Next to be reviewed:

Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler!

According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer. (from Goodreads)
♥ Favorite Line(s):
"Sometimes you gotta just take things for what they are and appreciate them, not try to label it or explain it. Explanations take the mystery out of it, you know?"
My thoughts:
I should have known. I should have known that this book would leave me disappointed. From the sea glass heart cover to the boy-centric description to the protag who was a little too young for my liking all of the clues pointed to a story I wouldn't fall for. In my defense I thought the timing of my reading this was perfect! I was on a super dark story streak and wanted something light-hearted and fun. I needed to go to the beach, if only in my mind. I was prepared for a doughnut read and instead grabbed hold of a handful of icing. I had such high hopes for this as a cleanser, but alas it just didn't do it for me.

Twenty Boy Summer is a story about loss and love but somehow had no discernible substance. I was unaffected by Anna's Sad Girl act and Frankie just made me want to throttle her. And their relationships with the boys they meet in Zanzibar Bay? I barely remember the boys' names let alone care at all what happened to them. Each character seemed two-dimensional and severely underwhelmed me. I couldn't connect with them and therefore didn't connect at all with the story.

The only element of this book that I loved was the setting. As that girl who would love to move to the beach for a summer to work in a shady seaside diner and sunbathe all day, the images of Zanzibar Bay and the beach house were right up my alley. I loved getting to go on the cross country journey with Anna and can relate to going away from home for the first time. When I first traveled out of my tri-state area I had many of the same reactions as Anna.

I really, really tried to get into this story. I hate disliking a book and try very hard to find something enjoyable in every read. I just don't think I was in the right time in my life or frame of mind to find this likeable. I also felt very cringey over the way virginity and sex were presented in the book. I don't really want to get into this topic, but because of this and my level of enjoyment I chose to not finish the last thirty or so pages of the book.
Summing it up:
Just couldn't get into it. Didn't finish.

"Down By The Water"-The Drums,

Review: Stolen Nights (Vampire Queen #2) by Rebecca Maizel!

Summary: A new year is beginning at Wickham Boarding School. A new chance at life, at reversing the evil in my past. But nothing is ever as simple it seems... (from Goodreads)
♥ Favorite Line(s):
forgot to write them down, sorry!!

My thoughts:
This. Series.

I can't believe I held off reading the second installment for this long! I absolutely loved Infinite Days and Stolen Nights not only reminded me why I loved the characters and story so much, but made me love them even more.

Stolen Nights is exactly the book I needed to read to jumpstart my return to reviewing. The action and intensity layered throughout was like a jolt of energy to my lethargic summer brain. Every twist and turn of the plot kept me interested and flipping pages and I can safely say my sleeping patterns were greatly hindered by the amount of stolen nights this story took. *ba dum tss*

Besides keeping me firmly on the edge of my seat, figuratively and sometimes even literally, the story hung in a delicate balance between "soft, epic romance" and "Blade." While I was invested in the love triangle (quadrangle??) I also deeply cared about the other badass vampire from hell business that continued on from Infinite Days. Rebecca Maizel's weaving of history and mythology into the series is done so tactfully that I barely registered that I was reading about vampire rules and regulations rather than some bare all confession from Rhode. The world Maizel creates is so real and tangible I just want to grab a beach towel and some vampire hunting gear and make my way over to join Lena, Justin, Rhode, Vicken, and Tony (poor, poor Tony!!).

Aside from all of the technical goodness of Stolen Nights (the pacing is flawless, good lord), it had me emotionally hooked as well. I mean, I was already so here for Lena's HBIC status and the ever glorious Justin Enos, but throw in some existential crises and life-changing choices and I am down. I was so into the storyline that I couldn't see just exactly how invested I was until it ended.


The ending of Stolen Nights had the same level of shock value as a red giant imploding in my face would...I mean that's what I imagine anyway. After finishing I kinda just sat staring at the book like this:


Overall the book was fun, fast-paced, appropriately dramatic, and majorly cool! I've been trying to dig up some info on a third installment with no luck, but here's hoping!

Summing it up:
I really enjoy this series and definitely recommend checking it out!

Link up: Goodreads//Shelfari//Amazon//Barnes and Noble//Rebecca's website
Happy Wednesday!

P.S. Sorry this update came so long after my "return"! I was busy catching up on my to-read pile so I would have lots of great stuff to review all lined up :) Hope the weather is as beautiful where you are as it is here!

"Awkward"-San Cisco,

I'm baaaaaaack!

Here I am, back and begging for your forgiveness: Well guys, it's been quite a while hasn't it?? Over two years since I've posted a word on this blog. I can't believe I let my hiatus last this long. Honestly it's become so long that I thought about not coming back at all, but I've missed this blog too much to just let it die. I hope you'll all welcome me back with, if not open arms, at least no pitchforks ;)

An update on me for those interested: I'm now 19-years-old and just finished my freshman year of college in New York City. Quite a change from where I was when I left this blog out to dry. I'm majoring in travel, fashion, and music journalism, which is one of the main reasons I'm aching to get this blog up and running again. More practice writing can't hurt right? Anyway, I'm finally feeling like I've got everything together enough that I can really put some time in on this blog! Also, my hair is currently a gradient of pink, purple, and blue which if anything makes my daily life, which I tend to share a bit of on here, a bit more interesting.

I hope all of you who have continued to follow this blog even though it was Very Inactive choose to stay and continue on in this quest for awesome reads with me! I've spent a bit of today reading through some of my favorite blogs and catching up on what I've missed and it's safe to say I've been seriously behind on everything YA and I've missed your posts! I can't wait to get back into the swing of things and back to regularly posting. Hope everyone has had a great Memorial Day weekend! :)

"The Sea" - Swim Deep,

Top Ten Guest Post {Just Contemporary Week Four!}

This month, in case you didn't know, is Just Contemporary Month! I love love love contemporary YA, therefore I'm participating in some of the guest posty activities planned. This week's guest post is written by Tara from Hobbitsies all about her favorite authors in contemporary literature! It's great my lovelies, so read on. :)
Alright, picking my top ten contemporary authors was hard. REALLY HARD. Clearly you guys know how many awesome contemporary authors are out there, so narrowing it down is not something I ever want to attempt again, hah!

So, here it goes – my top ten favourite contemporary authors, in no order!

1) SARAH OCKLER – Her writing is AMAZING. She’s only written two books, Twenty Boy Summer and Fixing Delilah, and I am such a freaking huge fan girl. If someone ever asks me “which author do you want to be when you grow up?” my answer will be Sarah Ockler. Her writing style is fantastic and gorgeous and her characters are so real and I just cry and cry and cry. I love her!

2) STEPHANIE PERKINS – Alright, isn’t this a given? Who doesn’t love Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door? Not only is Stephanie Perkins herself amazing and awesome, but her books and her characters ESPECIALLY her male characters ah!

3) MEG CABOT – Another given. But really. She’s Meg freaking Cabot. All of her books are amazing, ESPECIALLY the contemporary ones (although I do admit I love the Mediator series). I have read The Princess Diaries series like a million times.

4) LOUISE RENNISON – You want to talk about a funny woman? Her books are laugh out loud funny. Lots of hilarious escapades and unbelievably mortifying moments and even though none of the stuff has ever happened to me, I can totally picture it all in my head. Love her!

5) MAUREEN JOHNSON  - Her books are lovely and hilarious and I’ve literally read them all and I love them, but honestly, Maureen Johnson isn’t just on this list because of her books. She, as a person, is awesome. She just has so much presence, it’s awe-inspiring. I met her twice at BEA and I just love her.

6) LEILA SALES – I loved Mostly Good Girls  - I thought it was one of the most realistic books I’ve ever read. Funny and embarrassing and moving. And then I read Past Perfect and that just legitimately made my day. Such an awesome book, such an awesome contemporary writer.

7) KODY KEPLINGER – I know a lot of people knock Kody Keplinger because her books focus on sex, but honestly? I love that about her books. It’s so real. Some high schoolers have sex and her books are very honest about that.

8) SARA BENNETT WEALER – She’s only published one book so far, Rival, but I absolutely loved it. It was a refreshing contemporary that focused more on the importance of friendship and goals than boys. I can’t wait to read more from her.

9) ALLY CARTER – SPIES. Okay. Her books are about SPIES AND ART THIEVES. I freaking love espionage and thievery and badass teenage girls who are doing espionage and thievery. I always look forward to the next Ally Carter book.

10) SARAH DESSEN – How on earth did I forget Sarah freaking Dessen? Her books are AMAZING and real and really leave an impact on me every single time.

Thanks for the awesome post, Tara! :)

"Powerful Stuff"-Sean Hayes

This month, in case you didn't know, is Just Contemporary Month! I love love love contemporary YA, therefore I'm participating in some of the guest posty activities planned. This week's guest post is written by Katelyn from Katelyn's Blog all about the tough stuff in contemporary literature! It's great my lovelies, so read on. :)

About Katelyn:
My name is Katelyn and I’m the crazy blogger behind Katelyn’s Blog (catchy title, huh?). When I’m not reading, my time is mostly taken up by my family (3 brother + 2 sisters + 3 dogs = LOTS of madness), college (hope to become a high school math/English teacher), and working (I’ve got to pay for my book/shoe/food addictions somehow).The only two things that keep sane during my crazy days are books and music. I love to read anything young adult but my heart beats a little stronger for contemporary fiction. I am a total fan-girl to Sarah Dessen, Melina Marchetta, Jennifer Echols, Simone Elkeles, We The Kings, Taylor Swift, and Augustana!
Sex. Drugs. Abuse. Suicide. Divorce. Death. Molestation. Break-ups. Lies. Cheaters. Loss. Grieving. Absent parents. Homelessness. Confidence issues. Self-worth. Depression. Anger problems. Eating disorders. Addiction. Drinking. Sexual orientation. Homophobia. Racism. Prejudices. Back-stabbing. Bullying. Teen pregnancy. Disorders. These are just a few of the issues that teens deal with on a daily basis but really the list can go on and on. Perhaps one of the greatest things about Y.A. contemporary fiction novels is that an author can cover one or two or as many issues as they want and nearly anybody can relate to it. Now what you guys may or may not find surprising, is that I have always stayed away from these “darker” contemporary novels up until recently and here is why.
I am not one of those close-minded people who think not reading about a certain issue means it is not there. I am well aware of all the problems going on in the world around us. The difference between me and people who think Y.A. contemp books are too dark for teens is that I think they are excellent for the right people. A girl who cuts herself reads a book about a girl going through a similar situation. However, the girl in the book finds the strength to say “No more” and moves on to other, more productive ways of expressing herself. A book that would be rather depressing and sad in many ways to some people, myself included, can be a life saver for another. I KNOW that books save lives, so why is it that I stayed away from them?
To answer that, would be extremely difficult. The only thing I can come up with is because by the end of the day, I thought I NEEDED a lighter book. I needed one that would make me smile, and laugh, and giggle like a school girl when a cute boy says something. I didn’t particularly want one that would make me sad and cry because after a long day of school, work, and home life, I wanted to be taken to a brighter, happier place.
I thought I was staying away from these “tough issue” books until I really began to look at what I was reading.*enter epiphany type music here* Sarah Dessen’s books are known for the romance but take a deeper look and there is so much more beneath the surface. Abuse, rape, death of a parent just to name a few! Jellicoe Road, a book I love is all about tough stuff. Love, Inc. a rather cute book is about parents divorcing and the effects that can have on kids. It’s Kind of a Funny Story follows a guy who commits himself to a psych ward because he wants to kill himself. Five Flavors of Dumb is about a girl who is deaf! These are all some of my FAVORITE books and you know what? They are full of tough issues. I DO read books that deal with stuff that real teens go through. It may be the lighter side of tough but they still cover it in a way that I can relate to.
Books about drug addiction, incest, molestation just aren’t for me. BUT I know there are people out there who NEED books like that so they can gain a sense of comfort knowing they are not alone out there. I give props to the authors who can create a world so dark and so very true so teens can have a voice. Books dealing with tough issues give the ones who have been forced to be quite about things going on in their lives a sense of hope. They can believe that there is a way out of an abusive relationship or drug addiction can be beat. These books may be dark compared to most Y.A books, but you want to know something kind of crazy? They are the most hopeful books I have ever laid eyes on.

There you go my lovelies! What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Also, how's everyone doing? It's been a while, no?

"Powerful Stuff"-Sean Hayes,