Top Ten Books I Have Owned For a While That I Haven’t Read

This week’s TTT topic is supposed to be “Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet,” but honestly I don’t remember what books I owned or wanted to read two and a half years ago. Instead, I’m highlighting a similar idea, which is books that I have owned for a while (at least a year for most of them) but that I haven’t read yet.

1. Bruised by Sarah Skilton

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My sister loved this book, but I have stayed away from it because I know it will be very emotional and I want to read it when I’m in the right mood. Unfortunately, that means I haven’t read it, even though my sister has been pushing it for a few years now I think.

2. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

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I have loved everything else Elizabeth Wein has written, but this promises to be the most heartbreaking one yet—and that is saying something. Again, this is the kind of book that I have avoided reading until I have time to cry…a lot.

3. His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik

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Uprooted is one of my favorite books ever, so I am really excited about reading Naomi Novik’s other books. The Temeraire series is REALLY LONG though, so I have been waiting until I feel like marathon-ing it.

4. The Sweetheart by Angelina Mirabella

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Again, my sister swears by this book. I am excited to read it, but somehow, something else always ends up above it in my TBR.

5. Lair of Dreams (Diviners #2) by Libba Bray

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I LOVE Libba Bray, and I’m really ashamed to say that 100% of the reason that I haven’t read her latest book is that it (and it’s predecessor) are MASSIVE. I’ll get to it someday…

6. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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This was a total hype buy that my sister read and thought was okay. I’m really curious about this story so I know I’ll read it someday, but knowing that my sister thought it was “meh” keeps me from diving into it right now.

7. Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper

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We’ve entered the gauntlet of books that I haven’t read because my sister didn’t love them. She didn’t hate any of them, so we haven’t gotten rid of the books, but it is really hard to pick up a book (no matter how curious you are) knowing that someone with really similar taste didn’t get excited about it.

8. An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet

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A hype buy with the same story as the last two.

9. Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

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I didn’t love Cinder, but for some reason I bought the sequel, so I know that I’ll read it eventually. 1) People have assured me that the series gets better, 2) I want to get swept up in the hype, and 3) I hate getting rid of books without reading them.

10. Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis

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I loved Across the Universe, but A Million Suns didn’t really work for me. I think I might go back and read the entire trilogy someday, but for right now, the last book remains unread.


Have you read any of these? Are any of your favorites wasting away on the bottom of my TBR pile? Let me know!

Reread Review: The Dream Thieves (Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

This is my second favorite book in the series (behind The Raven King). I love the darkness of this book and the way that all of the characters continue to grow and weave together.

First reviewed: November 2014

Initial Rating: 5/5 stars

Reread Rating: 5/5 stars

First review here.

cover dream thieves

Goodreads Description

Ronan Lynch has secrets. Some he keeps from others. Some he keeps from himself.

One secret: Ronan can bring things out of his dreams.

And sometimes he’s not the only one who wants those things.

Ronan is one of the raven boys—a group of friends, practically brothers, searching for a dead king named Glendower, who they think is hidden somewhere in the hills by their elite private school, Aglionby Academy. The path to Glendower has long lived as an undercurrent beneath town. But now, like Ronan’s secrets, it is beginning to rise to the surface—changing everything in its wake.

Add it on Goodreads here.

My Review

I LOVE this book! I’ve now read it three times and it only gets more intense, more real, more captivating.

As always, the characters are the defining magic of The Dream Thieves. Even more than in the first book, the characters feel like living, breathing people who could walk off the page and into real life. And where The Raven Boys (TRB) sought to establish an overview of the relationships between the characters, The Dream Thieves (TDT) delves into the specifics of their friendships and rivalries.

None of the characters are static. Every character is at some point focused on in the narration, giving the reader a strong sense of who that character is and how they are developing. Because of that, this book is not so much one story, but half a dozen stories woven together. While shifting POV narration can break the flow of some stories, it actually enhances the power of this book.

As you can tell from the description, Ronan plays a much bigger role in this story than in the first book. I loved this. Ronan isn’t a cheery character, but he is a painfully real character. Stiefvater captures his anger and frustrations and joys beautifully, giving Ronan depth and life that few other characters achieve (in any book).

Ronan’s dreams also come to the forefront of the story. If the sparsity of paranormal elements in TRB frustrated you, don’t worry, because TDT is undeniably magical. I loved the dream world (and dream logic) that Stiefvater created. It seems like such an obvious concept—he can bring objects he dreams to the real world—but Stiefvater takes it to a new level, adding darkness and horror to the magic. 

Adam’s character also gets more layers in this book as the deal he made with Cabeswater starts encroaching on his life. Things start to unravel, and Adam’s previously stoic character starts to fray at the edges.

I’ll admit, I don’t love Adam’s character in this book, but I really appreciate that Stiefvater let her characters fall apart instead of only giving them positive growth. Adam’s actions always feel “in character” for him, even when they send him on a negative path—and break the reader’s heart in the process.

New characters are introduced, adding to the story without overpowering the original cast. I especially love The Gray Man, who could have been an incredibly one-dimensional character but who is instead given a dry sense of humor and a love of poetry. (I also love that this YA book still has autonomous adult characters who have their own scenes and plot lines, separate of the teens.) I also love hate Kavinsky, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

As always, Gansey and Blue are amazing characters. They face trials and frustrations both in the real world and the paranormal one, and the attraction between them grows (*helpless fangirl squealing*).

TDT is addictive; I always wanted to turn the page, discover the next secret, see the next wonder (or horror). The writing that was so gorgeous in book one is still just as poetic and masterful. But where TRB had only a few creepy moments, TDT is full of darkness.

This is probably what makes this my (second) favorite book in the cycle. The darkness doesn’t come just from the magical elements, or Ronan’s nightmares, or Adam’s deal, or Cabeswater itself. There is also real world darkness—fist fights, grief, drugs, enemies. It is both a contemporary and a fantasy/paranormal novel—realism is not sacrificed so that magic can occur, it enhances the magic.

Basically, I’m in love with this novel, these characters, this series, this author. I LOVE EVERYTHING. If you read The Raven Boys and weren’t convinced, you should definitely still pick up The Dream Thieves. The series only gets more gripping and more fascinating.

Reread Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Oh my God I love this series so much!!! This is the perfect first book in one of the most emotional series ever.

First reviewed: November 2014

Initial Rating: 5/5 stars

Reread Rating: 5/5 stars

First review here.

cover the raven boys

Goodreads Description

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Add it on Goodreads here

My Review

The Raven Cycle has always been a favorite of mine. I most recently reread The Raven Boys when Blue Lily, Lily Blue came out, but I had already read it twice before I started this blog. So though this is my first reread review for this book, it was actually my fourth time reading it. Needless to say, I’m in love with this book, but I’m trying to put my fangirling into words so that you can understand where I’m coming from.

The first part of this book that ensnared me is the characters. Each character—not just Blue and the Raven Boys, but also Blue’s relatives and other players in the plot—is given complex emotions and a tangible personality. The entire story comes alive, no matter who the narration is focusing on at a specific moment, because of how realistic each character feels.

Blue is my favorite character, of course. She’s spunky and brave and I love her for it, but I also connected with her frustrations about her future and her present. She has a wonderful home life, but she is also inherently set apart from her family because she isn’t psychic. Getting swept up in Gansey’s quest gives Blue a chance to find magic herself; watching her character transform as her world opens up before her is gorgeous and touching.

Gansey’s character is a force of nature. He’s the kind of character who you instantly know has a million layers and nuances, and you just want to read about him until you’ve discovered and understood all of them.

Adam, Ronan, and Noah complete Gansey’s Raven Boys, each adding their own complexities to the group’s dynamic. I’ll admit that I find Adam’s character frustrating in this book (I’ve shipped Bluesey since page one), but I can’t deny that the way his character deals with pride and poverty is fascinatingly real.

Not only does each character come alive, but the friendships that they form are nuanced and realistic. Within the Raven Boys—especially once Blue joins them—their are smaller, tighter bonds between some of the characters. Some characters understand each other better than others, some characters don’t really know what to do with each other. Instead of creating one big happy family from page one, Maggie Stiefvater chose to put natural roadblocks in the way of this goal, intensifying the already emotionally charged atmosphere of the book.

The second part of this series that I fell in love with is the writing. Maggie Stiefvater is a freaking poet. The writing of this series is magical and fascinating. Somehow, she always finds a new (but impossibly perfect) way to describe her characters and her world. I know some people have found the writing to be over-done and frustrating, but especially having read the story so many times already, I was really able to get caught up in the beauty of the prose this time around.

Finally, there is the actual plot of The Raven Boys. On the surface, the plot is simple: Blue gets caught up in Gansey’s quest to find an ancient Welsh king, so that they can wake him up and be granted a magical favor. But the beauty of this series is that the plot is so much more complex than that, and where you expect the story to go on page one is not where the story ends up by the end.

I love the way that Maggie Stiefvater weaves fantasy and contemporary worlds together. Normally, I am frustrated by cross-genre stories, finding it impossible to balance real and fantasy elements in a story. Of course, this book proves me wrong, and if you are a fan of subtle but intricate fantasy worlds, you should absolutely read this book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who admires subtlety in storytelling. This isn’t a fast-paced book that will grab you and never let you go. You’ll get caught up in characters instead, and gorgeous turns of phrase, and hours later, you’ll realize you’ve been entranced by the story all day. The Raven Boys is clearly the foundation of a series that will (and does) go to even more amazing places.

3 Days 3 Quotes: Day 3

I was tagged by Sam @ River Moose Reads to do the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge.

The Rules

1. Thank the person that nominated you

2. Post a quote 3 consecutive days

3. Nominate 3 new bloggers every day


“I didn’t know,” I start truthfully, “that it was the hard way when I started on it.”

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater 

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Add it on Goodreads.

GAH! I love this book soooo much. Sean and Puck are two of my favorite characters in the world. And I love this quote because it both captures the feeling of this book and I think has something that we can all connect to.


I nominate:

You’re under no pressure to accept, but I hope you do!

3 Days, 3 Quotes: Day 2

I was tagged by Sam @ River Moose Reads to do the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge.

The Rules

1. Thank the person that nominated you

2. Post a quote 3 consecutive days

3. Nominate 3 new bloggers every day


“Seriously,” Macey snapped. “Go. Kiss. A baby”
“Can you believe her?” Preston asked, cocking his head towards Macey. “Everytime she sees me, all she does is call me baby and talk about kissing.”
Macey looked like she wanted to kill him. But I kind of wanted to laugh.

― Don’t Judge A Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls #3) by Ally Carter

cover gg 3

Add book one of the series on Goodreads.

Okay, I was going to post a serious quote from this series, because even for its ridiculous appearance, this is actually an emotional series for me. But then I came across this quote and remembered how hilarious this scene was and I knew I had to share it with you guys.


I nominate:

You’re under no pressure to accept, but I hope you do!

3 Days 3 Quotes: Day 1

Hey! I’ve been wanting to do this tag for a while, and I was tagged by Sam @ River Moose Reads! She’s a really sweet blogger and you should all check her out, if you haven’t already. 🙂

The Rules

1. Thank the person that nominated you

2. Post a quote 3 consecutive days

3. Nominate 3 new bloggers every day


“Hope may be the thing that pulls you forward, may be the thing that keeps you going, but that it’s dangerous, that it’s painful and risky, that it’s making a dare in the world and when has the world ever let us win a dare?”

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

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Add it on Goodreads.

I love The Knife of Never Letting Go more than words. It is one of the most quotable books in the world, and it deals with hope and pain and loss and growth in a real and striking way. I honestly could have posted a million quotes, but I chose this one, mostly with the “throw a dart at an awesome collection of quotes” method.


I nominate:

You’re under no pressure to accept, but I hope you do!

Top Ten Reasons I Love Contemporary Romance

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve taken part in TTT consistently, but it’s a new month and I have a good feeling about June.

This week’s topic was sort of a freebie: Top Ten Reasons I Love X. In the spirit of summer, I chose contemporary romances. Summer weather just puts me in the mood for a cute romance. For fun, I’ve included pictures of books that fulfilled each of the items on the list. 🙂

1. They make me smile.

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Let’s be honest: sometimes I need to be captivated by a story that isn’t dark magic and life-and-death situations pushing characters to the brink. Sometimes, I just want to read a cutesy love story with great characters and even better dialogue.

2. They help me recover from darker stories.

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As I said, I can’t read doom and gloom fantasy novels 24/7, no matter how much I love them. I’d die of heartbreak and stress. Contemporary romances give me a chance to shake off the stress, heartbreak, and darkness from one fantasy series before starting another one.

I’ve also noticed that when I oscillate between fantasy and contemporary books, I have clearer memories of each, because I don’t ever have similar novels back-to-back. This only seems fair to all of the books I read.

3. They make me want to go out and do new things.

cover since youve been gone

Since You’ve Been Gone really did this for me, as did The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. There is nothing like reading about realistic characters going off and having adventures in the real world to make me want to do that for myself. As a fairly introverted person, it takes a lot to get me to want to do new things, and I love that these stories can have this effect on me.

4. Everyone needs some romantic humor at some point.

cover anna and the french kiss

I know I can count on contemporary books for some hilarious dialogue, usually with a lot of cringe-humor flirting. Few things can put a smile on my face faster than an awkward cute meet between two characters…or watching them stumble into love.

5. Two words: swoon-worthy love interests.

cover to all the boys ive loved before

This isn’t specific to contemporary books (I’m looking at you Rowan…and Gansey…), but it is basically a requirement for fluffy romances. And you know what? Sometimes a hot, witty love interest is exactly what I want from my reading experience.

6. I have a soft spot for ridiculous things.

cover the fill in boyfriend

A lot of contemporary romances have somewhat ridiculous premises. Characters get shoved into one-in-a-million circumstances, the boundaries of “possible” get stretched to allow for a cute meet, worst-case scenarios come true with remarkable frequency. It’s ridiculous and improbable…and I love it. I don’t necessarily need my adorable romance to have realistic foundations, not all the time. (Just as long as I believe in the romance that develops)

7. They bring friendship to life.

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Again, this isn’t something that is inherently specific to contemporary books, but some of my favorite friendships have come from this genre. There is something about seeing friendships tested by (and survive) real life circumstances that makes them come to life.

8. They can make me cry.

cover love and other unknown variables

A lot of people never cry at books. I am not one of those people. I cry all the time, and crying about a book gives me a special release that I can’t get anywhere else. I love books, even when (especially when) they destroy me—it’s part of the magic. And while I cry at all genres, contemporary books have a high success rate in this area.

9. They talk about the real world.

cover dream things true

I guess this is obvious, but contemporary books inherently talk about the world we live in today. A lot of times, they shy away from social issues and focus more on the romance—and that’s fine. But I love it when books weave swoony romances together with discussions of important societal problems.

10. They are so much more than “cute.”

I know that when I pick up a contemporary book, 99% of the time I’m just looking for a pick-me-up with some witty flirting, but most of the time, these books get the better of me. They talk about social issues and emotional frustrations and fears and joys.

It’s easy to write off these books based on their lovey-dovey covers and ridiculous plots—to be honest, I’ve done this—but it is almost never fair. I don’t think I can list a single book that could be described as “just romance.” Contemporary romances push us to see our own world in a new light, to understand our emotions in a different way, and that is a power that should never be ignored.


What about you? Why do you love contemporary romances?

Do you have any recs? I desperately need more of these books if I’m going to survive my heartbreaking TBR for this summer.