Nov 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Jessica's Thankful For!


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between!
This Week's Topic: Books I'm Thankful For!

In honor of Thanksgiving week, this week's theme is the Top Ten Books I'm Most Thankful For! I wasn't sure if I just wanted to keep it to 2017 reads or if I wanted to just encompass my favorite books of all time as a whole, so I decided to stick to 10 reads that I picked up this year and ended up being delightfully surprised about, and thankfully so. Each of these books have managed, in some way or another, to hit me in the feels, make me cry/laugh, or just totally shock me in ways I had not been expecting, and they have all been such delights to read. So, without further ado, let's do this!


10. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


20170404

9. Warcross by Marie Lu


29385546

8. Renegades by Marissa Meyer


28421168

7. Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith


32048554

6. The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace


30075802

5. I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin


33916153

4. A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck


30040068

3. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green


15837671

2. Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert


25062038

1. They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera

33385229


So these were the ten reads that I picked up this year and ended up being so thankful for, in one way or another! What are yours? Comment down below and let me know -- and Happy Thanksgiving to our American followers!

courteney cox thanksgiving GIF


Nov 19, 2017

Review: A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck


30040068
Title: A Short History of the Girl Next Door
Author: Jared Reck
Publisher: Knopf Books
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Harcover, 272 Pages
Published September 2017


Summary: Fifteen-year-old Matt Wainwright is in turmoil. He can’t tell his lifelong best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her; his promising basketball skills are being overshadowed by his attitude on the court, and the only place he feels normal is in English class, where he can express his inner thoughts in quirky poems and essays. Matt is desperately hoping that Tabby will reciprocate his feelings; but then Tabby starts dating Liam Branson, senior basketball star and all-around great guy. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough; but, as Matt soon discovers, he’s close to losing everything that matters most to him. 


I received an advanced copy of this book at BookCon this past spring, and at first I wasn't sure what to expect. But I had heard a lot of good things about it, and once things started to wind down a little bit at college and I found that I had some free time to get some reading done, I decided to pick this book up. And let me tell you, I am so incredibly glad that I did, because this book took me on an emotional rollercoaster that I was not expecting and it left me shaken in the best of ways. 

As the summary explains, Matt and Tabby are both freshmen in high school. They're also neighbors, schoolmates, and longtime best friends. It's the type of friendship where an extra table setting is set for Tabby during the holidays, the entire family knows/loves her, and even Matt's little brother sees Tabby as a big sister. They have a really great, adorable bond that reminded me a lot of me and my best friends.

And then Tabby starts dating Liam, a high school senior, and everything goes wrong for Matt from there. She slowly starts to drift away from him and start her own life with her cool, new friends and popular boyfriend, trying to include Matt but unknowingly making it more painful for him every time that she does because Matt is hopelessly in love with her in ways that totally extend beyond best friendship. 

I absolutely loved this book. Matt was such a hilarious character and a lot of his comments kept me laughing so hard that tears were coming from my eyes. His narrative voice reminded me a lot of that in Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl, with a main character that is so sarcastic and hilarious that you can't help but want to laugh along with them and share their experiences. This book started out on a really humorous note, and then it hooked me pretty quickly -- I read over 200 pages in one sitting because I fell in love with the story and just couldn't tear myself away.

I also really loved Tabby as a character. I appreciated the fact that she didn't just start dating a cool senior boy and cut Matt out of her life forever. Even though she started to drift apart and things started to change, Matt was still an integral part of her life and she tried to be around him the best she could, even if she was making things harder for him without knowing. Tabby had a lot of personality in this book and it was very, very easy to like her -- and to see why Matt would be drawn to her and fall in love with her in the first place.

(Major spoilers here, so please skip to the next paragraph if you don't want the story spoiled for you!) The entire time I was reading this book during the first sitting, I liked the humor and the relationships and I expected it was just going to be a cute, adorable, hilarious romance story. Nothing crazy and out of this world. But then...when Tabby's accident happened and she just died, I actually dropped my book in shock and started shaking. I had not been expecting the story to go in that direction at all, and Jared Reck caught me completely off guard with it in the best of ways. I even frantically texted my boyfriend because I was in such shock and just needed to vent to somebody. And then I started crying. A lot. It takes a lot for a book to bring out a reaction like that in me, and as soon as it happened, I immediately knew that this book was going to be bumped up to a five star rating. 

Yeah. This book seriously shook me that much, in the best of ways. If this book isn't on your TBR yet, it needs to be. Seriously. It's so incredible that I'm going to start pushing it on everybody that I know. I wasn't expecting to be blown away like this (mainly because I hadn't heard much about the book prior to BookCon), but now I am totally sold and will 100% be reading anything else Jared Reck produces from this point on. Seriously. 

Overall, A Short History of the Girl Next Door is equal parts hilarious, adorable, and even shocking. This book will take you on the kind of emotional ride that I personally haven't seen in a very long time -- I almost slipped a book reference in here but that would give the plot away! So, to make a long story short, if you're looking for a super quick read that will grip you and shatter your heart in all the right places, this book is the one to read. 

Hats off to Jared Reck for the incredible reading experience -- I'm looking forward to more of his work in the future!





Nov 16, 2017

NaNoWriMo Mid-Month Catch Up!

Image result for national novel writing month

Hey there, everybody! Jessica here with a brief little check-in. How has NaNoWriMo been going for everyone? We're officially at the halfway point (okay, we're a day over the halfway point, but we're doing to pretend that doesn't count) so that means you have two weeks left to reach 50K! Which is totally doable, so if you're ahead of the game, keep chugging along. And if you aren't quite there yet, keep pushing and getting in some extra words whenever you can find the chance! You can totally do this!

Now, as for my personal progress with my NaNoWriMo project. I actually wrote super hard and went crazy for the first two weeks, and I ended up hitting 50K and finishing the first draft of my manuscript earlier this week. Which is super great and all, and I'm so glad I finished early and can enjoy my Thanksgiving break home with my family, but that doesn't mean I'm done! I'll still be hanging around here and on Twitter to encourage everyone and keep you all pushing forward. 

How is your progress going with NaNo? Are you halfway there? Over that? Below it? What are some of your tips for getting your word count in, even when you're super exhausted and just not up to it? I love all of you guys and I'm also super nosy, which means that I really want to know what everyone's up to and how they're doing! And don't forget to follow our Twitter, where I'll always be hanging around and asking about NaNoWriMo!

Hang in there, grab those pens, and go tackle National Novel Writing Month. This community is filled with some of the strongest people I know, and I'm positive that we can all work hard and cross that 50K finish line together. So what are you waiting for? Comment your current progress down below and then get writing!

excited new girl GIF