Shelve It: In Which We Buy All the Books

weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week

Howdy, friends! We’re both checking in to confess how many books share the books we’ve purchased lately with another Shelve It. It’s been a good, good month for reading and we both, um, went a little overboard. Our wallets are feeling quite depleted, but we’re really excited about all of these and we hope you are, too!

Magan:

First up is this glorious book I received from Macmillan, Unremembered by Jessica Brody. (Thank you so much, you guys!) It’s been optioned for film by Reliance Entertainment and Kintop Pictures. I have been wanting to read Unremembered FOREVER and I’m super excited about this! (PS — Congratulations, Jessica!)

Unremembered optioned for film - macmillan publishing

And my (super incriminating) purchases: a screenshot from my amazon orders page. Ooops?!

Books Purchased by Magan

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Pointe by Brandy Colbert (per Estelle’s amazing blurb on Goodreads)
Noggin by John Corey Whaley
There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos (again because Estelle gave this 5 stars!)
The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle
Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski
Panic by Lauren Oliver

*Not pictured because I pre-ordered it (but it was also delivered last week): To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (because, duh. It’s Jenny.)

ARC e-galley approvals:

Edelweiss Approved ARC books

Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt
Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley
On the Fence by Kasie West

Estelle:

Well, it was a marathon of a book event week last week. THREE IN FIVE DAYS. Insane. Normally I just pick one but they were just too good to pass up — Jennifer E. Smith, Sara Benincasa, and Jenny Han — so I skipped the gym, bought a lot of books, and even had a beer in Books of Wonder in NYC. (Thanks to Jenny Han’s great launch setup. The goodies were amazing.) Here are some pictures from the week:

Jennifer E Smith Jackson McNally April 2014

Sara Benincasa Books of Wonder April 2014

Jenny Han Books of Wonder April 2014

A few highlights:

  • Jen E. Smith reminiscing about first moving to New York during the 2003 blackout. She was ATM and suddenly nothing was working.
  • Sara Benincasa is hilarious, and I loved hearing her read from GREAT. It’s always so interesting to hear the inflections in the author’s voice compared to your own. Her next book is going to be a re-telling of Lord of the Flies starring the ladies. Looking forward to that one!
  • And Jenny Han made me a little weepy talking about how close she is with her sister and how she finds her sister always worms her way into her books. She also mentioned how she realized how much things were changing when her sister got married and they wouldn’t be spending Christmas mornings together like they used to. This is a feeling I struggle with a lot and I’m glad I wasn’t the only one.

I was a little tricky and fit all my books into one picture. Hopefully it looks less severe?

Shelve It April 22 2014

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly (from Disney Press; thanks!)
After Hello by Lisa Magnum (sent to me by Kelly for a super secret project!)
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord (my pre-order came six days late!)
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick (thanks to Emily @ohmagichour for my #AndiSpringExchange gift!)
Shug by Jenny Han (this is a middle grade book)
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland (I needed the paperback! There’s chevron inside!)
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Great by Sara J. Benincasa

I’m definitely cut off, right? As you can tell, I’m going to be busy for awhile. I think M + I both are. So what about you? Anything fantastic make its way on to your shelves lately? Let us know! We are curious and nosey and we probably need to add more books to our TBR — because that’s what we do!

Happy Wednesday — we’re halfway there, folks!

Psst! Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for an ONLY EVERYTHING signed arc (U.S. + Canada) and check out reviews of Don’t Call Me Baby by Gwen Heasley; The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jess Verdi; Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu.

weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week

Magan’s Shelve It for March 10, 2013

weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week

Oh, hello there. It’s been a while since I did a vlog for Shelve It. My weekends have been disgustingly busy since January, but here I am — enjoying a nice, quiet, rainy Saturday at home. (Hooray!!!) I just finished up one of the books I bought this week (Sean Griswold’s Head) last night so I need to figure out what to start next! For all of you on Spring Break, I hope your week is filled with awesome books, lots of rest, and NO homework! (What will you do with your week off?!)

Shelve It Vlog:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00QRh2B6pA4

For those of you who maybe don’t want to watch me talk about the books, here’s what I got this week:

requiem, things i can't forget, sean griswold's head, and the academy: game on

Books I Purchased (on the left):

+ Requiem by Lauren Oliver
+ Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally (Estelle’s Review)
+ Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt (Recommended to me by Lori of Pure Imagination)

Received for Review via Netgalley (on the right):

+ The Academy: Game on by Monica Seles and James LaRosa (Bloomsbury, 6/4/2013)

♥

What Happened on the Blog:

+ Big Kids’ Table — Authors Who’ve Written Adult and YA Books
+ A Review of Trinkets by Kirsten Smith
+ A Review of Being Henry David by Cal Armistead
+ Estelle’s Anniversary Post about Marriage, Magic + Books
+ A Review of Holier Than Thou by Laura Buzo

♥

Thanks for check out this week’s Shelve It! What books did you guys get?
Hope you have an awesome week!

monthly young adult book releases on rather be reading

March 2013 Young Adult Book Releases

monthly young adult book releases on rather be readingOkay, so this is silly, but I’m still so ridiculously giddy over all the graphics Alex made for us. Inserting our new Monthly Book Release one above makes me soooo happy because this is the first official time I get to use it. *happy dance* Anyway — what’s kind of depressing is that we’re soon to close out February and begin a new month. (Channeling my best Liz Lemon WHAT THE WHAT?) You know what the big positive is about this? Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I’m so excited, y’all. So excited. No one message me on March 5th. I have a date with that book.

*All images and descriptions are borrowed from Goodreads and linked to the book’s specific page below.

March 1st Young Adult Book Releases by Elizabeth Eulberg, Crystal Chen, and Miranda Kenneally

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Goodreads | Amazon | Estelle’s Review
Description:

A hilarious new novel from Elizabeth Eulberg about taking the wall out of the wallflower so she can bloom.

Don’t mess with a girl with a Great Personality.

Everybody loves Lexi. She’s popular, smart, funny…but she’s never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).

Lexi’s sick of it. She’s sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She’s sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She’s sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she’s sick of having all her family’s money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.

The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren’t going to know what hit them. Because Lexi’s going to play the beauty game – and she’s in it to win it.

Bird by Crystal Chan

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

A girl, who was born on the day her brother Bird died, has grown up in a house of silence and secrets; when she meets John, a mysterious new boy in her rural Iowan town, and those secrets start to come out.

Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Companion to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker.

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt…with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

Read an excerpt here.

Note: Mature themes, sexual situations, religious discussions.

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Seventeen-year-old “Hank” has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything –who he is, where he came from, why he’s running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or “Hank” and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of–Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead’s remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.

When We Wake, Requiem, Unremembered, Pieces, Let the Sky Fall

When We Wake by Karen Healey

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

My name is Tegan Oglietti, and on the last day of my first lifetime, I was so, so happy.

Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027–she’s happiest when playing the guitar, she’s falling in love for the first time, and she’s joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.

But on what should have been the best day of Tegan’s life, she dies–and wakes up a hundred years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived, which makes her an instant celebrity–even though all she wants to do is try to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. But the future isn’t all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better future?

Award-winning author Karen Healey has created a haunting, cautionary tale of an inspiring protagonist living in a not-so-distant future that could easily be our own.

Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

 Unremembered (Unremembered #1) by Jessica Brody

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

The only thing worse than forgetting her past… is remembering it.

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author, Jessica Brody comes a mesmerizing and suspenseful new series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.

Flowers in the Sky by Lynn Joseph

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Fifteen-year-old Nina Perez is faced with a future she never expected. She must leave her Garden of Eden, her lush home in the Dominican Republic, when she’s sent by her mother to seek out a better life with her brother in New York. As Nina searches for some glimpse of familiarity amid the jarring world of Washington Heights, she must uncover her own strength. She learns to uncover roots within foreign soil and finds a way to grow, just like the orchids that blossom on her fire escape. And when she is confronted by ugly secrets about her brother’s business, she comes to understand the realities of life in this new place. But then she meets him-that green-eyed boy- who she can’t erase from her thoughts, the one who just might help her learn to see beauty in spite of tragedy.

From the acclaimed author of The Color of My Words comes a powerful story about a young girl who must make her way in a new world and find her place within it.

Pieces by Chris Lynch

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

A teen revives the legacy of his lost brother in this compelling novel from the author of Inexcusable, a National Book Award finalist.

When Eric’s brother Duane dies, his world breaks in two. Duane was his best friend—possibly his only friend. And Eric isn’t sure how to live in a world without Duane in it. Desperate to find a piece of his brother to hold on to, Eric decides to meet some of the people who received Duane’s organs.

He expects to meet perfect strangers. Instead he encounters people who become more than friends and almost like family—people who begin to help Eric put the pieces of his life back together for good.

From internationally acclaimed author Chris Lynch comes a gripping and enduring exploration of loss and recovery—and a long-awaited sequel to the celebrated Iceman.

The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

A teen girl starts hearing the same voices that drove her sister to commit suicide in this creepy, suspenseful novel.

Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not….

Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

“I hate myself but I love Walt Whitman, the kook. Always positive. I need to be more positive, so I wake myself up every morning with a song of myself.”

Sixteen-year-old James Whitman has been yawping (à la Whitman) at his abusive father ever since he kicked his beloved older sister, Jorie, out of the house. James’s painful struggle with anxiety and depression—along with his ongoing quest to understand what led to his self-destructive sister’s exile—make for a heart-rending read, but his wild, exuberant Whitmanization of the world and keen sense of humor keep this emotionally charged debut novel buoyant.

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

A broken past and a divided future can’t stop the electric connection of two teens in this “charged and romantic” (Becca Fitzpatrick), lush novel.

Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.

Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them.

Picture Me Gone Book Release by Meg Rosoff

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

From the author’s blog: “It’s a heartrending future classic, soon to be a major motion picture, not to mention a thoughtful, insanely sophisticated exploration of the relationship between adults and children. It contains a gigantic Easter egg, lots of French toast and a weed whacker.”

mila 2.0, trinkets, poison, panic, and escape theory book covers

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.

Trinkets by Kirsten Smith

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Sixteen-year-old Moe’s Shoplifters Anonymous meetings are usually punctuated by the snores of an old man and the whining of the world’s unhappiest housewife. Until the day that Tabitha Foster and Elodie Shaw walk in. Tabitha has just about everything she wants: money, friends, popularity, a hot boyfriend who worships her…and clearly a yen for stealing. So does Elodie, who, despite her goodie-two-shoes attitude pretty much has “klepto” written across her forehead in indelible marker. But both of them are nothing compared to Moe, a bad girl with an even worse reputation.

Tabitha, Elodie, and Moe: a beauty queen, a wallflower, and a burnout-a more unlikely trio high school has rarely seen. And yet, when Tabitha challenges them to a steal-off, so begins a strange alliance linked by the thrill of stealing and the reasons that spawn it.

Hollywood screenwriter Kirsten Smith tells this story from multiple perspectives with humor and warmth as three very different girls who are supposed to be learning the steps to recovery end up learning the rules of friendship.

Poison by Bridget Zinn

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

Panic by Sharon M. Draper

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

This gripping and chillingly realistic novel from New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper shows that all it takes is one bad decision for everything to change.

Diamond knows not to get into a car with a stranger.

But what if the stranger is well-dressed and handsome? On his way to meet his wife and daughter? And casting a movie that very night—a movie in need of a star dancer? What then?

Then Diamond might make the wrong decision.

It’s a nightmare come true: Diamond Landers has been kidnapped. She was at the mall with a friend, alone for only a few brief minutes—and now she’s being held captive, forced to endure horrors beyond what she ever could have dreamed, while her family and friends experience their own torments and wait desperately for any bit of news.

From New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper, this is a riveting exploration of power: how quickly we can lose it—and how we can take it back.

Escape Theory by Margaux Froley

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Sixteen-year-old Devon Mackintosh has always felt like an outsider at Keaton, the prestigious California boarding school perched above the Pacific. As long as she’s not fitting in, Devon figures she might as well pad her application to Stanford’s psych program. So junior year, she decides to become a peer counselor, a de facto therapist for students in crisis. At first, it seems like it will be an easy fly-on-the-wall gig, but her expectations are turned upside down when Jason Hutchins (a.k.a. “Hutch”), one of the Keaton’s most popular students, commits suicide.

Devon dives into her new role providing support for Hutch’s friends, but she’s haunted by her own attachment to him. The two shared an extraordinary night during their first week freshman year; it was the only time at Keaton when she felt like someone else really understood her.  As the secrets and confessions pile up in her sessions, Devon comes to a startling conclusion: Hutch couldn’t have taken his own life. Bound by her oath of confidentiality—and tortured by her unrequited love—Devon embarks on a solitary mission to get to the bottom of Hutch’s death, and the stakes are higher than she ever could have imagined.

period 8, going vintage, wasteland, and if you find me book covers

Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:

1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous

But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club presient–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

Wasteland by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

Welcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disesase and brutal attacks by the Variants—hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.

Period 8 by Chris Crutcher

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

In this full-length novel from Chris Crutcher, his first since the best-selling Deadline, the ultimate bully and the ultimate good guy tangle during Period 8.

Paul “the Bomb” Baum tells the truth. No matter what. It was something he learned at Sunday School. But telling the truth can cause problems, and not minor ones. And as Paulie discovers, finding the truth can be even more problematic. Period 8 is supposed to be that one period in high school where the truth can shine, a safe haven. Only what Paulie and Hannah (his ex-girlfriend, unfortunately) and his other classmates don’t know is that the ultimate bully, the ultimate liar, is in their midst.

Terrifying, thought-provoking, and original, this novel combines all the qualities of a great thriller with the controversy, ethics, and raw emotion of a classic Crutcher story.

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Goodreads | Amazon
Description:

There are some things you can’t leave behind…

A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

* * * * *

So, guys — that wraps up the books we’re so, so excited for this month. Thanks for checking out our March 2013 Young Adult Book Releases post! What are you most looking forward to? Did we leave anything spectacular off our list?

rather be reading celebrate's estelle's birthday!

Happy Birthday to Estelle + A New Look for RBR + A Giveaway!

rather be reading celebrate's estelle's birthday!

It’s a super exciting day around here! Today we’re throwing confetti and celebrating Estelle’s 28th birthday! (Look at that cutie above! Such a doll!) This lady deserves to be showered with so much love today so I hope you’ll all join me in wishing her a very, very happy birthday today! I’m beyond excited because we get the chance to REUNITE on Sunday IN PERSON in DC! Guys, this is big news. We’re planning our outfits and getting so, so excited. (It’s been pretty hard to focus on real work when we’re so excited about the weekend.)

One thing we’ve been planning for a while with our awesome pal, Alex MacDuff — Graphic Designer Extraordinaire, is a new look for Rather Be Reading. We loved our old look, but it was a labor of love done by us — two girls who are fun and crafty, but don’t have quite the eye Alex does. We have been itching for something custom and very representative of us. And we’re in love. We’ve been drooling over all the pieces of this new look with each email Alex has sent us. Our hearts have nearly reached cardiac arrest with all the excitement. Alex has hand drawn everything you see here for us and watercolored it to absolute perfection.

We wanted everything to be clean and refreshing — a place for everyone to cuddle up and enjoy a book with us. Isn’t that tree just delightful? If you look above, it has two different types of leaves. Magan’s side (the left) represents Texas by sportin’ the pecan leaf and Estelle’s side represents New York with the lovely sugar maple leaf. We’re thousands of miles apart, but join together daily over our love for books. Books are what brought us together and sealed the fate of our friendship.

We’ve got some fun new icons for our ratings system (as shown below) and we’ve changed up the order of things a wee bit. Worth It is our way of saying “This is a great deal and it’s worth the great price, but maybe we didn’t five-star love this one.”

With all of that said, we loved working with Alex and we’re so thankful for all the work he’s done for us. We highly, highly recommend him! We hope you’re excited about the new changes around here and all that’s to come. Join us in celebrating Estelle’s birthday and our new look by entering our giveaway featuring two upcoming releases the both of us are psyched about: Also Known As by Robin Benway or Requiem by Lauren Oliver!

As always, thank you so much for stopping by!

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most anticipated young adult books of 2013

Magan: Top Ten Tuesday — Most Anticipated Books of 2013

Howdy, y’all! I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the awesome crew at The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re talking about our most anticipated books of 2013. I could hardly narrow this down — do you guys realize how much amazingness is coming out in the next year? So many of my favorite series will be coming to an end. What will I do?!  I think the best solution is probably to find more books to ease the separation anxiety.
most anticipated young adult books of 2013
  1. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen — Um, more Sarah Dessen? YES, PLEASE! (06/04/2013)
  2. The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr — Death and betrayal lead Lucy to walk away from being a concert pianist. Ooooh, buddy. (05/07/2013)
  3. Reboot by Amy Tintera — I met Amy at ALA Annual this year and she’s the sweetest little lady! Cannot wait to support her and read her book. (05/07/2013)
  4. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith — This is my choice on behalf of Estelle. E loves JES’s work somethin’ fierce. (04/02/2013)
  5. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt — Adorable cover + a plot about swearing off boys? Heck yeah! (03/26/2013)
  6. Requiem by Lauren Oliver — How will Lena’s story end?! I’m going crazy with anticipation… (03/05/2013)
  7. Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook — I have tried to purchase this 150,000 times on my kindle because I keep forgetting it doesn’t come out until January 2013. Fail. (01/29/2013)
  8. Return to Me by Justina Chen Headley — Life changing news + a girl on her way to college. Oh, yes! (01/15/2013)
  9. Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi — I am so anxious to learn more about these characters. The world just blows me away! (01/08/2013)
  10. Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder — Have you guys read her previous work? All I can say is DAAAANG. (01/01/2013)
Let me know what you’re looking forward to the most! Can’t wait to see your lists!

Top Ten Tuesday: In Which the Worlds Felt Real, Yo.

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! The topic chosen by the awesome peeps over at the Broke and the Bookish is vivid worlds and settings in books. For me, that means things GOT REAL. I could picture myself in the world, imagine the city or the journey — whatever it may be. World building is incredibly important to me as a reader.

Let’s get started!

P.S. You’ve been warned – welcome to the craziness that is my mind and the chaos of what I read.

vivid world building and good book settings

1. ALANNA: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (Goodreads | Amazon)

Alanna was the first “fantasy” series I read in high school. Somehow I got caught up in the world of classic “old” books for high school required reading and a friend recommended I read the Alanna series. I DEVOURED these. I saw them when Border’s was closing and bought myself the whole set. I re-read it last year, I think, and still really enjoyed it. Alanna is young in the beginning books and she grows up – similar to Harry Potter – throughout the rest of the series. She falls in love, she becomes a badass heroine, and there are two very different, but great guys vying for her attention.

2. THE BOOK THIEF by Marcus Zusack (Goodreads | Amazon)

I read The Book Thief with my girlfriends back when we were trying to start a book club. I did NOT know what to expect when I started this one, but I was swept away into World War II. I cried, my heart broke, and I was incredibly touched. I should re-read it, but it’s one of those that has left such a definite lasting impression…

books with great world building and vivid settings

*Honestly, these two are kind of my “freebies” on this list because um, it’s not possible to have a list without them. J.K. Rowling is the queen of world building. And Suzanne Collins re-ignited the dystopia trend that has hit the YA world full force. These books deserve some mad props. (Also, I pictured my favorite of each series.)

3. HARRY POTTER and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (Goodreads | Amazon)

4. THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins (Goodreads | Amazon)

books with incredible world building and vivid settings

5. FORGOTTEN by Cat Patrick (Goodreads | Amazon)

I felt so deeply connected to London, a girl whose brain “reset” every single night. She would forget everything that happened the day before and would have to read the pages of notes she wrote for herself to “remember” her life. She could see things from the future, but couldn’t remember the past. LOVED this book!

6. DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver (Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)

ALL of Lauren’s books should be on this list. I am continuously blown away by her writing. From the way the society felt in Delirium to experiencing Lena’s journey in Pandemonium (purposely being vague so those of you who haven’t read this won’t have anything ruined) — I felt like I experienced every. single. moment.

vivid world building or amazing settings in books

7. DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor (Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)

I haven’t read tons of books involving angels and demons or crazy animals that can talk – but if Laini Taylor is writing it, sign me up. I wanted to tread lightly through Daughter of Smoke and Bone because I didn’t want it to be over. Anxiously awaiting the sequel to dive back into her world!

8. THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers (Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)

I am a HUGE, HUGE Courtney Summers fan. I read Some Girls Are and subsequently consumed the rest of her books (in like…a week). I was nervous to read about zombies (because I’m not really a “zombie” kinda girl), but you know what? That was okay. The story is bigger than the zombies. Courtney’s writing is ah-mazing!

books with incredible settings or vivid world building - setting with airplanes and book set in london

9. SUCH A RUSH by Jennifer Echols (Goodreads | Amazon |E’s Review)

Forget fear of flying — I think everyone will want to take off in a plane or head to an airplane hangar to hang out with the Hall boys after reading this one. Jennifer did an INCREDIBLE job of explaining how things operated and I felt so empowered on behalf of Leah.

10. MEANT TO BE by Lauren Morrill (Goodreads | Pre-Order on Amazon)

I like books that can take me to new places – places I’ve never been. I felt like I was on my own spring break in London (btw, why was my high school not this amazing? — pretty sure we just went to Six Flags for trips!). This is one to keep your eye out for – I know I’m a tease for sharing it, but the setting (and characters) are ones you will LOVE.

So that’s what I’ve got for your world building and vivid settings books. What’s on your list?