series, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones – (Adult, Paranormal/Chick Lit/Urban Fantasy, Series Book 1) – A fun, quick read that is full of snark, this is a prime example of a beach book.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – (YA, Contemporary, Standalone) – One of my favorite YA novels, Fangirl is an excellent valentine’s day read!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – (YA, Retelling/Fantasy, Series Book 1) – This one is a loose Beauty and the Beast retelling with fae lore thrown in, and now is the perfect time to read it, since Book 2 is coming out in May.

Die for Me (Revenants, #1)  Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)  Wife by Wednesday (The Weekday Brides, #1)  Entwined (Darkest London, #3.5)  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Die for Me by Amy Plum – (YA, Paranormal/Fantasy, Trilogy Book 1) – This is a perfect choice for fans of romantic paranormal YA! To top it off, the series is set in Paris, the author’s home, and is full of romantic Parisian atmosphere.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – (YA, Contemporary, Companion Trilogy Book 1) – Another YA set in Paris, this one is contemporary fiction and ALSO full of romantic Parisian atmosphere 😉

Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee – (Adult, Contemporary, Series Book 1) – This is probably the most stereotypical romance novel on this list, but it is also a quick, fun read with a satisfying ending.

Entwined by Kristen Callihan – (Adult, Fantasy/Steampunk, Series Prequel Novella) – Despite being a companion novella to a larger series, this is a good representative of Callihan’s work, and the novella is perfectly enjoyable on its own. It is also one of my favorite novellas in general, and I think of the story as a loose retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – (YA, Contemporary/LGBT, Standalone) – This one was tied for my favorite 2015 read. I can’t recommend it enough 😀

***

What books do you read around Valentine’s Day? Do you read romance or avoid the genre altogether? Link you own TTT in the comments so I can check out your freebie theme!

2015 Wrap Up

I was contemplating ways to write a 2015 Wrap Up post when I stumbled upon the 2015 End of Year Book Survey over at The Perpetual Page Turner. (Thanks to The Petite Book Blogger and The Worn Bookmark, whose posts led me there!) I didn’t quite answer all of the recommended questions, but this still seems like a great way to wrap up the year, so here goes! (All book covers link to the corresponding Goodreads pages.)

Number Of Books You Read: 144
Number of Re-Reads: 4
Genre You Read The Most From: Paranormal/Fantasy

My 2015 Top Five Books:

The Kraken King (Iron Seas, #4)  Uprooted  Carry On  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  After the End (After the End, #1)

The Kraken King by Meljean Brook
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
After the End duology by Amy Plum

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

I was so excited about The Lunar Chronicles when I first picked up Cinder. As it turned out, though, I didn’t like it nearly as much as I hoped I would.

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Darkness Dawns (Immortal Guardians, #1)

This book was a pleasant and very welcome surprise. Where I was expecting the stereotypical “immortal warrior” alpha male trope, I found a version that retained the power and prowess without the need to be a controlling jackass.

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Carry On

Because it’s just so fantastic 😀

Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?

After the End (After the End, #1)  Until the Beginning (After the End, #2)

I started so many great series this year, but for this one I’m going to go with a completed one that I started and finished in 2015. I adored Amy Plum’s After the End duology, and Until the Beginning was a perfect conclusion. Thank goodness I didn’t start the series until this year, or I might have died from cliffhanger suspense…

Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?

So, so many! Here are a bunch of them: Jeaniene Frost, Laura Kaye, Sarah J. Maas, Rainbow Rowell, Rachel Aaron, Meljean Brook, Georgette Heyer, Dianne Duvall, Marie Brennan, Stephanie Perkins, Naomi Novik, and probably a few more that are eluding me at the moment.

Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Silver Lining

I have to admit, I only read this as a book club pick. I was expecting to hate it, and there were certainly aspects I didn’t enjoy, but it was amusing enough that I ended up laughing my way through. In the end, I enjoyed it for what it was, despite the fact that I probably won’t be revisiting the genre any time soon.

Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Carry On  Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Because I just can’t get enough of these.

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)  A Natural History of Dragons (Memoir by Lady Trent, #1)

One for beauty and badassery, and one for my inner biologist.

Most memorable character of 2015?

Too many – there’s no way I could just choose one, or even five!

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read? 

Fangirl

Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?

There are WAY too many to choose! Check out my Top Ten Tuesday post on the subject to see my top ten.

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

Assassin Study (Study, #1.5)
Shortest: 15 pages
Assassin Study by Maria V. Snyder (A companion short in the Poison Study series)

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)
Longest: 550 pages
Cress by Marissa Meyer

 Book That Shocked You The Most

Fangirl

Because of the scene that made my heart stop (no spoilers). I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, it is a contemporary romance, after all – but I just didn’t see it coming!!

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Uprooted

Agnieszka and Kasia, hands down…

Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

After the End (After the End, #1)

I’d already read Plum’s Revenants trilogy.

Best 2015 debut you read?

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)  Uprooted  Splintered (Splintered, #1)

I had to include a few because these were all so stunning:

Daughter of Smoke & Bone: Prague through the eyes of angels and demons
Uprooted: A magical fantasy land infused with a corrupted wood
Splintered: Beautiful and terrifying Wonderland

Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Carry On

I’m STILL smiling about it 😀

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I’ve loved participating in the Broke and Bookish Top Ten Tuesday posts. Participating is a ton of fun, and always leads to me growing my TBR list.

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?

My blog is still less than one year old, so getting my first comment and being nominated for my first peer blog award were big moments for me. It might not seem like much, but it was such a great feeling 🙂

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

My biggest challenge with blogging in 2015 was keeping up with reviews during the school term. The Minute Reviews help by providing a quick format for mini reviews, and hopefully they will continue to do so.

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds. Gotta love Top Ten Tuesday 🙂

Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

This is the year I discovered the joys of both Netgalley and BookBub. So many books, so little time…

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

My only goals going into 2015 were to read as much as possible and to catch up on some of the authors/series that are often highly recommended. Happily, I feel great about my progress! I reached my Goodreads goal of 125 books, and I fell in love with a bunch of new books.

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)  Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)  Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

Not quite a Number 1 Priority, but I definitely want to catch up on this series. I read Throne of Glass this year and loved it, but have yet to read the rest of the released books.

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?

In The Labyrinth of Drakes (Memoir by Lady Trent, #4)

This will be the fourth book in Marie Brennan’s Memoir by Lady Trent series. (Release Date: 4/5/2015)

2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1)

I’m super excited about Richelle Mead’s new series debut 😀 (Release Date: 4/5/2015)

A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Love in the Light (Hearts in Darkness, #2)

I haven’t read it yet, but I have the ARC in hand and will be reading it this week. This is the sequel to my favorite novella to date, Hearts in Darkness. (Release Date: 1/12/2016)

***

And that’s it for my wrap up! What are some of your favorites from this year? If you have your own wrap up post, link it in the comments and help me grow my TBR 😉

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree

TTT 1.0

Or, um, Wednesday, as the case may be…

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

This holiday season marks sort of an unofficial anniversary for me and the rediscovery of my passion for reading. It seems like I’ve wanted to read everything in sight (because you never know when a new favorite author will come along), and most of these books have passed through my Kindle courtesy of Amazon Daily Deals and the amazing Seattle library system. Given this, most of my wishlist consists of Hardcover editions of books I found this year and know I will read again and again. There are also a couple TBR books with beautiful covers that I’m dying to read!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  A Natural History of Dragons (Memoir by Lady Trent, #1)  After the End (After the End, #1)  Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)  Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – So heartfelt and hilarious. I love this book. I want to put it on my shelf right next to Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan – I can’t get enough of the cover. My inner biologist wants to study every inch of the illustration.

After the End and Until the Beginning by Amy Plum – I’ve seen some mixed reviews of this duology, but I adored it. So far I have yet to read something from Amy Plum that I didn’t love.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor – I’ve only read the first book in the trilogy so far, but the setting alone is enough for me to want this one on my shelf.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – I’d love to have the whole trilogy, but I’ll start with Anna. (Text cover only – I really hate the other one…)

The Kraken King (Iron Seas, #4)  Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)  Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)  Illusionarium  An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

The Kraken King by Meljean Brook – It makes me sad that this is only available in paperback. In my future library, full of wonderful books, this one will be featured front and center on my Steampunk shelf.

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron – I’ve only read the first in series so far (there are only two out right now), but I loved it.

Still on the TBR list:

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – I’ve heard so many great things about this one; I can’t wait to read it! Besides, the beautiful cover will still look great on the shelf no matter how good the story is 😉

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon – I read Dixon’s Enchanted and really enjoyed it. This one definitely intrigues me, and the interesting cover only adds to the appeal.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – This is another that I’ve heard great things about. I think I’m going to be kicking off 2016 with an excellent TBR lineup.

***

Which books are on your wish list this year? Link your TTT in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: This Year’s New-To-Me Favorite Authors

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

I read so many great books this year. Here are 10 of my favorite new-to-me authors:

Young Adult:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)  Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)  Carry On  Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)

Becky AlbertalliSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – After reading Simon, I am anxiously awaiting anything else Albertalli decides to publish.

Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass and ACOTAR – I’m still not caught up in the Throne of Glass series, but mostly because I want to savor it. I fell in love with Maas’ fantasy writing this year.

Stephanie PerkinsAnna and the French Kiss trilogy – Because Étienne in Paris, Cricket in San Francisco, and Josh in New York…

Rainbow RowellFangirl and Carry On – I don’t think I will ever get over how much I loved Carry On. I’m sensing many more Rowell books in my future.

Rachel Aaron/Rachel BachNice Dragons Finish Last and the Paradox trilogy (Adult) – So far I’ve loved both her adult and her young adult work. Here’s hoping for more impending releases!

Adult:

Hearts in Darkness (Hearts in Darkness, #1)  The Kraken King (Iron Seas, #4)  Venetia  Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)  Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians, #6)

Laura KayeHearts in Darkness and the Hard Ink series – I will forever be indebted to Romance Novels for the Beach for convincing me to try to Laura Kaye’s work.

Meljean Brook Iron Seas series – Brook is my favorite Steampunk author, and I can’t wait for the Blacksmith’s story!

Georgette HeyerVenetia and Faro’s Daughter – I was REALLY late to the Georgette Heyer party, but I’m really glad I found another author to fill my Jane Austen cravings.

Jeaniene Frost – The Night Huntress and Night Prince series’ – I read a whopping 14 books by Frost this year, and I can’t wait for The Sweetest Burn to come out next March.

Dianne Duvall Immortal Guardians series – Duvall became one of my go to authors this year, especially when I’m in the mood for characters that are both kick ass and kind-hearted.

***

Who are some of your own “new” favorites? Link your TTT in the comments!

Minute Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
 by Becky Albertalli
My Rating
: 5 of 5 stars

But I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.

I loved this book so much, and in ways that I find really difficult to articulate. The writing is charismatic, snarky, and just plain fun to read, and while the story is largely about Simon falling in love and coming out to the world, its themes are astonishingly universal.

And there are way too many great quotes to just include two…

I love the way you smile like you don’t realize you’re doing it. I love your perpetual bed head. I love the way you hold eye contact a moment longer than you need to. And I love your moon-gray eyes. So if you think I’m not attracted to you, Simon, you’re crazy.

Recommendation: Read this if you liked Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, because they have so many great qualities in common! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you should read Carry On, too! 😉