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!

Fun In The Sun Giveaway Hop!

Summer has officially begun so what better way to celebrate it than with a little giveaway! The Fun In the Sun Giveaway Hop is hosted by the lovely Ex Libris and Cari’s Book Blog and there are a ton of additional bloggers participating so you 1) get to “meet” lots of awesome bookish people and 2) you have higher chances of winning some awesome books!

There is no one I love reading more in the summertime than Sarah Dessen! Her books have the perfect amount of heartache and sweet, sweet romance to make your long summer days just a bit more blissful. So up for grabs today is two of my very favorite of her stories The Truth About Forever and Just Listen! Unfortunately I can only do U.S. residents this time around but never fear international readers, I tend to have a giveaway for you every now and then! So if you’d be interested in winning these two books check out the rules below:

-Must be a U.S. resident

Please comment on this post telling me what your favorite summertime reads are (I love recommendations!)

-Fill out the form by the end of the day on June 16th

+1 for following me on Twitter: @KatelynTorrey

+5 for Tweeting the following “I want to win summer reads from @KatelynTorrey for the Fun In The Sun Hop! http://bit.ly/OeTUF5”

-The winner MUST respond to an e-mail within the first 48 hours before a new winner is chosen!

Don’t forget to stop by Ex Libris and Cari’s Book Blog as well as all the below blogs to enter more giveaways!

TGIF (51)

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:

Issue Books:

Which books have you found to be very rewarding when it comes to tackling tougher issues?

Over the past couple of years I have read such a wide variety of books. Most are fun, light-hearted books but every now and then I come across a book that makes me think, a book that tears my heart apart only to put it back together, and in the end it makes me feel completely different, it makes me completely different. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

This book is all about life and death. It’s about being faced with a premature expiration date and there being nothing you can do about it. This book is also about finding love when you least expect it. Reading this book was not easy, it broke my heart and made me ugly cry hardcore but in the end it was so worth it!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

I love this book soooo much! Like the book listed above, this one is about death, a girl losing her father. This was not an easy read at all, yet another book that made me full-out cry ugly tears and stain the last 30 pages of my book with lots of tears. I love that this book was very hard to take at some points but it was also filled with enough heart-warming moments to make me feel somewhat better in the end.

Sophie and Carter by Chelsea Fine

This book is a bit unconventional when it comes to tougher issues. It deals with just about the most dysfunctional families I have ever heard of. Nothing comes easy for the main characters but Chelsea does such a fabulous job of tearing their lives apart and then piecing them back together again in a not so perfect way but definitely in a way that makes you feel okay about their futures.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Let’s be blunt here, this book is about rape. This issue is not a fun one to read about and I cringe every time I even hear the word. BUT Sarah wrote this story in such a way that you were able to learn about and cope with the issue without it all being thrown in your face. Even though this book is about something I really don’t like hearing about, it still ends up being one of my all-time favorite books.

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (5/25-6/1):

TGIF (50)

Life As Kate (17)

Help An Author Out!

Tune In Tuesday (61)

The Soul Saver’s Book Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway!

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 (47)

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:

Literary Vacations:

If you could take a trip this summer to any place within a fictional book, where would you go? Tell us about your summer dream vacation!

Where wouldn’t I go? At this point, skipping off into the demon-infested world of Megan Duncan’s book, Released, sounds like a rather enjoyable vacation (kidding!)

I guess in all seriousness, this question comes at a perfect time because as of yesterday at precisely 6:30 p.m. my summer vacation OFFICIALLY began! As for my answer to this question, I will have to cheat and answer with a ton of books! In no particular order, here are the places I would LOVE to spend my summer vacation:

Yellowstone National Park. Janet Fox does such a phenomenal job creating vivid images of Yellowstone in her book Faithful. There would be so much of nature to take in and I am certain it would be one of the most beautiful places to visit.

Paris. If you are at all familiar with this darling little book called Anna and the French Kiss by an even lovelier author, Stephanie Perkins, then you too will want to spend your days traipsing around town with Anna and St. Clair (but mostly just St. Clair!)

Colby. Sarah Dessen is one of the best authors when it comes to creating towns that I want to be a part of! They all seem so normal but she makes them almost magical with all their little quirks. I think Colby, a small town in Along For The Ride, sounds like a cute, fun, relaxing place to spend my summer…plus there are cute guys riding around on bikes all over the place. Count me in!

Colonial Essex Village. Call me a nerd but I happen to think dressing up in old-fashioned clothing (or at least visiting a place that requires their workers to dress up in old-fashioned clothing) would be loads of fun. In Past Perfect by Leila Sales, life in the Colonial times is not the main character’s favorite thing but I think it would be great fun to try out at least once!

Somewhere-in-Alabama. You know that one author I just adore, gush about constantly, and will read anything by? Does the name Jennifer Echols ring a bell? Well she created this one series that I devoured in less than 3 days called Endless Summer. Well if you want to know where I want to spend my days, THAT book, wherever it takes place, is where I want to be. Days on the boat, soaking up the sun, nights spent with cute guys. I don’t think life gets much better than that!

On the road. Road trips are my very favorites! I love the junk food, the naps in the passenger seat, getting lost, finding my way back, singing at top-volume with not a care in the world, discovering new places, and driving at top speed with the windows down. Every single part of a road trip is fun for me and no one has written a better road trip than Morgan Matson with Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. The places they visited, the things they did, all the memories they created…it just sounded like the best time!

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (4/27-5/4):

TGIF (46)

Defy by Raine Thomas + Book Trailer

Tune In Tuesday (57) Random Playlist Edition

Defy by Raine Thomas + Blog Tour+ Giveaway

The Fine Art of Truth Or Dare by Melissa Jensen

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.

TGIF (37)

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:

Love Stories:

What are some of your favorite fictional love stories?

Aside from my personal (and yes very fictional) love story that I have made up in my head, there are a TON of love stories in books that have completely captured my heart. I know I make a lot of lists and I often times go WAY overboard, and before you get ahead of yourself this post is no different, BUT I just wanted to let you know that I held back a lot or at least I tried to! There are so many wonderful, beautiful, breathtaking love stories (that I have read!) that deserve to be on this list but I only have so much time and I don’t think you want to be stuck here all day! Please excuse me while I get very excited, maybe a bit hot and bothered, and of course way too giddy!

Chelsea Fine

This girl is PURE GENIUS when it comes to writing love stories.

A few months ago I read Sophie & Carter and I was mesmerized by their love for each other. This story was about two people loving each other despite their completely screwed up lives. They accepted one another even with all the extra baggage that came along with it. Let’s be honest, this is what every relationship should be like!

Then the other day I finished Anew. I have not reviewed it yet but let me give you a little preview of what is to come “OH.EM.GEE!!!!!… That’s was crazy…Kissing Festival?….bright blue eyes….Gabriel<3….Twin brother!?!?!…..TRISTAN<3<3<3<3…swoon…drool…broken heart…LLLOOOVVVEEE!” Does that give you an idea about how epic this story is? Scarlet is lucky because she has two exceptional guys (did I mention they were brothers?) pining after her. One thinks life is rainbows and butterflies plus he worships the ground she walks on (Gabriel) and the other sacrifices EVERYTHING for her just to keep her safe (Tristan…sigh<3)

Stephanie Perkins

I probably don’t need to use up my time writing this out because we are all aware of how brilliant Stephanie is but I will do it just in case one of you is crazy enough to have not read her work before!

Anna and the French Kiss is adorable, there is lots of tension (the love kind, not the angry kind), and neither person involved in the relationship is technically available (Yeah, I know…this isn’t sounding like a good love story so far) but I still love it regardless. It is one story that captures the idea of a soul mate (or at least the idea of some who was almost made for you), some one so imperfectly perfect for you, that the only thing you can do in life is love them unconditionally.

Then Miss Stephanie had to go and show us that the first book was not just beginners luck. Lola and the Boy Next Door makes me smile by just saying the title. It shows that love can be messy and not always super pretty but there is such thing as forgiveness. Lola and Cricket have a strained relationship in the beginning but they work through it, they become good friends, and they have a heart-pounding smooching scene that I am insanely jealous of.

Megan McCafferty

I am a bit of a “newer” fan of the “I HEART EVERYTHING MEGAN WRITES” club, but that doesn’t change her level of brilliance. Which is pretty much as high as you can get.

I have only read the first 2 books in The Jessica Darling series so I will just have to go off of that. Wow!!! When I say Marcus you say LOVE. There is no definite way to describe this love story except that it’s full of laughs, two people being there for each other, making each other mad, apologizing in big ways (that may or may not include a whole song dedicated to them). Seriously, Jessica and Marcus are just so right together; they make sense. Plus, I just LOVE it when opposites attract to each other. They are both genius but Marcus has the whole rebel without a cause thing going for him and Jessica is brilliant, has her head on straight, and gets things done. Love<3

Simone Elkeles

If you didn’t know that I adore Simone with all of my heart then you have clearly been living under a rock!

Her Ruined series is all about the love! The reason this love story stands out the most to me is because of the work it takes. Amy and Avi are living in completely different countries and it is definitely NOT easy for them. Sure there are quite a few rough patches along the way but in the end they make it all work out!

Now we get to Perfect Chemistry, the book that imprinted the name Alex Fuentes into my heart <3 <3 <3 Seriously, when I said that I love how  opposites attract, it ALL started with this book ! Alex and Brittany are so different, they live in practically different worlds but they fall for each other regardless. They stick together no matter what their friends and families think AND we even get to see a softer side to Alex that Brittany totally brings out. Plus this book has a lot of kissing and I am a sucker for a good kissing scene!

Jennifer Echols

Jennifer is one of those authors that makes me squeal with excitement every time I hear she has a new book. She has easily found a place in my heart and will forever be one of my favorite authors. Plus guys, she is like the ROCK STAR of love stories!

Endless Summer is one of those love stories that make you miss high school. I know, MAJOR shock to hear “high school” and “miss” all in the same sentence but hear me out! Lori and Adam are so young, and crazy about each other even if they don’t quite realize it sometimes. It always makes me think of that “epic first love” that only the lucky people got to experience in high school.

And as many may know, Forget You is one of my favorite love stories and I can’t really tell if it’s because the love in it is amazing or because I could spend hours dreaming about Doug…. Zoey’s resistance to Doug, a dreamy guy who is good on crutches and makes Zoey angry in the most adorable ways,  makes this story so wonderful. You can see she is falling for him but it takes her so long to finally realize it. BUT when it does happen….your heart will pound <3

Going Too Far is another brilliant one. Actually, I dare you to find a Jennifer Echols book that I don’t like! This story is so lovely, and the two characters are beautiful and broken, and they definitely like to push each other to the limits (I think that is where the title comes from) but they also care for one another so deeply.Sure they may piss each other off immensely in the process but they make one another a better person in the end. Plus Officer After…*love* he can come arrest me any day of the week!

Sarah Dessen

I could easily pick any of Sarah’s book to fill in the number one spot. She has this magnificent ability to create stories that deal with these all so real and personal stories and they just happen to have an epic love story involved. I think I am picking The Truth About Forever not only because it is my favorite Dessen book EVER but because the love story in it means so much to me (which is really quite ironic because it shows so LITTLE of the romance!) Wes….okay yes he is gorgeous, sweet, gorgeous, a bit of a bad boy (at least in his past) and gorgeous. Yes those are all reasons to love him but he is also genuine. He speaks his mind, doesn’t sugar coat a whole lot, and he cares for you with his whole heart. He is a friend when you need him to be there and he is that extra push that helps you to be your very best. This is a story about supporting someone, being there for them regardless, and taking a chance on love and that my lovelies is why it is my very favorite fictional love story!

Wow, that post was way too much fun! I will now spend the remainder of my weekend dreaming of guys sweeping me off my feet…who just happen to be pretend. But then again, what’s new?

This week on Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (2/3-2/10):

TGIF (36) What is it about books that really capture my eye?

A Touch Awesome Blog Tour Week Three: My top 5 favorite characters!

In My Mailbox (31) A few great books!

Tune In Tuesday (46) Some more randomness this week!

Trade Secrets by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout! Such a cute follow-up to Love, Inc.

The Knife and the Butterfly by Ashley Hope Perez. A beautiful and touching story.