To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

by Jenny Han

9781442426702_p0_v5_s260x420

Lara Jean writes letters to all the boys she’s ever loved; the boys that got away or that she was too afraid to date, and hides them in a hat box under her bed. Her mom died when she was young and her oldest sister is leaving for college in Scotland leaving Lara Jean with her feisty little sister Kitty, whose moods blow in like storms. She lives next door to her sister’s ex who she is secretly in love with and is trying to figure out how to take care of her family and be herself.

One day Peter walks up to her at school with one of these secret letters in his hand. Her neighbor has one next, and Lara Jean suddenly finds herself at the center of attention.

I loved this book and stayed up late finishing it; it’s light and funny and engaging and a wonderful warm-weather read about finding yourself and not taking people for granted.

Katie’s Top Books of 2013

I have been absolutely horrible about posting this year. Luckily, Melissa has read and posted about the majority of these. So… My top books of 2013 are

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

2. A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

3. The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper

4. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

5. Dark Triumph (sequel to Grave Mercy) by Robin LaFevers

6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Since I barely reviewed any books this year, here is a list of all the books (including children’s and adult books) that I read this year.

Rose Under Fire

by Elizabeth Wein

17262236

Rose Justice is a transport pilot in WWII. The story begins in her journal entries, chronicling her daily jobs and her thoughts about the war, her disbelief that even the Germans could have anything as horrible as concentration camps. She calls this propaganda.

And then the story turns. Rose is captured and sent to a concentration camp herself, with the rest of the book being told in her journals after her release. Rose’s transformation from cocky pilot to broken survivor is gut-wrenching, and her stories of the women’s camp and her family of “Rabbits,” the women who underwent Nazi medical experimentation, are haunting- especially knowing the truth in the fiction.

Knowing that Rose survives the experience makes the book no easier to read. The descriptions of terror and hope and joy and pain are felt deeply. Beautifully written, a definite recommendation.

 

The False Prince

by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Image

After the entire royal family dies, Conner, a treacherous nobleman, travels to orphanages throughout the country and purchases four boys, including the resourceful thief, Sage. Conner plans to teach these boys to act like the prince who has been missing and presumed dead for years. The boy who does the best will be passed off as the prince, become king, and be the puppet of Conner. The other boys will be killed. Literally competing for their lives, the boys form shaky alliances and struggle to transform from uneducated street kids into royalty. The plot is good, but Sage as a character is amazing. He is funny and tricky. Absolutely wonderful!

Top books of 2012

Katie and I have been talking about our favorite books of the year and coincidentally each had a list of seven. So this year we’ll be a little odd and present you with our favorite seven books of 2012.

1. The Fault in Our Stars– this was by far my favorite book of the year. If you haven’t read it yet, you need to pick it up. Incredible.

2. Code Name Verity– another book full of humor and wit and sadness. I read this in one go and did not regret one second of my anti-socialism.

3. Insurgent-The sequel to Divergent was even more action-packed and wonderful than the first.

4. Reached– The series leads up to an awesome conclusion- although I wasn’t a huge fan of the second installment, this third one made the whole experience worth it.

5. The Scorpio Races– This one caused me to go out to dinner and bring the book with.

6. Wanderlove–  the only book in the world that made me want to go backpacking. Perfect for vacations.

7. The Brides of Rollrock Island– this one was weird and creepy but if you can get past the confusion of the first few chapters leads to a strange story that sticks with you.