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What This Book Gave To Me

You know when you have a trilogy and the second movie (unfortunately) feels like it exists just to get to the final installment? That’s a little bit of what this year has felt like. Some progress, a few steps back, major happy moments, and some really disappointing ones.  I think 2015 may have existed just […]

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March 9, 2016 - 11:39 pm

margaret - So pleased to have found your site. You’ve got such a great list of women’s lit. So many books so little time! Hope I can lend a comment some time soon.

January 3, 2016 - 7:48 am

Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity - I adored this post, it’s so easy to forget the impact different books can have on people, especially if you happen to read it at exactly the right moment for some of the lessons in the book to be relevant to your life at that time. I really enjoyed reading this post and how different books have had an impact for you. The books which stay with you long after reading are the best books, the ones which have an emotional impact on you, even if you don’t always know why until much later.

I think that’s why we all love reading so much, books can have a real impact, but they can also help support you when you need it and all they need to do is exist for you to read the words on the page. I don’t think people speak up enough about how beneficial books are to people’s emotional well being.

January 2, 2016 - 8:02 am

Ladies in Read, Estelle - […] What This Book Gave To Me […]

January 1, 2016 - 7:24 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - The best stories, in my opinion, are the ones that make you think… long after you’ve turned that last page. I think that’s why I love contemporary YA so much because of all the different themes I can relate to, or make me truly think about. This is such a beautiful post and I love your honesty in how each of these novels made you feel and reflect, and just be. Aren’t books amazing that way?!

December 31, 2015 - 1:52 pm

Lisa @ Reading, Writing, and Random Musings - I absolutely love this post! I can so identify with so much of what you said. I find that some of the books that stay with me for a long time are those that speak to me based on what is happening in my current life when I read them. I had a 9 year relationship end at the beginning of 2015, and some of the books that you mentioned above (particularly Girl Before a Mirror and Happiness for Beginners) really touched me because of the messages that both books sent. May 2016 be filled with much love, laughter, and happiness for you!

December 31, 2015 - 10:56 am

Alexa S. - E, as always, your writing is lovely and expresses your thoughts perfectly! I love that you highlighted all these books that inspired you, challenged you, made you feel things. Wishing you a wonderful 2016 <3

Top 10 Tuesday: Not Reviewed but Highly Recommended

Oh hey there! Since it’s a freebie week, I thought I would jump in today and BE CREATIVE. I recruited my husband to help me think of a topic. Options ranged from BOOKS WITH MUPPET REFERENCES and BOOKS THAT COULDN’T FIT INTO ANY OTHER TOP 10 LIST. But I settled on this one because it’s […]

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June 2, 2014 - 10:19 pm

Alexa S. - Oh, I loved the Time Between Us series! It gave me lots of feelings, in the best way, and I’m so glad I wound up reading them. I also got reminded that I want to read Alienated and Kiss the Morning Star, thanks to your post, and I’m thrilled you enjoyed them both!

June 1, 2014 - 5:07 am

Judith - Oooh, this is a good topic for a TTT! I wish that I read enough to write little reviews like this, but alas, I’m a slow reader and I review pretty much everything I read. I’ve only read Anatomy of a Boyfriend, but I totally enjoyed it. I think it’s great that it’s so open about sexuality and the transition from high school to college. And Past Perfect and Kiss the Morning Star are about best friends? MUST HAVE!

May 29, 2014 - 9:36 pm

maria helena - Great list! I’m gonna have to add some of these to my tbr list.

May 28, 2014 - 4:40 pm

Alexa - I have a great co-blogger on my blog but I still like to review almost all of the books that I read even if I didn’t like them that much or have strong feelings one way or the other.

May 27, 2014 - 8:58 pm

Lucy - Love this! I think this topic should be in the regular TTT rotation. Since it’s impossible to review everything, this at least gives the book some acknowledgement.

I didn’t review Dr. Bird or Uses for Boys either but enjoyed them both very much! Kiss the Morning Star and Time Between Us are books I keep meaning to read.

May 27, 2014 - 7:53 pm

Cecelia - What a fun list idea! I review maybe 1/4 of the books I read, so this would be a fun pick for the next freebie TTT. Also: I haven’t read any of these books. Eeek!

May 27, 2014 - 3:44 pm

Rachel - I’ve only been blogging since March, but to-date I’ve done a review of every book I’ve read. I’m going to start doing DNF reviews and a collection of mini-reviews for some books, as I find some I have a lot to say and for others I struggle to do s full review, so I’m going to pull them together into the one. Great idea for a topic!

My TTT: http://confessionsofabookgeek.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/top-ten-tuesday-remembering-alfie/

May 27, 2014 - 3:17 pm

Jess @ Gone with the Words - I love this topic because I think we all must have some of these. I definitively don’t review every book I read, but the ones I seem to especially skip are the last books in series. I have reviewed them but it never seems right. I have a lot of these in my TBR so I’ll have to be sure and make time for them. 🙂

May 27, 2014 - 11:24 am

Laura - WOW! I haven’t read any of these. Thank you for these recommendations!

There are a few books I’ve read but haven’t reviewed, mostly because I didn’t have a place to review them (blog, Goodreads, didn’t bother with retail sites) or knew how to review. But I’m always recommending Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series, just about everything written by Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult, and obviously Harry Potter. Nowadays, if I don’t post a review, it’s because I literally do not have the words. I can only rate it, and it’s usually off the charts!


May 27, 2014 - 9:39 am

Ginger @ GReads! - What a great topic idea! Since I’m not the fastest reader, I typically review most of what I read. However, there are a few that slip by and never make it on the blog. If I can’t finish a book, then I don’t review it. There have been some steamy romances that I read for pure pleasure and don’t review either. I like that you mentioned Uses for Boys in your list today. I remember talking about this book in length with you during & after I read it. I know lots of people hated it, but it was comforting to know that we shared a lot of the same opinions about it. And Yay for Mindi Scott! She will always be on my auto-buy list 🙂

TTT: Our New Favorite Must-Read Authors

Welcome back for a new Top Ten Tuesday post! Today, the awesome ladies at The Broke and the Bookish are asking which authors were new-to-us this year. That doesn’t have to be limited to newly published authors, but it could be someone we’ve had on our radar for a long while and finally picked up their […]

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December 29, 2013 - 1:25 am

Bookworm1858 - Rainbow Rowell is definitely my pick for favorite-loved getting to read three books by her this year and am hoping for more to come in 2014!

December 20, 2013 - 7:50 pm

Alexa Y. - It makes me so happy to see that I’ve actually read a lot of the authors you guys picked out this year! A particular favorite is Tamara Ireland Stone, who has written two books that I really liked. As for authors I haven’t read who are on your list, I definitely want to read OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu because I really think I’m going to like it a lot!

December 17, 2013 - 4:44 pm

Lisa Schensted - I love the variety here! I’ll have to add more to my TBR, it seems!

December 17, 2013 - 2:52 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - Seriously, ladies. You’re killing me. Because pretty much everything on your list that I haven’t read yet, I need to! Aw hell, I know I can always go to you for good book recs! Fantastic list, as always!

December 17, 2013 - 1:40 pm

Sara at WhatANerdGIrlSays - I definitely agree on Andrew Smith. Winger blew me away, it was my fave book of the year, tied with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Both amazing novels 🙂 I met Elana K Arnold this year, and now I really want to read her books!

December 17, 2013 - 12:02 pm

Allison L - April gave me her ARC of Openly Straight, and I can’t wait to read it. Also, I feel like I really have to check out This Song Will Save Your Life sometime soon because I’ve heard so many good things about it.

December 17, 2013 - 11:43 am

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I have lots of the same picks on my list (or people that easily could have been on my list). I’m so happy Estelle is on the Elana K. Arnold bandwagon now. All that’s left is reading her other two books!

December 17, 2013 - 11:35 am

Anna - Love your list, ladies! I definitely need to get on the Winger bandwagon — and Nantucket Blue too!

December 17, 2013 - 10:28 am

Meg - Going to have to add a ton of these to my wishlist for 2014! I’m particularly loving the sound of Starstruck.

December 17, 2013 - 9:10 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Ohh great list, ladies! I’m not sure how I managed to do this, but I forgot Amy Spalding on mine. Oops! I’m hoping to get to Winger next year.

December 17, 2013 - 1:07 am

Lucy - We have Amy Spalding and Bill Konigsberg in common, and how could I have forgotten Leila Sales! I just picked up Time Between Us so I’m happy to see it on your list. I’m looking forward to reading How to Love too. Great lists, ladies!

December 17, 2013 - 12:51 am

Allison @ The Allure of Books - I need to drop everything and get my hands on a copy of Winger. Everyone that has read it seems absolutely devoted to it! I MUST SEE WHAT I AM MISSING.

December 17, 2013 - 12:10 am

alice-jane - I haven’t read How to Love and any of Rainbow Rowell’s novels but hopefully I do by the end of the year since they all look really good! If I can’t hopefully I’ll get to read them sometime next year. New Year’s resolution planning, right?

I’m looking forward to Jenny Han’s release next year the most.

On a Personal Note: Making Moves

“We just didn’t know what we wanted.” My husband said this to me this weekend while we were hanging out on our couch. We realized this week would be the one year mark since we sold the house we lived in for three years, and decided to move into an apartment in the city. The […]

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December 27, 2013 - 11:34 am

Estelle's End of the Year Survey (So Long 2013), Estelle - […] loved the support we’ve been getting on our ONE A PERSONAL NOTE feature… including Magan’s post on foster care + mine on making […]

November 4, 2013 - 4:16 pm

Alexa Y. - Oh E! This post is absolutely beautiful. I’m so happy for you and James, and that you both feel like you’ve made the right decision to make that move into the city. It’s a learning experience to be sure, but you guys sure are having fun while you do it! I can’t wait to see more of what unfolds for you both. I can actually relate to this, albeit in a different way. 2013 is a year of me jumping into various things, really, and it’s been an interesting experience. So much has changed for me this year, and so much will change again come December! Here’s to hoping that our big leaps into something new and unknown completely pay off even more 🙂

November 1, 2013 - 8:15 am

Wendi - I’m inching up close to 40 and looking back into my 20s and 30s the best decisions I made always involved moves. The absolutely best decision was the one that was 900+ miles.

November 1, 2013 - 12:04 am

YAY OCTOBER! - […] but I FEEL THE SAME WAY AS ELENA. I’m learning to just accept this about myself! 5. Loved Estelle’s post on making moves! I can 100% relate to this […]

October 31, 2013 - 7:50 pm

Jamie - Love this post, E! I struggle with making moves in my life. It’s something I’ve struggled with so hard this year. And then I keep wondering why I’m still unhappy about certain things. I get scared and let fear give me a million reasons why it’s not “the right time” to make a move and talk myself out of it. It took all the guts I had to apply to that job in the city and then when it didn’t happen I was SAD but I was embarrassingly thinking, at the same time as being really bummed, that WHEW that would have been scary to move, how would we have afforded it, how could I be away from Genevieve like that, etc. etc.

Your post was really encouraging and what I needed to hear. I’m tired of not making the moves and perpetually being stuck in a standstill.

Happy for you guys! 🙂

October 22, 2013 - 1:28 pm

Lisa Schensted - SO proud of both of you for just going for it! How are you to know what you want until you try?

Be brave!


October 21, 2013 - 10:43 am

Jess @ Gone with the Words - Such a beautiful post, Estelle. 🙂 I’m glad you guys made a decision that was yours. It’s easy to make decisions based on how it will affect others in your life, putting your own happiness or desires second. ‘Tis life sometimes. So I’m happy you guys are happy. And I hope it continues this way FOOOOOREVEEEEEER. 😀

October 20, 2013 - 3:03 pm

Heather - This post on getting past the misgivings and doubts was dead-on! A couple of years ago, I was feeling very much the way you did. My husband and I had been I relatively small College Station, TX for quite a few years together, when he got a fantastic job opportunity that took us to Austin. While I thought it would be good eventually, I was so apprehensive about leaving familiarity and family for a larger place, with more unknowns than what we’d dealt with before. Now that we’ve been here for nearly 2 years, it’s been so amazing to see just how right the change was for us in many ways, and how much we needed that push. Of course there are some things that are still not as ideal as they were, but the overall picture is pretty fantastic. May your circumstances become ever better as you grow into the place your lives have brought you!

October 20, 2013 - 9:02 am

Shelve It: A Surprise in the Mail, Estelle - […] On a personal note: Making Moves […]

October 19, 2013 - 1:16 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - When I first started reading I was afraid the thing you didn’t know you wanted was going to be about how it was a mistake to move to NYC. I’m so happy you were right about wanting that and that this last year has been such a good one for you guys. I’ve had lots of changes in my life in the last year and lots and lots in the last 6 months but I couldn’t be happier and more thankful for the changes I’ve made. Back when I was just dreaming about making these big life changing decisions I read this quote from Earl Nightingale (I think on Pinterest) that really resonated with me: “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”

And I owe you an email, it’s on my list of things to do at work today 🙂

October 18, 2013 - 9:11 pm

Betty - 🙂 holy gorgeous photos!!!
about the post… making big decisions as adults is so scary! we moved into the house we are in 2 years ago and are really happy here, but leaving our old house broke my heart! so much happened in that house— we came home from our wedding to that house, i was pregnant in that house, brought my babies home to that house— and then we were leaving it behind. i remember sitting in baby betty’s room the day we left crying my eyes out because i knew the people moving in had a little boy and would paint right over the walls we so carefully painted just for her! man, i get all emotional just thinking about it! But… here we are.. a couple years later and sure enough, we adapted and are making memories in our new house. i think the most important thing is being with the people you love. no matter where you are or what you are facing, if they are with you, you’ll get through it. I think people miss out on a lot of things because of fear. Sometimes the best things are waiting for us– we just need the guts to take a risk and discover what those things are! <3

October 18, 2013 - 8:59 pm

Natalie - So good. So good!

I like life to be a moving target. When my husband and I sold off our house full of STUFF and moved to NYC, we didn’t have any idea what the future would bring. We have been surprised almost daily ever since.

I always wonder what surprising thing we’ll decide to do next.

And yeah, I miss Target too.

October 18, 2013 - 1:51 pm

ashley - This post came at a much needed time in my life. Thank you for that. I, myself, am learning that it’s okay to jump/leap because this box cane get boring. Sending you luck and love.

October 18, 2013 - 1:40 pm

Ellice - What an uplifting post Estelle! Change is hard sometimes, even if it’s a change that you’re excited about. I’m so happy that this move has ended up being a good thing for you and your husband. 🙂

October 18, 2013 - 10:45 am

Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader - This was such a beautiful and inspiring post, Estelle, and one that couldn’t have come at a better time for me, personally-speaking. Lately, I’ve often found myself musing over prospect of great change and weighing the possible outcomes in terms of taking chances versus playing it safe as I’ve sought employment in my field of interest. While I’m lucky and thankful to have found steady employment in this economy in the field of law, it could hardly be considered my passion. In truth, I’ve always dreamt of working in publishing in some capacity and translating my passion for books and reading, and more specifically the importance of children’s literature, into a career. Unfortunately, there are few opportunities to do so where I live and I’ve often wondered whether I would have to make a rather drastic change in order to truly get what I want. More specifically, I’ve recently given some thought to moving to an entirely different area like New York City, where there seems to be an increased number of positions available and therefore a greater opportunity to make my dreams become a reality. While it’s an accepted fact that many of our decisions are dictated by fear, I’ve often wondered to what degree this is healthy, particularly in my own life. My fear of moving to an entirely new country where I know no-one and would be entirely on my own has left me frozen in place, too afraid to make a decision and yet unhappy with the current status of my life. I don’t want to become trapped in a career that I don’t find fulfilling, but I don’t know if I have the courage to take a leap of fate and risk it all on the slim chance that I might finally achieve what I’ve only ever dreamt about.

Either way, your own personal story of transition and change was a beautiful one, and I’m so happy that your choices, however difficult, have ultimately paid off. I can only hope that whatever choice I ultimately make will prove half as fulfilling.

October 18, 2013 - 9:12 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Oh Estelle, beautiful personal post that I feel a lot can relate to. It’s so scary to make a huge decision in your life that will change things drastically. I think it’s human nature to second guess yourself & wonder, was this the right move?!

What feels like so long ago now (but really it was just a few years ago) I made the decision to go back to school. I knew it would be a huge shift in my life and would change so much. But I also knew that change would bring great things for my future. It was going to be a lot of work (still is), but it was something I wanted: a job that was more than just a job, a purpose. In the next year my world is about to shift again as I come to an end of my college career and venture into this whole teaching thing. It’s scary to think about because it’s not just my transition from one job (what I do now) to finishing college & beginning to teach. There are so many other factors that come into play like: where will I live? (Yup I’ll be homeless come next summer). How will I make money? (I’ll have to quit my full time job next fall to student teach full time) So so many scary things!!! But I keep reminding myself, these are the choices I’ve made and these are the changes that will occur because of that. Having faith in myself is what gets me through it. You gotta have that. Oh yeah.. and happiness. Always hold on to the little bit of happiness you can find.

I think you’re already doing that 🙂

October 18, 2013 - 9:09 am

alice-jane - This post was really beautiful! I love your personal posts (as well as your reviews!) and this one was really good.

I’ve moved several times and just moved recently, but surprisingly, I’m happy about it. The views that you’ve provided are simply gorgeous and best of luck with everything!

Estelle: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales ( web | tweet ) Publication Date: 9/17/2013 Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Pages: 288 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: bullying, music, high school, suicide, being a loner, self-discovery Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley! (Thanks!) Summary:  Elise can’t win. After years and years of […]

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October 24, 2013 - 7:38 pm

Jess @ Gone with the Words - It made me really upset too, seeing her get ostracized for being smart and unique. 🙁 And then really happy seeing her discover the thing she was meant to do/be. 🙂 Great review, Estelle!

September 23, 2013 - 9:30 pm

Ellice Y - I HAVE to read this one because the MC has my name– that RARELY happens (it’s spelled a little differently, but hey, I’ll take it! haha). Great review 🙂

September 23, 2013 - 11:15 am

Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms - I’ve heard a lot of great things from this book, but I’ve never actually wanted to pick it up. I’m reconsidering now that I read this review! Great review!


September 22, 2013 - 12:52 pm

Hannah @ So Obsessed With - So, I was already interested in this book because I love the cover. But I was debating buying it so I got on Goodreads. I saw your review posted there, read through it and BAM! bought the book. So happy loved it and can’t wait to read it for myself!

September 21, 2013 - 9:58 pm

VeganYANerds - I got this at BEA and still have not read it, despite hearing amazing things about it! Glad you loved it, too!

September 20, 2013 - 3:50 am

Maggie, Young Adult Anonymous - I just got this and can’t wait to read it!

September 20, 2013 - 1:21 am

katy - This one sounds awesome! I’ve seen a lot of good things about it but haven’t read any reviews before this one. Elise sounds like a fascinating character,and DJing seems awesome. I have always wanted to learn to DJ but I’m pretty sure I’d be notsogreat at it.

“Learning to like yourself and accept your lot in life is a task we have to commit to every day. There is always someone who isn’t going to like our decisions, or agree with us, or like us for whatever reason.” So true, so true.

I’m glad to see it has great supporting characters and family dynamics, too. This was already on my TBR but now I want to read it anymore, awesome review!

September 19, 2013 - 10:01 pm

Bookworm1858 - The search for identity really resonated with me too. Though I wasn’t bullied at school, I still never really felt like I fit in and it hasn’t been until now, after graduating college, that I’m feeling more in place.

September 19, 2013 - 4:42 pm

Daphne - this is one of my favorite books this year, it was so special. great review.