Sunday, July 28, 2013

Best of 2013. . .So Far!

Turns out, I'm a slow reviewer. I like to read...savor...process...and let it all sink in before I actually put my thoughts to words. The reviews I write as soon as I close the book are typically rambling, in-cohesive messes....which is probably why I currently only have 7 reviews on Goodreads...and none of them are particularly glowing. The glowing ones are the hardest because I really want to express why I found the book so wonderful. I want to convince the world to love the story as much as I did & do my best not to spoil anything for them.

That being said, here are some of the best books I have read in the past year or so. In no particular order (other than the order that they popped into my head....which could mean that I love them most...or just encountered them recently!) If they made this list, then I highly recommend the book...the author...or anything else ever written by the author. Here is my author spotlight. Hopefully reviews will soon follow!

Tammara Webber

I have to start this list with Tammara. I thank her for piquing my interest in indie authors. I found her first book, Between The Lines, as a deal on Amazon soon after I bought my Kindle. I have worked in theatre & film, so the description of the book grabbed my attention. I read the book...loved it...and then looked to see what else she might have available. Luckily for me, the second book in the series was coming out soon. While I was waiting, I chatted with her a bit on Facebook & picked up a couple of books that she recommended. Soon, I found myself reading my way through her favorites list on Goodreads since it seemed that we had very similar tastes. I was thrilled to get to meet her (however briefly!) at a signing in Dallas earlier this year.

Most of the authors/books listed below are either from that list, or came from the rabbit trail of following each author that I read & liked on Facebook & picking up books they recommended.

1. Between The Lines - This is the first book of her series.  We meet Emma, Reid, Brook & Graham as they begin filming School Pride (aka Pride & Prejudice in high school).

2. Where Are You (Between the Lines #2) - This book picks up immediately where Between the Lines ended & we follow Emma, Graham, Reid & Brook through the media tour surrounding the opening of the film.

3. Good For You (Between the Lines #3) - This one is my favorite of all 4 of her books! It could be read as a stand-alone, but you really should read the first two to get Reid's full arc. I've never been one to fall for the bad-boy, but she reeled me in with his story!

4. Easy - Easy is a stand-alone story following a college girl as she struggles to find peace & reclaim her strength after an attack one nigh leaves her questioning herself & who she can trust.  It has a different tone than the Between The Lines series but is equally compelling.

Jessica Park

1. Flat-Out Love --I'm a re-reader, but my limited free time & my massive to-be-read list usually prevents me from re-visiting books very quickly. However, I bought FOL last September & have already read it once & listened to the audiobook twice.

After finishing Flat-Out Matt last night...I'm considering reading it again soon!

2. Flat-Out Matt -- (This is a companion novella to Flat-Out Love. Do yourself a favor & read Flat-Out Love before you even read the description of this one! Of course, if you haven't read Flat-Out Love, then you should. You won't be able to resist wanting more of these characters.)

3. Relatively Famous

4. Left Drowning  --  This one is very different than the other three.  They are PG where this one is R.  It took me a little while to fully connect with the characters, but I'm glad I stuck with them on their rocky journey!

Colleen Hoover

1. Slammed -- I read this one in one sitting....and then spent hours listening to & downloading Avett Brother's songs. If you haven't heard of this book, or this band, check them both out!

2. Point of Retreat (Slammed #2)

3. This Girl (Slammed #3)  -- Basically a retelling of Slammed through Will's point-of-view, but she does it in such a clever way that it feels like a new story.

3. Hopeless -- Colleen Hoover's characters don't live in a fairytale world.  Tragedy happens.  I knew this from reading Slammed but somehow this book (even with a title like Hopeless) surprised me.

4. Losing Hope (Companion Novel to Hopeless)  Holder's retelling of Hopeless.  It's a more traditional alternate-POV story than This Girl was, but it adds new insight to Holder and what happened to him to make him the way he is.

Katja Millay

1. The Sea of Tranquility -- Wow...That is all.

Jeri Smith-Ready

1. Shade -- Ghosts & a Cute Scottish boy. I first experienced this by audiobook....the accent won me over! After that, the story & legend intrigued me. I have always wanted to go to if I ever make it, I'll have to go to Newgrange. Few books send me to the internet for research, but she intrigued me enough I had to know more.

2. Shift (Shade #2)

3. Shine (Shade #3)

Tracey Garvis Graves

1. On The Island -- Don't read anything about this book...just read it. The summary almost turned me off, but this was one I gave a chance based on Tammara's recommendation. Never regretted it for a second.

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