Extraordinary Means, by Robin Schneider

23149128I read this book in one sitting, in one night, in a yurt in Southern Oregon. When I picked it up I expected to read a few chapters an go to bed. But Rob Schneider had different ideas. With familiar, but well-drawn, characters and a pretty unique premise, this book hooked me. The book mixes a few of my favorite things together. (1) A unique, near future, slightly apocalyptic vibe. There’s a new strain of completely drug resistant TB. People with it are being shipped off to sanitariums – to try to heal, but also to keep them from spreading the disease to others. (2) Boarding school books. A sanatorium for teenagers is basically like a boarding school, but without much emphasis on school. Even though they have a terminal disease, that doesn’t stop the teenagers in this book from getting up to antics that don’t seem all that different from Looking for Alaska, by John Green. (3) Romance. Lane goes to Lantham House with two goals in mind – healing as fast as possible and keeping up with his AP classes while he’s away. These goals, and his entire life, will change when he meets Sadie. Let me tell you this book is swoon city.  Continue reading

Top 10 Boys I Wish Had Been My Valentines in High School

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Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! I tried to make a list of fictional men my own age, but lets face it (1) I don’t read enough books for grown ups & (2) men in adult fiction are way more complicated and way less dreamy. So here are some boys I wish had been my Valentines in high school. Who’s your fictional high school crush? Continue reading

Top Ten Historical Settings I Love

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I’ve been through many, many historical fiction phases. In high school, this was probably my main genre especially anything about the British monarchy or Russia. When I would get nervous (so like 85% of my day) I would often calm myself down by trying to recite both royal lines. Total dork! Then after college I got into a big historical romance novel phase. I’m not reading a ton of historical books right now, but here are some of the settings that I used to adore, and will probably get obsessed with again at some point. Continue reading

Bookishly Ever After, by Isabel Bandeira

21018154I was really excited to get my hands on an ARC of Bookishly Ever After, by Isabel Bandeira. The book was released earlier this month and I think it will appeal to lots of YA book lovers for one reason -it’s all about being in love with books. Genius! There are things I loved about the book and things that bothered me. To be totally honest, the formatting of the ARC was really wonky, which I think could have messed up my reading experienced. But I’m trying not to let that biased me. But before I give more of my opinions, here is the book blurb: In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing? Continue reading

Top Ten Recent(ish) Middle Grade Reads

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Happy Tuesday! It’s a freebie for Top Ten Tuesday and I’m talking about middle grade books! I don’t know if its because I’m in a writing program for kids or doing some freelance curriculum work aimed at middle school students or just that there are so many good middle grade books out, but I’m getting into these books a lot. Here are some of my favorites from the last year or so. Let me know what you think! Continue reading

Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR

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Hi friends! I am in LA today after spending two weeks driving from LA to Seattle (and back again) with my sister. There were so many amazing bookstores along the way. The Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle. River House Books, my favorite bookstore in Carmel, California. And, of course, the gloriousness that is Powell’s City of Books in Portland. Here are some new, very eclectic, books that have been added to my TBR on my journey. Excited to blog more about the trip (and head back to NYC) soon! Continue reading

The Royal We, by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

22875451In November and December, I hit a bit of a reading slump. I was reading good books and I was liking them. But they were all so sad. Books about death and suicide and mental illness. Even the fantasy I was reading, The Jewel by Amy Ewing, was dark and hard. A world where girls are sold as surrogates to rich women against their will – not exactly light reading. Deciding to end the streak, I picked up The Royal We, by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan. The title and the cover alone were enough for me to guess what the book was about, but I this surpassed my wildest imagination and definitely broke my sad book slump. I mean I’m not going to say that it’s essentially 454 pages of Will and Kate fan fiction … but I’m also not going say it isn’t. What I can say, without qualm, is that is fun, drama-filled, and (perhaps surprisingly) well written.  Continue reading