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Top Ten Tuesday: Tough Subject Books

I’m pretty drawn to tough subject books. I scoured my Goodreads lists and narrowed it down to these FIFTEEN tough subject books instead of ten. (Bonus reads!) Obviously I didn’t follow the rules very well. Some of these were harder than others, but they all have aspects of them that really open your eyes to […]

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October 8, 2014 - 11:19 pm

Alexa S. - These books do cover some tough subjects! I do think it’s important though, because sometimes people feel so alone in these situations – and these books might remind them that they aren’t alone. I got reminded of a few titles I’ve been meaning to check out, so thanks for putting the list together!

October 6, 2014 - 8:02 am

Nicole @ The Quiet Concert - I too am drawn to tough subject books and thought i’d read a decent amount of them so I’m surprised that I’ve only read two on this entire list (but good surprised as I have more recommendations). I definitely want to read Rites of Passage since I’ve been seeing that around a lot lately and it has a military theme which we don’t get all that often. When You Were Here is also at the top of my list. Thanks for sharing!

October 3, 2014 - 8:35 am

Jamie - SO spot on for the ones out of this list I’ve read! Rites of Passage had me LITERALLY shaking it was so hard to read how she was treated and just knowing they were getting away with that crap. OH MY GOD. I still feel a fit of rage coming on thinking about it. Loved that book so hard though! Some Girls Are was really hard too..I remember being physically shaken by it. I was reading it on vacation (in the bathtub and literally finished the whole thing — after being in a house with my sister’s kids for a week I just wanted to escape haha) and I just remember thinking how scared I was for Genevieve to grow up. Because this bullying thing, to me at least, seems way worse than when I was a kid…unless Ijust didn’t see it or experience it.

September 30, 2014 - 8:39 pm

Magan - Amanda, I DEFINITELY AGREE. I had never had to sit a book aside like I did when I read Room. (Well, until I read Live Through This. That one was a doozie for me.) Glad you enjoyed it, but also glad you understand why it was uncomfortable for me. πŸ™‚

September 30, 2014 - 8:38 pm

Magan - Sue, I haven’t read any books by Ellen Hopkins yet. I should fix that. A few times I’ve looked for them at my local library, but they had them out of sequence and I haven’t remembered to put them on hold. :-/ Thanks for the suggestion!!

September 30, 2014 - 7:10 pm

BookCupid - Great compilation, read a lot of these books.
My TTT

September 30, 2014 - 5:39 pm

Amanda - Room is on my list too. It was such a powerfully written book, but I have rarely felt so uncomfortable the whole time I was reading.

September 30, 2014 - 2:57 pm

Sue - I’ve read Room and Live Through This, both excellent books. I think the toughest book I have read was Tricks by Ellen Hopkins, have you read any of her books? All tough subjects but written in verse which for some reason makes such an impact.

September 30, 2014 - 11:38 am

Magan - Chrissi, I hope you give Rites of Passage a go! It’s FANTASTIC. The buzz isn’t publisher-generated. It’s well-deserved and so worth the read. I really hope that you find some great books from this list, even if they’re not always easy to read! πŸ™‚

September 30, 2014 - 11:37 am

Magan - Oh, Cait. I completely understand. Tease was difficult because the MC was just so, so unlikeable. I wanted to hate her. Rites of Passage is one of my absolute favorite books this year. I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s hard, yes, but OH SO VERY GOOD. (And incredibly well-written!)

September 30, 2014 - 11:36 am

Magan - Brianna, it was so uncomfortable. I completely agree. I put it aside for a long while and stopped reading it. (Only to realize that if I had read about 6 more pages, BIG things would have happened and my anxiety would have decreased severely.) There are some tough books on this list, but for sure amazing ones. I hope you’ll give a few of them a try!

September 30, 2014 - 11:34 am

Magan - Cassie, it’s so true. Even as someone who is a Christian (though I don’t believe everything was as black and white as the MC’s community wanted her to believe), it was such a difficult read for me. I remember cringing and just really aching for her as she tried to figure out what she believed. A tough read, yes, but I hope also encouraging for those who read it and are working through their own dilemmas.

September 30, 2014 - 11:02 am

Cassie @ Happy Book Lovers - Small Town Sinners was one of the hardest books to read for me. Ever. I have never come across people like this in real life, so it was hard for me to understand the religious community and all the activities they did. I feel like those shouldn’t be allowed, especially as a community event people must participate in. But the hardest part was reading it from the MC’s point of view and listening to her thoughts about gay marriage and abortions, and that those vastly disagreed with my own opinions. I’m glad I read it, but it was still really hard for me to get through. I think it made a really good point and did well exploring the topics from a different point of view than I would normally read, and by the end, everything made sense. But that will always stick out to me as being a difficult book to get through.

September 30, 2014 - 10:41 am

Brianna - I’ve only read Room. Clearly, I avoid books with difficult subjects. I didn’t love Room. I thought it was strange and unrealistic. Not that kidnapping is unrealistic, but the whole premise just weirded me out.

September 30, 2014 - 6:42 am

Cait @ Notebook Sisters - I really find books about bullying super hard to read too. πŸ™ I mean, usually they’re good and they have such strong messages and they need to be said! But I tend to avoid them…I couldn’t read Tease. I WOULD like to try Rites of Passage but … not yet. >_<
Here’s my TTT!

September 30, 2014 - 12:46 am

Chrissi Reads - I didn’t think Rites of Passage would be a book that I wanted to read, but the buzz around it is really making me want to read it! I really want to check out most of the books on your list!

Shelve It: A Few Nights Before Christmas

Your eyes are not playing tricks on you! This is a real real real life Shelve It! I am really excited about all the books in this video + I hope you feel that way too. It’s a great time of year to drink a peppermint mocha, have Home Alone 2 in the background, and […]

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December 23, 2013 - 9:34 pm

Lisa - I know I’ve already told you but I AM SO HAPPY TO SEE YOUR FACE!

I won’t forget to eat cookies, but thank you very much for the reminder!

MWAH!

December 23, 2013 - 7:16 pm

Rachel - Oh my gosh, I can’t wait to read Ashes to Ashes. Like, CANNOT. WAIT. And I did not know Ann Brashares was coming out with something new! Snapshot sounds interesting, so I’ll have to check that one out. I love your videos πŸ™‚

December 22, 2013 - 6:31 pm

Alexa S. - YOU NEED TO READ BLUE-EYED DEVIL. I swear, Racquel, Sharon and I have been shoving that book at everyone since Sizzle & Swoon week a few months ago! We really, really, really love the Travis family. Actually, we really, REALLY, REALLY love Hardy Cates.

That being said, I also hope that you read Ransom and fall in love with it! Garwood’s historical romances are among my favourites, and this was one of the first ones I ever read. You’ll have to keep me posted on when you read it!

And you’ve gotten some amazing books, gifts and e-books. It sounds like you’re all set for some awesome reading for the next few months πŸ˜‰

December 22, 2013 - 2:31 pm

Sunny - So many great-sounding books! I just got Ashes to Ashes as well so I hope we both like it. And These Broken Stars! Ah, I hope you love it as much as I did πŸ™‚

December 22, 2013 - 12:34 pm

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - Estelle, I love Julie Garwood. Seriously, she’s one of my favorite romance authors, and Ransom is wonderful. It’s actually not my favorite Garwood, but it’s way up there. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. Also, I love LIsa Kleypas’s historical romances. I haven’t read her contemporaries, although I’ve heard good things. I really wish she would write historicals again. Until recently I haven’t really read a lot of romances for five years or so (I used to read them ALL THE TIME while in college), but the last few months I can’t stop reading them. But what I wanted to say was that when I read them, I also tended to have a few authors that I loved, and it was always so difficult to find new authors. So I hope you like Kleypas and Garwood. Garwood doesn’t write historicals anymore.

I’ve been super curious about These Broken Stars, too. That cover is gorgeous, and I’ve heard such amazing things, but I’m not a big fan of science fiction either. I did read three sci-fi books this year, though, and loved them. You’ll have to let me know if you like These Broken Stars and if you think those that aren’t big on sci-fi would like it.

Have a great Christmas!

December 22, 2013 - 9:58 am

Jess @ Gone with the Words - Sweet Thing Ginger also gifted me Sweet Thing as my bday/xmas gift. πŸ˜€ That was really nice of her. I actually started reading it two nights ago and it’s REALLY GOOD so far!

I was so happy to have gotten you as my #TBTBSanta!! I had a lot of fun shopping for you. πŸ™‚

I just went and bought the two Angie Stanton books you mention because I love musician books and yeah.

Let me know when you decide to read Amplified. I own it and need to read it!!!

December 22, 2013 - 9:50 am

Stormy - You got some pretty great books! I thought Ask Again Later was really cute–it’s just a nice, simple sweet read. These Broken Stars was also one of my favorites of the year. I wouldn’t worry about the science fiction aspects too much–the information is spread out pretty well and the focus is definitely on the survival and the romance more than the sci-fi elements. And Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one of my all-time favorites book–I really hope you absolutely love it!

December 22, 2013 - 9:06 am

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - YAYYY Always love seeing your face!! *takes a sip of coffee* It’s like we’re chatting! (Oh, this is just said. We just need to see each other again IRL.)
I’m really looking forward to Ask Again Later and!!! It comes out on my birthday! WOO! πŸ™‚
Lovely video! Very fun!

December 22, 2013 - 2:37 am

Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads - (Oops, didn’t mean to hit post!) …. Back on the tree, our tree looks a little disheveled. Second, I’m a little sad that your cat watched the taping, but didn’t make an appearance :(. And finally, what a great bunch of books!!! I have that Aristotle & Dante book on hold at the library because I keep hearing such great things about it! I didn’t realize it won so many awards too!

Merry merry Christmas!!!!!

December 22, 2013 - 2:30 am

Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads - First of all, your tree is so pretty! I’m also mildly envious because my tree looks rather disheveled this year — between Marko and the cat pulling ornaments and garlands off and me sticking them haphazardly

December 22, 2013 - 1:49 am

Liz - The way you described Amplified makes me want to read it! I also totally get you what you say about being afraid that you won’t understand sci fi. I got Not A Drop To Drink when it was on sale as well. Have an awesome Christmas!

December 22, 2013 - 1:08 am

Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader - What a fun video, Estelle! It looks like you have quite the promising stack of to-be-read novels ahead of you! I was particularly excited to hear you mention The Silent Wife. This novel is currently taking Canada by storm and I recently purchased a copy last week because I was curious to learn what all the fuss was about. It’s truly a shame that the author, A.S.A. Harrison, wasn’t able to live long enough to enjoy the immense amount of praise her novel has garnered πŸ™ In any event, it would be a lot of fun to read this and compare our thoughts on the novel!

Wishing both you and Magan a very Merry Christmas! *Hugs* I feel blessed and extremely thankful to have been given the opportunity to meet both of you this year. P.S. “Don’t forget to eat cookies” is advice I like to live by on a daily basis πŸ˜‰

Estelle: Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

Small Town Sinners by Melissa C. Walker ( web | twitter ) Publication Date: July 19, 2011 Publisher: Bloomsbury Pages: 259 Target audience: Young adult Keywords: religion, prejudices, parents and their children Format read: Borrowed from library Summary: Lacey has been looking forward to auditioning for top billing of her church’s Hell House since as […]

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September 30, 2014 - 11:50 am

Fifteen Must-Read Tough Subject Books - […] Small Town Sinners — discovering one’s own religious beliefs apart from what parents have taught you to believe […]

January 29, 2013 - 3:01 am

Jasmine Rose - I grew up in a small town with the same smalll-minded views. The church I attended liked to believe it was progressive, but homosexuality was viewed as a “hate the sin, not the sinner” thing. It was also kind of a hush hush thing nobody really talked about. Same for all the other major hot button issues. Sadly, growing up in this I shared the same opinions until I started dating my (now) husband. I’m really glad he helped me grow and form my own opinions :]
Also, this book is fantastic!

January 25, 2013 - 6:16 am

Lori - I love this review, Estelle! I went into this book with a lot of trepidation. I’m a very liberal person living in the bible belt, so I feel like I get enough of this stuff on a day to day basis. I found myself really enjoying the book, though. It was nice to see Lacey start her new path.

January 24, 2013 - 2:02 pm

Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley) - OH YAY YAY YAY!!!

I absolutely LOVED this book x 1000. I think when I read this last summer I remember tweeting about it and you may have tweeted back that you liked it, Estelle, and I was so happy. I think I may have had a little back-and-forth between a few people about this book because I live in the middle of Hell House country, the Bible-Belt South. I grew up in a place much-like Walker wrote about, with a family almost exactly like Lacey’s. As an adult, I have a faith of my own and I absolutely LOVE the way Walker doesn’t get preachy but still presents this story so accurately. I agree with the above commenter (Kristen) when she mentions that the author wrote with grace and non-judgment. I was a little scared going into it, because I was scared my childhood and what I grew up in would be mocked, but I did not feel that at all. Because of her way of presenting this story and the fact that she *could have* been judgmental about such a topic, I just had such a big respect for her. I read this book and Unbreak My Heart back-to-back and decided that I was absolutely a Melissa C. Walker fan for life.

LOVE this one. So much. I love it even coming from the smack-dab middle of a scene just like it. I grew up in this family, Estelle! They’re still this exact way. These places are pretty huge events around here. I want to have coffee with Melissa Walker and read parts of HER OWN BOOK back to her. That’s how great a job she did with it. I’m totally gushing. I’ll stop now. Yay for your thoughts and yay for this book! πŸ™‚

January 24, 2013 - 12:23 am

Kristen Evey - I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I love how Walker handled everything in this book. I think she wrote the issues with grace and non-judgement, which is something I don’t think I would have been able to do. I come from a very conservative/church background, and most of the things about Lacey and her friends baffled me as well. I’d never heard of hell-houses before this book, but I totally get/relate to a lot of the other stuff in the book. I could also see how for awhile now, like Lacey, I’ve been questioning a lot of things. This was a very thought provoking book for me, and I loved that about it. πŸ™‚ Great review Estelle!

January 23, 2013 - 7:15 pm

Leah - Oh wow.. This sounds like it’d be a tough book for me to read. I have my own beliefs and even though I’d try to keep an open mind, just the Hell House alone would be enough to make me want to walk away.

That said, it does sound like this book would be a great coming-of-age story and I applaud both the character for questioning her beliefs and the author for tackling the subject.

January 23, 2013 - 11:45 am

Cynthia - I tried reading this one and coulnd’t get into it, I think it was all the religion stuff. It sort of pissed me off. Or maybe I was just in a reading slump, that’s happened to me a lot and my views of the books are so different than everyone else’s when I read them during a slump. Now I’m glad I still have this book because your review has made me want to go and give it a second chance. I think I will try reading it again. Thanks for the review Estelle! =D

January 23, 2013 - 10:48 am

Alexa Y. - I love the fact that this books does that ping pong thing where the character has to contend with what she chooses to believe, while considering what she’s been taught growing up and what she’s currently experiencing. That mirrors a struggle that many of us face or have faced or will face, and I think that’s why this book will probably end up resonating with me when I read it.

Great review E! Sounds like this one’s a book I need to check out for sure.

Unbreak My Heart Themed Gift-Pack

Unbreak My HeartΒ by Melissa Walker is one of my favorite books from 2012. There’s a fantastic cast of characters and a main character who is working through some pretty major emotions post-big-blow-up with her best friend, Amanda. Her family takes the summer to sail together and along the route, Clem meets an awesome guy James. […]

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December 15, 2012 - 9:34 am

Rebecca @ Reading Wishes - Unbreak My Heart sounds amazing and is a book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time – I hope I get round to getting a copy soon! Great to hear it was one of your 2012 favourites πŸ™‚ Cute gift guide, you definitely make me want to read this even more!

December 14, 2012 - 1:47 pm

Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl - SUCH a cute idea! This was definitely one of my favorites this year too!

December 14, 2012 - 2:51 am

Photo Friday: Unbreak My Heart Gift Pack! | Melissa Walker - […] at Rather Be Reading has been putting together the coolest ideas for gift packages based around a book, and she just did […]

December 13, 2012 - 6:53 pm

elena - I love how detailed this site is and I think this is my favourite so far! Because hi, CUTE swimsuits and sugar and postcards.

December 13, 2012 - 5:25 pm

ShootingStarsMag - I love this idea!! I actually have a feature on my blog called Make it a Gift where I sometimes find an item or two that would go great with a copy of the book…so having a whole gift basket with the book would be fab.

-Lauren

December 13, 2012 - 4:19 pm

Cecelia - LOVE this idea! I liked Unbreak My Heart quite a lot, but I wouldn’t have thought of putting all of these elements together. Genius! (and it’s all SO CUTE. darnit!)

December 13, 2012 - 1:22 pm

Alexa Y. - I loved this book too! And this gift pack is absolute PERFECTION. Great picks!

Magan: Shelve It and a Burn for Burn Giveaway!

Hi you guys! I’m so sorry this is such a late Shelve It today. I was a bridesmaid in my amazing friend Karmyn’s wedding yesterday. Today has been nothing but go, go, go. Despite the fact that I filmed this vlog on Thursday, YouTube decided to absolutely hate me today. I tried to be prepared […]

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September 28, 2012 - 6:58 pm

Kristen - Flipped & The Sisterhood series. πŸ™‚

September 27, 2012 - 3:26 pm

Ashley H - Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer

September 27, 2012 - 9:07 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Magan, first of all.. you are NOT undeserving! So don’t you ever say that again πŸ˜› I will always think of you when I see the book Unbreak My Heart. It’s my “Magan Book” πŸ™‚ I’m happy I could have gifted you with a finished copy (and signed at that!).

(PS, Estelle – How To Kill a Rock Star will always be my “Estelle Book” hehe)

September 26, 2012 - 11:48 pm

bn100 - Because of Low

September 26, 2012 - 9:47 am

alicia marie - I love What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen : )

September 25, 2012 - 9:30 pm

Beckie - Thank you for this awesome giveaway,

I would pick Pushing The Limits.

September 25, 2012 - 3:51 pm

Paige - My favorite contemporary would have to be The Summer I Turned Pretty!

September 25, 2012 - 2:59 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - You’re so very welcome! I’m happy I was able to add a book you loved to your library πŸ™‚

Also, we’re library book twins! I got Reunited this week as well. Can’t wait to hear what you think – and I hope you read it soon too!

September 24, 2012 - 10:49 pm

Kelly - My favorite contemporary book is 13 Reasons Why, without a doubt.

September 24, 2012 - 7:45 pm

elena - first off, m, your hair is GORGEOUS!!!! and hehe the cover of rose + skate does look super cute and it sounds cute too! i bought reunited the other week so i hope it’s good. love your laugh after saying estelle would like it.

also um!! hm, idk what my favourite contemp would be. this lullaby or the truth about forever!

September 24, 2012 - 7:42 pm

Lacey T - It’s a tie between The Fault in Our Stars and Pushing the Limits!

September 24, 2012 - 6:57 pm

Sara (of the Page Sage) - I love Reunited- it’s really fun and any book that features music is always great. (: I hope you enjoy it!

My favorite contemporary book is probably Looking for Alaska by John Green, although it’s one of my favorite genres, so I have a lot of contemp books I love!

September 24, 2012 - 1:08 pm

Lauren Ellice - I just finished reading The Summer I Turned Pretty, and I’m loving it right now, but I have read some pretty great contemps lately! It’s so hard to pick a favorite!

September 24, 2012 - 1:10 am

anary - It’ll be The Fault in Our Stars or the Breathe Series or geek girl!! :))

September 24, 2012 - 12:57 am

Allie Rose - My favoritr contemporary? I’m torn between Anna and the French Kiss and Pushing the Limits. Thanks for the giveaway! πŸ™‚

September 23, 2012 - 11:40 pm

Kitty - Man, I hate it when I have to pick a favorite, it’s so hard! My favorite recent one is I’ll Be There, by Holly Goldberg Sloan πŸ™‚

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Beach Reads

Hi friends! This TTT meme couldn’t have come at a better time, with our participation in Sweet Summertime Reads. Finding the perfect beach read is imperative to a day of sunshine and surf. Hope you’ll take the time to check out a few of our favorites! We stand by them, 150%! Don’t forget to check […]

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June 17, 2012 - 8:01 am

Magan: Shelve It (6/17/2012), Magan - […] a new school, and romance found in Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando. – Estelle + I found 10 more beach reads to share with you. – I review Myra McEntire’s Hourglass, sequel to Timepiece. Related Posts […]

June 14, 2012 - 1:22 pm

April Books & Wine - Man, I still need to read Going Too Far, because I totally adored Forget You.

AND ALSO! Catching Jordan. How I have I not read that book already?

I am glad your list is comprised of books I would put in my beach bag for real.

June 13, 2012 - 3:38 pm

Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog - I loved Bookends. I completely agree that it’s a great beach read.

June 13, 2012 - 2:02 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I absolutely adore the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, so that’s definitely a summer read for me! Plus, you guys have just contributed to my constantly growing TBR with all the other fab books you chose!

June 12, 2012 - 10:26 pm

Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads - Awesome list! Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants will always be one of my favourite summer reads, as I read the first one when I worked at a summer camp in upstate New York. It was the perfect summer weather read, curled up in an Adirondack chair on my down time.

And I’m super surprised that there’s no Morgan Matson in there?!? Magan actually passed up the chance to plug Second Chance Summer? Tee hee =)

June 12, 2012 - 6:15 pm

margie c {the bumble girl} - Naked sounds hilarious and funny! I’m definitely adding this one to my list!
They all really sound fab, most are on my list already! Will have to add a few more, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

June 12, 2012 - 1:22 pm

Lauren @ Lauren Reads YA - Great list! I especially love Magan’s picks, but that’s probably because I’m more into YA. : )

Check out my TTT?

June 12, 2012 - 1:04 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - and this is why I asked y’all to do the summertime reads feature with me πŸ™‚ HA! Love all your picks.

June 12, 2012 - 11:22 am

Jen - YES YES YES to all of Magan’s! Except Catching Jordan. We didn’t get along so well πŸ˜‰

June 12, 2012 - 11:19 am

gautami tripathy - Great choices. I am gonna add to my already LONG tbr pile!! Come check mine too:

Here is my Top Ten post!

June 12, 2012 - 9:57 am

Melissa @ Harley Bear Book Blog - Just added Going Too Far to my list. And I want to reread The Undomestic Goddess it definitely was zany chick lit. Definitely a great read for sun bathing lol. My Top Ten Tuesday

June 12, 2012 - 9:47 am

Fara @ Tumbling In Books - I So totally agree with Unbreak My Heart. That cover just SCREAMS to me. Awesome list! πŸ˜€

Drop by my Top 10?

June 12, 2012 - 9:37 am

Vikk @ Down the Writer's Path - I’ve been meaning to read the short story anthology by Sedaris. Thanks for the reminder.

June 12, 2012 - 9:01 am

Shoeless - I honestly don’t think I’ve read any of these…but, I did see the movie for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants…does that count? lol.

June 12, 2012 - 8:38 am

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz - Summer makes me want to read both very short pieces and very long books. Odd, isn’t it?

Here’s my list of Top Ten Favorite Beach Reads. I hope you will stop by and tell me what you think!

June 12, 2012 - 8:34 am

elena - I have David Sedaris on my list too! I thought about putting The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants but didn’t. I can’t believe I didn’t think of the Summer trilogy, a totally obvious choice. Love your choices! πŸ™‚

June 12, 2012 - 8:31 am

Sash from Sash and Em - Catching Jordan – OMG- YES! Love that book. E and I haven’t read the Summer series but she’d def be a J girl and I’m more of a Conrad girl πŸ™‚ Love yall’s picks! xo