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TTT Books to Read in 2nd Half of 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl
This week's topic: Books To Read in 2nd Half of 2018

This was actually last week's prompt, but we missed it due to some health complications all around.

Alexia's Picks

1. Mirage by Somaiya Daud. I was definitely curious about this one when I requested it, but I wasn't 100% sold on it. And then a fellow blogger, whose opinions I trust, fell in love with it and I knew I had to move this one up on my review pile.

2. Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes. I love this author, but her books seem to be a hit or miss for me. This one looks right up my alley, so I'm hoping it's a hit for me.

3. What If it's Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera. If I don't read this one by the time 2019 rolls around, I will hate myself. I need to read my copy of it SOON.

4. Nightingale by Amy Lukavics. I've only read one of this author's books and I really enjoyed it. Super stoked to read this one around Halloween time.

5. Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry. I am so excited for this one. I was raised Catholic and by the time I was a teenager, I considered myself to be an atheist. I am very curious to see how they handle the Catholic versus atheism thing.

6. Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I got this book from my Secret Santa a few years ago and I still haven't read it. I need to make it a priority before the end of the year.

7. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. I am not a huge historical fiction reader, but Sepetys does historical fiction so well and I have enjoyed her first two books so I'm excited to get to this one.

8. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. This one was another one that I wasn't totally sold on. I was worried that the book wouldn't be worth the hype. And then the reviews started pouring in. Gushing, glowing reviews. So the next time I went to Barnes & Noble, I picked this one up. Really hoping I love this one like everyone else seems to.

9. Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles. It was the cover that first drew me to this book. Reading the synopsis felt like being punched in the stomach. I knew as soon as I read the synopsis that I had to have this book.

10. Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh. I am a cover whore and this cover is freaking GORGEOUS. I knew before I even saw the cover, that I wanted to read this book and I cannot wait to dive in at some point this fall.

Bekka's Picks

 1. Bright We Burn by Kiersten White. I love this series so much. It's an all-time favorite of mine. Of course, I'm currently reading this right now. I've only just started though because I've been having some minor health issues that have made it hard to read.

2. Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd. I was SO EXCITED when I got this arc in the mail. I have also started this one and I find it fascinating. I love a good murder mystery and magic!!

3. Boneless Mercies by Aprile Genvieve Tucholke. I am probably one of the only weirdos who actually enjoyed reading Beowulf in high school. So a retelling of that epic poem was obviously going to go on my TBR. Add that it's written by AGT and I am pumped.

4. The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas. I struggled with Thomas's debut, but this book is my entire aesthetic. I cannot wait to read it.

5. Sadie by Courtney Summers. After reading All the Rage when it first came out, Summers is now an auto-buy author for me. 

 6. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. I will read anything and everything Kiersten White writes. As you can tell, since she's on this list twice. 

7. Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson. The Remnant Chronicles (including a TKOD reread) are on my TBR for 2018. I plan to finish that series and jump into DOT immediately.

8. Nightingale by Amy Lukavics. I love this author's books! I am never scared by what I read except when I'm reading Amy Lukavics. So obviously her newest is on my TBR for later this year when I'm ready to get spoopy.

9. A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma. Another auto-buy author for me, and one of my all-time favorite writers. I've read all of her books and I cannot wait to devour more of her words.

10. The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth. This sounds similar to the Wayward Children series and I LOVE that series a whole lot. So of course I want to read something that explores similar ideas. I have hiiiigh expectations.

What are you looking forward to reading later this year? 

Book Review: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Book Title & Author: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
Published by: Dutton Juvenile on June 14th, 2011
Genre: Magical Realism
Pages: 348
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

With palpable drama and delicious craft, Nova Ren Suma bursts onto the YA scene with the story that everyone will be talking about.

Ughhh, Nova Ren Suma is a freaking WIZARD! I mean, wow. Her books are so odd, so strange, so unpredictable, but above all else, her books are BRILLIANT. I read her books kinda backwards, as I have already read her later books and just last month, read her debut. I can see how she has grown as a writer & storyteller. Her books all have this mysterious & magical quality to them that I just ADORE.

Did I mention she's an auto-read author for me? Because she is and has been since last fall when I first read one of her books.

With Suma's books, you don't usually know what's going on. There's a lot of suggestible things in her books that make you really wonder what the hell is going on. With magical realism, you wonder what's real and what's magic. I wondered that in her other books, but I definitely wondered it in Imaginary Girls, maybe even more than her other books.

Ruby bugged the absolute crap out of me. She was annoying, clingy, pushy, authoritative, cruel and all sorts of other adjectives. While I couldn't stand the way she treated Chloe (I'll get into that later) it was the way she treated everyone else that pissed me off. Especially, the guys that lived in the town. She was utterly awful to them. I never thought I'd be defending the male gender in this book, but holy crap was Ruby cruel to them.

She treated Chloe like crap too. She was overbearing, critical, bossy and just basically acting like a parent. This made absolutely no sense because Chloe had been living with her father for awhile, so clearly she had at least one functional parent. Ruby saw herself as Chloe's mom, and I knew this was going to be a potentially big issue with unhealthy boundaries. And it was a big issue as the book unfolded.

As much as I couldn't stand the way Ruby treated those around her, I found her so captivating. Especially when strange things happens and she hints that she had a part in the strange incidents. The lengths Ruby goes to keep Chloe alive are both crazy & awesome. I won't say more about that because I don't want to spoil anyone who hasn't read the book.

Final thoughts: This book is so atmospheric as all of Suma's books are. So creepy, dark and mysterious. I cannot wait to get my hands on her upcoming release.

Book Review: The Complication by Suzanne Young

Book Title & Author: The Complication (The Program #6) by Suzanne Young
Published by: Simon Pulse on April 24th, 2018
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 464
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
How do you go back to a life you can’t remember? Find out in this sixth novel in the New York Times bestselling Program series from Suzanne Young.

Every cure has a cost.

Tatum Masterson learned this after years of being monitored by The Program. She witnessed it when her boyfriend, Wes, came back changed, erased. And now, even the newest “cure” has a heavy cost—one she and Wes paid.

The Adjustment came into Tatum’s life just when she thought she needed it most, a promise for Wes to get back his forgotten memories. But when the procedure went wrong, a revelation shattered everything Tatum thought she knew.

Now, with no one left to trust, Tatum must find out what really happened last summer. And with the help of the boyfriend she lost, Tatum will have to dig into the past and future of The Program and its handlers.

And discover the true cost of a cure.

I cannot believe I have to say goodbye to this series. I never wanted it to end and now that I finished the final book in the series, it hurts. It hurts almost as badly as finishing the Harry Potter series hurt. That's how much I loved this series.

I really wish I had reread at LEAST The Adjustment before I read this book. I was having a heck of a time remembering characters and it was driving me insane. I would remember a certain character and then wrack my brain trying to remember where I knew them from. Which timeline? The before timeline with Quinlan McKee or the after timeline with Sloane Barstow. I started to wonder if my memory was still problematic after my health scare in November.

Suzanne Young is an absolute wizard at storytelling. She managed to keep all the threads from all of the books in this series together. I think all of my questions about this world were answered by the end of this book. She wrapped up all the threads of all of of the storylines. It takes a wizard to be able to do that effectively.

By now, I've come to expect bombshell after bombshell in this series and this book did not disappoint me in that way. I got my bombshells. Some of it I guessed and some of it I didn't, but that's another mark of a fantastic storyteller like Suzanne Young.

I was not a huge fan of the romance between Tatum and Weston. I'm trying to remember if I liked them together in The Adjustment, but I don't remember. I mean, they weren't horrible together and they did have chemistry together, but I felt like they were better as friends. Especially once certain things came to light. Especially about how The Program fit into everything concerning Wes & Tatum.

It was so good seeing all the familiar faces. Realm, Dallas, Sloane, James and several others. I think having all these familiar faces make cameos made the book even stronger. I actually want to reread the entire series now because I didn't realize how much I had missed these characters. Especially the ones I hadn't seen in awhile like Sloane, James and Dallas.

Final thoughts: Awesome ending to an awesome series. I am sad to see it end, but I look forward to seeing what Suzanne Young writes next.