Hey everyone! Here at RealityLapse, I’m officially starting our 2013 12-Day Christmas Countdown! This is a feature I am starting this year where every day of the countdown, there’s a theme that I list the best books of that theme of that year. Keep in mind that since this is my first year, some of my favorite books may be thrown in (even if they weren’t published this year.) Hope you enjoy the first day of the Christmas Countdown….
First one up: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
This is one of my favorite books of all time, and one of the eleven-or-so I’ve ever rated five stars. Even though it doesn’t have the most amazing plot, there’s just something about it I can’t seem to forget. This story definitely showed the more poetic side of John Green, and I was very impressed with his writing–because he seemed to go a level higher with this book than I’d ever seen him go before. The ending was what really threw me over and when I decided to give it five stars instead of 4.5. I loved Hazel and Augustus and all the humor in this book, and the way Green used his characters in the very best way that he could was simply beautiful.
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.
So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.
She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.
Geez. I loved this book. It was witty, funny, sarcastic and just the type of romance that I love to read. Not everyone will like it because of Caymen’s character, but I think it will be a big hit with teens and mature middle-grade readers. To read my full review, click here.
Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.
Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?
Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?
Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.
I’ve seen a lot of praise over this book in the past few months and I can’t say it’s not undeserved. I can definitely see the appeal, and the story was really fun for me. It’s not really the type of romance that I usually like to read, but I was pretty impressed with Sarah Ockler on this one. Very fun, sweet and a great story.
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?
When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.
Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?
This book may very well be my favorite MG contemporary romance of this year. I loved the idea of this book (maybe because my best friend and I use email as our main technological way to communicate) and I thought the characters were great, even though I liked Graham more than Ellie. This story is an amusing and humorous read that I had a lot of fun with. I can’t wait to read THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT and THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME. To read my full review, click here.
Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances… a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.
So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life… and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.
It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last…
This book completely took me by surprise. I can’t say I wasn’t expecting something different. The synopsis kind of throws you off a little bit. If you’ve read THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS and you have a somewhat open mind still, you will not be disappointed by this book. Sarah Ockler really won me over after I read this book, and this is what convinced me to read THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS.
Since her parents’ bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother’s new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.
I was going to put up the book that Dessen actually wrote this year, THE MOON AND MORE, but I just couldn’t. I mean–if I’m only going to display one, I want it to be a popular one, as well as one that I liked. Well, TMAM is almost Sarah Dessen’s least popular book, so I decided to put up my favorite Dessen book–WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE. Dave isn’t exactly my favorite Dessen boy, but I loved McLean and the plot, ideas and writing of this book so much that I didn’t care. To see my full review, click here. To see all of my Sarah Dessen book reviews, type in those Dessen books though in the search box.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.
I got ELEANOR & PARK as a gift for my birthday, and it was my introduction to Rainbow Rowell. For that–I am extremely grateful. I cracked the book open mildly interested in what it was saying, but I was focused more on the courage it takes to buy me a book for my birthday. Most people just get me gift cards, because they have no idea what I’ve read and what I haven’t. It was that night when I started reading that piqued my interest. ELEANOR & PARK was unlike any other contemporary romance I’d ever read before. Not only was it was unique, it was funny and realistic. I had a lot of fun reading E&P, and it was one of the best birthday gifts I got. I highly recommend it. You’ll fall in love with both Eleanor and Park, and you’ll be laughing all the way. To read my full review, click here.
Well, that sums it up for day one of the RealityLapse Christmas Countdown! Be back tomorrow for Day Two: The YA & MG Realistic Fiction and Contemporary of 2013.