Top Ten Books We've Read So Far In 2015


End of Days by Susan Ee

Title: End of Days
Series: Penryn & the End of Days #3
Author: Susan Ee
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: May 12th 2015
Source:Gifted from my awesome co-blogger!
Summary from Goodreads:
End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy.

After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?


AHHH, goodness do I love this series. Without hesitation, Susan Ee drops the reader right back into the crazy dark post-apocalyptic world of the End of Days. End of Days really has a bit of everything; there are intense battle scenes, romantic tension, and a terrifyingly dark setting. 

The romance is picked up a bit more than I was expecting, kind of took me by surprise. As far as characters go, End of Days presents the reader with more background on certain angels and gives old characters some shining roles. The family relationship and unique love within Penryn’s family is one of my favorite parts of End of Days. Every family is unique and expresses love in their own way and I believe Susan Ee captured that extremely well. They are each essential characters to the storyline.

The action scenes are intense and violent at times but fit the plot and mood of the book. There are some unexpected turns and surprising situations that kept me on my toes, always guessing.  The only reason I knock off half a star was a certain part of the story I wish had a bit more development (won't mention more, don't want to spoil it!)

End of Days is a high energy, high stakes, page turning conclusion to the series. It did not disappoint. If you have yet to start this series, get on it :) It is unlike any angel book I have ever read and I mean that as a sincere compliment! 


Stacking the Shelves (130) - June 27th

Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews - features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.

Upcoming Reads

What books are stacking your shelves??


Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Title: Because You'll Never Meet Me
Author: Leah Thomas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
Release Date: July 2, 2015
Source: ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review (thanks Bloomsbury!)

Summary from Goodreads:
In a stunning literary debut, two boys on opposite ends of the world begin an unlikely friendship that will change their lives forever.

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.


There is a lot to like about Because You'll Never Meet Me - most notably the voices of the two main characters, Ollie and Moritz. When we first meet Ollie, he is so full of energy and light that you can't help but smile. And there were a few times that he even made me laugh out loud which immediately made me like him. I can see why someone would compare him to Mim from Mosquitoland (although he's not quite on that level of awesome). Moritz on the other hand was the exact opposite - morose and even a little hostile. But it wasn't long before Ollie broke down his walls and Moritz started to open up.

Neither boy is living a normal life. Ollie is allergic to electricity and therefore, is confined to a cabin out in the woods. And Moritz was born without eyes and sees by way of echolocation (using sound waves to determine shapes of objects). As a result, both boys are struggling with their existence. Ollie is grieving the loss of his friend Liz - who no longer comes to visit due to an incident that readers slowly learn of - and Ollie sinks deeper and deeper into despair and self-pity. Meanwhile, Moritz is suffering at the hands of a school bully and feels like the freak of his high school. Over the course of writing to each other, Ollie and Moritz inspire one another to change the course of their lives and lift one another up when they need it the most. They listened to each other and gave each other some hard but necessary advice. The bond that they formed turned out to be something really special. But the growth and character arc of each of these characters was what was truly remarkable.

Unfortunately though, while I appreciated the story, it didn't ever really pull me in. Even though I sympathized with both Ollie and Moritz I never really connected with either one of them to feel their pain on a deeper level. It also threw me for loop when this book turned more Science Fiction than Contemporary - Ollie and Moritz are connected by a laboratory that used to experiment with genetic mutation to cure disease. I think this entire story  was a little too far-fetched for it to make much of an impact on me.

But my feelings are my own, and the heart of this story is really quite beautiful. If you are a fan of the unusual and strong characterization, then I think you should give this book a read!


Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Title: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Source: ALA MW

Summary from Goodreads:
Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.


There was something about this book that made it un-put-down-able. Maybe it was that Sydney was such a good person – she carried a guilt for her brother’s actions and was the only one in her family to think of the real victim of the crash, David. Maybe it was that my heart couldn’t help but reach out to her as she was repeatedly overshadowed by her brother and unfairly treated by her parents. And maybe it was that I wanted to protect her from the incredibly creepy Ames and anyone else that could possibly inflict more pain on her. For all these reasons and more I was deeply invested in Sydney’s story and wanted good things to come to her. And so I flew through this one waiting for her to have her moment.

I loved how Sydney found a home with another family – one that was accepting of her, understood what she was going through and didn’t make her feel invisible. The Chathams were complicated and crazy but I felt like I really got to know them. They reminded me a little bit of the Garretts from My Life Next Door - at least in a way that their presence was a huge and welcome part of the book.

I loved Sydney’s friendship with Layla – who was this beautiful and vulnerable soul. There was this one particular moment in the book where she protects Sydney from Ames and it literally brought me to tears. It was that sweet. And then Sydney’s slow-burn relationship with Layla’s older brother Mac. Wonderful. The characters in this book and their relationships with one another really shine. This wasn’t just Sydney’s story.

Unfortunately Sydney didn’t get the moment I had hoped she would but her situation did improve by the end. And I guess it was fitting for Sydney’s personality – who wasn’t the shouting, impatient type. Rather than dramatically point out her parent’s unfairness and negligence, her parents kind of came to realize it on their own. I would have exploded much sooner and that’s what I’m used to seeing these types of books come to, so it caught me a little off guard.

But without a doubt, I loved this book. I am no Sarah Dessen expert but in my mind, Saint Anything is just as good as her other books that I’ve read. So if you are already a fan, make sure to pick this one up. Dessen is a contemporary knockout and Saint Anything is just another masterpiece to add to her repertoire. And now I need a copy for my shelves!


Our Ten Favorite Top Ten Tuesday Topics

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten list is "Our Favorite Top Ten Tuesday Topics" 

Nicole's Top Five

1.  Top Ten Character Names We Love or Find Unusual (October 22, 2013)
I am a bit obsessed with names so I loved sharing my favorites and discovering new ones!

2. Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That We'd Like to Own (April 15, 2014)
I can't get enough book-inspired accessories, knick knacks, etc. so this topic was super fun to do/read.

3. Top Ten Book Covers We'd Frame As Pieces of Art (May 6, 2014)
I am a bit of a cover whore so I loved ogling all these pretties!

4. Top Ten Underrated Books (February 17, 2015)
These books needs more attention so I loved having this avenue to highlight them.

5. Top Ten Inspiring Quotes From Books (April 14, 2015)
This was such a beautiful, uplifting topic.

Bonus* Top Ten Character Mash Ups (January 20, 2015)
I don't know if this counts because it was our idea for a freebie day, but I LOVED creating these mash ups so this is definitely one of my favorites we've done!

Ashley's Top Five

1. Top Ten Adult Fiction Books We Can't Believe We Haven't Read Yet  (February 3rd, 2015)
I really enjoyed looking over my TBR list and seeing what adult books that I have just not gotten to!

2. Top Ten Books We'd Read If We Had a Book Club (January 27, 2015)
I really loved the format we picked for this topic, it was so fun to write.

3. Top Ten Bookish Goals/Resolutions For 2015 (December 30, 2014)
I am a super goal oriented person so I love writing personal goals and of course bookish goals!

4. Top Ten Characters We Wish Would Get Their Own Book (November 22, 2014)
Having solid secondary characters is always a bonus, so I enjoyed finding characters who I would want to get their own book.

5. Ten Places Books Have Made Us Want To Visit (whether fictional or real) (October 14, 2014)
Who does not love imagining they could go to Hogwarts!  Thinking about the awesome settings in books makes me wish I could visit!

What are your top ten?


The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #2
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Source: ALA MW

Summary from Goodreads:
Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.


Want to know what happens when you bring a captured princess, a conniving prince, a love-struck assassin, and a power-hungry enemy ruler all together? Then read The Heart of Betrayal. Power struggles, politics, romance, betrayal, deception – these are just a few of the things you can expect to find in this book.

The relationship dynamics were incredible. And the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Lia is playing with Kaden's feelings to gain freedom. Rafe is betting on the Komazir's greed to stay alive. Kaden is testing the Komazir's patience to protect Lia. The Komazir is using Lia to gain political favor. So much is happening in this book with these characters and I was never sure who would come out ahead. In the end, in a way, I'm not sure anyone did. And I loved every second of it.

We really get to know Venda and its people in this sequel and like Lia, I grew to care for many in this city. We learn the complicated history between these three kingdoms and something that Venda has been planning for a while. I can't wait to see what Pearson has in store for us in the last book. There's no doubt in my mind that it's going to be epic.

Also, the ship in this book brings all the feels. Just saying.

The Heart of Betrayal was a damn good sequel to The Kiss of Deception and The Remnant Chronicles has become a new favorite series of mine. If you are looking for a series that has it all, then look no further. My only complain is that it ended. ;)

Stacking the Shelves (129) - June 20th

Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews - features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.

What I'm Reading

What books are stacking your shelves? 


The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Title: The Witch Hunter
Author: Virginia Boecker
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Source: ARC received from publisher

Summary from Goodreads: The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.


Dark, magical, and entertaining - three words that I would say sum up my feelings on The Witch Hunter. The vivid imagery painted such an enchantingly dark image of witchcraft, hunters, and royal politics; it was one of my favorite aspects of the book!  While at times the plot did slow down, there was still a great mix of world building and action throughout the story.  With that being said, here are 5 reasons I really enjoyed The Witch Hunter:

1. Awesome dark magical witch dinners - Nicholas Perevil is one rad wizard! What I would do to sit at a table full of magical folks...

2. Surprising twists and turns - There were aspects of the plot that took me by surprise and kept me on my toes.

3. The romance -  The romance was not a huge player in the story; instead it complimented the adventure and action.  While there were some hints of a love triangle, I think in the end the romance was a nice slow build and ended with a fairly solid one love option.

4. The ending -  The ending was a well-delivered conclusion with enough explanation yet still questions and intrigue setting up for the rest of the series.

5. Adventure - I enjoyed the adventure and crazy scenarios that Elizabeth continued to conquer.  She was a stubborn, yet very strong, female lead.  She had to face her fears and adjust her stereotypes to survive and face the various challenges.

The Witch Hunter move along at a much slower pace then I sometimes preferred at times but I still found this book to be a fun, enjoyable read.


Exploring Outside My Book Comfort Zone

Welcome to Thoughts for Thursday! This feature is our outlet to talk with you about whatever we currently have on our minds. It might be bookish, it might not! Now for this week's thought:

Exploring Outside My Book Comfort Zone and Need Recommendations!

So I have semi-recently expanded my reading comfort zone and read my first New Adult book (Cora Carmack's Losing It) and I LOVED it.  It made me laugh and smile throughout the whole book.  I wanted more just like it so I quickly finished the Losing It series and read the Rusk University series in May.  I am thrilled to have ventured into New Adult books; I have enjoyed the ones I have read so far but I need more, especially for reading outside this summer! 

 So this is where I ask you, what are some of your favorite New Adult books??

I have been really enjoying trying books out of my comfort zone but I have been very very selective so far.  I do have bookshelves full of great books that am looking forward to reading but sometimes I feel like I need a book that is a polar opposite of what I have just read.  I need to cleanse my book palette so to speak.  I recently was drawn to a book I won a while back, The Cute Girl Network, which happened to be a graphic novel.  My first one ever!  The story was cute and fun and I loved the artwork; I finished the book in one sitting.  I went to the library and did some googling in search of more like it but I was quickly overwhelmed.  I had no idea what would be another good graphic novel or other book with illustrations that a newbie might possibly enjoy.  

So this is where I ask you, do you have any graphic novel/illustrated book recommendations?

Also, are there any series or books you think I should avoid completely in either kind of category?  I look forward to recommendations and continuing to expand my comfort zone! 


The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Title: The Glass Arrow
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: February 10, 2015

Summary from Goodreads:
The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.


The Glass Arrow is a strong standalone Dystopian novel and I can see why many have fallen in love with it. Growing up in the wild has led Aya to be fiercely independent and skilled at surviving. When she is captured and brought to the Garden for auction, she does everything in her power to escape and make it back to her family. I admired her tenacity and loyalty even if it sometimes clouded her judgement. Overall, she was easy to like and root for.

The brewing romance in the middle of the book wasn't my favorite and I think it's execution was the biggest shortcoming in the story. I thought it was a little weird that she becomes so attached to someone in such a short period of time when she couldn't even have a two-sided conversation with him. His attentions were at least explained away later, but hers were mostly chalked up to loneliness. But this book really shines in the final 3rd and thats when everything comes together. It was pretty much nonstop at that point and I really enjoyed it. 

The premise of this book - that women are used for breeding and then discarded - is a dark and difficult one to swallow, especially since many of the women accepted and even embraced their fate. Women in this society were treated no better than cattle for slaughter and there were moments in this book that made me sick to my stomach. But at the same time, this book was not as dark as I prepared myself for it to be. I've read much darker. And I just wanted to put that out there in case some of you shied away from reading this one book because of how harsh it was built up to be. I'm not saying it's easy, but it's not graphic or overwhelming.

Aside from my comments on the middle third, I don't really have any complaints about this book. It was a pleasant read with many likable elements. I wouldn't say I read a lot of dystopian, but The Glass Arrow definitely stands out from what I have read. It just wasn't a favorite. But not every book can be.


Top Ten Books That Should Be On Your TBR For Summer 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten list is "Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR list" BUT since we just did this we are recommending "Books That Should Be On YOUR TBR"

Nicole's Top Five

1. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick - this book continues to be one of my all-time-favorite contemporaries and you would read it just in time for the release of the companion novel, The Boy Most Likely To!

2. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West - Any Kasie West book will do, but this one is my favorite for the humor, the swoons and everything else that makes Kasie West book's so darn loveable.

3. Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid - This road trip book makes me want to seize the day and be kind to people. Perfect for summer. It is also very uniquely written!

4. Boomerang by Noelle August -  this book is sexy and fun, two words I think of when I think of Summer. And the third book in this series Bounce, releases in August!

5.Open Road Summer by Emory Lord- this book is amazing so either you need to read it or it's the perfect time for a reread ;)

Ashley's Top Five

1. Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling #1) by Megan McCafferty - This is a pretty short book and would make a fantastic pool side read plus you can get through the series pretty quickly!

2. Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout -This standalone mystery/thriller is a great fast read.

3. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley - This book takes place in one night, the book has serious fun and adventure vibes. 

4. All Played Out (Rusk University #3) by Cora Carmack - Steamy and fun New Adult, I loved this one and  it just came out so read it :)

5. Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1) by Katie McGarry - I have yet to read at Katie McGarry book so this one will be my first, so ya should read it this summer with me!

What are your top ten?

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