Top Ten Books That Give Me All The Romantic Feels

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme is All About Romance Tropes/Types, but when I started to make those lists, I realized that I haven’t read any one trope enough to make a good Top Ten list. In place of that, here are ten books whose romances made me laugh, cry, and smile.  

1. Fire by Kristin Cashore

cover fire

This book is so much more than its romance, but damn, its romance breaks my heart every time. I have reread certain scenes over and over, just to suck all of the romantic feels into my soul.

2. The King of Attolia (Queen’s Thief #3) by Megan Whalen Turner

cover king of attolia

This series is not about romance. At all. But no relationship makes my heart feel as much as this book’s romance (and I’m being purposefully vague, by the way).

3. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

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God, I love Puck and Sean together so much. This was one of the first slow burn romances I read, and it remains one of my favorites ever.

4. A Company of Swans by Eva Ibboston

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All of Eva Ibboston’s books broke (and then healed) my heart, but A Company of Swans was by far my favorite. I haven’t read it in years, but its bittersweet romance has stuck with me.

5. Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

cover love and other unknown variables

This book made me sob. I don’t usually read “cancer books,” but the mathematical motifs in this book convinced me to give it a shot. And wow, it was worth it. I loved this book for its humor and for its heartbreak.

6. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

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This is one of the only books that I have read that pulls off instalove. Khalid and Shazi’s relationship is inherently instalove, but it is also one of my favorite relationships ever.

7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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Another book that is about so much more than romance, but is still painfully romantic. It has been way too long since I read this incredible novel, but even thinking about these star-crossed lovers makes my heart hurt.

8. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

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I was not prepared for the romance in this book. The first time I read it, it took over my life for forty-eight hours, I shipped the couple so hard. They definitely are not your average, or your perfect, couple, but I still love them to pieces.

9. Going Underground by Susan Vaught

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This is one of those books that I can truthfully say changed the way I see the world. It tackles the issue of sexting and “Romeo and Juliet” laws with a stark honesty that ensured it will forever be a favorite. Yet it still has a subtle, gorgeous romance that compliments the societal commentary without overpowering it.

10. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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I gave this book to my friend to read, and about halfway through, she texted me, “So they really meant the unexpected EVERYTHING.” I don’t know a better way to sum up how surprising and refreshing this book was. On one hand, it is your basic YA contemporary romance, but it was a lot more than that for me.


Have you read any of these books? Which books would you recommend for their heart-wrenching romances?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Top Ten Books I Wanted More From

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I Wish Had (More/Less) X In Them. I chose to just highlight a collection of books that I wanted more from. Some of them needed better characters, some needed better world building, others just fell flat.

1. Every Day by David Levithan

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I loved the premise of this book, and for the most part, it was executed well. And yet, I just wasn’t swept off my feet by this book the way I feel like I could have been.

2. Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

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This book was set up to be an all-time favorite. A girl that sees emotions as people? I wanted to love it—but it ended up lacking that special spark that would have made it memorable.

3. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

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This book was a complete hype buy for me, and like many hype buys, it didn’t work out. It had a cool plot twist, but the story overall annoyed me, because it felt like the story existed for the plot twist only. (my review)

4. Angelfall by Susan Ee

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Another hype buy that drew me in with rave reviews and an interesting premise, but I felt cheated. I was promised a captivating romance and a kick-ass protagonist, but I didn’t feel like I got either. I read the whole trilogy, but continued to feel like it wasn’t living up to its potential. (my review)

5. Indelible by Dawn Metcalf

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To be honest, I don’t know why I keep coming back to this series. It should be cliche and forgettable, but somehow, it isn’t. It is the dictionary definition of a book that I constantly want more from, but I’ve stuck with the series so far, so I clearly believe it can (and will) improve. (my review)

6. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

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This was the first Kasie West book I read, and while it was adorable, it was mostly fluff. The Fill-In Boyfriend was a much more compelling (and cute) romance for me.

7. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

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I liked this book, I really did. But when I finished it, I felt unsatisfied. The premise, the characters, and the world building were wonderful, but I wanted the story to develop more, I guess. I can’t wait to read her next book, though. (my review)

8. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

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This was supposed to be a really haunting fairy tale retelling. While I enjoyed the story, it wasn’t creepy at all, leaving me feeling cheated. (my review)

9. The Ghost Bride by Yangzee Choo

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I just finished this book. I loved the way Choo wove the Malaya culture into the story, and the last half of the book captivated me. The first half of the book dragged on and on, however, keeping me from completely falling for the book.

10. Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

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I read this book years ago, and I don’t remember much. I was sucked in by the premise and the characters, but the ending felt incomplete and sudden. But look at that cover!


Honestly, I enjoyed parts of all of these books. They aren’t on this list because I hated them, they are just on this list because I wanted more from them.

Have you read any of these books? What books did you want more from?

January Wrap-Up 2017

In My Life

This month was hard. It started out great, with a trip with my grandparents and spending lots of time with my friends, but then school started. This semester is going fairly well, but it is still extremely stressful and tiring, and I still have college applications looming over me, even though I’ve turned them all in.

Trump’s inauguration made everything worse. I honestly have trouble believing what our country has come to in so short a span of time. I’m angry and terrified, and honestly, feeling hopeless. The stress of school, which I’ve barely learned how to manage, is now matched with the stress of wondering what horrific thing Trump will do next. Seeing the world come together at protests is incredible, but it’s not enough to snap me out of the constant funk of despair. Additionally, the violence that we’ve seen across the world has broken my heart.

But this month was not all bad. Here are some good things:

  1. My journalism class published another issue, and it looks incredible.
  2. I made a jar in ceramics with a lid that fits.
  3. I started a (low key) bullet journal for 2017.

On This Blog

I had nine posts this month. Not as many as I’d like (I’ve already broken my three posts per week goal…wow), but more than there could have been. I’m happy with the content I put out, so that’s what really matters.

Top Ten Tuesdays

Discussion Posts

In Reading and Reviewing

I read three books this month, and started four others. I know. It’s pretty bad. I am in the middle of two books for school—Twelfth Night and Dante’s Inferno—and I am enjoying both. I started two others, The Ghost Bride (which I might DNF because I have been reading it for a month) and Slasher Girls and Monster Boys (which I will finish, but it is a short story anthology and I am taking it slow).

Here are the books I actually read:

  • Black Powder War (Temeraire #3) by Naomi Novik — 3.5/5 stars (probably won’t be reviewed)
  • My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows — 5/5 stars (review)
  • Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn — 3.5/5 stars (review)

Long story short, there will be lots of reviews to come, as soon as I finish reading the ones I am in the middle of.

In Writing

This month was AWFUL for writing. I finished my WIP right at the end of 2016, and although I have lots of research, editing, and character development work I want to do…I just didn’t do it. I didn’t even really work on scholarships (although I did submit a few applications). I have big plans for productivity in February.


How was your January? Did you read any great books? What books do you plan to read February?

Top Ten Book Covers I Would Wear If They Were Clothes

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s topic is “All about the visuals.” Since I don’t read graphic novels and just talking about my favorite book covers seemed boring, I decided to go with Top Ten Book Covers I Would Wear if They Were Clothes.

…And if I were more fashionable than I am.

1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

cover to all the boys ive loved before

I’ll start with an obvious one. I absolutely love how classy and sweet this cover (and this book) is. I feel like clothing designed off of it would have to be a sundress of some kind, or a really nice sweater and pants pairing.

2. More Than This by Patrick Ness

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This cover would make an amazing graphic tee or a really interesting mini dress/t-shirt dress. Something casual and clean but with an edgy vibe, like this book itself. Bonus points if the garment communicates vague existentialism.

3. Across A Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

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Definitely a ball gown of some kind, though not exactly the one shown on the cover. It would be whimsical and dramatic in equal measures, and it would look like it was part of the ocean.

4. The Wrath and the Dawn by Rene Ahdieh

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How could I have a fashion-inspired blog post without mentioning TWATD? I love the colors of this cover and the gorgeous fashion described throughout the book, so I don’t know how any clothing piece inspired off of it could be anything but drop-dead incredible.

5. The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking #2) by Patrick Ness

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Apparently my brain really wants to wear Ness’s covers as clothing? Regardless, any of the Chaos Walking trilogy’s covers would inspire incredible fashion (I’m thinking a dress of some kind), but I chose this one because I love the shade of blue.

6. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

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Look at that minimalist cover! It would be an amazing graphic t-shirt, but I also think that you could design a really compelling avant-guarde gown off of it.

7. The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Look at the colors. Look at the cool smoke thing. Think of the possibilities. (As a side note, I absolutely loved this series and I need the next book to come out!)

8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

cover night circus

This is one of my all-time favorite books, with one of my all-time favorite covers. Anything inspired by the cover would be incredible, especially if it somehow combined the historical feeling of the book with the fantastical circus elements.

9. The Sweetheart by Angelina Mirabella

cover the sweetheart

Okay, so I still have not read this book. But my sister loved it so much that she forced me to include it in this post. And look at that cover. It would inspire some adorably pink vintage-style clothing.

10. Graceling by Kristen Cashore

cover graceling

Putting aside the fact that Graceling is one of my favorite books ever, the colors on the cover are gorgeous. I want to see someone create an outfit that combines the gentle beauty of the colors with the, well, badass-ness of the dagger and the story itself.


What do you think? Have you read any of these books? What are some of your favorite covers that you would wear as clothing?

Top Ten Diverse Books I’m Excited to Read in 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Reading more diversely is my main reading goal for 2017. There are books I own that I want to read, backlist books that I have been meaning to get to for ages, and upcoming releases that promise that the future of YA is a lot more diverse than its past. These are of course not the only diverse books I want to read this year, but a place to start at least.

Books I Own

1. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

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(Goodreads)

2. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

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(Goodreads)

3. If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth

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(Goodreads)

4. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

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(Goodreads)

Backlist Books I Want to Own

5. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

cover simon vs the homo sapiens agenda

(Goodreads)

6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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(Goodreads)

7. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

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(Goodreads)

Upcoming Releases

8. You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

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(Goodreads)

9. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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(Goodreads)

10. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

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(Goodreads)

11. Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee and K.E. Ormsbee

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(Goodreads)

12. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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(Goodreads)


Have you read any of these? What did you think? Which diverse books do you want to read this year?

Top Ten 2016 Releases I Will (Probably) Read in 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

My first TTT of 2017 is a look back at 2016. A ton of incredible books came out that I 100% planned to read…and didn’t. Here are some that I still plan to read (hopefully).

1. Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

cover firsts

I was so drawn in by the concept of this book, but I was just…never in the mood to actually sit down and read it.

2. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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I have been meaning to read more by Schwab forever, and I honestly though 2016 would be my year. Hopefully it will be 2017. 🙂

3. Gemina (Illuminae #2) by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

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I don’t blame myself for not having the emotional courage or energy to read this book. Besides, it has been getting mixed reviews, and I do not want to have my hopes dashed. Still, I have to know what happens next in this amazing series.

4. And I Darken by Kiersten White

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I love the idea of this book, and rave reviews have given me hope that it lives up to its potential. I honestly have no excuse for not reading it besides that I never bought it for myself.

5. Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

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This book has been on my radar forever. I keep coming back to it, though I have yet to buy or read it—something I want to fix.

6. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

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My sister just read this book and LOVED IT. I feel ridiculous for not picking it up sooner, but I plan to ASAP.

7. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

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From everything I’ve heard, this book has incredibly gorgeous prose, which I need more of in my life.

8. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

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Kasie West always surprises me with how she is able to take a flippant premise and create an adorable, sweet, and thought-provoking story. I want to read more of her work, and the synopsis of this one is A+.

9. Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2) by Ryan Gruadin

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Another sequel I held off from to save my emotions. When it came out, I was not ready to read it—but I cannot go an entire year without finishing this ridiculously powerful duology.

10. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

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This book (for me) came out of nowhere and took over the blogging world. I think it will ruin me emotionally, but sometimes that is worth it.


What 2016 releases did I miss? I always want to increase my TBR, especially with books that might not be on my radar yet!

What books do you plan to read in 2017?

2016 Blogging Wrap-Up

Hi everyone! As 2016 (finally) ends, I wanted to look back at what I accomplished as a blogger and as a writer this year. To see my favorite books of 2016, you can see my reading recap from yesterday.

2016 was both a great year for blogging and a rough one. With second semester of junior year and first semester of senior year, it was easily the busiest year of my life so far. I blogged less in 2016 than I did in 2015, but I wrote more posts that I’m proud of. I think my book reviews are getting better, and I pushed myself to write more honest, emotional discussion posts.


Resolutions

Here are the goals I made for myself for 2016, as well as if I accomplished them.

1. Post three times a week. ~ about 50% successful

2. Read 75 books. ~ Loool, no. I only read 

3. Use better graphics consistently. ~ Yep.

4. More discussion posts. ~ Yeah, actually.

5. Write reviews directly after I finish a book. ~ Yes…ish.

6. Interact more with the blogging community. ~ Sure.

7. Start doing readathons. ~ Lol, no.

8. Get back into Weekend Words. ~ Not even a little.

9. Increase the writing focus of 52 Letters. ~ Nope.

10. Have fun. ~ Always.

All in all, about 6/10 is pretty good. 


Blogging, Writing, and Life News

1. In March, I redesigned 52 Letters. I am still using that design that I created and am still 110% in love with it.

2. In April, 52 Letters turned 2!

3. In May and June, I took part in two University of Iowa International Writing Program #Flashwrite Poetry MOOCs and discovered how much I love poetry.

4. I started a bookstagram account (@52lettersinthealphabet)! (And then senior year started and it died…whoops.)

5. In June, I decided to start over with my WIP. Over summer break, that draft went from zero words to nearly 62,000 words!

6. In November, I created a review directory for 52 Letters.

7. 52 Letters reached 600 followers! Thank you all SOOOO much!

8. In December, I finished my WIP! It took me just over six months and is 99,800 words. It is the fastest I have ever finished a draft of a novel, and (I think) the best thing I’ve ever written. It still needs a lot of work, but that’s 2017’s problem.

9. Today, I turn 18 and officially become an adult! I’m half excited, half terrified. 


Blogging Favorites

Discussion Posts

The Importance of Platonic Relationships

Which Blog Posts Do I Actually Read?

What It’s Like to Read YA as a Girl Who Cries…A Lot

What Looking for Myself in Books Taught Me About the Need for Diversity

Top Ten Tuesdays

Top Ten Books I Have Enjoyed With Less Than 2000 Goodreads Ratings

Top Ten Parts of High School I Wish YA Authors Talked About More

Top Ten Characters I Would Name a Cat After

Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me in a Haunted House


How was your blogging 2016? Which posts are you most proud of? What are your plans for 2017?