Click a title to view its synopsis:
5. Save the Date
Author: Morgan Matson
Read if: you want a good light-hearted read, or if you have wedding fever!
Goodreads Synopsis: Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.
There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.
Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.
Why I loved it: This book was light and funny while dealing with the fact that life doesn’t always go as we want it to. The character development was phenomenal, especially because Charlie is at such a pivotal moment in her life. The plot had its fair share of twists and turns that raised the stakes for this crazy wedding weekend.
Overall: 4/5 Stars. I must admit, it gave me a bit of wedding fever!
4. The Illuminae Files
Authors: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Read if: You want a science fiction court case with a strong female lead.
Goodreads Synopsis: This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
Why I loved it: This book has an incredible, kick-butt female lead who grows and develops drastically throughout the book. I also loved the format in which this story was told. The files and graphics which make up these pages add so much to the story and help us understand the way AIDAN, the artificial intelligence character, thinks.
Overall: 4/5 Stars, I flew through the pages and it had me on the edge of my seat.
3. Call me by your name
Author: André Aciman
Read if: you are nostalgic for an Italian summer.
Goodreads Synopsis: Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.
The psychological maneuvers that accompany attraction have seldom been more shrewdly captured than in André Aciman’s frank, unsentimental, heartrending elegy to human passion. Call Me by Your Name is clear-eyed, bare-knuckled, and ultimately unforgettable.
Why I loved it: This book was incredibly atmospheric and lyrical. Both Elio and Oliver are real and raw. The setting and the characters are developed in great detail. If you don’t have time to read the book, I thought the movie was an excellent representation of the novel.
Overall: 5/5 Stars. I fell in love.
2. Shades of Magic 1,2, & 3
Author: V.E. Schwab
Read if: you want a series that is impossible to put down.
Goodreads Synopsis (Book 1): Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
Why I loved it: This series was absolutely incredible. Not only did it have me on the edge of my seat and leave me wanting more, but I also was left in disbelief at the plot. In the best way possible. I could not believe what was happening and I could not think of how the characters were going to survive. This tale was dark, enchanting, magical and ultimately one of the best fantasy series out there.
Overall: 5/5 Stars. The last book left me speechless.
1. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Genre: YA Fiction
Read if: you’re tired of boring, straight, white characters in historical fiction.
Goodreads Synopsis: Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
Still, it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
Why I loved it: This book was historically accurate and represented the LGBT community as it would have been in the 18th century, namely, alive! This book is a wonderful reminder that queer people have always existed! Empowered women have always existed! Not always accepted but nevertheless present.
Overall: 5/5 Stars, I keep thinking about the wonderful characters and one particular scene at Versailles.