Monday, December 29, 2014

Most Anticipated of 2015

Last week I talked about my favourite reads from 2014. It was hard to just pick 15 books to feature for that list. Now I've been looking at all the books that are coming out in 2015, and it's just as hard to decide which books are the ones I'm the most excited about. But after banging my head against the wall in frustration a couple times, I've managed to narrow it down to 15 books once again. And it should come as no surprise whatsoever that pretty much all the books on this list are contemporary. But that's besides the point. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the 15 books I'm the most excited about to read in 2015.

Emilie's Most Anticipated Books of 2015

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen - This is a new Sarah Dessen book, does it really need any explaining? Sarah Dessen is one of my all-time favourite authors and I will read anything she writes. And I mean literally anything. This one is supposed to be darker than her other books so I'm definitely looking forward to reading it.

All Played Out by Cora Carmack - This year I have come to love Cora Carmack's Rusk University books and I can't wait to read this one. I'm so excited to read Torres and Nell's story. But at the same time, I'm kind of sad that this will be the last book in this series (or at least it will be as far as I know). 

I Was Here by Gayle Forman - This is Gayle Forman. Need I say more? But for real, Gayle Forman is one of those authors whose books I will read no matter what they are about. I haven't been disappointed so far. One thing's for sure though, I will be keeping a box of tissues handy because I just know this will be an emotional read.

The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead - I'm torn about this book. On the one hand, I can't wait to have it in my hands and be able to read it. But I also never want Sydney and Adrian's story to end. I want to keep reading books about them forever. But I want The Ruby Circle SO BAD.

Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally - Not only does this book share a title with an 80's song, but it was written by Miranda Kenneally. I absolutely cannot wait for this book. I've already read the two excerpts that have been posted online and they've only left me dying for more.

Confess by Colleen Hoover - This year was the year that I discovered Colleen Hoover and I can't wait to read more from her. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what Confess is about (I read the description at some point but cannot for the life of my remember what it said). But that doesn't even matter because I just want more Colleen Hoover romance in my life.

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han - How could To All the Boys I've Loved Before just ended like that? I have been dying for this book ever since I read the last page of the previous one. I just want this story so much. I have to know who Lara Jean chooses (and it better be Peter).

The Princess Diaries: Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot - Meg Cabot is one of the reasons I read so much YA. In middle and high school I read every single one of her books and the Princess Diaries series is still among my favourites. Needless to say that I can't wait to dive back in to that world, if only for the span of one book.

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West - Kasie West's contemporary romances are just so freaking adorable and I love them. This one sounds like it will be just as adorable as the other ones and I honestly can't wait to read it. Plus, isn't that cover just adorable?

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga - This book involves a suicide pact. And that's all I really needed to know about this book to know I wanted to read it. Though I don't know what that says about me. Anyways, I've been told this book will put me through the emotional wringer and I can't wait to read it.

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller - I've only read one of Trish Doller's other books but I absolutely loved it and it stayed with me for a long time after I finished reading it. This one sounds like it will be right up my alley and I can't wait to read it.

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry - So Katie McGarry has a new series coming out and I want it. Badly. Now. Though I'm a little sad it won't be tied to her other books since I LOVE those, I'm excited to read stories in this new world.

Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby - I've loved all the books I've read by Jessi Kirby and I can't wait to read this one. The premise sounds really interesting, and from experience with her other books, I know this will be an emotional book. Tissues will be on hand for sure.

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick - More Garretts! And Tim! Honestly, this is one of the books I'm most looking forward to reading next year. If it's anything like My Life Next Door, I just know I will adore The Boy Most Likely To.

99 Days by Katie Cotugno - Katie Cotugno's How to Love was one of my favourite reads in 2012 and I can't wait for more from her. I've been pining for this book for so long and I'm so excited to finally being close to reading it. 

Have you heard of any of the books on this list? Are any of them books you're excited about?

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Best of 2014

With the year coming to an end in just over a week, I figured now was a great time to share some of my favourite books of 2014. Let me just say that narrowing this list down was HARD. To give you an idea, I've read 119 books so far this year and so many of those are books that I absolutely loved. Somehow, I managed to get that list down to 15 (well, 18, technically). And apparently I read A LOT of contemporary this year, so much so that I've barely read from other genres this year. Like there are only three books on this list that aren't contemporary and that's actually pretty representative of my reading in 2014. But I digress. So, in no particular order, here are my favourites from this year.

Emilie's Favourite Books of 2014

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor - I feel like this is one of those books that kind of flew under the radar. But that doesn't mean I didn't absolutely love it. This was a story about a friendship done absolutely fantastically. This story broke my heart and left me a complete mess, but I loved every single page of it.

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern - This is another book that flew under the radar but should have gotten so much more attention. In a year where we were crying out for more diverse books, this one was perfect. Again, this was a story that was heartwarming and there isn't another one like it in YA (at least that I know of).

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins - I mean, does this one even need any explanation? I had waited so long to finally read this story and I was so happy to finally be reading it. I loved this story completely and I couldn't have asked for a better happily ever after (see what I did there?) for the characters I loved over the course of the three books.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord - If you haven't heard about Open Road Summer, then you've probably been living under a rock. This was an absolutely fantastic debut with a beautiful friendship and a heartwarming romance. Needless to say, I absolutely ADORED this book. 

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - Again, I feel like this doesn't need any explanation. I feel like all I really need to say is this was Morgan Matson and I will read everything and anything she writes. But for real, though, this book was just fantastic. And it has awesome playlists. 

All Broke Down by Cora Carmack - Cora Carmack is responsible for a lot of the feelings I've experienced this year, especially when it comes to New Adult books. This could have just as easily been All Lined Up since her Rusk University books are absolutely awesome, but there was something about Silas and Dylan in this one that made it come out ahead.

Five Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker - I think this might just be my favourite out of all of K.A. Tucker's books. They've all been fantastic, but I can't help but love Ben and Reese's story. Might have something to do with the fact that Ben was my favourite character any time he popped up in the other books...

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover - 2014 was the year I read all the Collen Hoover books. And I mean ALL of them. But Maybe Someday was my favourite. The story, the characters, the music, it all worked together to hit me right in the feels and leave me in a puddle of my own tears. And I say that in the most positive way possible.

Make It Count by Megan Erickson - This story was just SO MUCH FUN (as was Make It Right, FYI). But it was also really touching and heartwarming and I loved reading every page of it. The characters and the story just felt so real to me while I was reading and again, a lot of feelings were had on my part.

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley - This book. I don't know how to express how much I loved it (probably why I haven't reviewed it yet). But seriously, it had a kick ass heroine (literally and figuratively) and mystery and hot military boys, and do I have to go on?

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead - This should need no explaining whatsoever. I mean, it's a book all about Sydney and Adrian being kick ass and adorable. I think that while reading this book I may have been overcome with more feelings than while reading any other books. Richelle Mead just does that to me.

Something Real by Heather Demetrios - If you know me in real life, you're probably sick of hearing me talk about how much I loved this book. But I just can't help myself, and I will continue screaming my love for it from the rooftops until everyone has read it. It was just that ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally - Every time I read one of Miranda Kennally's books, I go to my happy place. And Breathe, Annie, Breathe pretty much made me the happiest. It was just so good and awesome and adorable and it has Jeremiah Brown and well, it was awesome (I think I've said that already).

Cress by Marissa Meyer - This was the very first book I read in 2014 and 12 months later, I still love it just as much. Marissa Meyer's fairy tale retellings are absolutely fantastic and Cress is my absolute favourite. It was just AMAZING.

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater - THIS WAS A BOOK ALL ABOUT COLE ST. CLAIR. I feel like that kind of says it all. I've loved Cole St. Clair for years and this book was just everything I had hoped it would be.

Honourable Mentions
(Because they didn't come out in 2014 or aren't out yet)

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick - So I was a little late to the party on this one (it came out in 2012) but holy crap did I love it. This story was just EVERYTHING. I wish I had a family like the Garretts living next door to me. 

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord - Emery Lord's debut was one of my favourite reads this year and her second book is EVEN BETTER. I actually just finished reading it a couple of days ago, but already it's a favourite.

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios - If you thought I loved Something Real, it's nothing compared to how I feel about I'll Meet You There (and be prepared to hear me talk about it A LOT next year). This story broke my heart but then helped put it back together and it was just perfection.

Have you read any of the books on this list? Were any your favourites?

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler

Title: Last Will and Testament (Radleigh University #1)
Author: Dahlia Adler
Publisher: Dahlia Adler
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Source: ARC from author
Buy the Book: Amazon / Indigo / B&N
Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she’s acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she’ll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn’t exactly Lizzie’s biggest fan.

But Connor surprises her. Not only is a he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you’re ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks…and that she’d like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he’s not the kind of guy who’d ever reciprocate. 

Until he does.

Until they turn into far more than teacher and student.

Until the relationship that helped her put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left.

Guys, I love New Adult. This shouldn't be news to anyone if you've been hanging around here for a while, but I thought I would restate that just because I can. The latest in the string of awesome New Adult I've read is Dahlia Adler's Last Will and Testament. I tore through this book and I loved every last page of it.

Though she may have been focused on her future when she was in high school, now that she's in college, Lizzie Brandt has other priorities. Her priorities tend to land more in the having fun category than in the academic achievement category. But that quickly changes when her parents are in a deadly car accident and Lizzie is left to care for her two younger brothers. If she doesn't, they're going to end up in foster care and that's the last thing she wants. That means Lizzie has to clean up her act, fast. And there to help with it all is Connor Lawson, her history TA. A TA who should be completely off limits, if he weren't so great at being there for Lizzie and her brothers. Both of them know that they should fight their attraction for each other. But that's a easier said than done.

Teacher and student relationships are always interesting. And I'm quite ambivalent about them. Sometimes they just don't work. And other times I am rooting for that relationship all the way. Dahlia Adler's Last Will and Testament was definitely the second kind. I was rooting for these characters and for them to be able to be together. And in large part, that's because of the way Dahlia Adler wrote this story. Right from page one, this story hits you in the feels. You've barely had a chance to meet Lizzie, the main character, when she finds out that her parents have been killed. And from there, the emotions keep on coming. And all those emotions made it so I got really invested in this story. A whole lot more invested than I thought I was going to get. And because I got this invested in the story, I really wanted this relationship to work out. Heck, after a while I even stopped thinking about the fact the Connor was Lizzie's TA, making her his student. They were just two people and I wanted their relationship to work out. Because they both needed it so much.

Have I mentioned that I loved Lizzie and Connor? If I haven't, I'm saying it now. They were both great and I wanted the best for both of them. Lizzie definitely get it easy, and I have a lot of respect for her. It's not every eighteen year old who would be willing to become the legal guardian of her two younger brothers. And Lizzie tried to make it work as best as she could...and that meant getting Connor involved. Both in her life and in her brother's life. Even though that second part may not have exactly been intentional. Though I can hardly blame Lizzie, because Connor was pretty damn awesome. There's something to be said for the sexy history nerd. And Connor was all that, and a whole lot more. If I'm being honest though, one of my favourite thing about Connor was his choice of curse words. As a good French Canadian, I smiled anytime he swore and it was in French, because doing so in English didn't have the same effect (and I can totally relate to that).

So. You should all go and read Dahlia Adler's Last Will and Testament, especially if you like to have your heartstrings pulled at. This story will do just that, all the while making you smile and root for this couple. Now I just need to go and get my hands on Dahlia Adler's other books.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blog Tour - The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre + Giveaway

Title: The Shape of My Heart
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo / B&N
Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school—only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney’s social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she’s made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate, Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore.

Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain—he’s been on his own since he was sixteen. Now ti’s time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney’s the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything…because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves.

It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that’s ever been broken there’s noter that can make it complete. 

After having read the first two books in Ann Aguirre’s 2B trilogy, I couldn’t help but want to read the third one. These books are addicting, and they feature characters that often aren’t seen in other stories. To say I devoured The Shape of My Heart would be an understatement. And of course, I loved every page of it.

Courtney Kaufman believes in the idea of soul mates. And once upon a time she even found hers in her high school best friend. Unfortunately for her, she lost him when she was seventeen. Since then, Courtney hasn’t found anyone she was willing to give her heart to, but that hasn’t stopped her from making a few close friends. Among those friends is Max Cooper, her roommate, and someone who seems to have just as much baggage as he does. Max knows all about how difficult it can be to trust people. He’s been on his own since he was sixteen and has let very few people get close to him. But with Courtney, things are different. He wants to let her in, he wants more than just her friendship. If only he thought he deserved her as much as he needs her. Both Max and Courtney have suffered great heartbreak, and together they might just be able to fix each other’s hearts. 

I feel the need to once again apologize in advance if you get a Backstreet Boys song stuck in your head. Believe me, it’s stuck in my head to (though that might just be because I’ve had it playing the whole time I’ve been writing this review). Moving on. I’m going to be honest, what initially drew me to these books are the Backstreet Boys-related title. But after I read the first one, I was completely hooked because of the story and the characters, the titles were just an added bonus. The Shape of My Heart was just an addicting read. It helped that I knew the characters, and that since the first book I had been looking forward to reading more about Max. He just intrigued me. So knowing this was his story just made me super excited to read it. And let me just say that there were many times when his and Courtney’s story broke my heart, but in a really good way. Because I absolutely loved the romance in this book. It wasn’t rushed, it felt completely natural and Max and Courtney were friends before they were anything else which made it even better. And really, that’s why I loved this story. Because of the people in it.

Max had been pretty prominent in the first book and was referred to quite a bit in the second book, but The Shape of My Heart was all about him. Well, him and Courtney. But you get my point. Whenever I had seen him in the previous two books, I had always wanted more. There just always seemed to be so much to him and I wanted to see what that “so much” was. It turned out to be pretty heartbreaking, but it made me love Max all the more because of it. I just needed him to realize that he deserved to be happy to and to get what he wants for once in his life. And that brings me to Courtney. Much like with Max, I loved Courtney. I’d had very brief glimpses of her in the other two books and I really enjoyed getting to know her better. What I liked the most about Courtney is that she wasn’t the type of heroine I’ve almost come to expect when it comes to New Adult. It was refreshing. And her and Max together were just fantastic. I loved the way their relationship evolved from friendship to something more. It all just felt natural, and I couldn’t picture two people who fit together better than those two.

In case you hadn’t figured it out, I loved Ann Aguirre’s The Shape of My Heart. It was a great conclusion to her 2B trilogy. Though I would be lying if I said I was didn’t want more stories about this group of friends (I don’t know about you guys, but I could definitely do with a story about Angus). Fans of New Adult romance should definitely be checking out this series.


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