Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

Waiting On Wednesday #1 (6/21/17)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme created by Breaking the Spine where each week we discuss upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Hey guys! This is my first time participating in this meme and I’m currently scolding myself for picking a terrible time to start. Most of my anticipated upcoming releases have, er, already been released but thankfully there are still more (there’s always more…). This week’s anticipated release is Wild Beauty, by Anna-Marie McLemore! 

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Release Date: October 3rd, 2017

Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

I haven’t read too many magical realism novels but this one sounds quite interesting. The already-great reviews are only hyping me up more. October, where you at?

Thanks for viewing this post, guys. What upcoming releases are y’all excited for? Leave a comment below! 🙂

-Haven

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

What’s up, guys? So, this week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday is ‘Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t’, and wow, there are quite a few for me. The series listed below are and have been quite popular among YA audiences, which simultaneously excites me and pushes me away from them. I will definitely check these out soon though, it seems as though everyone and everything I know is pressuring me, haha.

Mara Dyer – I’d been meaning to begin this series a long time ago (those covers are so pretty) but was slightly turned off by the negative reviews. However, it does seem like a very entertaining series and I’ll definitely jump on it soon enough.

A Court Of Thorns And Roses – I swear, I hear way too much about this series on Goodreads, from my friends, random people I meet, everyone. I can’t go to school without seeing someone talk about this series or actually carry one of the books. It’s become a serious problem and I better hop on A Court Of Thorns and Roses (and SJM in general) before I’m outcasted from the reading community.

Falling Kingdoms – While this series doesn’t seem to be such a staple fantasy collection in YA, it’s still continuing and is actually one of the earlier YA fantasies before Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo took over the genre. I love action-oriented novels with several POVs, so I’ll definitely be visiting this series soon.

The Dark Artifices – Only after seeing all the updates of Lord Of Shadows on Goodreads did I realize I’m so behind on The Dark Artifices and Cassandra Clare in general. There was a time I considered Clare to be my favorite author, and I’m clearly not being loyal by missing out on this and not re-reading her past series at least once. I’ll obviously have to re-read The Mortal Instruments And The Infernal Devices before this one, but I’m totally looking forward to it.

The Darkest Minds – I didn’t have the best experience with Passenger but I’ve heard great things (and terrible things) about this series, and I can’t wait to see what it’s all about.

Daughter Of Smoke And Bone – Laini Taylor has been constantly raved about in the YA community and is recently popping up on my Goodreads feed once again with the publication of Strange The Dreamer. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Daughter Of Smoke And Bone series, which makes me nervous but undeniably excited. Will certainly see what it’s about soon.

Red Queen – I actually checked out Red Queen a while back from school but never ended up reading it, and I know exactly why. I wasn’t interested and heard way too many things about it, which seemed to drive me away. It’s hard to repress your expectations when there’s already so much being said, but I’ll have to read this series eventually, or at least the first book. Got to see what the hype (and hate) is about.

The Remnant Chronicles – The Kiss Of Deception has been on my TBR list ever since Liz reviewed, and I hate that I haven’t touched on it since. It sounds like a guilty pleasure series and I always have time for those. Plus, those covers are absolutely gorgeous.

The Young Elites – I can’t tell y’all how many times I’ve started this book and had to put it down due to the library and it just being constantly overdue. I’ve also heard a number of things on it, specifically on Adelina’s anti-hero character and the overall darkness present in the story. Hopefully, the next time I check it out I’ll be able to finish the damn thing.

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children – I actually have the Miss Peregrine’s Home Peculiar Children at home, but I haven’t ever picked it up. My sister has actually read the book before me, which is a rarity and something that I don’t want happening again. It seems as practically everyone has read this series, so I’m definitely looking forward ti checking it out soon.

Thanks for reading, everyone. What are some series that you’ve been meaning start but haven’t? Leave a comment below!

-Haven

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

May 2017 Wrap-Up – Haven

Hey guys! This is my first wrap-up post and I’ve actually been meaning to do this since April, but due to testing it was pushed back. Anyway, I read 9 books this month, which is pretty amazing considering all the projects I’ve had to do (why do teachers insist on overloading us with work when the school year is coming to an end?).

Books I’ve read this month

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History Is All You Left Me, by Adam Silvera (3.75-4 stars): I quite liked this very emotional and honest LGBTQ contemporary. There have been so many positive comments on Silvera’s More Happy Than Not, making him out to be a very hyped author. I was not disappointed with History Is All You Left Me, if you are looking for a diverse and raw read on love and loss, this is the one for you. You can find my full review here.

The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater (4 stars): This was a great sequel, and while it take a bit of time for me to truly get into it, it did not disappoint at all. I loved the introduction of new themes and characters, and the writing was totally upgraded. This series is already becoming one of my favorites and hopefully the next two live up to expectations I have. You can find my full review here.

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas (4 stars): I remember being extremely excited yet anxious when picking up this book, but it definitely lived up to the hype. This book reaches out to a range of messages on courage and hope, while detailing some necessary truths of the society we live in. Everyone should read it. My review can be found here.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, by Morgan Matson (2.25 stars): Unfortunately, I wasn’t huge fan of this much-loved contemporary. While I appreciated the attempt to combine deeper themes and a lighthearted road trip, I couldn’t find the balance between the two and the execution was simply not for me. I’m disappointed in my disappointment, but I’m still looking forward to reading Matson’s other contemporaries. You can find my in-depth review right here.

A Gathering Of Shadows, by V.E Schwab (5 stars): This was easily the best book I’ve read this month and probably one of the best I’ve read this year so far. After re-experiencing the glory of A Darker Shade Of Magic, I started this one and had the time of my freaking life. I adore these characters, this plot, this writing, everything. While it can be classified as a ‘filler’ book, I loved it nonetheless. I’m going to start A Conjuring Of Light soon and am totally not ready for the emotional destruction I’m about to face.

All The Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven (1 star): I strongly disliked this book, and most of my dislike stemmed from plain disinterest in the pretentious themes that are forever running through YA contemporary. The book’s view and depiction of mental illness was also quite off-putting, and while this aspect is praised and put down among readers, it simply made me uncomfortable for a number of reasons. Not for me guys, nope. You can find my in-depth review here.

Cinder, by Marissa Meyer (3.5 stars): So, I decided to re-visit this classic this month. Interestingly, I had never read Winter, so catching up on the rest of the series was necessary. Cinder didn’t really capture me the same way it did in the past, but it definitely brought up a wave of nostalgia. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series though.

Shadow And Bone, by Leigh Bardugo (3.5 stars): I read this book way back in 2014 when the hype was just picking up, and remember being very ‘meh’ on it. I decided to give it another try this month and found myself enjoying much more this time around. Yes, it’s an older book so many of the events that took place are reminiscent of the tropes found in YA fantasy today, but I don’t regret picking it up again.

Radio Silence, by Alice Oseman (5 stars): This book totally took me by surprise and is actually one of the easiest 5-star reads ever. The messages it means to convey are told so subtly and earnestly, and the whole book simply exudes charm through its characters, themes, and writing. Look out for my review coming soon. 🙂

May was an incredibly scattered month, but interestingly, I’ve read the most books this month in the year so far. Hopefully the summer helps me prioritize so I can read and blog a whole lot more than I am doing now. Thanks for reading, guys!

-Haven

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

It’s Monday! What are you reading? #1 (6/5/2017) – Haven

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Hey peeps! I hope you all had a great weekend. School has officially ended and I surprisingly don’t have much to do before my summer schedule kicks in. So I decided to inform you guys on what I’m reading now and what’s coming up next through this meme, considering I’ll have more time to read and blog now. Well, if my summer activities don’t kill me first.

What I read last week (the most recent one)

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Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #2): I finished Scarlet in about 7-8 hours on the day before school ended (we just had so much freaking time y’all), and I was surprised by how much more I enjoyed it this time around. Scarlet was always the weakest book out of the series to me before, but now I like it far more than Cinder.

Radio Silence, Alice Oseman: Everything you need to know about this book will be said in my review coming in a few days, but here’s a spoiler: I loved it. It’s brilliant, truly. I don’t mean to add to the hype, but I kind of do.

Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo: Second time around, it’s still a 3-star read, but considerably more entertaining than last time. Glad to see that this finally grew on me (somewhat).

What I’m reading right now

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Siege And Storm, by Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone #2):  I’m actually liking this one much more than I thought, even if I don’t think I’ll ever love it fully. But, Alina is a pretty snarky heroine and Nikolai is bae.

Up next

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These are the books I’ve borrowed from the library recently, along with Siege and Storm and Scarlet. It’s a pretty weird assortment, two contemporaries and a random high fantasy. But, expect these disjointed combinations throughout the summer as I’ll be making use of the time by catching up on all the series’ and standalones I’ve been meaning to read since forever.

Thanks for reading, guys! Feel free to leave a comment and tell us what you’re looking forward to reading this summer!

-Haven

Original Post

The Liebster Award Part 2

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What’s up, guys? Turns out we’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award (our second!), so thank you to Sophia at la belle bibliophileThis is her original post and make sure to check out the rest of her blog!

The rules are as follows: 

  1. acknowledge the blogger who nominated you
  2. answer the questions that person has given you
  3. come up with your original set of 11 questions
  4. nominate 11 other people and let them know (possibly through commenting)

1. What is your favorite part of the day?

Haven: My favorite part of the day would have to be around the evening, like 7:00 or 8:00. I usually like it around ‘twilight’ time when the sun is about to set.

Aliza: I’d say I’m a fan of the late-eveningish time, as that’s when I relax and give up on homework until the next day. It’s also peak reading time! 🙂

2. Are you an early bird, or a night owl?

Haven: Definitely a night owl. I feel like I have more energy and drive towards the end of the day, probably because I’ve gotten most of my homework or whatever I have to do out the way by the time.

Aliza: Early bird. I have sister who’s super organized and hates it when my family goes to bed late, so I’ve kind of gotten used to it and now I cannot stay awake past 11 PM even if I try.

3. Why do you have a blog?

Haven: That’s a very difficult but necessary question, and I would say I have a blog because I genuinely enjoy interacting and sharing my thoughts about books and anything else that interests me. I’ve always communicated better when it isn’t face to face, through words and description. I feel as though I can express myself the best while writing, and this blog seems to have amplified whatever I had going on with Goodreads.

Aliza: I remember starting this blog because I’ve always wanted to write a book (with the so many I read, I was hoping I’d know a thing or two) and this seemed a great way to start writing. Now I do it because I love books and want to share my love with the world of the Internet.

4. What country are you from, and do you speak the country’s native language?

Haven: I’m from south India, specifically from a state called Andhra Pradesh. There are over 20 languages situated in India, and my native language is called ‘Telugu’. I don’t actively speak it at home, but I obviously can understand and speak it if I wanted to since I’ve been hearing it my whole life. Lowkey, I suck at it because my accent is bad and I mostly know the language through slang, so my words are somewhat slurred and not that clear.

Aliza: I was born in the US, but family is from South India as well, and yes, I visit my family often in India. My native language is Tamil (not Hindi – that’s a common misconception about India) and I speak it relatively well, but I was never formally taught it and don’t know how to read or write well (I really just know the alphabet) so I wouldn’t consider myself an expert.

5. Chocolate or cake?

Haven: Cake for me. Chocolate is overrated y’all, please don’t hate me. 😀

Aliza: Chocolate. Dark chocolate. Sorry, Haven, I’m afraid we differ greatly on this matter of import 😛

6. What is one aspect of your life that you love?

Haven: Damn, I don’t know. I love how I have a caring family, good music to listen to, and a nearby library filled with hella books. Life is good.

Aliza: My sister. She’s super organized and all, like I said, but she is honestly the best sister I could ever ask for, and my best friend. I know that’s a boring answer, but it’s the truth 🙂

7. Could you survive without a phone for a day?

Haven: Probably. The only apps I use profusely is Goodreads and some education apps, and while I have social media, I don’t have those apps on my phone because they take up too much space. I’ll survive.

Aliza: When I have my phone with me it feels impossible to leave it, but I’d honestly be just fine; I may be a teenager, but a phone is not so essential that I need it with me every moment of the day.

8. What do you hate most about summer?

Haven: I’m sooooooo bored. I want to be productive, and while I am to an extent, I just have so much extra time. There are obviously new things I can learn and explore, but most of the time I’m too lazy, haha.

Aliza: How lazy I become. I’m about 10% as productive during the summer as I am during the school year, and one of these days, I’m going to realize that I need to do something with my life over the summer. Plus, it’s super hot out.

9. Most inspiring book you’ve ever read?

Haven: That’s difficult! I’ve read many sad and emotional books, and while they seem really depressing most of the time, I would say those books are the most inspirational. Books like Please Ignore Vera Dietz and All The Rage open up our eyes and reassure us that everything passes and to stay strong in difficult times, even when everything seems to be going awry in the books.

Aliza: I have been dreading this question since the beginning of this post because I’m really not sure. Most books have something inspiring about them, but Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (it’s nonfiction, sorry) really inspired me to get off my butt and do something with my life. 🙂

10. What is your dream job?

Haven: If I could review books for the rest of my life, I would do it, haha. Actually writing commentary on any sort of entertainment would be a dream side job. I’ve always enjoyed film, music, and fashion along with books and I’d love to take it to the next level. Working for Complex or The Fader specifically would be a dream come true.

Aliza: Ehh, I keep this pretty close to my heart, but Pixar. I mentioned that I wanted to tell stories one day, and combining my passions of drawing and writing and coding is absolute dream job for me. (It’s super impossible to get in, though, so I’ll probably have to settle for something else)

11. What is something that you love about yourself?

Haven: I’m chill. I can keep calm about a lot of situations and adapt well to different environments. I tend to be pretty cold and unemotional most times because that is just my personality, but I like that aspect of me because it’s not extreme or too passionate. I can go either way on many things without complaints.

Aliza: I’m a loyal person. I’ve been super unreliable with this blog, so don’t count that, but if someone tells me something in confidence, I won’t repeat it to anyone else, and I’ll always defend people even when they’re not around. I would say I have it together, but I procrastinate too much for that to be true. 😉

Our nominations:

11 is a lot, so we’re cutting it down to 6 lmao.

Sofia @ Bookish Wanderess

Sandra @ Lady Grey Reads

Stephanie @ Igniting Pages

Betty @ bettybookreviews

Ari @ thestarlightbooks

Helen @ allbookloves

Questions:

  1. What is your favorite device to blog on?
  2. What is your favorite part about blogging?
  3. Do you prefer writing original material or reviewing existing material?
  4. Which book characters would you want to be best friends with?
  5. What are some of your favorite book to movie/tv show adaptations?
  6. What fantasy world would you want to live in?
  7. What is your favorite classic book?
  8. What is the one book that has affected you the most emotionally?
  9. Who are your book boyfriends?
  10. Top 3 authors you would want to meet?
  11. What is it about reading that attracts you to it?

Thank you guys for reading! 🙂

-Haven and Aliza

Books, Original Post

Blogger Recognition Award

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What’s up, guys? Apparently we’ve been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by Betty at bettybookreviews, so thank you Betty! You can find her original post right here.

The Rules: 

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Talk about the meaning behind your blog’s name.
  5. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  6. Select other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  7. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

The M&B backstory:

Haven: The bare, bare bones of M&B were created when Aliza gave me a call on our weekly conversations on Friday. She had brought up the idea of a blog on WordPress, and didn’t even suggest I be a part of it before I jumped on her ass like the overexcited little kid I was. I still don’t know to this day if she wanted to co-blog with me (lmao I’m just being dramatic … right Liz?), but it just took on from there. She was the one who showed me how to operate all these controls and do shit on this site in general, and I would have been lost without her since I’m a regular dumbass. Thank you, Liz. 🙂

Aliza: Aw, I love ya too :). Haven covered it all, I just called her one day and suggested we do a blog together. We’d both started writing reviews on GR, so I figured putting it on a website would be a fun thing to do. And yes, Haven. I really wanted you to co-blog with me. You had written more reviews than I had, and I know I’d need someone to help me out with the blog (and I was right). It’s been a blast, though, and that was over two years ago 😉

Meaning behind the name:

Aliza: I though Books & Musings was an awesome name that totally reflected what we planned to do, so I was super excited to start a blog with that name… until I found out it was already taken. So then I just switched around the order of the words, and voila! Musings & Books was born.

Haven: Aliza was the one who suggested the name, and it sounded cool to me so, yeah. Since we discuss books and reflect on the reading community in general, it makes sense.

Our advice to newbies:

Haven: My advice would be to be friendly and interact lots with the blogging community. I made the mistake of being extremely shy by not following or talking to anyone in the beginning, and I definitely wish I interacted more.

Aliza: Reread your work. Typos are unprofessional and annoying, so no matter how lazy you are, reread before posting anything.

Our nominees: 

Stephanie @ Igniting Pages

Sophia @ la belle bibliophile

thestarlightbooks

Thank you guys for reading!

-Liz + Haven

 

 

Books, Original Post, Tag, YA Fiction

The Candy Book Tag

Hey guys! So, we were recently tagged by Betty at bettybookreviews to do the Candy Book Tag. It’s been a while since we’ve done a tag and this is a nice change from the usual posts we do. Thank you Betty! You can find her tag here.

Haven:

Apples – Ah. Healthy food. It’s deep, meaningful and probably won a lot of awards but, um, it really isn’t your thing.

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This book remains to be hyped ever since its publication and has been awarded several times, but I honestly was not feeling it. WW2 stories are usually very emotional, and I was expecting to be moved somehow yet I never was. You can actually find my review of it here.

Milk Chocolate – This is a book you’d recommend to absolutely EVERYONE.

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Most of my friends often ran away when I recommended this book to them, but I am and have always been insistant nonetheless, and I’m sure Liz has been too. Words can’t explain how amazing and eye-opening this book is. Liz actually met Neal Shusterman somewhat recently, and documented her experience in an updated review of Unwind. You can find it here.

Black Jellybeans – Why do these exist??

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I honestly despised this book after finishing it, but I rated it 2 stars because I was afraid of rating books 1 star back then (don’t ask). I need to have words with whoever published this though, for real.

Chocolate Kisses – Awww this novel had the best romance

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There are a plethora of romances that I adore, and if I chose to narrow down my favorites out of a bunch of contemporaries, I would get nowhere. Heartless is a book I had read and reviewed recently, and I loved the romance so much. Peep my review here for more of my thoughts.

Gummy Spiders – Eek! You made sure to check under your bed every night for a week after reading this scary one.

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I haven’t read many horror-inspired YA books, and this is the only one I can think of. It’s a great book, though! I can’t say it scared me so much, but it does have a mysterious and creepy atmosphere (if you couldn’t tell already from that cover).

Jumbo Lollipop – This took you forever to get through, but hey! You did it!

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The Bone Witch took me a damn century to get through, and while I’m still not completely sold on it, there were a lot of redeeming qualities. Check out my review here.

Cotton Candy – Admit it, you loved this when you were younger (you probably still do). Think children’s or MG fiction.

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Don’t judge me guys, but The Clique series was my favorite thing ever back in the day. It was perfectly petty in my opinion, and made for great entertainment. I would probably hate it if I read it now, but it’s still special to me.

Aliza: 

Apples – Ah. Healthy food. It’s deep, meaningful and probably won a lot of awards but, um, it really isn’t your thing.

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock has been acclaimed by famous Goodreads reviewers, and I expected to cry a lot while reading it, but overall thought the experience while reading it was just meh. This was one of my first ever reviews, and I don’t remember it that much, but hey, it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Milk Chocolate – This is a book you’d recommend to absolutely EVERYONE.

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Haven is going to sigh from a lack of surprise, but Six of Crows. Duh. I love this book more than anything at the moment, because it has awesome world-building, awesome characters, feminism, and the best anti-hero for a lead character. Ever.

Black Jellybeans – Why do these exist??

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Hey, I like the black licorice-flavored jellybeans (but am apparently the only one). I seriously agree with Haven’s pick for this tag, but my book is Twisted Fate. Man, is it terrible. Plot holes galore, pointlessness, it was the whole package of bad.

Chocolate Kisses – Awww this novel had the best romance

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I read way too many cheesy romance novels (more than I care to admit) and These Broken Stars, despite being as cliche a romance as it can get, made its way onto my “favorites” shelf. I love these star-crossed lovers so much. ❤

Gummy Spiders – Eek! You made sure to check under your bed every night for a week after reading this scary one.

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I Hunt Killers is one of the very few YA horror books I’ve read, but it was great – the complexity of characters made this a standout. The creepiness of this books lies in the way Barry Lyga does not shy away from gruesome descriptions and deep delving into the minds of the serial killers.

Jumbo Lollipop – This took you forever to get through, but hey! You did it!

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The Outsiders was a required-reading book in 7th grade, but I never read it because I moved that year. My sister read it this year though, and after her incessant pushing, I finally picked it up. I get that it’s a classic and all, and also a very short book, but it just took me wayyy too long to get through it.

Cotton Candy – Admit it, you loved this when you were younger (you probably still do). Think children’s or MG fiction.

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Agh, I’m a cliche. I just didn’t read many uncommon book series’ when I was younger, but Percy Jackson holds a special place in my heart. (Even though I quit on the Camp Half Blood Books lately because there were WAY too many of them).

We Tag:

Book Princess Reviews

The Book Cover Girls

Thanks for reading, guys! 🙂