Top Ten Auto Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week is Top Ten Authors I would auto buy.  Those authors that I trust will write things that speak to me, will inspire me, and entertain me.  In no particular order, here are my top ten auto buy authors.

Suzanne Collins:  The Hunger Games, do I need to say more?  She has a childrens book, Year of the Jungle, coming out in August.

Gayle Forman: Her books If I Stay and Where She Went were some of my favorites of last year.  Then I read Just One Day and I will now be picking up any book she writes.  Just One Year, book two of Just One Day, comes out in October.

Khaled Hosseini: I loved his books A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner.  He is an amazing writer.  He could rewrite the phone book and I would read it.  He has a new book coming out in May, And the Mountains Echoed, and I can’t wait to read it.

Sophie Kinsella: She is my go to Chick Lit writer.  I enjoy her Shopaholic series, but I love her stand alone books.  Some of my favorites are Twenties Girl, Can You Keep a Secret, Remember Me, and The Undomestic Goddess.  Her newest book Wedding Night is coming out in April.

Jen Lancaster: I love her sense of humor.  She is a Chicagoland author and it is a joy reading about my home state.  Her book Bitter is the New Black is a favorite.  She has a new book coming out in June, The Tao of Martha.

Stephenie Meyer:  People hate on Twilight.  It may not be the best written books on the planet, but I devoured that series.  Then there is the book The Host.  It is a favorite.  For that reason, Stephenie Meyer is on my must buy list.

Lauren Oliver: I love, love, love the Delirium series.  Before I Fall is a moving book and I can’t wait to read Requiem, it comes out next month.  I will be watching for whatever she will write next.

Kate White: I just love her Bailey Weggins series.  To me, they are like a comfy pair of slippers.  Whenever she writes another book, I want to have it.

John Green: I have read three of his books.  I liked two of his book and then I read The Fault in Our Stars.  I will read whatever he writes next.

Stephanie Perkins: Her books Lola and the Boy Next Door and Anna and the French Kiss are so ooey gooey good.  They are all kinds of sweet and I love those kinds of books. Her new book Isla and the Happily Ever After comes out in September.

What authors are on your auto buy list?


Review: Ready Player One

ImageAt once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.  

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. 
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?


Ready Player One follows the story of Wade Watts and his search for a hidden fortune left by an eccentric millionaire.  Wade is a very likable character who lives in poverty.  His life sucks, so he uses the OASIS as an escape from reality.  

To me the story is part 80’s gaming adventure and part story.  Once I started reading I wanted to know what was going to happen next.  I enjoyed living in the virtual world that was created, but once I put the book down I was out of the world.  Then it would start over again.  It is hard to explain.  For me, it wasn’t a page turner, but I enjoyed stepping into the world once I picked it back up.  

I believe this book would appeal to people who love playing video games and 80’s references. I would not recommend this to people who are not interested in either of these.  I especially wonder if those that know nothing about the 80’s would enjoy this story.  I would hesitate to suggest it to them.  Otherwise I would say pick it up.  It is a fun read.


I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Top Ten Characters in “Chick Lit”

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week is looking at our favorite characters in whatever genre we choose.  I had a hard time choosing which genre I would make the list of, but I knew I had to do “Chick Lit” or women’s fiction.  I think it gets a bad rap and I wanted to list off some of the great characters in the genre.  They are in no particular order.


 Minerva Dobbs in Bet Me

“That was Disney, honey,’ Min said. ‘It wasn’t a documentary.”

Minerva is sassy and makes this light, romantic read a fun one.

Bet Me

The Time Travelers Wife

Henry Detamble in The Time Traveler’s Wife

“It’s hard being left behind. (…) It’s hard to be the one who stays.”

Sure Clare was the one who thought she had it tough.  Except I think Henry had it tougher.  He was a time traveler and would just time travel at anytime.  I don’t know how he was actually able to hold down a job and the fact that he would land wherever naked.  Oh my.  That alone lands Henry a spot on my list.

Time Traveler’s Wife


Twins of Tribeca


   Karen Jacobs in The Twins of Tribeca

Karen is how I wished the character in Devil Wears Prada would have acted.


Twins of Tribeca


The Host

Melanie Stryder/Wanderer in The Host

   “Body and soul. Two different things”

Is the Host Chick Lit?  I don’t know, but I wanted these “two” characters on this list.  I also cheated a little by including two characters, but really they share the same body, so it is ok.  Melanie is a strong character and so is Wanderer, both for very different reasons.

The Host


Dr. K  in Good In Bed

“Well, you can’t control what they do, but you can control how you respond to it…whether you allow it to drive you crazy, or Good in bedoccupy all of your thoughts, or whether you note what they’re doing, consider it, and make a conscious decision as to how much you’ll let it affect you”   

Cannie might be the main character, but Dr. K is the star.

Good in Bed



salem falls

  Jack St. Bride in Salem Falls     

   “Words are like eggs dropped from great heights; you can no more call them back than ignore the mess they leave when they fall.”    

Jack is a very complex, quiet, and compelling character.  I find him very interesting, especially considering the hand he has been dealt in life.


Salem Falls


Bailey Weggins in If Looks Could Kill, A Body to Die For, Til Death Do Us PArt, Over Her Dead Body, Leathly Blonde,If looks could killand So Pretty It Hurts

I didn’t enjoy If Looks Could Kill, but I stuck with the series.  I am glad I did.  Bailey is like that friend you haven’t seen in a long while.  You meet up over the weekend and pick up right where you left off.  Oh, and solve a fluffy murder mystery.


Bailey Weggins



twenties girl           Sadie in Twenties Girl          


When I was your age, if a boy behaved badly, one simply scored his name out from one’s dance card.”

 Sadie is a ghost, but she is a ghost with some real spunk.  She is described as ” a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance”.  Sometimes you need a little Sadie in your life, saying crazy things and pushing you to do things you might not want to.

Twenties Girl



Anna in My Sister’s Keeper

My Sisters Keeper  “Maybe who we are isn’t so much about what we do, but rather what we’re capable of when we least expect it.”    


Anna is brave in ways I can’t imagine at her age.


My Sister’s Keeper



Confessions of a ShopaholicSuze in Confessions of a Shopaholic

“Rule of life. If you bother to ask someone’s advice, then bother to listen to it.”

Suze tries to be the voice of reason.  She is calm, responsible, and adorable.  Everything Becky Bloomwood wishes she could be.  I will forever block out the movie version of Suze.  She is a wonderful character in the books.

Confessions of a Shopaholic


Review: Just One Day

ImageA breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

Coming into this book I was excited and a bit nervous.  I had read If I Stay and Where She Went, both by Gayle Forman, at the end of last year.  They quickly were added to my favorites of the year list.  I enjoyed them a lot.  When an author you enjoy a lot comes out with a new book, there is always a chance that it will dissapoint.  The fact is you can’t help but set your expectations high.  I am happy to report Just One Day did not dissapoint me.

The book begins with Allyson on a senior tour in Europe.  She is “enjoying” the sights and only doing it by living by her good girl standards.  She meets Willem and decides to go to Paris for just one day.  Her tour group had skipped Paris and she really wanted to see it.  The day has highs and lows.  It abruptly ends when Willem dissapears and Allyson is left to make her way back home.

This book is a coming age of story.  The first part is easily enjoyable and the last part could have been made to really cheesy, annoying, or even a downer .  I mean a young girl who is coming to grips with the fact that she had that just one day and lost Willem. I mean just one day in PARIS with a cute guy, oh how terrible. However, the second half is just as good as the first. The characters that Allyson meets, encounters, and makes friends with are very compelling. Gayle Forman makes it so that you believe you could meet people like them.  At least I wish I could.

Then there is Allyson’s relationship with her parents and best friend.  Again, Gayle Forman really makes it complex and interesting.  She avoids the thing that really bugs me about some young adult books.  That is when the girl is so dumb, conflicted, and thick headed about everything.  I never felt like Allyson was like that at all, even though she isn’t perfect.

I can’t wait for the next book and see where Gayle Forman takes these wonderful characters.  Pick up the book, I don’t think you will be dissappointed.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Books I Am Embarressed to Admit I Have Never Read

I consider myself passionate about books.  I have read and enjoyed a lot of books.  I talk about books, think about books, and generally have an appreciation of all things book related.  Except I carry around a dark secret.  Come on book lovers, we all have these.  I am talking about that list of books you haven’t read.  I know most of us go around talking about all the books we love and hate.  We even seek out what books we should read next.  One thing most of us don’t talk about is that list of books we haven’t read and are embarressed we haven’t read them.  We make excuses, we tell ourselves we should read them, and we may have the best intentions of doing so, but we just don’t get around to it.  The list haunts us and follows us.  

This came to light a few weeks ago.  I was in a Target with a friend and we were in the book section.  My friend picks up a Harry Potter book and starts saying something about it.  I say “I haven’t read any Harry Potter books” and she looks at me like I am some sort of mutant from another planet.  I start to stammer and make up excused why I haven’t read any yet.  Just like any great book lover, she isn’t hearing of it.  She says “well you must pick one up immediately”.  Yet, I still haven’t.  Instead of listing all my reasons why I haven’t, I decided to just do it.  List the books I am embarressed to admit I haven’t read yet.  So here goes.


Harry Potter series

The Lord of the Rings series

Anything by Jane Austen

To Kill a Mockingbird


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Giver

The Shining


The Book Thief

Jane Eyre

Anything by Charles Dickens

Peter Pan

Anything by William Shakespeare, except Romeo and Juliet


Ok, don’t just judge.  What are some books you are embarressed to admit you still have not read?


Review: Shadows (Ashes Trilogy Book #2)


Shadows picks up right after Ashes left off.  I will not tell you the premise of Shadows, but will recap what Ashes is about.  Ashes begins with Alex hiking in the woods to say goodbye to her parents (she is carrying their ashes).  There is an electromagnetic pulse and then everything changes.  If you are not killed you are either changed (a zombie) or a survivor.

The biggest gripe I have about Shadows is that you better remember who and what happened in Ashes.  Shadows has a huge cast of characters and about 150-200 pages into the book I was just remembering all the characters.  I wish I would have re-read some of Ashes or waited to read until I got my hands on this book.  It was frustrating having to figure out what in the world was going on.

That being said, once I got into the book it really picked up pace.  The book has a few storylines happening at once, but each one is interesting.  None of the storylines connect, or so it seems.  Once we get to the end of the book, oh man, Ilsa J Bick weaves the storylines together so beautifully.  I was so impressed with how the story ended.  It ended on a cliffhanger and made me sooo excited for the next book in the series.

I also want to point out that this book is graphic, but seriously folks it is about zombies.  If you don’t like gory details then I don’t recommend this book.

My suggestion is to wait until all three books are out and read them around the same time.  If you can’t, be prepared to re-read, or suffer not knowing what is happening.

I want very badly to give this book 5 stars, but I can’t.  The fact that it took me almost 200 pages to settle in really dragged it down.

For that reason, I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Review: Beautiful Disaster

beautiful disaster               Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college    with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.




It took me a long time to sit down and write this review.  Mostly because I just didn’t know how to put down what I felt about this book.  The book Beautiful Disaster is an intense, crazy, wonderful, and painful book.

The two main characters Abby and Travis are a bit of a mess.  They meet each other during a fight, a little like an Ultimate Fight, and are drawn to each other.  I believe Abby has blood splattered on her cardigan and that is what draws Travis in.  That should be a hint on how intense this book is.  The story starts after Travis makes a bet with Abby and they just can’t stay away from each other.

The book is compulsively readable.  I wanted to read and find out what was going to happen to these two characters.  Then I would find myself wanting to scream at both of them.  Abby and Travis remind me a lot of Bella and Edward.  If you loved Bella and Edward, this book will probably please you.

I did quite enjoy the characters Kara (which I don’t really think was the point of her character) and Shep.  They were the voice of reason in all the chaos.

The main characters are a mess, but Jamie McGuire wrote a very readable book.  I am still deciding if I am going to read the next book which is Walking Disaster, due out on April 2nd 2013.

I gave this book 3 stars.