Friday, January 29, 2016

Best Books of January

It's time once again to tell you about the best books I read this month. This month kicks off the year and it was a great one, reading wise. Hopefully you'll find a few you want to read in this group, too!



I was so excited to finally get to read the first book this month--I even got an advanced copy. It debuts February 16, but you can pre-order it now. You're Invited, Too is the sequel to You're Invited, a fun book about four girls who start up a party-planning business. You can read this book separately, but I'd recommend starting with You're Invited because...fun! The cover to the sequel is somehow classy and girly at the same time:





Every young girl who dreams of someday being a wedding planner must read this book! Four middle schoolers take on planning a mega-wedding for a true bridezilla. Not only are her demands unreasonable for tween wedding planners, but they'd be unreasonable for any wedding planner. This book shows the charm of living in a small town, where everyone takes care of each other. Plus, there's a hurricane evacuation that becomes a sleepover for the whole town. Am I weird to want to live in a town where that happens?!

My next book was a fun YA indulgence. I've been trying to read more YA novels recently and this one was the perfect choice. Fun fact: the publisher once had a vote to determine the cover for The Distance from A to ZClick here to view the two choices and see if you agree with me that this was the best:



One thing I love about these Epic Reads e-books is the sexual tension. I've missed that since trading in romance novels for younger books. Natalie Blitt has it down. She has created two characters that constantly push each other away in that classic love story sort of way until you're dying for them to get together. If you love a good romance, along with the glamour of a story about a young girl learning to speak French, this is your book!

I also got to read the latest from Megan Whitson Lee. I loved Megan's book Song from the Ashes, so when I saw she had a new book, I knew I'd love it! I've made no secret of the fact that I'm fascinated with missing person cases, but Captives was so much more.



Captives is one of those books that gets under your skin. You know the kind of book I'm talking about: you can't stop thinking about it in between reads. When you're finished, you're left missing the characters. The book is told from three perspectives: the sister of a missing girl, a former sex-slavery victim who helps with the search for the missing girl, and a sex addict who lives in the neighborhood where the missing girl is found. (She's found early in the story, so that isn't giving anything away.) The story might seem like it's a mystery, but it's about what happens to some of these missing girls--and it begs the larger question of whether many of the young girls who get involved in prostitution and pornography aren't victims of sex slavery to one degree or another.

Next up are two books from my blogging buddy, Cathrina Constantine. When I downloaded Snow on Cinders, I immediately realized it was part two in a series. So, of course, I had to download the first one!


  


The Tallas series focuses on a future in which civilization as we know it has been wiped out. The survivors are left to live under the rule of Mediators who dominate using violence and threats. In Snow on Cinders, the main characters try to form a new civilization far away from Tallas. However, there are dangers at every turn. Cathrina has a talent for compelling readers to turn the page, packing each chapter with action. You don't have to read Tallas to jump right into Snow on Cedars, but I would recommend it. Reading both books together makes it a great experience!

What books did you decide to kick off 2016 reading?

35 comments:

  1. Cathrina is an awesome blogger buddy! I have all of her books and look forward to reading them.

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    1. She's a great person and a great writer!

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    2. Alex and Stephanie, You are both so, so wonderfully nice!!! Thank you for the great compliments!!!!!!!

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  2. Hello Stephanie. Some great-sounding books there. I especially like the sound of the YA you mention. And i didn't realise Snow on Cinders was in a series. Thanks for putting that out there!

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    1. The fascination with traveling to England, Paris, and Italy continues in books for young readers! The first one I'm reading for February features a girl going to Italy. As a kid, I was fascinated with one place: Hollywood. Yet I visited both England and Paris before I made it to L.A.! They wouldn't want me to write a book about my opinion of Paris, but I loved England and L.A.

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  3. These all look good! My TBR list is growing!

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  4. Talas means a wave in my language :)
    I'm not reading anything currently since translating takes all of my time. According to plans from my publisher I will be doing Pierce Brown, Tahereh Mafi, Jennifer Niven and Mari Lu all year long :)

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  5. I just finished reading the middle grade novel THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH by Ali Benjamin - I absolutely loved it!

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  6. Awesome reads! I've read both of Cathrina's books too. This month I finished Meradeth Houston's Travelers. If you like YA time traveling romance, that one is for you! Have a wonderful weekend. :)

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  7. Oh Captives sounds like my kind of read. I love mystery books.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ☺

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  8. What a Big Surprise for me!!!! I'm honored to be among these fantastic authors and their wonderful books. And thank you for your great support!!!! I really hope you like them!!! :)

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  9. Thank you so much for the stellar review of CAPTIVES!

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  10. Interesting books thanks for the reviews! I seem to just read newspapers, online or otherwise.

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  11. Thanks for sharing! These all sound great, and I absolutely love the covers for the Tallas books. :)

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  12. Good selections! I don't read as much YA as I should.

    Best book of the year so far was Ronda Rousey's memoir (My Fight/Your Fight). It was riveting.

    Stephen King's Bazaar of Bad Dreams...not so much.

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  13. So much to read and so little time, these books look great.

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  14. So much to read and so little time, these books look great.

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  15. I am constantly in awe at the talent I find here in the blogosphere.
    My first (amazing) book of the year was David Mitchell's 'The Bone Clocks'.

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  16. As for your first book in the list, I just reviewed the antithesis of it: a first book by a 90 year old neighbor that has two women living in an assisted living home who plan a wedding for other residents!

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  17. Great post and I love the reviews. Absolutely must read more YA. Thanks, Stephanie!

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  18. These days I read more book reviews than read actual books. There just aren't enough hours in my days to do it all. My most favourite book of all time was by the Dalai Lama The Art of Happiness. Not a novel but an easy read book with real substance that really resonated with me.

    You're such an avid reader and I feel shame that I don't read more novels but I'm reading books that gives me joy. I have too many interest to narrow it down to one genre of books.
    Enjoy your weekend.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  19. Captives sounds really good. Thanks for sharing!

    Hope your year has started off good. :)

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  20. Captives sounds really good. Thanks for sharing!

    Hope your year has started off good. :)

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  21. That was a good reading month. I am intrigued by Tallas and Snow of Cinders.

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  22. Since I work with a Wedding Planner, I'm intrigued by You're Invited, too and think that's a really clever idea. I'd also like to try Show on Cinders and Tallas. Sound really interesting. Hugs...Ro

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  23. At the moment I'm rereading something from a couple years ago. Not sure why.

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  24. You write compelling reviews, Stephanie! Thanks to you I've added half a dozen books to my TBR list in just the last few months:-) And now I've added two more!

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  25. These all sound like fascinating stories. I'm biting my lip to keep from adding any more books to my list until I catch up on the ones I have. Great reviews.

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  26. I loved hearing your thoughts on all of these books. Tallas and Snow on Cinders were already on my radar- but I am glad to hear that you really enjoyed them. i also loved hearing about the rest of your January reads.

    I am a bit behind on my reading. I was planning to read five books this month and I am just about done with two (though both were over 500 pages). I am working on reading some of the books I have borrowed so I can return them. I hope I start making a dent soon. :)

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  27. Cathrina's books look good. I also want to read Captives.

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  28. Cathrina's books look so good!

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  29. I started the year with the "Welcome to Night Vale" novel, which made me twitchy and paranoid, so I'm pretty sure the authors would say it worked as intended. O_o I'm currently reading "Twelve Kings in Sharakhai" by Bradley P. Beaulieu, which is fantasy with a sort of Arabian Nights bend to it. Really good so far.

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  30. Wow. That's a cool cover and the story intriguing.

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  31. Hmmm...I tend to not plan what book to read next but sort of hope one will just pop into my hands or my Paperwhite...I really need to check out those last two books, though, the covers are beautiful!

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  32. Great images in this posts are similar to love quotes for her and reminding of writing combination of poetry on the scenarios.

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