My End Of Summer Blues…

It’s that time of year again; the leaves are changing colors, I am spending hundreds on books (not the fun kind of books either), Starbucks is on my good side again (three cheers for pumpkin spice!!!), school has started (three boo’s for school!!!), and most of all it is the time to say goodbye to summer (how about a hundred boo’s for end of summer!!!). Don’t get me wrong, I love fall especially considering that 90% of my closet supports the cooler weather,hello cute sweaters and boots, but nothing compares to those lazy summer days spent by the pool or lying on the beach reading some of my favorite summery books.

So in honor of those warm summer days, I decided I would list off a few of my favorite summer reads. Some are new favorites and some are older favorites but in the end they are ALL fantastic. If you have any great summer recommendations that will help to brighten my first few weeks of fall and ultimately prolong my summer just a bit more, please let me know in the comments section!

Easy by Tammara Webber

Holy freaking cannoli I just adore this book like no other. The chemistry between these two is hot enough (but not in a dirty way, I promise) to warm up any chilly fall day.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

The sweet, adorable, charming romance in this book is positively PERFECT for summer time…and fall time…and well any time!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

There’s a beach, there’s a family, there’s a romance, and there are quite a few tears but this book was a top read from my summer of 2012!

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Summer days are not complete without a road trip and no book does it better than this one!

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This book, oh goodness, this book. My love for this book comes so easily much like my love for summer.

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

This is such a funny, relatable, and incredibly enjoyable book. Even though I read it last winter, it is perfect for a pool-side re-read.

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

Jennifer’s books are full of romantic tension and characters that are so freaking loveable. This is my favorite book by her and I try to re-read it every summer!

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

The title has summer in it so OF COURSE it is a great summer read. But honestly I read this two winters ago and I still thought it was positively brilliant.

Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund

I read this book Every. Single. Spring/Summer. Kati and I agree on very little but this is one of them. It’s easily our favorite series and we just love starting our summer off right with these books.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie’s writing is so incredibly delightful. Every page of this book is made of awesome and since summer is made of awesome, it’s a solid match!

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Since I am me and Sarah is Sarah, and you know since Sarah writes what Sarah writes and I generally fan-girl over anything that Sarah writes, then there was 100% chance at least one of her books would make my list. This one just shouts IT IS SUMMER. READ ME NOW!

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

This is my FAVORITE book for summer time. Heck, it is my favorite book for all-time but I just don’t think you can go wrong with this one!

TGIF (55)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Back to School Reading:

Which books would you like to see in today’s high school Literature classrooms?

I owe my re-love of reading to my Young Adult Lit class. It is that little fact that really makes me think that if more teachers went above and beyond the required reading material, then maybe there would be more teen readers out there today. What if teachers were to push certain books onto you because they knew you could relate to certain characters? What if they got reluctant readers to enjoy reading because of a well matched book recommendation? Mrs. Andersen, my YA Lit teacher had an AMAZING classroom library on top of an awesome required reading list (After interrogating her yesterday I found out some of her required reading this year and it includes The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner, and Looking For Alaska by John Green just to name a few). Add these great books and our daily discussions about the latest Y.A. books that were rocking her socks off and you have one incredible combination. There was so much love for YA books in that class and I just know that so many others learned to love books as well. However, I know not everyone has the option to take a Young Adult Lit class during high school. And even more than that, the amount of books their teachers are able to provide for them may be limited. A few books that I wish so badly would be in more classrooms would be:

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (8/17-8/24):

TGIF (54)

Life As Kate (22)

In My Mailbox (37)

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Tune In Tuesday (66)

Book Playlist: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

 

 

 

TGIF (48)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Supporting Characters:

We tend to gush over those main characters the most, but what about those supporting roles? Who are some of your favorites?

There is no doubt in my mind and in the minds of people who know me best that I am a HUUUUGGGGEEE sucker for a side character that is done well. In nearly every review that I write up, I make sure  I mention at least one supporting character and what I liked or didn’t like about them. I mean they can make or break a book! They are the ones that push a main character to act, think, do things a certain way. They can make readers laugh, cry, get upset, or swoon just as much if not more than the main character.

So in preparation of this very important post of very important characters, I looked through my “read” list on Goodreads. But instead of being helpful/productive,  it turned into a walk down memory lane. I was recalling great supporting characters, some of my favorite scenes they were involved in, and creating a list that was far too long for a simple TGIF post. That being said, I tried to pick only a few of my favorite supporting characters but the list turned out to be rather long and then upon further inspection it turned into more of a list of supporting characters that I would want to makeout ummm I mean read more about. I am well aware that a supporting character can be in the form of a parental figure, sibling, best friend, enemy, boyfriend, best friend that wants to become a boyfriend, etc. but let’s just face it, some of our favorite supporting characters are the guys that steal our heart and threaten to never let them go (well until the next great guy comes along).

If the supporting character could potentially have a book all about them or in the case of a hot guy, they make me swoon like no other, then you know they are something special! A few of my very favorites are (after some very intensive research):

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green: Augustus Waters

This book was just as much his as it was Hazel’s. Hazel’s story captured my attention and Augustus’ personality made sure it stayed in my heart. He added so much to this story. My life will never be the same after reading about those two.

The Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty: Marcus Flutie

This boy makes my heart flutter every time his name is mentioned…which is quite often…which I do NOT mind in the slightest…because he is MARCUS FREAKING FLUTIE!

Divergent by Veronica Roth: Four

He is strong, pushes Tris to be just as strong, he has his own deep dark secrets that I loved figuring out, and he is oh so swoon-worthy.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: Basically every character that isn’t the main character

This whole book is filled to the very brim with vibrant, mesmerizing characters. Each character holds a very special place in the story and in my heart. I could read about each one’s own story and never get bored with it.

Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout: Syd & Kali

I loved the adorableness of this book so much. Syd and Kali were very much a part of the main character’s story from start to finish. They had such entertaining personalities and I LOVE that the authors continued on with another story from Kali’s point of view (Trade Secrets).

Anew by Chelsea Fine: The Archer Brothers

These two boys, oh my! They helped to create the most amazing, heartbreaking, breathtaking love triangle I have ever seen.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen: Basically every character that isn’t the main character

Oh this story…<3 I love Macy’s mom’s craziness, heartbreak and all; I loved Delia and how loving and supporting she was no questions asked; I loved Bert whose nerdiness added so much laughter to this book; I adore Kristy and Monica who befriended Macy without a second thought; and last but not least, I LOVE Wes, just for him being who he is and how he helps Macy to find out who she is.

Miscellaneous: All the swoon-worthy, drool-inducing, heart palpitation-causing boys

This one is for all the guys I am too tired to think of at this very moment. The ones that make me say “aww”, the ones I dream about, the ones that the very real and very alive guys are now compared to. They bring love and sweetness to the pages of many books <3

Miscellaneous: All the crazy, goofy, interesting, fun, fabulous best friends

They are in a TON of books, we may not always remember exactly why we loved them but it is safe to say the best friend character is filled with someone who brings humor to the story, is always there for our main character, the one that reminds us of a friend or someone we know in real life. They are the ones that add so much extra little awesomeness to the story.

Miscellaneous: Everyone else I am forgetting

The evil villains that make your skin crawl but fascinate you at the same time, the grandma/grandpa that smells of old person but is really sweet and can teach you important life lessons, the pet that loves you unconditionally, the moms and dads that are either uberly crappy or utterly overbearing, the moms and dads that are there and supporting their children (because those types of parents DO and SHOULD exist in books), ALL of these characters are important. They may not have a whole book centered around them but they deeply affect the main character and help to shape the story into something that we love, adore, and gush endlessly about!

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (5/4-5/11):

TGIF (47)

Awry by Chelsea Fine + Cover Reveal + Giveaway!

Tune In Tuesday (58)

TGIF (45)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Book Blogger Influences:

Has there been a particular book blogger who’s influenced what you read? Share with us a review/book blog that convinced you to pick up a certain book.

Answering this question could go one of two ways: First I could compile one freaking huge list of bloggers that have influenced what I’ve read (even though I kind of already created this list on my Bloggers To Check Out Page!) or secondly, I could name one specific blogger who got me to read a book that I would not be the same without. So since I suck at making decisions, I’ll do a bit of both!

First off, book bloggers as a whole, influence what I read. They are the ones that are making my TBR pile grow exponentially every single day. Whenever I see a book featured on a blog (review, author/character interview, cover reveal, IMM posts, etc.), and it seems interesting to me, I eventually go buy it or find a way to read it. So thank you to pretty much all who are reading this! I may love you but my wallet hates you :)

As for the one specific blogger that pushed and pushed until I couldn’t stand her pushing any more, that would be the insanely wonderful book blogger, Ashley @ Books From Bleh To Basically Amazing! Ashley has been a busy little bee with her new job but before things got to crazy for her she made it her life goal to get everyone she knew to read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I am not kidding you guys, she would tweet me ALL THE TIME to see if I had read it yet and then once I did read it, I would get on Twitter to see her attempting to get another person to read it; pure brilliance! Thank goodness for this girl’s ability to be extremely persistent because that book rocked my world so hard. It was so beautiful, descriptive, the story was rich and heartbreaking but also so full of love…okay I will stop trying to describe it yet again (trust me, trying to do it the first time while reviewing was hard enough). Basically, this story is one of the best I have ever read and it is all because of Ashley that I took the time to read it!

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (4/13-4/20):

TGIF (44)

Swag Giveaway!!! (Still open!)

Tune In Tuesday (55)

On Little Wings by Regina Sirois

RT Teen Day: Re-cap!

Tune In Tuesday (52)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

This is the very last week of Tune In Tuesday Book Playlist Edition and it makes me so sad! I really wish I didn’t miss that one week because there is a ton of music related books I would have loved to share with you guys! But since it is the last week, I will try to make it extra special by posting a few of my very favorite songs that remind me of a few of my very favorite books!

Endlessly by Green River Ordinance paired with The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I really felt so many raw emotions while reading this book that I could have easily picked 20 songs to go along with it! It broke my heart in the most beautiful way but it also showed me all about love and I think this song displays that perfectly.

Everything Falls Apart by Carter Hulsey paired with On Little Wings by Regina Sirois

I recently saw Carter in concert and picked up his CD. As soon as this song came on, I was reminded of Jennifer and Nathan’s story ESPECIALLY when the line from Robert’s poem is mentioned in the song. That plays an important role in the book.

Birds of a Feather by The Civil Wars paired with Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

This song has that sort of hauntingly beautiful feel to it and that is exactly what I experienced while reading this book.

Sparks Fly by Taylor Swift paired with Forget You by Jennifer Echols

I still don’t know what it is about this song. It could be the mention of green eyes but I like to think it is just the whirlwind of feelings flying between Zoey and Doug in this book. You can definitely tell there are sparks flying between the two!

Daughter Of The Sun by Windsor Drive paired with Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This is another hard one to really explain. It may be because I listened to this CD a lot right around the time I read the book but I like to think that the lyrics tell a very similar story.

You Found Me by Kelly Clarkson paired with The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

You know I had to pick at least one Sarah Dessen book! I actually had a super hard time because I feel as though her stories are so specific, it’s hard to match a song perfectly. I know this song gets paired with a lot of paranormal books but I actually really like how it fits with this story. Wes brings out a whole other side to Macy. She is just going through all the motions but Wes and the whole gang get her to open up and grow as a person.

The Best of Twenty-Eleven

The year has come and gone so quickly that I can hardly believe it! It seems like just yesterday I was starting my winter semester as a college Freshman and I was trying to squeeze in every ounce of fun that I could. A ton of memories were created this past year, some bad but mostly all good, and I like to think it has been one of the best years yet. In keeping with the same format that I used last year, here are some of the best moments of 2011!

Sidenote: Almost all of these are a tie between two or more things. Sorry about that, I tried my best to narrow it down but it just wasn’t happening!

1. Best Vacation– This is definitely a tie between the Myrtle Beach vacation I took with Kati and the Myrtle Beach Vacation I took with my family a month later. The weather was gorgeous both times and I got to experience a ton of different things with each trip. I was so lucky to be able to go on two vacations back to back like that!

2. Best Concert– This one also has a tie! It is between Warped Tour 2011 and the acoustic performance by We The Kings! Warped Tour is a day filled with music awesomeness! I saw so many bands perform, got a ton of stuff signed, and I even got to talk to a few of the performers. The We The Kings acoustic performance was brilliant for so many reasons: It was acoustic, it was small, it was free, it featured my future husband, I got to put my arms around my future husband, and I even got to take a picture with my future husband. IT WAS AMAZING!

3. Best CD– This is also going to have to be a tie! We The Kings dropped their latest album this year entitled Sunshine State of Mind. The title of the album couldn’t be more perfect because I get in a sunshiney state of mind EVERY TIME I listen to their CD. So what could be the competition to such an epic CD? All the mixed CD’s I got this past year! I had a lot of friends make me CD’s and all of them were filled with awesome songs that brings a smile to my face!

4. Best New Activity– I can’t explain too many details because I have yet to send out Christmas presents to some pretty freaking lovely bloggers but I do enjoy jewelry making. It takes time and is far more expensive than I could have imagined but it is so much fun to create!

5. Best Birthday Present– Last year I got a whole new bedroom so I was wondering how anything could ever live up to something like that. The answer came in the form of a brand-new bookshelf! I was making just the one work but I was desperately in need of one and my parents luckily noticed it! I love it so freaking much!

6. Best Movies– Well I do love me some movies…and popcorn! Some of my favorites were: Breaking Dawn: Part 1, Bridesmaids, Crazy Stupid Love, The Help, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hollows: Part 2, and Footloose.

7. Best Books– Oh gosh! It was my original goal to read 100 books in 2011 but Goodreads just wouldn’t stop telling me how sucky I was at completing that goal so I changed it to 80 and I still didn’t accomplish it! However, I did squeeze in 76 books. The best ones (some 4’s and all 5 stars) are:

Sidenote: Some of the titles will be linked to my reviews and other will be linked to Goodreads since I have not yet reviewed them!

Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

A Girl Named Willow Krimble by Giuseppe Bianco

Rising Shadow by Jacquelyn Wheeler

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Released by Megan Duncan

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Faithful by Janet Fox

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

Other Words for Love by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Matched by Ally Condie

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Re-reads of both Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Echols books

Fade by Lisa McMann

The Childe by C.A. Kunz

Between by Cyndi Tefft

Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Girl v Boy by Yvonne Collins & Sandy Rideout

Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

8. Best Blogging Moment– How does one even choose something like this? In the past year I have met more authors, connected with more bloggers, reviewed more books, joined more weekly features, and had the most fun than I have EVER had! This whole experience has been one joyous event after another and I have all of YOU to thank for that. I have found some of the greatest friends and most influential people (and let’s not forget they all also kick butt when it come to writing reviews!) than I could have ever imagined. I would not trade this past year for anything!

9. Best Friend(s)– It is no secret that Kati has and always will be my best friend. I talk about her awesomeness all the time. But because of recent events, I feel like I must give a shout-out to my dear friend Stacey. Her and I were running buddies in high school. You could never find two girls who hated cross-country with such a deep passion like the two of us (even though we secretly loved it!) She has been there for both Kati and I through so many things and now it’s our turn to be there for Stacey. These two girls make my days so much better and I love them for that!

10. Best Family– Well of course this goes out to my family once again but not without some complaints! Zack and Zeke aka The Brat Pack drove me absolutely INSANE this past year. Those two boys are the epitome of annoying little brothers. I love them to death but jeez louise they sure are crazy! In all honesty, I am lucky to have my family always there for me. They support me through everything and even though they make fun of me every once in a while, they always know how to make me smile!

So that’s it for my 2011! I hope you all had a great year and an even better 2012!

TGIF (29)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Most Popular:

What blog post has gotten the most comments/activity on your blog this year?

Oh what a fun question! I promise I am going to actually answer it BUT as some of you may or may not know, I like to take any opportunity to make fun of all the weird/odd/crazy blog stats I see every day!

-My top referer of all time is any type of search engine (Google, bing, etc.) with Twitter and GReads! being close seconds!

*double fist pumps because Twitter and Ginger’s blog are both awesome!*

-The top search term of all time used to find my blog is “Sarah Dessen New Book 2012.” I feel bad because I (one of Sarah’s biggest fans) don’t know the title of Sarah’s newest book if there even is one for 2012! “Check my mailbox” is only behind by two views. I also feel bad for these people because I do not have any information on how they can check their mailboxes but what I suggest is they open their front door, walk to the end of the driveway, and there may or may not be a box filled with lots of goodies like bills and junk mail waiting for them. It is custom to grab such goodies out of this box and carry them back inside the house. But again, this is just a suggestion.

-I am always amazed on the different things that people type in search engines to find my blog. The oddest search terms used are: Seven people have found my blog by typing in “She only had one leg,” sorry people, that wasn’t me. I was born with all proper appendages. Four people have found it by typing in “Ginger head on the beach,” well my future husband (Travis Clark) happens to be a ginger head! Ginger Heads FTW! Four people found it by “I am vegetarian and I am proud,” good for you! Another four people found it by “Little boy pissing fanatics,” I don’t even know how to respond to that! Three people were directed to my blog by typing in “Batman giant clam.” Two people found it by typing in “Michelle has finally caught wind of Tony’s betrayals,” that sucks for Tony…and Michelle! Two more found it by typing in “Ugly, boring nerd girl from high school,” I HATE you two whoever you are. And finally two people typed in “Sandy butt.” Please let it be known that is me only after going to the beach.

-The most clicks on my blog is for none other than my Goodreads account!

And now on to the good stuff! This has been a crazy year, in fact I have had more than 230 posts! All of these posts have received love in some sort of way (I truly am grateful for EVERY comment and post view). But of course there are ones that receive a little bit of extra attention. My most popular posts over the past year are…. **drumroll please**

-Top viewed post- For Fans of Sarah Dessen! (1,280 views). This makes me so happy! I was glad to see that some sort of Sarah Dessen post was the most popular one!

-Top viewed page (aside from the Home page)- About Me (612 views). What can I say? I have been told I am an extremely interesting person and I have a knack for creating About Me pages.

-Top commented post- Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop (211 comments). This was a super fun hop. I am almost certain half of those comments are from me!

-Top commented post (that is NOT a giveaway)- In My Mailbox (27) (22 comments). That was a good book week!

-Top commented post (that is NOT a giveaway/hop/meme of any sort)- Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (20 comments) THANKS ASHLEY!

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (12/9-12/15):

TGIF (28) My thoughts on books turned into movies!

Children of Discord by C.C. Cole

Aiden’s Angels: Help support the wonderful Cyndi Tefft author of Between

Tune In Tuesday (38) Concert Edition- My favorite venue!