About me · Books · Reading

When a book leaves you shattered and moved and hopeful

I just finished reading this incredible book.

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Hopeless by Colleen Hoover.

This book is written in first-person.  One of my cardinal rules of reading is “never, ever read a book written in first person!”  The reviews for Hopeless, though, were so positive and glowing and full of fangirl key-smashing (both on Goodreads and Amazon) that I threw caution to the wind and click “Buy” anyway.  For once, I am absolutely relieved that I let go of my “no first person” rule because if I had, I would’ve missed out on this treasure of a book.

It starts off innocuous at first.  We meed Sky Davis, the narrator, who has been raised by a hippy-dippy mother whose aversion to technology and public education are both so severe that Sky was practically raised Amish.  However, Sky is about to start her senior year at a real, public high school while her best friend Six, who has a less-than-stellar reputation that has rubbed off undeservedly on Sky, goes of to Italy as an exchange student.  It’s obvious to the reader from the very beginning that Sky is “damaged” somehow, but it’s not clear why until much later.  As soon as Sky starts school, she meets Dean Holder.  He’s a “bad boy” with a reputation of his own and the word “hopeless” tattooed on his forearm.  He has a temper, a wealth of secrets, a past that is both fuzzy and frightening.  He also has heart-stopping dimples and a helluva physique (that made me feel guilty for lusting after him since he’s only 18) and his very presence makes Sky react to him in a way she never has to anyone else.

I’m not going to give the plot away because then you wouldn’t need to read this book, so all I will say is that Sky and Dean’s connection causes truths to be shared, secrets to be stirred up, and hard facts to be realized.  I will say that this book is far, far more than just a simple romance story.  It’s light-years beyond just being about two teenagers falling in love.  Trust me, this is no ridiculous, teenaged angst like Twilight. (Don’t get me wrong, Dean Holder sparkles, but not in an Edward Cullen kind of way.)

This book moved me.  Inspired me.  Gutted me.  I read the entire thing, from cover to cover (well, from 1% to 99% on my Kindle, anyway), in the span of about eight hours.  And then I flailed about it on Tumblr and Twitter.  And then I gifted three copies of it so that others can read this book.  It’s the kind of story that sticks with me long after I’ve finished.  Only a book or two a year ever do that to me and this one is definitely going to stay around.  In my head.  In my heart.

Read it.  You have to read it.  Here, here’s the link to it: go buy it right now.  And if you’ve read it, please leave me a comment to tell me how very much in “live” you are with Dean Holder, too!

Books · Reading

What I just finished reading…

For the last eight days or so, I have been tearing through the ACRO series of books by Sydney Croft.  The six books – Riding the Storm, Unleashing the Storm, Seducing the Storm, Taming the Fire, Tempting the Fire, Taken by Fire – are all about characters that have super-human powers. They work for the Agency of Covert Rare Operations (ACRO) and they’re basically badass superhero spies that save the world while battling the rival, evil agency Itor.  Add to this awesomeness some seriously hot smut (this is erotic fiction, y’all) and great romance, and this series was a total winner.

Each book is about a separate couple but two couples have their stories told in tidbits over the six books.  It’s one of these couples, Creed and Annika, that was my absolute favorite of the whole series.  They’re the only couple that reduced me to tears at one point due to their serious angst.  Creed is a ghost hunter with a spirit attached to him named Kat (and he’s covered in tattoos that he was born with completely from head to toe on his right side) and Annika can electrify her body and fry crispy anything and everything that touches her. Their relationship, for me, was the heart and soul of the book and it’s a reason that if anyone tackles this series, they have to read all six books just so that they can see how Creed and Annika end up.

Seriously, though, the books are fantastic.  Full of adventure, people with super powers, and hardcore smut – read these books now!!!!  (All of the books can be found here.)

Books · Reading

What I’m reading right now….

For full disclosure, I’ve been a fan of MaryJane Butters for well over a decade.  Each issue of her organic lifestyle magazine feels more like a piece of art in my hand than an actual magazine.  I keep each issue and love to flip back through them so that I can be re-inspired by the stories and tempted by the delicious recipes.  I subscribe to her “farmgirl” precepts, regardless of where I might be living at the time.

This is her latest book:

glam

In true MaryJane fashion, it is fantastic.  Gorgeous photography.  Practical advice.  It tugs at the heartstrings.  I’ve wanted a vintage camper for a very long time (and even owned one for a while, until we realized it was too damaged to be able to practically restore) and this book makes it seem possible. Not only is it full of delicious recipes, there are adorable craft projects scattered throughout.  And the restoration tips for vintage campers are so helpful to a total novice like me.  Thanks to this book, I can honestly say that 1958 Airstream Bubble will be mine eventually!

 

Books · Reading

One angst-whore’s dream book…

Hi, my name is Rachel, and I’m an angst-whore.

I love a good angsty romance.  Novels filled with unrequited love/star-crossed lovers/lovers kept apart by circumstance are probably among my list of very favorite things.  Thanks to one of my favorite authors tweeting about a book she loved yesterday, I discovered Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry.

Oh my God….

–I need a minute–

*grasps for composure*

Okay, this book made me bawl for more than halfway through it.  It’s about a man (Michael) trying to recover after the untimely death of his young wife, Billie, and Billie’s best friend (Angie), who is grappling with both the loss of her friend and a newfound attraction to Michael. And then “stuff” happens and it gets more and more complicated.  And then the tears start and continue for page after page and I– GAHHH!!!  I just can’t…

Seriously, if you love angst and romance and smut and happy endings, go read this book!