FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2015

2015 is coming to an end, and I have to say that it's been a fantastic year.
Between building a happy family, watching my children grow up, and becoming a better person.. I have lived many lives through reading almost 80 books this year! As I reflect on all of the books that I have read throughout the year, I can't believe how many of them have been fantasy reads. Let me be honest though, I never used to read any fantasy books so I had a lot of catching up to do! There was a lot of contemporaries, dystopian, and a couple of celebrity memoirs thrown in there also. Here's a look back of my year thanks to Goodreads.




Here are my top 10 favorite books that were released in 2015!
Most of them were very popular, and if you're like me - I can be a bit hesitant when it comes to the hype surrounding books, but I assure you that all of the books on my list lived up to the hype for me.


#10 || Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling



If you've been following me for awhile then you know that I love Mindy Kaling, I aspire to be her in many ways. Her writing is still brilliant in Why Not Me? - it's incredibly truthful while still being hilarious. I found out more about who she is, and how she manages to live her busy life all while trying to still have a life, through this book. I enjoyed every minute of it.


#9 || First & Then by Emma Mills



One of my favorite contemporaries I've ever read! I loved how the story was inspired by Pride & Prejudice and Friday Night Lights - it was present through the story, but it still felt unique on it's own. It was such a cute and fun book to read! I enjoyed all of the characters and their relationships in the book, especially the swoon-worthy romance!


#8 || Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff



This was the first time I've read a book told in this context, and it was awesome! There were so many twists and revelations that I couldn't help but enjoy this book! The characters were easy to love, and AIDAN has to be one of the coolest characters I've ever read about. It was the best rollercoaster ride of emotions I've been on this year!


#7 || Hello? by Liza M. Wiemer



This was the book that taught me the most about myself this year. It was such a beautiful story, and incredibly inspiring. I fell in love with these characters and their lives, and enjoyed how their stories intertwined with one another's. You can read my review here.


#6 || The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh



The most surprising read that I enjoyed this year! I seriously didn't think I was going to enjoy this book as much as I did.. I loved it. Ahdieh writes in such a beautiful way that it was hard to not love this world and the characters within. The story felt fresh and unique. You can read my review here.


#5 || An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir 



What an epic story this book was! I instantly fell in love with these characters, especially our main ones - Laia and Elias - even if they make stupid decisions because it helps make them more real and relatable! There was never a dull moment set in this crazy world.


#4 || All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven



This story will forever have a place in my heart. I love how honest it is, and how it tackles mental illness in a beautiful and inspiring way. Violet and Finch are unique characters, and I love them very much. You can read my review here.


#3 || Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard



I have to be honest.. The cover was the thing that drew me to this book in the first place. The people behind this series' covers are amazing.. but besides the beautiful cover - this book was one of the best. Red Queen took everything I love in YA and put it all together. Having a monarchy, set in a dystopian world, and yet there is a fantasy element in the story as well. I loved every minute of this book, and that twist in the end was heartbreaking! You can read my review here.


#2 || Winter by Marissa Meyer



The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series to date. This world is so awesome to read about, and I am in love with every one of the characters in this series. I can't believe this was the last book, and it sure lived up to a great series ending! I'm sad to say good-bye to this world and the characters, but I look forward to going back and re-reading the whole series over again one day!


#1 || Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo



My favorite book of 2015 is Six of Crows! I loved everything about this book - the characters, the world, the twists, and the intriguing story that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time! It's beautifully written, and you are able to fall in love with these characters and the world around them easily. You can read my review here.


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That was my 2015 year of reading, and I can't want to dive into all of the new books coming out in 2016! Thank you to all the fantastic authors who continue to provide my reading soul with great books. What was your favorite read of 2015?


xxo


THE 100 // SEASON 3 TRAILER RECAP

Simply Nicollette's recap posts for The 100 will contain spoilers.



Welcome to our recap!
For The 100's third season I will be writing a recap post for every episode this coming year! I'll be joined by Maddi - who loves The 100 just as much as I do! We're excited for this season, and to kick off our recap posts we'll be discussing the season 3 trailer.



Season 3 Synopsis:

"For two seasons, the refugees of The 100 sent to Earth have been at war. First with themselves, then with the Grounders, and finally with Mount Weather. Many have lost their lives along the way. All have lost their innocence. They have learned the hard way that in the fight for survival, there are no heroes and no villains. There is only the living and the dead. But now the war is over. The battle against Mount Weather has been won. The prisoners have returned home to a world seemingly at peace, but can they find peace within themselves after what they had to do to escape? And is there more to life than just surviving? Unfortunately, their newfound sense of normalcy will be short-lived, and their lives will be changed forever, as threats both old and new test their loyalties, push them past their limits, and make them question what it truly means to be human. First, they fought to survive. Then, they fought for their friends. Now, they will fight for the human race."


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Maddi - The 100, a show where anything can happen, where no one is safe. We have been waiting a long time for the new season which airs January 21, but now we finally have the trailer, with almost 3-minutes of new footage! Everyone is clearly still affected by the events at Mount Weather, as you would be.

Kristy - There is so much happening this season, and I can't wait for all of it! At the beginning of the trailer you can see that there is a time jump from last season, like Jason Rothenberg talked about at SDCC this year. It's clear that everyone, not just Clarke and Bellamy, are dealing with the fallout from everything that happened at Mount Weather.


Maddi - It seems everyone is out for Clarke's blood, but not everyone as Bellamy, Abby and the rest of the sky people, and possibly her friends among the Grounders help her to survive. Which may lead to the part where we see Clarke looking all badass dressed like a Grounder.
We see a new leader (played by Michael Beach) rise and challenge the leadership of camp Jaha and the sky people. He goes on the attack for the Grounders, which puts Bellamy and Octavia right in the middle of it, and at either ends of the battle.

Kristy - Kane told Bellamy, "there is a threat inside our walls", and we are introduced to Michael Beach's new character, and I can already tell he's going to cause a lot of trouble! Everyone has evolved into such strong people, it's crazy to see how much has changed since we first met them. Clarke, especially, we can see how much she has changed and I'm excited to see her taking the route where she now knows that you can't always be the good guy.

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Kristy - Let's talk about everyone else for a minute. We see glimpses of everyone - Raven, Lincoln, Monty, and Jasper. My heart is literally breaking for all the tears I see on Raven, Jasper, and Monty - I just know how much pain they must be in after everything that has happened since they first got to the ground.
I really hope that Monty and Jasper can repair their friendship, because we can see that neither of them are in a good place and I think they are such a strong team together. Raven says, "would if I'm just broken", she is such a strong female and I hope she continues to fight and never give up because she sure has been dealt with a lot of pain in the past 2 seasons.

Maddi - My heart breaks to see the suffering Jasper is going through after Mount Weather, and losing Maya. Fear jolted through me when I saw Monty with the gun, whatever is happening, whatever he is going through cannot be good!!
Abby and Kane's relationship takes the next step. I have been admiring their relationship since the beginning as it has grown, after everything they have been through, it's great that they have each other.


Maddi - Emori's back! I was hoping it wasn't the last time that we saw her. She's such a strong and interesting character and I hope we get to learn more about her. I also can't wait to see more of her relationship between Murphy, to see what it may become and where it may lead.
I have a very bad feeling about Thelonious with new character A.L.I.E, an intelligent hologram that seems to have been involved in the nuclear war that destroyed the world. (That doesn't sound promising.)

Kristy - Jaha is back, and I'm happy to see it because he is so interesting to me. We hear him telling someone, "the city of light is real", and I can't want to see how his storyline plays out with A.L.I.E.



Kristy - Bellamy and Clarke are reunited! I'm a huge Bellarke shipper - I just love Bob Morley and Eliza Taylor together as actors. It doesn't take a lot to make Bellarke shippers happy, because I was more than happy to see we get another hug between them this season! I really hope they come together and fight because they are such strong leaders together.

Maddi - The hug!! I have to point out the hug between Bellamy and Clarke. It was one of the most talked about scenes from the trailer between many fans. Yes, I admit I'm a Bellarke shipper.

Kristy - Clarke and Lexa are also going to be reuniting! It looks like Clarke wants to kill Lexa at first, but then there's a clip of them riding side by side so maybe they are going to team up again. Either way, I'm excited for what's to come in their relationship!

Maddi - I can't wait to see Clarke and Lexa reunited after Lexa's betrayal, there's no saying what Clarke will do when they meet again, because if it wasn't for Lexa what happened at Mount Weather may have been different.

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Maddi - The fight against the Grounders and the Sky People takes sides, as both Clarke and Octavia think Bellamy is on the wrong side, fighting for his own people, as Octavia and Clarke both have connections to the Grounders.

Kristy - It looks as if everyone is on different sides, and I can't want to see how it plays out. Bellamy says, "we've been at war since we landed", I can tell that his character is going to go through a lot this season and I can't wait to see it because I love Bellamy, and all of the development he's made since season 1. It breaks my heart to see the Blakes fighting though! Octavia continues to become more badass as each season goes along, and I love it. We see her tell Bellamy, "you're dead to me", and I'm nervous yet excited to see how their relationship takes a turn this season.

Maddi - More dark creatures are out there and they're coming. It looked terrible and even more creepier than the Reapers. Whatever it is, it's monstrous and it brings bad and unfortunate things along with it.


Maddi - After everything that Clarke has been through, it's going to take a lot to get her through what she did. She led her people, they lived or died from her decisions. The fate of many was in her hands. That is a lot to bear, too much for one person. She will need her family and friends to help her through this. "I bear it so they don't have to."

Kristy - There's going to be so many deaths, new characters, and fighting this season on The 100 - I can't wait! I'm so excited for this rollercoaster ride ahead of us. . . May we meet again!

Maddi - Darkness, drama, pain, war, death, is all coming in the new season of The 100 and I can't wait. . . That's if we survive it!




You can watch both seasons of The 100 on Netflix now! Remember to tune in every Thursday starting January 21 at 9/8c, to watch The 100 live on The CW.
Join us afterwards as we recap episode one. We can't wait to discuss all things The 100 with you!

Kristy || Maddi


xxo


GOODREADS REVIEW // EMMY & OLIVER

Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.


Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
















Emmy & Oliver is a beautiful story about true friendship, family, and learning how to become your own person.


"Sometimes, the things people don't say are louder than the words that come out of their mouths."


I really enjoyed this book. It made me smile, cry, and laugh. It's been awhile since I've found a contemporary that can make me feel all of those things, and this book was everything that I needed and more.
When you take a look at this cover you immediately think it's going to be a sweet romantic story, but that is far from what it truly is. There was a lot going on in the story, but this book is really about true love - our love for our parents, friends, and ourselves.

Our main characters are Emmy and Oliver, but we also get to know their parents and Emmy's best friends - Drew and Caroline. Everyone in this book has pain from this horrible thing that happened in their community, and when Oliver was kidnapped 10 years ago it changed everyone. When Oliver comes back into their lives it's clear that it's about time everyone finally deal with their feelings and try to move on from this huge thing that has defined who they are for the past 10 years.

All of the emotions of these characters felt incredibly real, and they didn't magically get solved over night. It was hard for everyone to cope with Oliver coming back into their lives - especially Emmy, Drew, and Caroline who have this huge gap in between their friendship with Oliver. Each of them are dealing with personal issues, and yet they find a way to truly be there for one another. I absolutely loved the friendship between Emmy, Drew, and Caroline - their interactions flowed right off the page straight to my heart. Their friendship felt so real - they got mad at each other, they got annoyed, they had their own lives at times, but in the end their love for one another never dulled. It reminded me of an actual friendship between best friends.


"Sometimes love isn't something you say, it's something you do."


As for the romance in the story - I actually really enjoyed it, too. It wasn't cheesy and it never felt forced. Emmy was never portrayed as the girl next door who is beautiful yet thinks she's not, and Oliver was never the hottest guy in school or the new mysterious boy. Their romance felt real because it felt like it could be anyone, and I loved it.


"Sometimes there just aren't enough words to fill the cracks in your heart."


In the end, this story was centered around Emmy and how she and everyone around her learned how to finally move on with their lives. I enjoyed reading about her love for her parents even though they could be frustrating to her. I liked getting to know Emmy and see how she was able to truly grow up and be her own person.

Overall, I loved this book. I really enjoyed Robin Benway's writing - she wrote some of the best dialogue that I have ever read between characters. Everyone had their own voice, and I really appreciated how the writing truly made me care for these characters.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves contemporaries! There is so much more to love about this book than the romance between Emmy and Oliver, even though their relationship is really cute.


"It's your turn to leave and it's my turn to stay. So leave already."




xxo


THIS MOMENT

This Moment is a weekly ritual of a single photo - no words - capturing a special moment from the week. These photos represent a moment that is dear to my heart, whether it be of someone or something I love.




xxo


BOOK SPOTLIGHT: NO LOVE ALLOWED

Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.


Many thanks to Swoon Reads / Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for providing me with an early copy of No Love Allowed via NetGalley.
After reading so many fantasy stories this year, I have been reading nothing but contemporary books lately. There's something about growing up and finding ourselves all while falling in love that I truly enjoy.

So, as soon as I read the synopsis of No Love Allowed I was immediately drawn to the book, and I couldn't wait to read it! It was the perfect book to add to my collection of favorite contemporaries. No Love Allowed isn't just a romantic story between two people from different backgrounds. It's a story that deals with mental illness, grief, and how powerful love can truly be.




Goodreads Summary // It's all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.

Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father's law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he's not ready for and isn't sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there's only one rule: They must not fall in love!


"To her it was like being alone in the ocean, holding a kite string in one hand and an anchor chain in the other and finding the balance so she wouldn't sink."

This book was a surprisingly refreshing read.
Honestly, I went into reading this story thinking it would be another cute romantic story, and all I would feel about this book would be that it was sweet. I was wrong. No Love Allowed found a way to tackle tough issues, too.

I really enjoyed this story. The love story line was a bit predictable, but like I've said before I find that in a lot of contemporaries and that's not the reason why I read them. I read them for the journey the characters take to get to "the predictable" ending - and Didi and Caleb had such an interesting journey that I couldn't help but enjoy their story.

We get both of their POVs - both told in the third person.
I absolutely loved both of them, they were complete opposites but I think that's what made them so fun to read about. Didi is the funny, outspoken, and creative person. Caleb is the more serious type, who I found really caring and sweet. All of the characters, even the supporting ones, were easy to fall in love with and root for.

The story progresses fast as it story takes place during the summer.
It was light and fun throughout the whole book, but there was always something more behind the cute romantic story being told. Didi comes off as extremely reckless in the beginning, and I didn't really understand her at first. Then, we soon find out that she takes pills but we never know what they are exactly for until the end of the story. I'm not going to spoil this part for anyone, but after reading the reasoning for them I couldn't help but appreciate the writing of this book so much more. There was a lot of foreshadowing and it helped the story feel real and relatable. The way No Love Allowed tackles tough issues never feels forced or misplaced, it feels natural to both of these characters - as Didi is dealing with mental illness, and Caleb is dealing with grief that has allowed him to never wish for love.

Overall, I loved this book. I easily fell in love with the characters and their relationships with one another. I'm definitely a fan of Kate Evangelista - I really enjoyed her writing. The different POVs told in No Love Allowed flowed together nicely, and worked in favor to the whole story being told.
I appreciate how this book tackled tough issues without it taking up the entire story. Honestly, as a person who is hard to love because of my own mental illness I appreciated how much truth was behind Didi and Caleb's relationship. Their romance was cute, sweet, and swoon worthy!
Love really is the greatest gift you could give anyone.


I would recommend this to everyone who is looking for the perfect weekend read - it's a great contemporary!

No Love Allowed will be published on April 19, 2016.
Make sure you add it to your Goodreads shelf, Pre-Order it, and fall in love with this story!


RATING:

5 out of 5 stars


No Love Allowed | Kate Evangelista | Swoon Reads | Macmillan Children's Publishing Group


xxo


GOODREADS REVIEW // THE TROUBLE WITH DESTINY

Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.


The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
















If I were to give a simple description of this book, I would say that it’s as if the Disney Channel decided to make a movie inspired by Pitch Perfect.

This book is definitely for a young audience. If I was 13-16 years old then there is no doubt in my mind that I would enjoy this book. I’m in my 20s though, and even though most of my favorite books are YA contemporaries I still found myself not enjoying the book as much as I wish I did. I didn’t hate the book, but I didn’t like it either.

I actually did enjoy the way Lauren Morrill told the story. I found the setting interesting - she did a great job with descriptions and world building where I felt like I was on the sea along with these characters. The story wasn’t as unique as I originally thought it would be, and the characters were a bit flat to me. Our main character is Liza, who I liked at the beginning, but then she kind of lost me once she became obsessed with all the wrong things. The supporting characters were not that interesting either, and I think the only character I ended up enjoying was her best friend Huck, who we saw some great development from throughout the story.

There was a lot of drama throughout the story. I generally don’t mind this because I do enjoy reading YA contemporaries, where drama tends to be common.. but this drama felt a little forced and petty. I felt like the story could’ve been told without the useless drama. Also, I wanted more from the romance. There was a weird love triangle/square thing going on throughout the story that felt pointless. It was clear who was going to end up with who.

As the story progresses the theme of the book becomes more clearer, and the ending was brilliant. I definitely enjoyed how it all came together, and I wish the whole book would’ve been as strong as the ending. All of our characters develop nicely, the petty drama is finally over, and Liza finally matures into the person I wanted her to be the whole book. The writing really pulls all of the plot points together nicely.

Overall, I wanted more from the story. Like I said, this book is great for a younger audience. I think the petty drama, and annoying actions from the characters would’ve been interesting to me if I was a bit younger. The writing was great though, and I think Morrill did a fantastic job at writing her message to the readers through the ending. So, I would recommend this book to a younger audience, around 13-16 years old, who enjoy YA contemporaries!




xxo


THIS MOMENT

This Moment is a weekly ritual of a single photo - no words - capturing a special moment from the week. These photos represent a moment that is dear to my heart, whether it be of someone or something I love.




xxo



GOODREADS REVIEW // THE LUNAR CHRONICLES

Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.


Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

















It's taken me forever to read this series, but since Winter is being released soon I thought it was time I finally read it.
I'm glad that I did! I enjoyed Cinder a lot more than I thought I would. It has it's own unique story even though it's clear that Cinderella was a huge inspiration for this story - but it's more than just a retelling. I enjoyed both the fantasy and sci-fi elements within this story.

All of our characters were interesting.
Cinder is an awesome heroine - I love how strong she is, how independent, and how awkward she is. I enjoyed reading all of her relationships with everyone - including the Doctor and Prince Kai (by the way, swoooon).

Overall, I thought it was a great first book for a series.
I'm excited to find out what happens to Cinder and get to know new characters!
I'd recommend it to anyone who loves unique fairy tell stories, fantasy, or even sci-fi stories because this book has it all!


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Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

















Ok - I didn't think that I was going to care about Scarlet as much as I did Cinder, especially after the first book's ending. When I started the book, I was really anxious to get back to Cinder and find out what was happening with her.. but after the first chapter, I loved Scarlet just as much as I love Cinder!

This book was better than Cinder, in my opinion.. even though each book is fantastic in their own way.
I really enjoyed all of the new characters, the expanded world building, and seeing the characters I love (Cinder and Kai) develop more in this story.

My favorite things though?
The banter and growing friendship between Cinder, Thorne, and Iko.


A relieved grin filled up Thorne's face. "We're having another moment, aren't we?"
"If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are." Cinder slumped back on the floor.
"Although maybe I'm just too exhausted to want to strangle anybody."


I didn't get a lot of swoon worthy moments between my favorites - Cinder and Kai.. but lines like this helped fill my heart.


"I don't see that her being cyborg is relevant." - you tell them Kai!


There were plenty of swoon worthy moments between Scarlet and Wolf though! I did enjoy their romance, too.


"I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you."




The writing is flawless in this series, I am a fan Marissa Meyer. When there are too many different POVs in a book, and when they each have a different plot point being told throughout the story, well it just becomes confusing and boring.. but Meyer does not have this problem with her books. I was actually glad to have the different POVS and seeing the whole story unfold from different places. I was never bored, and I loved how it all came together in the end.

Overall, I really enjoyed Scarlet! It was fun to see how her story came together with Cinder's story. I can't wait to read Cress!
This series is a lot of fun, and just like I said with Cinder - I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a unique take on retellings, with hints of fantasy and sci-fi in the mix!


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Cress by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

















This series is brilliant, seriously one of my top 5 favorite series. It just keeps getting better with each installment - I thought Cinder was great, then I fell in love with Scarlet, and now I am head over heels for Cress! If someone asked me which book is my favorite, I don't think I could choose.

Now - let's talk about Cress. She is such a sweetheart, I definitely relate to her the most because she's so shy and adorkable. I really enjoyed reading what she brought to the team. Her romance with Thorne, swoooooon! I love Thorne, he's my favorite character out of the series (well, right next to Cinder), so of course I loved Cress and Thorne. It was just sweet, and I liked that it wasn't this instalove - at first it kind of felt like that, on Cress' end at least, but it actually turned out to be this sweet friendship forming and I think that's what makes this relationship so special.


"Maybe great, epic romances don't just happen. We have to make them ourselves."
^^^ That's right Cress, you go make your epic romance story! I'll happily read ALL of it!




A laugh came from the cockpit and Thorne appeared in the doorway, strapping a gun holster around his waist.
"You're asking the cyborg fugitive and the wild animal to be the welcoming committee? That's adorable."


The whole crew is back - all our favorite characters still being awesome!
I love how each character continues to develop, and we are constantly learning more about them - even if it's in a subtle way, for instance we didn't see much of Scarlet in this book but I still feel like I know more about her than I did before. I love this crew, seriously squad goals. That ending was fantastic, I honestly love how they have grown together and all of them make this series so much fun to read!
We are introduced to a few new characters in this book, such as Jacin who I know will be in Winter. I honestly didn't like him at first, but he kind of redeemed himself at the end - when he FINALLY realizes that Cinder is Princess Selene. Now, I look forward to seeing him along with all of our favorite characters in the next book!


He lifted his gaze.
"Just to be clear, you're not using your mind powers on me right now, are you?"
She blinked.
"Of course not."
"Just checking."
Then he slid his arms around her waist and kissed her.




My #OTP - hitting me with all the feels.. I only waited THREE books for this!

Overall, I loved Cress. The writing was still fantastic, Marissa Meyer's writing is the foundation as to why this series is so brilliant. There were so many twists and reveals, it was such a crazy and fun ride! I can't recommend this series enough, just like the others I'd recommend this series to anyone who loves a unique fairy tell story, fantasy, or even sci-fi story because this series has it all!


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Fairest by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

















Again, Marissa Meyer writes another intriguing story in The Lunar Chronicles!

This book was crazy. I like diving into the mind of the villain, but Levana is a whole new level of crazy evil. She's just so evil. I thought I would find myself sympathizing with her, but I didn't at all - I just pitied her. Learning more about her story only makes me root for Cinder and the gang more.

The writing was still beautiful though, and it was nice to see some back story on Winter and Luna. Overall, I enjoyed this short story, even if I did find myself hating Levana even more.

I would recommend anyone to read this book, who is already a fan of The Lunar Chronicles just because it gives you more insight into some characters!




xxo


DID I MENTION I LOVE YOU? GIVEAWAY

This week I shared my book review on Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame, and today I have some exciting news! You can read more about the book here, and there's a short excerpt from the book below. After you read all about the book, then you can enter for a chance to win a copy of Did I Mention I Love You? plus an advance copy of the second book in the series, Did I Mention I Need You? - Good luck!




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Did I Mention I Love You? By Estelle Maskame
December 1, 2015; ISBN 9781492632153


Book Info
Title - Did I Mention I Love You?
Author - Estelle Maskame
Release Date - December 1, 2015
Publishers - Sourcebooks Fire




Praise for Did I Mention I Love You?

"Readers will root for them, like they would with Edward and Bella-the mutual attraction and need for one another is palpable. It rings of passion, excitement, and first love." -VOYA Magazine

"An edgy young adult romance with dark layers." -The Examiner

"A believable coming-of-age story and an unconventional romance, set against a present-day California summer... The fallout of divorce, the insidiousness of substance abuse and family secrets, and especially the pangs of first love drive this emotionally resonant tale." -Publishers Weekly

"Written in first person, Maskame's trilogy opener is an excellent portrayal of a teenage girl's life in the 21st century. Eden has to adjust to her blended family, try to feel pretty, be body conscious, and make friends, all while falling in love for the first time. She is someone all young people can relate to... Romance fans will be captivated by Eden and her journey to finding herself and true love." -School Library Journal

About The Author




Estelle Maskame started writing at the age of thirteen and completed the Did I Mention I Love You? trilogy when she was sixteen. She has built an extensive fan-base for her writing by serializing her work on Wattpad. Fitting book writing between work, Estelle has amassed followers from all over the world. She lives in Scotland. For more visit estellemaskame.com.


Summary

Love is everything but expected.

Eden Munro came to California for a summer of sun, sand, and celebrities- what better way to forget about the drama back home? Until she meets her new family of strangers; a dad she hasn't seen in three years, a stepmonster, and three stepbrothers.

Eden gets her own room in her dad's fancy house in Santa Monica. A room right next door to her oldest stepbrother. Tyler Bruce. Whom she cannot stand. He has angry blue eyes and an ego bigger than a Beverly Hills mansion. She's never felt such intense dislike for someone. But the two are constantly thrown together as his group of friends pulls her into their world of rule-breaking, partying, and pier-hanging.. And the more she tries to understand what makes Tyler burn hotter than the California sun, the more Eden finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn't...

Did I Mention I Love You? is the addictive first book in Wattpad sensation Estelle Maskame's DIMILY trilogy: three unforgettable summer of secrets, heartbreak, and forbidden romance.

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Did I Mention I Love You? Excerpt

I can almost see the road through the gaps in the fence by the side of the house, and I squint through. There's music playing. More like blaring. I can hear it over the crappy music that's already bouncing around the back yard, and as a sleek white car speeds up to the edge of the sidewalk and skids against the curb, I grimace in disgust. The music cuts off the second the engine is killed.

"What are you looking at?" Rachael asks, but I'm too busy staring to even attempt to answer.
The car door swings open roughly, and I'm surprised it doesn't fall straight off its hinges. It's difficult to see clearly through the fence, but a tall guy gets out and slams the door shut just as aggressively as he opened it. He hesitates for a moment, stares at the house, and then runs a hand through his hair. Whoever he is, he looks super depressed. Like he's just lost all his life savings or his dog just died. And then he heads straight for the gate.

"Who the hell is this jackass?" I mutter to Rachael as the figure nears us.

But before either of us can say anything more, Jackass decides to hit the gate open with a fist, drawing the attention of everyone around us. It's like he wants everyone to hate him. I figure he's probably that one neighbor that everyone despises, and he's only here in a fit of rage because he wasn't invited to the lamest barbecue get-together that's even been hosted.

"Sorry I'm late," Jackass comments sarcastically. And loudly too, with a smirk on his lips. His eyes flash green as emeralds. "Did I miss anything besides the slaughtering of animals?" He throws up the infamous middle finger to, from what I can see, the barbecue. "I hope you guys enjoyed the cow you just ate." And then he laughs. He laughs as though everyone's expressions of disgust are the most entertaining thing he's seen all year.

"More beer?" I hear my dad call out to the silent crowd, and as they chuckle and return to their conversations, Jackass heads through the patio doors. He slams them shut so hard I can almost see the glass tremble.

I'm stunned. I have no idea what just happened or who that was or why he's just entered the house. When I realize I'm slightly slack-jawed, I close my mouth and turn to Rachael.
She bites her lip and pushes her sunglasses down over her eyes. "I'm guessing you haven't met your step-brother yet."




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Coming Soon!



Did I Mention I Need You? By Estelle Maskame
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publishers: Sourcebooks Fire

Eden and Tyler have desperately tried to ignore their love for each other for the sake of their family. But they can't seem to stay apart for long, especially once Tyler invites Eden to spend the summer with him in New York.

Away from their life in California and caught up in the excitement of the city, their summer fling turns into something much more serious. Unable to deny their feelings, Tyler and Eden must face reality. But how will their family react when they confess their romance? And is their relationship strong enough to survive the fallout?

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Did I Mention I Miss You? By Estelle Maskame
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publishers: Sourcebooks Fire

Eden's on her way back to Santa Monica for the summer, and she hasn't seen Tyler since the devastating fallout of their forbidden relationship. Eden claims to have moved on-but Tyler wants to rekindle the flame.

He convinces Eden to visit his new home in Portland, Oregon, where he has set up a center for troubled teens. Eden's proud of what he's built, but the last time they were together, it nearly destroyed Eden and their family. Then a tragedy draws them together, and Eden must search her heart and decide if Tyler is worth the risk once and for all.


- - -


xxo


GOODREADS REVIEW // DID I MENTION I LOVE YOU?

Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.


Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
















I usually don’t read stories that involve forbidden love, so I was a little hesitant to read Did I Mention I Love You?, but in the end I’m glad that I did because it led me to Estelle Maskame.

This story was interesting for the most part, I found it to be a bit predictable at times but I find that in a lot of contemporary stories so it didn’t really bother me. I read contemporary stories for the journey the characters take, and I generally enjoy ones that involve love and soul searching in high school - and this book had that.
I’ve read some reviews where people wanted more parental presence, or how it didn’t seem real that this was a normal high school experience - but I completely related to all of it. The characters range from 16-18 years old, and we see them do nothing but party during summer break. This was high school to me - I saw all the parties, drugs, alcohol, and sex going on outside of school and it felt like an honest take on the story and I enjoyed reading about it to see where it took our characters.

As the story progressed though, I found myself wanting more from the characters besides these teenagers who just party and do reckless things all the time. I wanted to understand and know the characters underneath all of the partying. There weren’t any characters that really stood out to me, besides our main one - Eden.
I really liked Eden, I mean girl had her flaws but overall she was very relatable. She’s a very complex character - having to deal with the strain from her parent’s divorce, insecurities, and anxiety from being in a new city for the summer, all while trying to be herself still. I wanted Eden to be the voice of reason throughout the story, and she kind of was, besides her beginning to get out of her comfort zone and do things that she never enjoyed before (like partying and shopping). I understood this though, because she is a teenager and she just wanted to fit in and get through the summer without being around her dad, and feeling so lonely.. so I understood how her character started to become a bit lost in the midst of this new town and situations.

It was interesting to see how the romance was going to come into play when I began to read. Honestly, I thought I was going to find it weird that these step-siblings were going to fall for eachother - but it worked for this book. They don’t share any biological parents, so it wasn’t weird at all. I found the tension and batter cute, I think the romance developed naturally between Eden and Tyler.
Tyler isn’t my favorite love interest, he’s probably one of my least favorites to be honest. He was too much of a jerk, with not much development for me to find him swoon worthy. He started to warm up to Eden as their relationship grew into something more, but he was still so mean to the people around him - and I didn’t think he had a good excuse to be so mean. I understood “the distractions” and the anger, but I thought he directed all of it in the wrong way. I wanted to like him more than I did, but I just couldn’t. I wanted his problems to be explored more and I wanted them developed so he could redeem himself with me - but I didn’t find that.

Overall, I found this book to be good. The writing was fantastic, I’m really happy that this book led me to Estelle Maskame because she writes in a beautiful way. I could tell that she was a young author by the way she writes, but I truly believe she will only grow to become better and I look forward to reading her future work. Including - the next 2 books in this series, because even though there were flaws within the story Maskame sets up scenes throughout the story great and the relationships that grow from the characters are well done, both of these helped me to truly enjoy this book.

In the end, I wanted a bit more. I wanted more development from Eden’s soul searching - which had a lot to do with resolving her issues with her dad. I wanted more character development, and more storytelling outside of the partying and recklessness. It isn’t a deal breaker though, I think we will see more development in the next 2 books so I look forward to it.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary stories with a hint of romance and friendship within!




xxo


GOODREADS REVIEW // FANGIRL

Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

















Fangirl is a book that came into my life at just the right time. It's full of so much love, friendship, family, and how hard it truly can be to grow up. I can't express how much I love this book in one simple review, but I'll try!


"In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can't Google.)"


This story was refreshingly real. I've read a lot of books that deal with being an outcast or feeling anxiety over new situations, but somehow this book shed light on the real feelings of going through huge changes in our lives. Our main character, Cath, didn't magically become friends with the popular crowd, there was no instalove with the hottest guy at school, or all the other things that happen in a usual contemporary read. This story was relatable because everything the characters go through, especially Cath, were things that could easily happen to any one of us.


"Just... isn't giving up allowed sometimes? Isn't it okay to say, 'This really hurts, so I'm going to stop trying'?"
"It sets a dangerous precedent."
"For avoiding pain?"
"For avoiding life."



I loved the characters in this book - every single one of them! Cath is one of the most relatable characters that I've ever read. Everything that she goes through in the beginning of the book is so true to anyone who hates changes, and who's just really scared to grow up. All of the supporting characters were just as great, especially Cath's twin sister Wren. Their relationship was so interesting and incredibly honest, even if you don't have a twin or a sibling, because as we grow up there are moments where we can feel lost by being left being from our friends that we've always loved. I found all the relationships that Cath had to be intriguing, and I enjoyed reading the development between each one.


"I don't trust anybody. Not anybody. And the more that I care about someone, the more sure I am they're going to get tired of me and take off."




The romance was just like the rest of the story - it felt like it could actually happen to anybody. It was sweet and adorable! Honestly Cath and Levi's relationship is one of my favorites now - I enjoyed reading all of their sweet moments from the first time they met to their first official date.. and how cute is it that he loved her fanfiction? So cute!


"It's just... everything. There are too many people. And I don't fit in. I don't know how to be. Nothing that I'm good at is the sort of thing that matters there. Being smart doesn't matter-and being good with words. And when those things do matter, it's only because people want something from me. Not because they want me."


This was the first book that I've read by Rainbow Rowell, and I know that it won't be my last. The message behind this book was amazing, and Rowell wrote in such a beautiful way to truly get it across to her readers. She developed these incredibly flawed characters inside a very real world in such a magical way. All of their struggles with growing up and moving on is something that we all face, and I loved how by the end of the book you are left feeling inspired on how letting things go and moving on are only beneficial to being who you truly are.




Overall, I loved this book. It's one of my favorite books, ever! It was refreshing to read such a unique story full of lots of love. The elements of Cath being a fan girl only made this book that much more special, and you'll love it!

I would recommend this book to everyone who enjoys coming-of-age stories and contemporary reads because I guarantee that you will love it!




xxo