Monday, April 29, 2019

Checking In & Moving Forward: What I've Been Reading Lately

Oh hello there! Remember this space? I know I've been a bit quiet on this corner of the internet, but I promise I have still been reading and sharing... just more efficiently and consistently on my instagram account. I think it's safe to say that I have dove head first into the #bookstagram world and it's been every bit enjoyable! I still consider myself a book blogger at heart (it is where my bookish community journey began), but I've also embraced other outlets to share my love for reading.

I've decided to keep this space as more of a "check in" or reference piece to go back to and see what I've been reading. It is by no means closing, but just an extension of my social media outlets, where I can share more in depth conversations about the books I've read.

Here's where you can find me on Instagram: @greadsbooks

What I've Been Reading Lately...

Wild Seasons series by Christina Lauren

My annual reread of the my favorite series, Wild Seasons by Christina Lauren, has commenced! Y'all, I LOVE these books. They are everything I want in a contemporary adult romance. Each time I revisit one of their stories, it's like I'm discovering something new. In fact, after I reread the second book, Dirty Rowdy Thing, I changed my original rating from 4 stars to 5 stars! It's weird how your perspective on a book can change depending on the time in which you read it. Obviously I rediscovered a new love for Harlow and Finn's story.

Have you read these books? I feel like I am constantly recommending them to everyone I know. If there ever was a perfect series for my adult contemporary romance genre, this would be it.

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

I've seen some mixed reviews early on for Sally Thorne's newest novel, 99 Percent Mine. Here is my take away on this book: It is NOT The Hating Game. So please stop comparing the two. They are obviously very different stories. If you're not a fan of this follow up because the book itself did not please you, then obviously you have the right to feel that way. I just don't understand the folks who disliked it because it was not The Hating Game for them. For me, that is not being fair to the author, or her work.

I really enjoy Sally Thorne's writing style and she's proved herself to be diverse with her characters in this novel and that is something I really gravitated towards. I am 100% on board for what she has to offer next!

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

Y'all, I am such a fan of Jasmine Guillory! She keeps producing such interesting, engaging, and swoon-worthy novels. I first fell in love with The Wedding Date, and have been on board for each of her novels since then. The Wedding Party publishes this summer and it is every bit just as delightful as the previous two. For fans of characters from the first book (& even the second), you're totally going to love this one!

Her stories have a realistic approach that I could totally see happening to someone I know. I love when an author gives that sense of familiarity in their writing. Reading a Jasmine Guillory book feels like hanging out with a best friend. It's comforting, yet exciting. Exactly what I want, when I want it.

Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I'm calling it right now: THIS IS MY FAVORITE READ OF 2019!! Yup, it is THAT GOOD. I can't wait for the world to read it and experience it, too. There is so much goodness packed between these pages. The romance is off the charts swoon-worthy. The political views are so on point. The emotional journey this book will take you on IS EVERYTHING.

The cover may lead you to believe it's a "cutesy" book (gagging at that description), but trust me when I say this, the story inside is purposeful and powerful. Especially in the times we're living currently. When you're feeling down about our society and the negativity of it, this novel brings forth a sense of hope that we oh so need right now. If only this fictional world was our reality.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

This quietly outspoken book grabbed me when I least expected it. I love when novels have the power to do that. I have a soft spot for adult fiction that touches on grief and the ugly side we don't always talk about. There's a natural selfish aspect of grief that we can't help but feel and this book delivered that message loud and clear. I'm thankful for stories that present a narrative that I can relate to and grab hold of.

The setting for this story is gorgeous, as well. I have never been to Maine, but man is it on my travel bucket list now. You know an author's writing is powerful when you can literally touch all your senses to a place you've never even been before. Bravo to this unexpectedly beautiful book.

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

For YA fans, this is another solid contemporary read from author Jenn Bennett. Serious Moonlight follows the story of a young girl who lives in the Pacific Northwest, in and & around Seattle, Washington. She encounters a boy and has a first time experience with him during a very emotional moment in her life. She's left thinking that this encounter is of the one time variety and she'll never have to see him again. But, boy is she wrong.

I really appreciated the authenticity of what it means to be emotionally mature. We can act and do things, but its how we feel and how we react to those feelings that truly dictate our own personal journeys. This particular story nailed that theme so perfectly. Also, the setting? Perfect. Seattle is beautiful and I completely envisioned it throughout the story.

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Another YA that I gave 5 solid stars to. Jennifer E. Smith writes such great contemporary novels for, and about teens. This particular novel is set on a cross country journey for two teens as they take the train from New York to California. They both end up on this train ride together for very different, very unexpected, reasons. How their narratives intertwined and then became involved was such a joy to read.

As someone who has had an interest in taking a cross country train ride, I was fascinated by the commodities of such an adventure. You can tell this author did her research! I've come to learn that Jennifer E. Smith weaves an emotional tale that definitely pulls on your heart strings when you don't quite expect it. This novel definitely succeeded in an emotional journey, figuratively and literally.

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Oh Sarah Dessen, queen of all summery YA contemps. She has brought me back to what a quintessential Dessen novel feels like for me. All the elements of heartache, rich history, self discovery, a breathtaking summery setting, and a character arch you can't help but root for, not to mention a swoon-worthy romance that builds and builds.

This particular novel touches on grief, learning to let in a side of yourself that you never knew existed, and releasing things you've kept such a firm grip on simply out of fear. This novels just might be her best work yet, in my honest opinion. There's a powerful story between these pages, one I know that long time Dessen fans will definitely appreciate and fall in love with, too.

So, tell me what you've been reading lately! Got any good reads of 2019 so far that you want to recommend? I am always looking to add to my own to be read list. Please share in the comments!


  1. Red, White and Royal Blue is the best<3! I really need to read Christina Lauren's Wild Seasons series!!!

  2. Oh wow you've read some AMAZING things lately! I need to read Red, White & Royal Blue ASAP!! =)


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