Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read in Spring 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
Best Books I Read in Spring 2019

I'm going rogue for the second week in a row. I just recently did a post on my most anticipated releases of the summer and that basically overlaps with my summer TBR. So instead I'm going to share the top ten books I read in the spring (March-April-May).


Watching You | 4.25 stars
Getting Schooled | 4.25 stars
The Bride Test | 4.5 stars
How to Save a Life | 4.5 stars
Intercepted | 4.25 stars
The Unhoneymooners | 4.25 stars
Long Shot | 5 stars

Were any of these one of your favorites? 

Review: Superfan by Sarina Bowen

SUPERFAN
Sarina Bowen
Publication date: June 25, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Tuxbury Publishing



GOODREADS  *  AMAZON








S Y N O P S I S

Three years ago I met the most amazing girl in the world. We were both down on our luck. Then I got that call—the one that tells you to get your buns on a plane to go meet your destiny.

But the girl was left behind. I didn’t have her phone number, and she didn’t know my real name.

While I became a professional hockey player, she became a superstar, with platinum records and legions of fans. And a slick, music producer boyfriend who treated her badly.

But fate wasn’t done with us yet. When Delilah turns up at a hockey game, I can’t resist making contact. The internet swoons when I ask her out on a date.

She might not remember me. But her jerkface ex does. He’ll do anything to keep us apart.

Good thing athletes never give up. This time I’m playing for keeps.

M Y   T H O U G H T S

Let me start by saying that this is the first of the Brooklyn Bruisers books I’ve read, so I went in totally unfamiliar with the characters and their back stories. I adore Sarina Bowen and am working my way through her entire backlist but just haven’t gotten to this series yet. Even so, I had no problem jumping right into Superfan and was totally invested in Silas and Delilah. So if, like me, you haven’t read the previous books in the series, never fear – pick it up, start reading, and you’ll be sucked right in.

Silas and Delilah met three years ago when she was a struggling musician and he was tending bar while trying to formulate a Plan B when his efforts to play professional hockey didn’t pan out. Timing is everything and it was definitely not on their side. When they reconnected, now both successful in their careers, all the same feelings were still there but their lifestyles were even more hectic and incongruous than before. But no way was Silas willing to lose Delilah a second time!

This was a swoony second-chance romance with all the Sarina Bowen magic. Silas was incredibly down to earth and unassuming. Sweet and thoughtful and protective – definitely one of the good guys. Delilah made jokes about being a diva but in reality she was the same girl as when she was still unknown and struggling. Their chemistry jumped off the page and their easy banter kept a smile on my face. But they still didn’t have an easy road to a future together. Between living on opposite coasts, their crazy schedules, an ex that won’t get the message and let go, and a possible stalker… they had a lot to overcome. And I was pulling for them all the way.

Whether you’ve followed the Brooklyn Bruisers since the very first book, or if you’re brand new to the series, you’ll love being pulled into Superfan. Filled with great friendships, an addictive story and a swoony romance, Superfan is a total hit!

4/5 STARS

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. This does not impact my opinion of the book or the content of this review. I received no compensation and my review is voluntary.



The Sunday Post #160


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

  • Yesterday was a busy one with plenty of running around: had a hair appointment, got the oil changed in my car, bought a ceiling fan, went by Home Depot to pick up paint samples (the master bedroom makeover continues), and finally out to dinner. Hopefully today will be spent mostly at home.
  • I bought my mom a new-to-her (but actually refurbished from Amazon) iPhone and added her to our plan. She'd been using an ancient flip phone that did nothing more than make calls. My sisters and I have been trying to get her to text for years and she's resisted. Now texting lessons for my 74 year old mom begin. LOL
  • On the web: Suzanne Collins announced a Hunger Games prequel coming out next May. Can't wait for that one! GH shared a list of the top 25 books for your summer reading list. I loved seeing both The Bride Test and Mrs. Everything on there.
  • Because it's insanely hot here and because this drink looks insanely refreshing...



WHAT I READ IN THE LAST WEEK:

      
  
Despite it taking me almost 2 weeks to read (what the heck?), I totally enjoyed Red, White & Royal Blue. It was impossible not to fall a little in love with Alex and Henry and I enjoyed the balance between relationship + politics. Superfan was pure Sarina Bowen goodness. Silas was such a swoony hero - totally sweet, so thoughtful, without ego, and just such a good guy. Plus, I'm a sucker for a second chance romance.

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING: 
    

I'm only 50 pages in to this one but, man, am I feeling bad for these kids! Especially Morgan, who is dealing with so much (gender identity, grief, bullying) and is doing it largely alone. I suspect this one is going to make my cry. *grabs tissues just in case*


PHYSICAL BOOKS:

My pre-order of Storm and Fury arrived. Even though I ordered just the book (signed and personalized) they sent the special edition Book Beau pouch anyway. I didn't really want or need it so I'll see if my niece wants it. And in the Amazon deal of the week, I snagged a paperback of Kill Devil Hills for $4.15! I read this one years ago and loved it so much and for some reason it never occurred to me that it was released in paperback. I assumed it was ebook only but I have absolutely no idea where I got that assumption from. LOL I saw author Sarah Darlington share a pic of the book on IG this week and immediately clocked over to Amazon. So excited to have this one and now I definitely need to do a reread.

KINDLE BOOKS:
     

LIBRARY LOANS:





How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
I'd love to hear about it!

Review: I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST
Mason Deaver
Publication date: May 14, 2019
Genres: YA, Contemporary, LGBT
Format: Audiobook
Source: Hoopla

Narrator: MW Cartozian Wilson
Length: 8 hrs 34 min


GOODREADS  *  AMAZON





S Y N O P S I S

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben's attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan's friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.


M Y   T H O U G H T S

This. Was. Wonderful. 

Ben identified as non-binary - and was kicked out of their home because of it. The first couple chapters absolutely broke my heart. This kid, standing outside in January, with no shoes on their feet, trying to call a sister they hadn't seen in ten years to come pick them up. It was like a gut punch

Ben was precious. They were so sweet and so loving but their coming out experience had left them fearful and distrustful of possible reactions from others. There were so many times when I was silently begging Ben to speak up, to open up to their sister, to share their fears. But when I thought of myself at that age, and all the times I stayed silent and kept my fears and my worries to myself rather than voice them... I understood and I empathized. Ben struggled with anxiety and depression and panic attacks and my heart hurt that they were traveling such a rocky road on the way to finding solid ground.

There were so many aspects of this story that I loved. Ben's friend Nathan was kind and patient and always so upbeat. Everyone should be so lucky to have a Nathan in their life. Hannah and Thomas, Ben's sister and brother-in-law, were supportive and tried so hard. The story was therapy-positive and presented Ben's experience with their therapist as so worthwhile and affirming.

There were a couple instances where it felt like some character reactions were a little too perfect. They managed to say the exact right thing at the exact right time, and that made it feel a tiny bit inauthentic during those moments, but that was my only quibble. 

There came a point in this story where my heart was breaking for Ben (yet again) for all that they had to deal with. For all the hurt at the hands of the people who were supposed to love them unconditionally. For all the confusion they felt and for the fear of rejection. For their desire to just be accepted for who they were even as they worked to fully understand that themself. I found myself crying for Ben but I reminded myself that this was a work of fiction and there was no need to be so heartsick.

Then I thought about how, even though Ben may be a fictional character, there are so many real-life Ben’s out there, facing the same hurt and confusion and fear. 
And then I cried even harder.

4.5/5 STARS


ABOUT MASON DEAVER

Mason Deaver is a non-binary author who lives in Charlotte, NC, where the word ‘y’all’ is used in abundance. 

Typically, they’re writing incredibly queer stories, but when they decide to take a break, they love gardening and baking.


Instagram: @MASON_DEAVER
Twitter: @MASONDEAVER

WWW Wednesday #53 | June 19, 2019


WWW Wednesdays is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.
Just answer three questions and share what you're reading.


WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
  
     
     
Superfan (Brooklyn #3) - Sarina Bowen
I'm flying through this one (a total contrast to the almost two weeks it took me to read Red, White & Royal Blue!) and am already halfway through it. It kind of kills a piece of my soul to read book #3 in a series without having read the other books, but I just didn't have time to squeeze those in and still be able to get this one read by release day (June 25). I'll definitely go back and read the first two books, though. Because Sarina Bowen and because hockey. Although, there has been basically zero hockey in this one so far (womp womp). Still, I'm loving Silas... and I'm warming to Delilah. :)

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

     

Red, White & Royal Blue - Casey McQuiston
Him (Him #1) - Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Yes, it took me a day shy of two weeks to read Red, White & Royal Blue, but don't take that as a negative sign. Because I loved this story that managed to strike the perfect balance between romance + politics + sexuality/identity + humor + heartbreak. 

I also just finished my 673rd re-listen of Him. (Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration. It's probably more like the 9th or 10th.) I never get tired of Wes and Jamie's story and the narration by Teddy Hamilton and Jacob Morgan is sheer perfection. This is a total comfort read for me. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'LL READ NEXT?
  

   

Raze will probably be next up since it's an arc that releases on July 2. Birthday and There's Something About Sweetie are both library loans and it's anyone's guess if I'll get to them before they're due back. If I can only get to one of them it will be Birthday. I've seen some stunning reviews for that one and the premise really grabs me. I requested Sweetie on a whim when a blogger was raving about it but, truth be told, Menon's brand of YA just isn't really for me. I enjoyed Dimple, but Menon's style seems to be more of the cute/sweet YA and I gravitate more to the gritty/emotional stories (think Katie McGarry). But we'll see... maybe I'll manage to get to all three books. 

What are you currently reading?
I wanna know! :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2019

Goal: Do a better job of keeping track of upcoming TTT topics.

Reason: Three days ago I posted my most anticipated releases for Summer 2019. Yeah, so that happened. LOL And since I don't want to repeat any of the books I shared in that post, I only have eight releases to share today. Since my post on Saturday covered new releases through September, all of the ones I'm sharing here will release in October, November and December.


October 8
Reveal Me (Shatter Me #5.5) - Tahereh Mafi
The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) - Jennifer L. Armentrout
October 22
Twice in a Blue Moon - Christina Lauren
November 5
The Bromance Book Club - Lyssa Kay Adams
November 19
The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) - Holly Black
December 3
Blitzed (Playbook #3) - Alexa Martin
December 10
Regretting You - Colleen Hoover
December 31
The One for You (The Ones Who Got Away #4) - Roni Loren



Are you excited for any of these releases?
What new release are you most looking forward to this year? 

The Sunday Post #159


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

  • Book friends are the best! Sam (We Live and Breathe Books) sent me her hardcover copy of Hope and Other Punchlines. Because she's kind of amazing like that. Thank you again, Sam!
  • In other Showing the Love news, shout-out to Wayfair for the fantastic customer service. The new headboard arrived with a small hole in the upholstery. Their response was fast, friendly and just overall awesome. They are sending a replacement and we will donate the other.
  • Aaaand, the Blues won the Stanley Cup!!! It's been 4 days and I'm still riding high from the win. :) I keep watching footage and when I see all the guys celebrating I admit it... I get a little emotional. LOL



WHAT I READ IN THE LAST WEEK:

  
This. Was. Wonderful. Ben identified as non-binary - and was kicked out of their home because of it. The first couple chapters absolutely broke my heart. This kid, standing outside in January, with no shoes on their feet, trying to call a sister they hasn't seen in ten years to come pick them up. It was like a gut punch. I will say there were a couple instances where it felt like a character's reaction was a little too perfect and they said the exact right thing at the exact right time, but that was my only quibble. Otherwise, I highly recommend this one.

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING: 
    

Why is it taking me so long to read this book?! I'm loving it, but I've also been reading it for over a week now. Gah! I guess it's a combination of (1) I haven't been making a lot of time to read lately and, (2) as much as I'm enjoying the story, it does feel a bit overly-long. Hopefully I will finish it today!


PHYSICAL BOOKS:
From Sam! :)

eARCS FOR REVIEW:





How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
I'd love to hear about it!

My Most Anticipated Releases | Summer 2019


I'm a little bit late with this, since we're already two weeks into June, but let's just go with it, shall we? Better late than never and all that. There are actually two that have already released this month that I've read, so I won't list them below but you can check out my reviews for Jennifer L. Armentrout's Storm and Fury and Jennifer Weiner's Mrs. Everything.

Now on to the summer releases that I'm most excited for...


June 18
Molly Alcott didn’t expect to open her mailbox one summer morning and find an old letter stuffed between bills and a supermarket flyer. Penned in familiar handwriting, dated over fifteen years ago, the letter was written to Molly after her first date with the man she’ll never forget.

Week after week, new letters appear. Each marks an event in the history of their epic love affair. Each heals a wound. Each holds the confession of the man who still owns Molly’s heart.

The letters are full of promise, hope and love, but truth be told, Molly wishes she could unread them all.

Because the man who wrote these letters is not the one sending them.

I've been wanting to read something by Devney Perry for quite a while. The synopsis of this upcoming release definitely grabs me so this might be the one I start with.

June 25
Three years ago I met the most amazing girl in the world. We were both down on our luck. Then I got that call—the one that tells you to get your buns on a plane to go meet your destiny.

But the girl was left behind. I didn’t have her phone number, and she didn’t know my real name.

While I became a professional hockey player, she became a superstar, with platinum records and legions of fans. And a slick, music producer boyfriend who treated her badly.

But fate wasn’t done with us yet. When Delilah turns up at a hockey game, I can’t resist making contact. The internet swoons when I ask her out on a date.

She might not remember me. But her jerkface ex does. He’ll do anything to keep us apart.

Good thing athletes never give up. This time I’m playing for keeps.

I mean, it's Sarina Bowen. Need I say more?

June 25
When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship...

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

My reading of YA has waned to almost nil but I make an exception for Brigid Kemmerer. I love her contemporary YA novels and I've read some excellent early reviews for this one.


July 9
Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own...shell.
The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They're all--or mostly all--excited to meet her! She'll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It's a disaster! And as if that wasn't enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn't he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It's time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn't convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It's going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

I've yet to read anything from Abbi Waxman, but I'm intrigued by this one and think it might be an excellent read.










August 6
Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancĂ©—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.

K.A. Tucker is basically an auto-buy author for me. I've loved almost everything she's written and this one sounds right up my alley.

August 8
You thought they were just staying for the weekend. They looked harmless enough – with only two suitcases and a cat in a wicker box.

But soon things turn very, very dark. It happens slowly, yet so extraordinarily quickly.

Now you and your sister must find a way to survive.

Not much of a synopsis is it? But Lisa Jewell writes the kind of mystery/thrillers that I love so I don't need to be sold on it. I already have grabby hands.


August 20
See you on the other side.

Laya Marston’s husband, Cameron, a daredevil enthusiast, always said this before heading off on his next adventure. He was the complete opposite of her, ready and willing to dive off a cliff-face, or parachute across a canyon—and Laya loved him for it. But she was different: pragmatic, regimented, devoted to her career and to supporting Cameron from the sidelines of his death-defying feats.

Opposites attract, right?

But when Cameron dies suddenly and tragically, all the stages of grief go out the window. Laya becomes lost in denial, living in the delusion that Cameron will come back to her. She begins posting on his Facebook page, reminiscing about their life together, and imagining new adventures for the two of them.

Micah Evans, a young and handsome architect at Laya’s father’s firm, is also stuck––paralyzed by the banal details of his career, his friendships, and his love life. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for, only that there is someone out there who can bring energy and spirit to the humdrum of his life.

When Micah discovers Laya’s tragic and bizarre Facebook posts, he’s determined to show Laya her life is still worth living. Leaving her anonymous gifts and notes, trying to recreate the sense of adventure she once shared with her late husband, Micah finds a new passion watching Laya come out of the darkness. And Laya finds a new joy in the experiences Micah has created for her.

But for Laya, letting another man in still feels like a betrayal to her late husband. Even though Micah may be everything she could wish for, she wonders if she deserves to find happiness again.

I love Renee Carlino and a few of her novels have become real favorites. The advance reviews for The Last Post are a bit... underwhelming (an average GoodReads rating of 3.23 as of this writing - yikes) but I still have high hopes.

August 20
A provocative love story between a tough Kansas woman on a crooked path to redemption and the unlikeliest of champions, from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things.

Zee is nobody's fairy tale princess. Almost six-foot, with a redhead's temper and a shattered hip, she has a long list of worries: never-ending bills, her beautiful, gullible sister, her five-year-old nephew, her housebound mother, and her drug-dealing boss.

Zee may not be a princess, but Gentry is an actual knight, complete with sword, armor, and a code of honor. Two years ago the voices he hears called him to be Zee's champion. Both shy and autistic, he's barely spoken to her since, but he has kept watch, ready to come to her aid.

When an abduction tears Zee's family apart, she turns to the last person she ever imagined--Gentry--and sets in motion a chain of events that will not only change both of their lives, but bind them to one another forever.

Greenwood's All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, caused quite a stir and was certainly divisive, but I thought it was brilliant and moving and it instantly became an all-time favorite. I am so excited for her first release since 2016.

Are you looking forward to any of these upcoming releases? What summer release are you most excited for?