Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Intend to Read This Summer

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Summer Reads Freebie.” For this week’s topic I’m simply sharing ten books that I am aiming to read over the course of the next three months. Many of these have been on my shelf for far too long and others are more recent releases. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera – I may be the only blogger who hasn’t read Adam Silvera. I intend to change this this summer. I’d been told to keep a box of tissues close.

2. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed – I’ve had this book for a while and I’ve heard lots of good things. Summer always seems like the opportune time for contemporary books.

3. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – I really enjoyed The Unexpected Everything and bought this one not too long after, but just haven’t gotten around to it. The cover just screams summer.

4. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia – I won an ARC of this one almost two years ago and I’m ashamed to admit that I still haven’t read it. I want to read this one before picking up the author’s second book, so I better get on that.

5. The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember – My library didn’t have this one when it first came out, but summer seems like the perfect time to read about mermaids, so I’ll be hunting it down.

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6. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez – I won this book earlier this year and have been dying to read it, but still haven’t set aside any time to do so. I must change that this summer.

7. Simon vs. the Home Sapiens Agenda – I intended to read this before picking up The Upside of Unrequited, but I’m weak and ended up reading her second novel first, so I must get to this one.

8. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes – I’m ashamed to admit how long this one has been on my shelf. Sometimes you feel compelled to save books you’ve heard nothing but good things about and that’s the excuse I’m going with for this one. It’s time I read it.

9. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz – This was my first audiobook (narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda), but I want to read a physical copy of it this summer.

10. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – Technically, there’s a chance I will read this before summer starts, but I wanted to add it just in case I don’t get to it. This book looks so wonderfully cute. I lucky enough to win a preorder of this one and I could not be more excited.

Are there any books on your shelf or TBR that you intend to pick up this summer? Let me know in the comments and be sure leave a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

Have you signed up for the Summer 2017 Comment Challenge for June? The final day to sign-up is this Saturday (May 27th). If you’re looking for a fun summer challenge and are interested in meeting new bloggers, we’d love to have you join us. Each month (June-August), we’ll be pairing bloggers and encouraging them to comment on each other’s blogs all month long. Click the image to the left for all the details!

FLYLēF’s 2nd Anniversary: Friendship Tour + Giveaway

FLYLēF turns two and Lonna was kind enough to invite me to be a part of her friendship tour in celebration of her blogiversary. To celebrate, an amazing group of bloggers have gotten together and have planned friendship-themed posts for you to enjoy, all centered around the theme…

FRIENDSHIP

Please make sure to visit them, and perhaps make a new friend along the way. Also, Lonna is generously hosting a giveaway, so be sure to check out the details at the end of this post.

 FRIENDSHIP 

I think one of the most rewarding aspects of book blogging is the friendships you develop with other readers. And there’s nothing like bonding over a good book. I think most of my blogging friendships started with the love of a book and my TBR thanks (as well as shakes its fist at) every one of you for continually bringing wonderful books to my attention. For this post’s theme, I wanted to share some of my favorite literary friendships. Covers are linked to Goodreads. Be sure to share your favorite literary friendships in the comments!

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1. Harry, Ron, and Hermione from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – You can’t talk about literary friendships without mentioning the Golden Trio. These three go through so much, but they remain loyal to one another. I also think it’s really beautiful that they grew into adulthood with each other by their sides.

2. Remus, Peter, Sirius, and James from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – It’s unfortunate that none of these guys got a happy ending; actually, it’s down-right tragic. But I’ve always been touched by the story of Remus being a werewolf and his friends turning themselves into Animagi, so he wouldn’t feel so different and alone. Excuse me, I think I need a tissue…

3. Anne Shirley and Diana Barry from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – Is there anything closer than a bosom friend? I loved that beside the Cuthberts, Anne found Diana as well. I mean, sure, she did accidentally get Diana drunk when they were kids, but it was a complete accident!

4. Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Wylan, Nina, and Matthias from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Nothing says real friendship like pulling a couple of impossible heists together. Seriously, how awesome would it be to be a part of this amazing crew of friends?

5. Ada Navarra and Corinne Wells from Iron Cast by Destiny Soria – One of my favorite parts about this debut is the friendship between Ada and Corinne. I really need more books where female friends are front and center. Can I get a sequel?

Bonus: Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins from Parks and Recreation – I loved how unbelievably supportive these two were of each other. There was so much encouragement and love in this relationship, I think their friendship was my favorite relationship in the entire series.

 TESTIMONIAL

I think the first time Lonna and I bonded it was over Robert Beatty’s Serafina and the Black Cloak. I will always associate this book with our friendship. We currently cohost The Comment Challenge together and it has been nothing but a rewarding experience. I could not ask for a more creative and dedicated partner. Honestly, I feel like we’re a match made in heaven and hope in the future we can collaborate in many more blogging projects. Happy blogiversary, Lonna!

  TOUR SCHEDULE  

❖ May 15th – Bookfever: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 15th – A Reader Writer: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 16th – Milky Way of Books: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 16th – Lisa Loves Literature: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 20th – A Kernel of Nonsense: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 21th – SUSANLOVESBOOKS: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 23th – fallxnrobins: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 27th – Utopia State of Mind: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 28th – Book Briefs: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ May 30th – Foxes & Fairy Tales: Spotlight / Giveaway
❖ June 1st – The Caramel Files: Spotlight / Giveaway

  ABOUT FLYLēF  

Lonna Yen the creative mind behind FLYLēF (pronounced like flyleaf) who enjoys reading late into the night to satisfy her insatiable addiction to mostly young adult and adult novels: romance (contemporary and historical), fantasy, and paranormal (especially vampires). She believes in the magic of spellbinding words coming together to build breathtaking worlds in our minds’ eyes. Happiness is just a book away, find it at FLYLēF.

Lonna is also the host of FLYTIP and Book of Choice Giveaway Hop, and co-host of The Comment Challenge.

Find Lonna @ FLYLēF: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ | Newsletter

  GIVEAWAY  

Be sure to click on the Rafflecopter Giveaway link below to enter Lonna’s giveaway: A one-month subscription box to Owl Crate, or $35 Amazon gift card for an international winner.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

The Friday 56: The Ship Beyond Time

The Friday 56The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It’s that simple.

**Be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56 post in the comments!**

“What’s better than a triple scoop with rainbow sprinkles?”

Now Nix swatted at me, but instead of slipping away, I caught her fingers in mine. “She helped throw me a party for my theft day,” she said. “It’s important.”

I’ve never been a huge fan of time-traveling books, but I’ve really enjoyed Heidi Heilig’s The Girl From Everywhere duology. This final book, The Ship Beyond Time, was such a pleasure to read and I hope if you haven’t picked these books up, you do so soon. You can read my full review here. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father?
      Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices.

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Mothers and Mother-Figures I Love

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Mother’s Day related Freebie: favorite moms in literature, books about motherhood, best mother/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your mom, worst moms in literature, etc. etc.” Having just written for last week’s Top Ten Tuesday post that I’d like to see more mothers in books (and specifically YA fiction), this week I had a hard time coming up with enough literary mothers to fill my list, so I’ve elected to include mother-figures as well and a few non-literary ones just to shake things up a bit.

1. Molly Weasley – Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I expect Molly Weasley to be on nearly everyone’s list this week. Besides being an amazing mother to her kids, Molly was also a wonderful mother-figure to Harry.

2. Lisa Carter – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I’d really like to see more parents in contemporary YA novels. Starr’s parents are so supportive and are among my favorite literary parents.

3. Maura Sargent – The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue never knew her father, but her mother Maura gave her more than enough love.

4. Marilla Cuthbert – Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Marilla was never exactly motherly, but bless this woman for having to put up with Anne Shirley and all her drama.

5. Ari’s Mother – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

I’m totally drawing a blank on Ari’s mother’s name. Is she given one? Someone tell me! Ari and his mother’s scenes were some of my very favorites in this novel.

6. Rachel Morgan – Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter

Cammie Morgan’s mother is all kinds of awesome. She’s a former CIA agent and current headmistress of a secret spy school for girls. What’s not to love?

7. Peg Boggs – Edward Scissorhands

This is one of my favorite movies and Peg has got to be one of the sweetest onscreen mothers ever.

8. Sally Jackson – Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

I’ve only read the first two books in this series, so I don’t know where this character’s arc goes throughout the series, but she used Medusa’s head to turn her good-for-nothing husband into a statue, so you got to respect her.

9. Claire Glass – The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan

You know what I like? Flawed characters and Kami’s mother Claire makes a lot of mistakes, but she loves her family and it’s hard to blame her for trying to keep them safe.

10. The Widow – Into the Badlands

I wasn’t sure how I felt about The Widow in the beginning of the first season, but we’re now into season two and I love her so much!!! All the mothers-nay, all the women on this show are incredible in their own way. Why aren’t you watching it?

Who is your favorite literary mother? Do you have a favorite fictional mother from television or the movies? Let me know in the comments and be sure leave a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

If you’re looking for a fun challenge to take part in this summer, consider joining the Summer 2017 Comment Challenge. Each month (June-August), we’ll be pairing bloggers and encouraging them to comment on each other’s blogs all month long. Sign-ups for June are open through May 27th. Click the image to the left for all the info!

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Title: American Street
Author: Ibi Zoboi
Series: N/A
Pages: 336
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 14th 2017

      “On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.
      But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.
      Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?”

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“This is the opposite of an earthquake, where things were falling apart and the ground was shifting beneath my small feet. Here, the walls, the air, the buildings, the people all seem to have already fallen. And there is nothing else left to do but to shrink and squeeze until everything has turned to dust and disappeared.

Ibi Zoboi delivers a truly emotional story in her debut novel, American Street. Though born in America, Fabiola Toussaint has only known one home–Haiti. Upon entering the U.S., Fabiola’s mother is detained by immigration and Fabiola is sent ahead to her aunt and cousins in Detroit. Desperate to get her mother back and struggling to adjust to this new world, Fabiola learns that America is not everything it’s promised to be. She finds herself in morally ambiguous situations that might cost her the only good things she has found since coming to America. Stuck between two impossible choices, Fabiola must decide how far she is willing to go to be reunited with her mother.

Fabiola spends the first few months in America pulled in different directions. Her cousins all have different ideas on how she can adjust to this new land while Fabiola tries to hold on to both her language and religion, both foreign and strange to outsiders. America demands a lot from those who immigrate to the country. A common theme throughout the novel is how people and America itself talk out of both sides of their mouths. Ideally, American is a melting pot, but in reality assimilation is necessary. The Creole language is part of Fabiola’s cultural identity and like her aunt before her, there is tremendous pressure for her to shed this part of who she is in order to fit in and feel more accepted. This new country comes with new rules for how to maneuver through the world and while there are aspects that Fabiola has encountered before, the line between right and wrong becomes more and more blurred as the story goes on.

Family is the most important aspect of Fabiola’s story. The absence of her mother is a weight she continually carries around. Any happiness she feels getting to know her cousins or falling in love for the first time is counterbalanced with the hole in her heart left behind by her mother. Though it is only briefly touched on, the possibility that Fabiola’s mother knew what would happen after the two of them entered the U.S. is something I continue to wonder about. We are not given a definitive answer, but I believe Fabiola’s mother isn’t a stranger to sacrifice and if she believed telling her daughter they were both meant to start over in America was the only way to get her to leave Haiti, I believe she would have done it. Fabiola’s loyalty to her family is tested throughout the novel. She loves her aunt and cousins, but they don’t always make good decisions. She wants to protect them, but this isn’t always easy when they don’t want her protection or when other people with more power than her can easily throw a wrench in her plans.

I do wish we could have spent more time individually with Fabiola’s cousins Chantel, Primadonna, and Princess, but I still think Zoboi did a good enough job defining who they are individually. A nice touch were the different character-driven sections sprinkled throughout the book that gave readers a little more insight into minor characters’ stories. With an engaging protagonist and an heart-stopping ending, American Street is a debut not to be missed.

4/5

★★★★

The Friday 56: When the Moon Was Ours

The Friday 56The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It’s that simple.

**Be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56 post in the comments!**

“And when their hands all fell on her, she knew it was true, that they were one animal in many bodies. When one set of fingers lost its grip, another tightened. When Miel threw her weight against one of them, another pulled back so the force dissipated and did not land.”

There are few books that truly sink their teeth into me and Anna-Marie McLemore’s magical realism novel When the Moon Was Ours is one of them. I’ve never fallen faster in love with a book. It’s one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read and I’d recommend it to everyone. You can read my mini review here. Excerpt is from page 65. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

If you’re looking for a fun challenge to take part in this summer, consider joining the Summer 2017 Comment Challenge. Each month (June-August), we’ll be pairing bloggers and encouraging them to comment on each other’s blogs all month long. Sign-ups for June are open through May 27th. Click the image to the left for all the info!

If you haven’t already, be sure to enter the giveaway on my blog. I’m taking part in the May Book of Choice Giveaway Hop which ends the 15th of this month. It’s open to the US and INT, so be sure to enter. Click on the image on the right to enter and be sure to check out all the other participants’ giveaways.