Monday, September 12, 2016

Best Books of August

It's once again time to tell you about the best books I read this month. Sorry this one's a little late--my blog tour ran later than I expected. Here are my favorite August reads.




The first book this month comes from a familiar name to those who have followed me for a while. Cindy Callaghan is a rock star in the middle-grade fiction world. She even has her own Amazon Prime TV series based on one of her books. Her latest book is part of a series that has characters lost in various exciting parts of the world. They've been to Rome, Ireland, Paris, and London...but this location is my favorite of all:



Lost in Hollywood is the perfect demonstration of how this author uses plot devices in her books to cleverly take readers through the local sights. A 13-year-old girl named Ginger travels with her family and her BFF to Hollywood to help out her ailing aunt, only to find herself playing detective. When she learns that her memory-challenged aunt has hidden a large amount of money somewhere in Hollywood, Ginger, her BFF, and her aunt's caregiver's niece go on a hunt. The author takes us along for the ride and by the end of it, we feel like we've spent some serious time in Hollywood!

Next up is Jo Whittemore's latest book. I always read Jo's Aladdin M!x books, so I was excited she had a new book out--this one with HarperCollins.



Brooke's Not-So-Perfect Plan is the first in a super-fun series about four friends who write an advice column for their middle school paper. That premise alone drew me in! The first book tells the story of Brooke, who is extremely relatable no matter how old you are. Why? Because she's crazy-busy all the time. She's taken on way too much between her sports, hanging out with her friends, and writing this advice column. This is a fun and diverse novel about friendship and the pressures of being an overachieving middle school student.

The third book I read in August was actually a three-parter from blogger Valerie Capps. These short stories will draw you in, keeping you reading until the end. Best of all--they're only $.99 each!


     

Encounter on a Deserted Highway is the kind of spooky story that will stay with you long after you've finished it. The ending seriously gave me chills. A man and his daughter stop to pick up a stranger on a long stretch of road...and it's a decision that changes their lives forever. In Incident at the Diner, a little girl and her father enter a diner filled with a few locals who have a prejudice against them. The sweet little girl seems oblivious to their prejudices, but the tension soon builds and you know there's more to that little girl than meets the eye. In Lucy Get Your Gun, a young girl finds her life in upheaval after her father dies. A strange man shows up, saying he's been sent by child services to take some of the children, since she can't handle them on her own. Lucy and her brother have to "get their guns" to scare the man off, but the story has a very strong anti-gun message in the end! (Not to mention a surprise twist or two along the way.)

Next up is a book with a mesmerizing cover. Tamara Narayan is a blogger I met in recent months and I'm so glad I did. This book is another must-read to add to your list.



As you probably guessed, Heart Stopper and Other Stories is a book of short stories. If, like me, you loved Stephen King's earlier short story collections, you'll love this book. Each story has that eerie feeling, combined with amazing writing that has you turning each page. My favorite is Detour, with an ending that kept the story on my mind long after I finished it, but I also loved the surprise ending of One Step Away. Be careful reading this book late at night, when you're home alone!

Lori L. MacLaughlin is another new friend of mine. She has a new book out, but I wanted to read the first in the series before I read the latest:



If you're a fan of fantasy and adventure, Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble is your book! The action kicks off from the start and continues throughout the book. Best of all, it has two kick-butt female characters that you grow to love! Lori wrapped everything up perfectly while still making you eager to pick up Book Two. Best of all, you don't have to wait, since Book Two is now available!

What are you reading now?

51 comments:

  1. Would've been awkward it you didn't like your mom's books!

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    1. LOL--never! I always love her writing.

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  2. Thank you Stephanie for these great reads!!!

    Have a nice Monday.

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  3. These sounds like good books.

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  4. Looks like a bunch of interesting books. Love the covers on these too.

    Thoughts in Progress
    and MC Book Tours

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    1. I always love looking at different covers. So fun!

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  5. I recently read - and loved! - The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse - historical YA. It was excellent.

    This was an awesome summer of reading for me. I did a post about some of my favorites books - so many! :)

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    1. That one sounds very interesting. I'll have to check it out.

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  6. Thanks so much for the shout out, Stephanie! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed my book!

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    1. My pleasure! It was a roller-coaster ride, for sure!

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  7. Great list! Thank you for including mine. I just finished Girl Under Water by Claire Kells. It's about a college age swimmer who survives a plane crash but has to deal with PTSD and a love triangle. Quick, but compelling reading. I also have several books by bloggers on my Kindle waiting to be read.

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  8. Getting the Heart Stopper today! Thanks for sharing these.

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  9. This list makes me realize I need to read more -- I picked 5 books for the summer and only read two, so I am way behind in my pile!

    Thanks for sharing. These sound interesting.

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    1. I try to read five a month. I don't always succeed at that, but I try!

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  10. You have chosen a great group of stories. I love short story collections. I am pulled in so many directions I often have to stop what I am reading and then have to re-read to remember details. With short stories, I can move on. Thanks.

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    1. Short story collections are great for me, too! It feels like less of a commitment...you just read one story at a time.

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  11. I'm all about adventure when it comes to books. They are hands down my favorite.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Plenty of adventure among the books written by our blogging friends, for sure.

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  12. Thanks for the recommendations! Those first couple of MG covers are so cute. I've been reading all over the board lately too. Recently finished an awesome YA fantasy called Manifesting Destiny by M. Pepper Langlinais.

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    1. I think I pretty much read all over the board, too. That's the great thing about blogging--you're introduced to so many unique books!

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  13. Lady sounds really cool. I love kickbutt female protagonists!

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  14. Looks like some great reads here. And many kudos to Cindy. How exciting......
    I look for Piper Morgan to have her own TV series any time now:)

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    1. I'd LOVE that. That's definitely at the top of my bucket list. Unfortunately, that's one of those thing that's impossible to control. :-(

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  15. My daughter just got a bunch of the Lost in... series. I'm hoping I get to read them too. ;)

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  16. I'm impressed that you found time to read at all during your blog tour! I've already loaded Valerie's threesome on my kindle ;-) and I agree with Sandra, I'm on the lookout for Piper's TV series!

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    1. YAY! That's good news. And I do hope that I get a TV series, but it's actually more of a dream!!!

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    2. Piper Morgan would make a great TV series!

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  17. What a list...
    And thanks for coming by to visit my blog...

    gramswisewords.blogspot.com

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  18. Mmmmm, I kind of hesitate to mention this because I don't want to seem mean or critical, but it kind of bothers me that the drawings of girls on the covers portrays them as quite thin. I worry about anything that might encourage girls to feel bad about themselves.

    Love,
    Janie

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  19. What a list of intriguing books. Middle grade stories are so much fun.
    I'm reading Walk to Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne. It's the story (biography) of a young man's rise from being a child in the foster care system to a successful country musician and what he does now to help other children in need.

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  20. I'm just finished a reread, the 2nd Lockwood & Co book. The fourth comes out tomorrow and I can't wait to get my hands on it!!

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  21. Quite a list of books you have there Steph. I'm currently reading This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab.

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  22. Thank you for mentioning my short stories! I've found some great books from your "best books" monthly recommendations. I'm always looking for something to read and your reviews never fail to provide new and interesting stories for my "to read" list.

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  23. Some awesome reads! Makes me really want to check out some more MG :)

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  24. Some great tips! I'm reading an Icelandic thriller at the moment.

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  25. What a wonderfully eclectic selection. I would have thought there was something for everyone here.

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  26. 'Lost In Hollywood' sounds interesting ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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  27. All the titles look enticing.

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  28. I love Valerie's short stories and I have Tamara's book.

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  29. Love all the covers of these books! Very pretty! I'm currently reading a Stephen King novel, Cell, and I bought two other horror novels on impulse while I was out shopping at the weekend - must be something to do with the darker nights and change in weather!

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