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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Recommend A...(1)

Thanks for joining me for the first installment of "Recommend A...", a fun new meme created by Shanyn over at Chick Loves Lit. Shanyn will post a new prompt each week, and anyone interested in participating will post a book recommendation that follows said prompt. This week's is "Recommend a book with three words in the title".Not surprisingly, I couldn't choose just one :)

I recommend: 

1. The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder 

Why I love it: In The Day Before, Amber wants to spend one perfect day all alone at the beach, before life as she knows it changes forever. This was a fast read for me, because it was written in verse, but the story was so emotional and beautiful, and Lisa's writing is simple yet reaches right to the core of the reader's heart. I'd recommend this one to fans of contemporary, romance, family dynamics, verse writing, and beach settings.

2. Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt

Why I love it: This series is just straight up FUN! Desi is a lovable character, and she gets to trade places with princesses from all over the world. What's not to love?! I read Princess for Hire during a very stressful part of the semester, and it was a great way to escape reality for a bit. If you're looking for a fun middle grade read, I highly recommend Princess for Hire. The final installment in the series will be out next month.

That's it for this week. Check back next week where I'll be recommending a book with a green cover. Should be fun!

In Honor by Jessi Kirby

In Honor
by Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date:May 8, 2012
Challenge: Sophomore Challenge

Hours after her brother’s military funeral, Honor opens the last letter Finn ever sent. In her grief, she interprets his note as a final request and spontaneously decides to go to California to fulfill it.

Honor gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen Rusty in ages, but it’s obvious he is as arrogant and stubborn as ever—not to mention drop-dead gorgeous. Despite Honor’s better judgment, the two set off together on a voyage from Texas to California. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn’s memory—but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences
- Goodreads

My thoughts

Ah, this book! THIS BOOK! Words can't adequately describe how much I love road trip books, especially when said road trip involves a greater purpose. I feel like I've been waiting to read In Honor practically forever, and I was not let down. 
I loved Honor. Her grief over losing her brother was so palpable, as he was essentially the most important person in her life. The way she dealt with her  grief over losing him felt so realistic. I could easily imagine myself jumping in a car and running away if I experienced what Honor had. I loved that she was adventurous and brave enough to just pick up and leave, and I'm glad that Rusty ended up being dragged along with her. Rusty acted like a total ass at times, it can't be denied, but his good qualities shined through. I don't know if y'all know this, but Rusty is based on Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights. Umm, can you say SWOON?!

Honor and Rusty's romance/friendship was definitely of the slow burn variety. While it was frustrating for me, it was incredibly realistic to the situation. Honor is grieving over her brother, so of course romance is going to have to take the backseat (ha!..bad roadtrip pun). 
Since this story takes place on the road, setting obviously plays a huge role. I would KILL to visit some of the spots that Honor and Rusty did. They sounded so incredibly gorgeous. On the other hand, you couldn't pay me to ride around in a car in TEXAS with no air conditioning. I'm sweating just thinking about it. You know a setting has been well described when you can picture yourself in it, and that's what In Honor did for me. 
Overall, I thought Jessi Kirby's sophomore novel was fantastic. It contains everything I love in a great story - likable characters, a bit of romance, a vivid setting, and a compelling plot. Do yourselves a favor and snag a copy. Check out Friday Night Lights while you're at it. You won't regret it :) 

I'd recommend In Honor to fans of:
road trips
big issues
snarky boys
fantastic settings
Friday Night Lights

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bout of Books Readathon!

Hey guys! I know things have been pretty quiet on my bog lately. I'm in graduate school and my workload has been CRAZY. Luckily, though, the semester just ended and I have six, count 'em SIX, weeks of freedom to rest and catch up on my TBR list. Soooo, what better way then participating in a read-a-thon? I'm very excited to be participating in Bout of Books 4.0, which runs from May 14th through May 20th. I have some awesome books in my TBR pile, and I'm ready to get started. I'll be updating on this post and through twitter (@stephlovescsd). Feel free to tweet and say hi! 

Read 4 books or 1,200 pages

Possible Reading Material:
Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Shine by Jeri Smith Ready
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
The Hero's Guide to Saving your Kingdom by Christopher Healy (on kindle)
maybe a book by Jennifer Echols? I've never read one of her's before

* If you have any other recommendations, please let me know! 

Daily Updates:

Number of pages read today: 240
number of pages read total: 240
number of books read today: 1
number of books read total: 1
What I've read today: In Honor by Jessi Kirby

Number of pages read today: 31
number of pages read total: 271
number of books read today: 0
number of books read total: 1
What I've read today:I Hunt Killers

Number of pages read today: 245
number of pages read total: 516
number of books read today: 1
number of books read total: 2
What I've read today:Going too Far by Jennifer Echols
Number of pages read today: 281
number of pages read total: 797
number of books read today: 1
number of books read total: 3
What I've read today:The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway

Number of pages read today: 274
number of pages read total: 1,071
number of books read today: 1
number of books read total: 4
What I've read today: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Number of pages read today: 95
number of pages read total: 1,166
number of books read today: 0
number of books read total: 4
What I've read today:  95 pages in Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker

Number of pages read today:
number of pages read total:
number of books read today:
number of books read total:
What I've read today:

I've participated in many read-a-thons before & fell short of meeting my goals. I'm hoping to change that this time. If you're participating, let me know! Have fun everyone!
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